Carmen’s pregnancy had gone smoothly. Well, it went as smoothly as a pregnancy could go for a woman who lived in fear of a vampire showing up at her door. Even with the garlic wreath on her door, Carmen worried that Hugo’s wife Imane might stop by to finish the fight she’d tried to start when she first learned of Rodrigo’s existence.
Hugo was super happy when he heard the news that he and Carmen were having twins. His smile was infectious, and Carmen felt like she’d been bodysnatched as she found herself smiling right back at him. She certainly hadn’t gotten pregnant on purpose, but in that exact moment, she couldn’t bring herself to be upset.
When she wasn’t standing directly in front of Hugo and his broad smile, Carmen was less happy. She could no longer deny her homewrecker status,s he could only vow to do better going forward. Also, she was less happy because of what two growing babies did to her bladder.
Carmen always had lots of visitors over, and being pregnant didn’t change that. One visitor was Daniella, Luca’s little sister. Once Daniella joined the world of being a mom, she and Carmen had developed a friendly relationship outside of Carmen’s friendship with Daniella’s brother and in-laws. She stopped by when she could, and some of her visits coincided with Hugo’s visits.
If it was weird for Hugo and Daniella to transition from high school classmates to adults discussing whether it was easier to potty train a boy or a girl, they didn’t show it. There was lots of potential for things to get awkward, but the best thing about Daniella was that she didn’t judge. She knew Hugo was the father of Carmen’s babies, and didn’t bat an eye. She simply said she was used to crazy things happening, and she was not going to pass judgement on two people so obviously in love.
She got a quick moment alone with Daniella when Rodrigo asked his father to help him with his flash cards. Carmen was really glad for the interruption because she was dying to ask questions about Robyn’s pregnancy, but she didn’t dare ask them of Laurel.
Carmen watched as Hugo taught Rodrigo, or rather tried to teach Rodrigo, how to say toothbrush. Consonant sounds with the letter “h” in them were still giving him trouble, but he never gave up. He was such a sweet angel, and almost never had temper tantrums or made things messy on purpose.
Carmen turned her attention away from her two favorite (so far) men to talk to Daniella.
“I need mommy tips. You are managing triplets, so please reassure me that I can handle him plus these twins,” said Carmen, gesturing towards Rodrigo. “If you tell me I’ll be okay, maybe I’ll believe it.”
Robyn smiled kindly, “I’m not gonna lie, it’s hard work. Quincy and I do it together, and that makes it just a tiny bit easier. Hugo is over here a lot, so that will help.”
“That’t not quite what I wanted to hear,” said Carmen with a weak laugh, “but at least you didn’t tell me I’m guaranteed to fail.”
“Failure is unlikely,” said Daniella. “I just doesn’t logically make sense that you’d fail when you’ve met every other challenge.”
“Awww,” said Carmen. “that’s sweet. And pragmatic. Well, listen, really quickly before Rodrigo decides he needs my attention again. What’s going on with Robyn? I wanted to ask your mo–Laurel, but she’s so upset, so…”
“I get why you didn’t ask her,” said Daniella. “But I know she wouldn’t mind you knowing what’s going on. Robyn is due right after you are, but she still won’t say who the father is. She doesn’t even have a boyfriend! It’s actually been hard to watch. She’s just like… retreated into herself. She’s always had the tendency to be gloomy, but she’s never gone full rain cloud before.”
“Oh man,” said Carmen. “That’s not what I wanted to hear. As soon as my boys are born, I’m going to go over there and check on them.”
“I really don’t know if that’s a good idea,” said Daniella. “But you should call and check on them. I think they need a reminder that they still have their friends and family behind them.”
“I’ll do that,” said Carmen, “now, tell me about what you’ve got planned so far for this wedding of yours.” Daniella filled her in on what she had so far, squeezing in as much info as she could share because she knew Rodrigo would soon need Carmen’s attention soon.
Carmen happily listened to all the plans for the wedding as she watched Rodrigo finally give up on saying toothbrush properly that day.
Somehow she managed to get through her pregnancy, though when she looked back on that time, she had no idea how she was able to carry a heavy toddler around while heavily pregnant.
Once she brought her twins home, everything had to change. Even with Hugo’s near constant presence, Carmen often felt overwhelmed. She was in love with her three boys, but she was 100% sure she was done having kids. Aside from the fact that she was never going to sleep with a married man again (and had no other prospects), there was simply no more room. Mauricio’s and Marco’s bassinets were both in the main living space. She wasn’t sure what she would do when they aged up to toddler. Her house was feeling smaller and smaller with each inch her boys gained.
Yet, in those moments where both of the twins were asleep, the house felt like it used to. In those moments, it felt like nothing had changed. It felt like it was just her and Rodrigo, making it work.
But time marched on. Carmen saw how Rodrigo was able to do more and more things by himself. She could see how this new life, now with four of them, could work just as well.