Summer became fall, and the weather got cooler. Leaves began to change colors and fall from the trees. One day Jo was going about her usual business when a wave of nausea swept over her. She made it to the bathroom just in time.

"Are you all right, darling?" Laurie asked her that evening. "You look a little pale."

"I'm all right now, but I was sick earlier," Jo told him. "I must have eaten something bad."

"You don't seem very hungry this evening," Laurie observed, watching Jo push food around on her plate with her fork.

"I'm not," Jo confessed. "I'm really more sleepy than hungry."

"Why don't you go to bed early," Laurie suggested. "I'll get the boys to bed. Maybe you'll feel better in the morning."

"Thank you, dear," Jo said, giving her husband a hug and kiss.

The following morning, Jo was so dizzy that she almost couldn't get out of bed.

"You're staying home today," Laurie told her, his brow creased with concern.

"But I have to go in," Jo insisted. "They need me."

"A couple of the older students can take over your duties for one day," Laurie said. "I'll go in and get them started and check in later just to make sure they're doing all right. You need your rest."

"I couldn't ask you to do that..."

"You're not asking, I'm insisting." Laurie smiled. "Get some rest, now." He tucked her in and kissed her cheek.

Jo felt tired and squeamish for the next several mornings in a row. Finally Laurie insisted that she go to Dr. Bangs, so she did.

"You're a perfectly healthy expectant mother," the doctor told her with a smile.

"A baby? My goodness! I've been through this twice before. Why didn't I recognize the symptoms?"

Jo wondered what Laurie's reaction to the news would be. He hadn't mentioned anything about wanting to add to the family, but on the other hand, they'd been doing nothing to prevent it from happening, either. She hoped he wouldn't be unhappy about it.

"I went to see Dr. Bangs today," she told Laurie that evening.

Laurie frowned. "I hope there's nothing seriously wrong."

"We're going to have a baby, Teddy."

"A baby!" Laurie laughed, scooped his wife up into his arms, and twirled her around. "That's wonderful!"

"I'm so glad you're happy about it," said Jo. "I wasn't sure what your reaction would be."

"Of course I'm happy about it! Why shouldn't I be?" Laurie replied. "I do think it's time, however, that we reconsider the idea of your hiring someone to take over your duties at Plumfield, at least on a part time basis."

Jo went to him and rested her head on his chest. He put his arms around her and rubbed her back.

"I know you enjoy your job, sweetheart, but I'm concerned about you. I want you to stay healthy, and I want our baby to be healthy, too."

"All right," Jo said reluctantly. "I'll run an ad in the newspaper and start interviewing people."

"My father and Aunt Jo are going to have a baby," Bess glumly told Dan.

"Well, I think that's neat! You're going to be a big sister! You sure don't sound very happy about it, though," Dan commented.

"I think it's ridiculous!" Bess grumbled. "They're both too old to start over."

"Well, it's their business if they want to have a baby, I suppose." Dan shrugged.

"My mother always wanted another baby." Bess had turned pensive. "I remember hearing her talking about it with my father and crying. She wanted more children really badly, but she was only able to have me."

"She must have loved you very much," said Dan.

"She did. And I loved her very much too." Bess looked as if she were near tears. Dan walked over to her and put his arms around her.