I follow after them, my hand holding onto Amber’s. We part in the emergency room. Nurses come out and rush Amber off to some room in the hospital. Dr. Henderson comes to find me once the excitement has died down.
“By your panicked expression I’m going to assume that no one has told you anything,” he says. I shake my head.
“Nothing,” I breathe out.
“They’ve taken Amber in for an emergency caesarean. They’re keeping her breathing and her heart beating until we can get the baby out safely. Once he’s born they’ll send her to me and I’ll work on her.”
“So… how long will that take?”
“Not long. You can come with me.”
The doctor turns and begins to walk. I follow after him, “The caesarean won’t take very long. They’re doing it quickly so they’re just going to remove the baby and the placenta and sew her up. Once that’s done they’ll transfer her to me and we’ll begin the surgery. Once we’re in there we should be able to find the source of the problem and hopefully fix it.”
“Do you think she’s going to be okay?”
We stop in the elevator.
“We’re going to do everything we can to make sure she’s okay. They’re doing what they can to keep her alive right now. Then it’s in my hands. Once we do the surgery we’ll be able to know for sure.”
“Please keep me informed.”
“Of course, here,” The door dings and he leads me out, “They’re in the operating room right now. I’ll have them bring the baby to you once they’re sure he’s okay.”
I nod, “Thank you.”
He pats my back and then leaves me there. I sit down on a bench and put my head in my hands. I remember the helpless feeling I had when Amber had been hurt. That was nothing compared to this. This goes beyond helplessness. This is something entirely different. It is like waiting for a death sentence. I don’t know what I’ll do if they come out here and tell me they’ve lost both of them. I’ll die. I know that much. What reason will I have to go on if my whole life is taken from me?
I know I should call Amber’s family and let them know what is going on. I just don’t think I’d be able to do it. Instead I talk to Mikey, asking him to keep them both safe. I ask him to watch over them from his spot up in heaven. I tap my feet on the linoleum floor as tears pour down my face. I try my best not to start screaming.
There is another set of minutes that feel like hours. Eventually the door opens and a nurse steps out.
“Mr. Iero?” she says.
I stand up, “Yes?”
“I was told to let you know that we’re transferring your fiancée now.”
“How is she?”
“I’m not sure.”
“And the baby,” I question.
“You have a son. He seems to be doing well for the moment. He’s responding well and breathing just fine. Would you like to meet him?”
I take a moment to breath, “Please?”
The nurse nods and leads me into a room. It appears to be two separate rooms. They still have Amber on the operating table. She is being transferred to a gurney and is still unconscious. The other half of the room seems like more of a viewing room. There are several nurses looking over my small son. They wrap him in a blue blanket and gently place him in a plastic bassinet. I step over to them.
“How is he?” I ask. The nurse smiles at me.
“He’s very well,” she says. “He looks great. We’re just going to have to take him to the nursery to keep an eye on him.”
“Can I come?”
“Of course, but he’ll have to stay in the bassinet on the ride over. Then you can hold him.”
I nod, “Where’s Amber going
“They’re taking her to the third floor.”
“Will I be able to take him up there?”
“You can take him to the waiting room once we get your bracelet on.”
I nod, “Thank you.”
“Are you ready?”
I look over at Amber again. I want to be with her but I know they won’t let me in the operating room. I also know that Amber would want me to stay with James. So I take hold of his bassinet and follow the nurse out of the room. She leads me down the hall to the nursery and I check him out. Then they hand James over to me and let me hold him.
James is perfect. His eyes are large and alert. They are the same green as Amber’s. His lips are pouty and pink. His nose is so tiny it seems smaller than the tip of my pinky. His hair is dark and fluffy. I see Amber in that face. I know that no matter what happens to her I have to be strong for our son. I have to live for him.
“Hey, buddy,” I say with a smile.
He squeaks and wiggles in his swaddle.