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Her breath started coming out in raged gasps. Her dilated eyes were slowly willing themselves shut. With the little bit of strength she had left, she held open her eyes as best she could and listened to the doctor’s words.
“Cecilia, darling, can you hear me?” Dr, Chamber’s soft, soothing voice exploded in Cecilia’s ears. She slowly nodded as he continued, “Good, but I have to ask you a serious question. Your baby’s neck is tied up in the umbilical cord. This decision must be hast, but if we save him, you must know that we will lose you. Do you want us to go through with it? Or do you wish to let him go? It’s a lot to ask of someone so young, we will understand whatever your decision will be.”
Cecilia, who grew weaker each moment, pondered the idea. Living a life knowing she came this far, came this close to having a family. The one thing that she had been deprived of as a child. Her parents had never been there, her father an alcoholic and her drug addict mother, often leaving her in the care of others. To know all this and have her dream come crashing down in a single moment. Could she live her life, knowing she had given the doctors the okay to kill her baby?
She knew people made the decision all the time. But could it be her decision? Would she be selfish and save herself, or would she make the sacrifice to save her baby?
Tears spilled over the rims of her hollow eyes as she made her choice, “Can I see my husband one last time?” Dr. Chambers nodded and Ethan entered the cold hospital room.
Ethan had never liked hospitals. After the death of his father, they always reeked the smell of death to him. Seeing his wife now, he knew he would have to smell the stench of misery and pain again. He shivered at the sight of her. His beautiful Cecilia, always so full of life, now sat on her death bed, all the light gone from her eyes as her skin grew paler by the moment.
She beckoned him forward as a slight smile crept onto her face. He wondered how in a time of such dread, she could be smiling. He slowly lowered himself to the edge of her hospital bed. It creaked under his weight, cutting through the silence of the room. Cecilia took her hand in hers. Ethan kissed his wife taking her frail face in his hands.
The broke away and she whispered, “Ethan, you probably know why I asked you back. You probably also know that it’s not the best of news, but sometimes miracles happen from our most tragic moments. Dr. Chambers told me that I had a choice of saving myself and saving my baby. I don’t know if it’s just motherly instinct, but I can’t let this baby go. We’ve come to far, this baby has a whole future ahead of him. I can’t take that away from him.” Her eyes fluttered as she tried to sustain consciousness. “Know that I love you; that I’m not doing this to hurt you. Promise me you’ll take care of our son.”
Ethan tried to contain himself and restrain from bursting into tears. But he could no longer contain his emotions. “I promise, Cecilia. Just remember I’ll always love you and I’ll never forget how brave you were.”
She smiled and her gaze became distant. The meter began buzzing as her heart rate stopped. The room exploded into action. Doctors and nurses rushed in. Ethan was shoved out the doors and they performed an emergency C-section to try and save his son before it was too late. But it was already too late for his beloved Cecilia.
He sat in one of the cold, hard chairs, waiting for something, anything to happen. Hours passed before a nurse, with bright red hair that reminded him so much of Cecilia’s, came to get him. His shoes squeaked as her followed her to room 304.
A curtain was drawn and he knew on the other side of that thin plastic veil, lay his wife. The thought formed a giant knot in his stomach. But that all changed the moment the nurse came out with a little pink blanket. Ethan gave a questioning look.
“Miss, my wife and I thought we were having a son.”
She smiled as she handed him the tiny bundle, “It happens sometimes. Sonograms aren’t 100% reliable.”
She felt so fragile in his arms. His little miracle child. Ethan smiled down at his baby. It felt amazing to say it, his baby. He could have sworn she smiled back as she clutched his finger with her tiny hand. He wondered how he could love something so much in short amount of time.
It had been that way when he’d met Cecilia though, so why not now? The tuft of little red hair brought him some closure. Although his wife was gone, he’d always have a little part of her growing inside his daughter. He wondered if she would be as rebellious as her mother and if she would grow up to love fried pickles, too.
Dr. Chambers came into the room and chuckled, “Well lookey there,we’ve got another red head in the Jones family. She’s beautiful Ethan. You got a name yet?”
Ethan stared down into his daughter’s crystal eyes and smiled as a tear rolled down his cheek, “I think I’m going to name her Cecilia.”