And Baby Makes Five

Although the woman and her family looked forward to baby number five, one complication existed.  Her parents and her sisters did not know she was expecting.  Once she started showing, the woman faded from public view and stayed hidden from her family.

The knock on the door sent her scurrying. After peeking out the bedroom window, Dotty whispered to her oldest daughter, “Tell your aunt, I went to the store with Sonny.”
Quickly, she tiptoed through the house and down the back stairs to hide in the laundry room.

1

Once the pregnant mother of four started showing, she hid from her family. The mother didn’t want to have to deal with her family’s inquisition. During her fourth pregnancy, her sisters shook their heads and wanted to know what she was thinking. She wasn’t ready for another round of her family’s animated opinions, so she hid for the remainder of her pregnancy.

When she first began to show, she would wear her husband’s shirts around the house. In the beginning, people wondered if she had gained a few pounds. “If they only knew,” her older daughter would chuckle to herself.

For weeks, the women concealed herself anytime family appeared at her door. Her oldest daughter told one little white lie after another, making excuses for her mom. Her nearest neighbor and best friend Sonny was often her alibi. “It’s a good thing Sonny is gay, or your family would believe you two were having an affair,” her husband, Harold laughed. “Eventually, you are going to have to tell them about baby number five.”

Sighing, the woman shook her head, and replied, “Maybe, but not today.”

A few short weeks later, Dotty and Harold were running errands, Dotty’s dad decided to tag along. While sitting in the backseat of the car, Dotty told her father, “Hey, dad, guess what? I am going to have another baby next month.”

Her husband quickly glanced in his rear view mirror. Eyebrows raised, he smiled at his wife and shook his head.

Her father laughed and replied, “Yeah? Well, so am I; I’m having a baby elephant. Wanna see the trunk?”

The two men in the front seat laughed about the older man’s off-colored remark. Dotty smiled and but kept quiet.

Later that evening, Harold turned to his wife, “When are you going to tell your family?”

“I did. I told my dad. I can’t help it if he doesn’t believe me.”

Finally, the day arrived. Baby number five decided it was time to make his entrance into the world. This little one decided he wanted to make a splash, for he was born on his mother’s birthday. That day, the woman’s family tried calling to wish her a happy birthday, but no one answered the phone. The four remaining children had been farmed out to friends while their mother was in the hospital.

Finally, Harold told his wife, “I am going to let the family know about our boy.”

Holding her newborn son close, she smiled and replied, “Good luck with that.”

Picking up the phone, he first called his mother-in-law. “Hi, Grandma. I just wanted to let you know that Dotty is in the hospital. She gave birth this morning, and we have a new son.”

Grandma laughed into the phone and scolded her son-in-law for making up such a crazy tale. Since he continued with his antics, Grandma just played along while asking questions about the “new baby.”

Next on the list Dotty’s older sister. “Hey, Barb. You’re an aunt once again. Dotty is in the hospital, and she had a boy.”

Barb just laughed at her brother-in-law.

As the day progressed, the two women tried several times to reach Dotty, but the phone just rang. Finally, Barb called her mom. “I tried calling Dotty today, but no one answered. And Harold called and told me that she was in the hospital and just had a baby boy.”

Grandma laughed. “He called me too and told me the same story. I can’t get a hold of her either.”

“You don’t suppose that she really had another baby.” Barb’s voice dropped off. “I will call you back. I am going to check in with the hospital.”

She couldn’t possibly have had a baby. The last time she saw her sister…She stopped short. The last time she saw her was a few months ago. Every time she stopped by her sister’s house, she wasn’t home. Her niece always told her she was out. Could it be?

Hastily, she looked up the number for the hospital in the phonebook and dialed. Once the operator answered the phone, she asked, “May I speak to Dotty Reeder, please.”

“Just one moment, please.”

“Excuse me. Can you tell me what floor she in on?”

“Mrs. Reeder is on the maternity floor. Would you like me to connect you?”

“Umm..no thank you,” she softly replied.

Hanging up the phone, Barb quietly sat in her seat. Grabbing her keys, she hurried out of the house. When she broke the news to her parents, she wanted to do it in person.

Pulling out of her driveway, she headed to her parent’s home. Leaving Bay Farm Island behind, she drove over the bridge into Alameda, wondering about her younger sister. The whole time she could not stop thinking about all of those kids… It made her tired.

Soon she pulled into the long driveway and parked her car in front of her parent’s little cottage home. It was tucked behind the larger Victorian home that also graced the property. Years ago, Barb and her husband, Lyle, had purchased this property. The Victorian housed two apartments, and the quaint cottage made the perfect home for her parents.

Sliding out of her seat, she walked up to the porch, opened the door and entered her parent’s living room. Grandma and Grandpa were watching TV. “Well,” she began, “you are not going to believe this, but she did have a baby boy. I talked to the operator at the hospital.”

“What?” Grandma asked? “I wonder why she didn’t say anything?”

“Well, I’ll be damned,” Grandpa replied. “Ya, know. Come to think of it. She did tell me last month.”

“Oh no, she didn’t,” Grandma scolded her husband.

“She did. We were in the car. And she broke the news.”

“Why, didn’t you tell us?” Barb questioned her father.

“Well, I didn’t believe her.” And he proceeded to tell the two women how he replied to his daughter’s revelation.

Mother and daughter looked at one another and snickered when they heard the man’s account.

“Well, I guess you will have to take us to the hospital to meet little Billy,” Grandma told her daughter.

“Why did they name him, Billy?” Barb inquired.

“Harold told me that was his brother’s name,” Grandma informed her daughter.

“Poor little guy,” Barb remarked.

Barb and her father waited for Grandma as she freshened her lipstick and grabbed her purse. The trio talked among themselves about this latest development.

Barb and her father waited for Grandma as she freshened her lipstick and grabbed her purse. The trio talked among themselves about this latest development.

“Well, I secretly knew,” Grandpa remarked.

“Oh, hush. You did not know she was pregnant,” Grandma chided.

“I did. She had that glow that you women get when you’re in a family way.”

And the three continued this conversation as they climbed into Barb’s Cadillac. Little Danny never knew the commotion he created when he entered this world, well, at least, not until he was older. It became a favorite family story. And no, I didn’t make a mistake. Little Billy, ultimately became Danny, but I will save that tale for part two about family secrets. Stayed tuned.

Complication The Daily Prompt

8 thoughts on “And Baby Makes Five

      1. Awesome, can’t wait! Your family history is so interesting, and you talk about it with affection, truth, love and it’s so inviting, compelling. I honestly believe you should make this into a novel. Fascinating! stuff!

        Liked by 1 person

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