Chapter 25 1st Grandchild & Hannah’s Betrothal
John C. POV
Shortly after I proposed in the rose garden, we went into the house and told my father. He was thrilled with the news. He told me that he has made preparations to move to his other property, and then will build a small home on this land, so he can live between the two. He told me that I will still have the main house since I plan to have a large family if the Lord wills it. We all walked over to the Hurd's estate and told her parents the good news of our betrothal. John Hurd and my father immediately left the home to set up the betrothal ceremony with the town officials. They decided to hold it the next day. We discussed having the wedding in the beginning of November because Sarah was due in the beginning of October, and we wanted to make sure the baby's impending arrival was not on our wedding day. We decided to wear our Sabbath Day best for our betrothal ceremony, and make a new outfit for me to wear at the wedding. Mary asked Hannah to come into the master bedroom.
"I am coming mother." I stated. 'I wonder what she wants.' I walked into her room, and she opened her cedar wood chest and pulled out a beautiful gown. She said that Papa had made it for her when they wed, and she wanted me to wear it. I saw it was well kept. I undressed and put the old gown on, and it just needed some altering since I was a little thinner than my mother was when she married. We were the same height, so she did not need to hem it. I looked in the full length mirror and felt like a bride. The dress was made of green silk. It had bows down the front and two bows in the corner of the apron. My mother told me we could add something to it or change it if I wanted as well. I thought it was well made and that my father did a beautiful job with it. I told her, "No, Mother. It does not need any changes just a little alteration at the waste. I love it, and it will be perfect for the wedding." She smiled with tears in her eyes, "I cannot believe my baby girl is getting married. You have always been a good help to me, and now your going to begin a family. Sarah is due soon for our first grandchild. I am so thrilled. I am going to have a difficult time when you move out though." I said, "Mother! I am not going too far. I will be living across the street and around the corner from here. I will come over often because I will need to visit and help with birthing." My mother looked at me and said, "I know it's silly, but it is hard not to get over emotional when your child leaves the nest. Plus, I have been having mood swings, and hot flashes because of the change. Your father has been so patient with me and tries to comfort me during my mood swings. He even fans me during the hot flashes. The other day he took me to the pond out back and made me cool off in the water. Of course, he stood guard, so no one could peek. I love him so much for taking care of me."
I told her, "Papa is the best husband. I pray John will be just like him." My mother stated, "I pray for that too. Joseph is the same way with Sarah. He dotes on her constantly." "Well, your marriage to Papa is the best model to follow." I said with a smile. I took the dress off and put my clothing on and said, "I think we should join the others in the other room. They might think we are trying to avoid them." She said, "Let's go." When we came out, my John's face lit up and asked if all was well. I said, "Yes, my mother gave me her wedding gown to wear and had me try it on. My father made it for her for their wedding, and now it will be worn at ours. I will show it to you later after it is fitted." He said, "Oh, How wonderful!" They all decided to have supper there at the Hurd's. Sarah came wattling in with her large baby bump and sat down next to Joseph. She turned and congratulated her sister in law and John C on their engagement. All of a sudden she yelped. Everyone looked with concerned expressions. She said, " Don't worry the babe is just kicking me in the ribs tonight. Joseph asked, "Can I feel it? She put his hand on her bump and he said, "This is so cool." Sarah said, " It might feel cool on the outside, but it feels like someone pulling your skin on the inside. Yes, It is still cool though." Mary remembered when her son was in the womb. She missed having babies, but she could not have anymore after Mehetable was born. Jacob who was 11 years old said, "When I marry, I want to have lots of kids."
His parents gave Jacob a look and said, "Let's focus on finishing school and learning a trade before even thinking of marrying."
Jacob replied, "I know, but there is a girl that is my best friend in school, and we want to court later after I finish."
"Aren't you a little young to think about that?" His father asked.
Jacob answered, "Maybe, but I like her a lot, and when it is time, we promised to reconnect and be together." Benjamin mentioned, "You mean Anna Willson, of Charlestown?
Jacob answered, "Yay, we are best friends and wouldn't that be a good start later on? I already know her, and we like each other."
Benjamin said, "I get it, but focus on your studies and training.
Jacob said, Of course. His family agreed.
They finished dinner, and Hannah gave John C. a quick kiss goodbye, and they left.
The Betrothal Ceremony
John and I were dressed in our Sabbath Day best. We stood holding hands promising to marry soon. We told the magistrate we wanted to marry in November. It was six weeks away, so we picked the Bible verse for the sermon on Sunday, and we had to post banns every other week.
Then we had a dinner of chicken stew, bread and butter, mashed pumpkin and ale. When the church elders left my father took us into his study. He told me about bundling and the rules. He said that it will happen during the week before our wedding. I was shocked, but Papa reassured me that he did this with my mother before their marriage. It was a test to see it we were nocturnally compatible, and strengthens connection. We promised him to follow the rules. We had 5 weeks to wait for that test.
The baby is born
It was a last days of September, the house was in waiting on the new arrival. Every move Sarah made was like we were anticipating her to go into labor any minute. She started having pains later that day. I started to bake cakes for her labor team. Her pains were getting stronger, so we contacted the midwife and nurses. My mother and I came into her room with towels, water and brandy. The brandy was to numb her pain a little. I noticed Joseph was a nervous wreck. He doted on Sarah and hated to leave her, but men were not allowed in the room during birth. My father came up and told us the midwife had arrived and coaxed Joseph to come downstairs with him. I followed and we talked to Joseph about Papa's experiences. He said, "All ten births he spent in constant prayer, and he credited me on keeping him sane and preoccupied while waiting because the wait is long and tortuous. Joseph agreed to stay behind with Papa and my brothers. They prayed for Sarah, a safe birth, and a healthy child. He pulled out sewing projects and books to read.
I went back into the room, and Sarah who had been in labor for hours now finally broke her water. She was ready to push. After a couple more hours of travailing, pushing, she screamed and push hard. The baby came out. It was a precious baby girl. I ran to tell Joseph. "Joseph! It is a girl! He was thrilled. He waltzed into the room to see a tiny baby on Sarah's chest. He asked her, "What do you want to name her, sweetheart?"
She looked at him with an exhausted look, " You name her. I am too tired."
Joseph looked at the tiny baby. He picked her up and looked at her face. "She looks just like her mother. I will name her Sarah." His wife nodded at him in agreement. He said, "You did such a great job, Sweetheart! Get some rest. I will take the baby to be baptized soon. Love you and he kissed her forehead." He watched her fall asleep. He took the baby wrapped in the quilt I made and brought her out to meet her grandpa, and her uncles. They were all gushing over her pretty face. They agreed that the name Sarah fit her well. Mary came out and held her first grandchild and said a prayer, "Lord, Thank you for this tiny gift. May she live a long life. Amen." We all said, "Amen!" Joseph took the baby to church a couple days later and she was baptized, October 1667.
The betrothal is done. Baby Sarah is born. Now wedding is next.
An brief beginning to Jacob's story, too.
Next Chapter: Hannah's Wedding