A trip to the doctor’s several weeks later confirmed my suspicions: I was pregnant, with Ian’s and my first child.
Ian was ecstatic when I told him, and insisted on taking time off work to stay at home and look after me. As a result I had a very relaxing pregnancy, and was able to continue with most of my normal activities until close to my due date.
The new house had come with a basement, where we placed my wedding present from Ian – a karaoke machine, so that I could practice my singing from home. I loved singing on the machine, and would use it at any opportunity I had.
Ian, meanwhile, spent most of his time doing what he loved: reading. We had a wooden bench on the upstairs balcony where he would sit for hours with any and every book he managed to get his hands on.
Ian still cooked most of our meals for us, since Aidan was too young and my cooking skills barely exceeded the simple task of boiling an egg. I still offered to help, but Ian, knowing my ineptitude, assured me that he was perfectly happy cooking for the family and encouraged me instead to relax and “enjoy my pregnancy”.
He and Aidan were the best of friends. I often found them in the afternoons talking and laughing together in a corner, or playing with Aidan’s toys.
It warmed my heart to see how close my son and husband were, and again I felt content in the certainty that I had made the right choice in bringing this family together.
Even though a lot of things had changed in our lives over the past year, we still managed to keep some routines constant for Aidan’s sake. He was still expected to do his homework in the evenings, which he did a lot more gladly than I think most kids his age would have.
Ian was always happy to help with Aidan’s homework whenever he was asked, although I had my suspicions as to how much trouble Aidan was really having with his work, especially since they seemed to be doing a lot more joking around than anything else.
After dinner, one of us (usually Ian) would always tuck him into bed with a story or two. Aidan was especially fond of the exciting adventure stories that Ian could make up on the spot.
When he wasn’t playing with Ian, Aidan turned to his newfound hobby: painting. We had bought an easel and some painting supplies for him when we moved in, and ever since then he had started to paint in every spare moment he had. Ian and I agreed that painting was a useful skill for which Aidan seemed to have a natural talent, so we encouraged him wherever we could.
We wanted to give him as much attention as possible before the new baby came. Since he had been the only child for so long, we weren’t sure how he was going to handle the change.
When I finally broke the news to Aidan that he was going to be a big brother, he took it incredibly well. He was excited for the new arrival, and took every opportunity to touch my belly, gasping in awe each time he felt the baby move.
The morning sickness started to get better as my pregnancy progressed, and I was still able to practice singing in the basement whenever I felt like it.
At the same time, my slow rise to fame as a singer was getting noticed in other areas of the industry, and several times during my pregnancy I was called to the studios in the city for small acting cameos. Although I couldn’t really see myself succeeding as an actress, at this point in my career I was interested in anything that would get me noticed.
The day I went into labour, Aidan was in school and I was relaxing at home with Ian. I was sitting on the couch when a sudden pain shot through my abdomen, causing me to cry out in pain. Ian heard me, and rushed into the room.
“Nicole! Are you okay? Is it time?!”
I managed to nod, grimacing in pain as I tried to struggle to my feet before another contraction seized my body.
After the initial shock had passed, Ian drove me to the hospital and stayed with me the entire time I was giving birth, holding my hand and trying to soothe my pain any way he could. He was really wonderful. After an excruciating 16 hours, I finally gave birth to not one, but two beautiful baby girls. I had never felt so happy.
Two weeks later I and the babies were released from the hospital and allowed to return home. I took a taxi by myself, carrying my daughters in a baby carrier that the hospital donated to all new mothers. I was excited to introduce Aidan to his little sisters.
Ian and I had built a new nursery in preparation for our babies, and Ian had bought an extra crib during the time the twins and I were in hospital after the birth, since we had only been expecting one baby. For me, this was a dream come true, to be able to put my baby girls to sleep in the kind of bedroom I had always imagined. I hoped that they too would love it as they grew older.
From the moment they were born, Ian completely adored his baby girls. He cuddled and played with them at every opportunity. Of course, he still played with Aidan as well – we didn’t want our son to feel neglected now that his baby sisters were taking up so much of our time.
Ian was the best husband and dad we could have asked for. Whenever he was home, he was playing with the kids or looking after the girls, feeding them, changing them and showering them with love.
I never knew it was possible to be this happy. Every time I think I’m at the peak of it, things just keep getting better!
Welcome to the family, Bridie and Bianca Hunter!