Chapter 30: Death of a Bachelor
“Open mine first!” Jamie shouted nearly bouncing out of her seat. Mom had gone above and beyond for my baby shower, even though I insisted that we make it small enough to have right in our apartment. The living room was neatly decorated with pink balloons and streamers with all of the large furniture moved out of the way to make room for the small amount of guests and by small
I meant immediate family and my friends. A month after Flora was born, Rachel had her all wrapped up in her arms, fighting off my mom.
“Mom, chill. I only have a month left!” I said, scalding her. “I know, but I can’t wait that long!” she whined. Mom was ready to be promoted to grandma. Some days it drove me crazy. She did everything to try and get my dilation to start. We walked mile after mile together and she even made me get on the treadmill a time or two. Not to mention she tried feeding me almost every spicy food known to man that either ended up becoming gas or heartburn.
The gas got so horrible one night that Danny had no choice but to open up the windows in the apartment.
“But what if somebody tries to break in?!” I asked, freaking out. “Babe, we live on the fifth floor. If
somebody climbs through that damn window just to break into the apartment, they’ve earned it. They can have whatever the hell the want,” he said covering his nose when he heard my belly rumble.
Mom moved back and forth from the living room to the kitchen, trying to stay busy so she didn’t have to fight the urge to steal the baby. I loved how anxious she was to become a grandmother. Danny and Dad wandered around the apartment, putting away random gifts as I opened them. For some reason, Danny hovered over me protectively whenever he got the chance and when Mom didn’t have him moving the bigger gifts into the nursery. Whenever he got close, I could feel the anxiety radiate off of him, but I didn’t get the chance to pull him to the side and ask what was wrong.
I sat in my seat as my stomach tightened and cramps radiated through the front of my stomach, making me feel uncomfortable. I kept it hidden though, trying to keep from showing it on my face. I would wiggle around and alternate which butt cheek I sat on to try and get comfortable again. Everyone was already taking bets on when I was going to go into labor since Fauna already started to drop. That was the most uncomfortable part of it all. I couldn’t walk two feet without it feeling like someone had hung a hundred pound weight on my cervix. I know I had to pee at least fifty times more than I usually did and I wished that it would only happen at night.
After what would have been my last day of school when I got completely dressed and Fauna took a hard left and landed on my bladder, making me pee all over myself, I decided to stay home. I already had all of my credits and Mom was begging me to have a graduation party. That was out of the question. We had way too much going on to even consider a graduation party.
“Are you contracting?” Mom asked, taking me by surprise when she stuck her mouth right by my ear to whisper. She scared the shit out of me and it didn’t make things any better. Another painful cramp stabbed me in the stomach and I clenched my teeth together to keep from showing any signs of pain. “No Mom,” I said calmly, exhaling as another pain passed. “Okay. Don’t lie to me. As soon
as you do, we’re going straight to the hospital.” If I had a nickel for every time I heard that bullshit as a threat.
“What if after you go through labor and everything, you get the news that the doctor made a mistake and Fauna is really a boy,” Melanie said jokingly. “Oh God! I’d die!” I shouted. This was the happiest that I had seen everyone in months. After the incident with Dean I could have sworn that every single one of my friends was ready to form a posse and kill his ass. As much as I would have enjoyed that, he wasn’t worth the time and the energy. I usually tried my best to not think about it. The past was the past and now we had to look forward to the future for the baby’s sake.
On top of everyone joking about me having a boy and Danny’s constant hovering over me, they also cracked jokes because I kept wanting to eat and eat and eat. I had never consumed so much fruit
in all my life but the very sight of it make my mouth water. “Looks like we’re going to be surrounded by estrogen,” Danny groaned. “That’s what you need! That’s what happens when you chase girls all throughout your teenage years,” Mom added jokingly. It was relieving to see that they got along. Mom hated any guy I ever associated with and it was nice to finally see her be kind to someone
that I cared about, especially now since we were having a baby. I wouldn’t have wanted to be caught in the middle of tension while we were supposed to be having a baby shower.
When Danny wasn’t joking with Mom, he and Dad were talking about sports and other nonsense that would have left me bored to tears. No one talked about Candace or asked where she was and no one brought her up or the incident that happened at the mall, so it was nice that there wasn’t a single drop of negativity in the air. Everyone smiled and laughed and you would have thought that it was a scene straight out of a magazine.
For the rest of the party, everything went smoothly. Danny still hovered over me, which caused my mom to raise an eyebrow even more. Mom had a way of knowing when something was off. I guess I was picking it up too because I could just feel that something was wrong with him. I would never know how, but we did.
The gifts were marvelous. Melanie and Derek contributed for a rocking chair with a matching ottoman. I should have known. Mel always had entirely too much fun rocking in Rachel's without holding the baby. Mom and Dad chipped in for the crib that turned into a toddler bed and
then turned into a twin sized bed. Rachel and Reggie gave us a car seat and stroller all in one, even though I'm pretty sure it was an extra one they got and Rachel waited too long and wasn't able to return it. We had pretty much had everything covered, not to mention the countless amounts of clothes that were sent by Jada and Ryan as well as a huge amount of diapers that everyone else sent. I knew that a huge portion of those came from Jada and Ryan too. Jada was calling me on a daily basis whenever she was at the store to tell me that she had found more stuff for the baby.
We passed on the games. I hardly had the energy to pass Flora all around the room to everybody. It was pretty much a thrown together baby shower with fabulous decorations and food. Mom might have been handy at throwing shit together, but she never half-assed anything. That would have been out of the question.
“You call me if you start contracting again. And you two better get busy!” Mom shouted as I tried my best to push her out the doorway. She was still trying to get a move on getting my dilation started. “If you don’t bring your ass, you’ll be walking home!” Dad shouted as he tried his best to pull her along. "Go home, Mother!" I shouted with laughter. Everyone else had gone home
We weren't quite to the point of me going into labor if we did have sex, but I didn't want to take any chances. I had dreaded this from the very beginning. It was going to suck for Danny to start treating me like the plague again once sex was completely off limits. “I love you two. Go home before it gets too late!” I was finally able to shut the door and have the apartment all to me and Danny once again and it felt fantastic. I never really realized how antisocial I was until I became pregnant. I knew the house would be buzzing with people once the baby was born. We wouldn’t be able to get my mom out of here. I guess it would be good to have the help. I was never one for sleeping all day, but after this long nine months, it seemed like a pretty good idea.
I strolled through the kitchen, hoping that the pepperoni and cheese tray would still be on the counter. I could hear Danny fumbling around in the bathroom with the shower and I knew that he would be a while. I took a seat and started to dig in, but that was when another cramp stabbed me in the stomach. I held onto my belly with my hand that wasn't shoveling food into my mouth and rolled my eyes. This was getting extremely annoying.
“Alright Fauna. Not yet,” I said to myself through clenched teeth as I held onto my belly when everything cramped up again. I slid off of the stool and tried to figure out a way to walk to the bedroom to get my exercise ball without making the contractions worse. I swear I would have killed for these to have only been Braxton Hicks contractions. I tip toed carefully, holding my belly even tighter as the pain eased up. Mom would kill me if she knew what was going on and I didn't call her to come back over. I could finally breathe, but I was still careful to move slowly so I wouldn’t trigger any more action. I didn’t realize that my heart had been racing and I was suddenly feeling lightheaded. I braced myself against the door-frame to keep from falling over when I heard the bathroom door creak open and I knew that I was caught.
“Syd! Are you having contractions!?” Danny shouted as he ran over to me wearing nothing but a towel. He grabbed my hand and helped me over to the bed. “I was, but they eased up. I was trying to make it to my exercise ball.” I climbed into bed and he followed, curling up next to me and wrapping his arms around my belly. I could feel Fauna kicking. “She’s trying to get out,” he said with a smile, “Daddy’s girl isn’t ready yet. You gotta make sure you’re big and strong when you come out,” he whispered to her. His smile grew even wider when she responded to his voice with a few more kicks. “You’re wearing Mommy out. You need to get your beauty sleep so she can get hers.”
I hadn’t realized how happy all of this made Danny. Over the last few months he had turned into a completely different person. Of course he had always been caring and loving, but seeing the way he interacted with our daughter showed a totally different side of him. It was different seeing such a vulnerable side of him. Way back when the only Danny I knew was a bad ass that would beat the shit out of you if you even looked at him the wrong way, I would have never pictured us here doing all of this. It was the exact opposite of the old Danny. This Danny didn’t look like he could even hurt a fly. His muscles didn’t mean a thing right now. You could have stabbed him in the back and it wouldn’t have even mattered because his attention was solely on his daughter.
At every doctor’s appointment, before seeing her, he would hold my hand nervously with tears in his eyes and I knew that he was afraid of the same thing that I had constantly been afraid of. But, just like always, our fears were dismissed because there she was. Her heart beat was strong and loud and she continued to get bigger and bigger. He was amazed by the fact that she was no longer our little pea.
It blew my mind one night he was up late and I crawled out of bed to see where he had went. I found him sitting at the island in the kitchen, staring at all of the photos we received with tears streaming down his face.
“She’s just so beautiful. Just like her mom,” he said softly, “how did I ever get lucky enough to have the two of you in my life?” he asked before pulling me into his arms. He continued to cry and the only thing I could do was hold him and cry with him. Danny always jumped onto me for worrying about her when really he was the one worried about her the most. I guess it wouldn’t have done any good for the both of us to be worried. That would have just been a disaster. And just like he could understand why I was so worried about being a good mother, he was worried about being a good father. He kept up this act like he was calm, cool, and collected about the whole pregnancy and that night when I found him trying to piece together how our little miracle came to be, it had completely shattered and fell apart to reveal that he was just as nervous as I was. Before making him come to bed with me, I held onto him a little longer and reassured him that everything was going to be okay and we would find a way to be the best parents that any little girl could ever ask for. I remembered what my dad had said about little girls holding the key to their father’s hearts.
From what I was experiencing right now, it couldn’t have been anymore true. My heart raced as I watched him continue his conversation with her. “I hope you look like Mommy. It would be a little weird if you came out looking like Daddy,” he whispered. It caused me to giggle a little bit, making my belly jiggle like Santa Claus’s. Fauna continued to respond with lighter kicks. “Daddy promises to sing you a song if you promise you’ll go to sleep for Mommy,” he added. More little kicks followed, signaling that she was beginning to wind down. “Gosh, she’s smart too,” he said, looking up at me with amazement in his eyes. When he started to hum the tune of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’,
the kicks stopped completely and I could feel her little butt ball up on my left side and her little feet were stretched out on my right.
"Who would have ever seen this day?" I asked with a chuckle. "I know. She's made me soft and I haven't officially met her yet," he replied with a sniffle, "Talk about one hell of a blind date," he added. "Yep. Danny Connor, completely head over heels for a girl." He looked up at me and rolled his eyes. "Two girls. I was always chasing them. Now they've got me crying like a little bitch. I never really took myself as the type to settle down." The image of being settled down bounced around in my mind. I painted this picture of wedding bands shining on both of our left hands.
"Now, I don't think marriage would be such a bad idea," he said softly. I snapped my head in his direction, confused because it was like he was digging around in my brain. "What?!" I managed to spit out. I never thought that I was the marrying type, but then again, I also never thought I'd be in a relationship and ready to give birth. "I mean, I practically treat you like you're my wife anyway. I see your mom a lot more than I would have liked in the past. I get along with your dad pretty well," he rambled. Holy shit. He was serious.
"Could this be the death of a bachelor?" I chuckled. "Damn straight. That's exactly what it seems like," he said as he rolled over onto his stomach, "From partying and running the streets to baby showers and decorating a nursery. I can't believe how much things have changed in the last few months." I couldn't believe it either. And soon things would change again and our lives would never be the same. "Enough with the heavy," he said quickly. I could see his eyes gleaming, with tears threatening to spill out once again.
"My big cry baby," I said softly. The events from today were beginning to catch up with me and as much as I wanted to continue pondering the idea of getting married, I was entirely too sleepy. My mind was still racing though. I realized that I he was the best thing to walk into my life. He made me face the fact that I had fallen in love with someone that showed me that settling down was much better than wandering around through life alone.
Danny continued to hum as he absently stroked my belly with his fingertips. My eyes grew heavier and heavier until I was finally able to drift off to sleep.