Back when SPUDS was the curse of the female wolves, this week would have been a death sentence.
Now? I felt bad for the men. Really bad. It was a hormone-fueled whine fest around here.
We were huge. Not big, HUUUUUGE. I felt like a house and had been on bedrest for two weeks along with all the other women. What was happening to us had never happened before, the development rates of our babies was nothing but shocking. At our 24th week, our babies were measuring at sizes not normally seen until week 32 to 33. My three girls were sucking the very life out of me, it felt like.
It was like that for all of us, even for Eve who conceived naturally with her quadruplets. The men had invested in eight Easy-UP chairs, all extra wide, for us in the common room we liked to gather in. An entire floor of the new Pack House had been expedited and finished three weeks ago. It was a rush job as Terrance and I realized that the amazing growth rates we had noted showed no signs of slowing down. Instead of due dates in the early summer, we were now due in late March. Another week or two, since triplets didn’t have room to grow past the size of a normal baby at week 34.
The ultrasounds and tests were all going well, it was just that Luna had turbocharged our pregnancies. Everything was bigger, faster and more difficult. The hormones, backaches and fatigue came fast, to the point that even our husbands had to ask for help in caring for us. We ate constantly, waking up in the middle of the night to eat more food to support the growing lives. As our stomachs shrunk, this became more and more difficult. Snake and the guys in the kitchen were serving a meal every three hours, day and night, and most of us were drinking smoothies and snacking in between. Steven kept track one day and estimated I was eating 6,000 calories a day, more than any of the guys were.
All of us were under strict instructions to stay in bed or in the chairs as much as possible, and the poor cabana boys assigned to help us were being run ragged. The only time I got up was to pee, and that was about every hour now. Get up, waddle my huge belly over to the bathroom, grab some food, come back and sit down again with the other girls. We had our routine, and we had bonded in a way I never expected. These girls were my closest friends, and the whole Pack House revolved around us.
“Do you think they resent having to do all this,” Theresa said as she sent Nuriel in search of Nutella to dip her waffles in. Steven was still sleeping, but I had gotten up at 5:30 to go to the bathroom. I had just came out to our common room, finding four others already here watching the morning news shows and spreading lotion on their stretch marks.
“No way,” Eve said as she nibbled on a plate of bacon. “The werewolves will do anything for us, they don’t mind. The more you ask, the happier their wolves are.”
“Why is that,” Theresa said.
I was a little shocked, I’d figured this out weeks ago. “You haven’t put it together?” She shook her head no. “Okay, how many babies are there between all of us?”
“Lets see… four for Eve, three each for Meghan, Alice, Mackenzie, Natalie and Mia, two each for me and Theresa. Twenty-three all told. We’re going to be buying diapers by the truckload,” she smiled.
“And how many single werewolves are living here?”
“OK, since Gabriel, Michael and Steven are all taken, that leaves, let’s see...” She thought about the rooms and who lived where. “Azazel, Hezediel, Dumah, Jophiel, Nuriel, Zachariel, Samsiel, Raguel, Muriel, Phanuel and Puriel are on the third floor, that’s eleven. Adriel, Cassiel, Tennin, Haniel, Kushiel, Netzach, Camael, Daniel, Raphael and Sariel are on the second floor, that’s another ten. So twenty-one, I guess.”
“And why would they be so interested in helping a bunch of women who are carrying girls, twenty-three girls, in fact.” I laughed a little as it hit her.
“Wait, these girls are their mates!”
“Exactly,” Eve said. “Our mates and husbands will naturally be attentive to us and protect us because we are theirs, the babies are their future. The others, they are the reward they are being given for their faithful service to Luna. They don’t know which one, but they and their wolves know ONE of these babies is their mate, and they’re completely committed to protecting them. They will do anything, I mean ANYTHING, to help us and to help raise them.”
“But… These guys are old, some of them are pushing fifty now. By the time they are of age, they’ll be in their late sixties. How is that right?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “Werewolves are healthier, stronger and age better than humans. Even in their late sixties, they will be equivalent to a man in his late forties. Still, it will seem weird when my daughter marries a guy who is older than I am,” I said. The youngest of the bunch was five years older than I was, and I’d grown to look at them as annoying older brothers or uncles. “It’s what has to be, though. There aren’t any boys out there who wouldn’t be over forty by the time they grow up. I hope they don’t mind.”
“Their wolves won’t mind, and we won’t either,” Nuriel said as he handed a jar of Nutella to Theresa. “We have waited our whole lives for what we never thought we would have, and we will wait eighteen more until our mate is ready for us. The age difference is nothing in the scheme of things, once the bond is formed, love quickly follows.”
“So you won’t mind when we’re putting you on diaper duty?” Natalie pressed the button, moving her chair up so she could waddle to the bathroom.
“First off, you’re family. No family has ever had to deal with something like this, twenty-three babies all coming at about the same time. You’ll need LOTS of help. We’re already putting together a schedule to provide you with 24/7 support. It won’t be just you or your mates, all of us will be helping you.” He looked at all of us and smiled. “You have no idea how amazing you all are, how much we love and appreciate you for what you are doing. I see what you deal with every day and I love you all even more for going through this for us.”
I looked at him and waved him over. He sat on the arm of my chair and I pulled him into my shoulder, hugging him tight. “We love you guys too, you know,” I told him. “I’m having my mate’s children, and as weird as it may be, I’m happy she’ll have a good man waiting for her when she’s of age. Maybe even you,” I said. “Now I think I need some orange juice and bananas, and my own jar of Nutella,” I told him as I gave him one last hug.
“I’ll be right back,” he said.
Doc Terrance’s POV
One Week Later
“Adam, cut the cord between the clamps,” I told him as the first of Eve’s babies was born. He did so, and I handed the baby off to Teri. She and Hammer had arrived yesterday from Florida, and she was helping with the deliveries.
The crying baby was hardly out of the way before the next daughter was crowning. I verified everything was aligned and nodded at her. “Next contraction, I need you to push,” I told her. She screamed as the head and shoulder moved out, then I had her second daughter in hand.
“Good job, Eve. Keep up your breathing,” I told her. I clamped the umbilical cord and Adam cut it, and Theresa took her to be cleaned up.
“Halfway there, baby, you’re doing amazing,” Adam told her as he looked over at his daughters. “They’re beautiful, just like Mommy.”
I felt her abdomen, baby #3 was moving into position but the little ballerina had her arms above her head. With one hand in and one hand out, I got her positioned and a few minutes later, she was joining her sisters.
Alarms started going off on the fetal monitor. I silenced it, the last one had a lowering pulse rate. The next contraction came, and she came partially out but I could see the cord around her neck. “THERESA,” I said as I recognized it. “Eve, stop pushing.”
“You need to, the cord is wrapped.” I had a hand inside, reaching in as Eve screamed in pain. I got a couple fingers around the cord, lifting it over. “All right, now push,” I said. This time the little girl almost slid out into my hands. I clamped the cord, Adam cutting it, and Theresa was already clearing her airway.
“Why is she blue,” Adam asked, panicking.
I held the baby upside down, smacking her to shock her into breathing. She let out a cry, and as Theresa took her, her color started to improve. “Go watch your babies,” I told him as I stayed behind to deliver the placentas. “You did a great job, Eve.”
“Thank you, Terrance.” The relief and joy on her face was familiar to me, it was the best part of my profession.
Teri carried the first baby over, who they named Allison. “Come see your mother,” she said as she carefully placed the little girl on her chest. Eve was crying with joy as she held her to her skin, and when she started looking for a nipple, I heard Teri helping her with the initial latch.
“Here is Barbara,” Theresa said as she brought the second over.
“Dad, sit down,” Teri told him as she went to pick up Crystal. He took her in his arms, he was crying as well as he looked into her wide eyes. It took another five minutes before Danielle was in his arms, as I waited until her vitals were a little stronger.
Hammer came in and whispered in my ear. “I hate to kick a new mom out, but Mia just went into labor. We’re going to move you into your room,” I told them.
“It’s fine, we’d rather be in our room,” she told me. We took the babies back after she had burped the two, and Teri helped her into the shower to clean up. We quickly changed the bedding and our scrubs, and I called for help moving them.
Snake was the first to arrive, Viper close behind. They hugged Eve and hugged Adam and fussed over the four babies before each took one in his arms. All of the women had set up nurseries in their small apartments, which were right down the hall from the clinic. Eve came out of the bathroom, a bathrobe around her, and sat in the wheelchair as she took Danielle in her arms. The four of them left the room, and I could hear the cheers and congratulations from the waiting people as they made their way.
A minute later, Mia was helped in by Snake. “My water broke ten minutes ago,” she said as she waddled in. “We better hurry, I think Meghan is up next.”
It was going to be a long night.