Chapter 26

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A few hours later, Jenna lay in bed wrapped around her body pillow. Her lower back was mildly aching and she'd had four more contractions. They were growing more intense. You're not going to wait much longer, are you? Her baby had been pretty quiet today, not kicking Jenna's insides black and blue.

The house was quiet, as the men had gone out to let the women rest. Jenna laid there for a moment more, then got back up. She grabbed the body pillow and headed downstairs, and knocked on her mother's door.

"Come in."

Jenna pushed the door open and saw her mother laying on the bed, a warm soft blanket covering her. "Mamma can I lay with you?"

"Of course, though you should have asked me to come up to you," she said, sitting up.

"Don't get up." Jenna laid the body pillow down then crawled up on the bed and settled around it as comfortably as she could. Her mother stretched the blanket over her and they both lay quietly staring at each other for a moment. Caroline placed her hand on Jenna's belly. "She's been very quiet today," Jenna said softly.

Caroline gently moved her hands around her big belly, carefully prodding. "It won't be much longer now. Next few days. Have you decided on a name yet?"

"No, and I probably won't until she's born.  I've been so indecisive." Jenna had it narrowed down to a few different names. She'd already picked Caroline for the middle name, though she hadn't told her mother that. "I'm scared, Mamma," she whispered.

"Oh Jenna. I remember how scared I was before Tyler was born. It'll be fine. You're going to be a great mother," her own mother reassured her, placing her hand on Jenna's cheek.

"What if I mess up?"

"Then you mess up. You chalk it up as experience and move on. And remember you don't have to do it all yourself. Don't be afraid to ask for help. You've got family that will do anything for you, and this little one is going to have your father and brothers wrapped around her little finger," Caroline brushed Jenna's hair back from her face.

"Thanks Mamma. I need the reassurance," she placed her hand on top of her mother's.

"Always Jenna. Now I'm going to shut up so you can get some sleep. You have pies to make later and I've got entertainment to watch over," Caroline rolled her eyes. As much as she'd like to help more, she just wasn't able to. She knew her time was short. She just wanted to be around long enough to see the first few months of her first grandchild's life. Unfortunately, it would be the only grandchild she'd get to see before she was gone and she intended to hold that baby as much as she could.

Jenna's breathing evened out, and Caroline brushed a tear away as she watched her only daughter sleep. Being a single mother wasn't going to be easy and she truly hoped Jenna would find someone one day who would be both good to Jenna and her daughter. She knew Jenna still missed the man that had impregnated her. Whoever he was, he had definitely kept Jenna's heart, and she hoped one day Jenna could find someone who she could love just as deeply.

Jenna never spoke of him, but Caroline could see it in her eyes; the longing for someone she couldn't have.

Caroline sighed softly. At least Jenna had her family. She'd be sure to speak to each of her boys before she was gone, and remind them to take good care of their sister.

A few hours later, Jenna slipped back downstairs after her evening nap. She hadn't really slept very well, as the contractions had grown in intensity and gotten closer together. Not that she had told anyone. She wasn't ready for this baby to come yet. What if something went wrong?

Jenna rubbed her lower back as she inspected the pies. Her father had done most of the work, and he'd done a fine job. They looked delicious. She needed to cover them, and then make his candy.

Mitch and Caroline had gone to bed while Jenna had been napping. Tyler was watching TV in his room, and Jonah was wrapping a few last minute gifts. Jenna wasn't even sure where Michael had disappeared to. Probably out with his girlfriend.

She set about pulling the ingredients out, and everything she would need, then set to work. Jenna had made the peanut butter pinwheels many times before and could probably make it in her sleep.

She sighed as she finished the candy and began to clean up her mess. Her back was aching badly and contractions were starting to come more frequently. She ignored them as best she could until she suddenly felt something wet down between her legs

She looked down and it quickly dawned on her what had just happened. "Crap," she muttered. She bit her lip as she stared at the mess. She couldn't leave it. She grabbed the paper towels and dropped them on the floor and used her feet to mop up her mess.

Jenna groaned as another contraction hit her. She forced herself to breath through it. She found a mop and started to fill a bucket with water. Another contraction slammed into her and she whimpered, putting her hand over her mouth to keep from screaming.

"Jenna?" Jonah called as he came down the stairs. "Ugh, what happened?" He stopped at the far end of the kitchen and stared at the floor.

Jenna looked up at him and sighed. She couldn't do this. She walked across the floor and handed him the mop. "I'm sorry. My water broke. I .. I need to go." She headed upstairs as quickly as she could. Maybe a warm shower would help.

Jonah stared at the floor in shock for a full moment before he dropped the mop and sprinted up the stairs to Tyler's room.

"Hey, where's the fire?" Tyler joked as he saw Jonah standing in his doorway looking like he saw a ghost.

"Jenna's water broke," Jonah whisper shouted at him.

Tyler jumper up off his bed. "Where is she?"

"She said she needed to go and came up to her room," Jonah stepped out of Tyler's way as his brother pushed past him and down the hall to Jenna's room. He knocked, then pushed the door open.

"Jenna?" Tyler entered her room and looked around. The bathroom door was closed and the shower was running. Their sister's cry of pain had them both hurrying over to the door. "Jenna?" Tyler knocked on the door.

"I'm okay... I'm.. I'm almost done," she called. The water turned off.

"How close are your contractions?" Tyler called through the door.

"What's going on?" Both men turned to see Mitch standing in the doorway. The running around upstairs had woken him up.

Jenna groaned loudly through the door, a shrill scream ripping from her lips. "Too close!" She shrieked. She pulled the door open.

"We need to time your contractions," Tyler told her, trying to remain calm.

Jenna glared at him. "I need to lie down. This baby is coming. Now."

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