When I woke up this morning, Dilly and Dally were in my garden. I felt like I barely had the energy to deal with this. I was sleeping really well lately, but felt like I hadn’t gotten a wink. There were dark circles forming beneath my eyes and I had to fight my jean shorts this morning just to get the top button closed.
I had spoken to Keniesha about my concerns and she shrugged them off, saying that she didn’t think it was unusual to gain a few pounds once you get married. I sure wish those “few pounds” had hit my non-existent boobs instead of my waist, though. I made a mental note to back off of the baked goods I’d been making.
After I led the horses to their stalls, I decided I may as well feed them since I was up. Liev hadn’t made it out here yet and this would save him some time.
“Would you like to go for a nice long ride this morning?” I cooed as I rubbed Dally’s snout.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Liev said softly as he entered the barn, carrying a bucket of oats. He set the bucket down and gave me his undivided attention.
I raised an eyebrow at him; something he usually did to me. “Why not? You ride Dilly every morning. Why can’t I take Dally out?”
He smiled slightly and took my hand as he spoke. “I just think you should take it easy. It’s not safe for you to go horseback riding.”
Had he lost his mind? It seemed like for the longest time, he’d really been pushing for me to improve my riding skills and spend time with Dally. What had suddenly changed that made him think I was so incompetent?
“Listen here, buster! I haven’t killed myself in my riding lessons to just watch you have all the fun! I’ll go horseback riding if I want to!” Despite the anger in my voice, I was fighting back tears. The worst part was that I couldn’t figure out why.
His expression was one of utter confusion. He started to say something but then became quiet, regarding me carefully for a few minutes.
This began to worry me. Why was he acting so strangely?
“What is wrong with you?” I finally demanded.
Even though he could plainly see I was all riled up, his eyes softened. “You mean…. you don’t know?”
“Know what?” I’d had about enough of this.
“What I know is that you are constantly on my last nerve, Liev! I mean, really! You’ve become such a bully! I’m out here trying to help you with the chores and when I want to do something that will give me a small ounce of pleasure, you ruin it!”
OMG. Why was I being so emotional? Even as the words spewed out of me, I knew I was being unreasonable. Impatiently, I swiped at the hot tears on my cheeks. He hadn’t really done anything wrong except annoy the snot out of me. There was no reason for me to act like such a lunatic. But the more I tried to calm myself, the more I felt like it was building up in me.
“I think we should make an appointment with Dr. Sommers.”
“Dr. Sommers? Who is that? Some kind of shrink? I’m not crazy! I’m acting crazy, but I’m not!”
Dear Lord, what was wrong with me? Why had this escalated to such a ridiculous point? And why wasn’t he at least yelling back at me? I think I would have felt better if he had.
He hesitated, then took one of my hands. “I’m no authority on the matter, but I think you’re expecting.”
This still didn’t compute with me.
“A child,” he clarified. I half expected him to draw me a picture next. Looking back and writing this down now, I can’t say I would have blamed him if he had. “Dr. Sommers is an obstetrician that I know.”
I just continued to stare at him like an idiot as realization dawned on me. This was all beginning to slowly take form in my mind and even make sense. For weeks, every smell, even ones I used to like, seemed amplified and nauseating to me. All I wanted to do was sleep even after I’d just gotten up.
All this time, I never had a clue. Not one inkling. But now it seemed pretty obvious. And Liev had to explain it to me! There went that plan….
…You know, the one where I discover I’m pregnant and then carefully set up the perfect moment to tell my devoted husband….. A nice candlelight dinner… Soft music….
Taking his hands over bowls of warm pasta… Sitting in his lap after dinner… Giving him a kiss, looking into his eyes and gently breaking the news to him…. Him looking at me with googly eyes and tell me how wonderful it all was going to be…
Gone. That moment was gone forever.
Then, forgetting my glorious plan, my eyes widened with wonder as the truth of the idea began to really sink in. Well, I think at that point, it kind of hit me like a brick. Right in the face.
“Good gravy. I think you’re right,” I gushed, wiping away another unwanted tear.
He pulled me into his arms as we had a really great moment of our own despite the total ruination of my marvelous plan.
Dr. Sommers was able to get me in that same day. He confirmed that I’m indeed pregnant and prescribed some vitamins for me. So far, so good.
When Liev and I got home, he got to work outside and I found Keniesha taking care of the twins in the back parlor. The babies were happy for all of five minutes after I got there. One was stinky and one was hungry.
I fed Grace while Keniesha changed Tia. In the back of my mind, I began to worry about this situation. Tia and Grace took every ounce of time Keniesha and I had. Just when we thought they were settled down and we could rest for a moment, they decided it was time to need something again. And they never seemed to want the same thing at the same time.
I was also finding out what a joy it is to be thrown up on. Grace had just finished the bottle when I put her on my shoulder to burp her. Next thing I knew, I had warm grossness running down my back. This kid’s lucky she’s so cute.
After quickly cleaning up and changing, I went right back for more.
Puking aside and even thought they needed constant attention, I was finding that these girls were my life. But how in the world would it be once another was added to the mix?
“Thanks so much for helping me with the girls,” Keniesha said.
I grinned at little Tia. “It’s my pleasure, Sis.”
“I was wondering how you really feel about babysitting when I go back to work?”
I put the baby in her swing and set it on low, then turned back to Keniesha. “I meant it when I said I’d take care of them. But you and Mango are looking for a place near the stadium, aren’t you? That’s quite a drive every day to drop them off here.”
Keniesha bit her lower lip. Not a good sign. “Well, actually, the promotion has been put off and without it, we just don’t have enough saved to get our own place. Not with everything we had to buy for the twins.”
My heart skipped a beat. Had she just said they weren’t moving out?
“Is it okay if we stay here a while longer?”
“Yes!” I blurted. “Of course!”
I was so exhausted that night, I flopped down on the bed, not even caring that my feet were on my pillow instead of my head. Liev stretched out next to me and played with my hair. I took a deep breath. He smelled like soap and aftershave.
“You all right?” he asked.
It was then that I told him about Keniesha and Mango’s plans. I also apologized to him for acting so kooky.
“You haven’t been that bad,” he reassured. But I knew I had been intolerable. “Are you worried, Memphis?”
That was a loaded question! But I tried to downplay it as best I could. “Kind of. I mean, the twins are brand new. I’m still not really in a routine with them. Keniesha is going back to work and leaving me in charge of them. Me. In charge of two newborns! What if I do a terrible job? If I can’t handle my nieces, how will I ever be able to raise our own baby? I already feel so overwhelmed.”
I couldn’t see his face, but I could almost tell he was smiling softly. “Hey, listen,” he said after a moment, “you aren’t exactly alone, you know. I’ll help you.”
“You’re gone most of the day.”
“Try not to worry. We’ll do this, okay?”
If only I could have seen into the future because life was only going to get crazier!