[From time to time, I will illustrate my story characters with: Richard Armitage as Sam Wakeforest, Marcia Gay Harden as Sam’s older sister Tessa Wakeforest Shoop Delaney, and Emily Deschanel as Tessa’s sister-in-law Olivia Delaney Wakeforest, Viola Davis as Pauletta Perkins, Cicely Tyson as Nellie Newton, Anna Sophia Robb as Alice Trent, Kevin Spacey as Roger Delaney, Sam Heughan as Todd Wakeforest, Idris Elba as Dominic Perkins, the late Polly Holliday as the Waitress Madge, Donald Sutherland as Aldus Warren, Teri Polo as Lillian Warren, and Ewan McGregor as David Warren, and others as noted.]
Author’s Content Note: “Love in the Great Pine Woods” is a mature love story with dramatic themes of love and relationships. It will mostly be at the PG and PG-13 movie levels. Specific chapters or passages may have a further rating of: L for language, D for dramatic emotions, and S for sensual themes. And I will rate the chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide for a chapter, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer. And as is my habit, I will summarize the previous chapter’s events at the beginning of the next chapter.
Author’s Recap from the Previous Chapter: The attacking male bear is dead, but the injured mother bear might yet be saved. And Sam discovers that his wife has gone into labor early with their twins while having a baby shower hosted by his sister Tessa at their Hidden Lake Cottage at the base of Wakeforest Mountain.
“Love in the Great Pine Woods”, Ch. 45: Baby Love
The blood drains from Sam Wakeforest’s face when his niece Alice tells him that his wife Olivia is in labor early for their twins in the cottage. She isn’t due to deliver for another five weeks. Then he sprints toward their Hidden Lake cottage where Olivia, his sister Tessa, and the the baby shower guests have taken refuge–still distressed over the almost bear attack.
Sam’s worry is further complicate with frustration because the protective barbed wire screen was dropped over the porch, and he has to run around to the back to get inside the house. Sam yells dashing inside his cottage via the kitchen door at the back–his niece Alice is closely upon his heels.
Sam is confronted with a nearly surreal view of some of the baby shower ladies still cowering there by the icebox–from their earlier fear of a bear attack. The ladies are brandishing all manner of wooden and metal cooking utensils as their only means of defense. Sam makes a mental note to upgrade the kitchen accoutrements with a new set of knives. The ladies startle when he enters. Except one well known lady—his and Olivia’s Housekeeper–drops her metal soup ladle in relief.
Mrs. Ventura: “Hi Mister Sam. You’re going to be a Papa today!” She smiles cheerfully.
Sam latches onto his housekeeper’s upper arms as if she is his savior.
Sam: “How is Olivia?” Just then a screeching scream punctuates the air and everyone’s conversations stop.
Olivia in bedroom: “Aaaaarrrrggggg!”
Mrs. Ventura: “Ah me, such is the fate of women—to suffer in childbirth.” She crosses herself.
Sam: “Is she suffering?” Sam asks worriedly.
Nine pairs of female eyes turn to Sam and knowingly nod their heads. Having heard a commotion in the kitchen and recognizing that deep voice, Sam’s sister Tessa Wakeforest Shoop Delaney opens the bedroom door to the kitchen.
Tessa: “Where is my brother? Sam!” Tessa squeals and scurries over to him. Then she literally drags him into the bedroom. All thoughts of bears chased out of their heads for the moment.
The scene in Sam’s and Olivia’s bedroom is not chaotic, but all eyes are focused up Olivia and the Midwife baby shower guest who is giving her instructions. And no one notices Sam’s arrival.
Midwife: “Olivia, you’re doing great! You’re fully dialated. So push as much as you can when you feel the urge.”
Olivia: In intense pain and annoyed, Olivia moans. “I am already pushing, but nothing his happening.”
Sam: “Oh my Darling!” Sam rushes to his wife’s side.
Olivia: “Sam! Oh Sam!” Olivia is overcome with emotion as her husband Sam embraces here and kisses her lips and forehead. Then another pain hits her. “Owwwwww! Hhhh! Hhhh! Hhhh!” Olivia pants after the worst of the pain. Her baby delivery plan was to be at Wakeforest County Hospital with their anesthesia gas. So much for plans.
Olivia Wakeforest has been in active labor for about forty-five minutes, but she is quite far along—with her dilation—that the Midwife thinks that she must have been in some labor earlier in the day. But now is not the time to question Olivia about if she felt pain earlier, they have no doubt that she is in advanced labor.
Midwife: “Olivia, I can see the head. So on your next contraction, really push hard!”
Olivia: “I am pushing hard. I can’t push any harder.” Olivia whimpers.
Sam: “You can do this. I would trade places with you if I could.” Sam kneels at Olivia’s side and gently strokes her hair.
Olivia: “Okay. Help me up. You’re having these babies for me.” Olivia jests for a moment.
Sam: Kissing her forehead, Sam smiles lovingly at his wife. “You’re a very brave lady.” Sam clasps her hand in his and kisses it.
Then the next contraction hits Olivia and Sam comes to know how strong a lady she is as well as her hands grip his hands like a vise.
Sam: “Owwwwww!” Sam yelps with the painful strength of Olivia’s grip during her painful contraction.
Then everything happens very fast. And not only does the baby’s head pop out, but its shoulders and body follow.”
Midwife: “I’ve got her! She’s a sweet little daughter!” The midwife suctions the baby’s nose and mouth using baby supplies that Olivia had received in her baby shower today. Then she swiftly but gently taps the baby on her back.
Baby Girl: “Waaahhh! Waah!” The baby wails with such clamor that no one is in doubt that she possesses a really good pair of lungs. Then Tessa clasps her new niece’s tiny feet [(2) right], then swaddles the baby and shows her to Olivia who kisses her baby’s cheek.
Sam: “May I hold her?” Sam asks hesitantly. He thinks that he has held a baby before—one of his brother’s kids. But that was years ago.
Tessa: “You won’t drop her?” Tessa narrows her eyes at her brother and first time father.
Sam: “Of course not!” Sam glowers and Tessa reluctantly relinquishes her baby niece to him.
Securely but gently holding his baby daughter, Sam steps back to allow the ladies to help his wife—knowing that there is another baby yet to come. He gently lifts his baby daughter up and down in his arms, marveling at how light weight she is—no more than a small bag of flour. Yet in his arms is something so precious that he is left speechless. Her baby blue eyes look up [(3) right] at Sam curiously and he realizes that he is a father now. This little life was created by he and Olivia. Their daughter is the living proof of their love, and he will cherish her and nurture her all the days of his life. Sam knows that he loves his wife more than anything. But in this instant—as he offers his pinky finger to his daughter and she grabs onto it with the tiniest fingers imaginable, not even one inch long—Sam knows that his heart also irrevocably belongs to her, their daughter. And he will see her safe and loved and cared for, until she finds a love of her own—if indeed Sam will consider any man worthy of his sweet baby girl, in twenty or thirty years.
Meanwhile, the Midwife has cleaned up the birthing mess of baby number one for Olivia. And Olivia is a bit sheepish about it all—this being her first birthing experience.
Olivia: “Sorry.” Olivia whispers embarrassedly—about her birthy mess.
Midwife: “Not to worry, it happens.” She assures Olivia.
Sam: “What happens?” Sam looks up worriedly from letting his sleepy daughter grab his pinky finger. Sam is not standing at the business end of the bed, but near his wife’s head.
Olivia: “Never mind.” Olivia pinkens in embarrassment.
Tessa thinks that it is probably unusual for the father to be present during the birth. And she cannot conceive of her husband Roger performing a similar task.
Then Olivia’s pains return and about twenty efficient minutes later, their baby boy is born.
Baby Boy: “Eeerrrpp!” The baby burps quite loudly.
After he is cleaned up and swaddled, Sam hands his daughter off to his sister Tessa and then reaches for his baby boy from the midwife. Sam now marvels at their baby son—a little smaller looking than their daughter, but seemingly heavier. Sam smiles with pride for he and Olivia to have such a hefty boy as he adoringly gazes over at his beloved wife Olivia. Then Sam leans down and lets Olivia kiss their baby boy who remains fast asleep [(4) right] when he is returned to leaning against his father’s shoulder. Sam knows that just as with their daughter, their son has carved a place in his heart. And Sam yearns to teach him about the mountain, about navigating life, and about the importance of finding and cherishing love. Sam also hopes to teach both his children about about silly joyous things like tossing a ball, climbing a tree, and skipping stones on a crystal clear lake.
Midwife: “Alright! Now that we are done with the births, would everyone please step outside while we help make Olivia comfortable?”
It is a request, with the hint of a command underlying it. There is more cleanup yet to be done with changing the sheets–and they want to give Olivia a sponge bath and change her into a fresh nightgown to make her feel more comfortable. So Sam kisses his wife’s lips once more—and she kisses each baby. Then Sam and Tessa walk out to the kitchen where the babies are suitably cooed over by the baby shower guests.
In about twenty minutes, Sam and the babies are invited back into the bedroom with Olivia—just the four of them. Olivia looks tired, but she seems to be sleeping peacefully as Sam sits down in a nearby chair—one baby in each arm. But when Olivia hears one of the baby’s make cooing sounds, she wakes up and smiles so beatifically, that Sam cannot help but smile at her in return.
Olivia: “Our babies! They’re real.” Olivia gushes. “I thought that I had dreamed they had been born. Please let me hold them.” Olivia reaches out her arms and Sam hands her their daughter—using a pillow propped under her arm to help support her. Then he does the same for their son and hands her their other baby.
Sam: “I am so proud of you, Mrs. Wakeforest! You were and are amazing!” Sam leans down and kisses Olivia sweetly.
Olivia: “Well, I had some help.” She grins. “I think our babies are the most beautiful babies I have every seen.”
Sam: “I agree. However, we cannot keep referring to them as just the babies. They will need names.”
Olivia: “I know. Are we still sticking by what we agreed upon earlier? I will name the girls and you will name the boys?”
Sam: “If you like. Or we can decide together.” Sam suggests and Olivia nods tiredly. “What do you wish to name our daughter?
Olivia: “I like Eleanor, after old Nellie, my honorary grandmother.”
Sam: “I like that too. And how about your first name for her middle name?”
Olivia: “Perhaps the next baby girl we have, we can name Olivia.”
Sam: His eyebrows rise in a teasing way. “We have just had two children, are they not enough, woman?”
Olivia: “For now.” Olivia smiles teasingly back. “I would like her middle name to be Marie, after your sister Tessa Marie.”
Sam: “Oh!” Sam sighs with tears in his eyes. “Tessa will be so honored. Eleanor Marie, Ellie.”
Olivia: “Ellie, I like that. And our son?”
Sam gently takes their son into his arms again as Olivia relinquishes him with a small pout.
Sam: Standing tall and proud, Sam breathes deeply. “I wish him to be called Daniel.”
Olivia: “After your father?” Sam nods. “I like it! And for his middle name?”
Sam: Sam sits on the edge of the bed as he cradles their baby son. “I have thought long and hard about this. He is part of both of us, and it is only right that he will bear both our family names and heritages. I wish him to be called Daniel Delaney Wakeforest.”
Sam: “Thank you! The gifts of your love and these precious children were beyond my hoped for imaginings a year ago.”
Olivia: “I know. I feel the same way. All my dreams have come true. I am a wife and a mother and an aunt and a teacher—and I could not be happier!”
Sam: “Nor could I be happier. These children are our legacy and they will have all the love we have to give them and more.”
Olivia: “And Sam, I would like to stay with our children while they are little—I don’t want to miss any of their growing up.”
Sam: “Nor do I. So you want to stop teaching? We can afford it. But it is your choice.”
Olivia: “Perhaps once the children are a year old, I can tutor some children at home–like I did for our niece Alice. Then when the children start school, I can go back to teach at the Wakeforest County Orphanage School and they can attend there.”
Sam: “That sounds like a fine idea. And I want to be with my children every day in a meaningful way.”
Olivia: “Even doing diapers?”
Sam: Wrinkling his nose disdainfully, Sam tilts his head. “If you insist.”
Olivia: “Not insist, suggest. To truly appreciate the good, one must understand the bad …”
Sam: “Or the poopy, in this case?” Olivia nods with a knowing smile. “Very well.” Sam sighs—pouting half heartedly.
Olivia: “I will hold you to it—diaper duty.”
Sam: “I look forward to it.”
Sam and Olivia kiss again, then the babies seem to be becoming a bit fussy. And Olivia knows that she needs to try to feed her babies. So they invite the Midwife back into the bedroom and she helps Olivia with nursing each baby. And Sam holds the non nursing twin watching on in awe.
Nursing her babies herself gives Olivia a sense of indescribable joy as they eagerly suck the nourishing milk from her breasts. She will love and nurture and guide them to be the good little persons that she knows they will become. And she wishes for them every happiness that she has known, especially with their father Sam—and every happiness that they will one day wish for themselves.
Finally alone later that evening still at their Hidden Lake Cottage–they will return to their home in Wakeforest tomorrow, but the Midwife felt Olivia needed to rest this night rather than endure a bumpy car ride home–Sam and Olivia delightedly hold their babies as Olivia sings them a lullaby and Sam hums deeply along with her, before putting the babies down to sleep in two blanket cushioned dresser drawers serving as makeshift bassinets. And then Sam doffs his shoes and outer clothes and slides into bed with his beloved wife Olivia and they drift off to sleep as they cradle each other in their loving arms. There lives together as parents has only just begun.
To be continued with Chapter 46
References for Ch. 45 by Gratiana Lovelace, July 25, 2016 (Post #943)
1) The “Love in the Great Pine Woods” story cover is a composite of two images manipped by Grati:
a) the Richard Armitage portrait is from the 2011 Project Magazine photo shoot and article interview, that was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/ProjectMagJuly2011/album/slides/ProjectMag-05.html;
b) the snowy Pine forest vertical image was found on Pinterest at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/62/fa/ff/62faff1253d55f571eb3659cc7661e73.jpg
2) Image of baby feet is a stock photo from MS Office Clip Art, July 2014
3) Newborn Baby Girl Wakeforest Swaddled in Blanket Jun1214MSOfcClipArt-sized-crop
4) Newborn Baby Boy Wakeforest is an MS Office Clip Art stock image from June 2014
5) Image representing Sam and Olivia Wakeforest kissing are Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe in North & South-epi4-pix340-Jan0114ranet-Grati-sized-brt-crop2brt
Previous Blog Ch. 44 Story link with embedded illustrations: