After we got over the shock of having triplets, we set to work. We had to build an extension on the house because there was literally no room for three babies. We hired builders to add on to the extra room, install electricity and windows, and put up siding. Then Orion and Milla came in to help put up wallpaper and put down flooring. They were both glowing, and my intuition had been right over Christmas–they were engaged.
The babies’ room was simple, but I loved it. Three cribs, three little rugs, a little bit of decoration–and some room to add toys and stuff when they started getting older. I spent a lot of time in there when I could, running my fingers over the cribs and staring out the windows. I felt apprehensive and terrified. Giving birth was scary enough, but three at the same time?
I found myself crying quite a bit, whenever Kellen wasn’t around. I didn’t want him to know how scared I was, and I promised Mom and Dad that I was fine, not even wanting to tell them my feelings. I felt as though if I shared my fears then they’d just make a big fuss over me.
My due date came closer and closer. I started on my leave and spent my days at home, pacing in the babies’ room and hugging a pillow, trying not to feel scared. Then finally it was time and before I could start panicking, Kellen took over.
“Kellen!” I gasped out, clutching my bulging middle and trying not to panic like him. “Kell, please! You need to calm down and get me to the hospital!”
“Hospital!” he yelped. “Hospital! Right! Yes! Hospital!” He took off running, grabbing my bag and the keys to the car, and then he helped me outside.
“Kellen,” I said as he helped me into the car. “Kellen. Kellen!”
“Wh-what?” he asked, scrambling around to the driver’s side.
He opened the door and I reached over, grabbing his arm. “You’re in your boxers. I think you should get some pants on.”
He looked down at his lap, went bright red and then took off to the house. I sat back in the seat, clutching my stomach, taking in several gulping breaths of air. This was going to be okay. This was going to okay. … Oh… Watcher!
Three kids. Three babies. Three little lives, thanks to me and Kellen. I couldn’t believe it when I held my own babies for the first time. I was now officially a mother, and Kellen a father.
We hadn’t known all the sexes before–since the doctors couldn’t see the sex of the third–so we weren’t sure of names. But when I had one beautiful little girl and two beautiful little boys, we knew the perfect names for them thanks to Twelfth Night.
Viola was the oldest, and seemed to be the average baby. Average size, average weight. But she was so beautiful, and so adorable. I loved holding her, though I was nervous at the thought of raising a girl since I wasn’t very girly growing up. I hoped to do well by her. Of course, my own mother hadn’t exactly been much of a girl growing up. She had been a doll.
Second-born was, of course, Sebastian. He was the smallest of the three, and rather quiet. When he wanted something, he didn’t cry out very loudly but merely whimpered in indignation until we took care of him. Being so quiet, he was the most difficult to take care of since sometimes we didn’t realize he needed something until well after the fact.
Last, and certainly not least, was Cesario. He demanded the most attention, and had the loudest cry. But his sobs quieted easily as soon as one of us picked him up. He slept the least, but that was fine since he was just so happy being held. Kellen or I would hold him as we went about the house or watched TV or read.
Taking care of three babies at once was insane. Viola or Cesario would get started, and the other would start and then Sebastian added in his whimpers. They seemed to all get hungry at the same time and needed their diapers changed at the same time. Kellen and I discussed setting up a bed in the room, but were too tired to even think about doing it.
Oh, how tired we were. I was exhausted and very grateful when Mom and Dad visited. I hardly saw them, though. I mostly slept. And before I knew it, my maternity leave was almost up. Already? I was far too tired to go back to work so I guiltily asked for some more time off which Kay approved.
Kellen, however, returned to work. I cried shortly after he left. All three babies needed something and I was so tired, running back and forth and trying to take care of them. I finally got them set up and then cried myself to sleep on the couch with Cesario sleeping on top of me.
It didn’t take long for Kellen to notice how depressed I was. One evening, after we got all three kids to sleep, he pulled me close and began massaging my shoulders. “Sweetie, what is it?” he asked as his fingers rubbed out the knots in my shoulders. “You’ve been so upset lately.”
“Kellen…” I slumped forward and sighed. “Yeah, I’m ok, I guess.”
“Don’t lie,” he said, kissing the back of my neck. “Is it something because of me? C’mon, please tell me.”
I shook my head and turned around to look at him. “I’m just so tired all the time. This past month has been so… so wonderful! But so hard. Before we found out I was so scared, Kell! I was terrified at the thought of having a baby, raising a baby. And now we have three. Three! And they all want something at the same time, and Sebastian hardly ever cries and by the time I give in and check on him… he’s always so hungry, or–that rash of his is getting worse. Diaper rash!” I exclaimed loudly. “My baby has diaper rash and I feel like such a failure and I want–“
He cut me off with a deep kiss. I melted against him as he held me tightly and I clung back, as a drowning person would a life preserver. When he finally released me from the kiss I buried my face against his chest, sniffling and dripping tears onto him.
“I’m a failure,” I whispered.
“Shhh, no, sweetie…” He began rubbing my back gently. “You’re not a failure. You’re just tired, and three babies are a lot of work. One baby is a lot of work, let alone triplets.” He began rubbing my arms and I looked up at him. “And this sort of thing is beyond what you’re used to. You’re used to… labs, and reports. You’re used to metal and melding. You’re used to control.”
I closed my eyes, knowing how right he was. “Babies have c-control,” I hiccuped.
“For a while,” he agreed with a smile. “But then they’ll sleep through the night, they’ll get on good routines.” He tucked some hair behind my ear and then slid his fingers under my chin. “And Lune. You are the most beautiful, perfect, amazing mother in the world.”
“You, sir, are biased,” I said, straightening his collar.
“Maybe I am,” he said, sliding his arms around my waist. “But it’s what I see, and no matter how far I stretch my imagination, it’s the only thing I’ll ever see.” He bumped his forehead against mine. “Doubt truth to be a liar, but never doubt I love. Now come on, my dear, I’m gonna pour you a bubble bath and you just relax. After the bath, do what you want, get some sleep–I will take complete charge of the kids tonight. Okay?”
I nodded and then sank down on the bed as he went to fix up my bath, and I fell sound asleep before he came back.
“They are just so precious!” Milla exclaimed, cooing over Viola. “Awww, Lune, you are so lucky! I can’t wait to have kids.”
I smiled and glanced over at Orion, who was blushing. “What, not waiting for the wedding?” I asked, wriggling my eyebrows at Orion who stuck his tongue out at me.
Milla giggled and cradled Viola. “The wedding isn’t too far off now. You will be my maid of honor, right?”
“Yes, yes, I agreed,” I pointed out. “Who’s gonna be the best man? Kyle?”
Orion shook his head. “No. It’ll be Martin from work. I tried Kyle, but he refused. I’m worried he won’t even come to the wedding.”
I bit my bottom lip, feeling worry for my brother. “Has he found work?” I asked, and Rion shook his head. “Is he… I mean, what about Jake and Elle?”
“Mom does most the work, but Kyle has at least been spending some time with them,” Rion replied. “And Mom hasn’t been as energetic as she used to be.”
I looked off at the far wall, past Milla, not wanting to hear this. These thoughts I always tried pushing to the back of my mind. I wanted to think of my parents as young and healthy forever, even though I knew in the deep, dark recesses of my mind that that was not true. So I coughed, and changed the subject.
A week later, with Milla and Rion gone, I came to a realization that I needed work. I loved my babies, and needed them–but I needed work too. I spoke with Kellen who was on the phone with his mother the next day, to see if she could help take care of the kids.
I wasn’t a hundred percent pleased with this. His mother… was nice. But I had the feeling she didn’t completely like me. I also had the feeling it was something to do with my obsession with work. When she found out I was going back to work so soon, my suspicions were confirmed. She agreed to help, but made several snide remarks about it.
I didn’t care anymore. I was just glad to be driving to Acinert, sliding my card through the security check, getting into my office and turning on my computer. I wasn’t, however, glad when Jay showed up later that day when I was leaving for lunch.