Disclaimer: I don't own Trauma, or the characters thereof. This is just for fun.
Enjoy and please review!
Reuben was still feeling enraged when he returned to the hospital, it seemed to be pouring out of him; the staff nearly refused to let him into the ICU, but once they gave in, and escorted him back to where Nancy was all the anger dissipated. He broke down, dropping to his knees at her bedside as tears began to roll unabated down his face.
"She's still quite groggy from the anaesthetic, but she has been awake briefly. Her surgeon will be down soon to speak with you," The nurse told Reuben gently. "She's pretty banged up, but all things considered she's doing very well."
Nancy awoke to the sound of Reuben still crying softly; she could feel his head resting against her arm. "Hey," Nancy murmured, feeling numb as though she was floating in a haze, morphine coursing through her system.
Reuben was instant standing over her, relief washing over him. "Hey, Nance. God don't you ever go scaring me like this again."
"...What, um, oh god," Nancy mumbled as she slowly started to come around. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you."
"It's okay, it's alright. Don't even worry about it now," Reuben comforted her, even though the mental image of the baby being connected to all those tubes, barely the size of his hand just kept coming back.
Reuben didn't have a chance, or honestly the energy to tell Nancy that their baby was still alive. Dr Joe came into the curtained cubicle, closely followed by Dr Brenton, the neonatologist that Reuben had met earlier.
Joe smiled as he saw that Nancy was awake, he used the bed controls to raise the backrest as he greeted her, "Nancy, how're you feeling? You gave us one hell of a scare." Joe paused, "Your tenth left rib was fractured in four places, it punctured your lung and spleen. We had to crack your chest open, and you've got a chest tube that's going to have to stay in for at least a few days. We also had to perform a splenectomy. This is my colleague, Dr Brenton, he has been treating the baby."
Nancy tried to sit up, only to realize that there was no amount of morphine to cover the pain of moving quickly so soon after a thoracotomy and laparotomy.
"Whoa, take it easy, Nance," Reuben said, placing a steadying hand on her shoulder.
Dr Brenton stepped in, "Your daughter is in the NICU, we are doing everything that we can for her, but she is extremely premature, you need to have realistic expectations."
"Look, she's just had major surgery, shouldn't we let her rest?" Reuben interjected apprehensively; in truth he wanted to postpone this discussion for his own sake almost as much as Nancy's.
"I'm sorry, but your daughter's condition is deteriorating. She has developed a condition called necrotising enterocolitis, which means that a substantial section of her bowel is dying; if left untreated she will develop a severe infection that will most likely kill her. You both need to make decide whether to pursue aggressive treatment, or..."
Reuben moved towards the doctor, but Nancy grabbed hold of his sleeve. "I need to know, please just let him speak, Rabbit."
Reuben backed down, albeit reluctantly.
"As I explained to your partner earlier your baby is exhibiting numerous, severe complications due to her prematurity. Even if we were to use all of our capabilities there is less than a five percent chance that she will ever leave the hospital. It might be better for you both and your baby if-"
"Is she in pain?" Nancy interrupted softly.
"..." Dr Brenton was hesitant to answer, but Joe subtly nodded that it was alright, that he should be truthful. "Most likely, yes."
Nancy looked up to Reuben, "...I don't want her to suffer. ...I'm so sorry I didn't tell you sooner, I should have told you."
There was a long silence, before Reuben asked, "So what happens now? I mean how do we do this?"
"Once you have given consent, we will disconnect the baby from all of the equipment that is supporting her. Most parents choose to hold the baby until the end, which can take anywhere from minutes to a number of hours, that might be difficult in this case though-"
"I want to be with my baby."
Dr Joe was quick to offer a solution; Nancy wasn't stable enough to get out of bed with any kind of safety, but if they tried to deny her this, she would most likely end up hurting herself trying to get to the NICU. "I'll take responsibility, I can come with Reuben to the NICU, and we can bring the baby up here. At least that way they can be together."
The neonatologist wasn't thrilled by the idea, that was certain, but he soon conceded that it was the best option available.
After discontinuing all treatment, Dr Brenton wrapped the baby in a soft pink blanket; gently he handed the tiny infant to Rabbit, who took the baby in his cradled arms.
"Hi there, little one," Rueben whispered in a rare show of emotion; it still seemed surreal to him that this tiny being was his, his and Nancy's.
"We should give her a name," Reuben suggested as Nancy gently rocked the baby in her arms. Tears rolled down Nancy's face as she looked down at her too small baby girl.
"I was going to name her Felicity, after my mom."
Reuben stroked the baby's tiny locks of blonde hair. "Felicity... Felicity Carnahan, what do you reckon little one? You like that?"
"Palchuck, she should have your name, Rabbit."
"You sure? I mean, if you want..." Reuben replied uncertainly, he wasn't going to push Nancy, not about this.
Nancy glanced up at Reuben ever so briefly offering a smile, "Her name's Felicity, Felicity Grace Palchuck. For my mom, and yours."
Baby Felicity died two hours later, forever leaving an imprint on her parents' hearts.
As always suggestions and constructive critism are welcomed.
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I'm thinking about a sequel, so suggestions please:)