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KARINA MONROE

 

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Twins.

 

I blink a few times while staring down at the two ultrasound images in my hands. I think these are the most adorable little dots I have ever seen in my entire life. I can feel my heart filling with love for these tiny beings inside me.

 

“My little loves,” I say softly to them.

 

“Our little loves.” I look up and see Connor standing in the doorway of my hospital room. His eyes are glistening and a smile spreads across his face.

 

“Our little loves,” I tell him as my eyes start to fill with happy tears. He walks over to me and holds my face in his hands. He brings his lips to mine and we share a kiss filled with love for each other and our family. When he pulls away, he looks down at the images in my hand and the tears that he was holding back start to fall.

 

“Is that them?” He asks as he skims one of the images with his finger. I hand him both images and smile.

 

“Yes, Connor,” I tell softly. “These are our babies.” He lets out a soft chuckle as he wipes his tears. I move over to one side of my bed making room for him to climb in next to me. He wraps his arms around me and holds the images out in front of us. I lean my head against him and relax into his arms.

 

“They’re beautiful like their mother.” He says kissing the top of my head.

 

“You mean they’re incredibly handsome like their father.” I giggle. Connor puts the images down on his lap and wraps both arms around me. He pulls me tight and presses his lips to my temple.

 

“I was so scared, Karina.” He says softly. “When I saw you laying on the ground unconscious my heart stopped.” We hold each other tighter as if one of us would disappear if we let go.

 

“I’m sorry I scared you. I was scared too.” I tell him. “I was feeling fine one moment and then dizzy the next. After that everything went dark. I don’t know what happened.”

 

“Your blood pressure was really high.” The doctor says as he walks into the room. We both look up and smile at him. Connor starts to get up, but the doctor puts his hand up to stop him. “No, you don’t have to move. I just came in to see how Karina was doing.” Connor nods his thanks and relaxes back in the bed with me in his arms.

 

“Is everything ok with her and the babies?” Connor asks him.

 

“Yes, everything looks good now.” He tells us. “Your blood pressure is returning to normal now, Karina. I’d like to keep you here for another hour or so to make sure it remains stable. If all looks good, I’ll sign the release papers and you can go home. You’ll need to take it easy. No more stress for you.”

 

“Ok,” I tell him with a smile. “I’ll try.”

 

“Don’t worry, doc,” Connor says as he kisses the back of my hand. “I’ll make sure she gets plenty of rest and is stress-free.”

 

“Good.” He smiles. “I’ll come check on you one more time before I release you.” We both nod and thank him before he takes his leave. I turn and look up at Connor who returned to staring at the images of our babies.

 

“I love you, Connor,” I tell him. He turns and I can see in his glossy eyes just how much he loves me and our babies.

 

“I love you too Karina.” He smiles. He leans down and kisses me slowly. I bring my hand up to the side of his face and hold him close. He deepens the kiss and I let out a soft moan.

 

“Oh, for heaven’s sake! She’s supposed to be resting!” Max groans as he walks into the room. Connor and I laugh and turn to see everyone walking into the room. Connor gives me one more quick kiss before getting up and moving off to the side so everyone can give me a hug. Connor’s mom and Lucia are sitting close together with one arm around the other while each holding one of the images of our babies in their free hands.

 

“This one is so handsome!” Teresa says through her tears.

 

“And this one is so beautiful!” Lucia sobs. Eric and Armando roll their eyes and shake their heads at their wives.

 

“You don’t even know the genders of the babies yet to say if they’re handsome or beautiful.” Eric laughs. Teresa and Lucia both glare at him and repeat their statements with gusto.

 

“THIS ONE IS HANDSOME!” Teresa says firmly.

 

“AND THIS ONE IS BEAUTIFUL!” Lucia says just as firmly. Armando starts to laugh but quickly stops when Lucia whips her head around and stares at him hard.

 

“Ok! Ok!” Armando says as he holds his hands up in defense. “The one you’re holding is beautiful.”

 

“And the one you have is handsome,” Eric adds as he looks at his wife. The rest of us burst into laughter as the women immediately go back to cooing over their grandchildren’s images, dismissing their husbands’ antics entirely. Armando walks up to me and takes my hand in his.

 

“How are you feeling dear?” He asks me.

 

“Better,” I tell him. “I’m sorry I worried you.” Armando chuckles and leans down to kiss my forehead.

 

“Please don’t apologize for that.” He says with a smile. “I worry about all of my children every day no matter what. I’m just glad you and the babies are ok.” Oh boy, here come my tears. I am so lucky to have met the DeLeons and have been accepted as one of their own. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for them and I know they feel the same for me. Armando wipes the tears from my eyes and gives me one more kiss on my forehead before returning to Lucia’s side to look at the images again.

 

“The doctor mentioned you’ll need to rest and take it easy from now on,” Eric says as he comes to sit on the side of my bed.

 

“Yes.” I nod. “I’m supposed to be stress-free as much as possible”

 

“I’m ok with you working part-time from home if you’d like.” He says as he takes my hand. “It’s entirely up to you. I don’t want you to feel any pressure to come back into the office if you’re not feeling up to it. You’re carrying two babies and if they’re as active as Carter and Connor were when Teresa was carrying them, you’re not going to want to be anywhere but on your couch or bed.”

 

“Hey!” Connor and Carter say at the same time.

 

“It was mostly Connor,” Carter says with a smirk. “You know how hyper he gets. He’s like the Tasmanian Devil.”

 

“Excuse me?” Connor says pretending to be offended. “I’m not the antsy one. You’re like Animal from the Muppets!” Eric laughs and looks at me.

 

“Let’s hope the hyperactive gene skips a generation.” He smiles. For the next hour, everyone remains in the room with me. Teresa and Eric tell us stories about Connor and Carter when they were younger and all the trouble they would get into. When Lucia and Armando chimed in with their stories about a young Max and an even younger Evan, it turned into a competition to see which pair of siblings got into the worst trouble.

 

After I was released from the hospital, Connor took me back to his parents’ house for dinner. He wanted to take me straight home, but his mom insisted she feed us first. After dinner, Connor and I talk a little more with his dad about the work arrangement he proposed back at the hospital. Teresa said she and Lucia were going to take turns staying with me on days I’m working at home to make sure I’m being taken care of, especially when Connor has to be in the office. Brianna said she, Jillian, and Max’s wife Mikayla, would be able to come help if Teresa and Lucia were not available. Knowing we have so much support from our families makes me so happy and feel so loved.

 

When we finally make it back to our apartment, we make our way up to our bedroom. As soon as I sit on our bed, a tsunami of exhaustion comes over me and I lean back against the headboard. Connor was already in the bathroom getting ready for bed. When he comes out and sees me, he quickly sits next to me and starts feeling my forehead.

 

“Are you ok?” He asks.

 

“Yes, I’m fine.” I smile. “I’m just tired that’s all.”

 

“Are you sure?”

 

“Yes, I’m sure.” I lean forward and give him a soft kiss on his lips. “I’m going to get ready for bed.” Connor nods and helps me up from the bed.

 

“Do you need any help changing?” He whispers to me with a mischievous grin on his face.

 

“I think I can manage.” I giggle.

 

“Are you sure? The doctor said to take it easy and not stress.” He says as he wraps his arms around my waist and pulls me to him.

 

“Changing into my pajamas is not stressful.”

 

“Maybe you shouldn’t wear pajamas at all. It will be less stressful for both of us.”

 

“Both of us?” I look at him confused.

 

“Well, me mostly.” He says as he leans his face closer to me. “I want to be able to make love to you without having to fight with your clothes.” I start to laugh but Connor immediately cuts me off with a hard kiss. He slips his tongue into my mouth as he starts to unbutton my top.

 

“Connor.” I gasp as his hands reach into my open blouse and pulls one side of my bra down and brings his mouth over my exposed breast.

 

“Shh.” He says against my skin. “I’m helping you get undressed, so you don’t overexert yourself.” I let out a giggle and then a moan as his mouth moves to my other breast to give it some attention. He removes my top and bra quickly and starts to work on my skirt when his phone starts buzzing on this nightstand.

 

“Shit!” He groans. He looks at me contemplating if he should go check his phone or continue helping me undress when it starts buzzing again. “Don’t move.” He says. He kisses me on the tip of my nose and walks to this phone. His brows knit in concern as he answers the call. He looks up at me for a moment and then turns and walks into his closet to continue his conversation in private. I debated whether to wait for him, but then I suddenly had the urge to throw up. I run into the bathroom and spew all the contents of my stomach into the toilet. When I was finished, I walked to the sink to clean myself up and get ready for bed.

 

As I came out of the bathroom, Connor also emerged from his closet. We climbed into bed and Connor pulled the blanket over us. I snuggled against his warm body feeling a bit tired from having emptied my stomach.

 

“Are you ok?” He asks me.

 

“Yeah.” I sigh. “I’m a little hungry though.”

 

“Well, considering you just threw up your dinner, I’m not surprised.” He laughs softly. “Do you want me to get anything for you from the kitchen? I think we have some leftover pasta and some lunch meat for a sandwich if you want.” I turn my head and look up at him.

 

“Can I have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?” I ask with a smile. He laughs and kisses my forehead.

 

“Yes, you can have that. Anything else?”

 

“Um…some gummy bears would be good.”

 

“You want gummy bears in your peanut butter and jelly sandwich?” He winces and shakes his head at me.

 

“No, silly.” I giggle. “I’ll eat them separately.”

 

“Oh good.” He laughs. “Um, I don’t think we have any gummy bears though.”

 

“Yes, we do,” I tell him. “I bought some for when CJ comes over since it’s his favorite. They’re in the pantry on the second shelf.”

 

“Ok. I’ll be right back.” He gives me a quick peck on my lips and gets up from the bed.

 

“Connor?”

 

“Yes?” He says as he looks over his shoulder at me.

 

“Are you going to tell me what the phone call was about?”

 

“After I get your food, I’ll tell you all about it.” He says with a sly grin and then walks out of the bedroom. I can tell he’s up to something and knowing Connor it’s something big. It feels like forever before Connor returns with my snack. I start digging into my sandwich and snacking on my gummy bears as soon as Connor places them on my lap. He climbs into bed and strokes my hair as I chomp away. I turn to him and smile.

 

“Thank you,” I tell him.

 

“You’re very welcome.”

 

“So, are you going to tell me about that phone call?” He leans forward and kisses me sweetly.

 

“We have an appointment tomorrow to see our new home.”


Submitted: May 04, 2021

© Copyright 2021 C.B. Rose. All rights reserved.

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niah

What an awesome family.

Wed, May 5th, 2021 2:06am

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