Poster: Allan Cleary
Post # 1
for Allan and Devon Cleary family: January 6th on the Epiphany --
got closer to her due date, Allan got more nervous with each
passing day, each passing hour, each passing minute! He handed
over most of his duties to his foreman so he was around more. But
even that wasn't enough as he sent word out to the hospital on
which midwife was available. Athalia came last evening with the
note as Sassy was away at one of the villages seeing to another
family, one that had a few children and was having number seven.
The husband away so she was also helping take care of her brood.
Gaelle was here as well making
sure the nursery was in order. He was presently down in the
kitchen fixing some Chai latte, something a bit more soothing than
was sitting in the large chair Allan had moved near the fire in
the main sitting room, finally a bit comfortable and resting, her
eyes closed as she listed to the crackling fire. The baby had
calmed down a bit in its movements the last day or so and she
thought she could get a bit more rest, but found herself just the
opposite, a bit restless, her lower back tense and achy. She knew
Allan was getting nervous, and she was a bit too, but didn't want
to over worry him. As he was out making some tea, she suddenly
felt a sharp pain in her lower belly, and gasped, her hand going
there as she tried to think of what she was supposed to be doing.
Breathing... that's right. She took several large breaths, before
calling out for either Allan or Gaelle... anyone!
had settled in the room readied for her but tonight she wasn't
ready to relax. She decided to head down to the kitchen to see if
she could make herself a bit of tea. Not knowing the layout of the
house too well was a good thing tonight for she found herself
peeking through a door at Devon. Seeing the look on the woman's
face, she hurried into the room. "Devon?"
Gaelle hummed to herself as she swept around the nursery, marking
off a mental checklist to make sure everything was here. And, that
everything was in its proper place. She hadn't gone out much,
especially over the last few days, preferring to stick close by in
case she was needed. And, right then, it sounded like she was
needed-- or someone, at least. She heard Devon easily and she
moved rather quickly. Like a bolt of lightening, Gaelle sped down
the staircase, thankfully not tripping and falling the rest of the
way down. "Devon, Devon? Are you all right?" She froze
just inside the sitting room, watching her. Where was ..
"Allan?!?!" Yes, him!
had placed two tea cups filled with the Chai on a platter which he
drew up only to hear Devon's call. The tray was dropped, least on
the table as one cup spilled over filling it, the other sloshing
as he was in a run into the sitting room. Right over to her chair
and down to kneel before her, taking her hand in his, worry, even
a touch of fear in blue eyes. "Is it time?"
had to chuckle a bit as everyone seemed to come careening into the
room a the same time, nearly running into each other. She had
almost forgotten Lia was here but glad to hear her voice. She gave
Allan's hand a squeeze, trying to reassure him, nodding.
"Aye, I think so..." a bit breathless.
She had moved out of the way quickly enough. Watching Devon a
moment, she stepped closer. "Can you tell me exactly what you
felt, Devon." She would wait for a bit and see if there was
another contraction, and then start counting.
Athalia there, Gaelle didn't go into panic mode. Which was good,
because panic can be a catching thing and tended to spread. She
took a few steps further in, her brows furrowing as she watched
them. For now, she kept quiet.
get you upstairs into the bed," which was decided their
children would be born in the bed they had been conceived in.
Idealistically. "Lia can check you," glancing up to her
as if asking if that was right, the procedure. Taking her hand and
the support of his other under her arm, "can you get
up?" Wondering if he would have to try and carry her. He
could do that too if needed.
nodded to Allan first that she could get up, as long as he helped
her. Then she answered Lia as best she could. "It was right
here," placing her hand where she had felt it. "Intense
but not sharp, more drawn out...." she got out just before
another pain washed through her. She squeezed Allan's hand, and
reached out to take his other one for stability, as she gave a
quiet moan and several deep, long breaths.
Devon was like most of her patients, she might feel the need to
walk some until the contraction became stronger. "Aye, I can
check her but remember. This is her first child so it may be some
time before the baby is ready to come." She knew everything
was ready and waiting in the upstairs. "The only thing we'll
need is some warmed water so we can bath the babe after." She
studied Devon a moment then moved forward to help. "Your babe
may be anxious to come into the world. Gaelle, do you want to get
the doors." She knew Allan was strong enough but Devon might
feel better having someone on both sides.
She was going to ask something else, but held off for now.
Instead, she worried about getting the woman upstairs, first. She
went ahead of them to open the doors up. And there, she waited,
and decided to wait until Devon was settled in before asking,
"Should I get the water now or wait? I don't want it to get
too chilly." The water, she meant, of course.
tried to ease her worry, and his to be honest with a little bit of
teasing in the usual, "heave ho," low by her ear as he
got her up. Long time, if it took a long time he would be a
nervous wreck in proportion. With Lia on the other side, she was
well supported and left to move at her pace than his. Taking their
time as needed, especially up the stairs as Gaelle saw to the
doors. Soon enough he was helping to ease her up into the bed,
throwing quilt and covers beneath aside. "Would you be more
comfortable in your night gown?" Which at this point he would
get it out but leave Gaelle and Lia to help her into it.
took her time going up, as big as she was, waddling more than
walking. As Allan sat her on the edge of the bed, she nodded, and
let Gaelle and Lia help her into the nightgown. She didn't feel
like laying down though, but wasn't sure if she should or not, if
it was safe to be up. She rubbed a bit at her back trying to
remember everything Sassy had told them about this moment, but it
all seemed to vanish.
can keep it warm by placing it beside the fireplace." Not in
the fire of course, but close enough for it to stay at a nice
temperature. "Why don't you go do that, Allan, while we help
her into the gown and I check her." She looked back to Devon,
and though the mother-to-be couldn't see the smile, she'd surely
hear it in her voice. "Did your water break, Devon?"
nodded when the plans somewhat changed, and turned a reassuring
smile in Allan's direction before she took a step away to find one
of Devon's nightgowns. When she found it, for now, she gently set
it to the bed, to be in easy reach when needed. She glanced at Lia
for her question to Devon and then, her gaze tracked Devon's way.
was a little relieved not to be in the room when his wife was
checked. Too nervous, visions of an arm hanging out or leg.
"Right away," well it would take time to warm up the
water in the bucket he had ready, kettle too. Not being sure how
much they needed, he would make sure there was plenty. With the
gown retrieved from the drawer and laid onto the bed, he was
quickly heading back down to the kitchen. The kettle would be easy
enough to carry but the very large bucket would have been a
struggle for Gaelle so all was good and a task to wrap his mind
around at the moment. They might hear some clatter down there as
he set to getting the water pumped then heated.
slowly nodded, "I don't think....." and then stopped as
another contraction took hold, this one longer and stronger. She
tried not to cry out too loudly, and took several deep short
breaths, then felt her water break as it pooled at her feet. That
answered that question. She sat a bit stunned, almost not sure
what to do next, her mind only seeming to focus on what she was
feeling and not necessarily on what she should or shouldn't be
be afraid to yell if you need to." She looked up at Gaelle
and smiled. "Will you be up to helping?" Making sure as
she didn't want her to faint. All the while, Lia was helping Devon
out of her clothing and into the nightgown. "I think you're
going to be delivering soon but we want to make sure. We'll get
you comfortable and then I'll check you. All right?" She'd
explain each step so that Devon wouldn't be caught off guard by
try to help, yes." She didn't think she'd faint. She'd seen
this before. She stepped around to help with Devon's clothes, and
right into the nightgown.
nodded and, after they got her into the nightgown, she laid back
in the bed, propped up a bit with the pillows, following Lia's
directions. Her calm steady voice actually reassured Devon a bit.
spite of her age, Lia had helped deliver a goodly amount of
children, even going along with her mother when she was small. She
did her best to not cause any discomfort, explaining each step.
After, she slid back and glanced at Gaelle. "We're going to
be bringing a child into the world faster than I thought. Best
yell down to Allan." Lia moved to the basin in the room
and washed her hands. She had been making sure there was clean
water in there every morning and evening.
With a quick
nod, Gaelle stepped easily for the door and out into the
hall. She stepped further along it, and spoke up, a call to
Allan. She didn't want to be too loud to upset the scene in
the room. "Allan? I think she's ready."
around this time Allan was back with the water, lugging a huge
pail that had been warmed as well a kettle in the other near
running into Gaelle as she came out from the room calling to him,
leaving her to take the kettle as he lugged in the oversize bucket
to the hearth. Once that was placed as well Gaelle to follow with
the kettle, he was over to the opposite side of the bed from where
Lia was to take up Devon's hand. "Squeeze my hand as well if
need be." He recalled one of his men saying that helped his
wife when she delivered their children.
relaxed a bit as Allan came back into the room. When he took up
her hand, she had thought only to give it a small squeeze, with a
smile, but instead gripped it hard as another pain washed through
her, long and steady. She cried out, teeth a bit clenched, eyes
shut, and breathed as best she could, which didn't seem to be
enough as she was a bit tired as the pain subsided.
grinned when she saw all the water, but they might use a good
portion of it. "All right, Devon, now what I want you to do
is breath like this when the contractions come." And she
demonstrated. "You're going to want to push but try not to
until I tell you, all right?" She looked over at Gaelle and
motioned for her to come beside her. She'd hand the baby to her
and she could give the little one to Devon.
as a bee, wasn't she? She was surprised, startled even when
she and Allan almost had a collision. She was quick to step
back, and seeing he needed help, she was quick to take the
kettle. Soon, soon, they were upstairs and she set the
kettle close by and eased around the bed to stand near Lia.
She was nervous, but it wasn't something she'd want to
admit. She winced each time Devon cried; she could only
imagine what it was like, what she was feeling.
started to bead along his forehead with a frantic look Lia's way
in silent question if this was normal. Fear gripped him as much as
Devon's hand with his. His other placed over them both as he
remained quiet instead of voicing any fears, not to upset his
wanted her to think?! She could hardly remember her own name. But
she listened and tried to follow Lia's directions as best she
could, nodding at least that she had heard. She tried breathing as
Lia had as the next contraction came, still gripping Allan's hand
tightly, then started to let go and relax a bit as the pain ebbed.
gave Allan a reassuring look and nod then checked Devon again.
"When she needs to breath, I want you to do it along with
her, Allan. It will help her concentrate." She was trying to
keep him busy too and not worrying. If she was right, the next
contraction would have the baby's head crowning.
herself, wanted to soothe Devon, but she didn't want to leave
Lia's side. She kept her voice quiet, "Devon, you're
doing wonderful." Hoping that helped somehow.
held to that grip as if by doing so he could lend her his
strength. The reassuring look from Lia had him relax a bit more
but it wouldn't appease him still being nervous. Long as
everything was going as it should, being clueless if anything was
out of the ordinary. It was one thing to watch a calf being born
but another when it was his wife and their child. "Anything I
can do to help.." letting her know he would do his best and
would do the breathing with his wife.
did take a break to turn and give him a small smile, not letting
go of his hand. She was a bit nervous too of all this, but could
get through anything with him by her side. As the next contraction
came, she breathed through it again as Lia had said too, only this
one was different, sharper, more intense, and she felt the urge to
scrunch up and push, but didn't. "Lia....?" her name
dragged out at the end of the contraction.
Devon. Push." She could see the baby's head and made ready to
guide the little one out. "Try to stop pushing now, sweets.
We need to clean the mouth and nose a bit." She didn't want
to say that she also wanted to make sure where the cord was.
"Gaelle, could you please hand me one of the towels
there." She'd use that to clear the baby's mouth and nose.
seemed to be flying by so quickly. She was surprised that
Devon was moving along so fast! Grateful, no doubt,
especially for her. Hearing Lia, Gaelle sidestepped to
snatch up one of the towels. She passed this over to Lia
when she was by her side again.
held her hand with encouraging words, "you're doing
great," excitement taking over the nervous as he was leaning
up to see what was going on down there. The head seen then the
child as he slipped out, "it's a boy!" The joy
unmistakable in his voice as he couldn't tear his eyes from his
was all happening way too fast in her mind. Wasn't it supposed to
take hours? She was still trying to catch her breath from the last
pains when the next one came. She pushed when Lia said, and
stopped when she was told to. As she felt the baby slip from, she
sighed in relief a bit, tears running down her face. Their child,
a boy too. She heard the joy in Allan's voice, and it made her own
heart do flips... until another contraction came, catching her off
guard. She cried out, not sure if she should be pushing or not,
but not truly in control any more.
too." She added as the baby came out. She had a slight frown
since it seemed the wee babe was smaller then expected but he let
out a good healthy wail. Wrapping him up, she handing him to
Gaelle and then turned back to Devon. "There's another
coming." The baby started to slip out again, Lia's gentle
hands doing nothing more then guiding. "You have a daughter
as well as a son." They were just the right size for twins,
the lad a pound or so heavier than the lass. Once the girl was
breathing and wailing as well, she was wrapped up and handed over
to Gaelle. Lia, and Devon's work, wasn't finished though the last
would go easier and Lia would make sure she didn't bleed too much.
check. She had one in hand and passed it over. Just in
time. One baby was already being passed over and Gaelle cast
a quiet smile down to the baby. Squirming thing. She
coo'd a little sound, only to blink and peer over towards Lia.
Another one? Quite surprised and she was sure the parents
were as well. She couldn't help her smile though, and
managed to hold onto it once she had another baby in her
arms. The moment was indeed precious and Gaelle, as soft
hearted as she was, thought she'd might tear up.
Taken by surprise as he kept Devon's hand in his, letting her
squeeze the hell out of it until he wondered if bones might break.
"A girl too?" Joy at seeing his little girl as he was
leaning up again to see best he could from that angle. Then the
grip of worry, "are there more?" The second was a
surprise enough to jolt that question from him.
leaned back as the last was taken care of, tears of joy streaming
down her face in silence as she listened to her children's cries.
"I hope not...." she said a bit breathlessly. "At
least not yet.... I don't have the strength to push out another
one just now." But said with a smile on her face. They had a
son, and a daughter.
no more." She chuckled as she answered. "We just need to
make sure the placenta is all out. Could you take your son from
Gaelle, Allan? And place the little girl on her mother once he
does, Gaelle." Poor Gaelle had her arms full!
she didn't mind holding them, honest! She turned towards
Allan, carefully handing the baby boy over to him. The
blankets (she'd grabbed two) were different colors and the lad was
wrapped up nice and warm. Then, Gaelle rounded the bed,
coming up to Devon's side. She gently placed the girl in her
arms. "Congratulations, Devon," she said in a
quiet tone, smiling as she straightened.
leaned in to kiss his wife soundly before easing their hands
apart. He had to flex his fingers a few times as he was up
and over following Gaelle with their children. Easy enough as
Gaelle handed him his son with he cradled in his arm and back over
to sit on the same side of the bed he had occupied during the
deliveries. He angled him so that Devon could touch his face,
might find him trying to suckle a finger if it got close to his
mouth. "He's a handsome lad and our daughter a beautiful
angel like her mother."
listened as Allan was over to collect their son, and then back to
her side. She did reach out with gentle fingers to touch his face
and "see" him the only way she could. He suckled on her
finger a bit before falling asleep in his father's arms. Devon
then did the same to their daughter as Gaelle brought the lass
over, gentle fingers running down the soft features from head to
chin. She also counted fingers. "Aye, they are both
their mother." He was in awe as he looked from son to
daughter to Devon then back again upon the face of his sleeping
son. "You will be staying a day or two, Lia?" Figuring
she would be to make certain Devon healed as she should, no
complications to spring up. Yes, he would worry over them all now.
need cleaning up as well as Devon but that could wait a few
moments. After the placenta was delivered and disposed of, she
started to clean up. "Aye, I will. Now, why don't you go down
to the kitchen and brew up some tea and maybe heat up some soup
for Devon while Gaelle and I clean her and the twins up." By
the time he returned, the twins would be attempting to nurse for
the first time. It would make a picture for Allan to remember.
their Da." she said softly. She wondered little things about
them as she held her daughter to her chest. Did they have their
father's eyes, or hers? Or something else completely? What color
would their hair be? She was marveled at what she was holding,
having waited so long for her children to arrive.
you for all your help Lia and all of yours Gaelle," he was
indebted to them both as he was up to hand off his son to Gaelle
while Lia cleaned up Devon. "I'll bring up enough tea for all
of us to have, soup as well." They might be hungry also
and himself at this point. Something light too. He leaned in to
warm Devon's lips with his in a very loving way before he was
the kitchen in seeing to this task.
are quite welcome. I'm very grateful that I could be a part
of this." It was a touching moment! She gathered
the babe back into her arms but kept close to Devon, though not so
close that she was in the way. When Allan stepped out of the
room, she went about the process of cleaning up the children, and
Erik Allan and
Aileen Devon brought into the world 11:00 and 11:05 pm.