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"Prenatal Check-Up, Part One"

Posted on Mon Feb 29th, 2016 @ 7:26pm by Lieutenant JG Lydia Whitlock M.D., J.D. & Ensign Charity Prince

Mission: Mother Base
Location: Sickbay, USS Gladiator

Lydia scrolled through the list of names on her computer terminal and was surprised to see one name in particular. She was reviewing the list of people who needed a physical or some sort of medical follow-up because she wanted to get as many of these done before the upcoming mission. Seeing Charity Prince's name, Whitlock was reminded of the very brief but unusual exchange the two had had concerning Charity's pregnancy. The ACMO remembered at the time thinking Prince seemed a bit reluctant to discuss it, which was understandable given the public gathering, but still, Lydia remembered feeling some curiosity and mild concern.

Perhaps now was as good a time as any to reach out. She sent Charity a text asking her to come by as soon as she could.

Charity, of course, took that to mean immediately. She requested permission to answer the doctor's request right away and since there was really nothing happening on the bridge, permission was granted.

She hurried to Sick Bay and once there, found Doctor Whitlock, whom she had met exactly once. "Ensign Prince reportin' as ordered," she said.

"That was fast," Lydia replied with a warm smile. "I promise you're not in trouble with medical. I just happened to see you were due for a prenatal exam. Would you mind if I took care of you? I'll understand if you'd prefer someone who knows you better and has been here, but if you don't mind, I'd be happy to see to you."

"Oh, yeah, that'd be fine," said Charity, grinning. "I'm sure you've read me files an' all. An' anyway, I'd love to see how the baby is doin'."

"Great," Lydia replied, beginning to think she'd misread Charity before. She was being anything but mysterious about her pregnancy now. She gestured for Charity to follow her to a private exam room, just so they could talk more easily.

When they arrived, Whitlock said, "I was hoping before you laid down for the exam proper, I could ask you some routine health questions. Since I'm new here, I want to make sure I understand your medical history as it relates to the pregnancy and what your needs are going forward."

"Absolutely," said Charity. "Fire away."

Lydia pulled out a PADD containing Charity's medical records. Some things she just wanted to verify while others she would update after she conducted the exam. "So as I understand it, you and the baby's father are genetically compatible, so we don't have to worry about specific race or species complications, yes?"

"There shouldn't be," Charity replied. "We're both human. And I even fink we 'ave the same blood type."

Whitlock nodded as she scrolled through the PADD with Prince's medical information. "Yes, I see that here. That certainly decreases the risk for complications. I see here you were treated for being severely B12 deficient. Have you experienced any other unusual symptoms since your last check up?"

"No, everything seems to be okay," Charity answered. "Still tempted to distrust people, but it's gettin' better. Less every day, you know."

"Distrust people?" Lydia asked. "You mean as a consequence of the B12 deficiency psychosis?"

"Yeah," said Charity. "At least now I don' think they're tryin' ta steel my baby. Now it's more like, I jus' wanna double check wot they jus' said about the proximity of a certain star, ya know?"

Lydia nodded. She was curious to investigate more but had to remind herself to focus on Charity's prenatal medical needs. To delve further into her paranoia, which while unusual, was not interfering in her work like before, would be an unnecessary detour. Whitlock pulled out her tricorder. "Your B12 levels are good now, but I'll take a blood sample before you leave just to establish your averages. How are you sleeping and eating?"

"I'm eatin' everything in sight!" said Charity. "Sometimes I worry that I'm eatin' too much. I'm sleepin' all right, but she wants to do summersaults as soon as I lie down. It makes things a bit difficult."

Lydia nodded in sympathy. "We can get you some extra and special pillows to help you get more comfortable," Whitlock offered, "but it's a good sign she's active," she said with a grin. "Your weight is within normal parameters and your blood pressure's good. One thing I did want to ask is how you're doing emotionally? I know pregnancy can be stressful on its own and you're working too, so social support is important."

"I'm doin' all right," said Charity. It was true that she didn't really have any real friends anymore. All her fellow Cadets had gone on to different ships and she didn't really feel like she fit in with the senior staff because she was so much younger than the rest of them, and as she was a member of the senior staff, she felt awkward around the junior officers. Still, alone didn't always equal lonely. She was all right.

Whitlock wasn't sure if Charity was being purposely vague to avoid talking about it or if she was truly just a woman a few words. In either case, Lydia knew it was better not to press and instead decided to offer her options. "I just want you to know my door is always open if you want to talk. We could even meet in the mess some time if you found yourself needing a break and a friendly ear. I know I don't need to tell you, the further you move along, you'll be dealing with some more discomfort, can be difficult to manage on top of work."

"I fink I'd like that," said Charity with a slight grin. "Don' get a lot of socializin' to tell the truth."

"I think we've gotten the majority of the preliminaries out of the way," Lydia said with a smile. "If you'll just lay back on the bio bed, I'd like to take a closer look at you and the baby."

Charity obilged by lying down. At first, her arms were held protectively over her stomach, then she realized that the doctor would want them out of the way, so she moved them to her sides. "I've never been able to see me stomach when lyin' down before," she said. "It's a bit unnerving."

"Just wait until you're further along," Lydia replied good-naturedly. As she said so, she gently palpated Charity's abdomen, feeling the position of the baby and assessing for tenderness or abnormalities. "Have you thought about preferences for your birth plan? It's never too late to start thinking about it."

TBC...

 

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