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DAY 01: New Life [1000 hrs.]

DAY 01: New Life [1000 hrs.]

[ Hylota Vojona | Medical Lab | USS Theurgy | Deck 07 ]

Hylota Sighed as she arrived at the Medical Lab, she felt that this was a bit of overkill, but she had to admit that it was probably advisable, she had only recently recovered from the injuries and she was not exactly a common case that the Federation Medical team had to deal with, in fact she as the first Ovri to grow pregnant among the Federtion, and with the only records on Ovri pregnancies currently being held by the Corrupted Federation and the Ovri Enclave kind of left Dr. Hayden in the dark on the matter at hand, not to mention that this was a possibly hybrid child in the making. So yeah in the end it kind of made sense that she was going to be getting a total medical examination and scanning for her own safety.

With a sigh Hylota walked into the Medical Lab, her previously injured and numbed arm still laid in its sling for the time being as she had been instructed to give it at least a day more to fully recover after all of the treatments and attention it had received to counteract the salve and the drugs administered to restore the burned and torn muscle and skin tissue. Hylota shifted as the skin still felt irritated under her uniform, she could not wit to g back to hr room and just strip down and relax again. Looking own she sigh as she looked at her boots, thankfully someone else had been kind enough to go retrieve them for her while she had been working the other day, but she still liked the feeling of being able to spread her toes out and walk bare footed around the ship.

Hylota took a deep breath and scanned the medical lab and looked around to try and locate Dr. Hayden, she had to wonder if Dr. Nicander had been the on behind getting them the time in the Medical Lab, it did seem like he would want to look after her, especially after how much she had assist him, and she had gotten a slight feeling that he wanted to at least slightly repay the favor for her saving his life. Eventually Hylota realized that the room was indeed empty aside from her and she simply walked in and sat down on a chair and she closed her eyes as she waited silently for her appointment to finally occur. 

Re: DAY 01: New Life [1000 hrs.]

Reply #1
[Doctor Hayden O'Connor | Medical Lab | Sickbay | USS TheurgyAttn: Zenozine

Hayden approached the medical lab with a mixture of anxiety and genuine excitement. Doctor Nicander had given Hayden his blessing to oversee Hylota's medical care and she had promised to keep him in the loop every step of the way. O'Connor reasoned the CMO had made the decision in part because he had quite enough on his plate, not to mention his own physical recovery, but also in part because she had a strong rapport with the female Ovri. Not only did they work well together in the midst of the mutiny and the aftermath, but as a female physician with obstetrics expertise, not to mention her mental health training, she didn't deny she was well equipped to help Hylota deal with the emotional impact of being pregnant in the midst of the ship's madness.

Ever since she told Hylota about the pregnancy, her mind had been filled with questions. Not far from O'Connor's thoughts was the reality this would be the first Ovri pregnancy the Federation, if they were strictly still part of the Federation, had ever seen. As such, it was critical for Hayden to get  as much information about the process from Hylota as she could. The weight of overseeing the health and well-being of at least two lifeforms was heavy enough on her shoulders, but she also couldn't deny the crew could use a bit of happiness, something to celebrate. Even as the thought crossed her mind, however, O'Connor remembered what the Ovri nurse had said about the possibility of the pregnancy failing, and the thought that heartbreak was just around the corner was nearly too much to bear.

Besides all of the larger implications for medical science, Hayden was determined not to lose sight of the personal implications for Hylota. Hayden had no idea whether she had become pregnant consensually or if the pregnancy was the result of the rash of sexual assaults that had taken place because of Vassar's master plan. O'Connor vowed to tread carefully and to never do anything to make Hylota feel anything less than a being deserving of the best care and emotional support possible. The female Ovri was not a lab rat who had become pregnant for the good of medical science or crew morale. She had simply become pregnant, and as Hayden put herself in Hylota's shoes, she had a sense that reality had to be pretty terrifying.

Entering the lab, Hayden frowned slightly. Doctor Nicander had reserved the space for them and it was ideal for conducting a full battery of tests, but as she considered it now, it certainly wasn't the best space to encourage a sense of safety and relaxation. She approached Hylota slowly and with a gentle smile. "Thank you for meeting me here. As you know, I have several questions and I'd like to do a thorough exam, but if you like, we can head to another private space in sickbay. I know the lab isn't the most welcoming for patient care, and my number one priority will always be your safety and comfort," she added warmly. O'Connor hoped her genuine sincerity came across. She knew the two of them didn't know each other well, but she hoped that would change over time. If her understanding of Ovri gestation was accurate, Hylota would be laying her eggs in a matter of days, and something so intimate shouldn't be attended by someone Hylota saw as someone she was forced to tolerate.

Re: DAY 01: New Life [1000 hrs.]

Reply #2
As the doors to the lab opened up Hylota opened her eyes and looked to the door and lock eyes with Dr. O'Connor. She watched the ship's counselor approach and Hylota straightened herself up in her chair as she waited for things to begin. As Dr. O'Connor began to talk about the arrangements of their meting and weather Hylota waned to change their location while they had their initial psych evaluation to make Hylota feel safe...that comment made Hylota frown. "To be completely frank Doctor, I do not think anywhere on this ship is safe, I left my brother in secure medical care and he not only got raped, but almost got killed in a crossfire as no one seemed to care for his safety." She shook her head no. "No I find this location just fine, no on comes here unless they need to work, and it is not a primary location to attack or stag a raid from, so I would say I feel safer here than just about anywhere else at the moment."

There was a cold tone to Hylota's words, she ha clearly one plenty of digging into the incidents that had led up to hr brother's current situation. In truth Hylota had spent most of her down time ice he mutiny tying to find out exactly who ha failed her and she already had one member of the medical staff she was going to be having a bone to pick with. Hylota sighed and ran her hand over the top of her head before she looked to Hayden."Honestly I could care less how and where we do this, just take things in the direction you want them to go doctor and I will comply." She leaned back in her chair and sighed.

Looking back to Hayden she spoke. "I am sure that you are both concerned and curious about me an my pregnancy. As such I figure that after everything that happened on the ship I should clear some thing up before you ask some awkward questions. To start I know the father of this possible hybrid, yes it was consensual on my part and I do not regret how it had happened." Hylota took a deep breath. "And the father is Nurse Maal." She then looked back to Hayden. "I would rather not go into the matters of my sexual life so I would like to not discuss the matter or how Nurse Maal and I got to performing the deed." Hylota's tone got especially bitter an cold as she spoke of Maal, clearly she knew of what ha happened with him and her bother.

Re: DAY 01: New Life [1000 hrs.]

Reply #3
[Doctor Hayden O'Connor | Medical Lab | Sickbay | USS TheurgyAttn: Hylota

Insincerity wasn't part of Hayden O'Connor's DNA. She wasn't the type to offer platitudes or meaningless reassurances. When she spoke, she spoke from the heart. Moreover, Hayden O'Connor wasn't the sort to believe life was going to be all sunshine and rainbows, and she didn't expect her patients to believe it was that way to feel better. In short, she wasn't the type to blow smoke up someone's ass just to make herself feel better, and she wasn't someone who mistook expressing hope and compassion for being delusional. O'Connor never expected Hylota to pretend the mutiny never happened or to ignore her own distressing emotions. As a counselor and even as a physician, taking the brunt of someone else's anger, frustration, or even mild annoyance wasn't a foreign position for her, but still, the coldness of the Ovri's words hit Hayden's emotional skin like several hard slaps to the face.

On the one hand, she tried to remind herself not to take anything Hylota said personally, to understand the Ovri nurse had a right to her feelings and to express them safely with someone who could focus on her and her needs. On an intellectual level, O'Connor also understood her attempts to express warmth and compassion could be viewed by someone in a troubled state of mind as an attempt to ignore or minimize their collective suffering. Hayden understood  she and the rest of her staff needed to be dependable, whether it was by sheer presence or emotional strength. The crew needed an outlet to express their feelings, and if Hayden couldn't be that for the group, who could?

Nevertheless, O'Connor was still a sentient being with feelings of her own, and no matter how determined one was to be strong and professional, in the face of fatigue and overwhelming trauma, even Hayden had her limits. As horrible as Vinata's suffering had been and as determined as she was to personally do whatever she could to help him heal, he certainly wasn't the only one hurt that day or caught in the crossfire, and it sure as hell didn't happen because no one cared. How the Ovri female nurse could come to such a conclusion in light of all that everyone had sacrificed and endured simply to survive was beyond Hayden.

Furthermore, Hylota wasn't doing herself any favors with Hayden the human being by behaving as if she was doing O'Connor and the rest of the medical staff a favor by agreeing to receive medical care to address her pregnancy. Saying she couldn't care less about how and where such care took place may have reflected her ambivalence toward the pregnancy altogether, but Hayden the human being also couldn't deny such words came across with an arrogance that her weary body and mind couldn't easily abide. Lord knew, there were a million other things she could be doing with her time, not the least of which was meeting with other traumatized crewmembers or grabbing more food and sleep for herself.

Reaching for a PADD, Hayden kept her voice even as she replied calmly, "I am truly sorry for all you and your brother have suffered.  It's true there's been plenty of pain to go around, unfortunately, and I don't foresee this journey getting any easier anytime soon. Your brother was caught in the crossfire, just as we all were that day.  One thing I've learned is our experiences may be different in this life, but our pain feels the same.  It pains me to think you believe your brother suffered because people did not care, but if you truly question my commitment to the crew's well-being, then and now, or our sickbay colleagues' commitment to it, then please, don't submit to an examination.  The very last thing I want is to be so careless as to offer medical care to someone who believes it's being done to her and not for her." 

O'Connor shrugged then.  "I am concerned for your health and I am curious about how your pregnancy will progress, but don't mistake my concern and curiosity for shackles and a lack of free will.  If you don't want my assistance because you're uncomfortable answering personal but pertinent questions or because of something you think I did or didn't do concerning the mutiny or the rest of my work, then feel free to speak now and I will see to it you're either left alone or someone else is assigned to your medical care."

 The ball was in Hylota's court, and as far as Hayden was concerned, if Hylota didn't trust her or wasn't truly willing to receive medical care from her or anyone else, it was better to know that now.  The only question left to be answered was whether she trusted Hayden enough to be a partner in the journey.  In the meantime, O'Connor made note of what Hylota had already shared, including the potential child's father and the pregnancy was the result of consensual sex.

Hayden sighed inwardly in relief.  She would process the emotional implications of the father's identity later, but for now her mind swirled with questions.

How was Hylota feeling now?

Were there symptoms of the pregnancy that needed to be treated now, and how similar were the symptoms to those of pregnant humans or humanoids? (Did Ovri females suffer morning sickness?)

Had she ever laid a clutch of eggs before or had she always taken suppressants?

What would be her medical needs as things progressed?

If Hylota suffered a miscarriage, as she seemed to think she might, what would those signs be?

Hayden's mind continued to fill with questions even as she waited to find out if she would even have the chance to get answers.

OOC:  So I didn't like my earlier response.  It felt choppy and I was just having trouble getting the right words to come out.  The overall message is the same so I don't think it'll mess up anything you may have planned, but if it does, let me know.  I also included a list of questions in this post just in case you wanted to answer them pre-emptively for Hayden in your next post.  Also note, there's no hard feelings from me to you or from Hayden to Hylota.  Hayden's just feeling the strain and took issue with someone doubting her concern, even though she and I totally get where that came from. 

Re: DAY 01: New Life [1000 hrs.]

Reply #4
[ Hylota Vojona | Medical Lab | USS Theurgy | Deck 07 ]

Hylota had a slight feeling of guilt over how she had treated Dr. O'Connor so early on in their meeting, deep down she did not want to be this bitter, but she could not help it, she felt betrayed, despite how many of he medical staff had been hurt her brother had seemed to have taken the worst of it all. And on top of it all, the moment of their reunion had tainted Hylota's feelings, the look on his face, the was just too much of a shock for her, and from what she had seen from there had  show Hylota all she wanted to see about how thing had turned out. But as she was told that this did not need to be one if Hylota was feeling the evaluation was being done for her, she snapped back and shook her head no and sighed. "No, I  fully aware I need this...I do not feel the same, I  need to get past this."

Hylota rubbed her temple and closed her eyes, she k new she needed to talk, and she got the feeling that she was being seen as just being needlessly angry, so with a sigh she spoke. "Despite how I might have responded, I think you should know I am mad at my fellow medical staff for their inability to protect their patients, not just my brother, even from the triage center. I felt that no one had been prepared to fight when it as needed of them, but I have been prepared, I save Dr. Nicander probably three times over the course of the mutiny, I fought of attackers and managed to help contain the mutiny, all while the rest of the medical staff was left completely helpless. If my brother had not tried to save the others from Phantom, would any of them have even tried?" Hylota sighed and hook her head. "I know it is not their duty to do that, but I cannot help but feel betrayed right now. Like I cannot trust my brother's well being to the medical staff."

Hylota took several deep breaths before she looked back to Dr. O'Connor, "Doctor I completely understand you fascination and concern, and I honestly do not mind. I will be the first to admit that I was quite interest in the study of Mammalian pregnancy in the courses I took at Starfleet Academy. Honestly I would rather get care fro someone eager to observe than someone who could care less to do anything other than go over a checklist." She adjusted her position in her chair and looked to Hayden. "I do not hold anything against you from the mutiny...and not Maal any longer....but I still feel anger, and I just feel cold over it that is emotionally cold, not physically"

Looking to Hayde Hylota knew that he should do her best to get information out there before they start and clear up how she felt about the matter, because a human might feel attach to a pregnancy, but for an Ovri it was just different. "Now before we start there are some things that we need to go over to make sure that you are clear with before we get too far." She raised one finger. "First, this is not my first clutch, about once a year any Ovri female will produce a clutch, even if left infertile the eggs will be released from the body." She raised her second finger. "One in five of our egg is likely to fertilize of a clutch and our clutches range from twenty to thirty eggs." The third finger rose. "It will take the better part of a week for the eggs to pass through my body, in that time they will grow and begin their development if any of the seed has taken, but it will be hard to detect until the eggs have been laid." She then let her thumb out holding up hr open four fingered hand. "Lastly, this is a hybrid pregnancy, I do not know if it will be stable at all. As such I am fully aware that it is more likely than not that this pregnancy will fail and my offspring will not ever see life. I think you need to be aware of this and not get your hopes up." Hylota's tone showed that she had come to terms with this already and was fully expecting to bear no children.

As Hylota got comfortable again she remembered the train of though that she had gone through with Lucan and spoke. "Oh and in case you were wondering, I will not be getting the same things as a human pregnancy, I will have a greater appetite, and some hormonal mood swigs, but I will not be getting your morning sickness...I will get a slight desire to surround myself with males though...but I do not know if I will be seeking out women to hang around considering the physical appearances...never thought too much about it." She rubbed the mark on her head and sighed. "Anyways, back to what you needed to know Doctor, please ask away."

Re: DAY 01: New Life [1000 hrs.]

Reply #5
[Doctor Hayden O'Connor | Medical Lab | Sickbay | USS TheurgyAttn: Hylota

As Hayden listened to Hylota speak, she found herself no less confused by the Ovri's intentions. On the one hand, Hayden understood Hylota was traumatized and had every right to her anger over what had been done to her brother, but on the other, she couldn't help but sense the continued arrogance in her words as she discussed what she had been able to accomplish in battle relative to the rest of the medical staff. Her point seemed to be if she had done it, everyone else surely should have been able to as well, and the fact they had not was not only something she found incredible, but it was something that she felt entitled to lecture everyone else about.

The Ovri's arrogance only seemed to underscore Hayden's own guilt over what she did and didn't accomplish when the mutineers came to sickbay, but the counselor knew if she allowed herself to give into those feelings, even privately, she would be giving tacit permission for others to give into their own guilt by focusing on what they could've done or should've done. She fought the urge to respond to Hylota's arrogant condemnation with sarcasm of her own.

Bully for you, Hylota!

 No, bully for you that you saved the Nicander's  life, fought for your life, and helped contain the mutiny. Myself and the rest of the medical staff were only in the infirmary having tea and playing checkers.

You say you don't trust us? Oh no! I might as well slit my wrists now after hearing such a proclamation from you. How ever will I go on?

O'Connor gave herself permission to let the angry words float across her mind, imagining for just a split second, they had made their mark. It was not in Hayden's nature to hit back viciously even when she had been hit, emotionally or otherwise. It certainly wouldn't be appropriate now, no matter how wounded and stressed she was.

Still, who could blame a counselor for offering some well-placed food for thought?

"In my experience, a person who focuses energy and emotion on the faults of others does so because he is too terrified to admit and address the feelings surrounding his own perceived failings. Pointing fingers may provide a false reprieve from vulnerability temporarily, but it is a delusion nevertheless. Given our circumstances, I would caution you against writing all of us off because we failed to meet your accomplishments and expectations. Sooner or later, we all find ourselves in need of help to prevail, and if you've bitten the hands that are there, you just might find yourself without the fingers you need to lift you out of trouble. Worse yet, you might find those who are in a position to help you decide not to because they can't trust you not to let them down later on. Be careful whom you belittle for failing you and yours, Hylota. They just might believe you when you can least afford it."

Hayden let her words linger for a few moments before she turned her attention to the business at hand. "I appreciate the preliminary information concerning Ovri pregnancy and delivery," Hayden said, reaching for a PADD and continuing to take notes. "I'd like to take a blood sample and some comprehensive scans, but before I do that, I have some more questions. I'll try not to overwhelm you," she added wryly. "First, I'm wondering if there's anything about your medical history generally that I should know which may complicate this pregnancy? Related to that, I'm wondering if when you delivered your previous clutches, if you experienced any particular complications? Obviously, having never cared for a pregnant Ovri before, I'm not sure of all the complications I may need to prepare for, either during the pregnancy or delivery."

Hayden paused to add some additional notes and to think through what Hylota had already offered concerning her symptoms. "We should be able to manage an increase in appetite easily enough, but I'm not sure what you mean when you say you may want to be around more women or men over the course of your pregnancy. Are you referring to an increase in sexual desire that will lead you to seek out men or women, or are you just speaking of a desire for psychological comfort generally?"

In addition, O'Connor wanted to clarify this pregnancy was Hylota's first that could potentially result in offspring. The nurse seemed to imply as much, but she wanted to be absolutely sure. Despite her earlier irritation, it wasn't lost on Hayden that Hylota was trying to protect Hayden's feelings by warning her of a potential miscarriage. She also recalled Hylota commenting on Hayden's fascination with the pregnancy. O'Connor was certainly fascinated and she would be disappointed if Hylota experienced a miscarriage, but not because of any thwarted chances for scientific discovery. Hayden was genuinely concerned for Hylota's physical and emotional well-being. She didn't consider her pregnancy to be an experiment any more than she considered Hylota a lab rat. O'Connor supposed the female Ovri spoke in such a way as to emotionally distance herself from the pregnancy. Under the circumstances, Hayden couldn't entirely blame her.

Even as Hayden waited for Hylota's answers, her mind swirled with additional questions.

What other symptoms could they expect as the pregnancy progressed?

 If she did experience a miscarriage, what would that look like medically and how might they need to intervene?

 How would they determine when Hylota was in the beginnings of actual labor and did Ovri females ever experience premature labor?

Was labor and delivery painful for Ovri females as it was for human females?

Did delivering a clutch actually require the female to push, or did eggs emerge with little effort?

Such questions didn't even take into account the cultural traditions associated with Ovri pregnancy and delivery, but she figured they would get there.

Re: DAY 01: New Life [1000 hrs.]

Reply #6
[ Hylota Vojona | Medical Lab | USS Theurgy | Deck 07 ]

Hylota seemed fine, almost indifferent to the matter at hand as she was doing her best to not get invested in the pregnancy, the way Hylota saw it, this was likely not going to result in anything happy, so there was no reason to get too emotionally invested. But as Hayden made the observation of Hylota's attitude towards the rest of her fellow medical officers and how she was likely pointing fingers to get rid of her own feelings of guilt, well the result was quite visible. As Hylota was presented with the unhappy truth of her feelings she visibly winced and drew back into her chair. Hylota's eyes were soon downcast and her jaw tightened and her hands balled into fists. Speaking in hushed tones Hylota muttered to herself, "I did not fail...there was nothing more I could have done..."

Hylota's eyes darted around looking at the floor as if it could give her answers, she was thinking hard on the things that had happened to her brother before she looked back to Hayden, her eyes angry and harsh. "It is not my fault, and yes the medical staff is not to blame...but I keep being told that either were the mutineers! Then who is to blame! Why is it that whenever something terrible happens there just seems to be no one responsible for the suffering, and we are just told to move on and act as though we are all just fine! Someone has to be responsible!" Hylota groaned and ran her hand over her face and rubbed her forehead. Hylota wanted someone to be angry at, but no, there was no one, just a nameless faceless foe that she did not understand, the thing that made it worse as she knew deep down that only she was responsible for being here and even for Vinata coming with her.

Taking a long deep breath Hylota banished the thoughts on the matter and turned her attention back to her pregnancy. As she was told that Dr. O'Connor wanted to take a blood sample an to get scans Hylota motion to the space around her. "Well that is why we had come here to the lab today wasn't it, to make these tests easy to manage." She sighed and took another deep breath before she moved on to the questions. "Nothing in my mica record will come up as such a complication for the delivery of a clutch. The only thing of note is the loss of an arm, and that has no bearing on this situation. As for delivering clutches before, yes I have laid three clutches in my life before this all have been without fertilization. It is a little different that way, when no eggs are fertile the body does not react to them and they pass out of the body with little effort." She leaned back in her chair and got comfortable. "As part of my Enclave Medical Studies I was trained to aid in a delivery, for the most part it is a slow process, but when eggs are fertilized the body reacts to them and they are supplied with nutrients from my own body causing them to grow, once they are all supplied with the need nutrients my body will begin to expel them, it will take a while, but as they pass though my body they will become coated in a membrane that will protect any possible children and prevent us from seeing if anything is within the egg without medical scans." Hylota waved her hand in the air. "Afterwords my body will expel the leftover nutrients, it helped grow aquatic plants on our world so that our eggs would have some added protection, but it is now just my body expelling my...well afterbirth."

Hylota shifted in her chair. "After that point in time we will be able to scan my eggs to see if there are any that will survive, we can dispose of my dummy eggs and the dead then and there, after that it is up to us how much we try and ensure this possible hybrid survives." Hylota waved her hand dismissively again. "Once the eggs pass out of my body there is very little they need of me." Hylota hen sighed as she moved on to talk about wanting to be around women. "As for having men around...It has been fiercely debated on why Ovri mothers seek out males to keep them company, some have claimed it was to have a person there to distract a potential predator during the birthing process in ancient times, but some have suggested it is a sexual desire and the presence of a male causes a relaxing effect. The fact is that I do not know why it happens, but having a male with a woman during the delivery process cuts stress levels and just makes things easier. Preferably I would have had my brother to be there, but as he is unfit for such things that will not happen. I cannot say weather I will want the company of a woman like yourself for her physical appearance in relation to myself, or a male based on their sexual characteristics, but as the last days come around we will see what happens."

Hylota shifted in her chair again, this stuff was much more awkward that he had thought it would be, she had forgotten how much more involved humans were with their children, Ovri were much more distant, but she felt some more things needed to be said. "It is kind of awkward to say it, but my past deliveries have take place in special clinics, we sit in a shallow pool of water with a single male nurse keeping us company while we deliver, when we finish there is a simple scan done and from there we decide what to do, infertile eggs are disposed of along with dummy eggs, any fertile eggs are often taken and cared for by the Enclave unless a mother expresses a desire to keep the children, or a male wishes to care for them specifically. Otherwise a child is never the charge of the Ovri who deliver it." She rubbed the back of her neck. "At least that was how it was on Dejino."

Re: DAY 01: New Life [1000 hrs.]

Reply #7
[Dr. Hayden O'Connor | Medical Lab | Sickbay | USS Theurgy] Attn: Hylota

As irritated as Hayden was by Hylota's earlier words, even knowing they were motivated by her own hurt and frustration, when the female nurse began to vent her true feelings, O'Connor felt nothing but relief and a strong desire to comfort her. The counselor was never trying to say Hylota had no reason to be angry or hurt, of course, she just objected to the female Ovri placing the blame on her own colleagues while she admonished them for not being as heroic as Hylota deemed herself to be. It was one thing to lash out blindly and anger because one felt there was no one to blame. It was quite another to lash out toward a specific group of people alleging very specific negligence.

In any case, as understandable as both their reactions were, what Hayden knew for sure was that she didn't want there to be any tension between herself and Hylota any more than she wanted there to be tension between Hylota and her colleagues.  Under the current circumstances, they couldn't afford to have infighting amongst the crew, and personally speaking, O'Connor knew she couldn't afford to have members of the crew identify her as a source of pain and blame. If the female Ovri couldn't trust Hayden to be a source of comfort and emotional support, whom could she turn to? As O'Connor listened to Hylota speak about feeling expected to move on and behave as if everyone was just fine, the counselor knew that was a sentiment she could address.
Hayden wanted to reach for Hylota's hands as a gesture of support, but given her earlier agitation, Hayden didn't want to seem disingenuous. Instead, she decided to settle for speaking gently. "I'm sorry if my words suggested to you that I expect you to move on and behave as if everything is fine. That's not the message I want the crew to receive from anyone, especially not from me or anyone in my department. We have all been through severe trauma, repeatedly, and the only way we can expect to experience any degree of healing is if we take the time to acknowledge and express our feelings, to give ourselves time and space to find ourselves again, with compassion and not judgment. The desire to make sense of what has happened to us is a natural one, and assigning blame helps us make sense of things so that we might avoid similar pain in the future. However, assigning blame publicly also adds to the pain of others and ultimately creates divisions within the crew when we can least afford them, so it's critical for all of us to find safe spaces to express our feelings without alienating others permanently. I want the counseling offices to be such safe places for everyone, and I'm working toward that end. I apologize if I let my own emotional expression add to your pain."

The matter settled for the moment, or at least until Hylota had more to say, Hayden turned her attention to the information the female Ovri shared about Ovri pregnancy in general and her current pregnancy in particular. O'Connor continued to take notes as Hylota spoke, but in the midst of her recitation, Hayden reached for her tricorder to conduct scans and eventually took a blood sample to review. After all, notes were helpful, but nothing beat life examination.

As she would expect of a pregnant humanoid, Hayden recognized Hylota's  hormone levels were elevated and she expected as the pregnancy progressed, they would continue to fluctuate.  "Thank you for giving me such a thorough overview of this process.  I will probably wait to ask more in the coming days the closer we get to your delivery date, but I do have a few more questions now, if you don't mind.  You mentioned you will experience a desire to eat more, and I know that's common with human pregnancies as well.  In human pregnancies, prenatal vitamins are given to females to ensure they receive required nutrients.  What nutrients are particularly critical to the growth of the eggs?  I want to make sure you have all of what you need.  Also, I know your labor typically will begin approximately one week after fertilization, but I'm wondering how you determine you are in true labor?  Will you experience uterine contractions that get stronger and more regular over time to induce cervical dilation as with humanoid women?  I ask because humanoid women sometimes go into labor prematurely before their off-spring are fully developed.  Has that ever happened to an Ovri female to your knowledge?  I want to prepare for any potential complications and plan ahead for pain relief for you.  I'm not sure if this will matter, but  I've received training in obstetrics and natural childbirth methods."

There were so many other things to consider.  That said, it didn't escape Hayden's awareness Hylota seemed most reluctant to talk about the connection, or perhaps more accurately, the lack of emotional connection, most Ovri females seemed to have with their children.  Off-spring seemed to be for the benefit of the community rather than the individual parents.  Or was she feeling awkward because Hylota's past deliveries had taken place in special clinics with a lone nurse?  Hayden wasn't sure what she meant so she offered, "How the Ovri handle their off-spring once they arrive may be different than what I'm familiar with, Hylota, but that doesn't mean I think it's wrong.  As for delivering alone with a lone male in a special clinic, we have no separate clinics to offer you, but if you just want another male nurse present, we could arrange that if you'd be more comfortable.  I am eager to help you, and you may want to consider having more than one medically trained person present this time because this will be your first potential off-spring and as you said, the process may be slower and perhaps more intense."

Re: DAY 01: New Life [1000 hrs.]

Reply #8
[ Hylota Vojona | Medical Lab | USS Theurgy | Deck 07 ]

As Hylota was comforted and told that she did not have to just act like everything was alright and that she could seek out a way to vent her frustration with O'Connor's help she looked to the doctor with a look that just seemed so hurt for a moment before she hid it away with her composure. "I do not think I am ready to just let that all loose right no...I do not feel like it would be wise or advisable with my current situation." Hylota shook her head and sighed. "For all I have done m efforts have gotten me promoted, and moved to a new post as Head Nurse...if I am to vent my frustrations and pain, I cannot just let loose now...I need to keep up my appearances." Hylota took a deep breath. "I think I am done talking about my feelings for today, next time I will go further, but not now." She sighed, the prospect of confronting her faults and anger were not appealing right now, and with a shift coming up she would rather not delve much deeper into her own problems just yet.

Shifig in hr seat Hylota changed her attention back to the topic of the pregnancy and away from hr emotions. "As for premature deliveries, there is really nothing similar that happens with Ovri, aside from a delivery going too quickly, if this should happen he eggs would not have a thick enough protective shell and they would likely rupture before the child were to grow to the hatching phase." She waved his off. "However this is a easy enough fix, all you need to do is introduce something to artificially thicken the egg's shell, but this situation might happen due to stress." This seemed to get Hylota thinking for a moment before she closed her eyes tight to stop the train of thought and she directed her attention back to the discussion. "Anyway it is not important right now, I will know when it is time, it will start with my vaginal canal becoming extremely wet an then contractions will begin to start moving the eggs along, I will have about  hour to gt to the water before things get to b troublesome from what I learned about deliveries. As for vitamin supplements they do prove to be beneficial, but is only worth doing toward the ed of the week. During the rest of the week specific things are being drawn out of my body, at the last few days more vitamins and other component are drawn from my body and are directed to the eggs. But the more important place to turn attention is the water that the eggs are left in, it needs to contain proper levels of things that the eggs will need as they grow...I can prepare this well ahead of time."

Hylota then took a deep breath as she was no talking about the clinics, something normal to her, but weird to outsiders. "I know that there was no such clinics on this ship, but I could easily make what is needed from the ships on board supplies. Ad please do not act as though they are some strange place, they are the one place a woman can go to gt away from people and work to take care of their physical needs in private. The male nurses train their entire career to know what to do, and how to give proper care, they are given hormonal treatments to keep them from giving into desires while working." Hylota sighed and rubbed her temple as she thought about how much more labor intensive this as going to be. "When the time comes for the delivery I would like to keep this between you and me, I do not want to take more people away from their duties than is needed, and I would rather not let more people know about my...situation." Hylota's expression grew slightly worried. "It is not likely that any of my eggs will carry any stable life."

Hylota took another deep breath and closed her eyes. "Doctor...if I could be completely honest...this is the most is have ever thought about my own pregnancy. Even when I as still home as a medical student I never gave it much though...I was raised by the state, I was given the same schooling as all other children, but we never learned parenting, it is one of those things you only thought about if you found someone you liked...and I do not know if I have actually done that...I do not know if I even want there to be a child born from this" Hylota suddenly looked frustrated and angry. "This mistake. It was just one stupid interaction that I should have avoided." Hylota sighed and covered her face. "I do not want to be a parent, I know nothing about it, and I have no desire to raise a child, especially in this troubled time I find myself stuck in." Then in a hushed tone she added to herself. "Not like it something worth being, her life was so much better on her own."

Re: DAY 01: New Life [1000 hrs.]

Reply #9
[Doctor Hayden O'Connor | Medical Lab | Sickbay | USS Theurgy]  Attn: Hylota

As difficult as it was to see Hylota in pain, Hayden was relieved to see her attempts to offer comfort hadn't missed their mark. It was true Hayden was frustrated and wounded in part by what the female Ovri had to say, but that didn't mean the counselor took any pleasure in hurting someone in return, intentionally or otherwise. She really wanted to provide emotional support to the entire crew, including Hylota and her brother, to the extent any of them would let her.  O'Connor nodded in acknowledgment that now was not the best time for Hylota to give into her emotions. Hayden understood they all had work to do even as she hoped Hylota wouldn't use work to avoid Hayden specifically or counseling generally, for long. Given their current circumstances, every member of the crew could use work to justify suppressing their own emotions, and the incident with Zaraq proved, if they did so, it was at their peril.

Still, Hylota was opening herself up to express her true feelings. O'Connor was just going to have to trust the female Ovri would come to her when she was ready with more. Considering the weight of what she was dealing with, Hayden imagined it would only be a matter of time. For now, she allowed herself to be absorbed by the medical details, continuing to take notes as she listened. She wanted to take care of as many of the medical details as possible, but as Hylota recounted her needs, O'Connor realized that would be wishful thinking. The female Ovri was going to have to help her prepare whatever substance might be necessary to thicken her eggs shells should it be necessary. It appeared, just as Hayden had suspected, the key to avoiding this and other complications, was for Hylota to avoid as much stress as possible. It was a tall order, to be sure, and even as Hylota seemed resigned to the offspring not being viable, O'Connor was still concerned what such stress and such a complicated pregnancy due to Hylota's overall health.

Even as she tried to ignore the reality she knew absolutely nothing about Ovri reproduction and general medical care, the counselor couldn't help but be constantly reminded that she had no other choice but to rely on her patient to tell her things no medical scan could completely prepare her for. Hayden didn't like feeling unprepared and uninformed, and she felt a twinge of guilt that Hylota might feel obligated to prepare her own birthing water complete with the necessary nutrients for children she didn't expect to survive. However, to not accept Hylota's help in that regard would be irrational and would certainly put her health in danger, which not even Hayden's guilt would allow.

The birthing process itself seemed pretty straightforward, though Hayden would have to think about how she was going to honor Hylota's request for discretion during the delivery while also ensuring the safety of her patient. If this were an uncomplicated pregnancy for a human female, Hayden would have much more confidence in her ability to deliver the child after a peaceful water birth in the mother's own quarters, but she had no idea if Nicander or even the ship's circumstances at that time would allow it. Certainly, Hayden prayed she wouldn't have to attend to the delivery under circumstances that were anything like the recent mutiny, and such risk aside, it certainly seemed prudent to conduct the delivery in sickbay proper, where she not only would be able to do more if things went wrong, but she could also better document this once-in-a-lifetime experience concerning a species they had never encountered before.

Somehow Hylota had gotten the impression Hayden disapproved of the locations in which she delivered her previous clutches, but Hayden meant to convey only that she couldn't guarantee being able to replicate such an environment aboard the Theurgy. It was true the idea of delivering a clutch with only a lone male nurse to offer assistance was foreign to her, as was the general lack of emotional attachment Ovri felt toward their offspring, but just because it was foreign, that didn't mean O'Connor thought any less of it. It was because of Hylota seeming resignation and emotional detachment to her potential offspring, then, that her emotional confession about not being ready to become a parent that caught O'Connor a bit off guard. The admission also led Hayden to realize there was one alternative as a doctor Hayden hadn't even considered, and she knew she would be doing the Ovri female a disservice if she didn't address it, just as she would with any other woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy.

O'Connor took a few beats after Hylota had finished speaking to gather her own thoughts, before offering, "You're not the first parent to be who feels completely unprepared to be a parent. Given your experiences and the circumstances, it's completely understandable for you to feel overwhelmed and uncertain about the future and your desires. Whatever happens, please know there are people, myself included, who will help you whatever happens. I may not be able to completely relate to how Ovri women bear and raise children, but that doesn't mean I think it's wrong. All of that aside, given your feelings about this pregnancy, I'm professionally obligated to ask you this: are you thinking about terminating this pregnancy? If that's what you want and such a thing is medically possible, I will help you. My job is to give you the best care possible, not to pass judgment on your choices, so if you've been hesitant to talk to me about it, I assure you, this is a safe place to discuss all of your options."

Re: DAY 01: New Life [1000 hrs.]

Reply #10
[ Hylota Vojona | Medical Lab | USS Theurgy | Deck 07 ]

Hylota took a deep breath, deep don part of her wanted to explain, to apologize for lashing out at what she perceived as a questioning of how her people did hing, it was just annoying. When she had gotten to the Federation and was given her lesson on standard pregnancies for humans and most other mammalian races she had been ridiculed and mocked for how her people took care of this, she had been stuck in a debate of the merits of her system for a week after that, even though the systems of the Federation and other races were severely lacking in the area of care for guardian less children. It was in that time that Hylota had learned of the federations slight superiority complex and how they viewed other systems and methods as wrong, and all because Humans had managed to make a "peaceful" empire one way, she also felt that the Federation needlessly limited itself on the grounds of pat failings, and they seemed so afraid of creating something they could not control. Hylota would have kept lingering on this if not for the topic Hayden bought up.

As Hayden began to talk about the prospect of an abortion and how it was completely justified considering the situation that they were in and the stress that they were under, Hylota could not help but feel tempted by this simple solution to her problem. She looked down and away, silently sitting there as she thought about and she looked around and then back to Hayden. Hylota swallowed hard and looked troubled, the idea of an abortion was never one her people had to deal with, you could jut give up a child, or in the case of medical reasons one could abort a clutch for the sake of survival. Abortion though as just not something the Ovri did, and the idea was just too unappealing. "As tempting as you make it sound...I cannot bring myself to do that, it just feels...wrong." She shook her head and looked down.

Hylota took several deep breath and collected herself as her eyes darted about as she collected a plan. "The child will likely never survive to term, with the life we lead I might have a poor deliver and lose the clutch." She took a deep breath. "If the clutch does yield a child we could have some simple tests done, and if it shares enough in common with the Ovri we can simply freeze the child and keep it isolated and alive until this is over...or we die...after that I could leave them to the Biological Studies teams and let them safely raise and train the child better than I could..." She brought her hands up to her face and rubbed with a sigh. "I... would take a dreadful mother, this is why we leave it to the men...mother go that much right." She sighed and shook her head.

Re: DAY 01: New Life [1000 hrs.]

Reply #11
[Doctor Hayden O'Connor | Medical Lab | Sickbay | USS TheurgyAttn: Hylota

While Hylota considered what Hayden had said, O'Connor avoided direct eye contact with the female Ovri and instead focused her eyes on a point just above the other woman. She chose to do so to give the appearance Hayden was paying attention to Hylota without staring her down. It wasn't that Hayden was uncomfortable discussing abortion, though she recognized it wasn't an easy subject to discuss, it was that she wanted Hylota to feel free to take as much time as she needed to process her thoughts and feelings on the matter without feeling as though Hayden was staring her down, demanding an answer. O'Connor considered using the silence between them to review her notes, but she decided such behavior would communicate a coldness Hayden didn't feel and wanted to avoid. The two women may not have known each other very well, and there may have been some hurt feelings between the two of them, but given how conflicted Hylota felt about being pregnant at all, Hayden did not want to abandon her while discussing one of the hardest decisions any woman had to make.

Hayden inwardly winced when Hylota mentioned O'Connor made abortion sound tempting, however. Of course, it only took O'Connor a beat to realize what Hylota was really saying, and she nodded in understanding. Given how the female Ovri was feeling about being pregnant, abortion would be a tempting option to some degree because it would mean an end to the thoughts and feelings racing within her. It would mean she wouldn't have to consider her long term options, including how to handle the prolonged death of a child that was never meant to live outside her womb. Still, as a doctor, Hayden didn't think it was her place to make any options sound more tempting than others. In truth, O'Connor wasn't sure she could ever have an abortion herself, but she firmly believed it wasn't her place to tell other beings what they should do with their bodies.

After listening to the other woman's decision and future contingency plans, Hayden said, "I will respect whatever you decide. However, just as I felt obligated to address the option of terminating your pregnancy, I feel just as obligated to help you consider the possibility of raising any offspring, should they survive. I realize this is counter to your culture and you don't feel equipped to be a mother, and maybe you aren't. That said, I've met plenty of people who never wanted to be parents or thought they could be good parents who suddenly found themselves in a parental role. I've never experienced it personally myself, but they tell me once the child was put in their arms, all thoughts of their limitations were forever changed because the feelings they felt for the child were incredibly intense and unlike anything they could've predicted. Please understand, I'm not trying to tell you what to do, and I can't predict the future, but because none of us can predict the future, I would encourage you not to write off your ability to be a parent immediately."

OOC:  Sorry for the delay on this one!

Re: DAY 01: New Life [1000 hrs.]

Reply #12
[ Hylota Vojona | Medical Lab | USS Theurgy | Deck 07 ]

Hylota listened to hat Hayden had to say on the matter of parenting, butt she could not help but shake her head no. "It is not really the same, most of you other races have parental roles you get familiar with from those who raised you, so despite thinking you are not ready you still know roughly what should be done, but I do not have such a background, I am more familiar with strict diets that are beneficial for a child and proper socialization with others of he same age and learning to compete. I know nothing of being a parent, or raise a child, of how to care for them, I am woefully unprepared, and in curiosity I looked into what your Federation had to say on child raising, and I do not believe that I could find one report that shared more than three thing in common.

Hylota rubbed the side of her head and shook her head. "Look I know you think that this will be something I will be alright with, but I do not know thing one on this, and I do not want to bring the father in on this as it is just too awkward, but I am sure that I want to keep the child." She sighed and sat up straight. "But I would like for there to be some nursery option, a place I could leave my child while I have to work because I do not think that there is anything at present to help me. I would also like for you to keep helping me so that I am not completely alone in this." As she said this Hylota looked Hayden in the eye, they had a look hat could only be described as pleading.

Hylota sighed and looked to the floor and then around the room. " what should we do now? If you have any other questions about the Ovri I would be fine answering them for you. I am fine with revealing more of my people's history and knowledge. It would also do me some good if we were to just talk, I have been without any real friendly conversation for a long time. After what happened with Vinata I have realized that I need to have some people I can fall back on when things get tough."

Re: DAY 01: New Life [1000 hrs.]

Reply #13
[Doctor Hayden O'Connor | Medical Lab | Sickbay | USS TheurgyAttn: Zenozine

Hayden smiled weakly as she heard Hylota mention the lack of agreement within parenting resources. It wasn't that O'Connor was surprised by this, but until this moment, she hadn't really considered how confusing that would be to expectant parents who had absolutely no template or model to base their parenting upon. As Hayden considered it, the female Ovri was right. Even the most confused and reluctant parents to be at least had some sort of parental model to base the experience on, and even if those models were largely absent or unhealthy, at least the parents to be in question knew what they didn't want to do.

O'Connor still couldn't be sure how Hylota was going to feel if any of her offspring survived. It may have been true that on her home world offspring could be given to others to raise, but obviously, that couldn't be the case on board the Theurgy. Even if there were others willing to assist, no one else would have the knowledge of how to care for an Ovri child the way Vinata or Hylota did. O'Connor took a small breath and realized it was probably best to address such concerns later. There were too many unknowns and too many what if's, and sadly, the entire discussion could be one moot point. In truth, Hylota didn't know what she didn't know, and neither did Hayden. What mattered now was Hylota's emotional and physical health. Everything else would have to be addressed as it came.

Hayden placed a gentle hand atop Hylota's hand as she offered, "I'm committed to helping you however I can, you don't even need to ask. As for a nursery, I'll need to explore options. I'm not aware of any parents currently aboard, and as I'm sure you'll agree, our current responsibilities aren't exactly conducive to raising children, but I'm sure we can learn to adapt, just as we always have." Hayden's tone was reassuring and gentle. She wasn't at all sure how any of it could be accomplished, but the last thing Hylota needed was more stress. Like it or not, ready or not, the female Ovri was pregnant and there was the potential for multiple living beings in need of specific nurturing.

The counselor wasn't telepathic, but she sensed Hylota could use a break from the exams and medical discussion, even as she recognized that there was a limited amount of time for Hayden and the rest of the medical staff to gather the information they needed. The Ovri nurse was trying to do her best to meet her professional obligations despite all the obvious conflicting emotions within her. If Hayden couldn't treat her like a sentient being in need rather than a medical project, who would?

Hayden smiled. "I'm sure I'll have a million more questions once you leave, but you're right, we should take a break and talk about something else. Like you, I haven't had much of an opportunity to make friends, and I would welcome a friendly chat. May I get you something from the replicator?"

Re: DAY 01: New Life [1000 hrs.]

Reply #14
[ Hylota Vojona | Medical Lab | USS Theurgy | Deck 07 ]

As Hylota's hand was touched she looked up and blinked as she listened to what Hayden had to say, but as she was told that Hayden was willing to stick with her and help Hylota smiled and for the first time since they had met, looked genuinely relieved. "Thank you, it feels nice to know I am out alone out here." She sighed and rubbed the side of her head before taking a sigh before smiling to Hayden a bit more a letting out a sigh and sitting up straight and looking around the room and then back to Hayden.

As she was asked about herself and the stressful topics wee dropped Hylota let out a gentle chuckle before nodding as she looked Hayden in the eyes with her big dark eyes. "Well Vinata had always said I needed to make friends. And with a new ship and all of this going on, it would be wise for me to have a friend as I move forward with my life now." She took a deep breath and looked up. "Oh man where do I start with this." Hylota let out a nervous chuckle before she looked to the replicator. "As for something from the replicator...jut something to drink, nothing specific, I would love to try something new."

Hylota rubbed her chin and nodded as she took in what she should talk about, and before long she nodded and smiled a bit more confidently. "I think  should talk about how we got into the Federation. I personally did not know anything about your Federation eve when I was asked to come join up and attend as a student of the Federation medical core." She shrugged and smiled. "Honestly I had only just graduated from one of the more reputable medical academies. I was in the higher end of my class and I was intending to apply to be a medical assistant to a research team." She touched her forehead mark. "I was intending to get the respectable red of a researcher."

She shrugged and sighed. "But when the head of the medical council asks you to attend a academy to help build ties wit our new allies, I could not turn down such a request, to be one of the first Ovri to attend medical classes at the Federation, it was truly an honor. Granted it kind of is a backhanded honor as it labelled me as above average but not the best. The best were snatched up by heads of projects, I was simply better than most." She shrugged but smiled still. "Honestly when I took the honor I as only thinking of the different medical science that your Federation might have, since most races lack natural regeneration they advanced differently in the medical world. I wanted to see this difference and see if I could learn anything from it."

Re: DAY 01: New Life [1000 hrs.]

Reply #15
[Doctor Hayden O'Connor | Medical Lab | Sickbay | USS Theurgy] Attn: Zenozine

Hayden knew it was a risk making physical contact with Hylota given the somewhat contentious beginnings of the conversation, but it felt right, and O'Connor was glad to see it was met in the spirit in which it was intended. In fact, the simple gesture and change in conversation topic seemed to lighten the Ovri female's entire mood, and the counselor had to admit, that was its own reward. She couldn't remember the last time she'd seen anyone smile or laugh and a moment's deliberation made Hayden realize she couldn't remember the last time she had smiled or laughed. It was a sobering thought as she made her way to the replicator. Contemplating the options for a moment, Hayden requested the replicator reproduce a mixed berry smoothie for Hylota, the physician in her reasoning the ingredients would at least give her a healthy boost of energy even if the ovary didn't exactly need protein and calcium the way human did.

O'Connor handed Hylota the glass, opting to let the nurse continue talking about her personal journey rather than stop to explain the beverage. The counselor reasoned if Hylota didn't like it, she wasn't the type to be shy about it, if past conversations were any indication. Instead, Hayden let herself be transported by Hylota's story. It was obvious it was doing the nurse a tremendous amount of good talking about something other than the present, and the counselor had to admit, she knew nothing about the Ovri's background before now, and found herself just as eager to focus on something else.

O'Connor couldn't imagine being sent to a foreign government fresh out of medical school. Hell, fresh out of medical school, Hayden didn't fully grasp what it was like to take care of her own people realistically, let alone anyone else's. The kind of pressure Hylota must have felt would've likely overwhelmed Hayden, and that was just on a professional level. That didn't even count what it would be like to leave everything and everyone she knew. At least when Hayden had left for Starfleet, she had some familiarity with what to expect since Federation membership meant at least a passing familiarity with other species within the Federation.

O'Connor's tone was soft but sincere when she offered, "You've certainly proved yourself to be more than above average here. I thought I had an appreciation for your sense of isolation before, but now I can only imagine the pressure he must've felt to prove yourself. I remember what I was like fresh out of medical school. I barely felt comfortable treating my own people, let alone helping other people who were so vastly different from mine." The counselor didn't say it, but Hylota's words further underscored just how terrifying it would be to be pregnant amongst a people she barely knew, let alone trusted.

Re: DAY 01: New Life [1000 hrs.]

Reply #16
[ Hylota Vojona | Medical Lab | USS Theurgy | Deck 07 ]

Hylota took the smoothie and smiled to Hayden as she took stock of the beverage, it had a strange berry aroma and she could imagine it had some dairy product dded in based on the creamy color that it had. With a oft chuckle Hylota interrupted Hayden as she spoke of how she had not been very confident when she had left her own medical schooling. "Well I would imagine I had been a bit more familiar with medical practices when I left school. But before I get to that." She took a quick taste of the smoothie and shuddered. "Mmm, that is tart." She looked up to Hayden a smirked. "You know I do not understand you mammals, you take milk and put it into so my things." She took another sip. "I grasp that it is healthy for you, but it just seems to have gotten into everything you make." She took yet another long sip on the drink before she shuddered. "Does taste good though." She was glad she had pills that would help her break down the dairy products inside of her.

After getting a decent amount of the smoothie Hylota set the drink aside and took a deep breath, the tat taste of the berries holding to h tongue in a very satisfying manner. "Ah, now, you should not felt so worried about me, I was put into the medical program when I entered my teens. When I was only a few years in I thought I was much more skilled that I was." She raised her left arm and looked it over. "I introduced an infection to my arm ad thought I could encourage my body to recover." She chuckled. "Lost myself an arm for my arrogance." She shook her head. "It was humbling, and helped me focus on what  should have been learning."

Hylota shifted a bit. "I know now that it is strange compared to your methods of teaching, but for the Ovri, student wee show surgeries and live practices of medicine from the beginning. If we needed to learn anatomy we would learn in class from texts a diagrams,  but we would eventually go and observe a surgery to see first hand what we were to work with. I the last 5 years of our schooling we were formed into groups and given mock surgeries to perform, we were expected to learn how to perform basic surgeries in care of an emergency." She shrugged. "Things only go challenging when I had to stop thinking like my patients wee Ovri, I cannot simply amputate to stop an injury."

Hylota looked off into the space of the room and sighed. "I must agree though, sometimes I feel that my lack of understanding of other rases will cause a deadly mistake...but thankfully Doctor Lucan has been able to assist me along the way, helping make sure that I get the rest of the training I need so that I am familiar with everything." She took a deep breath. "But I need to top worrying, Lucan has seen to my promotion and given me the role of Head Nurse...I feel that he would not have trust me with this unless he was sure that I was ready."

Re: DAY 01: New Life [1000 hrs.]

Reply #17
[Doctor Hayden O'Connor| Medical Lab| USS Theurgy| Deck 07]  Attn: Zenozine

It was only after Hylota mentioned the prevalence of dairy in human foods that Hayden realized she had selected a beverage based on her own knowledge of pregnant humans even as they had spent time discussing the differences between Ovri and human pregnancies. She shook her head in embarrassment at the oversight even as she acknowledged how ingrained worldviews were. The mistake also only reinforced how little she knew about Hylota's needs, and it strengthened her resolve to learn more, even if now was not the time. At least Hylota was comfortable talking with her and didn't seem offended by her attempts to initiate reassuring physical contact. Given how this meeting had started, O'Connor considered that progress.

Hayden listened with interest as Hylota described her medical studies. She smiled knowingly at Hylota's admission that arrogance had let her to take such a giant risk early in her career. O'Connor couldn't be sure, but it seemed Hylota met her eyes at that particular statement. Despite the earlier attention, it seemed the female Ovri wasn't completely lacking in insight concerning her own arrogance and could even be somewhat self-deprecating. That was a start. "The Ovri methods of study aren't that much different than humans, actually. Once we enter medical school proper, we immediately began working on actual specimens as opposed to learning from diagrams." O'Connor smiled. "It's one of the activities that separates those with a general interest in medicine from those who are truly dedicated to advancing in the field. I remember seeing quite a few first-year medicine students faint at the first sight of a cadaver. I'm not saying I was really any stronger. I just knew it was my first steps to being able to work with actual sick patients. When I delivered my first baby, I knew healing in some form was always going to be part of who I was."

She paused, then added, "I know what you mean about needing to remember you aren't just working on Ovri patients. As you've seen, I'm guilty of making the same assumptions in my interactions with you. I think the key is maintaining an open dialogue with your patients and acknowledging your bias. People are far more forgiving of your mistakes if they see you're willing to acknowledge you are a person with flaws than they are if you pretend you're infallible. No doubt Doctor Nicander believes in your capacity to learn and excel, or he wouldn't have risked giving you such an important role. It can be difficult finding the fine line between being a good leader and micromanaging, but I believe in time, you will find your rhythm," she added with a smile. "In the meantime, I hope you know you can count on me to see you and your brother through these challenging times."

Re: DAY 01: New Life [1000 hrs.]

Reply #18
[ Hylota Vojona | Medical Lab | USS Theurgy | Deck 07 ]

Hylota smiled and listened to what Dr. O'Connor had to say before she nodded, she had caught how the topic of dairy had caught the doctor off guard,but she could not blame her, she was used to dealing with mammalian pregnancies, where everything was internalized, where they had evolved to deal with their every day foods. Hylota had even had some trouble, she had rather quickly learned she could not eat with her vegetarian classmates at Starfleet Academy, they could digest plant fiber, but for her they were completely inedible. Honestly things were much easier with protein blocks and nutrient packs. And with how superior the Starfleet replicators were to their Ovri counterparts, she was sure she could get ht she wanted without much trouble, it would ensue she got the nutrients needed for her potential offspring.

But back on the topic of their schooling Hylota listened to what O'Connor had to say about her training, but Hylota shook her head. "It is not the same you were exposed much further along, I was not even into my teens when I was expected to to be able to deal with a cadaver, to sit in on an autopsy. I might not have been old enough to perform yet, but I was old enough to be expected to get comfortable and familiar with what my future profession would call for. As for delivering an infant....I cannot say I have had to deal with that, it was supposed to come with the end of my training with Starfleet, but that never came to pass." She looked to O'Connor. "Of course with how painful your deliveries are as mammals I have always wondered, since the infant shows it's own life signs, why not just beam it out of the mother?" She shrugged. "It just makes no sense to me...and before you ask, it would not be worth doing for me, as my eggs need the secretions that my body will produce, to coat them on their way out, these substances keep the eggs shell stable throughout the growing period. And after much study, it was found to just be easier to have the delivery done naturally."

With enough medical information shared Hylota smiled as she was praised, and she was given recognition of her talents by someone other than Doctor Nicander. A as Doctor O'Connor began to talk about trust and how she could be the for her brother Hylota took a deep breath and nodded. "Thank you is reassuring to know that you have faith in my abilities...and that I can trust you with the well being of my means a lot to have someone who I can trust in these trying times." She looked into the human's eyes, her own large dark orbs collecting the light from the room and glistening. "I guess this has been a good amount of time spent on this first visit...thank you for seeing is nice to just talk." She smiled softly and shrugged. "I guess when things get hectic it is just too easy to forget social ties, and how important they are."

Re: DAY 01: New Life [1000 hrs.]

Reply #19
[Doctor Hayden O'Connor| Deck 07| Medical Lab| USS Theurgy] Attn: Hylota

Hayden couldn't imagine being exposed to a cadaver before she even possessed the medical skills to understand anatomy, let alone medical treatment, but she supposed it was never really too early to get accustomed to the realities of medical service. She wondered if the Ovri, like human children, could be retraumatized by memories they didn't understand at the time they were formed? O'Connor could think of a few experiences in medical school she wouldn't want her younger self to remember. She also briefly wondered if Hylota's early exposure to illness and injury could explain her cool bedside manner. When one is forced to detach from suffering before one fully understands oneself or what it means, Hayden expected there to be some stunted social skills. She wondered if Hylota saw herself as such or if she simply saw humans as too emotional?

Pushing the thought and the judgment away, Hayden focused her attention on what Hylota was saying about mammalian deliveries and pain. The implication was that Ovri deliveries were different as far as pain was concerned, and while she expected that, she anticipated there would still be significant pain given muscular contractions were part of the process. She nodded at Hylota's mention of using the transporter. "It's sometimes necessary in emergency situations, but generally speaking, it's healthier for the mother to deliver as naturally as possible since the delivery process helps return the mother's body and hormonal balance back to normal. Transporter intervention is abrupt and interferes with the body's ability to release certain hormones that aid with bonding later. I've yet to meet a mother who could report a completely painless birth, but fortunately, we have ways of managing the pain even for women who want to experience as natural birth a birth as possible. Even given your experience and your ability to manage pain, I'll be there to offer any support you need."

O'Connor smiled as she listened to Hylota remark about the value of just sitting and confiding in someone. The counselor was relieved because it was exactly the balance she was trying to strike. Even more, it opened the door for Hylota to reassure her brother in case he decided to seek O'Connor out on his own for counseling. "I'm happy to be of assistance. This is good for me too, an opportunity to take a breath and focus on something a little different from the crew's psychological needs. I won't keep you any longer, but know my door is always open if you need to talk or need some medical advice. In the meantime, I will await your information about the birthing water and do what I can to prepare it ahead of time. If you're willing, I'd like to see you again tomorrow just for a check up. You're going to progress so much faster then I'm familiar with, I think it will be good to keep the visits close together."

Re: DAY 01: New Life [1000 hrs.]

Reply #20
[ Hylota Vojona | Medical Lab | USS Theurgy | Deck 07 ]

Hylota listened to the facts about mammalian birthing and the way that they bonded with their children through the process, it was an unusual concept for the amphibian woman to full grasp, but she looked down and nodded all the same. "Bonding with one's child...I do not know much about that, but it doe sound like a valuable trait for one to possess among your kinds, where communal parenting is not the norm. It ensures a pant does not abandon their child. Hylota nodded and stood up, and she got up she straightened her uniform and nodded to Hayden. "I will be sure to meet up again with you tomorrow. I should be able to find an opening when I finish with my shift. I will be sure to send you a notification when I have the time to meet up with you again." Hylota smiled softly and bowed respectfully to the councilor. "Until then I guess."

Hylota went to the door, but the stopped and turned to look back at Hayden. "Again, thank you...I have never been one for this kind of thing...but it has felt like it has been a help to talk to someone for once. If and when you do meet with my broth though, just try and give him time, he has be struggling with many things from before all this crisis. He just needs some help to collect himself and focus on how he will handle things." Hylota just stood there for a moment before nodding silently to herself and walking out of the lab to return to her quarters.

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