On Monday of the second week of Pencey Prep’s tour the results of my check up come in. I climb in my car and drive myself to the doctors. The entire time my stomach does flips. I’ve never liked hospitals much. They smell weird.
A nurse leads me to the room where I wait for my doctor. He is an older man with graying hair and a mustache. He comes in ten minutes later wearing a smile.
“So everything looks good, you and your baby are very healthy…”
“Wait,” I interrupt, “me and my baby. I’m pregnant?”
“Yes, you are almost two weeks in,” the doctor answers still smiling.
I think back to the day Frank proposed. We’d just gone right to it. I don’t remember if we used a condom or not. I guess I got my answer. How am I going to tell Frank?
“Oh,” is all I manage. This is not now I thought this would happen.
As the doctor gives me names of baby doctors and people I should see to get ultrasounds done I just kind of sit there. I wish Frank was here. Sure I’m happy; we’re going to have a family. I just want him here. Will he even be as happy as I am?
I ride home in complete silence; the radio doesn’t even get switched on. I debate wither I should call Frank or wait till he gets home from his tour. In the end I decide to wait. I’d rather tell him in person.
For the next month I go back and forth to the hospital. It isn’t until my fourth visit that the doctors find something. My baby has an abnormal heart beat. I can’t wait to tell Frank any longer. Once I get home I pick up the phone and dial the number I know by heart.
“Hey Amber, everything alright,” Frank answers after the second ring.
I sigh, “Are you sitting down?”
Frank laughs, “Yeah, what’s wrong baby?’
“Ha, funny you should say baby.”
“Amber, you’re scaring me, what’s wrong?”
“I wanted to wait till you got home but then they found something wrong with it’s heart and their worried it won’t make it to term and oh Frank…I’m pregnant,” I cry, thousands of emotions welling up inside me. I want this baby to be okay more than anything else.
For a very long time Frank is quiet, “How far along are you?”
“About a month,” I answer, “Maybe a little less, maybe more.”
“Do you want me to come home?”
“How much longer is the tour?”
“Well, we’ve got two more shows and then it’ll probably take us a day or two to get home. Amber if you need me I can come back and be with you,” Frank says.
“No, finish the tour. I’ll be alright until then. Frank, I love you.”
“I love you too Amber. I’ll be home soon,” he answers and then the line goes dead.
I spend the rest of the night calling up Donna and Gerard and Linda and all my other friends. Most of them are excited…none of them know my baby has a heart problem. For now I’ll let it stay that way. I don’t want too many people worried about me.
Although the doctor assures me I will be fine I still worry. I don’t just care if I’ll be alright; I want my baby to be alright. So far no one has been able to promise me that. It has also been brought to my attention that as the baby grows my lungs and heart will get pushed up. With my history of asthma this could be dangerous. I just want Frank to come back.
It is on a rainy Thursday afternoon that Frank walks through the door. He dumps his bags on the ground and then comes over to me. For a very long time we don’t say anything. I’m scared to tell him what I’ve learned; I don’t want him to worry more than he already is.
“How are you?” he finally asks, laying a hand on my shoulder.
“Tired, scared…I just want our baby to be alright,” I answer, resting my head on his shoulder.
“I’ll go to your next appointment with you; we’ll get through this Amber.”
I sigh and play with Frank’s fingers, “The baby is gonna grow and push up my lungs. They’re scared that I might stop breathing.”
Frank just nods, petting my hair. He’s digesting this in his own way. I’m just glad he’s back.