“Come on, you can do it!” William Turner urged his wife, “Just a little further and we’ll be there.
“Are you the one who just gave birth to our child?” Rachel Turner snapped. But neverless, she let him lead her into the room and sit her down on the bed.
“Why did we have to move?” she complained, “I just want to see my baby! They didn’t even let me see if my child was a boy or girl before they snatched my darling away.”
“Maybe they thought something was wrong with it,” William suggested.
“Our child is not an it, and no, there’s nothing wrong with my precious darling!” Rachel, exhausted, slumped against the bed. “I really don’t want to do this right now.”
She closed her eyes, but opened them a second later when the doctor came in with the nurses right behind him. They seemed nervous about something. The doctor adjusted his glasses with a shaky hand and said,
“Er, we, uh-have some news for you. Uh, some bad news.” He said this while looking around the room for support from the nurses.
However, they didn’t seem obliged to take part in anything he was saying, so he pressed on, saying: ”I’m very sorry to say, but your daughter is-uh-autistic!”
William gave a great gasp of remorse. Rachel sputtered, “Er-OK…” and then, “William we have a girl! A beautiful, healthy baby girl!!!” She tugged his arm. “Aren’t you happy?”
William looked up slowly at his wife. “Autistic? You have got to be joking.”
Rachel frowned at him. “At least she wasn’t born with extra arms or only one eye. We can manage! Oh, our own baby girl!”
The doctor and nurses seemed quite appalled at how she was taking the news. If anyone hadn’t known better, it seemed as if their baby wasn’t autistic at all. Rachel had gotten up and was dancing around the room. William caught her arm and pulled her down.
“Let’s go,” he hissed, “get your things. We’ll leave in a couple of hours after you’ve had rest.” He began to pull her to her feet.
Rachel jerked free. “We can’t just yet. I need to stay at least another day. And besides, what about our baby? I didn’t have her for nothing! She is coming home with us!”
And with that, Rachel stalked out of the room. The doctor and nurses hastily followed her, with William bringing up the rear. She stopped at the room that she had given birth in. With a cry of happiness, she swooped into the room, grabbed her daughter from a startled nurse’s arms, and lay on the bed. Joyful tears rolled down her cheeks.
“Oh, William, look!” He entered the room cautiously. He eyed the baby with a look of disgust. William sat down regretfully.
“Ooooooh, William!” Rachel squealed as the baby opened her eyes. She looked at her mom and reached out one grubby finger.
Rachel leaned forward, still crying, and when the baby’s hand touched her face, she gave a great sob and stroked her baby’s face. The girl turned to her father, squinted up at him, and gurgled happily. She reached out her arms to him. He snorted and didn’t pick her up.
“William!” Rachel said sharply. He reached and picked his child up like she was some contagious germ.
She lovingly wrapped her arms around his neck and laid her head down on his shoulder. William stood there stiffly and after a minute peeled her off his neck like some posionous slug and handed her off to her mother.
“Annalise.” Rachel whispered. “Your name is Annalise, because you have God’s grace and favor, and I believe you can be just as normal as anyone else. My own girl! Thanks, Jesus.”