That night Jim and Mel were both upstairs tucking their son in and doing their usual routine. Jim was going to look for his teddy bear, which he had left downstairs and Mel was getting him into his pyjamas. Once they were all sitting down Mel opened the book.
"Mel before you read, do you think we should tell him...?" Jim gave her a hinting look and rubbed her shoulder.
"Yeah.. I guess that would be a good idea...were keeping him in the loop.." Mel nodded and looked at their curious five year old.
"Aid, before we read to you, were gonna talk to you about something..." Mel put the book on the side and looked into her sons ocean blue eyes.
"Did I do something wrong?" Aiden had a sad expression and looked down at his bedspread.
"No, no you didn't do anything wrong...ummm... you remember when we told you that you were gonna be a big brother...?" Mel tried to keep it simple for his sake.
"Yeah! But right now he's in your belly cause that's were he has to grow!" Aiden looked up and smiled.
Mel giggled at how smart he sounded, for someone who couldn't read full sentences yet. "And how did you get so smart?" Mel rubbed his shoulder and sighed.
"Daddy told me! He also told me if you ever got grumpy or cranky it was because of the baby..." Aiden smiled trying to demonstrate his knowledge of the situation.
"He did..." Mel gave Jim the evil eye and returned smiling at her son. "Well... what daddy didn't tell you is that, you're gonna be a big brother really soon!" Mel smiled and looked from Jim to her little boy.
"YAY! when's he coming?" Aiden really didn't understand, the whole how the baby was gonna get here, all he knew was where it was at the moment.
"Aid, your mommy's doctor, whose taking care of the baby right now, doesn't want her to be moving around too much...so from now on, you're gonna have to help out alright?" Jim gave his son an encouraging nod.
"Okay! But when is the baby gonna be here?" Aiden was really excited and really wanted an answer.
"I don't know baby... it all depends on when it wants to come...I can't control that" Mel looked at her son and smiled.
"Ok...but when he gets here do you think he'll like monster trucks?" Aiden looked up at his dad.
"Well buddy, to be honest I don't know if monster trucks are the best idea for a little baby... maybe in a few years..." Jim patted his son on the head and they continued to read him his bedtime story.
They had both decided to have the gender be a surprise for Aiden. They didn't want him to hate the kid before it even got here. Unlike Mel, Aiden was not even thinking about him getting a sister. He was dead set on it being a boy. She only hoped that he wouldn't be sad when they would introduce him to his sister...
Once his book was finished, Mel and Jim went to their room. Jim was insisting she get as much rest as possible, while Eli was painting the first coat of paint and Delia was doing some online shopping and video chatting with Ned.
Mel walked towards her computer and sat down at the desk. Jim saw this and came up next to her.
"No, no, no their will be none of that. You promised no ghosts until after shes born. You need to lie down and relax. The twins will still be there when this whole thing is over and everyone is happy and healthy..." Jim tried to take the laptop away but Mel put her hand over it.
"The only way I'm gonna be able to have a decent nights rest is if I find out why these girls are stuck here... I think they have something to do with the situation were in now. They told me she was gonna be the balance, and to take care of her and not ten hours later I'm told shes in danger of coming to early and now I'm on bed rest! Something isn't right... and if it does have to do with the book I want to resolve it! Before she comes!" Mel opened her computer despite Jim's objections.
"Mel.. can't this wait till tomorrow... It's already ten and you really need your rest... I really need my rest... plus doing this will only cause her to come earlier... you heard the doctor...look.. Ned is coming tomorrow with the book and hopefully some research maybe he can tell you something? But until then...BEDREST requires you to be in a bed resting..." Jim closed her computer and kissed the top of her head.
Mel sighed and got up from the desk... "This sucks..." Mel got into bed, like an obedient child following orders and pushed the covers up over her chest.
"I know it does... but just think, in a maximum of twelve days we will have a beautiful little piece of you and me! And hopefully she will be well enough for us to take her home..."Jim sighed heavily wrapping his arms around his wife.
" you have no idea how scared I am...I just hope shes okay..." Mel stroked her bump with one hand looking at it.
"Me too Mel... but you have to you just have to picture a beautiful healthy small baby girl, that's what I've been doing. She has your eyes and your hair and she pretty much looks like a mini you... and I picture her breathing and babbling and moving around like any normal newborn would... I picture us bring her home to a beautiful lilac nursery and you rocking her in the chair..." Jim placed one hand on her bump and kissed Mel on the cheek.
Mel was smiling but you could tell that she was still worried. He could understand, how she could still be worried. She was going to give birth soon.. something she has never done before. He knew she would do great though, no matter how much she psyched herself out.
The next morning was very quiet. Jim and Eli were painting the second coat in the nursery and Aiden had gone with Delia to pick up Ned from the Airport. Much to her disliking Melinda was confined to her bed with no computer, and no cellphone... She couldn't stand it.. The few times she had gone downstairs to eat food, Jim had sent her right back upstairs and brought her food to her bedside. She felt like Lea, constantly watched and ignored at the same time. If that made any sense whatsoever.
Later that day Delia had returned with Ned and Melinda snuck downstairs to say hi to Ned and ask him for the book. For once she welcomed the distraction of having to find these twin girls. She really needed to know if they were actually related to Paul... She also needed to find out if they were the reason why her baby is coming any day now instead of any month.
"Melinda! Hey! How are things?" Ned put his bag down and took a sip from his waterbottle.
"Good.. well okay I guess. I'm sure you were filled in by your mom..." Mel sat down at the kitchen table and looked from Ned to Delia.
"Yeah she did!.. This is quite a place you've got over here! When my mom pulled up I thought this was the wrong address! No offence, but... how can you afford this place?" Ned looked at Melinda and smiled.
"Well... a combination of all the money I made from dancing here and I rent it out to people... mostly very rich people... There was actually a scene from a movie filmed here! So obviously it pretty much pays for itself..." Melinda knew that question was coming, that's what they all had asked...
"Wow! That's a pretty sweet deal!"Ned smiled and looked out to see the beach. He pointed to the dock and the two jet skis that were attached to it.
"Yeah! Well have fun! You know, I don't even think those are mine... I think someone who rented the house left them here and never came to collect them... So I guess you could say they are now mine now!" Mel winked at him as Aiden came to cuddle up to his mom.
"Well... whoever left them sucks to be them! Those are like five thousand dollars worth of Jet skis! Have you been out on them yet?" Ned opened the screen door and stepped outside.
"No! I haven't, but I've heard they're pretty fun!" Mel looked at Aiden who had his head arm.
"Yeah! They are! I went on with uncle Eli!'" Aiden tried to sound excited but his yawn gave it away.
Mel brushed the back of Aiden's head. "Looks like someone here is tired..." Mel looked at her son, the jet lag was definitely hitting him.
Aiden didn't even protest, which only confirmed it. "Looks like you'll be in bed early tonight!" Mel let Aiden drooped his head on her.
Ned smiled at the little boy who was fighting to keep his energy up.
Delia walked in seeing a very tired Aiden and an out of bed Melinda.
"Mel aren't you supposed to be in bed?" Mel smiled and laughed.
"you're all starting to sound like patrol officers in my own house." She couldn't help but laugh at how a like Delia and Jim were at the moment.
" Well.. Jim and I want you to be off your feet as much as possible... we have that in common!" Delia tried to usher Melinda back upstairs but failed.
" Ned, did you bring the book?" Mel looked him straight in the eye.
"Yeah! It's right here.." Ned reached into his brief case and pulled out the leather bound book.. "Eli told me you needed it, but I was bringing it with me anyway.. didn't want to risk someone taking
it!" Ned handed the book to Melinda.
"I haven't looked at it... I've been kind of busy... Is there something in there?" Ned gave Mel a concerned look.
Mel had opened the book and had a very worried look on her face. She nodded her head and sat down at the table in the kitchen.
Ned followed her and looked at the page she was so concerned about. It read
"Melinda Gordon, you have been warned... they have flipped the balance...prepare yourself for your child is never to be born..."
Mel just stared blankly at the page. She refused to except her daughters almost inevitable fate.
"The book hasn't always been right..I think they're trying to scare you... they made the same threats with Aiden..." Ned was trying to rationalize this for Melinda.
"Yeah... I guess you could be right..." Mel was trying to stay calm on the outside. But on the inside, she was freaking out!
"I'm gonna go lie down for a bit... this is just too much." Mel went upstairs leaving the book on the table for Ned to take.
Once Mel entered her room, she ran straight for the bathroom and thew up. She didn't know what happened, but she had felt the sudden urge to vomit, but all that came up was straight bile.
Jim walked into their bedroom to check on Melinda, when he heard her in the bathroom. He saw her lying next to the toilet he knew something was very wrong...
"Mel! what's going on?! what happened?" Jim ran into their bathroom and bent down to look at her closely.
Mel was feeling extremely light headed and disoriented, when she heard Jim trying her speak to her. She tried to speak but it seemed like nothing was coming out.
"Mel! please I need you to talk to me! squeeze my hand if you can hear me!" Jim locked hand with Mel and felt as she gently squeezed his hand.
Jim felt Mel's pulse, it was very rapid and heavy. Her face was pale and her eyes were beginning to close.
Jim Grabbed Mel and carried her out into the car. He floored in all the way to the hospital, trying to keep Melinda awake but failing. She was passed out in the front seat.
Once Jim had finally arrived at the hospital, Mel's doctor was waiting for them. They took her and had Jim wait in the hall. A couple hours later, they allowed Jim to see his wife. She was sleeping and was on heavy doses of different hydrating medications.
"I have no Idea what happened... her body seems to be under such high stress that it shut down in order to protect itself. She had an elevated blood pressure but her heart rate was very low. I have checked and everything seems to be normal with your baby. But now she's only brought her due date up closer. The body doesn't want the baby to be effected by her stress levels so it has given your child the eviction notice. She was in preterm labour, but we were able to delay it. This delay can only last up to two days, so... it looks like your little one could be coming any hour now... The only thing we can do now it wait...and hope for the best..." Mel doctor left Jim to think.
Jim sat there trying to be calm, but was actually scared to death by what the doctor had just said. Even when Aiden was born, He wasn't this scared... and he was their first... He just hoped that she would make it... that they both would...
A few minutes later Jim stepped into Melinda's hospital rooms with a cup of coffee and a bouquet of flowers. Jim saw that Mel was still a little out of it and slowly leaned in to giver her a kiss on the cheek.
Mel slowly came through when she felt Jim kiss her on the cheek.
"Hey honey how are you feeling?" Jim had got up to were he had sat down in a chair next to her bed.
Mel blinked a few times to try and remember where she was. She couldn't remember how she ended up here? She couldn't remember what had happened to her?
"Jim?" Mel looked over to where her husband has now moved to in the room.
"Hey! Honey whats wrong?" Jim gave his wife a concerning look.
"I know this is gonna sound stupid... but how did I end here?" Melinda looked around the room. She was enclosed by a sea of white washed walls. The ceiling was blue with clouds loosely painted over. There was a table and chair seated in the corner of the room, as well as a coffee cup Jim had obviously forgotten about.
" You don't remember? You were throwing up in the toilet, then you just passed out... your doctor doesn't know whats wrong with you, I don't know what happened to you... which really scared me.. but now Mel you're in preterm labour and the baby could be born in a matter of hours..." Jim brushed his hand over Melinda's hair.
Melinda was in total shock. She was already really scared by the fact that she was given a few days notice before giving birth. Now she was given a few hours notice...She had a look on her face like she had just seen a ghost ( no pun intended).
"Mel,Mel! Don't freak out okay, everything is gonna be fine... you are only a few centimetres dilated and they have managed to delay your progress for at least another few hours. Okay? Now I know you are scared but there is nothing more they can do... They have you one a medication that could help speed up development, to make sure all her vital organs are in tact. They're also putting you on hydrating medications that will make sure you don't pass out again. Mel you know this is important okay? You need to stay awake from now on..." Jim was looking straight into her eyes, making sure she heard every single word. He couldn't bare see her faint again before her real labour started kicking in... Jim kissed her on the lips and stroked her hair once more. "Don't worry babe everything will be fine, you are both going to be A okay!"
Mel's look of terror softened a little. She took a deep breath and shut her eyes tight. Jim looked at her worriedly.
"How long until the real pain start?" Mel was sceptical to ask this question.
Jim gave her a loving look and exhaled sharply.
"It could be between two to three hours... I depends how badly this one wants to come out.." Jim stroked Mel hair.
Mel's look of terror returned this time accompanied with panic and rapid breathing.
Jim noticed how she reacted and continued soothing her with kind gentle words while absentmindedly stroking her hair.
"Shhh... Mel everything will be okay, alright?" Jim wiped tears that were falling from her face.
Mel took a deep breathe and exhaled sharply.
Jim noticed this and gave her a concerned look.
Mel looked at him hopelessly, "I think I just went into labour..."
Jim looked at her wide eyed.
"Alright I'll go get a doctor okay Mel, don't worry" Jim got up from were he was sitting and rushed into the hallway.
A few minutes later Jim return with Dr. Reine in tow.
" Alright well I'm going to check how far along you've gotten, then I'll start you on a hydrating IV drip. Okay?"
Dr. Reine looked a little worried, but tried her best to cover it up. Melinda nodded at her silently, trying to process the situation still in front of her.
Dr. Reine proceeded to examine her as well at take her blood pressure.
"Well, it seems like this baby is definitely going to be joining us in the next hour at most. Melinda is already at six centimetres. I will order the epidural assuming you want to have one. Afterwords the doctor hooked up the hydrating pack to Melinda's IV and exited the room." Dr. Reine practically ran out of the room.
Melinda was now in full blown tears as well as massive pain. Jim hurried to her side.
"Mel I need you to calm down okay? Shhhhh... if you feel pain just squeeze my hand okay?" Jim's efforts to calm down Melinda were disrupted by another contraction crippling her body.
"AHHHHH!" Mel squeezed Jim's hand so hard it was practically play dough.
Jim grimaced, and ignored what his wife was doing to his hand. He knew if he complained about it, there was a zero percent chance he would be alive for the delivery.
After that contraction was over, Jim continued soothing her until the doctor returned with the epidural half an hour later.
By that time, Jim was sure his hand was broken, or at least sprained.
Before the doctor gave Melinda the IV, she checked her progress to make sure she wasn't too far along to receive the medication.
After a couple minutes of reading and recording results Dr. Reine finally spoke.
"Well, there is good news and there is bad news... the good news is, you are no longer dehydrated!... the bad news is that you are too far dilated to receive an epidural... I can give you a very soft sedative to help cope with some of the pain, but other then that... there is nothing I can do..."
The doctor looked from Jim to Melinda whose mouths were both opened in shock.
"I know this is scary for you two... but you are eight centimetres and there is no point on giving you medication since you are dilating so quickly it won't even have a chance to kick in..."
The doctor left hastily to find her very shocked and scared patient a soft sedative to help with pain management.
Just as the doctor left another crippling contraction hit her " AHHH!" Melinda was tired and concerned and just wanted to get this over with.
Her heart raced when the doctor returned with a transparent liquid that would help manage what she called a 20 on 10, on the pain scale.
The doctor hooked it up to her IV and proceeded to look over the papers monitoring her contractions.
"Okay.. so I will be back in a few minutes to check on you then, but I am estimating that this little baby will be born in a matter of a twenty minutes tops.
As promised the women returned in the few minutes accompanied by a nurse who looked over her charts.
"It looks like you are ready..." The doctor glanced over at Melinda, then advised Jim to step out of the room to put on a pair of scrubs.
Upon his return he notice how pale Melinda had gotten and alerted the doctor. One second later started to become dizzy and disoriented.
The doctor tried speaking to her telling her to focus and stay with us, but Melinda was already in her own little world.
Jim pinched her shoulder and she was brought back to reality by throwing up straight blood. She had no idea what was wrong with her, but was now aware that their were multiple issues that needed her attention.
"Alright Melinda i know you feel terribly sick.. but you only get one shot at this okay?"
Melinda nodded faintly and took a deep breathe.
"Alright on your next contraction I need you to push as hard as you can! Can you do that?" The doctor and Jim exchanged worried glaces.
Melinda obliged and felt a massive pain starting to emanate in her midsection, she knew what she had to do.
Jim quickly grabbed her hand as he saw her discomfort turning into pain.
Melinda pushed as the doctor counted out loud
"Alright one two three four"
Melinda continued pushing with all the energy she had in her.
"AHHHHH Son of A BITCH!" Jim chuckled a little but then returned to having his hand squashed by his loving wife.
"That was great Melinda! I see a head" The doctor continued giving her encouraging words.
Melinda felt another contraction ripping through her body and pushed.
A few minutes later Melinda collapsed on her bed breathing rapidly.
Jim finally got his hand back, as they heard the piercing cries of their new baby girl.