The disappointed look on his face almost killed me. His chin quivered. His lips transformed into a straight thin line. But his eyes, those milky green eyes haunted me.
“Are you sure?” my husband asked the doctor. “Are you absolutely sure?”
Dr. Nelson nodded, blonde locks falling across her forehead. “I’m afraid so. We’ve run a plethora of tests. The baby won’t survive the pregnancy, Mr. North. I’m terribly sorry.”
“And there’s nothing you can do?”
“All I can suggest is to terminate the pregnancy. It would be best.”
I propped myself up on one elbow. “Terminate?” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “Who would it be best for? Certainly not the baby.” I could not control my shaking body.
“Holly, I don’t think…”
I waved my hand, dismissing the medical professional’s thoughts.
“Doctor, I believe I speak for myself and my wife when I say, and I am saying this with all due respect, that your opinion is pure and utter hogwash.”
I wanted to jump and shout and praise my husband from the rooftops.
“This baby will be born and without complications. Have you ever heard of the power of prayer?”
Dr. Nelson’s face went ashen. “Perhaps a second opinion may be in order.”
I rose and began to dress. The baby inside me kicked hard, with both feet. A giggle tickled my throat.
We prayed in the exam room. We prayed on the drive home. We prayed that night and many nights beyond.
And then I got sick. My back ached and my stomach felt full and sour. Fear gripped my heart. I couldn’t bear to tell Nick there was no movement. No rumbles or tumbles. No kicks. Nothing. Nothing at all. I didn’t want to see his sunken face or those haunting eyes again. Was I being punished for something? Had I done something wrong? If I had, Nick hadn’t. He certainly didn’t deserve to lose our precious angel.
They rushed me into the delivery room. I wasn’t ready. I was ready, sort of, but I wasn’t prepared. They wouldn’t allow my husband in. When the baby was, umm, gone, I would be all alone. I wept.
“Do you believe in the power of prayer, Holly?” Dr. Nelson was wearing a green hospital mask across her mouth and nose but I recognized her tinkling voice.
“Yes,” I croaked. “I do.”
“Then pray. Now.”
And I did.
The hands on the clock didn’t move much before her arrival. The next thing I knew Nick was holding our daughter in his arms.
“She’s tiny but she’s perfect,” Dr. Nelson announced. “There isn’t a thing wrong with this child.”
We decided to name her Angel.
My husband beamed. I know it was the best Christmas he ever had.