The fact that this would be the first time he has ever said anything to me since the fight makes me stop drinking my water as I put down the glass on the hard surface in front of me, finally taking the whole view of the man I didn’t share the bed with last night. Instead, I cried like a pathetic human being on the couch while talking to my best friends.
Well, just two more nights then he can relieve his duty to Kimmie since she's wrapping up her work to be here with me until delivery.
As of last night’s video call, I’m instructed to engage with my psychologist first thing in the morning because according to her, “This is a cry for help, exactly like five years ago. Call her, set an appointment, talk to her before you become suicidal again, because once you go that route it’s hard to turn back especially with a baby coming less than a month.”
She’s right, that’s why I’m gonna call my psychologist’s office once the clock strikes 8. I’m all about mental health. If I can’t take care of myself, how am I going to take care of my daughters. Anything for them, even if it means daily trip to the doctor again, with a box of pills to be taken day and night.
"I saw this," he slams his palm to the kitchen counter despite his voice kept at mono-tone, then pulls his hand revealing three ultrasound pictures, "In the hospital bag."
He stares at me while taking the picture back, shoving it to my face, "This was taken last week."
My heart drums upon waiting for the rest of his outburst. But I can't disregard how tempting he looked without a shirt and that bed head hairstyle. When did he last touched me? A week ago? More than a week?
"Do tell me,” he grits his teeth, trying his best to control his temper, “How are you thirty six weeks pregnant because last time I recall, I was still fucking you eight months ago."
I remain silent, knowing I can never win this argument. I just never thought he'd pick this up so soon. I keep imagining this would happen after she's out.
"Are you trying to hide her the way I did with Pao?"
When he puts it that way, I realise I'm exactly the person I can't forgive. Me, of all people, know how much it hurts to lose all those precious time with my daughter. And taking it from him, not only hurt him, but this baby too.
"How can you be this immature? I get that you can't forgive me but you are playing with her feelings, with her growth. I don't know what else to tell you, how much I regret doing what I did. I'm sorry, I am so fucking sorry, Estelle. If I can turn back time, I would tell you as soon as I could.”
He takes a deep breath as an effort to calm down but opens his mouth with a terrifying tone instead, “This, is a whole level of pettiness. You're gonna hide her from me just because I did it first? Really? What the fuck were you thinking, Elle? What the fuck?!”
I've been trying my best not to cry but the dam broke with his last confrontation, and all I can do is sob like a child, keep on shaking my head as I clutch on my stomach.
I've never seen him mad like this, not even comparable to our fights when we were married, and they were bad.
But the next second I feel myself being enveloped in his arms. He rubs my back, calming me without saying anything. My heart feels like it's being stabbed with each word he just said, keep on being replayed in my mind, and I can't stop myself from tearing. Or shaking. Or anything. This is becoming too much.
"Take a deep breath, Baby," he says softly as he kisses my head, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry okay. Just breathe."
I close my eyes, trying to feel if the baby's kicking. The last thing I want right now is to go to the hospital with the same news we had five years ago. I can't live through another stillborn. So I need to breathe, and calm down.
"She's kicking," he must have felt it too when he exhales in relief. I nod with tears still rolling on my cheeks, absolutely glad she's still in there, alive.
"We'll go to the doctor okay? Just to be safe." He is still hugging me but distances his face from mine, wiping the tears.
"I'll call Philip to get the car while we change, then we'll go rightaway."
But he hugs me again despite the urgency in his voice, and both of us just stood there until minutes passed that I finally able to stop sobbing and breathe properly.
The doctor is worried once she heard about what happened, that I had a minor panic attack.
I was warded on the same day to monitor the baby's heartbeat, because whenever the mother is experiencing anxiety, the blood flow to the fetus is greatly reduced.
To make it worse, I've been experiencing this series of panic attack for more than a week now, every single night since our fight when he stopped talking to me. I honestly didn't know I had them, I thought I was just too overwhelmed from my sadness that sometimes I found it difficult to breathe.
Owen juggles between taking care of Pao and visiting me at the hospital, but every night he makes it a must to be with me and sleep at the sofabed in my room as Hugo takes over by sleeping at the apartment while we're here.
On the third day of my hospitalisation, he finally raises the issue that caused our first fight, "I've discussed with Hugo."
I was eating at the moment but I look at him as a sign I'm paying attention to what he's saying. He's sitting on the sofa next to my bed, and he looked serious.
"You'll get the two days."
My munching stops abruptly to hear that he's agreeing as per my request. What happened to the outburst? Why is he okay about it now?
"Pao will stay with you six days a week, and I'll be with her on Tuesday. As usual."
I put down my cutleries, definitely losing my appetite hearing this. When he says it like that, it makes me feel bad by how unfair it sounds.
"As of her," his eyes are directed towards my stomach, "I'm proposing three days a week. Four, if you're okay with it. But three is good enough for me."
Oh? We're also gonna talk about her?
"I want a weekend with her so I'm asking Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.”
So he’ll be having the baby Sunday and Monday, but both on Tuesday.
"I take it you're gonna breastfeed her for the first few months so I'm okay having you all the time during my days." I knew it. Sneaky bastard. There's always a hole somewhere in his perfect little plan.
Wait. Why would I think that he wants me there because he wants me? Maybe it's really for the baby. After what I've done, I'd hate myself too if I were him.
"Or if you wanna leave, I'm fine too. I'll give her the pumped milk." See, it's all about the baby, not me.
"Pao will stay at the apartment full-time, the baby can stay with you since you’ll be breastfeeding. But on my days, if you wanna leave her to me I’m totally okay with it, I can take care of them, no problem. But after Hugo moves, the girls will stay at the apartment full-time. So it will be just us moving in and out.”
I nod, agreeing to his proposal.
“As of Hugo, he's okay having a newborn around if you wanna stay at the apartment full-time right after delivery, you don't have to worry about him."
"I'd rather stay at my place," I finally speak, "I can move around while the baby is still small. Hugo's staying till June so it's okay, think I'll be at my place on his days with Pao.”
"Alright, it’s settled then." He stands up, as a signal our discussion is over, "I'm gonna call the lawyer to draft the papers.”