“Are you kidding? Of course we did! That lady was hilarious, there was no way we weren’t giving her money.” Bree got out of her chair and tried to recreate the dance for us.
Chase laughed and again that weird feeling happened. I froze again, and glanced down before taking quick glances at everyone else. I don’t know why I’d think they would be aware of whatever was going on inside me, but no one was looking my way. I was staring at my rounding stomach and only partially paying attention to what Robert was saying. As soon as Chase started talking, there were two somethings and I gasped, reaching out for Chase.
“You okay?” They all said at once.
“Say something Chase.” I whispered, eyes still glued to my shirt.
He leaned close, trying to look at my face, “Sweetie, what’s wrong?”
I sucked in a deep breath and started laughing, “He’s kicking! He’s kicking whenever you talk!”
Chase fell out of his chair and to his knees, his hands covering my stomach. He leaned close to my belly and started talking slowly to him. I felt another kick just as Chase’s head shot back, his eyes wide, “Oh my God!” His face instantly went back to my stomach and he continued to talk and laugh whenever he felt the nudge.
Everyone took their turns with their hands on my stomach, and by the time Chase went back to having his hands on me, there was only one more kick. “I think he rolled over.” I don’t know why I was whispering, but Chase had been the only one talking, and his voice had been so low it felt weird to break that silence. “That was incredible!” I laughed as Chase stood up to kiss me long and slow.
“My thoughts exactly.” He whispered and went back to kissing me.
When we told Dr. Lowdry about that the next morning, she raised her eyebrow. “Wait, you’re saying everyone else felt it too?”
“Yes.” We said together, still smiling.
“I’m sorry, I guess I just hadn’t realized that at first. Harper, normally moms feel the baby move around fifteen weeks, but for first time mothers it’s normal not to feel anything until you’re twenty weeks. Which is how far along you are, correct?” I nodded and she continued, “So you’re right on track with that, but normally no one else can feel it for another two and a half weeks, at the earliest.”
“Huh.” I glanced to Chase, then back to her, “Is that a bad thing?”
“No, no. Definitely not bad, it’s just a little early is all. Let’s have an ultrasound and get the measurements.” When we were in the room she took the measurements, then took them again, “Your baby is about nineteen centimeters, well closer to twenty.”
“Okay?” I had no idea if that was normal or not.
“Usually he would only be around eighteen right now, so it looks like he’s developing pretty quickly. Almost two weeks ahead of where he should be.” Dr. Lowdry went to her computer and checked some things, “He was right where he should have been at your last visit.” She said mostly to herself.
“I’m not trying to be rude,” Chase was gripping my hand, “but you’re kind of scaring me. Is it a bad thing that he’s developing quicker than most babies?”
“No, I don’t want you to think that. He’s perfectly healthy, all this means is there’s a possibility that Harper won’t make it to her due date. I’m not worried about her delivering too early, but we’ll just continue to monitor his growth. At most, I’ll have to put her on bedrest in a couple months or she’ll go into labor a few weeks early, which also wouldn’t be bad, as long as he’s fully developed. At least, she’ll make it to her due date and have a big baby. Either way, there’s nothing to be worried about.”
We both breathed sighs of relief, thanked her and took our new pictures back to Mom and Dad’s. We looked at the baby names book for a little bit, but decided to close it. We still had ten names that we liked, but Chase said he wanted to wait until he was born to decide on the names. I watched a movie in his arms until Chase had to go into the shop, so I left to go pick up dinner for everyone. Chase wasn’t expected home until two or so in the morning, so after dinner I hung out with Bree, Mom and Dad for a while and fell asleep well before Chase even got off work.
Graduation was this Sunday, so as a good bye to everyone, the guys were throwing one last huge party at Chase’s house Friday night. Chase told me he’d stay at his parent’s house with me since I wasn’t planning on going, but I practically kicked him out, telling him it was the last time to really be with all the guys before everyone moved back home. Bree had been a little easier to get out, since she was planning on spending the entire weekend with Konrad before he moved back to Oregon, but still whined when I refused to go with them. Thankfully, Mom completely understood why I wanted to stay away, and supported my decision to make them go. I mean, it’s a little trashy for a five and a half month pregnant teenager to go to a party where everyone was wasted and playing drinking games. I knew if I had gone, Chase and Bree would constantly be at my side to make sure I was fine, and I wanted them to enjoy this. Once they were all gone, Mom, Dad and I ordered Mexican food and piled onto the couch to watch movies and feel my gummy bear dance around and kick the crap out of me. Normally we couldn’t make him move unless Chase was talking to my swollen belly, and even then he mostly just rolled now. But Mexican food was the sure way to make my boy dance. Over the last two weeks, the kicks had become stronger, and there were only a few times when other people couldn’t feel him too. The second movie had just ended when Bree texted me.
Breanna – ‘Umm…that girl that Chase works with…what’s her name Trick, Trixie, Tramp?’
Me – ‘LOL! Trish…what about her?’
Breanna – ‘She just showed up.’
Me – ‘Ugh. Seriously? I can’t stand her. Why is she at a college party anyway? Wait, who invited her?’
Breanna – ‘My thoughts exactly. I’m guessing Chase did.’
Me – ‘Aces. Well keep an eye on her, let me know. Skank.’
Breanna – ‘Will do friend! You can always still come over…?’
Me – ‘Nah, I’m about to go to bed. Besides, I don’t want Chase to think I don’t trust him, because I do. I just don’t trust her.’
Breanna – ‘Kay, I’ll let you know if something goes down. Night love you’
Me – ‘Love you too, thanks.’
It bothered me more than I wanted it to, but I wasn’t about to ask Chase why she was there. It’s not like the parties were exclusive to SDSU, but I’m pretty sure he said she was twenty eight, and he knows I don’t like her. Like I said, I wasn’t one of those girlfriends who didn’t allow him to have female friends, because he definitely had plenty, but they all knew we were together, and none of them ever flirted with him after our pregnancy announcement. Trish obviously didn’t care that he was taken or about to have a baby with me. She’d text him in the middle of the night for no reason, the few times I’d been to the shop since first meeting her, she was always still in his section laughing and touching his arm, even if she had clients waiting. And let’s not forget how she asked him almost daily to come to her place after the shop closed for a late dinner – Chase said no every time – or all her new tattoos that she’d only let Chase do. Chase said she was just like one of the guys, but I’m female, I was now positive she wasn’t g*y and knew what she was doing, and it pissed me off.
I barely slept that night. Despite telling me he would, Chase didn’t come home, which meant I couldn’t get comfortable without his arms around me, I hadn’t heard from him and Chase. Didn’t. Come. Home. Not like he never stays at his house anymore, it is his house after all, but almost every night we fall asleep in the same bed whether it’s here or there. Thankfully most nights was here since I still don’t feel comfortable flaunting my relationship with Chase in front of Brandon. But we still ended up there and the few times we did were carefully coordinated so we wouldn’t run into him.
I continued to tell myself that Chase probably decided to actually drink last night since it was his last party with those guys, and to be happy that he didn’t drive drunk. And it’s not like I need him to give me a full report when we’re apart, but this time I knew Trish was at that party, and that is what really bothered me. At least Bree didn’t text me again, which meant nothing happened, but that just didn’t seem to matter to me right now. I had already taken a shower, gotten ready for the day, made breakfast and was currently going through the baby names book with a different colored highlighter to narrow down the names even more, and it was only seven. I breathed a sigh of relief and scolded myself for acting paranoid when Chase texted me.
Chase – ‘Hey beautiful, come by the house, I have a surprise for you.’
Me – ‘Surprise? Really now.’
Chase – ‘;-) Yep, see you soon.’
I frowned at the screen. Chase never did smiley faces. I shook my head…paranoid, absolutely paranoid. I needed to cool it, or I was going to drive myself crazy. Grabbing my keys and hopping into my Expedition, I drove to his house trying to figure out what the surprise was, and why he was up so dang early. I tried to remain quiet so I could sneak into his room without waking up anyone, but Brandon’s husky voice caught me.
“Hey Harper, where were you last night?”
I turned to see him sitting on the kitchen counter, coffee mug in hand. My heart dropped when I looked into his gray eyes. I wanted to curl up in his arms and take back the last five months. “Uh, thought it’d be a little awkward considering.” I waved a hand over my stomach.
“Oh, yeah.” His eyes stayed glued to my small round belly, “Yeah, I guess. How is that going?”
“It’s good.” I said softly, watching his face carefully while I said the next words, “It’s going to be a boy.”
One of the days when we were in Arizona for Christmas, I had been in the kitchen with his mom cooking barefoot. Brandon started teasing that all I needed now was to be pregnant, and it would be a perfect picture. I had thrown an oven mitt at him, which he dodged and brought back over to me, wrapping his arms around me and kissing my neck. He promised he’d been joking but said whenever we did have kids, he wanted a boy to name him after his dad. I hadn’t been ready to talk about marriage with him at that point, but in the joyful mood of that day I had laughed and promised to pop out a boy for him ASAP. Even through the laughing, he got a wide smile and his eyes sparkled. My heart squeezed at that memory.
He blew out heavily and closed his eyes, probably remembering that day too. “That’s uh, that’s great Harper. I’m happy for you.”
My little gummy bear turned over and delivered a sharp and painful kick. I gasped and my hand flew to my stomach, I hadn’t had one that hurt until then.
Brandon jumped off the counter and rushed to me, “Are you okay? What happened?”
I laughed and waved him off, “I’m fine. He just kicked me, it hurt a little and caught me by surprise.”
“I didn’t think they could kick that hard yet.”
I tilted my head and smiled at him, I wasn’t sure how he knew that it was still early. “Yeah, well the Doctor said it isn’t incredibly common for the baby to move this much yet, but she figured since he’s still so healthy and a little on the big side already that it was fine, and he would most likely come early. How did you know that though?”
He smiled sheepishly and ducked his head, it was such a strange thing to see on a man that looked like him, “I’ve been looking it up.”