Kellie and Brad Ch. 06bydrteetho©
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is the sixth chapter of a multi-part story. Please read the first five chapters before this one to understand the whole story. Please enjoy.
There was an extra little gleam in her eye.
Because Kellie knew.
As soon as the flash of insight hit her, as she was finally falling asleep after a long but joyful day that included a second Canadian women's curling championship with her best friends, and inconceivably hot sex with her husband Brad, she immediately knew.
She didn't know why she knew, or how she knew. But she knew, all the same, just as she knew the sky was blue and the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. She never questioned it, she just accepted it, and that was that.
So, when the wind, cold and snow of another harsh Canadian winter started to give way to the cool rains and fresh rebirth of spring, the sickness and bouts of vomiting in the mornings did not surprise Kellie at all. Neither did the soreness or tenderness of her breasts or the battles with fatigue she sometimes waged.
Brad doted on her as much as he could afford to during this time; that and his work duties combined to make him one busy man. 'Bless his heart', she would often think to herself, because he didn't know yet. He would, though, in due time.
Before he, or anyone else for that matter, would know, she thought it prudent to see a specialist to make sure there were no issues and to learn everything she could health-wise about her condition. As a result, one day in early spring she called the town doctor to explain the situation. She was not surprised to hear him say that his ability to run all of the necessary tests was hindered by the limited facilities and equipment the small town's clinic carried. The doctor was kind enough to place a call and pull a couple of favours to ensure that in early May, only a couple of weeks away, she would have an appointment with the specialist who operated in a medium-sized city one hour's drive to the west, and who came highly recommended. Kellie thanked him profusely before hanging up and making plans for the trip to come.
Those plans included asking Sandra to give her a ride to the hospital out of which the specialist worked. Brad needed their vehicle for work, and Kellie did not yet want to reveal her news to him until everything checked out OK. On the day, Kellie thanked Sandra again once she climbed into her car.
"Oh, it's no problem at all," Sandra replied. "I've worked some overtime since we got back so my supervisor promised me a favour in return, so I just called it in for today."
They rode in companionable silence for most of the trip. Kellie read out the directions to her final destination once they reached the outskirts of the city. When Sandra pulled into the parking lot she couldn't help but let an excited and knowing smile cross her face, which Kellie couldn't help but notice.
"So I'm guessing you know why I had to go here today?" she asked her friend.
Sandra nodded. "I've got a pretty good idea, skip."
"I need to ask you a really big favour, Sandra. It's important."
"Of course, Kellie. "
"Please keep this a secret for now. I have no reason to suspect anything is wrong, but I want to be sure. I just don't want to jinx anything. You understand, right?"
"Absolutely. Your secret is safe with me."
Kellie hugged Sandra and they walked in the large brick building together, moving through the town's hospital until they found the clinic they were looking for, at the other end of the health campus. While Sandra sat in the waiting area, Kellie went to the front desk to advise the receptionist of her appointment. After a typically long hospital wait, the specialist was finally ready to receive her.
"Kellie Galenchuk?" she called out to the waiting area.
"Yes, I'm here," Kellie said as she stood up.
"Hi Kellie, I'm Dr. Holland. Please come with me and we'll see what we can see."
Kellie sat in Dr. Holland's office and listened to the litany of tests and procedures that she would need to perform on her, just as she performed them on all her patients. The doctor reassured Kellie whenever her face showed her surprise, nerves, even outright confusion over the nature of the tests, explaining that they were all part of the routine and that due diligence and care had to be taken at each step of the process.
Dr. Holland then answered all Kellie's questions with patience and an impressive depth of knowledge. Kellie understood quickly why the doctor was in such high demand. She felt very much at ease and ready to trust Dr. Holland with her delicate health condition.
Even with that level of trust she soon wished the process wasn't quite as exhaustive as it turned out to be. By the time Dr. Holland was finished with the battery of tests, Kellie felt very much like a human-sized lab rat, poked and prodded more times than she cared to count.
"Phew!" she exclaimed to the doctor once everything was complete. "I'm glad that's done!"
"I appreciate your co-operation," Dr. Holland replied. "I know it must seem overwhelming, and that all these tests are maybe a bit of overkill. But we can't be too careful with this; we have to do everything by the book, as I'm sure you can appreciate."
"I do, I understand completely," Kellie nodded.
Dr. Holland collected the papers on her desk and placed them into the file created for Kellie before closing it and placing it down with a flourish. "I will contact you as soon as I can with the results of all the tests and what else to expect the rest of the way, but for now let me say this. With your athletic, healthy lifestyle and the family health history you've outlined for me, I'm confident that everything will work out just fine!"
Kellie thanked the doctor and went back to the waiting room, where she rescued Sandra from a boredom-induced doze. She thought of the road ahead in the next few months, and speculated on all the possible ways her and Brad's lives would change.
Two weeks to the day, Dr. Holland called Kellie with good news. The doctor wanted to bring Kellie in to discuss all the findings in more detail and to field any additional questions she may have, but she reassured her patient that all was normal and healthy so far.
It was only a few days later that Kellie was able to enlist Sandra's help once again to drive her to the health clinic, this time just to drop her off. Dr. Holland welcomed Kellie into her office relatively quickly this time.
"Before I get too far into the details," the doctor said, "is there perhaps someone you'd like to call over to share in the news?"
With a wide, beaming grin, Kellie took the phone Dr. Holland extended to her and dialled the number, making the call she had wanted to make so badly these last few weeks.
Brad was still hard at work. He was currently poking around the supply cabinet, looking for the materials required to complete his latest repair task, when he heard Russ's voice echoing down the hallway.
"What's up, Russ?"
"Phone's for you. It's Kellie."
Brad briskly jogged the short distance down the hall to Russ's office and plucked the receiver from his hand. Russ pretended to busy himself with something else as he half-listened to Brad's side of the conversation, mentally scolding himself while at the same time letting his curiosity get the best of him.
"Hi Kellie! What's going on?... Oh yeah? What's the news?... Why can't you tell me over the phone?... Oh, OK, no problem, I was just... Wait, you're where?... Is everything OK?... You're sure?... No, it's just a bit of a surprise, I didn't expect to hear you say that's where you are right now... Let me ask Russ... He's already nodding at me, so it shouldn't be a problem... OK, honey, I'll leave as soon as I can... I love you too, see you soon, bye!"
"Everything OK?" Russ asked as Brad ended the call and placed the receiver back on the phone's cradle.
"I think so, Russ. She said she's at the health clinic attached to that new hospital. You know, the one they just built west of here."
"Oh yeah, I've heard of it. She's not having any health problems, is she, Brad?"
"She said no, everything's just fine, but she wouldn't tell me exactly what's going on. Said she wanted to tell me in person."
"If you need to leave now, it's no problem. Your shift's almost over as it is."
"Great, thanks Russ! Not sure how much good I'd be the rest of the day anyway, I'm so damn curious! What kind of secret could she possibly be hiding from me?"
Russ had a fairly good idea what it was, recalling Brad's stories of Kellie's recent bouts of sickness, knowing one of the main reasons they built the new medical campus in the first place, and putting two and two together. He thought if Brad wasn't so wrapped up with keeping up with work and taking care of Kellie at the same time, and that if he wasn't so close to the situation, he'd have figured it out too.
"Well, don't keep her waiting now, get going! I'll see you tomorrow Brad."
"You bet. Thanks again Russ!"
He made the one-hour trip in just under forty-five minutes.
Brad hurriedly parked the truck and dashed to the end of the clinic as Kellie had directed him to. He introduced himself to the receptionist when he arrived.
"Yes, Mr. Galenchuk, your wife is in Dr. Holland's office, you can go right in," the blonde receptionist said with a smile.
He found Dr. Holland's room and knocked on the door. He saw a plump woman of average height, wearing stylish glasses, greying hair pulled back into a ponytail and a white lab coat. "Hello, sir, you must be Brad," she said by way of introduction and extended a hand to him.
"Indeed I am, doc," Brad replied, shaking the doctor's hand quickly and firmly.
"Please do come in, your wife has been anxiously waiting for you."
Kellie hopped up from her seat and flashed an excited grin. Brad returned her smile, and the couple hugged and kissed.
Dr. Holland asked them to sit down, and as they did so, she went right down to business. "Brad, I understand you rushed right here from work and Kellie has told me that you've been busy as of late so I'll give you some context you might not otherwise have. Kellie's first appointment with me was just over a couple of weeks ago..."
Kellie saw the look of shock register on Brad's face. "What?! You never told me about this!" he blurted out.
"Hush, Brad. Let the doctor finish," she admonished him, even though she knew it would be difficult enough for her to do so. She was so eager to share her secret with him now that she was positively giddy.
"As I was saying," Dr. Holland resumed, "that first appointment was to run a full battery of tests and answer any questions Kellie had. This meeting was to follow up with the results, which we did while waiting for you to arrive."
The doctor then removed her glasses and smiled at the couple. "Now then, Kellie, I will let you do the honours."
Kellie glowed as she eyed her husband and held his hands in her lap.
Brad was stunned by this revelation. Not because he was disappointed or angry with the news. Far from it, in fact. He had always envisioned himself raising children someday, especially since meeting and falling in love with Kellie.
He just never expected it to happen now.
His eyes scanned around the room and found the doctor's certificate, making careful note of the letters OB-GYN after her name. It occurred to him that he hadn't done much to inquire as to why Kellie was at this hospital and wanted him to meet her there, nor had he thought to ask her if there was any other reason behind her recent morning sickness and other symptoms, other than simple flu. He was momentarily upset with himself over this lack of insight, and he hoped she didn't feel the same way.
As Brad was piecing together all the clues that he missed along the way, he felt Kellie squeeze his hands firmly in an attempt to break him out of his reverie.
"Brad?" she asked, still smiling but with just a touch of worry in her eyes.
He softly returned her smile and gently kissed the back of her hand. "I... wow, honey... please bear with me, I'm just trying to let this news soak in."
"That's OK. I know I've really surprised you."
"You can say that again!" Brad took a deep breath as he tried to take the edge off his voice to more properly verbalize his thoughts and emotions. "I mean, you... we... god, Kellie, this is really happening, isn't it? We're really gonna have a baby?!"
"Yes! Brad, you're going to be a daddy!"
Tears started to well up in Brad's eyes. He kissed Kellie on the cheek and swept her up into his embrace for a fiercely loving hug.
"I love you, Kellie Galenchuk."
"I love you, Bradley Galenchuk."
Dr. Holland cleared her throat rather theatrically. Brad and Kellie both turned their heads toward her at the same time, both of their faces blushing bright red as they realized how they had temporarily forgotten the presence of the other person in the room.
While the doctor did want to keep some control over this appointment and keep it moving, she was very pleased to see the young married couple have their private (well, almost private) moment of joy. Reactions like this were one of the best and most rewarding parts of her chosen profession.
The doctor reflected on how this scene contrasted to another one that her best friend from med school, whose practice was in the big city, had just described to her yesterday. A pretty but lonely looking blonde woman had wept bitterly over the news that she was pregnant. Dr. Holland's colleague had tried her best to ease the blonde's mind and offer information on support and other community resources to help her deal with her pregnancy, but she wasn't sure she was overly successful. Dr. Holland could sympathize, she had seen her share of reactions to unwelcome pregnancies, and she was relieved she didn't have to relive that experience today.
"Anyway, Brad," Dr. Holland said, "I explained all this to Kellie, but you'll be happy to know that everything looks good so far with the pregnancy. Kellie is very fit and healthy, the baby is developing normally and with no complications, and all the tests came back with very positive results. Of course we'll need to schedule further appointments at important check points along the way to ensure that this continues to be the case, but all signs are pointing to a very safe and successful pregnancy."
Brad nodded happily and breathed an audible sigh of relief.
"I've also done some quick calculations and can give you my best estimate as to when you conceived. It's a simple enough task, I can show you how it works, but I can tell you the date I came up with right now, if you are interested," the doctor offered.
"Oh cool! Please do tell," Kellie replied.
"OK, February 19th or the 20th, those are the mostly likely dates my calculations show me. Say, Kellie, wasn't it on the 19th that you and your team won the curling championship again?"
"Yes, Dr. Holland, it was!"
The doctor smiled at Kellie and Brad. "Must have been some celebration, I guess."
A sweetly devious grin crossed Brad's face. He kissed Kellie on the cheek and growled in her ear. "Oh yes, it certainly was. Wasn't it?" he asked. He very badly wanted to add the word "pet" to the end of his question, but he held back for fear of going too far and giving away in public some of their bedroom secrets.
Kellie softly moaned, bit her lower lip and nodded.
Dr. Holland kept her reaction to the couple's latest exchange low-key and discreet. She wrapped things up then by informing them that her receptionist would be in contact as soon as possible to set follow-up appointment dates. She congratulated the couple again, shaking Brad's hand and giving Kellie a quick hug.
Brad and Kellie left the hospital, hand-in-hand. Kellie was so happy it felt like she was floating. "This is amazing!" she exclaimed as they climbed into their truck. "I've wanted to have kids for a long time now. You're going to be a great father!"
"And you, Kellie, will be a wonderful mother!" Brad replied. He tried his best to sound happy; it wasn't totally an act, for he was very happy that his wife was with child. Still, the touch of sadness he felt earlier for not noticing this earlier had returned, and he hoped she didn't notice.
But she did, and the look on her face told him she wasn't going to let this go.
"Brad, what's wrong?" she asked.
"You're not mad at me honey, are you?"
"No, baby, not at all! Why in the world would I be mad at you?"
Brad sighed. "I feel bad that I didn't notice earlier that you were pregnant. I didn't think to ask what kind of doctor you were seeing when you called me to meet you here today. I didn't even think that when you were sick it could have meant your pregnancy was just starting. I thought that maybe you'd be disappointed in me that I wasn't more observant."
Kellie leaned across to hug Brad. "You worry too much sometimes. I'm not disappointed or upset with you at all. I actually kept it quiet at first on purpose. I didn't tell anyone except Sandra because I wanted to make sure everything was OK before I let you know. I only told Sandra because I asked her to drive me here as a favour. It may sound like a silly superstition but it felt like the right thing to do, you know? So just relax and be happy that soon you're going to be a daddy!"
Brad smiled and kissed Kellie. Somehow, he thought, she always knew what to say to make things better. "You know what? You're right," he said. "I'm just really happy. In fact, so happy that I say, this calls for a celebration!"
"Absolutely! But, if I remember correctly, Brad, that's how we got here in the first place," Kellie teased.
"I know, Kellie, but that's even more reason we can celebrate now. We don't have to worry about getting you pregnant, I've already done that! Mission accomplished!"
Brad laughed while Kellie just rolled her eyes in mock annoyance.
They kissed lovingly. Brad started up the truck, guided it out of the parking lot and pointed it home. He drove extra carefully this time, staying only to posted speed limits. It wasn't something he always did; at times his driving was too fast even for Kellie's liking. But this time it felt good and right to take it slow and easy.
After all, he had even more precious cargo to safely deliver home.
Everyone was thrilled to hear the news.
After work on Friday, Brad and Kellie invited his parents, Marilyn and Al, and her Aunt Linda and Uncle Vic to their house. They told them the news over dinner. Plenty of hugs, kisses and handshakes were shared, and even more tears of happiness were shed. Both his parents and her aunt and uncle volunteered to offer their babysitting services, and Brad and Kellie promised them all that they would occasionally call on both couples to take advantage of their generous offer.
Brad's peaceful Saturday morning was jarred by the arrival of Jennifer, Sandra, Amber and Heather, and their girly squeals of excitement. He was not angry, however; he was expecting this to happen. He was happy to hear all the commotion as they planned the baby shower and talked about all sorts of things, even if they were loud enough to give him a headache.
He decided he could use a break from the noise, so with both permission and a kiss from Kellie, Brad said goodbye to her friends, though not without a big hug of congratulations from each of them. He stepped outside into the warmth of the sunshine on a glorious late spring day and walked to Russ's house. Russ welcomed him in and, when Brad shared the news, gave him a vigorous handshake and several "atta-boy" backslaps. Russ then broke out his bottle of 15-year single malt Scotch whisky that he was saving for special occasions as this, and shared a couple glasses with a very appreciative Brad.