Olivia and Reba saw the paramedics roll a gurney through the doorway of the critical nursery.
“Two admissions, ladies,” an attendant said as he prepared to relinquish the children’s medical transport. “Their vital signs are good. But the smallest one needs special care. If you can sign the forms, I’ll leave the babies in your care.” The attendant walked back down the white hallway toward the ambulance bay.
Olivia turned to the boys. “Poor babies,” she whispered. “Quincy is going to be a great father. He’s not going to let your momma mistreat either of you.” After talking to the babies, Olivia spoke to Reba. “Madge’s pregnancy has been extremely tough on everyone. She was a pain in the ass for real. She complained about everything. Quincy didn’t have a moment’s peace from the time she got pregnant until the night she left his home. I can almost see her intensifying her rhetoric.”
“Girl, she can’t be that bad. I heard she’s a little strange. Does she have any real mental issues that have never been addressed?” Reba changed the topic before Olivia could respond, asking, “Do you still need the blood samples? Do you still think the babies could be either man’s child? How is your brother going to handle it if the twins have a different father?”
Olivia grimaced. “Yes, I need them. But let’s go through regular protocol. We don’t want to do anything that would jeopardize the test. The lab techs will draw the blood from the babies in the next twenty-four hours.”
Olivia believed Madge didn’t have a motherly bone in her body. She didn’t remember her sister-in-law going for her regular monthly checkups. Madge was busy creating a toxic environment for everyone else. “The one time Quincy went with her for an appointment, Madge argued with him for two days,” Olivia told Reba. “She accused him of snooping in her personal business. She should have taken better care of herself during her pregnancy. Most of the time, she was too busy creating havoc for other people.”
Olivia stopped talking to catch her voice. “She was a mischievous floozy on a mission.” Olivia hadn’t seen her sister-in-law since she’d thrown her out of the house. She spent most of her time making sure Quincy’s health had improved.
“Madge should’ve known better,” said Reba. “I hope she takes better care of her children.”
Olivia agreed. “She was too busy raising hell with everyone. Madge must have had some little clues that would suggest multiple births. She probably dismissed all those signs as morning sickness.” She couldn’t believe her sister-in-law would be so careless.
“There’s no way she didn’t feel the party going on in her stomach. I know she must have felt kicks coming from different directions.” Reba shook her head before lifting the baby out of the incubator. “Baby two is a scrawny little boy. He’s the sickly one.”
Being a nurse, Olivia wouldn’t ordinarily speak disparagingly about a patient. With all the craziness that Madge brought into her family’s life, she felt justified in making light of the situation. Still, she felt a little out of line criticizing Madge about not being aware she was carrying twins.
“Don’t worry, little ones. Auntie Olivia is going to have you nice and healthy in no time.”
Reba looked at Olivia. “Babies can make a big difference in folks’ lives. Maybe these wee ones will bring your family together. Whether you like it or not, Madge will be tied to your family forever.”
“True,” whispered Olivia. “It’s going to be hard. I’ll try to be nicer to their wretched mother!” Olivia giggled. “I’ll even be her private duty nurse once she leaves the hospital. I know that’s stretching it. Quincy deserves some peace.”
Reba laughed. “Those babies have softened that cold heart of yours already.”
Olivia sighed. “Isn’t it pathetic?!”
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