Becky was so extremely pregnant she knew she would just explode. At eight months, she felt like she was an easy fourteen months pregnant, but all the veteran mothers she knew said it always felt like that. And people liked to have more than one kid!?
Sitting in the waiting room, Becky watched all the other expectant mothers glowing happily while fidgeting miserably at the same time. It was weird. They were packed into the clinic like a bunch of birthing cattle, all waiting to see the veterinarian. If he had to, their “vet” would have to pull their calves out, but would rather they came out so he could catch them.
Gross, Becky wished that thought hadn’t come to mind.
Her baby, Ethan, was exceptionally busy. He was kicking and rolling around and seemed to want to use Becky’s bladder as a punching bag. Boys. Even in the womb they were a pain.
“Becky?” the nurse peeked her head out of the door that lead to the exam rooms.
They had to keep the cattle in a pen before taking them to the chute. Wasn’t that how they killed cows? Kept them calm and herded them into a little chute before popping them in the head with an air-gun?
Smiling, Becky pushed herself up from her seat, one hand on her belly and the other on the armrest. Walking had turned into more of a waddle, standing up had turned into reverse push-ups and sneezing had turned into emergency trips to the bathroom. As far as Becky was concerned, pregnancy sucked.
Of course, that might have had something to do with Mike running off and claiming Ethan wasn’t his …
As she entered the exam room, the nurse asked her to take off her clothes. Actually, pregnancy wasn’t the worst part of it all. It was having a creepy old man poke around in her lady parts.
As Becky waited for the doctor, her baby kicked and punched and dove and tumbled. If she didn’t know better, the young lady would think she was having twins, but the ultrasound tests had shown several times that there was only one boy in there and that boy was Ethan. Maybe he was going to be an Olympic athlete or a professional football player.
Or a professional wrestler, but that wouldn’t be so cool.
“Well hello there young lady,” Dr. Erickson said as he entered the room amidst a tumult of kicks and punches on Becky’s bladder.
Tall, thin and gray, Dr. Erickson reminded Becky of her uncle. The one that went to jail.
“So how are we doing?” he asked sitting down.
He liked to say “we”. Maybe it was his way of making her comfortable.
“Ethan is kicking the snot out of me Doc,” she replied uncomfortably.
The doctor nodded and motioned for her to lay down. Becky couldn’t help but think he took the moment to look up her gown.
Feeling her belly, he nodded, “Yep, the little bugger is going to be getting really active,” but then his brow furrowed.
“Something wrong?” Becky asked
“You’re right,” Dr. Erickson said, “He’s really, really active. Let’s check his heart rate.”
Grabbing the sonogram instrument, the doctor quickly started listening for the baby’s heart rate. In no time, both Becky and her doctor could hear the gentle whooshing sounds of Ethan’s heart. It was an oddly comforting sound even if the kicking wasn’t so comforting.
Seemingly satisfied, the doctor moved the instrument around a few times, but abruptly stopped. He was listening intently to the whooshing sounds of Ethan’s heart. His heart rate was higher than before. Moving the instrument, the doctor found his heart rate again. Back to normal.
“Um ..?” Becky started to ask.
The doctor pushed the button on the intercom while setting the sonogram down, “Jen?”
The nurse responded, “Yeah?”
“Get the ultrasound, we need to take a look at this,” the doctor explained.
“Doctor?” Becky asked, “Is my baby okay?”
“Sounds like it,” responded the doctor, sitting down and putting his hands on her belly again. “Both of them.”
“Bo …?” Becky couldn’t even finish the word.
“Yeah,” the doctor looked up at the ceiling as he visualized what he was feeling, “There were two heart beats in there and I’m feeling …”
The nurse wheeled the ultrasound into the room and she and the doctor went to work getting the expectant mother ready. A big dollop of of ice-cold ultrasonic goop and some typing into the machine and the image began to appear on the monitor.
First was Ethan. He was curled up and not moving. Mumbling to himself, Doctor Erickson corrected the view. There were hands on the baby’s throat!
The nurse gasped loudly, covering her mouth and Becky screamed as Doctor Erickson followed the hands. A beast, attached to Becky with a second umbilical cord, was attacking Ethan in her womb! It’s eyes were slitted and sat sideways on its canine face. Its mouth opened side to side and its little fully formed arms ended in little claws.
Screaming, Becky remembered the nightmare. They had come in the night and taken her out of her bed. They had put something inside her. But she had assumed it was just a nightmare.
“Get us to surgery!” Doctor Erickson yelled.
The sonogram zoomed in and the creature turned its head toward them. Blinking, it looked at the doctor and screaming mother through the monitor.