Ann had spent all afternoon in her office, getting things in place – organising everything for her sub. She knew the university would handle all of it, but Ann was still a little wary about handing over her current students to someone new – she so wished that they would still be judged fairly and that it wouldn’t ruin their scores or anything. She must’ve gone through her papers and notes a thousand times when there was a soft knock on the door. Ann startled, her head immediately turned to face the doorway, only to see her wife standing under it smiling at her,
“Are you ready to go home, Adney?”
“Um, I just need to um, get these things to, to uh administration and then I have a couple of emails to answer um, about the, eh, impressionism that a student sent and then I just have to…”
“Ann, breathe.” Anne had stepped into the room and were now holding Ann gently by her arms,
“You’re worse than me right now. Everything is going to be alright. Your maternity leave began twenty minutes ago. I’ll walk with you to leave the papers with administration, but those emails are not your problem anymore.”
“Right.” Ann exhaled, and Anne pressed her lips to her forehead, lingering for a second longer than necessary, before pulling away – taking her hand in hers, and taking the papers from her other hand into hers,
“Come on then, let’s go.”
“No buts, Adney.” Anne urged her by gently pulling her by the hand and eventually Ann followed her out the door and they left the papers, chatting to a few colleagues before exiting the university’s art department – coming out to the parking lot.
“What if I forgot something important?” Ann wondered as she put on her seatbelt, and Anne laughed quietly at her, caressing her cheek,
“Well then, I’ll solve that for you. Now relax, sit back and let the rest of us spoil you.”
“Urgh. Right.” Ann held her hands in-front of herself, trying to calm down a notch before turning to her wife who currently focused on getting out of the parking lot in the late afternoon traffic,
“What’s for dinner?”
“Um, I think Marian said they were making pot steak with Yorkshire puddings and you know some type of gravy and vegetables.” Anne answered a little unfocused on her for the time being, and Ann smiled,
“Good, I’m starving.”
“Yeah? – Did you have your lunch?” Anne eyed her quickly before turning her eyes back on the road, and Ann gave a nod,
“Yes, I did. Not that you’re one to judge!”
“Well, I’m not… did you have a snack?” Anne was distracted by a low rumble from Ann’s stomach and the blonde laughed as she rolled her eyes, touching Anne’s hand gently,
“Yes, mum I did.”
Anne glanced at her, smiling small,
“I’m just concerned about you...”
“I know, thank you, dearest.” Ann ran her fingers behind her neck affectionately before returning her hands to her lap, staring out on the bustling road, counting down the seconds until they would get home and have dinner. She was really famished, and it was making her uncomfortable and giving her slight stomach pains, that to be fair had been coming and going all day.
The table was already set when they got home, and Ann was so thankful for Marian and Aunt Anne who had made a team effort with preparing dinner in time for their arrival. Ann sank down in her chair and groaned as it creaked a bit and Anne was trying to not laugh at her. Mainly because Marian was giving her a death stare – she refused to have any tears spilled during dinner.
“How does it feel, Ann? To be on maternity leave.” Aunt Anne asked kindly, and Ann sighed,
“It’s… um, a bit stressful – just seems so close now and uh, I feel like we haven’t’ prepared anything.”
“Well, the nursery is all set, and everything is ready for baby – but I understand if it doesn’t feel that way.” Marian tried to comfort her, and Ann smiled gratefully at her sister-in-law.
“When do you think the baby will come?” Aunt Anne wondered excitedly, and Anne ran a hand through her hair as she sat back in her chair,
“I think quite soon – Ann’s mucus plug went the other day – it was rather disgusting. It had this almost yellowish…”
“Yes, thank you, dearest – we do not need to talk about that during dinner, or in fact – ever!” Ann hurriedly interrupted her wife, beet red in the face and Anne eyed them confused, not quite sure what it was she had said wrong or why Marian was looking quite green.
“But speaking out of a…”
“Anne.” Aunt Anne gave her a serious look, and she shut her mouth and swallowed her words, giving her wife an apologetic look as she was looking quite upset with her.
“Have you thought of any names?” Marian inquired, as she’d rather not risk Anne delving into the subjects of mucus plugs or alike again.
“We’ve talked a little about that, haven’t we? Um, for a boy we’ve been thinking um, either Alfred or Andrew.”
“I wanted the name Aurelius or Thaddeus, but Ann said no.” Anne complained to her aunt and sister and Ann sighed loudly, staring at her wife with an annoyed look,
“And I said I’m not giving birth to a roman emperor!”
“Boring.” Anne muttered, but her face brightened as she glanced at her wife,
“You don’t have to look so cross with me. I gave it up.”
“I’m surprised she didn’t suggest Charlamagne for a boy.” Marian huffed and Anne gasped loudly, turning excitedly to her wife who shook her head fiercely, looking like thunder,
“I bloody will not name our child something so ridiculous, Anne!”
“Urgh fine.” Anne pouted, raising her glass to her lips and Aunt Anne shook her head amused,
“Alfred and Andrew are both perfectly lovely names – any suggestions for a girl?”
Ann’s angry expression softened as she regarded the woman, and a smile crept over her features again,
“Well, that was harder because I’d rather not name our child after one of Anne’s former lovers.”
“Oh dear, what were you left with?” Aunt Anne exclaimed, glimmer in her eye and Anne rolled her eyes,
“Quite a few. We talked about Alice or… what was the other suggestion, Adney?”
Anne glanced at her wife, and Ann smirked, clearly amused,
“That was the only name we agreed on – the other ones I liked were associated with other ladies.”
Marian snorted amused but Anne growled at her sister,
“That doesn’t mean anything – it’s just… the women I’ve been with just had pretty names.”
“Alice is a beautiful name though.” Aunt Anne interfered before they could begin an argument, mostly for Ann’s sake as she thought the woman seemed more tired and uncomfortable than usual.
Later that evening, Anne helped Ann upstairs to bed – she was experiencing some pain from her loosening joints in her pelvis and Anne had rather she not fall down the stairs, so she had dutifully walked behind her, hands on sides as they ascended the stairs. Ann sat on the side of their bed after brushing her teeth and changing into her pyjamas – waiting for Anne to emerge from the bathroom. She pressed her hand to the small of her back, trying to still the dull ache she was suffering from just as Anne came inside the bedroom. Anne eyed her with worry etched over her face,
“Are you feeling alright?”
“Mm, I just – my back is aching a little.” Ann told her honestly and Anne nodded, frowning – she did not like seeing her wife in pain,
“Do you want me to rub it for a bit?”
“Uh, I’m good. It’s fine, I’ll be better in the morning, I overexerted myself today is all. Standing too much at work.” Ann smiled bravely, and Anne hunched down before her, taking her face in-between her hands, caressing her cheeks before capturing her lips with hers,
“I love you and I’m so proud of you.”
“I love you to, pony.” Ann replied, kissing her tenderly back, running her fingers over her shoulders,
“Come on, get into bed with you.”
Anne stood up, kissing her forehead before walking around to her side, climbing into bed whilst Ann slowly lifted her legs up, lying down on the bed. Anne edged closer, cuddling Ann as well as she could, running her hand over the bump – feeling their baby move actively. And though Anne thought it was exciting and fascinating how the skin would move and so on – she did feel bad for her wife who wasn’t comfortable at all at this stage.
“I can’t wait for this to be over.” Ann said caressing her stomach, trying to settle the life within her and Anne smiled, running her hand over her bump feeling the baby respond to her touch,
“Me too, all though – I will miss this, but I know, I have no right to say anything because it’s not my body.”
“Mm, I think I’ll miss it a little too. But right now – I am so done with being pregnant!” Ann groaned as another dull ache went through her, and Anne kissed her temple sweetly,
“I won’t glorify pregnancy because you and I both know that’s just some patriarchal bullshit but, BUT you are beautiful –and I would be lying if I said I didn’t like knowing that there’s something me with you all the time.”
“You should’ve stuck to your fingers – at least they don’t poke my bladder.” Ann grumbled and Anne had to hide her face in her hair to muffle her laughter,
“How would that have worked!?”
“You have ten fingers – do you really need all of them?” Ann suggested but then she laughed too, loudly, unable to control it at all,
“I’m going to wet myself.” Ann cried through her laughter, and Anne laughed with her,
“Oh-uh. Cross your legs!”
“I hate you!” Ann laughed as tears ran down her cheeks, but then she grimaced as a shot of pain went through her.
“Eh, Adney… I love you and you know I’m a doctor…”
“Of classics!” Ann winched,
“Mm… I understand that weird things sometimes happen et cetera – but are you weeing yourself right now?” Anne wondered as she felt something wet against her legs, and Ann gasped, panicking but little,
“OH Lord. Anne… I think we need to… I think that’s my waters broken?!”
“But baby isn’t due for another fortnight!” Anne replied bewildered and Ann glared at her through her panic,
“Oh yes, sorry Lister – I guess I’ll just cross my legs and hope for the best then!”
“Of course, not – oh shit… Um, yes. I’m calling the hospital.” Anne fumbled after her phone – trying to get dressed at the same time whereas Ann was trying to stop the water from getting everywhere.
“Hello? Lister Anne – um, that’s my name. Yes, anyway is this the hospital? – I’m – oh…”
“BABY. You’re having a BABY!” Ann cried from the bed, pain increasing rapidly,
“Yes, um baby – I’m having, not me, um, but yes there is a baby on the way.”
“Alright, is this her first?” The nurse spoke calmly,
“No, oh, Lord – this is her wife!” Anne told the nurse on the phone who sounded as though she tried to keep her laughter in,
“Yes, I’m aware – is this your wife’s first baby?”
“Oh, yes. It is.”
“Alright, we’ll be preparing for your arrival, someone will meet you at entrance B.”
“Excellent, um, great – I. Thank you!” Anne hung up the phone, grabbing the hospital bag, and running out the room in a hurry,
“ANNE!” Ann shouted, and Anne came stumbling back into the room, hospital bag on her shoulder,
“Yes, sorry – I almost forgot you! – Well, go on then let’s go and have a baby.” Anne extended her hand from the side of the bed helping her wife up and downstairs, trying to find the car keys before running outside in like a whirlwind.
“Anne?!” Marian shouted from the door and Anne rolled down the car window,
“I’m having a baby! Well Ann is – we need to go – tell aunt!”
“But…” Marian tried but too late Anne had already driven off but two seconds later she came back, throwing herself out of the car, stumbling over the courtyard to the door where Marian stood,
“Sorry, Adney – I…”
“You took Argus?!” Ann barked, leaning against Marian who looked quite amused, and Anne flushed as the deerhound ran inside,
“I was stressed! Come on – no time to lose.”
Anne took Ann under the arm this time – she would not forget her more than twice. She got her wife into the car and could drive to hospital without any other issues.
They parked the car and Ann was in quite a lot of pain, hissing and groaning, Anne wanted to help obviously, with the pain – though there was little she could do,
“Ann, just take deep breaths.”
“Take deep breaths!? It feels like my insides are being ripped out! You take deep breaths ARGH.” Ann cried through her evident pain and Anne shut her mouth for a second, getting out of the car hurriedly and around to help Ann out. This time nothing was forgotten as they made their way quickly to entrance B, were there was a nurse waiting with a wheelchair to whisk them off to the maternity ward.
“How close are your contractions?”
“Was I supposed to count!?” Ann growled upset, eyes shut tight to muddle through the pain, but Anne spoke up,
“They last for about 57 seconds and there is um, mm about 4 minutes and 12 seconds rest between them.”
“Good, thank you. Sisters are a blessing sometimes, right?” The nurse said to Ann who currently was clutching the sides of the armrests tightly,
“That’s my wife, bitch.”
“Ann.” Anne scolded her – surprised at her language and Ann threw her head up, glaring at her,
“Was there something you wanted to say, pony?”
“No. Not at all. You are doing great!” Anne forced a smile, a little bit terrified of her wife at the moment, but mostly she was adamant on not working her up when she was in such pain.
“Here we are.” The nurse left them in the labour room, and Ann was helped up into bed by her wife who bit down on her lip not to whimper at the sheer pain of Ann’s nails digging into her skin through her contraction.
“Hi, I’m your midwife Mrs Weston, and this my assistant, Miss Jones.” Mrs Weston introduced herself and Ann nodded but was unable to answer her just then.
“Pleased to meet you. This is Ann Lister my wife, and I’m Anne Lister.”
“Well, well, we’ll have no problems remembering that then!” Mrs Weston spoke amused, and Anne chuckled though they came out a little strained as Ann was squeezing her hand rather tight.
“How close are the contractions?”
“Every 4 minutes 12 seconds.” Anne answered the midwife and Miss Jones took notes,
“Good, and how long do they last?”
Ann finally let go of her hand and Anne breathed a sigh of relief,
“Uh now – 60 seconds, just before 57.”
“Excellent – good timekeeping.”
Anne gave Ann a smug look – she always used to complain about her obsession over looking at her watch – Ann merely rolled her eyes at her, too distressed to say anything clever.
“Now, Mrs. Lister – we are going to make a little examination to determine how far along you are – my guess is that it’s still a while to go. And then we will go over your preferred birthing position et cetera. Does that sound alright to you?” Mrs Weston asked her softly,
“Yes. That’s perfectly well, thank you.” Ann answered her, calming down a little seeing as they had arrived and that she wasn’t hurting quite so badly through her rest.
“Right, we’ll need you to change into a hospital gown – no underwear. We’ll give you a minute, maybe your wife can stick her head out once you’ve changed.” Mrs Weston told them, eying Anne who nodded,
“Good. We will be right outside, if there is any trouble.” Mrs Weston said and then they left them in the room.
“Can’t I…” Ann began awkwardly, gesturing down her body, when Anne started to help her undress, and Anne smirked at her,
“I don’t think you can remain clothed for the birth, no. It’s nothing they haven’t seen before, Adney. You’ll be fine – you are doing so good already and I’m proud of you.”
Anne kissed her glistening forehead, and Ann blew air out of her mouth, trying to still her pain and nerves. Anne kissed her over the lips before continuing to undress her – quickly. Ann helped her by sitting on the edge of the bed as Anne removed her trousers and then underwear – helping her wife by putting on the hospital gown.
Ann clasped her hand tightly when she tried to leave her side, and Anne smiled gently at her,
“I just need to tell the midwives to come back, Adney – I’ll be right here at your side again.”
“Do you promise?”
“Where else would I be?” Anne reassured her, kissing her over the brow, squeezing her hand before walking over to the door, sticking her head out to call the midwives back to the room, and they came immediately. Anne held her wife’s hand, and Mrs Weston washed her hands to her elbows before sliding on a surgical glove,
“I’m going to check your cervix now, and have a feel how far dilated you are.” Mrs. Weston explained as she sat herself down and urged Ann to spread her legs for her. Anne craned her neck to have a look – she was after all fascinated by the human body and to see something first-hand was always good fun.
“What is it that you want to feel when you check the cervix?” Anne wondered, and Mrs Weston glanced up at her, as her fingers did the work,
“That it’s thinning. It needs to be for the birth.”
“Mm. But when you say you measure the dilation – that must be more of an estimation since everyone’s fingers are different.” Anne said almost excitedly as if this was a lecture of some kind.
“Well yes – but um, you get quite good at estimating after several births.”
“Her water broke before, at home – that’s why we hurried in.” Anne told the midwife, and she nodded pleased,
“Good. And from what we can feel and see – baby is in right position.”
“Anne.” Ann groaned, squeezing her hand, and Anne turned to her,
“Are you alright?” Anne wondered, and Mrs. Weston finished her examination,
“Stop bothering them with your questions. You’re supposed to be supporting me.” Ann mumbled, and Anne brushed hair out of her eyes, kissing her forehead,
“Sorry, of course you’re right.”
“Everything looks well, Mrs Lister – you are about 5cm dilated.”
“But… it’s been so quick!” Ann cried, another contraction coming on and the midwife smiled at her reassuringly,
“Yes – sometimes the pain doesn’t really set in until just before you reach active labour. But the process can slow down and there might be another few hours until birth. The first baby usually takes the longest.”
“What do you mean a few hours?!” Ann said exasperated, and the midwife glanced at her from over her shoulder whilst she washed her hands from the examination,
“We usually estimate that you will dilate a cm every hour – so it might be another five – or it might be less time than that, or more.”
“I don’t think I’ll survive the pains if they get any worse.” Ann complained and the midwife turned around,
“You are doing great already. Just breathe through them – and we will be here to help you. Now, when it’s time, would you prefer to give birth on your back, sitting up or emerged in water?”
“I…” Ann’s eyes shut tightly as she breathed through her pain and Anne comforted her whilst also finding an opportunity to say something,
“Did you know giving birth on the back was only introduced during the 17th century, and all because Louis XIV wanted to watch his wife give birth comfortably? – Really it’s quite remarkable that we’ve all hopped on the trend when it’s clearly more beneficial…”
“Shut up!” Ann snapped at her, “I want to lie on my back!”
“Very good, Mrs Lister. We’ll return shortly, if there is anything just press that button. Your wife might be so kind as to time your contractions and she might help you to walk about the room – it will help speed on the process.”
“Certainly.” Anne agreed, and the midwives left them to their own and Anne was beginning to be a little restless from all the nervous anticipation she was feeling, pacing over the floor for a bit.
“Do you want to take a turn about the room?” Anne asked her wife, and Ann stared at her,
“No. I’m in pain.”
“Come on, before there’s another contraction – it’ll help you. You can lean on me.” Anne tried to urge her, she knew it would help her wife, and Ann agreed after a moment of silence,
“Fine. But slowly.”
“Yes.” Anne promised, helping Ann stand, letting her hold onto her shoulders as Anne moved them slowly about the room. Ann mumbled something into her chest, and Anne smiled down at her,
“I’m sorry, what was that, love?”
“I fucking hate you.” Ann growled as her grip hardened on her through her contraction,
“Well, I love you.”
“Spare me the fucking poetry, Lister or I will punch you in the nose.” Ann cried, and Anne just stared down at her wife, shutting her mouth – she didn’t dare take Ann up on that right now, having no doubt that she might in fact punch her in the nose.
“Oh, Lord! Why did she eat the fucking apple!” Ann growled and Anne was confused to say the least,
“Eve that fucking bitch- she ate the apple and now this hurt!”
“Okay… yes, I’m sorry I couldn’t stop her – wasn’t born.” Anne told her in a light tone, but Ann looked at her dead serious, and Anne swallowed nervously,
“Is there anything else I can do for you, Adney?”
“Get this baby out of me!” Ann moaned, and Anne grimaced,
“I’m afraid I can’t do that, love.”
“Yes, you can, get a knife or something!” Ann spoke desperately and Anne rubbed over the back, kissing her over the hair,
“Ah, love – it’s going to be alright, just breathe.”
“You’ve always liked cutting up humans. Why won’t you do it for me!?” Ann cried all but sobbed and Anne sighed,
“Those were dead and it… um, was for scientific reasons and uh… – do you want to lie down again, or do you want to bounce on that yoga ball?”
“Lie down. Oh Lord – fucking hell – shit, shit, shit this hurt.”
Anne was about to say that this is only the beginning but realised she wanted to live to see her child, so said nothing but helped Ann lie down.
“Okay, Ann – let’s breathe together.” Anne told her, taking hold of her hand,
“Mm.” Ann conceded but only because her contraction was ripping through her, and Anne tried her best to get her to breathe through the pain.
“Fuck!” Ann whimpered, all but crushing Anne’s hand, “I’m going to… I need to get this out now!”
“No, Ann. No! You are not ready to push. Look at me, look at me – Ann, breathe with me instead. The contraction is almost over.”
Ann stared into her dark eyes, trying to breathe with her wife calmly despite the pain, and then the worst pain passed, and Anne kissed her sweetly,
“You are doing excellent, Ann.”
“When will they come back?” Ann asked quietly and Anne smiled gently, drying her forehead with a towel,
“Three and half minutes maybe.”
“I meant the midwives. I want painkillers or pain relief or whatever they give you.” Ann mumbled, and Anne caressed her face sweetly,
“Do you want me to call them here? They might be able to give you something.” Anne offered and Ann lay back against the pillows groaning,
“I don’t want to be a bother.”
“Ann, you’re in labour – it’s not… it’s their job to help you.” Anne told her firmly and Ann pressed her hands to her flushed face,
“I can wait until they come back.”
“Are you sure? There is no trouble at all, calling them here.”
“I want to wait.” Ann told her decisively and Anne conceded to her wish – whatever she felt most comfortable with.
The process had been slow, and Ann was on the cusp of giving up – all though she couldn’t really throw the towel in – she hadn’t really a choice. But finally, after eight hours she was ready to give birth. Mrs. Weston smiled at her after she had examined her again,
“You’re ready to push now.”
“What? I’m not ready!” Ann panicked, and for a second the excursionising pain didn’t matter and Anne comforted her,
“Of course you are – I’ll be here throughout it all.”
“Mm.” Ann whimpered, and as she was overwhelmed with pain, she accidentally pushed Anne into an iron lamp behind her. Anne hissed in pain, her hand flying up to feel if her head had split open, it hadn’t – there was just a tiny bump forming under her hand,
“Lord, you have no idea how much that hurt!” Anne blurted before realising what she had said, and Ann glared at her,
“Do you want to die?! Lister? Hm? I will fucking strangle you!”
“I didn’t mean… uh, breathe.” Anne tried to brush past her folly and Ann let her but only because her own pain was so extensive. Anne was certain she had never heard her wife curse so many times as she did right now.
“Push.” Mrs Weston encouraged her, and Ann let out a growl from the underworld as she pushed – crushing Anne’s hand in hers, and Anne bit her lip to not let out sound.
“You’re doing great.” Mrs Weston told her, and Anne couldn’t help but have a look herself – and was stunned first,
“Oh Lord, Oh God – Ann – shit that must hurt!”
“No shit Sherlock!” Ann screamed at her, and Anne gave a nod,
“Is that the head?”
“Yes, it’s crowning.”
“Oh, wow, that’s… it’s a wonderous process, isn’t it? This part here, it’s quite…”
“Mrs. Lister – I need to be able to see.” Mrs Weston told her as she was getting in her way, and Anne all but blushed as she retreated back a bit,
“Go on then – push!” Miss Jones encouraged Ann who did, and Anne’s head tilted as she watched, and then the head came out but there was a tear and Anne actually became faint – her face paled and her grip on Ann loosened,
“Oh God she’s fainting!” Mrs Weston glanced up at her for a second and Miss Jones got ready to help her to a chair, but Anne managed to stay upright, and waved off any help,
“I just – it was…”
“One last big push now, Mrs. Lister and your baby will be born.” Mrs Weston encouraged Ann and she – though exhausted, used the little energy she had left and did as she was told. Anne watched wide-eyed as their baby was born and a cry filled the room.
“You did great.” Miss Jones told Ann, whilst Mrs Weston prepared for the cord to be cut.
“Is the baby fine?” Ann murmured, drained – and Miss Jones nodded,
“Baby looks fine – it’s a healthy boy as far as we can tell.”
“Do you want to cut the cord?” Mrs Weston then offered Anne and she gulped but nodded – this was exciting. With tears streaming down her face, she cut the cord, and Mrs Weston dried the baby off a little so as to not get cold from the fluids before laying him on Ann’s bared chest and she cried as she saw their baby.
“He’s perfect.” She mumbled, hands carefully caressing her baby, and Anne grinned widely,
“Yes. So perfect! You did so well, Adney! – I love you.”
“I love you too.” Ann murmured, eyes only on the baby that lay on her chest,
“Sh sh sh.” She spoke softly to the baby, and Anne covered the baby’s back with a blanket to shield him from the cold better, running a light hand over his head,
“Hey little one.”
“He needs a name.” Ann said, looking away from their baby for a second to glance at Anne who nodded, kissing her nose,
“It can wait – you just gave birth and it’s not the most important thing right now.”
“But I… I think we should call him Alfred – he looks like one.” Ann told her wife and Anne smiled, lowering her head down to speak to the baby,
“Do you like that name – Alfred?”
Baby made a soft noise and Anne bit her lip not to cry again at the preciousness,
“Alfred it is then.”
Mrs Weston and Miss Jones were cleaning up after the birth, but to be honest neither Anne nor Ann noticed them much – they only had eyes for their new baby and each other.
“You look beautiful.” Anne told her and Ann smirked,
“I just gave birth, and I’m covered in sweat and other fluids – I hardly think that’s true.”
“Mm, but it is.” Anne persisted, kissing her temple, staring down at the baby resting against her wife’s breasts.
As short while after the placenta was delivered, Alfred wanted the breast and through little struggle, he latched on and ate contently,
“He’s a natural.” Mrs Weston praised, and Ann smiled softly, though it was quite a strange feeling. Anne watched in awe,
“I mean objectively I can see that he’s just really red and ‘ugly’ but by God, Ann is he gorgeous!”
Anne kissed her chastely, before kissing the top of the baby’s head carefully and Ann smiled up at her through heavy eyes,
“He looks a lot like you – dark hair and brown eyes.”
“Mm, hopefully he’ll grow up to be just like you though.” Anne commented and Ann laughed quietly,
“I don’t mind either way – but it might be calmer.”
“I’m so proud of you, Ann – for doing all of this – I could’ve never done that.” Anne told her softly, and Ann raised a free hand to dry some of her wife’s tears away before returning her attention to the eating baby,
“Thank you for being here – I’m sorry I hurt you and shouted at you.”
“What?” Anne seemed confused but then she looked down at her bruised hand and laughed,
“Oh – ah, I’ll be alright – I don’t need two hands for the next couple of weeks.”
“You should get that wrapped, Anne.” Ann told her and Anne brushed it off,
“No, I’m fine.”
“Mm.” Ann eyed her suspiciously, and Anne kissed her to distract her,
“You should switch breast – it’s been a little over ten minutes.”
And so, Ann did, but at the end of the feed – she was struggling to stay awake, and Anne watched her amused,
“Ann, do you want me to hold the baby? You need to rest.”
“Mind his head – and against your chest.” Ann told her, and Anne nodded, unbuttoning her shirt entirely before taking Alfred gently from Ann – so afraid she was going to drop him or break him somehow. In fact, she had probably never moved so slowly as she did when she sat down in the chair to rest Alfred against her bare skin.
Mrs Weston came back inside sometime later,
“How is he doing?”
“Um, well – I uh, Ann was tired – and I… uh but he ate before that – I…” Anne for once wasn’t eloquent, she was rather uncomfortable with the woman staring at her exposed breasts though she figured she was probably eying the baby resting against her bare skin.
“Good. Did he eat for about half an hour?”
“Yes.” Anne replied quickly, “Twenty-eight minutes and fourteen seconds.”
“Excellent. I was going to weigh baby and then we’ll have a little look at him and if everything looks well – you’ll be able to go home in just a short while.” Mrs Weston told her, and Anne nodded, and handed the woman Alfred carefully, buttoning her shirt back up again. Feeling rather protective of her new-born baby – watching the woman intently as she weighed him and handled him.
“Does he look well?” Anne worried and the woman smiled,
“Yes – perfectly well and healthy. You’ll be able to go home by lunch.”
“Thank you.” Was all Anne could think of saying, and then she was handed her baby back -
“If your wife wants to shower and have a meal before you leave that’s fine – and you can put baby down here.” Mrs Weston instructed, and Anne listened carefully,
“Alright – I’ll ask her when she wakes up.”
“If there is anything the matter – just press the button.” Mrs. Weston pointed and Anne followed her finger and nodded,
And then she was alone with Alfred again, and she was nervous– because she’d never really dealt with babies before.
“Ann.” Anne spoke softly, and Ann sat up in bed startled – winching from the pain it gave her,
“Is something the matter – is Alfred alright?”
“Yes, sorry – I didn’t mean to scare you. But they said we might go home by lunch and said if you wanted to have a shower and a meal before we leave.” Anne said gently and Ann frowned, trying to think clearly – though evidently a little delirious,
“Uh, I’d like to have a shower, but I want to eat at home – the food isn’t any good here.”
“Yeah? – Do you think you’ll manage on your own? Or do you want me to help – I’ll put baby down in the cot.” Anne offered but Ann shook her head,
“I think I’ll manage – hold him – don’t put him down, he might think we’ve abandoned him, pony.” Anne smiled at her,
“I don’t think he will, but I’ll hold him if it makes you feel better.”
“Mm.” Ann nodded, before slowly making to get out of bed and Lord, was she sore as she walked slowly to the bathroom connected to the room, leaving the door open but she was hidden from view in any case.
“Cold water, Adney!” Anne told her hurriedly immediately followed by a hiss from Ann,
“Thank you, I wish you would’ve told me a second earlier – now I know what purgatory probably would’ve felt like.”
“Purgatory doesn’t exist – we…”
“Anne – for once… I know it’s a catholic belief, so please just shut up.” Ann told her – clearly experiencing some discomfort.
“Should I call Aunt Anne? – Or maybe you want to call Elizabeth first?” Anne asked as Ann emerged from the bathroom, slowly getting dressed in the dress she had brought for going home – anything to not have something press against her sore bits.
“Call Aunt Anne first – she and Marian probably haven’t slept, waiting for news.”
Anne reached for Ann’s phone, and pressed a recent call titled ‘Anne…’ thinking it was her aunt.
“If I’m calling on speaker - Why can I see myself?” Anne asked Ann, but then someone picked up,
“Ann!? Oh God – ANNE!” Maria cried,
“Nice tits, Lister.” Tib laughed,
“Ann – how the f… Why isn’t Aunt Anne – why can they see me!?”
“Oh wait – Oh LORD is that the baby!?” Maria shouted excitedly, getting nearer the camera,
“You had the baby!?” Vere cried enthusiastically as she joined the conversation,
“Why didn’t you call us first?!” Marian huffed annoyed, at the same time as Aunt Anne tried to pry the phone from her to have a better look,
“What’s this… Lister is that a baby!?” Anne Belcombe spouted excitedly,
“I never thought I’d see you with a baby!” Mariana commented in a teasing tone,
Anne was panicking, and Ann was laughing at her,
“I don’t know how to – I just wanted to talk to my aunt – not facetime all of my… why do you have a chat with them?”
“It was from when we planned a party, for your birthday dearest.”
“Ann – baby is gorgeous!” Maria cried when she saw her,
“Thank you – um, but we’ll talk later when Anne isn’t flashing half her chest.” Ann told them, hanging up without another word. Kissing her wife over the brow, caressing her cheek,
“Dearest, next time, just press the ‘end call’ button!”
“I forgot about that – I couldn’t think – I was panicking.”
“You’re rather endearing you know.” Ann told her with a wide grin and Anne exhaled – completely red in the face.
“I’ll take Alfred – and dress him, and you call your Aunt from your phone.” Ann took the baby from her and for the second time that day - Anne buttoned her shirt up before fishing her phone out of the jacket to call her aunt
“We do make good babies.” Anne told her wife as they were getting ready to leave and Ann laughed at her,
“Yeah we do – but don’t think for a minute that that’s a good business idea.”
“I didn’t. What do you think I am?!”
“First thing you told me when we were re-acquainted was ‘I dissected a baby once… it was dead… obviously’.”
“I wasn’t suggesting we breed ‘em to kill ‘em.” Anne snorted, kissing her wife’s cheek watching her sleeping son in her arms.
“He’s tiny!” Ann cooed at the baby and Anne agreed – feeling outrageously happy.