Once the initial shock of having twins wore off things started to calm down. Feelings of fear were replaced with feelings of excitement. Stella and Brandon converted the extra bedroom in to a nursery. Everything was bought in sets of two; matching cribs, matching stuffed bears, matching high chairs, and matching onesies.
The countdown was on, but the closer the due date approached, the weaker Stella felt. Stella couldn’t remember the last time that he was able to see her feet. It took most of her energy to just make it to the kitchen from the bedroom. Dr. Norris had no choice but to put Stella on bed rest two months earlier than expected.
Stella’s strength began to wane, but her support system never did. Brandon never left her side, except to make her favorite meals and go to work. Stella’s parents took turns playing cards and other board games with her. Her aunts were never too busy to visit. Even Sarah made sure that Stella was caught up on all of the workplace gossip.
“Mike and Elizabeth broke up! Apparently he had been cheating on her, and she called him out on it. In front of everyone.” Sarah made sure that she didn’t omit a single detail. “Even the patients who were sedated at the time heard the two of the fighting.”
Stella laughed too hard that she felt pains on her side.
That’s when the contractions started.
As a doctor Stella had learned all about contractions in med school. She knew what they were, and what they meant. However, Stella could never have known what they actually felt like until this moment. Still, Stella had a very bad feeling that something wasn’t right.
She felt the blood rushing from her head as she tried to stand up. Stella was having a hard time catching her breathe and began to hyperventilate. She was feeling dizzy, light headed, and would have fallen to the floor if Sarah wasn’t there to catch her.
Sarah and Ryan helped lead Stella to the car, while Cindy called Brandon and the Seasons. Brandon arrived at the hospital to find Cindy and Ryan in the waiting room eager to hear the latest from Sarah.
“Stella has had some complications.” Sarah informed them all. She tried to stay calm and speak slowly, but inside she was about to panic. “Stella has lost a lot of blood and has gone into shock. Her health and the babies’ health are at risk.”
“I need to be in there with her.” Brandon pushed his way past Sarah and charged towards the ER. He would have met with a very large, very muscular, orderly if June hadn’t grabbed his arm to stop him.
“I am sorry Brandon,” Sarah was able to maintain her calm tone. “No one is allowed in the delivery room when there are complications like this. At least I can be right next to her every step of the delivery. The only reason I am allowed in the delivery room is because I’m a doctor and I can help out just in case.”
“In case of what!?” June worried.
Sarah didn’t know how to answer that question. If this was any other person Sarah could detach herself from her patient. Separate personal from professional. But she was talking about her best friend. Stella’s family has been nothing but kind and welcoming. Sarah has gotten to know them all, and they consider her another member of the Charming Clan.
“It’s just…” Sarah regained the ability to speak, “just as a precaution. I need to go now, but I will be back as soon as I possibly can to give you all an update.”
May was having a horrible sense of Deja Vu. She kept flashing back to the last time she was in this waiting room. She was with Stella waiting to hear about Brandon. Now she is here again, sitting on the same lumpy sofa and sipping the same stale coffee, watching Brandon pace the floors waiting to hear about Stella or the babies. After an eternity of pacing and waiting, Sarah finally came back with an update.
“Stella is going to be okay.” Sarah was happy to report good news to her adopted family.
“And what about the babies?” Brandon was relieved, yet still worried.
“The babies are doing as good as can be expected,” Sarah was less than enthusiastic. “They were born premature, which means that they are both underweight and their organs have not yet fully developed. They are in the NICU right now.”
After checking up on Stella, Brandon made his way to the NICU to check up on his babies. They looked so small as they were connected to all those tubes. But they were strong, just like their parents and grandparents.
Stella has always loved the outdoors, ever since she was a toddler watching May in the garden. She wanted her children’s names to reflect that. Lincoln James Charming was born first. Lincoln means “by the sea” and named James after Cindy’s father. Autumn Leigh Charming was born a few minutes later. Leigh was Cindy’s mother’s name.
As Brandon looked at the newest additions to the Charming family he realized that things couldn’t be any more perfect.
In my selfish quest for organization I changed the look of my blog. I found a new theme and updated the banner graphic. I organized the chapter lists by generation, and I organized the extras into various topics, also by generation.