Too Old For This
“Shut up. Shut up. Do not even try and say that,” the man frowned, staring over at his husband seriously.
“But... Russell, you’re getting the exact same symptoms as when you were-”
“No. It’s been seventeen years. I don’t think that it’s possible anymore,” Russell said somewhat defensively. Though that’s mainly just because he really... really didn’t want to think of this possibility. At the age of 48, he couldn’t do that again, he just couldn’t go through it. The last time it happened when he was 31 was hell. The whole reason why they stopped.
“I’m just saying,” the older male shrugged. “You have to keep your mind open about the possibilities,” he stated as he walked over to his husband who was currently pulling on a pair of pajama pants for bed. Wrapping his arms around the man’s thin waist, he laid a hand over his stomach. “You could be pregnant again.”
“I’m too old to do this. I’m way way too old. Dammit I’m almost 50!” Russell groaned, plopping down on the couch and staring desperately up at his husband. “Vincent... I can’t.” He swallowed softly and shook his head. “Do you know all of the risks involved with this? I wasn’t even suppose to be able to have children anymore. After how hard it was with Blake...” Russell shook his head.
The older male listened and nodded a few times. It was a hard pregnancy. Russell had spent weeks in the hospital and if he wasn’t there he was at home on bedrest. They did a C-section, but both Russell and Blake ended up staying two weeks in the hospital before either of them were well enough to come home. Worst two weeks of Vincent’s life not knowing if his husband and newborn son were going to be okay.
And he knew it would just be worse. With Russell as old as he is and how long it’s been. 17 years. Which meant his body would have to readjust to holding another life all over again.
Vincent walked over to his husband, kneeling down beside him and taking his hand. “What do you want to do, then?” he asked quietly. He wasn’t going to even try and stop or talk his husband out of it if Russell said that he wanted an abortion. Russell would only do what he thought was best for everyone. Anyway, Vincent wasn’t sure himself what would be better. To end it before any pain and suffering could come to anyone or to fight through it for the sliver of a chance to have one more child.
“I can’t...” Russell stared down at his husband, sitting up a little more from his slouched position. “Vincent... I... I can’t...” Tears rolled down his cheeks. He couldn’t believe what he was saying. “The stress and the pain and... and not knowing if... if i-it- o-our b-baby -i-if they’ll be... a-alive a-and healthy w-when they’re born... I... I can’t,” he couldn’t help it. He couldn’t stop the tears coming or the sobs that wracked his body. Soon feeling Vincent’s embrace and just leaning into him.
He couldn’t go through with it.
Seeing the ultrasound and hearing the baby’s heartbeat completely broke him down. This, inside of him, is a life. It has a heartbeat. It’s alive. He couldn’t kill it.
So here he is, sitting next to his husband across the table from their 17 year old son trying to tell him that he’s going to have a younger sibling. It was so much easier telling Micheal and Keith and Levi about their siblings. Of course when Blake was conceived Micheal was only 13, Keith was 7, and Levi was 4. But 17 years old and hearing that he’ll soon have a baby brother or sister... Russell knew it wasn’t going to be easy.
“So... what’s going on...? Am I in... trouble?” the redhead asked. He took much more after Russell with the same deep dark red hair, lanky figure, and almost golden eyes.
“No, no... You’re not in trouble,” Russell answered. “We just... have something to tell you.”
“I know this will be hard... It was completely unexpected, but...” Vincent sighed softly, taking Russell’s hand as their son’s eyes widened.
“Wait... You’re not... One of you isn’t like... dying... right? Right?” he looked back and forth between the two older men- looking for an answer frantically.
“No. Look, just...”
“I’m pregnant, Blake,” Russell stepped in. “You’re going to be a big brother.”
The teen stared at his parents for a long while, shocked at first and then looking just confused.
“But you’re old... I didn’t think old people could have babies.”
“Go do your homework,” Russell growled. “Now,” he added when Blake just sat there.
It went quite a bit better telling their other children. All of them were shocked at first- of course when Micheal and his wife just found out the news that she was pregnant with their third and Keith had just given birth to his and his fiance’s first... Vincent and Russell could understand where they’d be so surprised. Anyways, the only babies that they were suppose to be dealing with at this age really should be grandchildren. Not their children.
So far, however, the pregnancy has gone smoothly. And just as the first three did. Really his pregnancies had been incredibly similar- well aside from the constant hospital trips with Blake -he never had any morning sickness, not even nausea, but... in the first trimester he was assaulted with terrible headaches nearly every other day and he craved blueberries in any form- made into bread, jam, a smoothie, poptarts, or just plain. Which was really the tip-off that made them suspect that he was pregnant again.
However, whenever he was pregnant before they didn’t have a teenager to deal with (they didn’t count Micheal being 13 when Russell was pregnant with Blake). And especially not a teenager that had a habit of doing the complete opposite of whatever his parents said.
The police had just showed up to drop Blake off after busting a party that involved highschoolers and alcohol. A party that earlier, both Russell and Vincent agreed that Blake was not allowed to go to.
At five months pregnant... This really wasn’t something Russell wanted to have to worry about. But here he was, taking turns with his husband lecturing their son at 1 AM.
After effectively taking his phone away and grounding him for the next month, they sent him up to his room, watching the teen slink up the stairs before looking back at each other, expressions softening.
“I’m so sorry,” Vincent chuckled, walking over to Russell and sitting down next to him, lazily flopping an arm over his husband’s shoulders.
“And why are you sorry?” Russell asked, looking over at Vincent, resting one hand delicately on his rounded stomach. He really was incredibly grateful to whatever gods there were or whoever granted him such a good pregnancy... but he really was appreciative that so far there hadn’t been any issues.
“Well you of all people should know... Blake might look like you but he acts like me,” Vincent stated.
“That is true,” the pregnant man laughed. “Ah... let’s go back to bed. The baby isn’t kicking up a storm and I’d really like to get some rest before it decides to wake up,” he told his husband.
After sitting down at the computer and searching baby names, the couple found out that there were quite a few... different names now. They weren’t so much looking for a name anymore than finding weird ones and wondering what sort of parent would ever name their kids things like ‘Thunder’ and ‘Fedora’. Once they finally stopped just picking out the odd names and actually seriously started looking well... They weren’t actually sure what they wanted to do- having decided not to find out the baby’s gender until it’s born. They hadn’t really talked about it- picking out two different names or just going with a gender-neutral one.
After much talking, searching, and arguing they decided on Sam- Samantha for a girl, Sampson for a boy.
“Why did we decide not to know the gender this time, anyways?” Vincent asked, glancing over at his husband. Every other time they found out as soon as they could... Of course they had all boys so far.
“To be different?” Russell shrugged, leaning back in the chair. “And so I can hold on to the hopes of having a girl a little bit longer?” He slid a hand over his stomach, sighing softly and smiling a little bit. Everything was going so incredibly well. Sure he ached all over and could never get into a comfortable position to sleep... But their baby was healthy and so far there hadn’t been any complications and that’s more than Russell could ever ask for after everything that happened with Blake.
“Why do you want a girl so bad, anyways?” Vincent asked. From the beginning of this he’d been perfectly content with having all boys. When they found out Micheal’s gender-despite Micheal’s whole existence being a huge surprise to both of them- he was thrilled, even happier when they found out that their second would be a boy, and still terribly excited with Levi and Blake.
And it wasn’t that Russell didn’t love them. He did with all of his heart. They were his children, but he’s always wanted a daughter and just felt like there was something missing. Anyways... their goal had been 5 children. They just didn’t want to risk it after all the complications with Russell’s last pregnancy.
“I don’t know... I always have,” Russell said. “But I have a feeling that we’ll finally have a daughter this time,” he told his husband before swiveling the chair to the side and getting up. “Now lets get some lunch, I’m starving.”
Russell was so glad that Blake had school to go to. With all of their other children out living their own lives and currently the only one at home right now was in high school... It meant that during the day they had time to themselves to do whatever the hell they wanted. Of course that would change very soon... but they could deal with that. Infants really were a lot easier to deal with than teens and preteens. Their needs a lot easier to meet.
But that didn’t matter right now.
What mattered was that after dropping Blake off at school and crawling back into bed... They could stay there. They didn’t even have work to worry about with Vincent being retired and Russell being on maternity leave. It was quite a bit earlier than it would usually be- the maternity leave, but the doctor told him he shouldn’t be doing a lot in this last trimester of his pregnancy. Try to avoid any stress that things like work could cause since with Russell’s medical history and the fact that he was older there was a much greater risk for him going into preterm labor.
But so far, so far everything was going amazingly.
At 29 weeks, sharing a lazy morning with his husband sounded great. They laid on the couch together, Russell leaning against Vincent’s chest sitting between his legs, and sipping on the cup of hot chocolate they were sharing while watching some early morning news.
It was great until he noticed that the ache low in his back wasn’t the same constant pain that was usually there but that it intensified every few minutes like clockwork. Contractions? Russell frowned, shifting and moving to sit up a little more, sliding away from his husband and setting the mug of hot chocolate down on the table.
“Are you okay?” Vincent asked, looking over to his husband.
“No...” Russell muttered.
After trying everything he could think of to try and stop the contractions, really hoping that what he had been feeling was just a cluster of the braxton hicks ones... They were moving to get to the hospital.
It was soon confirmed that Russell had actually went into labor. Of course. Russell should never have even begun thinking that this would be a nice smooth pregnancy that would go right up to his already planned C-section date. He just had to go into preterm labor at 7 months right after getting off work and on maternity leave.
They put an IV in his arm with fluids and medicine to try and stop the contractions and put a monitor on his stomach to keep track of the baby’s heartbeat. He managed to lay on his side without pulling any of the wires, frowning over at Vincent. “What if it doesn’t stop...?” he whispered, carefully laying a hand over his stomach and closing his eyes against another contraction.
“Then... we’ll be meeting our little Sammy a bit soon, huh?” Vincent shrugged. “But... 29 weeks is enough, isn’t it? Of course they’ll be premature and need extra care... but... still... Sam should survive this.”
“I should have never gotten pregnant... We shouldn’t have stopped using protection, Vincent...” Russell looked down at his stomach, just hoping that the contractions would stop and he could be sent home. Even on bedrest and a strict diet he didn’t care... Just so long as Sam would be alright.
“Russell, we had no way of knowing this would happen. Your doctor said that you weren’t fertile anymore,” Vincent countered gently. Frowning slightly he kneeled next to the bed so that he was at eye level with Russell. “Russell, you have to calm down,” he whispered in a soothing voice, leaning over to kiss him gently. “If you get all worked up then it will just make everything worse and make it more likely that Sam’s going to come early,” he muttered.
“I know,” the redhead muttered back. “I just... this shouldn’t be happening... I shouldn’t even be pregnant...”
“We had no way of knowing that you would get pregnant... It might have been a surprise... but it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have happened,” the older male soothed. He remembered having this conversation with his husband years ago- before they got married, before Vincent even proposed. When Russell became pregnant with Michael. He was only 17 when it happened after all and gave birth to him a few months after he turned 18. That was rough. The pregnancy went well and Michael was healthy but... Russell being an unmarried and pregnant teenager in the early 80’s... He got a lot of abuse for it. Even worse because he was a boy.
Russell felt his husband take his hand, kissing his knuckles softly, and more than anything that gesture calmed him.