It was the last day of vacation, and everyone was outside enjoying the last four hours of fresh, crisp air before they had to check out. Alayna decided to try her hand at horseshoes again, and she wasn’t any better this time. She huffed and she puffed and she growled and moaned, but this time it was for a different reason.
“Is Aunt Alayna losing again,” Callie asked.
“Aunt Alayna is in labor,” Alayna said.
“Mother, what’s labor?”
Brady was walking by when she asked this question.
“Labor? You’re in labor,” he panicked. “We have to leave now!! Everybody get your stuff and let’s go!”
They all tore through the house like cyclones and piled into the car. It was a long, miserable ride home, and Alayna was fussing the entire time saying that this being a horrible idea and how she didn’t want to be pregnant out there anyway. No one even knew where Roland and the kids were. They just kind of left Tuesday morning and never came back. Viviana called and told them to meet at the hospital in an hour.
Willow Creek had been undergoing some transformation over the past few months. More businesses had been moving to the area as the powers that be were determined to make Willow Creek a center for commerce and ingenuity. One of the recent additions to the community was a hospital. It was well known for its advancements in technology and medicine, so residents were very glad to welcome it to the neighborhood. Alayna’s doctor recommended that she have her baby there instead of at his office or at home.
When they arrived at the hospital, Roland was waiting there for her, and he looked nervous–as he should.
“I TOLD YOU THIS WAS A BAD IDEA! I TOLD YOU I DIDN’T WANT TO BE PREGNANT IN THE WOODS!!”
“I’m sorry, baby. I didn’t calculate the time right! I thought we would have been home by now.”
“GRRRRR! JUST GET IN THERE AND CHECK ME IN!”
“Hey, uhh,” he stammered at the receptionist, “we’re the Holmes’. My wife–“
“HURRY UP,” she screamed in agony.
“We didn’t have time to call her doctor,” he yelled helplessly.
“It’s ok, sir,” the receptionist said. “We will notify your doctor, but we’ll go ahead and take care of your wife. Please fill out these forms.”
“Will an attendant please come to the reception. I need an attendant in the reception,” the receptionist said through the intercom. “Someone will take care of your shortly, Mrs. Holmes.”
“I HATE YOU!”
A man dressed in turquoise scrubs came out with a wheelchair and took her to the delivery room.
“She doesn’t hate you,” the receptionist assured Roland. “They all say that. Please have a seat, sir.”
“I can’t go with her?? I should be with her!”
“Hospital policy. Sorry. Please have a seat. We’ll bring her and the baby out when they are ready to go home.”
Roland reluctantly turned away and plopped down in a chair in the lobby. He sat there with his head in his hands and prayed that everything would go smoothly. He also hoped that she wouldn’t stay mad at him for long. He wasn’t with her with Devan, but he liked being there with Anthony. And now that she was having a baby that was his idea to have, he really thought he should be with her. This was the first time they had ever had a real hospital birth, and he was nervous and was sure she was too. All he wanted to do was hold her hand and stroke her hair and tell her everything was going to be ok, but he couldn’t. All these thought made him restless and started pacing.
The lobby was nice. He hoped that whatever room she was in was just as nice and that she was as comfortable as she could be given the circumstances. Maybe thinking positive thoughts would help him calm down.
Meanwhile, Alayna was getting changed into a hospital gown. The attendant wheeled her into the delivery room once she was dressed. When she arrived, she was met by a kind-faced elderly doctor who told her to lie on the table.
“Hi. I’m Dr. Swift, and I am going to deliver your baby as fast as I can.”
“Is my doctor coming?”
“I don’t think so, but I’m sure the front desk have notified him. Please lie down, Mrs…Pruett,” Dr. Swift asked while reading her information from the computer screen.
“I go by Alayna Holmes, but I…ohhhhh…I never changed my name,” she said fighting through a contraction.
“Ok. So the baby’s last name should be Holmes, right?”
Alayna wasn’t sure about this situation. New hospital, new doctor, new machines, and all kinds of newness going on. It all made her very nervous, and she wasn’t quite ready to get the show on the road yet despite how uncomfortable she was.
“Is my husband coming?”
“I’m afraid not. We don’t allow unnecessary Sims in the delivery room.”
“But…I need him.”
“I do understand, Mrs. Holmes. Now, please lie back so we can get you out of here and back with him as soon as possible, ok?”
Alayna lay on the table with only the bright overhead light to look at. Not being able to see what was going on made her more nervous than she already was. Her breathing quickened and became more shallow. The doctor was afraid that she would begin hyperventilating.
“Ok, Mrs. Holmes, I’ve just given you something for your pain, and I’m ready to get started, but I need you to relax, ok? Breathe slow and deep for me.”
“How can I relax in this thing? I can’t see anything…I don’t know what’s going on…I want my husband! Where is Roland,” Alayna asked on the verge of tears.
“I know, I know. It will all be over shortly. Just close your eyes and imagine your sweet, beautiful baby.”
She closed her eyes and tried to think about the sweet little bundle of joy that would soon be arriving, but all the unfamiliar buzzes and beeps and zings and whirls in that room distracted her and made her even more nervous and unsettled.
“I don’t like this! I want to have my baby at home! Please, let me out of here,” she cried.
She could see the two arms of the machine rotating and moving toward her belly, and she freaked out.
“WHAT’S GOING ON? WHAT IS THAT SOUND? WHY DO I SMELL SOMETHING BURNING?!”
“Calm down, Mrs. Holmes. It’s just the laser,” Dr. Swift said trying to reassure her.
“LASER?! YOU’RE CUTTING ME?! LET ME OUT!! PLEASE GET ME OUT OF HERE!”
“We have to make an incision to get the baby out! But, don’t worry, Mrs. Holmes. It won’t leave a scar. These are highly calibrated, specialized lasers. The same ones they use in space!”
Alayna writhed back and forth as much as the machine would allow. If it weren’t so snug and close, she surely would have escaped.
“I can see the baby, Mrs. Holmes,” Dr. Swift shouted hoping that would calm her down while viewing the monitor. “Now all I have to do is reach in and grab it.”
She took the controls of the machine and made the two arms slowly move toward Alayna’s belly again. One of the arms looked like a claw, and with the push of a button, the claw opened. Alayna was still very nervous, but knowing that the doctor was looking at her baby at that moment was comforting to her.
“You can see?? Oh! Please be gentle! Is that thing sharp?!”
“No. It’s soft and warm just like your hands,” Dr. Swift said still maneuvering the machine. “Ok…we have a baby girl! Hold tight…I’m gonna grab the other one.”
“ANOTHER ONE?! There are TWINS?! Oh dear Watcher!!”
“Yes! Isn’t that exciting?”
“Uhhh…no? I guess. We weren’t expecting two!”
“A pleasant surprise then! Ok, Mrs. Holmes. We’ve got you all closed up now without a scar just like I said. An attendant will get your girls all cleaned up while you get dressed. He’ll bring you back here to meet your girls. They are very beautiful. Good day.”
“Thank you, Dr. Swift. I’m sorry I was trouble,” she regrettably.
“No need to apologize, Mrs. Holmes. I understand how scary all this can be. If you don’t have any questions, I will let you go so you can meet your daughters.”
“I’m fine, thanks.”
“Have a good day then.”
Someone had already come to take the babies away, and the other attendant was there waiting to take Alayna back to get dressed. She quickly put on her clothes and allowed the attendant to wheel her back to the delivery room to meet her new children.
“Hey there, little angel! Your daddy is going to be so thrilled to meet you.
“And you too, pumpkin!”
The attendant with the wheelchair came back and helped Alayna sit and then placed both babies in her arms and wheeled her to the lobby. Roland was relieved to see her but extremely surprised to see that she had two babies.
“Oh my goodness,” Roland shouted. “Twin girls?! This is my lucky day!”
Another attendant brought out two car seats and birth certificates.
“Congratulations on your bundle of joy,” the attendant recited like he he was tired of saying the same thing all day. “Here are two framed birth certificates for your records. Have a nice day. Drive safely.”
Once the car seats were installed, and the babies secured, the other attendant helped Alayna in the car.
“Have a good day, folks,” he said and walked away.
Roland and his ladies drove off for home.
“Are you ok,” he asked.
“I’m much better now. I don’t ever want to come back here for any reason!”
“Awww, baby. What happened?”
“I don’t want to talk about it!”
They drove in silence for a few minutes. Roland figured he had better change the subject quickly.
“I was thinking…let’s name one of them after mama. You know…to honor her memory,” Roland said.
That certainly did the trick. Within seconds, Alayna was back to her usual self.
“That’s sweet, Roland. So…you mean like a middle name, right?”
“Yeah! I don’t want to call my daughter ‘Kelly Ann,'” he laughed. “Do you like the name Sienna?”
“It’s ok, I guess. OH! We can spell it with a C and call her CiCi for short.”
“Ok! So…have we just named our first daughter Cienna Kelly Ann Holmes?”
“I suppose so! Do you like Sydney?”
“I love Sydney. Sydney…Sydney…I like it!”
“OH! Sydney Grace,” she beamed.
“That is beautiful. How come we never gave the boys middle names?”
“I dunno. Nothing ever came to us I guess. You don’t have one either, right?”
They arrived home and introduced their sons to their daughters who loved them very much.
Later that day, while they were sleeping, Alayna went in to check on them and also look at the room.
“[sigh] So much for my guest room. I guess I’ll have to redecorate.”