*Thanku for previous comments ^_^ I hope this is okay ://*
Rocking Ava in his arms he stared over at Nicki, she was watching enviously. He felt bad that she wasn't able to even hold her own child yet, but once Lila returned and changed her dressing she could hold her for as long as she wanted.
"She'll be back soon babe."
"I know, I just feel like I haven't even had chance to bond with her or anything. It's been two days since she was born and the most I've done is touched her hand." He could see her fighting her emotions, which he honestly couldn't blame. Moving back away from the window he took a seat with the bundle in his arms. She'd just been fed and was now sleeping in her Father's embrace. Both of them had their attention pulled back to the door as Lila strolled in. Nicki was still in considerable pain but they were trying to monitor her and keep on top of it, for her sake.
"Afternoon everyone. How's the little one holdin' up?" She smiled sweetly and peered down over Safaree's shoulder, looking at the peaceful baby. "She's got a pair of lungs on her hasn't she?" They all laughed at the reference to Ava's screams. She was loud when she wanted to be heard.
"Yeah, I'm surprised Nicki didn't even wake up when she was fussin' before."
"Well, let's pump you up with some sort of elephant tranquilliser and see if you wake up when she starts crying." The room fell awkwardly silent as Lila pulled the notes from the end of Nicki's bed. Safaree let the jab go over his head, putting it down to how tired his wife was and the frustration she was feeling.
"Well, everythin's lookin' fine so far, I'm just gonna change your dressin' and then we'll se if we can get Ava bonding with her Mommy." Scribbling down some extra notes she slid the clipboard back in its original place and sanitised her hands. Understandably Nicki was feeling nervous, this was the first time she'd be having her dressing changed whilst she wasn't knocked out by some super drug. She hadn't even seen the permanent damage done to her abdomen yet.
"Safaree could you please find out when Drake's bringin' the kids in?" She didn't look at him as she asked, forcing Lila to look to him for the answer.
"Sure, I'll get on it as soon as Lila's finished changi-"
"Could you just do it now, please?"
"But I wanna be here for you when your dressin' is changed."
"I don't want you in here. Please, just go call Drake or my Mom or something?" Feeling the atmosphere becoming more tense Lila stepped away to sort out some new bandaging over on one of the portable trolleys whilst Safaree just looked at his wife in disbelief. There was no way she wanted him to see what she looked like under the white bandages, she didn't even want to look herself.
"You don't mean that."
"Yes, I do." Keeping up with her lack of eye contact she stared down at her hands as he gently stood and placed Ava back in her bassinet before walking out slowly. He knew she was hurting but blaming him wasn't the way to deal with it, even with everything she'd been through there was no excuse for that and certainly no need for it. He did as she asked though, dialling for Mama Carol as soon as he was seated in the canteen area. If anyone could speak some sense into Nic right now, it was her Mother.
Sitting in the car park Drake found himself becoming overly attached to this little lifestyle he was experiencing. He smiled through the rear-view mirror at Alia's smile, her little teeth showing through as she kicked her feet about in her car seat. He knew he was early to pick Jay up from school but he was passing by anyway and going all the way back to the house seemed stupid. Drumming his fingers against the steering wheel his let his eyes scan the playground to the side of him, only to feel his smile fade. All the kids were playing cheerfully, running around and swinging off of play equipment as they all seemed to join in together but seeing the small figure sat alone with his blue truck pulled at his heart-strings. It was Jay. He continued to watch him until the bell sounded and their lunch break was over, he was collecting him early so that they could go see Nicki. As soon as he clocked the time he went inside to collect him.
"You have a good day?"
"No? Why not?" He asked worriedly as he opened the car door for the young boy. Only receiving a shrug he frowned and fastened him into the seat. "Well, we're gonna go see Mommy now."
"Yeah so lemme see that smile I know she'll wanna see." He grinned at him and got one in return, hearing that he was going to see his Mom had cheered him up considerably. Thank God.
Back in the private hospital room Nicki was waiting anxiously as Lila delicately pulled the dressing off. She was doing it slowly but only to reduce the risk of disturbing her healing wound.
"I know I already explained this to you Nicki but due to circumstances the surgeons weren't able to access you internally using the horizontal cut. Usually that's the way a hysterectomy is performed but in some cases they've got no choice but to cut vertically."
"So, the scar will just be vertical instead of horizontal?"
"Well yes but horizontal cuts are on the bikini line, very easily hidden but with a vertical scar-"
"I'll never be able to hide it unless I'm fully clothed." She finished the sentence solemnly and looked down. Lila didn't want to upset her anymore than she already was and decided to concentrate on removing the bandage. Nicki couldn't look, she felt the tape pull away from her skin as the air hit her exposed stomach but she couldn't bring herself to look down.
"Alright Nicki, the dressing's off if you want to take a quick peek?"
"I can't." She immediately brought her hand to her face as the tears started to collect on her bottom lid.
"Hey, it's okay." Lila held Nicki's free hand comfortingly. "Just take your time, there's no rush." With a couple of minutes of silence, only her soft sobs could be heard before she shakily looked down. And there it was. The swelling and redness made it look even worse than it actually was but the distinct and ugly stapled cut ran from her belly button down to her pelvic region. She choked up instantly as Lila quickly grabbed a bowl as a precaution.
"Oh my God!" She cried out. "I can't look at it."
"Now, it's still early days but once the swelling and puffiness has gone down the scar will start to heal and soon it'll just look like a little white line." She knew she was lying but at the same time she also knew that as a nurse it was her job to comfort patients.
"That doesn't change what's missing from inside me." She paused tearfully. "Can you please cover it back up? I don't wanna see it." Facing away again she let the tears carry on rolling down her cheeks as Lila sighed defeatedly and proceeded to fix up her new dressing. Once she was finished she lay the sheets back over her body and disposed of everything.
"I'll let Safaree know I'm done on my way past the canteen."
"No, I just want a couple minutes by myself. Please?" Her voice was quiet and raspy.
"Sure, but when I get back up in half an hour here we're gonna try and get you nursing her. I think he should be here for that." She gave her a knowing look and left the room. As her primary nurse she was beginning to get a little worried about her progression.
She went against her orders and took the long route to the canteen, giving her the couple minutes she asked for. Seeing his bowed head resting in his hands at a corner table she made her way over quietly.
"Hm?" He jumped a little as he snapped out of his little snooze.
"Sorry to startle you, I just thought I'd let you know I'm finished changing her dressing. I'm going on a short break but when I get back I'll talk you through how to change the bandages yourself for when you leave to go home and we'll see if Nicki's feeling up to nursing Ava too."
"Thanks for lettin' me know." He nodded gratefully. "That sounds good, how'd she go? Y'know with the dressin'?" She felt so terrible for him being out of the loop like this but she had to try and understand Nicki's reasons. Plus, given her state she was mentally and emotionally all over the place right now.
"It was a little rough actually, I thought it would have gone more smoothly but it'll take time. Give her a chance." She smiled warmly and rested her hand on his shoulder before walking away.
"Oh, Lila wait!" Jogging over to her he came to a halt where she'd stopped.
"Is it okay for our other kids to go in and see her and Ava?"
"Of course, just don't let them be climbing all over her." She gave him one last smile and went on her break, leaving him to make his way back up to see his wife. When he re-entered the room he was alarmed to find Nicki trying to stand up unaided.
"Nicki! The hell are you doing?!" He moved over to her side quickly. "You're not even supposed to be on your feet yet!"
"Well she was crying Safaree, I had to do something!" He ignored her harsh yells as he helped her back into the bed.
"I'll pass her to you, just stay still. I'ont want you to do somethin' to your stitches." Once he was sure she was back in the bed properly he reached into Ava's hospital crib to pick up the fussy baby, cradling her momentarily before he attempted to move her into Nicki's arms. "You comfortable?"
"Yeah." She sniffled slightly as she whispered, finally about to hold her baby properly for the first time. Feeling her little body being placed into her arms she felt so overwhelmed and began to cry. Safaree moved away, letting her absorb the moment since he'd already experienced the moment more than a few times. "Oh my God Safaree. Look at her, she's so perfect." Her eyes flicked over every part of her baby's small frame as she admired her. She felt emotionally drained but she couldn't stop the tears.
"I know, she looks so much like Alia don't you think?" He sat on the edge of the bed next to her before kissing her temple gently.
"Just a lil' chubbier than Lia." She smiled genuinely, still watching their baby's tiny face as she yawned.
"Lila said when she gets back you can try nursin' her if you want?"
"Oh, I don't know Faree. I've only just held her for the first time, what if she won't do it?" The uncertainty, fear and worry present in her voice made him instantly forget how she behaved earlier. He knew this was going to be a long and stressful recovery but he'd be there for her. Just like she was there for him.
"It'll be fine, I promise." Kissing her again he ran his hand over Ava's head. "Oh, Drake messaged me before. He's gon' be here with Jay and Alia soon."
"Aww." She pouted slightly and sniffled as the tears were still burdening her. "I've missed my babies so much."
Out in the parking lot Drake was struggling to secure Alia in his arms at the same time as keeping tabs on where Jay was at.
"Aye, get back here." At the sound of his voice Jay stopped running and looked back at him.
"I'm not going far."
"That don't matter, you gotta stay wit'me. C'mere." He extended his arm out and grabbed Jay's hand as they walked in, getting directions to her room straight away before they climbed in the elevator. He was kind of nervous for some unknown reason and noticing that they'd reached the floor she was on only made it worse.
"Is Mommy still sick?" He peered up at Drake's face waiting of an answer whilst they strolled down the corridor to her room.
"She's not feelin' too good but she's gettin' better, I promise." His eyes kept scanning each room number only for his feet to stop moving once he realised they were at her door.
* It's a lil' short but all my chapters are so, y'know? Lol hope this was alright :// Sorry for any typos too lol there could be a fair few!*