West Wing To Maternity Wing May 2012
The President's Baby Doctor Famous neonatologist Lincoln Adams is looking after the President's newborn daughter when nurse Amy Carson arrives at the hospital, posing as his very pregnant wife! Amy's had first-hand experience of Linc's skilful hands and he's the only person she trusts to look after her precious cargo, but trusting him with her fragile heart is another matter...
West Wing to Maternity Wing PROLOGUE
Lincoln Adams stuck his fingers into the collar around his neck and pulled – hard. The collar was at least an inch too small for him. It didn’t matter that the whole ensemble was Italian-made from the finest materials. The suit trousers were an inch too short and the waist was an uncomfortably snug fit. He kept his arms firmly by his side, his hands clenched in his lap – because if he leaned forward onto the table in front of him, the jacket would stretch across his back, restricting his movements. It was bad enough having to borrow someone else’s clothes, but when they were a size too small… The sooner he was out of here the better.
The White House Press Secretary swept across the room in a flurry of eye-catching blue silk with a tailored black jacket on top. Every pore of her skin emanated professionalism and efficiency, and she knew how to work a crowd. This was all her fault.
He gave a forced smile to David Fairgreaves who sat down next to him. The old man didn’t look in the least phased by the pandemonium surrounding him. In fact, he might actually look as if he was enjoying it. Was he mad? Then again, for a world-wide award winning doctor, this would be all in a days work.
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 17 October. However, today, on the 23 August, Charles and Jennifer Taylor are delighted to announce the arrival of,” she paused for effect, “the First Daughter, Esther Rose Taylor weighing 4lbs 10oz.”
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 on with her carefully prepared statement, she lifted her hand again until the room was silenced. “Esther Rose Taylor was born at 32 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, “Nobel Prize Winner 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 were 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 were 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.
Her heart constricted in her chest. Six years and he still had the same effect on her – even in her current state. She watched as he took a question from a blonde journalist, dazzling her with his twinkling blue eyes and easy smile. He was still a flirt. It was so engrained he didn’t even realise he was doing it. One smile from Linc and the journalist, covering the biggest story of her life, was a babbling mess.
She pointed at the screen as the nurse, Lynn, resumed her checks. “I know him.”
Lynn’s eyes darted over to the screen, taking in the hunk currently filling the screen. Amy bristled. She could almost hear her thoughts.
Lynn gave a small smile. “Well, you’re a lucky lady then. I imagine he’s one of the best neonatologists in the world if he’s looking after the President’s baby.”
“He is. I tried to get hold of him yesterday but he didn’t answer the text I sent him. I guess he was busy.” The message I need your help had been direct and to the point without revealing anything. Her voice was quiet, thoughtful. Her hands rubbing up and down her stomach. “How is it?” she asked as Lynn unwound the blood pressure cuff. She knew the answer before Lynn answered but her head was currently in another place. There was only one person in the world she trusted right now to take care of her baby.
Lynn frowned. “Actually, it’s a little higher. I’m sorry Amy, but as a fellow professional I’m not going to beat around the bush. With your other symptoms, it’s definitely looking like borderline pre-eclampsia. The good thing is we’ve caught it early. It’s time to see your obstetrician. And from one colleague to another, I definitely think it’s time to stop work.”
Amy nodded her head, tears prickling at the sides of her eyes as she swallowed the lump in her throat. “I can’t let anything happen to this baby,” she whispered, “He’s my only chance.”
Lynn wrapped her hand around Amy’s. “I know that Amy,” she hesitated, glancing towards the television. “Maybe it’s time to ask a friend for help?” Lynn’s eyes fixed on the television screen. “If I knew my baby was going to come early I’d want the finest neonatologist in the world to be at the delivery.” Her voice was firm and strong. “Wouldn’t you?”
Her phone beeped and she reached into her pocket. Two words. Anything. Anytime.
Their eyes met. Amy bit her lip and took a deep breath, the shine of unshed tears visible in her eyes. “Exactly how far away is Pelican Cove?