Zoe had blossomed into her third trimester late Friday night, and the baby was putting serious pressure on her bladder. She was awoken bright and early by a desperate urge to pee. Zoe felt terrible that she had to relieve herself in a bush so close to where she and Miles slept. She didn’t have a better option, though, and didn’t want to pee herself, which would be especially embarrassing since they didn’t have a shower.
When she was finished, she stretched her back, which was sore from carrying the heavy weight. Since it was barely after 6 am, she went back to bed.
By 8 am, Miles woke up and swam over to ‘fertilize’ his favorite bush. It was raining lightly but still warm out. When Zoe got up moments later, she decided she might as well stay in her swimsuit and keep her clothes dry. It had been a week of sunny days, and Zoe didn’t mind the rain for a change.
Meanwhile, Cloud lit the fire pit and the flames quickly got out of control. He exclaimed, “Man, this is so not cool.”
After he doused the fire on his arm, he began roasting the fish he’d caught last night.
After taking care of business, Miles harvested the plants in the area and weeded the cherry tree.
Zoe had harvested 3 avocados from the tree near her bed and evolved a bell pepper plant. Then she tried to upgrade the sink so the faucet wouldn’t spring a leak as often.
Cloud’s fish was finally cooked, and he inhaled the aroma. “Ah, that’s nature’s bounty right there. Smells delicious.”
When Miles finished, he swam over to the smaller planting area and harvested 27 more cherries to add to their stockpile.
In the meantime, Zoe completed the sink upgrade, and Cloud finished eating his breakfast. By the time Miles had wrapped up his gardening tasks, he was hungry, too, and ate some freshly picked cherries for breakfast, sharing them with Zoe.
While Miles was washing up, Zoe started reading Handiness, Vol. 1: Try Not to Die! Cloud swam over to the planting area for a little privacy to ‘fertilize’ a bush.
When Miles was done, he walked over to the woodworking bench to start on another planter and noticed something strange in his peripheral vision. He turned towards Zoe and said, “Hey, Zoe, where did that pile of twigs come from?”
“What pile of twigs?” she asked as she began to turn towards Miles. “Hey, that wasn’t there a minute ago.”
“Here we go again. Twigs, though – what’s up with that?” Miles snorted. “Why not send us a shower? Now, that’s something we could really use.”
“OMG, yes. I miss my shower!”
While they were talking, Cloud swam back to the island and harvested the bell peppers, cherries and tomatoes. Then he weeded the cherry tree.
Zoe told Miles she’d clean up the twigs while he was busy crafting. Once she’d moved them all into an out-of-the-way pile, she went over to keep Miles company.
As Miles worked, Zoe talked with him about how quickly her pregnancy was advancing and about her concerns about having the baby on the island rather than in a hospital.
To Zoe’s dismay, Miles whacked himself in the head with the hammer. “Oh, Miles, I’m so sorry. Are you hurt? I shouldn’t have distracted you while you were swinging a hammer.”
“I’m OK, babe, and it’s not your fault. I should’ve just listened to you instead of trying to do two things at once. I obviously wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing.”
“I know it would be the best case scenario for you to deliver our baby in a hospital. Try not to stress out, though. Remember, women have been having babies for centuries. Besides, we have an island god who’s rushing your pregnancy along. I see that as a positive omen that babies are welcome here.”
Zoe sighed. “You’re right, Miles. These damn hormones are making me emotional. I just want the best for our baby.”
“Of course you do, babe. So do I, and I’ll be with you every step of the way,” Miles replied as he embraced Zoe in a loving hug.
Early that afternoon, it started raining hard enough that Cloud took the opportunity to shower in the rain. As far as he was concerned, it was another example of Mother Earth taking care of his basic needs. As he washed up, he thanked the universe for the blessing of cleanliness. Washing his long hair in a small sink was quite a challenge.
After his shower, Cloud worked out on the heavy bag for a little while and then went fishing, using bell peppers for bait. He reeled in quite a catch — an exotic goldfish, puffer fish, salmon and perch. Heeding Miles’s earlier advice, he carefully tossed the poisonous puffer fish back in the pond.
Meanwhile, Zoe had gotten hungry and tired, so she went and sat on the edge of the bed and ate a bunch of cherries before she said goodnight to Miles and crawled into bed to sleep. Miles had a feeling that Zoe might give birth anytime now, so he sat nearby and read the handiness book while she slept.
By this time, Cloud was tired of fishing and lit a fire to roast a late dinner.
He ate his fish, and then did his dishes.
At 10:52 pm, Zoe woke with a start and gingerly got out of bed. “Um, Miles, I’m having contractions. This baby wants out!”
Seeing the worried look on Zoe’s face, Miles started freaking out. Quickly realizing that wasn’t going to help the situation, he took a couple of deep breaths and calmed himself down.
“How can I help? Can I do something for you to make you more comfortable? I know – how about a massage?”
“Yeah, that’d be great. My back is killing me.”
Miles massaged Zoe’s shoulders for a few moments. Then, he approached her from the side, supporting her swollen belly with his left hand as he gently kneaded the aching muscles of her lower back with his right hand.
“Miles, that feels great. Thank you.”
“You know I’d do anything for you, sweetheart.”
“Miles, we’re going to be parents! Can you believe it? I can’t wait to meet the baby.”
“I wonder if it’s a girl or a boy?” Miles replied.
“Does it matter?”
“Of course not. As long as you and the baby are healthy, I’ll be thrilled.”
Cloud heard the commotion and came over to see what was happening. “Is it go time? Are you in labor, Zoe?”
“Yeah, I don’t think it’ll be long now.”
Cloud walked over to the bed and sat on the edge. He noticed Zoe wasn’t looking like her usual cheerful self. “Cheer up, Zoe. I know you’re in pain but it’ll all be worth it when you see your baby’s face.”
Zoe broke down in tears. “You’re right. I just wish we were in a hospital with a doctor just in case anything goes wrong. I’m scared.”
Miles took Zoe in his arms, rubbing circles on her back and said in a calm voice, “Babe, look, it’ll probably be a while before you’re ready to deliver. Why don’t you try to get some rest. When it’s time, the baby will let you know.”
Looking up at Miles, Zoe said, “Yeah, I’m already exhausted and I’ll need my strength to get through labor. You’ll be here when I wake up, right?”
“Of course. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.” Miles kissed her cheek.
Zoe nodded and curled up on the bed for a nap, promptly falling asleep.
As soon as Zoe was asleep, Miles said to Cloud, “I’m going for a quick swim to take care of business while Zoe’s napping.”
Cloud said, “I’m right behind you, man.”
When Miles got back, he lay down beside Zoe and got some shut-eye.
Cloud gave the lovebirds their space and crawled into his bed for the night.
At 1:56 am, Zoe woke up from the pain of a major contraction. “Miles! This is it — the baby’s coming now. I can feel it.”
Miles smiled as he jumped out of bed and ran to Zoe’s side. Zoe’s eyes were closed as she grimaced through the pain. “Zoe, look!” Miles said as he held her gently.
“Oh my God, Miles. It’s a bassinet for the baby. Maybe everything will be OK, just like you said.”
“I know it will. Just have faith, sweetheart.”
At 2:06 Sunday morning, Zoe gave birth to a baby girl. “Oh, Miles, just look at her. She’s so beautiful.” Zoe cooed at the baby, “You’re like a ray of sunshine, aren’t you? We should name you Sunny.”
“Miles — I’m having contractions again! Do twins run in your family or something?”
“I don’t think so,” he replied with a slight panic in his voice.
Zoe put Sunny down in her bassinet and, sure enough, within minutes, another bassinet appeared and Zoe gave birth again. “We have twin girls! Oh, my God, Miles. It’s a miracle.”
Miles was awestruck as he looked at Zoe and his baby girls. “It sure is. Since they’re twins, what do you want to name the second baby?”
Zoe thought for a moment and said, “I’d like their names to go well together and remind us of where they were born. This may sound crazy, but how about Skye — like the sky but with an ‘e’ at the end? They’d remind us of the sunshine and blue skies of the island.”
Miles hugged and kissed Zoe. “That sounds perfect. Skye, it is.”
Suddenly, both babies started crying. Zoe and Miles looked at each other, and Miles said with a cautious smile, “Well, there’s two of us and two of them. At least we’re not outnumbered, right?”
“Yeah, twins will be a challenge, but I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have triplets. How do you decide which baby to take care of first? Someone always has to wait.”
Zoe breast-fed Sunny, while Miles changed Skye’s dirty diaper. Miles and Zoe were both tired and hungry, so when they were done, they each ate several cherries to tide them over until morning. Skye started crying again because she was hungry, too. So, Zoe breast-fed her next. She told Miles, “There’s no sense in both of us being awake. Why don’t you try to get some sleep?”
“OK, but I’ll take care of them if they wake in the middle of the night.”
Zoe finished feeding Skye and then couldn’t help but coo at her adorable little face. “Aren’t you the sweetest thing ever? You and your sister are more than I ever dreamed of. Mommy loves you very much.”
Now that Skye had a full belly, she fell asleep, giving Zoe a chance to get some sleep herself.
Sunny woke up with a dirty diaper and sounded the 5 am wake-up call. Zoe and Miles both woke up, but Miles told Zoe he had it covered and she should go back to sleep.
As Miles changed Sunny’s dirty diaper, he spoke softly to her. “Who’s got a stinky bum? Is it you, my sweet baby girl? Don’t you worry. Daddy’s going to make it all better.”
After Sunny was changed, Miles picked her up and made funny faces at her to see if he could get her to smile. Sunny was still sleepy, so he put her back in her bassinet and crawled back into bed with Zoe. They were learning what all new parents do — to sleep when the babies sleep. Getting a good night’s rest was a thing of the past. But it was all worth it when they looked at their precious babies.
At 9 AM on Day 7, I rolled the dice to determine the gods’ will for the day.
(4) 15 new twigs! Get 15 new twigs and place them on the island.
After buying a double bed for 10 twigs yesterday (Day 6), the castaways were left with only 15 twigs. They now have 30, which will enable them to make some key purchases. For now, we’re going to hold onto them and see what’s most needed in the next few days.
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By 6:30 pm, Zoe had finally achieved the 2,000 satisfaction points needed to purchase the Steel Bladder reward trait. I only wish, for her sake, we could’ve made the purchase earlier in her pregnancy. I swear I heard her breathe a sigh of relief once it kicked in. 😉
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The results are in! By popular demand, I will abide by these life stages during the challenge:
- Toddler — 3 days (40% of vote)
- Child — 3 days (90% of vote)
- Teen — 4 days (90% of vote)
The toddler vote was very close, with only one vote separating the top two choices. So, while 3 days will be the duration, I’ll also try to get the twins to Level 3 in their skills so they can have the Happy Toddler Trait (another 30% of the vote). Thinking skill may be a tricky one with our limited resources on the island. We’ll see how it goes.
Thanks so much to everyone who voted!