Despite her almost admirable amount of genuine care for her newborn daughter, Serena Benson could not manage to keep her eyes open for another minute. It had already been hours since she had given birth. She had not received an update on her daughter. That was supposed to be a bad thing, but honestly the only thing she cared about was getting a decent night's sleep.
She had been transferred out of the delivery room. Unfortunately for her, the only open rooms were semi-private. Arrangements were being made to switch her to a private room, but the process was slow.
The door to her room opened, and the nurse from the delivery room entered. She was alone.
"What's going on?" Serena pleaded. "Will someone let me know something about my daughter?" In retrospect, she maybe did not need all those glasses of wine. While she still did not fully believe all the studies about how alcohol is bad for babies, she definitely was starting to.
"You can see her," Nurse Warner stated as she pulled a wheelchair over towards the bed. As Serena crawled into it, Nurse Warner continued. "I'm going to warn you, it's not exactly a mother's dream of seeing their child. That being said, for a baby of your daughter's condition, she's doing pretty well."
Serena had finished her journey into their private room. She caught sight of the baby in the room next to the bed. That couldn't be her daughter, could it? This baby was tiny. She had gone through the delivery. The baby she gave birth to caused her a great deal of pain. How could something that small cause so much pain? Plus, the child almost looked dead. She was hooked up to tiny oxygen tubes just to help her breathe. "That's not my baby," Serena declared.
Nurse Warner shook her head sadly. "She is, Serena." She then gently pat the other woman's back as she eased Serena into the bed. She could not help but be sympathetic. Alcoholism was a recognized disease. She would certainly feel horrified if her own daughter was born like this. "But the doctors here are good at what they do. Cardigan might be a pompous ass, but he's a pompous ass who saves babies' lives."
"So she'll live?" Serena asked.
Nurse Warner sighed heavily. "I think so. We're a little concerned about her low birth weight. She was only a little over five pounds, despite being full term. Her lungs were slightly undeveloped, so we hooked her up to the oxygen to be on the safe side. It won't hurt her." She exhaled slowly. Now was the time to turn serious. The child might be fine for now, but if Serena's alcoholism kept up, Nurse Warner could not guarantee how long she would live. "Serena, your daughter survived by the grace of God. If you don't shape up—"
"I will!" Serena insisted. "I'll do anything for her. She is my daughter."
"Good," Nurse Warner stated. "Anything else I can help you with? I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have, but I figured you'd want to be alone."
Serena looked up at the nurse. "I appreciate that," she said. "Just one thing." Her mind was made up. This was a nice woman who had helped save her daughter. Serena did not have any special family member or other name picked out. "What's your name?"
Nurse Warner flashed Serena a warm smile. "Olivia."