21 Bethlehem

October 25, 1996, Holy Family Hospital, Bethlehem, Israel


“How are you feeling, Sweetie?” Lily’s mother adjusts the pillows behind her daughter’s head.

“I’m great. Stop fussing; I am not a little girl anymore. I’m about to be a mother.”

Lily smiles big at her mom. She loves freaking her out like this. “I’m teasing, Mom. Thank you for being here with me. I love the way you take care of me. So, tell me, what do you know about having a cesarean? Will it hurt?”

Deborah pulls up a chair and takes Lily’s hand in hers. “It won’t hurt, darling. You will be completely numb while they take the baby out. If you are uncomfortable after the delivery, I will be here to see that you get the right medication. No need to worry.”

“I’m not worried, I promise. I’m doing this for a special reason—it makes me happy. At the same time, I’m ready to get back to my normal life as a college student. Do you think the cosmetic surgeon can cover up the scar so I can still wear a bikini and not freak out every guy I meet at the beach?”

“Absolutely, sweetie. We were assured Dr. Larsen is the best cosmetic surgeon in the entire region. He’s already here at the hospital and ready to take over the minute the baby is out and Dr. Abscom releases you into his care.”

“If the scar looks bad, can I get a tattoo to cover it?”

Deborah makes it clear with her expression that she is not amused. “You know tattoos are prohibited by our faith, Lily.”

“Oh right—having a tattoo will get me banned from being buried in a Jewish cemetery. Why is that again?”

“Lily, really—you are asking this right now?”

“Sorry, just trying to lighten the mood. I do have another question. It’s a bit deeper.”

“Go ahead.”

“If a woman rents her vagina, she is called a prostitute, but if she rents her womb, she is called a surrogate. Why is that? And, why is only one of these illegal?”

Deborah tries not to laugh. “I am not going to reply to that question. It’s easy to see why you are a debate champion.”

Two nurses enter. “We’re ready for you, Lily. We are going to put a little medication into your epidural catheter before we move you. Once you are in the surgical suite, we will put in the bolus that will remove all feeling from the mid-chest area down. We will keep you out of pain. Are you ready?”

“Ready!” Deborah and Bruce walk beside Lily’s bed as she enters the surgical suite.

Once they reach a set of double doors, one of the nurses raises her hand to Lily’s parents.

“Sorry, but you’ll have to wait here. Someone will be back soon to get you into scrubs so that you can be with Lily during the cesarean.”

“You heard the lady, sweetie. We will be in soon.”

“Okay. Hurry though, Dad. I want you to say one of your awesome prayers for the baby with Mom and me before the knife goes in.”

“You got it. We’ll be there as soon as we can.” Bruce and Deborah blow kisses to their daughter. Once Lily’s bed clears the metal doors, a tall nurse locks them from the inside. When she turns around, Lily can see it’s Lucie. She immediately puts her finger up to her lips. This would be the last thing Lily would remember about the birth.


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Triple Digit TOC by K.M. Sheridan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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