Happy Sunday all! Thank you Rhett's Love for your review of Chapter 49.
Before the doctor could retrieve the smelling salts from his medical bag, Scarlett's feathery lashes started to flutter and her eyes opened wide at the sight of three people hovering over her. "Great balls of fire! What on earth is going on?" she cried out in astonishment. After passing out, she'd fallen into a brief dream and thought she was already in bed asleep for the night. The first few seconds of her reawakening were positively disorienting.
"Scarlett," Rhett responded soberly, "you fainted a few minutes ago and I went to get the doctor. He says he has some news to tell us as to why he thinks you passed out."
Scarlett sat straight up right away, wanting to hear the doctor's diagnosis quickly.
The doctor, youngish looking, with a mop of blonde hair and angelic face, approached Scarlett and took her gently by the hand as he spoke to her softly. "My dear lady, my name is Dr. Callahan. What I have to say about your condition is rather of a private matter. Perhaps it is best if everyone leave so I can discuss this with you alone."
Scarlett's emerald eyes flashed with alarm and she feared the worst. If this was bad news, she wanted Rhett there by her side. She whipped her hand up in the air and pointed her index finger at the steward like a sharp arrow as she responded to Dr. Callahan. "This stranger can leave right now!" she demanded. "But I need my husband with me."
The steward nodded in Scarlett's direction and followed her order as he departed their suite right away. Dr. Callahan proceeded to ask Scarlett a few more questions. "Scarlett, as I stated this matter is of a delicate nature and I believe you when you say you want your husband here, so I hope you don't mind my asking in front of him when you had your last monthly period?"
Rhett realized instantly that she hadn't had one since they'd resumed their lovemaking and that about six weeks had passed from their rendezvous at the hotel in Atlanta. His eyes lit up with joy at the prospect of having another child with Scarlett.
Scarlett stared hard at Dr. Callahan and answered, "I – I honestly don't remember, doctor. Do you think I'm going to have a baby?! With all the excitement of going to France I hadn't even thought about it."
Rhett sat down on the bed next to Scarlett and hugged her tenderly. "Doctor, if I had to give you an estimate, I would say she is probably about six weeks along."
"Then I am quite certain you are with child, Scarlett. The morning sickness usually comes around the sixth week. Is this the first time for you to be expecting?"
Scarlett looked down and softly answered, "It will be my third," without adding anymore.
Rhett winced as he recalled the tragedy of her second pregnancy and kept silent.
"Well, then I probably don't have to tell you that you must take it easy for the rest of your trip home. I have a few things I can give you that should ease your morning sickness, but I did not bring them with me in my medical bag. Rhett, would you mind accompanying me to my room so I can give you those items?"
"Not at all, doctor," he answered elatedly as he followed him out of the suite with a blissful spring to his step.
The walk on the deck to the doctor's room started off pleasantly as Dr. Callahan shook Rhett's hand and congratulated him, but as they neared the room, the expression of the doctor's face darkened into a look of sorrow. "Mr. Butler, I cannot tell a lie. I am worried about your wife. The morning sickness she has is normal and even the fainting is normal, but she does not very look well. I'm afraid there isn't much I can do for her though except to give you what I have to try and help her with her morning sickness. As a ship doctor, my medical training is for fairly basic ailments. I can recommend an excellent obstetrician when we return to Manhattan. Our doctors are the best in the country and perhaps in that way you are blessed to be where you are instead of down South. They will have a look at your wife and will have a much better understanding of what's going on than I do."
Rhett instantly recalled Ashley's opinion that doctors in New York might have been able to save Melanie and instantly nodded his head in agreement.
"Is there a chance she could lose this baby?" Rhett asked desperately as tears welled up in his eyes.
"I pray that she doesn't, Mr. Butler and I suggest that for both their sakes, you pray, too," the doctor responded sincerely.
Rhett wrote down the name of the obstetrician and gathered up the concoction Dr. Callahan gave him for Scarlett's morning sickness. He was determined not to share any of the conversation with Scarlett that he'd had with Dr. Callahan. He would just tell her that he wanted her to see a highly qualified doctor for the purpose of making sure she was receiving the best care in her delicate condition. He suspected she would consider it to be a waste of time since she'd be having the baby in Atlanta, but it was the best excuse he could come up and he was going to do whatever it took in his power for her to see him without her knowing the real reason.
For now though, he summoned what little strength he had left as he strolled along the deck of the boat before he returned to their suite to pray for Scarlett and the baby. A strong gust of wind spat at him in contempt as he stared out drearily over the ship's bow and saw a storm that was quickly approaching. In unison, the tar colored sea was spewing up a concoction of choppy waves capped with sea foam as the darkness of the sky drew closer to the ship.
The gloominess of the rapidly changing weather intensified his feelings of despair. Seeds of doubt began to cloud his faith the more he thought about the possibility of losing a third child. If this child was lost, he knew he was going to seriously doubt Justin's words about Bonnie being in Heaven and if that happened, he would forgot about the notion of believing in God altogether.
In the midst of the turmoil, he felt a gentle tap on his elbow and spun around to see a tall, willowy woman who looked to be in her 70s with a black dress and matching colored lace shaw. Her snowy cap of hair, adorned with a braided chignon was a contrast to her dark attire. When he spied the golden crucifix dangling from her neck, he wondered if God was answering him or if it was merely a coincidence.