“Nicole, honey, can I talk to you for a minute?”
Several years had passed since the birth of our twins, and they were both growing fast. Both girls were toddling around on their little feet, playing games with each other and with their older brother, who they both adored.
Ian and I had both grown older as well. After the birth of the twins, my body wasn’t what it once was, and I felt the need for a change in style. With three kids to look after, my long hair was getting too time-consuming to maintain, so I ended up getting a haircut and a whole new wardrobe to fit what I felt was a more respectable image for a woman close to forty.
Lately though, as happy as I was, I had been feeling as if something was missing. I wanted something more to make our family complete. And that’s when Ian pulled me aside one evening after we’d put the girls to sleep, to talk about the exact thing that had been plaguing my mind for months.
“You know I love you, and I love our kids,” he began. I wasn’t too sure where this was going, and started to feel a bit worried.
“But I feel like there’s still something missing,” he went on. He took a deep breath, then, “I want another baby with you, Nicole,” he said. My heart soared at his words, and I couldn’t help but smile. I wanted a baby with him, too. “What do you think?” he asked, slightly nervously.
My smile grew wider. “I would love that, Ian,” I said happily. “I think one more baby would be perfect.”
Ian grinned back and hugged me. “Thank you, sweetheart. I can’t wait!”
“Me neither!” I said as I hugged him tightly.
From then on, we started trying for another baby every night that we could. Now that we were both older, it had become more difficult for me to fall pregnant for the third time.
In the meantime, I went back to work. Although I had a regular gig at the park, I was still performing sing-a-grams around town to boost my experience and earn some extra money on the side.
I did everything, from singing a special song to tell someone how great they were…
… to assisting clients in their romantic endeavours.
I was receiving more job offers than ever, as the demand for my voice was increasing. I was finally on the way to realising my dream of becoming a Vocal Legend.
While I was out working, Ian stayed home to look after the twins. Being the family-oriented dad he was, he spent all his spare time making sure that his kids were as well cared-for as possible.
Since the twins had grown into toddlers, we had bought some more toys for their birthday, including a toy box and a mini-xylophone.
Both girls were very happy babies, always smiling and laughing, rarely to be found in tears.
Since the twins were not identical, we never dressed them the same. Bridie’s hair was short and curly, Bianca’s silky and long, and had to be styled in braids to keep it under control.
While I was busy with work most of the time, Ian took over most of the childcare duties, teaching both girls to walk and talk during the day when they were at home together.
Aidan usually helped when he came home from school in the afternoons, whenever he had time to spend with his sisters.
However, Ian and I insisted that he keep his grades up by making school his top priority. As much as they enjoyed playing together, we agreed that it wasn’t Aidan’s job to look after the girls.
All of our lives changed the morning I found out I was pregnant. Ian and I had been trying to have another baby for months now, while keeping up my career and looking after our kids at the same time. It had been a stressful time, but the prospect of a new addition to the family made it all worth it.
The first person we told was Aidan, who was thrilled at the idea of having another younger sibling, and told us he hoped it would be a brother this time. The twins were also excited when we explained the idea to them, and so the whole family began to prepare and look forward to the arrival of a sixth member.
Now that I was pregnant again, Ian insisted that he cook all the meals for the family. I didn’t object too much, since he already cooked most of our food anyway. He was very caring and patient, and would make me anything I asked for to satisfy my cravings. On Saturdays, Ian made pancakes for the whole family’s breakfast, complete with fresh fruit and whipped cream.
My pregnancy this time around progressed quickly, and I had much less trouble with morning sickness than I had with the twins. Soon enough, I had to stop accepting job offers and start wearing maternity clothes again as my stomach was growing bigger every day.
The morning I went into labour, I was relaxing at home with Ian and the twins. Ian called a babysitter as soon as the contractions started, so that he could take me to the hospital and be there with me while I gave birth to our third child.
Several weeks later, I returned home with my new baby in my arms. Ian and Aidan were both ecstatic to have another boy in the family. We named him Cody.
Ian was spellbound the moment Cody was laid in his arms. While I recovered, he spent all his free time bonding with his little son, while Aidan was at school and the twins played with each other.
As with the twins, most of the feeding and changing duties fell on Ian as I recovered from my pregnancy and started to get ready to go back to work.
Now that Aidan was a teenager, he was also spending a lot more time with his younger sisters in order to help Ian and me out with childcare responsibilities. He and Bianca simply adored each other and formed a particularly special bond between them.
He had always been athletic, but since his birthday Aidan had developed a passion for exercise. We couldn’t afford an exercise machine, so every afternoon he would stand in front of the television for hours, following the workout routines on the health channel.
The twins’ birthday came soon after Aidan’s.
And now, with only one infant to look after and no more planned, I was able to go back to work and really focus on my career for the first time in years.