‹ Prequel: True Love

I Had My Heart Set on You

Newborn Life

February 13th & February 14th, 2000

Mia couldn't help but laugh as she read her fathers text.

The wicked witch of the West Coast has landed

"What?" Reese asked, finally tearing her eyes from the copy of Home and Garden. Mia just handed the phone to Reese, who couldn't help but let out a snort.

Mia was at (what she hoped would be) her last OB/GYN appointment. She had made it to 39 weeks- almost unheard of in a twin pregnancy. She was exhausted, the weight of the babies made it hard to sleep and her body was a constant inferno- a side effect of all the extra blood circulating through her body, or at least, that's what her doctor told her. She had called every single day for the past two weeks, begging her doctor for an induction.

But Dr. Allison finally gave in.

If she hadn't moved past one centimeter, she would finally induce her.

Reese had taken two weeks off work to help finish up the babies room and help after Mia gave birth and truth be told, Mia was so thankful. Reese's presence meant far more than her mothers ever could.

"So?" Mia asked as Reese helped her to sit up.

"Well-" the woman smiled, tossing her gloves into the garbage before she offered her hand, pulling Mia into a sitting position. "I hope you have your bags packed, because if I had to guess- you'll have two little girls very soon."

"Really?" Her heart began to beat faster, her palms wicking over with sweat.

Mia was torn.
She was tired of being pregnant- she was tired of being tired. She was tired of not sleeping and never being able to get comfortable. She was sick and tired of being the size of a Winnebago. She was over the insatiable hunger and the rampant emotions, and she couldn't take one more day of heartburn (or one more chalky-cherry Rolaid, for that matter) and she couldn't wait for the day when she was no longer nauseous and famished at the same time.

And most of all, she couldn't wait to meet her little girls.

But giving birth meant she would be a mother- and that was something she knew she wasn't ready for either.

She hadn't had a great role model in the mother department, and her worst fear was becoming her mother. She couldn't swallow the idea that she would become that spiteful, menacing, insufferable twat. She wouldn't submit her babies to that.

She only hoped she had it in her.

"Okay-" Gavin chorused, a hint of panic in his voice as he dashed around the living room. "We have your overnight bag-" he was mostly talking to himself as he hoisted the pink floral bag over his shoulder, "your pillow...thing." he struggled before placing the black and white boppy pillow around his neck. "Reese!" he yelled, before calming slightly as she held up both car seats. "Reese has both car seats and the diaper bag."

Mia rolled her eyes, one hand pressed firmly into her back as she practically held herself upright, her other hand gripped at the railing as she rode out another contraction.

"And you-" Gavin began before placing a soft kiss on his daughters clammy forehead. "have your purse and the babies!" he had to stop and giggle at his own joke as Mia and Reese rolled their eyes.

Like a snake, Madeline appeared around the corner slinging her bag over her shoulder. Her heels clicking fiercely against the hardwood with every movement. "Can we get this show on the road before she starts crowning in your foyer?"

Rush-hour traffic was a nightmare.
The thirteen minute drive became a 42 minute one.

At one point, Madeline threatened to get out of the car and walk to the hospital. Truth be told, she probably would have had it not been for the (highly impractical) six inch Jimmy Choo's she had decided were appropriate hospital attire and the freezing temperatures.

Mia was stuffed into an ER bay where they quickly triaged her before wheeling her up to labor and delivery- her blood pressure was high, which the nurse attributed to the contractions (but in reality, it was her biting back every desire to clock her mother square over the head with a tire iron.)

Reese steadied Mia as she tied the strings at the back of Mia's neck, securing the paper-thin hospital gown the best that she could.

Mia let out a groan as her hands desperately grasped at the railing on the hospital bed.

"Do you need anything?" Reese asked as she rubbed at Mia's back.

Madeline let out a rough grunt, her steel eyes glaring over the top of the tattered issue of Time magazine she had found in the waiting room. "Perhaps after all this is said and done you can teach her how to use a condom-"

Mia just sneered at her mother, her teeth gritted so hard she thought they'd break. "Ice chips and a bedpan to knock her out with!"

Labor was a long and laborious process.
It was a whole lot of hurry-up and wait.

Mia's birth plan had centered around the idea that she wanted to go natural.
Women had gone thousands of years giving birth without the aid of Pitocin and epidurals- they had given birth in caves and barns with no more than a pan of hot water and some towels, she was determined to stick it out.

That all went out the window somewhere around five centimeters.

She had been in labor over ten hours and between her mother and Reese's bickering and her father's too-cool demeanor, she couldn't take it anymore.

One more argument and she was sure they would send her into a murderous rampage.


Mia was eternally grateful to her anesthesiologist- he had given her an epidural and a small dose of something for her nerves just to get her through the next few hours.

Mia punctuated her contractions with a study session.
She may have been in labor, but Human Neuroanatomy and Diagnostic Microbiology waited for no one. The hospital bed was covered in notebooks, an assortment of pens and yellow highlighters, and Post-It notes.

Madeline circled the bed like a vulture before picking up the note-filled spiral-bound notebook, her eyes scanned over her daughters intricate color coordinated notes as her face pulled into a snarl before she slammed the notebook closed. "I'm not sure why you're bothering with this nonsense. There's no way you'll be able to keep it up, not with two squalling brats."

"Madeline-" Gavin chimed easily, not even bothering to look up from his copy of that day's New York Times.

"Oh shut-up." Madeline huffed, "This is just like you-" she huffed, crossing her arms over her chest as her botox lips pulled into a scowl, "supporting these two in every idiotic thing they do. Supporting Reese running away with that buffoon and Mia and her inability to keep her legs closed."

Gavin just rolled his eyes as he folded the newspaper, laying it in his lap. "Tell me Madeline-" his voice was calm and it was clear he was fighting back a smile- which only left his ex-wife more angry than before. "when is the last time either of these girls willingly visited you?" the room was silent. "Oh that's right? They don't. You have alienated them."

"You miserable son-of-a-"

"I can't understand why you married her! She is so odious!" Reese interjected.

"She was good in bed."

And that was what Mia liked to call the proverbial straw-that-broke-the-camel's-back.

"I was pregnant! He couldn't hardly tell his deeply Catholic mother he would father a child out-of-wedlock! So Reese, you may want to step down off that high-horse you're riding and realize that you are why we got-"

"OUT!" Mia screamed through gritted teeth, "YOU-" she huffed, her trembling hand pointed firmly at her mother. "GET OUT!"

Madeline stood, her mouth slightly ajar.
For the first time in her life, she was at a loss for words.

"Certainly you don't mean th-"


"I will not!" Madeline huffed, her eyes glazing over with tears -which, honestly, wasn't even something Mia knew her mother was capable of- she stomped her foot as if to signal that she wasn't going anywhere.

But the walls in the hospital were fairly thin- there wasn't much privacy, at least, not in the labor and delivery wing. You could hear just about every woman pushing and screaming, so it wasn't much of a surprise when a nurse showed up, what did surprise them however, was the security guard she had in tow.

"Is there a problem in here?"

"No!" Madeline spoke quickly, her head shaking as she shot a burning glare at Gavin, "Everyone's just a little emotional today."

Mia swallowed, finally finding the courage to stick up for herself. "Actually-" she let out a deep breath, the medication had calmed her enough to give her the courage she needed to stand up for herself just this once. "if you could make her leave, it's just she's stressing me out and-"

The nurse held up her hands, "Say no more."

As awful as it seemed to admit, things got easier after Madeline had been banished to the waiting room -granted, Mia could hear her throwing her never ending hissy fit from the other end of the hallway- but her labor seemed to speed up.

She went from five centimeters to nine in just under an hour and a half, and before she knew it, it was time.

The tiny delivery room was busier than a hub at JFK at Christmas time.

Two warming bassinets sat empty across the room, the nurses adjusting the temperatures.

One nurse had been assigned to each baby once they made their arrival, they were posted at the foot of the bed just behind the doctor, ready and waiting for the moment they would each have a baby girl shoved at them.

Reese was at Mia's side, her left hand extended to Mia as her right wrapped behind her shoulders coaching her on.

Gavin stood on the other side of Mia's bed, holding the video camera.

Mia had only had one request for her father -nothing below the waist- and he happily obliged.

Everything seemed to move in a flash.

One minute Mia was biting at her lip, choking back a scream as she gripped desperately at her sister and the bed rails and the next, a tiny, shrill scream filled the room.

Everything seemed to go silent.
The chaos that swirled around Mia seemed to disappear.
And for a fraction of a second, she forgot about the pain as she stared down at the brand new baby girl.

Her daughter.

She was perfect- her skin was like porcelain, her chocolate hair sticking in every which direction. Mia felt a single warm tear trickle down her cheek. "Hi you..." she whispered, letting go of the railing long enough for her finger to stroke at the baby girl's cheek. "I'm your mommy..."

Reese didn't even try to hold back her tears. "She's perfect."

But she couldn't enjoy the moment, "Okay Mia-" Dr. Allison's voice sounded through the chaos as the nurse grabbed the baby, moving her into one of the waiting bassinets. "Last one- can you give me a few more good pushes?"

She swallowed hard before taking Reese's hand into hers, squeezing with every ounce of strength she had left in her exhausted body.

Even with the epidural, she could feel everything.
There was this all-encompassing pain that soared through every inch of her body. It was unlike anything she had ever felt-it burned, and she felt like her body was splitting in half.

But just when Mia thought she couldn't take one more second, another cry filled the room.

Mackenzie Ava and Emma Arin were born three minutes and twelve seconds apart. Each girl named after one of Mia's grandmothers. Emma was bigger than Mackenzie by five ounces, but Mackenzie was almost an entire inch longer. Both girls had a head full of chocolate hair that stuck in every which direction and big blue eyes.

They were the closest things to perfect Mia had ever seen.


It was just past one in the morning, the hospital room was dark, the city glow casting through the windows as Mia watched her babies sleep. She laid on her side, one hand propping up her head, the other drifting over the edge of the bassinets, stroking at the tiny exposed toes.

This was the first time in the six hours since she had given birth that she had been alone -aside from Reese, who was curled up in the chair in the corner snoring, her lips parted ever so slightly as drool trickled down her face- her parents had gone home for the night, leaving her with the promise to return first thing tomorrow morning.

It was the first moment that she had really stopped to let herself feel.
To take it all in.

The happiness.
The love.
The joy.
The pride.

Mia had never felt a love like she did when she finally met the little girls who had spent so long growing inside of her. For the first time since the pregnancy test read positive so many months ago, so knew she could do it because it wasn't just her life anymore, it was theirs too. She was still nervous, but she was more hopeful than she had been.

But of all the things Mia expected to feel, profound sadness surely wasn't one of them.

Mia choked back a sob.

Zack wasn't here.
He didn't know. He would never experience this, and it was all her fault.

She wasn't sure exactly what over-took her body.

But something made her sit up, reaching for the phone on the table at her bedside as her fingers dialed the number she knew so well.

It rang once...twice...three times and then- "Hello?"

"Maria?" her voice shook as she cradled the phone to her cheek.

"Who is this?"

"Maria-" she croaked, wiping at her nose. "Maria it's Mia-"

"Why are you calling? Ruining my sons life isn't enough?"

"Maria-" she began to cry harder, making Reese stir in her chair. "Maria just please-" she plead, "please let me talk to Zack."

"Don't you ever call this house again." and just like that, the dial tone rang through the receiver.

Before she could fall apart, Reese took the phone from her shaking hands, dropping it back onto the receiver as she fell onto the bed, taking Mia into her arms, pulling her into her chest. "Shhhhh. Shhhhhhh...." Mia's entire body shook with great heaves. "It's going to be okay. It's all going to be okay..."
♠ ♠ ♠
Visual: Mia + Gavin, Madeline, and Reese

Didn't I promise a little happiness?! I mean...not too much because that's just not in my wheel house.

Also, we all know how much I love visuals.

This is exactly how I imagine the nursery! Very feminine and sweet.

This read a little weird- but my beta had the exact same train of thought as I did. There isn't a truly "graceful" way to write birth/labor. It's a long process and a slightly complicated one to pull off.

Anyways, I hope you liked this! I'd love to hear your thoughts.
And you should see the next update next week.

As always, thank you for reading.
It means the world.