A week later, Aya raced up the stairs with hot water and toweling. David and Paul were at work and Betsy sent to bring them home. Elsa had gone into labor in the middle of afternoon tea.
Lillian was helping Elsa undress and get comfortable in the bed. They’d just gotten the sheets pulled up when Aya came in.
“Here is the water Mistress,” said Aya. “Are you wanting Betsy to find the local doctor or midwife?”
“I… don’t know,” said Elsa between pains. “This one is coming so fast. Have… you delivered babies Aya?”
“Yes Mistress, I delivered my Beti here and many babies,” Aya said.
“Then don’t worry unless things go bad,” Elsa said between clenched teeth as another pain hit. “I don’t think it will be long.”
“No, I am not thinking so, Mistress,” said Aya. She knew that the woman had been in labor for most of the morning, and trying to ignore the pains. Aya had served a light tea, knowing that woman get hungry during labor, but often throw up.
Lillian stood there feeling helpless. “What can I do to help?” she asked.
“Find a book and read to her Beti, said Aya. “She will do the work and I will help,”
Lillian looked around and found the novel that Elsa had been reading earlier. She picked it up and started reading outloud while sitting next to Elsa. Elsa leaned her head on Lillian between pains.
Paul shot up the stairs after racing home. He found Aya fussing with things while Lillian read to Elsa. He could see that Elsa was far into labor from the way her face was flushed and the sweat curls around her head.
“Oh Elsa,” he started. “What do you want me to do?”
Elsa looked at him, bit back the urge to tell him to take the pains and after the pain passed, smiled. “Take the children out. Go for a walk, buy them tea at the bakery and leave us be,” she said.
“Are you sure my love?” Paul asked. He truly loved her and the thought of her in pain made him ill. That her pain was the result of so much love didn’t help him.
“Yes, go please,” she said as another contraction pulled at her.
“Alright my love. See you soon,” he said as he kissed her forehead. He left and gathering the children, headed back to the office.
Lillian started to read again. She stopped when Elsa cried out and gripped her hand in reaction to a very strong contraction. Aya came up to the bed and checked Elsa. She smoothed the sheet back down and patted Elsa’s hand.
“Not long Mistress, not long at all. When you want to push, do so. It is almost time,” Aya said. She went over to the pot on the fire and added some herbs to the water. The scent rose up and filled the room. Roses, lavender, chamomile and mint mingled in the air.
“Oh, that smells good,” said Lillian, trying to distract Elsa. Elsa nodded as the next pain hit. She felt the urge to push this time.
“Aaaya,” she cried.
Aya came and checked beneath the sheet again. “Yes Mistress, I can see the head. This one wants born very fast,” she said. “Push now.”
Elsa pushed and felt the baby move farther down her belly. The burn as muscles stretched was almost too much. “Oh! Oh! Owwww,” she cried.
Aya brought a cloth soaked in the water from the pot. The scent followed and when Aya placed it on Elsa’s body, it was warm and relaxing all at once. She ran her fingers around the head of the baby just as it crowned to help ease it out. “Push Mistress,” Aya said softly as she felt the contraction begin.
Elsa pushed and nearly crushed Lillian’s hand as she worked to bring forth the baby.
“Push again!” Aya said a bit louder.
Elsa pushed and this time felt the burning build and then the release as the baby’s head slid clear. Aya checked to see where the cord was, turned the baby slightly so that the shoulders could be born and on the next push, she had a little girl in her arms.
“Lillian, bring me the blanket by the fire,” said Aya as she rolled the baby over and patted her gently on the back. The baby cried lustily and Aya smiled. Aya tied as string around the cord and cut it. She prayed softly under her breath as she did so. She wrapped her in the blanket that had warmed by the fire and then handed the baby to Elsa.
Exhausted, Elsa took her daughter in her arms. “She’s… beautiful,” said Elsa.
“Put her to your breast, for the tugging on your nipple will help get rid of the afterbirth,” said Aya.
Elsa nodded and complied. She hadn’t done that with her firstborn and almost died when the afterbirth didn’t pass right away. She opened her gown and her daughter turned hungrily for her nipple. She latched on and sucked. Elsa winced a little. This one was going to be a tough little girl.
Lillian helped Aya with cleaning up and when the afterbirth passed a few minutes later, she took the pan from Aya. While there were different customs in India, Lillian knew from Elsa that most women burned or buried the afterbirth. She set it aside to deal with later. Aya had taken toweling soaked in another set of herbs and placed it between Elsa’s legs to help her heal and catch the bleeding. When Elsa was ready, they moved her to a chair and Lillian helped give her a sponge bath while Aya changed the bedding. The heavy oiled sheet that had been under Elsa thudded to the floor. The dirty sheets were piled on top.
Twenty minutes later, Elsa was comfortably in her bed with the baby now nursing on the other breast.
Lillian made sure the cradle was ready and then went to take the afterbirth downstairs.
“Beti, what are you going to do with that? She should really…” Aya started.
“I know, but this is not India, and proper English women don’t do that,” said Lillian. “They burn it or bury it. I’m going to bury it under a new rose bush I bought earlier. It is sitting in a pot outside and it will take no time to dig the hole and plant it.”
Aya shook her head. It was better than burning it, but… it was not India as Beti said. “Alright, I will make her a good broth to drink and bring her some scones if she will eat,” Aya said.
Lillian nodded and headed out to the far end of the garden. She just hoped that the dog wouldn’t decide to dig up the rose bush. Next to the potted bush was a bucket of well rotted manure that she hoped would cover the scent. It didn’t take long to dig the hole, place the afterbirth in the bottom and place the rose on top. She spread the manure around and then placed some rocks around the edge as well. Then she headed back inside to check on Elsa. To her surprise, all three of them, Elsa, the baby and Aya were asleep in the room. She tiptoed out and left them to sleep.
Paul and the children were over the moon when they came home that night. They all peeked in at their new baby sister, and then went off to bed. Lillian and David sat outside and had a late supper. Lillian watched the dog and was relieved when it did nothing more than pee on the newly planted rosebush.
“A rather exciting day,” David said softly. He knew that Lillian was just as tired in her own way as Elsa was, but she refused to go to bed early.
“Yes, it has been. The new baby is so sweet. Did Paul decide on a name yet?” she asked as she sipped the last of her tea.
“No, they were still debating between Rachel and Phillipa, but I think Paul was just pulling her leg with that last one,” said David.
“Oh I hope so. Phillipa is just… horrid,” said Lillian. She rolled her eyes, thinking that men make such horrid choices at times.
“We will just have to wait and see,” said David. He kissed her and then pulled her to her feet. “and, I think it’s time for us to head to bed as well.
Upstairs, Lillian enjoyed the bath that Aya had left for her. David enjoyed washing Lillian, even if he was a bit messy. Lillian giggled as he sponged the water over her skin, rinsing off the soap.
“No wonder you always smell of sandalwood,” he said as he smelled the dark brown soap.
“Aya brought me the soap and she knows how to make it as well, which is a good thing,” said Lillian. “Are you done soaking the floor?”
“Um… yes,” he said distracted by her nipples that were crinkled and tight. He grabbed the towel and wrapped her up in it as she stepped out of the tub. She tucked it around her and then turned to him.
“You’re turn,” she said pointing at the tub.
David rolled his eyes, and undressed as Lillian added more hot water. He sank into the hot scented water and felt the cares and stresses of the day melt. Closing his eyes, he let Lillian run the sponge over him, and then the soap. Before she rinsed him off, her soapy hand closed around his cock and began to stroke up and down.
“Lllillian,” he gasped.
“We know we are both too tired to go and play, so I will make you feel better now,” she said with a lilt very like Aya’s in her voice. She increased her rhythm, and David grew harder.
“Oh… um… oh my,” he gasped as the soapy hand caressed and touched him. Lillian leaned over and kissed him while her hand played with his cock. The toweling fell, and David brought his hands up to cup and play with her breasts.
Lillian could feel his cock begin to pulse as it got harder with each stroke. She bit and kissed his lips which she knew excited him. His hands on her breasts squeezed harder and she gasped. David let go of one breast and moved so that he could finger Lillian as she stroked his cock. He felt his balls tighten as his fingers dipped into her wet opening.
“Oh… omy,” he gasped as thick spurts of semen squirted from his cock to land on his belly and thighs. Lillian milked his cock until there wasn’t a drop left. Then she gently washed him clean. David felt drained. Then he realized as she finished bathing him, that he hadn’t brought her.
“Lillian, you…” he started to say reaching for her.
“I will take care of myself,” she said, and sitting back on a low stool, opened her legs and let David watch as she touched herself. In a moment, her clever fingers brought her gasping to ascending the heavens. She panted and sat there with a grin on her face. Dipping her fingers in the water to clean off her juices, she stood up.
“And now Saahab, it is bedtime,” she said. She wrapped her towel around herself and handed David one. When they were both dry, they headed off to bed.