Disclaimer: I do not own 'Switched at Birth'. Additionally, I don't own the song that inspired the chapter title, 'I Almost Do', by Taylor Swift.
Story Title: Out of Control
Chapter Title: We Made Quite A Mess, Babe
Summary: Running to the Galapagos was supposed to help her forget Emmett Bledsoe. It wasn't supposed to make her moody and throw up-y. Of course, the positive pregnancy test in her hand was trying to convince her that it was a baby making her sick, but that was just stupid.
Rated: M, for language and a lemon in chapter 1, and possibly more lemons later.
AN: Gotta be honest- I've never been pregnant, so I previously had no idea what happened when pregnant women had prenatal visits, so a lot of research went into this chapter. I hope I managed to reflect a real experience, despite having never experienced it myself.
I'm going to be super honest and say I squeal every time I get a review, fav or follow, so thank you to all of those who did! You guys are the best!
III: We Made Quite A Mess, Babe
We made quite a mess, babe,
It's probably better off this way,
Cause I confess, baby,
That in my dreams you're touching my face,
And asking me if I want to try again with you,
And I almost do,
And I just want to tell you,
It takes everything in me not to call you,
And I wish I could run to you,
And I hope you know that every time I don't, I almost do,
I almost do
-I Almost Do, by Taylor Swift
Friday, August 31, 2012
Bay sat on the bathroom floor that morning, Indian-style, looking apathetically at yet another pregnancy test- the third she'd taken.
The fact that she'd known for over two weeks now didn't change the sense of unreality when she thought about the fact that in, what, five months, she was going to be giving birth to a child. It seemed all the more surreal because she could hear Kathryn and Daphne laughing together in the kitchen. Like things were normal.
Things were not normal.
She'd woken up that morning and thought about the doctor's appointment she'd have to have after school, thought about all the people she'd have to tell, and suddenly wished so hard not to be pregnant that it had briefly brought tears to her eyes. In the Galapagos, she'd gotten a packet of three tests, though after the first two positives she hadn't been able to face the third. But that morning she'd felt a compulsion to take it, as though it would come out negative and she could just roll this whole awful scary experience off her back and be more careful in the future.
Still, she hadn't been at all surprised to see the far-too-familiar plus sign.
"Shit," Bay sighed to herself, burying her head in her knees and leaning back against the side of the bathtub. Maybe she could just sit here in this moment forever. The future would never come, and Bay would never have a baby.
But of course, the world doesn't work like that.
Bay was brought from her futile attempt to freeze time when the bathroom door opened unexpectedly. She made a mad scramble to hide the pregnancy test, until she saw that it was just Daphne.
"Oh, sorry!" Daphne said. "I thought it was empty, I guess I just forgot to knock, I…" she trailed off as she took in Bay's position on the cold tiled floor. "What are you doing?" she asked.
Bay waved the plastic stick in the air as an answer.
Daphne scrunched her eyebrows together in confusion. "But I thought you'd already taken two?"
"I did," Bay said, getting up off the floor. "I took another one… just in case."
"What did it say?" Daphne asked.
Bay rolled her eyes. "What do you think?" she muttered, making her way out of the bathroom. She grabbed a piece of toast on her way out the door, and as she started the Thing's engine, she prayed that she didn't run into Clover Chamberlain that day.
Daphne had come to her appointment with her. Bay was grateful, though she didn't want to admit that to Daphne. There was something about waiting rooms that made her nervous, and as she jiggled her leg impatiently, she noticed the stares she was getting. All of the women were in varying stages of pregnancy, and the youngest apart from her looked about twenty-five. Only two didn't have the father sat beside them, though for all Bay knew they could've just been busy that day and would be home for dinner, with full knowledge of their impending fatherhood.
Unlike the father of my child.
A nurse stepped out into the waiting room, mid-twenties maybe, with dark hair and sharp facial features. "Bay Kennish?" she called.
Bay stood up awkwardly, well aware of all the eyes trained on her and her oh-so-obviously teenage form. She flicked her dark eyes quickly towards Daphne, needing the reassurance of a friendly face, and Daphne must have realized because she smiled as she picked up a magazine.
"I'll wait out here for you, okay?"
Bay nodded and followed the nurse inside. They went through the tedious process of checking her height and weight and getting her blood pressure checked. The nurse noted some things down on a clipboard, while Bay sat on the cushioned patient's table and tried not to cringe at how loudly the paper crinkled beneath her in the silence.
The nurse handed her one of those paper gowns, like the kind you wear in hospital, and Bay looked at it in disgust.
"Dr. Cooper will be with you shortly. If you could just change into that dress, please, it will make the health check process for you and your baby much easier."
Bay waited until the nurse had left before quickly changing into the paper dress. Despite the reason she was here, she could see her reflection in the window and she appeared oddly innocent, wearing the dress, curls above it and socks on her feet below it, looking back at herself with large eyes.
Too innocent to be having a baby at sixteen.
The door opened again and Bay looked over as a tall, slender woman stepped through, blonde curls in a bun, a halo of gold framing her pretty face. She looked like she was in her early thirties, and she had calm green eyes that set Bay at ease.
"Hello, Bay," Dr. Cooper said, looking over her chart. "I'm Dr. Cooper, I'll be performing your first prenatal check-up today. If you decide that you feel comfortable with me, then I can stay with you throughout your pregnancy, in which case I'd also be there when you give birth."
Bay nodded, feeling awkward and unsure what to say.
"Is the father going to be joining us today?" she asked, and Bay felt a guilty lurch in her stomach that she hadn't told Emmett yet. He really should be here, this was important.
"Uh, no, not today," Bay said a little bashfully.
"That's okay," Dr. Cooper said reassuringly. "If you can, though, I would really like for you to bring him to one of your visits, okay? It's safer for the baby if we know the family health backgrounds of both the mother and the father, and there may be genetic defects or diseases in his family that you're not aware of, okay?"
Bay swallowed hard at the thought of the baby having a disease or something, and nodded hastily.
"Okay, now do you know how far along you are?"
"Um, well… I've only ever had sex once, so, yeah… It was May 13."
Dr. Cooper raised her eyebrows before turning to the calendar she had tacked up on the wall. Flipping through, Bay watched as she counted the weeks. "That means that on Sunday you'll be sixteen weeks pregnant. I assume that you only found out recently?" she asked, turning back to Bay.
"Yeah, on August 14."
"Alright, well, since you're already in the second trimester, your risk of miscarriage has dropped significantly. You should also notice that any tiredness or morning sickness you may have had is fading." Bay nodded in confirmation.
"Okay Bay, here's how it's going to go. You'll have your first appointment today, and then you'll keep coming back every four weeks until you hit the twenty-seven week mark, at which point you'll enter your third trimester. In the third trimester, you'll be seen more often, probably every two weeks, until you reach thirty-six weeks, when you'll be seen once a week until the baby's born."
Bay nodded, not really sure what to say. This was all so adult, and despite how grown-up she liked to think she was, this whole experience just kept shoving her face in the fact that she was sixteen years old. She was having a child, and she herself was basically a child.
Dr. Cooper pulled a stool in front of the table that Bay was sat at and made eye contact. Bay was taken aback, not having expected this gesture, thinking she'd just have to answer some questions and get a few exams done.
"Bay, before we start, I just want you to know that if you have any questions, any questions at all through the process, even if you think they're stupid, please, feel free to ask me. I promise to answer all your questions to the best of my ability."
Bay suddenly felt about five times more comfortable with Dr. Cooper. There was no judgment for the fact that she was a pregnant teenager, and Bay now felt like she could come to Dr. Cooper about anything she might need. Her trust in the other woman began to build itself.
As it turned out though, Bay couldn't think of any questions.
"That's okay," Dr. Cooper smiled. "If you think of anything between now and your next appointment, don't feel shy about calling."
"Okay, first up I'll take your health history, alright? These are standardized questions, and they are not meant to cause any offense."
Bay nodded her understanding.
"When was your last period and how regular are they? I ask this so that I can determine your due date."
Bay stopped herself from blushing, suddenly glad Daphne and Emmett weren't at this particular appointment.
"But… I told you that we, um… conceived on May 13."
Dr. Cooper smiled. "Sperm can take a few days to travel up to the egg, so even though you were sexually active on May 13, you may not have actually conceived until, say, May 15. So just to be sure, us doctors tend to count your pregnancy as starting two weeks after your last period."
"Oh. Okay, well, I'm pretty regular. Every five to six weeks."
Dr. Cooper nodded. "Do you happen to know the first day of your last period?"
Bay thought back. "I think it was April 28. Yeah, it was, because Emmett was planning this date and I was really excited about it, but then my period started that day and we ended up having to cancel because I get really bad cramps."
Dr. Cooper consulted the calendar again. "Based on the regularity of your periods, your due date is February 2, which actually isn't all that different from what your due date would be if you did in fact conceive on May 13, in which case your due date would be February 3."
This information had the effect of making Bay's brain freeze. The baby suddenly seemed so much more real, and the due date made her picture years of birthday parties in the chill of February.
"Have you noticed any symptoms or problems since your last period? They don't have to be related to pregnancy."
"Uh, no. Just the morning sickness, really. And that's going away now. Although I have started to get food cravings, but I think that's supposed to be pretty normal."
Dr. Cooper nodded. "It is all very normal, yes." She proceeded to ask whether Bay had any conditions that she took medication for, drug allergies or psychiatric problems, all of which Bay said 'no' to.
"How about any past surgeries or hospitalizations?"
"Uh, well, I had to go to the hospital when I was eight after I broke my arm, but somehow I don't think that that's what you're talking about."
Dr. Cooper's lips twitched in an amused smile. "No, no it's not. What about habits that could affect the baby? Smoking, drinking, drugs?"
"We don't have to worry about that."
"Okay, so your medical history looks squeaky clean. What about your family? Any health problems?"
"Not that I know of. My mother's an alcoholic, but I'm not really sure how relevant that is."
"You said you yourself don't drink?" Dr. Cooper confirmed, looking at Bay steadily, as though trying to detect any hint at a lie.
Dr. Cooper nodded. "Then I don't see why it should affect your pregnancy. Does anyone in your family or in the father's family have any chromosomal or genetic disorders? Developmental delays? Structural defects?"
"No, nothing like that, but, the baby's father is deaf. I know that that's genetic because both of his parents are as well." Bay seriously doubted that Emmett would appreciate her thinking of his deafness after words like 'disorder' and 'defect', but Dr. Cooper asking about Emmett's genetic history had reminded her of the only thing that she really knew about him genetically- he was deaf.
For the first time, it suddenly occurred to Bay that the baby might be deaf as well. She took a moment to analyze that thought, attempting to figure out how she felt about it, but when no strong emotion followed the epiphany, she realized that it was because she didn't care. If she decided to keep it, it's not as though she would love it any less for being deaf. After all, she loved Emmett more than she ever thought she could love anyone, and he was deaf.
"I see. That's interesting. If the baby's deaf, knowing that that's a possibility at birth could aid us in calming it down when it first leaves the womb. Now, have you taken any medication or nutritional supplements since your last period?"
"Not unless Tylenol counts," Bay joked.
Dr. Cooper noted it down on her chart, and when she looked up at Bay, her expression was apologetic. "I'm afraid the next part of this visit is why you're dressed in a hospital gown."
The next ten minutes were some of the most awkward of Bay's entire life. Dr. Cooper had her head in between Bay's legs, poking around places only Emmett had seen with cold instruments that caused Bay to shrink back from their touch. Somewhere in those ten minutes, Bay was forced to endure her first ever pap smear, but she wasn't sure where that was. She was too busy staring at the ceiling and feeling the heat in her cheeks as she blushed hard. Following that, Bay had to pee in a cup so that she could be checked for a bladder infection and she also had to get blood tests done for more things than she could remember.
After that whole awkwardness was over with, Dr. Cooper instructed her on maintaining a healthy diet and told Bay which foods to avoid. Bay was given prenatal vitamins to take, and was told it was extremely important to the baby's health and that not taking them could lead to all kinds of defects. Bay promised herself she'd never miss a dose.
"Alright, Bay, everything looks good here. Now we just need to schedule your next appointment…" she trailed off, going towards her calendar. "I'm free on September 28, which is exactly four weeks from now. How does that work for you?"
"That's good," Bay confirmed swinging her legs. She immediately stopped when she saw her reflection and realized how much it made her look like a little girl.
Bay started to get up to leave, when Dr. Cooper stopped her. "Bay, actually, the check-up you just had was all typical of your first prenatal visit, but since you're already in your second trimester, do you want to go ahead and get your first second trimester prenatal visit out of the way?"
Bay sat back down, nodding. The longer she stayed in this office, the more real the baby became to her. She wanted to know more about it, about how it was doing. It was starting to feel like her baby.
"I don't suppose you've felt the baby move yet?" Dr. Cooper asked.
"No. But I am starting to get a baby bump."
Bay laughed out of surprise. "Noooo, definitely no contractions. If there'd been contractions, you would have seen me way before now!"
"How are you feeling? Not just physically, but emotionally. Your emotions are also felt by the baby."
"Really?" Bay asked, her hand involuntarily flying to cup her abdomen gently. It was the first time she'd ever done that, and she took a moment to let herself fully realize that beneath the warm skin of her hand, her body was caring for the needs of a child.
"I've been okay, I think. A little stressed. I'm nervous about telling people, but I'm trying to get it all done in the next week or two, before I start showing too much."
Dr. Cooper nodded. "That's a good plan. You'll feel better once the ramifications of telling you friends and family are over and done with. They might be mad or upset when you first tell them, but they'll get used to the idea, and trust me, once that baby is born, all they'll be doing is fawning over how cute he or she is."
Bay nodded, pulling her hand reluctantly from her stomach. Dr. Cooper's words made her feel a lot better.
"Do you want to hear your baby's heartbeat, Bay?" Dr. Cooper asked, and all of the breath just whooshed right out of her.
"A- a heartbeat?"
Dr. Cooper nodded. "Most women can hear it at twelve weeks. You're sixteen weeks."
"Yeah, I want to hear it."
Bay was told to lie back on the table and then Dr. Cooper used an instrument that she called a Doppler over Bay's stomach.
And then she heard it. It was loud and strong and fast. It almost sounded like the galloping of a horse, but it brought tears to Bay's eyes. She felt cheesy, but in that moment, Bay just knew.
She loved this baby. It was hers. In a moment of sudden and absolute clarity, Bay knew that she wanted that heartbeat for the rest of her life. She wanted to throw birthday parties in the chill of February, she wanted to hear the giggles of a child, she wanted to be the one who was going to nag at a reluctant teenager to clean their room. She wanted this baby.
And she wished she hadn't realized that, because she didn't see how she could keep it. Wouldn't it be best for the baby to give it up to someone who was more equipped to raise a child? Who had wanted one desperately for awhile now? Bay was sixteen, she had school and her future to think about, not to mention Emmett's future. Was it really fair to ruin the rest of his life just because she'd gotten googly-eyed over a heartbeat?
None of her common sense changed how much she wanted it though.
She kept her tears in check determinedly as Dr. Cooper asked her if she wanted an ultrasound. She wondered at the wisdom of that, as she'd just about fallen apart with just the heartbeat, but couldn't stop herself from saying 'yes'. A cold gel was put on her stomach and a grainy black and white image came up on the ultrasound screen. Bay really did cry that time as Dr. Cooper pointed out the head and the limbs.
That was her baby.
"Everything looks good here," Dr. Cooper was saying. "I can't tell the sex right now, but maybe I'll be able to at your next visit. You'll be twenty weeks by then. Do you want to know the sex?"
Bay didn't know. She thought that knowing whether it was a boy or a girl might just make her want it more than she already did.
"It's okay," Dr. Cooper said. "You don't have to decide right now."
"I'll let you know at my next appointment," Bay said.
Dr. Cooper nodded. "Do you want me to print out a copy of the ultrasound for you?"
"Yeah… actually, could I get two?
Dr. Cooper nodded again, looking back over her chart. "Everything looks good, Bay. Both you and your baby are healthy as a horse. You should definitely try and get the process of telling those you're close to over and done with as soon as possible, it'll mean less stress for you and the baby. My advice would be to tell the father first. That way he won't hear about it from anyone else, and he might also be able to help you when it comes to telling your parents."
Bay nodded, getting up off the table and going behind the changing screen. When she emerged, fully dressed, Dr. Cooper gave her an appointment card for September 28, along with two ultrasound photos. Bay left the office with a small smile, thinking how ironic it was that when she'd walked in, the thought of having a baby was a source of dread, but now she wanted it so badly it hurt.
Daphne closed her magazine with a 'snap' when she saw Bay reenter the waiting room. As they walked out to the car, Daphne turned to her.
"So how'd it go?"
"Pretty good. I got more tests done than I think I've ever had in my whole life combined, but hey, at least we know without a doubt that I'm probably the healthiest person on the planet."
"That's good. Did you get an ultrasound?"
Bay was surprised by the excitement in Daphne's voice. Who knew she like babies so much? Or maybe it was just her and Emmett's baby that Daphne liked.
"Yeah, do you want to see? I got two photos."
"Oh, yes please! Can I have one?"
Bay froze as she was pulling one of the images out of her pocket. "Um, actually… one of them was kind of for Emmett…"
"Oh, right, duh, of course!" Daphne dropped the subject, for which Bay was grateful. As Daphne oohed and awed over the copy, Bay felt another wave of longing towards the child she was carrying, and she realized-
She may not be able to put it up for adoption.
Saturday, September 1, 2012
When Bay woke up that morning, she felt it, deep down inside her bones. Today was the day. She had to do it. Daphne was on her case, Dr. Cooper had advised her to do it and Bay was having increasing difficulty dealing with the guilt and stress. So she was going to do it.
Today was the day that Bay would tell Emmett she was pregnant.
She looked in the direction of her closet, where she'd hidden his letter. Knowing that she'd see him today, she again felt an almost irresistible desire to know what he had been trying to tell her all these months.
It took her an hour to find the stupid thing. By putting it in her closet she'd hoped it would get lost in the bowels of years of hoarding and unnecessary clothing purchases. Well, she'd succeeded. By the time she found the little envelope, she was sat in the middle of her closet, surrounded by piles of clothing and junk. She carefully maneuvered her way out, half-climbing at one point, and quickly slammed the closet door shut behind her, hoping her parents wouldn't go in there anytime soon.
Standing in the bright sunlight coming in through her window, Bay felt her hands shake as she stared at the letter. Suddenly, she didn't want to read it. What if what was inside just made everything worse? She really didn't think she could handle worse right now.
Before she could change her mind, she quickly tore the envelope open, almost ripping the letter in her haste to get it out. She unfolded the paper and her eyes greedily sucked in-
-a set of directions?
She stared at it stupidly for a few seconds, before pulling her shoes on at record speed and almost running down the stares. She strode through the kitchen towards the driveway with purpose, keeping her eyes glued on the directions.
"Bay, honey?" Kathryn asked, bewildered curiosity in her tone at her daughter's clear determination.
"I'm going out, I'll be back in a little bit," Bay called over her shoulder.
She followed the directions to an absolute tee, until she'd reached a building so hard to find that she wondered how the hell Emmett had managed it. But it wasn't the location that brought tears to Bay's eyes. It was the timeline.
Bay found herself immediately touched by Emmett's mode of telling her how sorry he was. The fact that he'd used street art meant the world to Bay, because she remembered the terrible consequences Emmett had faced the last time he'd done street art. And yet, he'd still used it to show her how much their relationship had meant to him. The timeline itself was both devastating and joy-inspiring. It showed all of the significant dates in their relationship. Bay had never had a boyfriend that had thought she was important enough to keep track of things like that, she'd always been the one doing it, like the stereotypical clingy, overemotional girlfriend. Bay never wanted to be that girl, and she never had been with Emmett. He was the only one who saw her for who she really was.
But then she came to the end of the timeline and saw it. 'Emmett makes a mistake', written underneath a broken heart. Next was 'Bay forgives Emmett', followed by 'Emmett and Bay forever'. The smile that she hadn't even realized she was wearing slid right off her face as tears welled in her eyes. It killed her how much she wanted to give in, how much she wanted to be with him forever. She could see it, the rest of her life spent with Emmett and a little boy who looked just like him. But she kept finding herself stuck on the 'Bay forgives Emmett', because every time she thought of him with Simone, her heart broke all over again, and she could feel bile rising up the back of her throat-
With a gasp and a short sob, she ran back to the safety of the Thing, where she could pretend that the awful-beautiful timeline wasn't there. She leaned her head against the steering wheel and just let herself cry for a little while. It was okay to cry now, she tried to convince herself, because nobody was around to see it.
She managed to stop crying after about five minutes, and she sniffled back against anymore tears that wanted to come out. Then she pulled her phone from her pocket and shot off a text to Emmett, praying that she wouldn't regret this.
Meet me tonight. After dinner. 7:00.
His reply was instantaneous.
As Bay drove to meet Emmett, she was surprised by her complete lack of nervousness. She thought she would have been worried about his reaction. What if he was mad at her? What if he left her to deal with this on her own? But she wasn't. She knew that Emmett would never leave her alone to deal with his child. He might not think being a teenage father was the best thing to ever happen to him, but he wouldn't ever shrug off the responsibility. She found it ironic that when they were together, she apparently couldn't trust him to not cheat on her, but now that they'd broken up, she trusted him to not leave her.
When she got to their agreed destination, she parked and sat in the car, arms crossed, waiting for his arrival. Within minutes, she heard the rumbling of a motorcycle, and as it came closer, she recognized the driver as Emmett.
He parked and swung off the bike, unfastening his helmet as Bay hopped out of her car. They left their headlights on, so they could see each other in the dark, though looking at him, Bay suddenly wished she couldn't see him. God, he was so handsome. She'd almost managed to forget exactly how good-looking he was, She missed touching that red hair while she kissed those lips, and she missed the way those bright blue eyes would look at her like she was the only thing of value on this earth.
She swallowed hard and focused on his hands as he started signing to her.
'I'm really glad you contacted me,' he signed, drawing her in with those incredible eyes, just like he always used to do. Before Simone.
The thought of Simone made her stomach churn, and her resolve strengthened. As much as she wanted to, she couldn't just run to him and fall back into his arms. Maybe someday, but that day was not today. She wasn't ready.
"I had something important to tell you," she signed and spoke at the same time.
'Did you see it? Did you get the letter?' she almost wanted to be mad at him for ignoring her statement, but he looked so desperate that she couldn't muster it.
"Yes. I saw the timeline."
Oh, God. Why did he have to make this so hard? She was trying really hard not to cry, but her eyes were still filling with tears, and she knew that he knew what that meant because his eyes were filling with tears too.
"Emmett, I'm sorry, I just- I can't."
He looked so defeated that she just wanted to wrap him in her arms and tell him everything would be okay. Her heart demanded that she go to him, but her brain kept reminding her of Simone, and sometimes she couldn't help imagining them together and-
She choked back a sob as he started signing to her again. 'No, I'm the one who's sorry. I hurt you so badly, Bay, I hate myself for it. I love you, I love you so much, I never should have looked at Simone. I'm so sorry, and I hope that maybe one day you can forgive me.' He hung his head dejectedly, and Bay just wanted to run from him and all of the confused emotions he brought up- anger, betrayal, jealousy, love-
But she had come here for a reason. She touched his arm so that he'd look back up at her.
"Emmett, I have to tell you something."
He was looking back at her expectantly, his eyes still red-rimmed. Oh God, she loved him, she loved him, she loved him, she loved him-
Her brain drained of all words as she looked at him. The nervousness set in suddenly, unexpectedly, as she realized that she had absolutely no idea how to tell him.
Then she heard herself speaking, as though it were somebody else talking. She couldn't even sign because her hands had started trembling. When did that happen? Was this what they called an out-of-body experience?
"I'm pregnant," she said. "The baby is yours."