Sorry it’s taken so long to get back to this story! Life has intruded in a huge way and my writing time suffered.
Ginny and Patrick cleared the work roster and closed down the business for the week. They both knew that work would be the last thing on anyone’s mind. Then they headed to the hospital. Cal promised to feed Fezzik and Buttercup. Peter and Kevin headed over to give ‘Solda a hand to make sure the house was clean and ready for their return after the babies were born. Ginny had also promised to call Sam, Angie and George the minute there was any news.
“Where are you headed?” Ginny asked Patrick when they didn’t turn towards the hospital.
“Our favorite burger joint. I’m picking up food for Luc. You and I both know he has totally forgotten about eating. Last thing we need is a worried hungry new father,” said Patrick.
Ginny nodded and laughed.
Forty minutes later, they pulled into the hospital parking lot. Ginny grabbed the bag full of burgers and they headed inside. It didn’t take long to figure out where Meg was. Luc was outside the door pacing.
“Hey Luc, how is Meg doing?” asked Ginny.
“She’s dilated and Jeff is checking things out. I got told to leave the room,” said Luc.
Ginny looked at Luc. “Were you growling?” she asked.
Luc went red around the ears. “I can’t help it!” he said.
“Dad was never good around Mom when she was in labor either,” said Patrick. “How about you eat some of this food we brought you.” He handed the bag to Luc.
Luc looked into the bag and smiled. “Oh man, just what I needed,” he said as he sat down and started to devour a burger.
“Figured you might be hungry. We’ve got work taken care of and ‘Solda’s cleaning house with Kevin and Peter. Oh, and we’ve called all the gossips so that they will pass out the news as it happens,” teased Patrick.
Luc laughed around a mouthful and nodded. He knew that once a few people knew, the whole pack or family would know in minutes. He finished off the first burger and started on a second one.
Ginny slipped into the room as Luc ate and Patrick kept him occupied. She waved at Meg who was holding onto a nurses hand as Jeff was poking and prodding.
“Don’t just stand there,” said Martha from the other side of Meg. “Come hold her hand while I get some circulation back in mine.”
Ginny laughed and walked around to the far side. “How’s it going Meg,” she said.
“Tired. Felt better, and oh do they mean labor when they call it labor,” Meg gasped. She panted through a contraction.
“Good work Meg,” said Jeff. “Keep it up and you should have a baby in about three more pushes.”
“Go get Luc,” said Meg. There was no way he was going to be out in the hall no matter how much he growled.
Jeff nodded and the other nurse let go of Meg’s hand and went to get Luc. Luc and Patrick came back in with the nurse. Luc took Meg’s hand and held it. Patrick stood off to one side and waved at Meg. She nodded a hello and went back to pushing.
“Good thing she’s not a shifter. As hard as she’s been squeezing my hand, I’d have broken fingers,” said Ginny.
“Hon, I worked maternity in regular hospitals for years. One gal broke her husband’s arm she squeezed so tight,” said Martha. “Broken fingers are nothing.”
Jeff nodded. “Get fingers caught between things all the time,” he said. “Meg, Push. I can see the first one’s head.”
Meg drew as deep a breath as she could and when the next contraction came, she pushed. Luc stroked her head and was murmuring something to her and Meg nearly curled up with her knees to her nose as she pushed.
“Ahhhhh!” came a muffled cry from Meg.
“Keep going!” said Jeff.
“You can do this Meg,” said Ginny. She felt a bone pop in her hand.
Martha moved in quickly as Jeff guided the first baby into the world. A quick shift of the hands and the baby slid free of Meg. Jeff clamped the cord and then put the baby on Meg’s chest. The baby cried softly.
“This one is a girl,” Jeff said. “Next one in about two minutes.”
Meg looked down at their baby. She kissed the bloody little head. Luc sniffed the baby and then touched her back. Then Meg felt the next contraction.
“Martha,” Meg squeaked.
“Hold on a second,” said Martha as she gathered the first baby up and took her off to be weighed and measured. She also took a glance at Jeff who was ready for the next one.
“Push Meg. We’re nearly done. Just push,” he said.
Meg nodded and pushed with the contraction. This was the hardest thing she had ever done. Exhausted and exhilarate all at the same time. She felt that burn as the head pushed through the birth canal and then the relief as the baby was born. She closed her eyes as she heard the baby cry. Tears ran down her face too.
“And this one is a boy,” said Jeff. He placed the baby on Meg’s chest as he had the first one. Meg opened her eyes, and kissed his head. Luc sniffed the baby and then took the blanket from Jeff to wrap him up. He carried the baby off to where Martha was making his daughter fuss and cry.
“Now let’s tend to you,” said Jeff. “We have two afterbirths and then you are all done. Both babies look healthy.”
“Oh good,” said a very exhausted Meg.
Ginny kissed Meg on the head and then walked over to where the babies were being tended. “Patrick, can you massage my hand?” she asked quietly.
“Yes,” said Patrick. He started working her hand and quickly realized that she had a broken metacarpal. He pulled and tugged it back into place. As he did so, Martha looked over and nodded.
“You okay?” Martha asked.
“Yeah. Didn’t think she was that strong,” said Ginny wincing.
“She is. Luc has a real prize in that woman,” Martha said. “Same with these babies. Almost four weeks early yet good weight and very healthy. I was afraid we’d have to put them in the incubators, but so far, no reason to.”
Ginny smiled. Patrick was gently rubbing her hand to ease the pain.
“Do you have names for these babies?” asked Martha over her shoulder.
“Yes. Lindsey and Elliot,” said Luc.
“What kinds of names are those for babies?” asked Patrick.
Ginny laughed. “They’re the names of the mountains they climbed when they first met,” she said.
“You didn’t!” said Martha.
Meg and Luc just nodded. They had talked for hours about names. Family names, favorite names, names to avoid and finally they decided on variations on two of the mountains they climbed on that first camping trip.
“Well, it’s better than what my mom did after the sixth baby,” said one of the nurses.
“Oh?” asked Meg who was finally relaxing.
“Yeah. Septem and Octo is what she named them. She just ran out of ideas,” said the nurse.
“Oh god! Those poor kids,” said Patrick.
“Yeah. Sep didn’t have it so bad being a boy, but Octo is still pissed at mom thirty years later. She changed her name to Olivia at school and refuses to answer if mom calls her anything else,” said the nurse. That made everyone laugh.
“Well, Lindsey weighs 5lbs, 1 oz. and is 18 inches long. Elliot is a bruiser at 5lbs, 2.5 oz. And 19 inches long,” said Martha. She had both babies partially cleaned up and wrapped in warming blankets. She walked over and put the babies in Meg’s arms. Then she motioned for everyone else to leave the room and let the new parents have some time alone.
Ginny kissed Luc and Meg and then the babies. Patrick did the same. “We’ll make all the calls,” said Ginny.
“Okay. Don’t be surprised if my Mom screams and my sister hangs up on you,” said Meg. Her family hadn’t taken to Luc and his extended family very well. Meg hadn’t been surprised, and didn’t expect much out of them.
“Alright. They’re first on my list. We’ll check in with you in the morning,” said Ginny as they headed out the door.
Luc looked down at his two babies. Elliot was dark like him while Lindsey looked to be a redhead. He touched the babies and then stroked Meg’s face.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
“That’s a stupid question,” she said laughing softly. “I’ve just given birth to two babies after nearly fifteen hours of labor and you ask if I’m okay?”
“You know what I mean. I know you hurt, but are you okay?” he asked again a little lost for words.
“Yes. I hurt and I’m happy and I love you and our babies so much,” she said.
Luc tried to figure out how to wrap his arms around everyone. It wasn’t elegant, but he managed. Then the two babies started to nuzzle Meg.
“Um, Luc, would you get Martha?” Meg asked. “I’m not sure how to start this breastfeeding.”
“I’ll be right back,” he said and ran for the nurses station. He came back with Martha in tow and in a few minutes, both babies had figured out how to latch on. Martha gave Meg some further instructions and then left the two new parents alone again until the next micro crisis.
Angie’s cell phone rang. Sleepily she reached over for it. It was Ginny’s number on the Caller ID. “Babies!” she thought.
“Hello?” she answered. “Oh Great!” she shouted. “Yes. Wonderful. Give them our love and we’ll see them soon. Yes, I’ll tell George. Thanks! Love you!” Angie said and closed her cell phone.
“Two healthy babies, Elliot and Lindsey,” George said having heard most of the conversation.
“Yes. Born about an hour ago. Both just over five pounds and no need for incubators even though they were early,” said Angie as she snuggled back into the covers.
George smiled and wrapped Angie in his arms. While there were no babies in their future, there were plenty to love and take care of in the family.
Sam and Lewis were having a late night cup of tea when Ginny called. “No, don’t worry. I wasn’t asleep anyway. Lewis and I have been sittin’ here talkin’,” Sam said as Ginny apologized at the other end of the line. “So, tell me everything,” said Sam. She sat and listened for a few minutes. Sam nodded a few times and then listened again. “Okay. Well give everyone my love and I’ll see you in a week or so,” Sam said and hung up the phone.
“I take it that the babies have arrived?” said Lewis.
“Yes. A boy and a girl. Elliot and Lindsey. Both about five pounds and healthy as can be,” said Sam with a grin on her face.
“Well, this deserves more than a cup of tea,” said Lewis. He stood up and walked over to the small bar area in the room and poured two whiskeys. He handed one glass to Sam and then they raised them.
“To newborn pups and long lived families,” said Lewis in a toast.
“To Meg and Luc,” responded Sam. They clinked glasses and drank the whiskey. As Sam put her glass down, Lewis did something he’d wanted to do for days and hadn’t had the courage to do. He pulled Sam into his arms and kissed her. To his surprise, she kissed back.