Make sure you’ve read Part 1 or this won’t make much sense.
There was no way she could say anything to Wade until after the boys went to bed and since it was only around 6pm, the next two and a bit hours promised to be trying.
She got home, taking a deep calming breath before she opened the front door.
“I’m home!” she called out as she walked in, hearing a chorus of voices answer back from the kitchen. She stopped in the doorway to take in the scene. Wade had taken the time to change out of his suit and he was wearing a t-shirt and jeans, which was an equally good look on him.
He was still the hottest man she’d ever seen, eighteen years on, and if anything he was only getting hotter with age. He still had that little smirk that made her knees weak and Celia loved nothing more than to be wrapped in his strong arms, where she felt safe.
She’d gone out with friends in the night of her sixteenth birthday and one of the girls she and her friends had met up with was at the club with her older brother and a couple of his friends. One of these friends was Wade and Celia couldn’t stop sneaking glances at him during the course of the evening.
He’d noticed of course and had crossed the crowded room to introduce himself. Celia had felt very self-conscious but she’d quickly realised Wade was very easy to talk to. They’d gone to sit outside, away from the noise of the crowd and talked until she’d had to go home. He’d insisted that he should be the one to drive her home and they’d talked some more in his car outside her house until her father had come out demanding she come inside.
That first encounter between Wade and her parents had been pleasant enough but after he’d left, Celia’s parents had warned her that while Wade seemed nice, he was nearly nineteen to her sixteen and she could never see him again.
Looking at him now, cooking dinner with their two boys in a kitchen getting messier by the minute, she was once again glad she’d sneaked out to see him again the day after they’d met.
“You okay, hun?” Wade said, stopping in front of her and Celia realised she’d been staring into space, lost in memories.
She nodded and reached up to kiss him. He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her against the strong wall of his chest and she let him kiss her properly while the boys made disgusted noises at seeing their parents’ display of affection, before she replied.
“Long day. I’m exhausted. Gonna go have a shower while you boys finish dinner.”
“You’re looking spooked.”
“I’m fine, just tired.” She hated lying to him but she was not ready to talk to him. He let her go with a look that told her he didn’t believe her and rushed to save their dinner from an over-enthusiastic ten-year old.
Celia started the shower, stopping to look at herself in the mirror for a minute. Her belly looked the same to her as it had for the past few years yet she wondered how she could not have been aware there was a baby in there.
Sighing, she got under the hot spray of water, her hand finding its way to her belly without conscious thought from her. This new unexpected life they’d created got her thinking about the twins she’d lost and their impending anniversary in a few weeks.
A wave of grief engulfed her in its familiar embrace and she was unable to stop the tears when they started. Her legs couldn’t hold her any longer and she slid down to the floor of the bathtub, holding her knees close to her chest, body wracked by great big sobs as the water poured over her.
She lost track of time and didn’t realise she wasn’t alone anymore until the water shut off and she felt Wade’s strong hands under her arms as he helped her up and out of the bath. He wrapped her bathrobe around her before pulling her close to him, his arms around her as she buried her face in his chest and cried.
Wade held her close and didn’t ask any questions and Celia was grateful for that, for him, but she knew she was out of time and when the tears finally stopped, she took a deep breath and looked up at him.
Wade smiled at her before kissing her gently. “I knew you were lying when you said you were okay. Are you going to tell me now? Did one of your mums lose her baby?”
Celia was not surprised by his question, the few times one of the mums she looked after had lost a baby, he’d found her bawling in the shower later.
She shook her head. “No, no one lost a baby that I know of. But I had an appointment with a teenage mum. She was freaking out about taking the test so I said I’d take one at the same time, to show her it was nothing.”
“Sounds like a good idea to me. Did it work? She took the test?”
“Yes, she did.” Celia could tell Wade was trying to work out why that would have caused such an extreme reaction. She sighed and decided to just get it over with. “It was positive… and so was mine.”
She watched the shock register on Wade’s face and tried to move out of his arms, get some space so she could think, but if anything he held her tighter against him.
Celia went up on tip toes and put her arms around Wade’s neck before looking him in the eye. “I’m pregnant. It’s a girl. I know this because after I got over the shock of my test being positive, I went up to see Rosie. I wanted her to tell me there was no baby and if she couldn’t do that, to tell me how far along I was so I could go see the doctor and… deal with it.”
The look he gave her when she mentioned wanting to “deal” with the pregnancy had a hard edge she’d never seen in his eyes before and it made her shudder.
“No.” There was a hard edge to his voice as well. “I love you and I trust your judgment but you don’t get to make that decision without at least talking to me first. It’s my baby too.”
His arms felt like bands of steel around her waist and she needed to defuse his anger before he accidentally cut off her air supply. She reached across the few inches separating them, her lips so close to his she could feel his hot breath on her mouth and looked into his eyes.
“We’re having a little girl, she’s due in February, and I’m completely freaking out.”
“February? But…” Wade relaxed his embrace, his confusion evident on his handsome face. Celia took that opportunity to move out of his arms and, picking up his hand in hers, she lead him out of the bathroom and into their bedroom. She stopped when they were by the bed and sat on it, still holding onto his hand. He sat beside her expectantly, and she didn’t make him wait any longer.
“Like I said, I went to see Rosie. She took some measurements and reckons I’m around nineteen weeks.”
“Nineteen? Already? But how?” He was coming to grips with the news and Celia knew exactly how he felt, she was still processing herself. He started stroking the top of her hand and Celia leaned into him. “I mean, I know how, obviously…”
That remark made her giggle and he smiled at her, that smile that made her fall in love with him a little more.
“I’ve been wondering that myself since I found out this afternoon. All I could think of was that night of your birthday.” They’d had an awesome night out with friends and got really drunk. “I mean, I know we used condoms but clearly there was at least one time where we didn’t…”
He nodded and leaned back until he was lying on the bed, his legs hanging off the edge of the mattress and Celia snuggled up to him.
“I’m sorry I didn’t reply to your texts. I’ve been freaking out since I saw those two lines earlier and kinda lost track of time.”
“Did you go to the beach?” Wade asked knowingly as he started stroking her arm. Celia nodded against his chest.
“I don’t even remember driving there, then Rosie rang me.” Celia let out a humourless laugh. “I told her that if it was twins I was likely to jump off the pier.”
“Aww bub…” Wade rolled over so he was facing her and once again wrapped his arms around her. “I’m glad you didn’t jump off the pier,” he added, “I would have missed you way too much.”
Celia moved closer and kissed her husband of sixteen years, her arm going around him as the kiss went on. She felt a familiar feeling in her belly and realised, now that she knew she was pregnant, that it was actually the baby, and not digestion related as she had been thinking for a few weeks.
However, she was surprised when Wade broke the kiss to look at her, wonder evident on his face. “You felt it too, right? I’m not imagining it? She just kicked…”
She grinned and nodded, the tears starting again, happy tears this time, as Wade moved away from her so he could reach between them and put his hand on her belly. He was moving his hand around, trying to feel the baby again, while she tried to direct him as much as she could.
They stayed like that until they heard Christopher’s voice warning Jack to stay out of the room then the door opened and Jack jumped on the bed.
Wade looked at Celia, motioning to the boys and she shook her head. She wasn’t ready to share the news just yet. Thinking about telling people about her baby reminded her of the telling Abi was going to have to do.
Celia worried about Wade’s reaction and she knew Abi did as well. He seemed delighted with the news of her unexpected pregnancy, getting used to the idea a lot quicker than she’d thought he would and certainly quicker than she was. But she didn’t think for a second that he’d react in the same positive way to Abi’s news.
She didn’t sleep much that night and when Abi got home the next day Celia used the time Wade was in the shower to have a quick chat to her about how things had gone with Nico the night before.
She rang Rosie and got an appointment for Abi that afternoon. She and Abi usually went out for a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon while Wade and the boys did “men things” as they called them, so she wouldn’t have to lie to him any further.
She got Abi to ring Nico to arrange for him to be there too. They picked him up from the shops down from his parents’ house to avoid any potential awkwardness as Celia was friends with Nico’s mother, Alessandra.
While they hadn’t been friends back in high school because Celia was two years older, they’d bonded a year earlier when Alessandra had come to see Celia because she needed a midwife.
They’d talked at length about the scandal at their school when Celia had run away with Wade when she was not yet seventeen. The rumour mill had gone crazy for some time then news of Alessandra’s untimely pregnancy at sixteen had taken over.
Alessandra’s baby daddy had not stuck around, in fact he’d never even seen his son, and Alessandra’s best friend-now-husband Xavier had picked up the pieces, although the two had not become a couple until nearly three years ago.
The two women could laugh now over the fact that their eldest were the same age, and they wouldn’t change the decisions made as teenagers for anything, but that didn’t mean they wanted their teenagers to follow in their steps.
Celia led a subdued Abi and Nico to the radiology ward. Nico had told her on the way over that his parents knew of Abi’s pregnancy and were as shocked as she was. There had been some yelling. That made Celia even more worried about telling Wade.
Celia hoped Abi’s test was a false positive and that the ultrasound would show nothing but deep down she knew it all added up and she had to face the fact that she was going to be a grandmother at the ripe old age of thirty-five.
She’d texted Rosie when they’d entered the hospital and was glad to see her friend waiting for them by the reception desk.
“Oh my God, Celia, this can’t possibly be my little Bee! When did she get so tall?” Rosie wrapped Abi in a huge hug which the teenager returned.
“Hi Rosie Posie,” Abi said, using her old nickname for her mum’s friend. Celia knew Abi would be glad it was Rosie doing her ultrasound and not a total stranger, even if she hadn’t seen Rosie since Jack was a baby.
Rosie took them down to her room and as they got started, Celia quickly saw confirmation that the test had been right. Rosie took great care explaining to the teenagers that the tiny white speck they were seeing on the screen was their five-week old baby, and that while the heart wasn’t beating yet, it would start in a week or so.
She printed them a photo of the tiny white speck then she turned to Celia. “I never gave you a photo of your baby girl yesterday. Do you want one to show Wade?”
Celia found herself with another two pairs of eyes staring at her expectantly. She’s never wanted the ground to open up and swallow her more that in that moment.
“Mum?” Abi sat on the edge of the table to fix her clothing. “What’s Rosie talking about?”
“Ooops. I’m sorry, I didn’t think.” Rosie looked embarrassed at her faux pas and Celia smiled at her and shrugged.
“It’s ok, it’s not like I’ll be able to keep a secret for much longer anyway. A photo would be lovely.”
“Mum!” Abi said loudly, bringing her mother’s attention back to her.
Celia turned to her daughter who was now standing by the table, holding Nico’s hand in hers. She walked over to the table and sat on it.
“Funny story. Remember how we both did a test yesterday? Well it turned out yours wasn’t the only one that was positive. I freaked out and came up to see Rosie, dead set against having this baby.”
Abi balked at her mother’s statement. “You can’t have an abortion without at least talking to Dad first!”
Celia let out a little laugh as she reclined on the table and moved her top up and let Rosie pull her pants down the bit she needed to access the relevant area of her belly.
“That’s what he said as well. As you’re about to see, that is no longer an option for me.”
Rosie squirted the gel then placed the wand on Celia’s belly and the images started showing on the screen. Celia heard Abi gasp when she saw the baby.
She turned to look at her daughter, who was staring at the screen with tears in her eyes.
“Abigail, meet your new little sister.” She could feel she was about to cry herself and reached a hand out to her daughter.
“Oh Mum… This is so cool!” Abi said, her voice full of wonder as she took her mother’s hand and squeezed it.
Rosie spent a few minutes showing the baby to Celia, Abi and Nico, identifying the various body parts for them, and what felt like too soon, even for Celia who was still getting used to the idea, Rosie printed a photo before turning off the machine.
Abi spent the whole walk back to the car and the drive to their usual café staring alternately at the photo of her baby sister and the one of her own baby/white speck, Nico having to fight her to get a look at it too.
Once they were seated and had ordered drinks and cake Celia decided it was time to approach the elephant in the room.
“Abi?” she started cautiously to get her daughter’s attention.
Abi looked up from the ultrasound photos she was still holding. “Yeah? Sorry, Mum, it’s a lot to take in.”
“I know, honey, I’m still processing.” Celia motioned to the photos. “Can I have my baby back, please?”
The teenage girl nodded and handed her mother the photo. Celia stared at it for a while, oblivious to Abi and Nico whispering to each other across from her and was jolted out of her daze by the waitress putting her drink in front of her.
She put the photo away safely in the notebook in her handbag and took few sips of the town’s most delicious chai latte to give herself a bit more time before she ruined her daughter’s day.
“So…” Abi and Nico looked up at her as she put her cup down. “Have you two discussed how you’re gonna tell your dad the good news yet?”
Abi groaned, dropping her head on the table while Nico stiffened in his chair.
“Ugh… do we have to?” Abi asked, her voice somewhat muffled by her hair and the table.
“I know, it’s just… he’s gonna be so mad and he’s gonna yell at me and at Nico and I don’t want him to yell at Nico, because it’s not his fault, we were being safe, I promise, but it just happened.” Abi finished her tirade holding Nico’s hand tightly and looking close to tears.
Celia reached over and took Abi’s free hand. “Honey. Calm down. I will be right there with you, both of you.” She could tell by the look on Nico’s face that he wasn’t planning on going anywhere and she admired the kid for it.
“There is no way you’re telling your dad without me. He scares the shit out of me but I love you and it’s my baby too.”
“How did you tell your parents, Nico?” Celia asked, hoping it might help.
Nico sighed, looking down at the table then back at Celia. “I overheard Mum telling Xavier about babies ruining lives and I thought she’d found out and talked to you already but turns out she was talking about something else. There was yelling and lots of tears then hugging and Mum told me over and over how stressful having a baby is.” He shrugged. “I know it is, I mean, I have seen how stressed she’s been with Sloane, even before she was born.”
“I remember,” Celia agreed. As Alessandra’s midwife she’d seen first hand how anxious and stressed Alessandra had been and Alessandra herself had told her numerous times she was finding it hard to let Xavier leave her side every day.
“Anyway, I told her me and Abi talked about the baby last night and we decided to keep it.”
Celia grinned at him. “Abi told me this morning. It’s a hard road you kids are picking, I know from experience, but I’ll be right there for you every step of the way, I promise you that.” She meant every word and send a silent thanks to the Powers That Be that her daughter loved a boy who stayed.
“Thanks Mrs Wilson.”
“I still think we need to tell Dad sooner rather than later. I could ask Grandma to have the boys tonight and make us a dinner. It won’t soften the blow for your dad but at least we get yummy food before the yelling starts,” Celia suggested and Abi nodded.
“I guess so. I could make caramel dumplings for pudding.”
“Yes please!” Nico exclaimed, making them all laugh.
As they left the café, Celia rang her mum to arrange for her to pick up Jack and Christopher later that afternoon. She dropped the teenagers at the mall before heading to the supermarket to get dinner supplies.
How do you think Wade is going to react to the news?