Monday, 12 June 2017

Chapter 54 - Gen 2 - Tapestry

While I am sitting out in the hospital corridor with Crystal, impatiently waiting for her name to be called out for our baby scan appointment, I can't help but keep quietly laughing to myself, because a few things are amusing me.

Firstly, I have already had Granite on the phone, wanting to speak to me about all this ghost stuff.  I think I have fried his head with it and he is seriously thinking about it.  Secondly, I have only just noticed Crystals bare feet.  We are still struggling to get her to wear shoes all the time.  She does now have quite a few pairs of open sandals that she will wear, because they don't "suffocate" her feet, but she will only wear them when she goes out of the house.  Today in her excitement, she must have forgotten about her bare feet.

I glance at Crystal, who is sat continuously rubbing her stomach, which is already surprisingly well visible, but that might just be because of how thin she is.  She is wearing a huge smile on her face because she is excited about this scan, me on the other hand I am as nervous as hell!!

Even though I already have two children of my own, this is all new to me, and everyone seems to forget that, including Crystal.  When Honey was pregnant with Vanilla and Shadow, I was not around, so I haven't been through any of this pregnancy stuff before, and like Crystal, I really don't know what to expect.  While it is not fazing Crystal, I am a bag of nerves.

I keep glancing up the corridor, like a neurotic idiot, ever few seconds, expecting as well as hoping to see Dad come walking down it, he said he would be here to attend Crystals first scan with us, but he is yet to arrive.  The appointment is running late and so is Dad.  I have tried to phone him but his phone is switched off.

I know if he is not busy he would be here, so I can only assume that he has been held up with something.  Even though he is not supposed to be at work today, I know he is here somewhere in the hospital, and he can't have forgotten already as I only spoke to him an hour ago when I left him in his office.  I just hope Forrest is still all right and nothing has happened to him since I left.

Dad not being here makes me even more nervous, I think I will not really believe it until he tells me that the baby or babies are perfectly normal and everything is going okay and normally with this pregnancy.  I know I am probably being stupid, but I can not help but think that with our luck, something will go or be wrong, because I'm letting a few things play on my mind that we were told before Crystal even became pregnant.

Not only do we have her chronic morning sickness to contend with, which is already causing problems and she is having to have IV fluids pumped into to her all the time. Crystal having poly cystic ovaries, we were told, that if she does get pregnant, there is a higher chance of a multiple pregnancy, miscarriage or early delivery and that is really playing on my mind and getting to me, because just even thinking about that happening makes me remember the grief that I felt when I was away and thought that the two babies that Honey was carrying never got a shot at life.  Even though we are lucky that Crystal did managed to get pregnant and a lot quicker than we expected, I am worried that this might be our only chance of having a baby of our own, a lot of women with her problems never managed it.  I also have the worry that the baby could have some of my medical problems.  I am not sure how I would mentally cope if anything actually went wrong with this pregnancy.

          "Magnolia Shine ... room two."

A nurse pokes her head out of a doorway, as she calls down the corridor, not really looking at anyone in particular.  I start laughing as I nudge Crystal who just remains sitting there, in her own little world, still rubbing her stomach.  She is oblivious and is not reacting to her own name being called out.  She frowns at me, wandering why I am now on my feet trying to pull her up out of her chair and laughing at her.

           "Come on, they have just called you!"  I laugh at her  "Magnolia Shine, didn't you hear the nurse calling you to room two!!"
           "I wish they would stop calling me that!!!"  she snaps as she stands up  "Can't you tell them my name is Crystal!!"
          "Unfortunately that is the name on your medical and birth records, we haven't got round to changing it yet, so that is the name they go with.  They don't know the story or that your name is Crystal."  I laugh at her
          "I told Sunny I didn't want the name Magnolia Crystal Shine, but he didn't listen!!" she grumbles.
          "I know because he thought that was the name his Mother had given you, he didn't know at the time that there were two of you and your sisters name is Magnolia and not yours."  I laugh at her still pouting.
          "Well I don't like it!!"  she grumbles
          "I will ask River, to help you get your name changed legally, again, if that is what you want."   I smile at her  "I think Crystal Orchid suits you better anyway!"

She smiles and nods her head as she grabs my hand, pulling me towards the room she has just been called into.  I laugh quietly, she did not react to me giving her the surname Orchid when she normally is so insistent that she only has one name, she is just Crystal.

Crystal frowns as we go through the doorway and questions where my Dad is and all I can do is shrug my shoulders because I do not have a clue.  We automatically both sit down on the chairs in front of her desk.

          "Before we start."  the doctor says from behind the notes that she has in her hand and is reading  "I will just let you know that we have had your test results back."  she smiles at us  "Neither of you have the defective gene that causes Albinism, so there is no chance that baby will be like Mom."  she looks at the notes in her hand again.  "So baby will be orange, yellow or a combination of both."  she frowns at me  "Your Mother's colour is purple isn't it Tapestry?"
           "Yes, she should be purple." 

I laugh as I tell her, amused that she knows my name and hasn't called me Storm, like most strangers do these days, her being a doctor that I can't remember seeing before.

          "So baby could be orange or yellow with a touch of purple."  she smiles at me.

Crystal smiles at me and neither of us say anything because really neither of us actually care what colour the baby turns out to be.  Yellow, orange or colourless, it does not really matter to us, especially not to me because I'm colourblind, I will never see what colour they are.

 We were not actually even bothered about having the test, but both Dad and River insisted we have the test done, and I am not really sure why.  I think that Poppy arriving with colourless hair and eyes has sparked them into trying to get to the root of the strange genetic oddities that are coming out in the combined Orchid and Shine babies in particular.  The only thing the results of the test has really done for us is struck the colourless names off our ever growing list that Crystal is creating of baby names.

The doctor moves a chair up close to the bed which is for me to sit on, as she tells Crystal to jump up onto the bed and pull her dress up to uncover her stomach.  I laugh at Crystal who still does not think about modesty most of the time ... forget just pulling her dress up a little, she whips it straight off and hands it to me, like I want it.  She lies there in just her underwear with a big grin on her face. 

While the doctor is pulling the machine close to the bed she smiles awkwardly at me a few times.  I laugh to myself ... forget my career, I have always been famous in this place amongst the staff, even those that I don't know, they all seem to know me and the story surrounding my birth.  I am the little one who was never supposed to make it, who nearly twenty years later has STILL got baby pictures stuck on the wall in the baby unit, and they never let me forget it.

          "I was expecting Dr Muffin to be with you."  she smiles at me  "I bumped into him and Dr Rock not too long ago in the coffee shop and he said he would be joining you for this appointment."
         "I was expecting him too, I am not sure where he is.  I think he might have been held up with something work related, that is usually the only reason why he is ever late for anything."  I smile at her and she laughs quietly.

  "Okay Crystal .... this might be a little cold."  she smiles at Crystal.

I am a little confused by her actually calling Crystal by her proper name, instead of  Magnolia.  I chuckle to myself remembering that Crystal now is probably as famous as I am.  Not only does the world see pictures of her with me all the time, but she caused her own stir doing the wedding dress modelling job, the pictures of which are always popping up everywhere. 

Crystal giggles as she squirts what looks like jelly out of a tube all over her stomach.  Then she moves away from Crystal for a moment and over to the door where she dims the lights a little.  She starts to run the scanning object over her stomach, a little quickly at first, spreading the jelly around, then she slows down and starts to watch the screen.

I can not really see the screen from where I am sitting very well, and when the doctor stands in front of the monitor as she is watching it, she turns it slightly away from me, which block my view completely of what little bit I could see.  I glance at Crystal and she is looking at me so we smile at each other, I do not think she can actually see the screen either.

          "What is happening?"  Crystal asks me and I shrug my shoulders.  I think that the doctor must have thought that Crystal was speaking to her.
          "I will just have a good look around, then I will show you and discuss what I have found."  she smiles in our direction  "If I am quiet, there is nothing to worry about, it is just because I need to concentrate and take a thorough look at everything, with it being babies first scan."

Me and Crystal, at the same time, pull a face at each other which makes her start giggling.  The doctor asks Crystal to stay as still as she can.

          "We do not need colourless names any more."  her lips curl downwards  "What about my favourite name!!" she whines.

She lies there really pouting, doing a Vanilla impersonation which makes me laugh at her.

It was maybe a little premature but Crystal started to throw different names around virtually straight away.  We have a list of orange, yellow and colourless names that we like for both boys and girls, obviously not knowing the sex of the baby yet.  One name in particular Crystal has been obsessing over, and it is a name in the colourless list for a girl.

          "You know I don't suppose it really matters!!  If it is a girl you could still have that name whatever colour she is, if you really want it.  It is more than likely she will have our colourless eyes just like Vanilla, Poppy, and all the rest of us."  I grin at her  "And who says we have to have a matching colour name - who says we have to be normal, and like everyone else!!"
          "Yeah right, Coral and Straw already call us enough names - stupid, retard and idiot being their favourites.  So can you just imagine what they would say if we gave an orange or yellow baby a white name."  she pulls an I don't know expression
         "Seriously I've told you to ignore those two bitches, they only throw so much at us because they are jealous of us and our life!!  Even with a half a brain I'm happier and doing much better than they are, while they are miserable and both making a total mess of their own lives!!"  I smile at her  "I don't care what anyone has to say, especially not those two, because I've had their shit thrown at me all my life, I'm numb to it!!"  I laugh  "Besides I am colourblind, you could always blame me, we have the perfect excuse!  I don't know what colour most things are."  I grin at her
         "You don't care because you just love to stir up trouble and be rebellious!"  she giggles at me
         "Can you only get it in white?"  I laugh at her
          "No!"  A huge grin suddenly washes across her face  "Actually It does come in any colour you want ... but it suits a colourless person better.!"
          "Well then, it is not a problem is it if it comes in yellow and orange!!  If you want that name you can have it. I actually quite like it!!"

           "Yeah, and you know what is going to happen now don't you Tap!!"  her face twists up  "She is going to tell us in a minute that the baby is a boy!!"  she starts laughing.
           "Didn't Dad say it is too early to say what sex the baby is on the first scan?"  I frown at Crystal
           "Yeah."  she mumbles

I glance at the doctor wandering what is taking so long.  She seems to be taking forever to say anything, she did not even react to what I just said to Crystal.  The doctor is stood very close to the screen and seems to be really concentrating.  I watch her hand, she is hardly moving the scan thing, she is keeping it sat in one place for ages before she moves it slightly to another position.

          "Excuse me."  I say quite loudly  "Is everything okay with the baby?"  I ask, my nerves are jangling and I am not sure that I can take much more of her silence.
         "Yes perfectly fine!!"  she glances quickly in our direction and smiles before turning back to the monitor  "I will not be too much longer now!!"

The door opens quickly and suddenly, which makes me jump.  I am relieved to see Dad walk in, he looks a little flustered and out of breath like he has been running.  He smiles at me and Crystal.

         "I'm sorry I'm late!!  I was unavoidably held up with something up in Neurology!!"  he mumbles as he looks sheepishly in my direction.
         "Is Forrest still okay?"  I ask wandering what might have held him up seeing as he is not supposed to be at work today.
         "Yeah Forrest is fine."  he smiles at me  "Bay threw a bit of a wobble, and Caramel had a bit of a turn, but I'll tell you about it all later."
         "I am glad you manage to join us Dr Muffin."  the doctor smiles at Dad

          "I expected you to be finished by now Dr Lynx."
          "Unfortunately we are running a little late with all the appointments today Dr Muffin."  she glances over her shoulder to look at Dad 
          "So where are we?"  Dad smiles at the other doctor
          "I was actually just about to page you, but you have just saved me the trouble."
          "Everything is okay isn't it?"  Dad suddenly looks concerned.
          "Amazingly yes!!"  she smiles at Dad as he makes his way round the bed to the monitor  "I need you to take a look.  This one is definitely a first for this hospital.  We have had monozygotic only once before, but never twice in one shot!!  It's amazing!!"

They are both quiet for a moment and they look at the monitor, I am watching the expressions on Dad's face, and when his mouth drops open and he looks shocked .... I am starting to feel very scared!!

         "Yeah, the Shine twins, who are actually Crystal's Nephews!"  Dad starts really laughing  "It obviously runs strongly in the Shine family genes, her brother is also a monozygotic twin, and we suspect Crystal could possibly be one herself, with both babies being colourless and girls, but unfortunately her twin faded during childbirth, and the pregnancy was undocumented, so we will never know for sure."  he continues to laugh  "Twins and Triplets run strong on the Orchid side too, so I really shouldn't be surprised by this, but I'm actually gob smacked!!  Oh Berry!!  My Special Little Soldier is continuing to defy the odds!!"

Both Dad and the other doctor stand laughing at each other for a moment.  I am pretty annoyed that he has just called me that, Special Little Soldier being one of the few nicknames that he has for me that I hate.

          "Dad do you have to?!  You know I hate that name."
          "Don't worry Tap ... Dr Lynx here was around when you was born.  She was actually the doctor in charge of the special care baby unit at the time, so she had just as many sleepless nights with you as I did ... "  he laughs quietly  "... and Little Soldier is what we all called you until I actually gave you a name."
         "What is going on with the baby?"
         "I will be explaining everything to you soon .. I just need to have a good check of everything ... with this pregnancy not quite being normal."  he mumbles as he now concentrating on the monitor again. 

And here we go again!!  We have to now sit and wait again for Dad to do what Dr Lynx has already done and taken her time over!!

Me and Crystal just stare worryingly at each other.  Crystal's face is starting to mirror how I am feeling ... confused, scared, nervous!!  Even thought the doctor has said that everything is okay, why is she staying tight lipped and not telling us anything.  Why does she need Dad to take a look?  Why are they laughing? What is not normal? What is a first?  Monozygotic I have heard that word before but I can not quite think where or when, because my head is now in a tizzy, it is actually starting to hurt.

The Doctor and Dad have their heads together in front of the monitor and are mumbling away quietly to each other, non of it I can hear properly.

           "Just give me two more minutes Tapestry, to check this out and I will be with you."  he says without taking his eyes off he screen.

Finally after what feels like forever, he turns round to face us.

          "Oh Tapestry ... only you could!!"  he starts almost howling with laughter at me.  At first quietly then he almost gets hysterical, which is really starting to annoy me.
          "DAD!!  Just tell us what is going on, we are sick of waiting!!"  I snap at him  "What is wrong because I know something is!!"
          "There is nothing wrong exactly."  he laughs  "But I guess you might not see it that way, it all depends on how many children you want exactly."
          "Dad my head is going into outburst mode, just spit it out!!"  I snap at him angrily as I jump up out of my chair.  "And yes I have taken my medication before you even ask."  his face drops and he starts to look serious.
          "I'm sorry!!  You had better sit down Tap."  he points at the chair and smiles at me.  "The babies are perfectly fine, perfectly normal, and there is absolutely nothing wrong, so there is no need for you to get upset or panic!!"  I sit down on the chair.  "The only thing you need to worry about right now, is just how many babies there are.  It has taken a while longer because we have found more babies than we bargained for!!"

         "How many?"

Dad starts to really laugh .... I didn't hear that right did I!?

          "How many?"  I repeat my question
          "FOUR." he repeats again

I just sit there in numb shock, I feel like I've just been hit by a ten tonne truck


I can feel the colour draining from my face as the number FOUR keeps bouncing around painfully in my head.

         "Oh fudge Tap!!  Do you ever do anything normally?!"  Dad is having a fit of laughter  "Berry help you two that is all I am saying!!" he continues to laugh  "I think it is safe to say, from now on you two ARE taking precautions!!!"  his laughter starts to get louder
         "Ha ha! Dad very funny!!"  is all I can mumble.  Since he said the number four my head and face has been frozen rigid with shock, I can hardly think or talk!!  "So you are telling me there are ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR babies in there?!"  I point at Crystals stomach.
         "Yes Four.  You are having Quads."  he laughs "But not just any old quads!!  Two sets of identical twins, like Carmine and Maize!!"  he continues to laugh  "So telling them apart is going to be a total nightmare and you are having double trouble!!"

Me and Crystal are just staring at each other wide eyed while Dad is still laughing.  I think I am in total shock like Crystal, who hasn't even spoken yet.  I can't help but think that there is NOT room for four babies inside Crystal's stick thin body,  Scarlet is having one baby and she is huge ... Crystal with four babies is going to explode!!

We have only really talked about one or two ... but four, that is just ridiculous!!  How the hell are we going to cope with FOUR babies on top of the two we have already got, and all our Neices and Nephews that we have constantly to baby sit.

  "How the hell can there be FOUR?!"  I mumble

          "There are quite a few reasons - multiple pregnancies are running high on both the Orchid and Shine side, there is only Mosaic and Mulberry who have managed to have a single baby so far, and of course Cotton, but we have two sets of triplets, berry knows how many sets of twins."  he smiles for a moment  "Then we have Crystals poly cystic ovaries, when her ovaries release eggs, it is not just one at a time, combined with the fertility treatment ... so you have managed to go one better than everyone else and created four."  he starts to laugh quite enthusiastically again  "You are actually lucky there are not more than four because of the fertility treatment!"
          "I feel sick!!"  I say as I put my head in my hands and look down at the floor. Dad starts to flap thinking that I am about to throw up all over the floor and he shoves a cardboard sick bowl in my face.  "No, not that sick ... mentally sick!!"

Dad laughs quietly as he removes the sick bowl from my vision.  I am amused when Crystal snatches it off him and promptly throws up in it.

         "Are you sure you have taken your medication today!"  Dad mumbles
         "Of course I am sure!!"  I snap at him  "Quit going on, or you are going to set me off!"

There is an awkward silence as my Dad  just stands watching me nervously, I've now got my head in my hands again and I'm starting to rock in the chair.

         "Do you mind if I take over from here Dr Lynx?"  Dad says to the other doctor  "You already know my Son has ADHD, and it might take him a while to get his head around this.  I think he needs to take some time out, to get over the shock, so we can try and avoid one of his emotional outbursts."  he smiles at her  "We will get out of your hair and you can get on with your next patient, seeing as you are running late.  I'll run through the rest of this scan with them in another room, when he's calmed himself down a little."
        "Yes fine!"  the doctor smiles at Dad as she hands the folder of notes to him.  "But you are not snagging this case Dr Muffin ... this one is mine!!"  she grins at Dad who just laughs and holds his hands up.

The doctor hands Crystal a load of paper towel and tells her to jump off the coach and clean herself up.  Crystal straight away starts to moan that she has not seen the baby - babies, I am a little miffed too in all of the palava we only get told there are four babies but do not get to see the babies or scan pictures, which I was expecting.  Dad tells Crystal that we are moving her to another room and he will do another scan and run through everything with us, so she will get her scan pictures.

As soon as we get outside in the corridor, he tells us to sit down for a moment then goes over to the main desk and starts to talk with the two doctors, nurses, receptionists, whatever they are.  When he is finished he walks back over to us and he pulls out his phone.

          "River are you busy? I could do with a hand." he mumbles into the phone  "How long is that going to take?"  I am amused for a second by the faces that Dad always pulls when he is talking on the phone  "Okay well meet me up in maternity in half an hour."  he listens  "Yes maternity, have I got something to show you!!"  he laughs  "Not saying, you can wait until you get here!!"

Dad wanders back over to the desk, speaks to the doctors again then signals for us to follow him.  He tells us that he wants to wait for River, so we go down to the coffee shop to kill some time and give me a chance to calm down a little.  All the way there he is constantly chuckling to himself while me and Crystal follow him holding hands, both still stunned into silence.  I am seriously struggling to take in how there can be four babies growing in Crystals stomach.

I sit down at a table in the coffee shop, while I watch Crystal and Dad go to the counter to buy drinks.  They are nattering to each other, and both of them keep glancing in my direction, so I can guess what they are discussing - me and if I am going to blow.  I watch Dad as he watches me nervously, I think he is waiting for me to blow.  I am wandering if that is why he phoned River, for back up, he knows that River has more of a chance of calming me down and stopping the inevitable explosion.  River can also deal with me better if I do blow, Dad just makes me worse.

I am highly amused when Dad puts a mug of coffee down in front of me that looks, stronger than normal ... I suspect it has quite a few extra shots in it.  I can see what he is doing, even though he doesn't like me drinking coffee as a rule, he has learned at least one lesson from River, that coffee does help to keep me calm.  I think he knows that I am struggling with this and that my head could blow, as it is I am fighting it ... the very last thing I want to do is be having an outburst here in the hospital and upsetting Crystal.

What I really need now is a cigarette, but doubt that I have any.  When I check , I feel the packet in my pocket, I am glad that I have not thrown them into the bedside cupboard since I returned from Rainbow Valley.  I go to get up, but Dad stops me.

          "Tap, I need you to do me a favour."  he mumbles  "I need you to help me keep an eye on Bay."
          "Why, what's wrong with him?"

          "He's a little upset ..."
          "Is he not happy about Forrest being his Dad."
          "No, well at least me and Granite don't think that is the reason why he is so upset.  He's gotten himself worked up into a tizzy, he's cracking up like he did when Slate was on life support."  he smiles at me  "We think he is just concerned about Forrest being okay more than anything.  He watched Forrest have a few seizures and it freaked him out a little, I think it reminded him of seeing Slate doing it, and we have tried to reassure him that Forrest's condition is no where near as severe as Slate was, but I'm not sure he's taking it in."
           "What do you expect me to do?"  I frown at him
           "Just be there and talk to him ... even if you let him talk and you just listen.  He is not going to open up and talk to me and Granite like he would talk to one of his mates, and we know he confides in you in particular."
          "I'll go and see him after."  I smile at Dad
          "So how are you feeling now?"
          "Fine!"  I snap  "Or I will be if you leave me alone and stop fussing!!"

I see him roll his eyes as him and Crystal exchange a look.  Suddenly I realise what he was just doing - he was trying to distract me away from the babies, by talking about Bay.

I sit quietly from then on just listening to Dad and Crystal ramble on, they seem to be avoiding the FOUR babies subject, as they start to talk about Snow and his speach therapy.   A lot of what they are saying is not even registering with my brain, my mind has now gone back to those four babies, both of their voices are just an irritating mumble in my head.  I don't take any part in their conversation, I'm just sat with my head in my hands, and I let my mind drift off into my inattentive world as I drink my coffee.

When we get back up to maternity River is waiting for us.

          "What's going on?"  River looks concerned  "I thought your scan was earlier."  he frowns at me
          "Dr Lynx didn't get to finish the first scan because Tap needed time out, he got a little overwhelmed."  Dad mumbles as he smiles at River.

Dad ushers us all into a different room than we were in before.  Crystal goes through the rigmarole of  removing her clothes and having the jelly squirted on her stomach but a lot quicker this time.  River keeps frowning at me, probably because all I am doing is staring at him blankly.  I now feel like I'm in a daze.

          "Dad, is there something wrong?"
          "Yes and no, depending on how you look at it."  he laughs at River  "Here you take a look!" 

Dad laughs and winks at me as River steps up to the monitor and stands there concentrating.

Dad is moving the scan thing around on Crystals stomach and grinning like a Cheshire cat, this makes me laugh a little.  River glances in our direction for a second then he goes back to the screen.  They seem to be stood there for ages

          "FUDGE!!"  he stares at Dad wide eyes  "Am I going mad or have you just shown me four different puppies?"
          "Yes!"  he laughs  "Your little brother doesn't do things by halves you should know that!!"  they both start laughing at each other  "Quads it is!!  But look closely River."

 Dad points something out to him on the screen that River squints at.

          "Oh Berry!!  There are only two placenta's!!"  he frowns at Dad  "They are not fused are they?"
          "No, both sets are mono amniotic" Dad is now smirking
          "Oh fudge!! So they are definitely going to be two sets of identical twins!!"  River stares at me wide eyed then starts howling.  "Oh Tap you are killing me!!" he laughs at me before turning back to Dad  "How much fun are we going to have telling them apart!!"
          "A lot of fun ... with them being mono, there is only one way when they are older, if one is left and the other right handed."  he laughs  "We are going to have to make them name badges, although that is not going to help Tapestry very much is it!!"
           "What are the odds on this happening Dad?"  River laughs
           "1 in 70 million or there abouts according to Dr Lynx."  he grins at River  "One set is rare enough, but two at the same time, it is practically unheard of .... I get the feeling this might attract a lot of attention, especially from the medical world due to his own start in life, even though Crystal is probably the reason why they are Monozygotic,  and their fame might be growing for a whole different reason, especially if they prove your theory right!!"
            "The defective gene?" River raises his eyebrows
            "Neither of them have it ... so these four might just prove your theory right River, because Tapestry and Crystal are the perfect pair to do it.!"

Dad and River are suddenly falling about with laughter, the last part of their conversation I really didn't understand.  Me and Crystal just stare at each other, I think she has still not gotten over the shock of the four babies, like I haven't.  I am not really sure why they are finding this all so funny, when I wish this wasn't happening ... just two babies would have been more than enough!!

After their initial excitement they calm down and start to get more serious.  FINALLY we get to see the babies.  I stare numbly at the screen as Dad is slowly showing us each different baby, pointing out their heads, arms and legs.  He is happy that they are all the same size, and look health, they have all the right bits and nothing is missing.  I can't help but keep glancing at River, he suddenly has a concerned expression on his face as he keeps rubbing his neck, which means he is stressing over something, which in turn starts to stress me out even more.

           "Can you tell if they are boys or girls?"  Crystal asks
           "It is too early to tell yet, we will not be able to tell for definite until they have grown a little more."  Dad smiles at us.  "As they are two sets of identical twins, each set will be the same sex, so it will either be four boys, four girls or two girls and two boys.  Hopefully we will have a better idea on your next scan."

Dad prints off some scan pictures and hands them to me, because I think I am the closest, as Crystal is now over the other side of the room cleaning the gel off herself and getting dressed.  I just stare at the pictures in my hand and feel totally numb with shock.

At this point, my head goes into my hands again, after seeing the four different babies makes this even more real, and my head is really starting to hurt.  I am not even twenty yet ... how can I suddenly have seven children - six of my own and Snow ... it's ridiculous!!

I notice River and Dad stood together mumbling, as they are both keeping a beady eye on me, but I don't watch them for long because Crystal suddenly bursts into hyperactive mode as she starts to get excited, which doesn't help me.   Out comes her phone and she starts squealing as she is talking to my Mother.

I can feel a sudden panic building up in me and what I really want to do is run.

 A hand containing one of those little pills and a glass of water appear in front of me.  When I look up River is crouching down in front of me.

          "Here take this.  It will help take the edge off."  River mumbles.

 I don't argue I just take it.

          "How the hell is Crystal supposed to have FOUR babies?"  I mumble
          "She will have to have a C Section .... but don't worry about all that now."  he smiles at me
          "What were you getting stressed over while Dad was showing us the babies?"  I frown at him  "Please don't fob me off like Dad will ... Four babies is going to make this pregnancy risky and complicated isn't it, especially if this chronic sickness doesn't stop."
          "Yes ... "  he mumbles quietly  "... but now is not the time to be filling your head with extra worries!  I can see you are struggling, and honestly I don't blame you, if I was in your shoes right now I'd be totally shocked by four babies all at once, so I will talk everything through with you when you are a little calmer."  he smiles at me 
          "Can we go home now."  Crystal is laughing as she closes her phone.  She has now finished talking to my Mom.  "I want to show Mom and Lilly the baby pictures - I don't think they believe me."

I stare at Crystal jumping around like an excited child, which makes me close my eyes, especially when I hear Dad telling her she needs to calm herself down and start to take extra care of herself, because she is carrying four babies, which is not like having just one.

         "I need to get out of here ... "  I mumble
         "I'll take Crystal home out of your hair, I can see she isn't helping."  River laughs quietly  "Why don't you take yourself off out for a walk and get some fresh air."
         "I'm going up to see Bay and Forrest."

I jump up off my chair and start to walk quickly out of the room.  Before I even get to the door Dad is trying to stop me.

          "Tapestry!"  Dad shouts me
          "Dad just leave him, let him go!!"  River snaps at him

         "Yeah .. just leave me!!"

I yell at Dad as I run out of the room.


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