"11 weeks. The cartilage is starting to become bone now," Callie answered excitedly.
"Of course that's what you'd care about," Meredith said with a smirk while Callie took a bite from her food.
They had four hours before they had to enter the OR together, and they sat down for their weekly cheeseburger date, a tradition which was formed long ago.
"It's amazing that you two are doing this together," Meredith added. "I've been thinking that for a while. It'll be great for Sofia, and great for the baby."
"I know, right? I mean, I sure hope so. Do you know how crazy it would've been if Mark was around? Don't get me wrong, it would've been amazing, too, but imagine Arizona and I had another child back then. That kid would grow up and not understand why Sofia has a father and he or she didn't. And if Arizona or I were having a kid alone, it would essentially be 'why does Sofia have two moms and I only have one?' I'm really glad it's not gonna be the case. We're gonna have two happy kids, with two happy moms who really wanted to be their parents. It also doesn't hurt that we're actually fond of each other."
"Yeah, you two seem in a really good place right now. It seems like you really like being back at the house with them," Meredith observed.
"Yeah, it's great. Maybe Arizona and I should just stay roommates once this is all over," Callie joked, but in her mind she was wondering if it was really such a bad idea. They had concerns when she moved back in, but things just seemed to… click. It was all very domestic.
"Like college," Meredith offered, getting Callie's attention back.
"Eww, no. Frat houses are your specialty."
"Seriously, though, it sounds like you put a lot of thought into this."
"Of course I did, Meredith. I did tons of research before I talked to Arizona, and talked to other parents who did what we're doing. You can't just ask your ex-wife to raise a baby with you without thinking this through."
"You are lucky she's your ex-wife," Meredith said.
"I am. She's an amazing person, and an incredible mom, and Sofia is becoming this smart and beautiful tiny human, and so much of it is thanks to Arizona, and I'm really grateful I'm gonna have another kid who'll experience two loving mothers."
"What would you say was the hardest part in all of this? So far, I mean," Meredith asked in genuine interest.
"Well… funny thing is, I think the hardest part was to actually ask Arizona. Some of this research scared the shit out of me. I read so much beforehand, I was so sure the concept would totally scare her off. There are definitely cons, or more accurately, risks, but there are so many good things to say about the idea, too. Like, you know, the older kid doesn't grow up alone, and both siblings have the exact same parents. This concept is more common between straight people, I mean, not that it's that common to begin with."
"Right," Meredith agreed.
"I think one of the main reasons as to why I couldn't find other gay couples who did this, is that people want their kids to have a sibling that resembles them, who has the same genetic sources. You know? So our reasoning for having the same two parents is more emotional and ideological, than scientific. I mean, we chose a donor with my skin tone, but… still. I just hope we're doing a good job with Sofia. We had a serious talk. She understands so much more of what's going on now that she's older, but we had to make sure she knows it doesn't mean we're getting back together. How she might be affected is also one of my biggest concerns."
"I'm sure she'll be fine. She's very smart, and you two are amazing moms. She is very lucky, and this new baby will be, too."
"Thanks for saying that, Mer," Callie said with a smile, "and see that's another thing. I was worried about, the new baby. My instinct is to assume this kid will be happy this way, but who could really foresee that? So I got all scared and I looked online. Some therapists say that even if the kid grows up and realizes he was conceived when the parents were already separated, it won't cause him anxiety. The opposite. It'll make him feel safe, and loved and wanted. Because the parents made an effort in order to have him. They made a calculated choice."
"Interesting," Meredith said, completely hooked on the psychology of it all.
"I know, right? If this wasn't my life we're talking about, it would make quite the interesting documentary. Or worse, a reality show."
"Exactly. But yeah, Sofia gains from this, too, because instead of seeing one of us for a certain amount of time, she sees both of us all the time. At least for now. I read about that as well. How it eases the guilt a child feels after the parents' separation sometimes, because they think they're the reason for it. Having another child helps the firstborn see they were not the cause of the breakup."
"I'm really impressed with your amount of knowledge, Callie. You're giving me some serious Lexi vibes."
"You sure are interested, Mer," Callie noted. "Why? Are you planning on divorcing any time soon?" Callie asked teasingly. She knew that that couldn't be further from the truth.
"God, I wish," she admitted. "Things have been so sickeningly good lately, I am bored. I'm living vicariously through your crazy. Give me your crazy!" Meredith demanded and made Callie laugh. Meredith was a mother of two as well, and she couldn't be more grateful. She was happy her friend got another shot at parenting.
"But then what if one of you gets involved?" Meredith asked all of a sudden. "And if this is not something you want to talk about, I understand."
"No, it's okay. We talked about this, too. We had to. If one of us gets involved…then my ex and I have two kids together instead of one. If a potential partner could've accepted Sofia, he or she could deal with another kid. And if not, I don't really want them anyways."
"You think that's realistic?"
"I've been seeing this girl for a few weeks," Callie reminded.
"Maureen, right? I didn't know this was still happening."
"Well, I hardly have the time. I saw her maybe twice. We text. It's just fun, you know? She's well aware of everything. I'm just saying, I'm not hiding anything. Life is an open book right now and my priorities are clear. And you know what? I might never be in a long term relationship, or get married again, but that's okay. I've done it twice. Family has many forms, and I would be fine with just being a mom. Anything else that happens is an added bonus."
"How very mature of you," Meredith said and smiled, "besides, it's never 'just being a mom', that's a lot of work, right there."
"It's a very personal choice. Investing in kids rather than romance. Some people might prefer the other way around, love and relationships above all. I used to be there. Things change. So, yeah, it's a personal choice. It just so happens that this is my choice."
"Callie Torres, as I live and breathe, what about sex? You love sex."
"Then I go out and find sex. Or a fuck buddy, seriously."
"Who can even think about that, though? As of now I'm trying to keep my eyes open after a 4 AM ice cream run."
"Again?" Meredith asked and chuckled.
"You have no idea."
"Speaking of ice cream, I have to tell you what Zola did two days ago…"
"Hey!" Arizona said as Callie walked into the lab, "how was lunch with Meredith?"
"Good! We actually talked quite a lot about our unique… situation," Callie said. "That doesn't bother you, does it?" she asked in concern.
"Hmm… pretty sure soon enough we won't be able to hide it anyway," Arizona said with a soft smile. "I don't mind, Calliope. People are curious. This is a curiosity worthy situation."
"Yes. It is. Anyways, lunch was fun. I hope you aren't regretting not wanting me to bring you a cheeseburger," Callie said as she approached the exam table Arizona was sitting on.
"No regrets. I'm feeling a bit queasy today," Arizona admitted.
"Oh, are you okay? Do you want me to get you anything?" Callie asked in concern.
"No, thank you, Callie. It's getting better," Arizona reassured.
"Good," Callie said.
"I almost asked when do I get to have some weekly one-on-one quality time with you," Arizona said, "but then…"
"You remembered that you have that quality time 24/7 these days?" Callie offered.
"Plus, you get the special lab quality time," Callie reminded.
"And that is the best quality time, of course," Arizona said seriously.
"So now that that's settled," Callie started, "how's the leg?"
Arizona has been using the new leg Callie built for her for a couple of weeks now. Weight wasn't an issue just yet, but they both felt it was time to make the transition.
"Hmm… you're a genius," was Arizona's reply, and Callie gave her a wide smile in return.
"Good, then? No need to make adjustments?"
"Not just yet. But this new socket…it's so comfy. It's like the yoga pants version of sockets!"
"Show me?" Callie asked and Arizona pulled her pants down to let Callie examine her leg.
"No soreness?" Callie asked.
"Bruising around the stump?"
"Which means this was a very quick check up. Congratulations, patient," Callie said.
"Yay! You go, leg!"
"But promise you will tell me if it starts hurting or becoming too tight? If it doesn't work once you gain some weight?" Callie asked.
"I will." Arizona said.
"Because I know how much you don't like to complain about these things, you tend to suck it up. I don't need you to suck it up, Arizona, I need you to be safe." Callie reminded.
"I will tell you if anything happens, or if I'm uncomfortable, or want a shinier design," Arizona promised.
"Arizona…" Callie said, concern evident in her voice.
"Calliope, if anything is even just a tiny bit wrong, I will tell you. Do you believe me?"
"Perfect. So can I go now?" Arizona asked softly, to make sure Callie understood she wasn't upset. "I have a surgery in half an hour."
"Dismissed," Callie said and smiled.
Arizona pulled her pants back up and got off the bed.
"I'll see you at home?" she asked.
"Good," Arizona said and walked out of the lab, leaving Callie behind to ponder.
Every now and then Arizona referred to the house as "home." And it was Arizona's home. But when Arizona said it, she meant their home. Callie has been living there for a while now, but it still felt new and nice to get to call it her home, to have Arizona refer to it as their home. She knew it'd be a long time before she had to leave again, but she was starting to wonder how would she ever manage to go.
Callie got home late that night. She didn't like when that happened. She didn't want to leave a pregnant Arizona alone with Sofia. While she knew Arizona was very capable, and Sofia was a very well behaved child, she couldn't help but feel like she needed to be there and make sure everything was okay.
When she walked in, she noticed Arizona left a light for her in the hallway, and she could see a light coming out of Arizona's room. Other than that, the house was in darkness. Sofia was clearly already asleep.
Callie walked towards Arizona's room to say hi and ask her how the rest of her day was.
She found her lying on her back, looking at the ceiling in complete concentration. She watched her for a few moments, and then walked it, making sure she didn't startle her. Arizona noticed her and brought herself up to lean on the headboard.
"Hi," she said and offered Callie a smile.
"Hey. Still queasy?" Callie asked.
"Nope, much better. Thank you."
"Good. What are you thinking about so seriously?" Callie asked her.
"Baby names," Arizona admitted.
"Really?" Callie asked in an intrigued surprise.
"Really. Come help," Arizona said and patted the empty side of the bed next to her.
Callie lay down, on top of the covers, leaning on her elbow. Arizona brought herself down to mirror Callie's position.
"So where are we at?" Callie asked, curious as to what Arizona came up with.
"This is hard. I'm actually blank. One thing for sure – not Agamemnon," Arizona warned.
"Oh, that ship has sailed a long time ago," Callie said and they both chuckled. Then they looked at each other in silence to see what the other one would come up with.
"Tim if it's a boy and I'm thinking maybe Tamara if it's a girl?" Callie said suddenly, softly. "Then either way it's honoring your brother with some of the letters?"
Arizona looked at her in shock. She didn't know what to say. It was also evident that Callie thought about this, too.
"What?" Callie asked, fearing that Arizona completely hated the idea.
"Nothing, it's just… well, that's my family, Callie. You don't have to feel obligated to do that. We're not… you know," Arizona said. She appreciated the gesture, but this was Callie's baby too. For life. Arizona was already the biological mom. She didn't want Callie to feel left out.
"Come on, Arizona. You're my family. We share a child, and are about to share another one, and you're my best friend, and I love your parents. I don't feel like I have to do this. I want to. Why, don't you like it?" Callie asked in concern.
"No, no! Are you kidding me? I love it! But are you absolutely sure?" Arizona asked. "Because I'm fine with finding something else."
"I'm absolutely sure," Callie promised. "Do I need to pull a 'believe me' on you?"
"No, you don't." Arizona said and smiled. "Hey Tim slash Tamara! We'll know which one is your name in six more weeks!" she said excitedly, talking to her own belly, which made Callie laugh.
"What about the middle name?" Arizona asked.
"We're gonna let Sofia pick it," Callie said and started to get up.
"Or at least let her think that she picked it," Arizona added.
"Exactly," Callie said and reached the door. "I'm beat, I'm gonna head to bed. Do you need anything before I do?"
"No, thank you. For everything. It means so much to me, Callie, truly."
"You are very welcome, Arizona. Good night."
"Good night," Arizona said softly and Callie shut the door behind her, leaving Arizona alone with her thoughts, and namely one – how caring Calliope Torres was.