(An original Regency Romance story copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2021; All rights reserved);
[(1) story cover below left]
[Illustrations: I cast my stories as I write them. So from time to time, I will illustrate my story with actors and such, including: Richard Armitage as Lord Edward Carlisle, Daniela Denby-Ashe as Lady Emily Creighton Carlisle, Blake Ritson as Lord Kittredge Wells, Polly Walker as Lady Patience Creighton the Countess of Stoke, Bill Nighy as Lord Nigel Creighton the Earl of Stoke, Christina Cole as Lady Cecily Englewood Wells, and others as noted.]
[Author’s Note: This original Regency romance is a work of fiction, and as such, any character names, scenes or other descriptions were written at the creative discretion of this author. And this is a gentle and tender romance (G to PG-13), but with some frank discussions about love and marriage put to humorous effect. This is my disclaimer.]
Ch. 24: Christmas Blessings, Part 3
As Lord Edward whisks his very pregnant and soon to birth their first child wife Lady Emily up the stairs to their bed chamber around 4:30pm on Christmas Day, her parents Lord and Lady Creighton and her cousins Lord and Lady Wells follow them.
Lady Emily: “I’m so sorry about the mess I made, when my….” There she stops, too embarrassed to continue.
Lord Edward: “When your water broke?” She nods sheepishly. “Not to worry My Darling. You are having our baby! That is more important that worrying about any mess.” He replies excitedly.
And Lord Edward thinks that at least, his wife leaked before she had time to sit on his lap for him to rock in her rocking chair gift [from] her parents.
Lady Creighton: “Oh my yes, Dearest Emily! How exciting! You will gift us with our third grandchild!” She smiles wistfully.
When the family cavalcade reaches Lord Edward’s and Lady Emily’s bedchamber, Mrs. Minton and her Nurse Assistants staff are waiting for them. And she takes charge.
Mrs. Minton: “Lord Carlisle, please set Lady Carlisle upon her feet next to the bed. Thank you. Now everyone please remove yourselves so [that] we may make her ladyship comfortable.”
The family look like they might revolt at the notion of leaving Lady Emily into Mrs. Minton’s charge.
Lady Emily: “Mrs. Minton, May my Mama Lady Creighton and [my cousin] Lady Cecily stay?”
Mrs. Minton: “As you wish, Madam.” She nods her head deferentially. You see, Mrs. Minton’s way is to ask for more than she wants, then her relenting to what she will allow anyway. She finds noble persons are so much easier to manage if they think they are getting their way.
The Nursing Assistants Greta and Daisy swiftly help Lady Emily disrobe down to her camisole and soaked drawers and petticoats behind a changing screen.
Lady Emily: “My poor petticoats are ruined!” She wails. Though she is grateful that her satin gown was not similarly doused with the birthing fluids.
Mrs. Minton: “Nay, MiLady. Your petticoats will wash out. Now, be sure to leave off your drawers from down below.
Lady Emily: “Oh, but might I not have a fresh pair of drawers, until it is absolutely necessary that I not?” She asks hopefully. Though Lady Emily has become accustomed to sleeping unclothed with her husband, she will feel too embarrassed to do so with her family—even if they are her Mama and her cousin Lady Cecily.
Lady Creighton: “Emily Dearest, I believe that you will find yourself much more comfortable without your drawers on. And you will be covered by the sheets and blankets. So no one will be the wiser. And one does not know how quickly your baby might come. You were my third baby and you came within one hour of my waters breaking.”
Lady Emily: “But what about …”
Mrs. Minton: “Your Lady Mama is correct, Milady.”
So Lady Emily blushingly comes out from behind the changing screen in her knee length camisole and naught else. And Lady Cecily standing off to the side out of the way makes a mental note to have a similar knee length camisole made for her own upcoming birthing in January.
After Lady Emily is situated in her bed—with no birthing pains starting yet, Mrs. Minton relents and allows Lord Edward to return to his wife’s side.
Lord Edward: “Oh, Emily Darling, how are you feeling?”
Lady Emily: “I am a bit fearful but also excited to [think] that our baby will be born today.” She smiles beatifically.
Of course, Mrs. Minton had not previously shared with Lady Emily that some births can take up to 10 hours—because she did not want to frighten Lady Emily. Though as she now examines Lady Emily’s round abdomen and feels the baby’s kicks, she has a sense that Lady Emily might have a shorter rather than longer birthing process.
Two hours later, Lady Emily is in the throes of a large contraction pain that nearly causes her to faint.
Lady Emily: “Owwwww!” She screams as tears flow down her cheeks.
Lord Edward: “Oh Emmy, I am so sorry you are in such pain. I had no idea!” And he feels great guilt for giving her a baby that is causing her such pain and suffering.
Lady Emily: “Help me, Mrs. Minton. The pain is unbearable!” She whimpers.
Mrs. Minton: “I cannot give you laudanum, Madam. It could harm the babe.” For the medicinal uses of the drug Laudanum [(2)] were yet to be fully understood until much later.
Lord Edward: “But there must be something you can do. Help my wife!” Now he plaintively wails.
Lady Creighton: “If I had only thought to bring my birthing chair, that might have helped.”
Mrs. Minton: “Indeed. But let us stand up Lady Carlisle from her lying down position. That might help. So Lady Carlisle’s husband may stay, but the other two gentleman must leave the room.”
Mrs. Minton looks pointedly at Lord Creighton and Lord Wells standing off to the side looking quite discomfitted to be in the birthing room. And they bolt from the bedchamber with alacrity when the midwife gives them their reprieve.
So Lady Emily wearing a robe over her longish camisole that only goes to her knees, slowly walks around her bed with her husband Lord Edward helping her. Lord Edward is a frightfully disheveled sight at this point himself—without shoes, jacket, waistcoat, or cravat—and his hair is quite wild looking from him rifling through it with his hands.
Lord Edward: “Emmy, please let me know if there is anything I may do for you.” He whispers in her ear pleadingly, adoringly.
Lady Emily: “Do not get me pregnant again. Whatever child we have—be it a boy or a girl—that is it!” She states resolutely.
Lord Edward is speechless, as his own culpability in getting his wife pregnant—thus causing her this unbearable pain—is clearly the culprit.
Then suddenly, Lady Emily squeezes her husband Lord Edward’s hand.
Lady Emily: “Something is happening!” Lady Emily looks astonishedly at her husband and her midwife.
Mrs. Minton: “Quickly! Bring Lady Emily to the side of the bed to sit on.” That happens, then Nurse Greta sits on the floor at Lady Emily’s feet with a towel over her lap—ready to catch the baby. “Now Lady Carlisle, I want you to push with all your might!”
Lady Emily: “Aaaaaaaaaaa!” She screams as her baby daughter slides out of her body.
Baby girl: “Waaa waa Wa! Errrrp!” The little baby girl cries then burps as she spits up some goo onto the nurse. Then the baby girl opens her eyes [(3) right], sighs cutely, and moves her little hands around, then she opens and closes her mouth hungrily, and finally she naps for a bit.
Mrs. Minton: “My felicitations! You have a beautiful baby daughter!”
Lady Emily: “Oooh! May I hold her?” Lady Emily’s baby daughter is placed within her arms. “She is so tiny, and perfect! Welcome home my little sweetheart.” She coos.
Mrs. Minton: “Now let your daughter’s Papa hold her while we … finish up with you, MiLady.” The midwife intones cryptically.
So a smiling Lord Edward holds his delicate newborn daughter as he walks over to where his mother-in-law Lady Creighton is beaming, and Lady Cecily looks relieved.
Lady Emily: “Owww! There is another pain. What is happening?” Lady Emily looks completely surprised.
Mrs. Minton: “I thought so, MiLady.” Then she barks orders to her staff. “Daisy, come here and support Lady Carlisle’s back as we move her to the side of the bed again.”
Not to be left out, Lord Edward deposits his baby daughter into Lady Creighton’s arms and bolts for the bed.
Lord Edward: “I’m coming!” He insists and hops up onto their bed with glee and moves behind his wife to support her back again.
Lady Emily: “Must you shake the bed so, Edward Dear?” And then her next thought is stolen from her as another pain hits her. “Aaaaaa!”
Mrs. Minton: “Push, Lady Carlisle! You have another baby in there.”
And within moments of Nurse Daisy plopping down on the floor at Lady Emily’s feet, her other baby is born as Nurse Daisy catches him in a fresh towel and tucks it around him—and then the baby pees all over the towel tucked around him.
Baby Boy: “Waaaaaa!” He cries out with very strong lungs.
Lord Edward: “What is it?” He tries to look over his wife’s shoulder, but he can’t see with Mrs. Minton hovering over the birthing area.
Nurse Daisy: “MiLord, Let me get him cleaned up for you. He’s a right mess.” She smiles cheerfully.
Lord Edward: “We have a daughter… and a son?” Lord Edward almost whispers in incredulity. “Emmy! We have a daughter and a son, My Darling! Twins!” He crows loudly with masculine pride and love.
But Lady Emily is exhausted and completely spent as she leans back dozing into her husband’s loving arms.
And after the babies are cleaned up, Lord Edward sits with them—one in each arm—in an overstuffed chair as Mrs. Minton helps Lady Emily truly finish the birthing process and then get cleaned up, even as the bed linens are also changed.
Then as Lord Edward hands their babies to their exultant Mama Lady Emily to nurse them one at a time, he leans in and kisses his wife most tenderly upon her lips.
Lord Edward: “Thank you for giving us our baby daughter and baby son, My Love. I am a father, and you are a mother.” He states in wonder and awe.
Lady Emily: “We are.” She smiles cheerfully. Though she is still rather sore, now that she holds her babies in her arms and nurses them, Lady Emily is joyously happy. “They are so perfect! 10 fingers and 10 toes! Precious little mouths and noses, and …”
Lord Edward: “… nearly … [bald]. Ha ha ha ha ha! Do not fear, their hair will grow.”
Lord Edward switches babies with Lady Emily and she now nurses her son—whilst Lord Edward gently holds his baby daughter while she sleeps contentedly.
Lady Cecily: “Emily, Edward? Congratulations! The babies are beautiful! Now I will leave you to rest and see you in the morning. And remember to give the babies names—before anyone else does.” She states sotto voce and rolls her eyes at a delightedly besotted Grandma of four, Lady Creighton.
Lady Emily and Lord Edward smile and nod their thanks as Lady Cecily and Lady Creighton leave their bed chamber this night.
So on this Christmas Day, Lord [Edward] and Lady [Emily] Carlisle’s children are born—a daughter and a son, wonderful blessings of marriage, indeed.
To be continued with Chapter 25
References for Ch. 24 of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1434) December 24, 2021
- My “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage” story cover illustration is comprised of: a) an ivory lace background with Grati edit, found at torrid.com; b) a Victorian roses bouquet painting by the Boston Public Library, via Atlas Obscura (with some Grati edits ), found at https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/how-flowerobsessed-victorians-encoded-messages-in-bouquets; and with c) the text in deep pinkish coral in a Vivaldi font.
- The history and uses of laudanum were found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laudanum
Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad site link for Ch.24 of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
Previous SAL blog Post #1433 link for Ch. 23 “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”: