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“Ok Cara, everything’s going to be alright. We’ve given you a local anesthetic so you won’t feel any pain from the waist down. The nurses and I will have your daughter out in just a minute. What I need for you to do is relax and take a deep breath. You’re going to feel some tugging for the next few minutes, but otherwise, this should be a piece of cake.”

Will wasn’t sure he believed his own words though. Even if he got Cara’s baby out, she was still bleeding internally. She’d need exploratory surgery to find out where all the bleeding was coming from. He got ahold of himself when he saw his right hand with the laser scalpel in it begin to shake.

Riker had done several C-sections before, but this one wasn’t sitting quite right with him. Concentration was absolutely key to both the mother and child. Regardless of the anesthetic, Cara was a mess. She was growing more hysterical by the minute, and the nurses were
having a harder time controlling her.

“Please! Get my baby out!”

The nurses were doing their best to keep her calm, but she was squirming. Will kept his cool and looked Cara straight in the eye.

“Cara listen to me, I know that you’re very scared right now, but I need you to stay calm. We are doing everything we can to get your daughter out safely. Now, just lie back and relax. Just keep breathing. There you go, that’s it.”

He watched her for a moment as she lifted her head up, gripping the sides of the surgical bed. Riker could tell she was straining.

“My daughter needs to come out!”

A nurse wiped the sweat away from Cara’s head and tried to help her calm down. But to no avail. Will did his best to keep convincing her of the situation at hand.

“Cara look at me, I don’t want you to push honey. I know that’s what your body is telling you to do is natural, but I don’t want you to push. Here, I’ll tell you what, this is what I’m going to do: I’m going to make an incision in your stomach, and then down into your uterus, I’ll break your water and then we’ll pull your daughter out. It’ll only take me a minute, maybe less.”

But something was telling him to stop what he was doing. Red flags were popping up everywhere in his mind. A nurse by Cara’s feet had wide eyes suddenly and she turned her gaze to Riker.

“Doctor, I think you should take a look at this.”

Will placed the laser scalpel back down on the tray next to the surgical bed and approached the nurse by Cara’s feet.

“You’ve got to be kidding me. She’s completely dilated to 10 centimeters. This baby is going to need to come up for air soon. Get Doctor Sartos in here, we’re going to need a hand with this one.”

Another nurse scurried away as Will and two nurses assessed the situation in front of them. This was going to be a bit difficult. A few minutes later, the same nurse came back with another doctor, but not the one Riker had asked for.

“Sorry Doctor Riker, Doctor Sartos is on vacation with his wife on Risa. But I did find Doctor Crusher for you.”

The redhead smiled at Will and got down to business.

“I gotta hand it to you Will, you find the most difficult case and take it. A lot like me. Now, how’s Cara’s blood pressure?”

A nurse looked at the monitor just behind her.

“Her pressure’s holding for now doctor. Baby’s heart rate is holding steady at 137. But she’s going to need to come out for air quickly.”

Bev nodded her head and looked at Will seriously.

“We’re going to have to move quickly Will, its starting to look like this baby is trying to come out breech and sunny side up. Cara’s already got local and an epidural onboard?”

Will nodded and helped both nurses and Bev. He felt like he was holding his breath as they got the baby out. As soon as he heard the first cry, he let the breath out. But they weren’t out of the dark yet. Cara still needed exploratory surgery. Swallowing he looked to Bev once more.

“I’m going to check on Deanna, can you get Doctor Canton to take over for me?”

Crusher nodded at Riker and waved him off.

“Go Will, but next time you decide to take a surgery, you take it, and finish it. I’ll call Doctor Canton and let him know we need an extra pair of hands in here.”

Will knew that Bev was not one to mess with when she got angry. He often wondered how she did it as he left to change back into his uniform. Taking care of a teenage son and had one more on the way. Riker shook his head. Jack must have his hands full.

After changing into a clean uniform, he made his way out into the private room the emergency team had brought Deanna. His heart was beating wildly in his chest as he entered the room. He pulled up her record on the computer screen above her head. Reading it aloud, he grimaced at her injuries.

“Broken nose, fractured pelvis, broken left foot, lacerated spleen which was removed, and broken cheekbone.”

He sat in a chair by her side, and didn’t leave. It was six hours before she was finally awake. Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, she tried grasping at Will’s hand.

“What happened?”

Will put his index finger to her lips to shush her comfortingly.

“Shh. It’s best of you didn’t talk right now. You’re at Starfleet Medical. There was some sort of explosion in your neighborhood and both your apartment and several others collapsed. You sustained some injuries, but we’ve fixed you up.

You broke your nose, fractured your pelvis, broke your left foot, your spleen was lacerated so we had to remove it, it became inflamed. And you broke your right cheekbone. You can thank Doctor Crusher for her handiwork. She patched you up.”

Deanna got a worried look on her face. But Will knew what she was going to ask before she could open her mouth.

“Your neighbor Cara is doing just fine. She delivered a healthy little girl which she named Hope 6 hours ago and both are doing beautifully. You on the other hand need more rest. We’d like to keep you here for at least a week. You’re going to be sore for a little while, but you’re alive.”

Deanna nodded and gave a faint smile. Alive, that she was. She felt that strange pulling, but this time it was like an electrical shock. She was sure this was a sign that maybe she’d found her true love.

To Be Continued…

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