Chapter 19: Big

We shared a late brunch before venturing out into the city. It was still bitterly cold, but fortunate for us it wasn’t snowing yet.

We found a nearby mall, where I picked out another new stack of pregnancy and parenting books.

Taylor took the books out to the car while I wandered through a maternity store.

I was browsing through a rack of maternity dresses, when I felt a pair of arms slip around me. “Oh!” I jumped.

“Hey…” He said slowly. “It’s okay, it’s just me.” He moved aside my hair and lightly kissed my cheek.

I smiled, leaning back against his body. “You startled me.”

“Sorry, sweetie.” He murmured. “Can I get you anything?” He offered.

“I think I’m okay.” I smiled, turning to him.

“Have you found something to wear yet?”

“No.” I frowned. “I haven’t really had a chance… maybe you could help me find something…”

“I’m not very good at picking out clothes, sweetie. I could try though.” He shrugged, digging through the racks.

I smiled, finding a long white strapless dress. I held it out, it was way too big, and it would have fit me like a tent.

Taylor moved away and found another rack of maternity dresses. “Emma, what about this one?”

I glanced up, the dress he was holding was short and a pretty shade of shimmering pink. I let the dress I was holding fall from my hands; it swung on the rack.

“Wow.” I breathed. It was perfect. I ran my fingers over the silky fabric.

“It’s on sale too.” He said proudly.

“It’s gorgeous… I think I need to try it on.”

“Of course.” He held out the dress to me, and I moved toward the dressing room, with the dress in hand.

It took me a while to shrug out of the clothes I had on, simply because I had so many layers on. I slipped easily into the dress, fastening the bow at my lower back.

I smiled to myself and pivoted on my hips, to glance at the dress in two different mirrors. It was perfect.

I changed back into my clothes and carried the dress out into the store. Taylor had found a wicker chair and was sitting.

He pouted. “What I don’t get to see the dress? I helped you find it!”

I laughed softly. “It’s a surprise.”

He smiled. “Okay, if that’s what you want.”

He followed me to the counter, and before I could remove my wallet from my purse, Taylor surrendered his credit card.

“Tay!” I cried in a hushed whisper.

He shrugged. “Just consider it a warm up for how often we’re going to be using it later.” He signed the slip and pushed it back across the desk to the cashier. He accepted his copy of the receipt and the bag the cashier held out for him.

“Come on, we still have do get some baby shopping in… let’s go spend all my money.” He grinned, holding his free hand out to me.

I took his hand and let him tow me from the store.

“You know, we have that inheritance from my parents, we should use that for the baby stuff…” I suggested.

“Emma,” He laughed softly. “I was only kidding about the money thing…”

“Tay, no, it’s fine. We agreed to put the money aside for a good reason, and this is a good reason.” I said, catching up to his pace. “Don’t you think?”

He smiled. “Okay, if that’s what you want… I thought we were kind of saving that money for a solid gold house or something.” He teased.

I rolled my eyes. “Please?”

“Okay.” He nodded.

We hurried through the cold to our car, and he immediately cranked up the heat. I was sure that I was shivering hard enough to shake the entire car.

“So where is this baby place your parents were talking about?” I asked curiously, glancing out the window.

“I think it’s only a couple blocks over.”

I nodded. “Do you think there’s an ice cream place around?”

Taylor didn’t respond, but when I glanced at him, he appeared to be seriously contemplating my sanity.

“What?” I asked curiously.

“Isn’t it a little early for weird cravings?” He asked.

“What’s so weird about ice cream?” I inquired.

“Emma, it’s December, and it’s like twenty below outside.”

“Oh, right.” I frowned.

“If you really want ice cream, we can stop somewhere, of course…” He said quickly.

“No, no. lets do the baby shopping first.”

He finally found a huge store, and pulled into the parking lot. He circled a couple of times and got a spot as close to the door as he could manage. We still hurried into the store.

Taylor grabbed a cart, wisely assuming we’d need one.

I stopped at a display of blankets, in a myriad of different colors. I picked up a pink set and a blue set, frowning deeply.
“What’s wrong?” Taylor asked.

“Well, nothing… I just… this is going to be really hard if we don’t know what we’re having. I mean, if we buy all pink and we have boys, then it’ll be weird. And if we buy blue and we have girls…”

“So then we pick a gender neutral color.” He pointed. “Green or yellow or white.”

“Yellow is still pretty girly, though.” I wrinkled my nose, “And I don’t think I want green…”

‘Well, no, not after you spend a third of the pregnancy throwing up all morning…”

“So, white?” I asked. “Does that work?”

“Sure, why not?” He shrugged.

“Oh! We could get white, and get dark wood furniture, then it would totally work design wise, right? It would be so elegant!” I said excitedly.

He chuckled. “Okay, you’ve been spending way too much time with Lisa.”

I sighed. “I know. Who cares about design, right? As long as the babies are comfortable, happy and healthy…” I turned my attention back to the blankets in my hands.

“And you know, a lot of this stuff, we’ll probably get from the baby shower, and of course Christmas is coming, so our families will buy for the babies too. I know my mom is already thinking about it.”

I glanced up at Taylor worriedly. My eyes were wide. “People give gifts at baby showers?”

“Of course, sweetie.” Taylor smiled.

“And people buy for babies who aren’t even born yet?”

“People like my mother, yeah.” He chuckled.

I chewed my lip. “I don’t think people should spend a lot of money…”

“Well, know. I think mostly people send clothing, and small stuff… you know, burping blankets and receiving blankets and bath stuff…”

I nodded.

“If it bothers you, we could tell people no gifts.”

“I… I don’t know. This is just overwhelming.”

“Okay, so we’ll just keep it simple today. We’ll get a couple of cribs, a dresser, maybe a chair… a change table. Big furniture purchases. We’ll worry about the rest when we’re closer to baby time.”

I nodded and smiled softly. “Okay, that works.”

“Good.” He lightly kissed my temple.

The smile faded from my lips and I chewed my lip again.

“What’s wrong?” He asked.

“Well… I just have one question…” I began.

“Sure.”

“What’s the difference between a burping blanket and a receiving blanket? I mean, how will I know what use each blanket is for? What if I wash them all together and forget which is which?” I asked worriedly.

Taylor grinned.

“I should call your mom. She knows.” I continued, already searching for my phone in my purse.

He took my hand. “Emma, sweetie. I’m pretty sure they’re the same thing.”

I frowned. “Oh. I just feel so unprepared for all this stuff.”

“We’ve got lots of time to learn.” He smiled and kissed me reassuringly. “And I’ll help you where I can.”

“Thank you.” I breathed, placing both sets of blankets back on the shelf.

“Come on, lets go pick out some furniture, and then we can go back to the hotel and both have a nap before our big date.”

I smiled and placed the items back on the shelf. I slipped my hand into his and let him lead me through the store.

We both moved aside for a woman who waddled down the aisle toward us. She was absolutely huge, looking like she might fall over backward just to accommodate the massive round stomach.

I tugged Taylor to a stop.

“What’s wrong?” He asked gently.

“Tay… I’m… I’m not going to get that big am I?” I whispered to him.

He glanced at the woman I had signaled him to and he smiled faintly.

“Uhh… Em, you are having two babies, remember…”

My jaw dropped. “Oh my god!”

“Hey, you know it won’t be so bad. We’ll just get one of those huge cranes to lift you-“

I swatted his arm as hard as I could.

He chuckled. “Sweetie, I’m kidding. You know I love you, and I don’t care if you gain five pounds or five hundred, I’m still going to love you more than anything, and we’re going to have two perfect, healthy little babies.” He lightly kissed my forehead.

I sighed and nodded. “Okay. But you’d better still love me when I’m huge.”

“I will.” He swore.

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