I am not a doctor so any medical knowledge was acquired via the help of my good ol' buddy google.
He froze, her words registering. She was only just approaching the middle of the fifth month of her pregnancy. There was no way that their daughter would survive should she be born at just twenty – one weeks of gestation.
House slid into the driver's seat and put his key in the ignition before turning to her, feeling his heart break at her fearful expression.
"Ok, we're going to get you to the hospital and get you checked in. Was it as much amniotic fluid as when you were pregnant with Tom or is it less?"
"It's less." She replied, leaning her head back against the seat and tightly shutting her eyes. "You were right, I should have listened to you when you said something could go wrong with this pregnancy and spared us both the – "
"Stop it. I'm not going to let you hate yourself for something you can't control. I didn't mean any of that when I said it. I was in shock when you told me you were pregnant, okay? I wasn't thinking. You and Charlotte will be fine." He reached over and placed his hands on her face, forcing her to face him. " Look at me. We'll get you to the hospital and I know Ramirez will do everything in her power to make sure this baby is not born until she's able to survive outside the womb. Do you understand me?" He said softly, looking her directly in the eyes. She nodded in response and he watched as a tear escaped from the corner of her eye. He sighed, wiping away at the stray tear before kissing her forehead, pulling out his cellphone and calling one of his team members.
"I am about to suture a patient's forehead, so please tell me whatever you're calling me for is more interesting than this." Thirteen greeted.
"Give that patient to someone else on ER duty. I need you to page Ramirez and inform her that Cuddy's water may or may not have broken, and we're on our way there now, after that find Lou the janitor and get him to unlock Cuddy's office for you because we have Tom with us and I'm gonna need you to watch him for a bit."
"Oh my god…Okay…Do you want me to meet you guys in front of the ER with a wheelchair, do you need a wheelchair? Or can she make it inside without it?"
"Wait for us in the ER with Ramirez. She's good for now, you don't need to wait for us outside, but have one ready just in case, understood?"
"We're on the other side of town so we should be there in twenty, alright?"
"Gotcha." She replied, before he hung up and pocketed his cellphone, buckling his seatbelt and beginning to back the car out of its parking space.
He peered into the rearview, relieved that Tom seemed to be out cold. Not having to worry about him for a few hours would make the situation ten times easier for everyone involved. He studied Cuddy through his peripheral, sighing as he saw that she held her head in her hands. House reached out and placed his hand against her back in attempt to soothe her.
"Hey, this isn't your fault, okay?" He knew that deep down she was blaming herself for this, as though she could have possibly stopped it from happening. "You cannot control your body, you're a doctor, you know that. You've been doing everything right this pregnancy, just as you did the first time. There's no way you could have seen this coming."
"Everything was going so well for us…We were happy, functioning…then this just fucks everything up." She murmured.
"We'll be fine, Cuddy."
"You're not always right, House. You're not an obstetrician, you have no clue what's going to happen, you're saying all of this to appease me and it's not working, it's making things worse."
"I'm trying to help." He responded, sighing. "Look, you're right. I don't know what's going to happen, but I do know this, if you don't take a deep breath and calm down, it'll only make things worse for everyone. Your blood pressure went up when you were in labor with Tom and that means this entire situation is probably causing it to sky rocket again. You're worried enough as it is, your blood pressure rising is the last thing you need."
Internally he was just as worried as she was but he couldn't allow her to see that – it would only make her feel even worse for causing him worry as well. Her nearly perverse sense of guilt could potentially exaggerate the situation should she allow it to overcome her. He needed to make sure that she could remain as calm as possible or else he could face losing her as well as their unborn daughter. That was not something he ever wanted to experience.
He kept his hand against her back, running it along her spine unable to comfort her in any other form as his mind was set on getting them to the hospital as fast as possible.
"Are you in any pain?"
"That's a good sign, no pain means no labor…Just hang in there, alright? We're almost there."
He pulled into his parking space and growled as his leg buckled when he got out of the car. He took a deep breath, steadying himself before pulling the stroller out of the trunk and opening it. He unbuckled Tom from his car seat and carefully transferred him into the stroller before opening the door to the passenger side.
"Do you need any help?"
"No, I can handle myself on my own." She responded, exiting the car with ease.
He felt his jaw lock in response to her tone. He understood that she was afraid and uncomfortable but there was no need for her to lash out at him. It was almost as though they had completely reversed roles.
She shut the door and he wrapped an arm around her before she could protest, pulling her into his side as they made their way toward the entrance of the ER.
"We've got all the paper work done, you just need to go up to the room and Ramirez said I should page her as soon as you got here. She'll meet you upstairs, in room 303." Thirteen greeted them as they entered the ER.
"Thanks. There are bottles in the diaper bag, there's formula and bottles, there's food, anything he might need is in there. If you don't know what to do with him, get Nurse Brenda, he likes her for some reason. Let him sleep in the stroller, if not you can lie him down on the couch in Cuddy's office – "
"I got Lou the janitor to get a play pen set up in there. It's already got padding and blankets, all that jazz. He's in good hands, House."
He nodded, moving away from the stroller and moving towards the wheelchair they had set aside for Cuddy.
"I don't need it."
"Just sit in the damn chair. If anything happens from here to getting you upstairs we both know I won't be able to support your weight and mine."
"I don't want the damn chair, House!"
"You know what, don't take it. You're right, you can handle yourself on your own."
He took a deep breath and stepped away from the wheelchair before heading in the direction of the elevator.
She was lying in the hospital bed, several IVs and wires attached to her. House had disappeared several minutes earlier to check on Tom. She had been examined and according to Ramirez her water hadn't broken – there had been a rupture in the sac which had caused the loss of fluid she had experienced earlier. They would pump her with the fluids necessary to replace the ones lost, along with steroid shots in order to help the baby's lungs develop faster. She would need to be on bed rest for at least three weeks before premature delivery was even an option.
She sighed, thankful that her child would have a higher chance of survival once born. She was irritated with herself though, for her earlier behavior towards House when he had only been trying to help. He was trying to be there as a husband was supposed to be when his wife needed him in times of emotional distress and instead of embracing him, she lashed out at him. She was cold and snappy and she knew that it had been taking all of his self-restraint to not snap back at her. He knew that the last thing she needed was for an argument to break out between the two of them and all of her actions were just adding fuel to the fire. It was no wonder that the moment after Ramirez had informed them of the best possible outcome for their situation, he had left the room with the excuse of checking on their son. She couldn't blame him for wanting the time to cool off.
She sighed again, bringing a hand down to her abdomen.
"You're not even out of the womb yet and you're causing so much trouble…Clearly you are Gregory House's daughter…But could you do us a favor and not cause any more trouble, at least until you're out here, because the trouble you're already causing at the moment is not the good kind, okay? We're gonna need you to stay in there for as long as you can because if you come out of there any time soon, you're not gonna make it. And if you don't make it, I'll be devastated…and so will your dad…because he loves you a lot, and he already has so many things he wants to teach you and your brother to do…and if you don't make it, your dad and I will never be okay afterwards, and it will ruin us…I can't let that happen because your dad is the most incredible man I have ever known, and people will try to tell you otherwise, but your dad is one of the most amazing men in the world, and you need to be around to witness that. So you're gonna stay in there until you're well enough to make it out here, alright?"
She hastily wiped at the tear that slid down her cheek as the sound of someone clearing their throat filled the room. She looked toward the source of the sound and found House leaning against the doorframe, hands in his pockets.
"Hey." She said softly, motioning for him to sit in the chair beside her bed. She watched as he limped across the room and dropped into the chair, noting that he was favoring his good leg more so than he usually did.
"I'm sorry for being such a bitch tonight…I know you were just trying to make sure I was calm, and I shouldn't have lashed out at you…I was scared…I am scared." She took a deep breath, chewing on her bottom lip in a futile attempt to stop herself from crying.
"You're forgiven." House sighed, leaning forward in the chair and holding his head in his hands. "I understand that you're scared – you're not the only one freaked out by this, Cuddy. But you'll be fine after a few weeks of bed rest and the kid will be strong enough to survive outside the womb when she's born, and we'll be good...I've been thinking…We're gonna need a bigger place to live soon and you're gonna need something to do while you're on rest because no one in the hospital is going to allow you to do actual work, so you can spend your time looking for a house for us to move into…"
"We'll keep my apartment and put your house up for sale…We can use the apartment for when we want to get away, plus your house only has three bedrooms and each kid will need their own room eventually, and you know how your mother likes to spend the weekend, so better start looking for a bigger place with four bedrooms."
Any desire to cry had lifted and she couldn't help but smile.
"I treat you like crap the entire night and do nothing but lash out at you, and you repay me by doing this? Who'd have ever thought you'd be so…mature at some point?"
"I could revert back to old ways if you prefer." House responded, rolling his eyes.
"No, it's okay. We're good the way we are."