Tracy's Baby

Tracy thinks she is unlucky when it comes to having a baby. But in reality she is very lucky.


1. Tracy's Baby

“Tracy’s Baby”



Michael Bannister


The weak winter sunshine shone through the windows of the maternity ward and created a pattern on Tracy’s bedclothes.  Her eyes shifted from this and to her husband, Paul, who was sitting beside her bed.

“Having my baby is the most natural thing in the world for you to do, Tracy.”

“I just know something is going to go wrong.  I can’t put my finger on it, but I know it will,” said Tracy.  “This baby in my stomach is far too big.  It feels like I’m carrying a baby elephant.”

“It’s better than being premature.”

“Didn’t you hear me?  I said it’s too big.”

Paul looked down at her large bulge.  They had wanted this baby for so long.  Now they were almost there and it was only a matter of days.

He remembered all the things they had done in their endeavour to guarantee conception.  The different foods, tablets, timing and mechanical aids.  

“Is everything ready at home for our baby?” Tracy asked. 

“I’ve finished the nursery.  I just can’t wait for you and our baby to be home,” said Paul.  He looked at the drawn curtains next door and heard a woman’s voice.  “When did she come in?” he asked in a soft voice.

“Last night while I was asleep.  She insists on privacy.”

Then they heard a squeaky voice from behind the curtain: “Nurse, do you call this mush food?  I want sweet and sour noodles.  Surely the hospital chef can get that right.”


Tracy reached out and took the bunch of grapes that were on her bedside cabinet.  She popped a grape into her mouth.  But before she could chew it she spat it out in pain. 

“I think my waters have broken,” she screamed.

Paul looked down and saw the wet bedclothes.  He jumped up and ran into the middle of the ward.  “My wife’s having our baby.  Nurse, nurse, it’s time,” he shouted.  The nurses came running.  Paul was told to leave as Tracy was rushed to the delivery room.

“There’s no stopping this baby.  It just wants to be born,” said Tracy to the porter who was pushing her trolley.  She could see the long strip lighting above as she was rushed down the corridor

  Five hours later Tracy came round in her bed.  Paul was sitting beside her.

“Hello darling.  How are you feeling?”

“Like somebody has stabbed me in the stomach,” answered Tracy.

“That’s understandable.  You’ve had an emergency Caesarean.”

“I told you it was too big to come out.  Is it a girl or a boy?” asked Tracy.

A big proud smile burst over Paul’s face.  “It’s a lovely little girl.”

They both watched as a nurse, carrying a baby in a shawl, stopped at the foot of the bed.  There was a worried look on her face.  “I’m sorry to say,” began the nurse, handing Tracy her baby, “that your little girl has Down’s syndrome.  You can tell by her Mongoloid eyes.”

Tracy looked at the tiny little face in the shawl and could see that the nurse was right.  “How could this happen to us?” she cried as the tears flooded out.

Paul felt so dejected.  “It’s all my fault.  I’m not fit to be a father.”  He peered into the bundle that Tracy was holding.  The little face looked content, but he knew that her growing up would be full of problems.

“You mustn’t blame yourselves.  It can’t be helped.  It just happens to some people,” said the nurse.  “I’ll be around later with some helpful literature.”

Just then they saw another nurse carrying a baby go next door.  She gave the mother her baby and was halted as she walked away.

“Nurse, wait a minute, this can’t be my baby.  I’m Chinese and this little girl has ordinary eyes.  My little girl will have Mongoloid eyes.”

Tracy couldn’t believe what she had just heard and neither could Paul.  They put two and two together and then called a nurse.

Back at home, standing in the pink nursery, Tracy gazed down at her perfect baby daughter who was lying in her crib. 

“I hope the hospital never makes a mistake like that with other couples,” said Paul.

“I hope not.  Anyway, we’ve got our beautiful baby daughter now, that’s the main thing,” said Tracy.  She bent over and planted a kiss on her daughter’s forehead.




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