She needed to throw up and quickly, but she was tangled up in the bed with Elizabeth. Helena wormed her way out of bed, dashing to the bathroom, making it to the toilet just in time. Her stomach was turning, her head was spinning, and it was only 5:30 a.m. As she emptied her guts into the toilet, trying to be as clean as possible, she felt her hair being pulled back and a hand on her back, rubbing soothing circles on it.
“That’s it. Get it all out,” Elizabeth coached through yawns. Helena groaned, not only because of her current position but from the fact that she had woken Elizabeth up. Helena always felt so bad in the mornings having to leave the bed, because she knew it would wake Elizabeth up. With both of them being insomniacs they needed all the sleep they could come by.
“Go back to bed. I’m okay,” Helena assured her, lifting her head from out of the toilet bowl, flushing it. Elizabeth pretended not to hear her, reaching over to the sink and wetting a washcloth, wiping around Helena’s mouth, and kissing her forehead.
“I’m going to go get you some ginger ale while you brush your teeth,” Elizabeth said helping her wife up off of the floor and handing over Helena’s toothbrush and toothpaste. Helena smiled weakly, rubbing her eyes. Elizabeth whisked out of the bathroom, putting on a robe to go downstairs calling to Helena before leaving the bedroom, “brush them good! I want those lips kissable.” Helena brushed her teeth and washed her face, making sure she looked and felt clean enough to kiss. When she was done, she looked at herself in the mirror scanning over her figure after observing her face. She was 4 - almost 5 - months pregnant and was starting to show more and more every day. She smiled at her bump through the mirror looking down and her slightly bulging tummy.
“Hej dzieciaku, minęły cztery miesiące. Kiedy przestaniesz zmuszać mnie do wymiotów? (Hey kid it’s been four months. When are you going to stop making me throw up?)” Helena asked as if the baby was going to answer her. Elizabeth came back into the bathroom, carrying a glass of ginger ale and smiled, seeing Helena interacting with the baby.
“I’ve missed this. You used to sit and talk to Anna for hours, and I would just sit and watch,” Elizabeth said shuffling in the bathroom with a glass of ginger ale. Helena took the glass, drinking a small amount before puckering her lips, asking for a kiss. Elizabeth obliged, kissing her quickly, her palm rubbing slightly against Helena’s bump.
“Mommy! Mama! Good morning,” Annalise yelled, coming into their bedroom. Elizabeth and Helena waltzed out of the bathroom, greeting their daughter with morning hugs and kisses.
“Good morning, moja róża, are you hungry?” Helena asked, knowing she usually was in the mornings. Annalise nodded, wiping the sleep from her eyes, “Mommy is too.” The three made their way down to the kitchen, Elizabeth insisting on making breakfast.
“Okay, let’s see here. How about some spinach omelets?” Elizabeth suggested as she looked through the refrigerator. Helena laughed to herself as Annalise made a funny face towards her, looking disgusted.
“Zrobię nam naleśniki, kiedy będzie brała prysznic (I’ll make us pancakes while she takes a shower),” Helena whispered to the little girl, making a smile spread across her face. Sure enough, Elizabeth had made the omelets, kissing both her wife and daughter on the head before going back upstairs to take a shower. Helena waited until she heard the shower running to throw the omelets away, picking up Annalise and sitting her on the counter. Annalise sat quietly observing her mother gather all the ingredients, pre-measuring them out.
“Okay, Anna, will you help Mommy put the ingredients in the bowl?” Helena asked, handing a bowl of flour to the 6-year-old. One after one they dumped the contents of the smaller bowls into the bigger bowls, Annalise helping her mother stir the batter every once in a while.
“ Porządna dziewczyna (good girl),” Helena praised. Helena scooped the batter onto the pan, creating perfect pancakes, flipping them when ready. Helena knew Elizabeth would be down from her shower soon, so she washed the dishes while Annalise ate her pancakes quickly, forgetting to eat herself.
“Okay! How did you all like the omelets?” Elizabeth asked, coming into the kitchen fully dressed in a short pink dress with black thigh-high stockings. Annalise and Helena exchanged a sly look, Helena taking the little girl’s hand to go get her dressed.
“Delicious,” Helena muttered before kissing her wife, “and you look beautiful.” Elizabeth blushed, pecking at Helena’s lips again, before shooing Annalise and Helena off to get dressed.
“Can I sit in Auntie Shelly’s office today?” Annalise asked her mothers as Elizabeth buckled her into her car seat. Annalise usually spent the day in her mothers’ office but she occasionally liked to spend time in other’s offices because she got bored.
“We’re not going to the office today. Mommy and Mama have a press day today,” Elizabeth explained. Annalise nodded, pulling tuggy over her legs, Elizabeth shutting her door and climbing into the driver’s seat.
“I love your outfit, darling,” Elizabeth complimented Helena, getting herself prepared to pull off. Helena was wearing a white, button-down, long-sleeve shirt with a black vest over it with black slacks. The tightness of the vest outlining her baby bump perfectly. Helena offered a smile to Elizabeth, taking her wife’s hand and placing it on her bump as they began to drive. Helena always felt anxious in interviews. She wasn’t the most extroverted person, Elizabeth not being much of an extrovert either, and she didn’t want it to be awkward. The feel of Elizabeth’s hand on her stomach made her feel better. The car ride to the studio wasn’t that long, so Annalise practiced her ABCs with her mothers, working on associating items or animals with the letters.
“And W is for Watermelon, and X is for X-ray, and Y is for Yarn, and Z is for Zebras!” Annalise finished just as they pulled into the studio parking lot. They all piled out of the car, Annalise clinging to Helena, nervous to go into a new environment. Helena picked her up, placing her on her hip, and carried her the rest of the way. When they got in the studio, they stopped at the front desk to check-in, the receptionist being extra friendly to them and Annalise.
“Now you all will be in studio C. If you would like, Mrs.Rubenstien and Mrs. Arden, your daughter can play with other children in the nursery around the corner. That’s where many of our guests leave their children while they’re here,” the receptionist offered, pointing out the rooms on a map of the studio. Elizabeth and Helena looked at each other for a moment, looking to Annalise, and back to the receptionist, thinking the same thing.
“No, thank you. We’d like to keep her with us,” Elizabeth answered.
“She’s a well-behaved child, and I’m sure she wouldn’t like to be far away from us, especially when she is aware that we are still here,” Helena noted. The receptionist didn’t know what to say to that and just nodded, walking them back to the studio that they were shooting in. Elizabeth took Annalise’s backpack and pulled a big blanket out of it, laying it out on the floor behind the camera but off to the side.
“Okay, moja roza, you have coloring things, flashcards, and tuggy in your backpack,” Helena told her, setting the little girl down on the blanket, “Mommy and Mama will be right over there for a few hours. If you need us, tell the nice lady over there and she will let us know, okay?” Annalise nodded, pulling her flashcards out of her bag.
“It’s really important that you stay really quiet, Anna,” Elizabeth stressed to her, but Annalise seemed to be understanding just fine. With a kiss on the forehead from both of them, Annalise sat content while her mothers went to go shoot a couple of interviews.
Helena had a pounding headache at the end of the press run, having to think hard to answer questions about her and Elizabeth’s marriage, Annalise, and their new baby on the way. She had totally forgotten about having not eaten, and she started to feel lightheaded. Helena didn’t want to freak Elizabeth out, and so she tried to remain as normal as possible, but Elizabeth caught onto her and finally asked in the car.
“You didn’t eat this morning did you?” Elizabeth accused, pulling out of the studio parking lot. Helena shook her head, avoiding eye contact with Elizabeth.
“Why not?” Helena didn’t want to tell her wife to her face that she didn’t want the omelets, but there was no way around it.
“Annalise and I didn’t want the omelets and so while you were in the shower I made us pancakes but I forgot to eat them because I was trying to clean up. I’m sorry,” Helena explained as gently as she could. Elizabeth laughed lowly to herself.
“It’s okay honey. You could’ve just told me you wanted pancakes, but you have to remember to eat,” Elizabeth took a hand off of the steering wheel, poking at Helena’s stomach lightly, “you’re carrying my baby in there.” That made Helena laugh, grabbing Elizabeth’s hand and spreading kisses all over it. Elizabeth looked in the rearview mirror to check on Annalise and smiled when she saw the 6-year-old’s head drooped to the side, her eyes closed, tiny mouth open and hair dark hair sprawled everywhere.
“Look,” Elizabeth whispered. Helena turned her head back and smiled, seeing the same thing Elizabeth was.
“You know we’re not half bad at this ‘mom’ thing, Arden.”
“We do pretty alright, Rubenstein. Pretty alright.”