Author's note: I just logged in on my account and realized that there were a handful of lovely people who had reviewed this story, and that inspired me to continue writing it. About time, considering it's been almost two years since I posted this story. Shame on me! Anyway, I hope there still are some who are interested in reading this story. I've read over the first chapter as well and made some minor adjustments and corrections (thanks to A Forgotten One and TLWtlw for pointing that out). This story will consist of two or three chapters, just so you know. And lastly; enjoy!
Rewrite of A most precious gift
Chapter 1 – Surprise!
"Oh Caroline," Mrs. Eva Simms sighed. "I'm so frightened,"
"That's just normal, dear," Caroline said as she took her hand and clapped it. "If anyone knows how to deal with children, it has to be you."
"But by the time they come to school they're already quite big, even Luke was a young boy when I married his father."
"Oh, I'm sure you'll manage quite nicely," Caroline smiled. "In many ways, I envy you, just starting out fresh. I mean, look at Mary, she's practically a young woman."
"Caroline, we're just around the same age. Having children who're growing up doesn't necessarily mean you're old."
"I suppose you're right, Eva, but still I can't help looking at the children and feeling a bit old," Caroline sighed.
"Great!" Caroline thought to herself and threw the bed covers aside, careful not to wake Charles. No time to dress, and she was outside behind the house in the blink of an eye. Suddenly, yesterday's supper lay on the ground before her. There was just not time to think more about it, all she knew was that she had to get back in the house before her concerning husband began worrying.
This was the third time in a week Caroline had awoken with a sudden hit of nausea, but not as bad as the two previous days. "Charles will be all over me and never stop worrying," she thought with a smile as she dressed in her daily clothes and took on her apron. "I didn't think I was that old," Caroline didn't realize she had said that out loud.
"Caroline Ingalls, you'll never be old," came a sudden voice from the bed.
"Oh Charles, don't frighten me like that," she said and bowed down to give him a quick kiss. Then she felt it again, more yesterday's food wanting to come out the wrong way. "I'll get the eggs," Caroline said with effort and hurried out.
"Why the rush?" Charles shouted after her, but she was already out the door.
"False alarm," Caroline thought and wiped her brow. "Alright, pull yourself together, and for Land's sake; act normal," she said strictly to herself before she gathered the eggs and went inside to wake up the children.
"Children, breakfast!" she called up the stairs. Although you would hardly call Mary at 15 a child anymore, they still were her little babies.
"Coming, Ma" Caroline got as an answer from both of the girls upstairs. Carrie was already awake and together they began to set the table. Even if Caroline's throat went dry at the sight of food, the others were probably hungry.
The girls had all gone to school, Charles was at the mill, and Caroline was about to start doing the laundry. "It sure is quiet around here without Carrie," she caught herself thinking aloud again, but this time she didn't mind. "With two teenagers and one very attention carving little girl, it wasn't exactly the best time to be all moody and go through the "changes". I mean, I'm barely 37, but it's the only explanation. There's no need for anybody to know, not even Charles if I can avoid it, though I know he means it well, he does worry a lot some times." Here she was, feeling old and gray, and Eva was just expecting her first child. How on Earth could that possibly be fair? Caroline sighed. "Not that I particularly want anymore children, but I certainly don't want this either!" With that statement, she picked up a shirt and began scrubbing it hard.
Three weeks later
"Ma, are we going to plant the potatoes soon?" Laura asked at the Ingalls' supper table.
"Yes, I thought we could start tomorrow," Caroline answered her daughter. "I'll begin and you can come home right after school and help me, all right? She looked at her girls had saw three heads nod in reply.
"Honey, it's time to wake up," Charles whispered to Caroline the next morning.
"I've already milked the cow, and I think we should wake the girls now." Caroline woke with a start. "Of course," she said and rose quickly, which she apparently shouldn't have done. "Oh!" she exclaimed and held her breath.
"Caroline?" Charles turned towards her, "is there something wrong?" '
"No, I'm just a bit dizzy, that's all," she tried to smile. This was the first time in over two weeks she had been feeling sick, and it obviously just had to be on the day she overslept.
"Should I get the doc?" Charles asked concerned.
"If the doctor had to visit every time I felt dizzy, the poor man would never get any sleep." She looked at him, "And you would never get any breakfast either." Charles smiled, but still looked a little concerned.
The dizziness didn't wear off, but Caroline had promised the girls to start planting the potatoes, sick or not. "Are you sure?" Charles asked her and thought about the morning.
"I'm fine I said. Besides, I don't want to let the girls down, especially Laura has been looking forward to this."
"All right," Charles replied, but not sounding thoroughly convinced.
It was a hot day, and the sky didn't have a cloud as far as the eye could see. Caroline wiped her forehead and straightened up from bending over the potatoes. Charles was cleaning in the barn, and the children would soon be home. Suddenly, she felt a sharp pain in her stomach, and the world began swirling around before her eyes. Then, sudden 'dump' told her she had hit the ground with her knees, and everything went black.
Meanwhile, Charles was in the barn, thinking about his wife's strange behavior of late. "She's been acting kinda strange," he thought to himself, "I have to ask her tonight if there's something wrong," and just as he walked out of the barn, he shoot a glance up towards the field where Caroline was working, or rather, had been working. Now, all he could see was an apparently unconscious body lying on the ground. "Caroline!" he shouted as he rushed up to her, and then shook her back to life. "Caroline, dear, what happened?"
"I..I don't know. I, suddenly there were these black spots in my sight, and then I just feel and everything went black," she tried to explain, the pain she had felt so strongly in her stomach all forgotten.
"Hmm," Charles replied, wearing a frown on his brow. "I think we best take a trip to town," he stated.
"You are going to see Doc Baker."
"Charles, there's nothing wrong with me; it's probably just the heat. Look, I'm all better already," Caroline said and tried stood up a bit unsteadily.
"Passing out isn't something I would call 'nothing wrong', we are paying the doc a visit," Charles stated more firmly.
"It's nothing," Caroline repeated, "Nothing unusual anyway," she added in her thoughts. "Besides, we'll be spending money we don't even have."
"Let me worry about the money, now come with me," he said and led her to the wagon.
"All right, but please let me change my clothes first, if I'm going to the doctor, at least I'm not doing it in my working clothes," she replied and went inside the house.
"Charles, Caroline, what do I owe this pleasure?" doc Baker asked smiling when the couple entered his office.
"Caroline fainted while working out on the fields today," Charles explained.
"Oh," the doctor replied and took of his glasses, "I see you're looking a little pale Caroline."
"I'll just go over to Hanson's for a while," Charles said and gave his wife a quick peck on the cheek before he went out the door.
"Really doctor, there isn't anything to examine," Caroline said as soon as Charles had closed the door.
"Really?" Doc Baker looked at her.
"I'm just not eighteen anymore," Caroline sighed.
"Aren't you a little young for that? Besides, I never heard fainting was a symptom. I think a little examination would hurt, just to be on the safe side."
"Have you felt any dizziness earlier?" Doc Baker asked when he was done with the examination.
"I best tell him everything," Caroline thought. "I was quite dizzy when I woke up this morning," she began.
"Anything else?" the doctor asked.
"I've been feeling a bit nauseous over the last couple of weeks, but it has been very on-off," Caroline continued.
Doc Baker nodded seriously and said: "Most of my patients seem to know what's wrong with them, the trouble is, they're never right."
"So there really is something wrong?" Caroline asked concerned from behind the curtain where she was dressing.
"Nothing that nine months won't cure," the doctor said.
"What?" Caroline exclaimed and pushed aside the curtain.
"Congratulations," he smiled, "you certainly aren't too old for anything. Only, I want you to slow down a little on your work, considering you fainted today, the stress isn't good for the baby."
"I will," Caroline couldn't stop smiling, "and thanks a lot doctor Baker, I best go tell Charles." They said goodbye and she hurried over to the mill.
A/N: Although I have treated my reviewers horrible so far, I promise to be far more communicative from now on, so reviews are greatly appreciated!