Sorry for not posting recently, my family and I went on a road trip these last couple weeks. We just got back this morning, so I should finish up the next chapter in the next few days. Love you guys!
I was nominated by one of my readers to list my top 5 favorite pictures from The Quinn Family. So I’m going to countdown and lead up to my all time favorite.
5. Sabrina Meets Her Real Family
4. Sabrina Feels Esther Kick
3. The Family That Sleeps Together Stays Together
2. Sabrina the Labor Goddess
1. Family Time
***Warning! There are graphic birth pictures in this chapter. Love you guys! :)***
I managed to stay bedridden until my 38th week of pregnancy. I was at the point where, I couldn’t sit up or lay down without any help. Justin had to give me a sponge bath every night. The day I made it to my 38th week, I (with some assistance) jumped out of bed, wanting to go out and about. There were a few twinges here and there, but it was nothing like before. That evening, I was in the middle of reading a bedtime story to Esther when a stronger twinge of pain pinched my spine. I grit my teeth and forced myself to finish the book. The minute Esther was in her crib, I raced downstairs and called out for Justin. I heard the door of the office open, and Justin’s voice down the hall, “Hon, did you say my name?”
I grunted as I struggled to put on my shoes, “Yes, I need you!”
He came into the living, and I could tell he was holding back laughter as I tried to reach my feet. He knelt next to me and helped me with my shoes, “Where are we going?”
I tried to answer calmly, but another contraction interrupted me, “You need to call my mom, we-oooooooh baby this is a big one-,” I panted tiredly while realization dawned on my husband. He scrambled into action, but before he went too far away, I felt the color drain from my face as I grabbed his arm, “Justin…oooooh…my water just broke.” If I hadn’t been in the middle of labor, I would have laughed at how fast he was moving. He grabbed the stopwatch, and called my mom. He ran back to me, “Okay, so I called your mom, she’ll be here in 10 minutes. However, Dr. Sinclair wants to talk to you.”
I nodded nervously, but I took the phone from Justin, “Hello?”
Dr. Sinclair’s kind voice soothed my nerves some, “Hello Sabrina. I’m going to ask you to do the hardest thing you’ve ever done, okay?”
I gulped before answering, “Okay, what do you need?”
He sighed, “Twenty minutes ago, a drunk driving a semi took out three of the lanes on the freeway. I need you to trust me when I tell you that it’ll be easier for me to get to you, than for you to get to me. Every ambulance we have available is out tending to the twenty or so people injured by the semi. If you are willing to trust me, I can deliver your babies at home.”
Fear threatened to overtake me, but I managed to squeak out, “Uhm…of course I trust you. I’ll have Justin give you our address.”
I handed the phone to Justin before walking back to the living room. I buried my head in my face and sobbed. I heard soft footsteps on the stairs, so I quickly quieted and wiped my eyes. Cassidy came down the stairs, her eyes searching my face, “Mama, I thought I heard crying. Are you okay?”
I smiled, trying my best to reassure her, “Yeah, I’m alright. The babies are coming, and it’s really painful, but it means my body is doing what it’s supposed to.”
She nodded, seeming to accept this before feeling my belly. Justin walked in the room, kissing my forehead, “The doctor will be here in half an hour.”
I sighed and leaned my had back against Justin’s shoulder, “We have everything ready, right?”
He chuckled, “Yes, hon, everything is ready. Cassidy and I finished the nursery yesterday. We received tons of diapers at your shower. You just focus on laboring, okay?”
My mother sat quietly on the couch, a teary smile on her face. I knelt on the ground, placing my head in her lap. She smoothed my hair and spoke softly, “The night you were born, a big blizzard had just hit the town. We were iced in our small cottage when my water broke. By the time the nearest doctor was able to make it, you were well on your way to being born. Oh my stars, you were so pink and perfect, your father was afraid to pick you up for fear that you would break. It was a perfect day….”
Her voice trailed off as tears ran down her face. I held her hand and smiled, but was silent as another contraction made its presence known. I threw my head back and moaned loudly, hoping I didn’t scare Cassidy but in too much pain to care. I turned to Justin suddenly, “Since we’re here at home, Cassidy can be a part of the experience like we wanted originally.”
He nodded slowly, “If you don’t think it’ll be too difficult, I don’t see why not.”
Justin ran upstairs to go talk to Cassidy, and I went into the kitchen to get some water. Another contraction stopped me in my tracks and I gripped the counter as the pain overwhelmed me. When it had passed, I heard a knock on the door and waddled my way over there. Dr. Sinclair gave me a hug as I let him inside. I laid on the bed, letting him check out my labor progress. He finished up aft a few minutes, “Okay, we are 7 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced. I think we’ll be ready to push in the next few hours.”
I leaned back against the pillows, waiting for the next contraction to come. Dr. Sinclair sat at the foot of the bed, “Any questions for me before the exciting stuff begins?”
I shook my head and whispered, “I’m scared.”
He gave me a reassuring smile, “I think you’ve forgotten my 30 years’ experience doing exactly this.”
Justin returned downstairs, Cassidy following behind him. He set her on the bed, nearer to my head, before smiling at her, “Remember the rules?”
She nodded obediently, “It’s okay if Mama screams, don’t move off the bed, and to leave Mama alone when she’s pushing.”
I beamed at her, “Those are great rules, Cassidy, and if you feel like it’s too scary for you, Daddy or Grandma will take you back upstairs, okay?” She nodded before laying down next to me. I sighed, thankful that it was a Friday, and it wouldn’t matter if she stayed up too long.
By ten o’clock that evening, my contractions were barely a minute apart, I had finally reached ten centimeters and it was time to start pushing. I sat up, gripped my knees and I’m pretty sure I made a noise akin to a dying animal. I felt everything happening, and I do mean everything. As my body stretched, I screamed and gave one big push. Dr. Sinclair kept his hands steady and told me, “Okay, little breaths here, don’t push too hard, the head is coming.” I gripped Justin’s hand as the baby’s head finally made it through and got the okay to push again on the next contraction. As I I pushed, I felt the rest of the baby emerge, a healthy cry echoing through the room. Justin cried out, “It’s a boy, Sabrina! We have a boy!” I cried tears of joy as he was set onto my chest.
We had a few blissful moments to enjoy our baby, until the next contraction hit, this time I couldn’t stop screaming. After it had passed, I gripped Justin’s arm, calling out to the doctor, “I need you to check the baby, it feels different this time. More painful….” My voice trailed off as yet another contraction tore through me. Dr. Sinclair checked on things down there before glancing at me with a grim expression on his face, “Sabrina, whatever you do, do not push! Your baby is breech. When the contraction passes I’m going to flip the baby.”
Justin helped me move closer to the end of the bed, and I nodded, blinking back the tears that threatened to surface. When the contraction subsided, Dr. Sinclair pushed his arm inside of me, moving the baby gently back inside and I nearly passed out from the pain. I screamed so loud, I felt Cassidy startle beside me. With his free hand, Dr. Sinclair pressed on my stomach, trying to nudge the baby into the correct position. I gripped Justin’s hand and bit my lip. After a moment of tension, I felt the baby turn. I breathed a sigh of relief as Dr. Sinclair extracted his arm. Pulling off his glove, Dr. Sinclair beamed at me, “We should be back on track.”
More determined than ever, I pushed harder and harder with each contraction. After an hour of almost no progress, I pulled Justin close to me, “Get this baby out!” I began to weep, the pain overwhelming me, “I just want to be done, baby. I need a break. I can’t push anymore.”
Justin was cut off by another intense contraction. I bore down, yelling as I felt the baby move closer and closer to the finish line. Dr. Sinclair put his hand on my shoulder, “Pant like a dog on this next one, Sabrina, the baby is almost here.” I nodded and wiped my brow, preparing for the next contraction. Justin moved to sit behind me, and I laid my head back. As the next contraction came, I arched my back and panted. The baby’s head finally decided to emerge, and we all breathed a sigh of relief. With the last and final contraction, I pushed with every last ounce of strength I had. At 3 in the morning, we welcomed our second son into this world. I was too exhausted to cry, but I could not stop smiling as they were both placed on my chest.
After Dr. Sinclair finished examining the babies and left, Justin, Cassidy and I snuggled on the bed, gazing at the babies. Justin placed a kiss on my forehead, “Should we tell Cassidy her brother’s names?” I nodded, holding up the little guys snuggled in the crook of my arm, “This little one, is Ryan Christopher Quinn. I nodded to the other baby who busy nursing at my breast, “This is Oliver Eric Walsh.”
Cassidy looked confused, “Why do they have different last names?”
Justin thankfully explained for me, “Mama wanted one of the babies to carry on her name, since she hasn’t been a Quinn for very long. This way we’ll have two Quinns’ and two Walsh’s.”
I smiled as understanding dawned on her face, until it was masked by a huge yawn. Justin walked her upstairs, leaving me alone with the babies. I began to cry from tears of exhaustion, until Justin came back downstairs. He snuggled next to me on the bed, reaching for Oliver. I laid my head on his shoulder, whispering, “Did this just happen?” He pushed my hair behind my ear, “I have never loved you more than right now. Baby, you did so amazing.”
I smiled, but was too tired to answer. My lids were so heavy, but I couldn’t stop staring at our sons. I winced as I helped Ryan latch onto my breast, laughing as he hungrily grunted. Justin watched in amazement, helping me while Oliver struggled to get a strong latch. Once everyone was satisfied, burped and changed, I handed the babies to Justin who laid them down in their bassinet. Finally able to close my eyes, I laid back and sank into the bed. Only to hear Esther’s cries coming from her room.
Two weeks after Justin came home, I was in the middle of making lunch for all of us, when my stomach grew tight and an intense pain traveled down my back. It took me by such surprise that I dropped the plate I was holding, and I doubled over. I called out to Justin, but the pain had passed before he got to the kitchen. I thought nothing of it, passing it off as a Braxton-Hicks, until another one took me by surprise 10 minutes later. Justin wheeled over to me, grabbing my shoulders as I breathed through the pain. I panted for a minute before burying my face in his shoulder, ”I think this is the real deal, Justin.”
He rubbed my back, “Okay, well you can’t drive in this condition, and I’m still stuck in this damn chair, so I’ll go call your mom while you put your feet up on the couch.”
I waddled to the couch, trying to keep the tears at bay. I was barely seven months pregnant, I couldn’t imagine losing the babies now. Justin came into the living room, “Your mom is leaving the house as we speak, so she should be here in 10 minutes or so. I was more than ready to leave when my mom came, having gone through another contraction on the couch.
By the time we got there, two more contractions had worked their way through my body. It was my lucky day that Dr. Sinclair was working the delivery ward. He hooked me up to a CTG belt to monitor the babies’ heartrates and the intensity of my contractions. After three more contractions, he came back in and asked some questions, “Sabrina, you are 30 weeks along, correct?” I nodded through a contraction, and he continued, “Your contractions are 10 minutes apart, lasting a few seconds?”
“Yes, they’re between 10 and 12 minutes.”
He nodded, before saying, “The babies are trying to come out a little early, if you hadn’t guessed. Since your water hasn’t broken, I’m ordering you on strict bedrest. I’ll give you something today to slow down your labor, but until the babies reach at least 36 weeks, I want you off your feet unless it’s for a bathroom break, or a sponge bath. Absolutely no stairs, or strenuous lifting, like a toddler.”
My lip quivered, “Are the babies okay?”
He smiled kindly, “Right now, they’re perfectly healthy. We want them to keep baking for a little bit longer.”
I took a deep breath, trying to take it all in, but I was grateful to him. After he left, my mom moved her chair closer to my bed, “How are you feeling, sweetie?”
I nodded tiredly, exhaustion bringing tears to my eyes, “I’m trying not to stress out, but between Justin being out of work for who knows how long, and now this. I don’t know how we’ll pay for everything. We have his hospital bills and my hospital bills, and then there’s the housework and the boxes…I can’t put that all on Cassidy, and Justin is not strong enough yet…” my voice trailed off as I began sobbing.
My mom wrapped her arms around me, “Oh, sweet girl, it’ll be okay. I know this isn’t ideal, but you guys can do this, okay? Your father and I were going to surprise you once the twins are born, but now seems as good a time as ever.” I moved further away from her so I could see her face, and she continued, “When your father and I lost you, it was one of the darkest times in our life. Despite what the detectives told us, we knew you were out there somewhere, so we set up a trust fund for you. On your birthday every year, we would deposit 1000 dollars until you turned 18. It’s been about 5 years since we last checked your account but with interest rates, you should have well over 50,000 dollars.”
I gasped, “Obviously, I’ll have to talk to Justin about it, but I can’t think of a reason that he’d turn it down. That’s very generous of you.” My mother nodded and I threw my arms around her, sobs of relief shaking us both. I pulled away and kissed her on the cheek. She rubbed my back as another contraction gripped my body. The medicine was beginning to work, the contraction over as quick as it started. When she left to grab us some lunch from the cafeteria, I called Justin to tell him the news.
He answered on the first ring, “Hey, is everything okay?”
I nodded, “Yeah. I was going into premature labor, but they gave me some medicine to stop the contractions. I do have some bad news, though. I’ll be on bedrest for the next six weeks or so.”
He groaned sympathetically, “Aww, honey, I’m sorry. I know you were hoping that we could avoid bedrest.”
We talked for a few more minutes, until my mom came back with lunch. I didn’t realize how hungry I was until the smell of mashed potatoes hit my nose. After dinner, my mom left, promising to come first thing in the morning to bring me home.
Three days into the mandatory bedrest, and I was already going insane. Ethan and my father had moved Justin and I’s bed downstairs, so I wasn’t completely isolated, but I was going stir crazy. I had five and a half weeks left, and even then, I had to take it easy. Justin shuffled slowly over to the bed, “You have never looked more beautiful, Sabrina.” I froze, my spoonful of chocolate pudding dangling from my mouth, before rolling my eyes. He climbed into bed next to me, “No, I’m serious, you may not feel it, but you’re stunning. I can show you how I feel if it’ll convince you.” I set my bowl aside, giggling as he nuzzled my neck. He gently rolled on top of me, kissing me with a passion I hadn’t seen in a long time. Esther’s cry from her bedroom quickly shut down our little makeout session. I sighed and laid back while Justin went to go get her. Wondering when my life would feel “normal” again.
Things were easygoing for the next month or so. Justin continued to get stronger, finally getting rid of his wheelchair while I remained in bed, missing out on all of Esther’s newest milestones. I’m embarrassed to say that I was growing quite irritable. Cassidy came down stairs in the middle of the night, waking up Justin and I, “Daddy, Mama, can I sleep with you? I had a bad dream.” Justin patted the space between us, while I moved over a little. Soon, you could hear her soft snores. I had just managed to fall back asleep when Esther’s cries could be heard down the hall. I groaned, and struggled to sit up, my ever-growing stomach making it near impossible. As I stood up, Justin waved me back into bed, “Sabrina, please lay down, you’re not supposed to walk, let alone carry Esther.” I growled in frustration, “I know that, Justin! I think after almost an entire month of laying down, I understand this! I just want to be able to go comfort my daughter.” I sat back down in a huff, while Justin went to go get Esther. I heard Cassidy toss and turn a little before she asked, “Mama, is everything okay?” I snapped at her, “Go back to sleep!” Realizing I had just yelled at her, I also laid my head down, turning my back to my family and crying quietly into my pillow.
In the morning, I woke and saw a card next to the bed.
I know you’re getting sick of being stuck at home. If you take the wheelchair outside, a surprise is in store. Don’t worry about us., I’m taking the girls to the park and then a movie, so the house is all yours for a few hours. We love you, grumpy and all…
I grabbed my slippers, and sat in the wheelchair. Rolling onto the patio, I saw that Justin had set up a cushioned picnic area just for me. It had a stack of books, lots of food, and it was right next to the pool. I settled myself down among the massive pillows, trying to get comfortable. I picked one of the books up, grabbed a handful of grapes, and slowly began to relax.
The day passed by quickly, and by the time Justin and the kids got home, I was deep into an FBI thriller. The girls swarmed me with hugs and kisses, nearly tackling me. I laughed at their excitement, “Careful, don’t knock me over. How was the movie?”
Esther held my face in both her little hands, “Fish are friends, not food.” I snorted with laughter, waiting for Cassidy to explain.
I tickled them both until their faces turned red, before asking Cassidy, “What about, babydoll, did you like the movie?”
She nodded, seeming to be very cautious of what she says. I grabbed her hand and placed it on my belly before saying, “Sweetheart, I am so proud of you, Cass. I know I haven’t been the nicest mommy lately, and I’m sorry if I’ve been angry these last couple days.”
She placed a kiss on my stomach, “It’s okay, Mama. Daddy says growing babies is hard work.”
I laughed and snuggled her close, “That’s right, but that’s no excuse for being cranky. C’mon, let’s see if these babies will put on a show for us today, okay? I pulled up my shirt and poked at my belly, Soon enough, one them kicked real hard. I was stretched thin enough that you could see all their movements nowadays. It was more fun for me to watch Cassidy’s face as she felt them move and tried to figure out if was an arm, or a leg, and a butt or a head.
Justin joined me on the blanket after a while, kissing my belly. I laid my head on his shoulder, “I’m sorry, baby. I shouldn’t have yelled at you this morning.
He kissed my forehead as we watched the sunset, “You have nothing to apologize for, honey. We will get through this together.”
As Cassidy led Esther around the yard, I turned to Justin and whispered, “I’m so sick of being pregnant, Justin. My body cannot possibly stretch anymore, and I’m so tired all the time, but I do nothing all day! I just want these babies out of me.” I clutched his shirt and sobbed quietly, so as not to alert the girls. He held me tight until my tears subsided. He kissed my cheek, “Feel better?” I nodded quietly, letting him rub my back.
He placed a kiss on my temple, “Have I thanked you lately?”
I looked at him quizzically, “Thanked me…for what? I’m a beached whale taking up space in our living room.”
He laughed, “No, seriously, Sabrina. You’re doing the most amazing job ever. You get to grow not one but two human beings inside of you. And this job you’re doing, is almost done, and then we’ll have two beautiful babies to look after.”
I laid my head on his chest, and sighed deeply, “Have we decided on names?”
The rest of the weekend flew by. The girls made a fort around my bed and we watched movies in it all day long. I tried to relax and enjoy the time I had with the girls before life grew even crazier.
Hey y’all, this chapter is shorter than the others, but I’ll be posting the next chapter in the next few days, so hopefully that makes up for it! ❤
Trying to sleep in the hospital is nearly impossible. I had nurses check on me all throughout the night, checking my blood pressure, taking my temperature, and changing my iv. When morning finally came, I gave up on trying to get comfortable, so I shuffled down the hall to see Justin. I sat down with a heavy sigh, “I’m sorry for pressuring you, hon. I know you’re going to need time to recover. I shouldn’t have been so upset.” I kissed his forehead, gasping softly when his eyes fluttered open. He blinked, obviously very confused, and groaned, “Sabrina?”
Tears ran down my face as I nodded, “Yeah, it’s me baby.”
“Where am I? What happened?”
I moved closer to him and began to rub his forehead, “You were shot, twice, at our wedding three months ago.”
He grunted, “Are you ok?”
I kissed him, “I’m perfectly fine, Justin. You focus on getting your strength back, alright?”
I stood up, straightening the end of his bed. I glanced over at him, his eyes as big as saucers, and he stuttered, “Are…are you…pr-pregnant?”
I put a protective hand over my middle, “Yes. I’m about 5 months along……with twins.”
His smile stretched from ear to ear, and I nodded, “Cassidy is really excited, she really wants to help decorate the nursery. Cassidy! I have to go call my mom and have her bring the girls down here.”
My mom promised to bring the girls as soon as they had finished breakfast. An hour later, Cassidy ran over to Justin, tears running down both of their faces. She clung to him for several minutes, both quietly sobbing. I knelt next to Cassidy, one hand on her back, one hand clutching Justin’s. She quieted a little, sobs still shaking her frame, “I thought I was going to lose you, Daddy.”
He grinned through his tears, “No way are you getting rid of me that easily, sweetheart.” He groaned as he lifted his arm up and stroked her hair. I pulled the chair closer to his bed, pulling Cassidy into my lap. We filled him in on everything he’d missed while he laid there and listened to us After an hour or so, I could tell he was fading. I held his hand, “Get some rest, honey. We’ll be back later tonight, okay?” He nodded weakly. Cassidy threw her arms around him, kissing his cheek. I did the same and took her by the hand.
We went down the hall, into my room. I laid on my bed, letting Cassidy feel the babies kick. She sat down on the bed next to me, “Will Daddy get to come home today, too?”
I laughed as the babies kicked really big, “I don’t think so hon. Daddy has to build up his strength. His muscles are weak from not moving in a while. Don’t fret though, because I am busting out of here today.”
She leaned forward, laying her head onto my belly, “I can’t wait for the babies to be here.”
I nodded, whispering softly, “Me too.”
Once I was cleared to leave the hospital, we went upstairs to say goodbye to Justin. As I kissed him goodbye, he whispered, “Baby, I know that you’re going to want to visit every day, but I know how busy you must be, being a single mom right now, okay? Visit me when you can, but don’t feel like you have to be here every day.”
I put my forehead up against his, “For three months, I’ve waited for you to wake up. There is nothing that I need to do that is more important than you. I want to visit you while I can, in case I get put on bedrest.”
A little less than a month later, we got to bring Justin home. Cassidy opened the front door while I pushed Justin inside. He was growing stronger every day, but he still had a long road ahead of him. As he settled in on the couch in the living room, I sat down and put my feet in his lap, “Okay, Cassidy it’s your turn to choose the movie and I’m putting you on popcorn duty. Esther, go get a blanket for Mommy and Daddy, please.” I turned to Justin, “As for you, sweet husband of mine, you’re on foot rub duty.”
He wiggled his eyebrows mischievously, “But Sabrina, my hands aren’t strong enough yet.”
I wiggled my toes, “Nice try, mister, but you’re going to build your strength back somehow.”
Cassidy came back, and before I knew it, the movie had started. Esther curled up in my lap, sort of. It was getting harder to hold her now that the babies were growing. I must’ve dozed off, because the next thing I knew, the movie was over, Cassidy had gone upstairs to bed and Esther was fast asleep on my chest. I stretched and tried to get up without waking her up, but it was pointless, I could barely get up on my own these days, let alone carry a toddler up the stairs. I caught Justin’s gaze and noticed his smirk. I playfully threw a pillow at his head before I made a blanket nest on the floor for Esther. Once she was all settled, I leaned against Justin, “I’d offer to carry you up the stairs babe, but uh I don’t think that’s an option right now.” He laughed, “Help me fold the couch into a bed, and we’ll call it good enough for now, okay?”
Like the new cover? 🙂
I sat next Justin’s bed, my hand resting on his, “Hey, baby. It’s been a long week for us. Esther is getting her molars, so she’s been extra cranky. Cassidy had a Father-Daughter dance at school. Ethan took her, but I could tell she was very upset that you couldn’t join us. We really miss you around here, buddy. If you wanted to wake up for us now, any time, we’re more than ready to have you join us again. Justin, we’re about to be parents to two beautiful babies. I don’t know what I’m going to do once they arrive. My mom offered to come stay with us for the first few weeks and I’m thinking about taking her up on it. I wish I could come and sit with you more often, but between the girls and work, I end up going home and going straight to bed.” I cleared my throat as my tears threatened to surface, “Okay, well, let’s keep up with where we left off in The Odyssey, alright?” We read through a few chapter, but when my eyes started to droop, I kissed Justin goodnight.
As I waddled towards the exit, I swung by Dr. Sinclair’s office. His face brightened and he beamed at my growing waistline, “Pregnancy suits you, Sabrina.” I smiled my thanks, Dr. Sinclair and I had grown close over the last three months. He was the kind grandfather I had never experienced growing up. I sat back, putting my feet up for the first time in days, “So any progress this week?” He shrugged before stroking his mustache, “Some progress. There is still signs of brain activity, and he did squeeze the physical therapist’s hand on command. He’s in there, Sabrina. He just needs to heal before he wakes up.” I set my cup down gently, “In my head, I know this, but my heart just wants to shake him until he’s awake. I can’t have him miss the birth of our babies. I’m going to need him there.” Dr. Sinclair nodded his sympathies, but I knew there wasn’t much else he could do. I set my cup down, gave him an appreciative smile, and headed toward the door.
I left the hospital, swinging by the store and finishing the rest of my errands. After picking up Esther from my parents’ house, we went home so I could start on dinner. I heard the school bus pull up as I was in the middle of prepping the pasta. Cassidy raced in, “Look at what we did for art class today! I’m going to give it to Daddy tomorrow. I smiled, “That’s great, Cass. Do you have any homework for this weekend?” She dug through her backpack, “Yes, I have to read another chapter, finish this math page and write a story on someone who I want to be when I’m older.” I set my spoon down, trying to focus on what she was saying, “Okay, who do you think you’ll write about?” she chatted on and on for a few minutes, but I tuned her out as I focused on steadying myself. The room had suddenly begun to sway. Cassidy stopped talking and looked at me, “Mom, are you alright?” I was about to nod when the room went black.
When I woke up, I was being loaded into the back of an ambulance. I heard Cassidy’s frantic cries, and I begged the EMT to let her through. She rushed to my side, tears pouring down her face, “Mama, will you be alright?” I nodded weakly, my head pounding, “Yes, baby, I have to go to the hospital to make sure the babies are okay. Bring me my phone, babydoll, and I’ll call Grandma to have her bring you to the hospital for me, okay?” While she scampered off, one of the EMT’s brought Esther over to see me. I gave her a kiss as she reached for me. When Cassidy returned, I managed to get ahold of my mother, who was fortunately five minutes away, and she promised to rush over. Since I was awake and talking, the paramedics agreed to wait for her to arrive.
It wasn’t long until I was on my way to the hospital, where I was sent straight into the radiology floor to do an emergency ultrasound. As I waited in a recovery room for the results, my mother brought the girls in to see me. Esther curled up against my side and fell asleep. Cassidy, on the other hand, didn’t take her eyes off me. I held her hand, ‘Honey, I’m going to be okay, I’m sorry that you had to see that, but I promise that I’m okay. The doctor will be in soon to tell us what happened.” She nodded her head solemnly so I patted the other side of me. She climbed up, putting a hand on my belly, and laying her head on my shoulder. I kissed her forehead, wishing I could promise a happy ending, but on the inside, I was preparing for the worst.
Dr. Sinclair poked his head in the doorway, “I heard someone was trying to compete for attention, you rascals,” He came close to the edge of my bed, and pulled out my ultrasound results. He looked over at the girls, but I nodded and assured him that they could be here. He quirked his eyebrow at me, “Have you been drinking enough water, Sabrina?” I dipped my head slightly, “Probably not.” He shook his head half-jokingly at me, “That explains the fainting spell earlier. All in all, the babies look good. I’ll keep you over night to rehydrate you, and we’ll release you tomorrow. If this happens again though, I’m ordering you on bedrest for the next three months.” I nodded obediently before asking, “Am I on bedrest while I’m here?” He chuckled, “No, but where you go, so will your iv.”
After my mom took the girls home, I headed down the hall towards Justin’s room. As I sat inside, I whispered to him, “Hey, baby, I know I’m here twice today, but this was not a planned trip. I didn’t drink enough water, today, or yesterday for that matter. I get to have a sleepover with you, buddy,” my voice caught in my throat as I began to sob quietly. I stood up and paced beside his bed, “Baby, I need you to wake up for me. I’m scared to do this alone. I wake up in that big, empty bed of ours and I’m afraid that I’ll never get to hear your laugh again, or see your eyes light up when you talk to our girls. How am I going to live without you? I am trying so hard to be a mom to our girls, but I constantly feel like I’m failing someone.” I began sobbing once more, taking his hand in mine, “Justin, please, please, wake up.” I watched him for a sign of any movement, but nothing happened. Feeling discouraged, I walked back to my room, rolling over onto my side and silently crying into my pillow.
The doctor had a serious look on his face as he showed me to a chair. His eyes were kind as he said, “Your fiancé has suffered a significant amount of blood loss, ma’am. Right now, we’re trying to get him stabilized before we operate.”
I choked back my tears as I asked, “What are his chances?”
He looked thoughtful for a moment, “If he survives through the night, then he’s a hell of a fighter. Once we assess the damage, I can give you a more accurate report.”
We both stood and I thanked him for his honesty. I put on a brave face as I entered the waiting room. Cassidy nearly jumped out of her chair, “Where’s Daddy? Can we see him now?”
I shook my head slowly, trying to figure out the best way to relay the news. I sat down in a chair before pulling her into my lap. Instead of a crowded waiting room, it seemed as if it were just her and I. Rubbing her back, I whispered, “Your daddy is a fighter. The doctor said he lost a lot of blood, so they are just trying to get him comfortable before they can tell how bad it is, okay?” I hugged her tight, “As soon as I know more, you’ll the first to know. Deal?”
She nodded her head slowly, a single tear falling down her face, “Sabrina?”
“If my daddy dies, can I come live with you and Esther?”
The tears I’d been holding back formed rivers on my face as I tried to give her an answer, “Oh honey, I wish I could promise you that your dad will be alright. Of course, you can live with Esther and I. We’re a family.”
Her young face relaxed, and I could tell that it was something she had been stressing about. I pulled two chairs together, making a small bed. Patting beside me, I motioned for her to lay down, “If anything important happens, I’ll wake you, but you need some sleep, okay?”
After some time had passed, she finally relaxed enough to fall asleep. I began to nod off, when my mom touched my shoulder. I startled awake, nearly knocking over my chair. She apologized profusely, “Oh, Hon, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you. I just wanted to ask if you wanted us to take Esther to our house. We’d be happy to keep her for a few days while you get things straightened out here.”
Still not fully awake, I tried to process her question before answering, “Uhm, yeah, that should work. If we’re still here tomorrow afternoon, would you bring her by so I can see her?”
My mother put her arms around me, agreeing, before she and my dad left. It was almost 6 a.m. before the doctor appeared in the waiting room, “Miss Quinn?”
I jumped out of my chair, desperate for some sort of news. I stood before him, but my legs began to quiver with fear and exhaustion. He cleared his throat, speaking in a hushed voice, “He is stabilized, and we managed to extract both bullets.” His words stopped, but I could tell there was more.
I urged him on, “But….?”
He sighed, “The wound to his stomach missed all of his major organs except for a tiny portion of his liver, but we managed to excise that and it will grow back. However, the other bullet was lodged in the base of his spine, causing much nerve damage. It will be nothing short of a miracle if he can walk again.”
I shook my head incredulously, “But he’ll be okay?”
Dr. Sinclair put his hand on my shoulder, “If we manage to avoid any infection or complications, I expect that he’ll pull through.”
I fought the urge to throw my arms around the doctor, laughing my relief. His eyes were kind as I thanked him. He shook my hand before asking, “So, how far along are you?”
My eyes grew wide as I asked, “How did you know? I haven’t told anyone yet.”
He smirked proudly, “I was an OB-GYN for 30 years before I became a surgeon. After a certain point, you can just tell. Plus, you’ve got the glow.”
I blushed, finally feeling a shrivel of hope in my chest. Thanking him once again, I sat back down in the waiting room. Remembering my promise, I woke Cassidy to tell her the good news.
Only 3 hours later, we were allowed to visit Justin in the recovery ward. They had him pumped full of morphine to keep the pain at bay. I held his hand, tears of every emotion under the sun falling onto his bed. For a moment, I forgot that Cassidy was in the room and I began to “yell” at Justin, “Justin Walsh, don’t you dare leave me now, because we’ve got another person who depends on you on the way. You hear me? You can’t leave us now. You stay strong and we’ll get through this together.”
I heard Cassidy gasp, “You’re going to have a baby?”
I groaned inwardly, knowing there would be no way keep this hidden now. I kissed Justin’s forehead before facing Cassidy, “You’re going to be a big sister but I need your help keeping it a secret for awhile, okay?”
A myriad of emotions crossed her face until she settled on one: anger, surprisingly, “I knew it! You’re going to marry Daddy, have babies with him and forget all about me. I’ll be like Cinderella!” She stormed out of the room. I caught up to her as she was stepping on to the elevator. I grabbed her hand, gently, but forcefully enough that she knew I was serious, “Cassidy! Stop, please.” I pulled her into my arms, and sank down onto the floor, leaning against the wall. I rocked her, until we were both spent from crying. She was still sobbing when I began to speak, “Cassidy Ann Walsh, I love you just as much as I love this baby or Esther, you hear me? You’ve gone through more than any 8-year-old should ever have to through in life, and I know that I’ll never be the exact same as your mom, but I promise, your daddy and I will love you just as much as he loves this new baby. In fact, you’ll always be extra special to him, because you carry part of your mother around with you, and that’s something that I’ll never be able to replace.”
Cassidy’s sobs had quieted by the time I had finished. She wrapped her arms around my shoulders, “Sometimes, I miss Mommy so much that my heart hurt, and other times I can barely remember what she looked like,” she pulled away before continuing, “Sabrina, I think it would be okay with my mom if I called you Mom too. I know Esther and the new baby will call you ‘Mom’ and I think I’d like to, too, if you’d be okay with that.”
I stood up, hugging her once more, “I would love that, sweetie.”
We walked hand in hand back to Justin’s room. Before we reached the door, an alarm began to flash over his room, and a voice on the loudspeaker called out, “Code Blue in room 507. Repeat: Code Blue in Room 507” Cassidy and I were ushered out of the way by a team of nurses and doctors. I begged for someone to tell me what was going on and luckily, one nurse took pity on me and said in passing, “The patient stopped breathing, and our team is going to try and revive him.” Cassidy buried her face in my shirt and I held her tight. I somehow stumbled to the nearest available chair, keeping her small face pressed against my shoulder.
As quick as it had started, the alarm went off and the team shuffled out of his room. Dr. Sinclair looked around until he spotted us. He wrung his hands as he said, “Your fiance is okay for now, but his brain has started swell. I think he might have suffered a concussion from the fall to the ground. We have him in a medically induced coma, until the swelling begins to go down. Then we can assess the damage.” He knelt down and took Cassidy’s hand, “Sweetheart, I am going to do everything in my power to help your daddy get better, “Okay?”
Cassidy nodded timidly, her hand clutching mine. I patted her hand reassuringly before thanking Dr. Sinclair. I led her down the hall, sitting us both down. The numbness had begun to crawl up my body again. I didn’t want to cry in front of Cassidy, but I couldn’t keep it in anymore. I began to sob quietly as I rested a hand on my unborn child.