Jared nodded again, not trusting himself to speak at the moment. “Okay, you’re going to put the end of the stethoscope there. Now you'll tighten this screw here and then squeeze the bulb until this gauge is about 160, or about 10 above the last time you heard my last heartbeat. Then you’re going to slowly loosen this screw and let the gauge drop. When you hear the first beat, remember that number, and when the sound stops, remember that number too.  You got it?”
Birthday Roses - Part 3Tia awoke to a flurry of activity within her womb; opening her eyes slowly, she gave her belly a greeting pat.  “I guess I better get used to you waking me up early, huh, baby?” she smiled, stretching languidly.  Rolling over onto her other side, she was startled to find her husband nowhere in sight.  The pillow beside hers was cold and empty.  “Nate?” she called out.  There was no response.
When he woke, he was back in Arthur’s bed. He opened his eyes and glanced around. He wanted his son, the urge to hold him, to see him, was overwhelming. Before he could begin to panic though, his eyes fell on the cradle beside the bed, and he leaned over the side in order to get his first glimpse. All he could see was a tuft of golden hair and a wrinkled little face. He nearly fell off the bed trying to scramble out of it.
It didn’t come but he could hear the doctors and nurses voices take on a note of alarm. He saw Jason’s face, blurry above him, and knew he was urging him to hold on even though he couldn’t hear the words. He felt the doctor’s hands leave his body but before he could be grateful another pair landed on his abdomen, grazing the tip of his bloated penis, and started pushing down.
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