Monday

Belize Survivor, part 53

The next day their worst fears were realized when they saw little Jordan through the glass of the newborn ward at Summertown Hospital. He had a bandage over his eyes to protect him from the purple-white rays above, and the nurse on duty was giving him an injection in the thigh. Alexis' letdown reflex reacted at the sound of his cry and immediately her shirt was drenched with milk. When Max tried to comfort her, she could not be soothed, and when the careless nurse picked up the baby and allowed his head to fall backward, Alexis snapped.

"Stop!" she screamed, banging on the door. "You're hurting my baby! Give me my baby. Stop it!" At the sound of her voice, doctors and nurses started pouring out of the doors and into the hallways like a firedrill.

"What on earth is going on here?" demanded the head nurse.

"That nurse in there is hurting my baby," Alexis yelled. "We didn't want him admitted in the first place. The Farm did it. I can't stand this anymore. I want him. Give me my baby back." Like a mother bear, Alexis was in a complete frenzy. Her claws were unsheathed, and she was ready to tear apart anyone who made further attempts on her cub.

"I'm sorry, ma'am," Max said to the nurse, trying to maintain courtesy. "We are visitors at Stephen Gaskin's Farm. The midwives admitted our baby into this hospital against our specific instructions; they had no right to do that. Yes, my wife is hysterical, but I’m supporting her on it one hundred percent. The truth is that she needs to hold that baby and nurse him."

"It would be against policy and against all medical advice to release him at this time. He's still in need of treatment for the high bilirubin count. With all due respect, Mr. Lord, I hope you know what you're doing."

Max went to the lobby and started making phone calls. Within twenty minutes he'd found a naturopath in Nashville who agreed to treat the baby. They made the decision to take Jordan out. Signing a waiver, he was delivered into Alexis’ arms.

Returning to The Farm, Max began packing up their tent and other belongings immediately, while Alexis waited in the van nursing Jordan. As he finished loading the last of the gear, Ida May showed up and began to reprimand them for a second time.

"It's just as well that you people are leaving. Ever since you got here you've been troublemakers. You just think you're better than everybody else, don't you? Well, around here, what's good enough for one is good enough for the other. Just like the fifty-five gallon drum. You just couldn't wait and take a shower like everybody else. You just had to set up your own system, didn't you? This is a commune, not an entrepreneurial enterprise. People like you don't know how to go with the flow. You just have to make things happen yourself."

"Oh yeah?" Max retorted. "And you don't? Is that why you were in your own private hot shower at the Big House on the night you deserted our son in the hospital? You people have some very screwed up priorities around here."

"Why you ungrateful son-of-a-bitch," she said, angrily.

"No," interrupted Alexis. "Enough please. We're leaving now, so we'll be gone. We're grateful for your help in delivering our baby. I just think Max and I have discovered that we like to be in charge of our own, to think and work and fend for ourselves. We have different ideologies; we are entrepreneurs, not communists. Thank you for all you've done." Alexis extended her hand. "Goodbye."

The old doctor in Nashville diagnosed that Jordan was out of danger, prescribing gentle morning and evening sunlight, ironically, a natural cure to break down the rest of the bilirubin. He was very kind and refused payment on the grounds that he hadn't really treated the baby. The grateful couple thanked him heartily, then continued north, free at last to pursue their journey.

0 advocates for peace: