• Published 4th Feb 2020
  • 1,632 Views, 34 Comments

For Better or For Worse - FoolAmongTheStars



Life goes on for both Starlight and Sunburst, even with a baby on the way.

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First Month

Starlight Glimmer hates hospitals. The smell of antiseptic. The uncomfortable chairs. The harsh, glaring lights hanging from the ceiling. The other sick ponies waiting besides her. In fact, she doesn’t know a single pony that likes hospitals, maybe there is a pony somewhere in Equestria that adores the atmosphere of sickness and anxiety hanging in the waiting room, but Starlight isn’t one of them. And she hopes she never meets them.

Above all, she hates the waiting. Granted, it’s in the name of this particular area of the hospital, so its expected, but still…

Starlight sighs and sinks lower in to her chair, which groans and creaks loudly as she does, catching the attention of the other patients waiting for their turn. She ignores them by grabbing an out of date magazine and covering her face with it.

Despite it all, Sunburst still insisted that she go to the doctor for proper check-up and testing.

“It could be a false positive.” He said, and she agreed with a nonchalant nod, though inside she was reeling.

A false positive. A false positive! How could three pregnancy tests come back with a false positive!? She fumed about it to Phyllis in her office while she was watering her pot, the only living thing—besides her and Sunburst—that knew about her pregnancy. Once she was done Starlight felt better and one look at Phyllis’s shiny green leaves made her see the reason in her boyfriend’s words (and made her feel just a little hungry). Because she knows he’s right—he’s rarely wrong about anything to begin with—she would have to see a doctor sooner or later, to make sure that she and the baby were fine.

She been sitting on this information for too long by the time she gathered the courage to even buy the tests. What if Sunburst was right? What if there was no baby after all? What if it was something else? What if there was a baby but it was now—?

“Starlight Glimmer?”

Starlight jumps, the chair squeaking so loudly that all heads turn to see her. The magazine she been using as a shield slips form her hooves and falls to the floor, the cheerful, pregnant mare in the cover grinning at her almost mockingly while she cradles her pregnant stomach. Feeling the heat rise to her face, she tosses the outdated issue of The Lump to the table and follows the nurse through the door.

The nurse walks quickly and Starlight stumbles slightly as she follows. She rarely gets sick, so she’s unsure what the procedure is here, but luckily the nurse just points her to next door where the doctor was waiting. Taking a deep breath of sterile hospital air Starlight opens the door and peeks inside.

“Hmm, hello?”

“Hello there, you must be Miss Glimmer, I’m Doctor Healing Touch, please come in.”

Sitting behind a desk was a graying pegasus mare. She’s older than Starlight, judging by the wrinkles on her eyes and the laughter lines around her mouth, she has a kind smile when she stretches her hoof in greeting and tells her to sit on one of the free chairs opposite hers. There’s another chair next to Starlight and it makes her feel a little guilty she didn’t drag Sunburst along, or tell him she was coming in the first place.

“So, what seems to be the problem?”

The doctor’s chair is infinitely more comfortable than those in the waiting room, but the Headmare squirms in her seat as she gathers the courage to speak to the kindly doctor.

“I think I might be pregnant,” she says and lowers her eyes, just enough so she doesn’t have to see the doctor’s face. “I, huh, took a pregnancy test at home and it came back positive.”

The doctor nods and scribbles something in a piece of paper. The rest of the check-up is surprisingly dull, the pegasus face don’t show any emotion except for cool professionalism, she nods along to Starlight’s description of her symptoms, even if she rambled for a bit in some areas. The doctor asks her a couple of questions (some of which are a little embarrassing, like when was the last time she had sex and if she kept track of her estrus cycle, but she could see why they were necessary) and has her stand on a scale, she takes her measurements and weight before she asks her to sit on the examination bench.

“Home pregnancy tests are very accurate these days, but there’s always a margin of error and they don’t tell us the whole story. I’m going to need to take a blood sample for testing, not only to confirm the pregnancy, but to make sure that the fetus is healthy.”

Starlight nods and grimaces when the doctor pull out from the drawers the other reason she hates hospitals: needles. Her foreleg trembles ever so slightly when the doctor wraps the rubber band around her leg, dabs a cotton ball soaked with alcohol on a patch of skin and flinches when the needle breaks her skin and does its thing.

And this is only the beginning, Starlight groans to herself as the medic puts a little band aid on her foreleg.

“Well, that would be all Miss Glimmer,” says the doctor. “Your results will be ready in a week.”

“A week!?” Starlight says before she can stop the words, gawking at the kindly medic. “That’s too long!”

“I’m very sorry, usually it would take less than three days, but the lab is really back up lately.” Sighs the pegasus as she collects Starlight’s sample to put it in the proper folder. “We have to outsource to other labs near Ponyville, just to keep up with demand.”

“Isn’t there a way to know sooner?” She asks without thinking and is surprised when she gets an answer.

“Sure, there is,” says the old mare and rummages through the drawers of the examination room. “It’s an old-fashioned method, but it’s one hundred percent accurate!”

Starlight sits a little straighter, the plastic cushion of the examination table squeaking with the pressure, her ears perking with interest at first before they drop with confusion. Doctor Healing Touch turns around holding a long, plastic glove the length of her foreleg in one hoof and a bottle of clear liquid in the other.

“It’s called a transrectal palpation, basically I examine your rectum for signs of pregnancy.”

Starlight stares at the things in the nurse’s hoof and is almost too afraid to ask, but she does so anyway. “With what?”

“With my hoof of course.”

“…You know what I’ll just wait for the results.”

The doctor shrugs and puts the things away. “Suit yourself.”

Before the doctor finishes those words, Starlight is already out the door, her tail tucked tightly between her legs.


“A week?” Sunburst says, his voice filled with incredulity. “Blood tests don’t take more than three days!”

“That’s what I said.”

“Wasn’t there a way to know sooner?”

“No there wasn’t.” She says quickly and her tone leaves no room for him to argue.

There’s a feeling of irony that one of the most lifechanging moments in her life had come in such a boring piece of paper. Neither Sunburst or Starlight dare to open it, instead they stare at it like it might explode if they touch it. The envelope is simple enough, just plain white paper with her name and address written in typewriter, with the hospitals address and logo printed on the side. It’s very thin, which feeds more in to her anxiety. She wasn’t expecting a whole report, but shouldn’t lab test results be thicker?

Starlight sighs impatiently and hands him the envelope. “Let’s just get this over with.”

Sunburst takes it with his magic, along with his trusty letter opener, and slices it cleanly open with ease, but he hesitates before pulling the paper out.

“No matter what, I’m still here, alright?”

She looks up and meets Sunburst’s gaze. He’s scared, just like she is, but there’s a determination there that puts her on ease. She nods and a small smile stretches awkwardly on her face, but it’s there and it’s more than she expected given the circumstances.

“Alright.”

He pulls the paper out and his eyes scan the paper, she knows he’s done reading it in less than five seconds, but when those seconds stretch to ten her anxiety makes her want to snatch the paper from him, but she stops herself.

“Well?”

He doesn’t say anything. Instead he flips the paper and, printed in bold letters under a bunch of medical nonsense she doesn’t care to examine, it read: Positive.