Week 2: Saturday

Marylee woke up, panting from a nightmare. She’d had a dream that she’d had octuplets and that Christopher had left her to raise eight babies on her own. Then she couldn’t afford to keep the house and she and her babies had to live at the dump and rummage through garbage to survive… She shuddered and put her head in her hands, feeling sick.

“Sweetheart, are you okay?” Christopher mumbled, moving closer to her.

“Yeah, just… bad dream,” she whispered. Christopher sat up with her and held her close.

“That’s the third one tonight alone. Honey, you need to relax.”

“I can’t! What if it’s more than one baby? What if I have eight babies just walking around inside me right now and the doctor says ‘Congratulations! You have six boys and two girls!’ I don’t wanna be the Octomom!” she wailed childishly. Christopher winced at her shrill crying. It was loud, high-pitched and obnoxious.

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“Marylee, there is no way we’re having eight babies. I don’t even think it’s possible to have octuplets without fertility treatments, which neither of us have, nor can we afford to have them. This is crazy talk. I know you’re scared, but be reasonable,” he tried to scold her foolishness gently. It had been hard for him to deal with her constant crying and worrying and crazy fears, but he knew how terrified she was and wanted to make sure she stayed as calm and comfortable as possible for the baby’s sake.

“I- I can’t sleep anymore. I need to get up…” she mumbled.

“Marylee, you’ve hardly slept at all! You’re going to kill our baby if you keep going like this!” Christopher yelled. Marylee burst into tears.

“I DON’T WANT THIS BABY!” she screamed. “Maybe in a few years when we’re older and have more money and are better prepared, but not now!”

“WELL I DO WANT THIS BABY! MORE THAN ANYTHING!” Christopher shouted back. Marylee suddenly cried out in pain and clutched her bulging belly. “Marylee! Is it time?” he cried, running towards her. She shook her head, her face still screwed up in pain.

“No… but it hurts…” she gasped. Christopher picked up his wife and carried her to the bed. He held her until she had calmed down and stopped shaking, gently rubbing her swollen belly.

“Shhhh… easy, now. Breathe. I’m right here, it’s okay. Shhh, Sweetheart…” he whispered. Eventually, Marylee calmed down enough to stand again. She left the bedroom without a word. It was still only four-thirty in the morning, so Christopher collapsed back in bed, trying to get some more rest before he had to be at work.

Not knowing what else to do, Marylee pulled out her guitar and started to play. The music calmed her nerves and helped her feel better about work; if she improved her guitar skill, she’d get promoted quickly when she went back to work. She tried to just let all her worries go and focus on the music.

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Soon, she felt soft kisses along her neck and smiled. “I’m so sorry about this morning,” Christopher whispered in her ear. “I know you’re having a difficult pregnancy and that I can’t be putting that kind of stress on you.”

“It’s okay. I know I haven’t been helping either of us with my worrying, either,” Marylee replied, rubbing her belly. “I’d never hurt this baby, you know. I love her. I’m just not ready to have her, yet.”

“I know. That was a horrible thing for me to say. I’m sorry. I just get so worried that I’m going to lose one of you… or both of you…” he sighed. “I was planning on going fishing this morning after my shower before work. We only have seven simoleans left after buying the baby’s stuff. Will you be okay here by yourself?” he asked. Marylee nodded. “Okay, then. Are you sure you should be standing and holding that heavy guitar?” he added.

“It helps relax me. I stop stressing about the baby, because I’m focusing on playing, and I stop stressing about missing out on promotions and opportunities at work because getting better at the guitar during my time off means I’ll get promoted a lot quicker when I go back to work,” she explained. Christopher nodded and kissed her.

“Okay. As long as you’re keeping stress down, that’s the most important thing,” he smiled before kissing her and going to take his shower.

Marylee snacked on watermelon and continued to play the guitar, feeling much calmer, until she heard an aggravated shout from the bathroom. The walls in the house might have well been made out of cardboard, so she could hear everything.

“Stupid shower! I can’t believe I wasted my money on such a piece of junk!” she heard Christopher yell furiously. She could see water seeping from under the door and sighed. She’d been waiting for it to break sooner or later. The faucets were wobbly and the shower head needed to be held on with rubber bands, duct tape and super glue. She walked in and immediately, her feet were soaked. She wobbled precariously on a slippery spot, but caught herself on the edge of the sink. Christopher gently ushered her out. “Stay out of here, Honey. I don’t want you falling and hurting yourself or the baby. I’m sorry for shouting. It just means I won’t have time to fish and make some extra money before work.”

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“Okay. I’m really tired, actually,” she admitted. Standing and holding the guitar for so long really had worn her out. She waddled over to the bed to relax while Christopher wrestled with the broken shower.

She soon dozed off until Christopher came in to kiss her goodbye before he headed to work, but drifted off to sleep quickly again.

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A phone call woke her up right around the time Christopher was supposed to get off work. She groggily answered it.

“H- hello?” she yawned.

“Hey Sweetie. I’m sorry, did I wake you?”

“It’s okay. I’ve been sleeping all day, anyway.”

“You need the rest,” he reminded her. “Anyway, I’m really sorry, Honey, but my co-workers want me to stay late tonight to clean up a soufflé explosion. I’m getting paid extra for it and we need the money, but I’m worried about you at home by yourself. You could go into labour any minute…”

“It’s fine. Stay at work. We do need the money and I’ll call you if anything happens and I need you, I promise.”

“Okay. Go back to sleep and take care of yourself. I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

Marylee didn’t go into labour and didn’t have any more pains that night. In fact… she hadn’t felt the baby kick since she’d had those awful stomach pains this morning… it was starting to worry her, but she reasoned with herself that if something was wrong with her baby, she’d know. Mothers were supposed to have some kind of natural intuition when it came to that, weren’t they?

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Week 2: Early Sunday (2:30am to 12:00am)

Christopher came home to see his wife shaking, silent tears streaming down her cheeks. “I- I think I might have lost the baby…” she whispered. Christopher’s face paled and he steadied himself on the headboard of their bed.

“What are you talking about, Marylee?” he said fiercely.

“She hasn’t moved at all since this morning… I can’t feel her moving at all…” Marylee had curled in on herself and was rocking back and forth slightly. Her vision was blurry and she was short of breath. How could she have not wanted this baby? Losing her was shattering her.

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“That doesn’t mean anything,” Christopher tried to reassure her, but his words fell flat. He was just as terrified as she was. He had had so many dreams of taking his little girl to dance classes and playing dress-up with her; reading bedtime stories and checking for monsters under the bed and pushing her on the swings at the park; holding her while she cried when her heart broke for the first time… he knew that was all usually a mother’s duty, but he wanted to be a part of it, too. He didn’t realize that there were tears coursing down his face, too.

“It’s my fault…” she whispered. “You told me not to stress and worry, but I did, anyway. I didn’t rest enough. I didn’t read any pregnancy books or go to the doctor or ask for a massage when I was sore. I kept saying how much I didn’t want a baby. She thought I didn’t want her or love her. Her own mother…” she wept. This was not Marylee’s usual obnoxious wailing. These were the bitter moans of anguish only a grieving mother could utter.

“No…” Christopher choked, holding Marylee in his arms. “I worked too much. I was never home to take care of you. I thought I was helping by making more money, but I wasn’t here where you needed me most. I yelled at you when I knew it was dangerous to put you under more stress…” Christopher’s sobs echoed those of his wife’s.

“I wanted that baby… I was scared, but I wanted her so much. I loved her…” Marylee moaned in torment.

“Me too. Me too, Honey…” Christopher groaned.

“I’m… broken!” Marylee suddenly gasped.

“I know, Sweetie. I know it hurts. It’s breaking my heart, too.”

“No, Chris! My water just broke! I’m going into labour!” Marylee yelled. Sure enough, the bed underneath Marylee was soaked. Christopher jumped up in a panic. Marylee gasped with pain and doubled over, uttering a low groan.

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“What do we do? What do we do? I don’t know what to do! What do I do?” he yelled, pulling at his hair and flailing his arms around wildly.

“Get me to the hospital NOW!” Marylee shrieked. Another contraction hit her and she cried out in pain again.

Christopher helped his wife to the sidewalk where a cab picked them up.

“Ow ow ow ow… it hurts…” Marylee whined. Christopher held her hand.

“Just breathe. We’re almost there,” he soothed.

The delivery was a very long and difficult one. It was the scariest night of Christopher’s life; he almost lost both his wife and baby that day. The difficult pregnancy caused delivery problems. Marylee lost a lot of blood and the baby wasn’t breathing when Marylee gave that final, agonizing push.

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That tiny little cry was the most beautiful sound he had ever heard. He collapsed into a chair by the bed, shaking and letting loose gratified tears that his baby was alive. Marylee kept slipping in and out of concsiousness but the doctor said once her body replenished the blood she had lost, she would start to regain her strength.

“Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Charm. It’s a healthy baby girl,” she announced, gently placing the newborn into her father’s arms. Marylee had slipped out of awareness again.

“Hey baby,” he smiled. “Daddy’s here. Mommy will be here soon, too, but she needs to rest right now. Welcome to the world, little one.”

“What would you like to name her?” the doctor asked. “We need to write up the birth certificate.”

“M- Marcie…” Marylee whispered weakly from the bed. Christopher bent down and kissed her forehead.

“I like Marcie,” he agreed.

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Marcie Charm got to see her first sunrise as her proud parents brought her home that morning.

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