The Storm - Book cover

The Storm

Mandy M.

Chapter Two

My car broke down, and I had to use nearly everything that I had saved to get it fixed. I can’t afford a newer one, so I hope this latest repair will last me a while.

I got hired doing home health and am trying to stay within an hour’s drive. I just don’t trust my car to go much further.

Megan was right, they do pay pretty well. If I can keep this up and nothing else happens, I should be able to save enough to cover my bills during maternity leave.

Walter is my favorite patient. He and his wife live up on the mountain, and he has cancer. They are so sweet—reminds of me what I always pictured my grandparents being like. Mary is always sending food home with me.

I have other patients, ten in total, who I see on various days of the week after I get off at the hospital. I don’t get nearly as much sleep as I used to, but I’ll survive.

The one nice thing about wearing scrubs is that they stretch, so I don’t have to worry about buying bigger ones. I’m only five months along but with my small frame, I’ve been showing since three months.

“Today’s the day, are you excited to find out what you’re having?” Mary’s smile is warm and excited.

I didn’t tell her I was pregnant—she’s just really good at observing things. “A little bit.” A little nervous too.

“It will make it easier for you to shop then.” She hands me a glass of water. “They didn’t do those when I had my babies. You didn’t know what you were having until they came out.”

I am grateful for the glass of ice water; summer may be almost over but it’s still hot. “It will and I’ve never been one for surprises.”

“I can’t blame you. I always like to be prepared as well.” She helps me to clean up things from Walter’s dressing change. “I guess I will have to wait a few more days before I’ll be able to find out.”

I see Walter three times a week and I won’t be back until Friday. He will be the only one I have to see, then I can go home and rest, enjoying my day off from the hospital.

Gathering my things to leave, I assure her, “I will tell you on Friday.” I have one more patient to see before my appointment, then it’s home for a shower and nap.

Dr. Billings came in. “All right, let’s get a look at this little one shall we?” He’s an older man, near retirement age, but I feel comfortable with him.

He moves the wand around on my stomach. “There we go. Let me get some pictures and measurements.”

I see him trying different things as he moves the wand all around. “All right, do you want to know what you’re having?”

“I do, if possible.”

He turns the screen to me.

“It looks like you are going to have a baby girl. She looks good, her heartbeat is good, and she is measuring right on track. If I were a betting man, I would say she will be just under six pounds when she’s born.”

“Isn’t that a little small, Doctor?” I don’t spend a lot of time on the obstetrics floor, but I remember during my rotation, most of the babies I saw were over seven pounds.

He shakes his head. “She’ll be fine, and you’re not a very big girl yourself.”

“If she’s not going to be that big, why have I been showing for the last two months?”

“That’s because you’re skinny, you don’t have a lot of room in there. You will be fine,” he reassures me, wiping the gel off my stomach.

I am able to get a nap in after my appointment, though it wasn’t a very restful one.

My apartment doesn’t have air-conditioning so I have my windows open for the breeze. Between the traffic and the neighborhood kids, what would have been a six-hour nap ended up only being three.

I know I should be sleeping more, and the doctor chastised me for it, but you got to do what you got to do.

My patient load is full tomorrow, but Walter is my only one for Friday and I will see him directly after leaving the hospital.

Looking at my calendar I realize that it is a full moon, which means the emergency room will be busy tonight.

Those who say that full moons do not affect people have obviously never spent one in the hospital. Halloween and New Year’s Eve are nothing compared to a full moon. The crazies are out in full force.

I make myself a strong cup of coffee before heading out. The coffee pot was the first thing I bought—I can sleep on the floor and use paper plates forever, but go without coffee? Never.

I am as they would say, a bear with a sore ass without my coffee. I found it at the thrift store for a dollar and it’s the best coffee pot I’ve ever had, even better than that Keurig thing Justin had.

Nothing is better than the smell of fresh coffee brewing. Cup of coffee in hand, I walk into the hospital ready for whatever the night throws at us.

The night was absolutely terrible. It was nonstop all night. We barely had time to catch our breath before the next crazy person came rolling in.

It’s seven in the morning, my feet hurt, I’m tired, and I still have a full day of driving and patients ahead of me. Maybe if I hurry I can be home by three, giving me a two and half hour nap.

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