Modern Story

Chapter 3

When the Sully's finally returned home from Washington DC they had the opportunity to settle back into their normal lives. Their extended family had returned home and they were cuddled up in front of their fire with a mug of hot chocolate in their hands. Sully could tell his beautiful Michaela was fretting about something. He offered his wife, "A penny for you thoughts?"

Michaela looked away from the fire in to the deep blue eyes of her husband, "I am worrying about a few things."

"What?"

"First I am worrying about my mother."

"I was pleasantly surprised when I got to know your mother. She seemed better than you described her."

"That's the problem. My mother treated me better than she ever had and I don't know why."

"Isn't that a good thing?"

"That depends on why she treated me better. She could have figured out from Aunt Martha that you are from New York high society and rich. I have dreamed that my mother might someday love me because of who I am not because I chose a good husband."

Sully put his arm around her and pulled her in close. "Did you ask Rebecca about the change in your mother, she would understand?"

"Yes, and she said she thought your background was part of it, but she had seen some softening before they met Aunt Martha. It seems Rebecca gave my mother a snapshot of me in my wedding dress. Mother, of course made a comment about how plain it was with no lace or train, but Rebecca thinks she saw that I was beautiful." As a tear ran down Michaela's cheek, "My mother has never seen me as attractive."

Sully took his wife more fully into his arms and put her on his lap. "Well I see you as the most beautiful woman in the world! You have the biggest, most caring heart beating in the sexiest, strong body I have ever had the privilege to caress."

Michaela smiled at her husband, "With a man like you in my corner I guess I shouldn't worry about what anyone else thinks of me." Michaela put her head on
Sully's shoulder and started to relax.

"You said there was more than one thing you were worried about?"

"Do you remember when we talked about birth control and we decided not to use any? I told you that at my age I probably couldn't get pregnant naturally. We discussed that we would have wanted children if it was possible, but we didn't want to use artificial means because of all the dangers to the procedure and we preferred spontaneous sex when we felt like it than planned activities just to have a biological child. We decided to consider adopting a child in the future."

"Sure I remember. Are you saying you are ready to discuss adoption?"

Michaela giggled. "No, that is not it. I'm late." As Michaela paused uncomfortably Sully was just looking at her completely confused. With a huge blush she continued, "I am late for my period."

As a grin spread across Sully's face as he asked, "Is ten days enough to confirm?"

"Actually ten days is the minimum time you must wait after you were due for your period before you can use a home pregnancy test."

The smile on both Michaela's and Sully's faces kept broadening as they bantered back and forth. "Have you taken this home test?"

"Yes, but I have also taken a blood test and have sent it to the lab. I should be hearing from the technician any minute."

"Michaela isn't the home test pretty accurate?"

"Yes, Sully it has been proven to be 99 accurate."

"So, why won't you tell me the results of that test while we wait for the lab technician?" Michaela's smile kept broadening, almost like she was enjoying teasing her husband. "It was positive wasn't it?" Michaela just nodded her head up and down and Sully took her into his arms and pulled her onto his lap. "You had me convinced that this would never happen, but I should have know it was just another example of your lack of self-confidence, you can do anything!"

"You had something to do with it you know Mr. Sully." Just then the phone rang and Michaela answered it. She didn't say anything, but the smile on her face grew so that it connected her ears. Michaela said thank you, hung up the phone, and turned to look lovingly at her husband. "Do you want a boy or a girl?"

"I think I would like a little girl as long as she looks just like you."

"Well she might, but if she does she will probably have all of my faults."

"Oh, Michaela, those so called faults you family always thought you had is what I love about you the most so bring it on." The Sully's continued cuddling in each other's arms in front of the fire with big grins on their faces. Do you want to call your mother and sisters and tell them the good news?"

"No, I would like to keep this our little secret for a while, at least for the first three months where if I was to miscarry it would be most likely."

"You know your whole medical clinic probably knows about this all ready. I bet that lab technician shared the results with the staff before he even called here."

"I know, but there was no where else I could get the most accurate test done today. Living in a small community means everyone knows everything immediately. Your staff will probably know when you go to work in the morning. That is just the facts of small town and I can handle that. They just want the best for us. It is our extended family I would like to keep in the dark for as long as possible. Your aunt and my mother will try and put me in a cocoon rather than allowing me to live."

"Michaela are there a lot of extra dangers for you and our baby because you are an older Mom?"

"Yes, but I am in good health and I will have the best medical care. Do you remember me telling you about the doctor that came into the clinic last week to introduce himself to me and to leave his phone numbers in case we ever needed him? He retired from his large practice in a big city so he could live in a small community with less pressure and write a book. He is writing a book because he is the foremost expert in the field of pregnancy in the older mother"

Sully smiled and asked, "You really liked him when you met him, right?"

"Yes, I feel like he choose here to retire and write just to help me bring a healthy baby into the world. I intend to call him first thing in the morning and ask him to be my doctor. I feel he will agree and he was the warm and gentle type as I have been told my father was. I feel that my father sent him here for me."

Sully took Michaela into his arms and rubbed her back. "I bet he did, I am sure he is looking after his baby as she gives him another grandchild."

With a wistful smile Michaela spoke, "I have always felt had he lived he would have loved me as I am and not try and change me. That he would have come and cheered me on when I competed in sports and would have been proud of me becoming a doctor like he was. I just know that he would have approved of you because you are the man you are and not because you come from a family in high society."

"Well if that is the kind of man he was then I think that if this baby is a boy we should name him Joseph."

Michaela's head jerked up so she could look straight into Sully's deep blue eyes as a smile spread across her face. "I'd like that."

The next morning, the first thing Dr. Michaela Quinn-Sully did when she got to her office was to call Dr. Bernard and ask him to come in and meet with her. He readily agreed. He missed having patients when all he did was work on writing his book and that is what he hoped was why she wanted to see him. He had no idea that it was the clinic's director that needed his expertise. Sully had been right all of her staff had a big grin obviously knowing that she was expecting when she arrived this morning. Michaela would have preferred no one knew because she was afraid of a miscarriage, but she knew there was nothing she could do about this, it is a small community and everyone cared for her and Sully and wanted the best for them. When she moved to the park they took her into their circle immediately and couldn't have been more supportive of her. She had never experienced this kind of acceptance from people and she loved it.

It had been a quiet morning at the clinic when Dr. Bernard arrived. He was escorted to Michaela's office by one of the nurses. When they knocked Michaela was startled because she had nodded off while reading a new medical journal. She pulled herself together before she invited them in. When Michaela explained why she and her husband had not used protection because they would have loved to have children, but she truly believed it was too late for her to conceive naturally and they didn't want to use hormones and other scientific means due to the future risks. We thought it was late in the day for me to have a baby and we decided to talk about adoption in our future.

Dr. Bernard smiled and said, "It seems God had a different plan for you. I would love to be your doctor! I know you know much more than most first time mothers to be, but I would like to remind you of some things. You need to start taking pre natal vitamins regularly and you need to stop consuming any alcohol as well as cut back on your caffeine consumption. You are quite thin and fit so I assume you eat healthy and exercise regularly, but you are going to have to increase your food consumption and add some extra dairy."

Michaela knew that cutting out coffee in the morning and wine in the evenings was going to be hard, but she would do anything to bring Sully's baby into the world healthy. She made an appointment to see Dr. Bernard in two weeks since they decided that because of her age she would see him more often than a young mom even though his examine today showed she was very healthy and he did not expect any problems.

Michaela was definitely more tired, which is normal, as illustrated by her falling to sleep at her desk. She decided to cut back on her hours at the clinic so she could go home early and take a nap daily. She had trained a wonderful staff and she could leave her clinic in their capable hands without worry. Michaela noticed that she was going to the bathroom a lot more often. Sully could tell that her breasts were a lot more tender and he was very careful with them when they made love at night. So far Michaela was lucky in that she didn't have very bad morning sickness. She carried around some crackers to eat if she felt bad at all.

Michaela's appointments with Dr. Bernard were going perfectly. She was gaining weight at a perfect rate and everything else was going well too. She was almost out of the most dangerous time for miscarriages. A little baby bump was forming on her normally flat stomach. Both Sully and his wife were on cloud nine. As they sat in front of the fire cuddling on the love seat Sully asked if he could come to his wife's appointments. Michaela smiled and nodded yes. She had Sully bring over her medical bag so she could take out her stethoscope so he could hear their child's heartbeat, strong and steady. Michaela talked about taking a childbirth class together. She explained that if she could she wanted to have their baby without an epidural because she didn't like the idea of drugs getting into the baby's system. Sully wanted to be there when his child was born and to help his wife through labor, but he was concerned about his wife's goal of doing everything natural. Michaela assured him if it was too hard for her she would use medical help.

When Michaela made it into the second trimester they were feeling pretty good about having a successful pregnancy. They now wondered when they should tell their extended family. They knew Aunt Martha would be on cloud nine since her biggest dream was to have an heir to carry on the family line. Michaela didn't know how her family would react. Michaela started shopping for maternity clothes since she was so thin naturally she needed them earlier than heavier mothers. It was also time for Michaela to take the test for older mothers to check for Downs's syndrome. She needed an amniocentesis. Sully went with Michaela for that. Even a doctor experienced fear when such a long needle needed to be inserted into her uterus.

Another week past and Michaela felt something like butterflies in her stomach. It startled her and she jerked up from lying on her husband's chest and looked down and saw herself move. A smile crossed her face and she put Sully's hand on her stomach hoping he could also feel their child move. It was now time to have a sonogram. They decided that they wanted to know the sex of the baby so they could paint the room they were fixing up as a nursery accordingly. They were having a son. Both parents were pleased that Joseph Michael Sully was on the way. They would have been just as happy with a girl all they really wanted was for the baby to be healthy. They painted the nursery blue and started their childbirth classes.

Michaela was having trouble finding a comfortable position to sleep at night as the baby grew. Sully would sacrifice some of his sleep to take his wife in his arms and hold her and their future son in a comfortable position so they would get their needed sleep. Being in the third trimester Michaela was often uncomfortable. Her back ached, but Sully learned to give the best back rubs that Michaela could ever dream of. To help her to keep exercising Sully often took Michaela on long walks and they would go to the gym together to swim laps. Michaela started to have Braxton Hicks Contractions indicating that her body was practicing for labour. Each evening Michaela and Sully would practice the things they learned together in their childbirth classes.

As time got closer Michaela packed a little suitcase with everything she would need for labour and a short hospital stay. Even though Michaela was a doctor she was worried about health of their baby, labour, and being a good parent like any first time expectant parent. Michaela, with Sully by her side started to see Dr. Bernard every week. Even though Michaela was usually uncomfortable they were all very happy with how well her pregnancy was progressing. She and her baby seemed very healthy. Michaela being an athlete was helping her through her pregnancy at an older age. Dr. Bernard happily told the Sully's that the baby was in a head down position and not breech. Michaela and Sully had discussed breast-feeding and had chosen that as what they wanted to do for their baby. Michaela always felt that was best if the mother could. They had fixed up the little spare room as a nursery. Since they knew they were having a boy they used blue as their main colour and filled the room with stuffed animals. They had used their love of nature as the theme for their son's room.

Michaela was surprised how happy she was carrying their child. She had assumed she would never have a child and she had been all right with that. Medicine and sports was where she found her happiness. She never thought becoming a mother would be the most wonderful time in her life. Of course having Sully with her all of the time was a main part of this joy. "Sully our son will be arriving soon so I think we finally have to tell my mother and Aunt Martha. Do you think they will be mad or do you think they will understand why we wanted to keep this joy for just ourselves for so long?"

Sully chuckled as he thought. "I think Aunt Martha will be so happy about a Sully heir she will and maybe we should tell Rebecca first and let her tell your mother and the fact that Rebecca, your closest sister, just found out too will help because she will know she wasn't the only one kept in the dark."

"Do you think we can keep them home until we get our son settled in our home before they come and visit? I would love to have just us at first with our son at least until the three of us have established a routine that works for our family before our extended family arrives."

" I think with your sister's help we might be able to keep them away until Joseph Michael is born, but I think wishing for more would be pushing your luck. Michaela your self-confidence should have built up enough to handle your mother, now. We can't put off telling our families any more or we will be telling them they have a grandson rather than we are expecting their grandson."

"Grandson, that sounds nice", smiled Michaela.

"Go call your mother and let's get this over with so you can get to bed and get your much needed rest before that son of ours starts demanding your time."

"Mother, it's Michaela. I have wonderful news!" Michaela paused to steady her nerves before she told her mother that she was expecting a child.

"Don't be ridiculous you are too old for that! You didn't do all that new fangled artificial stuff to have a child"

"No mother, I am carrying your grandson through traditional means. He is due any day now and I wanted you to know before the fact."

"Any day now, why didn't you tell me earlier I could have helped you prepare, I need to get plane tickets."

"Stop it! That is why I didn't tell you earlier. I didn't want to be told I was too old for such things. I wanted to prepare for my son with just my husband without any interference. We will call you again when Joseph Michael Sully arrives." Michaela hung up the phone and let Sully call his Aunt Martha who was thrilled that there was to be an heir to carry on the Sully family name. She looked forward to meeting Joseph Michael Sully once the family settled down.

As soon as Michaela hung up on her mother Elizabeth called Rebecca. Rebecca was thrilled for her sister. When their mother expressed her concerns about Michaela being too old to raise a child especially a boy Rebecca smiled and said, "I think Michaela has been preparing to raise a son all of her life." When Elizabeth wanted to fly right over to Colorado Springs Rebecca was able to stop her and get her to agree to wait to be invited or at least try to.

At their next appointment with Dr. Bernard he told them that the baby was head down and had dropped which indicated all was well and her body was preparing for labor. A few days after Michaela's due date she woke up very early and went to the bathroom. She noticed a little blood so she knew their son would come today. With a big smile on her face she went in to stay down on their loveseat so not to wake Sully to wait. It wasn't necessary to call Dr. Bernard yet since first babies usually took a long time and she would be more comfortable here than at her clinic. It wasn't long that Sully awoke

noticing his wife wasn't in bed. He sensed hat she was in their favorite spot.

When Sully approached his wife she looked up, smiled and said, "Your son will arrive today."

Sully got excited and asked if they shouldn't call Dr. Bernard and then go to the clinic. Michaela assured him that first time mothers usually had a long labor. Sully took one look at his wife and reminded her, "Michaela you have been doing things out of the ordinary all of your life why would your labor be any different?"

Michaela smiled and agreed to go the clinic just in case. The Sully's took their time dressing. When they arrived at Michaela's clinic not only was Dr. Bernard there, but also so was their top labor and delivery team. As a matter of fact most of the staff was there. Michaela was a very popular boss. Everyone loved the Sully's and intended to bring their son into the world as safely and easily as possible. Michaela couldn't have had a better team to help her. She certainly had a loving family here in Colorado Springs, so much different than in her youth in Boston.

After Dr. Bernard's initial exam Michaela and Sully knew that she was 2 centimeters dilated and definitely in labor. Their son was coming today and they were excited. Michaela was doing well managing the pain as she had been taught in Lamaze classes. Her next doctor's exam measured her at 4 centimeters and all was well. The doctor left and the nurse sat down to eat a salad for her dinner because they knew it would still be awhile. First babies usually take longer and she needed to dilate to ten centimeters before she could start to push the baby out. Michaela however was never known to follow directions. She felt something different and knew the baby was coming now. She had Sully push the call button. The nurse had just taken her first bite and smiled knowing that it really wasn't time, but she humored Michaela by coming to check her. When the nurse got there and started to examine the doctor she was shocked to discover that the baby was actually crowning. She called for Dr. Bernard and started to roll Michaela into the delivery room as Sully put on a gown. When Dr. Bernard arrived he said, "Isn't this happening faster than most labors and delivery?"

Sully was being as supportive as he could be, using all of his training from their childbirth classes. When he was leaning over Michaela trying to show his love for her she started to stroke his cheeks saying that she loved him. At that moment she had a particularly strong contractions and she pinched his cheeks with all her strength. This really hurt Sully, but he knew it was still nothing compared to the pain Michaela was suffering. Michaela was losing control of the pain and responded, "I've had enough I want some pain meds."

Sully looked at Dr. Bernard and shyly begged Dr. Bernard to give her the pain meds so she would stop hurting him anymore.

"Michaela, it is too late for that. Before the medication could take affect your son will be here."

"All right then just pull him out I want this over."

At this point Sully came back in the room went straight to Michaela's side and took her hand. "I know you can do it!"

With that Michaela knew she could too and got her second wind and her self-confidence back. Dr. Bernard could see this. This is why he approved of fathers in the delivery room. They were often invaluable in supporting their wife.

Dr. Bernard could tell that Michaela was bleeding much more than normal. She was not in immediate danger, but he had to control this bleeding or she would be. Since the baby had all ready crowned he knew his first order of business was to deliver their son and then find the source of the bleeding and control it. He did not tell the parents to be because there was nothing they could do about it right now so there was no need to worry them. He wanted them to concentrate on pushing the baby out. When he told Michaela to push on the next contraction her doctor knowledge set off alarms, "This is going to fast, the last measurement was only 4 centimeters!"

Sully interrupted his wife saying, " I told you that you would be different. You are in such good physical shape that you are just going faster than the average woman. Both doctors knew that this wasn't why things were developing so quickly, but they didn't want to worry Sully so they said nothing.

Michaela was able to push their son out quickly due to her good muscle tone. After Joseph Michael was born and the cord cut Dr. Bernard rolled his stool next to Michaela and asked for her permission to give her a general anesthetic to do some repair work. Michaela knew the cord had been cut so none of the anesthetic would affect the baby so she agreed. Sully went with the baby while Dr. Bernard did surgery on Michaela. For some reason the baby decided to come before Michaela's body was ready and therefore tore her body apart. After the anesthetic took affect and Michaela was asleep Dr. Bernard gave her a through examination to find and repair all the rips in tears the baby had given Michaela.

When Dr. Bernard reported to Sully he explained that Michaela had lost a lot more blood than normal when giving birth. She was going to be fine, but would need some extra help with the baby for a while because she will be quite weak until she gets her strength back. When Michaela awoke from the general anesthetic her first question was about their son. Sully smiled and told her that he was perfect and sleeping in the crib next to her bed. She turned and looked at him sleeping like an angel. She realized that they really had a perfect son. Sully explained to her that she was going to need extra help because she had hemorrhaged and had lost a lot of blood. Her hemoglobin, which is normally 14, was only 6. Michaela being a doctor knew she would be very weak for a while until her red blood cells returned to normal. Sully suggested they invite her mother to come and help her until her strength returned. Sully hoped this would help heal the rift between Michaela and her mother. Michaela didn't truly believe her mother would actually come to help, but agreed to ask. When Sully called Rebecca answered since she was they're trying to control her mother and stop her from going to Colorado uninvited. Sully assured Rebecca that Joseph Michael is perfect and that Michaela would eventually be fine, but for right now she was going to need help with the baby because she had lost too much blood during delivery. Before Sully had a chance to ask Rebecca said that she and Elizabeth would be on the next plane and would stay as long as Michaela needed them.

As Dr. Bernard released Michaela from the clinic to go home with her son after his final exam he tried to explain what had happened that caused Michaela so much pain and so much blood loss. He explained that Michaela must be very narrow high up in her pelvis, which caused the baby to get stuck. When the baby got through this narrow place it started to go through the birth canal. Since this happened so fast after the baby became free Michaela's body was not ready. She was only dilated to 4 centimetres rather than the 10 needed. Because of this the baby tore Michaela's body in several places causing the increase in blood loss. If you decide to have another child this will not happen again. The baby will still get stuck but when it starts down the birth canal Michaela's body will just move out of the way rather than tear since you will haven given birth before. Right now a thought of having another baby was the farthest thought from their mind. Taking their new son home was all they wanted to think about.

When Michaela and Joseph arrived home Rebecca and Elizabeth were there beaming at them welcoming another grandchild into the family. After Michaela nursed Joseph Sully put the baby to sleep in the beautiful hand carved cradle he had made for his son while Michaela settled down to rest on their loveseat. She was supposed to rest in bed, but she loved being in the family room before the fire. After the baby was asleep Elizabeth sat next to Michaela to talk. She couldn't get over how beautiful her newest grandson was and she was thrilled that Michaela had named him after her father that had been Elizabeth's heartsong. . Elizabeth then did something that Michaela never thought she ever could. Elizabeth apologized to Michaela and admitted she was wrong.

"Michaela I was wrong about you all of these years. All I could see was that you weren't like my other daughters who were all growing up to be proper Boston ladies. You were my youngest, but you were different. You were raised without a father maybe if he had lived he would have helped me understand you earlier. I want you to know how proud of you I am. Without my support you have grown up to be a wonderful woman. I am sorry it has taken me so long to recognize your beauty both inside and out." Tears of happiness were now silently flowing down Michaela's cheeks.

Elizabeth now realized what a wonderful daughter she had. Her heart was caring and big and it showed in her doctoring and rescue work. Elizabeth admitted she was wrong not to support her in her sports and her schooling. She was very proud of her beautiful, smart and caring daughter. Elizabeth was happy that Michaela had found happiness with a husband and son as well as with a career in spite of basically having to grow up on her own rather than with the family support she should have had. She said she hoped that Michaela could forgive her for being so slow in understanding her and hoped she would allow her mother to be part of her and her son's life.

Michaela smiled and hugged her mother. Behind the mother daughter reaching a new understanding stood Rebecca and Sully with a smile. They could see Michaela with a happy family for the first time like she had always deserved.