The Affair

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Chapter 19 – Birth

...Arabella...

The due date for our child had come and gone, Logan had basically moved us in despite my insisting I could do this on my own. He needed the reassurance and to be truthful, I needed him. Amber had taken over the running of my café and had even been on a few dates with Pierre, whom I still called Mr Taylor knowing how it annoyed him.

After a long day at the office, Logan snuck in to find me bent over in the kitchen breathing heavily as a wave of cramps ran over my stomach.

“Is it time?” he panicked rushing to my side.

“I think so,” I replied softly.

“Oh my god, right now... I should get... are you okay?... should I call someone?”

“You should calm down,” standing up straight again, I went back to dinner.

“What the hell?!” He screeched at me, throwing his hands in the air.

“Calm yourself Logan,” I couldn’t help but chuckle. “The book says that if this is it, we have a long time before we have to go to the hospital, go lye down on the sofa and shut your eyes for a bit, I’m making carbonara, I need you well rested in case something happens tonight.” No argument came from him, he grabs my butt and squeezes tightly then heads to the couch. Within seconds, I can hear his very soft snores. It must have been an exhausting day for him, although with my pregnancy hormones and high sex drive, his night times had become rather exhausting too.

After about twenty minutes another cramp wave hits, I bend over after putting the cutlery on the table and just breathed through it. According to the book, we were well on track and didn’t need to call the hospital until the contractions were ten minutes apart. Braxton hicks had been wreaking havoc on my body for the past few weeks, so I wasn’t overly concerned - more excited.

I bent down onto my knees, leaning to his ear, “fire!” I screamed, laughing as he jumped five feet into the air.

“Dammit, Arabella,” he replied grumpily and closed his eyes attempting to go back to sleep.

I began to kiss his beautifully handsome face. “From now on, I request that is how you wake me up every day - with sweet, sweet kisses.” His deep husky voice sending pleasurable chills through my spine.

“Dinners ready,” I laughed and rather difficultly stood up with his strong arms to help aide me.

Walking the garlic bread to the table, another stronger wave hit. I froze and closed my eyes, allowing it to run its course and Logan was immediately at my side - always so attentive and comforting.

“I’m fine,” I assured him when I regained my presence again.

“How many have you had while I was out?” he asked.

“Just one other, they are sitting at about twenty minutes apart, now eat.” I brushed him off as he pulled his phone from his pocket and dialled.

“Pear, Arabella’s sitting at about twenty minutes apart... Yeah, it looks that way... hey thanks, man... no worries.” He hung up. The conversation was not that hard to decipher, he was preparing Pierre just in case baby arrived.

We had decided to spend the evening making sure we were equipped for the hospital, even though I was the one going in, he still had a suitcase packed for himself, in case he needed anything at all he would have it. I adored this man and watching him frantically fluffing about like a deranged headless chicken was amusing.

We settled down into bed and switched off the light, cuddling into each other and drifted off to sleep.

3.04am, I’m shocked awake by searing pain, “Oooooohhhhh,” I groaned as a tears escaped and slid down my face - Logan’s eyes burst open.

“I’m calling the hospital,” he says and moves out of bed so fast that his foot gets caught on the sheet and he falls flat on his face.

“Logan,” I exclaimed, “are you okay?”

“Yes,” he grumbles, unhooking himself as I bite down hard trying not to laugh.

Within seven minutes, another stronger wave comes just as I’m seated in the car, “nnnnnnnnnn.”

“Nnnnn? What the fuck is an nnnnn?” He asks after I come out of my pain haze.

“I don’t know, that’s all I could manage,” I shrug, smiling.

By the time we arrived at the birthing suite, my contractions had closed to five minutes apart and Logan was in business mode, taking control of situations was what he did best but I found it entertaining when the midwife took him down a peg.

“Can you not see that my partner is in labor?” His tone set to ridicule.

“Mr McCarlock, how many babies have you delivered?” She retorted without batting an eyelid.

“Well, none,” his eyes narrowed in on the very plump woman.

“Right none, well, I have delivered hundreds so you need to be patient. Please fill in these forms for Ms Key while we sort out her suite, then we will escort you both in and get ready for your new arrival.” Her body language suggested this was not the first erratic and demanding father she had come across, nor would it be the last.

“Wwwwwhhhhhooooooo, Vomit,” was all I could manage as a vomit bag was thrust under my mouth and I threw up my entire dinner contents. “Sorry,” I groaned.

“It’s okay babe, you’re doing great,” he soothed as he rubbed my back.

Lying back on the bed, the midwife strolls in with a smile on her face as Logan was fiddling with iPod dock, setting our birth playlist on.

“Okay Arabella, clearly you are in discomfort but I have to check how far dilated you are, so I’m going to stick my fingers in...”

“What?” Logan gasps but she ignored as she sat on the bed.

“If you could just close your legs and then flop your knees open for me, keeping your feet together... thank you and 3... 2... 1... I’m entering.” By now I could feel her fingers rotating inside of me as another cramp rocks my body. “It’s okay Arabella, I’ll just keep my hand inside you until it passes,” she assures as my insides clamp down on her hand, “this is very normal, you are doing well, keep breathing through the pain.”

After what felt like an eternity but it was probably more like thirty seconds she extracted her hand.

“Great, we are sitting at about 8cm, you have a little wait but not too long, your waters have not broken yet, so I’m going to put on this glove with a little hook like this...” she held up the glove and put it on. “And we are just going to push the process along a bit okay, 3... 2... 1... entering,” with a slight tug, I felt like I had wet myself. “All done, would you like a cup of tea?” Her voice was calming and reassuring but surprising, casually throwing in a beverage with the birth, I snickered at my own thoughts as another contraction crashed through my body.

This time no sound came from me, I grasped Logan’s hand and squeezed, “you’re not supposed to hold your breath babe, just breathe.” I knew he was attempting to be helpful but these contractions were kicking my ass and I was sweaty and irritated.

“Thank you,” I gritted my teeth.

“You know you’re scary when you’re in pain,” he remarked, producing an extremely exaggerated eye roll from me.

By now, the pain had intensified by about a thousand. My moans were no longer coherent, the ability to comprehend my situation, lost in the wave upon wave of pure pain ravishing my body. Logan stayed right next to me through it all, holding my hand, not holding my hand, to be fair the poor man had trouble keeping up with what I wanted and didn’t want him to do, touch me or not touch me.

Cramp after torturous cramp crashed over me and I was simply drained. I didn’t care how naked I was or who came into the room, everything in the room had been stripped from sight and all I could focus on was the pain attacking my body.

“Epidural,” I groaned.

“You’re almost there Arabella, we can’t give it to you now,” the midwife replied nonchalantly.

“Ooooooohhhhhhh,” I pouted at my request being denied.

“It’s okay baby, you’re doing incredible,” Logan encouraged, “gas?” He offered as I pushed his hand away, that stuff made me feel sick.

“Let me have a look? Legs together, drop your knees please,” she placed her hand at the beginning of my entrance. “And 3... 2... Entering now,” she shoved her fingers in but by now, all I could feel was the assault that crept across my body. “Okay, I can feel your baby’s head, let’s get you ready to push.”

Fear and panic replaced the pain and my heart began to race, this is it, the moment of truth, we finally get to meet our child, after all this wait and turmoil, this was our fresh start. Rising to my knees on the bed - I’d read that if you use gravity to aid in the delivery to process it would be easier on your body. I grabbed Logan by the shoulders as he stood next to the bed. Face to face, he watched me with such intensity, love and adoration. His golden orbs sparkled as he met my hazel eyes and for the first time in years, I felt truly whole, he had taken all the horrifying parts of my life and glued them back together with his love. My admiration for him skyrocketed.

“Okay... Arabella, when you feel you need to? I want you to push,” the midwife said.

“I feel like I’m going to shit myself,” I breathed heavily again, an attack of pain tackled my body.

“Yep, that’s completely normal and if you do, that’s okay,” she laughed and Logan smiled at me.

Before I could think my stomach contracted and I bore down, shaking with each push.

“Breathe baby, you’re doing great,” Logan whispered words of encouragement, wiping the sweat and hair from my face.

I gasped on the third push as I felt something there.

“Your baby has crowned, the head is through, when you are ready to push again, this baby should come out.” The midwife’s voice rang in the background.

“I can’t,” I screamed.

“Yes you can baby, you’re almost there, ready... let’s push together, big breath in,” Logan was amazing.

Inhaling deeply, I bore down again, clenching my muscles for all I was worth and pushed, I was certain my face had changed to a shade of purple and my eyes were about to pop from their sockets. Shaking dramatically, I felt a tug and then a whoosh - the child slid straight out with a gush of liquid between my legs. I looked down at a tiny face lying in blood and gunk and I burst into tears. This amazing, beautiful thing with its eyes still closed, had just been pushed out and I was overcome with pure, untainted, everlasting and unconditional love. I had never known love like this before, it stole the air from my very lungs, entranced at the sight of our child, I looked up through tear filled eyes, to see Logan looking at us both with the same unashamedly, unquestioning and wholehearted love. His eyes leaked a waterfall of happiness.

“Congratulations Mum and Dad you have a BOY.” Logan removed his shirt and held our son, our son, he was truly ours and I lay back watching him as he gushed over our creation while the midwife made me push again to remove the placenta, but I couldn’t feel it.

“I love you, so much,” Logan confessed with tears still streaming down his face.

“I love you; I don’t think I could love you more,” Logan’s lips found mine passionately.

He put our son onto my chest and his tiny little mouth attempted to suckle, so completely natural, he knew exactly what to do. I moved my nipple into his mouth and without hesitation, he began to drink.

“Now what shall we call him?” I asked Logan.

“How about Dante, after my grandfather?” He suggested.

“Dante McCarlock,” I repeated the name again and again, “I love it, but also James after my father,” to which he agreed.

It was time to announce to the world of Dante James McCarlock’s arrival.

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