After all the chaos and fear on Boylston Street, Caroline Reinsch wondered if she heard the question right. The blast had perforated her eardrums and punched a bloody hole in her thigh all the way to the femur, splitting the quad muscle. “Is there a possibility you are pregnant?” the X-ray technician asked, standing over her gurney.
The question hung in the air at the Faulkner Hospital. A routine one for women of childbearing age undergoing treatment, it seemed almost cruel to Reinsch in that moment, when all she was thinking about was whether her boyfriend, Christian Williams, was going to live. She was 39, he was 41, and they had been trying to conceive since last fall without any luck. Now she wondered if they ever would.
“Possibly. But probably not,” she told the technician, who shielded her womb anyway.
It took 11 days until she had healed enough from the surgeries to be released, leaving with a bulky leg brace and wounds that needed constant redressing, the thigh where they harvested the skin graft hurting even more than the thigh ripped open by the blast. The first place she went was Beth Israel, for an emotional reunion with Williams — the two of them in tears, the nurses crying, too. He survived but was nowhere near release, and doctors were still working to save his right leg.
She had tamped down any thoughts of pregnancy until her iPhone rang a few days later. It was her regular doctor, going over her discharge file from the Faulkner, all of it seeming familiar. Then the doctor paused.
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