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Authors: Chris Taylor

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The Baby Snatchers

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THE BABY SNATCHERS

Book Three of the Sydney Harbour Hospital
Series

 

 

Chris Taylor

 

 

COPYRIGHT
NOTICE

 

Copyright 2016 by LCT Productions Pty Ltd

(All Rights Reserved)

 

LCT Productions Pty Ltd

18364 Kamilaroi Highway, Narrabri NSW
2390

ISBN. 978-1-925119-27-5 (Ebook)

ISBN. 978-1-925119-28-2 (Paperback)

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal
enjoyment only and may not be re-sold or given away to other
people. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via
the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the
publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only
authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or
encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support
of the author’s rights is appreciated.

 

The Baby Snatchers
is a
work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media and
incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are
used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or
dead, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.

 

 

TABLE OF
CONTENTS

 

Copyright

Dedication

The Sydney Harbour Hospital Series

 

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Epilogue

 

Note to Readers

Acknowledgements

About the Authors

 

 

DEDICATION

 

This book is dedicated to my friends Sue
Ricardo, Ally Thomson and Pru Knight for reminding me that every
now and then, I need to drag myself away from my keyboard and enjoy
some “girlfriend time.” Thank you for your friendship and support.
And as always, to my wonderful husband, Linden. I love you.

 

 

The Sydney Harbour Hospital Series

(in order)

 

THE PERFECT HUSBAND

(Book One)

 

THE BODY THIEF

(Book Two)

 

THE BABY SNATCHERS

(Book Three)

 

THE FINAL BULLET

(Book Four)

 

THE DEBT COLLECTOR

(Book Five)

 

Other books by Chris Taylor

 

The Munro Family Series

(In order)

 

The Profiler

The Investigator

The Predator

The Betrayal

The Deception

The Negotiator

The Christmas Vigil

The Ransom

The Defendant

The Shooting

The Maker

 

Sign up for my newsletter and keep up to date
with new release dates, exclusive content and other offers at:
http://www.christaylorauthor.com.au/subscribe-to-our-newsletter/

 

Find out more about all of Chris Taylor’s
books, including the hugely popular Munro Family series by visiting
her website at:
http://www.christaylorauthor.com.au/about/books

PROLOGUE

6th May, 1973

 

Dear Diary,

 

Matron approached me tonight, just as I was
pulling on my coat. The storm that had raged for most of the
evening was still fierce in its intensity. My trusty Toyota was
parked at the far end of the hospital car park. By the time I
reached its safety, my hair was plastered to my face and my uniform
was drenched.

But that’s not what has kept me up way past
the time I should be in bed, snatching whatever hours I can before
my alarm clock and the demands of a busy country hospital once
again intrude. It’s what Matron said as I was leaving the maternity
ward that has my thoughts in a frenzy and my body too tense for
sleep.

She spoke to me about the newborns—or more
precisely, their mothers. Their young, unwed mothers. She painted a
terrible picture of the awfulness of these innocent babies’ lives.
They’ve been born out of wedlock to mothers too young to know what
it means to care for a child; to mothers with no means of providing
for them—not to mention their total absence of morals.

Matron’s harsh and desperate whisper
still echoes in my ear. ‘If something isn’t done, these babies will
grow up as bastards, forever labeled, forever maimed. Unloved and
unwanted, treated like trash.’
Is that what I want for them?
The very thought makes my heart ache with sadness, anger,
helplessness.

What can I do to save them, these innocent
babes in arms?
It’s the very question Matron posed to me as I
made my way outside. The question has been racing around and around
inside my head, keeping me from sleep. I don’t know what I can do
to save them! I am a young, single female. What is it Matron
expects me to do?

I’ll talk to Marjorie. She’ll know what to
do. She always knows what to do. Until I know the answer, I won’t
sleep comfortably again…

CHAPTER ONE

 

Present day

 

Georgina Whitely finished her internal
examination of the young woman who lay on the bed in the birthing
suite of the Sydney Harbour Hospital. The midwife removed her
gloves and smiled at her patient.

“I have good news, Cynthia!” she said.
“You’re fully dilated.” A surge of adrenaline rushed through the
nurse, but she kept her voice calm. “We’re going to get ready to
push now.” For better or worse, this was where things got
interesting.

At Georgie’s announcement, the patient’s
hands fisted around the steel bedrails. Barely sixteen and
terrified, with her hair plastered to her face, her breaths came
fast. As Cynthia’s midwife, it was Georgie’s responsibility to see
the girl through the final stages of labor and ensure a successful
outcome for both mother and baby.

“Slow it down, Cynthia. That’s it. Big
breaths. In and out. You’re almost there.” She kept her voice soft
and hypnotic, yet firm, hoping to penetrate the fog of apprehension
and pain that filled most women at this point. She’d been no
different.

“It hurts!” Cynthia gasped and tears ran
down her cheeks. “Please, nurse! Can’t you make it stop?”

“You’re doing wonderfully, Cynthia. Not much
longer, now. Think about your baby and slow down your breathing. In
through your nose and out through your mouth. That’s it. Well done!
Keep going.”

Georgie grabbed the wet cloth she’d left on
the nightstand and swiped it gently across the girl’s flushed face.
It wouldn’t do anything to ease the pain, but at this point in
time, that was all Georgie could do. It was too late for an
epidural or any other kind of drugs, apart from the laughing gas.
The baby would arrive any minute.

“Ow! Bloody hell! Please, nurse! You have to
make it stop! Please!”

“It’s all right, Cynthia. Use the gas.
Breathe through it. You’re almost there.”

The contraction that had gripped the
teenager’s body finally eased its relentless hold and the girl
gasped and groaned and cried out in relief. Fresh tears slid down
her cheeks. She turned to Georgie, her eyes desperate with fear and
pain.

“How much longer? How much longer is this
gonna take?”

“You’re nearly there, Cynthia. Keep on
going. Your baby’s going to be here any minute!”

The girl stared at Georgie, her expression
one of anxiety and distrust. Georgie didn’t blame her. Cynthia had
been in labor for more than fifteen hours. No doubt it was hard for
her to believe the pain and torment was ever going to stop.

Most of the time, Georgie’s patients had
someone beside them, offering support. Whether it was the father of
the baby or someone else, not many women chose to go through labor
on their own. Georgie couldn’t help but wonder if the poor girl had
anyone; if there was a single soul who cared about the teenager or
the baby. It was a sad and depressing thought.

“Ow! Ow! Ow! It’s coming again! Please!
Nurse, help me!”

Georgie’s chest went tight, but she did her
best to remain calm through the girl’s desperate pleas. “Cynthia, I
want you to listen to me. Pull up your legs and bend your knees.
Keep your chin down on your chest. As the contraction builds, I
want you to try and push.”


Ow
!” The girl screamed and gasped
all at once, putting more effort into voicing her pain than she had
moving her baby along. Georgie moved closer to the bed and turned
the girl’s head to face her.

“Listen to me, Cynthia. We need to get this
baby out. It won’t happen without your cooperation. Do you
understand?”

In the aftermath of a contraction, the girl
nodded and let out a soft sob. “I’m trying! I’m doing the best that
I can!”

“I know you are, Cynthia, but you need to
concentrate on pushing. Don’t waste your energy on crying out. Keep
your chin down and your legs up and when you feel that contraction
building, I want you to push down with all your might. I’m going to
count to ten. I want you to keep on pushing for as long as you can,
all right?” She smiled down at her, hoping to reassure her, and was
rewarded with a wobbly smile.

“All right.”

Glancing across at the monitor, Georgie
noticed another contraction was on its way. “Okay, Cynthia. Here it
comes. Bring your legs all the way up, drop your chin down on your
chest. Here it comes, Cynthia. Breathe in and
push!

Georgie began the countdown, keeping one eye
on the monitor. The baby’s heartbeat was still strong and regular.
They were almost there.

“That’s it, Cynthia. Keep pushing!
Eight…nine…ten. Relax.”

The girl collapsed back against the pillows
and sucked in mouthfuls of air.

“Take it easy, Cynthia. Big, deep breaths.
Slow it down. That’s it, honey. One more big push like that and I
think the head will crown. Your baby will be here before you know
it.” She smiled and moved around to stand between the young girl’s
legs and glanced at the monitor again. “Okay, Cynthia. Here it
comes. Big breaths, like I told you. Chin down, legs up. Let’s go!
One…two…three…”

Lifting the girl’s hospital gown out of the
way, Georgie watched the baby’s head appear and quickly donned a
fresh pair of gloves. “I can see the head, Cynthia! I can see a
whole mop of black hair! Keep going! You’re nearly there!”

“Ow, it’s stinging! Nurse, it’s
stinging!”

“Big, slow breaths, Cynthia. The pain will
soon disappear. One more push and it’ll all be over, I
promise.”

The girl frowned at her with a narrowed
gaze. “You promise?”

Georgie shot her a big smile. “I promise.
Now, here comes the contraction, keep your head down and push!”

The girl groaned through her clenched teeth
and pushed with all her might. Georgie held her gloved hands at the
ready.

“That’s it, Cynthia! Keep going! Your baby’s
nearly here!” The head cleared the opening. Quickly, Georgie felt
around the baby’s neck for the cord. It wasn’t there and she
breathed a quiet sigh of relief.

“Another second or two, Cynthia. Take
another deep breath.” Georgie twisted the baby’s shoulders and it
slid into her waiting hands. The cord was free from entanglements
and the baby looked as it should.

“It’s a girl! Congratulations, Cynthia! You
have a little baby girl!” Quickly clearing the baby’s airway with
suction, Georgie wrapped her in a clean towel and placed the baby
upon her mother’s chest. Skin to skin, the tiny infant gave only
the slightest of murmurs and then closed her eyes, content.

“She’s not crying. Why isn’t she crying?”
Cynthia asked, her voice rising in panic.

“Not all babies cry at birth.” Georgie
hurried to reassure her. “She’s happy where she is. She’ll cry when
she’s ready. Her color’s good and she’s breathing fine. There’s
nothing to be worried about.”

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