Louisa Heaton

The Baby That Changed Her Life

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on the other side of the operating table and there was a patient between them. Instead he had to stand there, horrified, his scalpel poised, as she collapsed onto the floor and lay there, despite the best efforts of the scrub nurse to try and catch her.

      Her arms were outspread, her eyes closed.

      I need to concentrate on my patient first. Her life is in my hands. I’ll have to let the others take care of Callie.

      The situation killed him, but what could he do? Just focus on delivering Olivia safely and then he could check on Callie.

      How did I not see she looked pale? he berated himself inwardly.

      The anaesthetist couldn’t move either, but two other theatre assistants got Callie up onto a trolley and wheeled her from the theatre. He watched her go, his heart in his mouth, his mind whooshing with a million thoughts. But he pulled it back.

      I need to be professional. Callie’s in good hands. I know that. I can’t do anything here but look after my patient.

      The staff were great. They knew the situation—knew Callie was Lucas’s surrogate, and knew how much it must be hurting him not to be with her—so they all did their best to help him work quickly, so he could be with her.

      Lucas had to think fast and concentrate. All he wanted to do was leave Theatre and go and check on Callie, but he knew he couldn’t! His professional integrity told him to stay with his patient. Her life and that of her babies were on the line.

      Once into the uterus, he was able to deliver both babies quickly. They came out crying, which was great. A glance at the monitors assured him that Olivia was doing fine, despite the emergency.

      A few moments later the theatre assistants returned.

      ‘How’s Callie?’ he asked, busy removing the placentas.

      ‘Coming round. We left her in the staffroom with one of the midwives looking after her,’ the assistant called, her back to him as she assessed the babies at the Resuscitaires.

      ‘How are the babies?’

      ‘Pinking up—we’ll get there,’ confirmed the paediatrician, and then there was a lusty cry and Lucas was able to let out a breath he hadn’t realised he’d been holding. He glanced at the anaesthetist at the head of his patient.

      ‘Sats ninety-seven per cent, BP dropped. But she’s stable … she’s good.’

      That was good to know. He’d expected Olivia’s blood pressure to drop with the bleed, but if she was stable then it looked as if both mother and twins were going to get through this.

      Once both the placentas were out Lucas began to stitch, sewing together all the layers of muscle and fascia that made up the abdomen, finally closing Olivia’s lower belly about forty-five minutes after he’d first had to open her.

      It had been nearly thirty minutes since Callie’s collapse and he was desperate to see her. His stomach was in knots, but he sewed quickly and efficiently. He kept clenching and unclenching his jaw as he thought of all the things that were worrying him.

      Why did she faint? Was it a faint? Or something else? Perhaps she’d not eaten properly that morning? There had to be a reason, and he intended to do a full medical checkup on her when he got out of Theatre.

      Why was everything going wrong? Having a child was meant to be one of the happiest times of his life! Yet it was all such a mess. He still didn’t know what was going to happen after the birth, and now Callie had collapsed. He hated not being able to be there for her and he wanted to be. Every step of the way.

      Finally Olivia was ready to go through to Recovery. The assistant and porters wheeled her away and he thanked the staff, seeing their appreciative smiles and nods, then scrubbed clean, quickly changed his scrubs and hurried off to find Callie.

      He found her looking pale and ashen in the staffroom, feet up on the chairs and her hands shaking as she nursed a hot sweet tea.

      He rushed straight over to her, kneeling by her side and feeling her forehead. ‘Are you all right?’

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