I had about had my fill of changes in my work environment. Things were moving too fast for my taste. I was caught up in it without wanting to be but if I was to have a job, I’d have to ride out the flood. There was increasing disenchantment among the other employees with the current owners but my experience with them had been largely positive. I was grateful to them, too, for bailing us out when all signs pointed to the hospital closing. All of us would have been left out in the cold if they hadn’t come along when they did.
I understood the conglomerate that was looking at us had been approached before about taking us over but they had declined. Now it seemed they had changed their opinion of us and we were attractive. It wasn’t because we were pretty. It was because we were a Critical Access Hospital. Acquiring our little hospital would benefit them. All the hard work the consultant had done would be a plus for someone else.
Was I the only one who could see it? I doubt it but so many were dead set against them, maybe the others were afraid to speak out. It wasn’t fair. It was like David and Goliath and Goliath was winning.
The consultant and I had some discussions about the situation and he admitted that they were probably on the losing end of the deal. He said, on the hospital’s plus side, the conglomerate had “deep pockets” and could do a lot to improve our facility. They didn’t want to just curl up in a little ball and give in but it seemed it was fruitless to keep on fighting it.
Things were awfully quiet at home and I’d leave for the weekend as often as I could get away. I usually stayed with DS1 and his family and visit DS2 and my DIL in their home during the time I was there. One day, I went in and headed straight for the couch at DS2’s. As is my custom, I didn’t take note of anything unusual.
We were talking about this, that and the other, generally catching up. Every now and then, one of them would glance over at the rocking chair beside the window but I didn’t think anything about it. I’d seen the chair before. It was a nice chair but that was about it. DS2 mentioned that they still wanted to have the real wedding they’d been cheated out of. DIL had her dress picked out and they were thinking about getting a little country church for the ceremony.
I asked when they planned to do this and he said probably late fall. Then he grinned and said something that left me speechless. “After the baby comes.” I was shocked but happy. I knew they’d been trying but DIL had had problem after problem. Now there was going to be another grandchild! “Didn’t you see the little nightgown hanging on the back of the rocking chair?” No, I hadn’t noticed it. My mother would have but I didn’t.
The due date was mid-November so DIL was just about six weeks along. There were hugs all around and we excitedly talked about the Blessed Event. What about the dogs? Well, they would still be allowed in the house but I could be sure they would be supervised. Which bedroom would the baby sleep in? (Their house is a sprawling older home with room after room when you think you’ve seen them all.) It was the one across the hall from theirs. They’d started looking at furniture for it.
I felt like I had a new lease on life. I was bursting with the news when I went back to work the next day. The girls all congratulated me (as if I were somehow responsible) and asked me question after question. A new baby in anyone’s family was something to look forward to.
The goings on with the owners/prospective owners were still there. They couldn’t be ignored but I had something more important to occupy my mind than would they or wouldn’t they.
A few weeks went by and DS2 and DIL kept me current on the developments. Then, one day, DS2 called. There was something in his voice that was unsettling. DIL was in the hospital with an attack of pancreatitis and they’d done an ultrasound to make sure the baby was okay. There was a problem. Would the baby make it?