Anastacia found herself going into full on 'expectant mother' mode now she was pregnant. She had been working hard for most of her adult life, so kicking back and relaxing was odd to her, but not as boring as she'd assumed it would be. She watched a lot of TV but inevitably found herself gravitating towards the children's channels. Now she was pregnant, her mind just seemed like baby mush, and The Adventures Of Wolfman was right on her intellectual level.
She also spent a lot of time rocking back and forth in the new rocking chair, simply daydreaming and listening to children's music, planning out her unborn child's life. She thought a lot about getting a bigger house, but money reserves were still low since they'd bought the Dog Day Plaza. The stream of cash from this and the diner was more than sufficient each week, but it would take some time before they started making their money back on it. Lawrence had also recently become a partner in the grocery store - a far more low-key investment, but a significant enough cost to prevent a new home being a possibility for a while longer.
On her final pregnancy trimester, Lawrence's parents invited them round to their large house on the other side of town for a pool party. It was the last thing Anastacia wanted to do - it was so hot and humid outside and she felt grossly huge in all her clothes, let alone a swimsuit - but she knew it was important to Lawrence that his parents saw how he was getting on in life, so she reluctantly agreed.
Still, just because she was here, it didn't mean she had to be particularly sociable. There were plenty of people around to keep Lawrence's parents busy, so she waded into the cool, refreshing pool water and climbed onto a lilo where she floated aimlessly for about twenty minutes, until Lily, Lawrence's mother, got into the pool and made her way over. "Annie, there you are! Let's get out of the pool, I want to see that bump of yours properly."
Anastacia still found it weird, random people wanting to rub her stomach, but she was used to it by now. Lily gasped in delight when she felt a kick. "Oh, my goodness, what a kick! That's quite a big baby you've got in there."
"Really?" Anastacia frowned. A few people had remarked on how big the bump looked. She hoped the baby weight wouldn't be a pain to shift once she'd given birth.
"It's a good thing, my dear. A big baby means a healthy baby. Lawrence was such a tiny little thing, barely five pounds, and he was sickly all the way through his first year. No chance of that happening with this one!"
"I hope not," Anastacia agreed. She hadn't really thought about things like the baby's weight, or health, or anything like that. So far, pregnancy had been a bit of a breeze. She'd not expected to enjoy it as much as she was, and the science stuff made it all seem a bit daunting.
Inside the house, Lawrence was networking with one of his mum's friends who had some experience soundtracking movies. Truthfully, he thought she was a bit old to be working on a film, and her ideas were kind of outdated. But as he had been taught by his parents (to the point of excess) to be polite to everyone, he duly listened to her ideas, trying not to look too bored.
"Of course," she said, her demeanour becoming a little more... flirtatious, "my other great passion is acting. If you needed a more mature leading lady, well," she eyed him up and down, "I'm sure I could do my best."
Lawrence gulped, wondering what to do, but his mother luckily appeared at that point.
"Oh, hello Matilda, are you having a nice time? Lawrence, darling, I was just talking to that beautiful wife of yours. She's positively glowing! Imagine, you're going to be a father. I'm so proud, sweetheart."
Matilda seemed to get the message, and Lawrence shot a grateful smile at his mother. She was a bit of a busybody sometimes, but she was good at handling difficult social situations. Lawrence was always at a complete loss when people tried to flirt with him; it happened occasionally, but he'd never viewed anyone that way apart from Anastacia. He was completely devoted to her, as she was to him; they both had the Eternally Faithful reputation to prove it.
Anastacia had made her way up to the roof terrace where her sister and a few others were sunbathing. Jennifer had been invited because she worked with Lawrence's father, and it was a pleasant surprise to see her here. They greeted each other with a hug before Jennifer's eyes travelled to Anastacia's stomach.
"Wow, you're huge! Much bigger than Chloe was."
"Everyone keeps saying that," Anastacia replied, shrugging. "Guess I just got a heavyweight in here. How is Chloe? And Edwin? I keep meaning to pop round but, well, the sofa is way too comfy these days."
"She's okay. The father has been sniffing round, literally. Did you know it was Benjamin Schmidt?"
"No! Isn't he... isn't he a werewolf?!"
Anastacia held her hand up to her mouth, eyes widening. "So... is Edwin...?"
"Too early to tell. Chloe keeps asking me whether I want them to move out, in case he does turn out to be one, but I don't know how she's going to cope if she does. Besides, Edwin is probably the closest I'm going to come to raising my own child, so..." she shrugged, trying not to look too sad, and Anastacia quickly changed the subject.
"I've heard you're getting on amazingly at work though, right? You'll be CEO in no time!"
"I suppose." Jennifer plastered on a smile, trying to take comfort from her success in business, but Anastacia knew there was a sadness there that she wasn't able to shake. Jennifer was hardly on the shelf yet, but she seemed to believe she was. Anastacia hoped it wouldn't stay that way. If anyone deserved to be in a committed relationship, it was her sweet younger sister.
Just a few days after the pool party, Anastacia was watching TV on the sofa when she felt it... the baby was coming. It took her completely by surprise, and there was no time to get to the hospital. She was going to have a home birth.
"Lawrence," she puff out. "It's happening."
Her husband dropped the laundry pile and stammered, "I... let me go and tell Miles!" With that he rushed off, and Anastacia was kind of relieved; it would surely be easier to do this on her own.
Giving birth was pretty simple, and soon Anastacia was holding her new baby girl Alexis.
But then she felt the pain of childbirth return, and she groaned in surprise. Surely not? Not two of them? She breathed her way through the second birth, screaming out for her husband and her father to get here and help!
By the time they had arrived, the second baby girl had arrived, as well as the third and final baby boy. These two she named Aidia and Leith.
She turned to Lawrence shakily. She didn't think she'd ever seen him look so pale. "Surprise! Triplets!" she said with all the enthusiasm she could muster.
Her husband looked like he was about to pass out.
The next few days were a blur of nappies and bottles and crying... endless crying.
Miles was content to help out - in fact, for the first few days he barely let either parent near his grandchildren, such was his enthusiasm and joy at having three new babies around the house. Anastacia knew it meant a lot to him to hold his grandchildren before he departed as an elder, especially as Chloe was reluctant to bring Edwin round to the house. She was desperately relieved that she was able to give him something back for all the love and attention he had given her over the years.
Anastacia loved being a parent, just as her own parents had. As she put Leith to bed one evening, she felt his tiny fingers wrap round just one of hers, and she swallowed away tears. This was the most amazing feeling in the world.
There wasn't enough space in the newly decorated nursery to fit all three cribs, so Leith lived out in the hallway. Miles had been reluctant at first, saying the youngest of the triplets should go in his room, and he would sleep on the sofa, but Anastacia wouldn't hear of it.
"We'll make some space soon, dad, it's fine."
She saw his mouth tighten and she sighed, realising what she'd just said. More space would only become available when her father passed away, and they both knew it. She tried to apologise but he shook his head. "No, you're right. I haven't got long left, Ana, so let's make the most of the time I've got left, eh?"
Anastacia nodded, trying not to show her emotions at how easily her father was accepting his inevitable fate.
She felt exhausted all the time. Most of the time she stayed up most of the night, feeding or changing the triplets, or simply playing with them to keep them happy. When she crawled into bed in the morning, whilst the babies dozed off, Lawrence would inevitably be getting up to go to work. Anastacia wasn't allowed to go back to work yet, as she was still pretty weak from the strenuous birth, so Lawrence was the main breadwinner, temporarily. She understood that he had no choice, but she still felt slightly resentful when she saw him heading off each day.
Still, she had to admit, he was trying at the whole fatherhood thing. The first time she'd handed him Aidia to hold, he'd stared at her blankly with a 'What am I supposed to do with this thing?' expression on his face. She sighed as she attempted to burp Alexis.
"Feed her, she looks hungry!"
So Lawrence awkwardly attempted to feed her, and though a lot of milk splashed over her chin, most of it went in her mouth and Anastacia had to smile at the proud expression on her husband's face when he put the baby back into the crib. No sooner had he put her down, though, did she start to cry again.
"Someone's a bit smelly," Anastacia pointed out in the baby voice she'd perfected over the last couple of days. Lawrence sighed.
"Does that mean what I think it means?"
"I expect so. Best do it quickly, those screams are only going to get louder."
Lawrence suppressed a grimace. "How many years until they're teenagers?"
"Thirteen, Mr Genius. Come on, quit stalling!"
One night, Yumi came out for the first time since her death some months earlier. Miles saw her across the garden as he took out the trash. She glimmered in the darkness, resting on the ground leisurely, and Miles smiled. "Not long now, Yumi-dog."
Notes: Triplets! Yes, triplets! I was looking forward to a quiet Gen 3, with just the two children that the roll had dictated, but then Anastacia had to go and have triplets. :-/ Well, at least this generation won't be boring, I suppose.... >_>
Alexis was the first born and has the Perceptive and Light Sleeper traits, Aidia is the second born and has the Insane and Loves The Heat traits (good combination, lol!) and Leith is the youngest and has the Genius and Grumpy trait. I've decided to start randomising traits this generation with just a couple of rules I've set for myself: 1. If any children from the same generation acquire the same trait as one of their siblings, I reroll, and 2. The final trait when they become a young adult is free choice, so that the heir has at least ONE helpful trait for whatever career I've rolled for.
I thought it was neat that Lawrence and Anastacia both got the Eternally Faithful reputation. I've never seen that happen before. Apparently they get it when they've only been in one relationship in their life and have been in the relationship for 20 days or more. I thought it was a bit strange as Anastacia was in a sort-of relationship with Locke when she was a teenager (although I don't think they ever went steady, so maybe that's why), and Miles and Hailey never got it despite both being faithful for their entire relationship, so I don't know if it always works properly, but it gives them a nice little positive moodlet so I approve.