"Wow. You look like you're ready to pop." Pru said as she eyed my enormous belly.
We were taking a walk at a nearby park while digesting the lunch we just had. It was a beautiful summer day with no clouds in sight.
The park was full today with people everywhere: some running, some walking, some biking, some yoga-ing while others were spread out on the grass getting some sun.
"I am." I laughed. "I'm so ready for the baby to come but she's not due for two more weeks. I just gotta hang in there for a little longer."
I don’t know how some women make pregnancy look so effortless because I feel like a fat cow.
"Andy and I aren't ready for kids." She stated matter-of-factly. "We're going to wait til I'm done with medical school and then start a family."
"Nothing wrong with that." I smiled. "You're still young. At least then you can focus all your attention on your kid or kids."
"Yup. That's what I want." She agreed. "I want to be there for my kids, unlike my own childhood."
"Don't worry. You will be a wonderful mother." I reassured her with a side hug. "So how was your honeymoon?"
Pru finally tied the knot a month ago and just recently got back from her vacation.
"Bora Bora was gorgeous! I wanted to go back already." She said enthusiastically and laughed. "Andy even got us to swim with the sharks."
"Yikes! You couldn't get me to do that even if you give me a billion dollars." I shivered at the image of me being near a shark.
"That's because you're a chicken and your husband has money so you're not tempted." She said playfully and then turned serious. "Oh yeah, speaking of which. Has he calmed down from being overprotective yet?"
"No." I giggled as I thought of how Artemis had changed ever since he knew I was pregnant. "He's gotten worse as my belly gets bigger."
Artemis had insisted on having Mrs. Sweetmire move in with us so she could help me in case I needed help with something. I refused and had stubbornly told him that I was pregnant, not hurt and in a wheelchair.
It took only a pout from me and he would back down but then he would bring it up again the next day. Also, he had been going to all of my doctor's appointments with me—there were a lot of them.
Even though I told him he didn't have to if he were busy but deep down, I was super happy that he was there with me—from short 10 minute sessions to 50 minute ultrasound sessions.
I had wanted to know the gender during our 20 week ultrasound appointment but Artemis had not—he wanted to be surprised. It had been hard for me keeping in the secret this whole time. Every time we talked, I almost blurted out 'she' when referring to the baby.
"I'm sure that can get annoying." She said thoughtfully. "But at the same time, it's really sweet. I wouldn't mind Andy being that attentive with me when I'm pregnant."
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a dog ran toward us and barked really ferociously looking like it was about to attack. I instantly tensed up and covered my stomach with my hands as I tried to protect my baby—not that that would have done any good if those teeth really sunk into any part of my body.
While I was contemplating on what to do if the dog actually attacked, the owner ran up to us and immediately seized the dog's leash.
"I'm so so sorry if she scared you." The owner said apologetically as he pulled the dog back away from me. "She saw a squirrel and got away from me before I could stop her."
"It's okay." I said even though I continued to stare at the dog fearing that it might still attack anytime since it still had its teeth bared in my direction.
"Again, I'm really sorry." He apologized one last time as he pulled the dog in the opposite direction.
"Hey. Are you okay?" Pru asked as she touched my shoulder.
"Yeah. I am now." I let out a big sigh of relief. "Gosh, for a minute there, I really thought it was going to attack." Fear had gripped me—making me paralyzed—thinking it was going to hurt my baby.
"Yeah. That was weird." Pru admitted.
"Don't mention this to Artemis. I don't want him to go even more overboard with restricting me on what I can and can not do."
"Uh oh." I said a little concerned.
"What? What's wrong?" Pru was instantly on alert.
"I think my water broke." I said as I grabbed onto her arm.
From the movies I've seen, there was always a big pile of liquid on the floor the moment a pregnant woman's water broke. However, I just felt a tiny amount of wetness trickled down my leg so I wasn't a hundred percent sure.
"Can you take me to the hospital?" I asked Pru as I felt movements in my belly. Was that a contraction or was it just movements from the baby? I couldn't tell the difference since it didn’t hurt.
"Do you want to call Artemis first?" She asked as she steered me toward the direction of the car.
"No." I shook my head. "I don't want him to get there and then we have to go back home because it was a false alarm. Let's go to the hospital first and if they make me stay, then I'll call him.
"Artemis, can you meet me at the hospital?" I said into the phone.
"What happened?" He sounded worried the moment he heard the word hospital. "Are you and the baby okay?"
"Yes." I tried to reassure him. "Don't worry. We're fine. It's just that my water broke so Pru took me to the hospital. The nurse confirmed it and said I need to stay."
"Okay. I'm going to tell Nate to cancel the rest of my meetings today and I'll see you soon." And with that, he hung up. He still had a bad habit of hanging up before I could say 'bye' or 'I love you' to him.
He showed up 20 minutes later looking like a model from a suit catalogue—still as perfect as ever. I smiled tenderly as he walked up to me with a slight frown on his face.
"Are you okay?" He asked once he reached me. He sat down next to me on the hospital bed as he wrapped one arm around my shoulders.
"Yes, I am." I smiled at his worried countenance. "The nurse said that since this is my first baby, labor and delivery might take anywhere from 18 to over 24 hours. So it's gonna be a long night. Oh and don't eat in front of me because I'm not allowed solid food from this moment forward." I complained and his lips curved at that statement since he knew how much I loved food; especially now since I've been eating for two.
Twenty-two hours later—including three hours of torturous pushing—our baby arrived. She was 7 pounds 4 ounces and 20 inches long—a perfect bundle of cuteness.
After our mother-daughter skin contact moment, Artemis got to hold her. He had a look of wonder and amazement on his face as he breathed out, "She's beautiful." After a long minute of soaking her in, he asked. "What should we name her?"
"I was thinking, Alethea Taylor Jame—my last name as her middle name." I offered tiredly as my eyelids draped heavily wanting to pull me into a deep sleep.
"That's perfect!" He agreed.
He held me in one arm while holding her in the other as we sat on the bed. He turned to kiss me on my forehead and said affectionately. "You did good, sweet wife. You did really good!"
He smiled at me adoringly and added. “Now, what would you like for your push present?"
“I don’t need another present, Artemis. I have everything I want and need right here—you and our daughter.” I said fondly as I rubbed her soft chubby cheek while fighting to stay awake for a few more minutes.
“If you won’t let me buy you something then I’m just gonna buy our daughter something instead.” He countered smugly and mischievously.
“Don’t you dare.” I nudged his shoulder as he chuckled. “Our daughter is going to turn into a brat at the rate you’re going.”
He had the nursery filled with boys and girls things—things that she didn’t need.
“What’s the point of having all this money if I can’t spend it on my two favorite girls?” He asked as he gave me a squeeze around the waist and buried his face into my neck.
I giggled with the last bits of my energy. “Artemis, we should bring in our parents. They’ve been waiting outside long enough. They’ll want to see their granddaughter.”
That’s it guys!
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Falling for the Playboy
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