Noah took off his shoes and then his shirt. When he saw the expression in Sharlee’s eyes as she watched him, he smirked and gave an exaggerated stretch that flexed his muscles. He always loved seeing the effect he had on her.
“Would anyone like something to drink? I’m thirsty, and I know you need something to drink too Babe.”
Dale was talking to Alissa about the new model of treadmills that were in the resort gym and that they needed to upgrade their gym equipment at home. Shawn had been asking for a different weight bench.
Everyone’s attention was on the baby, except for Noah’s and Alissa’s. They were looking at Sharlee. She was holding her abdomen and blood was on her leg. She had a terrified expression on her face as she looked at Noah. “Noah!” Tears started sliding down her cheeks.
“Are the pains steady or intermittent?”
By the time the doctor finished examining her, Sharlee’s pains had subsided. The bleeding had stopped in the ambulance. The doctor ran some tests and then did an ultrasound. The baby’s heartbeat was nice and strong. The baby wasn’t in any distress.
“Everything seems to be okay. My guess is that your swimming strained areas in your uterus that are still trying to heal from your previous injury. The pain and the bleeding were warnings from your body! There are just some things, young lady that you cannot do until maybe even months after your baby is born. Swimming is one of them!”
After he knew that she and the baby were okay, Noah felt like he had to leave the room. He was very angry with Sharlee. He knew that what she had done was heroic, but it had placed her life and their baby’s life in danger. She had to start putting their baby first! He didn’t want to say the wrong thing to her and knew he had to stay away from her until he cooled off. Sharlee saw his expression and started to say something to him. Noah couldn’t hold it in. He exploded!
“You could have killed yourself and our baby! How could you…”
Noah quickly left the room.
Noah came out into the waiting area. “The doctor said that Sharlee and the baby are fine. She was just straining the areas that are still healing. The bleeding and the pain have stopped. You can see her now if you want. I’ve gotta get some air.”
Before they could ask any more questions, Noah headed out of the hospital. Alissa apologized to Dale.
“It’s okay! I was scared too!”
The whole time he’d been helping the toddler, part of his mind had been on his own daughter and grandbaby.
“Noah isn’t with you?”
Sharlee hoped so, but she wasn’t so sure.
Noah came back after about half an hour, but he was very quiet. Sharlee was monitored for several more hours, and then she was released to go back to the resort. The doctor told her to return if she experienced any pain or any bleeding. Noah still hadn’t said much on the ride back.
“I’m sorry, Noah. I didn’t think! I just reacted automatically when I saw that baby fall into the pool. I know that I should have asked someone else to help her instead of doing it myself.” She started fighting tears. “I was scared too! I was so afraid that I was going to lose our baby. From that moment on, I promise you that I decided that I will think before I do anything. I’m going to the extreme with taking things easy and not overexerting myself. Our baby is going to be born healthy and strong. I’m not going to lose him!”
“Please keep that promise! I can’t lose the baby or you!”
Alissa called to check on Sharlee, and they made plans for the next day.
“I feel just fine. No pain at all.”
“Are you okay?”
“Yes, Mom and I just thought that it’d be best for me to play it safe and stay off of my feet today.”
“Thank you, Babe. That really relieves my mind. I was going to suggest it, but I was trying to work up to it!”
Sharlee laughed. “Work up to it! I meant what I told you. I’m not going to argue or complain when you make suggestions. I really thought about a lot of things last night. This is your baby too, and you have a right to make suggestions for the baby’s benefit and for mine.”
Noah kissed her. Then her cellphone rang. It was Alissa.
“We go back home on Sunday. Since I’m staying off of my feet today, and I can’t go boating even after that, Mom and I came up with a great idea. She and Dad are on their way to our suite so that we can discuss it.”
Noah had the feeling he wouldn’t like this “great” idea. Before long, Dale and Alissa came to the suite.
“Dale, when we went boating, you found several spots that you said would be great for fishing, and that you wanted to come back. Since I hate fishing and Noah hasn’t had a chance to go boating or exploring, we thought it’d be great if you two go out together today. Sharlee needs to rest in bed, and I want to stay with her. You two can water ski and fish. It’ll do you good to hang out together.”
“No. I grew up in the city.”
Dale hadn’t thought about that or the fact that Noah hadn’t been very close to his stepfather.
“You’re about to become a father. Fishing is a great experience to share with your own children. It’s relaxing and a good opportunity for talking with them. So, I really think it’d be good if you let me teach you how to fish. Santa Fe is full of good fishing spots.”
“Alright. I’ll go.”
Noah and Dale left after breakfast.
“I don’t think you have to worry about that Sharlee. Your Dad knows that Noah isn’t about to go away. I think he’ll genuinely try to get along with him from now on.”
“Mom how much longer before I feel the baby move?”
Sharlee laughed. They talked some more about what Sharlee could expect and how hers and Noah’s lives would really change after the baby is born.
At first as he rode in the boat, Noah was fine. Then as they went further and further from shore, he started to feel nauseous. He didn’t want to say anything to Dale and suffered in silence. Then he couldn’t hide it anymore.
He was relieved when they finally pulled into a bay and Dale stopped the boat. They walked a short distance to the spot where Dale wanted to fish. After a while, Noah’s stomach settled, and he felt okay again. He wondered if this was what Sharlee had been experiencing for the past few months. If so, he admired her even more for wanting to be pregnant and carry their child.
Dale pulled out the fishing equipment and handed Noah a pole. Then he showed Noah how to bait his hook and then how to cast his line. When they had both cast their lines, they stood silently on the edge of the lake. Each of them not really knowing what to say to the other.
Noah was having the same problem. He really felt that there was no point in trying. Dale would never think he was right for Sharlee, and he and Dale didn’t particularly like each other anyway. However, he knew that she’d ask him how their day had gone, and so he’d better try to make a real effort to get along with Dale.
They talked for a good while about various sports. Noah hadn’t been that into sports before, but Shawn had got him watching football and basketball games. He’d also started going to Aiden’s soccer games when he could. Then Dale thought of something else they could discuss.
Dale looked at him in surprise, and Noah laughed.
“I can’t say that those things are gonna be fun, but it’s a part of taking care of our baby. I still have to learn how to do those things, and I can’t wait till the baby is here.”
Dale couldn’t think of anything else to talk about after that.
Then Noah told him, “Why don’t we just stop with the crap and quit pretending.”
“That’s true, but for Sharlee and Alissa’s sake, I’m going to try to get along with you.”
“Quit trying to get Sharlee hooked up with other guys. She’s my wife, and I’m not going to stand by and watch you try to break us up again. I know that’s what you tried to do using Kristian. If you set him after her again, I’m not going to be polite and gentlemanly. I’ll break his damn neck!”
They fished for a couple of hours, and then they headed back to the resort. Alissa and Dale returned to their suite.
“So did you have a good time?”
Sharlee noticed that he hadn’t really answered her question. She asked him, “Do you want to go?”
“I want to be able to make some good memories for our children, Sharlee; and I know that experiences like those are important. I never did any of those things with my parents, and maybe that’s why I’m the way that I am.”
“I like the way you are, Noah; but you’re right. I do have a lot of great memories of time spent with my family. If you don’t enjoy fishing and camping, we can do other things with the children. We can do some of the things that you enjoy.”
Then he said, “We can do that. We can also go fishing, and I’m willing to try camping. I think we could even go horseback riding. Although I will definitely need more practice. Santa Fe is sort of perfect for outdoor activities, and I know you enjoy doing those types of things.”
Sharlee smiled. They talked about baby names and other subjects after that.
Cara was soaking in some sun.
They had only been on the beach for a short while when Joy went over and climbed up into her grandmother’s lap. Even though Valerie and Robert were no longer together, whenever the grandchildren came to town, she spent time with them also.
“Baby girl, what’s wrong?”
“I don’t feel so good.”
“No, I have a headache and my stomach feels yucky.”
“Okay Honey. I’ll take you home with me.”
“Let me take her temperature first and then we’ll see.”
Robert agreed and stayed at the beach with the other children. Joy vomited just before she got in the car. Valerie guessed that she had the flu.
He asked her, “If her fever goes up, please let me know.”
“Of course I will.”
Dale and Alissa discussed it and decided to fly to Florida rather than home to Santa Fe just in case Joy wasn’t well enough to fly back home.
The toddler drowning poses were made by my friend Zhippidy. She’s one of the best pose creators! I’ve wanted to use these ever since I first saw them! Thanks Zhip!