Final chapter (epilogue next!!!)
Chapter 1: [SS: Writer’s Block]
Chapter 31: [SS: Almost Done]
I kick Jiyong out of the bed in the middle of the night. I grunt as he tries to figure out what is happening.
I know what is. And it’s painful. But for now it comes and goes.
“Cat?” Jiyong holds my hand until I pass out of the pain. “Is it…?” Why does he sound terrified?
I exhale and sit up. Sleep won’t be easy if this happens. “Contractions.”
“The doctor said…”
“I know. To expect them. Remember to breathe.”
Jiyong exhales. “I think I forgot.”
I laugh. “You don’t need to worry about breathing. The pressure of breathing will help the baby escape.”
“Escape…” Jiyong looks terrified now.
“It’s fine. We have time.”
“Are you sure?”
I stare at him. As if he didn’t listen to the doctor explain things. “Labor is never a five minute thing.”
“Right.” Jiyong rushes about the room. I have a bag ready to go. It’s middle of the night, but we have the emergency number for Doctor Kim. We’ll be sent to the hospital and she’ll make sure everything is perfect.
I force myself to pause and relax. Contractions aren’t close. I’m fine. Everything is fine.
“Mom?” Kevin wears pajamas while I get my shoes on. “Everything okay?”
“Baby. Coming. Escape. I…” Jiyong rushes back into the bedroom.
I laugh at him. For like five seconds before another contraction hits. Plenty of time between though. I come back to awareness with Kevin hovering next to me. “Contractions. We’re going to the hospital. It’s fine. Everything is going as it should.”
“Be safe.” Kevin looks nervous. Jiyong freaking out is probably causing that. I’m calm over it. Or in pain. This is normal.
“You’ll know the moment they’re born. We’ll do a video chat. Can you listen when Halmoni comes to get you?”
“Sure. Of course. I would be fine by myself.”
“I’d rather you stay with her. We’ll call in about you being sick today.” I offer him a smile.
“I’d rather go in.” Kevin fidgets. “I’m not confident with…”
“Okay. Just realize, you may miss the first video.”
Kevin nods. “It’s fine. I’ll have lots of time. After hopefully after classes end, I’ll visit you at the hospital.”
I pat his head. “You know what to do. I’ll give word to them.” I offer Kevin a light kiss before moving to the door. Jiyong has the bags we need. I hope he is safe to drive. He looks frazzled. “Do we need to call a driver?”
“No. I got it. It’s fine. I’m a safe driver.” Jiyong helps me leave. He doesn’t look calm. But it’s middle of the night. We should be safe because of that.
Spending hours in a hospital room… Just waiting… It’s annoying. Natural childbirth hurts to a level few things ever reach. And I’m going without medicine. Because I can’t say if I’m allergic or not. Safer to not give me something that may lead to complications.
“They’re coming faster now.” Jiyong checks his phone’s timer. We’re timing the contractions. Because that’s how we know how close we are. I’ve napped most of the time. Jiyong hasn’t. He’s mostly paced the room and called everyone on his contact list.
“It’s fine.” I yawn. I glance at the clock. Kevin should be done with classes. The baby waited for him. “Some people have several days in labor.”
Jiyong’s jaw drops. We did chat over this with the doctor. He needs to stop acting like it’s strange. “But…”
“It’ll be fast overall once it truly starts.”
“I’m gonna call Mom again.” Jiyong dials the number. I get to overhear about Kevin making it there. He’ll be safe in that house. I flinch as another contraction rolls through me. It’s close enough calling the doctor may be our next call.
Doctor Kim walks in as I think of calling her. “How is it?”
I listen to Jiyong’s freak out. He did state the timing. How close I am. I must be close. It’s adorable how much Jiyong looks ready to pass out.
“At least you look like you’re fine.” Doctor Kim tests my forehead. “Color’s good. You had oxygen during Kevin’s labor, right?”
I nod. “I don’t remember much of it. I can feel everything this time. There’s comfort in the pain.”
“The pain that’s making you lose sight.” Kim knows where my pain scale is. I only nod. “I’m glad. You seem calm. Ready for the next part?”
I exhale. “I hope so.”
“Let me double check things. It’s about time to press the baby into the real world.”
“Looking forward to it.” I manage to get out before another contraction hits me. They’re close enough.
“Remember to breathe.” Jiyong holds my hand. His comfort helps. “Focus on breathing.”
I look at him. He looks pale. “You better remember to breathe too. You’re going to get the child first. Don’t lose that option.”
“Yeah.” Jiyong looks half ready to pass out. “Thank you for this.”
I stare at him. “I think I need to thank you. I wasn’t expecting another chance at motherhood. I assumed as much as I wanted it, a child-” The contraction hits me denying me the words.
The conversation doesn’t continue. It’s forgotten as the doctor brings in support. The contractions are close. I’m dialated enough. Everything is ready for the next Kwon to enter the world.
I can’t believe this is my world.
You love it, right? Epilogue is icing, pure icing.
Chapter Epilogue: [SS: Epilogue : First Picture]