West Wing to Maternity Wing!

By: Scarlet Wilson

Diane Green stood behind the podium next to him. Almost instantaneously the cameras started snapping around them and the noise level increased frenetically. She raised her hand and the press pack heeded. She had the information they’d all been waiting for.

‘Thank you for joining us here today at Pelican Cove for our happy announcement. You will all be aware that President Taylor and his wife, Jennifer, were expecting their first baby on seventeenth October. However, today, on the twenty-third of August, Charles and Jennifer Taylor are delighted to announce the arrival of…’ she paused for effect ‘…the First Daughter, Esther Rose Taylor, weighing four pounds ten ounces.’

The room around her erupted, questions being shouted from every angle. ‘Isn’t the baby too early?’

‘What was the First Lady doing in Pelican Cove?’

‘Where is her own obstetrician, Dr Blair?’

‘Was the President here?’

‘Where did the name come from?’

But Diane Green was the epitome of calm. Continuing with her carefully prepared statement, she lifted her hand again until the room was silent. ‘Esther Rose Taylor was born at thirty-two weeks gestation. The First Lady had been ordered to rest in the last few weeks of her pregnancy and had come to Pelican Cove to do exactly that. She was accompanied by her obstetrician, Dr Blair, who unfortunately had a myocardial infarction in the last few days. As a result of that the First Lady was looked after by…’ Diane Green gestured towards the seats to her right ‘…Dr David Fairgreaves, one of the foremost leading obstetricians in America, and Dr Lincoln Adams, one of our finest neonatologists.’ She gave a little nod towards the reporters. ‘I am pleased to report that the President was here for the arrival of his daughter and she is named after Jennifer Taylor’s beloved and much-missed grandmother. Any questions regarding the health of the First Lady and the First Daughter—’ a genuine smile swept across Diane Green’s lips, as if she was still to get used to saying that ‘—can be answered by our two highly qualified doctors here.’

Once again the room erupted and Lincoln Adams took a deep breath as this time the barrage of questions was directed at him. Let me out of here!

* * *

Amy Carson sat on the cold, clinical hospital bed, usually occupied by a patient, her hands fixed firmly on her swollen stomach. The plaster was falling off the ceiling above her and the wall hadn’t seen a coat of paint in— How long? What did the patients who usually ended up in this room think? The role reversal of staff member to potential patient wasn’t lost on her. Everything about this place was bland. Did she really want to end up delivering her baby in a place like this?

She gulped. How had she ended up here? The door opened and the nurse appeared again, wheeling the trolley that held the foetal monitor and sphygmomanometer. Amy felt herself tense. She knew it was going to be the same again—borderline.

She loved her colleagues here, but none of them had the specialist skills and expertise that this baby would need. More than that—nowhere in the surrounding area had facilities to deal with a premature baby. Everything about this made her uncomfortable. If only Lincoln would answer his phone…

Movement on the television in the corner of the room caught her eye. She leaned forward. ‘Can you turn that up, please, Lynn?’

Her colleague nodded and automatically twisted the knob on the antiquated television set. ‘Delighted to announce the arrival of…’

Amy listened to the announcement. Another baby born too early. But probably the most famous baby in the world. A baby that would have the most prestigious, experienced medical care that money could buy.

No! Surely not? Amy’s chin dropped to her chest. Lincoln Adams. Her Lincoln Adams was shifting uncomfortably on the screen in front of her. He tugged at his shirt and answered question after question about the baby’s condition. His voice was rich, smooth. If she couldn’t see his image on the television in front of her, she’d imagine he was the calmest man in the world. But he wasn’t. And she could tell he hated every moment of this.

Delivering the President’s baby. Wow. So that’s where he’d been.

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