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[South East] Year Zero

#27345
The last eighteen hours had been utter Hell. Apparently, Iver babies liked to make their mother's suffer, and Astrid really had done just that. Suffer. The beginnings of labour had been long and drawn out, increasingly uncomfortable; Astrid had been increasingly more irritable as time went on. Even as Nathan supported her, or as she got a bath, or tried to distract herself, or did anything - it seemed to last an eternity!

Even as things still started to progress with her finally giving the go-ahead for the healer to come and assist, everything seemed to move at a snail's pace. The room was too hot, the bedding was uncomfortable and itchy, the pain was becoming unbearable. And yet she was not even half way there yet?!

Apparently, most of the birth had taken longer than average. Lucky Astrid. Right now, she was a mess, the most unkempt she had ever allowed herself to get. Sweat on her brow, hair frazzled, limbs shaking. It was over, but she felt like she had just had a close call with Hell itself. But finally, finally, Soren was born.

She took a deep breath, closing her eyes, a small smile on her face as she heard the baby cry. Music to her ears. She felt tears starting to well up inside of her.

"It's a girl!"

Astrid's eyes snapped open at the healer's words. She stared at the ceiling, a tear trickling over her cheek. Her chest heaved as it began to set in. All of that...all of that effort for a girl...she felt sick just for thinking that way. She wanted to love and be proud of all her children...but the first born was always supposed to be a boy.

The image of Viola with her firstborn son flashed in her head. How had Viola managed to do it but not Astrid Lundstrom!? The horror began to envelop her; if Dorian was Nathan's first born son...

She needed a cigarette.

Played By: Vyreia

Re: [South East] Year Zero

#27349
Nathan... was startled at the news! He had been so certain his first born would be a boy... There had been that seer many years ago that had told him his first born would be a son...

Nathan just stared at the baby as the healer's assistant rubbed it down with a towel, cleaning it off and then wrapping it up in a soft blanket. Nathan felt oddly numb, as if he were looking at someone else's child. His mind set had been so set on his first being a boy that everything felt a bit dream like...

They hadn't even talked about girl's names!

The nursery had been designed with gender neutral colors, lots of greys, white and yellows. The newborn clothing was the same, but that was only because Astrid's Aunt, who had come into town a few months before to help Astrid prepare, had insisted they wouldn't know for sure until the baby came... But Nathan had thought he had known for sure, and Astrid had been swept along with his certainty. Or perhaps she was just humoring him? Nathan glanced at her and saw what looked like stress at the news...

His mind then went to where hers did. Maybe he did have a first born son.

Shit.

Nathan leaned in close to Astrid then and said in a low voice, "It doesn't matter. This is my first born child. Don't let thoughts that don't make a difference ruin this moment..."

He straitened up then as the healers assistant approached Astrid with the baby girl, preparing to put her in her arms.

A girl... what did one even do with a daughter?? Well, she would be more Astrid's... or Astrid'd responsibility that is. Girls grew to take after their mother's and follow in their ways, right? Nothing for him to worry about much...

Re: [South East] Year Zero

#27352
Astrid could barely figure out what to do with herself, or her hands. She saw the healer approaching, and tried to shake her head. It was too much! Nathan's words did little to comfort her, the numbing sensation coming over her as she seemed to be unaware of her mind and body.

Before she even realised, the child was being placed in her arms, and Astrid hand her eyes closed, almost afraid to look down. Her breath caught in her chest. This had to be a joke - a subtle revenge from Nathan for her actions, perhaps? Maybe Viola did something to her. She grit her teeth, feeling the pressure building.

But she couldn't avoid looking at the baby forever, could she?

Carefully, she cracked open her eyes, looking down her nose at the little thing bundled in her arms. She was small and red, delicate with wisps of dark hair on her head. Astrid felt herself lost for words, and she wasn't sure why. Without even realising, her hand came up to stroke the side of the baby's face, the child peeking open its eyes in response. They were not as bright a blue, a little darker, a little greyer. Astrid felt her breath catch once again at the sight.

"Ingrid."

Played By: Vyreia

Re: [South East] Year Zero

#27356
“Alright...” said Nathan. He had nothing to say against it because... well not only had he not thought of any names really, but he felt Astrid needed this. Naming something could be a powerful thing.

He looked down at the baby... his daughter... then trying out the name he said, “Ingrid Iver....”

The healer started writing the name down on the form for the birth certificate, saying as she did, “Ingrid. Lovely name for a lovely baby. Will there be a middle name?

“Eliana,” said Nathan at once. “He hoped Astrid would not mind. “Ingrid Eliana Iver,” he said with confidence. He liked the way that sounded.

As the healers prepared to step out of the room Nathan reached over and briefly brushed the baby’s hand with a finger.

Very soft.

Giving Astrid a light kiss on the forhead then he said, “You did very good my dear. None could have done it better... How do you feel?”

Re: [South East] Year Zero

#27357
Astrid's face softened slightly.

Ingrid Eliana Iver.

It was pleasant to hear. It seemed to fit right.

"I don't know...It doesn't feel real." Astrid spoke, still trying to regulate her breathing. It felt like there was something welling up inside her, but she wasn't sure what. She'd never experienced it before, and therefore, didn't know how to react.

She looked up at him, looking over his face. "Sit." She instructed, gesturing to the space beside her. Perhaps the long drawn out stress had tired her out to the point of being unable to create snarky comebacks.

Played By: Vyreia

Re: [South East] Year Zero

#27359
And with that, Astrid did what she very, very rarely did. She pulled his arm over her and leaned in, resting her head on his shoulder, the baby in her arms, expression softening as it all began to sink in.

She had wanted a son. She would never stop wanting a son. There was a part of her that felt that-

No, she couldn't think like that.

She held her daughter closed to her chest, her heart overwhelmed. But finally, she looked up, unable to shake this feeling. Carefully, she leaned up, kissing Nathan softly on the mouth. Perhaps it was the more affectionately she had ever kissed him, even more so than at their own wedding.

Played By: Vyreia

Re: [South East] Year Zero

#27360
Nathan kissed her in return, then just held her, looking down at their little daughter.

Maybe Astrid still had resentment. Maybe she always would. But for the first time in weeks he really felt like everything was going to be alright. In fact... more than alright. So he had a daughter. So what? He would have a son next time. Astrid seemed content. He was sure in a few weeks, or months he would no longer wish she was a boy. Most importantly they had truly started their family. Everything he did, created, built had more purpose to it now. In a way it all felt... different.

The baby looked so incredibly, incredibly helpless... and she was his blood.

Maybe Wesley should be moved off the property.... and the dungeon lab below Iver hall should be emptied of dangerous materials.... and boarded up. No one needed to be going down there.

Re: [South East] Year Zero

#27361
Astrid inhaled deeply. After a little bit of coaxing herself, she leaned down, kissing Ingrid's head, staying there for a moment. So, so many emotions swept her away.

Did anything matter anymore?

She leaned back again, quite content, quite comfortable despite the lingering pain.

"Did you ever imagine it would feel like this?" She asked to Nathan, but her eyes still remained on the baby. "I haven't gone soft...have I?"

Played By: Vyreia

Re: [South East] Year Zero

#27364
“No,” said Nathan matter if factly. “It’s called the mothering instinct. You can’t help yourself. It’s hard wired into the brain and the chemicals your body releases at birth. Even the scent of your baby sets them off. It’s for the survival of the species you know?”

That’s right. At such a tender moment Nathan was talking about biology.

“It would be a sign of physical and mental weakness if you did not feel this way,” he said going on. “You are a perfect specimen of a woman, healthy, strong... of course you will react to your child as you are meant to.”

Re: [South East] Year Zero

#27365
Astrid smirked.

"Such romantic words. I hope you remember all this when we are arguing over which primary school she will go to. Clearly, by your own words, it is a mothering trait to know what is best for survival."

She looked up at him, but soon her smile began to falter, and she looked back at Ingrid.

"She doesn't even realise how much she will be compared to Dorian..."

Played By: Vyreia

Re: [South East] Year Zero

#27370
Astrid frowned.

"You're a fool if you think we're the only ones that wonder, Nathan. You and I both know that there will be rumours. Not only that...but two Iver babies within mere weeks of each other - it's inevitable. Even without the circumstances...your relatives will always compare them. It will be a silent competition."

Played By: Vyreia

Re: [South East] Year Zero

#27374
Nathan was quiet a moment, but finally he said, “Well then... I feel sorry for little Dorian. Because she will surpass him in everything.”

Looking down at Astrid he said, “Do you doubt it?”