A/N: Apologies for the Full-Moon lighting in the last pictures. I could not for the life of me change it, oh my God. So sorry.
It was kind if insane really. The thought of being Mother’s, in just a few short months. It was strange to think that we’d gone so long without babies on the way. They had kind of taken over our life.
It started with the decorating of the nurseries. We’d decided that since these would be our only babies, they would have the best of the best. Picton’s inheritance had funded a lot of the baby supplies, as well as a lot of things in my life. It was like he had paid for them, and so, he was a part of their life.
We were both only slightly pregnant when we went shopping. Cribs, teddies, dresses, hair ties, diapers, baby carriers, strollers, you name it. We bought it all. My favorite thing was shopping for clothes, while Lolli loved to decorate. Together, we made the nursery-making pair of the century.
We relied heavily on the prediction of two daughters being right, as we bought no boy clothes, and no boy toys. If Old Macaroon had made a mistake, then we might have a problem.
Telling our families was the hardest thing to do. Mainly because we had no explanation to give them. However, it was also the best part, because it was clear how much of a family we really were now. Seeing my siblings all gathered together supporting me – I nearly cried, damn hormones.
“We gathered you here today.” I began, speaking to the little crowd in front of me that included my siblings and Lolli’s Mom, “To give some fantastic news.”
“We’re pregnant!” Lolli cried, and silence fell. Confusion and concern crossed everyone’s faces. But I think that after being a part of this big family so long, everyone had learned not to ask questions, only to react well.
“Congratulations.” Lolli’s Mom laughed, hugging us both. Seconds after, my siblings echoed the congratulations.
Astral put a hand to my belly, while Starry laid hers on Lolli’s.
“How long until they come?” Astral asked.
“Around six months.” I replied, and he looked at me in awe.
“Three months gone already?”
“Yeah. We didn’t want to tell anyone too soon.” I replied, and he nodded.
“I know how it happened.” he whispered to me. “You went to the witch for this.”
I nodded. “Yes.”
“Was it safe, are you both safe?”
“As far as we know, yes. We should have normal pregnancies, and normal-” my voice caught on the half-lie I wa telling. “Normal babies.” I continued. He nodded.
“Well, I’m glad. You deserve it. Would you mind if… if I told Mom?”
“No. Go ahead. I doubt she’ll want to hear it.”
“She misses you.” he frowned. Quickly though, he covered his frown with a grin as he put an ear to my belly. I think eveyone in the family was done with drama by now.
“We’re a five minute drive away.” I replied simply, and he nodded. He’d given up on taking sides when it came to Mom and I a long time ago.
The months passed, and we both grew together. It was fun, being able to watch the progress of a pregnancy from both sides, the anticipating partner, and the expecting Mother.
It meant that we were both hormonal messes at the same time though, and sometimes that lead to argurments, over silly things like what to have for breakfast.
And sometimes it lead to more plesant things.
We were strong though. Stronger than most couples I’d known. Friends and family commented on it, and we both knew that no matter what happened we’d be each other’s rock.
Pickle and Mango were frequent visitors in out later months. They had adopted a boy from the adoption agency a while back, and though they loved him dearly, had missed out on this part of bringing a new life into the family. We were more than happy to have them, to explain what we were going through, and to let them feel the growing life. It was nice, no, more than that, it was fantastic to have Mango back in my life, as the friend he’d always been to me.
There was no awkward times between us, it was as if the relationship and the terrible months after never existed, and it was a brilliant thing to have.
We were both lucky to have friends like them.
In quieter moments of the day, in the last two months of pregnancy when the visitors were less active, that Lolli and I sat and wondered. Wondered what the babies would look like, what they would be named, and most of all, which would carry the evil inside her. It was impossible to tell yet. Neither baby kicked more, neither of us was ill more. It was two normal pregnancies by every standard. It was the only thing that clouded our minds, and so we tried not to think of it often. We were determined that no matter which baby was ‘good’ or ‘bad’, we’d love them the same, and raise them in a home that would always love them. We knew too well what a lack of support could do to a child.
The number one surprise in our pregnancy came very late in the process. We were eight and a half months, and felt like doing nothing but giving birth to enjoy our babies and be rid of the pregnancy symptoms. I was well and truly fed up of feeling like I’d swallowed a planet*. One night, after all other visitors had left and we were starting to think about heading to bed, there was a knock on our door.
“I’ve got it.” I told Lolli before she moved from her seat. I struggled from my sitting position, and got upon shaky legs. Pregnancy was not good for one’s balance, especially when I had a lack of it to begin with.
I waddled through to the front door, and swung it open. Who else stood there but-
“Mom?” I cried incredulously. She smiled at me sheepishly.
I mindlessly showed her in, leading her into the living room, shooting a confused look to Lolli, who just shrugged.
“Why are you here?” I blurted out after turning back to my Mother, not realizing how harsh it sounded. Maybe I harboured more rage towards her than even I realized.
“I can go.” she replied quietly, and I instantly regretted being so coarse.
“No, Mom. That’s not what I meant.” I said, and shuffled my feet awkwardly.
“It’s lovely here.” she commented as she looked around the house. I thanked her, not looking her in the eye.
“Hi, Mrs Icing.” Lolli spoke as we drew closer, and she hid her surprise better than I had.
“Hello, Lolli.” mom greeted her awkwardly. We fell into silence, and no one really knew what to say.
“I’m sorry.” Mom sighed, and suddenly I could see the age on her face. She was no young lady anymore. “I was an idiot. I was so tied up in my own life, that I couldn’t see you two for what you really were – in love. I was bitter, I think. And I’m sorry. I’m sorry I missed out on the most important days of your lives, and the whole stretch of time after it. I don’t want to miss out on this. If you’ll have me.” she apologized, on the verge of tears. At the last line, she gestured to my belly, and to Lolli’s.
“It’s okay, Violet.” Lolli said, enveloping her in a hug. “We miss you too. We’d love to have you in the babies’ lives, and ours.”
“Oh darling. I love you.” she said to Lolli, both of them crying. “My newest daughter, so kind and caring. I love you.”
I was silent. I watched them, and I smiled. This was what I had wanted the whole time. A relationship with the all the most important women in my life, and with Mom here, that was achieved. I’d gone too long being stubborn and bitter towards my Mother. How could I carry on being angry when everything I’d wished for was coming true?
“Zuli?” she probed, looking to me hopefully.
“I love you Momma. Of course we want you.” I cried, and I moved to give her a hug. Then we sat there, two very pregnant women and an old lady, in tears of happiness and love for a long time. And for the first time in my whole life, it felt my family was complete.
It was two weeks later that I had the first pangs of labor. It was early in the morning and I was still in bed, but the pain was enough to shift me from under the covers before dawn. Before I even mentioned it to Lolli, she complained of the same thing.
“It’s happening.” I told her, and she nodded. It had all lead up to this, and ‘this’ hurt. A lot.
We left it a few hours, as we knew it was pointless doing anything straight away. Before we knew it, we were both having frequent contractions, and knew there was no time to wait any longer.
We’d decided to do a home birth a long time ago, but neither of us really realized how painful it would be, and no one accounted for the chance that we’d be in labour at the same time. With shaking fingers, I called the midwife, who rushed over immediately.
The midwife, Asparagus, appeared at our door in less than ten minutes, looking flustered and a bit worried, but a hell of a lot more stable than Lolli and I.
“Come on, ladies. This is no time to be standing in the hallway!” she cried, pushing us gently into the bedroom. Lolli, who was already in mounds of pain, took the bed while I stood beside her, breathing steadily.
My baby had decided that after the initial rush, it was okay to slow down. My labour quietened down, and I stood rocking gently. The midwife assured me this was normal, and my baby was just taking her time. I nodded, stood back, and waited.
Lolli, however, was having no such luck. The little girl inside her was rushing around at turbo speed, and even the midwife was surprised by the speed of the labour’s progress.
She was laid on our bed, old sheets below her, and the midwife got started. She was confident and sure all the way through, whispering encouraging words to my wife in between assertive instructions.
“Come on babe.” I encouraged her as Lolli let out another scream. “Not long now!”
My own pain was escalating, but I tried not to let anyone know. I look long, deep breaths, in between encouraging Lolli.
“Last push now girlie, come on.” Asparagus announced, and Lolli bore down, pushing with all of her tiny body. And then I heard it. Crying. The crying of my new baby.
“A girl. A healthy girl.” a voice, Asparagus, announced. I let out a sob of joy. My baby. I was a Mom. The baby was screaming at the top of her lungs, but after being wiped down and bundled in a blanket, she was passed to Lolli, which calmed her down a little.
“Little Paris Rose.” Lolli announced, choosing one of the two names we’d picked. She ran a long pick finger over the soft baby cheek, and I smiled until my face hurt.
An hour passed, and slowly, slowly, the pain in my abdome and back grew. It started as a dull ache, and rose to a point where it felt like knives were being stuck into me. The baby was coming. I was laid on the same bed Lolli had laid on, as Lolli was in the chair beside me now, and Asparagus got ready. I took a deep breathe as another contraction flooded my body with pain.
“Okay now, darling. You’re gonna have to push.” Asparagus ordered, a gentle authority in her voice.
It was full of searing pain, and I finally knew what the Ring of Fire truly meant. I wanted pain killers, I wanted a C-section, and at some points I’d have paid anything for it to be over. I tried to stifle my screams, so as to not worry the new baby, but some still escaped, tearing through the hot air in the room.
It seemed like forever, but eventually, just as I was reaching the end of my strength, I heard “Last push”.
So I breathed in, gathering all the power I had left, and I pushed until I thought I might pass out, and then pushed some more. The sweat was running down my face, and every muscle in my body was screaming for the end, but then suddenly – it was over. I felt it, the pain go from unbearable to a dull ache. I sank into the bed, exhausted.
“Another girl.” Asparagus announced, and again she wiped her down and handed her to me.
“Cherry Blossom.” I named her, smiling down at the eyes of my beautiful baby girl. I held her close to me, wrapping my arms around her tiny body like a protective shield.
We spent the next two hours recovering, sipping drinks and nibbling at plain foods. In only a few short moments, we’d fallen in love. We both got a chunk of time with each baby, getting to know their faces, their smiles, their cries. After the hours were up, the two little ones were taken my Asparagus who filled in forms with their weights and other health checks. Lolli and I were able to get tidied up a little, washed down, and given a chance to relax after the turmoil of the night.
After check ups, weighing, cleaning, and a whole bunch of other things, all four of us were discharged with a clean bill of health, and Asparagus left us alone to relax and enjoy our new family.
*Doctor Who reference