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Playing Dress up Complete! 1-5-21

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My friend Brasser3 and I worked really hard to get this story finished and out after 2 years and I can say its complete. I hope everyone enjoys the ending as much as we do. Thank you so much for all the wonderful support!




Chapter 1:

The blissful silence of Katherine’s darkened bedroom was violently disturbed by her alarm clock. A set of blurry eyes emerged from underneath a cocoon of blankets to stare at it, wishing terrible things to happen to the horrible little device. A pajama sleeved arm reached out and swatted wildly, somehow managing to simultaneously hit snooze and knock the alarm clock off the cheap IKEA nightstand. 

She knew it would go off again, but she didn't care. She curled up deeper into her pile of blankets that were too big on her twin mattress. All that mattered was sleep. She didn't even really need to get up, being unemployed and all, but sticking to a routine and setting an alarm was the leftover decision from adult Katherine. This was sleepy Katherine, and she had a very different philosophical opinion than adult Katherine. It wasn't necessarily the correct opinion, but it was certainly louder, and usually won the arguments.

In the previous weeks, she had gone from a graduate student, to a doctor, to a full-time interviewer, to an unemployed couch-dweller. Her residency had been great internship experience but hadn't mattered when it came to actually getting a full-time job. It had been one month since graduation, and adulthood had hit her a lot harder than she expected. Her student debt was nearly 400,000 dollars, an unfathomable amount that was already expecting her first payment. 
It turned out that people don't have a lot of sympathy for you when you have Dr. in front of your name. Everyone just assumes that doctors are loaded, but the truth is that most of them are in debt up to their eyeballs. Her savings were quickly disappearing with budgeting of her crappy car, crappy apartment, and crappy meals. 

She was almost asleep when her phone started vibrating. "Nnooooooo." She moaned into the covers as a hand reached for her phone. She read the caller ID and saw that it was her friend Amy. She groaned and accepted the call. Amy Bradford was incredibly perky and had an annoying habit of calling for everything instead of texting like the rest of the population. They had been friends since the first grade, so she could make an exception for her, but she didn’t have to be happy about it.  

"What?" Katherine groaned into her phone. "Are you still asleep?!" Amy’s shrill voice came through the phone’s speaker. Katherine winced at the sound and quickly dropped her phone’s volume to nearly silent. "I was... what do you want?" "Did you hear anything back?!" Amy asked excitedly. Katherine sighed at the question. She was so tired of people asking about her job status. "Yes Amy. I got multiple job offers and didn't call you yet because I'm trying to milk them for all the money they will give a fresh graduate with no experience." "There's no need for that tone Dr. Grouchypants." Amy scolded. "I'm just checking on you. I know you'll hear something back soon. Wasn't the OCH interview like a week ago?"

Among the twenty-something interviews she had been through in the past month, the most sought after just so happened to be in her own hometown: Ohio Children’s Hospital. OCH was the most renown children’s hospital in the country, the absolute perfect place to work. Amy had been a nurse at OCH for a few years now, so she was a bit biased where she wanted her friend to work.  Katherine had been to every hospital in a hundred-mile radius that was hiring and decided that if no one called her back, she would just have to find something else to do. It had been a week since the last interview, and after not even receiving so much as a rejection letter from anywhere else, Katherine was beginning to embrace unemployment.

“Yup. Still nothing.” She could hear Amy sighing on the other end of the line. “I’m sure they’re just doing a background check or something.” “Yeah, that’s probably it.” Katherine’s voice didn’t sound very convincing to her. 
“It will happen soon, and we’ll go out to celebrate!” Katherine rolled her eyes. Partying was Amy’s favorite pastime, not hers. She didn’t mind going out, but she didn’t have nearly the tolerance for alcohol that Amy did, Amy was over six feet tall and could out-drink any man, but Katherine was just barely over four feet tall and weighed less than a hundred pounds. Amy’s natural confidence was a sharp contrast to Katherine’s short demeanor and Amy had developed a unique relationship of protecting her friend. If Katherine tried to walk into most bars, the bouncer would usually laugh at the child trying to pass herself off as an adult, not even bothering to check her real ID that proved she was actually 27. With Amy around, she had someone to stand up for her… even if Amy sometimes made fun of her height too.

Amy sensed her apprehension on the phone. “Don’t worry, you can pick the bar and we’ll go wherever you want. I won’t even make fun of you for getting those fruity drinks you like. First one’s on me!” Katherine sighed audibly. At the thought of a drink, Katherine felt a pain in her abdomen. She had been in bed for over ten hours and desperately needed to use the bathroom. “Thanks Amy. I’ll-” Her phone started vibrating in her hand. She squinted as her screen lit up at full brightness and nearly blinded her. It was the local area code. Could it be the hospital?! She thought excitedly. “Amy, I’m getting another call, I’ll call you back.” She slid the green phone icon across her screen, ending the call without waiting for a reply. She bolted upright in her bed, flinging her blankets off.

“Hello?” She said, trying to hide her excitement. “Is this Katherine?” A deep woman’s voice came through her phone. She realized how high pitched her first answer was and tried to lower her own voice to sound more like an adult. Just before she spoke, she looked down and realized that she was still wearing her pajamas; pink footed pajamas designed to look like a bunny, complete with a hood, floppy ears, and a little puffball tail on her bottom flap. She was speaking to a professional, probably wearing a power suit, and she was in bed dressed like a child. This realization didn’t add to her confidence. “Yes, this is Katherine…” She said weakly. “Hello Katherine. My name is Jennifer and I work in Human Resources for the Ohio Children’s Center, and I’m calling to congratulate you and let you know that you have been selected to…” 

Katherine could hear her heartbeat in her ears. The HR representative methodically read through the form dictating her salary, benefits, and legal agreements of the job. Katherine tried to follow, periodically saying, “uh huh” or “okay” while the representative continued to read without pausing. She was barely processing what she was hearing. “-and we will be emailing all of this to the email address that you gave for confirmation and digital signing of the agreement. Please submit the confirmation and you will begin next Monday pending your acceptance.” The rep finished. Katherine waited to see if she was finished. After a long pause, she said, “Okay, thank you very much.” “Thank you, have a nice day!” The phone beeped as the call ended. Katherine let out a squeal and started bouncing on her bed. Her arms flailed, and she couldn’t contain her movements. 
As she bounced, a sharp pain in her belly stung and she felt her bladder starting to release itself. She clamped her legs together shoved her hands against her crotch. She crawled out of the bed and shuffled towards the bathroom. She loved wearing her cozy footie pajamas, but the only kind she could find in her size were technically designed for children, as was the case with a lot of her clothes. The only real inconvenience with them was that her pajamas made it difficult to go to the bathroom, especially if she was in a hurry. 

She clenched her kegel muscles and felt a torrent threatening to burst out of her. Due to Katherine’s size, she had always had issues with having a small bladder, so occasional accidents weren’t the most uncommon thing to her. She shuffled into the bathroom, threw her phone on the counter, and released the snaps on her bottom flap. She pulled it down between her legs and sat down on the toilet, relaxing her muscles and feeling the pressure disappear as she relieved herself. She sighed with relief, but something didn’t feel right. She didn’t hear the typical sound of the water splashing, then noticed a warmth spreading between her legs. “Oh shit!” She cried out. In her haste, she had forgotten to pull her underwear down. 

She had been expecting her period to start any day now and had gone to sleep with a pad in her underwear. She hated how the thick pads felt, but she was so small that even the smallest sized tampon was terribly uncomfortable for her to wear. When she relieved herself, the pad had absorbed the first few seconds of the stream without her noticing, but now it had expanded to an overfull sponge that was leaking through her underwear.

She tugged the back of her waistband down, bunching the overfull pad up and holding it out of the way. The pad leaked out into her hands and dripped down the legs of her pajamas. She held still as she finished peeing, wincing at the sensation. “Oh gross…”, she said as she let her heavy underwear droop. She wiped herself as best she could, then waddled over to the sink, trying to keep her dangling wet underwear from making any more contact with her skin. She stood on the stool she kept in front of the sink to wash her hands and thought about how she was going to clean up when her phone started ringing. Amy’s name appeared on the screen. She let out a sigh and answered the phone.

“Hel-“ “Was it them?! Did you get the job?!” Amy interjected. Katherine smiled at her excitement. “Yes! They ju-” Katherine had to pull the phone away from her ear as her friend screamed into her phone. “I knew it! I just took my lunch break and I’m in my car. I’m right next to your street, I’ll be there in like 10 seconds!” Panic washed over Katherine. “Amy-“ The phone beeped that the call had ended. Katherine froze for a few seconds, her mind racing over the limited options she had.

Katherine ripped the zipper on her onesie down and shimmied out of it as fast as she could. She let her soaked underwear slide down her legs and hit the floor with an audible thud. She left the bathroom and ran naked to her room to find for something to wear. Dirty clothes littered the floor, but anything would be better than her current state. She found a pair or wadded up sweatpants and quickly tried to put them on. She flipped the inside-out legs through and nearly put them on backwards before noticing the orientation. She was about to throw on a random shirt before remembering an important detail: even though Amy was her best friend, she hadn’t seen her without a padded bra on before. Katherine technically had to wear a training bra to properly fit her almost non-existent breasts and the padding was absolutely necessary. Amy would definitely notice if what little breasts Katherine used to have were suddenly gone.

She ran to her sock drawer and pulled out one of the many wadded up training bras she kept hidden. She unsnapped a pale pink bra and threw it on in record time. She looked around the floor and eyed a wadded-up hoodie when several loud pounds came from her apartment door. Katherine jumped from the surprise and quickly donned the hoodie. She hurried to the door and turned the old and tarnished door knob. 

The door swung open and two long arms rushed through the doorway to grab Katherine in a bear hug. Amy squealed as she swayed back and forth, sweeping Katherine off her feet and squeezing her against her blue scrubs. “Con-grat-u-la-tions!” Amy said, enunciation each syllable with her movements. Katherine let out the remaining air in her lungs in a weak wheeze, “Thank… you….” Amy released her grip and shut the door behind her. “Okay, tell me everything! Did you get the position you wanted? Which department are you in? Are you in my wing? When do you start?” Katherine couldn’t get a word in edgewise. “I don’t know, I kind of went on autopilot during the call. They said they’d email me all the info.” She said, still catching her breath.

“Oh, they probably sent it already. Let’s’ go check it!” Amy started walking towards Katherine’s room where she kept her computer. Katherine froze as a panic washed over her. She started running after her, unsure of what to say. “Um…” She said, buying for time. “My computer isn’t really working right now.” Amy paused and turned back to her. “Okay, can’t you load it on your phone? I have to know if you’re working in my wing.” Katherine stalled to think of an excuse. “Well… I don’t know where I put my phone.” Amy gave her a confused look. “I just called you like a minute ago… Why don’t you want to see the email? Are… Are you not accepting the job?” She said, sounding horrified. “No, of course I am.” Katherine said hastily. “It’s just… this is all a lot to take in. I just haven’t processed it all yet.” Amy let out a relieved sigh. “You had me worried there for a minute. Don’t freak out about it, I went through the same thing. I can help you understand the legal or professional jargon if you need any help.”

Katherine sighed, relieved at the change in conversation. “That would be awesome, thank you so much.” Amy gave her a reassuring smile. “No problem. So, let’s see the forms. Where’s your phone?” Katherine’s short-lived relief was gone again. She tried to think quickly. “I, um… it’s probably in my room?” “I’ll help you look for it.” Amy turned and started walking to the bedroom. Katherine hurried to keep up with her. Amy stepped through the doorway and into the mess of clothes all over the floor.

“Did a tornado come through here?” Amy looked around with a judgmental eye. “How long have you lived here?” Katherine hurried around, gathering up clothes. “Only a month, I’m just a bit behind on laundry.” She bundled up the most embarrassing items underneath her arm and chucked them on top of the pile that encompassed her hamper. “Just make sure you don’t throw your phone in the hamper by accident.” Amy said, beginning her own search. 

The room was nearly clean when Amy started walking out of the bedroom and said, “Hey, I’m going to use your bathroom really quick. I’ll see if your phone is in there too.” The bathroom was just outside the bedroom door, and just as Katherine understood what was happening, Amy was turning the doorknob. “No wait!” Katherine said, rushing out of the room. 

She stepped outside to see Amy staring down at the wet underwear and pajamas on the floor. She froze, unable to speak. There wasn’t going to be an easy way out of this. “Um, Katie… are you incontinent?” She tried to think of something to say, but Amy continued. “Why do you need pantyliners?” Katherine finally found her voice. “It’s not a liner, it’s a pad. I just… had a little accident.” “Oh…” Amy said, looking back down. “I’m not judging or anything, I just didn’t know you had a problem.” “I don’t!” Katherine said indignantly. “I had been laying in bed for a while and I just got excited when they called about the job. This doesn’t really happen, I swear!” 

“Okay, okay.” Amy said, gesturing surrender. “I believe you. Stuff happens. So, if this doesn’t happen that often, why don’t you wear tampons?” Katherine blushed. “I… they don’t really fit me.” “Really?” Amy said, looking confused. “I mean, whatever works for you, I guess. Do you wear them all the time?” “No!” Katherine said, feeling more and more like she was losing control of the conversation. She felt the beginnings of tears starting to form. “I was expecting my period! It was just an accident! I had just woken up, the phone call threw me off-”

Amy leaned down and cut her off with an unexpected hug. “Kat, you don’t need to explain. I can see this is upsetting you. It’s okay.” Katherine instinctively returned the hug. Her face flushed warm with embarrassed at her outburst. Amy let go of her and stood back up. “I do have to say; however, the bunny pajamas are kind of adorable.” The blush spread, and Katherine’s face felt like it was on fire. Amy laughed and said, “Don’t be embarrassed little bunny.” She looked over towards the sink. “I think that’s your phone on the counter.” She reached over and handed it to Katherine. 

She took it quickly, grateful for the distraction. She opened her email app and sure enough, the hospital had already sent her email. She turned the screen towards Amy. A bright smile appeared on her face and she snatched the phone back. She swiped frantically, mumbling words to herself as she read. Her eyes lit up as she came across the piece of info she was looking for. “You’re in my wing!” She swept Katherine off the ground again in another bear hug, the gentleness of the previous hug nowhere to be found. Katherine felt a pang of concern at just how easily Amy was able to pick her up; she didn’t even seem to be winded. 

“This is going to be great! You’ll love it there. I’ll be able to show you everything, we can take lunches together, oh it will be so much better having you there.” Katherine’s arms were still pinned to her sides and she flailed her hands, signaling her feeble attempt to tap out of the hug. Amy set her back down, then got a concerned look as if she just remembered something. She glanced down at her watch. “Crap, I’ve got to grab something for lunch and get back. I’ll use the bathroom at work.” She started heading for the door, Katherine rushing to keep up with her.

“I’m off tonight, and we are going out to celebrate! You pick the bar.” She pulled her keys out of her pocket as they reached the front door. “I’m so happy for you, Katie. This is going to be great. I’ll text you later!” Katherine smiled at her as Amy walked out the door. She waved her off, shut the door, and turned the deadbolt with a satisfying click.

She let out a deep sigh now that her predicament was over. She felt her muscles go weak and she slid to the floor. “I need to go find some underwear.”

The evening out was better than Katherine had expected. Just as promised, Amy didn’t mock her choice of bar, light alcoholic beverages, and only tried twice to get her to dance. The following day allowed a nice recovery from the hangover. 

The weekend flew by as Katherine prepared for her first day. She laid out her outfit, complete with her very own pink stethoscope. She woke up early, showered, and ate a complete breakfast of pop-tarts and a glass of milk. Katherine arrived early at the hospital in full garb and wandered around until she found the door number listed in her orientation email. She walked in to see a few other employees also going through their orientation, except that all of them were wearing casual clothing. Must be custodians or IT people. Katherine thought to herself. They all turned out to be doctors, none of them wearing a white coat. Katherine felt judgmental eyes looking her over like she was a child playing dress up. 

The time was spent signing forms, taking a photo for her ID badge, and having the highlights of the employee handbook read to her by HR. They gave the group a tour of the facility and showed them where their stations would be. The orientation only lasted until the mid-afternoon, her real first day beginning tomorrow at 9. They would each be assigned to their groups and go through introductions the next day.

Katherine walked out of the room and started for her car, still feeling embarrassed by her outfit. She took off her coat and wadded it up and stuffed it in her bag. She realized that Amy was on her current shift in the wing and wondered if she would run into her. She took a detour and started walking down the halls looking for her friend. She turned a corner and ran into a tall, thin woman. Almost everyone was tall in comparison to Katherine, but this woman had to be at least six feet tall, almost as tall as Amy. She wore nurses’ scrubs and her pale blond hair was wrapped up in a tight bun.

The woman looked down at her over her glasses sternly. “You’re not supposed to be in this area. Are you lost?” Her gaze unnerved Katherine and she stammered for a moment. “Um… Sorry, I was just looking for my friend.” The woman continued to stare at her. “Where are your parents? I can show you to the information desk and they can help you find them.” She started to reach for Katherine’s hand. “No,” Katherine insisted “I’m not a child, I’m a doctor. I’m looking for my friend Amy. Amy Bradford. She works here!” She felt like she was losing control of the situation.

The woman eyed her skeptically. “You work here?” She said, her tone thick with skepticism. “Can I see your employee ID?” As she said this, she reached for a walkie-talkie connected to her belt. Katherine started to panic. “I… I just started. I don’t have it yet.” The woman continued to stare at her, eyeing her up and down. She raised the radio to her mouth and was about to speak when a voice called down from the hallway. “Katherine!” Amy called, pacing towards them. Instant relief washed over Katherine. She finally had someone who could vouch for her.

The woman lowered the radio and turned to look at Amy. “Miss Bradford, do you know this girl?” Amy continued towards them, speaking quickly as she walked. “Sorry Miss Anderson, that’s my friend, Doctor Katherine Baker. She just went through orientation. I was a little late coming to meet her.” She finally caught up to them, a sense of urgency on her face that made Katherine even more unsettled. The woman looked back down at Katherine, looking almost annoyed. “In the future, please do not go anywhere without your hospital identification card.” She snapped the radio back in its' holster. “As for you Miss Bradford,” She said, her gaze shifting back to Amy. “unless I’m mistaken, you’re still on the clock and this is not your appointed break period.” Amy looked appropriately chastised. “I’m sorry Miss Anderson, I’ll work through my next break and mark it on my schedule.”

“See that you do.” She said, turning to leave. Her head arched back over her shoulder, barely addressing Amy. “Oh, and please show your friend to the nearest exit. Even if she is a doctor, she is not yet authorized to be in this area.” She strutted off, leaving the two of them alone. Amy let out a sigh. “That’s Kelly. She’s a bit… formal.” Katherine looked at her diminishing figure as she continued to strut down the hall with such perfect posture that Katherine could couldn’t believe there wasn’t something propping her up.
“What’s up her butt?” She said, condescendingly. From far down the hall, Kelly stopped abruptly, the echo from the rhythm of her heels on the polished floors fading to silence. Katherine’s heart dropped as she wondered if she could have heard her from that far away. Amy’s eyes went wide as they both stared down the hallway. Kelly didn’t turn around. She didn’t even move. She just stood frozen for a few moments, then resumed walking.

Katherine looked to Amy with wide eyes, and they share an unspoken agreement that it was time to go. Amy pointed towards down a different hallway and they both took off, out of the Kelly’s line of sight. After they were sure they were far away from Kelly, Amy started talking again. “Kelly is the nurse supervisor. She coordinates most of the scheduling around here and has been here longer than most doctors. Not much of a joker that one…” They made it to the lobby and Katherine could see her car through the large glass windows. “So, do you think I’ll run in to her again?” Amy paused for a few seconds. “Well… you could say that. She works in our wing. She’s my boss… and she will oversee your scheduling too.”

“Oh…” Katherine said weakly. “So… not a great first impression?” Amy gave her a reassuring smile. “It was just a random fluke. Tomorrow is your first formal day. I’m sure things will go better then.” Katherine nodded and returned the smile. “I’ve got to get back to work. See you tomorrow.” Amy turned and walked back to her station. Katherine sighed and turned to head to the parking lot. Tomorrow would be a new day, and this time she would make a better impression.

Chapter 2:
Katherine woke up to her alarm blaring. What would have normally enraged her was now a challenge. She slammed the OFF button and threw off her bed covers. Katherine was the absolute opposite of a morning person, but today was her first real day of work and she was determined to make a good impression. 

She went through her morning routine with remarkable efficiency. She brushed her teeth, showered, pulled her hair back into a ponytail, and looked over her clothes laid out over the back of a chair. She had picked out her outfit the night before; she even bothered to iron her favorite shirt.

After she dressed, she stood in front of the mirror for a long time, looking herself over thoroughly. She had to look professional today, and she was willing to spare a few extra minutes to make sure that she everything looked perfect. She wore simple dark tennis shoes, professional looking white pants, her best push-up bra, and a light-colored pink blouse. Her ensemble nicely complimented her custom-made doctor’s coat, which was finally going to see action today. She applied a thin layer of foundation and some mascara, trying to go as minimal as possible with her makeup.

Despite the fact her clothes were all incredibly small, she managed to look like a small adult. She turned from side to side, something about her appearance bothering her. After some long consideration, she walked back to her dresser and rummaged around until she found the bra with the least amount of padding. She returned to the mirror and held it up in front of her chest, comparing the cups of her push-up bra.

She felt more confident with the padding, but what if someone was able to notice? She wanted to make a good impression and appear mature, but if Kelly had seen her yesterday and had mistaken her for a child, surely, she would notice that she grew boobs overnight. She sighed and reluctantly took off the push-up bra and replaced it with her thin-cupped training bra. Better than nothing. She thought, looking over her figure in the mirror.

Once her outfit was confirmed, she went to the kitchen to make breakfast. Katherine moved her small step-stool around the floor, going from the cupboard that held her favorite flavor of pop-tarts, to the small counter that was the resting place of her faithful toaster. She made breakfast, downed a glass of milk, and grabbed her backpack. She had been a little uncertain about bringing her backpack, but Amy had reassured her that lots of doctors used them, and that they were necessary for the number of things doctors and nurses brought to the hospital. They even had their own lockers at the hospital. It felt like she never left school.

Katherine arrived a few minutes before her shift. She was told where she could pick up her ID badge at and wanted to make sure there wasn’t any confusion this time. The glass doors opened for her automatically, and she walked up to the receptionist’s desk. An older woman sat behind the desk, writing on a clipboard. She didn't notice Katherine walked in, and was too preoccupied with her writing to notice her standing there, the top of her head just barely visible over the top of the desk.

Katherine stood awkwardly for a few silent moments before working up the confidence to speak. Just act confident. Speak like an adult and they'll treat you like one. She finished her mental pep talk and in a small voice said, “excuse me?” The woman looked straight ahead, a look of confusion forming as she searched for the source of the voice. Katherine saw that she was being literally overlooked and gently cleared her throat. The woman looked down in surprise. “Oh” she said, recoiling. “I'm sorry dear, I didn't see you there.” She looked Katherine over with an appraising eye. “Our offices don't open up for another few minutes. Are… you with someone?” She asked vaguely.

Katherine sighed. This is exactly what she had hoped to avoid. “I’m a doctor here. It’s my first day and I’m picking up my ID badge. The woman furrowed her brow, her skepticism plain on her face. She turned and started rummaging through a box on her desk “Alright then, what’s your name?” “Katherine Baker?” Any shred of confidence she had was already gone. The woman rummaged around, every second causing another wave of anxiety. What if she couldn’t find it? Amy wasn’t here to plead her case, and no one except Kelly knew who she was, and she was the last parson she wanted to see right now. 

“Ah, here we are. Katherine Baker.” Katherine felt herself relax. The woman held up a plastic ID card, dangling from a clip-on lanyard. She steadied the card and re-read the name. She eyed the picture, looking back and forth between Katherine skeptically. She shrugged and handed the card over the desk. “There you are Doctor Baker. From now on you can use the back entrance and parking lot. You’ll need to show it to security to get in. That card will get you through the restricted areas. Just swipe them at the door plate and they’ll turn green and open.” 

Katherine eyed the card, a wave of relief washing over her. She had proof now of who she was. No more confusion, no more awkward situations. She pinned the lanyard to the front pocket of her white coat and smiled at the receptionist. “Thanks for your help.” The woman smiled back and Katherine headed for the door that lead to the offices. 

She noticed a scan plate on the wall next to the door. She pulled her ID badge from it’s retractable lanyard and held it in front of the plate. There was an audible beep, but the red light stayed red. She waited a moment, but the door stayed latched. She tried again, holding the card against the plate. Another beep, but no green light. She looked back at the receptionist desk, the receptionist watching her closely. 

Katherine paused, unsure what to do. “Um.. do I-“ Oh don’t worry Hun.” The receptionist said, getting up from her desk and starting towards her. “Sometimes they don’t give the right access. Just talk to a supervisor and they’ll talk to security and get your card access.” She touched her own card to the plate and it beeped. The plate glowed green and an audible click was heard from the door. She turned the handle and held it open for Katherine. 

“Thanks.” Katherine murmured, stepping through the door. Perfect. She thought to herself as she started down the long hall of offices. At least I can prove who I am, I just can’t go anywhere. She looked at her watch and saw that she still had a few minutes before the morning schedule briefing. She headed to the lounge to drop off her backpack, until she saw another dreaded black security scanner. Great. They just had to secure every single door. She reluctantly tried her card again. The red light glared at her, refusing to change. Amy stuck her tongue out at it. She just wanted one thing to go right today.

“Doctor Baker?” She heard a voice from down the hall. Her tongue shot back into her mouth and she turned to see Kelly staring at her with a confused look on her face. She stood frozen, clipboard in hand. Katherine went wide eyed and felt the panic return. “Um…” She started weakly. “My… My badge. It doesn’t… It’s not working.” Kelly let out a quick sigh of exasperation and quickly walked over to her. With her height and quick stride, it took almost no time at all.

“Let me see.” She said, reaching for her badge and tugging it towards the panel. The light turned green and the room clicked open. Kelly turned with an annoyed look towards Katherine and said, “It appears to be working just fine. Have a little more patience when you try to scan in.”

Katherine was speechless. “But… it wasn’t working. The receptionist-” “I don’t know what to tell you. It appears to be working fine now.” She said, her tone thick with annoyance. “Anyway, you can go to the lounge later. We have the morning staff meeting in the main hall. I’ll show you where it is.” With that, she took off quickly down the hall. Katherine stood there for a moment, her anger building up inside her. It wasn’t fair!

She realized how quickly Kelly was moving and almost had to run to keep up with her. They rounded a corner and the hallway opened to a large common area, currently full of staff members standing around a large interactive monitor that displayed names, rooms, and brackets with everyone’s names. Kelly’s entrance signaled silence in the room, and every head swiveled to look at her, and then they all noticed Katherine. 

Katherine looked around at the sea of faces all staring at her. “Aww”, she heard someone near the back of the room coo at her. She felt her face turning red and tried to find somewhere else in the room to look at. She spotted Amy almost at the opposite end of the circle, giving her a reassuring, but obviously uncomfortable smile.

“Everyone, we’ve got a new staff member.” Kelly began in an authoritative tone. “Doctor Katherine Baker.” She gestured down to her side at Katherine, and if all the eyes in the room weren't on her already, they were now. Katherine heard an audible gasp from the same direction as the woman that “aww”-ed her before. She realized what had happened. They all thought this little girl wearing a doctor’s coat and a backpack came in with Kelly like it was ‘bring your daughter to work day’. Her face grew hotter than she could have imagine was possible.

“She's just finished her degree and will be on starter rotation until her patient schedule fills up. Show her the ropes and keep her in line.” The last comment had a bit of venom as she finished speaking. It sounded like a threat.

Kelly pulled out a slim tablet from behind her clipboard. The large monitor on the wall began to move as she poked at her tablet. “Schedules look normal today. We've had call-aheads and expect a slightly increase in walk-ins. No extensive surgeries, no one should be expected to be pulled from their stations. She stopped poking and the screen returned to the large hourly calendar with everyone's names in color-coated slots. 

“Announcement time. Friday is Halloween. The administrators highly encourage costumes. I hope I don't have to remind you that this is a children’s hospital. Keep it clean. You can have your fun after work.” At this, a few glances were exchanged in the crowd. Some people started to whisper before Kelly glared at the disturbance. Silence returned, and she continued. 

“We also have infant-care review training coming up for new nurses. You know who you are. For the rest of you, it’s optional if your schedules allow it. That's all, let's get to work.” The crowd quickly disbanded, and Kelly quickly made her way towards an office. Katherine looked at the dispersing nurses and doctors, unsure where she should go. Amy saw the look of confusion and walked over to her. Katherine felt her anxiety wane as she saw her approaching. She wasn’t sure what she would do if she worked somewhere without a friend.

“Hey…” Amy said, sensing her discomfort. “Everything okay?” Katherine looked up at the monitor. “I guess… I’m just not sure what to do. No one’s really explained anything.” Amy followed her gaze and started reading through the schedule. “Well, it will be a little different for you than it is for me. Typically, doctors get a list of patients specific to them, but you won’t have any assigned to you yet.” She guided her finger along the board to the section labeled ‘Urgent Care’ as she explained. “You’re going to get the walk-ins for urgent care until you get scheduled. You’ll need to keep an eye on your pager as the schedule updates.”

“Um… I didn’t get a pager.” Amy looked surprised. “Oh, that’s weird. We can take care of that.” She turned and started walking to the office Kelly had retreated to. The windows was too high for Katherine to see through, but she could read the plaque below the door: 

Kelly Anderson
Head Nurse
Scheduling Administration

Amy knocked on the door. “Yes?” Kelly asked. “Miss Anderson?” Amy asked, cracking the door open. Kelly looked up from a paper on her desk at Amy, then down at Katherine behind her. “Doctor Baker didn’t receive a pager yet.” Amy overemphasized the ‘doctor’, reminding Kelly of her status. Kelly glared at Katherine, who couldn’t maintain the staring contest with her. “They should have issued you one with your badge. Did you lose it?”

Katherine paused, trying to remember if the receptionist had mentioned anything about a badge. “N… No, I don’t think so. I think she forgot.” Kelly huffed. “Well that’s convenient. No one else has claimed that they weren’t given one yet.” She pulled open the top drawer of her desk and pulled out a pager. “I have a backup for emergencies. Give me your number and I’ll key it in.” She stared at Katherine and waited for a response. Katherine hesitated, trying to remember if someone had told her what her number was.

Amy noticed the hesitation, and quietly said, “It’s on your badge.” Katherine quickly fumbled with her badge, letting out an embarrassed, “Oh…”. Kelly rolled her eyes at the exchange. Katherine read the number, and Kelly pressed a few buttons on the pager. 

“There, it’s set up. Don’t lose it.” She added, with a bit of venom. She held it out over the desk, Katherine approached the desk, barely able to see over it, and took the pager. Kelly looked back up at Amy. “I trust that doctor Baker can find her own way from here.” She said, also emphasizing the ‘doctor’. Amy’s face went rigid, and she nodded curtly, turning to leave. Katherine walked quickly behind her, shutting the door with a satisfying click.

Amy huffed loudly. “Sorry about that, I’m sure it was just a mix-up at the front desk. Sorry, but I’ve got to run, I’m on schedule.” Katherine nodded, understanding, but still wishing she had her friend’s help. “It’s okay, I can figure it out.” Amy smiled reassuringly, then proceeded quickly down a hall.

Katherine looked around at the people moving around. It felt wrong to stand in one place. Her feet started moving, unsure of her destination. She started with some simple laps around the hallways, getting an idea of where she would be working. 

She stopped off at the break room to ditch her backpack. The room was comfortable looking. It had a decent sized kitchen, several comfortable looking couches, a few vending machines, and a giant TV displaying 24-hour news on mute. She found the lockers built into the wall and went to go drop off her bag. Most of the lockers had names on them, none of them Katherine’s. She found one on the end without a name and figured it was probably meant to be hers anyway. Luckily it was on a lower rack and she could actually reach it. She stowed her bag away and shut the door. She noticed it didn’t have an included lock, and she would have to bring her own for security.

She left the room and continued her exploration. She found the examination rooms, waiting rooms, and entrance for the Urgent Care clinic. Just as she found where she would be working, her pager started vibrating violently in her pocket. She let out a small yelp and felt herself flinch, partly because she wasn’t used to the sensation, and partly because it tickled. It continued to vibrate until she fumbled the small device out of her coat pocket.

The slim LCD display lit up as letters quickly scrolled past. UCC ROOM 14. Katherine looked up, scanning the hallway signs until she noticed the cluster of numbers that pointer her towards her assigned room. She tucked away the pager and headed down the hall.

Katherine counted the numbers as she passed,”12… 13… there you are.” Her relief was tangible; finally feeling competent to do her job… right up until she saw the patient’s chart tucked in its holster… at the top of the door. Katherine’s height barely afforded her the luxury to use water fountains. There was no way she was reaching that thing. 

She looked all around her, hoping to find someone less vertically challenged. Down the hall, she spotted a nurse walking just out of view. She was the only person she had seen, and she couldn’t miss her. “Nurse!” she called out, louder than she intended. The woman backpedaled, taking a step backwards to see who made the noise. She looked down the hall towards Katherine, a confused expression visible on her face from all the way down the hall. She started towards Katherine, still trying to figure out what was going on.

She walked up to Katherine, looming over her. She eyed her up and down, looking at her coat and ID badge. “Can I help you?” The confused look was now permanently fixed on her face. “I’m sorry, I just need some help getting the patient file.” Katherine said, pointing at the folder slot affixed to the wall.

The woman’s face finally changed from confusion, to a surprised understanding. “Oh.. that's no problem, doctor.” She said, easily reaching the folder and handing it to Katherine. Being called ‘doctor' was one of the most reassuring feelings Katherine had experienced here. It wasn't just out of pity; this woman gad recognized who she was and had respected her. Katherine took the folder with a massive grin. “Thank you for you help nurse.” The woman smiled and resumed her walking.

Katherine opened the folder and began to skim the urgent care patient's notes. Infant, 4 months, showing symptoms of low-grade fever and unusual bowel movements. Mother noticed and they came as soon as she noticed. Seems pretty straightforward… She thought to herself.

She knocked gently on the door and turned the handle. As soon as the door cracked, an earsplitting scream assaulted Katherine’s ears. It wasn’t a sound she wasn’t used to from her residency, but it still managed to surprise her. She opened the door to see a mother holding her screaming child, sitting on the chair on the opposite wall. The room was painted in bright colors with a balloon pattern. 

“Hello, I’m doctor Baker” Katherine said, walking over and reaching out her hand. The woman looked a bit surprised but took Katherine’s hand in a limp handshake. Katherine took some latex gloves from the wall and started putting them on. “Hello, I’m Mary Shelton. This is Jacob.” She said, gesturing towards the crying boy. “So, what seems to be going on with Jacob?” She said, snapping the latex glove in place. The woman looked down at her baby, still trying to soothe him. “He’s been crying a lot the past few days, and this morning he had a small fever.” 

Katherine looked at the chart and saw that the nurse had taken the baby had a temperature of 98.9. A bit high, but not too bad. She thought to herself. “He’s also been having diarrhea… he actually needs changed, but I didn’t see a place to dispose of it…” Katherine looked around the room and noticed that there wasn’t a diaper pail. “That’s alright. It will give me a good chance to check and I can ask a nurse about disposal.” 

The woman held out her child and Katherine took him in her arms. He was still fussing but seemed to calm a bit as she took him in her arms. She laid him down on the exam table and undid his diaper. Sure enough, he needed a change and she could see that this wasn’t normal. Mary pulled out her diaper bag and started putting a few supplies on the table for Katherine. “That would happen occasionally, but never for this long. I was starting to get worried…” Katherine used the wipes from the bag and began cleaning Jacob. 

“Have there been any changes in his schedule lately? Any new foods, different times for a nap?” Mary paused for a second to think. “Well… he’s been pretty thirsty lately. We’ve been giving him more to drink.” Katherine paused and looked at her. “The nurse recorded that you weren’t breastfeeding, what is he drinking?” “Oh, well he really likes apple juice.” Katherine nodded to herself. “Mystery solved.” She said, finishing up her cleaning. Mary looked at her with a confused expression. “What’s wrong with apple juice?” 

“Infant’s digestion systems aren’t built to handle sugar, which juice is packed full of. In fact, doctors recommend a spoonful of apple juice to help with constipation. Keep him on formula or pureed foods and only water if he seems thirsty between feedings. His digestive system should return to normal within a day or so.”

Mary looked surprised. “I didn’t know that, I thought apple juice was a staple for kids. I’m glad to know he’ll be okay.” Katherine turned back to fasten up Jacob’s new diaper when she felt something warm running down her sleeve. Jacob was producing a powerful stream from the table onto Katherine’s lab coat. She tried to get out of the line of fire, and just as she pulled the clean diaper over Jacob, the stream stopped. 

“Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry!” Mary said, looking at Katherine’s coat. “It’s alright, it happens…” Katherine said, finishing up her diapering job. It hadn’t actually happened before, but she had to seem professional. She finished up with Jacob, then took off her soiled lab coat and laid it on the chair. “I’m going to go ask a nurse about this,” she said, gesturing to the soiled diaper, “and I can go get your discharge papers.”

Katherine grabbed the wadded-up diaper and stepped out into the hall. She looked around, and sure enough, she didn’t see a disposal container anywhere. A large woman in scrubs turned the corner and Katherine tried to flag her down. “Excuse me, nurse? I need some help with this.” She looked down at Katherine, then to the dirty diaper in her hand. “Don’t worry honey, we can take care of that. Do you have another?” Katherine furrowed her brow in confusion. “No, I don’t need another, I’m in room 14 and…” As Katherine turned to point at her exam room, she felt a finger pulling back on her waistband. She turned around in surprise, the nurse had just checked down her pants. Katherine was stunned speechless.

“We’ll get you taken care of.” The nurse said as she took a few steps towards a supply closet. She opened the door and took a diaper down from the shelf. She started to unfold it as she approached Katherine. Katherine started to panic. “What? No!... I’m not… I’m a doctor!” The nurse just smiled at her. “Oh, are you playing doctor today?” She reached down to pick up Katherine and she stumbled backwards out of her reach.

“Don’t be fussy, wearing a diaper is nothing to be embarrassed about.” Katherine’s temper was starting to flare. She hated it when people wouldn’t listen. “My name is Doctor Katherine Baker. I am a pediatrician. I graduated summa cum laude. Today is my first day, and I just need to know where I can throw away this poopy diaper!” She shook the soiled garment in her hand for emphasis. The nurse looked at her skeptically. “Doctors here have ID badges, so we know who they are, and they know that we keep waste containers in the cabinets. Are you here with your parents?” 

Katherine had had enough. She turned and walked back to the exam room. The nurse turned and headed towards the information desk. Let her call someone, Katherine thought bitterly. I want her to know how much she messed up. She put on a fake smile as she reentered the room.

“That’s my fault. I forgot where the containers were kept.” She said with fake cheerfulness to Mary. Katherine pulled open one of the cabinet doors to find an orange biohazard disposal container. She dropped the sagging diaper through the door and it hit the bottom with a dull squish.

Katherine collapsed exhaustedly on her bed. Her backpack was thrown to the other side of the room, along with her wet, wadded up white coat. She only had one other that fit her, and it would have to last a while before she could get this one cleaned.

Just as she closed her eyes, her phone vibrated. She lazily held her phone up to see a text from Amy. ‘Sorry I couldn’t meet for lunch. How was the first day?’ Katherine sighed and started typing. ‘I got peed on within 20 minutes. Everything else was boring compared to that.’ She debated on telling her about the incident with nurse, but she just wanted to forget about it. She hit send and let her phone fall to the floor.
She was so tired. She worked until 6 and didn’t even want dinner. She hated feeling this stressed out. All she needed was a nap and she could forget this whole day…

Chapter 3:
Katherine felt herself curling into her soft bed as she faded into unconsciousness. She didn’t care about the time of day, or the fact that she wasn’t wearing comfortable pajamas, she just wanted to sleep. Her darkened room embraced her, and she relaxed for the first time all day.

White walls faded out of the darkness. Katherine found herself walking down a hallway. She looked ahead to see her destination, but the tunnel ahead of her seemed to go on forever. She realized that she was lost. It looked like the hospital. She looked down to see her doctor’s coat and ID badge. She felt relieved that she could ask for help.

The hallway branched out to other endless hallways. She turned around to see a wall behind her. The building was changing, and she felt completely lost. She looked up at the signs on the walls, hoping for some sense of direction, and saw that the letters were unreadable. The walls seemed to be stretching and the ceilings were growing higher and higher. She looked to her left and noticed a door. She reached for the handle, but the handle began to slide up the door, out of her grasp.

“You shouldn’t be here little baby…” She heard a stern voice say from behind. Strong hands slid under her armpits and she was lifted in the air. She kicked and tried to move but was helpless as the hands carried her down the hall. She wanted to protest but couldn’t form the words. She looked down at her badge, but it, and her coat, had vanished. Instead, she wore a pair of pajamas.

A door swung open and she was carried into a nursery. Everything seemed so much bigger than normal. The hands set her down on top of a table. She tried to move her arms and legs but had almost no control. It felt as if she was trying to swim through wet clay. She felt the hands pulling at her waistband, checking the state of her. Katherine felt shame wash over her as she was examined. She knew she hadn’t done anything wrong, but she didn’t want to be falsely accused. She wanted to explain herself, to tell them it was a mistake, but all she could do was struggle. “Fussy baby… we’ll take care of you.” More hands appeared around her.  She looked up to see tall nurses smiling down at her.

Hands quickly began taking her clothes. She tried to protest, but the hands kept iron grips on her. She was stripped naked and laid back on the table. It felt soft underneath her and she found it harder to move. Supplies appeared all around her and the hands began to methodically clean her. She felt a warm sensation from her crotch as hands began to delicately care for her.

Lotion was rubbed around her most intimate areas. She couldn’t even try to fight it now. She drifted deeper into this strange hypnosis. The voices continued to reassure her as they moved on to the baby powder. “What a precious little girl…” They cooed, adding liberal amounts of powder to her. “She’ll be feeling so much better once we get her into a nice, comfy diaper…”

Her legs were raised high in the air. The tiny shred of resistance left in Katherine thought that something was wrong. She didn’t belong here. This was a mistake! She tried to protest, her words coming out as a fussy babble. “Hush little baby, mommy knows what’s best for you!” The voices said. Suddenly, a large pacifier was being pressed into her mouth. It filled it completely, stifling her noises. She did the only thing left she could do and began to suckle on it.

Her legs were spread, and a thick diaper was placed underneath her. She heard a soft crinkle as her bottom was lowered onto the material. Soft cotton rubbed against her cheeks and thighs, sending wave after wave of an almost ticklish sensation. The diaper was wrapped up between her legs, a gentle, but unyielding pressure against her crotch. Just as the tapes were fastened and it completely surrounded her, she felt a pressure from her belly. Her pleasant state only felt relief that she was wearing a diaper and had nothing to worry about, but a small, adult part in the back of her mind was faintly yelling that she needed to find a bathroom.

The hands picked her up. Nurses held her up and made faces, cooing noises, and passed her around for display. They rocked her back and forth, lulling her deeper into a submissive state. Her humiliation was slowly waning, gradually feeling safer with these women who, even as they gently mocked her, were being almost… motherly towards her. She felt herself enjoying the sensations, her stress melting away. The pressure in her belly faded away. Her eyes closed as the arms embraced her, warmth surrounding her from all sides. She gently rocked and sucked at her pacifier, unable to form a single thought. She felt at complete peace…

Katherine jolted awake in her bed. Her head was buried in her pillow and she struggled out of the mess for a breath. The pillow was wet around her, and she found her hand against her face, also soaked. She tried to lift her head from the pillow, but she found herself tangled up in a mess of blankets. She removed her hand but felt something moving in her mouth. Still groggy, she pulled her hand away to see a line of spit dragging from her thumb. She looked confused at it, until she realized that she had been sucking on it.

She continued to struggle against the wadded-up sheets. As she moved, she found that they were all wet. She had been so tightly wrapped up that she had sweat through all of them. Everything felt wrong. She pulled the mess of sheets off and saw she was still wearing her clothes from the previous day, also soaked through with sweat. She laid back, letting the air cool her off. The dream slowly came back to her memory, warmth rushing to her cheeks in embarrassment as she remembered how real it felt. 

That… wasn’t normal. She thought to herself. She squirmed a little and noticed the tug of wet fabric from between her legs. Was it just sweat… or… She looked down at her crotch. Sure enough, it wasn’t simply damp from sweat. The sheets all around her were completely soaked, her pants with a visible dark patch all around her crotch. She groaned in frustration and shifted, trying to move away from the puddle, but quickly froze in place as she noticed an unusual sensation.

Her pants felt... tight. There was a pressure against her bottom as if she had left a billiards ball in her underwear. She moved her hand slowly and felt a large bulge in the back of her pants. Her eyes went wide with realization and she considered for a moment if she was still dreaming. She had pooped her pants.

She couldn’t move, her hand frozen, cupping the mass in her underwear. She felt like the she couldn’t process anything. Her heart was pounding, her head still groggy from sleep. She didn’t want to make things any worse, so she stopped to think of a plan.

She had been laying on her side all night. If she rolled over, she would sit directly on the mess and things would become a lot harder. She scooted towards the edge of her bed, cringing as the mass in her underwear shifted against her. As she laid on the edge of her bed, she looked over to see her faint glow of her alarm clock. It was exactly 3 minutes before she was supposed to wake up. She sighed, realizing that she had slept for almost 12 hours, and now had to deal with this mess while trying to get ready for work. 

She gingerly slid one leg off of the bed, dangling over her floor. The other legs followed, and she used her arms to slowly slide herself to the very edge, slowly tipping towards the floor as her weight shifted off the mattress. Her feet made contact with the floor. She continued to tip, now flexing the muscles in her legs to stay as still as possible. The strain began to hurt after a few moments, Katherine’s stiff muscles yet to be stretched. She finally shifted all her weight to her feet in an awkward crouch.

Katherine unbuttoned her pants and gently tugged them down, being careful to pull the waistband back so it made little contact with her underwear. As they slid down, her underwear began to sag, no longer supported by her pants. She felt the weight pulling against her underwear, the mass now swinging as it threatened to pull her panties down. She kept her wet pants on, pulled down just above her knees, and began to practice an awkward duck waddle towards the door. She could only move her feet a few inches, her socks gliding just over the carpet as she shuffled in squatting position to keep the mess from shifting. 

Suddenly, a rapid pounding came from the front door. Katherine’s head shot up in horror.  was so focused on keeping her balance, she hadn’t been prepared for anything else to happen. Her sudden movement threw off her balance. Katherine’s arms spun wildly, trying to steady herself. She tried to move her feet for better stability, but the pants bunched up around her knees didn’t permit any movement. She began to fall backwards, her hands reaching behind her and grasping wildly at the mattress. Her knees locked and she slid towards the floor, her grip tightening on the mattress cover. Her back made contact with the side of the bed, her descent slowing as she held herself up. 

Her fall stopped suddenly. Her legs locked out in front of her, balancing on her heels. Her arms spread behind her awkwardly, holding her up by her mattress cover. Her heart was racing now. Her stomach muscles began to cramp from her unexpected exercise routine as she desperately held herself over the floor. She could feel the weight in her underwear, still pulling towards the ground. Her bottom hovered inches above the floor.

She started to panic. Her legs slipped against the carpet, unable to provide any leverage. She couldn’t hang like this much longer, the burning in her arms become more and more pronounced. Katherine took a deep breath and strained with all her might to lift herself up. She pulled against the fabric, feeling herself slowly rising against the bed. She rose an inch, pain shooting through her arms, when she heard the sound of shuffling fabric. There was a faint, elastic pop as the wadded-up cover in her hands suddenly let go of the corners of the mattress and quickly dropped towards the floor. Katherine fell quickly to the floor, all her weight landing on her bottom. The soft mess squished against her, spreading out through her underwear.

Katherine locked up, her hands still gripping the limp sheets. She couldn’t move. The smell wafted up to her, and she felt tears beginning to form. She couldn’t process what had happened. She slowly rolled over, looking at the floor of there was any mess. The carpet was clean. As she shifted, she felt the mess stick to her, pressed up between her cheeks. She shuddered at the sensation, feeling more disgusted by the second. She got back to her feet and continued towards her bedroom door. 

More pounding came from the front door. Katherine opened her bedroom door and glared violently through wet eyes at the disturbance. “Just go away…” She grumbled quietly, shuffling towards the bathroom. She was almost halfway half-way to the bathroom when another sound came from the front door. A faint click rang through the hall as the deadbolt slid into the door, free from the doorframe. 

A fresh wave of panic came over Katherine. She was maybe two seconds from having someone see her. She bolted for the bathroom, moving as fast as her legs could propel her, until her pants tugged at her legs and she fell forward, landing hard on the floor.

The door swung open, and Amy’s voice sand through the apartment. “Surprise Katie! I brought breakfast!” She stepped inside, awkwardly nudging the door shut with her shoulder while holding a large brown fast-food bag and a cardboard drink carrier. Katherine tried to move herself forward but couldn’t bend her knees to propel herself. She turned, facing Amy in a desperate attempt to hide the accident.

As the front door clicked shut, Amy turned to face the apartment, immediately noticing Katherine on the ground. “Katie!” She yelled in alarm. She ran towards Katherine, leaning down to deposit the breakfast on the floor and was quickly at her side. Katherine looked at her, still panic-stricken, trying to figure out some way to explain herself. 

Amy’s medical training took over and she started to examine Katherine. “I’m okay, I’m fine!” Katherine blurted out trying to reassure her. “What happened?” Amy said seriously, looking down at Katherine’s wet pants pulled down at her ankles. “I…” Katherine hesitated, trying to think of any possible lie that could explain this. “I… just had a little accident and tripped as I pulled my pants down. That’s all!” She said, trying to add some playfulness to her tone to reassure her. Amy looked Katherine’s eyes, skepticism plain on her face, when Katherine noticed her nostrils flare. Amy’s eyebrows furrowed as she looked again towards Katherine’s pants. Katherine instinctively pulled her shirt down, pathetically covering her underwear.

Amy leaned over Katherine, noticing the dark splotch across the pack of her panties. “Oh Katie…” Amy said quietly. Katherine couldn’t hold back her tears any more. She started sobbing, taking deep, gasping breaths. Amy sat on the floor and pulled Katherine’s head up on to her lap. Katherine turned her head down and let out her muffled sobs into Amy’s scrubs. “I… overslept.” Katherine mumbled between sobs. “I… just… I had… an accident.” Amy gently stroked her back, quietly shushing her. “I’m… not sick… It just… happened. Then I fell.”

Amy continued to comfort her. “You don’t have to be embarrassed. It’s not a big deal, it was just an accident. I’m your friend Katherine, and I care about you. Okay?” She carefully emphasized her question, and Katherine slowly nodded her head against Amy’s lap, her sobs still audible. Amy leaned towards Katherine’s legs, gently tugging at each pant leg until they slid from her legs. She put her hands under Katherine’s arms and propped her up, Katherine slowly coming to her own two feet. She kept her head down, unable to look at Amy. Her face was hot and red with shame, but her sobs had slowly quieted to an almost silent cry. Amy bent down to her eye level. “I’ll take care of everything else, you go take a shower and clean up, okay?” Katherine nodded and looked up at Amy though a mess of tangled hair. Amy smile at her, then wrapped her arms around her in a soft hug. Katherine returned it, burying her face in Amy’s shoulder. 

After a long moment, Katherine broke away and walked into the bathroom, trying to resist the urge to waddle as the mess still stuck to her. Amy found herself staring at Katherine’s underwear before she forced herself to turn around. As soon as Katherine shut the door, Amy let out a breath she didn’t realize she was holding and started to process what had just happened.

About 30 minutes later, Katherine emerged from the bathroom wrapped in a robe, and her hair done up in a towel. Amy sat on the couch drinking her coffee, the brown paper bag still unopened sat on the coffee table. Amy looked at her friend and smiled at her visible mood improvement. “Hey, come sit down. I got you breakfast.” She patted the seat next to her. Katherine smiled and hopped up on the couch. Amy opened the bag and divided the breakfast biscuits and hash browns between them. 

As they started eating, Amy tentatively began speaking.  “Feeling better?” Katherine nodded and swallowed a bite of her sandwich. She knew there was going to be a conversation, and she spent some time in the shower preparing what she would say. “Yeah, thanks for helping me out.” Amy smiled. “It’s no problem. I’m sorry used your spare key to get in, but I was worried that you had overslept. You weren’t answering my calls.” Katherine looked back towards her bedroom. “Yeah, I fell asleep in my clothes last night and never plugged in my phone. I should probably plug it in.” 

She started to get up, but Amy reached out her hand to stop her. “It’s okay, I found it and plugged it in. I also washed your sheets. They should be dry soon. Katherine hadn’t noticed the dryer running in the background. She felt another intense wave of emotions at her friend’s kindness and smiled at her. “Thanks Amy. I’ve had a really sucky morning.” She took another bite of her breakfast.

“Yeah, I bet.” Amy said, sipping her coffee. “So… does that happen a lot?” Katherine didn’t look up. “No.” Katherine said curtly. “Okay.” Amy said, keeping her tone flat. “I only ask because of what happened last week… You said it didn’t happen much.” “It doesn’t.” Katherine said, her tone becoming defensive. “Okay.” Amy said reassuringly. “I believe you. I just care about you, and this is something that is clearly bothering you. Is everything okay?” 

Katherine let out a sigh. “Yeah, I’m not sick or anything. I think it’s just stress. I was so exhausted I fell asleep in my clothes as soon as I got home. I didn’t eat dinner. It makes sense why my body is out of whack right now.” 
Amy nodded in understanding. “That’s okay. Things will get better. It’s your first week, It won’t take long before you’re feeling right at home.” Amy’s pager went off. “Oh shoot.” She said, reading the message as it scrolled past. “I’ve got to go early. I’ll see you at work okay?” Katherine nodded at her as Amy packed up the rest of her breakfast. Amy gave her a quick hug, and then was out the door. Katherine went to go get dressed and packed her bag for the day.

Katherine arrived for the morning meeting and stood by Amy, feeling determined to get past her awful morning. Kelly went through the familiar morning speech, pulling down the schedule board and going through the daily plan. Katherine looked carefully for her name but saw that she wasn’t in the Urgent Care bracket today. Kelly’s words faded into a drone as Katherine scanned the board. She finally spotter her name under the letters NIU. Newborn & Infant Unit. She smiled at the realization that she didn’t need any help figuring it out, when she noticed that the room had gone quiet.

Katherine looked around to see everyone staring at her. Kelly was staring at her expectantly, waiting for an answer. “Doctor Baker… do you understand your assignment?” Katherine looked back to the board. “Oh… Yeah. The NIU.” She said quietly. Kelly sighed and continued down her list. Katherine tried to keep her face from going red.

After the meeting, Amy gave her a comforting pat on the shoulder before she had to leave for her rounds. Katherine wandered a bit before she found the NIU unit. Because the unit was just basic care, it was mostly newborns that were under observation before the new parents were able to take their children home. Katherine found the schedule at the nurse’s station and found what her name in the hourly rotation for room checks. 

She went from room to room, introducing herself to parents and performing the routine checks on the newborn’s vitals and updating the parents. Several parents looked skeptically at Katherine as she introduced herself, but she did her best to ignore it and stay professional. By the end of her check-ups, almost all of them seemed to accept her and said, “Thank you, doctor Baker.” She could feel her mood lifting as the morning went on.

Sometime before noon, Katherine got a text from Amy. “Want to do lunch today and go get our costumes?” Katherine had forgotten all about Halloween and checked her schedule. “Sorry, I’m on rotation until 1. Can we go after work?” She texted back. “I’m not sure, I might have to cover an evening shift. We’ll figure it out.” Katherine started to think about what costume she would wear as she continued through her shifts. 

Just before her lunch break, she had one last room to visit. She glanced at the chart, then Katherine entered to see the mother with her child looking desperate for help. “Hi, I’m Doctor Baker. I understand you’ve been having some difficulty with feeding?” The woman was balancing the crying child against her shoulder, gently patting her back. “The nurses have been trying to help me with feeding, but I can’t seem to get her to burp. I’ve been trying bouncing, patting, but I’m so scared I’m going to do it too hard.” Katherine smiled reassuringly. This wasn’t an uncommon occurrence. Of course, babies required delicate care, but they wouldn’t break like a piece of glass as some people believed. Some parents were afraid just to hold their own children at first. It would pass, she just needed to work through it.

“That’s perfectly normal, it just takes some time to get into the rhythm.” Katherine said, approaching the bed. “How long ago was the last feeding?” “Just a few minutes ago.” The woman said, self-consciously tugging at the sheet that was covering her breasts. “Here, let me see if I can help.” Katherine held her hands out, gently taking the baby from her. She held the little one over her shoulder and began gently bouncing up and down. She patted gently, but with a bit of firmness on the baby’s back. “I know it can take a while, but I promise this doesn’t hurt your child. After just a few seconds, a soft burp came out. The mother’s face was full of relief and Katherine couldn’t help but smile.

“Honestly, you probably did most of the work already. It just takes patience, and she will-” Katherine froze as a much louder burp came, followed by a warm sensation on her shoulder. She tried to keep a straight face as she turned to see that the baby had spit up all over her shoulder. She forced a smile on to her face and said, “And that’s why you always have a rag over your shoulder too.” The mother looked embarrassed, and Katherine quickly tried to reassure her. “It’s no problem, happens all the time.” She handed the child back and took a wipe from one of the containers on the wall. “Just let us know if you have any more difficulty.” She said, dabbing at her shoulder. 

Katherine walked out of the room, seeing that the stain was not coming out. She took off her coat and continued to scrub as she looked for a bathroom on the floor. She was technically on her lunch break now, and she had yet to find the hospital cafeteria. As she walked through the halls, she found a room labeled “Feeding Room”. She hadn’t seen this room before and decided to take a peak inside. 

She cracked the door, the sound of crying hitting her like a wall. She stepped inside to see a row of high chairs, almost all of them full, containing crying children. She looked around, wondering why there weren’t any nurses. She wasn’t sure if she needed to do anything and started looking for supplies in the cabinets against the wall. She placed her coat on top of the cabinet and started to fiddle with the child-proof handles. “Oh, you’re not supposed to be in there.” A voice came from behind her. She hadn’t heard anyone enter, and as she turned around, a nurse’s hands slid under her armpits, and gently lifted her into the air. They started heading towards the high chairs before Katherine could form a logical sentence. She had no idea what was happening. “Hey… What…” She was placed in an empty high chair, the table quickly locked in against her waist and pinned into the chair. Another nurse entered the room wheeling in a tray of food. 

“I’m not-” Before Katherine could speak, the nurse who had carried her pulled out a pacifier from her pocket and shoved it in squarely in Katherine’s mouth. She was completely shocked, unable to process what was happening. The other nurse wheeled the cart past, depositing jars of baby food and children’s spoons on the high chair tables. The nurse in front of Katherine picked up the spoon and scooped up a large bite of orange substance from the bowl. In a swift motion, she pulled out Katherine’s pacifier and shoved the spoon in its place. Katherine gagged, involuntarily swallowing the foul mush. She opened her mouth to say something, and another spoonful was pushed in. 

“That’s a good girl, you must be hungry today.” She said in a cooing voice. Katherine glared at her, but the nurse had looked away as other nurses were entering, each taking a high chair and started feeding the crying children. Katherine didn’t recognize any of them, hoping no one would see her in this predicament. She wanted to chew the nurse out. She wanted to jump out of the chair and disappear, but she couldn’t say anything. As another spoonful was pushed into her mouth, she swallowed, trying not to gag. The nurse rhythmically had a spoonful ready just as soon as Katherine was able to open her mouth again.

I can’t leave… Katherine thought, wincing as she swallowed another disgusting bite. If I tell them now, they won’t believe me, or I’ll becoming a laughing stock. Another large bite entered her mouth. She felt like she was choking as she tried to breath between the rapid spoonsful of food entering her mouth. She felt a stinging in her eyes as tears started to form. This was humiliating, and she couldn’t say anything. 

The nurse with the cart came around again, depositing bottles of milk on the high chairs. Just as the last spoonful entered Katherine’s mouth, the bottle was held up and waiting for her. The nipple was shoved into her mouth, the liquid slowly dripping in to her mouth. I have to go through with this… maybe I can sneak out as they’re taking the kids back to their rooms… 

She forced herself to drink from the bottle but found that only a few droplets were coming out on her tongue. She winced, realizing that it wasn’t just milk, it was formula. She tried to suck on the nipple, but it was barely coming out any faster. She had to keep a constant suction on the bottle, a slow stream of droplets coming out. It felt like she was making no progress as she swallowed the small mouthful of droplets on her tongue.

She kept at it for minutes, her jaw starting to hurt from the pressure. I can’t do this… Katherine panicked internally. It’s so much. I’m already so full and I can’t drink any more. She felt her stomach stretching uncomfortably full and her bladder felt full to bursting as the bottle finally emptied the last of its contents to the tip of the nipple. Katherine’s sore mouth suckled the last few drops. The nurse took the bottle away, walking over to cart to deposit the empty dishes.

The other nurses were picking up their assigned children and walking them back to their rooms. Katherine looked down at the safety latch holding her tray in place. She waited until no one was looking, then reached over, squeezing the child-proof latch and opening the tray. She dropped to the floor, quietly running over to cabinet that held her soiled coat. She grabbed the coat, then bolted for the door just as the nurse turned around. 

In the hallway, Katherine threw the coat on, moving quickly away from the room. She was still dazed from what had happened, unsure what to do now. Her bladder was painfully full, and she had to find a bathroom immediately. She finally found a sign in the hallway directing her towards the bathroom, and she locked the door behind her. A slow trickle had started to come out just as she pulled her pants down. She sighed in relief, looking down at the small spattering of drops in her underwear.

She wanted to cry. How long would it be before people saw her as a doctor instead of a child? It hadn’t even been a week yet and she felt like she was going to have a nervous breakdown. She just wanted to go home. She pulled out her phone and texted Amy. “I’m not feeling well. I can’t face Kelly right now and I need to go home. I’m really sorry, can you let her know for me?” It took a few moments for Amy to reply. “Of course, I can let her know. Are you okay?” Katherine wasn’t sure how to answer. “I guess. I’m just tired of being treated like a baby. I can’t be here right now.” “That’s okay. Would you be up for Halloween shopping later?”

Katherine sighed as she read the text over. She had been looking forward to Halloween, but anything associated with the hospital just seemed like too much right now. She started typing. “I know that I need a costume, but I think I just need some time to recover right now. I’m sorry to ask, but would you mind picking one up for me? I’ll pay you back for it.” “Sure, what do you want to go as?” Katherine couldn’t even think right now. “I don’t care, you know what I like. Just find something cute and I’ll trust your judgement.” “Okay, don’t worry about it. Everything will be okay, okay Kat?” Katherine felt so grateful for her friend. “Yea, thanks Amy.”

Katherine managed to sneak out of the hospital and make it back to her car. She made it all the way home before she started crying. She hadn’t had any time to relax and desperately needed a break.

Chapter 4:
Amy re-read the text message on her phone. “I’m tired of everyone treating me like I’m a baby.” She felt so bad for her friend. Katherine hadn’t even been here a week and already felt so bad that she needed to take a day off. She was so stressed out that it was having uncomfortable and embarrassing physical side effects on her. Amy remembered how long it took for her to feel comfortable when she started working at the hospital, and she didn’t even have Katherine’s height to worry about.
    She thought about the text, wondering who else had made Katherine feel so bad. She had known Kelly a long time and knew how long it could take for Kelly to tolerate people, much less like them. She could be stern and strict, but Katherine’s descriptions of her job so far sounded more like bullying to her. Was someone else picking on her? 
    Amy pondered on it through the rest of her shift. She had always been protective of Katherine, and the thought of someone at the hospital being mean to her friend made her blood boil, but it was so hard to believe that anyone she worked with could be that malicious. Could it have been an accident? With her size, it wouldn’t be hard to mistake Katherine as a child instead of a doctor. She also didn’t have the greatest confidence, which wouldn’t help her if she had to convince someone that she was actually a doctor. She wanted to help her friend, to find some way to boost her confidence.
    The end of her shift finally came, and she made her way out to the car. She wanted to check in on Katherine but thought better of it. She told her to call if she needed anything, and after how she was feeling, Katherine probably just needed some alone time. Amy got to her car and drove out through the parking garage exit. She headed to the local party supply store, thinking about a costume for Katherine that would boost her self confidence. 
    As she pulled into the parking lot, she saw that the parking lot was completely full. Oh great. She groaned internally. The night before Halloween, and they’re completely full. They probably won’t have anything good left either. After the second time circling, there were still no spots open. Amy looked around at the nearby stores for an open parking spot, when a neon sign caught her eye. 
    ‘COSTUMES’ read the large sign in front of a plain looking store. It was just a plain section of the strip mall with no identifying markers, except for the red sign above the door: ‘Devious Den’. Oh my gosh… Amy felt a small blush come to her cheeks as she realized what the store was. She hadn’t ever noticed it before. I can only imagine what kind of costumes they have… She wondered to herself. 
    She looked at the parking lot in front of the small store. It was almost completely empty. She looked back at the party store lot, every space still full. Maybe I can just go check it out… I kill some time and come back when the party store isn’t as busy. She rationalized. Her curiosity had been piqued, and now she couldn’t think of a good reason not to go inside. She was a grown woman. There was nothing wrong with going into a sex shop. She even had a valid reason to go. 
Her mind thought back the vibrator she had at home in her nightstand. Ordering online was a lot less embarrassing than walking in a store, but there was no reason she couldn’t have gone to a shop. She steeled herself, feeling a small batch of butterflies begin to stir in her stomach, and pulled into the small lot in front of the store. The windows were blacked out, a small light shining through the glass door displaying a flashing neon ‘Open’ sign. She sat in her car for a moment, the butterflies slowly multiplying, and she made herself get out. 
    The parking lot was still empty, yet Amy couldn’t keep herself from looking around, as if someone was watching her. She shook off the feeling and walked up to the door. As she pulled on the handle, a loud buzzer pinged to announce her presence. The inside of the shop was very bright, shelves and display cases all lit up to showcase their treasures. Amy had a difficult time taking in what she was seeing. The displays were unashamedly sexual, sorting toys by color, size, and girth. It was sensory overload as she stood frozen in the doorway, debating if she could still walk out.
    A girl emerged from the back. She looked fairly young, dark hair pulled into pigtails and bright makeup. “Hi there, anything I can help you with?” The ease of her tone threw Amy off, as if she expected anyone who worked here to be just as awkward as their clientele. “Um… I saw the sign for costumes and was just curious.” The girl smiled as she walked up to her. “No problem. I take it you’re not planning on going to go as a sexy nurse?” She said with a rue smile, looking Amy up and down in her nurses scrubs. 
    Amy felt herself blush at the comment and forced a laugh. “No, no. Just shopping around and a lot of places are pretty busy.” The girl nodded. “Well it is the night before Halloween. It’s what you get if you wait ‘til the last minute. So, you said everywhere else is sold out, what kind of costume are you wanting?” She raised an eyebrow, as if questioning if Amy knew where she was right now.
    “I’m not really sure. I just thought I would see what you had.” Amy felt herself having a difficult time looking the girl in the eye. Her eyes dropped to her punk attire and noticed a nametag that read ‘Stacy’. Stacy shrugged and turned to walk back into the store. “I can show you around.” She held a hand up over her shoulder, gesturing a ‘come-hither’ motion with her index finger. 
    Amy was taken aback, unsure how to handle the girl’s confidence. She walked silently behind her, looking awkwardly around at the shelves and displays again. Lubes, pumps, and silicon molded in every shape imaginable. She couldn’t find anywhere safe to rest her eyes. Stacy continued towards the back where there were long stretches of clothing racks. She weaved into the first row, leaving a barrier of costumes between them. 
    “We’ve got fun stuff…” She said, taking a lacy, mesh bodysuit off the rack and holding it up in her left hand. “and really fun stuff.” She held up a hanger in her right hand, a skimpy piece of lingerie dangling from the hooks. “Where do you fall on the spectrum?” Stacy lifted them up and down, her arms like a set of scales.
    “Well…” Amy started, unsure what to say. “Is there another part of the spectrum?” Stacy laughed and placed the costumes back on the rack. “Well, you’re going to see a lot of recurring themes here. What kind of party do you need it for?” Amy was glad she finally had a question she could confidently answer. “It’s actually a work party.” Stacy sighed and started browsing through the racks with a skeptical look. “Also…” Amy continued, “I need one for my friend too.” “Wow.” Stacy looked her dead in the eye. “You don’t make this easy do you.”
    After a second, a devilish smile tugged at the corner of her mouth. Amy didn’t realize that she was holding her breath, worried that she had offended her. “It’s cool, I’m sure we can find something.” Stacy said, continuing her walk through the racks of costumes. “So, we need something safe for work. Correct?” Amy nodded. “I’ll be honest, that does limit our selection a bit...” Stacy said, a hint of a joke in her voice. “but we have some that fall more under ‘funny’ than ‘sexy’. I’m sure we can get something safe-for-work.”
She looked back at Amy. “Is you friend a guy or a girl?” “Girl.” Amy felt like they were almost on the same page, some of her confidence coming back to her. “Are you a couple?” Stacy said, not batting an eyelash. Amy was thrown off by the question. “No! no, no, no. We’re not like… we’re friends. She’s my best friend and she just needed me to get her a costume because she wasn’t feeling well.” She started speeding up as she finished her sentence. Stacy looked like she knew she had made her uncomfortable, but just shrugged it off. “Doesn’t make any difference to me, I’m not one to judge. Just figuring out if we’re looking at matching costumes.”
She continued her search, combing through the racks. “Tell me about your friend. What size does she wear?” Amy hesitated as she thought of a tactful answer. “Um… I’d say a small. Actually… probably more extra small.” Stacy raised an eyebrow. “She’s short. Like, really short.” Amy held up a hand at her side, roughly where the top of Katherine’s head would be. Stacy’s other eyebrow raised in disbelief. “Dang… okay, you’ve got quite a laundry list to work with.”
Stacy stopped for a moment, lost in thought, when she started laughing. “Nope, never mind. That would be mean.” Amy looked at her, confused. “Don’t worry, I’m just spitballing ideas.” Amy wanted to help her in the search, she just didn’t know what to say. 
“The main reason I’m doing this for her is because she is super burned out right now. She just started working with me and she’s completely stressed out. She has no confidence and I want her to be able to have fun and feel good about herself. She’s already self-conscious about her height, and the fact that we work at a children’s hospital doesn’t help when people keep looking at her like she’s a baby.”
She hadn’t intended to blurt everything out to a total stranger, but she wasn’t sure what else she could do. Stacy’s eyes widened, a small grin tugging at the corners of her mouth. “Okay… I think I know what to do.” She walked out from behind the rack, abandoning her search. “You said, they treat her like a baby, right?” Amy nodded slowly, not sure what she was getting at. “And you said she needed a confidence boost, right?” Amy nodded again. Stacy looked at her with a satisfied smile. “Okay, here’s what you do. Dress her up like a baby.” 
“What?!” Amy blurted out. “How will that help her?” Stacy put up her hands defensively. “Hear me out. What’s the best way to get over being self-conscious about something? Embrace it! If she makes the joke, then no one can make fun of her for it. If she came in looking like a baby for Halloween, and wasn’t embarrassed at all, what would they be able to say about her?”
Amy stopped to consider this. It seemed so mean, but she had made a valid point. Maybe this would be exactly what she needs to get over her fear. One day of discomfort, and she wouldn’t have to worry about it ever again. 
“I see what you’re getting at… but do you have any costumes that would work for her?” Stacy got a knowing smile. “Yeah… so, here’s the other thing… do you know what a fetish is?” Amy nodded, remembering her college psych classes. “There is a fetish that revolves around dressing up like a baby. I’m not saying it applies to your friend, but we happen to stock some of the supplies for it in that room behind the curtain.” Stacy pointed to the very back of the store, a small, black curtain blocking an entryway with a sign that read, ‘Please Ask For Assistance Before Entering.’ 
Amy looked at the curtain. “Why would a… sex shop have to keep something blocked off?” Stacy rolled her eyes. “Funny you should ask. Okay, so people come here because they’re into some kinky stuff, right? The longer people get into their fetish, the more normal it seems to them. You’d think that people who are in to taboo stuff would be more understanding of other kinky stuff, right? Unfortunately, some stuff is considered offensive even in here. We don’t tolerate people being outright hateful to others. This isn’t a place to be judged. However, if less kinky people came in and saw a bunch of diapers everywhere when they’re just looking for their first butt plug, they might be uncomfortable. It’s just easier if we separate certain stuff and only the people who are interested in it can go see it.”
Amy stared in disbelief “Wait… diapers?” Stacy’s smile returned. “Would you like me to show you the room?” Amy looked back towards the curtain. “I guess so. I’m not judging, just curious.” Stacy nodded with approval and waved her over to the curtain. She pulled back the fabric and gestured for Amy to enter.
Her eyes adjusting to the soft-white light of the room. Just as she was adjusting to the experience of the sex shop, her mind was overwhelmed again. The walls were painted with soft, pastel colors. Clouds, blocks, and cartoon animals decorated the walls. There were shelves with thick packages of diapers in all different colors and sizes. Clothing racks held oversized onesies, rompers, overalls, and dresses in several different childish patterns. Displays held stuffed animals, oversized pacifiers, and a multitude of baby accessories. There was even an adult-sized crib in the corner.
Amy was dumbstruck. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. There was so much stuff. There were actually adult who dressed up as babies for fun? Stacy couldn’t help but grin at Amy’s face. “It’s always entertaining to watch someone see it for the first time.” Amy stayed silent as she continued to scan the room, processing what she was seeing. After a long moment, she asked, “So… people actually buy this stuff?” “Oh yeah.” Stacy said nonchalantly. “Think about how often real babies go through diapers. I’ve got regulars who come in almost weekly for a new pack of diapers or a new outfit.” 
“Wait…” Amy said, her tone rising in disbelief. “People actually… use the diapers?!” Stacy’s grin was beginning to look smug. “A lot of them do. Some just like how they feel and don’t use them. Others… well, let’s just say I’ve got a regular who’s mommy sent him in once because he ran out. She made him…” Stacy started cracking up before she could finish. “She made him come in here wearing his poopy diaper and ask if I would pick him out a new pack because ‘his mommy said he had to, or he wouldn’t get a diaper change’.” She erupted in laughter. “I rung up a jumbo pack of these pink princess diapers and didn’t bag them so he had to walk outside with them.”
Amy looked horrified, too stunned to speak. Stacy noticed, and held up her hands defensively as she caught her breath. “It’s okay, his mommy told me about it first. It’s all a game to them. He might have been beet red the whole time, but I promise you, he loved it!” Amy’s expression didn’t change. “His… mother made him do that?!” Stacy continued to laugh. “No, no, his mommy. It’s someone who acts sort of like a caretaker for him. God, I think he’d die if his mother knew. No, he’s completely consenting to everything she asks him to do. He wants to do it, and she knows he wants to.”
  This was a lot for Amy to wrap her head around. “So… okay… what are they getting out of it? Why would they wanted to be treated like that?” Stacy shrugged her shoulders. “It’s not the same for everyone. He liked humiliation and being forced to look childish. Others just want to regress and be a kid again for fun. It’s like a safety blanket. Their minds go back to a safer time with no responsibilities, and it let’s them cope with stress.” Amy couldn’t help but think of Katherine, thinking of all the stuffed animals and childish pajamas she owned. Stacy’s devilish grin reappeared. “And some people just enjoy pooping their pants.”
Amy grimaced, much to Stacy’s delight. “I’ve had to change diapers at the hospital. The thought of people using them on purpose…” “I’m just kidding. Stacy laughed. “I mean, I’m not, some people actually do that, but I know how strange it can seem. It makes total sense if you think about it. The most basic control someone can have is over themselves. Taking away someone’s potty training is a huge power move. It overlaps really well with BDSM.”
Amy looked back to the supplies in the room. “So, would this look like obvious fetish stuff if I get it for my friend?” “Not at all.” Stacy said, walking over to the rack. “Most of them just looks like oversized baby clothes.” She held up a soft-looking pink onesie with a button-up bottom flap. “However, if she’s as small as you say, you might actually be able to buy her children’s clothes if you need to. The extra small might be a bit loose, but you can just give her some more padding.” She added with a grin.
“You think… I should get diapers?” Amy said, concern creeping into her voice. Stacy shook her head. “I’m not saying they’re essential, but they’ll really pull off the costume. It’s not like she has to use them or anything.” Stacy pulled a lacy yellow dress from the rack, a diaper cover and hanger attached to the hanger. “If you get something like this, the dress is a little short and comes with a diaper cover. It would be too baggy without one.”
Amy walked over to the rack of clothes and started shifting through them. She felt her anxiousness being slowly replaced by excitement as she browsed through the cute items. She imagined Katherine in each one as she slid them down the rack. After going through the options, she started picking out her favorites and placing them on the front of the rack.
“I still have to figure out my costume.” Stacy glanced at the rack and looked back at Amy. “What, you don’t want to go as a baby too?” Amy blushed as she looked over the outfits, imagining herself in them. Stacy giggled at her reaction, and Amy had to reconsider if this was going to be too mean for Katherine. “I mean, I could do it… but I’m hoping that this will help Katherine feel more confident. If I dress up like a baby too, won’t that take away from her ‘statement’?”
Stacy considered what she said. “I guess so. Oh, you know what might work? You could go as her babysitter. Or her mommy!” She added with excitement. Amy considered this. “I mean, they would match.” Stacy nodded. “So, we need to find you a mommy costume.” She eyed Amy up and down as she spoke. Amy resisted the urge to pull her jacket closed. “That shouldn’t be too hard to pull off. Would you prefer Soccer Mom, or MILF?” Amy let out an involuntary laugh. “Safe-for-work. MILF doesn’t fall under that.”
Stacy sighed. “Just go get a ‘can-I-speak-with-your-manager’ haircut and something low-cut. With your figure, you’ll look like a model and no one at work will say boo about it.” Amy ran through a mental inventory of her closet and thought of a particularly scandalous cocktail dress she never got to wear. “You know, I think that could work.” Amy nodded slowly as she thought it through.
“Now, I just have to decide on Katherine’s costume.” Stacy looked at the choices hanging on the front of the rack. “Too many to decide?” Amy pulled the first three choices from the rack. “I can’t choose, they all look so cute!” Her eyes bounced back and forth between a pair of short-style pink overalls with snaps across the crotch, the same lacy dress Stacy had shown her, and a soft pink onesie with a bottom flap. “The dress might be a bit over the top, but that might not necessarily be a bad thing. The onesie is simple but might just look like pajamas. The overalls are freaking adorable. I can’t decide!”
Stacy looked over her choices, seeing the dilemma. “How about this: you can check out all of them. If you decide you don’t want to use one, bring it back and we’ll refund it.” Amy looked over them all again, still unable to decide. “That’s a great idea. I’m terrible at making decisions on the spot.” 
Stacy walked over to the shelves across the room. “So, let’s talk accessories. We’re going for over-the-top baby, so you’re going to need… a bonnet.” She pulled a white bonnet with a lace trim off the shelf and handed it to her. “I highly recommend pigtails for a younger look", she added, gently pulling on her own pigtails for emphasis. “She’ll also need a pacifier. What color do you want?” She pointed to a stack of clear plastic boxes, each containing a different color of oversized pacifier. Amy picked a few up, looking them over until she picked up a bright pink one. “This one matches the outfits nicely.”
Stacy gestured to the last row of shelves. “Lastly, and most importantly: diapers.” Amy wasn’t sure what to look for. “Um… there’s so many. What’s the difference?” Stacy took some samples down from a shelf and brought a multi-colored stack over. “You’ve got your plain white, boring diapers, more expensive cloth diapers which will need plastic pants, baby print, animal print, emo, overnight extra thick, baby blue, pink princess, and glow-in-the-dark space diapers.” She spread out the options like a giant deck of cards in front of Amy. She picked up the first plain white diaper in the stack and handled it awkwardly. She unfolded it, gaping at how thick it was. It crinkled loudly as she tried to return it to a normal square shape. 
“How are there this many choices?” She said, handing the plain white one back and taking the even thicker pink diaper. “People have different tastes. You’d be amazed how many customers they have.” Amy looked over the diaper with her inexperienced eye, awkwardly turning it over in her hands. “I really don’t know… I’ll defer to your judgement.” Stacy looked at the stack in her hand. Her tongue poked into her cheek as she hummed quietly to herself in consideration. “Well I’m inclined to go with the princess… but that might actually be too much pink. I think we should go with baby-print.” She held up a mostly white diaper with a pattern of pastel colored blocks that spelled out the word 'BABY' over and over. 
Amy shrugged, still feeling overwhelmed by the unbelievably large selection. “I guess that sounds good. Is that everything?” “Well…” Stacy looked up, doing a mental inventory of all of the items. “You're covered on the basics. Most people also get diapering supplies, like powder, lotion, wipes, all that stuff, but she's not actually going to use them you'll be okay without them. If she wears them for a long time, she'll probably need just a little powder to prevent chafing. Other than that, you're good.” Amy nodded in understanding as she processed the instructions. “If the diapers don’t turn out to be thick enough for you, we also sell “stuffers”. They’re like diaper pads you line inside to make them last longer. I can give you a sample pack of a few.” Amy wondered why they would need to be any thicker, then remembered Katherine's recent accidents, chuckling to herself that wearing some protection, even as a joke, might actually not be a bad thing for her.
“Thank you so much for your help. I wasn't even sure what I was looking for, but I really think this will actually help my friend.” Stacy smiled wider than Amy had seen her entire time there. “It's my pleasure, I'm glad I could help.” There was a tone of genuine happiness in her voice. 
Stacy carried the items up to the register and rang them up. Amy swiped her card and Stacy handed her the receipt. “Now remember, if you keep your receipt, we can refund anything she hasn't worn. Also, if she turns out to like her new outfit, don't hesitate to stop in for more supplies.” Stacy’s tone changed as she said the last, almost like she was trying to keep from laughing as she told a joke, and she winked at Amy. Amy sighed with relief as she realized that she was joking. Stacy slid a thumb under the neckline of her shirt and pressed out her nametag. “My name is Stacy, give me a call if you need any help with your new baby.” She handed her a business card with the stores name and number on it. 
“Thanks. I'll be sure to do that.” Amy said, gathering up her purchases. “Are you sure you don't want anything fun for yourself while you're here?” Stacy added. Amy smirked, understanding her sense of humor now. “That's okay, I'm good right now.” Stacy nodded. “Well if you change your mind, you know where to find us!”
As Amy walked out the door, a man heading inside froze in his tracks, waiting for her to exit before he awkwardly shuffled past her. Just before the door closed behind him, Amy heard a high- pitched and childish version of Stacy's voice say, “Well if it isn't Princess Poopy Pants!” Amy’s eyes went wide as she realized who the next customer must have been.

Amy drove home to her apartment. The typical commute seemed to go much faster as she tried to process everything that happened. The butterflies had mostly settled, but she felt them gently flare up when she thought of dressing up with Katherine tomorrow morning. Had she done the right thing? 
She made it home and unpacked her treasures. They were all spread out on her kitchen table and she looked over them all carefully. She imagined Katherine in each costume, visualizing which would look best. She opened the pack of diapers and took one out, feeling the crinkly fabric in between her fingers.
Amy pulled out her phone and started to text Katherine. “Hey, feeling better?” Katherine replied almost instantly. “Yeah, I just needed a break. Thanks for covering for me. How did costume shopping go?” Amy smirked as she looked at the collection on her table. “Really good, I think it's going to be a good Halloween.” “Cool, so what did you get?” Amy hesitated. There wasn't going to be an easy way to explain this, but in person would be better than over the phone. 
“It's a surprise!” Katherine's response came immediately. “…Well that doesn't worry me at all.” Amy felt a small burst of panic as she tried to discern Katherine's message. “Don’t worry. Can you meet me before work in the training room and we can get changed there?” “Yeah, I can do that. Do they match?” Amy had to suppress a giggle. “Yeah, you could say that.” Katherine sent a single question mark back. “I said don’t worry! You’ll see tomorrow.” Katherine sent a tongue-sticking-out emoji and said “Fine, see you tomorrow.”
Amy put her phone down and looked over the outfits. Now to go pick out a mommy outfit…

Chapter 5
Amy arrived at the hospital half an hour before her shift. The hospital was quiet between shift changes. The night staff was much smaller than during the day, and she hardly saw anyone as she made her way to the training room. Her heels clicked against the floor as she walked into the empty training room. She double-checked the scheduling chart, assuring herself that no one would be using the room any time soon.
    Over her shoulder, she carried a large canvas tote bag, acting as an improvised diaper bag. She walked over to a table and started sorting out the items. The room was used for training nurses on proper child-care methods and procedures, and Amy couldn’t help but laugh as the items didn’t look the slightest bit out of place. She glanced at her watch, making sure they would have plenty of time to get ready.
    She pulled out a makeup mirror and looked herself over. She had spent a good hour getting herself ready and making her outfit look perfect. She wore a black dress, the length appropriately just above her knees, but also showing a scandalous amount of cleavage. She wore a short-cut business blazer over her dress that made no effort to cover her chest. Her hair was pulled up into a tight bun. 
    A few minutes later, Amy heard the door open as Katherine walked in wearing a normal daily outfit without her doctor’s coat and her badge pinned to her shirt. “Hey Amy. I hope you won’t be needing my coat for the costume. I had to get them both sent in for cleaning after my last good one got stained yesterday.” Amy shook her head, assuring her she wouldn’t need it. Katherine looked her up and down, trying to figure out what her costume was. “Are we dressing up as a female lawyer firm?” Amy laughed. “No, no. They’re a set, but yours looks different than mine.”
    Katherine looked confused as she looked around the training room. She could see Amy’s bag on the table but couldn’t see what was on it. “I had idea.” Amy began, carefully controlling her tone. “I know it might sound a bit weird… but hear me out.” Katherine’s eyebrows slowly rose up her forehead, obvious concern on her face. “I know you’ve been having a hard time here, and I just wanted to do something that would help you and give you some confidence.” Katherine continued to stare at her with a frozen expression. “I found something that’s like a funny costume… but it’s also supposed to be kind of like a joke?” Her rehearsed speech felt like it was falling apart.
    Katherine’s heart was beginning to pound. “Okay… what’s so weird about this costume? You’re not making any sense.” Amy didn’t want her to panic. “Well… it’s kind of a statement. If people are making fun of you for something… if you show them that you’re in on the joke, they won’t be able to make fun of you for it.” Worry was now plain on Katherine’s face. “It’s just an idea. It might seem a little embarrassing, but if you do this, I think you’ll feel a lot more comfortable here.”
    Katherine’s eyes narrowed skeptically. “What is the costume.” Amy sighed, realizing that this wasn’t going to go as smoothly as she planned. She walked over to the table and pulled the outfit out of her bag. She held up a small pair of short pink overalls with an attached white flower-print shirt. The legs were only a few inches long, and the fabric was noticeably baggy around the crotch area, held together with pink button snaps. 
    Katherine looked in horror at the costume. Amy tried to smile reassuringly. “Isn’t it cute? She said quietly, obviously uncomfortable. Katherine was speechless. “You want me to dress up like a baby? How would that help anything?” Amy lowered the costume, bringing it over to Katherine and holding it out in front of her. “It’s like a joke. If you feel like they’re making fun of you, you turn the joke around on them and they’ll stop. It gives you all the power, you just have to be confident!” She pressed the outfit to Katherine’s torso, the frame of the clothing laying flush against her figure. The saleswoman had done well at her estimated guessing.
    Katherine looked down at it, visualizing herself in the costume. Her discomfort was plain on her face. She let out a slow sigh. “… Okay, I guess it’s better than not having a costume at all. What do I do?” She said, taking the costume from Amy and looking it over. Amy reached out to unbutton the snaps on the outfit. “Don’t worry, I can help you put it on.” Katherine looked up sharply at Amy. “Wait a second, what are you going as?” Amy smiled and held her arms out as if she was showing off her costume for the first time. “I’m going as your mommy!”
    Katherine’s jaw dropped. “You’re… what?” Amy held her hands up defensively. “I worried that you might be a little too embarrassed, but see, this way I can help you out and make you feel more comfortable. It’s all just an act, and we’ll be in on the joke together. It’s foolproof! Just go with me if you get stuck.” Katherine was looking more nervous by the second. “Maybe you should have gone as the baby and I could have dressed up as the mature grown woman! Wouldn’t that have worked too?” Amy grinned picturing Katherine trying to pull off a motherly look. “Nope, that would look like you were just resisting. You’ve got to own it, okay?” Katherine groaned loudly. “Fine… give it here.”
    She reached out for the costume, but Katherine gently removed her hand from the overalls. “Well, there’s actually some… accessories that go with this to really pull it off.” Katherine’s brows furrowed. “I think I’ve had enough surprises for one day.” Amy knew that she was already pushing the limit. “I promise, this is the last thing. So, your costume… It’s made to accommodate these accessories, and it won’t look right without them.” Katherine looked down at the costume, looking for anything suspicious when she noticed the snaps on the crotch. She reached down, noticing the slight bulge of extra elastic fabric around the crotch. Her eyes went wide with realization.
    “A diaper?!” Amy held her hands up defensively. “I promise, it’s made to go with the costume-” “I’m not wearing a diaper!” Katherine cut her off Amy looked at her pleadingly. “You’ll have this baggy costume if you don’t, and if people see it, they’ll just make comments. You’ve got to commit if you’re going to do this…” Katherine groaned. “Okay, fine. Let’s get this over with.”
    Amy moved to her bag and started to take a diaper out of the package. “It’s kind of awkward to put on, I can help you. Just start taking your clothes off.” Katherine looked at the doors. “What if someone walks in?” “There’s no one here yet, but we don’t have long so we can’t take forever.” Katherine sped up and finished taking off everything but her underwear. Amy came over with the diaper and a bottle of baby powder in her hands.
    “The underwear will probably have to come off too…” Amy said, looking down at her. Katherine shook her head in disbelief and pulled her underwear down. She covered herself with her hands, her face slowly turning red. Amy walked over with the diaper and unfolded it. “Here, lay down and I’ll help you put it on.” Katherine slowly lowered herself towards the floor, flinching when she her hand touched the cold tile. “The floor is so cold!” Amy looked around the room, noticing the changing table that was used for training classes and wondered if Katherine would fit on one. 
    “Do you think you could climb up on a changing table?” Katherine rolled her eyes and looked for a chair she could climb up for a boost. She put her hands on the corner of the changing table, judging the height, when Amy reached behind her and picked her up. Katherine yelped at the surprise and felt herself lock up as Amy easily lifted her. Amy was surprised at how light she seemed. 
    Amy laid her down on the table, the diaper tucked under her arm. She retrieved the bottle of baby powder and started to unscrew the lid. Katherine looked around, unsure what to do as she laid naked on the table. Amy unfolded the large diaper and tried to lay it down under Katherine. “Can you lift your legs up.” Katherine hesitantly lifted her legs, but it wasn’t high enough to allow for enough room to slide the diaper underneath her. Amy wrapped her hand around Katherine’s ankles and lifted them higher in the air, Katherine’s bottom rising from the table. Amy slid the diaper underneath her, gently lowering Katherine onto the diaper. 
    The soft material brushed against Katherine as her legs were lowered. The thickness through the middle of the diaper compressed as all of Katherine’s weight rested on it but was still thick enough that her legs naturally began to spread. Amy held up a large rectangular pad and laid it down the middle of the diaper, then held up the bottle of powder. “You’ll probably have the costume on all day, and I wouldn’t want it to chafe.” She said, sprinkling a large dusting of powder over Katherine’s privates. Katherine felt so embarrassed, her friend seeing her like this, but she knew that if she was going to do wear this, she had to commit and fight through the embarrassment. 
    Amy lifted the front of the diaper up between Katherine’s legs. As the diaper pushed up against her crotch, the thick bulk forced her legs apart. Amy smoothed the front of the diaper out, tucking the front wings under Katherine’s hips. She unfolded the tapes on one of the wings, drawing it tightly around Katherine’s waist and gently pressing the tape almost to the center to the plastic front. She repeated the process with the other wing, smoothing the tapes and seeing how much the diaper overlapped. It was thick around all sides of Katherine’s crotch, almost too large to fit her.
    Amy looked at the thick poof between her legs, wondering if it would be too thick for her to move. Katherine experimented with moving her legs with limited success. Her eyebrows furrowed and she looked down in surprise, either at the thickness of the diaper, or the babyish print across the front that she hadn’t noticed. “I can’t close my legs, it’s too thick…” Katherine said, hoping for some way out of this situation. 
Amy lifted her back up and placed her on the floor, making sure she had her feet under her. “Let’s see how it looks with the costume and then we’ll see if there’s anything we need to do with it.” She picked up the overalls and turned them around to show Katherine that there was a small zipper up the back, the front buttons being only for display. Amy unzipped the outfit from the top of the sewn-in flower-print shirt to the bottom of the waistline and held it wide open for Katherine to step into. Waddling awkwardly, Katherine gingerly placed one foot through the open leg hole, then the other. She shimmied her arms through the shirt sleeves, and Amy pulled the outfit together. She pulled the zipper up to Katherine’s neck, the costume tightening snugly against her body.
Katherine looked down at herself, turning her hips left and right in an attempt to see around the new bulk that seemed to surround her. Amy looked down at her with a gleeful expression. “Oh my gosh, you look so stinking cute!” Katherine poked at the diaper and took a few steps, an obvious waddle resulting from the padding. “I think this thing is to big. It looks like the outfit made for it, but I can barely walk!” Amy couldn’t stop staring, every movement of Katherine’s enhancing the cuteness. “I think it looks perfect! It goes with the costume so well, and you’ll get used to it. Now, there’s just a few finishing touches to add…”
Amy walked back to her bag, Katherine waddling to catch up with her. Amy pulled out two hair ties and started playing with Katherine’s hair. Soon, her hair was drawn into two large pigtails. Next, she retrieved some fuzzy pink socks that stretched snugly over Katherine’s feet and gave the appearance of baby booties. She took the bonnet out of the bag and stuck her hands inside to hold it open. Katherine looked confused as Amy placed it around her head an fluffed the puff of lace over her head. Her pigtails hung out nicely from the sides as Amy double knotted the cord under Katherine’s chin, securing it in place. 
“Just one last thing…” She pulled out the oversized pacifier from her pocket. Katherine crossed her arms and shook her head. “No. That’s too far. I’m not going to suck on a baby pacifier.” Amy resisted laughing at what looked like an adorable toddler’s protest. She was tempted to tell her that the pacifier was actually intended for adults but thought better of it. “Oh, come on. It’s just one more thing. Is this really any worse than a diaper? It’s just a costume…” Katherine sighed and rolled her eyes. Her arms still crossed, she simply held her mouth open, signaling her submission. Amy smiled and slid the pacifier nipple into her mouth. 
Katherine almost jerked back in surprise as the pacifier almost filled her mouth up. She hadn’t expected it to be so big. Amy connected a small strap to the pacifier and clipped it to Katherine’s overalls. “There, you don’t even have to keep it in your mouth all day.” Katherine had to work her jaw that was restricted by her bonnet to get the pacifier out easily and rolled her eyes. 
“So, I’ve put on the stupid costume. What do you want me to do?” Amy checked her watch. “It’s almost time for the morning meeting. Everyone will be in costume. People are going to love you, so just don’t act embarrassed. They might make some comments, but just go with the joke. They can’t make fun of you if you’re laughing with them.”
Katherine didn’t realize how soon the meeting was. She felt her anxiety welling up inside her. She wasn’t good at being the center of attention, a position she had thus far dedicated all her energy towards avoiding. She hated people noticing her, and now if she wanted to earn any respect from these people, she had to make a fool of herself. She felt incredibly far out of her element, but at least she had Amy to help her.
“Come on, we better head to the meeting.” Amy said, bundling up her makeshift diaper bag. Katherine looked towards the door, her face frozen in terror. Amy stopped beside her, noticing her look. “It’s okay, just have fun with it!” She picked up the pacifier that dangled from its pink strap and popped it back into Katherine’s mouth. “I’m right here with you. Don’t worry, it’s just for fun.” She gave her an encouraging pat on the back of Katherine’s diaper. The unexpected touch made her lurch forward, unable to balance herself as she tried to get her spread feet under her. She fell backwards, landing squarely on her butt.
Amy gasped. Katherine expected to feel pain from the sudden impact, but the thick diaper had acted as a convenient pillow for her. “I’m okay.” She said, rolling to one side and awkwardly standing up again like a toddler. Amy felt terrible for essentially knocking her friend over, but she couldn’t help but notice how everything Katherine did seemed to be ridiculously cute. She kept her observations to herself and resisted the urge to squeal. Katherine pinned her ID badge to the front of her costume and slipped her phone into the large singular pocket on the front of her overalls.
They started walking towards the door and Amy noticed how she really did look like a toddler as she walked, and an idea came to her. “Hold on one second, I have an idea.” She rushed over to one of the computer stations against the wall. “What is it? That meeting is in like two minutes.” Katherine protested. Amy’s hands flew across the keyboard as she signed in and opened the patient record program. “This is way too perfect. I just realized what your costume needs.” She hit enter and the small printer next to the computer whirred loudly. A small stub of paper stuck out and Amy snatched it out of the tray. She carried it over to Katherine and kneeled beside her. She slid the paper around her ankle and snapped a small button.
Katherine looked down to see a hospital ID tag connected to her leg. Most of the information was missing, but her name and age were visible. She noticed that that Amy had written 24 months. “You added me into the patient system?” “I just made a fake new account. It just has your name and age, nothing else. It fits way too perfectly for being in a children’s hospital. Plus, anyone who works here will know that it’s fake since there’s nothing else on it.” Katherine shrugged it off and they resumed heading for the morning meeting.

    Amy held the door open for her as Katherine toddled into the hallway. She immediately glanced around, wondering if anyone was looking at her. She noticed a few people going about their business, most of them in costume, but no one seemed to notice her. She forced her feet to move forward as she followed Amy to their meeting room. 
    Just before they entered, Amy bent down and grabbed Katherine’s hand like a mother guiding her child through a crowded mall. As they walked through doors to the meeting room, a wave of silence moved through the room. Nurses and doctors, all in their costumes, seemed to simultaneously notice the peculiar silence filling the room. Super heroes, princesses, minimal effort animals, and an assortment of cheesy classic Halloween monsters all turned to look at what was causing the silence. They all turned to look at Katherine and Amy. Amy held her act together and smiled confidently while Katherine felt herself freezing up in panic.
Katherine couldn’t process the assorted noises coming from all sides. Hands flew to people’s mouths in astonishment. Gasps, coos, and awws came from all directions. “I didn’t know it was bring-your-daughter-to-work day.” One bystander jeered. The crowd erupted in laughter. Katherine felt herself blushing bright red but forced a weak smile on her face. She just had to play along, and things would get better.
    The crowd started moving towards them, admiring Katherine’s costume more closely. “Wow, you guys really went all out. She’s even got a pacifier!” A nurse knelt down and looked at Katherine like she was a child, cooing at her and holding her pacifier in front of her mouth like it was a spoonful of baby food posing as an airplane. “It’s so cute! If I didn’t know any better I would think she was a patient.” Amy beamed and said, “Check out her ankle.” Multiple nurses looked down and saw the tag. Katherine was swarmed as they examined her official hospital tag. They laughed in disbelief as they looked it over, almost throwing Katherine off balance. 
    “That just takes the cake. Where did you guys get your costumes? I don’t remember seeing anything like this at the party store…” Amy felt a moment of panic as she tried to think of an answer, but another nurse cut off her train of thought as she asked, “Um… is she wearing a diaper?” More murmuring came from the crowd as they eyed Katherine closely. Katherine’s cheeks flushed hotter than she’d ever seen before. “Well we had to make it authentic!” Amy said. A few nurses laughed helplessly. “Well, if you need a change, you’re in the right place.” More laughter erupted around them. Katherine forced herself to chuckle with her audience.
    The slowly growing crowd quickly dispersed as Kelly entered the room. She had a small set of fairy wings on her back and was wearing a short pink tutu over her professional attire. It was a subtle change, the only other prop being a magic wand pen for her ordinary clipboard. 
    “Good morning everyone.” She scanned the crowd, taking in the costumes. “I’m glad to see everyone looking festive for the holiday. Our Public Relations manager will be-” She stopped short as she noticed Katherine’s costume. Her normally stern face looked icy as she stared at Katherine. Amy kept a straight face, with the exception of a cocky grin, almost defying Kelly to say something. Katherine looked down at her booty-covered feet. “-will be coming by shortly to get a group picture for our social media pages, so please stick around.” 
    Katherine felt herself go cold and involuntarily gripped Amy’s hand. Amy gently gripped it back in response, trying to tell her that it was okay. She didn’t want any evidence of this. She started to pretend in her mind that this wasn't happening.
Kelly continued through her routine speech, pointedly not looking at Katherine. As she was nearly finished, an energetic woman came through the doors behind them. She wore a tracksuit with the hospitals logo and carried a large camera from a strap around her neck. She cut off Kelly as she spoke. “Are we ready? I' making rounds through each department.” Kelly looked incredibly annoyed at the interruption. “Just a moment. Anyway, refer to the schedule for any potential changes. That is all.” She looked back at the woman and nodded curtly, letting her know she had the floor.
“Alright everyone. Can we all bunch up together.” She began looking through her camera's viewfinder and framing the shot. “Tallest in the back, shortest in the front”. The crowd began shuffling into a mob. Katherine looked up at Amy in horror. Amy smile down at her reassuringly. “It's okay, just roll with it.” Katherine gulped and let go of Amy's hand. She slowly moved around the crowd, trying to stay hidden off to the side. 
The woman continued to frame her shot, gesturing with her hands for people to move closer together. “Great costumes everyone! Okay, everyone squeeze in on the sides. Try to position yourself so we're not blocking anyone- oh my gosh, you on the end there!” She looked up from her camera and pointed at Katherine. “Oh my gosh, that is adorable. Come down here in front!” She frantically waved her hand, gesturing towards the head of the group.
The mob held still, looking around to see who she was pointing at. Katherine shuffled quietly to the front, all eyes staring at her. “This is perfect for the children’s ward. Oh, nurses, can you like use your stethoscope on her or something?” She had them try out various poses, making the ordeal last much longer than it would have been if Katherine had just been able to go unnoticed. Once the photographer finally decided on the group pose she was satisfied with, she snapped several photos in a row. “Those will be perfect for our page. I’ll tag each of you in the photos so people can vote in the costume contest.” 
Katherine didn’t feel like she could feel any more shame. Costume contest?! Everyone is going to see me like this. It won’t just be the people in my department. The crowd dispersed and went their separate ways. Amy walked up to her. “That wasn’t so bad, was it?” Katherine tried to manage a weak smile but couldn’t hide the distress on her face. Amy looked sympathetically into her eyes. “It’s okay, the worst part is over. Just have fun with it and things will get better.” Amy had to break eye contact as her pager went off. “Sorry, got a call. Text me if you need anything, I’ll talk to you soon.” Katherine checked her own schedule and started making her rounds.
Her costume made her job difficult, but she quickly figured out a routine for avoiding confusion. She would knock on a patient’s room and walk in while holding out her ID badge and announcing her name. Parent’s still looked at her with skepticism or confusion, but no one doubted that she was a doctor. After she got into the rhythm, she began to feel more comfortable wearing the costume. Katherine even started receiving a few compliments on the authenticity, but she tried to ignore that they may be referring to her obviously poofy diaper.
After a few hours, she barely felt any embarrassment about it anymore. She smiled when people awwed and cooed at her. She mastered the diaper waddle and was able to avoid tripping over herself. After getting caught up with her schedule, she finally had time for a break and desperately needed the bathroom. 
Katherine found a staff bathroom and locked the door behind her. She started trying to unfasten the buttons of her overalls before remembering that they were actually fake. She reached towards the back of her neck, her fingers barely reaching the small zipper that held her costume up. Her fingers felt along the fabric until she made contact with the cold metal and tried to tug it downwards. The zipper refused to move. She tugged harder, at first scared to rip her costume, but then realized that no matter how hard she pulled, it wasn’t moving.
Just being in the bathroom had prepped her mind that she would be able to pee soon, and as she stood next to the toilet, the pressure was quickly becoming unbearable. Katherine tried to reach her hand up her back, but the zipper was still out of reach. She tugged and pulled in every direction, but her suit would not move. 
Panic began to set in. She felt herself beginning to sweat from the stress of pulling at the zipper. Her arms and back began to hurt, her muscles not used to the unusual positions. She grunted in frustration and took out her phone. She pulled up Amy’s contact info and called her. The phone rang and rang until Amy’s voicemail picked up.
Katherine hung up in frustration. “Damn it, Amy!” She grunted to herself. She looked longingly at the toilet, her bladder sending another painful wave of pressure. She bent over and wrapped her arms around her stomach. What am I going to do, I can’t get this stupid costume off!  The bathroom was silent, the only sound Katherine could hear was her pounding heartbeat in her ears. Her mind was racing, trying to think of a solution when a loud pounding came from the door. “Is anyone in there?” A voice called as the locked handle jiggled up and down.
Katherine flinched in surprise at the loud sound, unsure what to do. She opened her mouth to speak, but nothing came out. She stood there, completely frozen, when she felt a hot trickle escaping from her. Katherine’s knees went weak and she fell forward, kneeling on the floor. Her hands went to her crotch, pressing desperately to stop the flow, but she couldn’t stop as the painful pressure continued.
Her thick diaper started to feel warm as the absorbent pads expanded against her. She could feel it getting heavier as it tugged against the tapes around her waist. Her mind went blank, frozen in terror with the only sensation keeping her grounded in reality being the spreading warmth in her crotch. 
Tears started to form as the stream began to slow. She was dressed as a baby, now trapped in her costume with a soaking wet diaper. She was already broadcasting to the world the fact that she was wearing a diaper. What if someone noticed that she had wet herself? Any respect she had built up for herself would be gone.
A metal clicking sound came from the door as a key entered the lock. Katherine looked up from the floor in horror to see the doorknob turning. A nurse opened the door, then jumped back in surprise to see someone inside. “Oh, little girl, you’re not supposed to be in here.” Katherine got to her feet and moved towards the door, her waddle even more obvious than before. “Sorry.” Katherine muttered quietly as she awkwardly ran past the nurse. The woman continued to watch her until Katherine turned the corner. Katherine hated feeling the warm diaper squish against her as she moved. No matter how she moved, she couldn’t stop the thick material from making contact against her skin. She was trapped in this costume, and now trapped in a wet diaper.
She found an open supply closet and hid herself behind a group of shelves. She slid against the wall until her thick padding made contact with the floor. A fresh wave of warmth came over her as the diaper pressed tightly against her. She felt completely trapped. She pulled out her phone again and pulled up Amy’s contact. The green call button seemed to stare at her, daring her to call and admit her predicament. She couldn’t stay like this all day…

Chapter 6:
 Katherine stared at her phone as she sat in the corner of the supply closet. It was hard enough to stand with the thick bulk that was trapped between her legs, but now the only relief from her awkward, bowlegged stance was to sit on the warm, wet padding. She hated how it felt against her skin, a constant reminder of her inability to control her bladder.

The call log on her phone listed several time stamps for all the unanswered calls to Amy, each about a minute apart. Katherine felt herself starting to rock back and forth with anxiousness, but quickly had to stop as she felt the diaper squish under her shifting weight. Come on Amy… pick up your phone… Katherine pleaded to the device. I can’t stay like this all day… She almost dropped her phone as it vibrated in her hands. She looked at the screen to see a text from Amy. “Sorry, I got called in for a procedure and won’t be able to meet for lunch. I’ll find you on the schedule and come meet you when I’m done.”

The tears that Katherine had been trying to hold back streamed gently town her face as she re-read the message. She couldn’t bring herself to tell her friend what had happened. She needed to get out of this wet diaper and couldn’t even open the zipper to her outfit. Her colleagues couldn’t find out about this and Amy was the only one who would keep her secret.

As she considered what few options she had, Katherine’s work pager went off. She pulled the small device out of the singular large pocket on the front of her overalls and read the display. She had been called in for a patient in the infant ward. It wasn’t uncommon for the doctors to do their rounds while in costume, but she wasn’t sure she’d be able to hide her current condition. A patient needed her and there was no way to communicate that she wasn’t available. She didn’t have a choice.

Katherine dried her eyes off and shakily got to her feet. The warm diaper was already beginning to cool against her skin, a wet mush shifting against her with each step. She winced at the cold sensation as she made her way out of the supply closet. I’ll just have to deal with it for a little while until Amy can get me out of this. Katherine told herself, trying to think positively as she waddled awkwardly down the hall.

She made her way to the infant wing and walked past the reception desk. A few nurses milled around without noticing her and Katherine looked up at the board to match the number on her pager. There were only a few patients listed on the schedule, all of them paired up with a doctor except for one. She looked at the blank slot where her name would go when she signed in, then looked at the patient name. “K. Baker. Room 315. Age: 24 months.” Katherine re-read the chart, confirming what she was seeing. They had her name in the wrong section. Her pager had gone off to inform her that she was assigned someone in room 315, but it appeared as if there wasn’t a patient.

Katherine walked down the hall towards the room to investigate. She turned a corner and almost ran into a nurse who was looking at the clipboard in her hands. The woman stopped in her tracks and looked down at her. “Well aren’t you just a little cutie. Are you lost?” Amy blushed, but steeled herself to answer. “Thank you. No, I’m not lost. I’m supposed to be in room 315.” She walked around the nurse and continued down the hall. The nurse didn’t move, watching Katherine carefully as she headed to the room. 

Katherine read the room numbers as she passed, gradually increasing as she neared her assigned room. She passed one room labeled “Feeding Room” and had a pang of discomfort in her stomach as she remembered her previous experience in the feeding room. She continued quickly past it and found room 315. She reached up and turned the handle to the room.

Room 315 had been styled as a pink nursery, with a child-sized hospital bed that doubled as a crib, a rocking chair, a changing table, and what looked like a second bed in the corner with a large, lacy hood. She stepped inside and looked at the patient info on the whiteboard. 

Patient: K. Baker. 

Age: 24 Mo.

Everything else on the chart was blank. No medical history, no reason for the visit, and no guardian. Clearly this was some kind of computer glitch. As Katherine read the chart, a nurse entered the room. The woman was thin, the lines of her skin hinting at her age, but she moved with a quick efficiency that showed her experience. “Oh, hello there. What are you doing in here?” Her surprised tone quickly shifted to a babyish voice when she saw Katherine’s outfit. Katherine opened her mouth to speak, starting to point at the chart when the woman leaned down and looked at her ankle tag. Before Katherine could think of what to say, the woman lifted her up and read the tag aloud. “K. Baker. Oh, so you must be our patient!” She smiled as she laid Katherine down on the bed.

Fear washed over her as Katherine realized how this must look. She couldn’t talk her way out of this with an ankle tag on. She hadn’t planned to cause any confusion, but now she feared that she might get in trouble for messing with the hospital’s computer system. As her mind raced trying to process her circumstances, the nurse looked down at the thick diaper that bulged through her overalls. “My goodness, someone needs a change.” Katherine’s eyes went wide as the nurse went over to a supply cabinet and retrieved a child-sized diaper and changing supplies. It was too late to say anything, she would just have to go with it and hope she had a chance to sneak out later.

The nurse reached down towards Katherine’s crotch and started to undo the snaps that connected the front and back of her shorts. Katherine’s eyebrows furrowed in surprise. There was another way to get out of her costume? She only knew about the zipper that had failed to open and trapped her in her outfit. She wanted to kick herself for not figuring another way out.

Once the snaps were undone, the nurse pulled the front of her overalls up, exposing her diaper. “Hmm… I don’t think I’ve ever seen these before.” The nurse mused as she started to undo the tapes. “My goodness, this is thick!” Katherine did her best to stay perfectly still, not wanting to draw attention to herself, but she couldn’t help but blush as the nurse commented on the state of her diaper. The nurse slid the heavy diaper out from under her and had to carefully fold it to make it fit inside a nearby diaper pail. 

The new diaper was laid down underneath her. Katherine tried to find a spot in the room to focus on, anything to distract her mind from her situation, but the pink nursery only contained childish objects that refused to allow her to think of anything else. She closed her eyes as the nurse took a wipe and began to clean her. Her gently movements felt comforting despite the awkward situation. The nurse smiled and cooed at her as she thoroughly cleaned Katherine with motherly efficiency. She applied lotion and powder before tightly taping up the much thinner diaper and snapping her overalls shut.

The nurse noticed Katherine’s closed eyes. “Aw, is someone sleepy? You can take a nap for a while.” She said, mostly speaking to herself. “We’re not exactly sure what’s going on with your chart, probably some computer glitch. We’ll get it figured out soon and we can get you all taken care of.” She cooed over Katherine, circling her index finger above her face before she booped her on the nose. She waved at her before she walked out of the room, closing the door behind her.

Katherine quickly sat up, looking around the room. Her new thinner diaper crinkled underneath her as she sat up. It was noticeably itchier than her first diaper, and she shifted uncomfortably as the material rubbed against. Katherine noticed the window above the door, ensuring that she wouldn’t have any privacy while she was stuck here. She reached behind her to tug on the zipper again, but it remained unmoving. She looked down to the snaps along the bottom of her overalls, wondering if she could unsnap her outfit and slide it up over her head. When she looked closer, she saw that the snaps connected the legs of her shorts didn’t reach to the bottom of the legs. The buttons allowed for flaps to open for easier diaper changes but didn’t allow access to slide the entire outfit off. 

Trapped in her outfit, Katherine grunted in frustration and began to think about a way out. Maybe if I can get out of the room, I can show someone my badge and convince them that this is just my Halloween costume. Katherine looked down at the front of her costume where her badge had been pinned. Her eyes widened in horror as she saw that it was no longer there. She frantically looked in her pocket which contained her pager and cell phone. She looked around on the floor but didn’t see it anywhere. Oh no no no no… She internally screamed as she continued to search. I must have dropped it back in the supply closet! How am I going to get to it? 

Katherine heard footsteps approaching her door. She quickly scrambled back into the bed as if she had never gotten up. The same nurse from earlier walked in holding a large bottle in her hands. “We don’t have your schedule yet or know your medications, so we’re gonna get started on the regular feeding schedule.” She addressed Katherine but spoke as if she knew that Katherine wouldn’t respond or understand her. Katherine felt a pain in her stomach, remembering how she hadn’t had time to eat lunch. She brought the nipple up to Katherine’s mouth and gently pressed it between her lips. Katherine felt a few drops of bland tasting formula trickled on to her tongue. She resisted the urge to gag at the taste as she began to suckle.

The nurse continued held the bottle firmly against her lips as she drank. “My, my, you’re a hungry one. Don’t worry sweetie, we’ll move you to the feeding room once nap time’s over and we you can have dinner.” Katherine tried to keep the reaction off of her face, but internally grimaced at the thought of going to the feeding room. As she held the bottle, the nurse pulled a clipboard off of a nearby table and started marking a slip of paper with a pen. “Okay… found you with a very wet diaper, probably had been worn for a while. Bottle at 1:30 PM. I expect another wetting soon, and we’ll be charting to see how regular you are.”

As she continued to feed her, the woman looked down at Katherine’s hospital tag, then at the other ankle. “Oh, we forgot to get you a monitor bracelet.” Katherine had forgotten all about the hospital’s infant monitoring system and started to panic as she realized how much harder her escape was going to be now. The nurse retrieved a large plastic bracelet from a nearby locked drawer and started to fasten it around Katherine’s ankle. It was an uncuttable locking bracelet that had a large plastic flower attached to it. While it looked harmless, the flower contained a near-field tracking monitor that was fitted to all newborns so that they could not leave the hospital without the mother present. Because Katherine had no guardian with a matching bracelet, the alarm would go off if she left the room without an escort with a nurse’s bracelet. 

She finished attaching it, and the plastic flower chimed a short melody to indicate that it was activated. Katherine’s belly began to feel full as she wasn’t used to drinking so much all at once. Her jaw strained against the constant suction. She forced herself to keep drinking as she swallowed the last few drops of the bottle. The nurse looked appreciatively at the empty bottle. “That was fast, someone must have been thirsty. We might need to get you another one before dinner if you’re still thirsty.” Katherine winced at the comment, her normally flat belly was now showing a rounded bulge in her overalls. She wasn’t sure that she could drink any more if she wanted to. 

The nurse wiped away a few drops from around Katherine’s lips and popped Katherine’s pacifier into her mouth. She smiled at her, then walked out of the room, leaving her alone in the nursery. Katherine immediately spat out the pacifier and pulled her phone out of the pocket. She opened her recent calls and started to dial Amy’s phone. Just as she was about to his send, Amy entered the room. She looked horrified as she saw Katherine lying in the bed. She shut the door behind her and came over to the bed. “Oh no. I’m sorry Katie, I don’t know how this happened! I saw your name on the board with no physician listed and I thought it was just a mistake.”

Katherine felt so relieved to see her friend that she almost forgot how mad she was about the whole situation. “It’s okay, just get me out of here.” She lifted her ankle in the air to show Amy her predicament. Amy’s mouth dropped as she realized the problem. “Oh crap… I don’t have a bracelet. I’ll have to add myself to the system and get one. Okay, just wait here and I’ll be back to get you. Don’t worry, I’m going to sort this out.” She gave her friend a quick hug, which Katherine returned. She hated being stuck like this, but she was still grateful to have a friend.

Amy slipped out of the room, leaving Katherine alone again. She pulled out her phone to stave off the boredom but noticed that she had less than 30% battery left on her phone. I don’t know how long I’ll be here… I should probably save my battery. She closed her open apps and put the phone in battery save mode. After she returned it to her pocket, she stared at the ceiling and took in the room around her. Unlike most hospital rooms, this one unfortunately did not have a television. Even if it did, if the nurse came back to see it on, she would know that Katherine must have turned it on. Katherine sighed as she realized how boring her wait would be until Amy could get herself added to the system.

Katherine looked around for a clock but didn’t see one on the wall. She was tempted to pull out her phone but didn’t want to drain the battery by waking it up. Boredom was quickly overtaking her. Minutes felt like hours in the silence, and she began to yawn from the lack of stimulation. The idea of a nap suddenly sounded very appealing, and Katherine realized that it would be an easy way to pass the time as well as keep her cover. The nurse had said this was supposed to be naptime anyway. She closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.

Katherine awoke to a pain in her bladder. Her stomach still felt full of the formula and she wasn’t sure how long she’d been asleep. She pulled out her phone and saw that it had been almost 3 hours. She sent a quick text to Amy. “How is it going?”. She stared at her phone as she waited for a response. Her stomach made a loud gurgling noise and her bladder let out another pang of discomfort. She looked around the room but realized that there was no bathroom in the room. She looked back to her phone, pleading that Amy would respond. Minutes went by with no reply, all the while her bladder continued to protest. I don’t want to do that again… She thought as she remembered the diaper around her waist. If Amy could break her out, she could use a normal bathroom. But if she couldn’t in time, the nurses would notice that Katherine was still dry.

Another 10 minutes went by with no response, and Katherine began to rock in her bed with anticipation. She felt herself breaking, unable to hold back anymore. Come on Amy… She pleaded, but her phone didn’t go off. She sighed and steeled herself for what was about to happen. She had been clenching to maintain control, and as she gently relaxed her muscles, she felt herself releasing into her diaper. 

Katherine winced at the familiar warm sensation as her diaper began to expand and spread around her, but she couldn’t stop herself from audibly sighing with relief as the pressure left her belly. The diaper continued to swell as her flow finally finished. Katherine moved around in her bed in an attempt to find a more comfortable position but noticed that the diaper didn’t hold the fluid as she squished the swollen pad. She hadn’t realized the difference in the diapers that Amy had picked out for her versus the cheap generic diapers the hospital used. The material sagged much more, threatening to leak with each move. 

A wet sensation began to gather at the legs of her overalls as the diaper leaked over the edges. Katherine hadn’t realized how much she had flooded. I guess these children’s diapers weren’t meant to hold that much... She could only hold still to prevent the leak from spreading. She laid back, trapped in her bed with nothing to do as she waited for Amy to come back.

Katherine couldn’t be sure how much time had gone past before the nurse came back. The woman beamed as she came over to the crib. “Did someone enjoy her naptime?” She began to undo the snaps of her overalls as the spoke. “I didn’t hear any fussing from outside. Such a sweet girl, so well behaved.” She placed a hand on the front of Katherine’s diaper. “My goodness, you’re absolutely soaked! Let’s get you out of that wet diaper.”

Just as before, she was quick and efficient with her change, but as she unfastened the tapes and pulled the diaper down, the woman looked a little surprised. She reached over to the clipboard and started writing. “Second diaper change, very wet, but no bowel movements yet. I hope you’re not constipated…” There was genuine concern in her voice.

The diaper change was almost finished when the nurse smiled at her and said, “Maybe some dinner will help you with that.” A sense of dread came over Katherine as she realized what was going to happen. She fought hard to keep her face blank and unreadable. Just keep acting like a baby… Just a little longer and Amy can get you out of here… The woman picked up Katherine as if she weighed nothing, waved her bracelet against Katherine’ tracker, and after getting a confirmation tone, carried her to the feeding room.

Katherine was locked in a familiar high-chair, the table locked in against her chest. She noticed a grumble from her stomach and realized how long it had been since she had eaten real food. Maybe if she was actually hungry, the dreadful food would taste better than last time. As other babies were places in their chairs, Katherine’s nurse came over with 3 jars of baby food and a bottle full of a white fluid. Katherine eyed the bottle skeptically. She was feeling incredibly thirsty, but her jaw still ached from trying to suck down the thick baby formula. 

The bottle was placed in her mouth. As she suckled, she was pleased to find that it was warm, ordinary milk, which flowed much easier through the bottle nipple. The nurse pulled it away just as she was almost finished with it. “we’ll save a little for when you’re done.” Katherine eyed the small jars of food. The labels were all turned away from her as the nurse removed the lids. One jar was an ugly orange color that might have been closer to brown. The second jar was the green shade of a 70s shag rug carpet. The last was a deep purple that resembled grape jelly. Katherine could only hope at the last of these that she would have something that actually tasted good to look forward to.

The nurse grabbed a little pink plastic spoon from a nearby tray and scooped out the largest spoonful the little piece of plastic could hold and began to move it like an airplane, complete with sounds and commands from an air traffic control tower. Katherine did her best to not look annoyed and opened her mouth compliantly.  “Such a good baby!” The nurse deposited the spoon in her mouth. Katherine closed her mouth around it and tried not to wince as the taste of blended squash and carrots touched her tongue.

After several more tiny spoonfuls, Katherine had just gotten used to the taste of the carrots and squash as she emptied the jar and moved on to the green substance. Katherine braced herself, but couldn’t keep herself from frowning at the taste of mushy peas. She ate compliantly until the second jar was finished. Her stomach was feeling full already, protesting as she eyed the last jar. 

“I’m a little worried about your tummy, so I got this one special just for you.” She said as she prepared the jar and loaded up the spoon with the thick purple substance. Katherine gulped, then braced herself for the new goop. Almost done… Let’s just get this over with… She opened her mouth. Katherine’s eyes went wide as she realized the taste on her tongue. “Aren’t prunes such a treat!” The nurse said gleefully. “They’re sweet, just like candy, but they’re also good for your tummy.”

The foul substance slid down Katherine’s throat as she reluctantly swallowed. She had always hated prunes, but something about the mushy texture just made it that much more unpleasant. Spoonful after spoonful, she gulped down the sickly-sweet mush into her already full belly. The nurse made sure to get every last scrape from the bottom of the jar before handing Katherine back her half-finished bottle.  She was thankful to have something to wash the taste of prunes out of her mouth. 

The nurse returned her to the room and laid her on the hospital bed. “I’ll be back in a bit to check on you sweetie. I’m sure we’ll have this glitch with your chart sorted out soon.” Katherine resisted the urge to roll her eyes. The nurse left the room, closing the door behind her.

Katherine sat up, feeling discomfort from her bloated stomach. Her bladder was already starting to feel full again from her bottle from dinner. She pulled out her phone, now at 25% battery, and checked to see if Amy had said anything. There were no new notifications on her phone, and no indications that Amy would be able to rescue her before the nurse made rounds again for a diaper change.

Another wave of pain pushed from her bladder, and Katherine decided that she wasn't going to let it become painful again. She concentrated and started to wet herself. During her previous accidents, Katherine had always had a painfully full bladder that had released out of desperation. Now, she found herself straining and holding her breath as she forced herself to use her diaper. It was over much quicker this time, the thin diaper dealing with the smaller wetting much more efficiently than before. 

Katherine couldn't help but smile as the diaper still felt comfortable, the wet spot barely noticeable against her skin. A warm blush came to her cheeks as she thought about what she had done. It had felt naughty, deliberately peeing her pants, but it gave her a strange since of control, choosing to have an accident on purpose. She laid back against the bed, content with herself, when her door suddenly opened.

Amy stepped inside with her makeshift diaper bag over her shoulder. “Hey, I'm sorry it took so long. I ran into a few problems.” “Where were you?” Katherine demanded. “I'll explain later. I figured out a way to get you discharged-" before she could finish, the nurse opened the door.

“Oh, hello… I didn't know anyone else was assigned to this room.” Her uncertain tone almost sounded like a threat towards Amy, as if she knew she wasn't supposed to be there. “Oh, yes. I'm Katie's legal guardian.” Katherine had to try her hardest to keep a look of shock off of her face. Amy held out her hand towards the nurse. The nurse shook it warmly, while still keeping a look of skepticism on her face. “Oh, you must be Misses Baker.” Amy faked an awkward laugh. “No, no, but I’m acting as her guardian. I understand there's been some sort of scheduling error?” The nurse noticed Amy's badge and her expression softened. “Yes, we weren't sure what was going on. We've been handed off to different departments to figure out the glitch, so they've just told us to keep her as a patient until further notice.” Amy nodded as if she was fully aware of the situation. “Of course. Well, Katherine wasn't feeling very well, so we came to the hospital. Her doctor recommended a simple observation period just to be safe, and it seems that everything just got mixed up somewhere. She seems to be doing fine now.” Amy looked over to Katherine, who gave her best impression of a smiling baby.

The nurse looked over at Katherine. “Well there's no doubt she knows you. That's the first time I've seen her smile. Well we've had her here since this afternoon. If you can find the doctors orders, we can discharge her tomorrow morning.” “Tomorrow?” Amy questioned. “Yes.” The nurse said matter-of-factly. “Observations last 24 hours unless instructed otherwise. Without the written orders, we can't discharge her early. But if they manage to fix the problem and find the order, you can take her hone then.”

Katherine felt tears threatening to find to the corners of her eyes. Stuck all night here? She had been so ready to go home, and now she was somehow even more trapped than before. The nurse walked over to her and gently touched Katherine's diaper. “Someone's a little wet. Would you like to change her?” the nurse looked to Amy's diaper bag. “Um…okay, sure" Amy said, trying to play along with her lie.

Katherine felt herself going numb as she grasped her situation. Amy knew she had actually used her diaper and was about to change her. She looked at the ceiling and tried not to make eye contact. The nurse watched intently as Amy pulled out one of the thick baby-print diapers. “What are those? I saw her wearing one earlier. They're awfully puffy...” Amy looked at the diaper, hesitating as she tried to think of a plausible explanation. “They're… overnight diapers. Much more comfortable and they help prevent rashes.” The nurse looked surprised as she considered this.

Amy untapped the hospital diaper and wadded it up. The nurse peered over her shoulder. “Is she only wet?” Amy seemed a bit confused by the question. “Um, yes. Just wet.” The nurse went over to the clipboard and marked something on the chart. “We’ve been trying to track a schedule for her, and I’m surprised she hasn’t had a movement yet. We might need to do something to help her along.” Amy looked down at Katherine with sympathetic eyes, hoping her friend wouldn’t have to endure anything else. 

Amy lifted the lid to the diaper pail and froze as she saw the other heavily used adult diaper at the bottom. Katherine wondered why Amy had stopped moving, then realized what she must have been looking at. Amy looked to Katherine who wouldn't meet her gaze. She deposited the diaper in the pail and closed the lid. Amy opened up the new, much puffier diaper and slid it underneath Katherine. Katherine closed her eyes and tried to block out what was happening, a skill she was quickly becoming adept at.

Amy wiped, powdered, and quickly fastened the thick diaper around Katherine’s waist. As she started to fasten the snaps, she noticed the dampness around Katherine’s overalls. She didn’t want to embarrass her friend any more than she already had been, but she didn’t want her to be stuck in wet clothes. “I think her other diaper might have leaked… I have a different outfit for her to change into.” Amy went to her diaper bag and pulled out a pink onesie.

Katherine tried not to glare at Amy. Why had she had another outfit? Had she planned for something like this? Amy came over and began to undress Katherine. Her zipper slid down easily as Amy guided it down. Katherine felt her cheeks go hot with rage at how easily Amy had been abot to free her from her prison. She slid the wet overalls off and slid Katherine’s legs into the soft onesie. She guided the material up and around Katherine’s arms, then snugly over her shoulders as she zipped the back up. Oh great, another zipper. Katherine thought to herself.

Amy unclipped the pacifier from the overalls and reattached it to the front of Katherine’s new outfit. The popped the oversized nipple into her mouth and Katherine held it there, subtly trying to glare at Amy. Amy spoke in a babyish voice. “Now don’t worry honey. The doctors just want to keep you here for one night and then Mommy can take you home. Can you be good for me for just one night?” Katherine continued to glare, understanding, but unhappy with the message her friend was trying to tell her.

Amy leaned in and kissed the top of Katherine’s head, then quietly whispered so the nurse couldn’t hear her. “I’ll message you. I’ll get you out as soon as I can.” She stood up and retrieved her bag. “So, will visiting hours be an issue?” “Not at all.” The nurse said. “However, you’ll have to have someone present if the glitch doesn’t get fixed. It’s a really abnormal circumstance. I’ve never seen one go on for this long before.” Amy nodded. “Alright, I’ll probably come by later.” She waved to Katherine as she walked out of the room with the nurse. “I’ll see you soon honey, Mommy loves you.”

Katherine watched them go as the door shut. She didn’t move for a while, the pacifier still sitting in her mouth. She knew it was all an act for the nurse, but she actually felt better from Amy’s loving comments. The loneliness, boredom, and humiliation of this place left her hungry for attention and affection. She wanted to go home. She wanted to put all of this behind her. Soon, she would be free and would be going home with Amy. She unconsciously started sucking her pacifier, the only real thing she could do in this room. She looked back up at the ceiling and stared as the minutes went past. Just have to hold out a little longer. Just a little more…

Chapter 7:
The sun began to set, the light faded to a soft orange in Katherine's hospital room. The lack of stimulation and isolation of her room made her hyper-aware of any change in her surroundings. Her stomach was still overstuffed from dinner, every gurgle echoing loudly in the otherwise silent room. The plastic of Katherine’s diapers rustled and crinkled loudly with each movement as if it were a bell around her neck, constantly reminding her of her predicament.

Katherine did everything she could to try to stave off the boredom. The temptation to pull out her phone was almost more than she could stand, but she knew her battery wouldn’t last long and she had to save it for communicating with Amy. She couldn’t mentally distract herself long enough before something would snap her out of her distraction and remind her where she was. She was locked in a pink nursery with an alarm on her ankle, forced to eat disgusting baby food, trapped in a baby girl’s outfit, complete with humiliatingly thick diapers, and worst of all, she actually had to use them. Her job would be at risk if anyone found out she was actually a doctor. She was small enough that if she put on a believable enough performance, no one would notice. She had no choice but to commit to the humiliating masquerade, but it only became more difficult the longer she held out.

It had been a few hours since dinner, but Katherine was already beginning to feel thirsty. Her stomach still felt uncomfortably full from her generously proportioned dinner, but she hadn’t had much to drink with it. She dreaded the thought of being given another bottle of the foul-tasting baby formula, but her night would become unbearable if she had to wait for morning for a drink. The lack of a clock in the room didn’t help her judge how long it had been since she had eaten, or how soon someone would come back to her room. 

How will they know that I need a drink? Katherine looked up at the emergency call button against the wall before it occurred to her how futile it would be. They’ll know for sure that something is weird if a ‘baby’ can use the emergency call button. How do babies normally communicate that they need something? She barely finished the thought before she realized the obvious answer. Oh… basically all they can do is cry…

Katherine took a moment to evaluate her acting skills. If she was going to do this, she had to commit. She would have to cry loudly enough to get someone’s attention, then keep crying until they figured out what she wanted. Once she started, there would be no going back. If she messed this up, they would figure out something was wrong and she could end up fired.

While she considered the problem, Katherine’s anxiety began to well up inside her again. She was beginning to feel mentally exhausted from all the stress of the past week. The anxiety built as she dwelt on her situation, when tears began to well up in the corners of her eyes. Her eyes widened as she realized how she could make this believable. 

She began to take down her barriers for her anxiety and let her emotions run out of control. All her stress, fear, humiliation, loneliness, and anger that she had been bottling up were released all at once. Tears began to flow from her eyes. She started involuntarily whimpering in time with her sobs. Some adult part of her brain tried to regain control and keep her crying quiet, but Katherine knew she couldn’t worry about embarrassment.

The whimpering became louder. As Katherine pushed her adult fears back and let her emotions escape, she felt a strange relief wash over her. It actually felt good to cry. Her nose began to run, hot tears streaked down her face, and she was almost yelling into her pacifier. She felt her hands balling up into fists and fussing against her bed. Her feet kicked against the sheets, straining against the thick diaper that spread them apart. The strain of her job, her colleagues, her embarrassment seemed to flow away with each scream. 

The world began to shut out around Katherine. She didn’t care if anyone heard or saw her, she only felt her raw, unfiltered emotions. She barely noticed as hands picked her up and wrapped around her. She felt something warm pressing against her face, and she instinctively snuggled into it. Katherine sobbed into a nurse’s hospital scrubs as she was gently bounced. “There, there sweetie...” The nurse held Katherine close, snuggling her into her breasts.

Katherine felt herself beginning to relax, her emotional tirade beginning to wane. She whimpered softly as the woman gently shushed her. The nurse draped a soft cloth over her shoulder, gently wiping at Katherine’s face. “Does someone need her dirty diaper changed?” She gently tugged back at the waistband of her diaper. “No, you’re still clean. Is someone thirsty?” Katherine barely processed the words as she continued to softly cry.

“Dinner wasn’t that long ago. Maybe we can still get you a bottle if you need it.” She continued to bounce Katherine until she was still. Katherine felt physically exhausted from her outburst. If her thirst wasn’t so prominent, she felt like she may have been able to fall asleep at that moment. 

The nurse placed her back in her bed, then stepped outside for a few moments. She returned shortly with two small baby bottles, one full of a clear liquid, and one solid white. She set them on a nearby table as she picked up Katherine and walked over to the rocking chair in the corner. She held Katherine in her arms and brought the clear bottle’s nipple up to Katherine’s lips. She instinctively latched on and began drinking the water. 

The slow rate of water droplets trickling from the nipple weren’t fast enough to satisfy Katherine’s painful thirst. Her mouth began to ache from the speed that she suckled, but the relief of finally having a drink outweighed her discomfort. “Slow down honey, you’re going to get a belly ache.” Katherine barely noticed as she finished gulping down the last of the water. The small baby bottle amounted roughly to a small glass of water, but was barely enough to quench Katherine’s thirst. 

The nurse methodically swapped out the bottle of water for the formula almost as quickly as it left Katherine’s lips. She continued to suckle, wincing slightly as the taste of the bland formula hit her tongue. She had begun to get used to the taste and didn’t care enough to stop. Bland as it was, it didn’t taste bad to her. Her full stomach complained as she continued to gulp down mouth-full after mouth-full of formula, but her thirst was finally beginning to disappear. Just as she felt like she couldn’t drink any more, the last of the formula trickled out of the nipple.

The nurse lifted Katherine up and placed her head against her shoulder. She began to gently pat her back while bouncing her. Katherine felt nauseous as the contents of her full stomach shifted with each bounce. She began to feel drowsy, the motion of the nurse's leg keeping her awake. She began to feel something move in her stomach before an involuntary burp came out. Katherine hadn’t even felt it coming and wasn’t able to stop herself. “There we go. All better!” The nurse cooed as she picked Katherine up and walked over to the corner of the room. 

Instead of the hospital bed, Katherine was laid down in a hooded sleeper that was nestled in the corner of her nursery. Pink frills lined the edge, accented with silk bows. A small mobile hung from the top of the hood, accented with a little moon, stars, and sheep. The nurse turned a switch on the mobile and it began to spin, a small music box tone playing a soft nursery rhyme melody. She gave Katherine a kiss on the forehead. “Goodnight sweetie. Mommy will be back tomorrow. Sweet dreams.”

The nurse turned off the lights as she exited the room, Leaving Katherine in almost complete darkness other than the light of the hallway that came through the window on her door. Sleep was quickly beginning to overtake Katherine. She couldn’t remember the last time she had felt so tired. A thought fought its way to the surface of her sleepy mind that she should check if Amy had sent her anything. She lazily felt around the front of her sleeper for her pocket that contained her phone.

A faint feeling of panic came over her as she realized that Amy had changed her outfit, and in doing so had accidentally taken her phone. She now had no way to ask for help and was stuck until morning. Her eyes began to shut as she realized that there was nothing that she could do about the problem. Sleep was the only option, and she could happily wait until morning. She snuggled into the soft blankets and quickly drifted off to sleep.

The next morning, Katherine awoke to the sounds of the nurse approaching her sleeper. “Wakey, wakey sleepy head.” Katherine let out a jaw-popping yawn as she slowly regained consciousness. The nurse picked her up and held her in her arms. “My goodness, that’s quite a saggy diaper!” Katherine shifted her legs slightly and was surprised to feel dampness rubbing against her skin. Had she had an accident while she was sleeping?

The nurse laid her down on the changing table and undid the tapes of her diaper. “I think mommy left you some of your diapers to change into. Normally we’d just use the hospital ones, but if this is what your mommy wants to use, I won’t argue.” She picked up one of the diapers from the small stack Amy had left behind and began to change Katherine. She pulled down the front and examined her. “Still no mess? After your big meal yesterday, I think we’re going to need to do something about this.” She gave a gently prod against Katherine’s belly that was noticeably bloated.

Katherine worked to keep a straight face as she realized what this meant. She could indeed feel something heavy in her belly. It had been a few days since she last went, and after all the bulk feedings, it was no surprise that something would need to come out soon. The nurse wiped and powdered her before taping up the new diaper. She began to write her notes about Katherine's schedule on her chart. “If it doesn’t happen soon, I’ll give you something to help you. If those prunes didn’t do it, we’ll make sure everything’s working smoothly.” As she finished writing, an audible gurgle came from Katherine’s tummy. The nurse smiled as she realized what it was. “I don’t think we’ve got anything to worry about.”

She placed Katherine back in her bed and began to walk out of the room before another nurse opened the door. “Excuse me, I’m here to collect Katherine. It seems that her mother has her signed up to participate in a training course.” Katherine wondered to herself what elaborate plan Amy had come up with to get her out.

Amy moved at a quicker-than-usual pace through her morning routine. She wasn’t scheduled to come in on Saturday, but tried to appear normal as she swiped in and placed her belongings in her locker. She wore her typical scrubs and tried to look inconspicuous as she walked through the hallway. She made her way to an empty nurse station terminal and signed in with her badge. Navigating the system wasn’t difficult with her nurse's permissions, but she could only see the minimum details of a patient. If she could give herself access to Katherine’s file, she could take her out of the system and erase her mistake. There were only a few hours left of her observation period left, and then she could get her out before anyone else knew.

“Miss Bradford… I don’t see you on the schedule for today...” A stern voice came from behind Amy. She jumped as she turned in an attempt to block the screen from Kelly. “Miss Anderson! Um, yes, I guess there must have been a slip up on my calendar.” Kelly looked at her skeptically as she stuttered through her excuse.

Kelly peered over her shoulder, attempting to see monitor behind her. “Why do you have a patient’s file up if you’re not on the schedule?” Her tone was sharp and accusational. Amy froze up as she tried to think of a response to the rhetorical question. Kelly didn’t wait for a response and pushed past her with her clipboard and walked up to the monitor.

“K. Baker. No info. Nurse Bradford… Is this Doctor Baker in the system as a patient?” Her tone was cold and hard like stone, sending a shiver of fear down Amy’s back. She knew she had to come clean. “Yes, but it was-" “And were you attempting to edit secured and confidential hospital files?” Kelly cut her off. Amy began to panic as she realized the gravity of the situation. “Well, yes. But you don’t underst-” “What I understand is that you abused your credentials granted to you as a nurse to play a joke that has now caused turmoil in our system. This is completely unacceptable, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this leads to the both of you being terminated.”

Amy felt her throat go dry as she stammered to think of something to say. “Miss Anderson, please, it was a mistake. It wasn’t Katherine’s fault. I just wanted to print her a fake hospital tag for her costume. I didn’t know it would create a patient profile for her. Now she’s stuck in the infant ward as a patient under observation and I was just trying to get her out. There was no abuse of patient records because it wasn’t a real record. I was just trying to clear up my mistake. Please don’t punish Katherine for it!”

Kelly’s eyebrows furrowed together skeptically as she processed what she had said. “You’re saying that Doctor Baker is being treated as a patient right now… and no one has noticed?” Amy nodded slowly, unsure how to react. Kelly considered this for a moment. “I could report you for this. I already have enough on Katherine’s performance to make a strong case against her, but I might have an alternative. Of course, I can’t make any illegal changes to our system, but I could make a more reasonable arrangement for Doctor Baker.” 

Amy wasn’t sure what she was getting at, but was desperate enough to take any help she could get. “What do we need to do?” Kelly pulled out her tablet and began flipping through her schedule. “One thing we have really been trying to get a better handle on is our training courses. We have a difficult time keeping up with the number of mothers and nurses that go through various training courses we provide. Some classes can use dolls for basic lessons, but it’s always much more beneficial if we have an actual infant to assist, especially with new mothers. It adds a valuable authenticity to the training that you can’t get with a doll. The most difficult part is finding mothers who are available to volunteer their children for training. However, if we had someone on staff who could be a stand in for a real baby, we could over several more classes and get our numbers up...” 

Amy was shocked at the ease in Kelly’s tone. She seemed to be forming her plan as she was speaking, paying no mind to how horrifying it might sound. “You want her to pretend to be a baby for your classes?!” Amy had to control herself to keep from shouting. 

Kelly looked at her disapprovingly. “She’s already pretending to be a child and is apparently succeeding. I don’t see how this is any worse than the situation you’ve gotten yourselves into, and this will actually be able to support the hospital. Doctor Baker can be on retainer and keep her job. She’s technically licensed to assist in training as a doctor, and this would qualify without violating any hospital rules. This is the best option I can see. Either she changes to this much more fitting role, or I can report the both of you. Those are your options.”
Amy could hear her heartbeat in her ears. She knew she didn’t have a choice. She had to do the only thing she could for Katherine and try to make it as easy for her as she could.

“Okay… What do we need to do?” Kelly smirked and pulled up her tablet. “There is a training course in half an hour that I’m scheduled to supervise. We can schedule her for it and give her a trial run. If it doesn’t work, I’ll have the report filed within the hour.” Kelly’s stomach dropped. “Can I assist with it? I need to explain the situation to her.” Kelly poked at her tablet. “It says here that you’ve been added as a guardian. Interesting… I have your consent to schedule her then?” Kelly let out a resigned sigh. “Yes.” 

Kelly tapped a button on her tablet and smiled to herself. “I just sent out the update to her chart. It’s in 25 minutes in training room 104. Someone will bring her there and you will have that long to get ready.” Kelly turned and walked away, leaving Amy standing dumbstruck in front of the computer.

The nurse carried Katherine through several long hallways until they came to training room 104. The nurse pushed open the doors and walked into the large well-lit room. There were several chairs and small tables along the sides of the room with a variety of nursery-type items in the middle of the room. Each center table had a different station for teaching new mothers basic skills like using car seats, diaper changes, feeding, and bathing. Katherine remembered it from her tour, but didn’t think she would be back here any time soon. 

The nurse laid Katherine in the demonstration crib and latched the side bars in place. She walked over to the terminal on the wall and confirmed that they were in the right room. 

Amy threw the doors open as she almost fell into the room, quickly taking in her surroundings before noticing the nurse. The nurse jumped at the surprise. “Oh, I’m sorry.” Amy quickly blurted out. “I was worried I would be late. Is Katherine here?” Katherine felt a wave of relief as she heard Amy’s voice. The nurse smiled as she realized who she was. “Oh, you must be her mother. Yes, I just brought her over. She’s in the crib right over there. If you’re staying, I can leave her in your care.” Amy nodded enthusiastically. “That would be great.” The nurse smiled at her and left the room.

Just as the door closed behind her, Katherine bolted upright to peer over the wall of the crib. “What happened?!” Katherine attempted to yell and whisper simultaneously. Amy rushed over and tried to shush her. “Katie, I'm so sorry. Something went really wrong and we can't get you out of the system. I tried to override it, but we can get in serious trouble.” Katherine looked visibly shaken by the news. “So, what now?” Amy tried to calm herself down before delivering the news. She knew Katherine wasn't going to like it, but she didn't have a choice.

“So, we won’t get in trouble… if you teach a class.” Katherine didn’t try to hide the confusion on her face. “That’s all… teach a class?” “Yeah… well, assist an instructor in some of the classes here…” She trailed off, hoping Katherine would pick up on what she was implying. Katherine’s face didn’t change. She stood up in the crib, unmoving and silently waiting for her friend to explain. 

“Well… you can clearly pass for a baby… and we need babies to assist in the training courses here…” Katherine’s face shifted into a mixture of rage and sheer panic. “What?!” She began to hyperventilate, the beginnings of tears forming at the edges of her eyes. Amy held her hands on Katherine’s shoulders in an attempt to soothe her. “I know, but it’s just acting. You help teach a class, and you won’t get in trouble.” Katherine continued to breathe heavily, barely keeping herself from sobbing.

“How do you know we won’t get in trouble?” Her voice began to crack as she spoke. Amy gently stroked the back of her head, running her fingers through her hair. “Well… I know it’s okay becau-" The door burst open. Kelly walked through the door followed by several women that were in various stages of pregnancy. “- and this is our training room where the sessions will take place.” 

Amy quickly lifted Katherine under her armpits and laid her down in the crib before anyone saw her. Katherine looked up at her in shock as she saw Kelly. “It’s okay. Kelly knows, but this was her idea. She’s on your side.” Amy whispered quietly. Katherine could only shake her head back and forth in a feeble protest to the situation. “Just play along. Just act like a baby for them, and everything will be fine.”

Amy stood up and walked over to the crowd. Katherine stared up at the ceiling. She wanted to cry. She wanted this awful anxiety of trying to control her emotions to go away. She was mentally exhausted. She hadn’t had a second that she didn’t have to worry about blowing her cover. She didn’t know how much more of this she could take.

“Over the next few weeks, we will cover all the criteria listed in the brochures. We will be repeating the material several times in each lesson so if you are unable to attend a session, you will still be able to learn the material. Over here, is our helper for the day.” Kelly walked over to the crib. As the women gathered around her, Kelly looked down at Katherine and made eye contact. Her cold stare spoke volumes and Katherine knew the underlying threat. 

The ladies circled the crib, making appreciative comments about how adorable the baby was. Katherine tried not to blush as Kelly reached down and placed her pacifier in her mouth. Katherine looked around, trying to find somewhere to look that didn’t have someone staring at her. She was completely encompassed by young women in yoga pants and maternity clothing. Some had only small, barely noticeable baby bumps, while others looked to be days away from their delivery dates. They all peered over the crib, cooing and smiling at Katherine. She tried to look for a place to keep her focus on, but her vision was completely filled with staring eyes and the naturally engorged breasts of the soon-to-be mothers.

“This is Katherine. She’s a patient here and her mother has volunteered her to help teach our classes.” Kelly announced. “Our first lessons today will be feeding.” Kelly read over Katherine’s chart. “It appears that little Katherine hasn’t eaten yet today, so that will be perfect.” She reached down into the crib and picked Katherine up as if she weighed no more than a feather. Kelly placed her in a high chair and locked the table in place. “Katherine is old enough to be eating baby food, but she also drinks from bottles. We can demonstrate how both of these are done. Nurse Bradford, would you assist me?” 

Amy walked over to a cabinet and wordlessly retrieved the necessary supplies. “As you can see, Nurse Bradford is mixing powdered formula and distilled water. This is a very convenient option for preparing ahead of time as it does not need to be refrigerated. As Katherine watched Amy mix the formula, she began to feel a hunger pang in her stomach. She didn’t want any more formula, but she needed to eat something for breakfast. 

“Would anyone like to try the bottle?” Kelly asked to the group. A few women looked at each other before a young girl chimed in. “I would.” Katherine tried not to look, but couldn’t help notice how far along she was. She had to be at least seven months. She was slightly heavyset, with long curly blond hair. She supported her belly with her hands on her back, a common pose among the group. Amy handed her the bottle and she walked over to Katherine. She came in close to Katherine face and smiled at her. 

“Hey there cutie. Do you want something to drink?” She held the bottle up to Katherine’s lips. Katherine was enamored with how pretty she was and didn’t even notice herself returning the smile and opening her lips. The girl held the bottle to Katherine’s mouth and had to cover her own mouth with her free hand to suppress a grin. “Oh my goodness, she is just precious!” She cooed to the other women. 

Katherine suckled at the formula, noting how it seemed to taste better than the last time. Her jaw didn’t ache as much anymore. After a few minutes, Kelly brought another woman to practice holding the bottle. One by one, they all took turns feeding her. Amy watched with fascination as Katherine suckled. She made another bottle as Katherine finished the first, ensuring each woman had an opportunity to practice.

“Will we be doing diaper changes in this class?” One of the women asked. Kelly smirked at the question. “We will practice diaper changes regardless, but when we do depends on our guinea pig.” The group laughed at the joke, and Katherine felt her face go hot. Amy looked at her sympathetically, but Katherine couldn’t meet her gaze.
Kelly walked over to the table that held Katherine’s chart and began to read through it. “Well, it appears that Katherine’s nurse has been keeping track of her bowel movements, or rather lack of them. This might be a good time to talk about home healthcare for your child. It’s uncommon, but children can become constipated. It appears to have been a few days for Katherine, so we can demonstrate the proper way to address this.” 

Kelly walked over the supply cabinet and pulled out a small bottle. Katherine continued to suckle at the bottle, trying to block out what was happening. She felt herself starting to panic and attempted to mentally drop down to an inner quiet place. She wasn’t here. This wasn’t happening. She mindlessly drank from the bottle, ignoring what the women were saying.

Kelly came over and picked Katherine up from her highchair. Katherine didn't struggle and went limp as she was carried. Kelly walked her over to a changing table, laying her down on her stomach. Katherine felt her arms moving on their own as she felt and grasped the soft lining of the changing mat. The simple stimulation of the material kept her mind distracted as Kelly began to undo the tapes of her diaper. 

The changing table held several necessary supplies. Kelly folded the diaper back, exposing Katherine’s bottom to the crowd. She took out two blue latex gloves from the box and methodically slipped them onto her hands. She picked up a small bottle of petroleum jelly and popped the lid off. Katherine continued to rub the soft material between her fingers, paying attention only to the fabric and blocking out the world. 

Once the bottle was opened, Kelly covered one of her fingers with some of the jelly and began applying it around Katherine's sphincter. Katherine let out an involuntary moan of discomfort as Kelly thoroughly applied the lubricant. “This might feel a bit uncomfortable for her, but it's completely safe.” Kelly announced to reassure the group.

The lid of the small container was unscrewed and Kelly retrieved a white, cone-shaped object. She held the small item between her thumb and index finger and held it up for the group to see. “This is a standard sized glycerin suppository. Simply insert it into the rectum and it will dissolve within a few minutes.” She rested one hand on Katherine's bottom, moving her cheek aside to better expose her anus. She pressed the narrow tip of the suppository inside and pushed gently with her index finger. The suppository slipped inside with little resistance. 

Katherine felt herself clenching against the intrusion and began to instinctively cry. Kelly slid her index finger in deeper, pushing the suppository further inside Katherine before she withdrew from her. Kelly looked surprised at the genuine sound of her cry, but didn't make any comment about it as she taped Katherine's diaper back up.

Katherine continued to cry softly. Kelly picked her up and held her, walking over to the group. “She’s a little fussy from that. Would anyone like to hold her and we can practice soothing techniques?” A few women raised their hands and Kelly gently passed Katherine off to the nearest one. She took her tenderly into her arms and attempted to cradle her. “Try laying her against your shoulder. This is also the burping position. It allows you to move your body to bounce and support her weight without becoming too tired. Your arms will get exhausted quickly if they aren’t supported. The woman shifted Katherine to her shoulder and began to gently bounce her. Katherine’s quiet sobs shifted to a quiet occasional mumble.

“So, how long before she…” The woman asked as she bounced her. “It shouldn’t be long, but probably won’t be instantaneous either. I didn’t mean to pass you a ticking time bomb.” The women all giggled as the woman passed her off to someone else. Another woman in her third trimester took Katherine and attempted to balance he around her swollen belly. A loud grumble came out of Katherine as she shifted, the woman laying her head against her swollen breasts. “There there…” The woman said, gently patting her back. “It will be better soon…” The woman bounced her gently, Katherine nuzzling into her as if she was hiding from the world.

“Since we know this change will be from a bowel movement, we will want it to be as quickly as possible. Exposure to waste of any kind can cause irritation and rashes if left unchecked. Urine takes longer to cause irritation, but usually the child will let you know when they are uncomfortable.” Kelly instructed. Katherine buried her face deeper into the woman’s shoulder as she felt the suppository liquefying inside her. She concentrated on the motherly touches of the woman, finding any reassurance she could from the situation.

Her stomach continued to gurgle as the medicine performed as it was intended. Katherine felt her bowels shifting as she absorbed more of the suppository. Cramps quickly overtook her, and she began to cry again. The women awwed sympathetically as they continued to pass her around.

Minute by minute, the cramps increased, and Katherine felt the eminent need to void. Every pass between the women shifted her weight and made her feel less in control. She began to cry loudly as the cramps began to hurt. The women continued to attempt to comfort her as they bounced and rocked her. Finally, Katherine felt the build up of several days of her unconventional diet reach its endpoint.

She tried to resist as her muscles began to relax on their own, but the medication was too strong for her quivering muscles. The soft mess began to force its way out of her, despite her attempts to stop it. The complete loss of control of her most basic functions broke something in Katherine. 

She felt herself involuntarily grunting as she pushed more and more into her diaper. The woman stopped bouncing as she noticed Katherine tense up. All the women watched as a small bulge began to noticeably protrude from the back of Katherine’s diaper. 

The massive mess slowly filled her diaper, then pressed outwards as it began to run out of room. The bulk feedings and fiber had created a larger movement than Katherine had ever had in her life. She began to sob uncontrollably as her diaper continued to fill. She wasn’t even pushing, yet it just seemed to fall out of her, as if she had no control whatsoever.

The woman holding her began to pat her back and shush her quietly, trying to soothe her discomfort. Katherine’s diaper had reached its capacity, the mess pressing back against her as it loudly crinkled and stretched the plastic backing. Katherine realized how helpless she truly was in this situation. Completely humiliated and unable to do anything for herself. She began to wail as she finished, feeling the warm mush against her backside and trying to come to terms with what she had done.

Amy stood on the other side of the room, unable to look away as her best friend filled a diaper in front of her. She couldn’t bear to listen to her cries and wanted to do anything to make her feel better. Kelly looked over at her, noticing her discomfort. She then walked over to the woman holding Katherine and held out her arms to take her.

As Kelly sat her back down on the changing table in front of Amy, she sat Katherine upright, placing all of her weight on her bottom and her full diaper. The warm mess exploded under Katherine’s full weight, and she felt it squish between her cheeks and all along the inside of her diaper. She began to wail as Kelly laid her back and looked over to Amy with a sinister grin. “Now we’re ready for our diaper changing lesson…”

Chapter 8:

Amy surveyed the room around her. The stress of her situation was overstimulating as she tried to figure out what to do. The mothers all looked to her, expecting her to follow Kelly’s implied instructions. Katherine’s cries make her want to cry herself. She had seen her friend upset before, but the child-like screams of pure distress impacted Amy on an emotional, maternal level. She wanted to pick her friend up and hold her, to soothe her until she felt safe. Amy couldn’t help but blame herself for the predicament they were in and hated worst of all that it was hurting her friend. 

“Nurse Bradford?” Kelly asked, trying to snap Amy out of her daze. “Don’t you think this would be an opportune time for a changing lesson?” Amy looked up at her, nodding faintly as she realized what she was being forced to do.  

She lightly gripped Katherine’s hand, trying to do anything to comfort her. Katherine didn’t squeeze back, or make any indication that she noticed Amy was there. Amy watched her closely, beginning to grow concerned that Katherine might not be completely acting. 

“Ladies, if would like to gather around, anyone who hasn’t changed a diaper before may find this useful.” Kelly announced to the group. Amy tried to hide her discomfort as the women circled her closely. She undid the tapes and folded the front of the diaper down. The smell was apparent almost immediately. Amy lifted Katherine’s legs with no resistance and slid the soiled diaper out from under her. She began to carefully roll the garment up as she demonstrated to the class. “You’ll want to try and fold it in on itself to that it’s easy to dispose of, and you won’t have anything coming out unexpectedly.” 

The diaper was carefully folded and rolled in on itself. “The tapes can also be reused to close the diaper up. Some brands don’t have reusable tapes, so you’ll have to be extra careful.” Amy tried to keep her tone steady as she taught, but it was hard to sound genuine while she listened to her friend’s gentle sobs. “This one wasn’t quite what’s called a ‘blowout diaper’, but it’s pretty close. That’s when the diaper has been on for too long, or reaches capacity very quickly. Those will require a lot of extra care as they can leak and create a mess.” 

The rolled and taped diaper was deposited into a nearby diaper pail. Amy reached for the wipes and lifted Katherine’s legs again. “You’ll want to use as many wipes as necessary in order to properly clean up.” She spoke as she began gently wiping Katherine. Her cries began to wane as Amy cleaned her, the discomfort of her messy diaper leaving her with each wipe.  

After several passes, she was finally clean. “Next, you’ll want to use lotion to prevent any irritation. Vaseline can also be used as a waterproof barrier to protect the skin. I don’t expect her to be having another mess before her next change, so I don’t believe that will be necessary this time.” Amy concluded as she began to apply lotion to her hands. “Actually, Nurse Bradford…” Kelly held up a finger in protest. “I think that would actually be beneficial to the demonstration.” Amy resisted the urge to sigh. “Yes Miss Anderson.” She wanted to minimize her friend’s humiliation, not add more to it.  

The lotion was applied and rubbed in thoroughly around Katherine’s delicate areas. Amy gently picked her up and turned her over on her stomach, exposing her bottom to the group. “For the petroleum jelly, simply scoop up a decent amount on your finger and apply liberally to the bottom.” She placed the blob of cool jelly on Katherine’s cheeks and began to spread it around in a thick layer.  

Katherine’s cries continued to diminish as Amy gently rubbed her bottom. Amy began to wonder if there was some part of Katherine that was actually feeling soothed by her care. She ran her finger tenderly between Katherine’s cheeks to cover her completely. Katherine squirmed at the sensation and only let out a soft cry. 

“I think she was just fussy from the dirty diaper. Most babies will cry when they’re messy, they just need to be cleaned up. You’ll begin to notice distinct cries depending on what is irritating your baby. It’s just about the only way they can communicate so you’ll have to pay close attention to them.” Kelly instructed as Amy pulled out one of the thin hospital diapers and laid it under Katherine.  

“So for putting on a new diaper,” Amy began. “simply lift their bottom up so you can slide the open diaper underneath them where the waistline will sit.” She followed the steps as she spoke, “Lay their legs down and spread them in the indents where the leg-holes bow in.” She lifted the front and began to lay it down snugly. “Lay the front down firmly, not too tight and not too loose. With one hand, hold the front down while you tape up one side.” She pulled one of the wings up and taped it in place. “It’s easy to end up with a loose diaper if you let go, so make sure it stays snug while you attach the tapes.” She finished with the other side, smoothing the front out. She tucked her fingers under the waistband and gave a gently tug, showing how snugly it was around Katherine, but loose enough to allow flexibility. 

Amy looked over at the clock to see that there were only ten minutes left of the course. “So that’s what you need to know for a diaper change. I’m sure you’ll all get plenty of opportunities to practice and be pros within a few weeks.” The group laughed as Amy looked at her watch. “So we only have a few minutes left, does anyone have any more questions before we go?”  

The group of expectant mothers all looked around to see if anyone had their hands up. One of the women who looked to be due any day soon sheepishly held up her hand. “Yes?” Amy said, acknowledging her. “Well…” The woman began. “One of the thing’s I’m most concerned about is breastfeeding. I’ve read about so many mothers who had difficulties and I’m just afraid I’ll be doing something wrong.” Amy paused as she considered how to approach the topic. Before she could begin, Kelly interjected. “How far along are you, if you don’t mind me asking?” The woman looked concerned as she looked down at her belly and said, “Eight and a half months.” Kelly smiled reassuringly. “You've got nothing to worry about. Anxiety about breastfeeding is very common. Are you lactating yet?” The woman looked surprised as if Kelly had just accurately guessed her weight. “Yes, but it mostly just leaks every now and again.” A few of the nearby women smiled sympathetically and nodded in agreement.  

Kelly smiled at the group. “Especially for those of you experiencing discomfort from lactation, would anyone like to try breastfeeding today with our volunteer?” She held her hand out towards Katherine, eyeing the women expectantly. A few of them looked at each other, but the woman who asked hesitantly raised her hand again. “Are you sure it will be okay?” The woman sounded nervous. Kelly gave her a reassuring smile and said, “Absolutely, I’m sure she won’t mind a bit.”  

Amy couldn’t believe what Kelly was trying to do. She looked at Katherine, trying to communicate with her in any way she could, but Katherine wasn’t meeting her eye. She watched her closely, wondering if Katherine was just ignoring her, but she didn’t seem to be looking at anything in particular. She had stopped crying and was now looking around the room, gently kicking her feet and running her hands almost randomly over the changing table. 

Amy jumped as Kelly snapped her out of her daze. “Nurse Bradford, would you like to assist?” Kelly’s tone lowered to an almost threatening depth. The implied threat was very clear. Amy nodded slowly and picked up Katherine. Kelly retrieved a nursing cover and brought it over to the woman. “Would you like a privacy screen, or do you mind the other women observing.” The woman looked at the cover and shook her head. “That’s alright, we’re not in public or anything. I’m sure it’s nothing we haven’t all seen before.” A chuckle emerged from the group and Kelly smiled as she went to put the cover away. 

The walk over to the woman seemed to go in slow motion as Amy carried Katherine in her arms. She wanted to run away. She wanted to apologize to her friend and make up for the situation she had gotten her in. She couldn’t believe what Kelly was actually going to make her go through with this. Katherine wasn’t reacting at all to the stressful situation. Amy couldn’t tell if she had either become very good at acting, or was in some type of catatonic state. Amy was worried about her, and she worried she wouldn’t be able to keep up the act considering what was about to happen to her. 

The woman removed her shirt and placed her jacket around her shoulders for warmth. She unclasped the front of her bra and her engorged breasts spilled out of the cups. Amy held out Katherine to her, and she took her gently. She held Katherine out awkwardly in front of her, unsure what to do. “So… I just…” She looked between Kelly and Amy for guidance. “Just cradle her and nuzzle her closely to you. She’ll know what to do.” Kelly instructed. 

The woman cradled Katherine gently in her arms. Katherine looked around with a confused expression as if she didn’t know where she was. The woman pulled her close, aligning her right breast directly in front of Katherine’s mouth. Her nipples were dark and swollen, Amy couldn’t help but imagine how uncomfortable they must be. As she guided Katherine’s head towards her nipple, Katherine parted her lips and gently placed her lips on the woman’s breast. 

She let out a surprised sigh as Katherine began to suckle, gently working her lips around her nipple. “She’s doing it…” The woman seemed unsure of what to say. “I wasn’t sure how… how it would feel.” Kelly smiled at her. “You’ll probably feel some relief from the buildup of milk. Breastfeeding also releases several hormones and endorphins that are very good for the mother. It can create an amazing bond with your baby.” The ladies all watched closely as the nursing mother smiled at her success.  

Amy stared in wonder as Katherine loudly suckled without even flinching. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. The expectant mother held her close, a warm glow appearing on her face as Katherine nursed. How could she even... drinking that? How is she okay with this? Amy could barely process what she was seeing. She glanced over at Kelly, looking for some form of validation at the absurdity of this situation, but Kelly didn’t look surprised at all. She looked... amused. 

The subtle, barely contained smile looked sinister as Kelly watched the scene unfold. Amy couldn’t look away from her unblinking eyes. Kelly wasn’t just playing a part for their sakes... she was enjoying this. Amy felt a cold shiver run down her back as she realized how much power Kelly had over this situation. 

“Would anyone else like to try?” Kelly asked to the group. Once again, the women all looked around at each other, but it felt noticeably less awkward after someone else had already volunteered to go first. After a few seconds, two women raised their hands at the same time. There was a short, comfortable laugh from everyone, diffusing any tension in the room. “Don’t worry, everyone who wants one can have a turn.” Kelly said, pulling another chair next to the woman holding Katherine.  

The two volunteers decided the order in which they would go, and the first woman took her seat. She wasn’t as far along as the first woman, but Amy couldn’t help but notice how much larger her breasts were. “I’m actually hoping this helps. I’ve been leaking a lot lately and the pressure has been causing some discomfort.” She slid down the narrow shoulder straps of her loose maternity shirt and shimmied it down her torso until the supports fell below her breasts. Amy’s had to keep her mouth from falling open as the woman’s massive breasts spilled out over her shirt. 

She held out her hands, and the first woman gently pulled Katherine away from her breast. Katherine swallowed her mouthful and let out a gentle moan, as if she was protesting being pulled away. “Aww, don’t worry precious. I’m not taking it away from you.” She took Katherine in her arms, cradling her just as the first woman did. Her large nipples were already erect and prominently stood out, small droplets of milk already beginning to gather at the tip. Katherine hungrily took the thick nipple into her mouth and suckled hard against it. The expectant mother let out a surprised moan. “Oh my... that’s... wow, I didn’t expect that. It feels so nice, and I already feel it hurting less.” She couldn’t keep the smile from her face as she pulled Katherine closer.  

Kelly walked over and stood next to Amy. She spoke quietly, just out of earshot of the other women. “I had my doubts that Doctor Baker had the maturity to do this job properly, but I think we’ve found a fitting position for her, wouldn’t you agree?” Amy didn’t respond to her. Kelly just smiled and turned back towards the group. “Anyone else who would like to can practice breastfeeding. The class will be over in a few minutes, but there is nothing scheduled for this room after so if you would like to stay later, you may do so.” Kelly instructed the group. “Nurse Bradford will be staying behind to assist anyone who has any questions.” Kelly looked briefly at Amy, confirming her coded command. Amy just stared blankly, trying to keep herself together. 

“I’ll leave you all to it. I hope to see you all at the next session!” Kelly gave them all a wide smile before collecting her clipboard and left the room. Katherine continued to suckle until a third volunteer stepped forward. Amy went into autopilot and answered any questions they had, pushing her unprocessed emotions as she instructed. As the fifth volunteer was finishing up, Katherine let out a loud burp, much to the delight of the mothers. “That’s pretty normal, especially after drinking that much.” Amy said, realizing exactly how much her friend must have consumed. She took Katherine from them as the woman gathered their possessions and headed towards the door. 

Amy examined Katherine, finally having a chance to check on her friend. She was concerned about her mental state after everything she had been through. Her eyelids were low, as if she was fighting off sleep. Amy used her bib to wipe of some milk from her chin. Katherine slowly opened her eyes, blurrily focusing on Amy’s face as she tried to process where she was. “Are you okay?” Amy whispered quietly to her as the last woman walked out of the door. As the door clicked shut, Katherine looked toward the noise, looking around the room. Her eyes began to widen as she realized what was happening.  

As she looked around the room, Amy began to hear a faint hissing noise. Katherine looked up at her and said, “Amy? What happened?” Amy wasn’t sure how to respond, still distracted from the noise. She turned her head, trying to locate the noise, when she noticed that it was coming from Katherine. Katherine looked confused and began to shift in Amy’s arms. She went stiff as she noticed the strange sensation from her diaper and the hiss faded into silence.  

“Did you…?” Amy didn’t want to humiliate her any further, but her concern for her health outweighed her embarrassment. Katherine wouldn’t look at her, tears beginning to well up in her eyes. Before they could continue their conversation, the door to the training room opened. Kelly entered with a maniacal grin on her face. Amy felt her blood run cold as she approached them. She had known Kelly for years and knew exactly how terrifying she could be when she was angry, but the almost evil smirk she now wore actually made her fearful. Her instincts told her that she was in danger, that there was a predator who was approaching and she needed to run. She instinctively held Katherine a little closer as if to protect her. 

Kelly opened her portfolio and pulled out two thick stacks of stapled papers. She laid them down side by side on the table next to the women. One was noticeably thicker than the other, and from only a few seconds of brief skimming, Amy noticed her full name typed on the paper in several places. 

“I believe I have come up with the perfect solution to our problem.” She pulled out two black pens from her portfolio and set them down on the paper. The expensive metal pens made a loud knock as they rested on the table. Amy tried to hide her fear, but couldn’t keep the look of confusion off her face as she looked over the papers. “What is this?” Kelly’s smile widened. “These are contracts. More specifically, your new job offer contracts. They have been cleared with HR and will supersede your current employment contracts. Let me explain how this is going to work. Due to your negligent error, there is an unmovable patient on file: Katherine B. There is also a doctor in our system: Doctor Baker. I no longer feel that Doctor Baker is suitable for her current role and should instead be repositioned as an instructor for our classes. As for the matter of our patient, I have modified her record to now read as Katherine Bradford.”  

Katherine didn’t say anything, but looked up in surprise as Amy as if she had had something to do with this. Amy was already at her wits end trying to deal with her stress levels today, and was having a difficult time processing what Kelly was saying. “What? Why would you do that?” Kelly seemed slightly annoyed at the interruption, but her smile betrayed her as she gladly explained. “Very simply, you are now baby Katie’s caretaker. She is registered as a patient with pending results that may last indefinitely. She is eligible for day care since you are an employee here, and I believe it will help her better prepare for her new position.”  

Amy still looked confused. “New position, as an instructor?” Kelly was almost showing teeth now. “Well, her official role will be as an instructor, however you can think of her more as a teaching instrument than a teacher. This was the most productive class we’ve ever had. The ladies were thrilled with what we were able to teach, and it’s something they can’t get from any other child class. Our enrollment rates will skyrocket, and it will be an excellent boost for our hospital. Of course as a doctor, Katherine will be compensated as if she was still working here, and you will simply be moved to instructing the classes. While performing your nursing duties, Katherine will be in our day care system.” 

Katherine began crying, something she was quickly becoming accustomed to. “But… but I can’t do that!” Kelly tilted her head in mock confusion. “Why not?” She mocked in a sickly-sweet tone. “You look like a baby, you sound like a baby, and for the past hour, you acted exactly like a baby, right down to breastfeeding and pooping your pants. For all intents and purposes, you are a baby, and I think I have found exactly where you belong here.” 

Katherine’s face felt hot as her cheeks burned red, both from anger and shame. “What if I say no. What if I don’t want to play your dumb game and I just quit.” Kelly shrugged nonchalantly. “Then I wish you the best in finding other employment, that is of course, after we settle the matter of company policy violation, misuse of resources, HIPPA violations, and termination from the hospital. But don’t worry, as soon as that’s sorted out you can be sure that if you manage to get another interview at some other hospital, I’ll give a completely honest and enlightening account of your time here to your new employer, complete with evidence.” As she said the last, she held up her tablet and turned it towards them. The screen showed a clip from the classroom’s security cameras, displaying the exact moment that Katherine had filled her diapers. “I’m sure you won’t have any trouble finding somewhere else to go after this.” Any trace of fake sincerity was gone now, replaced with an evil grin that perfectly projected her thoughts: ‘Checkmate’.  

Amy felt herself wanting to cry too, but had to stay strong for Katherine. “Why are you doing this?” She asked in a soft voice. Kelly looked offended at the question. “Excuse me? Why am I doing this? I’m not the one who abused her position. I’m not the one who is making a mockery of this profession. I am the person who’s built this hospital up to be the most elite in the country. I didn’t slave over this job to watch disrespectful, immature children come in here and ruin that. What I’m doing, is my job. I’m making this hospital the best that it can possibly be by putting our people where they do the most good. If you aren’t willing to be a part of that, you can leave.” 

A tense silence fell over the room. Kelly's unblinking gaze obliterated any of the fight Katherine had left. She looked down at the stack of papers the same way she looked at one of the unavoidable meals she had been force fed several times over the past few days. She knew she wouldn't like it, but she didn't have a choice in the matter.  

“Honestly, if you stop and think about it, you’re really not getting a bad deal here.” Anger flashed over Amy’s face as she glared at Kelly. “Are you insane?!” Kelly looked offended by the comment. “Clearly you’re not thinking this through. First of all, you not only get to keep your jobs, but you’ll get a bonus by being an instructor. That alone is enough of a reason that you should be thanking me.” She leveled a finger at Katherine as she continued. “As for this brat, you just got the easiest job you could have asked for. You don’t even have to do any work anymore. All you have to do is what you’re best at: acting like a child. You get free daycare, meals, and a doctor’s salary, and the only thing you have to do is let some women practice being mothers on you. Sure you’ll have to have an accident once in a while…” Kelly looked down at Katherine’s visibly wet diaper. “But for some reason, I don’t think you’re going to have a problem with that.” 

Katherine began to sob loudly. The stress of the situation had gone well beyond her capacity and she couldn’t even try to control her emotions anymore. Kelly listened to her cries unsympathetically as Amy tried to comfort her in her arms. “I’m even giving you a purchasing credit card on the hospitals account. The increased revenue from this class is going to bring in a lot for the hospital, so I think it’s fair to set aside an investment account. You can use it for anything Katherine will need for her new position. Diapers, clothes, food, furniture, whatever she needs to do her job properly and stay in character, because if she can’t, the deal’s off.”  

Kelly handed Amy a silver credit card, which she took with a shaking hand. She looked it over, then towards the papers. She couldn’t believe she was actually considering this, but what choice did she have? 

“How long?” Kelly didn’t blink at the question. “How long what?” “How long do we have to do this?” Kelly smiled and turned away, starting to walk out of the room. “You should really read the contracts. It’s two years, if you don’t violate your agreement, then we can renegotiate. As long as she can pass for a baby, I see this lasting a long time. I’ll be on the other side of the window. I’ll give you a few minutes to sign them.” She closed the door behind her, leaving the girls alone. 

Amy set the sobbing girl down on her feet, dropped to her knees, and wrapped her arms around her. “Katie, I’m so sorry. This is all my fault.” Katherine weakly hugged her back. “Amy?” She said in a quiet voice. Amy pulled back and looked into her concerned eyes. “Something’s wrong…” She looked down, noticing her wet diaper. “Kelly’s right. I don’t want to do this, but I don’t have a choice. I was just playing along, but I’m having… accidents. Something isn’t right.” Amy looked at her sympathetically and gave her another hug. “We’ll figure it out. I’ll take care of you. At least while we deal with this, you won’t have to worry about work.” Katherine nodded slowly as she ran her arm across her tear-streaked face. 

“We’ll get through this.” She tried to sound more determined than she felt, hoping to inspire Katherine. Katherine nodded, more forcefully this time. Katherine climbed up on a chair next to the desk and they both looked through their individual stacks of papers.  

Once they were convinced that there wasn’t anything more devious hiding in the fine print than what they were already prepared for, the girls signed the documents. Amy wrote her name quickly, and looked over to see Katherine holding the pen the way a child would hold a crayon. Her signature was large and sloppy, as if she couldn’t control where the pen was going. Is she losing her motor control too? Amy worried to herself. She didn’t want to worry her friend, but the evidence was stacking up that there was something very wrong. 

Katherine finished her signature, not seeming to notice how sloppy it looked. Kelly walked back in moments later, clearly very anxious to process the paperwork. “Thank you ladies. Please report on Monday to your new stations.” She handed them each a piece of papers. Amy’s listed her new itinerary of maternity classes she would be teaching. Katherine’s was a childish hospital flyer for the day care center. The bright yellow border was dotted with cartoonish images of baby items. Her assigned room was highlighted on the info sheet.  

“I’ll be sure to check in and make sure that everything is in order on Monday. Enjoy your weekend.” Kelly turned and walked out. Amy wasn’t sure it was possible for someone perform a smug walk, but Kelly seemed to be trying her hardest at it. 

The girls looked at each other. Katherine blushed and looked at the floor. “Um… Amy?” Amy looked surprised at her discomfort. “Yeah, what’s wrong?” Katherine fiddled with her hands as she tried to get the words out. “Can… can you change me? The hospital diapers are itchy.” Amy still felt a bit uncomfortable at the thought, especially now that it wasn’t a requirement, but she would do anything for her friend, especially after all she had been through. “Of course, let me go grab one of the thi-… more comfortable ones.” She caught herself, trying not to point out how large the specialty diapers were. 

Amy went over to her back and found only one of the specialty diapers left in her bag. “Oh… this is the last one.” Katherine looked somewhat disappointed. “I don’t think I can wear normal underwear right now…” She trailed off, trying not to think about the predicament. 

A thought came to Amy. She knew they needed more diapers, and probably a few other things. They needed a shopping trip, and she knew how hesitant Katherine would be to be seen in public. She thought of the store where she had made her original purchases and knew what she had to do. “That’s okay, I know where we can get more.”

Chapter 9:
Katherine and Amy walked to Amy’s car in the parking garage. As they walked, several passersby starred at Katherine’s infantile outfit, and Katherine found herself unconsciously reaching for Amy’s hand. Amy took it without any comment. As they got in, Amy noticed how much trouble Katherine had sitting up properly in her passenger seat. The seatbelt almost went up to her neck and she could barely see over the dashboard.  

“How comfortable is that for you?” Amy asked, concern plain in her voice. “It’s okay.” Katherine lied. “My car has this strap that connects the top and bottom of the seat belt so it fits better, and my seat has a… my seat is higher up so I can see more.” Amy knew she had used a booster seat due to her height, but didn’t want to say anything about it. Katherine looked up at her and tried to smile reassuringly. “Don’t worry about it, this will be fine.” She tucked the top portion of the seat belt behind her. 

As they drove, Amy’s mind went down several rabbit holes as she considered what her future would now look like. She thought of Katherine not even being able to comfortably ride in her car. Maybe Stacy would be able to help her with more than just outfits and diapers. Katherine broke the silence and interrupted her train of thought. “So, where are you going to pick those diapers up from? I know the hospital uses a local medical supply for their diapers, but those are really uncomfortable.” Amy hesitated, trying to think of an alternative to ‘adult toy store’. “Well…” Katherine’s eyes widened and she jerked her head to stare at Amy. “Why do I get the feeling that I’m not going to like the answer?” Katherine asked rhetorically. 

After everything they had been through, Amy couldn’t bear to put anything else on her friend. She knew she had no reason to trust her at this point, but Amy’s experience with the girl at the shop had been helpful and understanding. “There is a shop in town that sells… specialty items. They were sold as an accessory with your Halloween costume. It may not seem like it when we go in, but it’s a nice place and the lady was super helpful and understanding.” Katherine continued to stare at her. “When we go in? You want me to go in with you looking like this?! She pulled at her onesie, and Amy heard the distinct plastic crinkle of Katherine’s diaper.  

“I know it’s not ideal, but the girl working there wasn’t judgmental at all. If we’re picking out some outfits for you, I want to make sure you like them and can try them on. You can pick out whatever you want!” Katherine folded her arms and pouted. Amy resisted the urge to smile at how cute she looked. “What if that girl isn’t working there today? How are you going to explain this to a stranger?” Amy hadn’t considered that, but suddenly remembered the business card she had been given at her last visit. She dug around in her purse and pulled the card out of the assorted mess. The store’s info was written in a lavish cursive, but Amy hadn't notice the scrawled letters in the whitespace off to the side. Stacy had left her name and personal number on the card. Well isn't she dedicated to customer service… Amy thought to herself. 

She pulled out her phone and dialed the store's number from the card. The line rang for a few moments, Amy's anxiety growing with each tone, until a familiar voice picked up.  

“Devious Den, this is Stacy. How can I help you?” Amy let out a quick sigh of relief that Stacy was working today. “Hi Stacy, this is… um, this is Amy. I was in your store the other day…” Amy wasn't typically shy when it came to talking on the phone, but with Katherine listening to every word, she wasn't sure how to remind Stacy of who she was. There was a brief moment of silence on the line before Amy continued. “I was in the nurses outfit… you helped me pick out a costume for my fri-" "Oh, Amy! Hi! How'd the costume work out? Did your friend love it?” Amy smiled awkwardly as she tried to think of an answer. “Well… I guess you could say that. I was actually hoping to come ask you some questions about that… are you open now?” Stacy almost cut her off. “Absolutely! Sure, come on over. Is your friend coming too?” Amy glanced at Katherine. “Yes, she's with me. She's a bit… shy, but I told her she should come in with me this time to shop some more…” 

The pause on the phone was intense as Stacy processed what she was saying. “Oh… alright. So you need some more stuff then. That's perfect! So… Just so I know what to expect, is this because she wants to, or needs to?” Amy thought for a moment, trying not to say anything to make Katherine feel self-conscious. “probably the second one…” “Oh, okay then. Yup, I'll be ready for her. Come on over any time, things are really slow right now. I can even close the store while she’s here so she can have some privacy.” Amy sighed with relief. She hadn't imagined Stacy would be able to be this helpful in making Katherine feel more comfortable. “That would be amazing, thank you so much. We're just a few minutes away. We'll see you soon.” Amy could hear the smile coming through the phone. “Perfect! See you in a few!” 

Amy hung up the phone and slid it back into her purse. “She’s there and understands the situation. She says there's no one there right now and she'll even close down the shop while you're in so we can shop in privacy.” Katherine visibly relaxed. She gave a faint nod, her shoulders slightly slumping. Amy could still sense her anxiety, but she knew that Stacy would be able to make her feel safe there. 

They drove through the parking lot, past each of the stores of the strip mall. “Where is this place?” Katherine asked, craning her neck to look down the line of stores. Amy knew there wouldn’t be any easy way to explain this. “It’s at the end down there. Don’t let the name freak you out. There’s a shop where they sold costumes, and they had a private back room for the… special stuff I needed to buy.” Katherine furrowed her brow skeptically. She looked at the far end of the mall as they approached. Her mouth made the shapes of the word as she read the sign.  

“Devious Den?... Is… is that an adult store?” Katherine’s voice began to rise as she realized where they were going. “No. I mean, technically yes, but they have a lot of other stuff.” “Why did you go there to buy costumes?!” Katherine’s tone continued to rise. Amy controlled her voice and replied as if it was perfectly reasonable. “The party store was packed the night before Halloween and I knew that they wouldn’t have anything good left. This place was selling costumes, so I thought I’d go inside. The girl working there was super nice and helpful. I promise it’s not what you think. Katherine wasn’t convinced. She crossed her arms and continued to pout.  

They pulled into the empty parking lot and parked in the spot closest to the door. Katherine looked around to make sure there was no one around before opening her door and hopping out of the car. As they approached the door, Katherine froze before going in. Amy sensed her hesitation and reached up for the doorknob. Katherine reached over and grabbed on to the corner of Amy’s scrubs for support. Amy smiled as she opened the door, ushering Katherine inside. 

Before Katherine could even begin to process the sights of the store, a girl with dark hair in pigtails came bounding out from behind the counter. “Hello there! What can I help you guys with today?” Amy noticed that Stacy’s enthusiasm was almost identical to when she had first come to the store. Stacy was either a very good actor, or genuinely didn’t care about what Katherine was wearing. 

Katherine froze as Stacy looked directly into her eyes. She wasn't looking down at Katherine as if she noticed her height, or eyeing her outfit and making comments on it. Her smile was sincere as she waited patiently for an answer. Amy glanced down to see if Katherine would answer, but after a few moments she decided to break the silence.  “We're looking for some supplies. We’re running low on a few things and thought we might look at some new outfits?” she made the last a question as she looked down at Katherine.  

Stacy continued to look at Katherine like she was waiting for her to respond. “That's no problem! I'd be happy to help you shop. My name is Stacy.” She took a few steps and held her hand out to Katherine. Katherine stared at it for a moment before releasing Amy's hand and gently shaking Stacy's hand. “What's your name?” she asked, her smile still beaming. A small grin formed on Katherine's face as she tried to mirror her. “Katherine.” She said in a quiet voice. “It's nice to meet you Katherine!” Stacy said excitedly. “I've helped Amy shop here before. Would you like me to lock up the store for a while so you can have some private time to look around?” Katherine nodded vigorously at the offer to avoid anyone else's attention. Stacy’s grin managed to stretch even further as she stood up and went to lock the door. 

Katherine looked around the shop, finally fully taking in exactly where she was. She knew places like this existed, but never thought she would be in one. Stacy walked back over to them and gestured towards the back room. “Not to detract from the rest of our merchandise, but I believe you’ll be more interested in what we have in the back.” She began walking towards the back of the store, followed by Katherine and Amy. Stacy looked back over her shoulder at Katherine as they walked. “I like your outfit! It's super cute.” Her smile beamed, not a hint of sarcasm or mocking in her expression. Katherine blushed and her gaze dropped to the floor, but a small smile tugged at the corner of her mouth. “Thank you.” She muttered quietly as they made their way to the back room. “Do you normally close the store for your customers?” Katherine quietly asked. Stacy didn’t turn around to respond. “Only for the adorable ones.” She said slyly. Katherine felt her face grow warm. Amy noticed the color appearing in Katherine’s cheeks and began to wonder how well she would be able to cope with Stacy’s charismatic personality.  

Stacy pulled back the curtain with the sign that read, ‘Please Ask for Assistance Before Entering’, and gestured the girls inside. Amy remembered her first time entering the room. It was still a bit of a shock to see it, but Katherine had been completely unprepared for what she would find. Her eyes went wide as she processed the adorable room. She scanned the shelves, trying to process the wide variety of oversized baby products.  

As they looked, Stacy squatted down next to Katherine and crossed her arms over her knees in a relaxed position. She followed her gaze across the shelves. “Are you surprised?” She continued  without waiting for an answer. “There’s a lot of people out there who dress up like you do. Some need to, some want to. Just look at how many different types of… well, everything there are. This many companies couldn’t stay in business if there weren’t a lot of customers.” Katherine nodded absentmindedly as she continued to look over the shelves. 

While Stacy explained, Amy began to feel herself relax. Stacy was doing an amazing job of relating everything to Katherine in a nonjudgemental tone. “So, is there anything you’d like to look at first?” Stacy asked, looking at Katherine who still wasn’t meeting her eye. “...I don’t know…” Katherine finally manage to speak. “There’s kind of a lot.” Stacy laughed and nodded. “Yeah, there’s a lot. Let’s start over here with the diapers.” She stood up and walked over to the large cubby-hole style shelves.   

“Did you like the diapers I sent Amy with last time?” Katherine blushed and looked back down. “They’re okay… I had to wear hospital diapers and they were really itchy and leaked. These were really puffy, but they were a lot more comfortable.” Stacy nodded in understanding. “That they are. Medical diapers aren’t usually that good. There’s a few brands that we carry that are, and they’re cheaper than the ABDL diapers.” Katherine looked confused. “ABDL?” She asked quietly. Stacy laughed. “It’s the umbrella acronym for people who dress up like babies for fun. Some people enjoy mentally regressing to a baby for fun or to relax, and some people just enjoy wearing diapers. People all have their own reasons. Some companies make some really cute printed diapers for adults. The ones I sent Amy with were basic ABDL diapers, Simple print, good absorbancy, not too expensive. So you'd like some more like those?" 

The deer-in-the-headlight look Stacy was getting from Katherine was all she needed to understand just how nervous Katherine was. "Here, let's look at some of these." She diverted the question and pulled down a handful of samples from the shelves, passing half of the collection to Katherine, and the other half to Amy. Katherine awkwardly took the stack like a handful of giant playing cards and began to flip through them. The diapers crinkled loudly as the girls shuffled through them. Katherine held up a bright pink printed diaper with sillouetes of ballarenas covering the surface.  

Stacy watched her as she admired the design. "So you like princess's?" Katherine blushed and quickly shuffled it to the back of the pile. “I was just looking at the designs.” She said quickly. Stacy gave her a warm smile. “It’s okay, I think those are the cutest design. What do you think Amy?” Amy hadn’t been expecting the question and looked visibly off guard. “Um… yeah, I like those. You should get the ones you’re most comfortable with.” Katherine shuffled the pile back to the princess diapers. She stared at them for a few moments before shrugging. “I guess… I guess I’ll go with these.” Stacy clapped her hands together, her smile beaming. “Great! I’ll grab two bags and bring them up to the front while you keep shopping.” She grabbed two packs from the stockpile and walked out through the curtain.  

Amy looked at Katherine, trying to see if she felt any more comfortable now that they were alone. She couldn’t see any visible change in her discomfort. “Are you doing okay?” She asked quietly. Katherine looked around the room, not meeting her eye. “I guess. I didn’t expect all this. I don’t know how to feel about it. It still feels weird… but it’s kind of nice to know that it’s not as weird as I thought.” It wasn’t much, but Amy felt better knowing that this informative shopping trip had helped her feel a little less isolated. 

“Why don’t you look around by yourself for a minute. I need to go ask Stacy about the payment setup. I’ll be right back.” Katherine looked concerned, but nodded slowly. Amy walked out of the back room and up to the front desk where Stacy was entering the diaper’s price into the register. Stacy looked up from her work as she noticed Amy. “Is everything okay?” Amy nodded. “Yeah, everything’s fine. I left her to look on her own for a minute. I just had a quick question about the payment” Amy reached down into her purse and pulled out her new company credit card. “It’s… kind of a long story, but basically Katherine is now… assisting with our new mothering class through our work. The hospital gave me a card to cover expenses for her new role.” Amy looked at Stacy, hoping she would understand what she was implying. Stacy furrowed her eyebrows. “So… are these supplies for your class?” Amy hesitated. “Sort of… Katherine needs them so… so she can do her role properly.” Stacy’s eyes went wide with understanding. “Oh… so, they all think she’s… okay, I think I’m starting to get it. Wow… that’s… that’s actually not a bad idea. She’s a consenting adult, but you would always have a ‘baby’ on hand to help with training. Okay, so they agreed to cover all her ‘needs’ for this new role?” Amy nodded and held out the card to her. Stacy took it and looked over the info. “Wow, that’s awesome that they would be this open to help her.” Amy tried not to grimace as her incorrect assumption. “Hm… I might have to get a confirmation since the purchase is from… not your typical business supply store, if you know what I mean. You go ahead and keep shopping. I’ll take care of this part.” Amy nodded and returned to the back room. 

As she walked in, Amy saw Katherine holding up a pink frilly dress up to her onesie, checking the fit in the mirror. Her eyes went wide as she saw Amy enter behind her. She quickly reached up to put it back on the clothes rack, having to stand on her toes just to reach the low rack. “I just wanted to see how it looked.” She weakly explained. Amy walked over and took it off of the rack. “I think it’s adorable! You should try it on.” Katherine blushed. “No, it looks so goofy. I just wanted to see it.” Amy held it up to Katherine again. “Come on, just try it on. Do you want some help?” Katherine looked shocked. “No!” She recoiled from her own unexpected volume. “I mean… No, I don’t need any help.” She looked to the small changing closet in the corner and walked over, reaching up to grasp the doorknob.  

While she changed, Amy looked around the back room, finally having her own private chance to inspect everything. She picked up an oversized pacifier, looking at the different styles and shapes. She picked up two in colors that she thought Katherine would like and tucked them under her arm. I mean… as long as they’re paying… She looked through the bottles with oversized nipples, wipes, powders, and creams, thinking of all the accessories that she would need. I think I’m going to need a cart... She looked to the corner where an oversized crib, high chair, bouncer, and car seat stood. She walked over and peered inside the crib at the soft-looking mattress and pillows. She imagined how well Katherine would fit inside. Didn't Katie she say she fell out of bed when she had her accident?… Maybe she would need something like this. An oversized flower-print car seat sat next to the crib on the floor. It appeared to be more of a novelty item, but the safety harnesses and latches looked real. Amy tried to picture Katherine inside of the large baby seat, but it looked so large that it would swallow her if she sat in it. She remembered Katherine’s booster seat that she had in her car and wondered if she could fit in an average sized car seat. 

Then her eyes fell to the last small shelf in the room that she hadn’t noticed before. The shelves were lined with small discrete packaged items that she hadn’t expected to see in the room. Small, brightly colored butt plugs, vibrators, and various restraints sat in neat little rows across the shelf. Amy's eyes fell on a face harness that looked to be designed to keep a pacifier in its wearer's mouth. Her suspicions were confirmed when she noticed the phallic shaped pacifier sitting directly next to it. 

Before she had time to process this discovery, Stacy pulled back the curtain holding a cordless phone. She gave Amy a gentle smile and spoke quietly. “So I just spoke with your manager. She approved everything and gave me a full explanation of the situation. I got the full list already rush ordered and shipped to the address on the card.” Amy felt a chill go down her spine as panic started to overtake her. “Wait… what? Who did you speak to?!” Stacy looked concerned at her surprised expression. “Your boss, Kelly Anderson, right?” Amy couldn't process everything Stacy had so nonchalantly told her. “Hang on… what did she ord-"  

The door to the changing room opened, cutting off Amy's question. Katherine stepped out wearing the pink party dress that hung just below her diaper. Pink frilly lace jutted out from all sides, making her look like a little girl dressing up as a princess. She held a matching piece of pink fabric in each hand. Stacy covered her mouth with her hands as she gasped. “Oh my gosh, you look adorable!” Katherine looked surprised to see Stacy in the room. Her eyes fell to the floor and her cheeks burned bright red. Stacy knelt down in front of her, placing her hands on Katherine's shoulders. looking squarely in her scared eyes. “Katie, you don't need to be embarrassed. That dress looks so pretty on you! You are the cutest thing I've ever seen.” Katherine tried to hold Stacy's eye contact. Her brightly colored eyeshadow glistened as her eyelashes fluttered. Katherine couldn’t keep her gaze and looked at her feet. Her face still glowed a bright red, but a small smile began to tug at the corners of her mouth. “Thank you.” She said quietly.  

She held up the other pieces of fabric. “I'm… not sure what to do with these.” Stacy reached out and took the piece of fabric from one of Katherine's hands. She unfolded it and stuck her hand inside to hold it open and two small straps dangled down. “Well this is a matching bonnet.” She held it above Katherine and efficiently tucked it around her head, quickly tying the straps underneath her chin in a neat bow. Amy had to cover her own mouth at the adorable display in front of her. Before Katherine could react, Stacy took the other piece of fabric and held it on the ground, positioning two open leg holes in front of Katherine. “Here, step into these.” She said. “Is it underwear?” Katherine asked, awkwardly placing her dainty feet through the leg holes. Stacy giggled. “No, this is a diaper cover.” She slid the frilly fabric back and forth up Katherine's legs. “The dress doesn’t cover your undies completely if you bend over. We don’t want any boys looking up your skirt.”  

As she slid the cover just below Katherine's diaper, she paused, looking closely at it. She placed her hand gently under the crotch of the diaper, squeezing and lifting the thick material like she was trying to guess the weight. Katherine froze as she realized what Stacy was doing. She was just starting to trust the girl, and she didn't know how to feel about the already uncomfortable situation. “Oh sweetie, you're pretty wet. Let’s get you changed before we put these on you.” 

Stacy reached behind her and grabbed the sample pink princess diaper from the cabinet behind her and placed it on the floor in front of her. Katherine tried to make herself speak, or move away, or put up her hands to stop her. Her body was paralyzed, unable to stop what was happening. What is she doing?!… I can't be wet! It must be a mistake. I would have notice if I had an accident… Katherine’s mind raced as she looked for a reasonable answer. 

Stacy gave the two tapes at the front of Katherine's diaper a quick tug, and the heavy garment fell towards the floor, catching on the diaper cover dangling open between Katherine's legs. Stacy pulled the diaper out from between her legs, quickly replacing it with the pink princess diaper. Before Katherine could even process that she was now naked and exposed to a complete stranger, Stacy had pulled the back of the diaper around Katherine's waist, lifted the front section, and tightly secured the tapes. Amy stared in complete shock at the fastest diaper change she had ever witnessed. Stacy rolled the wet diaper up into a ball and used the tapes to secure it into one tight bundle. “There, that's better. How do you like them?” Stacy gave the fresh diaper a soft pat, making a loud crinkle sound. Katherine's mouth hung open, unable to process what had just happened. 

Stacy didn’t wait for an answer. She slid the plastic diaper cover up Katherine's legs and snugly around her new diaper. The thickness created a visible poof in the frills along the plastic cover. Stacy playfully flipped up the ends of Katherine's dress, exposing her covered diaper to the mirror in front of them. “What do you think?” she said, gesturing to the mirror.  

“Do you… do that often?” Came Amy's voice from the other side of the room. Stacy looked at her. “What, the diaper change? Oh, I've had my fair share of practice. It's really easy once you get the hang of it. Do you like the new diapers?” She asked, bringing Katherine back into the discussion. “I… I guess they look nice. They're pretty thick.” Stacy gave Katherine a quick pat on the bottom, causing her to jump. “Yeah, they can hold a lot, so I'm sure you'll get lots of use out of them.” Katherine’s blush somehow became a darker shade of red. Stacy noticed and changed the subject. 

Stacy pointed to another rack of clothing. “We also have a great selection of pajamas. Most of the outfits come in a few different colors so if you find a style you like, you can just get pick out a few in other colors. Just pick whatever you like and I’ll ring it up front.” 

They continued modeling through the selection of clothes. Katherine continued to pick out a few simple dresses to offset her frilly party dress and a few sets of footie pajamas. Amy dismissed the idea of buying the crib and gathered up a basic supply of wipes, powder, pacifiers, and diapers. Amy carried her purchases up to the front desk and set them on the counter.  

Stacy looked over the purchases, stopping at the two large packages of pink diapers. “The order we sent to your house had two cases of six bags each, so I think you’ll be good for a while. If you need some until the order arrives, this should be enough for now.” Amy looked confused. “Order?” Stacy returned her puzzled look. “Your manager’s order for all the basic supplies. She got you all set up.” Amy had forgotten about Stacy’s phone call with her manager. “What all did Kelly tell you?” Stacy looked thoughtful as she tried to remember the conversation. “She just explained Katherine’s situation and asked what kind of supplies we had. I explained what kind of products we carried and their purposes. She was really understanding and seemed anxious to help. She approved the order and used the cardholders address. I assume that’s your house. Does Katherine live with you?”  

Amy tried to imagine what Kelly would have ordered. “No, we don’t live together. Yes, that should go to my address. What all did she order?” Stacy opened her mouth, but stopped when she saw Katherine exiting from behind the curtain wearing her onesie, her arms overflowing with outfits stacked in a pile that nearly went over her head. She strained her neck back in an attempt to see over the thick pile. Stacy hurried out from behind the counter towards her. “Here, let me help you sweetie.” She took the top half of the pile and held up a few for examination. “These are so cute! You’ll have to let me see them on you sometime, you’ll just look so adorable!” Katherine blushed, but couldn’t keep a wide smile from forming. 

They placed the items on the counter and Stacy began to ring them up. She looked at Amy with a knowing glance. “I’ll print you off an invoice for the complete order.” Amy nodded in understanding. Stacy bagged their purchases and handed the invoice to Amy with another business card stapled to the top. “If you need any assistance with your new purchases, I’ve included my number on the card. Please let me know if you need anything." Amy smiled and thanked her. 

As they walked out of the store, Amy tried to stealthily read the invoice. The list was so long she barely had time to comprehend anything before they were back at the car. She stuffed it into one of the bags and the girls loaded their purchases in the back seat.  

They drove out of the parking lot and started down the road. Amy let the silence linger for a few moments before she spoke, “So, how would you like to stay over tonight?” Katherine looked surprised at the suggestion. “Um, okay. Why?” Amy shrugged. “I dunno… it’s been a rough weekend. I think you need a nice girls night to relax.” Katherine nodded slowly to herself. “That sounds nice.” Amy smiled. “Cool. We’ll order a pizza and put on a good movie.”  

Katherine sat back in her seat, looking as if she were finally able to relax after her long ordeal. Amy felt herself relaxing, feeling as if she were finally able to do something nice for her friend.

Chapter 10:

“Do you think I could pick up a few things from my apartment?” Katherine asked. Amy thought about the treasure trove of clothes and pajamas in the back seat, thinking that all of her needs were covered. “Okay, what do you need?” Katherine looked down at the prominent bulge of her diaper that poked out from underneath her onesie. “Well, I’d like to get into some normal clothes. Then just my toothbrush and phone charger.” Amy nodded. “Okay, no problem.” She flipped on her turn signal and began making her way to Katherine’s apartment.

After Katherine had managed to awkwardly waddle up the stairs to her apartment, she quickly began gathering up clothes from the floor while Amy sat on the couch and waited for her. Amy couldn’t help but look around at the state of the small apartment. It really wouldn’t be so bad to get her out of here. Heck, with my new salary, it would be nothing for us to split a nice apartment. She deserves something nice… She thought to herself.  

Katherine emerged from her bedroom with a pink backpack that bulged with unfolded clothes and a flower-print pillow under her arm. She wore a pair of tennis shoes, light pink sweatpants and an oversized gray hoodie. The sweatshirt was probably only a medium, but the large material practically swallowed the small girl, her hands barely poking out of the sleeves. “Okay, I’m ready.” She slung her backpack over he shoulder and began to head towards the door. Amy looked her over, noticing a distinct lack of padding around her bottom.

“Um…” She began, unsure how to address the issue. Katherine paused mid-stride to look at her. “What?” Amy looked down at her pants, making sure what she was seeing was accurate. “Where did your… underwear go?” Katherine rolled her eyes and pointed to the bedroom. “I left that thing in there. I’m just wearing normal underwear. I don’t need those.” Amy looked skeptical. “Was it wet?” Katherine looked shocked at the accusation. “What?! No, it wasn’t wet. How could it be? A random stranger just changed it like half an hour ago! I’ve been under a lot of stress, okay? I’ve been trapped in a hospital, fed disgusting food, made to act like a baby by my insane boss, and yeah, it’s all had a toll on me! I don’t actually need those stupid things. I’m an adult, I can use a bathroom like an adult. I’m going to wear underwear like an adult, and for the first time in days, I’m going to eat normal adult food. Can we please just forget about it and go get some pizza?”

Amy sighed and looked at the floor. She hadn’t wanted to bring everything up again or upset her friend, but she was genuinely concerned at how many accidents she had had lately, especially considering that Katherine hadn’t even realized when they happened. She would just have to trust her friend and deal with the fallout if she had another accident. “Sure we can. Sorry to bring it up. I just care about you.” Katherine’s anger visibly faded and she let out a sigh. “I know. But I promise I’m okay. It’s just… been a lot the past week. I’m ready for some time to relax.” Amy nodded and gave her a genuine smile. “Okay. Let’s go grab dinner.”

Amy tuned the key to her apartment, awkwardly balancing a large pizza box as she struggled with the door knob. Katherine walked in behind her, trying to balance with her over-stuffed backpack, her pillow, and a 2-liter bottle of soda. They deposited their bundles in the living room and Amy started for the kitchen. “I’m going to change and get us some plates and cups. Do you want to pick out something from the DVD shelf, or from Netflix?” Katherine looked over at Amy’s large bookshelf of movies, considering her options. “I’ll see what movies you’ve got.”

Amy left to change while Katherine combed through the movie collection. Amy had a sizeable collection of movies that ranged from classics, chick-flicks, and what Katherine would call ‘stupid movies’. They were the adult comedy movies that were stupid for the sake of being stupid. She turned her nose up as she read through the vulgar titles. She came to a shelf that contained nothing but Disney movies, her frown quickly turning into a grin. A nice relaxing movie sounded perfect. Ice clinked from the refrigerator’s dispenser, breaking the silence of the house. Katherine selected Tangled from the shelf and popped the disc into the DVD player.

Amy emerged in her own pair of sweats and an oversized t-shirt, carefully balancing the ice-filled cups under one arm and plates in the other. As she set the glasses down on coasters and began to pour the drinks, the music from the DVD menu began to play. Amy stopped pouring to look up and confirm Katherine’s movie choice. “Tangled?” She said, trying not to sound judgmental. Katherine smiled, unaware of Amy’s underlying question. “Yeah, it’s my favorite and I haven’t seen it in forever!” Amy shrugged nonchalantly and continued pouring.

The pair sat on the couch and began to stake their claims of the slices of pepperoni pizza. The FBI piracy notice faded into blackness, the room growing dark as the dim sunset faded through the window. Katherine felt herself truly start to relax as the movie began. She was with her best friend, in her most comfortable clothes, eating her favorite food, and watching her favorite movie. She needed this so badly, and she felt herself slowly begin to unwind as she ate her first delicious bite of pizza. Amy watched Katherine from the corner of her eye and saw a genuine smile beginning to show on her friend’s face. She began to smile herself, glad she was finally able to do something to make her friend happy.

As the movie went on, Katherine paused between her second and third slice to get a drink. The tall glass felt so heavy to her, and she tried to push out of her mind when the last time was that she had taken a drink under her own power. She tipped the glass towards her mouth and carefully cupped her lips around the rim. The action felt almost foreign to her. She slowly drank the soda in small gulps, but after her first sip, the drink began to run down the glass from the edges of her mouth and on to her shirt. Katherine jerked at the cold sensation of the drink splashing on her hoodie, which caused even more to spill over the edge of her glass.  

“Damn it!” Katherine swore, clumsily setting her glass down and attempting to pull the wet fabric away from her. Amy jumped up from the couch and started towards the kitchen. “Hang on, I’ll get you a towel.” She called from the other room. Amy grabbed a towel from the drawer and began to wet it under the faucet. As she wrung it out, she played back the scene of what she had just witnessed in her mind. Could Katie not even take a drink out of a glass. There was no reason that drink should have spilt. She started to leave the kitchen, then paused for a moment to consider an idea. She opened a nearby cabinet and found what she was looking for, then returned to the living room.

Katherine was awkwardly attempting to push the damp front of her shirt away from her skin. Amy smiled gently at her and handed her the wet towel. “Here. Do you have any other shirts?” Katherine took the towel and sighed as she began to rub at the stain. “Yeah, but it’s my pajama shirt.” Her frown started to more closely resemble a pouting child. “This is my favorite shirt.” Her tone was sounding more upset by the minute.

“How about you go change, and I’ll throw that in the washing machine.” Amy asked, hoping to mollify her. Katherine gave a begrudging nod and went over to her backpack to dig out her shirt from the compacted bundle. She changed and handed the hoodie to Amy. While Amy left the room, Katherine sat alone on the couch in her t-shirt, rubbing her arms together as goosebumps began to appear. She didn’t know if it was just from the shock of the cold drink, or just losing the feeling of safety of her warm hoodie.

Amy re-entered the living room and noticed Katherine rubbing her arms. “Oh, here.” She said, grabbing a folded blanket from behind the couch. Katherine took it and started unfolding the queen-sized micro plush blanket. She couldn’t help but smile as she rubbed the fabric between her fingers. “This is like the softest thing I’ve ever felt!” Amy smiled at her reaction. “Yeah, it’s my favorite. I use it out here all the time, so it’s become the couch blanket.” Katherine bundled herself up, noticing how much of fabric was left. “Do you want some?” She offered to Amy. “Sure. I’m not really cold right now, but I usually end up using it anyway.” She propped her feet up on the coffee table and draped the blanket over her legs.

Katherine snuggled back into a comfortable position on the couch and focused her attention back on the movie. Just as she started staring at the screen, her eyes were drawn to a bright color on the coffee table. She looked down to find a pink bendy straw sticking out of her glass. Her eyebrows narrowed as she looked it over, realizing that Amy must have added it to her drink without her noticing. Amy saw her expression, but looked back to the TV as if she hadn't noticed. Katherine continued to stare at the straw, trying to discern Amy's intentions.  

“Did you give me a straw?” she asked in a monotone voice. Amy paused as she tried to analyze her tone. She didn't sound angry, but she definitely didn't sound happy either. “Oh, yeah I forgot to grab one earlier.” She said, trying to waive the comment off. Katherine looked at Amy's glass. “Why didn't you grab one for yourself?” Amy continued to stare ahead at the screen and shrugged. “I don’t really like them, but I forgot to ask if you wanted one, so I just grabbed it. I didn’t think you’d mind.” Katherine gave a brief nod as if she understood, but wasn’t convinced.

As the night went on, Katherine didn’t have any more accidental spills thanks to the straw, a fact she tried to actively ignore. About half way through the movie, Katherine’s stomach began to gurgle loudly. Amy ignored it the first few times, but after a particularly loud growl, jokingly asked, “Are you still hungry?” Katherine looked down at her stomach in annoyance. “No. I had 5 pieces. Maybe I just ate too quickly.” Amy tried not to think anything more of it, but found it difficult to forget as the gurgles continued at regular intervals.  

The room reached peak darkness as the sun finally set. Katherine let out a jaw-popping yawn and reclined deeper into the couch cushions. Amy noticed the action and began to yawn herself. “You can lay down if you want to.” Katherine gave a tired nod and shifted towards Amy, resting her head on Amy’s leg. Amy sat perfectly still as Katherine curled up next to her. It wasn’t what she had meant, but she had no problem with Katherine laying on her.

She adjusted the blankets around Katherine, tucking her in to her new position. Katherine shifted, moving closer to Amy. As she finished tucking the blanket, Amy kept her hand resting on Katherine’s back. She moved it in slow, gentle circles, soothing her as she fought to keep her eyes open. Katherine didn’t protest, and Amy felt a warm glow from the motherly act. More than anything, she wanted her friend to feel safe.

“Amy… I really like your apartment.” Katherine said in a tired voice. Amy smiled at this, wondering where the comment had come from. “I’m glad. I like it too. You’re always welcome to stay here if you want.” Katherine nodded against her legs as she continued to stare at the screen. Her eyelids began to flutter, weakly trying to fight sleep as the warm blanket enveloped her. Amy waited a few moments, trying to muster up the courage to ask. “Katie… how would you feel about being roommates?” She waited for a response, the ambience of the movie filling the room like white noise. After a few more tense moments passed, Amy looked down to see Katherine had drifted off to sleep. She smiled, leaning her own head back into the couch cushions and closing her eyes. “That’s okay. You don’t have to answer now.” She said quietly to herself. The room faded into darkness and she fell asleep.

Amy awoke to a quiet room. The credits scrolled up the screen as quiet music played. She took a deep breath, then froze as an unusual smell hit her nose. She gave the air another exploratory sniff, trying to place the scent. It smelled almost like cleaning products. Ammonia? She thought to herself. Then the years of hospital experience sparked something in her mind as the scent that she had almost gone nose-blind to finally registered. No… Urine.

She looked down, noticing Katherine still asleep on her lap. The blanket almost completely enveloped her. There was no visible dark spot on the blanket. Still dazed from her nap, Amy leaned over a few inches and smelled the air again. It was definitely stronger towards Katherine. What do I do? She began to panic.  I don’t want to wake her… If only there was some way I could clean her up without her noticing. She’s going to be so upset- As her brain began to race through her limited choices, Katherine began to shift in her sleep.

Oh please don’t wake up now Katie… Amy pleaded. She felt Katherine’s muscles tighten against her, as if she were stretching. Amy began to relax, but then heard the faint sound of fabric stretching. She looked Katherine over, trying to figure out what the sound was, then noticed a small bump in the blanket shifting over Katherine’s bottom. Oh no… oh no no no!!! Amy felt herself freeze. She couldn’t wake Katherine now and humiliate her, but she couldn’t let her friend lay there like this.  

The sound continued as Katherine’s panties pushed outwards, the lump in the blanket slowly growing like an inflating balloon. Maybe I’ll just pretend I didn’t notice… She can just go to the bathroom and clean up, and I won’t say a thing. Amy tried to think of any way out of this situation. The noise finally ceased, and Katherine stopped straining and relaxed once again against Amy. Oh good… She’s still asleep. Okay… maybe if I can do something to wake her up and pretend to be asleep, she will think I won’t know. The new smell combined with the urine and wafted up to Amy’s nose. I have to do something now.

Before she could react, Katherine gasped and quickly lifted her head, quickly awoken from her sleep. In her daze, she began looking around wildly, rolling on her back. Amy put out a hand, trying to stop her. “Katie, wait!” She said, but her warning wasn’t quick enough. Katherine stopped mid roll, as she felt the mess in her underwear squish against her. Her eyes went wide with disbelief.

The girls sat frozen on the couch, unsure what to do. Katherine inched forwards, laying on her side again, but feeling the mess now stuck to her. Realizing what had happened, tears began to form in her eyes. Amy was quick to rub her back in the same calming circles and shushed her. “Hey. Shhh… hey, it’s okay. Everything’s okay.” Katherine’s tears ran down her cheeks and she rolled over on her stomach, burying her face in Katherine’s lap. She began sobbing, her cries muffled in Amy’s sweatpants. “Shhhh….” She continued, rubbing Katherine’s back through the blanket. She now had a view of Katherine’s bottom which no longer had a noticeable bulge.

Amy’s sweatpants began to darken as tears soaked into the soft fabric. She could feel Katherine’s hot breath on her legs as she cried louder into her lap. With her other hand, she gently stroked Katherine’s head. She ran her fingernails in slow circles across her scalp in an attempt to soothe her. “Everything’s okay. You’re okay…” Katherine shook her head back and forth into her lap, protesting what Amy was telling her. “Yes, you are. It’s just an accident. It’s not a big deal. We’re going to get you cleaned up. Everything will be fine, okay?” Katherine didn’t respond this time, her sobs causing her body to gently shudder.  

After a few more moments of rubbing her back, Amy gently placed her hands under Katherine’s armpits, lifting her out from under the blanket and up against her chest. She was always surprised at how light the girl was. She rested her head against her breast, and tucked an arm underneath Amy’s thighs, being careful not to touch anywhere near her bottom. She gently lifted her up and stood up from the couch. She carried Katherine to the bathroom, her shirt now becoming wet with tears.  

Still in her arms, Amy leaned Katherine’s weight against her chest, and used a free hand to slowly shimmy her pants down. She kept Katherine facing away from the mirror to prevent her from seeing anything. As she pulled the waistband of the pajamas down, she could see the very visible mess through Katherine’s thin, butterfly-print panties. She tugged the wet pants down over her feet and laid them on the bathroom floor. Amy pulled open the shower door and stepped inside.

She helped Katherine stand on her own, then started to lift her shirt. “Arms up.” She said in a calm tone. Katherine continued to sniffle as she slowly lifted her hands up. Amy pulled her shirt over her head and laid it on the floor. She turned Katherine away from the shower head and set her hands on her shoulders. “I’m going to pull these down and get the water going. Hold your nose shut and breath through your mouth, okay?” Katherine nodded, fresh tears rolled down her face as she realized what Amy was about to do.

Katherine held up a hand and pinched her nose shut as if she was about to do a cannonball off of a diving board. Amy grabbed the waistband of Katherine’s panties and pulled it away from Katherine’s body. The weight of the mess sagged through the material. She slowly lowered the underwear, the majority of the mess drooping towards the floor. She exposed Katherine’s bottom, revealing exactly how much cleanup she would have to do. The underwear finally reached the floor, and Amy gently tugged at Katherine’s ankle, encouraging her to step out of the panties.

Amy turned on the water, testing the temperature to make sure it was warm enough. She pulled down the showerhead from its cradle and began gently spraying down Katherine’s backside. She stroked her back with her free hand as she slowly moved the nozzle back and forth. The smell became much more intense and she was glad she had told Katherine to cover her nose. It wasn’t pleasant, but after years of experience in a children’s hospital, it was nothing new to Amy.  

After the water had dissolved everything, Amy pulled a washcloth from a drawer and covered it with soap. She gently ran the cloth over her thighs, between her legs, and up between Katherine’s cheeks to ensure she was clean. Katherine winced as Amy scrubbed the intimate areas. She rinsed the soap away and turned the water off. She looked down to see that the water had done an excellent job of also cleaning the underwear on the shower floor.

Amy grabbed a towel and carefully wiped the water off of Katherine, then wrapped the towel around her. She grabbed another from the towel rack and spread it out on the floor. “I know it’s cold, but can you lay down here for just a minute? I’ll be right back.” Katherine glanced up at Amy with a defeated look in her eye. She didn’t know what Amy was going to do, but she didn’t have any fight left in her to protest. She nodded and laid down on the towel. Amy was only gone for a few moments before she returned with a few bags from her car. Katherine involuntarily began to sob as she realized what was happening.  

Amy gently shushed her as she began to unpack the supplies. “It's just a precaution, okay?” Katherine didn't respond to the question, simply letting out a small sob. She pulled a pink diaper from the package and unfolded it, laying it on the floor between Katherine's legs. She placed a bottle of baby powder on the floor and knelt down. Amy gently lifted the back of Katherine's legs, and Katherine pushed her bottom in the air, leaving space for Amy to slide the diaper underneath her. Amy sprinkled the powder over her crotch and lifted the crinkly diaper up between her legs. After the tapes were secured, Amy picked up the shirt from the floor. Katherine raised her hands without any prompting and Amy slid her shirt down over her.  

As she finished the outfit change, Amy leaned down and wrapped her friend in a deep hug. Katherine reciprocated, tightly embracing Amy. “Hey, what do you think about turning in early for bed?” Amy asked. She felt Katherine's head nod against her chest as the held her. The embrace broke off and the girls returned to the living room.  

Katherine retrieved her toothbrush from her backpack and walked back to the bathroom to brush her teeth, the soft rustle of her diaper breaking the silence of the apartment. In her moment of solitude, Amy cleaned up the remains of dinner and prepared the couch for Katherine to sleep on. As she finished, Katherine emerged from the bathroom, eyeing the couch where her makeshift bed was being prepared.  

Amy noticed Katherine's look and realized that after her accident, she may not want to be on the couch tonight. “I was just setting up an option if you wanted it. Would you rather sleep in my bed?” Katherine looked at the floor, then slowly bobbed her head up and down. Amy gave her a sympathetic smile. “Hey, it’s no problem. My bed’s pretty big, so I don’t mind. You can even take the blanket from the couch.” Amy picked up the blanket and handed it to Katherine. She took it, snuggling it close to her chest. As small smile began to form as she rubbed the soft fabric between her fingers.  

After Amy brushed her own teeth, the two moved to her bedroom and crawled into her king-sized bed. Katherine turned off her beside lamp, and the two cocooned themselves in the sheets. “Goodnight Katie.” She whispered to the darkness. Amy heard the sheets shuffle and felt Katherine scoot closer to her, as if she wanted to be embraced. Amy reached her hand forward a few inches, making contact with Katherine’s back. She slowly rubbed, feeling Katherine slide into a spooning position. “Goodnight Amy.” She quietly responded.

Amy wrapped an arm around her, the feeling of warmth returning as she felt her friend relax into that same place of safety as she had felt on the couch. After a few moments of feeling her chest rise and fall with steady breathing, Amy whispered, “Katie... do you want to move in together?” Katherine’s breathing paused, as if she was holding her breath. After another long moment, her chest began to fall as she let out a breath. “Yeah... That would be nice.” She said. Amy hadn’t realized that she had stopped breathing as well, and let out a silent sigh. She kissed Katherine on the top of her head, and then snuggled into her pillow as sleep took the both of them.


Chapter 11:

The faint vibrations of Amy’s phone slowly roused her from sleep. Her eyelids opened sluggishly as she tried to comprehend what was happening. Near the fourth ring, her eyes snapped open as she realized she was no longer dreaming and was about to miss a call. She blindly swiped out towards her nightstand, snatching up her phone and ripping out the charging cable.  

“Hello?” She said in a slurred and groggy tone. “Hello Amy, it’s Miss Anderson. I know that you’re not scheduled for today, but I would like to schedule an impromptu training session for your classes. I just have a few things to go over for your new role.” Amy blinked away the sleep as she tried to process what Kelly was saying. “Um... Yeah, okay.” “I’ll only need you for a few hours, would this morning at eleven be acceptable?” Amy looked over at the clock which read 7:30. “Yeah, that will be fine.” A thought occurred to her as she started to wonder what the training would be. “Will... Will Katherine need to come with me?” “No.” Kelly curtly replied. “This is only for your role as an instructor. Is she staying with you?” Amy found the question a bit unusual, but almost everything seemed unusual to her lately. “Yes, she’s staying with me right now.” “Excellent.” Kelly replied. “Do you have someone who can watch her while you’re away?” Amy paused, grateful that Kelly couldn’t see the confused look on her face. “No… she’s just here at my apartment.” “I don’t believe that in her current state she needs to be unsupervised. You should find a sitter for her. The hospital can cover the expense of a part-time caregiver for her.”

Amy was still trying to full wake up to digest all the information. “Um, okay. But I think it would be hard to explain… the situation to a sitter.” There was a short pause as Kelly considered her words. “If you prefer, I can find someone who is aware of the situation and has the necessary experience to watch her.” Amy wished this conversation was happening in person. Kelly was a difficult person to convince of anything, but it was easier when she wasn’t on the phone. “Okay, we can talk about it more during our meeting.” “Very well. I will see you at eleven. Goodbye”  

The phone beeped as the call ended, and Amy let her arm drop to her bed. She looked over at Katherine who was still sleeping soundly. She had migrated to the other side of the bed and was tangled in a mess of blankets. She certainly does move around a lot when she sleeps. Amy mused to herself. She gingerly lifted the sheets from around herself and quietly shifted her weight from the bed to the floor. Her socks on the carpet were barely audible as she stepped out of the room and down the hall.

Amy passed her open guest room and looked it over. The apartment had been designed for 2 people, each sharing a connected bathroom with ample living space, but Amy had never really found a purpose for the second room. She used the second closet as overflow, but other than a small amount of junk she stored in the corner the room was almost bare. She began to envision Katherine moving her bed in. The small amount of stuff she has at her apartment would fit here nicely. She wondered to herself.

She left the doorway and continued towards the kitchen. Still attempting to blink the sleep from her eyes, Amy turned on the coffee pot and began to get breakfast ready. The quiet gurgling of the coffee pot created a peaceful soundtrack to the otherwise silent Sunday morning. The skillet was placed on the stovetop and began to warm. Amy closed her eyes and inhaled as the room began to smell like fresh brewed coffee. Saturday’s were a nice day to relax, but there was something about Sundays that always seemed restful to her.  

After a bowl of pancake batter was thoroughly stirred, Amy began to ladle careful dollops of batter onto the hot skillet. Her first stack was completed just as Katherine walked into the room. Amy turned and noticed her just as she prepared the first plate. Katherine still clutched the blanket from last night. Her hair was in disarray and her wrinkled oversized t-shirt hung just below her hips and exposed a small pink strip of her diaper that seemed to sag just below the hem. Amy tried not to stare at it and wondered how she would be able to bring up the subject if she was actually wet.

“Well good morning sleepyhead. You’re just in time.” She placed the stack of warm pancakes on the table, setting a fork and a bottle of syrup beside it. Katherine visibly perked up at the sight and waddled towards the table. Amy wondered if she was aware of what she was doing, but her question was soon answered as Amy climbed up into the chair and visibly winced as her diaper squished against the seat. She looked down in surprise and disgust as the sensation of the cold, soaked diaper finally registered with her.

Amy was quick to react before she got upset. She was at her side, gently rubbing her back. “It’s okay, you just had a lot to drink last night and slept in. We’ll get it changed right after breakfast, but your pancakes won’t be good cold.” Katherine seemed to calm down before her embarrassment escalated any further. Amy returned to the stove to finish her own batch of pancakes.

The coffee pot was finally full and Amy went to pour herself a cup. As she reached for a second mug for Katherine, she remembered the soda and wondered how well Katherine's stomach would be able to handle coffee. She put the mug back on the shelf and opened the fridge. “Hey Katie, what do you want to drink? I've got orange juice… milk…” She trailed off, hoping Katherine would accept one of the first few options. “Milk's fine." she said with a mouthful of pancakes. Amy took out the carton and poured a glass of milk. She opened the cabinet, grabbed a straw, and put it in the glass with a soft clink.  

Amy carried their drinks over to the table and retrieved her own stack of pancakes. Katherine paused for a moment when she noticed the straw, but didn’t say anything as she brought it up to her lips and took a drink. Amy focused on her pancakes and pretended not to notice. “So, Kelly called this morning…” Katherine froze with her fork half way to her mouth and looked up with wide eyes. “It’s okay.” Amy urged quickly, trying to shut down any anxiety before it started. “It’s just for me, she just wants to go over a few things about teaching courses. It’s in a few hours, would you be fine hanging out here until I get back?”  

Katherine didn’t trust anything that involved Kelly, her discomfort evident on her face. She nodded slowly, but her concerned look didn’t change. “You can watch whatever you want. It shouldn’t be long, so we can get lunch after I get back.” Katherine nodded with slightly more confidence than before.  

The two finished their breakfast and Amy set the dishes in the sink. “Okay, let’s get you taken care of.” Katherine didn’t respond, but began to make her way to the bathroom. Just like the previous night, she laid down wordlessly in the same position on the bathroom floor. Amy pulled up the small bit of Katherine’s shirt that covered her diaper. It was visibly swollen, emanating a soft squishing noise as Amy undid the tapes and folded it down. She grabbed the container of wipes and thoroughly cleaned Katherine. As she slid the used diaper away, she was amazed at how heavy it was. These things can really take a punch. She thought as she rolled the diaper into a ball and refastened the tapes shut.

Amy looked at her small bathroom trashcan, realizing that one diaper would immediately fill it to capacity. We might need to get a diaper pail at this rate. She deposited the diaper and pulled a fresh one from the package. After adding powder, she taped it snugly around Katherine’s waist. “Good to go.” She smiled, but Katherine didn’t return the expression. “It’s just for safety. Maybe if you have some time to relax, it will get better. Maybe we can even look for some thinner diapers so you won’t feel self-conscious in public?” Katherine’s sour expression softened at the thought. As long as there was some road to normality, she held on to the hope that she would feel like an adult again.

The girls separated as Amy went to get ready for her training. Katherine returned to the couch with her blanket and started browsing Netflix. After she was deeply immersed in an episode of Friends, Amy entered the living room in her hospital scrubs, her hair still slightly wet from her shower.

“I'm going to head to the hospital. You know where stuff is, so help yourself to whatever you need. Just text me if you need anything.” Katherine’s expression was almost heartbreaking. She didn't want Amy to leave or to have to deal with Kelly. She didn't want to be left alone. Before all of this, she would have killed for some free time, but now she just wanted Amy to stay.

Amy hadn't expected the sad doe eyes looking up at her. She froze as she put her purse over her shoulder. “Hey, what's wrong?” Katherine broke eye contact and looked down, but her face still looked as if she was about to cry. Amy sat down next to her on the couch. “I won't be gone long. We’ll get lunch right after.” “I know.” Katherine said, unconvincingly. “So, what's wrong?” Amy asked, still confused. There was a long pause as she waited for Katherine to say something. “I just… I don't want you to go. I don't like you being around Kelly. She's mean and I don't want her to keep you there.” Amy realized how attached Katherine had become to her. She loved her friend and would do anything for her, but she hadn't seen how dependent her friend had become on their relationship. Maybe Kelly was right about how much support she needs right now. She wondered to herself “It's okay.” She said, rubbing her hand down her back. “I promise I won't stay too long. I'll be home soon.” She could see the tears welling in Katherine's eyes that threatened to spill over, but Katherine nodded and blinked them away. Amy gave her a quick kiss on the top of her head and headed out the door.

Katherine had created a perfect nest on the couch. She was nestled in between several pillows, using her soft blanket to fill in the gaps. After a few episodes, she fell into a comfortable half sleep. Amy’s absence was no longer a source of anxiety, and the quiet of the empty apartment had become peacefully drowned out by the television.  

A sudden knock at the door made Katherine’s heart race. She gasped loudly and she almost fell off of the couch. She looked down at her outfit, a simple oversized t-shirt that barely covered her diaper. I can’t answer the door like this… what if it’s Amy? No, why wouldn’t she just use her keys? Did she forget them? Why didn’t she just call me? Questions raced through her mind as she reached for her phone. As she looked at the screen and saw that there were no new notifications, the door pounded again, louder this time. A woman’s voice came from the other side of the door? “Katie? It’s Stacy. I’ve got your delivery for you. Can you open the door?” Katherine froze staring at the door. She wished they would just go away, or wait for Amy to come home. She hadn’t expected to have to deal with anyone and wasn’t sure how to deal with the situation.

After a long moment of silence, Katherine steeled herself and took slow, shuffling steps towards the door. She reached up, turned the deadbolt, and opened the door. While she had been preparing herself for Stacy to see her in her attire, she hadn’t been expecting two large moving men standing behind her with a pile of boxes. Her cheeks quickly burned to a bright red, but the men seemed to take no notice of it. Stacy smiled at her, and Katherine noticed a new pink dyed strip in Stacy’s otherwise dark hair. It was pulled into a ponytail today as a contrast to her usual pigtails. The change gave Katherine something to focus on as she tried not to think about her own attire.

“Hi Katie, I didn’t wake you, did I?” Stacy said, looking down at her outfit as if they were perfectly normal. “N-no.” Katherine muttered. “Well, do you mind if we drop your stuff off? My guys are really quick and they’ll be in and out in a flash.” Katherine was excited at the idea of everyone leaving and gave a quick nod. Amy smiled and gestured to the movers. “Come on guys." She stepped inside past Katherine, the men carrying a large rectangular box between them. Katherine looked at the pile of boxes that remained outside, wondering what could be in them.

Stacy analytically looked all around the apartment as she navigated through it. She walked down the hall to the guest room and looked inside. “Ah, this should work. In here guys.” The men followed past her into the room. Katherine heard the box hit the floor with a thud. The men walked out and returned to the pile of boxes outside. They made several more trips in the room, depositing the boxes with speedy precision. Katherine wondered what Stacy was doing in the room, but didn’t want to get in the way of the movers. She sat on the couch and returned to her show, trying to block out the noise.

After the last load of boxes came in through the front door, Katherine noticed that the men weren’t leaving the room. She could hear the boxes being shuffled as if they were being disassembled, but she didn’t dare leave her spot on the couch. After what felt like an eternity, the men entered the living room, walked past her without a word, and closed the door behind them. Katherine wondered if there were more boxes she hadn’t seen, but her question was answered when she heard the sound of the moving truck starting up and driving away.  

Katherine sat there quietly, listening if Stacy was in the other room. She wondered if she had left without her noticing. She continued to listen, hearing light footsteps walking down the hall. Stacy walked around the corner, her face beaming. “Hey, want to come see?” Katherine didn’t try to hide the confused look on her face. She no idea what to expect at this point and just wanted to go back to having her free time. Katherine got up from the couch and followed Stacy as she practically skipped back to the guest room. A pink light shined into the hallway. Katherine hadn’t seen a light on in the room before, but was surprised that Amy would have a pink lightbulb. She entered in behind Stacy who turned around and spread her arms wide, presenting her work for review. “Well? What do you think?”

Katherine mouth fell open as she took in the spectacle around her. The room had been completely transformed. Katherine’s eyes were immediately drawn to the oversized crib, complete with an oversized spinning mobile in the corner of the room. A normal-sized adult would appear small inside it, much less Katherine. Her gaze continued to the corners where there was a rocking chair, changing table, and a diaper pail. The walls were covered with stick-on decals of clouds, animals, letter blocks, and flowers. Several lamps put off a soft pink glow throughout the room.  

Katherine noticed a soft sensation beneath her bare feet and looked down. The center of the room was covered with a large sheep-skin rug. She unconsciously wiggled her toes, feeling the rug’s softness. She looked the room over again, completely speechless. “It’s a lot, I know, but isn’t it cute?” Stacy couldn’t wait for a response. “Oh, don’t you just love that rug? It’s sheepskin. Isn’t it just the softest thing in the world?” Katherine’s eyes explored every corner, trying to process what she was seeing. Her eyes fell on the open closet. Stacy followed her gaze, looking for any reaction to the room.

“Oh, the closet. You've got to see this. This is the best part!” she grabbed Katherine's hand and led her over to the open door. Katherine looked up at the now packed closet. The top rack was completely full of baby clothes. Onesies, sleepers, and dresses bulged out of the closet. Ruffles and pastel colors entirely filled up the top section. The bottom section had been turned into organizer shelves with cubby holes. Each hole was full of stacks of different kinds of diapers, diapering supplies, bottles, pacifiers, toys, and every accessory a baby would need. Katherine couldn't speak as she looked the closet over, wondering if this was all some strange dream.

Stacy clapped her hands together. “Isn't it amazing? You have no idea how excited I was that I got to do this. We've set up rooms for customers before, but nothing like this! Your boss is really amazing. I couldn't believe everything that she ordered. I told her about our supplies and she just ran with it…”

Katherine could barely understand the words Stacy was saying. “My… my boss?” Katherine muttered quietly. Stacy stopped in the middle of her rant, anxious for any feedback from Katherine. Her eyebrows furrowed as she tried to understand Katherine's confusion. “Yeah… Kelly, right? She put in this order for you…” Katherine didn't take her eyes off of the stack of diapers in front of her. “She did?” she asked in her quiet tone. “Oh…” Stacy said, showing the first hint of awkwardness Katherine had ever heard from her. “She didn't tell you. I think I understand…” Stacy went still as the quiet room was filled with a muffled hissing noise. She listened carefully, then looked down at Katherine as she realized the source. Her cheerful smile returned and she placed her hands on her hips. “Well, it sounds like someone needs a change.”

Katherine felt a familiar warm sensation in her diaper and realized that she had just had an accident. She looked down at her now swollen diaper in disbelief. She felt tears starting to form, but Stacy picked her up and rested her head against her shoulder. “No worries, we’ll get you taken care of.” With one hand she patted her back, and the other rested under Katherine’s bottom as she supported her, inadvertently squishing the warm wet padding against her. Stacy wasn’t as tall as Amy, but still had no difficulty picking up and carrying Katherine.  

She laid Katherine on the changing table and undid the tapes of the wet diaper. “There, there sweetie, it’s okay.” She gave Katherine a quick boop on her nose and giggled. “Let’s get you cleaned up.” Stacy reached under the changing table and pulled out a pink cloth diaper. “I also threw in some cloth diapers in the order. They’re so soft and I think you’ll like them more than disposables.” She pulled the front of the used diaper down and grabbed a wipe. Katherine began to sit up in an attempt to protest, but Stacy put a hand on her shoulder to keep her down, wagging her finger back and forth. “Ah ah ah, no being fussy. I might end up putting you in the diaper pail by accident.” She giggled at her own joke. “Hold still for me sweetie.”  

She continued to smile brightly as she wiped and powdered Katherine. Katherine laid there, unsure if there’s anything she could do. “Let me get you up to speed. Miss Anderson put in a special order for you to have your very own nursery. It was very generous and she wanted to make sure you had everything you need for your new job.” She rolled up the used diaper into a ball and deposited it into the diaper pail. “I helped her pick out everything and offered to set up your nursery. She asked if I knew much about this stuff and I told her that I have had experience ‘babysitting’ before.” She lifted Katherine’s legs and slid the cloth diaper underneath her. Katherine’s bottom rested on the soft material that felt like a pillow. “She asked if I’d like to babysit, and of course I said yes! The hospital has a program for in-home patient care and I’m now officially your babysitter.”

Katherine’s eyes went wide as she finally understood what was happening. Stacy pulled up the cloth diaper between Katherine’s and began fastening the velcro straps. The material was so thick it pushed Katherine’s legs apart. “The only downside of these is you’ve got to have plastic panties to make sure you don’t leak. But they last a long time, and we can get some really cute pants for you. You can even add cloth stuffer pads to make them last longer. I think I put some down here…” She leaned over under the table and rummaged around for a moment. “Yes! Here they are.” She held up two curved cloth pads that matched her diaper. “Want to see how they look?” Without waiting for a response, Stacy undid the velcro and pulled the front of the diaper back down. “I think two is the most we would be able to get away with.” She slid the stuffers underneath Katherine’s bottom and carefully tucked them inside the lining of the diaper. The material had tripled in thickness, creating a noticeable squeezing sensation when she pulled the thick padding back up between Katherine’s legs. Her thighs forcibly spread out around the diaper as Stacy pulled the front down and re-fastened the straps. “Oh my gosh that is so cute! That thing will last you all day. Now, let’s see if we can’t get some cute panties for that poofy butt.”

As Stacy walked over to the closet to look at clothing options, Katherine craned her neck down to look at the beach ball around her waist. She couldn’t even see her toes over the bulk of the diaper. Stacy quickly returned from the closet with her hands full. “Okay, so here’s what I’m thinking…” She held up two sets of panties in each hand. She held out a transparent pink pair for Katherine to see. “These are plastic. They’re pretty loud but keep you from leaking. Unfortunately, they aren’t very cute looking. Now these…” She held up the other pair. They were a shiny pink satin with ruffles all along the bottom. “These are just decorative and aren’t waterproof. I think we should try both!”

Stacy shifted down towards Katherine’s feet and raised her legs in the air. She first slid the plastic panties over her feet and shimmied them up her legs. The plastic crinkled loudly as she slid it up and around the bulky diaper. She then repeated the process with the other pair. The cool satin tickled as the ruffles ran over Katherine’s legs and she let out an involuntary giggle and squirmed at the unexpected sensation. Stacy grinned and gave her a devious look. “Ohhh… Is someone ticklish?” Katherine’s smile was instantly gone, replaced with a look of horror. Stacy quickly slid her hands under Katherine’s shirt, prodding her sides. “Tickle time!” She yelled as her fingers fluttered over Katherine’s sensitive skin. Katherine tensed and writhed on the changing table, laughing wildly and trying to squirm away. “No, no, no, no, please!-” She groaned in between laughs. Stacy moved town to her thighs which were helplessly exposed from the thick diaper. She leaned over and placed her mouth on Katherine’s belly, blowing a loud raspberry as she tickled. Katherine was almost screaming with laughter, trying to catch her breath in between her pleas. “NO! Please stop!”  

Stacy finally relented, giving her a kiss on the forehead. “I won’t tickle you too bad… we wouldn’t want to make you have another accident, would we?” Katherine blushed at the question. Stacy smiled at her response and returned to the closet. “So, we need something cute to go with your undies...” She pulled two dresses from the closet. “You’ve got an entire new wardrobe to look through... what to pick?” She held up two frilly dresses, one pink, and one yellow with pink accents. “What do you think?” She weighed them back and forth. Katherine just stared at them, unsure what to say. She just wanted to stay in her t-shirt. She wanted to be alone. But she knew that wasn’t going to happen. She had peed her pants without any idea it was happening. She didn’t want to admit that she needed help, but she knew she didn’t have a choice any more. “The yellow one.” She said quietly.

The grin on Stacy’s face somehow grew bigger at the response. “I like that one too.” She came over and helped Katherine out of her shirt. Katherine felt the need to cover herself, but her chest was so flat there was practically nothing to cover. Stacy helped her sit up, balancing on the giant diaper, and held the dress up over her head. “Arms up.” Katherine complied and Stacy slid the dress over her head. It fanned out just below where her breasts would be, the frills pushing the dress out to all sides and exposing her frilly diaper cover. “Oh my gosh I just want to die.” Stacy said through her hands that covered her mouth. “You are so stinking cute! Here, let’s try this.” She almost ran to the closet and pulled out a yellow bonnet and a matching yellow pacifier. “Open” She said, placing the large nipple in Katherine’s mouth. She reluctantly opened and accepted the nipple. Stacy pulled out two hair ties, fixing Katherine’s hair into two pigtails. She fixed the bonnet on her head, tying it underneath her chin in a bow. “Okay, I can’t stand this. You are the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.” Stacy pulled out her phone and snapped a picture before Katherine knew what was happening.

“Have you had lunch yet?” Stacy asked. Katherine was trying to speak to protest the picture, but found that the bonnet securely held her mouth closed around the giant pacifier, preventing her from speaking. She shook her head no while trying to open her jaw. Stacy noticed the predicament. “That’s okay, don’t worry about it. I’ll take your bonnet off for lunch. I’ll go make you something and be right back.” She picked Katherine up from the table and walked over to the crib. She pulled at a latch and the large panel slid to the floor. Stacy placed Katherine on the soft mattress and handed her a stuffed sheep. “Now you play with Lamby while I go get lunch ready.” She put the crib wall back up and left Katherine alone in the room.

Katherine looked down at the stuffed lamb, holding the soft material close to her chest. She suckled her pacifier and looked around the room. She couldn’t believe that any of this was real. She squirmed around the bulky diaper, trying to find a comfortable position. The high wall of the crib was far too tall to crawl over, even if the diaper wasn’t impairing her movements. Katherine attempted to stand, having to awkwardly shift from her knees to her shaky feet. Before she could even be upright, the heavy diaper threw off her balance and she fell squarely on her bottom. The padding ensured that there was no pain, but she still felt like crying. She couldn’t escape, she couldn’t yell for help, she couldn’t even go to the bathroom if she wanted to. Tears welled up easily in her eyes and she hugged her lamb close to her.

She wasn’t sure how much time had passed before Stacy returned with a bottle in her hand. “Hey, sweetie. Ready for lunch?” Katherine eyed the bottle skeptically, then looked into Stacy’s eyes. Stacy met her gaze, sensing her hesitation. “Don’t worry. Kelly told me you’ve nursed before. I want to keep you on a regular schedule so your tummy doesn’t get upset.” At the word ‘nurse’, Katherine involuntarily looked at Stacy’s exposed cleavage, her black tank-top struggling to support her breasts. The shirt was tight against her slender waist, and Katherine stared for longer than she realized. Stacy’s grin turned devilish as she realized where Katherine was looking. She turned her own gaze down and peered down her own shirt. “Yeah, sorry sweetie. I don’t think I’ll be able to help you there.” She began to unlock the crib and a familiar blush returned to Katherine’s cheeks. “I can’t feed you, but maybe later I’ll let you nurse if you’re good.” She gathered Katherine up in her arms and walked over to the rocking chair. “I know how soothing that can be for a baby.”  

Katherine went limp in Stacy’s arms as she supported her. She hadn’t meant to stare at her. She wasn’t implying that she wanted to nurse. Why did I do that? Katherine’s thoughts felt fuzzy and slow as she tried to wrap her head around what was happening. Stacy sat in the chair and cradled Katherine in her arms. She undid the bonnet and removed her pacifier. She brought the bottle up to Katherine’s lips and she instinctively opened her mouth. She wrapped her lips around the nipple and began to suckle. Her mouth curled into a frown as the taste of formula hit her tongue. “Oh, don’t pout.” Stacy said, sticking her lower lip out turning her own mouth into a mock pout. “This is what babies need. You’ll get used to it, and if you need some help, I brought some things that can assist you.” Katherine wasn’t sure what she meant, but couldn’t imagine anything worse than formula. She suckled from the bottle and swallowed the thick mouthful. Stacy smiled. “That’s my good girl.” Katherine felt a strange pang of pride at the comment.

While balancing the bottle, Stacy pulled out her phone and tapped the screen a few times. The room slowly began to dim, only a soft pink glow coming from the bulbs. Katherine would have sworn it was evening thanks to the blackout curtains over the window. Stacy spoke quietly, as if she didn’t want to disturb the peaceful room. “They’re smart bulbs. I can set them to whatever color I want and set schedules for them. This is what we’ll set the room to for nap time.” Katherine mentally wanted to protest the idea of a nap, but she felt her jaw stretching as the darkness encouraged her to yawn around the bottle that was already half gone.

“Perfect timing, I think someone is getting sleepy.” Stacy said, still holding the bottle firmly in place. Katherine felt herself relaxing as she suckled until the bottle was empty. The bland taste wasn’t as overpowering anymore and she was able to finish the bottle easily. Stacy took away the empty bottle and replaced the pacifier in her mouth. She left the bonnet untied and carried Katherine over to the crib. She lifted up the blankets and laid Katherine gently down on the mattress, covering her with the blankets. “Just hold on one minute, I’m going to try something.” Stacy left and walked over to the closet.

Katherine felt her vision beginning to fade as the combination of the darkened room, warm blankets, and her full belly all chipped away at her will to stay awake. Stacy returned a moment later with several objects in her hands. She walked to the foot of the bed and began to slip something over Katherine’s feet. She strained to lift her head and saw satin booties that matched her diaper cover. Stacy moved up and began to slid matching mittens over her hands. Katherine tried to protest, but Stacy’s grip was far too strong for her tired state. Stacy’s face went stern as she laced straps around Katherine’s wrist. “No fussing unless you want a spanking. I’m sure I left a paddle here somewhere.” She paused to look Katherine in the eye, showing her the seriousness of the threat. Katherine went limp and let Stacy tie the mittens around her hands.

Lastly, she grabbed a set of headphones and slid them over Katherine’s ears underneath her bonnet. She tied the bonnet’s straps into a tight bow, securing the headphones and pacifier in place. Suddenly, Katherine began to hear the soft hum of a white noise tone in the headphones. She could only see Stacy mouthing the words, “Sweet dreams.” Before she raised the side of the crib and shut the door behind her.

Katherine tried to move her hands inside the mittens, but found the material was to slick for her to get a grip on anything. She tried to shift her bonnet and headphones away, but they wouldn’t budge. She looked up at the spinning mobile and watched the characters as they moved in slow circles. A woman’s quiet voice began to drift through the white noise in the headphones.

“Hello there, my precious baby. Everything is okay. You’re safe. Just listen to my voice. Mommy’s voice.” The voice was just above a whisper, speaking in long, slow breaths, as if she was breathing in Katherine’s ears. She felt tingles run down her back. “Mommy loves you baby. Mommy will take care of you. Close your eyes and let mommy take care of you.” Katherine felt her eyelids getting heavy, and quietly drifted off as the voice guided her to sleep.

Amy exited the hospital and returned to her car, thinking over the meeting she had just had. Kelly had been unusually businesslike with her compared to the past few days. The meeting had lasted two hours, but was mostly just Kelly going over a guide for new instructors. Kelly had only asked one question that still bothered her. How do you feel about that store clerk, Stacy? Amy could still hear Kelly’s tone clearly in her head. She had told her that Stacy was a very nice person and seemed very knowledgeable about the supplies that were purchased for Katherine. Kelly had seemed satisfied at the answer and hadn’t pressed any further, but Amy couldn’t help but wonder what it meant.

She pulled up to the apartment and walked up to the door. She unlocked the door to find Stacy sitting on her couch. Stacy turned and smiled as if she had expected her to walk in. “Hi Amy! I hope you don’t mind, but Katherine let me in and we got your stuff delivered and all set up. Katherine’s down for a nap in her room. Would you like to see?” Amy’s blank face stayed frozen as she took in what Stacy had said. “Wait… my stuff?” Stacy returned her confused look. “Oh... did Kelly not tell you I was coming by today? She called me and asked if I could start today as a sitter while we got everything setup. I’m sorry she didn’t say anything, I thought you knew.”  

Amy racked her memory of the conversations with Kelly if there was anything she had missed. She shook her head as if the memory suddenly came back to her. “Oh yeah, that’s right. I forgot she did talk about that.” Stacy still looked concerned. “I hope it was okay I came by. Kelly talked with me about what Katie needs and that she was here alone. Here, let me show you the room.” She turned to walk down the hall and Amy followed her.

Stacy gently turned the doorknob, revealing the dimly lit nursery. Amy tried to keep her mouth from falling open as she looked around. “What do you think?” Stacy whispered. “I... I didn’t know what to expect.” She looked over to the oversized crib in the corner and noticed Katherine sleeping. She walked over and peered between the bars. “Isn’t she just precious?” Stacy said. Amy found herself clamping her hands over her mouth as the sight of her party dress. “Oh my... She’s adorable! That diaper is so poofy...” Stacy smiled at the observation. “Yeah, it’s a cloth diaper. It will hold a lot and she wouldn’t need a change for a while. I’ve got you all set up with diapers and outfits in the closet.” Amy just nodded, still looking around the room. Stacy gestured to the hallway and they both stepped outside. “Since your home now, I can take off. If you need anything, you can give me a call any time.”  “Sure thing, thank you for watching her Stacy.” Stacy smiled. “It’s no problem. She’s so easy to watch. I’ll see you soon!”

Amy walked her to the door and watched as she went to her car. As soon as she had driven out of sight, Amy walked back to the nursery. Katherine continued to sleep, softly sucking her pacifier. Amy just watched her as she slept, and looked around the room. She quietly whispered to herself “Oh Katie...what are we going to do?”


Chapter 12:

Amy sat on the living room couch, idly swiping at her phone’s screen. Various pictures from Instagram scrolled past, but she barely noticed what was on the screen, her eyes unfocused and distant. She wasn't sure what else to do. She thought about watching something on TV to relax and unwind, but she didn't want any noise to wake Katherine. At least while she was sleeping, she didn't have to process everything that had happened.


The entire apartment had a tangible silence that felt foreign to Amy. She hated the quiet and always had to have some noise going on in the background. All she wanted was a distraction from all of the crazy changes that had happened in her life, but now she couldn't seem to get away from them even in her own home. Her eyes glanced down at the coffee table that now contained a small video baby monitor. She watched the tiny image of Katherine’s chest rise and fall slowly. She looked so peaceful, somehow able to sleep deeply with a ridiculously thick diaper between her legs. Amy had wanted to remove it as soon as Stacy had left, but decided she should not disturb Katherine if possible.


She looked away from the monitor, another constant reminder of her predicament. Only one day after Katherine agrees to move in, and already her room and wardrobe had been completely transformed at Kelly's whim. Amy now not only had a roommate, but a roommate with a very complicated situation that she didn't even understand yet. Katherine seemed to be down a path of mental and physical regression. Amy racked her brain and began to compile evidence of Katherine's symptoms.


Okay, she had just started her new job. That's perfectly normal to be stressed out about a new job, not to mention her first job right out of college. Student loans, first day as a doctor at one of the most prestigious hospitals in America, it's no wonder stress got to her. Stress can manifest in strange ways…


Flashbacks of Katherine's apartment came to Amy's mind. Then she had all those accidents… Maybe she's always been prone to accidents and I just never knew. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was embarrassed and never told me. Although… bladder control is one thing, but she had full on incontinence a few times, then broke down crying like she was a little girl again. Maybe that was the beginning of a mental breakdown...


There was a soft cooing noise from the monitor as Katherine moved in her crib, repositioning herself in her sleep. It was impossible to roll over with her thick diaper, but her head simple shifted as she continued to sleep on her back. Amy got up and walked to the kitchen, unable to look at the monitor anymore. She looked up at the bottles of alcohol perched on top of her cabinets, wondering if a drink would be helpful, or just help her ignore her problems. She shook the thought from her head and continued to remember.


Then there was the hospital… I just wanted to help her get over her anxieties and we dressed her up as a baby. But some people actually thought she was as baby. Not only that, but she actually locked up and acted like one. She ate baby food. She used her diapers and never protested. Was this something she wanted all along?


The thought seemed impossible to her. Sure, Katherine had always been a bit juvenile and hated being an adult, but who doesn’t? Was she just unable to process things and subconsciously fell into the opportunity to avoid her problems?


She shook her head again, trying to shut down the wild train of thought. “I can't do this.” She whispered to herself. She felt her own anxiety levels starting to rise. I don't even know what's wrong with her. Am I helping her by doing this? She pictured Katherine attending the daycare that Kelly had so deviously set up for her.


Anger joined her swirling cloud of emotions as she thought of Kelly. And how can she just do this? I don’t care if she's an administrator. She reassigns out jobs and opens a stupid credit card for Katherine to have a nursery? She seemed to enjoy it too. I knew she didn't like Katherine, but this isn’t right. You can't just hire somebody to go renovate someone’s house into a giant nursery. She didn't blame Stacy for her part in this. At least Stacy was somewhat helpful, even if she did pick out thousands of dollars of baby items for Katherine and renovate a room in her home. She blocked the new pink addition to her house out of her mind. She wasn't even sure where to begin to process that issue. I guess I won't be having any guests over for a while… if accidentally walked inside…


Amy laughed, despite herself. There was nothing funny about the situation, but the sheer overload of the huge life changes finally seemed to get to her.


Okay… I have a giant pink nursery in my house. That's my roommates' room. Oh, also I have a roommate now. My roommate sleeps in a crib. Is that good for her? Does she need all of this? What if it's making everything worse? What if she completely regresses? What if I become responsible for taking care of her? She thought back to the number of dirty diapers she had already helped Katherine out of in the past week. What if she becomes completely dependent? How long will I have to change poopy diapers for?


A pang of guilt hit her as she asked herself the last question. How can I think that way? I helped cause this problem. Changing a poopy diaper is nothing compared to the humiliation and embarrassment she's gone through. It's just a dirty diaper. I change a hundred of them a day at work. At least I didn't have to sit in one…


As she tried to block out the mental image of herself in a diaper, Amy felt her phone go off in her pocket. She pulled it out and saw a text from Stacy. “Oh, what now?” She muttered, opening the message.


Sorry to bug you again, but I forgot one last thing. I had a high-chair and pack-and-play in my back seat and forgot to drop it off. It is okay if I swing back by?



Amy sighed and typed out a reply.


Yeah, that’s no problem. Katherine’s still asleep.


Amy hit send and placed her phone face down on the table, placing her face in her hands. I’m not sure how much more I can handle...


After a few moments to clear her head, Stacy arrived at the door. As soon as Amy opened the door, Stacy noticed the look on her face. “You look like you’re about to crack. What’s going on?”


Even though she barely knew her, Amy began to pour out the days of unprocessed emotions that she had been building up. Before she knew it, tears began to stream down her cheeks without warning. Stacy wordlessly guided her to the couch, sitting with her and listening to the stream of unfiltered thoughts until they eventually ran out.


Stacy passed her a tissue, placed one hand over Amy’s, and gently rubbed her back with the other. “You’re in a really tight place right now. I know a lot of this stuff doesn’t make sense and is a little out there. But here’s what you’ve got to focus on: There’s a reason your friend is gravitating towards this. You’ve helped her discover something that her body’s been trying to tell her and clearly fighting with for a long time. If she could be happy like this, isn’t that worth it? I know it’s a lot of work too, but you’ve got support. Anytime you need help, either with Katie or with you, give me a call. For some people this isn’t an escape from life, it’s a lifestyle. We’re all just trying to figure it out, you know?”


Amy nodded, wiping her eyes. “Seriously, you need anything you give me a call. Okay?” Stacy emphasized the last, the threat made clear by her glare. Amy nodded again, a smile starting to form. “Good. Katie needs a good strong mommy like you. If you break down, I don’t think I’d be able to handle two babies. Although...” She paused, looking thoughtfully towards the nursery. “You’d definitely have enough diapers for the both of you. Want to go try one on?” Her face stayed frozen for a moment, looking serious before a sly grin started to form.


Amy snorted and started to laugh. “No, I think I’m good.” Stacy smiled. “That’s probably for the best. I’ll come back by tomorrow to check on you, okay?” Amy nodded and smiled back at her. “Sounds good. Thank you so much Stacy.” Stacy turned to leave, holding the door open before she exited. “Mommies need breaks too.”


The door clicked shut, leaving the room quiet. The words almost hung in the air, then echoed in Amy’s mind for a moment. She was alone in the room; the only sound was a soft static and gentle breathing of Katie’s snoring coming from the baby monitor speaker. Amy glanced down at it, seeing the baby lying in her crib. “Mommy...” The word felt foreign to her. She felt a flush come to her cheeks as she came to terms with it. It was her title. It’s what she would become. She smiled, repeating it with confidence. “Mommy.”




Amy awoke to the soft buzzing of her alarm clock. She reached over and silence the alarm, slowly blinking the sleep from her eyes. The dark blurry room came in to focus and she settled on the baby monitor on her nightstand. The black and white screen showed a contentedly sleeping Katherine in her crib. Some mornings Katherine managed to wake up before her and Amy’s alarm would be replaced with gentle cries for attention. Amy smiled at the thought of a quiet morning, and slid out from under the covers, nestling her feet into the slippers beside her bed.


She carried the wireless monitor with her as she went through her morning routine, managing to make it all the way from the bathroom, closet, and to the coffee pot before Katherine awoke, cooing softly in her crib. Amy placed a bottle in a saucepan of slowly warming water and went to check on Katherine before the gentle coos escalated to agitated cries.


Amy cracked the door to the dark nursery, peering towards the crib. “Good morning, sunshine.” She said quietly, a bright smile plain in her voice. She inched the door open a little more and flicked the room dimmer to its lowest setting. Soft pink light faded on and glowed throughout the room. Katherine turned and smiled as Amy approached her. Amy smiled wider when she saw the good mood Amy was in. “Well aren’t we in a good mood today?” Katherine’s cheeks turned up in a smile behind her pacifier.


She held her hands up, asking to be held. Amy lifted her out of the crib and held her close, Katherine nestling her head comfortably against her breast. Amy undid the flap on the back of Katherine’s footie pajamas, giving her diaper an inquisitive poke. The soggy material squished against her finger, clearly indicating it had been heavily used.


“Let’s get you into a nice clean diaper.” Amy said, carrying Katherine over to the changing table. She wrestled Katherine out of her pajamas and undid the diaper. Nighttime wettings were almost a nightly occurrence for Katherine now, any shame of using a diaper long since gone. Amy was pleased to see that it was only wet. She slid the heavy diaper out from under Katherine, carefully rolling it up and discarding it in the diaper pail. After wiping, powdering, and taping up a new diaper, Amy walked over to the closet to pick out an outfit.


Katherine stared up at the ceiling, gently kicking her legs and suckling her pacifier. Her daily routine was a comfortable assurance for her, and something that she now looked forward to. Amy returned with a light purple dress, complete with a matching diaper cover and bonnet. “Won’t someone look cute for her class today?” Amy said, holding the outfit up so Katherine could see. Katherine smiled behind her pacifier, the dimples on her cheeks prominently showing. Amy couldn’t help but smile. No matter how many times she saw that adorable smile, it always gave her a warm, motherly feeling.


She slid the diaper cover up Katherine’s kicking legs, stretching the elastic over the thick diaper. Amy helped Katherine sit up and said, “Arms up.” Katherine instinctively raised her arms, and Amy lowered the dress over her head. She fluffed the fabric evenly around her waist, the lace edge of the dress almost covering the sight of the diaper cover.


As Amy held up the bonnet, Katie looked over to the closet and pointed. Amy followed her finger, noticing the tulle of a tutu hanging over one of the many shelves in the closet. “You want to wear your tutu with your dress?” Katherine bobbed her head enthusiastically. Amy held open the bonnet and raised it over her head. “If you can be a good girl at class today, I’ll let you wear your princess tutu, okay?” Katherine made a pouty face at the requirement, but didn’t protest any further. Amy smiled and placed the bonnet on her head, gently tying the strings under her chin. “Let’s go get you some breakfast.” She said, picking up Katherine and heading to the kitchen.


Over the past few months, Katherine’s diet had shifted to mostly bottles. Amy had noticed the difficulty solid foods had had on her digestive system, and now was very careful to limit her to mostly formula and baby food, only occasionally letting her have very soft food. She set Katherine down in her high chair, handing her a prepared bottle of formula. “They want to practice feeding in class today, so we’ll just have a bottle this morning and you can have breakfast in a few hours.” The pouty face returned, threatening to turn into a tantrum. Amy gave her a stern look. “Don’t get pouty. Do you want your stuffy?” Katherine nodded slowly, her face looking slightly less aggressive.


Amy left the room, quickly returning with a small stuffed lamb. Upon seeing the toy, Katherine’s hands reached out for it. Amy held it just out of arms reach, holding the bottle nipple in front of Katherine’s mouth and saying, “ahhh.” Katherine mimicked her open mouth motion, and Amy slid the nipple into her mouth. Katherine grabbed the bottle, and Amy tucked the stuffed lamb into the high chair with Katherine. “Okay, you drink your ba-ba with Lamby, and I’ll go pack your bag for class.”


Katie did as she was told without question. As Amy packed the bag of essential items, a brief thought flashed into her minds about how much had changed in Katie, and consequently herself. She had fallen into the role of a mother out of necessity for her friend, but she only just now realized how naturally it fit her. She loved having someone to take care of and who relied on her. It may not have been the healthiest transformation, but maybe it was what the both of them needed all along.


She smiled to herself, thinking about how normal this had become for the two of them, and how happy they had become. “Drink up sweetie, we’re going to be late for daycare.”






Amy pulled into her assigned parking space and began the ritual of getting Katherine out of her car seat. She slung the diaper bag over her shoulder and balanced Katherine, closing the car door with her foot. She would be lying if she didn’t enjoy the close parking spot Kelly had arranged for her. The automatic doors opened for her and a few nurses smiled as they entered. “Good morning Katie!” A few of them said, giving her a little wave. Katie tried to bury her face in Amy’s scrubs, but couldn’t hide the little smile around her pacifier. She wiggled her fingers, giving them a little wave back.


They made their way through their usual morning routine through the hospital, stopping at the daycare center. The desk attendant recognized them from down the hall and already began entering their information. “Got you down Amy, you can go ahead in.” “Thanks Mary.” Amy smiled at the attendant as she pushed the door open with her shoulder. Amy slid the diaper bag into her assigned cubby and found an unoccupied area for Katie to sit. She immediately reached for the toys, anxious to start playing. “Good morning ladies.” Amy heard a familiar voice. “Good morning Miss Anderson.” She looked over as Cindy Anderson approached. The high-schooler shared a startling resemblance to her mother, in attitude as much as appearance.


Cindy rolled her eyes at the title. “Only my mother appreciates the formality.” She leaned down and put her hands on her hips. “And what are we up to little Katie cat?” Her tone quickly switching to baby-talk. “Are we excited to be the teacher’s assistant today?” Katie let out a little nod, trying to ignore Cindy and return to her toys. Amy always felt uncomfortable around Cindy, unsure if anything she said would be directly reported back to her mother. As far as she knew, Cindy and Kelly were the only other people in the hospital who knew about Katie’s situation.


Cindy picked Katherine up and held her. “Don’t worry, we’ll take good care of Katie and have her all ready for her lessons this afternoon.” Katie looked visibly uncomfortable as Cindy held her in her arms. Amy nodded, trying not to show any irritation as she did. She took comfort that Cindy wasn’t the only worker in the daycare center and that Katie wasn’t left alone with her.


As she held her, Cindy reached behind Katie’s bottom and patted her diaper. “Uh oh, feels like someone had an accident. Let’s go get you changed first, then maybe we’ll go play doctor!” She flashed Amy a knowing grin. “I’ll bring her by for the parenting classes this afternoon.” Amy’s pager buzzed loudly and she read the display on her hip. She always hated leaving Katie, but knew at least she could stop by if she needed to. She nodded and leaned over to give Katie a kiss on her forehead. “I’ll be back soon, be a good girl while I’m gone.” Katie reached her arms out, wanting to be held. The sight broke Amy’s heart, but she tried not to look sad for Katie. “It’s okay sweetie, it won’t be long. You have fun here, okay?” Katie pulled her arms back and nodded slowly, a frown visible around the edges of her pacifier.


Cindy adjusted her arms so that Katie was facing her. “Don’t worry, we’re going to take good care of her. Let’s go get you changed.” She headed for the changing station, and Amy gave Katie one last wave before she was out of sight. She re-read her pager and headed out of the center.


“Mommy will be back soon, don’t you worry.” Cindy said in a quiet voice so that only Katie could hear. She laid her down on a changing table and retrieved a pink diaper from her changing bag. “I don’t know how you can wear these things.” She said, unfolding the diaper and fluffing it. “They’re so thick. I mean the patterns are cute, but you’re tiny enough we could fit you in some baby pullups.” Katie looked at the ceiling, suckling her pacifier as Cindy moved through the steps of her diaper change. She had almost stopped talking completely, resorting to pointing and gestures for the simple requests that she had. Her life had become so simple for her that it almost wasn’t necessary.


“I don’t know how an adult, much less a doctor, would let themselves be treated this way. You’re older than I am, and you’re getting a diaper change from a teenager. If I went through all that work, I don’t think I could give that up so I could play with baby toys and poop my pants all day.” Katie didn’t respond, simply looking at the colorful patterns on the ceiling. “Do you like that?” She paused as she taped up the new diaper. “Do you like being a little poopy-pants? Do you like wearing your little diapers and letting mommy change you and being mommy’s widdle baby?” Katie just looked at her, staying silent. Cindy laughed as she picked her up and walked over to a highchair.


“I don’t know how you stand it, but if it keeps you out of trouble and we get a perfect little baby doll for mommies to practice on, then I guess I can keep your embarrassing little secret.” She locked the highchair table in place, securing it tightly against Katherine's waist. She reached over to the nearby storage cart and pulled out a small plastic purple container.

“Mmmmm… what do we have today?” Cindy said, pretending to read the label. “Looks like some yummy prunes!” She leaned over and poked Katie's slightly chubby belly that poked out over the table. “These will help make sure everything keeps moving nice and smoothly so those mommies can get some good practice at changing dirty diapers.”


Katie suckled on her pacifier, maintaining eye contact, but barely processing what Cindy said. This routine was nothing new from Cindy, and she no longer cared what anybody else thought of her. Any concern about her former job as a doctor had long since faded. She was thought of and treated as a baby here, and she happily fell into the role.


Cindy reached over and gently plucked the pacifier out of her mouth. Katie held on for longer than she knew she should. She couldn’t help but feel resistant towards Cindy after the work she did to make her feel embarrassed. “No fussing little baby." Cindy said, waving the pacifier back and forth in the air. "You wouldn't want to get in trouble..." She stared into Katherine's eyes with an ominous expression. Katherine broke away from the intense stare, barely shaking her head. Cindy's face snapped back to it's usual cheerful smile. "Good girl!" She dipped the spoon into the jar, dipping out a large spoonful and hovering it in front of Katherine's mouth. "Open up, here comes the plane." She imitated a whirring propeller and landed the spoonful of prunes onto Katherine's tongue. Katherine winced as she swallowed. Prunes weren't her least favorite baby food option, but they definitely weren't her first choice. Cindy's grin showed the slightest hint of teeth as she watched Katherine's discomfort as she swallow the mush. "Isn't that yummy? Let's get you some more..."


Spoonful after spoonful was fed until Katherine felt uncomfortably full. She handed her a bottle of formula to wash the meal down. Cindy had gotten into a familiar routine from feeding Katherine. She knew exactly how much was needed to fill her up, and how much would be uncomfortable for her. She rarely punished her for not eating enough, especially when she intentionally gave her too much, but she had no shortage of ways to 'have fun' with her doll.


"I guess that's enough for now. We'll just have to make sure you're ready for your class." She wiped Katherine clean, popped the pacifier back in her mouth, and removed the table from her highchair. She picked her up and walked over to one of the play areas. "We've got a little time before class. You play, and I'll come back and check on you." This was Katherine's favorite part of daycare, when she got to be alone and play with the large collection of toys.


Katherine barely noticed the time pass as she huddled a variety of toys together in her imaginary town. She giggled and cooed as her townspeople played and had a community tea party, until a pack of wild dinosaurs appeared, causing chaos and panic among the citizens. Just as the dinosaurs were surrendering, Cindy returned. "What a mess we've made. We better make sure we clean up before your nap time." Katherine began to visibly pout as she put down her toys. She knew that when Cindy said we, that it actually meant she would be closely supervised as she put the toys away.


As she crawled back and forth to the toy bins, Cindy leaned down and gave her diaper an inquisitive squeeze. "My goodness, I think this little girl is very wet. We better get you changed." Katherine whined and wiggled out of the grasp Cindy had on her diaper. Cindy gasped loudly, as if this behavior was completely unexpected and unacceptable. "That's a naughty girl. You will listen to me when I talk to you!" Katherine tried to crawl faster in a futile attempt to get away from the teenager. Cindy quickly grabbed under her armpits and lifted Katherine up. As she held her in her arms, Cindy gave a quick swat to Katherine's bottom. The thick wet padding absorbed most of the spank, but the action immediately made Katherine start crying. "Keep it up and you'll get a real spanking, missy."


Katherine continued to cry, but more softly as they walked over to the napping basonets. Cindy laid her down, squishing her bottom to emphasize how wet it was. "If you don't want a change, then I guess you can just take a nap in a wet diaper, just like a little baby would." She smirked and walked away, leaving Katie to suckle on her pacifier until she drifted off to sleep.


Katherine awoke to Cindy lifting her up and checking her diaper. "My goodness sleepy baby, I didn't know a diaper could be so wet." Cindy carried her over to the changing table, beginning to unfasten the tapes on the diaper. As she pulled the front down, she paused. "You know, I think a nice wet diaper would be great practice for our class this afternoon. Maybe we'll just keep you in that wet thing since you were so insistent on not getting a diaper change." Cindy paused, then got a devious smile as she walked over to a cabinet and pulled out a small white bottle. "However..." She said, unscrewing the lid and pulling out a suppository. She held it up so Katherine could see. "Maybe you're diaper does still have some mileage left in it. It would be a shame to see your breakfast go to waste."


The devious smile continued to grow as she pulled up Katherine's legs and lined up the suppository with her bottom. Katherine had since gone limp, losing all will to fight. Cindy swiftly popped the suppository up Katherine's rectum, mouthing a faint 'pop' noise as she did. She giggled to herself, pulling the diaper back up and refastening the tapes. "Alright my naughty little stinker, let's get you to class."


Katherine was placed in a stroller and the two made their way to the training rooms. Katherine sucked her pacifier as she watched the rooms go by. She wiggled uncomfortably in her stroller as she felt the suppository melt inside her. She had almost completely lost her bowel control, and barely noticed movement anymore unless she was forced to mess with the help of 'assistance'.


Cindy opened the classroom door and wheeled Katherine in. The mothers already sitting at their desks all turned to look. There was a chorus of 'awws' as they noticed Katherine in her outfit. Katherine buried her face in the material of the stroller as she was complimented. She didn't mind the individual treatment she received during class, but it was still embarrassing when all eyes in the room were focused on her. She looked around, until her eyes fell on Amy. Amy walked over, her smile beaming as she picked her up out of the stroller. Katherine smiled, happy to be returned to where she felt safest.


"Alright everyone, let's get started. This is Katie, and she's going to be our little helper today." The lesson proceeded just as the others did. Katie dropped completely into her child-like headspace as she was passed around and used for demonstrations. The current phase of pregnant mothers taking the starter class would be finished soon, and she would begin with a new set soon after. Those who needed to practice breastfeeding would have a willing participant, soothing and holding techniques would be taught, and many, many dirty diapers would be at the ready for any who wished to practice.


She was passed around like a careful little toy. The mothers cooed over her, until one gently supported her bottom, the saggy padding squishing under her hand. “My goodness, I think she’s ready for a changing.” The mothers with the least experience gathered around the table as Katherine was changed in front of them. Amy watched as Katherine's eyes unfocused and wandered around the brightly colored room. She suckled her pacifier, gently kicked her booty-covered feet, and curled and uncurled her fists as they reached around the changing table, clinging to the soft surfaces. Especially during her lessons, she was safe like this. Not a care in the world, nothing to be ashamed of. She was loved and cared for, and there wasn’t an ounce of shame left in her.


Not long after the new diaper was in place and she was being passed around once again for practicing holding positions, the suppository’s effects took hold. Katherine didn’t even hesitate as the soft mess began to slide out of her. She gently grunted, and her diaper crackled as the plastic expanded outwards. The room went quiet for a moment, then was filled with laughter. “We might have changed her a little too soon.” The woman currently holding her extended Katherine out to arms-length, then returned her to the changing table. The other women snickered, some more experienced mothers adding comments. “That’s a baby for you. She's gonna go on her schedule, sometimes right after they get a clean diaper.”


The now constant diet of milk and baby food had had drastic effects on Katie’s digestion. She had transitioned to only being able to stomach soft foods, her diet and bowel movements both closely resembling a toddler’s now. She was cleaned once again, and continued through her now normal routine: playtime, feedings, changings, and being held and nursed by dozens of mothers every day. She barely processed her day as it all went by around her, until the day was finished and she was back with the only person that mattered to her.


Once in a while, Kelly dropped by to supervise, ensuring that everyone was fulfilling their roles. Today’s visit happened to occur during breastfeeding practice. Amy would offer suggestions to ease discomfort as the mothers took turns having Katie nurse. It was still difficult for Amy to watch as Katie latched on and suckled from their breasts without hesitation, almost like it was second nature while she was in this state.


Kelly walked up behind Amy, placing a hand on her shoulder. She whispered quietly into her ear, “You know, this portion of the class is what I get the most positive feedback on. Breastfeeding is one of the most stressful things new mothers are concerned about, and this is an excellent opportunity for them to practice and ease their concerns. Considering how well this is going, I think it’s fair to say we will make this class a permanent feature of the hospital. If there’s anything we need to assist her further in her role, just let me know. Good work.” As she finished this, she turned and left. Amy let out a breath she didn’t know she was holding. Praise was a rare treat from Kelly, and she was happy to know that their unconventional job positions were safe for the foreseeable future.


Once the rest of the lesson was complete, the ladies slowly shuffled out of the classroom. Katie’s belly stuck out slightly, clearly very full from her multiple feedings. “We’re all done and packed up for the day. Let’s get you in the stroller and we can head home.” Katie had mostly resorted to crawling these days, but it was still easier for Amy to just carry her where she needed to go. Katie snuggled against Amy’s breasts as she cradled her. Amy snuggled her closer as they walked to the corner of the classroom. “I bet someone’s sleepy. You had such a long day. Maybe we’ll take a little nap before dinner and then we can watch a Disney movie tonight.” Katie didn’t reply, her eyes fluttering closed in her mommy’s arms.


“Maybe Stacy can come over to play too. Would you like that?” Katie went limp as she fell asleep. Amy placed her in her stroller, gently clipping the buckles over the front of her dress. She straightened the little bonnet around her head, and gave her a gentle kiss on the forehead. “Mommy’s sleepy baby. We made it through another day. Let’s go home.” She wheeled the stroller out of the hospital, and the two made their way home.

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