The ‘Q’ Factor
Two weeks after Sandy’s accident the group were sitting and laughing enjoying each other company. “Hey everyone”, Cindy wanted everyone’s attention. “I have something to tell you but wanted to be sure Sandy was okay first. Jack and I found out we’re going to have our FIRST baby!” The screaming and jumping that came from everyone including Nick filled the room and beyond. Everyone was grabbing Cindy and hugging her she could hardly breathe. But Cindy didn't mind, if felt good to know so many people cared about her. No-one could do any more patchwork that night. The laughter filled the air the happiness was shining, nothing could be any better than seeing everyone so happy. Agnes couldn't help think this as she watched everyone talking.
Cindy was glowing, Nick couldn't stop smiling, the same for Lisa. Amanda and Lidia would have been the only two not as happy.
Waiting in the foyer of the restaurant that Amanda was going to own one day, she sat patiently waiting for the present owner. Amanda had a meeting with him to see if he would think about selling her the restaurant. She had heard he was hard to talk too but she wouldn't know unless she tried. The restaurant “Petite” was known for its fine dining but Amanda wanted to change that. “Fine dining” is special but she wanted to have a jazz band playing and have steak and chicken on the menu instead all of the fancy items you can see in many restaurants these days. She heard Mr Turner coming out of the office; she rose to greet him with her handout as a friendly gesture. “Hello Mr. Turner thanks for taking the time to meet me today.” “Good afternoon Miss Wild come sit in my office”
The room was big to her, she could see herself sitting behind the desk ringing clients to place orders for more food and then getting into the kitchen and cook for all her guests.
“Mr Turner, as you may know I have been looking for the right place for me to own and run. I like the look and feel of this restaurant. I am hoping that today I will have an offer you couldn't refuse”...
Cindy was starting to look like she was carrying an elephant but was only four months pregnant. She never imagined pregnancy would be so tiring early on. They had an appointment to meet with the doctor today and have a scan to see how the baby was doing. She was nervous hoping the baby would have five toes and five fingers and everything else a baby should have. How have other women managed being pregnant she wondered!
Sitting in the waiting room holding hands Cindy found it hard to keep her mind focused on anything else other than the baby. Jack was reading some car magazine when their time came to see the doctor. “Good afternoon Mr. And Mrs. Jacobs how are we today?” “To be honest Dr. Hope we’re a bit nervous we have not seen a baby like this before; we don’t know what to expect.” “It’s normal to feel like this Mrs. Jacobs; we always scan to see how the baby is. This helps us know how the baby is doing; how have you been feeling?” “Well, I have been sick a lot lately. I was told this would settle down after the third month” Nodding his head he explained how every pregnancy is different and that it was a good sign of a healthy pregnancy.
“I’ll need you on the table so we can have a good look at the baby. Mrs Jacobs place this robe on and wait for me here” Lying on the bed with a funny robe on Cindy wanted this over; she wanted to know for sure their baby was healthy. Dr. Hope turned on the machine and placed a gel all over her stomach. Jack was standing at the head of the bed holding her hands as the doctor started to scan for their baby. He was quiet for a long-time Cindy thought. “Dr. Hope is everything okay? What can you see? How is our baby?”
“Mrs. Jacobs you need to be patient with me there is a lot to look at before I say too much Give me another few minutes.” This felt like a lifetime to Cindy. The doctor finally started to explain what he was seeing. “Here I need the both of you to look at the screen now” you can see the head (as he was pointing to the screen) we could see a round circular head as he said on the screen. Jack and I looked at each other, the tears were flowing; our baby IS real. The doctor continued. “Here is your baby’s heartbeat which is a strong heartbeat. There are five fingers and five toes. What I want you to look at here can you see this arm here?” “Cindy focused on the arm he said was there but it didn't seem right how could the arm be where was? “What’s wrong with our baby Doctor how can the baby have an arm by it’s leg?” He laughed calmly said “Mr and Mrs Jacobs your baby is fine. The arm you’re looking at is the arm of your second baby Your having twins” Cindy shook her head and said “no way I don’t believe you are you for real?” “Mrs Jacobs I have been a doctor a long-time and have seen many twin pregnancies. This explains your size and the reason you are still sick. Congratulations” Jack had to sit down; he never imagined he would be a father to a set of twins. Double of EVERYTHING! How could he do it! How would he cope? Cindy sat up on the bed and starred at the screen that showed the life of two of their babies. How did they manage this? How would she be as a mother of twin babies?
While sitting at the table we were making our quilts while Lidia and Agnes had a cup of coffee. “Lidia, how are you feeling these days? You seem in another world sometimes” A deep sigh comes out of Lidia’s lips. “I’m sorry Aggie I do have somethings on my mind” “Would you like to talk about it Sweetie?” Lidia’s heart ached at thinking about the lost years with her mother. “Aggie, promise me this won’t get out at our group session” “Sweetie, what you and I talk about will always stay with us, it’s nobody else’s business but our own”
“When I was thirteen my mother was killed in a car accident” “Oh, that is sad sweetie, what happened?” “She was coming home and was hit by a tanker, she died instantly! It was hard Aggie losing mom that way but there is something else about that day something I have never told anybody” She took a deep breath and continued. “Mom had been drinking her and dad had a huge fight about something dad had done. She had left angry had a few drinks at a bar then she died! Dad never forgave himself and has never told me what happened to make her leave like that.” “Oh my, that is horrible Lidia, have you asked him what happened for your own peace of mind.” “I tried when I was twenty-two years old. I started to ask him when he had to go. So I never got a chance to ask him” Agnes stood up and lifted her out of her seat and then held Lidia while she cried tears long overdue for her mother. Lidia had become close to Agnes like she was her grandmother or mentor maybe. Either way Agnes had become a big part of Lidia’s life.
The day was looming for Nick and Sandy’s big day. He would have Sandy as his wife again. He made sure that each quilter’s group member had their invitations even though Cindy was close to having her twins. He knew that bringing into the world two babies meant more in their own right than Sandy’s and his wedding. He would forgive her if she couldn't make it. Nick had asked Sandy if she would wed him at their home in the backyard where she used to paint. This meant much more to Sandy than Nick ever knew. He could see by the look on her face she was fighting back tears of joy.
Jack and Cindy were sitting down for dinner when Cindy felt a twinge she never felt before. She started to shake as she looked up at Jack as if say “this is it honey” He saw the look on her face and knew instantly they were going to be parents soon! The drive to the hospital took a long-time, cars were everywhere and traffic was slow. Cindy could tell her body was doing something different. Her stomach hurt a lot then the muscles would tighten hard. They told her that this would happen when she was going into labour . The hospital was in sight which made Cindy’s heart race knowing the day had come were her life would change forever. Once settled in a room Jack went to call all the family and friends so they could help support them through something they knew nothing about. Jack could hear Cindy screaming from each contraction that grew in intensity each time. Agnes was home when he called and she was going to let everyone know from the group so he knew that soon they would be there for them. He was thankful for the group, they had taught Cindy so much over the years since she started to attend and make beautiful quilts. He couldn't wait to have them there for Cindy especially. Her mom and dad lived-in another town so they would be four hours before they arrived and by then this could all be over!
Two hours later with everyone sitting in the same waiting room where Sandy was taken and Lidia’s mom died; everyone was pacing the floor trying not to look worried. The doctor had told Jack that one of the twins was breach so they needed to take her to surgery. Jack couldn't believe Cindy had to go through this alone; he was beside himself pacing more than the others and checking the hallway for any sign of the doctor. Thirty minutes later and everything changed for Cindy; she had been given something to help her sleep so they could perform a Cesarean Section to try to save the babies. One was in trouble because he had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and needed to be delivered soon or he wouldn't make it. Being breech this can happen the Doctor assured Jack and Cindy as she was heading to the theatre. “Mr. Jacobs” Jack raised his head from between his hands afraid to hear what the doctor might say. “Mr. Jacobs I’m sorry to have to tell you this; we didn't make it in time to save your little boy, the oxygen had been cut off from his tiny brain for too long. I’m sorry Mr. Jacobs.” Mrs. Jacobs and your baby daughter will be fine. She is healthy as you would want with all her toes and fingers; she has a good crop of black hair as well. I know this is hard for you to have all different kinds of emotions right now. Mr. Jacobs please know we did all we could for both of your children and Mrs. Jacobs be strong for your wife she will find it hard to take in when she wakes up” The shock was overwhelming for Jack. There was a part of him hurting he had lost his son. Then there was part of him who was elated he had a healthy daughter! “Tell me Doctor, when can I see Cindy? I want to be the one to tell her” “Give her another twenty minutes to wake up and then you and only you can go and see her for ten minutes.” “Thanks doctor..... For everything”
Everyone from the group was huddled in the corner crying from the mixed emotions they were feeling. By this stage Jack’s parents were holding him as he let his feelings flow through his eyes.
Three days later everyone gathered at Agnes’s home before the funeral. This day was supposed to be Nick and Sandy’s special day. But they couldn't have their day until they knew the funeral had passed. They needed to think of Cindy and Jack.
Cindy was sore from the delivery. Sore also from her loss that no mother should ever experience; she found it hard to pick up little Kathryn Rose. The daughter she dreamed of holding and loving with all she had only a few months ago now was in her crib crying for a loving touch. The funeral was in an hour; Cindy couldn't move off the bed; she felt frozen in time. Inside she asked herself what she could have done differently to save Caleb. If only she had known more about this. Why didn't the doctor tell her about this? Warn her she thought deep in her soul. The pain was more than she could bear. Poor Kathryn needed her yet she couldn't touch her; any time she heard her she could only see Caleb in the morgue laying there cold lifeless, with no sign of love in his face. Cindy fell to the floor weeping into the carpet her hands were flying all over the place trying to hit whatever came into contact. Soon Jack was with her on the floor taking the hits as her fists kept swinging at him but in Cindy’s mind she was hitting God; she was so upset at him for taking their son. She would find it hard to forgive him for this. To put Jack and her through this; she was told he is about life and not death! So why would he take a child; one that had no life with his parents or his sister? This was the hardest thing she had ever been through. Now she was going to have to hold her head high. Be strong for Jack and Kathryn who she had to find the love this child would need to survive in life.
The church felt cold inside; maybe that is how churches are when someone dies. Agnes had arrived first in her black dress and black stylish hat. She looked burdened thinking of Cindy and Jack. The group had changed in a matter of months from a laughing happy group; to sadness and not much quilting since the death of Caleb. Lidia arrived soon after taking hold of Agnes and weeping more into her shoulder. Not even the soft whisper from her mentor made this any easier for Lidia. She had found Cindy someone who may not be easy to get along with. She still felt losing a child is something no one should ever go through. The two walked slowly to their seats close to the front by Cindy’s request. Jack was sitting next her holding her like she would fall over without the support. She seemed like a doll sitting there motionless, empty but hurting at the same time. Kathryn was with her nanny in the waiting room in the church; Cindy didn't feel she could handle a crying baby during the service. Amanda arrived and sat next to Lidia who held her hand to let her know she was glad she made it. Lisa and Ben walked in and together sat next to Amanda; the mood was somber and dark between them. With a tap on Ben’s shoulder he looked up to see Sandy and Nick was taking their seats next to him. It was time to say their goodbyes to a young soul who only briefly knew life.