Everyone always talks about how
wonderful pregnancy is, but no one ever told me the truth about pregnancy. No
one ever mentioned the hot dog and Cheerios craving that hits at 2:45 am with
little to no warning. They never brought up just how many damn times you pee in
one day. And they certainly never said anything about how awkward your belly
becomes after 33 weeks.
My only consolation was that the
twins now had an amazing chance of survival as long as nothing happened during
delivery. Their little heartbeats chugged away and brought a smile to my face
every time I listened to them, but honestly I was ready for Evanna and Adelaida
to be out of my belly.
After what seemed like an eternity
of bickering, Lissa and Christian had finally settled on a name for their
little boy. Initially Lissa had opted for Lucas Aaron Dragomir, but Christian
was adamant against it. He thought that naming the baby after his father would
set a few people off in court, which it no doubt would. He countered with Eric
Aaron, but Lissa shot that down pretty fast.
“I want him named for both sides of
the family!” she whimpered. “If he has to take my last name, you should at
least have some part in his name.”
Though I’m sure he still wasn’t
entirely convinced, Christian agreed to Aaron Lucas Dragomir. He told Lissa
that people wouldn’t be as upset if Lucas was the prince’s middle name,
although I knew that was bullshit.
They’d still be upset. I knew that.
Christian knew that. But he wanted to make her happy, and deep down he was
still Christian, always prepared to tell people to go to hell when they
disagreed with something that made Lissa happy.
“Roza, you home?” I heard Dimitri
call from the front door.
“Yeah! I’m in the living room,” I
He peeked his head around the
corner and smiled. “There’s someone here to see you.”
Suddenly, I was being scooped up in
the arms of none other than Olena Belikova. She kissed my cheeks warmly and
smiled at me with those golden brown eyes. “Rose, it is so nice to see you
“Olena! It’s so great to see you!
How have you been?”
“I would be better, but I had to
listen to мама complain the entire flight here,” she joked.
Slightly surprised, I interjected, “Yeva
Then, a snarky voice sounded from
the kitchen, “Она думает, что я хотел бы остаться позади, Тьфу!” I wasn’t sure
what it meant, but I could say with absolute certainty that it wasn’t “nice to
“The others had to stay, but
Karolina, Sonja and Viktoria send their love. They’d have given anything to be
here.” Gingerly, she reached out and touched my belly. In protest, the girls
kicked at her hand. “My, my…feisty one I see! So tell me, am I getting a granddaughter
or a grandson?”
I looked quizzically up at Dimitri.
“You didn’t tell her?”
Shrugging, he crossed his arms over
his chest. “I thought it was something she should hear from both of us.” Sitting
Olena down on the couch, he moved a stray hair from her face and tucked it
behind her ear. “мама, you’re going to have granddaughters.”
Tears filled her eyes and she
pulled him into a hug. “Twins?!”
“It’s go big or go home in this family,”
Suddenly appearing beside us, Yeva mused,
“Вы очень благословил.”
Noticing the quizzical look on my
face, Dimitri translated, “You are very blessed.”
“We are, aren’t we?” I chimed,
smoothing out my shirt over my belly.
“May I?” Yeva inquired pointing to
my stomach. Before I could nod, she placed her hand delicately on either side. “Their
lives will be full of beauty and love and…” She trailed off, making a face that
quite honestly scared me.
“Yeva?” I asked cautiously.
“I am tired,” she announced.
Jumping up immediately, Dimitri led
her to the bedroom for a nap. I looked at Olena and recognized the worry in her
eyes that I’d so often found in Dimitri’s. “What was that about?”
Shaking it off, Olena answered, “Oh,
you know Yeva. She’s always so dramatic. I’m sure this was just her being…well,
I could tell that she didn’t
believe that, but it honestly scared me too much to call her out. Anxiety had
haunted me for the entire pregnancy, and for once, I just wanted to be sure of
myself. She said their lives would be full of beauty and love, and I sure as
hell wasn’t going to question things further.
“So Rose, what crazy things have
you eaten?” Olena queried perking up a bit.
I listed off a few of the best
combinations while Dimitri gagged on the couch. At one point, Olena smacked
him. “You want to know what I ate while I was pregnant with you, Dimka? Borscht
and syrniki. Constantly.”
Placing his hand over his mouth, he
stood up and said, “On that note, why don’t I go and make us some dinner. Any
I piped up. “Well I have no idea
what syrniki is but I’ll have that.”
“Dimka!” Olena chided. “You’ve
never made her syrniki?”
“We’re always working, Mom,” he
“Well you aren’t working now. I
assume you still remember how to make it,” she supposed.
Giving her a look, he disappeared
into the kitchen. She grinned. “He has a good heart, a доброе сердце.”
“Because of you,” I said.
“No, it’s more than that.” She
leaned back into the couch. “He’s always been about duty and doing what is
right, but Rose, you’ve changed him. He’s…softer now. I don’t mean that in a
bad way. Don’t mistake me. I just mean, he’s always done his duty for duty’s
sake, but now he does it for so much more.” She paused for a moment, smiling. “Love.”
Not sure what to say, I rested my
hands on my stomach and whispered, “Thank you.”
“No, Rose, thank you. You took my
boy and made him into a man. You gave him life and love and now a family. I
couldn’t ask for a better daughter-in-law.”
The curious smell of smoke wafted
its way into the living room. Soon after, Dimitri poked his head in and said, “Not
that everything isn’t under control, because it is, but umm…could you come help
Laughing wholeheartedly, she
shrugged. “There is only so much we can do, Rose.” Then she joined him in the
In the meantime, after scooching my
way out of my chair, I peeked my head into the bedroom to check on Yeva. To my
utter surprise, she was not only awake, but waiting for me.
Pulling me in by my shirt collar,
she looked me up and down. “How far?”
“I’ll be at 34 weeks tomorrow,” I
answered. Curiosity was killing me. “Hey Yeva, what was that about earl–”
“Too close,” she murmered. “Two
“That’s right…?” I watched as her
brows sank down closer together. “Should I be worried about the girls?”
“No. No,” she muttered. “Everything
is fine. I sleep now.” Then, against my will, I was shooed from the room.
“Wait, Yeva, what is going on?” I
wasn’t going to let her just blow this off like this.
“Don’t know what you are talking
about…” Avoiding eye contact she mumbled, “Она понятия не имеет, и я не буду,
чтобы сказать ей.”
“What does that even mean?” I
leaned down to force her to make eye contact. “What did you see? What do you
know that you don’t want to tell me?”
Throwing her hands into the kitchen,
she said, “You ask too much! I sleep now. You go.” She rushed over to the bed
and got under the covers quickly. The whole thing had my anxiety racing. Was
there something wrong with the twins? Were they not quite as healthy as the
last doctor’s visit had suggested? Why wouldn’t she just tell me?
Giving up on her, I sighed and
closed the door behind me. As I made my way to the kitchen, rather than smoke,
my noise was met with a much more pleasant smell. I couldn’t quite place it,
but it smelled a bit like crepes. Quite honestly, it was making my mouth water.
“God that smells divine…” I said,
taking a seat at the breakfast bar.
Olena perked up, giggling. “One of
my favorite Russian dishes! Is there any powdered sugar?”
“Yeah! It’s the third cabinet,
second shelf,” I replied, pointing.
Scolding Dimitri for taking his
eyes off of the pan, she followed my directions. She searched for a bit before
looking pathetically back at me. “Are you sure?”
“Here, I’ll get it,” Dimitri
offered, but after a glare from Olena, he promptly went back to cooking.
Laughing, I stood up to take a
look. The cabinet was a bit tall for me and usually I’d just have Dimitri reach
up and grab whatever I needed. Since he was a bit occupied, I pushed up to my
tiptoes and reached for the bag. Inadvertently, I knocked the vanilla extract
off the shelf.
“Crap.” Leaning down ever so
carefully, I reached for the stupid little brown bottle.
Suddenly, I felt wet running down
“Shit…I know bladder control is out
the window, but are you kidding me?” Even as I said the words, I knew they were
wrong. The intense pressure told me a much different story.
“Rose?” Dimitri asked, slightly
I glanced up at him. “Ummm…well
stop cooking and grab the overnight bag we packed. I think my water just broke.”