From Farm to Fame: Haylie- Chapter Twenty-Five

Like every year before it since I met Max, the next year after the wedding seemed to fly by faster than I could blink. I’d tried to spent as much time as possible with the girls before they went back to art school, because I would miss them way too much when they were gone, like I did the year before. I tried to spend as much time with Max as I could too, and be the best wife I could. Not that it really did make anything different for us, it’d been the same before, but it just made our relationship seem new and exciting all over again. I didn’t work much on my novel over the summer because between Max and the girls I just didn’t have time for it, but I worked on it again when then went back to art school. When I finished it, I started right into another. Readers had been fascinated by the creatures in my first novel, since they were so different from the versions they’d grown up with and wanted to know more, so I was writing a series with each novel focus more on each different creature. It was weird to think that everything that happened in Moonlight Falls, and all I learned about the creatures there, was how I was making a living. It’d been a horrible time, I thought I’d never want to relieve, but I was reliving it through my novels, and I couldn’t say I regretted that. My second novel became a best seller, and my first gained a bunch of sales in the hype leading up to the second. It was even weirder to think that so many people loved my writing; I did it because I loved it, and I’d expected most people to just think it was too strange and awful since it was so different from what people had loved to read before.

It wasn’t long after the girls went back to school, that I found I was pregnant, with twins. We had decided a couple months earlier that we wanted to have a baby, so we were both very excited. It just became one more thing to focus on. We decided to renovate the nursery, since we didn’t want to find out what we were having until the babies were born, and we wanted to gender neutralize it. It was designed for a girl when I bought the house, but it had been okay at the time since I was moving in with the girls. I knew the babies probably wouldn’t care about colour, regardless of their gender, but it just seemed nicer to have a nursery that would suit them better. It gave Max something to do anyway since he did most of the work, painting, tearing up the carpet, and moving everything around; I really didn’t do anything put pick out what I wanted to go in the nursery so Max could put it there. He was very proud of himself for getting it all done and having it ready for his children long before they were due.

It was shortly after we felt confident that we had almost everything in order, and were almost as ready as we were going to be, that we found out it was really quadruplets, not twins. It was only a couple months from the end of the pregnancy when we found out, two of the babies had been hiding the whole time, which seemed impossible to me, but apparently it wasn’t. It had been a very long drive home from that appointment; Max and I hadn’t said a thing to each other since we received the news, I was still trying to process it myself and didn’t really have much to say, I imagined he felt the same way. It was just weird that he didn’t wrap me securely in arms and promise me that everything would be okay like he usually did when something was bothering me, though it probably would have been the first time that it wouldn’t have worked, and he didn’t have any jokes or anything either. He could make a joke of anything, and often did so in stressful situations to try and make things a bit better. I loved that about him most of the time, and I really missed it then, not that it would make anything better, but it didn’t seem as bad as the awkward silence.

We hardly said anything to each other the rest of the day, even when I went to bed he didn’t even glance away from the television long enough to say goodnight and give me a kiss like usual, he seemed too lost in whatever was going through his mind to notice. I kind of liked having an excuse to go to sleep early though, for the most part it was kind sucked getting worn out so much faster, but sleep seemed so much better than the stress of thinking about what we were going to do.

He still hadn’t come to bed when I woke up around midnight to go get a snack, though I could hear a bunch of noise coming from the nursery, so I stopped to check on him on my way to the kitchen. He was dragging everything around when I got there. “Sweetie, its midnight, why don’t you go to sleep? I’m sure this can wait until tomorrow.”

He stopped and turned to talk to me, he still looked so confused and scared. “No it can’t. I have to figure this out.”

“Figure what out? How you’re going to make a giant mess in here?”

“How we’re going fit twice as much of everything in here.”

“Oh.” I hadn’t really thought much about how much extra space we would need, I’d mostly thought about the extra risks we could still face in the pregnancy, I’d thought a bit about actually trying to raise them and it terrified me, but I didn’t want anything bad to happen to them either. Thinking about needing extra space just made me worry more, and the whole house suddenly seemed too small as I thought about them growing up an needing even more space. “I don’t think we are…”

“We have to.”

“I know. I still think you should go get some sleep though; you’re going to drive yourself crazy doing this all night. Just get some rest, and we’ll start figuring it all out later, after it’s had a chance to sink in.”

“I already tried to sleep. I can’t. I just have to figure this out before I can. I’m letting you and our children down if I can’t.”

“You won’t let me down Max, not as long as you're here to help me. You won't let me down because you can't figure this out right away though. I just want you here, the rest we can figure out together. Do whatever you feel you need to, just don't worry about letting me down, don't make yourself crazy over it; I’m just worried about you, I love you.” He’d gone back to dragging things around and seemed to be oblivious to the fact that I was still there. “Okay then, have fun I guess.” He still didn't respond as I turned around and went downstairs.

I never did get back to sleep myself and was still downstairs sitting in front of the fireplace lost in thought, when I heard Max sigh and slump down into the other chair a couple hours later. We finally started talking and trying to figure it out together. We decided to look for a new house, we could cram everything in and make it work if we needed to but doing so would probably drive us crazy when we were always bumping into each other and everything else.  We could easily afford a new house, I just didn’t like the idea of spending money on one when our current house had seemed so massive before and I’d never dreamed of moving out of it. I loved that house, and had wanted to believe we could make it work out somehow.

We checked the real estate listings online and in the papers every day, but there was nothing in the area that worked for us. It didn’t help that the quads were about a month and a half early, giving us almost no time to find a new house anyway. Though they spent most of that time in the NICU anyway, we spent as much time with them as we could instead of looking for a new house. The priority just became checking on them and being near them until they were healthy and strong enough to go home. I was really just happy when we got to bring both girls, Lexie and Zoe, and both boys, Shane and Camden, home regardless of how small that home seemed and how scared I was to attempt raising them all at once.