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“Hello, Northside Offices, may I help you?” A young woman answered the phone.
“Um,” my throat felt like it was closing up, “I think I’m p-pregnant.” What a horrible word.
“Okay, would you like to schedule an appointment with one of our obstetricians?”
What in the name of God is any obstetrician?
“Um, is that a pregnancy doctor?” Wow, I must really sound like an idiot.
“Yes, that’s what it is,” she said, condescendingly.
Well sorry I’m not all so familiar with fucking obstetricians.
“Would you like to make an appointment, miss?”
“Okay, what is your name?”
I was so embarrassed; I didn’t want to tell this random woman my name, what if she asked me my age. Oh God. I panicked.
“Nadine McBride,” I spit out.
“Ah yes, Nadine McBride, I see your name right here. Are you free on Friday, August 2nd at 3pm?”
“Mhm.” My sister had been a regular here, I suppose.
“Okay then, we will look forward to seeing you then!” She hung up cheerfully.
Holy shit, what did I just get myself into?
The day of the appointment I tiptoed into Nadine’s room. She was asleep, seeing as that it was only 1pm. She slept with a sneering grin on her face. It made me want to punch her in the face. Although I would have to restrain from doing that, I needed a favor from her today.
“Nadine,” I whispered.
She didn’t hear me.
“Nadine, wake up,” I said louder.
I took her by the shoulders and shook her with blunt force.
I grabbed a can of seltzer water off of her dresser and poured it all over her face.
“Ahhhh!” She shot out of her bed, “what the fuck?”
“Will you calm down, I just wanted to see your reaction,” I mimicked her response from the pregnancy test incident.
She glared at me, “what do you want?”
“I need you to do something for me.”
She wiped her eyes, “yeah, what?”
“I made an appointment at the doctors and I need you to drive me there.”
“What makes you think that I want to do anything for you as of right now?”
“Well if you decide to not take me, I won’t hesitate on telling mom, and if she already knows, dad about your second abortion.” I totally had the power and she knew it.
“Fine, you little weasel,” she agreed, angrily.
“Good, I’m glad you see it my way,” I smiled, evilly.
Blackmailing sure is fun.
Nadine stopped the car at Northside. I stared out the window wearily.
“Well, I’ll come back in fifteen minutes, okay?” Nadine said, softly.
“Uh huh,” I replied.
“You okay?” She grabbed my chin and turned my face towards her.
The reflection of my face in her sunglasses looked fat. I yanked my face out of her grip.
“Yeah,” I opened the door and got out of the car.
The doors of the building were exceedingly large and heavy. My hands slipped while opening them because they were so sweaty. I walked up to the front desk. A skinny pale woman was sitting there with a phone rested in between her ear and her shoulder. She was typing on a computer while talking. She held her finger up and motioned for me to wait. Yeah I noticed she was busy, she didn’t have to show me.
She hung up the phone and looked me up and down.
“May I help you?” She asked, dryly.
“Yeah, I’m um here for an appointment with an obstetrician.” Wow, I really should’ve learned the name of the one I was here to see.
“Which one?” She widened her green eyes.
“I’m not really sure,” I smiled nervously; maybe I could win her over with my childlike innocence.
“Ugh, what’s your name?” She waited to type into her computer.
“Lil—,” I stopped, remembering that I lied about my name, “Nadine McBride.”
“Okay,” she typed my name in, “you are here to see Doctor Lechase, because your regular obstetrician, Doctor Wilburn, is on vacation, Nadine.”
Thank God, now I wouldn’t have to explain to Dr. Wilburn why I wasn’t Nadine McBride.
I stood there silently waiting for her to tell me where to go.
“Are you all right, Miss McBride?” She wondered why I hadn’t left.
“Yeah, just um, do you know where I go for that?”
She sighed, “to the third floor and it’s the room on your first right.”
“Thanks.” I giggled, nervously.
I took the elevator and reached the third floor. The evil receptionist was accurate; there the room was the first on the right. The door had multiple doctors’ names written on it. One of them was Dr. Maureen Lechase.
I opened the wooden door and walked inside to the small office. About 5 women and their significant others were already sitting inside of the waiting room. I walked up to the glass window and waited to be acknowledged by one of the receptionists. Finally a fat woman with curly gray hair looked up at me.
“Hello, I’m um here to see Dr. Lechase.”
“Your name?” she asked with her yellow teeth gleaming at me.
“Nadine McBride.” Well, I got it right that time.
“Have you ever been here before?”
“No.” Nadine had actually been here many times before, I probably should have said yes. I mean, hell she had a regular obstetrician on call for her.
“Okay well then you need to fill out this informational sheet.” She handed me a clipboard and a pen.
“Okay.” Oh God. What if they called my parents after seeing my information?
I walked over and sat down in the nearest open seat. I looked down uncertainly at the paper. I wrote down Nadine’s full name. It asked me if I was pregnant. I sadly checked yes. It asked me how far along. How the Hell was I supposed to know? I wrote uncertain. Oh no, my date of birth. I was so ashamed to have to write October 21st, 1992. 15 years old and pregnant, who knows how many people would see it and laugh at me. I decided to write down Nadine’s birthday since I was stuck in a web of lies already. I had no idea how many illnesses were in my family. Alcoholism? Was that even a sickness? I checked none. My insurance company? Um, I knew that my dad’s was Excelus. I had no idea what my dad’s insurance number was. What if they called him to find out? I could feel my underarms tingling with sweat.
A large black nurse walked into the waiting room and checked her clipboard.
“Nadine McBride?” She looked around.
I put up my hand in the air. What the hell was I doing? Who raises their hand like a small school child?
“Come with me,” she smiled, calmly.
The entire waiting room was staring at me. I could just hear them whispering to their husbands “She’s so young, I bet she’s only 15, why is she here?” “I bet she got raped.” and “I bet she didn’t even use protection, what a stupid girl.” I put my head down and handed the nurse my information sheet.
“Hello Nadine, my name is Nurse Monique,” she said, warmly.
I immediately felt comfortable with her as she walked me into an examination room.
“Hi,” I sat down on the plastic covered bed.
“Now, I see you’re here to confirm your pregnancy?”
“Yeah,” I felt my cheeks burn up.
“You don’t know how far along you are?” Monique looked at my sheet.
I shook my head back and forth.
“That’s just fine, honey.”
I let out a sigh of relief.
“Are you experiencing any pains anywhere?” She asked.
“Any problems going to the bathroom?”
I widened my eyes. “Uh, not that I can recall.”
She marked down on her clipboard. “Okay sugar, you will need to put this on for your examination.”
Nurse Monique handed me a thin blue dress.
I wasn’t pleased.
“Just this, nothing else on?” I questioned.
Monique laughed, “yes baby, just that.”
Monique walked over to the door and turned around to face me before she left.
“Dr. Lechase will be in to see you in a little while, just relax honey everything will be just fine.” She walked out smiling warmly.
Something told me she was wrong.
I slipped into the little dress Monique had given me. I was instantly freezing as I sat back on the bed. I held my hands in my lap and looked around the room. It was white and there were all kinds of creams, machines and pictures of uteri around me. I felt sick. I wanted to leave. I saw that there was a pamphlet next to the bed titled ‘You and your fetus’. I opened it and flipped to a page with a cartoon of a baby in the womb. It looked pretty big. It was curled up and had the cord attached to its bellybutton. I was scared to imagine my baby being that big inside of me. I closed the pamphlet and threw it on my pile of clothes. There was knocking at the door.
I took a deep breath as a tall thin woman entered. She had red short hair, which was pulled back into a clip. She was dressed in a white coat and wore glasses with very large lenses. She looked kind of pleasant.
“Hello, Nadine my name is Dr. Lechase.” She grabbed a pair of latex gloves and pulled them onto her hands. I shuttered to think where they would be going afterwards.
Dr. Lechase leafed through the information Monique has jotted down.
“Okay Nadine, well I see here that you are pregnant, but don’t know how far along.”
I nodded slightly.
“Well, let’s take a look see and find out, I’ll need you to lay back and we will take a look at your vagina, and then do an ultrasound, okay?”
Don’t say that word, it’s nasty. Vagina, not ultrasound.
I shakily inched myself down onto the bed and laid my head down onto the pillow.
Dr. Lechase bent down, to examine me. Then looked back up at me with her eyebrows raised
“Nadine, I’m going to need you to put your feet up on the stirrups,” she told me.
I felt like an idiot. I put my feet up on the cold metal rungs. I hadn’t shaved my legs in weeks, maybe months; I quivered at the thought of how they looked.
“And scoot up, please.”
Ah, lay off me lady.
I rested my hands on my stomach as I stared at the ceiling and avoided the feeling of Dr. Lechase’s gloves on me. The tiles had little bumps on them and looked fairly thin. I wished there was some music playing, something soft to calm my nerves.
Dr. Lechase popped back up and took off her gloves carefully, then threw them away.
“Everything looks good down there.” She smiled.
She creped me out. Good down there? Yeah I’m sure you like that stuff, you pervert.
“Now, I’m going to do the ultrasound, okay?” Dr. Lechase headed over to the computer-looking machine. “Usually an ultrasound technician does the ultrasound, but coincidentally I am certified as both a doctor and an ultrasound technician.”
I really didn’t care who was going to do the deed, just as long as it got done.
She grabbed at bottle of gel. Shit. I knew that that crap was coming.
“Roll up your dressing, please.” She waited for me, “and this is going to feel awfully cold, okay?”
She squirted it on me. Yeah, it sure was cold. Next Dr. Lechase grabbed that odd little roller that is attached to the ultrasound machine and set it in the gel. Gross, I bet they didn’t even clean them between patients. She turned on the machine and moved the roller across my belly.
“Just looking for a heartbeat, here,” she concentrated on the screen.
I prayed to God, that she wouldn’t find a heartbeat and that this was all a horrible misunderstanding.
Then, I heard it, that wretched sound of a muffled heartbeat. My heart sank. This was it. I was really pregnant. No more denying it, the truth was written on the screen.
“Ah, do you here that?” Dr. Lechase asked.
“Uh huh,” I mumbled through tears.
“It’s okay; I know this can get a little emotional,”
Only if she knew the real reason why I was crying. Ha, she’d probably kick me out of her office.
“It sounds nice and strong, good rhythm,” she smiled.
“How old is it?” I asked, coldly.
“Well by the size of the fetus, I would guess and say about 9 or 10 weeks old.”
She was right, that was about the time of the party. About 2 and a half months ago. I turned away from the screen; I couldn’t take the sight of what was growing inside me anymore.
“Nadine, turn around and I’ll show you what your baby looks like.” Dr. Lechase tapped my shoulder.
I sniffled and turned my head towards the screen.
“Right here,” she pointed.
All I could see was a small gray bunch of lines. The lines were moving sort of.
“Here is the spine,” she moved her finger.
“Wow, it really looks like a small backbone,” I was surprised.
“Ha,” she giggled, “It sure does.”
“Do you know if it’s a girl or a boy?” I asked her.
“Not yet, we usually cannot determine that until about the 20th week, so you still got about 2 months until then.”
I sighed; I just realized that I would be pregnant with this baby for nine months. And in nine months I would grow larger and larger. Soon everyone would notice. I mean I was going back to school in a month.
“When will I start to, you know, show?” I showed Dr. Lechase what I meant by raising my hands above my stomach.
“Well, every woman is different, but usually someone starts to noticeably show around the 16th week.” She replied.
Phew, I still had a little less than 2 months until I really needed to start hiding the bump. Dr. Lechase turned off the machine and gave me a couple paper towels to wipe off my stomach. I sat up and grabbed my clothing. Dr. Lechase left the room for me to change. When I was back in my normal clothing, she re-entered the room.
“Well Nadine, your baby looks very healthy, as of now. So just keep eating well and getting plenty of sleep and you should be just fine. It was nice meeting you and I will look forward to seeing you, in a month or so.” She shook my hand. “Nurse Monique will be back soon to take some blood.”
“Thanks.” I smiled at her.
Dr. Lechase left the room. Nurse Monique reentered with a tray of needles and cotton balls.
“Was it bad?” She inquired.
“Eh, not as bad as I thought,” I replied.
“See, I told you.”
Monique dabbed my arm with the cotton ball and then stuck the needle into the same spot. I cringed and looked away; I hated seeing the blood come out.
“All done,” Monique chimed.
Nurse Monique turned to reposition everything on the tray.
“Are you?” I heard Monique mumble, inaudibly.
“What?” I asked.
“Are you keeping the baby, honey?”
“Um,” my voice cracked, “I don’t, I mean I haven’t really thought about it.”
“I know, honey, but it’s time to start thinking about adoption, we both know you’re too young to be a mama.”
I felt violated, “I have a while to think about it thank you, and who even says I’m going to choose adoption?”
“I’m just saying choose life over death, it’s the only way to go.”
How dare this woman I didn’t even know tell me what to do, I pulled down my sleeve and hopped off the examination table. “Thanks for the lecture Monique; I’ll do what I want.”
I opened the door fiercely and walked out.
“Choose life!” I heard Monique call to me in the distance.
What a fanatical woman, she needed to be locked up so no one would have to hear her nasty lectures on the bible. Stupid bitch, that Monique. If I wanted to hear a lecture about Jesus I would’ve gone to my father.
As I left the situation with Monique, it occurred to me that I would need to pay and schedule another appointment. I didn’t have any money and I was positive Nadine didn’t either. I walked up to the front desk and the fat receptionist once again met me with her yellow teeth.
“Hi,” I stuttered, “I need to um, make a new time to come back.”
“Okay, is September 5th at 4 pm alright with you?” She croaked.
“Okay, have a good day” She looked around me, at the next person.
“Um,” I stopped her, “don’t I have to pay?”
“Well actually, looks like we already have your information from the last time you were here and we just put it on your insurance, is that alright Miss. McBride?”
“Oh, yeah,” Thank God she was such a slut, or I would’ve had to make up some gay excuse to why I didn’t have the co-pay. I hoped they didn’t realize that I told them I had never come here before, when it was so obvious that “Nadine” had.
I walked out of Northside Offices and spotted Nadine’s beige Saab. I walked over to it and opened the door.
“God Dammit, took you long enough,” Nadine grunted.
I sat down, “sorry.”
“So—,” she waited.
“Yeah, I’m pregnant.” I finally said it without stuttering; it was a sad reality that I couldn’t deny anymore.
“Sorry, Lily,” she patted my thigh, “are you gonna get rid of it?”
“I want to, but I feel bad for it, I don’t know,” I looked out the window.
“Oh my God Lily, you aren’t thinking of keeping this kid, are you?”
“I don’t know, maybe adoption,” I shrugged.
“Look at me,” she pulled my face over, why did she keep doing that? “Do not get attached, do you hear me? It only leads to bad choices, just pretend it doesn’t exist and get an abortion, it’s really not even a baby right now, and it’s like the size of a pea.”
“Calm down,” I yanked my face out of her grip, “I didn’t say I was keeping it.”
“Well you better not, look I’ll call the clinic and make you an appointment, okay?” She started up the car’s engine.
“What the hell is your rush, Nadine, why do you care?”
She sighed, “look Lily, I just don’t want you to throw your life away, you’re a smart girl with a pretty good future ahead of you, and if you start feeling sorry for this baby, you’ll end up keeping it and ruining your life forever in some nasty trailer park.”
I was shocked that mature words had just come out of Nadine’s mouth; she really did care about me. I smiled slightly, maybe she was right, and maybe I was becoming slightly attached. I was stressed now, and once this pea was out of me I wouldn’t have to be anymore. Plus the thought of living in a trailer park with a small child made me gag.
“Ok, I’ll do it,” I stated.
“Good,” Nadine breathed out.
Thank you for Nadine’s history and the knowledge gained from it.