A short story about Melissa.
| The Tube Baby
''We have to take her out'' says the doctor behind curtain.
''Take her out, what does that mean, you said it wasn't serious?!"
This is the unnerving conversation Melissa hears as she lies half exposed on the exam bed in the E.R while she tries to make sense of her surroundings. The room is has a couple of hospitals beds with some other patients trying to get medical assistance, the smell of disinfectant lies freshly in the air and it must be somewhere in the early morning hours. Melissa is about four months pregant and manages to get the attention of her visibly annoyed husband and the doctor he is talking to.
''Ma'am'' says Dr. Welsch cautiously ; '' You are in the hospital, how are you feeling?''
He continues before giving her the chance to answer: "You seem to have contracted the flu, as you have not got the flu shot before conceiving you and your child are at extremely high risk and I recommend you follow the only option we have available to you."
Melissa's husband now places his hands on her shoulders to console her but she is clearly very dazed and confused.
"I, I don't understand.. the flu? What do you mean, it's just the flu?"
Dr Welsch draws the curtain around the bed completly shut and takes a seat beside the couple: " Ma'am, with the current strain of flu it is very important to get the shot, your body nor your baby have antibodies against this and being pregnant your baby stands no chance, with our latest developments together with an excelent fetal surgeon we can remove the fetus and give you the modified strain, we will then allow for 24hours for your body to do it's work and then re-implant the fetus. This may seem very odd to you but is not uncommon"
Melissa holds the small tube tighly against her bare chest, it is barely bigger than her already tiny hands and a nurse wraps it tightly to her chest almost as you would swaddle a baby and then warns Melissa to not move the tube away from her chest as this will deprive the fetus from the womb like environment and lower the chance of survival. The couple then gets discharged from the hospital and is advised to return strictly within eight hours for re-implantation.
Almost eight hours later Melissa's husband has locked the home and is chatting away with his father in law, Melissa requests they leave for the hospital but the family almost puposely seems to find other tasks to do, in enourmous distress it becomes clear to Melissa that the family is trying to use the opportunity to be free of the surprise pregnancy. She pretends she need to go to the store but conveniently the family cannot locate the vehicle's keys. She frantically searches for a cell so she can call an ambulance but that too is nowhere to be found. The family now draws close to Melissa and her husband places his hands on her arms while her dad stands in the doorway to redirect any attempts at an escape, Melissa darts to the window to scream for help but her fear has control of her body and voice and she collapses onto her knees with her eyes pressed closed. "Is this a nightmare?" wonders Melissa as she opens her eyes and finds herself sweaty standing up on the bed.
"Can you stop that babe you're going to wake Simon" says her husband as he emerges from their sons bedroom. "You need to stop watching those horror movies".