Summary: Rachel and Santana weren't obsessive parents. Okay, maybe a little.
Author's Note: First appearance of the Pezberry baby. Dedicated to my girl, because she's been asking for something new ever since...well, the day after I posted the last new story. <3
Moods | Surprises | Whipped | Origins | Appendectomy | Lies | Parents
Santana and Rachel weren't obsessive parents, thank you very much. Santana was an awesome doctor in a very successful medical clinic so she could diagnose just about anything that was wrong with their daughter. She'd had a cold and an ear infection in her first year of life, both of which were taken care of promptly. They hadn't freaked out at all. Well, not very much.
They were not obsessive. They just monitored closely.
But when Trinity hadn't spoken a single distinguishable word by her 18 month check-up, they were most definitely obsessive. Santana called the best ENT doctor she knew of and had a complete workup done – everything from hearing tests to CT scans. Puck had been interrogated, his entire family history dragged out and hashed over to find any kind of potential problem that he hadn't mentioned. There was nothing. His DNA was flawless.
Rachel and Santana found themselves sitting nervously in the doctor's office a week later to hear the results. Trinity was playing with her shapes sorter on Santana's lap while Rachel tapped her foot impatiently.
“Dear God, Santana-”
“You don't have to say my name twice.”
“This is serious, Santana!” Rachel shrieked. “What if she's deaf? What if she's a mute? What if her vocal cords never fully developed? What if-”
“Stop it!” Santana hissed. “You're freaking me out. And we know she's not deaf, come on.”
“Don't tell me you haven't been searching for every single cause. I know you have. You dragged your old textbooks out of storage and hid them in the hall closet.”
Santana sighed. It was true. She had raided their storage locker and pulled out every single one of her textbooks from med school. When Rachel would be late coming home from her show, Santana would pull out her books and scour them for any and every cause she could find. Google would've been easier, yeah, but Santana knew that Rachel would occasionally go through the browsing history to find a link she couldn't remember and that if the history had been magically cleared it would look suspicious. This was her baby girl, damn it, she needed to know everything she could.
“Listen,” Santana sighed. “It doesn't matter, okay? Whatever it is or isn't, we'll deal. We have to.”
“Good news, ladies,” the doctor said, stepping into the office. “Trinity is just fine.” The older gentleman sat at his desk and smiled. “All of the test results came back normal for her age so, physically, there's nothing wrong.”
“But she won't talk,” Rachel countered. “She should have a vocabulary of at least a few words by now. I was practically speaking in sentences at her age.”
“I understand, Mrs. Berry. But there could be other causes. I'm going to give you the name of a speech therapist-”
“What about autism?” Santana asked quietly.
It was something that had plagued her thoughts ever since she and Rachel had noticed Trinity's unwillingness to speak. Her cousin's son had been diagnosed just a few years before and one of the big indicators had been his lack of verbalization. Santana had stayed up until three in the morning listening to her cousin break down on the phone only a few months before about how she was so frustrated that her son still wouldn't communicate and would lash out in violent temper tantrums in the middle of a store when he didn't get what he wanted. Her husband was practically worthless when it came to him, he had no idea how to handle the kid and so things around the house would end up destroyed or painted on since he wasn't being watched. The conversation flooded Santana's mind as the doctor sat with his lips pursed.
“I'm only an ENT specialist, Dr. Lopez. I'm just as qualified as you to diagnose that. What I do know, as you probably do as well, is that they won't consider that possibility until-”
“I know,” Santana cut him off. “Three or later.”
“Start with the speech therapist,” he said, handing the card over. “Your daughter is very, very bright, I do know that much. Some kids are just quiet.”
The quickest they could get into the speech therapists schedule was three weeks. In the mean time, Santana and Rachel each tried their own ways to get Trinity to say even one word. Sure, they had been trying since she turned one, but this was with renewed vigor.
Rachel tried bribery.
“Cookie!” Rachel said, holding a cookie just out of Trinity's reach after dinner. “Cookie!”
The toddler only whined and reached for the cookie.
“Come on, sweetie. Say 'cookie'.”
“She's so close, Santana. She'll get this.”
After six minutes, Trinity began to throw a fit and Rachel could only sigh and hand over the cookie. Santana's heart broke at Rachel's dejected look. It was frustrating and scary to think that their baby girl might have something wrong. Not wrong, Santana had to correct herself. Just...different. Trinity was perfect. She was their perfect baby girl and nothing would ever change that. But it didn't stop the frustration.
Santana tried reading. She would read anything to Trinity. Rather than just the books that lined the toddler's shelves, Santana would read the cereal box, medical magazines she got in the mail, street signs...anything for the girl to hear her voice. She narrated everything she did, pointed out objects and their names. Trinity only looked bored. And it killed her. She wanted to communicate with her child. She saw mothers bring their 18-month-olds to the doctor and the babies would be saying random words and, most heartbreakingly, reaching up and saying “mama”.
The worst part was the stress. The frustration got to Santana to the point that she started pushing away from her wife...and she knew Rachel was pushing away from her, too. There was tension all the time. The worry of not knowing what was going to happen in the next few weeks....months...years. Santana kept searching for other signs of autism but it was too early to tell, any doctor would tell her that. Hell, her own books told her that.
It all snapped the day before Trinity's appointment with the speech therapist. Santana had just put the toddler down for her nap after reading her third book of the day. She had whispered a tearful “I love you” into her baby's temple before carefully placing her on the palette in the toddler's play room and exiting quietly, shutting the door behind her. She dried her tears and sniffled before taking a deep breath and heading to the kitchen where she found Rachel staring at a carnival booth picture strip.
“I got her down,” Santana said softly. “I think we're running out of books. Might have to break out the DSM.”
“Does it matter?” Rachel muttered. “Does anything we do matter?”
“Don't say that.” Santana's words had come out more harshly than she intended but Rachel's words struck a nerve...mostly because Santana had thought them more times than she could count.
“Why?” Rachel turned, her eyes red and tears running. “Why can't we just say what we're thinking, Santana? God, do you think I don't know what we could be facing? Do you think I haven't done my research?”
“Fine,” Santana said, throwing her hands into the air. “Fine, you want to know what I'm thinking? I'm thinking that I am fucking terrified. Terrified because I know that sometimes shit like this can tear families apart and I am so fucking scared that it will happen to us. So I'm damn determined to do anything and everything I can for our daughter because whether it matters or not, I'll know I at least tried.”
“Sure, make me sound like the horrible one!” Rachel shrieked. “You think I don't want to do anything to help her?!”
“This isn't about you, diva! This is about Trin and making sure she gets what she needs!”
“I know that!”
Out of the corner of her eye, Santana saw a head full of curly dark hair stumble through the kitchen but the heated argument with Rachel made her disregard it. Because, damn it, this was going to be about Trinity and what she needed. Anything Santana needed was going to be on the back burner.
“Then stop worrying about you!”
“I'm not worried about me!”
“That's who you sure as hell seem to be worried about!”
Rachel sighed, frustrated and looked down at their daughter. “Yes, sweetie, what is it?”
“I'm just so frustrated,” Rachel said, opening the refrigerator and retrieving the bottle of apple juice. “I just want to listen to her say 'mama' or ask me for something!” The brunette grabbed a sippy cup from the cabinet and filled it with apple juice. “I want to some day be able to hear our daughter tell us that she loves us!” Rachel handed the cup to Trinity and the toddler took a healthy drink.
Santana watched Trinity walk out of the kitchen and back down the hallway and, still focused on Rachel, she turned her head back to the woman who stood with a scowl on her face.
“You think I don't want those same things, Rachel?!”
“She's perfect, I know she's perfect, but-”
“Wait.” Santana froze and held up a hand, furrowed her eyebrows, and replayed the last 30 seconds in her head a few times. And she was speechless. “What the hell just happened?”
“What do you mean? We were arguing.”
“I mean, during that.”
“Trinity came in, asked for juice......asked for juice....Oh my God!”
Santana didn't even think before darting out of the kitchen and down the hall to Trinity's play room. The girl was sitting in the middle of the room with her apple juice, blanket, and shapes cube, gurgling happily.
“Trin,” Santana said, kneeling down.
“Mami,” Trinity replied, looking right into the Latina's eyes.
Never one to believe in flukes, Santana picked up her daughter's cup. “What is this?” Santana asked.
Santana heard Rachel begin hyperventilating and she was close to tears herself. And despite the fact that it would probably make Rachel pass out, Santana turned and pointed to her.
“Mama!” Trinity squealed.
Rachel didn't pass out but she did begin full on sobbing as she dropped to the floor and scooped Trinity in her arms to hold her close, despite the toddler's squirming and very vocal protests.
“I can't believe it,” Santana gasped, reaching out and pressing a kiss to Rachel's temple and another to the top of Trinity's head.
“I want another one.”
The statement from Rachel made Santana drop back a little. It's not that she hadn't thought about it but with everything going on in the last month, it wasn't something to seriously consider for her. That, and it was agreed that since Rachel had carried Trinity that Santana would be next.
“I just...” Rachel took a shuddering breath as she let Trinity out of her arms and the young girl immediately went to her toybox and began digging around. “I've thought about it so much, Santana. I was so scared that we wouldn't be able to handle it...but I want another one. I know it's soon and we said we'd wait, but-”
“I want it, too.”
“Yeah?” Rachel smiled, tears still streaming down her face. Santana took the opportunity to wipe the water away from her wife's cheeks.
“Yeah. I guess we better call Puck.”
Rachel nodded furiously. “I love you. So much.”
They weren't obsessive parents. They knew their kids would be perfect, no matter what. And they were.