"It seems unnatural to me for a physician to determine when a child is to be born," Anne said. "I've always believed that such matters were best left up to God."
"Darling, you know that this is necessary to lessen the risk of the Rh antibodies becoming a problem," Henry said. He had quickly recovered from the injuries he had suffered in the accident, and the only reminder he had was a slight scar that only showed when his hair had been newly cut.
"I know. But I'm still afraid."
"Everything's going to be just fine, sweetheart. You're in the best of hands, and I'm right here beside you."
Anne gazed around at the various medical appliances and thought about how very different this baby's birth would be from that of Elizabeth's. For that birth, there had been no equipment, no physician, and no Henry, only a midwife.
The physician arrived to start Anne's I.V., and she grimaced as the needle pierced her arm. She was having a very difficult time getting used to the presence of a needle in one's arm being a routine part of health care. Blood pressure cuffs and thermometers seemed strange as well, but at least they drew no blood.
A short time later, Anne's contractions began, and she and Henry practiced the breathing techniques they had learned in prepared childbirth classes.
That was another thing Anne had found very strange.
"How silly it seems to teach women how to have babies, when that's been happening since the days of Adam and Eve," she had said.
Henry had laughed. "That's not exactly what the classes are for. They're to teach you how to relax during the process of giving birth so that it will be less painful for you."
Now that her contractions had truly begun, Anne was thankful that she had learned the breathing exercises and wished that they had been taught when she had been pregnant with Elizabeth.
Occasionally a nurse would come in the room and check Anne's progress and ask how she was doing. Anne always replied that she was fine. This time around, labor did seem a bit more comfortable, but as the morning wore on, the contractions became more intense. Anne panicked and forgot the breathing exercises, and Henry had to help her with them.
At last the physician told Anne that it was time for her to push the baby out. Anne bore down with all her might and was disappointed when she didn't feel anything emerge.
"You're doing really well. Just a few more pushes," the physician told her.
"I can see the baby's head!" Henry exclaimed after a few more pushes. The physician helpfully placed a mirror where Anne could see the baby's head as well. It was covered with fine, dark hair, just as Elizabeth's had been at birth.
Several more pushes, and their son Jonathan Henry entered the world.
"I have a son!" Tears of joy rolled down Henry's face as he held the newborn.
"After all this time, Henry..." Anne was so overwhelmed with emotion that she could hardly speak. "After all this time, I was finally able to give you what you wanted more than anything else in the world."
"Oh, Anne, my darling!" Henry laid little Jonathan in his mother's arms, then embraced Anne and showered her with kisses. "I love you so very much! More than I ever dreamed possible. Yet I would love you no less if he had been another girl."
"Do you really mean that, Henry?"
"I mean it with all my heart, Anne."
Anne looked into Jonathan's dark blue eyes, felt his soft lips nuzzle her, seeking sustenance. My savior. This time I didn't miscarry him. Then she realized that things were truly different now, that her own life hadn't truly depended on Jonathan's survival, that the Henry she was married to now truly did love her, that he would always love her, no matter what happened.