Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 268 - Ultrasound

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:16:22]
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Aaron took the afternoon off work one day at the beginning of December so they could go to the doctor and have the ultrasound that would reveal the baby\'s gender. Keeley, who had finally turned in her dissertation draft and was now preparing to defend it, had been looking forward to it all week.

She was bouncing in her seat as they sat in the maternity ward waiting room. He was holding her hand tightly, his wedding ring rubbing up against her fingers.

"Mrs. Hale?" a nurse called after what seemed like hours.

They both jumped to their feet and followed her to an examination room. The nurse took all of Keeley\'s vitals and then asked her to lift her shirt so she could check for the baby\'s heartbeat.

She checked multiple places on the stomach to try and get the best sound but ended up doing a double take when she got to the other side.

"What is it?" Keeley asked in a panic.

"Nothing ma\'am, your baby\'s heartbeat is nice and strong. I\'m going to get the doctor and she\'ll conduct the ultrasound."

Once the nurse left, her heartrate refused to slow. "She made a face, right? I\'m not crazy; she definitely made a face!"

"She made a face," Aaron agreed grimly. "But she said the baby\'s heartbeat is strong so I\'m not sure what the face was about. Let\'s not get too worried just yet. Stress isn\'t good for you or the baby."

He got up from his chair on the side of the room and kissed her forehead as she sat on the exam table. She smiled at him gratefully for trying to comfort her. She couldn\'t even imagine trying to do this alone.

Dr. Chapman came in with a smile on her face. "Hello again, you two. How are you feeling today?"

"Nervous," Keeley admitted. "The nurse made a face when she checked the heartbeat."

The doctor sighed. "I\'ve told her a million times to control her facial expressions better…Let\'s ease that anxiety for you by getting this done right away then."

She had Keeley lie on her back and lift her shirt again. Aaron was encouraged to move closer so he could see the screen better. Dr. Chapman spread a strange-feeling warm goo on her stomach before going over it with a flat little metal tool.

"Well, I know why she made that face. There were two heartbeats. You\'re having twins!"

Keeley craned her neck to see the screen and sure enough, there were two babies lying back to back in there! Tears sparked in her eyes. Not one but two. It was as if the universe was trying to make up for the one she lost before.

"Twins," Aaron whispered in a daze. He looked over at his wife with a stupid grin on his face. "We\'re having twins!"

She nodded with a stupid grin of her own. "Doctor, can you tell what the genders are?"

Dr. Chapman peered at the ultrasound more closely. "It looks like you\'re having one of each. See? The one on the right is a boy."

"Kaleb," they said simultaneously before looking at each other and laughing.

"Kaleb and Violet," Keeley said emotionally. "They\'re so tiny."

"Twins are usually born early so we\'ll have to take extra good care of you. I want you to come in every two weeks from here on out, understood? You haven\'t been gaining nearly enough weight to sustain twins," the doctor scolded before turning to Aaron. "Make sure your wife always has some sort of snack!"

He nodded vehemently. "I will!"

Dr. Chapman exhorted Keeley to take it easy as soon as the semester was done because all of the extra stress wasn\'t good for her or her children. Aaron promised he would strap her down to the bed if necessary, making Keeley laugh. She didn\'t realize he was dead serious.

They left the office with a list of advised foods and with their hearts much lighter. Twins! This was worth celebrating.

Keeley was having a very specific craving for a steak at a chain she and her father used to go to on special occasions so they headed there immediately after leaving the doctor\'s office. She sighed happily as she dug into the complementary bread while they waited for their orders. It was still warm.

Her husband gazed at her softly from across the table with his head resting on his fist as if she was the most beautiful thing in the world. She flushed. Scarfing down bread like there was no tomorrow definitely wasn\'t attractive.

It didn\'t seem to matter to him. His sweet stare didn\'t falter.

"What are you looking at?" she coughed, embarrassed.

"My gorgeous wife."

That was an exaggeration. The bags under her eyes were so bad now that she had looked like a panda for weeks. In what way was that gorgeous?

"I think you need to get your eyes checked."

Aaron shook his head. "Tiredness can\'t detract from true beauty."

Tiredness detracted from a lot of things. Like her sanity. Keeley was supposed to defend her dissertation next week and was terrified out of her mind. After that, she would be free forever.

"What if I fail my dissertation committee?" she blurted out of the blue.

Dr. Kim assured her that her research was solid so as long as she explained it properly she would be fine but it didn\'t help with her nerves any. Standing in front of a bunch of people older and smarter than you trying to explain yourself was terrifying.

"You won\'t," Aaron said confidently. "You know what you\'re doing. And you\'ve been practicing what you\'re going to say already. You\'re going to be perfectly fine."

He hesitated a moment before speaking again, looking slightly embarrassed. "I\'ve already found a lab willing to take you and your research on as soon as you\'re ready to go back to work."

Keeley hadn\'t even thought about when she would go back to work. She wanted to raise her children herself, not have them raised by a nanny like poor Aaron had been. Which meant she would need to stay at home until they were about three years old.

"Actually…I want to stay with the babies until they\'re old enough to start pre-school. I don\'t know if the lab you found would be willing to wait that long."

Surprise lit his eyes for a moment before he smirked.

"Money is power, sweetheart. If they aren\'t, I\'ll find someone else. I\'ll build you a lab of your own if I have to. I\'m going to make sure you can continue your research if it\'s the last thing I do. Are you really okay with deferring your dream that long though?"

"I always hoped to stay with my kids while they were younger, like my mom did. I\'ve waited this long. What\'s a few more years?"

Aaron laughed a bit self-deprecatingly. "That\'s what I used to tell myself about waiting for you."

A small smile lit her face and she teased him. "Was I your dream then?"

"Yes," he said without hesitation, leaning across the table to kiss her.