“Arghhh!!!” I screamed as pain as fierce as a hundred knives carved around my torso.
“What the hell do I do?! What the hell I do?!” Tom panicked as he hovered near me while I breathed through my contraction. He was panicking more than I was and if it wasn’t for the severe pain wracking my body I’d be on the ground laughing at his panic stricken face. “Do I get you hot water and rip up sheets? Do I get you ice chips? I don’t know what to do! I’m not the father! I shouldn’t have to be put in this situation!”
As the contraction subsided I breathed a sigh of relief and stood up from the wall I was leaning on as I wiped the sheen of sweat on my forehead. “Calm down, for heaven’s sake Tom! You are acting worse than I am! That was five minutes apart... I need to get to the hospital now”
“Right! Right! You waddle on over to the car and I’ll grab your things” I rolled my eyes at Tom, he’d been making waddling and backing up jokes about me for half my pregnancy. It wasn’t my fault I bloated so much during my pregnancy!
I slumped into the car just as another contraction squeezed my insides and I cringed while breathing through it again. I swear to God I’m going to hate breathing by the time I actually give birth. My water had broken at five this morning and Ray was already out at his boot camp that was supposed to last all day, it was already seven o’clock and the contractions only just reached five minutes apart. I wasn’t due until next week and I silently thanked Ray for thinking ahead and always having someone with me whenever he couldn’t be with me.
Tom ran out of the house carrying my bags, pillow and a plastic bag I didn’t pack, and he threw them into the back seat before jumping into the front. “What’s in the plastic bag?” I asked curiously.
He shrugged and the slightest tinge of red grew on his cheeks. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do okay? I only know the deranged mannerisms and strange requests from what I see on television...”
“So... what’s in the plastic bag?” Tom pulled out the driveway and began to drive before answering.
“Lotion, candles, water and snacks, as well whatever books I could grab...”
“Aw that’s so sweet!” I cooed making little baby noises as I squeezed his cheek. Another contraction cut off my teasing and afterwards Tom stuck his tongue out at me.
“That’s what you get for teasing me, preggo!” He put his phone on speakerphone before dialling Ray’s number for the fiftieth time. It went straight to voicemail again and Tom hit the steering wheel. “Damnit Beast! I am not going into the labour ward with your wife while she tries to kill me with her killer grip! Pick up your damn phone!”
We reached the hospital and Tom helped me out of the car before grabbing my things and we walked towards the hospital. As the entrance came into view I saw a big worried man pacing back and forth while his eyes searched the grounds. “Ray!” I sighed in relief.
His head snapped to me and he his shoulders eased a little before he ran over to me. “Seychelles! I’m so sorry! My phone wasn’t working properly and I came here as fast as I could... are you okay?!”
I nodded but before I could speak Tom threw my pillow at Ray’s face. “Don’t you ever make me go through that situation again! I can go through getting shot at man, but I will not go in there with your wife while she screams and pushes a baby out of her vag*na!”
Ray’s eyes were wide but he nodded anyway, not wanting to pay any more attention to Tom. “Come on , Beauty, let’s get you upstairs”
“I think I need a coffee bro... here’s her bags” Tom hooked my bag over Ray’s head and secured the plastic bag to it before kissing my cheek. “Good luck Shell, I’ll wait around until I hear the news okay? I’ll call Rose and Sandy and let them know”
“You have Rose’s number?” I asked curiously.
He shrugged. “Yeah... I stole it off your phone about a month ago”
I was about to say something when another contraction came and Ray was all over me helping me slowly to the elevators. The doors dinged open and we entered the elevator with another young couple.
“Sh*t! What floor was it again?” Ray cursed as he stared at the panel of buttons as another contraction tore at my abdomen. I completely ignored Ray’s frantic whispering while I concentrated on not screaming in pain when the young man cleared his throat as he pushed two buttons. “It’s the fourth floor, sir... the labour ward I’m guessing?”
Ray blushed and nodded. “Thanks”
This situation seemed awfully familiar... The doors opened on the fourth floor and Ray wrapped an arm around my waist as we walked out. “Good luck!” I heard the young woman softly call out and I smiled. Oh yes, this situation was very familiar.
“Ah Shell! You’re here early... come on, we’ve got a bed with your name on it!” My midwife smiled pleasantly at me.
“Arghh!” I cried as tears escaped my eyes and sweat dripped from y temples. “What’s taking so long?!”
I was exhausted. It’d been twenty-five hours since my water broke and I was still in labour. My arms were weak and I was so exhausted, all I wanted to do was sleep. I cried hopelessly as another contraction tore at me but no longer had the strength to do anything except scream. “Good girl, you’re doing great. You’re fully dilated, Shell. I can feel the baby’s head, now on the next contraction I’ll need you to push okay?”
I sobbed hysterically as I shook my head. “I can’t do it... I can’t!”
Ray kissed my damp forehead and held my hand tight. “You’re so brave Seychelles. You’re the strongest woman I know and I know you can do this...”
“I swear to God Ray, if you ever get me pregnant again I will kick you in the groin for every contraction I get! I am never going through this again!” I screamed as my contraction hit again.
“Push Shell! I need you to push!” My midwife called out. I breathed and pushed hard feeling the pain intensify. I screamed and my body shook. “That’s it! One more, Shell. One more push! A big one!”
I was sure I broke one of Ray’s fingers as I screamed and pushed one more time and after a second of silence a piercing cry reached my ears. I panted heavily and sighed, finally glad that it was over... except it wasn’t. Another bout of pain tore at me and I cried, what was going on?!
“Okay, baby number two is coming along nicely Shell. You need to push, push!” The sensation to push down was intense and a strangled cry ripped out my throat before another cry pierced the air.
“Two... we have... we have two babies!” Ray stuttered in awe. We have two babies? Twins? I was shocked. When we had our ultrasounds we told the lady we didn’t want to know anything except whether or not the baby was healthy... I didn’t think she’d actually go as far as not saying we were expecting two babies!
“Would you like to see your son and daughter Ray?” The midwife asked happily and Ray nodded before kissing me and walking out of my sight.
A son and daughter!
The midwife carried two bundles wrapped in blue and pink and smiled as she placed them in my arms. “Congratulations Shell. Your babies are healthy and beautiful”
I was crying, and not because of the pain anymore, but because my heart had swelled twice as big as I looked down at my two babies. My baby boy was larger and with large wondering eyes while my baby girl was more petite and crying adorably.
“They’re beautiful Seychelles. Thank you! You never cease to make me the happiest man in the world” I looked up and saw Ray was crying openly as he gazed lovingly down at me and our babies. Our family.
“Where’s the mother?! Where’s Shell!” I could hear the voices outside the door and grinned tiredly.
“Ready for visitors?” Ray asked worriedly. “I can always tell them you need to rest Beauty. You’re my first priority along with my babies, everyone else can wait” He rotated his wrist bringing my attention to his strapped fractured finger. I blanched when I remembered that was my doing during my labour.
“Ray... before you let them in. I just wanted to say that I didn’t mean what I said earlier... I would have as many children as you want” I smiled shyly.
“As long as you’re happy baby, I’m happy. But... I won’t say no to trying for more when you’re feeling better” He winked. “Want me to let them in now?”
“Let them in” I nodded at the door of my private room.
He nodded and opened the door just as Tom burst through beaming happily. He was, however, knocked sideways when Sandy came through with large eyes, “Where’s my grandchild? Where’s my daughter? Oh Shell you look beautiful as always!”
Rose walked in after and smiled but staying back letting Tom and Sandy go through first. Sandy skipped over to the crib covered with blue blankets and she gazed lovingly down at him as she covered her mouth. “He’s so small! He’s perfect! Oh congratulations!”
“Don’t you mean they’re perfect?” Ray smiled mischievously.
Tom and Rose, who were gazing down at my son look up seeming as confused as Sandy and I giggled as Ray rolled our daughters crib from behind the other side of my bed. All their faces were shocked, their eyes wide as they darted from one crib to the other.
“Twins?” They gasped in surprised. Ray and I nodded laughing lightly and their rounds of congratulations started all over again.
“What are their names?” Rose asked as she beamed happily down at our son and daughter.
“Our son, he was born first, is Marcus Aiden Hodges...” Ray answered.
“... and our daughter is Melina Chanel Hodges” I finished.
Sandy and Rose cooed while Tom slapped Ray’s shoulder. “You did good Beast! Those are two good looking babies you got there. I’m proud!”
“Yeah... you should be, god daddy” Ray grinned.
It took a second before Tom reacted. His smile slipped from his lips as he looked between me and Ray before gazing down at my two beautiful children. “God daddy?” He choked out.
“That’s right. Looks like your whining all those times back in the Air Force paid off” Ray joked. “But honestly man, I wouldn’t have my flesh and blood in any one else’s hands. You’ll be a great god daddy“
“And I was wondering if you would be god mommy, Rose” I stated looking at Rose. Her eyes grew wide and she nodded quickly bending to hug me.
“Yes! It would be an honour Shell. I’d love to be god mommy to these two beautiful angels-“
Rose couldn’t even finish before Tom began to sniff loudly. “You alright there Tom?” I asked laughing slightly.
“I-I’m just... so... happy!”
Everyone laughed and Marcus and Melina began to stir. Tom and Rose bent down to pick each of them up and I knew Ray and I picked the perfect people to be god parents. I looked around me, at all the beaming, happy faces. I was surrounded by the most important people in my life and from where I was sitting, life couldn’t be any better.
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