“No I mean it! What the hell is that?
Oscar glanced down at her as Hanna carefully wiped the baby’s face.
“Ava it’s a birthmark.” Hanna explained.
“I swear it’s the biggest birthmark I have ever seen! This isn’t my baby, not my baby at all. My baby would be beautiful! What the hell is going on? I haven’t been in labour for over 12 hours to deliver this. No, this isn’t happening to us! I’ve got enough stress in my life without this, take her away! That’s disgusting!”
Oscar bit his bottom lip. “I understand that it’s come as a shock, but she needs heat Ava, this is our baby, our beautiful baby girl.”
“She isn’t beautiful!” Ava wept. “Have- have you seen her face? Just look at that awful birth mark, it’s the biggest one I have ever seen! Take her away, please.”
“Here, I’ll clean her up for you.” Hanna smiled. “I’ll just weigh her and get a little identity band for her ankle.She’s 6oz , 5 ounces. There we go, all done.”
“Hanna, I’ll take Clara. She needs heat.”
Hanna handed the baby to Oscar. “Hello my beautiful Clarissa, we’ve been waiting for you.”
Clara gurgled, whimpering gently. “Shhh, it’s okay.” Oscar stroked her head of dark hair.
“Stop, just stop!” Ava wept.
“Can we put that on the birth certificate? Clarissa I mean.”
“I still haven’t decided on a middle name. Ava, will you please hold your daughter? The birthmark is nowhere near as bad as it looked initially now that she’s been cleaned up, I promise. Here shall I hold her with you? Just take it one step at a time.”
“Oscar, I don’t think I can do this!”
“Okay, maybe you’re just tired. Have a shower and then have a good sleep, you’ll feel much better. I’ll look after Clara.”
“Why couldn’t we have a normal baby? Why is everything attached to you so complicated? You must have fucked up genes!”
“Stop shouting, you’re scaring Clara.”
“What do I care about you and that baby?! You can have her, she’s all yours, I just want to get away from YOU!”
Hanna’s eyes widened. “It’s okay Oscar, it’s a natural reaction for some. She’ll come round, you’ll see.” She whispered.
Oscar shook his head, holding Clara close to him. “God what am I doing, leaving poor Clara with nothing on except a clean towel!” He laughed weakly. “There’s some tiny nappies and her first baby grow in that bag over there. I hope they fit!”
Hanna handed him the bag. Carefully Oscar dressed Clara in the tiny baby grow.
“There, she looks lovely. Have a look Ava, see how cute she looks.”
“She’ll never, ever be pretty or cute, not to me! Not with that hideous thing over her face. I can’t be a Mother to that! I’d rather die!”
“She’s innocent and defenceless Ava. She needs our love and care. We’re both in on this together remember.”
“No we’re not. The baby is all yours!”
“Clara! Her name’s Clara! Please hold her.”
“I will not just hold anybody; now leave me alone to sleep!”
“Ava, you still need to deliver the placenta.”
“I’m past the point of caring. Deliver it and then everyone just needs to go away and let me sleep, the baby included!”
Oscar gazed at Clara who was gently sleeping with her head resting on his shoulder. Hanna stood next to Oscar.
“I think you two are going to be extremely close. Just look at her, she’s so happy in your arms.” She whispered.
“I’ve known her for a grand total of about 5 minutes, but she already means the world to me.”
“I- I don’t want anyone to see her Oscar!”
“Ava, please! Enough now. You’ve made your point quite, quite clear!”
“It’s you and your mutated cancer genes!”
“Can you please stop telling every man and his dog that I have cancer?!”
“Well I’m sure they can tell, it’s your missing eyebrows, your gaunt anorexic looking face and the fact that you have to wear that hat 24/7 that gives it away! You can have her, you two make quite a pair!” Ava hissed. “You wont last long, she’ll have to go into care!”
“Go to sleep Ava. I’m so glad that Hanna wasn’t in the room to hear all that! Clara will need a feed soon.”
“That’s what powdered milk is for! I made it quite clear that I’m not breast feeding!”
“I’m too tired to argue, if you’ve quite finished giving me abuse you can go to sleep. They’ll probably send you home in about 5 hours time.”
He stroked Clara’s cheek. “I think you’re tired aren’t you? Yes?” He cooed. “Here my darling, I’ll put you in your little cot for a quick nap while I call your Grandma, she can’t wait to meet you. Grandma Janet is going to love you, just like Daddy does.” Clara grasped hold of Oscar’s finger tightly. He bent down and kissed her tiny forehead.
“I’ll be back in 5 minutes little one.” Hanna glanced at Oscar.
“We’ll keep an eye on her and Ava. Are you feeling okay?”
“Yes I’m fine thanks Hanna, you’ve been amazing! Thanks so much for everything.”
Oscar exited hastily out of the room and called Janet. “Oscar is the baby born?”
“Yes! Mum we have a beautiful baby girl called Clara! She was 6lb 5 ounces and she’s the most adorable little thing.”
“What’s wrong Oscar?”
“Ava wont even acknowledge or hold her.She- she has a birthmark on her face. Personally, I’ve seen worse. It doesn’t matter to me, she’s so beautiful.”
“Hasn’t held her?”
“No. I mean, she has every right to be tired, but it was the way she reacted. Anyway, Clara is a little doll. She really is beautiful Mum, she can’t wait to meet you! Congratulations on becoming a Grandma!”
“You sound exhausted.”
“I am, tired but so happy. Anyway, I’d better get back, but you’ll meet her very, very soon I’m sure.”
“I’d love to! Lots of love to you and Clara. I’ll ring you again shortly.”
“Oh and Oscar?”
“Look after yourself and be very, very careful.”
To be continued….