Patience

Good things come to those who wait.
This too shall pass
No baby can ever replace another, every single baby is unique and precious, some are born and others aren't, any child that is born following a child that died isn't a replacement, they are just a longed for sibling and a gift to their family

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22. A Romantic Dinner

May 2027

Fred’s POV

I finish making breakfast and go upstairs to retrieve my still sleeping wife. I get to bedroom and she’s not in bed. I check the bathroom and she’s not in the tub. Finally, I step into Sophia’s nursery and find Lana painting Sophia’s name on the rainbow on the wall. Lana’s letters and painting capabilities are unique. I’ve always said she should’ve become a painter instead of a work from home wife doing various things because Lana gave up acting when she married me.

“Lana what are you doing?”

“Finishing up. Ready to go see my little girl later today. Waiting patiently to bring her home. She’s two weeks old Fred and Dr. Katoosh says she hasn’t gained a single ounce.”

“Get dressed, come eat breakfast and we’ll go. Might want to bring Sophia a change of clothes.”

“No, she’s good. I changed her clothes yesterday. What can she do? She’s stuck in a box. We can’t even hold her.”

I walk into the bedroom and wrap my arms around my wife. She snuggles up next to me and looks up. I stare into her chocolate brown eyes and kiss her nose. She wrinkles her nose and smiles. I then plant a soft kiss on her lips. We waited five years to have our daughter and now our daughter is still in NICU. Lana and I hold our special moment before she wriggles away and runs to the bedroom. I stand in the door and watch her take of her pajamas. She slips on a bra and a dress. Slips on her sneakers, brushes her hair and turns around to greet me with outstretched arms. She wraps her arms around my neck and pulls me in for a kiss.

“Come on let’s go see our little Sophia.”

“Afterwards do you want to see Dr. Weaver? Maybe stop by Hope’s grave?”

“Yes, that’s a good idea. I need to call Dr. Nichols.”

“For what?”

“To tell her after six failed attempts we finally made the perfect baby. Fred, we have a baby! We’re parents!”

“Is this just now hitting you?”

“Yes..”

“I love you little mouse.”

“I love you big ole tom cat.”

“Let’s eat and then go see our feisty mouse.”

“She is a real kicker. Was on the inside for six and a half months.”

“I know and you did a wonderful job. Protecting her, loving her and being her mother.”

“You did a lot too. You put up with me.”

I shut my wife up by planting another kiss on her lips. Ever since we met we’ve been passionate about each other. Since we were married that passion has only multiplied. Married for seven years, trying to have a baby for five. I kiss her again and then on the nose. We walk down the stairs arm in arm.

At the hospital, we get to the doors and Lana sprints in. I try to run after her but she’s too fast to catch. I find her by Sophia’s container. She peers in and just stares at our little baby. I walk over and stare with her. Lana puts her hands against the glass and sheds a tear. She looks up at me with a tear stained face and eyes so sad.

“I want my baby Fred. Even when she born I didn’t get to hold her. It’s been two weeks.”

Dr. Katoosh enters and smiles. She sets down her clipboard and gives Lana a hug. She shakes my hand.

“How is she?”

“Your baby or your wife’s heart?”

“Both.”

“I can see Mrs. Diblasio is very upset that’s she not able to hold Sophia Kate Isabella. Sophia is progressing. Yesterday night the nurse called me to say she started moving. Look at her moving around so full of life.”

We watch as Sophia stretches her arms and kicks and flutters her eyelids.

“Fred look she’s opening her eyes. She’s never done that.”

We watch as Sophia opens her eyes and Lana gasps as Sophia stares with her big brown eyes. Sophia reaches for Lana and Lana tries so hard not to cry.

“Dr. Katoosh does she know I’m her mother?”

“Yes, babies know who their mother is even before birth. She knows your voice and so she can tell your face. She’s a perfect little angel. She’s gained an ounce since yesterday. 3 pounds 7 ounces.”

“One ounce in two weeks. Dr. Katoosh is anything else wrong with her?”

“She’s still not getting enough oxygen and her heart is just…everything but her heart and lungs is fine. No eye problems, no hearing problems…I think she’ll be fine when she gets older.”

Lana places her hands back on the glass and Dr. Katoosh opens the arm holes. Lana puts her hands through the holes and starts stroking and talking to Sophia. I just watch my wife and daughter.

“You can talk to her and touch her. You can’t hold her quite yet.”

“When can we?”

“Mr. Diblasio I’ll tell you when.”

“Don’t mine Fred Dr. Katoosh, he’s just a big baby.”

“Come on darling, I’m taking you to lunch.”

     Lana kisses her fingers and then presses her fingers to Sophia’s forehead.

“Come on Lana.”

“I’m coming.”

       Lana and I walk out. When we leave the hospital I soon pull into Vicari’s parking lot and kiss my wife before we walk in. As we walk in she leans over and kisses my cheek. We walk in, get a table for two and take our seats by the window. We’re handed two menus and the waiter pours two glasses of wine.

“What kind of wine may I ask?”

“Madame this is 1978 red wine with a hint of apple and cherry.”

“Oh, it’s delicious. May we have a bottle of 1942?”

“Lana I thought you didn’t like 1942.”

“I do now.”

       “I’ll bring the 1942 right away. What will we start with?”

“Lana what do you want?”

“What do you want?”

“Dear sir, what do you think we should start with? Go ahead and plan our entire menu if you don’t mind.”

 “I would do an appetizer, a soup, a salad, the main entrée, and a dessert.”

“Lana you can order the appetizer, the salad and the dessert.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“For our appetizer, we’ll have the six cheese bread sticks with the garlic and herb tomato sauce.”

“And for your soup sir?”

“We’ll have the cream of chicken soup with the bacon crumbs, extra cheese and diced chicken.”

“The salad ma’am?”

“Romaine lettuce, crisp apple slices, pieces of bacon, sliced chicken, cheese topped with a sparse of ranch dressing, don’t forget carrot curls and broccoli shavings.”

“The main entrée sir?”

“We’ll have the fettuccini alfredo.”

“Dessert madam?”

“Chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream.”

“Is that all?”

“Yes sir.”

The breadsticks come, then the soup, then the salad, finally the main course and then the dessert. At the end of our ‘lunch’ the bill comes and Lana gives me a big smile and kisses my cheek before running out the door. We won’t be able to do this once Sophia gets out of the hospital but I can’t wait to take my daughter home. I open the bill and pull out my debit card. $205.56, a small price to pay to keep my wife happy and her mind off our baby.

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