“Okay,” Jade said into the phone.
Amber reminded herself these things took time. She could make it a few more weeks, even a couple of months. She hadn’t really expected to find a job the next day, had she?
“Which test?” There was worry in Jade’s tone.
Amber turned back.
“Is that a problem?” Jade’s worried gaze met Amber’s.
Amber quickly returned to the table, sitting down in the chair beside Jade.
“That sounds scary,” said Jade.
“What is it?” Amber whispered.
Jade’s eyes went glassy with the beginnings of tears.
“What?” Amber said louder. “What’s wrong?”
Jade unexpectedly pushed the receiver at her, nearly dropping it between them.
Amber scrambled to get it to her ear. “Dr. Norris? This is Amber.”
“Hello, Amber. Is Jade all right?”
“She’s upset. She’s okay. What did you tell her?”
“I have a concern with her blood pressure.”
Amber had known that. “Yes.”
They’d talked about Jade taking some medication to keep it down in the last few weeks of her pregnancy.
“I’m afraid the follow-up tests aren’t encouraging.”
Amber rubbed Jade’s shoulder. “Is everything okay with the baby?”
“So far, yes. Jade has a condition called preeclampsia. It’s serious. I’m recommending you bring her into the hospital.”
The hospital? “How serious?”
Jade sniffed and reached for a tissue.
“I’d like to monitor Jade’s health and the baby’s health.”
“Overnight? Until the medication kicks in?”
“Until the birth, I’m afraid. We can’t take this condition lightly. There are risks to the placenta, organ damage for Jade, even stroke.”
Amber squeezed Jade’s hand. “How soon should I bring her in?”
“Is she still having headaches?”
Amber moved the phone from her mouth. “Headache?” she asked Jade.
“It’s not bad,” said Jade.
“Yes,” Amber said to the doctor.
“Then, let’s not wait. This morning if you can.”
“We can,” said Amber.
“My office will make the arrangements.”
“Thank you.” Amber ended the call.
“So I have to go back?” asked Jade.
“Yes. The doctor says they need to monitor you. She wants you in the hospital.”
“She’s worried about your blood pressure.”
“But they said there was medicine.”
“We can ask more questions when we get there.” Amber couldn’t help feeling a sense of urgency.
“How long will I have to stay?”
“It might be for a while. We don’t want to take any chances. This is what’s best for you, and what’s best for the baby.” Amber stood. “Let’s go pack a few things.”
Jade gestured to her books. “But I’m studying.”
“I’ll bet you can study in the hospital. In fact, it might be the perfect place to study. There’ll be nothing else for you to do. They’ll cook for you. They’ll clean for you.”
“I’ll smuggle you in a pizza.”
Assuming Jade was allowed to eat pizza. Amber drew Jade to her feet.
“I can’t do this,” said Jade. “I can’t just up and leave for the hospital at a moment’s notice.”
“Sometimes it works that way.”
Jade glanced around the kitchen. “How can I, what can I— Oh, no.” She grasped tightly onto Amber’s arms.
Amber’s heart leaped. “Is something wrong?”
“The money, Amber. This is going to cost a fortune. Where will I get the money?”
“Don’t worry about that.”
“I have to worry about it.”
“Worrying won’t help anything. Not you, and definitely not the baby.” Amber would have to do the worrying for them.
“We’ll borrow it. Then we’ll pay it back.” Amber struggled to put confidence in her voice.
“I’m so sorry.”
“This isn’t your fault. You’re doing so well.” Amber motioned to the books. “You’ve been studying. You’ve been eating right. You’re here. You need to keep doing everything you can to give your baby the best possible chance.”