I tiptoed down the staircase, cursing the creaks that were part of living in an old house. The front door was only a few steps away. I glanced over my shoulder, fully expecting Alexis to waddle out at any moment.
But there was no sign of her.
I stepped onto the front porch, breathing a huge sigh of relief when I settled into my comfy rocking chair.
Peace at last.
I closed my eyes, inhaling the wonderful scents of early spring. Everything was so fresh and new. The cherry blossoms were in full bloom. It was my favourite time of the year.
I glanced up from my coffee cup when my dad climbed the steps.
“Good morning, son.”
“It’s a beautiful spring morning.”
“Delightful,” I muttered.
“That bad, eh?”
“Why don’t they induce her?”
“They’re going to do it on Sunday morning.”
“Why the hell would they leave her in this misery for another four days?”
“That’s when they like to do it. The OBs don’t have office hours on the weekend, so that’s the most convenient time for them.”
“You’ll get through it,” he chuckled, patting my shoulder.
“She’s gone bat shit crazy, Dad,” I sighed. “There’s no reasoning with her. Hannah is going in for her c-section today. Alexis is furious that her babies are going to be born first. And she’s determined that she’s going to the hospital for the entire day. Miles has a private family suite reserved, of course. With heavy security. The suite has everything including its own nursing staff and a full kitchen.
“Wow,” he chuckled, shaking his head. “The life of the rich and famous.”
“Well, at least if Alexis goes into labour, she’ll be in the right place.”
“She won’t,” I grumbled. “She’ll hold out until Sunday.”
I cringed at the sound of my wife’s voice. “Any chance you want to swap lives for the next four days, Dad?”
“No way,” he declared, high-tailing it down the steps when Alexis’s footsteps sounded in the foyer. “Good luck!”
I took a deep breath before pushing myself up and opening the screen door. Alexis was trying to slide her feet into a pair of sandals.
“Do you need some help, sweetheart?” I asked cautiously.
“Do you have a pair of women’s sandals in a larger size?”
“Then how are you planning to help me, Paddy?”
“Uh, I don’t know,” I mumbled.
“Well, I can’t go to the hospital in my bare feet!”
“You could wear slippers,” I suggested.
She glared at me, her bright blue eyes crackling with fury as my balls retreated inside my body. I held my breath, bracing for the angry outburst.
And then she farted.
Not a little toot.
Not a short, booty burp.
A long, loud, wet anal salute.
Remember I was holding my breath?
I probably should’ve kept holding it a little longer.
The toxic fumes from my wife’s ripper filled the air. I pulled my shirt over my face and ran outside.
“What did you eat?!” I cried.
“Half a jar of pickled onions,” she giggled.
“Why would you do that?”
“I had a craving, Paddy,” she snapped. “I’m in absolute misery here. I was supposed to have this baby eight days ago. Excuse me for indulging in a few moments of pleasure.”
“It’s fine,” I laughed. “Eat whatever you want.”
She grinned. “That was an epic fart.”
“Definitely one for the record books, Mrs. Wallingford-Yargey.”
“I wish I could give birth in the penthouse,” Alexis muttered. “Nothing says royalty like spreading your legs and pushing out a kid in a fucking palace.”
“How’s it going, Judd?” I asked.
“Can’t complain,” he said. “Ginger is sleeping through the night now.”
“That’s good. I bet she’s getting big.”
“She came out big,” Judd chuckled, holding up his phone.
“She’s adorable, Judd,” I said, smiling at the photo of his baby girl.
“I’m gonna be an aunt,” Cleo announced proudly.
“And I’m gonna be a big sister,” Lucy chimed in.
“Hannah is gonna bleed from her privates,” Cleo said, shaking her head. “I don’t bleed. I get a shot. Hannah didn’t bleed when she had her DUI. But she has to wear diapers now. I saw them in her bag.”
“Shh,” Lucy hissed. “You shouldn’t talk about Aunt Flo in front of men. It makes them uncomfortable.”
“It’s not Aunt Flo,” Alexis barked before she flopped into a white leather recliner.
“It’s called lochia,” Madeline explained. “It’s like a period, but it can last for a few weeks after birth. The uterus has to shed all the remaining blood, mucous, and tissue that’s left behind.”
“Thank you, Mother,” Miles said. “I think I speak for every dude in this room when I say, TMI!”
“Gross,” Alexis grumbled. “Remind me again how I got myself into this mess?”
“You let Paddy touch your privates,” Cleo said. “Before you married him. That’s bad.”
“He tricked me,” Alexis whined.
“I did not,” I laughed.
“You dragged me to that stupid bear island. Then you put your big dick inside me without a raincoat, knowing full well that I didn’t have my birth control pills with me. It was all part of a devious plot to get me pregnant.”
“I need some air,” Miles grumbled, heading for the balcony.
The bathroom door opened, another crazy pregnant chick joining the party. “Don’t even think about smoking a cigarette, Miles Maines!” Hannah bellowed.
“I’m not smoking, babe,” Miles said. “I haven’t had a cigarette in months.”
Hannah stopped in front of Alexis, wrinkling her nose. “You’ve been eating onions.”
“Pickled onions,” Alexis bragged. “Daisy made them for me.”
“Did you bring any with you?”
“No,” she said, glaring at me. “Paddy wouldn’t let me.”
“You can’t eat, Hannah,” Madeline said gently. “You’re going for surgery soon.”
“I know that,” she muttered. “But I’m starving.”
A nurse appeared out of nowhere, pushing an empty wheelchair. “It’s time to have some babies,” she announced.
“Really?” Hannah whispered. “I don’t know if I’m ready.”
“All you have to do is lay there,” Alexis mumbled. “At least you aren’t gonna wreck your vag.”
“They’re going to cut me open, Lex!”
“A cesarean comes with a much longer recovery than a vaginal birth,” Madeline explained.
“I’m sorry!” Alexis cried, trying and failing to get out of the chair. “I love you, Hannah!”
I leaned down, helping my wife to a standing position. “No more eggs,” I whispered when she farted.
She tried to hug Hannah, their enormous bellies bumping together. Miles wrinkled his nose, gagging when Alexis’s egg fart filled the suite with a sulphuric fog.
“What the fuck crawled up your ass and died?!” he cried.
“Pickled eggs,” I informed him.
“I can’t help it,” Alexis huffed. “I have a baby kicking me in the bowel. There’s all kinds of pressure on my asshole.”
“Good luck, guys,” I said, leaning down to give Hannah a hug after the nurse got her settled into the wheelchair. “Cleo, come give your sister a hug.”
“I love you, Hannah,” Cleo whispered.
“I love you, too,” Hannah said.
I smiled as they disappeared through the door that would take them to the operating room. Hannah and Miles were about to become parents. Their lives would never be the same again.
“Lexie peed her pants!” Cleo yelled. “She made a mess on the floor!”
I turned around, my eyes taking in the puddle at my wife’s feet. My heart kicked into high gear, adrenaline pumping through my veins. Our baby was coming!
“My water broke!” Alexis cried. “I need to go to the hospital!”
“This is the hospital, Lexie,” Cleo said, shaking her head.
“It’s not the hospital I’m supposed to give birth at! I need Dr. Applefest. Call her, Paddy!”
“Are you having contractions?” Madeline asked.
Alexis clutched her belly, her hysterical scream ripping through the suite like a burglar alarm. The security guards threw open the door, their eyes scanning the room in confusion.
“It’s okay,” Judd said. “There’s no security threat.”
“It’s okay, honey,” I said, helping her into the chair that Madeline had placed an incontinent pad on. “I’ll call Dr. Applefest and ask her to meet us at the hospital.”
“It hurts so bad!” she cried.
“Are you having another contraction already?” Madeline asked.
“Yes! They’re coming one right after another!”
“Judd, can you go find a nurse please?” she ordered sternly. “Paddy, we need to get her on the bed.”
“No!” Alexis screamed. “We need to go to my hospital!”
“I don’t think there’s time, Alexis,” Madeline said. “Your contractions are too close together.”
Judd returned with a nurse. And not just any nurse. He brought a female Hulk. She was tall and muscular with short black hair. And she was even wearing green scrubs. I bit back a laugh when I read her name tag.
That was the name of She-Hulk.
“How far apart are your contractions?” she asked, her voice deep and commanding.
“Less than a minute!” Alexis cried.
“I’m going to check your cervix,” she said, yanking the curtain around the bed.
“Did you call Dr. Applefest, Paddy?!”
“Not yet,” I said.
“Dr. Applefest has privileges here,” Jennifer said. “After I examine you, I’ll page her.”
I held my wife’s hand while the nurse shoved her fingers into her vagina.
“You’re fully dilated,” she announced. “How long have you been having contractions?”
“I’ve been having them all morning,” Alexis moaned. “I thought they were just false contractions.”
“Nope,” Jennifer said, pulling her radio from her pocket.
“I need to push!” Alexis screamed.
“Hold on, honey,” Jennifer instructed, whipping around the room, pulling stuff from the cupboards.
Another nurse and a doctor appeared. This was really happening. Our baby was coming. I was about to become a father.
People moved about, setting up equipment while my wife screamed. I should’ve been at her side, holding her hand.
Why was I just standing there?
My feet wouldn’t move.
The scene played out in front of me as if I wasn’t really there.
My vision went hazy.
I was so hot.
Someone said my name.
Get him into the chair.
Bring some juice.
We need a cool cloth.
He’s going to miss the birth.
“No,” I mumbled, fighting the darkness that tried to suck me under. “I’m not missing the birth of my son.”
“Drink this,” someone instructed, placing a straw to my mouth.
I sucked the apple juice, draining the juice box. “Thanks,” I whispered, staring up at Lucy.
“Wake up!” Cleo yelled in my ear.
“And now I’m deaf,” I said.
“You’re gonna be single if you don’t get your ass over here!” Alexis screamed. “This is all your fault, Paddy!”
“I can see his head,” the doctor announced.
I jumped to my feet, ignoring the dizziness as I peered between Alexis’s legs. “He’s almost here, babe,” I whispered, reaching for my wife’s hand.
“It hurts so bad!” she cried. “I didn’t get an epidural, Paddy! We’re gonna sue this hospital!”
“C’mon, Alexis,” the doctor said. “Big push on the next contraction.”
“I can’t! I’m tearing! I can feel it!”
“Don’t worry about that, honey,” Madeline said. “They’ll stitch you up.”
“My cunt!” she screamed. “My cunt is ripping!”
I glanced up at Lucy and Cleo. They were both staring between Alexis’s legs, jaws hanging slack.
“Maybe you girls should step out,” I suggested.
“Paddy!” Alexis screamed, grabbing my hand. “Focus!”
“Sorry, babe,” I said.
She let out a deafening scream, leaning forward to push. I watched my son slide from her body.
He was here.
I was a father.
The next few moments were a bit of a joyous blur. I was overcome with emotion when my son took his first breath, his tiny cry filling the room before they placed him on Alexis’s belly. My hands were shaking when the nurse helped me cut the cord. They wrapped him a blanket, placing him in his mother’s waiting arms.
“He’s beautiful, Paddy,” she whispered.
“He sure is,” I agreed. “My boy is gonna be a heartbreaker.”
“I love you so much, sweet baby boy,” she murmured. “I promise to be the best mommy I can. I’m gonna be one of those super moms who makes the best school lunches, and the awesome homemade Halloween costumes. I’m gonna go on school trips, and all your classmates will want to be in your group, because you have the coolest mom. And the hottest. And you won’t be lonely, cause your daddy and I are gonna make you a bunch of brothers and sisters.”
“Really?” I whispered.
She gazed up at me, her beautiful blue eyes full of so much love and happiness. “Really,” she whispered back.