See Prologue for summary and disclaimer.
Warning: Bumping this chapter to FRM as it deals with the possible loss of an unborn child and some readers may find it difficult to read. Please I don’t mean to offend or make light of a very delicate subject.
There will be more chapters. I have to recreate chapter six as I inadvertently over wrote it.
I know how the story is ending so have no fear it will be completed.
Chapter 5 – Ready or Not
Buffy moved the covers from over her and he could see a bright red splotch spreading on the bottom sheet.
“Giles, I’m scared. What did I do wrong?” she pulled her legs in and rubbed at her abdomen as a cramping pain hit her. “Oh God!” she cried out.
He knelt by the bed, “Shhh, luv…” he held her through another wave of pain, “You didn’t do anything wrong. I’ll take you to hospital and they will help us solve this.”
“But how with the vamps right outside waiting for us.” Tears were falling freely as she felt more blood begin to seep from her body.
Giles’ fought to keep his fear for Buffy hidden. “Leave that to me. You must stay here until I come back. Don’t move; promise me.”
“What are you gonna do?”
“Just trust me and promise you’ll stay here.” Buffy nodded. Giles leaned down and kissed her cheek. “I’ll be back as quickly as I can.”
All Buffy could do was lie there and listen to the sounds Giles made as he searched through the weapon’s chest they had in the living room then the opening of the front door. Straining she heard the cacophony of a fierce battle then the roar of a car’s engine.
A part of Giles knew he had to act fast. He took all the bottles of holy water he and Buffy had and poured them into a pot. Taking one of his t-shirts he soaked it in the pan of water while he took every available stake and attached them in some way to his person. Once that was done he took the t-shirt and slipped it on. Grabbing the repeating crossbow, Xander had help to build but hadn’t tested yet, and went out through the front door.
The first four vamps found the pointy end of the crossbow bolts; unfortunately that was all the weapon could hold so he drew the stake that was tucked at his waist, in the back; quickly dusting any that tried to get near. One vamp was lucky enough to grab him by the shirt sleeve but soon found the burning sting of holy water to be too much and let go; he was dusted next. He was on a mission and nothing was going to get in his way.
Giles made it to the jeep and drove it into the garage; having opened the door before heading out to face the vampires. One vamp tried to enter through the garage but found the no invite barrier in place. Giles left the jeep running and went into the house to retrieve Buffy.
“Okay let’s go. The two door tramp is too open so I’ve moved the jeep into the garage; the no invite barrier works there as well.”
Giles stopped the jeep at the entrance to the Emergency Room. He saw a wheelchair just inside and grabbed it then assisted Buffy into it. He wheeled her inside, “I need help now!”
Several orderlies and nurses arrived to see what this man was shouting about and they were whisked to an exam room immediately. An IV was started and samples were taken then it felt like an eternity before a doctor entered.
“What’s your name and how far along are you?” he asked.
Buffy tried to answer but she was in too much pain and groggy from blood loss. “Buffy S-Summers; she’s thirty weeks.” Giles provided.
“And you are?”
“Her partner.” Giles answered quickly.
The doctor did a quick double take then said, “All right, you need to stay back so we can help her. What happened?”
“I woke, she called out … there - there was blood and …”
“I need a type match and a portable ultrasound.” The doctor instructed the attending nurse. “Who is her physician?”
“Um … Mary Carmichael … no, I, I mean Sarah Young; a mid-wife.”
“We know her; has she been notified?”
“No, I-I just…”
“It’s alright, we’ll call her.” A machine was wheeled into the room and Giles watched the doctor performed the ultrasound as another attendant hung a bag of blood and started the transfusion.
All Giles could do was stand by and watch the flurry of activity going on; suddenly he was hit with an overwhelming fear for his Slayer … no she is more than that. He thought. He sat hard in the chair that was positioned a short distance from the bed and stared into space.
“Sir,” the doctor tried to get his attention, he touched Giles’ shoulder which brought the Watcher around. “Sir, Buffy has lost a lot of blood and after the ultrasound I believe the cause is placental abruption.”
When Giles looked perplexed at him the doctor explained, “A placental abruption is when the placenta peels away from the inner wall of the uterus before delivery; either partially or completely. This can deprive the baby of oxygen and nutrients and cause heavy bleeding in the mother. We are preparing her for an emergency c-section. Someone will be in for you to sign the papers.”
“Can, can I be with her during the s-sur…?”
“No you won’t be able to; we have to use general anesthesia.”
“I-I see then may I stay with her until you take her to the operating theater?”
“Yes, of course. We’ll be back in a moment.” The doctor and everyone else left the two alone.
Giles stood and walked the short distance to the bed. He took her hand with his right and kissed it tenderly. Using the fingers of this left hand he gently swept back her bangs. He leaned close to her ear, “Buffy, luv … you’ve got to get through this, there’s something I need to …”
The door opened and the nurse with two orderlies stepped in, “It’s time.”
Giles placed a tender kiss to Buffy’s cheek then stepped back. She was rolled out of the room and he was handed some paperwork with red X’s marking where his signature needed to be. After signing the forms and before he was led to the waiting area; he was fitted with a hospital ID bracelet. Too stunned with concern for Buffy, he didn’t question it. Once in the waiting area he placed a call to Willow saying that Buffy had just gone into surgery and he thought she would want to know.
Willow was disturbed by the flat tones of Giles’ voice. She called Xander to fill him in on what was going on; at least the information she had. Tara and Willow made arrangements to meet Xander and Anya at the hospital so they could lend support to Giles.
“Giles, what happened?” Willow asked as she sat next to him.
He brought his hands up to his face and tried to rubbed out the tension. “It, it’s a complication f-from the pregnancy.” He was quickly on his feet and pacing about the room. “Why haven’t they come to tell me anything?”
“How long has it been?” Xander asked.
“Too Bloody long.” Giles drew in a deep breath then let it out slowly. When next he spoke his words were a little less sharp. “Over an hour ago. From my research she should have been out by now.”
“Research … you did research?”
“Yes Xander, as part of preparing for the baby’s delivery…”
“You? Buffy asked you to be in the room with her?” Willow didn’t mean to but she sounded hurt.
Giles glared at her and began to clench and unclench his hands as he resumed pacing.
“Why wouldn’t Buffy want him there?” Anya said. “In recent years the woman has always wanted the person they loved to be in the delivery room.”
Xander stared at his girlfriend, “What?”
“Oh come on hasn’t anyone noticed. Buffy spends every available minute with Giles and he’s been sleeping at her home for a month now. I’m surprised he hasn’t move in with her.”
Willow looked toward Tara for confirmation; who nodded in agreement with Anya.
Xander glanced in Giles’ direction to see what he would say about Anya’s revelation but the man’s expression was unreadable. “Giles is just making sure she eats right and that she’s protected. After all the vamps have been making her home ground zero for the past four weeks.”
As another hour passed Xander had a vision of Giles putting his fist through a wall; as he did after Joyce died. He wanted to help diffuse the ticking time bomb that was the older man but couldn’t think of a way that wouldn’t result in his imminent death.
Giles didn’t see the doctor as he entered the waiting area but the others did. The surgeon approached their friend. Xander, fearing for the doctor’s safety, stood and went to Giles’ side quickly; in case the news wasn’t good.
As doctor approached, Giles caught the movement in the window and spun on his heels. He stared waiting for the news. “Buffy is in recovery. She’ll be in the ICU for the night at least, possibly two days. There was a lot of damage and we had to perform a hysterectomy. Baring any complications she should make a full recovery.”
“A-a-and the baby?”
“Congratulations it’s a girl, she is in the NICU. She is holding her own. Being ten weeks early her weight is very low; she weighs 3lbs and is 15 and a half inches long. She is currently on a warmer bed to help regulate her temperature. Later we will move her to an incubator. She is on a ventilator. We have several sensors attached to her for monitoring oxygen saturation, temperature, ECG and blood pressure; an IV catheter for fluids and nutrients, and an IV pump for any medication she may need.”
“May, may I see Buffy.”
“As soon as she is moved to the ICU I’ll have a nurse bring you to her.”
“She, she’s very fearful of hospitals, may I be with her now before she wakes.”
“Yeah, I think it may even be noted in her file.” Xander said. “Last time we had to bring her here she freaked out big time. Probably not what you want from someone coming out of major surgery.” Xander added.
“All right but only you.” The doctor acquiesced.
Giles promised to call everyone later with more news and followed the doctor to the recovery room.
There were so many tubes and wires attached and she appeared so pale. It reminded him of when Angel had nearly drained her. Giles wasn’t sure if he should touch her.
“Now she won’t be awake for long, this is only to rouse her from the anesthesia. You can hold her hand.”
Giles sandwiched her right hand in his. “Buffy, the doctors want you to wake.”
There was no response. “Buffy, luv …”
“No, I don’t want to get up mom.”
“I’m not your mum and you don’t have to get up just open your eyes for a moment.” Slowly her eyes opened, “That’s it luv.”
The surroundings came into focus. “I’m in the hospital … I want to go home. Giles please take me home.”
“Oh Buffy how I wish I could but you just came out of surgery. You need to stay for a little bit.”
“Will you stay with me?”
Giles looked toward the doctor who nodded approval, “Yes, I’ll be here.”
“All right.” Then her eyes closed and she was asleep again.
Giles looked toward the doctor again, “She’s all right, like I said we just wanted her to wake after the surgery. Now, she’ll sleep for about eight hours or so.”
“I can be with her though, in the ICU.”
“I thought you might want to visit your little girl?”
“Your baby in the NICU; would you like to go visit her?”
Giles thought, if I say she’s not my child odds are I won’t be able to see her and I so want to, “Yes, yes of course.”
Before Giles was even allowed in the NICU one of the staff members check his ID bracelet that was around his right wrist. Then he was brought over to a washing station; here he used the antibacterial soap provided and scrubbed his hands and halfway up his arms. Once dry he was brought over to where Buffy’s daughter was lying on a warming tray. He wasn’t prepared for how tiny she actually was. Reaching out a tentative finger he stroked her hand.
“Well, here you are ‘Little one’. It’s so nice to see what you look like; you are absolutely gorgeous. Your mum would be here but she’s sleeping at the moment.”
One of the nursing staff came over to him. “Would you like to hold her?”
“It’s all right, I’ll help you and it is actually very beneficial for the infant.” Giles nodded.
She indicated the reclining chair that was next to the baby’s bed. Giles sat and held out his arms. “Actually we’re going to do this kangaroo style; just a minute. She found and handed a dressing gown to him. I need you to remove your t-shirt and put this on.” With a slight feeling of embarrassment he did as she said. “Now lean back,” she gently lifted the baby from the warming try then placed her on Giles’ bare chest. “Place one hand under her bum and the other on her back.” She helped to position his hands so he supported the infant’s head. She took a receiving blanket and laid it over his hands and the baby; tucking it around his arms.
The baby snuggled into his chest. “Remember she has been listening to your voice while in the womb so feel free to talk to her; she’ll recognize it. Oh by the way, have you chosen a name for her yet?”
“No, not yet.” The baby wriggled in his hands.
“All right. I’ll be right over there if you need anything.” She indicated another infant in the room.
The feel of the tiny life in his hands set Giles emotions on edge. Suddenly an old lullaby came to him and he began to sing to her.
Hush-a-by, don't you cry,
Go to sleep, little baby.
And when you wake, you shall have cake,
And all the pretty little ponies.
Paint and bay, Sorrel and gray,
All the pretty little ponies.
So hush-a-by, don't you cry,
Go to sleep, little baby.
He struggled with the last two verses as he felt a tightness in this throat and tears of joy fell freely down his cheeks. He never knew he could feel this way over a little person. Babies were cute, squirmy beings meant for others to tend. He never really had a desire for children until now. What a miracle you are.
The nurse returned, “I’m sorry but it is time to feed and run tests but you can come back anytime to hold her; just see one of us and we’ll help you.”
Giles time with Buffy’s daughter was all too short but he relinquished his hold on the infant and left to place calls to Willow and Xander. He informed them that both Buffy and the baby were doing well. He asked if Anya would tend to the Magic Box business while he stayed with Buffy. There was no complaint from the former vengeance demon.
A nurse escorted Giles to the ICU where he took up his vigilance. After all a vampire wouldn’t need an invite into a hospital room; Buffy was more vulnerable now than ever.
To be continued Mother and Child