They had to call my doctor in from home – the second we got into the hospital room, I knew I was going into labor – right then. The nurses had gone out to get a blood transfusion packet going, but I couldn’t wait for that.
“Get a nurse, get someone!” I yelled at Sergio, who looked on in terror. I don’t think I’d ever seen him so concerned over anything before in our time together. He was out the door in search of someone.
I was crying as I let my body do what it wanted to do – I began pushing as hard as I could, ready to catch the kid myself if someone didn’t show up soon.
From the moment the nurses handed me my new baby, I knew she would be something special. I had almost lost her – her neck had been caught in the umbilical cord had wrapped around her neck and the placenta had ruptured.
She seemed more alert than either of my other children had been, and much more quizzical. Sergio and I named her Ariana.
The children grew and grew.
Brayden, like his father, came close to flunking out of high school. He didn’t take any of our scolding or groundings seriously – somehow he was completely fine with being restricted to his room without a cell phone.
Ella, on the other hand, was always studying. She wasn’t especially quick, but she was tenacious – she sat at the table with her notebook for hours most nights, turning away our offers to help her. She was a lot like Sergio – brooding, silent, aloof. She became even more so the older she got. But she loved us, in her own quiet way. The only thing she loved openly and without reservation was Annabelle.
Ariana, though, was a mini version of me. She was full of energy and loved to play ‘look at me.’ Her antics only got worse the older she became, and her older brother always seemed to be getting her into trouble. All she had to do was flutter her eyelashes innocently, though, and Sergio gave in to most anything she wanted. It could have been that ‘innocent until proven guilty’ look that made him fall in love with me – and now he saw it in our daughter. It was no secret that she was his favorite, although he loved all of the kids. She would always be daddy’s little girl.
These were our kids… and pretty soon, we would have to choose which of them should bear the curse of the farm and take up my role as heir.