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Howie and Nick were the first to show up at the hospital.


“What happened?” Howie asked hugging Denise. “We just saw you guys a few hours ago.”


“Is she ok?” Nick asked with a tremble in his voice.


Denise shook her head and sat down. “I don’t know. She was in so much pain and no one has come out to tell me anything.”


She started to cry quietly. AJ was her son and Alissa had become like a daughter to her. It killed her to see them in so much pain.


Howie sat down next to Denise and wrapped his arm around her shoulders. He motioned for Nick to go talk to the nurse to see if there was any information. Nick was halfway to the nurse’s station when AJ came through the emergency room doors.


Denise jumped up and raced over to her son. “How is she?”


AJ stumbled over his words. “She’s getting prepped for surgery. The baby is coming now and her blood pressure is too high. They are going to do a C-section to get the baby out. I have to get back in there!”


He squeezed his mother’s hand and ran back through the doors. 


No one knew what to say and the three of them were still standing there when Brian and Kevin came through the lobby doors. Howie got Denise settled in a chair again while Nick took the other guys outside and filled them in.


AJ raced back to be with Alissa. He wanted his mother to know what was going on and he was glad he had an opportunity to tell her before they brought Alissa in for surgery. The nurse helped him clean up and put on scrubs so that he could be in the room while the doctor performed the C-section.


Alissa was wheeled in and AJ was told to sit by her head on the right hand side. She grabbed his hand and he assured her that everything would be fine. He stroked her head and whispered how much he loved her over and over into her ear.


The doctor explained to them what he would be doing and then asked the nurse to help him. Twenty minutes later, AJ and Alissa heard the first cries of their baby boy. They wanted to see him but the nurse needed to clean him up and check him over. AJ stayed with Alissa while the doctor finished the procedure and then the nurse brought the baby over and laid him on Alissa’s chest.


AJ thought his son was the most beautiful little person on the planet and he grinned at Alissa. She smiled back and told AJ how much she loved him.  The nurse asked AJ if he wanted to hold his son and he was standing up with the baby in his arms when he heard an alarm bell going off. He looked around and saw that it was Alissa’s blood pressure monitor.  The nurse whisked the baby away and he dropped down next to Alissa. Her eyes had started rolling back into her head and she was going into convulsions.


One of the nurses had to drag AJ out of the room so that the doctor and the assistant could try to care for Alissa. He had never been so terrified in his life and he tried desperately to get back into the OR. Several orderlies had to restrain him and just as he was about to get loose, he heard the heart monitor go from a beeping noise to one flat sound.  There was only one thing that would make the monitor do that.


AJ dropped to the ground on his hands and knees.  The most wonderful moment in his life had turned into his worst nightmare. Alissa was gone again and this time, he knew she wasn’t coming back.