Chapter Two Excerpt: Sea To Shining Sea

I will resume regular blogging about the writing process soon. In the meantime, look for excerpts from Sea To Shining Sea as it progresses into a novel!

Chapter Two

“Madeline is there any chance you could be pregnant?”

The words kept reverberating through her brain as she rested her head against the plush, velour seat of the limo. Bathed in the light of a starry summer sky, complemented by a gleaming half-moon, the Vancouver skyline unfolded magically alongside the glistening harbor, where luxury cruise ships awaited their next transfer of passengers bound for Alaska. But an uncharacteristically indifferent Madeline barely noticed the breathtaking mix of natural wonder and cosmopolitan panache as the luxury car cruised down Marine Drive—too distracted by the unexpected events that had just transpired.

Pregnant! At her age? With her medical history? How could this possibly be? Admittedly, the female problems of her youth and early adulthood had long been solved with a simple remedy—natural progesterone—but still, this was the last thing she’d ever anticipated. Although her last visit to the gynecologist just prior to her wedding had affirmed her overall good health, Dr. Steyling was quite adamant in her assessment that Madeline’s chances of conceiving and bearing her own child with Ken were slim-to-none.

While disappointed in the news, the bride had taken solace in the reality of her long-anticipated reunion with her first and only love – a fervent desire she’d previously believed had been lost to her forever, in spite of steadfast prayers and undying hope. When those prayers had finally been answered in exactly the way she’d wanted, all Madeline could feel was gratitude. If she was only meant to be a mother-figure to someone else’s children and not her own, she would find complete satisfaction and joy in that role, secure in Ken’s love, respect and fidelity.

As for her husband, his biggest concern was her happiness and well-being; although he’d hoped the window of opportunity would still be open for the two of them to make their own baby, just having her back in his life was an incredible gift in and of itself.

Maddy well-remembered how he’d held her in his arms and comforted her when she’d briefly succumbed to sadness and anger after advising him of the doctor’s prognosis that day. In typical fashion, Ken had been her rock, assuring her that no matter what, their new life together would be everything they’d imagined.

And other than fatigue, she’d had no other symptoms suggestive of pregnancy, although it was quite feasible that, like her mother before her, she’d never experience the nausea, heartburn and other gastrointestinal problems that often plagued other women. Wow! Pregnant at 42—not even ace psychic Anne Claire had seen that one coming!

Suddenly, a former governor came to mind, a remarkably fit and healthy woman who’d experienced the same kind of shock last year when, at age 45 and already the mother of three young teenagers, she’d discovered her fourth child was on the way. A devout Christian, she’d held firm to her faith when doctors determined early on that her offspring would be born with Down syndrome, though she’d recently confessed to a brief moment of weakness in a speech to a pro-life group. Although the fleeting thought of terminating the pregnancy had flashed through her head, the governor remained true to her convictions, eventually giving birth to a “perfectly beautiful” daughter named Annabelle.

Maddy well remembered listening to Anna Hardin’s interview on Talon Grant’s show soon after the governor had given birth, impressed not only by the woman’s significant record of accomplishment, but also her touching honesty in relating the story of her heart-wrenching “choice”. As the sister of a wonderful older brother with Down’s, Madeline had felt a certain kinship with her, a phenomenon shared even more strongly by her own mother, for whom giving birth to such a child had occurred at the young age of 28.

With a sudden, panicked thought, Maddy shot up in her seat.

“Driver! Can you please take me to a drug store before dropping me off at the Penthouse?”

There was no way she was going to wait for blood test results to come back tomorrow when there was a reliable method of confirming the doctor’s suspicions in a matter of minutes. As her chauffeur nodded his approval and directed the car into the parking lot of a nearby shopping center, she heard her cell phone ring.

Damn!

She’d been so taken aback by her probable diagnosis she’d neglected to call Ken as promised. A firestorm of insecurity overwhelmed her as she envisioned his potential reaction to the news. Here they were, just six months into their marriage, facing formidable financial pressures, an impending implosion of a lucrative deal—the procurement of which Ken had dedicated countless hours—due to circumstances beyond his control, and still struggling to win over his existing children. How on earth was he going to handle this latest unforeseen, life-altering development?

And what if, on top of all that, the baby had some sort of disability? Such were the haunting fears that plagued her as she tossed her ringing cell phone into her handbag and numbly entered the through the automated doors of the pharmacy.

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Filed under Professional Experience, Sea To Shining Sea, Water Signs: A Story of Love and Renewal

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