Tue, 24 November 2009 - 9:17 pm

Baby in waiting

I finally got to see Sally today. Masterson has had her shut away in a room upstairs, tucked up in a bed and waited on.

She’s huge. Overdue by a week or so, she thinks. Masterson has her on enforced bed rest and is keeping a close eye on her. He doesn’t let many people up to see her – I snuck in on my own when he was getting breakfast. Everyone is worried about her, waiting for the labour to start.

The baby is fine. Masterson and Kostoya have been checking on it, and they’ve said that it seems all right. Everything appears to be normal with the pregnancy, though she had some issues with mineral balances at one point. She started to get faux contractions and random pains, and Masterson responded by confining her to the room and then to the bed. She has pills to take – she’s not sure what they are, but she trusts her doctor and takes them anyway.

She looks so strange, still small and thin apart from the swell of her belly, which dwarfs the rest of her. But she has smiles to give away and is more eager to chat than she used to be. She’s read every magazine in the place, she said, and even started on some of the textbooks out of sheer boredom. She gave up after a few pages when she spent more time sounding out the words than taking the information in and now she has nothing to keep the boredom away. She claims to have expanded her vocabulary and recognises some of the terms the scientists toss around, even if she’s not sure what they actually mean.

The most curious thing is that she hasn’t had the Sickness. It has been months – more than six, I think – since she was burned. That’s more than long enough for the poison to fester inside her and to bring on the dangerous fever. But her body doesn’t seem to have succumbed to it at all, and it’s not trying to fight it off.

“Do they know why?” I asked her.

She shrugged and shifted to sit up a bit straighter, sighing against her pillows. “Not really. They just say that I seem clear of it.”

I wondered if Kostoya had tried to explain a theory to her and she hadn’t understood it, but that was unkind so I didn’t ask.

“David says that if I don’t go into labour soon, he’ll have to try to induce me,” she said.

It took me a minute to realise who ‘David’ was – that’s Masterson’s first name. For some reason, it’s endearing that she calls him by his first name. They’ve been together for a long time now, though neither of them will admit it, and I like to see those little indications of intimacy. I think they both deserve it.

“Well, we’re all here for you,” I told her. “We’ll do what we can.” And we had brought some medical supplies, drugs that the others haven’t seen for a while. Hopefully that would help too.

She put a hand on her belly and smiled at me. “Maybe it was waiting for you to come back.”

She meant all of us, the Seekers, not just me. The idea made me smile back at her. Then she got excited and waggled for my hand, wanting to put it on her swollen abdomen. A couple of seconds passed, and then the baby kicked and we both giggled. Strangest thing I’ve ever felt, that little foot nudging through her to bump my hand.

 

I stayed and chatted with Sally for a while. Masterson came back and scowled at me, and then left again. I stayed – we might not have been the closest of friends before, but I had missed Sally. I had worried about her and the baby.

It was good to see her. I have so few female friends, and it’s good to talk to a girl for a change. She asked about who I was with – she knew I was with someone last night.

“You have that look about you,” she said.

I blushed and said it was Matt. She was happy for me and encouraged me to tell her all about it. I haven’t put it into words before except here in this blog – relaying my relationship and feelings to another person is different. But Sally was receptive and excited on my behalf. I got to be a girl about it. I’ve missed that more than I realised.

I wound up staying until lunchtime, at which point Masterson finally shooed me out, claiming that the pregnant girl needed to sleep. She did look tired, the poor thing, and I gave her a hug before I left. She’s all baby and bone, so fragile that I barely dared to touch her at all. She seemed to appreciate the contact, though. I promised to come back and see her soon, and that made her perk up.

I’m looking forward to the baby being born. We don’t even know if it’ll be a boy or a girl yet. I just hope that it’s as healthy as everyone seems to think it is.

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