"Please don't go." I whimpered as a futile last attempt to keep Mike home with me. Two months had passed quicker then I'd have believed possible, and now the one person I knew I was able to rely on was leaving.
"You know I wish I could, Amy. Ill be back before you can miss me."
"But I already do!" I spluttered, lurching forward, laying my face on his broad shoulder.
He patted my back, making hushing sounds in my ear.
"It's only two years away from home, and not half of that will be in combat." Mike said, his voice wavering with the uncertainty of what he was saying.
"Sure. Two years. The triplets are getting older now, they'll be in school when you come back! And we'll have a few others to meet you as well. Do you really want to miss all that?" I said quietly.
"Just take good care of the ones on the way, and the rest will fall right into place. I'll make everyday I missed back up when I return, and then some." He smiled, rubbing my belly bulge gently.
"Okay, sure." I said, brushing him off.
"I'm serious. I want you to take care of yourself, and the kids. You have family all around you, and even if you can't see it, they all love you, and would do anything for you. I won't be able to focus if I don't know you're safe, Amethyst."
"I promise. If anything goes wrong, I'll call Jade, or Moon. Don't worry about me, worry about yourself."
A loud honk from down the road told us of the approaching army vehicle.
"I've got to go." Mike said, voice breaking midway.
I kissed him gently, then with more passion, with the dark voice in my mind whispering that this may be our last, a fact I refused to believe.
"I love you. So, so much." I whispered, pulling away, standing forehead to forehead.
"I love you too, a million times more."
"Not possible" I joked through the tears.
He pulled away, and walked down the stairs to the road.
"Goodbye Mike!" I said through tears, and coughing. "I love you! Stay safe and come home soon!"
I would have said more, but I felt weak enough to faint, and my tears cut off my vocal ability, so I waved him off, sniffling loudly.
I walked inside, and leant heavily against the wall. The past few months had been beyond busy, trying hard to fit all the important things from the triplets' lives into the short months.
From first steps, to forced first words, it was a blissful period in which we lived in a bubble, all refusing to admit it was only a matter of time before it popped.
Life became lonely, despite the kids' presence. I lived surrounded by people, but still so alone inside. Tiny Tim took to sleeping with me, as I think he could sense how I felt alone in bed every night.
Not that he was complaining, as it was definitely an upgrade from his dog bed on the floor. His large body was warm, and heavy breathing quite loud, and if I closed my eyes, I could focus on this, and pretend it was Mike beside me.
I wasn't the only one affected, and the triplets all acted up when they realized it was only Mommy around now. I tried so hard to keep everyone happy enough that it shouldn't matter, but it always did, and I never expected any different. No matter what I did, I wasn't Daddy.
"Hush, Stevie" I cooed, awkwardly bouncing her around my belly.
"Daddy! Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!" She screamed.
"No, Stevie. Daddy's away right now. Come on, quieten down."
She whimpered again, snuggling her soft face into my neck, tears rolling down her face, but silent now. I stroked her hair, and rock her around. There was nothing more to do.
This pregnancy put me on a junk food phase, and all I would eat was food full of fat and carbs. Moon said it was probably the hormones mixed with missing Mike, but either way, it made me feel good.
Speaking of Moon, she was over a lot now. She was still busy at work, but I think she worried for me, alone with the kids, and expecting another. I never asked her not to come, as she always seemed to time her visits for when I was on my very last nerve.
"Keeping up?" she joked, referring to the massive growth of my abdomen.
I laughed. "Everyone says that, but its so much smaller then last time!"
She giggled, rubbing gently. "Im not too sure, maybe quads?"
"Oh Gosh no!"
We often spent time laughing together, and it was my one escape.
I made many failed attempts to contact Mike. He'd sent me an email a week after leaving saying he'd arrived on location safely, and wouldn't be able to contact me again, due to communication complications. I didn't let that stop me sending email after email, all of which bounced back to me, but it made me feel better knowing I'd tried.
I placed a picture of Mike on my bedside as soon as I found one. It was a calming thing to have around the house, like he was here, although he wasn't.
Simon hadn't slept well since Mike left, and I was often up for hours with him. It was on one of these nights that I ran into my first bit of real trouble since Mike left.
I had just gotten changed for bed, and was doing my nightly routine of a good old chat with myself. Don't judge me, I spent most days alone with toddlers.
"You've certainly paid for all that junk food, Amy old girl, better hit the gym when the little ones arrive, huh?"
"You're worth the extra pounds though little one, I don't mind as long as you're not hungry in there." I said, patting my belly.
Suddenly a sharp pain shot through my stomach, and down my back. I couldn't help but gasp aloud with pain, as this was a feeling I knew too well.
I clutched my stomach, trying to calm the moving bodies inside from out. I looked around frantically, trying to decide what to do. It was 3AM, and would be unfair to call Moon or Jade so late. I had no choice but to drive myself into town.
I began to walk to the door, when suddenly another contraction hit me, along with a thought: The Kids! I couldn't leave them without an adult, so I was stranded here, alone and in labor.
"I guess I'll just call the babysitter, then go." I said, waddling to the side-table, willing the baby to try and hold on.
Another stronger contraction hit, and I suddenly knew that there was no way I'd be making it to the hospital tonight.
"Okay then kid, let's do this your way." I whispered, heaving.
I walked to the ensuite, and closed the door behind me. I needed to concentrate, because I could let nothing go wrong.
I clambered into the bathtub, deciding that this was the best place for the job. Moments later my water broke, and I was delivering a baby. I'll skip on the blood, and muted screaming, as it's not something you'd like to see, trust me, but many hours later I emerged from the bathroom with two small forms.
Allow me to introduce to you..
Jennette Carmody, my beautiful baby girl, with her Momma's blonde locks, and her Grandma's big green eyes.
She was closely followed by..
James Carmody, a bounding baby boy. He has his Dad's hair and eyes, but his face has a lot of influence from Mommy.
I rested that night for the first time since Mike had left, exhausted from a days hard work.