The house felt like stillness. The rising and falling of chests gave the only indication of life as a soft silvery glow illuminated Karin’s face. A small grunt of a whimper began to poke at the silence. The whine of discontent sharpened in intensity until a full-fledged cry sliced through the night air.
Karin jumped out of bed cooing words of comfort, “Don’t worry, little one. Momma’s coming. Momma’s here.”
Lying in his crib, soft curly lashes darkened the bright blue of a baby’s eyes. Wisps of blond hair collected the tiny tears falling from frustrated eyes. “You always remind me of the first time I saw when you look like that,” Karin whispered into the baby’s soft hair.
Swift elevator doors ushered Karin into a fluorescent lit hallway. The chairs in the waiting room stood facing each other expecting soon to fulfil their purpose. The sign on a mechanical door read “Maternity Ward” announcing her destination.
“Good morning, Karin,” Sue greeted her with a smile, “Right on time. We are in full swing today. Every delivery room’s full except for one.”
A groan escaped Karin’s lips. “Oh, no, not another one of those days. Was there a full moon last night or a blackout nine months ago?”
“Both, I think.” Sue responded. “What room do you want to take first? I just checked rooms 119 and 120.”
“Then I’ll head for 121,” Karin said as she grabbed the chart off the wall. “Julie Stetson…age 16! Awfully young to be up here. Do you know the story with her?”
“Not a clue. You’d better go in and see, though, because her light is on.”
The heavy door swung open automatically as Karin entered the room with a smile. “Hello, Julie. I’m Karin. I’ll be your nurse today. How are you doing?”
Sweat collected on Julie’s brow while small tufts of blonde hair curled around her wide eyes. Pain etched its mark across her young face inscribing an age that did not exist.
Her body writhed in torment as she cried out, “I can’t stand this anymore. For the last five hours my insides have felt like they were being clamped together and now they feel like they want to be hammered out!”
“It’s alright, dear,” Karin comforted as she began to put gloves on her hands. “It sounds like you’re almost there. Let me just check how far along you’ve come.”
Karin had just begun to measure Julie’s progress when Julie grabbed her arm and pressed her fingernails deep into her skin. “Promise me you’ll keep me from seeing the baby. I’m going to put the baby up for adoption…I don’t want to see it…if I see it I don’t think I can go through with it.”
“Don’t worry, Julie. I can do that, but don’t you have anyone here to help you through this?” Karin asked gingerly.
“No, no one.”
The air was suddenly split by an ear bursting scream as pushing pains came upon Julie. In a matter of minutes, the world’s population increased by one.
“Well, you’ve delivered a healthy baby boy.” Karin announced.
“Get him out of here!” Julie screamed through tears of pain.
As another nurse took over the care of Julie, Karin began to whisper words of comfort to the crying baby. “Don’t worry, little one. Someone will take care of you.” But who? Thought Karin.
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