Author: Athea (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Title: Bringing Up Babies, part 16
Pairing: A little bit of everybody
Summary: Babies are just being born all over.
Date: 14 July 2003
********* Pharin *********
It was time for Fala to come out of her mama. El' was ready, too. I left our home running to go and get Gampa Lor when I heard her call. He and Gampa Glo were feeding each other breakfast and trading soft looks that made me giggle.
"Gampa Lor," I tugged on his sleeve and he picked me up with a smile.
"Good morning, Pharin, does your mother know you came to visit?" He asked.
"No," I shook my head. "Glimmer knows. Fala comes now. You need to help Unc' El'."
He stood up immediately. "Gloin, if you would get Legolas and Gimli, we'll meet in the Rose Suite. Are you going to help, Pharin?"
Gampa Lor is a wonderful Big Person. He never says that we're too young to help. I nodded. "Yes, Fala wants wet."
Nodding, he carried me down the hall. "Then that is what she will receive." He knocked on their door and Unc' Del answered.
"Thank goodness, Lorrin. El' is so restless that he's frightening me." Unc' Del is almost as pretty as Mama but today he was frowning 'cause he was worried. "Good morning, Pharin, this isn't a very good time for a visit."
"No visit - help," I told him and held out my arms. That always gets me a hug and once we were touching, I kissed his cheek. Sending him calm waves made him feel better and Gampa Lor winked at me before he slipped into the bedroom where Unc' El' was waiting.
"I'll take all the help I can get, little one." Unc' Del kissed my forehead. "I do hope that Faladel will take it easy on Elrond."
"Ready to come out and play, Unc' Del," I smiled at him and he carried me back to where I could see the dark elf panting on their big bed while his tummy rippled all over like the river when the fish spawned. Fala was moving restlessly and I could hear her mind talk inside my own head. 'Out, out, out . . .' was what she was saying and I giggled at her impatience.
"Pharin?" El' sounded surprised to see me.
"Help Fala, Unc' El', s'e wants to go swimmin'," I told him and tugged on Unc' Del to let me down so I could touch Fala like Gampa Lor was. "Baf-tub, Gampa. Fala wants water."
"Good idea, Pharin." Gampa Lor nodded and asked Unc' Del to go run the water. "Not too hot but not too cold either, Glorfindel."
I stroked the spot where Fala's hand was reaching for me. "Good Fala, soon come out and play." I kissed the smooth skin where she was kicking her mama. "Don' bwuise Unc' El'. Is time, Gampa."
Fala was concentrating really hard on getting out and Gampa picked Unc' El' right up out of the bed and carried him into the pretty bathroom with the rose veined marble that Dada had mined and carved. Unc' El' was moaning just a little when Unc' Del took him from Gampa before sliding him into the water in front of him so he could hug him tight. Their bathtub was really big so there was still room for Gampa between Unc' El's legs.
They were busy using Vilya to open a spot for Fala to come out so I went to the front room to get the basket that sat by the fireplace. It was just the right size for a baby. I carried it back into the bathroom and took a soft rose towel from the cupboard to line it. There, that would be a soft bed for Fala once she was cleaned up. I got back in time to see Gampa pull her out of Unc' El's stomach.
Unc' Del looked kind of queasy but Unc' El just looked stunned. Gampa washed her off and cut the long cord that came with her. Her mama was already reaching for her when she was handed over. I put the basket near Unc' Del's elbow then I watched while Gampa Lor closed up the long cut. I could feel the magic he was doing and I could see it work but I wasn't sure how it worked.
Gampa Lor had already told Glimmer and me that when we got a little bigger he was going to teach us all about our elements and magic. I could hardly wait to find out how to do all the fun things that he showed us. Mama was going to teach us how to read and write. Dada was going to give us lessons in the Mountain and Gampa Glo was going to teach us how to work with pretty metals.
Lessons were always fun and when we got bigger, there were going to be even more fun times. I felt another impatient voice inside my head and I giggled. "Gampa, Lora and Fin are ready to come out, too."
Unc' El looked surprised. "Miriel has gone into labor?"
I nodded vigorously. "Evey-body is coming today. Even Cerri far away."
Unc' Del chuckled. "This will be one birthday that no one will ever forget."
********* Elrohir *********
Glimmer showed up on our doorstep at the same moment that Miriel doubled over with a ladylike shriek. The little boy darted past me and went straight to her with a big smile on his face. Elladan had moved to her and was holding her up.
"Fin is weady come out, Miw." He told her while reaching up to pat the mound that held our twins.
Another pounding at the door brought me back to answer it. Rhea charged in with Bilbo right behind him. The little hobbit tugged on my pant leg and I automatically bent down to pick him up. Stopping for a moment, I realized that for an elf who didn't like touching others, the children of Friendly had effectively widened my sense of tolerance.
The little boy's grin told me that he'd probably read my mind. "You loves us, Unc' Hir. Fin and Lora, too."
I dropped a kiss on his head and followed the others into our bedroom. Rhea was taking his daughter's pulse while 'Dan was cradling Miriel as her back rest and Glimmer had his little hands on the huge mound that was our twins. I joined them and wondered how long before we'd have them in our arms.
Six hours of walking Miriel around the cottage while the cramps got steadily closer together. Thankfully, her mother joined us after the first hour.
One hour of holding and being held while she told us exactly what she thought about the birth process in words that we hadn't realized she knew. Thank goodness the little ones had already left for a late lunch.
The last hour went by so slowly that it felt like a day in and of itself. Elladan and I were going to have bruises from head to toe. Her strength was impressive but I would have given my left arm to have spared her the agony that was ripping through her slender body. Lorrin had joined us for the last hour with the news that our little sister had been born and he settled the bet my brother and I had with Miriel.
Glorfindel's hair and eyes had won. 'Dan and I promised Miriel that she wouldn't have to lift a finger around the house for the next two months. She grinned victoriously before beginning the pushing that introduced us to our daughter. Slithering out in a mess of bloody fluid, Lorrin cut the cord and placed her in the towel I held. I could hardly see her through the tears and I used a clean cloth to wipe away the mess from her tiny scrunched up face.
Loralin was beautiful.
Mother Lorel helped me, murmuring soft words about how pretty she was and what a fighter she was. I had no words so I handed her granddaughter over to her and went over to take 'Dan's place propping up Miriel. Our son was already sliding into position and I wanted him to be free to hold him. I took the damp cloth from the basin of water by the side of the bed and bathed Miriel's sweaty face.
"Tired," she panted.
"I know, sweetheart, just one more push and you can rest." I kissed her temple and felt her heart skip a beat. Looking at Lorrin and Rhea in concern, I surprised them in a frown.
"Miriel, try and hold back. Don't push just yet." Healing hands moved over the shrinking abdomen. "Finidan seems to want to come out backwards."
"Breech?" Miriel shivered in my arms, rocking back and forth. "Need to push."
I held her close, both of her hands in mine and gently bit her earlobe. That distracted her long enough for the glow coming from Lorrin's hands to move the little feet up rather than down. He slid the baby into the proper position and I started breathing again. I looked up into Elladan's eyes and saw pure terror there. If we had our way, we would never have another child. Two was enough.
"That's better, little one, try pushing again." Lorrin moved to one side so Elladan was in position to catch our son.
Miriel put all her strength into it and Fin came sliding out into my brother's hands. I smiled through new tears and watched 'Dan reverently hold our son for the first time. Lorrin cut the cord and Rhea was right there to help him clean the little boy. Fin was angry and his cry woke up his sister. Miriel was laughing and crying at the same time.
It was chaos but it was also family. Elladan and I handed the children over to their grandparents so we could bathe Miriel and change the bedding. Once she was comfortable, we entertained visitors . . . lots of visitors. The Hobbits came together, followed shortly by Legolas and his brood. Glimmer was fascinated by Finidan and Lorrin confirmed that they shared the same element of earth.
Bilbo told us that Loralin was like him and Lorrin nodded with a smile. That's when Pharin said Cerri had been born, too. I spared a hope that poor Grandfather had been able to keep anything breakable from her during the labor. If her trial was anything like Miriel's then he had my deepest sympathy. I could hardly wait to send off our letters to Lothlorien.
Watching Miriel nurse Loralin, I said quiet prayers of thanksgiving to our Lady. I held my loves close to me and breathed a sigh of relief. Our family was safe and healthy.
********* Gimli *********
Well, the second of December will be remembered in Friendly for some years to come. Glimmer and Pharin were so excited about the babies that I didn't think they'd ever go to sleep. 'Playmates' was their assessment of the new arrivals and I shudder to think what the next few years will be like while they're growing up. Legolas and I hadn't told them that Elrond, Glorfindel and Faladel would be leaving for Rivendell in a few months.
I could almost hear the wailing already. Hopefully, Jerdal, Loralin and Finidan would be enough new playmates for them. Pippin said that Blue was humming to herself all afternoon about quiet Cerri. If he was anything like their little Bluebird, the Lady was going to have her hands full. I was looking forward to seeing them all at the next Council.
"Gimli, you still up?" Papa's gruff voice came from the front door and I waved him in.
"Legolas is just making sure that the twins are finally asleep." I told him quietly and he grunted before sitting down in the rocker with a bit of a sigh. "Would you like something to drink, Papa?"
"Got any beer, son? I could use a mug or three." He yawned and scratched his chin. "Lorrin is making one last round of everyone. Our little Pharin is a caution and that's no mistake. Lorrin said she helped birth Fala just like she'd been doing it for years. He thinks she's going to be a healer like him and Rhea."
I chuckled and went into the kitchen to pour a couple of mugs from the cask I'd installed there. One of the brewers of the Blue Mountains had brought his recipes with him and asked if he could join the community. I thought I saw King Thorin's hand in Dralic's arrival but he was a master brewer and that was no mistake. We welcomed him and the hop harvest was abundant this year so we had a good variety of ale to choose from.
Coming back in, I found Legolas curled up on the hearth rug talking quietly to my father. I'd thought he'd be joining us so I had a mug of chilled wine for him, which he accepted with a soft smile. Papa drained half of his pint with a sigh of relief. I sat between my bonded's legs when he drew me down to him, stealing a kiss on the way.
"What a long strange day it's been, to be sure." I sighed a bit myself. "I'm glad that they're all healthy and poor Miriel didn't have too bad a time of it."
"I think her the bravest woman I know, beloved." Legolas took a sip from the chilled goblet and set it aside so he could unbraid my hair and comb through it with his fingers. "If I had had to endure eight hours of labor pains, I do not think I would have been as gracious as she was when we all descended on her."
"You would have done it and done it well, my love." I said a bit gruffly since thinking about his labor still made me feel a little frightened. "I'm just glad that we didn't have to wait so long to see our babies."
He kissed my temple and went back to massaging my scalp with his strong fingers. "Next time, I shall know what to expect and you will help me through it just as you did this time. With Lorrin and Papa helping, I shall fear nothing."
"Hah," Papa snorted and finished his beer. "You should still wait a bit before asking Lorrin for that potion. Get strong and healthy before you get pregnant again."
"I'm fine, Papa." My love turned his sweet smile on my father and I watched him melt, the same way that I did when it was focused on me. "Gimli and I have decided to wait until the twins are three. Next year we will focus on the Council and plans for rebuilding Middle-earth. The year after that," he shrugged gracefully, "after that we'll see what the Old Ones have in store for our family."
I had an urge to kiss him right then and there but Lorrin was suddenly beside us. I swear the man is a cat, the way he appears and disappears. After chatting for a few moments, he and Papa left for the guest house. They were going to stay there for another day to make sure everything was all right before they returned to White Cap.
"Beloved," Legolas lifted the hair from the back of my neck and was slowly kissing his way to that spot behind my right ear. "While I like the idea of Pharin being a healer, I fear she is growing up too fast. She's not yet two."
I chuckled and shivered at the same time. Moving a bit sideways, I looked into those beautiful blue eyes of his. "She and Glimmer are decidedly not like the children that we were. They are small miracles but we can not judge what is right for them based on how we grew up. I think Pharin thought that today was a fun thing not really a lesson at all."
He nibbled on my lower lip while he pondered my words. With a sweep of my tongue, I welcomed him into my mouth and we kissed for long moments before he pulled a little bit away. "You're right, beloved. She called it 'playing'. I wonder if there is anything she or Glimmer would call work? They both enjoy their lessons in letters from me and they treat them like a fun game."
"It was the same when Papa showed them the forge. They wanted to try it immediately. They have little fear of either hard work or new knowledge. I think it comes from their elements." I'd been watching them interact with our world and day-dreaming about what they would be when they grew up.
His smile is so beautiful that I lost my train of thought. "Gimli, you are without a doubt the smartest dwarf in Middle-earth." He kissed me hard then slipped from behind me to stand up and stretch. "Let's go to bed and celebrate our three new residents." He cast me a sultry look then sauntered for our bedroom. "We can practice making babies."
Yes! I rose to my feet full of energy and chased him onto our bed. With the doors shut, I had no fear that we'd wake up the twins. We can both be rather vocal when we make love. Rolling on our wide bed, we stripped each other bare before the tickle attack began. We were both shaking with laughter when I stilled his slender body beneath mine to look my fill of him.
"You are more beautiful today than you were on our long journey, Legolas." I told him the truth.
"Gimli," he smiled fondly and wiggled our shafts together. "You grow wiser every day. Can you tell what I am thinking right this minute?"
I reached for the oil on our bedside table. "Practice!"
********* Pharin *********
Mama and Dada were making love again and it hummed in the air like the very best kind of happy song. I couldn't go to sleep just yet because the new babies were still restless. It had been such a wonderful day and I wished that we were going to have a new little brother or sister.
That would really be fun.
Maybe if I helped them a little?
//Help me fix Mama and Dada// Then I told him about my idea.
He had to think for a bit but then he agreed. We reached out together and made the space inside of Mama where we had lived before we were born ready for a new baby. Glimmer remembered to nudge Dada's third ball so the seeds were right. Just like Uncle Sam had shown us in the garden.
There - that should do it. We giggled and fell asleep while they were still making love. Today had been the very best, perfect, really good kind of day.