Chapter 2.24 Perfectly Unpredictable

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Once they heard the exciting news, Cindy and Ryan were on the next flight to Twinbrook. Although they were overjoyed at the idea of being grandparents, they still had some very valid concerns. Cindy’s mother died after giving birth. Cindy herself had some complications with Stella and had to have an emergency C-section. Difficult pregnancies run in the family, so Cindy wanted to be there for her daughter every step of the way.

“Please, take the spare bedroom so you can be close.” Brandon, who shared in their concern for Stella, told his in-laws.

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April, May, and June were also overjoyed to be grand-aunts. May came by almost everyday to make sure that Stella ate nothing but healthy food. June coached her in yoga and various relaxation techniques, and April brought over every book, magazine, and newspaper article about what Stella and Brandon can expect now that they are expecting.

“I am a doctor, or did everyone just suddenly forget?” Stella didn’t like everyone fussing over her. “I know what is involved with child birth.“

“You may think that you know,” Cindy schooled her daughter over a cup of tea, “”But you have no idea.”

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Stella’s family weren’t the only ones concerned. Stella’s coworkers at the hospital made sure that Stella and Brandon went to their monthly doctor visits.

“It is very nice to see you again, Doctor Charming,” Becky the nurse said.

“When I am in my scrubs then you can call me Doctor Charming,” Stella had to remind Becky for now the hundredth time, “here at my ultrasound I am just Stella.”

Stella really liked Becky as a person, and as a nurse she was very good at her job. She has always been able to find a vein when drawing blood and her bedside manner is second to none. Becky’s only flaw would have to be her confidence. For whatever reason she was nervous when Stella had her appointments. Stella assumed it was because she is Becky’s boss, and no one wants to screw up around their boss. Stella smiled and trying to calm the poor girl, but nothing helped.

“Yes Doctor Stella,” Becky nervously replied.

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“There is the head, one hand, two hands,” Doctor Norris was showing the baby to Brandon on the ultrasound monitor.

Stella followed along when she noticed something strange on the monitor. It was hard to see at that angle, but there was something that looked out of place.

“Is that what I think it is?” Stella pointed to the monitor. Doctor Norris knew instantly what it was, but to Brandon it was just another little white blur on the black screen.

“I can’t believe that I didn’t see that before.” the doctor replied. “It must have been hidden behind.”

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Neither Stella nor the doctor sounded worried, but Brandon started to worry. What could be wrong with the baby?!

Stella wouldn’t take her eyes off of the monitor, while Brandon began to freak out. It was like Stella and Doctor Norris were both in on a secret joke that they didn’t want Brandon to know about. What could they be keeping from him? His mind began to come up with the worst possible scenarios. What don’t they want him to know?!

“What am I missing?” Brandon asked when he couldn’t take it anymore. His face was turning red and sweat began to drip from his forehead. “What is on that monitor?!”

“I saw a third arm.” Stella stated matter-of-factly.

“I don’t get it,” Brandon still didn’t comprehend what was going on. Did his baby have three arms?! “What does that mean?”

“It means that we are going to have twins!”

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Chapter 2.23 Could Things Be Any More Perfect

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If Stella had to describe her life using only one word then that word would have to be: perfect.

Stella’s life was perfect. She was married to the most perfect man. Brandon is sweet, kind, and makes Stella want to be the best person that she could be. And their wedding was the perfect event of the century.

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Stella and Brandon had the most perfect honeymoon in Sunlit Tides. They rented a small bungalow overlooking the beautiful blue ocean. They spent the week surfing, relaxing at the spa, and enjoying other honeymoon type activities (wink, wink).

The perfect part of the honeymoon was going to bed every night curled up next to Brandon and waking up every morning to his smiling face.

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The cherry on Stella’s perfect sundae was her job. She passed her Final Exam with The Board and is now a pediatrician working at the Twinbrook Pidgin Foundation Hospital. The same hospital where she went to school, and the same hospital where her best friend Sarah also works. Yup, things couldn’t be any more perfect.

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Brandon couldn’t help but smile as he watched Stella sleep. He knew that he should go running before he had to report to work. His Physical Therapist Collin had suggested running every day to get his cardio strength back up to where it was before the accident. Brandon was usually pretty good as following his doctor’s orders, but today Brandon couldn’t seem to leave his wife’s side. Finally, he forced himself to get up and get going.

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Fall was transitioning into a chilly winter, and Brandon felt it in his body as he jogged along the river. His knees ached and his left shoulder, which took the most shrapnel from the ammo explosion, was starting to burn. To try to forget about the pain Brandon tried to focus on the positive and how lucky he was.

He was madly in love with Stella, and he thanked the heavens above that she loved him back. They have been married for over a year now, but Brandon felt like he was still on his honeymoon.

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The only rain cloud, all be it a very small cloud, would be Brandon’s current position at his job. It has been almost five years since the accident at the military base, and Brandon’s doctors weren’t sure if his injuries would ever fully heal. That meant that Brandon would be stuck behind his desk pushing paperwork indefinitely.

That doesn’t mean that Brandon had any wish for things to be different. Brandon doesn’t have an ounce of regret for what he did. His acts of bravery saved the lives of his fellow soldiers. The pain he sometimes felt in his back was nothing compared to the pain you feel when you lose someone you love. Of course, that didn’t stop him from wishing that he could be out with his old squad.

As Brandon jogged down the hill his home came into view and all he could think about was the beautiful woman who was inside of it.

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Stella has always been a heavy sleeper, so Brandon expected her to still be fast asleep when he got home from his run. He did not expect to see her curled up on the couch watching TV. Brandon greeted his wife with a good morning kiss, and noticed that Stella didn’t look well. Her eyes were baggy and her skin was pale.

“I’ll make some fruit parfait for breakfast.” Brandon smiled hoping that Stella’s favorite meal might make her feel better.

Brandon has been making Stella breakfast since the first morning she let him sleep on her couch. Cooking for her has always been Brandon’s way of saying, “I love you.“

Usually Stella was all for Brandon’s cooking, but she wasn’t feeling good this morning. “No thank you,“ Stella said as she sipped at her tea.

“You should try to at least eat something.” Brandon felt Stella’s forehead. At least she didn’t have a fever. “Let me make you some toast.”

Brandon fixed toast with Aunt May’s Homemade Grape Jelly, but Stella wasn’t hungry. She put her head on his lap as they watched the Food Network Platinum Chef Competition. Brandon would have stayed on that couch all day to make sure Stella was okay, but Stella was never the type of person to be fussed over. Reluctantly Brandon went to work with the promise that Stella would go see a doctor as soon as she was feeling up to it.

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Brandon spent the whole day thinking about Stella. She isn’t the type of person to get very sick often, so when she does it is always pretty major. On the way home he stopped by the grocery store to pick up some flowers and some chicken soup. When Brandon came home he found Stella outside. She was sitting on the patio lost in her own thoughts.

“How are you feeling?” it was still chilly outside and Brandon was concerned that Stella was outside.

“I went to the hospital today, and I had Sarah run some tests. We found out why I haven’t been feeling well.” Stella got up from where she was sitting so she could look Brandon in the eyes. “”We found out that I’m pregnant!”

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It took a few moments for the words to sink in. Then it all hit Brandon like a tidal wave. I’m going to be a father! Holy crap, I’m going to be a father!!

“We’re going to be having a baby?!” Brandon asked, just to make sure that he wasn’t dreaming. When Stella nodded yes Brandon lifted Stella into his arms and exclaimed, loudly for all of Twinbrook to hear, “Holy crap, I’m going to be a father!”

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