Chapter Eleven: Foreboding
It was nearly midnight when they arrived at the hospital. Mulder paced around anxiously as he, John and Monica waited patiently in the waiting room of Ellett Memorial Hospital, Missouri. For Mulder, the wait seemed like an eternity. He looked over at John and Monica who sat next to each other. They were obviously as concerned as Mulder and Monica gave him an empathetic smile. John leaned forward and folded his hands trying his best to keep his need for sleep from overcoming him. All of them seemed to be in a trance-like state, awaiting the news from the doctor. Monica shifted nervously in her seat, debating whether or not she should tell them about her conversation with Scully.
John had worked with Monica for years now and he knew her well enough to know something was up with her. “What is it Monica? Do you know something?” Mulder curiously looked over at the couple as he overheard. Monica just looked into John’s blue eyes and swallowed; she knew she would never be able to hide anything from John nor lie to him. Her gaze went from John’s to Mulder’s. “If there’s something about Scully and our baby, I need to know, Agent Reyes.” he said firmly. Monica nodded and stared straight ahead. “Dana talked to me earlier today, when both of you went into Starbucks. She told me she suspected that she had anemia.” she admitted briefly. Mulder was upset, but more than anything, he was hurt.
“Why didn’t she tell me?” he demanded. Monica stood up and walked toward Mulder, placing a gentle hand on his arm. “She didn’t want you to worry if it turned out to be nothing.” Monica whispered.
“But it didn’t turn out to be nothing!” he yelled, collapsing on the now vacated seat next to Doggett. Mulder placed his head in his hands to keep himself from sobbing in front of his friends; he had to be strong for Scully.
A moment later, footsteps sounded closer to Mulder and he looked up. “Is she okay?” he demanded. Mulder dreaded the question he had anticipated.
“Are you the husband?” the doctor, who appeared to be in his mid-forties, had questioned. “No, but…” he wasn’t able to finish the sentence before the doctor interrupted him.
“Then you’ll have to wait. Immediate family only.” he answered firmly. This only outraged the already worried Mulder.
“Christ, she’s the mother of my child!” Mulder growled.
“Sir, I…” the doctor tried to answer.
“God damn it, let me see her now!” Mulder moved to push past the doctor; nothing was going to stop him from seeing his partner. At this point, John launched up from his seat to intervene and Monica followed. John placed his hands firmly on Mulder’s shoulders. “Mulder, stop!” he ordered.
The hospital immediately became quiet as many different doctors and nurses stared in shock. Mulder couldn’t have cared less, but John stepped forward. “Please doc, she’s traveling across the country with us and we’re all she has right now.” he explained. The three of them identified themselves before the doctor made a hesitant decision to reveal medical information.
“Ok, Ms. Scully is suffering from anemia. It’s an illness in which there is a lack of blood cells in her body carrying oxygen. This is usually caused by a lack of iron in the diet or blood loss. It really isn’t too complex, as Anemia is very common in pregnant women since the fetus takes a considerable amount of iron from the mother, making her at higher risk. That would also explain her nausea.”
Mulder swallowed hard as she took this in. “Is she okay?” Monica asked slowly.
The doctor nodded. “Yes, she’s fine. We’re giving her vitamin supplements for the lack of iron, though I strongly recommend she have a diet higher in it starting immediately. She seems to be okay, but we’re going to keep her over for a night or two.” he explained. “You may see her now, but only one of you at a time; she’s just woken up.” Mulder did not waste any time in pushing past the doctor to get to Scully’s room. “Her room is down the hall and to the left, room 115!” Mulder showed no sign of response, but surely enough he ended up finding Scully’s room.
He stopped and looked into the window, her eyes were closed and she looked more pale than usual. Mulder took a deep breath before entering the room. Scully drowsily looked over at Mulder and smiled.
“Hey,” This scene was almost nostalgic for Mulder. He remembered being in the exact same position two years ago when she was pregnant with William. The expression on his face was solemn as he pulled a chair next to her bedside.
“Why didn’t you tell me, Scully?” he sounded full of anger, but he was more hurt than anything.
Scully looked away. “I’m sorry, Mulder. I just couldn’t bear to give you anything more to worry about. My getting pregnant came as a surprise and was unexpected and that alone was more than enough to worry about.” she explained.
“Don’t say that.” Mulder said as he slipped his hand underneath the top blanket and gently smoothed his hand over her stomach. “The baby…our baby, is a miracle and even if the circumstances were different, I could never be happier.” he reassured her. With his free hand, Mulder pulled a loose strand of hair behind Scully’s ear. “Aside from Monica and John, we only have each other Scully, so I need you to be honest with me.” he whispered. “If I’d known, I could have prevented this.” Mulder was guilt ridden.
Scully reached out and clasped his free hand. “I’m so sorry, Mulder.” she whispered watery eyes.
Mulder nodded. “Are you going to be okay?”
“Yeah, we’re fine.” she smiled up and into those hazel eyes. Scully gave Mulder’s hand a firm squeeze before she moved her hand to settle on her stomach. Scully took a deep breath and repeated the suspicions she had regarding her anemia and William’s high levels of iron in his blood. Mulder took a deep breath as he continued to move his hand in slow circular motions over Scully’s stomach.
“I don’t care if you believe otherwise, but I’m going to protect you both.”
The next morning, Scully had been moved to the prenatal ward. John had fallen asleep only about an hour ago as he and Monica waited in the waiting room. “Rise and shine, Agents.” Mulder called out as he approached them. John, who had been resting his head on Monica’s shoulder jerked out of his slumber.
“Jesus, Mulder. I was trying to catch some shuteye.” John wasn’t too pleased with only an hour’s worth of sleep.
Mulder chuckled. “Sorry, Agent Doggett.”
John grumbled. “How many times do I have to tell you to drop the Agent, its just plain John Doggett now, Mulder?” he explained as he pulled himself up from his seat.
“Okay, John. Let’s grab something from the cafeteria. All that Jell-O they are giving Scully is starting to make me hungry.”
Monica followed right behind John as they made their way towards the cafeteria. “How is she?” she asked, folding her arms.
“She’s fine. They are giving her supplements of Erythropoietin to regulate her red blood cell production. They are moving her to the prenatal ward as we speak.” Mulder explained. They quickly gathered a few plates of food and sat down at a vacated table.
Monica couldn’t help but ask the one question that has been on her mind ever since they arrived at the hospital. “Is there something wrong with the baby?” To her relief, Mulder shook his head.
“No, as far as the doctors can tell.” Mulder smiled at his next thought. “But they say she is far along enough to determine the sex of the baby.” John’s mood went from muggy to a reminiscent sadness.
“When Barb was pregnant, I believe they could tell Luke’s sex when she was about five months along.” He looked down. Monica gingerly moved to give John’s hand a reassuring squeeze.
“Do you think they could have caught up to us by now?” Mulder asked.
“I doubt it, it’s been miles and I haven’t seen anything.” Monica responded. If there were anything unusual, Monica would have been the first to notice. John sighed and looked around at the crowded lunch area. There were large groups of people eating leisurely, many of whom he assumed to be family of the patients and nurses on their lunch hour. A middle-aged woman with short, dark brown hair and blue eyes turned in John’s direction and met his gaze. He stared back at her questioningly. John swallowed; he recognized this woman from somewhere, but where?
“John…John!” the sound of Mulder’s voice brought him out of his reverie. John broke his gaze from the woman and back to Mulder and Monica.
“Huh, what is it Mulder?” he appeared to be in a daze.
“Is something wrong?” Mulder asked curiously.
John turned back to the woman, who was no longer looking at him. “Yeah…everything is fine.”
A/N: Erythropoietin is a hormone, which allows the kidneys to produce more red blood cells. Thanks to the library of medicine at http://www.nlm.nih.gov. Another big thanks to my BETA, IdleFlame! Thanks for making this so much easier!