Authors: Lucy Clark
Lose yourself in a heartrending duet
from Lucy Clark …
SAVING TWIN BABIES
WEDDING ON THE BABY WARD
Delivering these premature conjoined twins
is neonatal specialist Miles Trevellion’s
beautiful Dr Janessa Austen can be
nothing more than his colleague. For now …
SPECIAL CARE BABY MIRACLE
New mum Sheena’s tiny girls
are fighting for their lives, and
paediatric surgeon Will Beckman is the man
to save them! Sheena’s hoping for two little
miracles—but perhaps an unexpected
third dream might also come true …
Saving Twin Babies
Only the world’s most renowned doctors—
and a miracle or two—
can save these tiny twins.
is actually a husband-and-wife writing team. They enjoy taking holidays with their children, during which they discuss and develop new ideas for their books using the fantastic Australian scenery. They use their daily walks to talk over characterisation and fine details of the wonderful stories they produce, and are avid movie buffs. They live on the edge of a popular wine district in South Australia with their two children, and enjoy spending family time together at weekends.
Recent titles by the same author:
DOCTOR DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH
THE DOCTOR’S SOCIETY SWEETHEART
THE DOCTOR’S DOUBLE TROUBLE
the Baby Ward
THE BABY WARD
Babies are always so cute but beautiful twin girls who are born conjoined can really capture your heart. Ellie and Sarah are two little girls who came into the world and unbeknownst to them, ended up uniting four very special people.
Janessa and Miles were so much fun to write, especially the part about making Janessa a pilot. After being given a joy-ride flight in a tiger moth biplane as a birthday present, we knew the experience was one that needed to be relayed in a book. The airfield where Janessa flies her plane is one of our favourite places to visit and part of the book was even typed there, sipping a nice cup of coffee on a pleasant Spring day while the lovely old planes take to the skies.
Sheena and Will brought their own set of unique challenges to the story. For Sheena, going through not only the pregnancy but the long awaited separation of her gorgeous twin girls was gut wrenching to write, especially after reading and researching how parents feel when faced with such situations. With Will by her side, loving and caring for not only her but the girls as well, Sheena was able to get the happily ever after she so richly deserved.
We hope you enjoy reading about these special babies who have brought together two couples who were made for each other.
For Lili and Mat—
who share the same warped and silly sense of humour
as us. Thanks for making us feel normal!
Phone,’ an agency nurse called. ‘It’s the maternity ward. They say it’s urgent.’
‘I’m a little busy,’ Janessa Austen replied, not taking her attention from her latest patient. The Adelaide Mercy NICU had quite a few of the regular nurses off sick today and while the nursing agency had provided staff to keep things running, these nurses weren’t trained in NICU procedure. ‘Find out what the situation is and I’ll get someone to go to Maternity as soon as possible.’
Both Janessa and Kaycee, one of her top NICU nurses, stood next to the open cot of the tiny twenty-six-week-old baby girl who was in need of urgent medical attention. Baby Taneesha had been born only twenty minutes ago and had been intubated and rushed from the delivery suite down the corridor to the NICU where the brave little soul continued to fight for her life. The staff were giving her breaths via the Neopuff to keep her alive while they organised the ventilator.
‘Kaycee, we need some surfactant,’ Janessa ordered. ‘It works so well on these tiny stiff lungs,’ she mused as she continued to work. Whilst it had been ‘one of those days’, Janessa wasn’t about to lose a patient, not to fatigue nor interrupting phone calls.
‘Come on, Taneesha,’ Janessa said with loving determination. ‘Hang in there, sweetie. You can do it.’ While she crooned to the baby, Janessa’s hands were working rapidly. ‘What are the oxygen saturations?’ she asked, her gaze focused on what she was doing.
‘Eighty per cent,’ Kaycee replied as she began to increase the oxygen levels.
‘How’s that surfactant coming along? We need to get that moisture into the lungs, stat.’
Kaycee was working quickly and handed the syringe to Janessa who administered the liquid into the endo-trachael tube. A few minutes later the oxygen saturations went up as Taneesha’s breathing started to improve. Kaycee did the observations once more as the agency nurse came over to Janessa.
‘Maternity don’t need you to send anyone up,’ the nurse reported. It was around lunchtime, her first day on the job, and she’d been thrown in at the deep end. Still, Janessa couldn’t help that. They’d already had three babies born within the last hour, all of whom had come directly to the NICU, the ward clerk was out on her lunch break and the rest of the staff were either assisting in the delivery suites or monitoring other little babies. Today, the NICU’s forty-four-cot ward was most definitely full to capacity.
‘What’s the problem, then?’ Janessa asked, still focused on Taneesha.
‘There was an emergency.’ The nurse consulted a piece of paper in her hand. ‘A baby by the name of Joey. Apparently, his lips started to turn blue.’
‘Not again.’ Janessa sighed and shook her head. ‘Has he been attended to?’
‘Um … They said the doctor is bringing him down.’
‘The doctor? Doctor who?’ Janessa asked.
‘Excuse me! Assistance required. Over here,’ a deep male voice said from the entrance to the NICU, and Janessa glanced over briefly to see a man in a rumpled suit walking into the unit, pushing a baby’s crib. She didn’t know who he was but she knew who the baby was.
‘That’ll be Joey.’ Janessa looked at the agency nurse. ‘Go and bring him in. Put him …’ she quickly scanned the NICU ‘… bay two for now.’ She returned her attention to Taneesha, while checking the blood gas results. The agency nurse hovered uncertainly for a moment before heading over to where the man was already pushing Joey’s crib into the NICU, not waiting for anyone.
‘Come this way. B-Bay two,’ the agency nurse stammered.
‘Right. Bay two. Well … lead on,’ the man said with a hint of impatience as he removed his jacket and tossed it carelessly onto a desk. Thankfully, his tone wasn’t loud but it was definitely insistent and Janessa hoped the sensitive babies in the NICU didn’t pick up on the disruption. The last thing any of them wanted right now was a chain reaction of one baby after the other crying in the need for attention and comfort.
‘Had to happen on a day when we’re short-staffed,’ Janessa mumbled.
‘Oxygen, stat,’ the male doctor ordered. ‘Baby is cyanotic. No, no, no. Thirty per cent oxygen,’ he growled at the nurse. ‘Don’t you even know that much?’ He shook his head and took over.
‘Obs?’ Janessa asked, concentrating on blocking out the larger-than-life man who was creating havoc in her NICU. She wasn’t the type of woman to allow her temper to get the better of her—in fact, she prided herself on having good control over all her faculties—but today, with the lack of sleep and her very early morning start, the edges were starting to fray.
Kaycee started the obs as Janessa rechecked the fluids that would help Taneesha. She wanted to look up, to check out what was happening in
unit, but she remained steadfastly by Taneesha’s side. ‘That’s it, Taneesha. Good girl. You keep fighting.’ Janessa looked at Kaycee.
‘Her oxygen saturations are now stable,’ Kaycee reported after quickly doing the observations, and Janessa let out a sigh of thanks. ‘I’ll go see what the commotion is all about.’
‘No. It’s OK.’ Janessa quickly pulled off her gloves and rubbed her bare hand over Taneesha’s tiny body, pleased to note that the skin was not only a much better colour but much, much warmer than before. ‘There you go, love,’ she whispered to the babe, before glancing at Kaycee. ‘Stay and monitor Taneesha for me.’ Janessa reached for another pair of gloves. ‘I’ll go see what’s happening with Joey.’ She jerked her head towards the commotion. ‘And can we perhaps see if Ray’s finished assisting in the delivery suite? It would be great to have him back here in the unit.’
‘I’ll see to it,’ Kaycee responded, and as Janessa headed towards the newest arrival in the NICU, she took one calming breath, knowing she could leave the running of things in Kaycee’s more than capable hands while she pulled strength from thin air to concentrate on the latest event in her already overly hectic day. She’d been on the go since about four o’clock that morning and as it was now just after one o’clock in the afternoon, her exhaustion level was steadily on the rise.
‘No. That’s the wrong-size cannula. This is ridiculous,’ the man was saying to the agency nurse, who looked completely flustered and about ready to burst into tears. ‘Go away. I’ll do it myself.’
‘What’s the status?’ Janessa asked smoothly, after giving a dismissive nod to the agency nurse. The unit was stressful enough at the moment and the sooner she could defuse the situation, the better.
‘The status is to find someone in this place to assist me, preferably before this baby dies.’
Janessa unhooked her stethoscope from around her neck and put the eartips into her ears, before listening closely to Joey’s chest. She heard the rasping instantly and sighed at her little charge. Without another word she went to a nearby cupboard, pulling out the correct equipment they would need.
‘He needs a chest X-ray. We need to see if this baby has aspirated.’
‘I was in Maternity, reviewing a patient, when I noticed this chap coughing. I went to check and noticed he was cyanotic. Naturally, I thought he needed treatment so had him brought down here, but apparently …’ he glanced pointedly at Janessa ‘… this NICU is understaffed and no doubt requires a full review.’
Janessa tried her hardest not to bristle at the way he was speaking to her, the way he was looking at her and the way he was treating her. It was clear by the way he was handling the medical equipment that he was a doctor. In another brief glance, she took in his seriously creased navy trousers and crinkled white shirt covering his firm torso, a college tie, which was knotted loosely, and beneath that his top shirt button was undone. His whole attire screamed ‘surgeon’ and a dishevelled one at that. What on earth had he been doing before arriving here in her unit?
Dr Whoever-he-was had just finished rolling up the sleeves of his shirt, right past his elbows and was washing his hands. As he reached for a pair of gloves, Janessa gave him a quick once-over and although he appeared incredibly handsome, with short dark brown hair and a square jaw complete with a cleft in his chin, his attitude was too arrogant for her taste.
‘All hospitals are understaffed,’ Janessa remarked quietly and matter-of-factly as she looped the stethoscope around her neck. She wouldn’t allow herself to be embroiled in a slanging match with this man. She was a professional and she had a job to do. ‘Right, Joey, let’s get you sorted.’
‘Joey? My name is Dr Trevellion, not Joey,’ he growled, his words clipped yet measured, indicating he knew not to raise his tone in case he upset the babies.
Momentarily stunned, Janessa met his gaze, her eyebrows raised as her insides did a little nervous flip at this news. Dr Trevellion! She’d known he was coming to Adelaide Mercy hospital for six months as she’d been the one to initially request his presence, and while she’d read his articles and followed his career, she never would have connected the photograph of the clean, crisp professional portrayed in medical journals to the crumpled, crabby man in her NICU.
Here he was. Australian specialist. The great and marvellous—and obviously arrogant and impatient—Dr Miles Trevellion. In
NICU! Great. It was just what she didn’t need added to her impossibly draining day. Then again, she supposed as he was one of the world’s leading NICU specialists, she should have expected the arrogance and self-importance he seemed to exude, but it didn’t, however, change the fact that little Joey required their expertise.
‘Joey is the baby’s name, Dr Trevellion,’ she pointed out, both of them busy as they prepared to treat Joey. ‘He was here in the unit two weeks ago, doing this same old party trick, but apparently he’s back for a repeat performance.’
‘He’s done it before?’ Dr Trevellion clenched his square jaw in disapproval. ‘Then why wasn’t he here in the unit, receiving the proper treatment, instead of in the ward, in the hands of an inexperienced mother?’ The exasperation in his tone was evident.
Janessa’s muscles instantly tensed at his words and she ground her teeth. ‘You may regard Joey’s mother as inexperienced but I’ll have you know that Adelaide Mercy prides itself on providing the best instruction and support for every mother who comes through our doors.’
‘So you pushed him up to the maternity ward because there wasn’t room for him here?’
‘On the contrary. Joey’s mother needs to learn how to deal with this situation. The fact that Joey’s been having breathing difficulties is the main reason why they haven’t been discharged yet. We couldn’t rule out something like this happening again and I’ll have you know that Joey was clinically stable before being released to the maternity ward.’
‘Well, he’s not now. Let’s get an IV line in and monitor him properly.’
Janessa glanced at Dr Trevellion, noting that his tone had mellowed slightly and now, instead of looking annoyed and impatient, he simply looked tired and exhausted, and she wondered exactly when he’d arrived, not only at Adelaide Mercy hospital but, more importantly, when he’d arrived in Australia. She certainly hoped he hadn’t come here directly from an international flight but now that she took in his attire, she guessed her assumptions were fairly accurate. He would have wanted to make his own assessment on the yet-to-be delivered conjoined twins he’d been appointed to care for. If their positions had been reversed, Janessa would have gone directly to the hospital from the airport as well.
The only words spoken between the two of them were instructions and Janessa found Dr Miles Trevellion to be clear and direct. That was good given that she’d be working with him for the next six months. A thrill of excitement swept through her at the realisation that she was standing opposite the great neonate surgeon yet she was grounded enough not to let it go to her head.
‘There you go, little guy,’ Dr Trevellion said softly about five minutes later when Joey started to stabilise, the rasping in his chest now beginning to settle into a more normal rhythm. Dr Trevellion took off his gloves and gently touched the baby’s skin, showing such intense caring that Janessa was momentarily stunned.
He cared. He had a heart and it could be touched. Watching him, the way he interacted with little Joey, was enough to restore her faith in him. She’d never doubted his abilities but seeing him speaking so softly to the babe, watching the tender way he touched the little boy’s body, showed her that he was a man who really did care about his patients.
‘Hey, Nessa. Kaycee said you needed my help,’ a man in his late forties, with slightly greying hair and the occasional hint of a lilting Scottish accent, said as he sauntered towards them. Janessa looked away from Miles Trevellion, only belatedly realising she’d been staring at him.
‘Oh, hi, Ray. No. We’re fine here. Situation stabilised. But allow me to introduce you to Dr Trevellion.’
Ray’s bushy eyebrows shot up at the news. ‘Trevellion? Really?
same Dr Trevellion who’s come here to look after our Sheena’s conjoined twins?’ Without waiting for an answer, he continued, ‘In that case, welcome to Adelaide Mercy and to the NICU.’ Ray heartily shook the other man’s hand. ‘We’re so glad to have you on our team, aren’t we, Nessa?’
‘Very.’ Janessa pulled off her gloves and stepped back from the crib. ‘Ray, would you mind calling up to the ward to let them know we’ll be keeping Joey for at least the next twenty-four hours,’ she requested.
‘Right you are, lassie. Say, why don’t the two of you go and have a cuppa, eh? I’m sure Dr Trevellion would relish the chance to talk about our Sheena, given that’s the reason why he’s come here in the first place.’
‘You took the words right out of my mouth,’ she agreed. ‘We’d best do it while the unit is a relatively quiet and settled. Goodness knows, that can change at any given moment.’ Janessa looked to the handsome newcomer and spread her hand wide, indicating the way to her office. ‘Shall we?’
‘What? You?’ He looked from Ray to Janessa. ‘You’re joking, right? You’re just a nurse.’
a nurse?’ She frowned at him. ‘That’s a phrase you’d better not bandy around too much, Dr Trevellion. I’ll have you know that our full-time senior nurses are the best in Australia. There’s Ray here, who is always so calm, cool and collected.’ She pointed. ‘Over there we have Kaycee, who is forever brilliant and a walking encyclopaedia, and the woman who’s just walked into the ward, heading for the sink, is Helena.’