Lucas and Mel settled quickly into their new life as husband and wife.
Of course, not much had truly changed – financial information, insurance, all the legal stuff, of course. But their daily lives remained much the same as they always had been.
But there was a feeling – one Lucas had never experienced before, and Mel had not felt in a long time. They were bound together – they belonged to each other. It was a feeling that made every moment they spent together just a little brighter.
Their first couple years of married life were joyful, but not quite eventful for the Ainsworths.
The same could not be said for their friends, however.
Sean and Faith’s fling at the wedding proved to be much more than that – They stayed together after that night, and announced their engagement less than a year later. The couple were married not long after Lucas and Mel’s second anniversary.
Mel was surprised – Her brother had known Faith just as long as she had, and they’d never shown any interest in each other before… Not that she could tell, anyway. Melanie wasn’t quite sure what had changed, but she was overjoyed to see them both so happy.
Several months after the wedding, Laura gave birth to another baby boy, Jonah.
At first, Darcy was disappointed to have yet another baby brother – she’d been hoping desperately for a little sister. But, as she had with Elliot, she warmed up to him quickly.
After Jonah’s birth, Sam and Laura decided together that three children was enough. But despite their decision, it was not long before another baby came into Lucas and his friends’ lives.
After several happy years of marriage, Camryn and Noah finally decided they were ready for children. Their son, Zane, happened to be born on Lucas’ 30th birthday. In fact, the couple were at Lucas and Mel’s house for his party when poor Camryn went into labor.
“Well,” Lucas had laughed as the party disbanded and his father whisked Cam and Noah off to the hospital, “At least I’ll never forget his birthday!”
Lucas and Melanie were thrilled to watch Sam and Laura’s kids grow up, and to see Noah and Camryn’s family beginning to grow as well. But they could not help the painful waves of jealousy that came along with it.
Though they had not shared it with their friends, Mel and Lucas had been trying unsuccessfully for more than a year to have a child of their own.
The stress and heartache had made their joyful and uneventful marriage, well… less joyful and uneventful. The stress quickly began getting to both of them.
It was the first real challenge the couple had ever faced in their relationship – and it was not easy to cope with, at first.
Eventually, they both went to the doctor, and had every test under the sun. But everything came back normal. When they continued to fail to conceive, however, they were still given the option to try some medical intervention.
It was not an easy decision to make, but after a lot of consideration, Lucas and Melanie agreed to begin treatments.
But even then, every test continued to come back negative. Mel began to fear that maybe they simply weren’t meant to have children.
“We are, Mel.” Lucas promised her. “We’ve just gotta keep trying.”
But part of him secretly wondered whether she might be right.
Lucas tapped his foot nervously against the hardwood floor, glancing toward the bathroom door every few moments. Come on, Mel… He thought anxiously. Just come out here and tell me.
His wife had received her fifth treatment just a few weeks ago – if they failed this time, the doctor had recommended just one more try before moving on to more drastic measures.
The sound of a door creaking open reached his ears, and Lucas practically leapt to his feet. “Well…?” He asked nervously as she approached him.
“Honey… I don’t know how to say this, but…” She began uncertainly.
Lucas held his breath, waiting. Please, not again. Please, not again. Please, not again.
“We’re gonna be parents!”
“Yes!” Mel’s entire face lit up. “It worked… Oh my God, it finally worked…”
Lucas wasn’t sure whether he wanted to laugh or cry. He pulled Mel close, smiling from ear to ear. I’m gonna be a dad… It felt almost too good to be true. Nearly two years of stress and heartache, and it had finally happened.
“This is amazing!”
“I know…” Mel began crying tears of joy into her husband’s shoulder. “I love you so much.”
In just three days, it would be Melanie’s 36th birthday – exactly ten years since the night they had met. Lucas could hardly believe how far they’d come since then. It felt like everything they’d been through together over the past decade had been leading up to this moment.
Part of him was terrified, of course. But mostly, Lucas was just excited to be starting this new journey together.
And he couldn’t wait to see where it would lead.