Home > Uncategorized > Day Two Hundred and Fifty-six: Delivery Paperwork

Day Two Hundred and Fifty-six: Delivery Paperwork

NOTE: The day count has been adjusted to the actual number of days, including the five slacktastic days I missed in January.

—–

Sharon looked over from her tablet when the doctor cleared his throat a second time. “Oh,” she said. She sniffed, and noticed that the disinfectant smell of the delivery room had changed into something… meaty. “Are we done already?”

One of the nurses – they were all masked and wrapped up, so she couldn’t tell which one – approached the bed, holding a red, wriggling newborn baby boy. His head wobbled for a moment, and then he opened his mouth and started to howl. It was high and wordless and pure, a noise that had been passed down since the first generation of humans emerged.

Sharon winced. “Any way to, y’know, turn it down?” she said.

The nurse carried the baby boy to the incubator that had been prepared and laid it gently on a blanket. When she closed the cover, there was a small hiss as the incubator pressurized, and the sound was cut off mid-wail.

“Thank god for that,” Sharon said, returning to her book.

The doctor cleared his throat again. “Ms. Ramsey,” he said. “There are still some procedures that have to be taken care of, and I’m afraid we have to do them now.” He stripped off his gloves while one of the nurses took his place beyond the curtain they had erected at Sharon’s midsection. Another nurse handed him a tablet. “Could you… could you put that down please?”

With the put-out sigh of a girl ten years her junior, Sharon thumbed the standby button and put the tablet on the bed beside her. “Fine,” she said. “Let’s get this over with.”

The doctor pulled his mask down. He was handsome enough, she supposed, and if she was going to have another baby, she might ask him to donate for her. It’d be expensive, though. She’d passed up buying a house to get the underwear model’s sperm that she used for this one, and even that had been a compromise. The guy had been a redhead, after all.

“There are forms to be filled out before we can let you home with him,” the doctor said. He uncapped the stylus and clicked it. “The boy’s name?”

That’s right. Name. “What’s your name?” she asked.

He blinked and looked to the nurses, who were all busy. “Um. Mitchell,” he said.

Her face scrunched up. “Ew. No.” She brushed a lock of hair out of her eyes and wondered if her boy’s hair would be dark like hers, or if she’d have to start dying the red away. She couldn’t see him really well from where she was lying, but she thought he might have had some red hair. “I dunno,” she said. Then it came to her. “Got it,” she said. “Willard.”

“Willard?” the doctor said, his eyebrows crawling up towards his hairline.

“Yup.” Sharon tapped on the darkened pad. “I was just reading an article about that basketball player, Willard Jennings? He’s kinda hot, so you know…”

The doctor shrugged and entered the name. “Okay,” he said. “Willard Ramsey.” He spent a moment entering his vitals – height, weight, blood test results, the usual – and then said, “I see on your application form that you’re a…” He tapped the screen to hilight the term she’d entered. “A post-hereditary wealth distribution analyst?” He looked over at her, puzzled. Sharon was grinning.

“Yeah,” she said, twisting a lock of hair. “Isn’t that good?”

“I suppose it would be, Ms. Ramsey. But… What exactly is it you do?”

She looked around and beckoned him closer. He leaned in, and she whispered loudly into his ear. “I’m an heiress,” she said. “My father is Nicolas Ramsey? He owns Ramsey Media Worldwide?” She grinned like someone who’d just found the secret sale item at her favorite boutique. “My job is to spend his money.” Sharon winked.

“Um.” The doctor cleared his throat again and tapped a nurse on the shoulder. She looked at the screen, nodded, and left the room.

“Ms. Ramsey,” he said. “Are you aware of the regulations regarding childbirth? Specifically the one that says you must have a reliable source of employment?”

She laughed, and it sounded strung out. Maybe the drugs were finally kicking in the way they were supposed to. “I don’t need a job,” she said. “I just made that stuff up so I could get the approval.” She crooked her fingers into air quotes. “Post-hereditary wealth distribution analyst, right?” That cackle again. “My friend Becky came up with that. She went to law school and everything.”

“That’s all well and good, Ms. Ramsey,” the doctor said. “But you do not, in fact have a job?”

Amusement was slowly fading into annoyance. He father could probably buy this guy if she wanted. Buy him and make him clean her toilets. “Look,” she said. “I got the approval. I got the sperm up in there, and I got the baby.” She put her hands behind her head, and noticed how his eyes flickered to her chest for the briefest moment. Never failed. “So why don’t we just get on with this, give me the kid, and I can be out of here.”

Two women came into the delivery room and stood in the doorway. They were dressed in the same scrubs as everyone else, but their expressions were hard. Not that constantly worried yet capable look that the nurses always had, as though they were trying to juggle a dozen different thoughts at once. These women had exactly one thing to do, and their faces said that they knew exactly what it was. The doctor looked over his shoulder.

“Who are they?” Sharon asked.

The doctor reached out to her, like he was trying to comfort her, but Sharon would have none of it. She pulled away from his touch. “No,” she said. She didn’t like the two women. She couldn’t say why, but something about them set her teeth on edge. “Who are they? Why are they here?”

“Ms. Ramsey,” the doctor said, “the laws are very clear on this subject. And not only do you not have a job, but you’ve perjured yourself on a federal document.” His expression of worry never changed, but she suspected he wanted to smile. His voice was too nice. “I’m afraid we have to keep the boy. He’ll be reassigned to a state facility.”

“No!” Sharon yelled. She tried to get up, but everything below her waist was dead, and the best she could do was twist her arms to lift herself up on the bed. “No,” she yelled again, “you can’t have him!” She tried to crawl, and a couple of the nurses held her back. There was no way she was going to walk anywhere, but there was a real chance of falling on the floor. “I paid for him, dammit, you can’t have him!”

“I’m very sorry,” the doctor said. “But those are the regulations. And we can’t expose the hospital to that kind of liability.” He tapped on the tablet again. “You can apply to reclaim him within six months, or wait a year to have another one.” He turned to the two women in the doorway and nodded. They nodded back, then each took one side of the incubator and they started to roll it out of the room.

Sharon ended up falling out of the bed after all, naked and bloody below the waist but not caring. She screamed that she had a lawyer, that she had a hundred lawyers, and that her father would have them all fired. She got as far as promising to have her boyfriend show up at the hospital with a shotgun before one of the nurses managed to tranquilize her.

When she was quiet, they lifted her back into her bed. The doctor shook his head and closed out the documentation on the tablet. “Maybe next time,” he said.

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