“Well, I’m ready if the baby needs to be delivered today,” Jennifer said nervously.
Evelyn took her hand and felt Jennifer’s fingers tremble in hers. “I do this all the time. We’ll check on the baby, and if he or she is doing well we’ll try to keep him or her in there as long as we can. But I do plan on delivering your baby at thirty-five weeks. That’s my current choice. So week thirty-four we’ll get you to Sitka, yes? You can wait it out in the hospital and then I’ll come and perform a C-section.”
“It has to be a C-section?” Jennifer asked with trepidation.
“Your baby is measuring very small, and I’m not sure it would survive the trauma of a vaginal birth. It’s for the best, and I promise you it’s not as bad as it seems.”
Joe pushed the chair, following Evelyn through the hospital.
She could tell that Jennifer was nervous, and couldn’t even begin to imagine what she was going through. Over a year ago Jennifer had lost a baby, quite far along, and now this.
Evelyn was going to do everything in her power to make sure this baby lived. As she did with all her patients.
“How long do we have to stay in Juneau?” Jennifer asked as they rode the elevator up to the obstetrical floor.
“Only a couple of days,” Evelyn said. “We just want to make sure that you don’t go into preterm labor. I’m sorry—this must be a hit to your business, Joe.”
“Nah, Dad is covering for me.”
“This is our room. Jennifer, there’s a hospital gown. Change into it and I’ll come back in a few minutes. This will be over before you know it, and then we’ll get you into a hospital room and get you fed.”
Jennifer nodded and Evelyn shut the door to give them privacy.
As she headed to the next room to get the chart she saw Dr. Pearson headed towards her. He had a scowl on his face.
She was secretly pleased he was so put out. He was a dumb-ass and needed to be taken down a notch. She was annoyed that he was headed in her direction, though.
At least she knew how to deal with arrogant guys like him.
“Ah, Dr. Pearson. How can I help you this fine morning?” Evelyn asked sweetly, and crossed her arms to hold her ground.
“Dr. Saunders—I thought you might be a bit more gracious, given that I run this department. Your behavior last night—”
“Was justified,” Evelyn snapped, cutting him off.
“And how do you figure that?” Mark growled under his breath.
“Christina. You were supposed to turn her baby the day I arrived, but you decided you wanted to head back to Juneau early. Thanks for leaving the apartment like a pigsty, by the way. I really appreciated that.”
“I had more pressing matters to attend to!”
“You were supposed to wait for me and give me at least some information about the patients.”
“Is that what you’re bitter about? Because I didn’t stick around and clean an apartment? You were late. I had to catch the last ferry from Hoonah.”
“No, I couldn’t really care less about the apartment, or the fact you’re a slob. What I care about is the fact you didn’t turn Christina’s baby and a day later she went into labor. I had to deliver a frank breech in a clinic. Not in a hospital—in a clinic.”
“She had time. It was her first, and the baby would’ve turned on its own.”
“She was thirty-eight weeks. That’s not a premature infant. That’s almost full term.”
“I couldn’t have known she would go into labor early. It was her first,” Mark snapped.
“That doesn’t matter. It should’ve been done when you said you were going to do it. I delivered a frank breech and had a uterine tear. Thankfully both of them survived.”
To give him credit Mark did look relieved about that fact. At least he wasn’t a totally heartless jerk.
“Well, I’m glad—but the way you brought it up last night was totally unprofessional. That’s not how we handle things around here.”
“Alaska is no different from any other hospital I’ve worked in.”
Mark rolled his eyes. “Please. Alaska is not the same as the rest of the country. And Wolf’s Harbor is small town—completely backward. I’m surprised you’re even bothering with those people…but then again the way you and Derek were making eyes at each other last night I maybe get why you’re bothering so much.”
The urge to reach out and slap Dr. Pearson was strong, but she kept it in check. Still, she was worried that he’d seen something. What had Derek seen? Maybe Derek thought she was giving him a signal.