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Chapter 33: Breathe
It was nine o’clock at night of my due date and there was still no sign of the baby coming. It was frustrating, mostly because all I wanted to do was argue and James was being annoyingly nice and agreeable. I even tried to get Lionel to annoy him but it didn’t work. Mostly because Lionel tried to curl up in one of James’ shoes.
“James,” I huffed. He looked at me expectedly. “Can you argue with me?” He laughed and I snapped, “Don’t laugh at me! Just argue! I want to pick a fight!” I wanted to kick something.
He kept laughing and I was so tempted to throw a peanut at him. “Reese, I’m not going to argue with you. Remember what the healer said?”
“Yes but that was ages ago,” I said, rolling my eyes. “I’m fine now, and I just want this baby out of me! It would probably be good for me!” I rubbed my stomach, feeling the sharp kick from the baby.
He just kissed the side of my head and bounded over to the kitchen. I growled, loud enough for him to hear, “Showing off that you can move quickly while I feel like a fucking blimp.”
He just laughed again.
Men were bloody useless things.
I was way past my due date. I was still in pain. And there was no sign of the baby. Although I did play a trick on Louis when James was out at some team meeting. I conjured some water and freaked him out saying I was having the baby. His face was priceless.
But you know what wasn’t priceless?
I STILL DIDN’T HAVE A BABY.
Theoretically, the baby should have been early because I hadn’t exactly had an easy pregnancy. That’s what all the books said. But no.
It just proved that babies did their own thing, whether or not if they were hurting their mothers. Who’d been carrying them for OVER NINE MONTHS.
This was getting ridiculous.
I had a check-up today. I was praying they would tell me that I could just give birth there and then. James and I had a bag ready, filled with what we would need, but sadly it was still not needed.
At the check-up, the Healer recommended ways to assist labour.
So we went home and tried them. The first thing was spicy food. I wanted to vomit at the smell of it but I didn’t. I soldiered on. Until I ate half a forkful.
I basically spent the night hanging over the toilet bowl.
Another check-up. I was told if I didn’t go into labour by tomorrow, they would induce me and FORCE this baby out of me.
ABOUT BLOODY TIME.
I was eight days late. Funny, about seven or eight months ago I was saying that as well. However, it was a much more unwelcomed realisation back then. I needed this baby out of me. I was so sore. I just wanted to hold him or her. That’s all I wanted to do. I wanted it out of my uterus and into my arms. Was that really too much of a demand?
I even tried begging the baby at one point to come out of me. I was in so much pain, and I just wanted it out of me.
“James,” I said from my awkward position. I was trying yoga again. I was on my back and had my legs resting up against the wall and because of all the pillows under my back; I made some sort of bridge-looking position. I had no idea if I was doing it right but I was trying everything to get this baby to exit my uterus.
His or her time was up.
“Yeah?” he asked, looking at me curiously.
“Can you help me up?” He nodded and helped me stand upright. “Thanks,” I said, smiling tiredly at him.
“No worries, are you okay?” He ran a hand through my hair and I closed my eyes, groaning.
“I’m tired. I’m sore. I’m fat. I’m moody. I’m still pregnant. No, I’m not okay.”
He laughed and said, “It’s going to be soon, though! Look on the bright side!”
“There is no bright side,” I deadpanned. “Not when I feel like I’m carrying forty thousand bricks in my stomach. The bright side is so far away it’s a tiny dot to me.”
“Always an optimist,” James said amusedly, giving me a kiss.
I didn’t go into labour. So I ended up at the hospital, waiting to be induced at ten in the morning. We told Ginny and Harry, and I didn’t mind who they told but I wanted them to know first. I also gave Blake a text, as I’d been giving him updates every single day. I made Lionel go to Rose’s though. I didn’t know how long we’d be in the hospital and all I needed to make sure that he was getting fed. I knew Rose could do that, even though she was hardly ever home. At first I felt bad but then she said she missed him and his yowling at seven in the morning. She used to use him as her alarm clock.
“The baby will finally be coming,” Healer Jones said, walking in the room, grinning at me.
“Yes,” I said. “It’s been too long.” James agreed with me.
She laughed and said, “So I’ll give you some potions and perform a few spells and hopefully that will get your little bugger out of you!”
“Hopefully,” I said, grinning. I was terrified that I would be giving birth soon, and that I would actually have a baby. A little tiny person I’d need to care for 24/7. But I was so excited as well. I couldn’t wait for the moment where I finally get to see what he or she looked like.
She checked to see if I had dilated at all but I hadn’t. She frowned but then gave me a potion. “Here, drink this. Let’s see if this kick-starts it.” I obliged, grimacing as soon as the taste hit my tongue.
“That tastes awful,” I said. James snorted.
She laughed. “I’m afraid they all taste awful. I’ll be back soon. I recommend that you get as much sleep as possible, because I don’t know how long it will take to start, and how long your labour will last. In my experience as a healer, any mothers that get induced tend to have a long labour.”
“Thanks,” I said. “Will do.”
She gave us one last smile before walking out the door. I looked at James. “You nervous?” he asked, looking far too comfortable in the chair next to my bed.
“Yes and no,” I said. “I’m terrified because after this we’re actually going to be parents but I’m also not because we will be parents. If that makes sense,” I added as I thought over that last sentence.
“I get you,” he said. “Guess it’s just a waiting game, now, huh?”
“For you, maybe,” I grumbled. He grinned and ran a hand through his hair. He looked pretty nervous as well but we’d been waiting for this baby for so long so I think he was more excited. After all, he wasn’t the one who actually had to push it out. He just gets to hold my hand during the process.
There was a knock at the door and then Ginny walked in. “Hello! You don’t mind me being here, do you?”
I shook my head. “Nope, not at all. But do you want to be here? I doubt it’s going to be very fun.”
She laughed and pulled up a chair on my other side. “Oh I know it won’t be fun. But I thought I could keep you guys company. It gets pretty overwhelming at times. Have they seen you yet?”
I nodded. “Yeah, they made me take some gross potion. It tasted absolutely awful. I hope it works.”
Ginny laughed. “Oh, I’m sure it will.”
Ginny was right. It did work. Almost as soon as she finished that sentence I got my first ‘real’ contraction. It didn’t hurt as badly as I thought it would but they progressively got worse and worse.
Rose popped in a few times because she was working, again. She seemed to be very excited, even when I was squeezing her hand so tightly I thought I may have cracked it.
It had been a few hours in and I was already crying. I wanted the numbing potion now. But I needed to be eight centimetres dilated to get it. And what was I now?
NOTHING. I WASN’T DILATING. I WAS GOING THROUGH ALL THIS PAIN WITH NO ASSURANCE THAT IT COULD BE OVER SOON.
My waters hadn’t even broken yet, so at about two they did some spell and broke my waters in hope that the process would speed up. No such luck. A four, they made me take another potion and I threw up because of it. So I had to take it again.
I thought pregnancy wasn’t fun. I would rather be pregnant forever than go through this torture.
At six o’clock I was told I was finally making progress. I was in so much pain. I was gripping James and Ginny’s hands so tightly, but they never complained. They were both so supportive and I just wished I could have been nicer but it was hard being nice when you felt like you were slowly ripping in half.
“You’re an evil prick, James Potter,” I said through a particularly bad contraction.
Instead of arguing back, he just laughed and said, “Love you too.”
I resisted the urge to kick him. I knew it wouldn’t be beneficial. After I insulted him, I felt bad but it was quickly chased away with another contraction. “Does it usually hurt this much?” I cried out.
Ginny pushed my hair back, not even noticing how much I was sweating and feeling gross. “Yes, but it’s going to be over soon. Don’t worry.”
“It isn’t soon enough. When can I take the bloody potion?!”
“It should be soon,” James consoled me. I just flopped back down on the bed. I couldn’t get any sleep. I tried but it was hard because I was so wired up from the contractions.
Healer Jones walked in again. “How are you feeling?”
“Terrible,” I muttered. She just smiled sympathetically at me and checked me again.
“Still a while to go, you’re only at five centimetres.” I groaned and said a reluctant thank you. She just smiled at me and left the room again.
“I’m just going to pop out for a second, is that okay?” Ginny asked me. I nodded and she gave my hand a pat before following the healer out.
“Ow, ow, ow,” I said, bracing myself as another contraction invited itself to the party. James rubbed my back soothingly.
“Just breathe,” he said calmly. “You’re doing great.”
I shut my eyes and focused on my breathing patterns. Soon enough the contraction stopped and I kept my eyes closed. “This hurts so much,” I whimpered. He just kissed the top of my head and assured me it was going to be over soon.
But it wasn’t. It was going to be a long time before this pain would stop. Why did people have more than one child? It was like being tortured!
I wiped my face and said, “I’m exhausted. Can we somehow do a spell and the baby will come out quick and painless?”
James snorted. “You can ask, but I doubt it.”
There was a knock at the door and then Rose popped her head in. “Reese! Still no baby?”
“Evidently not,” I grumbled. “Rose, please tell me that there’s a simpler and easier way to do this.” James laughed and excused himself to grab some coffee.
“I’m afraid not. Just hang in there,” she said bracingly.
“It’s been ten hours,” I moaned. “That’s far too long.”
“There are some women that go through it for nearly two days,” Rose said. “Just pray you aren’t that girl.”
I rubbed at my back. “This is a ridiculous amount of pain.” I wanted to scream that I never wanted another child but then I remembered Rose wouldn’t ever go through this. She was lucky in the sense that she’d miss out on all this unnecessary pain but unlucky that she wouldn’t ever have her own baby. And I felt like that overrode all this pain I was going through right now.
I suddenly felt so bad. I was complaining about this right in front of Rose. What type of friend was I?
“Sorry for complaining,” I said to Rose. “It’s a bit insensitive, isn’t it?”
Rose shook her head and laughed. “Reese, seeing you at this moment has actually made me feel better. I don’t want to go through what you’re going through, no offence. And yeah, it sucks I won’t have my own baby but I can always adopt. Or just steal yours.” I noticed her smile was a bit too forced but I could tell she didn’t want to make me feel bad.
So I laughed and said, “If it causes me this much pain, then yes. Take it. Keep it.” Rose grinned and I sighed. “When do you get off work?”
“I’m off right now. I just thought I’d stay with Uncle Harry and Al.”
“They’re here?” I asked incredulously. “It must be boring, waiting for ages!”
She shook her head. “Nah, they only just got here because of work and other stuff. And Scorpius is on a hunt for Lily.”
“They’re pulling her out of school?” Rose nodded. “Wow, I didn’t realise how much this baby meant to them.”
“It’s their first grandchild, they’re going to be excited, Reese,” she said dryly.
I laughed. “I guess. Don’t you want to go home? You must be tired!”
Rose scoffed, “And miss meeting my godchild? No way.”
I grinned and then there was another knock. Al poked his head in with his eyes closed. “It’s okay for me to look?”
“Yes, Al,” I said, rolling my eyes. His green eyes sprung open and he sat in James’ recently vacated seat.
“How’s it going?” he asked cheerfully, putting his feet up on my bed. I kicked them off.
“Eh. I still have a while to go. You guys didn’t need to be here,” I said.
Al scoffed, “And not get a day off? No way.”
I laughed and Rose said, “You know, everyone is here because they want to see the baby. Not because their work gave them the day off.”
Al said wisely, “Yes, but I’m one of a kind. And it’s my birthday tomorrow, so that brings up why I came in here.”
“You mean you didn’t come in to check on my wellbeing?” I said, acting hurt. I laughed and then cried out, actually being hurt because of the contraction. “Ow!” Al went white and looked like he was going to flip out but luckily Rose stayed calm and helped me through it. I gripped Al’s hand so tightly that he winced when he tried to move it after I’d let go.
“You okay?” he asked, looking nervous.
I nodded and took a deep breath, holding my stomach. “Yeah,” I said, gasping. “What were you saying?” He looked nervous and I said a bit waspishly, “Well spit it out then.”
“I’ve got a bet with Roxy. She reckons the kid is going to be born today but I bet tomorrow. Can you…” he drifted off as he saw my murderous face.
I snapped, “Al, I have no control whatsoever over how long this baby will take. I can’t choose when to push it out!”
“No, I know that. I just bet a lot of money on it and…”
“THEN DON’T BET ON MY FUCKING SITUATION!” I shrieked. He cowered and I felt a bit guilty. “Sorry, I’m just not happy that people are betting on me.”
He fidgeted and Rose coughed nervously. I looked between the two of them. “What?” I asked suspiciously.
Al looked at Rose in alarm. Rose glared back at him but then said to me, “Well… there’s kind of a running bet with what gender the baby will be.”
It was silent as I processed this. I then broke the silence. They flinched. “Who bet then?”
“The whole family,” Al said slowly.
“What do you guys think it’ll be?” I asked them curiously.
“Well, I think it’s going to be a girl,” Rose said. “At the baby shower I changed my mind.”
“And you?” I asked Al.
“Boy. Because that’s what James bet and because he’s the dad, I assumed…” he drifted off as my eyes widened.
“James knew about this?” I said loudly as the devil himself walked in.
“What do I know about?” he asked curiously, kicking Al out of his chair.
“That you bet on what gender our baby is going to be?” I asked dangerously. “Why wasn’t I included?!”
“Because you’re the mother. You have an unfair advantage,” he replied, taking a drink of his coffee and grimacing. “Ugh, this is awful.”
“It’s half full,” Rose said, looking in the cup.
“Yes it is but it keeps me awake,” he pointed out.
“So who bet what?” I asked.
“Mostly we’re betting it’s a boy,” Al said. “What do you think it is?”
“Well, at first I thought it was a girl. But I feel like it’s going to be a boy now. If it was a girl, she wouldn’t make me go through all this. Boys cause a fuss when you have to change something,” I said, grinning.
James looked shocked. “But you’ve been saying it’s been a girl like the whole time.”
“Yes, but that was mostly to challenge you. I actually had no idea. But I think it’s a boy now. Almost definitely.”
“Dammit!” Rose said, looking annoyed. “Couldn’t you have said that at the baby shower?”
I smiled at her but then swore as I had another contraction. Labour was hard.
The contractions were coming faster and lasting longer. I kicked everyone out except James by now. Although I allowed Ginny to pop in now and again. I just didn’t want her to be in here all the time though. I didn’t want her to witness me abusing James.
It was nearly eleven and I still hadn’t gotten to take the potion yet. I’d been pacing up and down to try and relieve some of the pain but it hadn’t been working. Every time I had a contraction James had to practically hold me up and I just gripped onto him for dear life. These things were hard. Healer Jones finally came in again and I reluctantly got back on the bed but was cheered up by the thought that I could finally take the potion.
James grinned and said, “See, it’s nearly over.”
I just gave him a grimace-smile thing in return. For him it was nearly over. I still had to give birth. The healer returned with the potion and I gulped it down as fast as I could.
It didn’t work straight away and I told her so. “Sometimes it takes a while for some mothers. And there are times where it doesn’t work at all. That could be due to other potions running in your system or just the fact that it doesn’t want to work,” she said.
I stared at her in horror. “I thought this was a fool-proof thing!” I cried out.
She shook her head. “No, childbirth is a strange thing to treat. It always has a mind of its own.”
I wanted to cry. What was the bet that the potion wouldn’t work for me?
James said, “It’s going to be fine. Don’t worry.”
I resisted the urge to smack him. It would be counterproductive. I kept going through more contractions and suddenly, the Healer said, “It’s time to push.”
“WHAT?!” I exclaimed loudly, through the contraction. “The potion hasn’t even started working yet!” I wailed.
“I know, Reese, but you just have to do it,” she urged me. I shook my head and then James grabbed my hand.
“Reese, come on, you have to do this. Just breathe, it’ll be fine,” he said, looking at me intently. I stared at him fearfully and he kissed the side of my head. “You can do it,” he assured me.
I took a deep breath and gripped James’ hand tightly.
Well, this is it.
After what felt like hours of pushing, I flopped back down feeling the sweat drip down my back. “You did it,” James murmured, squeezing my hand gently.
I was sticky, I stunk but none of that mattered when I heard the baby cry.
My baby cry.
Healer Jones finally said what I’d been waiting for a very long time.
“Congratulations, it’s a boy!”
Oh my God.
I’m a mother.
Yay! The baby finally came! :D Only one more chapter left! Also, what did you guys think it would be? I changed my mind so much in this but then my mum's cousin had a boy back in April (like every single one of my family members omg I swear none of them have girls) so I thought it was a sign to make him a boy haha. :p
Hope you all enjoyed and don't forget to leave a review on what you thought! I love hearing from you guys! ♥