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From Bundle of Trouble
Chapter Two pt. 2
Mom patted my hand. “Well, that’s normal. Everything is going to
be fine. When did your labor start?”
“Around nine last night. Didn’t you get our messages? Jim must
have called at least three times. Where were you?”
Mom settled herself in the chair next to my bed. “I was at Sylvia’s.
She had a dinner party. There was a lady there who wanted to take
home some leftover crackers. Can you imagine? They had sat out all
night on an hors d’oeuvres plate. And she wanted to take them home!”
Mom knew me too well. She was making small talk, trying to
distract me from thinking thoughts full of doom and gloom. It was
working. I was actually laughing.
I peered over at Jim. His eyes were closed, a grimace on his face.
He wasn’t listening to Mom. He was stressed out. Mom followed my
“Now, what’s happened with George?”
Jim flinched. “Let’s not go there, Mom. We got a phone call, right,
Kate? Just a call—”
I clutched Mom’s hand. “Not just a call! It was a call from the
medical examiner. They found a body in the bay and George’s bags on
Mom eyes turned into saucers and she gasped.
“We don’t really know anything yet,” Jim said. “Let’s not get all
Mom and I exchanged looks. “Everything will be fine, you’ll see.”
She gave my hand a squeeze, then released it and folded her hands
into her lap.
An awkward silence descended over us. Just then the nurse slipped
into the room. “Don’t mind me,” she said. “I want to see how far along
Jim watched the nurse, his brow creased in concern. I tried to
remain calm, my attention returning to the beeping monitor
reporting the baby’s heart rate.
“Oh, goodness, the baby’s practically here,” the nurse announced.
I sat up a little. Mom clapped her hands in childish delight and Jim
crossed the room to stand next to me.
“I’ll call your doctor,” the nurse said, turning to leave.
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Mom started to follow her. “I’ll be right back. I just need to feed
my parking meter.”
The nurse spun around and stared at Mom. “Don’t leave now. You
may miss the birth.”
“The baby’s coming that fast?” Mom asked.
“I hope I can get the doctor here in time,” the nurse said, rushing
“I hope I don’t get a ticket,” Mom said.
I laughed. “Why didn’t you park in the hospital parking lot?”
Mom shrugged. “There was a spot in front.” She hurried across the
room to the window, straining to get a peek at her car.
Jim tried to hide the smile that played on his lips. He leaned in
close to me and whispered, “Here I am worried about you, the baby,
and my brother the screw-up, while I could be worrying about really
important stuff like getting a parking ticket.”
I giggled. “Or who took home stale crackers from a party.”
Our eyes locked. Jim’s face broke into a huge smile. “I love you,
Mom came away from the window. “No ticket yet, that I can see.”
Dr. Greene, my ob-gyn, popped into the room, her brown hair
held in place with two tortoiseshell clips. She walked straight to my
side, looking confident in her blue scrubs. She smiled into my face.
“How are you doing, Kate?”
“Okay, I guess. I don’t feel a thing.”
She smiled wider. “That’s the beauty of modern medicine. Just
push when I tell you.”
After about twelve minutes of pushing, Dr. Greene said the words
I’ll never forget in all my life: “Kate, reach down and grab your baby.”
What? She wanted me to pull the baby out?
Startled by her words, I instinctively reached down.
There she was. I grasped my baby girl and pulled her to my chest.
I clutched her to me with a desperation I had never felt before,
trying to press her right into my heart. Everyone else in the room
seemed to fade into the background. My little angel, my little love.
She was the most beautiful thing in the world. Her round, pretty
face was punctuated with a button nose, and strawberry blond hair
11graced the top of her head. Dark blue eyes peered at me, examining
me with the wisdom of an old soul.
I realized Jim was crying. He reached down and enveloped the
baby and me in his arms and I forgave him for muting the TV.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Mom pull a hankie from her
purse and wipe a tear. “Don’t worry, darling, I’ve already memorized
her face. No one’s switching her on us.”
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