I've read a number of Glee stories that mention Carole becoming pregnant/having a baby at some point after the wedding - many of them quite good - but none of them go into much detail about the pregnancy itself. So I thought I'd write one.
There will be four chapters and maybe an epilogue or a sequel - I'll see what I feel fits better. I expect to post a chapter a week.
This is dedicated to my sister-in-law, who is now expecting her first baby. She and my brother are refusing to find out what it is until it's born, but we do know that it will be a Christmas elf. ^_~
I do not own Glee. Any pregnancy information included in this story is true to the best of my knowledge and research abilities, but as I am not a doctor and have never been pregnant, feel free to take it with a grain of salt and do your own research.
Carole picked up the fourth test between her fingers like it would bite her.
This wasn't happening. She was too old for this to be happening.
"Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit!"
Carole Hummel was pregnant at 45. Shit.
Burt pulled off his shirt and lifted himself up into bed. Why Carole had decided she liked the mattress that put their bed almost four feet off the ground, he'd never know, but seventeen years of living with Kurt had taught him not to argue too much when it came to decorating his own house.
"You coming to bed anytime soon?" he called, flipping on the TV for some background noise. With as weird as Carole had been acting the past week, Burt had long since decided not push his luck in the bedroom.
Carole came into the room slowly, flipping off the switch in the bathroom and hesitating a few feet away from the bed, shifting nervously like Finn did when he had bad news he felt obligated to tell him.
"Honey, I-" Carole closed her eyes and took a breath to steady herself.
Burt sat up and moved to throw off the covers. "Carole, what's wrong?"
Carole opened and closed her mouth a few times, but when no sound came out she pursed her lips and held up a plastic stick instead. Burt blinked.
"That isn't what I think it is," he managed to choke out.
Carole dropped her hand to her side and turned around to lean up against her side of the bed.
"I don't know what happened," she said softly. "We're always so careful."
Burt swallowed and ran his hand over his head a couple of times. He couldn't decide if he should feel excited or terrified. Hell, he couldn't decide if it felt real. He opted to crawl over to his wife and rub her shoulders instead. He could decide what he felt later.
"Condoms aren't 100% effective, Hun. And there were a couple of times when the boys were in New York that we forgot about that foam stuff you like to use."
"That's because you got us drunk off our asses," Carole said drily, the corners of her mouth turning up slightly.
"Hey, Kurt wasn't here to scold me; I was gonna take advantage while I could. And I don't remember you complaining at the time."
"Mm, no. No complaints when you do that thing with your thumbs…" Carole trailed off and turned to look at him with the beginnings of a naughty smile before remembering the stick in her hand. She grimaced at it then tossed it onto the nightstand.
"What are we going to do, Burt? We're too old to have a baby now."
"Who are you calling too old? I'm spry enough to father ten more kids as long as you're here to do it with me," Burt said, moving his hands to squeeze her waist.
"We'll be fine. People have kids in their forties all the time now. It's practically normal."
"Two years ago I had resigned myself to being a grandmother."
"Well, maybe having a baby in the house will resolve Finn not to have any more sex until he's thirty."
"Burt," Carole chided, aiming an elbow somewhere near his stomach while trying to hide a grin.
"Hey, I'm not too crazy about the idea of either of our boys having sex yet. I'll take whatever deterrent I can get."
Carole leaned her head back against Burt's shoulder and let him snake his arms more fully around her waist.
"Are you really okay with this?"
"Well, I can't say I was expecting it, but," Burt paused and buried his nose in her hair for a moment before leaning around to look her in the face. "Yeah, I think I'm okay with it. I don't know that I really believe it yet, but it'll be kind of cool to have another little Hummel running around."
Carole closed her eyes and finally allowed her tears to fall. Choking back a sob, she looked back at her husband and cupped a hand against his cheek.
"I don't know how I got so lucky to have a guy like you in my life."
"You didn't think I'd want to get rid of it, did you?"
"I don't know what I thought," Carole sighed tiredly and nudged him back so they could both crawl into bed. "I just… the boys are already looking at colleges. I caught Kurt and Blaine looking at apartments online the other day. They're practically men now. I can barely handle thinking about them being gone soon, and now this…" she shook her head. "I just don't know how to process that I'll be doing this again."
"You don't want to get rid of it, do you?" Burt asked carefully.
"No, of course not. I just, I don't know. Maybe I just need time."
"You'll have a good nine months, babe."
"That was horrible," Carole said, swatting at his arm. "And try closer to seven or eight if it happened when we think it did."
"Whatever. We'll work it out."
"The boys will love it. Kurt'll go nuts decorating the nursery, and I bet Finn will come up with all kinds of kooky baby names."
"We probably shouldn't tell them until we find out everything's okay," Carole said, sitting up again. "At my age any number of things could go wrong, and-"
"Honey, we'll make an appointment to start all those tests tomorrow morning. There's no use worrying about things we can't control. Though, you're probably right about waiting to tell the boys."
Carole took a few deep breaths then lay back down to cuddle into Burt's arms.
"I love you."
Burt smiled and kissed her head.
"I love you too."
"Thank you for letting me crash here," Blaine said quietly, wishing he could better express everything he was feeling.
"You were too upset to stay at home tonight," Kurt said lightly, folding back the covers on his bed before moving to switch off the light. "And it's not like we're going to do anything."
"I'll be gone before your dad ever has a chance to notice I was here, I promise."
"Blaine, it's fine," Kurt insisted, crawling into bed and patting the empty space between them. "Now are you actually going to get in, or should I send you downstairs to the sofa?"
Blaine huffed out a quiet laugh and crawled in next to his boyfriend, pulling up the covers and throwing an arm over Kurt in one movement.
"Smooth," Kurt said only somewhat drily. His voice had gone a little bit breathy the way it did when he was nervous about how fast they were going.
"I just want to sleep, I promise," Blaine said, then burrowed his head into the pillow to prove his point.
Kurt hummed happily and turned on his side so Blaine was spooning him.
"Is this okay?" he asked quietly, playing with Blaine's fingers. Blaine pulled him closer and kissed the nape of his neck with a smile.
They lay there for a while just breathing together, and Blaine allowed himself to fantasize about falling asleep that way every night. There was something soothing about having Kurt's warm body curled up next to him, his scent everywhere around him. It was easy to block out everything else when he was surrounded by just Kurt.
"I don't mind, you know. If you want to make this a regular thing. I kind of like the idea of falling asleep in your arms."
Blaine smiled and intertwined their fingers. Yes, he could definitely do this every night.
Carole woke before the sun rose with an intense need to vomit. Throwing off the covers, she sprinted for the bathroom and only just made it to the toilet before her stomach rebelled completely.
Not for the first time this month, she was glad her side of the bed was closest to the bathroom. At least now she knew why she'd been feeling queasy so much recently.
When she felt confident she wouldn't throw up again for a while, Carole pulled herself up and thoroughly brushed her teeth. One of the things she had hated most about being pregnant with Finn was the near-constant morning sickness throughout most of the pregnancy. She'd felt she would never be able to get the taste of bile out of her mouth. Hopefully this time around it would ease up before the beginning of the third trimester.
With a rueful glance in the mirror, Carole pushed her hair out of her face and headed out of the room to start a pot of coffee. She couldn't stand the stuff normally, but when she'd been pregnant with Finn just the smell of it would ease her stomach and relax her mind. Her doctor had told her she was crazy and to lay off the caffeine.
Flipping on the light in the kitchen, Carole barely managed to hold back a scream. Standing by the sink with an empty glass was her step-son's boyfriend, sleep-tousled curls wild about his head and pillow marks still faintly noticeable on his face. He quickly put down the glass and raised his hands defensively, giving her a nervous smile.
"Sorry. I didn't mean to scare you. We honestly thought everyone was asleep."
Carole inhaled deeply and put a hand to her chest. At some point her heart rate had to return to normal. "What on earth are you doing here at 5:30 in the morning?"
Carole peered closer at the boy and could see the gears quickly turning in his head for a parent-friendly excuse. Burt wasn't going to like this.
"It's kind of awkward, but Kurt and I both have the day off today and I thought it might be fun to take him to King's Island –you know, show him where I work – and since it's a two hour drive we'd have to leave about now to get there before the crowds get huge."
Carole hid her smile. Even Finn was usually a better liar than this.
"You want to go to work on your day off to show Kurt around? While wearing your sweatpants?"
Blaine flushed and looked at the floor. She could definitely see what Kurt saw in him. He was adorable.
"Not in the slightest. Want to try again?"
Blaine smiled sheepishly and let out a self-deprecating sigh. "Sorry. The real reason is kind of embarrassing. I-I know I shouldn't even be here."
"Carole?" Burt's voice echoed softly down the hall. Blaine paled faster than she'd ever thought possible and eased himself further away from the door, using the island as a definite shield against fatherly attacks. Burt came around the corner and stopped abruptly when he saw the teen standing there.
"Honey, I found Blaine sleeping on the couch. He was just about to tell me why when you walked in," Carole said calmly and went about making the coffee at last.
Blaine threw her a grateful glance before obviously gearing himself to talk to a distinctly unhappy-looking Burt. She'd have to tease him about his angry father face later.
"I know this looks kind of bad, but I needed a place to crash last night and Kurt said it would be okay if I slept here."
Burt crossed his arms, practically growling, "And why would you need a place to 'crash'?"
Carole leveled a 'be nice' look over Blaine's shoulder and pressed the button to start the coffee maker.
"My dad and I got into a fight," Blaine said quietly. Burt's face softened perceptibly and Carole turned her full attention back to the boy. The normally confident teen was more pulled in on himself than she'd ever seen him.
"It's not a big deal," he continued quickly. "We just don't get on well and I didn't really want to be within ten miles of him last night, so I came here. I'm sorry we didn't tell you. It was kinda late when I got here and Kurt didn't want to wake anybody up."
"I'll be talking to Kurt about that later," Burt said decisively then hesitated. "Your dad… he didn't hit you or anything, did he?"
"What? No!" Blaine looked genuinely appalled at the idea and Carole sighed in relief. "My dad may not like me very much, but he'd never hit me. It's just – like I said, we don't get on."
"Because you're gay," Burt stated, searching the boy's face.
"Yeah, mostly," Blaine looked like he wanted to be doing anything but talking to Burt about his dad. "I mean, he's not too crazy about my music either, but I don't think that would be such an issue if I weren't gay."
"What about your mom?" Carole asked. "Doesn't she take your side in any of this?"
Now Blaine really looked like he wanted out of this conversation. Carole wondered just how bad his home life was. He seemed so put-together and confident all the time that she'd hardly put any thought into the matter. Hell, half the time she forgot he was still just a teenager, with all the doubts and insecurities that came along with that.
"I haven't seen my mom since she got married," Blaine said awkwardly. "I mean, I get a postcard every week or so from wherever she's travelling with her new husband and we talk on the phone, but – well, it's been a while since I've actually seen her, you know?"
"How long?" Burt asked angrily. Carole hoped he could contain himself in front of Blaine. The kid looked ready to bolt as it was.
"Um, a couple of years. It's a really long honeymoon," Blaine gave an unconvincing smile and Carole's heart broke. She'd only met him a little more than six months ago and already she was fighting back daydreams of him marrying into the family. How could his own parents treat him with such disregard?
Burt seemed to be doing a breathing trick Kurt had taught him. None of them said anything for a while, and the burbling of the coffee maker was the only sound in the room.
Soft footsteps began to echo down the stairs and Carole caught Burt's eye. She knew what she would do in this situation, but Kurt was his son and they had agreed that the bigger discipline issues would be handled by the boys' biological parent.
"Blaine?" Kurt's voice called out softly enough not to be heard in the rest of the house. The look on his face when he rounded the corner and saw them all standing there made it obvious he hadn't thought they'd be up. Carole had to hide another smile.
"Blaine! What are you doing here?" he said quickly. The boys were such bad liars it almost wasn't fair to punish them for it.
"Kurt," Blaine said with a soft smile. "It's okay, they know."
Kurt paled further and gulped, shooting a quick glance at Burt's unamused face before returning his attention to Blaine.
"I caught him sleeping on the couch," Carole said quickly before either of the boys could get themselves into more trouble. "He nearly scared me to death."
"I am sorry about that," Blaine said sincerely. Carole waved away his apology and winked at Kurt's grateful expression. She liked being able to be an ally instead of just a parent.
"Kurt," Burt said shortly. "We talked about you having Blaine over without me knowing. I don't appreciate being lied to."
"Nothing happened! Like Carole said, Blaine slept down here; I was up in my room. Nothing could have happened."
"You still broke a promise," Burt huffed.
"I know, I'm sorry. But Blaine was upset and I couldn't stand the thought of him sleeping in his car again or something," Burt and Carole's eyes both flicked to Blaine who was refusing to look at anyone. "So I told him to come over here. And you guys had already been asleep a couple of hours by that point, so I figured if he left before you woke up you'd never even have to know."
"And that's supposed to make me feel better about all this? That you two are sneaking around behind my back up to who knows what?"
"Sir," Blaine spoke up. "If it makes you feel any better, neither of us has done any more than kiss. I-I know Kurt's not ready for anything more than that, and quite frankly I don't really think I am either. And even if I was, I would never push him into anything he's not ready for."
Carole watched Burt take a couple of deep breaths and rub his hand over his head a couple of times. She shot him a supportive smile and turned to the fridge as unobtrusively as possible to start breakfast.
"All right," Burt said finally. "Clearly we need to go over the rules again. Blaine, if things at home are really as bad as you say, I don't feel any more comfortable with you sleeping in your car than Kurt does, and I hope to hell it's not something you've actually done. If you need to get away from your house for the night you can stay here. On. The. Couch," each of them nodded furiously, Kurt with an oddly triumphant look in his eye. "And no more of this sneaking around business. I don't care what time of night it is, Kurt, you tell me if he's coming over."
Burt sighed again as the boys continued to nod furiously, talking over each other with assurances and promises Carole was sure they'd never be able to actually keep. She started cutting up sweet potatoes for a hash.
"Blaine, sweetie, how do you like your eggs?" she asked lightly, trying not to laugh at the shell-shocked look on his face when she glanced more fully in his direction. "I'm not sending you home with an empty stomach," she continued when he still didn't say anything.
"Um, scrambled," he said meekly.
"You bring any clothes with you?" Burt asked, causing Blaine's head to whip around in the other direction. He flushed and looked down at his sweatpants.
"I kinda wasn't thinking that far ahead."
"You can borrow some of mine," Kurt said conclusively and quickly stepped around the island to take his boyfriend's arm. "I have some jeans that should fit and I think the new shirt I just bought would look amazing with your skin tone."
Kurt quickly steered Blaine out of the kitchen, mouthing, "Thank you," at Burt as he turned the corner. Once they were gone, Burt blew out his cheeks and collapsed theatrically into one of the chairs at the table.
"That was certainly awkward," Carole said, liberally coating the frying pan with more olive oil than Kurt would probably approve of.
"Please tell me you actually found him on the couch."
"Do you really want to know?" she asked, looking at him over her shoulder.
Burt paused, then got up to pour himself some coffee.
"I'm going to pretend you said yes and try not to think of it ever again."
Carole smiled and patted his shoulder as he moved past her to make some toast.
"I still find it hard to believe that boy has so many issues with his parents. He acts so well-adjusted," she said.
"He hinted that he didn't get along great with his dad before. I just never imagined it was quite this bad. On both sides."
"He's obviously used to handling things by himself. The way he was uncomfortable even talking about his parents just broke my heart."
"I half wonder how much Kurt even knows about Blaine sometimes."
"Be fair. I think he has a habit of downplaying things a lot. I remember you telling me how fidgety he was acting around prom, and Kurt told me shortly after they met that he was bullied at his old school. It only makes sense that the two were connected. If he didn't like talking about that, he certainly wouldn't want to talk about how bad his home life might be."
"Do you think he was telling the truth when he said his dad didn't hit him?"
"I-" Carole took a breath and focused on turning the hash for a moment. Blaine was not her sister and his father was not her ex-brother-in-law. "He didn't look like he was lying about that. He's not that good an actor."
She felt Burt's large hands rub apologetically along her shoulders and leaned back into him gratefully.
"I didn't mean to bring all that up," Burt said quietly. "I just don't understand why else he'd feel compelled to be away from home so much. I could tell he's slept in his car at least once when Kurt brought it up, and the only time he hasn't been over here this summer is when he was working. He's practically been living here. Honestly, I don't know how I missed it."
"Honey, if he gets along with his father as bad as he says he does, I'm not surprised he finds every excuse to be somewhere other than home. He's clearly not comfortable there."
"I guess I just can't understand why a guy who would go to the trouble of rebuilding a car with his son would be at war with him two years later. I thought Blaine was just being overdramatic when he talked about him turning him straight."
"Honey, I moved out of my parent's house the day after I graduated high school. I think I spent more of my senior year at sleepovers than I did my own house because I couldn't bear the thought of being around my mom any more than I had to. We got along great when I was a kid, but after I hit puberty it was like a switch was flipped and we couldn't stand each other anymore. Maybe it's as simple as that with Blaine and his dad."
"And his being gay was the switch?"
Burt hummed skeptically and Carole shooed him back to the dining table so she could finish making their breakfast in peace. The room was silent for a few minutes, and at one point Burt left to retrieve the morning paper from the driveway.
Carole's mind drifted away from fights with her mother and back to those stupid pink plus signs on the four pregnancy tests she took last night. Would this kid grow up politely resentful like Blaine or constantly confused like Finn? Would it try to hide its problems behind a wall of perfection like Kurt? She and Burt would be in their sixties by the time it was a senior in high school. Would they still be healthy enough to be good parents? And how would the boys handle the news?
"He's going to end up living here, isn't he?" Burt asked, breaking her train of thought.
"What?" Carole was barely able to stop herself from pointing out that of course the baby would live with them.
"Blaine," Burt said pensively. "I just know he's going to end up moving in here before they graduate."
"It's not so horrible," thuds from upstairs indicated that Finn had smelled breakfast. "When Quinn was living with us we just adapted our routines a bit. And at least with Blaine we'll have had some warning if he does move in."
"But they're both boys," Burt said as if that explained everything.
"At least neither of them can get pregnant," Carole joked flippantly. Burt's eyes flew to her belly and she sobered immediately.
"You want me to call the doctor?" Judging from the thumps coming down the stairs all three boys were ready for food.
"I'll do it after we eat," Carole smiled tightly.
Burt opened his mouth to say something else, but the boys rounded the corner at that moment and Finn practically galloped to the table.
"Sweet! You made hash browns," he said, taking almost half for himself. "Blaine, dude, these things are awesome, you've gotta try them."
"Maybe he could if you'd left any for the rest of us," Kurt said drily, carefully perching himself in a chair and taking a piece of toast. Blaine took the chair beside him and smiled awkwardly at Burt and Carole, Kurt's shirt giving his skin a healthy glow and bringing out the amber in his eyes.
Carole let out a quiet sigh as all four of her boys began feeding themselves enthusiastically. They'd figure everything out. Eventually.
Burt hated doctors. He'd hated doctors since Elizabeth got sick, and he'd really hated them after she died. His heart attack hadn't improved his opinion of them either. The regular check-ins on his progress drove him crazy, but it was important to Kurt that he be healthy enough to stick around for as long as possible, and now with the baby – well, doctors were about to become even more a part of his life.
Dr. Johnson was a decent enough sort of guy, he supposed. He tended to get right down to business and never used shaming techniques as part of his practice. Burt respected that. Unfortunately, it seemed to make Carole nervous.
"What if there's something wrong with it?" she asked, bouncing a leg up and down. "I haven't exactly been eating well lately, especially not at work. What if it has some sort of spinal issue because I haven't been getting enough folic acid? Or what if it has Down Syndrome because I'm so old?"
"Then we'll deal with it when the time comes," Burt said patiently, resting a hand on her knee and squeezing it to get her attention. "And you're not old."
The door opened and Dr. Johnson strode through purposefully.
"All right, so it says here you believe you're pregnant."
"I took four tests; two of them were different brands," Carole's hands started twisting on themselves.
"All right then. What symptoms have you been noticing?" he asked, taking notes in his folder.
"After I took the tests I noticed my breasts starting to get tender."
Burt shifted uncomfortably. He remembered that this sort information was necessary, but it still didn't make him any more comfortable hearing his wife talk about her breasts with another man.
"I've also thrown up a few times," she continued. "Maybe three or four times a week for the past month or so? At first I thought it might be food poisoning, so I wasn't paying that close attention. And I've been more tired recently. I had to start taking naps before dinner last week. That's what really tipped me off that I might be pregnant. I slept through a lot of my first pregnancy."
"So, this wasn't an intended pregnancy?"
"No. We, um, we've been using spermicides regularly. That won't hurt the baby will it?"
"It shouldn't have any ill effect on the fetus that you've used them in the past and using them post-conception hasn't been proved to make any noticeable difference in the fetus' development. I wouldn't worry too much about it, but I'll make a note of it just in case. We'll be watching you more closely anyway since this is a geriatric pregnancy."
Burt blinked. Geriatric pregnancy?
"Just for the record, were you two only using the spermicides or was there another form of birth control at play as well?"
"We always use condoms," Burt said gruffly. "Even if we forget the foam stuff, we always use condoms."
"Well, sounds like you've been doing everything right in that arena. When was the first day of your last period, Carole?"
Burt really didn't understand why the doctor needed to ask that. His nurse had asked it almost as soon as they'd walked in the exam room. Didn't they take notes for a reason? Were they trying to catch them in a lie?
"I think it was June 16th," Carole said tightly. "It was lighter than usual, though, so it might have just been spotting. I had that in my first pregnancy."
"Do you remember the date of the period before that?"
"Early April maybe? I've never been terribly regular and lately I've been even less so. For a while there I thought I might be starting menopause."
Burt looked at her then. Was he a terrible husband for not knowing that? He usually just let her handle her women's stuff on her own, but menopause was supposed to be a big deal for women. Not that it would be an issue any time soon, of course.
"All right, we'll have to run a couple tests to confirm things. I'm going to have the nurse come in and draw some blood and I'd like a urine sample as well. After that, we'll do a pap smear just to make sure everything's okay down there. I'll probably have you step outside for that, Burt. Any questions?"
Carole shook her head and Burt muttered something negative sounding. With a sharp nod, the doctor left and Carole blew out a breath she'd obviously been holding.
"I'm finding a different doctor."
"He reminds me too much of the army doctor I dealt with when I had Finn. I don't think he liked babies too much and found it beneath him to treat me. I don't want to go through that again."
Burt tried to think of something he could say to that which wouldn't make her snap at him.
"'Geriatric pregnancy'," she muttered, shaking her head. Nope, nothing he could say to that.
The nurse from earlier came back in and drew a couple vials of blood then escorted Burt back to the waiting room. He made sure to squeeze Carole's hand before he left.
There were a couple of young kids in the waiting room when he got there. The boy seemed determined to bash a Lego into something soft with the rear bumper of his toy truck. Burt smiled. Kurt had never really been one for that sort of thing. When his business partner, Jerry, had gotten him a toy car for his fourth birthday, Burt had come home to find that his son had inexpertly painted it a rainbow of colors claiming it was a butterfly.
Burt wondered what his new kid would be like. Part of him quite guiltily wanted another boy who he could teach sports rules to without arguments that he'd get his clothes dirty. But another part, maybe even a larger part, kind of wanted a little girl. Kurt would go crazy over a little sister, and although he'd never admit it, Burt kind of liked the idea of an all pink nursery. He didn't even know why.
Carole walked through the door a few minutes later waving a slip of paper triumphantly in her hand.
"I barely even had to say anything," she murmured as they walked out the door. "He practically forced the referral slip on me as soon as I mentioned getting an OB."
"So who's your new doctor?" Burt asked, loving the way her eyes lit up.
Finn thought Blaine was a pretty okay dude, but that didn't make him any more comfortable being in the same room with him and Kurt when he pretty obviously wanted to make out.
It was something about his eyes. They'd go all soft and a little intense. Finn was pretty sure he got that look when he was thinking about kissing Rachel, so he knew what it meant when he saw it on someone else.
It wasn't even the whole gay thing that made him uncomfortable. He was pretty sure he was over that. Why else would he smile when he caught them holding hands under the dinner table or leaning into each other when they watched one of Kurt's girly TV shows? He just didn't want to see them making out because he was afraid he might start to think of them doing other stuff, and he really didn't want to think of them doing that. He didn't even want to think of Puck doing that.
It was kind of becoming a problem though, because Blaine had been showing up at the house more and more frequently since summer started, and Finn was beginning to wonder if maybe his luck would run out and he'd accidently walk in on them someday. There were only so many hours he could hide in his room playing video games before his eyes started to hurt.
He wanted to be cool and supportive about it, because everyone knew Kurt deserved to be happy after all the crap he'd been through, but Finn kind of preferred being supportive from a distance. He was fine lying to Burt for them if they were out late on a date, or telling off some idiot for heckling them the two times they had held hands in public; he wasn't fine with watching them suck face.
It kind of made him feel guilty for kissing Rachel so much, actually. It must wig Kurt out to see him doing that with Rachel as much as it wigged Finn out to see Kurt and Blaine do it. Or their parents. Yeuch.
Somewhat petulantly, Finn wondered why they couldn't go over to Blaine's house some days. He was a cool guy; his parents were probably pretty cool too. Unless they were complete bigots they had to like Kurt, cause Kurt was pretty awesome once you got to know him. Though if they were bigots that might explain why Blaine practically lived at Casa de Hudmel these days. Huh.
Finn didn't often wish he was wrong about things, but he hoped he was wrong about Blaine's parents. And he really hoped he was wrong about the reason Kurt and Blaine just went upstairs.
Blaine had never paid that close attention in his middle school sex ed class, because even though he was still in the closet, he'd known he'd never have to worry about getting a girl pregnant. As a consequence, he absorbed enough information to pass his tests and then promptly forgot all but the basics of female reproduction.
Now, however, Blaine was intensely curious. It was a welcome change from the intensely worried he was earlier that afternoon when Carole greeted him at the door only to bolt for the bathroom a second later. When all that emerged for nearly five minutes was the sound of vomiting, he'd wondered if it would be overstepping to call Burt directly.
After she came out, it only took a good ten minutes of his worrywarting for her to come out with the truth. Carole was pregnant. She'd even been to the doctor to confirm it.
So now Blaine was googling everything he'd never bothered to learn in school. He bookmarked sites on fetal development, dos and don'ts of pregnancy and plain English descriptions of all the various tests that had to be done at the various stages of fetal development. It was fascinating.
The biggest thing worrying him now was Carole's request when they heard the men of the house tromping through the front door after a long day at the garage.
"Please don't tell Kurt and Finn."
"I know it's a lot to ask to keep something like this from your partner, but I'm not ready for them to know yet."
"Any number of things could go wrong and I don't want to worry them until absolutely necessary."
"It's going to be obvious fairly quickly."
"I'll tell them when I'm ready," she whispered, glancing fearfully towards the front door. "Just promise me you'll let me do it on my terms."
"Blaine?" Kurt called. He came around the corner looking adorable in his grease-stained mechanic's gear, like something out of a play rather than the working world. "What are you doing here? I thought you had to work till six tonight."
"I got off early. They've been overbooking us for weeks and it was finally my turn to pull the short straw and work a half shift. Not that I'm complaining," he winked.
Kurt blushed and quickly excused himself to shower. When Blaine returned his attention to Carole she was begging him with her eyes and he had no choice but to agree.
Her relieved smile was warm, but he had a bad feeling all the secrecy would blow up in their faces.
Fifteen minutes into the appointment and Burt was already shifting uncomfortably in his chair. Carole wondered if he'd thought it would be taken up mostly by looking at pictures of the baby. Then again, he always was uncomfortable talking to doctors about things he felt were primarily personal.
Carole didn't remember the army doctor asking so many questions when she was pregnant with Finn, but Dr. Wu seemed to want her and Burt's entire medical histories as well as those of their parents and the boys. She hadn't even changed into that stupid paper gown yet.
"So, Carole, according to the GH test results Dr. Johnson sent over it appears you're somewhere between twelve and thirteen weeks pregnant, which gives us the perfect opportunity to do a nuchal translucency scan along with our scheduled ultrasound to see how the fetus is developing," Dr. Wu said, finally putting down his pen.
"What does that check?"
"Basically it's a specialized part of the ultrasound that gives us an idea of whether or not your baby will be born with chromosomal abnormalities like Down Syndrome or a major congenital heart defect. It can't predict it completely, but it can give us a better idea of what's going on in there so you two can decide whether or not you want to do amniocentesis in another five weeks. It's standard practice for older mothers."
"I thought the term was 'geriatric pregnancy'," Carole said bitterly.
"Yes, well, the first and only time I used that phrase was as a medical student with a forty-eight year old mother of twins. Upon hearing the term she proceeded to bash me about the head with her handbag; I'm still convinced she had an unabridged copy of War and Peace in there somewhere. Thus the term in this office is 'older mother'," Dr. Wu said with a small smile and a lifted eyebrow.
Carole chuckled, "I don't blame her."
"After working with pregnant women for the last twelve years, neither do I."
"So, this nuclear transparency thing," Burt started.
"Nuchal translucency," Dr. Wu corrected.
"Yeah, is that just some fancy doctor name for an ultrasound or what?"
"A regular ultrasound looks at the fetus's overall development. We'll be doing that today as well. A nuchal translucency scan looks specifically at the thickness at the back of the neck. There's always some fluid there at this stage of the pregnancy, but if there's a higher than normal amount, it could be a signal that something's gone wrong."
"Does that happen often?" Carole asked.
"I won't lie. It is more likely there may be some issue because of your age, but lots of women over thirty-five have perfectly healthy babies every day, so I'd rather not dwell on that until we find out for sure that it could be an issue. We'll mail you the results from today regardless of what we find. You should get them in a couple of weeks."
Carole nodded and told herself to breathe. Other than the adjustments they'd have to make in their lives, her biggest concerns focused on whether or not the baby would be healthy.
Dr. Wu smiled at her in understanding.
"So, that's everything I need from you two at this point. If you'll just follow me I'll show you to the exam room and we can get this show on the road."
Carole collected her purse from under the chair and took Burt's hand when he offered it to her.
The examination room was pretty much just as she remembered from having Finn. Though the décor was more contemporary, the room still had the mess of wires and electronics that made up the ultrasound machine and the examination chair with its awful foot holders was in pride of place.
"Carole, I'm going to step out of the room for a few minutes so you can get changed into that lovely gown over there and then we can get on with the ultrasound. Remember, undress completely before you put the gown on. I'll be back shortly."
Dr. Wu left and Carole blew out her cheeks at Burt.
"Everything will be fine," he squeezed her hand. "Stop worrying so much."
Carole shook her head and proceeded to undress. She'd purposefully worn easy-to-get-out-of clothes and in no time was tying the horrible string 'fasteners' at the back and hiking herself up into the chair. At least this time the gown was cloth.
There was a gentle knock at the door and Dr. Wu strode through with a pretty black nurse at his heels.
"All right," he said, seating himself on one of the stools and clicking around on a computer screen. "Since you're already so far along we'll skip the transvaginal ultrasound for now and just use the regular transducer you'll be used to seeing. We'll see if your baby cooperates."
"This'll be a bit cold," the nurse said, squeezing blue gel onto Carole's lower abdomen.
Carole joined Burt in anxiously watching the screen Dr. Wu had angled toward them and then they saw it: a little arm was waving across the screen as though to say, "Hello."
The view shifted and then the rest of it came into view. A giant head, a round body and little stick limbs squirmed around in an interpretive dance.
"Oh my god," Burt breathed.
"You can see its leg there," Dr. Wu said, pointing the cursor along a flailing limb. "Nice strong spine. And there's the outline of its nose."
The mouth opened and the baby flailed a bit more.
"Ah, there it's sticking out its tongue," Dr. Wu pointed the cursor at a small, indistinct blob that appeared and disappeared near its mouth. The baby yawned and kicked out, rolling over to show them the top part of its butt.
"It's already a comedian," Carole said. Dr. Wu and the nurse smiled absently, paying more attention to whatever they were looking for on the screen. Carole felt the wand thing move, trying to get the baby back into a view that would allow Dr. Wu to take the measurements he'd need.
The nurse jiggled Carole's belly a little and the baby rolled over to a position she and Dr. Wu found more useful for their measurements. The screen began to freeze every minute or so and Carole watched as the cursor would draw a line here or expand a circle over that feature and then the picture would move again, the baby's limbs still flailing.
"All right, everything's looking good so far," Dr. Wu said. He glanced up at them with a sparkle in his eyes. "Ready to hear its heartbeat for the first time?"
Carole heard Burt inhale deeply beside her and nodded swiftly. She couldn't take her eyes off of the screen.
Dr. Wu clicked a few more things and then the room was filled with a steady, loud whooshing-clomping sound.
"Listen to that," Burt muttered. Carole glanced away from the patterned bar that had popped up at the bottom of the screen and smiled at him. That was their baby.
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