Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 146

McGee-centric character study/romance. Want to start at the beginning? Click here.

Chapter 146: Testing

He wasn't sure how to say it to Abby. He was pretty sure she'd agree with him, but they haven't talked about it, and she might not, and, the appointment was coming up, tomorrow in fact, and he had to talk to her about it because just whipping it out in front of Dr. Draz was a bad plan.

So after dinner, as they were settling down to relax on the sofa, he said to her, "No matter what the test comes up positive for… I don't care what might be wrong with her, I don't want to abort Kelly."

Abby gently touched his face. "And if she's sick and hurting…"

He kissed the palm of her hand. "Abby, unless keeping her alive means that she'll be in constant pain or hooked to a machine, unable to survive on her own, I want to keep her. If she's not normal… We've got money, we've got family for support, and I can quit my job to take care of her if need be."

Abby snuggled in next to Tim, laying his hands on her just starting to show belly, and kissing him gently. "Tim, did you think that would be a problem for me?"

"I really hoped it wouldn't. But we haven't talked about what if…"

"We probably should have. Unless she can't survive on her own, I want to keep her. If I'd had any reservations about keeping her, I wouldn't have risked getting pregnant."


"You scared?" she asked.


She nodded at that. "I'm refusing to worrying about it."

He looks at her, and she half-smiles, and they both know that's more a statement of intent than truth. Abby's forty, almost forty-one, and both of them are more that good enough at math to know how fast the Down's Syndrome rates skyrocket at her age.

She gives him that half-smile again. "Either the DNA did what it was supposed to, or it didn't, and either way there's nothing we can do to change it and nothing we're going to do about it besides love our child and give her the best life we can."

"Good. I'm still scared."

"Me, too."

Once again they were in a dim room, staring at a grainy white-on-black screen, trying to make out features as the ultrasound tech scoots the wand around looking for a good view.

Finally she finds it, and the image of Kelly's head, neck, upper back, and arms becomes clear.

She doesn't look much like a shrimp anymore. That's very clearly a baby.

The tech is using her mouse to make different measurements, and Tim wants to pound her with questions, all along the lines of 'is this what it's supposed to look like,' but the tech doesn't know. It's her job to measure, not diagnose.

When she finishes that, she checks Kelly's heart, which was quickly thrumming away. Tim squeezes Abby's hand as they see the tiny throbbing, almost blur of her heart pumping.

She points out finger buds and gets a shot of Kelly's feet. It's very possible he cooed a little at the two tiny feet on the screen. Abby certainly did.

And after, holding a new stack of ultrasound print outs, he waited for Abby to get dressed, and to then see Dr. Draz, who would look at all the measurements and say if Kelly looked okay.

They sat in her office, looking at the scans, not really talking much, just flipping through them. He took photos of them for his phone, and then sent them to her. And they waited.

About ten minutes later Dr. Draz came in, smile on her face, mouthing the correct pleasantries, which he doesn't have much patience for today.Just get to it.

He's not sure if she read it off his face, or having done with the "How are you?" "Nice day out there." "Blah, blah, blah," she's ready to get to work, but she opens their folder, looks over something, flips through a few pages and says, "Everything looks fine. All of your baby's measurements were within the normal range."

And for the first time in more than a week Tim felt like he could breathe again.


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