Chapter 10 -The Day the Rabbit Died

"Ugh...this is getting old," Margaret told Doris on the phone. "I've thrown up every morning this week. And I can't seem to muster up any more energy. I'm just so tired all the time. I don't know what's wrong with me."

"Margaret! Look at us! We keep overlooking the obvious! I think it's safe for you to come back to work. I don't think you have anything those babies are going to catch!" laughed Doris. "Margaret, dear, how long has it been since it was that time of the month?"

Margaret thought for a moment, "I haven't really paid attention. Now that you mention it I don't think it's been that time for at least two months."

"Look it's Saturday morning. So you take the weekend off and I'll see you Monday. Meanwhile why don't you have a pregnancy test done. I'm betting that father in law of yours would be happy to oblige you with one."

Margaret hung up the phone. She was suddenly in a daze. She went down to the kitchen to get something to drink. Perhaps some orange juice would help settle her stomach, she thought. Coffee just hadn't tasted very good to her the past few weeks.

She sat and looked out the kitchen window...she could see the ocean in the distance. The sun was just coming up and was reflecting on the water. She'd never get tired of that site she thought.

Hawkeye hadn't come home last night. He'd had a difficult night in surgery. There had been a bad accident involving a group of teenagers.

"Mind if I join you?"

She jumped and turned to see Daniel coming into the kitchen in his robe and slippers.

"Of course, Dad," she smiled, patting the seat beside her.

"I couldn't help but overhear your conversation just now. I've noticed that you haven't been feeling well. Your symptoms sound strangely familiar to me and I would think as an obstetrical nurse they would sound familiar to you, too," he smiled.

"I guess I just never stopped to think...I mean...we've been so busy lately...we haven't been married that long...seven months...I just..."

"That's long enough," he said with a grin. "Why don't you and I take a little trip to the clinic and check it out?"

"Colonel, Margaret may have a little problem," said Hawkeye, leaning on the colonel's desk.

"I'm pregnant," Margaret blurted out.

The colonel, who was getting ready to sit in his chair stood back up and said, "Pregnant? Well Zippity Doo Dah!"

"I used 'wonderful' and 'miracle ,'" said Hawkeye with a smile.

"Margaret, there's a phone call for you," said Doris, rousing Margaret from her thoughts. "You may take it at the desk."

Margaret handed the baby she'd been feeding to Doris. He'd fallen asleep and she hated to disturb him.

"Ah come to Grandma Doris, you little sweetheart," crooned Doris.

Margaret hurried down the hall hoping it was her father in law with news.

"Hello, this is Nurse Pierce."

"And this is Dr. Pierce...Senior. So Margaret, how are you feeling? Better I hope..."

"Dad! Would you cut the chit chat!" cried Margaret.

The nurse who was sitting at the desk was startled by the outcry. Margaret moved away from the desk as far as the cord would allow and lowered her voice.

"You know you're as bad as your son! Did you get...I mean...what are...am I...?"

Daniel laughed, "I don't know about you, but it looks like I'm going to be a grandfather!"

Margaret sat down and smiled, "I-I'm going to have a baby?"

"I think that's the prerequisite to my being a grandfather."

"Oh...ah..." Margaret giggled and cried at the same time. It took her a few minutes to get words to form.

"Dad, could you do me a favor?" she asked. "Please don't tell Hawkeye. I want to choose just the right time."

"Okay, but don't wait too long. Something like this is hard to keep under wraps and I'm so proud I'm about to bust my buttons!"

Margaret hurried back to the nursery. She burst through the door.

"So nu?" said Doris. "I can tell by that smile that it's good news, yes?"

Margaret nodded her head and hugged the older woman. Doris cupped her hand on Margaret's cheek and said, "Such a pretty mama you're going to make. Take the rest of the day off. I know you want to have just the right setting to tell the new papa."

"You're sure?"

"Sure? Of course I'm sure. Everything is quiet here. No one's in labor. So go!"

It was eleven o'clock in the morning when Margaret got home and called Hawkeye.

"Darling, do you have plans tonight," Margaret tried to sound as nonchalant as she could.

"Let me see, it's Friday. I think I was going to have a beer and watch 'Our Miss Brooks.' Did you have something more exciting in mind?"

Hawkeye was pretty sure what this was leading up to but he didn't want to spoil it for her. Even someone who wasn't a doctor could figure out what was going on with Margaret. It hadn't escaped his notice that throwing up was getting to be a routine 'pastime' for her.

"I was thinking that we could drive to Boston and have a cozy dinner at that little café that Charles took us to; and after that maybe we could go dancing."

"That sounds like a plan, Margaret. I'll try to get out of here at a decent hour if at all possible." Both of them knew that in his line of work plans were often made to be changed.

After hanging up the phone she decided to take a nap and then maybe she'd call her mother at Ft. Dix.

Margaret stretched out on the bed under the feather comforter and smiled. "I'm going to have a baby," she said softly to no one in particular, "Hawkeye's baby."

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