The next three days go by in a blur. I feel better, but I am still nauseous at random times throughout the day. I can tell Peeta is worried about me, but he doesn't say anything about it. I've decided to talk to my mother about it, though, because I'm starting to worry now, too. Peeta is at the bakery, so I pull on a jacket and walk to my mother and Prim's house opposite mine and Peeta's. We go round for dinner almost every day and Prim is always delighted to see me. When I reach the house, I let myself in and my mother walks into the hallway smiling. She laughs as Prim rushes down the stairs and pulls me into a tight hug. I smile at her enthusiasm. Buttercup hisses at me from the doorway when he sees the attention I'm getting from Prim.
Thirty minutes later, Prim has gone to feed Lady and I'm sitting on a chair at the table when another cramp hits me out of nowhere. My mother must notice that I've gone quiet and she turns to me from organising her supplies in the kitchen. Almost immediately, she notices the hand pressed against my stomach and her eyes widen.
"Katniss, you look very pale. Peeta tells me you've been sick recently - he popped round this morning. Are you ok?"
Of course he did, I think, irritated.
"Yes," I say hesitantly, trying to convince myself. My mother just looks at me, asking me to tell her more. "I've been vomiting, mostly during the morning but I feel nauseous all day," I say. She looks concerned.
"Katniss," she says quietly "when was the last time you had a period?" I think for a moment, then it clicks; the cramps, the sickness – and I didn't have my period last month. This can't be happening. The one thing I told myself would never happen. Ever.
"No," I stutter "No."
"Katniss," my mother says, placing her hands on my shaking shoulders "you're pregnant."
I look at her, fear evident on my pale face. She hugs me and this time, I don't pull away. When she releases me, I let out a breath a hadn't realised I had been holding. A baby. Peeta and I are going to have a baby.
Eventually, I leave. As soon as I close the door behind me, I begin to shake and my breathing becomes too fast. Images of The Hunger Games and my baby – our helpless child being killed flash before my eyes. I think of my dream a few nights ago and realise that in the little bundle of blankets, was my baby. I couldn't even protect him or her in a dream, let alone reality. I sink down to the floor, struggling to breathe normally as salty tears fall down my cheeks. I look down at my flat stomach, stunned by the fact that my baby is growing inside me.
I sit there for hours staring into space, terror consuming my mind, my hands pressed to my abdomen. Suddenly, I hear a knock on the door. It isn't Peeta, I think: he would just come in as I didn't lock the door. I ignore it, but moment later, it opens and in walks Haymitch, looking more sober than I have ever seen him.
"I've run out of liqueur, you don't have any, do you?" he says as he walks towards me.
When he sees my trembling body and bloodshot, puffy eyes, he rushes over and kneels next to me.
"What's wrong?" he asks worriedly. I don't reply.
Haymitch notices that my breathing is shallow and too fast.
"Breathe deeply," he orders. I try, but simply end up hyperventilating.
"Sweetheart, talk to me," he says more urgently.
"I-I'm pregnant" I stutter. Saying it out loud makes it feel more real and my breathing speeds up again until I feel light-headed and dizzy. My arms ache from how tightly I'm gripping the sofa next to me Haymitch takes my hand in his and squeezes it.
"It's going to be ok. Breathe." I attempt to slow my breathing and when I turn to him, he looks at me and sighs. "Have you told the boy?" he asks.
"No," I say. "He's at the bakery. How am I going to tell him? The baby's going to get reaped – it's all my fault. I can't do this." I cross some line into hysteria and Haymitch looks genuinely worried.
"I'm going to call him," he says
"N-no, he'll be back any minute,. He-"
As if on cue, Peeta walks through the door, flour dusts his clothes and his hair is windswept. He sees me on the floor and Haymitch crouching beside me, holding my wrists and comes over. I inhale deeply a few times to try to calm down and wipe my eyes with my sleeve. "Peeta…" I begin, my voice breaking.
Haymitch rolls his eyes and interrupts:
A look of shock replaces Peeta's expression of confusion.
"Wha-what?" he asks.
"I'm pregnant," I tell him, looking him in the eye for the first time. "We're going to have a baby."
"H-how?" he asks, stunned."Well," Haymitch begins sarcastically, "when a mummy and daddy love each other-"
"Thank you, Haymitch, we know." I interrupt.
"Clearly," He mutters
"What was that?" I say, glaring at him.
"I'm gonna leave you lovebirds to it…" he says awkwardly "Bye."
"Thanks, Haymitch," I say as he walks out of the front door. Peeta sits down next to me.
"Are you alright?" he says. I nod and look at him.
"I'm scared, Peeta," I confess.
"I know, but we can do this. If we can survive the Hunger Games, we can raise a baby," he says grimly. He kisses me and holds me against him. I feel safe, despite everything.