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Just Twelve Hours

Leah Gebber

“I’m giving you twelve hours,” I overhear the consultant tell the registrar, “to investigate the mother’s condition. I’m scheduling the anesthetist for twelve hours’ time to perform a cesarean.” A short non-fiction story in Family First's special "Before the Gates Close" theme section.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Elul 5769

“I’m giving you twelve hours,” I overhear the consultant tell the registrar, “to investigate the mother’s condition. I’m scheduling the anesthetist for twelve hours’ time to perform a cesarean.” He glances at his watch. “That means at three-twenty in the morning.”

My mouth is parched and dry. “Can I please have a drink?”

The midwife shakes her head. “Not now. Just in case they need to operate immediately.”

“You’re scaring me,” I tell her with a half-smile, trying to keep my tone nonchalant, to keep up the façade of calm self-control.

“You’ve got what to fear.”

As I lay there, listening to the abnormal patterns of my baby’s heartbeat on the monitor, seeing my own blood pressure readings soar, I have no idea what the next twelve hours will bring.

 

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