Author’s Note: You may need these when you read this chapter…..
It was 2:00 am and Ben slowly woke up to the sound of Cole’s crying. He looked over at Grace and the baby hadn’t woken her. She was sleeping soundly. He was extra careful not to wake her as he climbed out of bed to tend to his son.
Ben happily fed and changed the baby. He rocked him for a few minutes until he was falling asleep then laid him back in his crib. He relished these quiet times, in the dark, alone with the baby. He still couldn’t believe this child was his and he had a family that loved him.
When he came back to bed and pulled the covers back, his heart stood still in his chest. There was blood all around Grace and she had a deathly pallor to her face. When his heart started again, it was racing out of his chest. “Grace! Wake up!” he screamed and shook her.
“Mmm….so…tired,” she managed to get out and closed her eyes again.
Shit. She’s going to be okay, she’s going to be okay, he repeated over and over in his head. “Stay with me baby!” he begged as he fumbled around the bedside table to get to his phone. Found it. “I’m calling an ambulance! Grace, stay with me.”
Ben’s hands were shaking so much he could barely dial the three numbers he needed to get an ambulance. When he hung up he looked at Grace, tears now running down his face. “Grace…baby, they’re on the way. Hang on please.”
He called Emma next. His leg was bouncing up and down waiting for her to answer. “Answer the phone dammit!” he shouted on the second ring.
“Ben?” came the sleepy voice on the other end of the line.
“Get over here now. RIGHT NOW! It’s an emergency. The ambulance is on the way!” he shouted into the phone.
“What’s going on?”
“NOW!” he demanded and hung it up.
Two minutes later, Emma walked in just as the paramedics had placed Grace on the stretcher. They were preparing to wheel her out to the waiting ambulance. It was all surreal to Ben. He couldn’t feel his body.
He didn’t realize Emma was there until she put her arms around him. Her hands were warm in contrast to Grace’s cold hands. He had tried hard to warm them before they put her on the gurney. Emma stayed with him until they were ready to leave. He knew she was talking to him, but he didn’t understand anything she said. All he could think about was Grace.
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When they got to the hospital a team was already waiting for her. With the questions Ben was able to answer in the ambulance they had determined she likely had a tear in her uterus which caused the hemorrhaging. The Doctor said they would have to perform an emergency hysterectomy. Ben signed the paperwork and they rushed her straight into the OR.
He slumped into the waiting room chair in shock. He barely registered Rachael and Nick’s arrival.
Rachael sat down next to Ben. Nick remained standing. “Do you want some coffee Ben?” asked Nick.
Ben just continued to stare off. “She’s never going to be able to have another baby. It’s going to kill her. I signed the paper….” he said flatly.
“I know,” said Rachael quietly, “But she has you to help her through it – and Cole.”
Ben hadn’t thought about Cole since he left with Grace in the ambulance. The mention of his son’s name panicked him. “Cole…I should check on him…” said Ben standing up in a daze.
Nick grabbed him. “Ben, he’s fine. Listen to me. Emma and Casey are with him. Emma fusses over him so much, you would think she’s his mother. Now sit back down,” he said and guided him to his seat.
He remembered that Emma had been there when they left with Grace. Her hands were warm. Ben put his head in his hands to drown out the quiet whispers of Rachael and Nick. All he could think about was how sad Grace was going to be. His heart was breaking for her. He would be fine with one child, but he knew Grace wanted more children. She envied his large family, having been an only child – with just her grandmother in her life.
He stood up again and began to pace, checking his watch. “Where are they? What’s taking so long?” he growled out.
Nick got up and went to him “Shhhh. Ben, come sit back down before they make you leave.”
Ben started to sob. “I can’t! Grace is being operated on again! She’s not going to be able to have any more children. She lost so much blood. She could have died.”
Nick went to Ben and put his hands on face. “Look at me Ben. She didn’t. You were there and you got her here. It’s going to be okay. She’s getting taken care of. Now come sit back down. She’s going to need you in one piece.”
He knew Nick was right, but he couldn’t get the sight of her ashen skin or the blood out of his head. Reluctantly he did as Nick said and sat back down.
Racheal reached over and took his hands. She was being so sweet to him. She was rarely nice to him. It was only because of Nick that she tolerated him. He knew he deserved it. But he was trying to be a better person. For Grace and for Cole – his family.
Another thirty minutes passed when finally the doctor came out, looking exhausted and grim. “Ben Murdock?”
Ben smiled relieved to see the doctor. “Yes! Can we see her now?”
The doctor looked back and forth between Ben, Nick and Rachael. “Is this your family?” he asked instead of answering Ben’s question.
Rachael gasped. “Oh God, no…”
At Rachael’s reaction Ben understood the implications of the doctors question. He felt a shiver run down his spine. He could hardly get a breath. Whatever he had to tell him, it wasn’t good.
Nick was quickly at Ben’s side holding him up. Ben finally managed a small nod.
“Everyone, follow me please,” said the doctor refusing to make eye contact.
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