Two days later Leah and Charlotte went home.
During the night little Charlotte started to cry. Jimmy got up and took her out of the room and gave her a bottle while Leah slept. She turned over and found Jimmy missing. She got out of bed and went downstairs to look for him. She heard him talking to Charlotte in the kitchen.
"Here you go sweetie." Jimmy said giving Charlotte her bottle.
"That's my girl." He kissed her on the head.
She peeked in on them and watched him feed Charlotte. She watched for a while then they both made eye contact.
"Hi." She whispered walking in.
"Sorry if we woke you." Jimmy said looking at her.
"That's ok. I'm sorry that I didn't get up." She said sitting next to them.
"Don't worry about it. This gives me a chance to bond with her." He whispered.
"She's so beautiful Jimmy."
"She is isn't she?" He smiled at Leah.
Charlotte then drifted off to sleep. Leah put away her bottle while Jimmy carried her back upstairs to bed. He came back down and found Leah asleep at the kitchen table.
"Honey let's go back to bed." He whispered.
When she woke up she looked at the time and it said 11am. She got up to check on Charlotte and noticed she was gone again. She put on her bathrobe and went downstairs. When she got downstairs she heard voices coming out of the kitchen. She walked in and saw her sister.
"Tay! When did you get in?"
"Two hours ago."
"Two hours ago? I thought you got in last night?" Leah asked sitting down.
"I did. I stayed with Rocky." She said.
Three weeks later everyone noticed that Leah was upset. Every time they asked her what was wrong she either started to cry or she would say nothing was wrong.
"Leah why don't you rest up today while Tay and I take Charlotte out for a walk around the neighborhood." Jimmy said looking at her.
"Sure." She said getting up and leaving.
She went back upstairs to her bedroom. She sat on the bed and started to cry. Jimmy walked in on her.
"Honey what's wrong?" He asked walking over to her.
"Nothing." She got up and went into the bathroom.
He walked into the bathroom as she was running the shower.
"Honey please tell me what's wrong? You haven't been yourself lately."
"I thought today I would get a chance to spend time with Charlotte. But NO! You and Tay are going to take her out. When am I going to spend time with MY daughter?" She then started to cry again.
He looked at her. He put his arms around her and hugged her.
"Honey I just thought you wanted to rest up some since you didn't get a good night sleep while in the hospital." He said looking at her.
She looked at him and realized that he was right she did need her rest. She was starting school in two weeks.
"I'm sorry Jimmy." She said looking at him.
"It's ok. Just take your shower and we'll wait for you." He said kissing her.
"No. You two go and take Charlotte out. I'll rest up." She said getting into the shower.
He then left.
"Jimmy is Leah ok?" Taylor asked.
"Yeah she's just tired. Nothing to worry about." He said as he picked up Charlotte and took her to get dressed.
After he dressed her, he and Taylor went out for a walk. Leah came down and started to put together lunch. After that she vacuumed the living room. When Jimmy, Taylor and Charlotte came back they found Leah doing laundry.
"Lee I thought you were going to rest?" Taylor asked.
"Later. I need to get the laundry done. There is so much of it." She said looking at her sister.
"Oh no you don't! You pulled this up at the cabin when you were pregnant with Charlotte you're not doing it again! You need to rest." He said taking the laundry from her.
"Jimmy if I want to do the laundry I'll do it! Don't treat me like I'm some sort of helpless person!" She said angrily.
"Lee calm down! Jimmy is just trying to be helpful. Look I'll do the laundry if it'll just ease the tension here." Taylor said taking the basket from Jimmy.
Leah just looked at him and walked out. He followed her. He grabbed her by the arm and asked, "What the hell is wrong with you? Why can't I just help out? Why are you doing this to me? Is it because I took Charlotte out for a walk?"
She didn't say anything to him. She just went up to their bedroom. He walked back into the kitchen.
"Jimmy is Leah ok?" Taylor asked.
"I don't know. She won't talk to me. Maybe you should talk to her." He said picking up Charlotte.
Tay got up and went up stairs to talk to her sister. She knocked on the door.
"Lee can I come in?" Taylor asked knocking on the door.
"Yeah I guess." Leah said.
Taylor walked in and found her sister lying on the bed.
"Lee what's wrong? I've never seen you going after Jimmy like that?"
"I….I don't know Tay. I don't know what's wrong with me." Leah then started to cry.
"Lee why don't you just close your eyes and rest." Taylor said.
"Ok. Send Jimmy up."
"Sure." She got up and left.
"Jimmy. Leah wants to see you." Taylor said looking at him rocking Charlotte.
"What's wrong with her?" He asked looking at her.
"I don't know." Taylor said looking at him.
He put Charlotte in her swing and went up to see Leah. He knocked on the door.
"Come in." She sniffed.
When she saw him come in she burst into tears again.
"Shhh. Honey. It's ok. Everything is going to be ok." He said hugging her.
"I'm so sorry Jimmy. I didn't mean to yell at you. I don't know what's wrong with me." She said hugging him.
"Leah I spoke to your doctor and he said that your mood swings will pass. But to be sure he would really like you to come in and see him."
"Why did you have to call him Jimmy?"
"Because I'm concerned Leah."
"So when does he want me to see him?" She asked grumpily.
"Now. As soon as you can come down."
"I have too much to do at this minute Jimmy."
"No you don't. Look Tay can look after Charlotte and I will run you over there. No excuses Leah."
"I just wish for one minute you treated me as your wife not as a child!" She said angrily, regretting the words as soon as they came out.
"Is that how you see me Leah, as your father?"
"No, I'm sorry I didn't mean it as it came out." She told him as she walked over towards him.
"This is just what I mean honey, these out bursts, please let me take you to see Dr Griffiths." He pleaded.
"If it will make you happier, ok then. Let me just run a comb through my hair." She said as she left the room.
Leah and Jimmy left the house to visit the Doctor. Leah hardly said a word the whole journey there. She was fuming inside at how Jimmy was reacting at her tiredness. It wasn't easy juggling a new baby, a home and in no time at all she would be going back to school, this was so typical of a man to have to go over the top about what they knew nothing about.
By the time they had arrived at the doctor's she had calmed down a little, but she was still annoyed at Jimmy's reaction. She would have to talk to him later on, if he thought at every out burst he was going to drag her along here then he had to learn fast she knew her own feelings.
"Leah I am positive that you have Post Partum Syndrome." Dr Griffiths said.
"What's that? Is it serious?" She asked.
"No. It's a form of depression. You do know what that is don't you?" He asked looking at her.
"Yes, but I am not depressed Dr Griffiths."
"Unfortunately Leah, denial is also one of the symptoms, as well as crying, fits of tempers, lack of sleep, unresponsive to any form of coaxing. Do any of these symptoms ring a bell with you?" He asked kindly.
Leah nodded, feeling slightly embarrassed.
"Now what I want you to do is this. Plenty of rest take any help offered to you and I want to prescribe a mild anti depressant."
"Oh I don't know. I am not the sort of person to just take medication and certainly not anti depressants." She told him.
"Leah please give it a go. If not for yourself, then do it for Charlotte and me." Jimmy said to her.
"Dr Griffiths, do you really think I need to take this course of action?" She asked him.
"I think in your individual case I would highly recommend it. You have a busy period in your life approaching, most young mothers would never take on the responsibility's you are about to Leah, and the added burden of a new born baby will only make you feel more down."
"Ok then. I will agree. But only as long as this is a short-term solution. Other wise forget it." She told them both.
"That's all I am asking of you honey." Jimmy told her.
"Right. Leah the drug I am going to prescribe is called 'Amitrypline' I want you to start on a relativity small dose for a 3-month period. Take it every night before you go to sleep, there should be very little side effects. Should you start to feel strange with any symptom which is not usual to you, then I want you to call me." Dr Griffiths said to her.
"Oh I will Dr Griffiths. Don't you worry about that." She laughed, as she left his office.
The journey home was not as quite as it was previously. Leah was still slightly annoyed with Jimmy, but she could now understand where he was coming from.
"Are you ok Leah?" He asked her.
"Yes, I am now." She answered smiling.
"I'm sorry honey. I had to do it this way, but there was no other way getting it through to you." He said sheepishly.
"I know. It's ok. I've had time to think now, and you're absolutely right. I'm sorry if I was being a bitch." She said to him as she moved next to him.
"That's ok. I understand, really I do honey." He told her.
"I know you do Jimmy." She said smiling at him. Now she realized just how deep her love for him was.
"Leah a lot of women go through this. You're not the first and you won't be the last either. You're not unique." He said to her, pulling up in front of the house.
Taylor was waiting on the porch step for them. As they came to a stop, she walked over to them.
"Leah, are you ok. I have been worried sick about you?" She asked her sister.
"I will be ok. Just a bit tired and I have a touch of the baby blues. That's all. Plenty of rest."
"You are ok aren't you? You would tell me the truth wouldn't you?" She asked with concern.
"I will be. Come on let's go in." She said as Taylor took her arm and helped her though the door. Leah laughed to herself at the show of affection from Tay.
"Let's go in and make some dinner and then perhaps we can go to bed early." Jimmy said hugging her.
"Dinner is all done. I made it." Taylor told them.
Leah was shocked that Taylor didn't burn anything. Since Charlotte was sleeping they all sat down to eat the wonderful meal which smelled so delicious.
"Tay you did a great job on dinner." Jimmy said hugging her.
"Yeah and the food isn't burnt." Leah laughed.
"Thanks you guys." She said sitting down.
After dinner Jimmy helped Taylor clean up while Leah changed Charlotte. When the dishes were done Jimmy walked in and found Leah rocking Charlotte to sleep, singing softly to her. As she rocked, he stood in the doorway watching, this was a private moment and he didn't want to intrude, she looked so content just sitting there holding their first born, after a few moments she looked up and saw him watching, she smiled his way and slowly stood up, with her now sleeping daughter, together they took her and placed her in her crib, both standing for a long while just peering in at her, Jimmy whispered into her ear.
"Honey we'll get through this. You're not going to go through this alone. Now it's my turn to make sure you take your medicine." He said hugging her.
"Jimmy you don't hate me do you?"
"No! Why would I hate you? Because you have this Post Partum syndrome?"
"Yes." She said as the tears rolled down her face.
"Leah nothing in this world would make me hate you. I love you too much to hate you." He said as he kissed her.
"Seriously Jimmy." She said looking at him.
"Seriously honey." He then kissed her again.
Over the next week Leah was getting better and she started school. The first day of school was very hard for her because it was the first time since she had Charlotte that she not in her company. When the teacher stepped out of the room Leah grabbed her cell phone and called home.
"Hey Jimmy. How's Charlotte doing…Really? That's great…. Dad there…He is…I'll be home at 1for lunch…Love you too. Bye."
"Ms. Rockford we do not allow cell phones in the class room." The teacher said looking at her.
"Ok." Leah put the phone away.
After English class Leah ran into Professor Blackman.
"Ms. Reynolds." He said looking at her.
"It's Mrs. Rockford now Professor Blackman." Leah said hugging him.
"So it is." He smiled.
"So tell me what are you doing here?" He asked sitting down with her.
"I'm going to be a teacher." She said looking at him.
"Good for you. You'd make a perfect teacher." He said smiling at her.
"Thanks." She smiled back.
"I see you have had your baby. What did you have?" He asked as they walked towards her next class.
"A little girl. Her name is Charlotte Katherine." She told him proudly.
"Well, that is wonderful, I am so very happy for you, you certainly deserve some happiness after all you have had to go through this last year or so Ms. Reynolds. I mean Mrs. Rockford."
She entered her child development class and found her seat. She looked around the class to see if she recognized anyone, and was slightly surprised to see that every one sat there was either a complete stranger, or should have been in high school still, or was it more of a fact now she was a married woman with a child of her own, she felt more mature.
But she never let this bother her; instead she was able to give a more accurate account on certain issues that would no doubtably arise.
After a while Jimmy was needed less and less for his day care, which was in some ways a slight relief, as much as he loved being with his daughter, he missed the thrill of his work, and taking Charlotte in a papoose was always a turn off, for any clients, especially if he needed taking seriously.
During a normal school day when Charlotte was not being the number one attraction, she was in the college day care, and when Leah would go in to see her, she would normally find her being cooed over by one person or another, for the first time in her life she had felt she had really achieved something, even if it was through her baby.
As Christmas approached she sat wondering what she should buy everyone. She had to include her new extended family. She was never short of baby-sitting. In fact she was out more now than she had ever been, since she had Charlotte. Jimmy always taking her out and spoiling her.
One night she decided to go to LA to do some private Christmas shopping, as she didn't have to worry about Charlotte since Rocky was watching her. She could really relax and enjoy herself. She bought a lot of different decorations for the house, as well as spending a small fortune on outdoor lighting. As she signed her check in the decoration shop, the salesman asked her if she was going to decorate somewhere like a school or a small community. She laughed and then asked him had he ever seen the film National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, where Chevy Chase goes wild in the garden; well she had full intentions of doing the same thing, but on a much larger scale. She laughed and left the shop.
Once she was home she hide all the decorations in the garage so she could put them all up tomorrow and surprise Jimmy and Rocky, they were both going to pick Taylor up from the airport, and she wanted it all finished in time for her. This was going to be a wonderful Christmas, she had already decided on throwing a huge party for all her friends. Old ones and new ones. Because without their help, she knew she would never have done as well as she had in her schoolwork, especially now that Charlotte was teething. Both she and Jimmy had had a lot of disturbed nights. No matter what she used or tried, nothing would comfort her child. It was only after an emotional outburst during one lesson that someone told her to try and use a little bourbon on her gums. At first she laughed at the idea, but it was worth a try. Jimmy had been working late, so by the time he was home both Charlotte and Leah were sound a sleep. He crept into the baby's room, bent down to kiss her gently and smelt the whiskey on her breath. He stormed into their bedroom and shook Leah awake.
"What the hell did you do to our child?" He asked her.
"What do you mean?" She asked sitting up in bed.
"You know exactly what I mean! You have fed our daughter who is only a few months old booze! How could you? Are you that desperate for sleep?" He asked shouting at her.
"Jimmy listen to me will you, I never..."
He cut her off in mid sentence. "Don't lie to me Leah! When did you last see Dr. Griffith? Maybe I should call him at home." He said walking around to his side of the bed. As he picked up the phone Leah took it from him.
"Jimmy please listen to me will you." By this time Leah was crying. "Let me at least explain." She managed to tell him the idea she had been given.
"Carl said his mother uses it all the time for teething. She recommends it. So I gave her a little on my finger and rubbed it into her gums." She showed him on her tip of her finger. "How big is my finger Jimmy?"
He started to laugh. "Oh Leah honey I am so sorry. I just smelt it and well you know what I thought. Forgive me?" He asked wiping the tear off her cheek.
"Yes Jimmy. God you fool! Do you think I would ever hurt her? She is the most precious thing in my life, as well as you. I could never hurt her or you." She smiled at him tenderly.
He held her in his arms, trying not to laugh at what he had accused her of, but he could not help it.
Leah had spent much of the day decorating the house and garden. She had looked forward to when it became dark. She couldn't wait to see everyone's faces; she just hoped it all worked.
She sat looking out of the window with Charlotte nestled in her arms waiting for them. She could see clear all the way to the corner, so she would spot Rocky's truck as it turned. Just as she was about to put Charlotte to bed, she saw them. She ran through the room to the porch and knelt down. As they all got out of the car, she turned on the lights.
"Wow! Look at this!" Jimmy said looking at the house.
"My god! What a welcome home!" Taylor announced. "This is amazing."
"You can say that again." Rocky told them.
Leah walked out of the house to see not only her loved ones standing there; she could see that a lot of her neighbors had too come to see. She could hear them all saying what a wonderful sight it was. She felt so elated at it all, but most of all she was happy.
"Who did all this?" Jimmy asked.
"Me". She said smiling at him.
"What? On your own? You didn't did you?" He asked surprised.
She shook her head.
"Leah, do you know you are the most wonderful person I know? You are my whole life. He said.
He took Charlotte from her and passed her to Tay. Taking Leah in his arms, he stood there holding her. He kissed her, and then lifted her as he whirled her around.
"Jimmy! Stop please! Everyone can see us!" She said laughing.
"I don't care! They can all look. I am not ashamed of it!" He put her down and then walked to the middle of the road, shouting his undying love to her, asking everyone who was watching. "I would say I have the most perfect wife the world has to offer."
Everyone cheered and clapped at him; he took a bow and walked back towards Leah.
"Leah I love you." He kissed her again.
They all went back inside laughing.
"Leah did you finish your Christmas shopping?" Taylor asked.
"No." She said looking over her list of things to do.
"Why not? Christmas will be here in three days. Who do you have to still shop for?" Taylor asked playing with Charlotte.
Leah looked up at her sister and said, "Jimmy."
"Holy Cow! You didn't get your husband anything?"
"I know! I know! It's just that I'm having a hard time finding him that special gift. I refuse to get him cologne, a gift certificate or other little 'crappy' things." Leah said sitting next to her sister and the baby.
"How about a pass on a fishing boat?"
"No. That's for his birthday."
Leah thought for a long time what to get Jimmy for Christmas. She was looking at their wedding picture when it dawned on her what to get him.
"I got it!" She said putting down their wedding picture.
"What?" Taylor asked putting Charlotte in her playpen.
"I'm not going to buy him anything. I'm going to make him his gift." Leah smiled.
"What's it going to be?" Taylor asked.
"A photo album. Not an ordinary one. It's going to start off with pictures of us when we were babies. I'll have to ask Rocky for some pictures. I better get my ass on this." Leah said.
"Ok. You go to Rocky's and I'll watch Charlotte." Taylor said as her sister left the room.
Leah went to Rocky's and told him what she needed. He had a box of old photos of Jimmy in a shoebox up in the living room closet.
"If you need anymore here are some photo albums." He said handing them to her.
Leah took them all home and went into the den to work on his gift. She was up until midnight every night working on his gift.
"Come on Jimmy wake up will you, its getting late." Leah said feeling frustrated.
"Ok honey, give me a minute." He replied still half a sleep.
"Jimmy! Please come on, you have slept half the day away." She said feeling slightly annoyed with him.
"What time is it?" He asked grumpily.
"7:30am. Come on!" She said pulling the sheets off the bed and laughing.
"7:30am! It's still early. Leah give me the covers back." He said to her.
"Nope. Come on." She told him playfully slapping his bare backside.
Jimmy rolled over and took a grab for the covers missing by yards, he looked up and saw Leah laughing as, she left the room. He thought about getting the covers off the floor and just curling back up to sleep but he knew she would only come back in, and with the mood she was in she would no doubt bring a bucket of cold water.
"Is he coming?" Rocky asked as soon as Leah came back into the room.
"Yup! I made him wake up." She laughed.
"How?" Rocky inquired.
"I pulled the covers from the bed then slapped his ass." She laughed.
"Too much detail." Taylor said from behind the new video camera she had brought for Leah, she was in the process of filming more footage of Charlotte.
"Speak of the devil here he is." She said smiling at her favorite brother in law.
"Merry Christmas all. Sorry I kept you waiting. I know it's selfish of me to do so, but I was so late getting to bed, I thought I would have a small lie in."
"Sorry sonny. I didn't mean to keep you up so late." Rocky said guiltily.
"Its ok dad, I'm only kidding. It was madam here who kept me awake." He said crossing over to his daughter who lay in her rocker smiling up at him.
"Now shall we open the rest of the presents?" He said looking at Leah, who was already under the tree trying to drag hers out.
She sat in the middle of a huge pile of gifts smiling and rubbing her hands with glee.
"Leah come on; pass everyone theirs as well will you." Jimmy said laughing loudly.
"No you can all get your own. I'm having too much fun with mine." She laughed back.
"Stop Lee! Move closer to Charlotte will you. I can't get you into the picture." Taylor said from behind the camera.
"She's having way too much fun with that." Rocky commented.
"I know she is. I'm just wondering who she actually brought it for." Frankie dared to say, knowing too well the look he would be getting right now from her. Good job the camera is in front of her face, he thought.
"What time is every one coming over?" Leah finally asked.
"Any time now. In fact if I am not mistaken that could be them now." Jimmy told her as he got up and answered the door.
"Merry Christmas! Ho! Ho! Ho!" Shouted Dennis as he moved into the room.
"It's ok; he's had a drink already. He wanted to be in the festive mood." Peggy said laughing.
"That's ok, I don't blame you one bit, I wouldn't mind one myself." Rocky commented.
"What she's failing to tell you is that I was on duty until roughly 45 minutes ago." He told them all looking at his new watch.
The whole room was filled with laughter as Angel and Beth came in.
"Hey we're having a good time." Beth said as she saw everyone's faces.
"Merry Christmas Beth! Come on in! Let me take your coat for you." Jimmy offered.
"Thanks." She replied kissing him on the cheek.
"I saw that." Taylor laughed again from behind the camera.
"Ignore her. She's been behind that thing all morning filming one thing or another. If I were a stranger to this family I would believe she was going to LA Theatre arts or learning how to be a camera man, not an actress.'' Frankie told everyone.
"Hey you! I have to be able to do everything. Who knows one day I might even be the next female Steven Spielberg." She laughed.
"Now that I wouldn't be too surprised about either." Frankie laughed.
"I have to keep my options open don't I?" She laughed again.
"Come on you guys, lets open presents. This constant talking is wasting valuable opening time." Leah said.
"Come on Rocky lets get the presents out, before Mrs. Whiner here, dies from lack of excitement." Frankie laughed.
Everyone sat down and opened their individual gifts from each other. Charlotte's pile grew and grew, and as quick as one gift was opened another was put on to the ever growing pile. In the end everyone got together and started to open hers. She had so many things Leah didn't know where she would put them all.
"What's this?" Jimmy asked holding up a gold envelope.
"I don't have a clue. Open it." Leah said thinking he was messing about.
Slowly he opened the envelope and inside he found a check made out to Charlotte for well over $10,0000, and it was from Rocky. Jimmy passed it over to Leah. She stared at it open mouthed, as Jimmy spoke to his dad.
"Dad, we can't take this. Where did you get it from?" Jimmy asked looking at him.
"Where I got it from has nothing to do with you. That's for my precious Granddaughter. You don't know what money will be like when she is older. I want her to have it when she's at college, or when ever she needs it." He told them both.
"But dad…" Leah started to say.
"No, I don't want to hear it." With that he closed the subject and started another one.
"Jimmy I hope dad didn't take it out of his savings." Leah whispered to him.
"I can't say where he got it from. But if it makes him happy then let it be." He whispered back to her.
"Hey did you all see Leah's gift to Jimmy?" Taylor asked everyone.
When everyone said no Leah gave the book to Peggy and everyone gathered around her and looked through the book. Leah asked Rocky to follow her into the kitchen.
"Dad. I want to thank you very, very much for the check to Charlotte. You didn't have to give her that much." Leah said as they sat down at the table.
"Like I said it was my pleasure. You're welcome." He said getting up and hugging her.
Leah checked on dinner and then set the table. Then everyone sat around the table.
"Before we all dig in I would like to thank everyone for coming. This year has been very interesting and I hope that some parts will not repeat itself again. I would like to thank god that I met a wonderful man and gave birth to the most beautiful girl in the world. I would also thank god for giving me the best father in law a girl could ever have and most of all for the best kid sister a girl could ever have." Leah said raising her glass.
Everyone then clinked their glasses. Jimmy was about to serve when Rocky asked, "How about you Jimmy?"
He looked at his dad and then stood up.
"Let's see what am I thankful for. I'm thankful that I met Leah and she gave me the most precious baby in the world. I'm also thankful for all my friends here before me. And most of all for my dad. If it weren't for him encouraging me to marry Leah I'd still be a bachelor. Thank you dad."
"Can I say a few words now?" Taylor asked.
"Sure." Jimmy said sitting down.
"I would like to thank Jimmy and Leah for allowing me and Frankie to stay with them. Also I would like to thank god that Frankie and I met. He's the best thing that ever happened to me. Thanks Leah for having the most beautiful baby in the world so I can spoil the heck out of her." Taylor laughed.
They then all sat down to eat their dinner.