“I don’t want that to happen, either, Mrs. Newell.”
“Good,” she said, and left.
I ate because I was hungry, but again, none of it was particularly tasty. When Teresa came for the tray and dishes, a thought occurred to me.
“Do you know if Señora Bovio often ate in this suite, Teresa?”
“When she was pregnant and began to show, she rarely left the suite. She even gave birth to Adan in the house, which was quite a surprise, I must admit.”
“In the house?”
“Yes, Miss. My mother was born in her mother’s house,” she added, smiling.
“Sí, so was mine. So was I, in fact, but…”
“Many women are turning to midwives and more natural birthing, I hear,” she added, and left.
With all of the special concern and care Señor Bovio was taking with me, I doubted he would want to take the risk of having me give birth in the hacienda, but I couldn’t imagine why he had permitted his wife to give birth to Adan in the house or why she would want to do that when she had so much professional care available to her.
When Dr. Denardo finally appeared, Señor Bovio was with him, actually carrying the doctor’s satchel. Mrs. Newell was right behind them.
Dr. Denardo was a tall, dark-complexioned, good-looking man, with a well-trimmed coal-black goatee. He wore a light-brown suit and had an open collar and no tie. I imagined him to be in his mid-to-late fifties, although I couldn’t see a single gray strand of hair. There was simply something weathered and wise in his gray eyes and his no-nonsense demeanor. He looked at me so intently that I felt he was actually taking medical measurements, evaluating my overall health immediately.
“This is Dr. Denardo,” Señor Bovio said. “He will be taking good care of you and our baby.”
Dr. Denardo glanced at him when he said “our baby” but quickly turned back to me and smiled. “How are you feeling, Delia?”
“Fine,” I said.
“No morning sickness anymore?”
He tilted his head and nodded. “Good. Did you keep close awareness of when your period was supposed to start?”
“I knew about when, señor.”
“So, about when?” he asked, sitting in the chair Señor Bovio had moved over for him beside me.
“Eleven weeks ago.”
He made a quick mental calculation. “Normally, we estimate the date of delivery by adding nine months plus seven days to the first day of the last menstrual period. We call it Naegele’s Rule,” he added, mostly for Señor Bovio’s benefit. “So, we’ll figure another seven and a half months. We’ll get a much more accurate estimate as we go along, of course. Tonight, I would like to take some blood and urine, and we’ll do an internal pelvic examination to check the size of your uterus. I will do a Pap smear as well. You know what that is?”
“Sí, señor, but why aren’t we doing all this in your office?” I asked.
He glanced at Señor Bovio and smiled at me again.
“It’s all simple enough, safe enough to do here. No need to drag you out.”
“I wouldn’t be dragged, señor.”
“Well, let’s see how it goes. I’m here already. We might as well go forward and not try to fit you into my busy office schedule. You’ve become one of my patients almost overnight, so we couldn’t get you onto the schedule. Last I looked, I was booked up for the next three weeks, in fact. I have two more deliveries to do this week alone and another three next week. And I do have a pretty good nurse here with me,” he added, nodding at Mrs. Newell, who looked as though she expected nothing less than such a compliment. “Okay?” he followed, a little tension in his voice.
“This is a special favor Dr. Denardo is doing for us, Delia,” Señor Bovio said. “You should be grateful.” He fixed his eyes like daggers on me.
“It’s all right, Ray,” Dr. Denardo said. “Let’s not get our little patient more nervous than she already is. Thank you for bringing my bag and introducing us,” he added, clearly indicating that Señor Bovio should now leave. “I’ll be down shortly to speak with you.”
Señor Bovio looked quite disappointed but nodded. “Of course,” he said, and left. He didn’t close the door.