“A water birth? Well, it’s Haru. Of course, he chose a water birth.” The voice on the cell phone laughed good-naturedly.
Makoto chuckled with him as he ran his hand through his recently dried hair, the brief musing helping to settle the strands into their normal position. “Yeah, even though we still have about a week before the estimated due date, the midwife is over at the house with him now to set it up.”
Grinning into the phone as he balanced it against his cheek and shoulder, Makoto finished packing his duffel bag with his previous change of clothes and swimming goggles. He had just finished a day’s work at the local swim club. His last day before paternity leave, actually. Because Haru was due so soon and his scent had become so heady and erratic as the birth drew closer, the affect it had on Makoto grew to massive proportions. The Alpha almost hadn’t gone to work that day at all, leaving the house the grumpiest he had probably ever been in his life. But Haru was determined to push him out, saying that Makoto would appreciate this last day of work before juggling pre-labor stress around the clock.
Still, separating from his mate during the last trimester of pregnancy was much harder than any doctor or magazine had described to him. His normal gentle nature was overridden by the desire to protect and shelter his expectant Omega. He could barely even bother with embarrassment when he growled at innocuous things like people walking too close to his Omega on the sidewalk. Thankfully Haru was normally just amused and didn’t hold it against him.
Haru was right about leaving the house though. The day spent with the young children of his swimming club, plus the intense work out he put himself through afterward to expel excess frustration, was worth it. Makoto felt more relaxed and a little less high strung. But he was very ready to get home to his husband.
“Well, better than to wait for him to go into labor and deal with him being upset that the pool isn’t filled yet.” Laughter laced through the voice despite the truth of his words.
“That’s definitely Haru in a nutshell, Rin.” Makoto chuckled with him, leaving the city natatorium with the heavy duffel over one shoulder.
Beep beep. Beep beep.
Taking only a second to recognize to recognize the notification sound from his phone, Makoto pulled it away from his face just enough to glance at the screen. “Oh, I think I’m getting another call.”
“That’s fine. Just don’t forget to call us when he finally goes into labor, ok?”
“Of course! Bye, Rin.” He immediately clicked over to the waiting call as he unlocked his car and slipped into the driver’s seat, his feet still planted on the asphalt. “Hello-?”
“Haru? Are you ok? You sound out of breath.” Suddenly very concerned, Makoto didn’t waste time in tossing his duffel into the backseat and pulling his legs inside the car.
“I thought… Braxton-hicks… Was wrong. It hurts.”
“Oh my god! Are you having a contraction right now? A real one?!” He was no longer paying attention to anything else, his car door still ajar and his keys in his hand rather than in the ignition.
“Ok, ok! Breathe, Haru-chan, breathe. Just breathe slowly for me… In and out… In and out… ” Makoto took a deep breath himself, trying to breathe together with Haru just like they learned in class. “Are you breathing?”
“Yes… Makoto, please.”
With his Omega panting in his ear, in pain and needing him, it was amazing that Makoto had the wherewithal to remember his seatbelt. Using only one hand as he refused to set the phone down, he got himself buckled in, checked his mirrors, and started the car. “I’m coming, Haru! I’m pulling out of the parking lot right now! Is the midwife still with you or should I call…?”
“Still here... But I want Makoto.”
“I’m coming! Just breathe for me, ok? I am coming to you, Haru!”
Makoto had always prided himself in being an exceptionally safe driver. However, knowing his mate was in active labor without him there, his presence being the only thing Haru demanded more than having a water birth, he couldn’t help but rush. He barely kept himself in check from speeding through stop lights with all the adrenaline now pumping through his veins.
They had talked about starting a family for years but with Haru’s swimming career on the line it had to wait until he was sure he was ready to retire. It had been miraculous enough that he and Rin, both Omegas, had managed to compete (and win) on the world stage and he didn’t want his husband to give that up so easily. So he encouraged Haru to wait until it felt right to retire. As much as he wanted to have babies with him at the time, he didn’t want Haru to have any regrets.
Surprisingly Haru decided to retire from professional swimming at a young 27 years old. He really could have continued considering he had only just hit his peak performance at the time. But something must have happened because when Haru returned from that season’s competitions, he had baby fever and immediately stopped taking his heat suppressants. Not that Makoto would complain one bit about being ready to start a family (or the few amazing heat cycles they had to go through before Haru was finally pregnant), but he was just relieved that Haru was still completely confident and happy in his decision.
But there was no looking back now, not with the baby coming right this moment.
“Haru? Haru! I’m here!” The frantic father-to-be shouted, practically throwing himself through their doorway, kicking off his shoes at the entrance, and bolting to the family room where they discussed setting up the birthing pool. Haru had asked for that room in particular so that, should the weather permit, the sliding door could be opened directly into the backyard where they had a small garden. Considering the warm weather, despite the sun having already started setting, it wasn’t surprising that the door was open and the house smelled like fresh flowers and vegetables. But stronger than any aroma from Haru’s prized garden was the scent of his Omega in labor. It was heady and thick, similar to that of him being in heat. But his normal smell of sweet cream and ice was laced with stress and need. Haru’s scent was calling out for his mate.
“Makoto, you made it.”
The sight that greeted the Alpha as he stepped into his main living area was the love of his life sitting in the filled birthing pool, his cheeks attractively tinged a light pink and a small smile on his face. Makoto knew Haru was pleased with the pool with how relaxed his lover looked submerged in the water, one hand absent-mindedly rubbing his large protruding stomach. The pool itself was similar to one of those thick plastic kid pools, only much deeper with straight vertical walls. Haru was able to sit straight up in it with the water reaching up to his chest. There was a thin sheet of plastic liner set into the pool before it was filled with water that was large enough to surround the pool and lay out on the surrounding floor. It nearly covered the whole room, in order to protect it from water damage.
“It’s only a 15 minute drive.”
He smiled doting at Haru, his mate and mother of his (as of yet) unborn child. Part of Makoto wanted to complain that he shouldn’t have left for work in the first place, as Haru had already started having mild pre-labor contractions the night before. But the midwife had checked Haru, assuring that he was not dilated and the baby only started to drop, so it should have taken another day or two more. They had no way of knowing Haru’s body going to progress so fast. Besides, hovering over Haru in a constant panic until active labor actually happened would have resulted in the Omega kicking him out for momentary peace anyway. Instead Makoto was just so grateful to be here in time to support his mate, to share in the experience, to welcome his first child into the world.
Woah, that thought suddenly blew him away. He was literally in the moment when he and Haru were going to become parents. Haru was about to give birth. It was finally happening. There was going to be a baby. Their baby. They would have a child. They would be a family.
Shaking himself out of his stupor, and seeing the knowing smile on Haru’s face, Makoto turned his attention to the midwife.
He was a middle-aged, gentle Omega with large hazel eyes. His soft-spoken voice and gentle nature was what clinched him being selected as the one who would help them through the pregnancy and delivery. Over the course of Haru’s gestation the midwife visited them often, whether it was for a routine check-up, preparing the two of them for the labor, or even just eating together. Choosing the right midwife was critical not just for the pregnant Omega but for his mate as well. After all, sweet and gentle Makoto was still an Alpha.
As Haru progressed further into pregnancy, becoming more and more vulnerable, Makoto naturally became more protective. Alphas, and even Betas to a lesser extent, often would stop allowing anyone into their home that wasn’t a very close friend or family member. It was crucial that the midwife be able to approach and touch the Omega without setting off alarm bells within the mate’s primitive nature.
Thankfully after all the careful preparation and bonding, Makoto was able to trust the midwife without hesitation. One less thing to worry about.
“Oh! Hatori-san, I’m sorry. I was, uh, just lost in my thoughts.” Makoto scratched a nonexistent itch on his cheek in embarrassment, his face still lit up with an excited glow.
“I understand completely, Tachibana-san but… shouldn’t you get undressed and join your mate?” The midwife covered his mouth as he tried in vain to muffle his amused chuckle.
“Oh… Oh! Yes! I’ll go get into my jammers then…”
As Makoto turned to leave the room, a cry erupted from the birthing pool. Whipping his head over in alarm, he saw Haru bent over, gripping the wall of the pool tightly through a painful contraction.
“M-Makoto…!” Haru whimpered through gritted teeth, his breathing tight and shallow.
“Uh, Tachibana-san, he’s actually been in active labor for almost two hours already and is already fully dilated, surprisingly. He’s probably ready to push so I suggest you be quick…” Hatori walked back over to the pool and knelt on a small cushion just next to where Haru was leaning, a small waterproof bag next to him holding everything he would need.
“Two hours?! Haru! Why didn’t you call me?!” Makoto’s panic nearly sending his voice into a roar.
“…You were at work…” he muttered through his heavy panting as the contraction plateaued enough for him to lift his head back up to glance at his husband, his striking blue eyes heavy with apology.
Makoto was confident that he had never thrown off his clothing faster in his life. He figured it beat any record his husband ever set stripping down to his jammers to jump into water. Stripping right there in the room and clad only his grey boxer-briefs, he didn’t hesitate to step into the pool, kneel down, and take Haru into his arms.
Haru huffed through the last of the contraction pain and allowed his back to be pulled tightly against Makoto’s chest. Instinct combined with well-practiced rehearsal had Makoto rubbing his neck against the side of his Omega’s face, his scent washing over Haru to sooth some of his anxiety.
“I’m here, Haru. I’m here for you and our baby,” Makoto whispered into the silky black hair at Haru’s temple.
The Omega leaned his head back on Makoto large shoulder and pushed his nose into his neck to take in more of the Alpha’s scent. Leaning his head back as much as he could, Haru bared his throat in a submission posture as his chest heaved under heavy breaths. Responding without any of the shyness he used to have, Makoto leaned over his mate’s prone form and opened his jaw around the Omega’s neck, close to the scent gland behind his ear. Biting down just enough to hold onto Haru but not enough to hurt or break skin, Makoto could feel Haru tremble in his arms. The position eased some of the pain and calmed the Omega through submission, the resulting pheromones his body produced acting like a drug. The air in the room was now thick with the comforting heady scent of the mated pair.
Makoto felt Haru’s hands go from gripping his forearms to seeking out his hands. Pulling back from Haru’s neck now that he was calmer and the contraction had declined, he stabilized himself in the pool. Moving his feet out from underneath his body, he sat all the way down behind Haru, his long bare legs on either side of his mate. Makoto intertwined their fingers and braced his arms to hold Haru up firmly as his robust arm muscles tensed to take the weight.
The Alpha hummed and placed small kisses on the side of Haru’s face as they continued nuzzling and scent-marking.
“Tell me what you need me to do,” he whispered intimately.
The last of the built-up tension in the Omega’s shoulders finally released, Haru’s body soft and heavy in his arms. It must have been what he needed to hear. “I want to be on my feet. Hold me?”
Makoto nodded and set his body against the side of the pool, keeping his legs on either side of Haru for balance. He straightened his back and flexed, a solid wall that Haru could push against. Nearly lifting his husband’s entire weight for him, he helped Haru change positions to have his feet underneath him, putting the Omega in a deep squat with his body fully supported by the Alpha against his back. The larger man’s arms went up to his sides to offer as support, Haru’s fingers immediately grasping hold of them again.
“Are you ready?” Hatori smiled, giving the two enough space to enjoy the intimate moment together but carefully monitoring his patient.
Haru nodded and turned his head to press it against his husband’s neck once again.
“All right, Haru, you can do it. Let’s push on ten, ok?”
Makoto felt the small nod against his neck, Haru’s hair tickling his skin. After he felt his mate take a deep breath and squeeze his hands, Makoto started counting through their breathing exercise. Haru’s chest expanded in time with his as they worked in tandem.
“…Five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten – and push, Haru! Push!”
The grip on Makoto’s hands intensified nearly to the point of pain as he felt his husband’s entire frame tense up. Haru’s feet braced against the floor pushed his full weight into Makoto’s chest as he beared down with the flow of his nearly constant contractions. The uninhibited growling and panting coming from Makoto’s usually quiet husband spoke volumes as to the level of agony he was experiencing.
“And breathe, Haru. Relax, honey.”
At the end of Makoto’s internal countdown and the contraction temporarily easing the pain in the Omega’s body, he saw Haru reach his limit. Haru’s body fell limp and weak in his arms as he released the pressure. Makoto then began the cycle all over again, trailing sweet kisses against the side of the smaller man’s face as he lead Haru through the breathing exercises.
It took only two more rounds of pushing followed by controlled breathing before either of them remembered the midwife. Without warning, Hatori leaned over the pool wall to check on Haru’s progress, his entire arm dipping into the water to be able to reach Haru’s opening. Makoto was surprised that Haru didn’t flinch at the very intimate contact but was glad for it. Haru normally hated to be touched by anyone but himself but it was imperative that he trust his midwife during this process.
“You can feel the baby crowning,” Hatori offered with a smile. “Reach down and feel your baby, Haru-san.”
Blue eyes snapped open as one hand detached from Makoto’s. With a slight tremble, he reached down to feel for himself, his hand being guided by Hatori. He could certainly still feel the sharp sting that came with being forced open so wide and could feel the sensitive rim stretch tautly, painfully, around… around the soft skin of his baby’s head. Haru shuddered a small sob and Makoto’s free hand went around his chest to hold him tenderly.
“…The baby, I feel him, Makoto,” Haru whimpered against his husband’s neck, still panting from both the physical pain and his exertion from pushing.
“Then let’s meet him, Haru. You can do it. Just a few more pushes, ok?” Makoto nuzzled into Haru’s wet hair and took purchase again on the hand that let go to feel their child. He began the breathing exercise again and counted out loud, his lips pressed tenderly against the Omega’s temple.
“…Nine, ten – and push!”
“Ahhhhh!” Haru groaned, bearing down as he pushed with all his might, the water sloshing around him but Makoto held strong and steady.
Hatori started pulling unseen items out of his bag, looking calm but prepared. Makoto barely paid him any attention as he felt his husband’s weight fall back against his chest again. “You’re doing great, Haru. You’re wonderful.”
“…So tired, Makoto.”
“I know, I know. But he’s almost here. Just take a few deep breaths for me, ok?” Makoto placed a few more kisses on his temple followed by loving nips of his teeth at Haru’s neck to relax him. Makoto’s thumbs rubbed at Haru’s swollen belly, his lover still clinging tight to his hands. Once Haru’s breathing returned to a semi-normal rhythm, Makoto restarted his counting.
“…Nine, ten – and push! You can do it, push, Haru! Keep going!”
“Ahhhhhh-!” Haru cried out as he felt his insides churn under the force of his contraction.
“Haru-san, reach down. Take your baby, Haru-san.” Hatori’s voice was soothing as he leaned over the pool wall to help. He guides Haru’s trembling hands, having abandoned Makoto’s own at his midwife’s words, to reach down between his squatted legs to lift the newborn. The water around the infant turning a murky pink color from the bodily fluids as it helped to clean the baby off as he slipped the rest of the way out of Haru’s body.
Makoto’s eyes were locked onto the tiny baby in abject fear until it broke the surface of the water and his face was wiped off by the midwife using a soft cloth. The immediate reaction was a lovely, healthy wail as he took his first breath. Haru was laughing through his tears and brought his baby to his chest urgently. The little pink infant immediately leaned into its mother as it continued crying. Hatori continued his job of cleaning the baby of all the bodily fluid with that same cloth and using the suction bulb to clear its airways without disturbing the intimate family moment.
Still supporting Haru for dear life with his body and an arm secured around his midsection, Makoto reached up his other hand to touch the crown of his child’s head. The newborn was so small that he could have fit almost his whole body in just one of Makoto’s hands. That was the moment Makoto’s emotions shifted and his own happy tears started to fall. It felt surreal for the baby to finally be here and be real. Makoto sniffled and grinned as he counted all ten fingers, all ten toes. He could see Haru in the baby’s features, his small nose and delicate mouth already familiar to Makoto’s eyes. But his eyes, his brow-line, was all Makoto. Their baby was a gorgeous blend of both of them.
“He’s so beautiful, Makoto. So perfect.” Haru smiling, not caring on whit about the tears streaming down his face as he kissed his baby’s forehead, leaving his lips to linger on the baby’s skin.
His husband could only cry, nodding his agreement against the side of Haru’s face as he placed adoring kisses all over the skin he could reach. “I love you, Haru. I love you and I love our baby. We’re a family now. We’re a family.”
“What do you mean he already had the baby?! You were supposed to call us!”
“Heh, sorry about that, Rin. He was the other call on the line and he had already gone into labor. I was just so focused on getting home that I forgot to call you on the way.”
Makoto glanced over at his tired mate. Haru had finally been lifted from the birthing pool once both he and their baby were clear. Now wrapped in a fluffy cotton robe Haru was reclined on their bed, their newborn baby snuggled calmly into the Omega’s chest.
“But they’re both doing great if you want to come over and see them now.”
“YES! Of course we do! We’ll be right there! – Sousuke go get the car!”
“I hope you’re up for visitors, Haru. I think Rin’s upset with me.”
Haru just chuckled softly, nodding at his husband. He propped himself up a little further on his stack of pillows while holding his baby to his chest securely, the little one dressed in only a diaper with a small baby blanket thrown over his back for warmth. The midwife recommended for Haru to hold him to his chest, skin-to-skin, for a while for bonding. Makoto was pretty sure Haru would have done that by instinct alone as he barely was able to let go of the baby long enough for Makoto to hold him while Haru showered.
“He’ll get over it though. He’s just nervous about his own labor.”
“You’re right.” Makoto set his phone down on the nightstand and joined Haru on the bed, supporting him as he got into a comfortable position. “But Rin still has months left before his baby is due. He’ll probably spend the whole time worrying about it.”
“Poor Yamazaki,” Haru joked, laughing again.
“Haru!” Makoto tried to scold through his own laughter.