Megan just wanted to sleep, but she couldn't. Even when the baby was fast asleep in the crib not so far away from their bed, she just couldn't rest. Occasionally, she'd nod off. Even dream. But it really wasn't a dream. More like a nightmare.
Every time, it would start where she was getting ready to leave the hospital. And the nurse would go through the check list one more time. Did she have all the information she needed to know what to do with the infant? Of course.
Then the nurse would check the baby's vitals. It would all be going fine until they heard the baby's heart beat. Something was wrong. The nurse would look at her as if it was all her fault. The baby had an irregular heartbeat. There was a hole in her heart.
Naturally, Megan would awake with her heart beat racing. She'd get up, even the dead of night and check on the baby who would be sleeping soundly. It was as if the baby didn't even need her at all.
"What am I doing wrong?" She awoke Caitlin, naturally, but Megan didn't care if it was going on two in the morning. It wasn't that late back at Caitlin's in the mid-west. Actually, it was. Any decent college student would be in bed by now.
"Maybe calling me." Caitlin yawned. "What's the matter?"
"I dunno." Megan was perched on the commode in her bunny slippers and white maternity gown with her cellphone next to her ear, trying to talk quietly. There really wasn't anywhere else to go in this apartment. "I just can't sleep."
"Why is that? Are you breastfeeding?" Caitlin yawned again.
"No." Megan tried once, early on. And she hated it. "I'm really selfish, aren't I?"
"Its OK." Caitlin said so sleepy. "Its not for everyone."
"The baby is sleeping so good, and I'm not." Megan made it sound like a curse of some kind.
"Just be happy the baby is sleeping. You, need your rest." Caitlin reminded her.
"I know." Megan sighed.
"Could it be anything else? Is anything else on your mind? Keeping, you from sleeping?" Caitlin asked.
"God, I don't want to talk about this, with you." Megan hated being put on the spot like this.
"Well..." It was so quiet on the phone. Megan almost asked if Caitlin was still there. "You..did call me. Remember?"
"I don't think she's Derrick's baby." Megan final heard her self saying.
"Oh. Megan." Caitlin just said.
"What am I suppose to do?" Megan squinted hard then.
"Its gonna be all right." Caitlin said. "Just look at Zeke and Randi. Everything is great with them. And..and Sammi was telling me how Derrick kept gushing about the baby. He loves the baby. You can't deprive him of that. You can't. You just have to be happy. You have to try. Please, just try to be happy...stop thinking the worst. It won't do you any good, now."
Megan was quiet then. It was quiet for some time.
"You know, I love you. You know, I wish you the best." Caitlin told her. "Just stop hating...yourself. You are OK. And you can do this. You were in labor over fourteen hours, and then you had a major surgery. So I think you can do this Megan. Otherwise, please..please go see a counselor."
"Thanks." Megan did her best to say.
"Good night." Caitlin said fully awake then. "Try to get some sleep."
"OK." Megan clicked off her cell and then went to splash some warm water on her face. She closed her eyes and let the warm water hit her closed eyelids. She smiled. Sleep was sinking in.
This time, she was going to dream about St. Elmo's Fire. And she'd be the new girl that Andrew McCarthy's character would fall in love with, and she'd be upbeat. And all the girls in the movie would envy her.