|Goodbye Sweet Angel
Author: LoisAndClarkSuperfan PM
Sequel to Life is Perfect: When Daphne's second pregnancy takes a tragic turn, Niles must confront his own feelings while finding a way to support his wife.Rated: Fiction T - English - Words: 2,598 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 6 - Published: 04-06-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7997907
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I want to thank everyone who read my last story and encouraged me to write a sequel. I apologize to those who may be disappointed with the storyline, but this was something that felt near and dear to my heart and I couldn't get it out of my mind. I especially need to thank Kristen3 for reminding me over and over again that I needed to get to work on this! :) Anyway, thanks to everyone for taking the time to read this.
Niles sat in the waiting room, his fingers nervously drumming the arm of the blue vinyl chair. He was alone. No one else had entered the room since he had been sent there to wait for his wife's doctor to speak with him. He was relieved the room seemed void of the usual hospital hustle and bustle. He knew he couldn't have handled that. He looked at the television, playing some random old sitcom in the corner of the room. Someone must have left it on earlier in the day. Hearing the laugh track and watching the characters muddle through some trivial little problem filled him with rage. How dare people laugh and joke when his life was falling apart…when Daphne was in pain and broken hearted. He angrily picked up a magazine from the table next to him and tossed it at the television. Then he let a painful sob escape from his throat, and within seconds his head was in his hands and his tears were unstoppable. He longed for someone to comfort him, but there was no one. All he could do was wait.
It had only been a couple of months since the day Daphne came to his office and told him they were going to have another baby. She had been worried he would be upset about it, since David was still just a baby himself and the pregnancy had been so unexpected, but Niles made it a point to assure her he was happy. In all honesty, he was a little worried. Two babies would be a lot to manage, and the two of them didn't always see eye to eye about child rearing. They'd had several disagreements since David had been born about everything from his tiny baby wardrobe to his sleep schedule. Niles had been afraid it might get worse with another baby. But seeing Daphne standing before him, afraid to tell him that she was carrying his child had left him ashamed and he knew he had to make everything okay for her. So, he said he was happy; he acted happy; and before long he really was happy. Sure it would be a challenge, but two perfectly adorable little babies was more than he ever could have hoped for before Daphne made all of his dreams come true. Now she was giving him the family he could only have imagined previously, and it was nothing short of a miracle.
Daphne had been sick at first, leaving him with most of the parental responsibilities for David. He felt awful for his wife, but he did enjoy that special time with his son. Feeding him, changing his diapers, waking up to his cherubic little face in the morning left him feeling overjoyed and blessed. Daphne had insisted on doing most of those things herself before she got pregnant again, so Niles was enjoying the time to just be a daddy to his little boy, and as he catered to his son's every need he found himself thinking often about the new baby. Would it be a boy or a girl? Would he have David's soft blonde curls? Would she have Daphne's enchanting laugh? He couldn't wait to meet this new little person.
After a few weeks, Daphne felt much better. It was as if all her pregnancy symptoms disappeared almost overnight and she was grateful. She could get back to her normal life, taking care of David and Niles could focus more on his work. Niles was sad to give up the alone time with his son, and when he told Daphne she smiled and kissed him and said she was blessed to have such an amazing husband. From that moment on they shared all the responsibilities for their son's wellbeing, and they both loved every minute of it. At night when they cuddled up together in bed, they would talk about how David would make a wonderful big brother, and try to agree on names for the new baby. Sarah, Madeline, George, Charles…the possibilities seemed endless. They couldn't decide and were grateful they still had plenty of time to make a choice.
At their first doctor's appointment things seemed relatively routine. Daphne had been worried that there could be problems having another baby so soon, but the doctor assured them that medically it wasn't a problem. Daphne was healthy and he expected things to go pretty smoothly. But when the doctor tried to find the baby's heartbeat, he couldn't. He told them not to worry. It was early and they would check again in a few weeks. Niles and Daphne both knew it was hard to hear the heartbeat so early, but they both spent the next few weeks wondering if something could be wrong. When they went back for the second appointment, the doctor still couldn't find the heartbeat. Daphne started to cry immediately and Niles held her close, trying to stay calm. The doctor sent them for an ultrasound, but they both knew there wasn't going to be a new baby, and the results confirmed that the baby had stopped growing a few weeks earlier. Niles felt numb as he held his wife's trembling hand and listened to her sobs. This wasn't supposed to happen to them. Their life had been perfect, and this was far from perfection.
They had been sent home, to wait for nature to take its course. The doctor said if Daphne didn't miscarry in the next week that they would do something medically to trigger it, but as they drove home neither of them could think of anything more than their little baby who would never get to come home with them. They picked up David from Martin and Ronee, and Niles didn't have the strength to tell them what was going on, although Martin could tell something was wrong. When they got home, Niles put his son to bed and then crawled into bed next to his wife. Her tears left wet smudges on the pillows and he longed to hold her and make things better, but he knew he couldn't. For the past several weeks he had fallen asleep with his hand resting on her stomach, his way of comforting her and his unborn child, but now he knew it would be nothing more than a painful reminder that their child was gone if he tried to touch her. "I'm sorry…" he whispered as he gently stroked her hair. Daphne didn't reply, but continued to cry and Niles lay awake all night listening and knowing there was nothing he could do to make things better.
He had been afraid to go to work. He didn't want to leave Daphne alone with David. She was in emotional pain, but he knew she would be in physical pain soon as well. He didn't want her to face that alone. So he stayed home, and tried to stay out of her way. She didn't want to talk to him and he didn't know how to talk to her. It was two days after the doctor gave them the devastating news that Daphne woke up in the middle of the night with horrible cramps. Her pain lasted for hours, and eventually Niles decided it would be better to go the hospital. There was so much blood and he was frightened seeing his wife suffer, and finally Daphne agreed. Martin came over to watch David, his face sad and solemn as he looked in his son's eyes. "I'm sorry, Son," he said, his voice shaking. "I know this is hard." Niles nodded, trying his best to hold back the tears that were forming in his eyes. He couldn't get emotional now. He had to take care of Daphne. Martin reached out and in a rare moment of emotion he hugged his son close to him, "You be strong for her," he whispered. "She needs you."
When they arrived at the hospital the emergency room doctor did little more than confirm the miscarriage. He offered Daphne pain medication, but she refused it. After a while, her regular doctor showed up and after examining her decided it would be better to perform a D&C, a procedure to clear out the remaining tissue in her uterus, than to make her continue in the pain she was in. The events of the past few days were rushing through his mind as Niles watched his wife fall asleep with anesthesia and be wheeled into surgery. Then a nurse brought him into the waiting room, where he sat alone with his anguished thoughts.
"Son?" Martin's voice shocked Niles as he lifted his head. Martin walked over and sat next to him.
"Dad," Niles cleared his throat. "What are you doing here? Where's David?"
"David's fine," Martin assured him. "Ronee's watching him. I thought maybe you needed someone here with you."
"That was nice of you," Niles said quickly. "But I'm fine…really."
"You're not fine," Martin disagreed. "No one would be. You're watching your wife go through the most traumatic experience of her life. Your child is gone…"
"Dad…please…don't," Niles felt his whole body shaking and he knew he wouldn't be able to hold back his pain and anger much longer.
"It's okay, Son," Martin said gently. "It's okay to be mad at the world…to cry…"
Niles could see tears forming in his father's eyes. "It's not fair…" he screamed. "Daphne is a wonderful mother. She shouldn't have to go through this!" He sobbed uncontrollably and Martin held him close and let him cry. "Dad…" Niles lifted his head and looked at his father, "I didn't want another baby…not at first. This is my fault."
"You know that's not true…" Martin said seriously. "This is no one's fault. It just happens sometimes…and there's nothing anyone could have done…"
"I should have appreciated the baby," Niles argued. "I'm a horrible father."
"You're an amazing father," Martin insisted. "The way you love and care for David…few men take the time to do that. And I know you were happy about that baby…maybe you were nervous at first, but I saw the sparkle in your eye whenever you would talk about it…you have the right to grieve for your lost child."
"Dr. Crane," the nurse quietly interrupted their conversation. "Your wife is in recovery. The doctor would like to see you now." Niles nodded. Then standing, he took a deep breath, hugged his father and walked after the nurse.
Daphne was not awake yet when Niles walked into her room. He sat in the chair next to her bed and looked at her. Her face was pale, but her breathing was steady. He had just spoken with the doctor who said the procedure went well and Daphne should make a full recovery. They could even try to have another baby in time, but Niles wasn't sure either of them were ready to think about that yet. The doctor said they would test the tissue samples from the miscarriage to determine the cause, but that most likely it was just one of those things that happen sometimes in early pregnancy. The baby probably had some sort of defect that stopped it from growing. Hearing the doctor talk about his child in that way made Niles cringe. Their baby was gone, and the doctor made it sound routine and simple. He didn't want anyone to present it that way to Daphne. She deserved better than that.
Daphne moaned slightly, and Niles reached out and held her hand. Her eyes began to flutter and soon she turned her head to look at him. She seemed confused at first, unsure of where she was, but soon realization hit and Niles could see it in her eyes. "Darling," he whispered. "How are you feeling?"
Tears filled her eyes and she sniffled, "Empty," she admitted. "Our baby's gone…"
"I know sweetheart," he squeezed her hand tighter and leaned her kissing her softly on the cheek. "I'm so sorry."
"I did something wrong," she sobbed.
"No you didn't," Niles promised her.
"Yes I did," Daphne argued. "Or else I wouldn't have lost the baby."
"Daphne," Niles brushed her dark hair out of her face and stroked her wet cheek, "You did everything right. This was not your fault…not at all."
"Why did this happen?" she cried. "Why our little baby?"
"I don't know," Niles let his own tears fall. He knew he needed to be strong for her, but he couldn't hold back his tears anymore either. He kissed her again and held her close, "I don't know…I guess God needed our little angel."
Daphne nodded, "That's what I want to call the baby…Angel." She looked at him for approval and he smiled weakly. "I know there won't be a birth certificate or anything…but just for us. We can call the baby Angel."
"Angel is a perfect name," Niles agreed, tears streaming down his cheeks. They clung to each other, and cried until neither of them had any tears left.
"Niles…how is David?" Daphne asked, her eyes swollen and red. "Is he okay?"
"He's fine darling," Niles smiled weakly. "He's with Ronee. I know he misses you though."
"I miss him too," Daphne admitted. "I want to go home and see him."
"Soon sweetheart," Niles sighed. "The doctor said you could go home in a few hours."
"I love you," she whispered sadly. "I love you so much."
"I love you too," Niles kissed her one more time. He wished her could take away her pain, but he knew that would be impossible. There was nothing he could do for her other than be there, but maybe that was enough. He used to think their life was perfect, but now he knew nothing was ever really perfect. Life was scary, messy, sad…but there were moments of hope, special blessings, joy. Right now, they were at one of the painful parts, but in time they would find their own happiness again.
He watched as Daphne closed her eyes, trying to rest from the stress of the day. He sat back in the chair next to her and watched her sleep. Maybe life wasn't perfect, but he would rather be there with her, facing their tragedy together than anywhere else without her. He watched her chest rise and fall with steady, even breaths and he thought about their baby…their Angel. He was sure the baby would have looked just like Daphne. He knew their Angel was the most beautiful angel in heaven, and while it hurt, he was able to find a little peace in that.