XIV. Calm Your Tits
“I cannot believe they-ugh!” Nina walks down the beach with Matt beside her. It looks warm...nice...expensive.
I ate a chip, “Yeah. How dare those inconsiderate media.”
Right now, I’m face timing with Nina and Matt. They’re on their honeymoon.
Nina is upset that somehow a photographer sneaked into their private wedding and took a photo of them.
Nina isn’t particularly fond of the media.
Matt massaged her shoulders, “Calm down, Short Stack.”
"You calm down,” she grumbled.
“Hey,” I said. “What’s done is done. Matt will find out who did it and sue them so you guys can be richer. So calm your tits.”
"Calm your tits, sis.”
Nina pouted, “My tits are calm.”
I groaned, “What?”
“Where is my unicorn horn?!”
“I don’t know, baby. Maybe underneath your bed?”
“It’s not down here, and I’m stuck!”
“The bed! The bed! I can’t feel my fingers!”
I threw the bag down, “This girl-”
Nina smiled, “Crystal is so cute! I hope our next baby is a girl.” Nina rubbed her stomach. “Right, Matt?”
Matt nods, “Definitely.”
I chuckled, “It’s all fun and game until they grow-”
I look at the screen, “Have fun!” Nina and Matt waved at me. Then, the screen went black.
I march down the hallway, up the stairs, and towards the screaming girl. When I opened the overly colorful door, I could see two short pairs of legs sticking out from underneath the bed.
“Mommy? Mommy? Is that you? Please help me get out.” She kicked her legs up and down.
I exhaled softly before I went on my knees. With all my preserved energy, I grabbed her bottom and pulled her out.
“Ow! Ow! It hurts! It hurts!”
I groaned loudly and stood up.
“Alright. I’m going to lift the bed, baby. So, crawl out. Okay?”
I grabbed the bottom of the bed frame and lifted it.
Like a spider, Crystal crawled out. “I’m free!”
I let go of the frames and fell on the bed. I don’t know how I’ll handle two kids when I could barely handle the one in front of me.
Crystal rushed to my side, “Are you okay?”
I nod, “Yeah. Just let mommy res-” A burst of pain rushed into my stomach.
I know this pain.
But, I’m not due until next week.
My fingers curled into the blanket.
I breathed softly, “Unicorn.”
“I need you to do something very important.” I need to keep calm. Screaming or panicking won’t help.
“What is it?”
“I need you to go get mommy’s cell phone.” I cannot believe this is happening right now.
“Okay! Where is it?”
“Downstairs on the couch.” I gripped onto the sheets and forced the sound to stay inside.
“I will be right back!” Crystal rushed down the stairs. I closed my eyes and planted my head on the bed frame. More footsteps. She’s tearing the living room apart. I know it.
Then, the door opened.
“Found it! Found it!” Crystal gave me my phone.
I dialed our private doctor and discussed the situation. I did everything he told me to do to make sure it’s not false labor.
Back when I was pregnant with Crystal, I kept getting false labor. It’s actually quite common.
“It still hurts,” I said.
The doctor told me to go to the hospital. I want to call an ambulance, but I can’t. Going into labor doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an emergency, and my insurance might not cover it.
I called Emerson.
He didn’t pick up.
He must be working.
“Hey, Emmy. The baby is coming.”
I called Tyler.
He didn’t pick up.
“Hey, Tyler. The baby is coming.”
I called Amanda.
She didn’t pick up.
“Hey, Amanda. The baby is coming.”
I called Sarah.
“Sarah, I’m going into labor.”
“This is Martin.”
“Martin, I’m going into labor.”
“I hope that - oh - meant you’re getting your mom so she can drive here to pick me up.” I cannot believe how calm I am.
“Mom! Auntie Piper is going into labor, and she needs you to drive her to the hospital!”
After some more back and forth, Sarah said she’ll be right over.
“Crystal. Help mommy get downstairs.” I know there are sweats all over my face, all over my body.
Crystal didn’t say anything; instead, she supported me downstairs. Crystal may be spoiled, but she knows when not to poke others. Similar to Emerson, she can read the atmosphere well.
Halfway down the stairs, I stopped moving and gripped onto the staircase.
“Mommy, are you okay?”
I forced out a smile, “Yeah.”
Once we reached the bottom, I let out an enormous sigh of relief.
“Unicorn. Do you remember my baby bag?”
She nods, “In the living room. By the couch.”
“Since daddy is-” another rush of pain, “daddy is at work. So I’m going to need your help.”
Crystal nods, “I will go get the baby bag.” When Crystal went out of view, I closed my eyes and regulated my breathing. I need to stay calm. Stay calm.
Footsteps. Immediately, I open my eyes. Crystal rushed towards me with the large baby bag. Without warning, Crystal tripped and fell on top of me.
I let out a painful scream.
“Mommy! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” Crystal cried. “I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” She grabbed onto my clothes.
Unconditionally, the tears streamed down, and I forced myself to smile. “I’m okay, baby.” I stroked her head, “That was mommy surprised scream.”
“B-But, you sound h-hurt. I’m s-sorry.”
“It’s okay. It’s okay. I’m fine.” I lifted both hands to show her that I’m alright. “But, I really need you to do something for me.”
“I need to do some breathing before Auntie Sarah gets here. So, can you help mommy breathe?”
“Alright. Tell mommy what to do.”
Crystal rubbed my stomach, “B-Breathe in.” She breathes inward.
I copied her.
With each breath we took together, the situation doesn’t feel as grim. After a few more breaths, Crystal smiled widely.
The front door slammed open. “Oh my goodness! Piper!” Sarah rushed inside with Martin and Vinny. “Martin, help me support Piper. Vinny grabs the bag and helps Crystal get into the car.”
Sarah rushed towards me and supported me along with Martin.
“Are you okay?”
I tilted towards her and whispered: “Crystal accidentally tripped on top of my stomach earlier.” I held onto the place Crystal fell on. “It hurts.”
I look at Martin, “Don’t tell anyone. I don’t want Crystal to cry if something happens.”
Together, they supported me into the car. I closed my eyes and laid my head down. Sarah and the kids got inside. Then, off to the hospital.
When I opened my eyes, I saw the anxiety on everyone’s face.
“Can you sing for me? Like when you did last year.”
Then, it started. I closed my eyes and listened to the three of them sing. It sounds terrible, but I love it—anything to distract me from the pain inside my body.
Before I knew it, we were at the hospital.
I could hear several voices.
People hovered around me and lifted me onto a wheelchair.
When I felt a hand on my side, I looked over. Crystal was crying. “It’s going to be okay, mommy. It will be okay.” What a little butt. Trying to tell me it’s alright when she’s the one crying as if there’s no tomorrow.
“Emerson called me back.” Sarah walked beside me. “He said he’d be here soon.”
I nod, “Tell him to be-”
“Be careful.” I don’t want him to drive here like a madman and get into an accident. One person in the hospital is enough.
Sarah nodded, “I will.”
They rolled me into a private room and placed me on a bed. The doctor entered and did the check-up. When the doctor lifted my shirt, his eyes widened. I lowered my shirt.
“Marvin. Can you take Vinny and Crystal out? Auntie needs to talk adult stuff with the doctor.”
Crystal shook her head, “I want to stay with mommy. I was to stay.”
“Baby. Please go with your cousin to the playroom.”
“Crystal!” My voice heightens unintentionally. “Please, just go.”
Marvin walked towards the bed. “Come on, cuz. I’ll let you play on my Switch.”
Crystal bit her lower lip so hard, it bled. Steadily, she grabbed Marvin’s hand and walked out of the door. “I’ll watch them,” Sarah said. “Call me if you need anything.”
When the door closes, I can hear Crystal’s cries.
“What happened?” The doctor asked.
I exhale heavily, “My daughter accidentally fell on top of me earlier.”
The doctor nodded, “From what I see, everything seems to be fine, but we’ll run some tests just in case.”
I nodded, “Okay. That sounds good.” He’s the doctor here, not me.
The doctor made his way towards. “Mrs.Lun are you-”
His words seemingly merged. Then again, I’m in a good amount of pain right now.
After some time, the pain de-escalated. Well, not entirely. I can still feel it. The doctor said there might be a chance that the pain came from an unstable mental state. I may be stressed because of the unexpected contraction and how Crystal landed on my stomach.
When pregnant women’s mental state stabilizes, it gets a bit better.
Not a lot.
But, a bit better.
Particularly for women who had given birth before.
The doors burst open.
Emerson rushed towards me, “Did I miss it? Is the baby out?” He grabbed me with his dirty hands.
I can picture it.
Emerson got my voicemail during break and ran out of the factory, screaming: “My wife is in labor! Labor!” I’m not surprised if he ran several red lights with his anxiety.
I smile and look down at the bump. “You’re lucky. It’s still inside. I’m almost-” another contraction, “there.”
Emerson smiles widely and nods, “Good. Good. I mean, you’re probably in a lot of pain, which isn’t good but-”
I pinched his lips, “Shush. You’re talking is giving me a headache.”
The door spread open, and the doctor came inside. “Alright. Let’s see where you’re at,” the doctor said. He looked at Emerson, “Mr.Lun. Why don’t you change, and we’ll meet you in the other room.”
“Amanda was here earlier,” I said. “She grabbed you some extra clothes.”
He nods, “I’ll be right back.”
After Emerson wiped down and changed, the doctor gave us the thumbs up.
I laid on the bed with Emerson on my right as they wheeled me towards the room.
He smiled, “I’m here.”
I chuckled, “I know.”
Emerson squeezed my hand.
“Geez. Don’t look at me like that. Someone may think you’re the one giving birth.”
Emerson kissed my hand. “I’m just-”
“The doctor said everything would be fine.”
“I know, but I can’t help it.” He smiled again, and the tears well up. “I get to do this again.”
I chuckled, “I can’t tell. Are you happy or sad?”
“Why both?” I know what we’re doing. We’re distracting each other from what will happen inside the dark room.
“I’m happy to see our baby. Sad to see you in so much pain.”
I pinched his cheek, “You remember this moment the next time you feel adventurous and dive without protection.”
We burst out laughing.
The wheels stop.
Everyone had their suits on.
Then, there’s the beeping sound.
“I love you.”
I smile, “I love you too.”
When they spread my legs, the anxiety sets in. It should be easy the second time, but it never is.
I tighten my grip on Emerson’s hand. “Don’t you dare leave me.”
The tears sink towards the smile beneath the mask, “I would never.”