(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, Harry Hadden-Paton as Lord Martin Carlisle the Marquess of Leeds, Laura Carmichael as Lady Ophelia Winwood Carlisle, 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. 25 End: Babies, etc.
Happiness abounds in the London home of Lord Edward and Lady Emily Carlisle with the birth of their twins on Christmas Day. And though the proud Grandpapa Lord Creighton had been banished from the bedchamber as soon as the birthing was imminent—to his great relief—he managed to sneak back in an hour later to gaze upon his sleeping grandson and granddaughter, as well as their sleeping parents, waking none of them.
Lord Kittredge Wells as cousin to the parents, gratefully maintained his exile to the drawing room and sent his well wishes upon the birth of the twins via his uncle and the twins Grandpapa Lord Creighton. And Lord Kitt ponders that he will have to be in the room when his own child is born in four weeks time. He just hopes that they will have one baby born, so that his Dear Lady Cecily is not in as much pain as his cousin Lady Emily was.
And having witnessed Lady Emily giving birth, Lady Cecily feels quite more settled about her own upcoming birth in late January. Though Lady Emily’s pains were great and took about three hours, she had twins. And Lady Cecily is assured by her midwife and doctor that she is carrying only one baby. So Lady Cecily hopes that she will have half of the pain and half of the time to birth her child. Then finally that evening, Lady Cecily related the whole of her experience of being in the bedchamber during the birth—and her loving and attentive husband Lord Kittredge faints dead away as he plops back onto his bed pillow. And typically for the loving Lady Cecily, she revives her husband Lord Kitt with a sweet kiss.
But there is still a very important matter to attend to with regard to the new babies. Lady Emily and Lord Edward must decide upon their names before they then send out birth announcements.
So this fine December 26th morning after Christmas—with they and the babies fed their breakfasts in their bed chamber–and Lady Emily beatifically holding both babies in her arms [(2) right]–she and her husband Lord Edward discuss the matter.
Lord Edward: “Emily Darling, do you feel up to discussing the selection of our new babies names so that we may tell our family and send out our announcements?” He asks smiling in earnest, for he wants everyone far and wide to know of their joy and happiness about the birth of their twins–a daughter and a son.
Lady Emily: “I do. And I still like Anne Agnes Carlisle for our daughter, with her names honoring my Mama’s and your late Mama’s middle names, respectively.”
Lord Edward: “That is a lovely choice.” He hedges with a telling squint in his left eye. “But do you not think that Anne is rather a plain first name for a Viscount’s daughter? Would not Andromeda or Athena be more in the mode?” He asks hopefully.
Lady Emily: Now scrunching up her nose, she ponders her husband’s suggestions. “Andromeda is such a long name for a little baby and young child to have, and has no pleasing nicknames. I do not favor Andy as a nickname, but would likely be as far as she could pronounce. Consider how as a little girl ended up shortening my cousin Lord Kittredge’s name to Kitt.”
Lord Edward: “But that appellation fits him, and he likes it.”
Lady Emily: “Yes, but that was pure luck.”
Lord Edward: “We could abandon our notion of honoring our mothers or fathers in our babies names and, instead, give them their own names and identities.”
Of course, this breech of naming conventions that Lord Edward is proposing is sacrilege in Lady Emily’s eyes!
Lady Emily: “Oh but Edward Dear, we must choose family names.” She pouts. Then she brightens. “Perhaps we could choose our maternal grandmothers names for our daughter and our paternal grandfathers names for our son, thus honoring each family’s traditions and history.”
Lord Edward: “Possibly.” He thinks a moment. “What are the girl naming options for your maternal grandmama?”
Lady Emily: “Alice Caroline.” She smiles. “And your maternal grandmother’s names are Amelia Louisa. So if we went with Amelia Alice, she would have a pleasing ACA monogram.”” She states triumphantly.
Lord Edward: Not wanting to disappoint his wife, but indicating his preferences for form’s sake. “Actually, I prefer Caroline as a first name, with a lovely nickname of Carrie. Though Amelia would have the lovely nickname of Amy.” He smiles hopefully at his wife.
Lady Emily: “Hmmm.” She ponders her husband’s choices. “I like Amelia and its nickname of Amy—as a small child, she should be able to say her nickname of Amy.” She relents.
Lord Edward: “And might Caroline work as her second name? The Honorable Miss Amelia Caroline Carlisle.” He nods liking the compromise. “Well?”
Lady Emily: “Well, I suppose when she marries and takes her husband’s name, then the double C names will no longer be pertinent. Hhhh!” She sighs.
Lord Edward: “Excellent! Now on to our son’s name, I like Alexander, Robert, John, or even Creighton—your maiden name for our son’s first name—rather than one of my paternal grandfather’s names of Algernon Matthew.”
Lady Emily: “Hmm!” She replies non-committally. “My paternal grandfather was named Rupert Nigel, hence where my father received his first name.” Lord Edward wrinkles up his nose in distaste at either name. “I do not like either of my grandfather’s names either.”
Lord Edward: “Well then, shall it be the Honorable Mr. John Alexander Carlisle, or the Honorable Mr. Alexander John Carlisle?”
Lady Emily: “I rather like Alexander for his first name—it is strong and commanding. But then, of course, we will be giving our babies first names unusually with the same letter of the alphabet.” She frets.
Lord Edward: “Then let us change our daughter’s name to Caroline Amelia Carlisle—which sounds lovely, too.”
Lady Emily: “Alright.” She acquiesces.
So Lord and Lady Carlisle’s private announcement of their babies names—the Honorable Miss Caroline Amelia Carlisle and the Honorable Mr. Alexander John Carlisle—are shared with their close families first this day, who have waited to leave the Carlisle’s due to their waiting on finding out the babies names. Then a public birth announcement is made in the London newspaper upon the following day.
Their joy is complete with the birth of their babies—such happiness that Lord Edward could not have expected would ever be his, even just one year ago. And Lady Emily is blissful at being Lord Edward’s wife and now mother to his children. And though she had firmly told her husband just before their daughter was born that she did not want to have him get her with child again—due to the pain she was in at the time—she will revisit that vow in a year or two, after these babies are no longer soiling their wrappers.
To be continued with the Epilogue
Epilogue: The Wells baby is born, etc.
Though the petite Lady Cecily Englewood Wells, Countess of Fielding was hopeful to birth a daughter, she birthed a son, to her chagrin in late January of the new year—whom they named Lord Cecil Englewood Wells, the Baron Lakeland—the baronial title gifted to him by his father Lord Kitt. Though she and her husband Lord Kittredge Wells, the Countess and Earl of Fielding, are still very happy indeed with their baby son. Lady Cecily’s birthing pains were great, and her husband Lord Kitt was most apologetic to her about them. But with her good friend Lady Emily Carlisle at her side cheering her on, Lady Cecily managed to get through her birthing pains.
And Lord Kitt only almost faints once during his Dear Lady Cecily’s birthing trials–after he was shown their baby’s male parts, which confirms that he has sired a son and heir to his earldom. And, of course, Lord Kittredge having a son and heir to his titles and lands both astounds him and pleases him greatly—that is, once he is revived via smelling salts. And though Lady Cecily had dearly wanted a baby girl, she soon becomes quite enamored of her baby son Cecil—with his brown eyes and hair so like his Papa’s.
And Lord Kittredge is good to his word about also helping his dear wife Lady Cecily co-parent a daughter with him, when not two weeks later he tells his wife about a foundling baby girl with light blond curly hair left upon the door step of the parsonage at their Wells Castle home in the country. And he has the baby brought to London with its wet nurse and her baby boy.
So one month after the birth of their son Cecil Wells Baron of Lakeland, Lord Kittredge and Lady Cecily receive the visit of their hoped for adopted baby daughter. And so eager to see her is Lady Cecily that despite her being in the middle of finishing nursing their baby son Cecil, she urges her husband Lord Kitt to bring her the baby girl to meet.
And being an experienced Papa of nearly four weeks, Lord Kitt gamely brings the little baby girl into his bedchamber where his wife Lady Cecily finishes nursing their baby son Cecil.
Lord Kittredge: “Here she is, My Love!” He announces breezily, but in a soothing voice so as not to startle the baby girl in his arms. The baby girl seems fixated upon Lord Kitt’s soft bright blue velvet Winter weight waistcoat as she snuggles into it with her little hand rubbing upon it—and she coos happily and musically.
Baby Girl: “Aaaaa mmmmm.”
And of course, the baby girl’s wet nurse having just fed her and made her feel fresh with a new wrapper changing also makes the baby girl feel content, for now.
Lady Cecily: “Please bring her to me, Kitt.” Then Lady Cecily leans down and speaks softly in a playfully sing songy voice to her beloved baby son Cecil. “Cecil? Would you like to have a baby sister and playmate? I think you willll!”
Baby Cecil: “mmmmm.” He emits in an agreeable sounding tone. Or, that is what his parents interpret as agreeable.
Lady Cecily: “Kitt? I just finished feeding Baby Cecil. So if you will take and burp him, I will take the baby girl and meet her.”
Lord Kitt nods and gently lays the baby girl in his wife Lady Cecily’s other arm. Then he gently picks up their baby son Cecil and grabs the burping cloth and throws it over his shoulder, then gently places his son upon the same shoulder and softly rubs his back. This is Lord Kitt’s role at feeding time—burping his baby son.
Then the inevitable happens as their baby son Cecil satisfyingly–to his tummy–burps quite loudly.
Baby Cecil: “ERRRP!” Followed by Baby Cecil then eliminating into his double layer baby wrapper covering. They have learned that baby Cecil’s feedings are almost always followed by the need for one of their baby nurse helpers to take baby Cecil away to make him fresh again. And Lord Kitt bemusedly and gratefully hands his son to his baby nurse to be cleaned up—and he also gladly discovers that nothing had leaked upon his own person.
Lady Cecily: “Ha ha ha ha ha! I am so sorry Kitt! Baby Cecil does not mean to be so loud and … and …” She blushes and smiles prettily, her being loathe to mention baby Cecil’s unmentionable digestive habits.
Lord Kitt: “Indeed.” He smiles wryly at his dear wife and then adjusts his jacket and cravat, before leaning forward and kissing Lady Cecily’s forehead. “So, what do you think about the baby girl, My Love? Isn’t she sweet?” He asks hopefully.
Moving to get out of bed, Lady Cecily smiles prettily at her husband and walks with the baby girl in her arms to sit in the family rocking chair replica that Lord and Lady Creighton had gifted them at Christmas time.
Lady Cecily: “Oh my yes! She is sweetness itself. And her light blond curly hair is so similar to mine own.” She carefully caresses the baby’s head of curls in wonder. “She looks so similar to me and my girl cousin’s as babies in my Dear Mama Duchess’ family, that no one will guess that she is adopted.” She smiles.
Lord Kitt: “So shall we adopt her to have as our own baby daughter, then?” He waits with bated breath for his wife’s answer. For though Lady Cecily’s general demeanor has softened during their not quite a year of marriage, she still wants everything just so.
Lady Cecily: “Yes, lets!” And then revealing more about this baby girl foundling than she had previously let on to her husband, he is surprised, but not offended. “Besides, my dear unmarried maternal cousin Lady Ophelia Winwood—who has been ill and confined to the country for six months–will like knowing that her child will grow up in the bosom of her loving family.”
Lord Kitt: “What?” He asks with incredulity.
Lady Cecily: “Lady Ophelia and I were great friends growing up. And the last time I visited her about 6 months ago—before she left for the country—she revealed to me her plight of carrying her late fiance’s child. So I mentioned that we were hoping for a baby daughter. And I told her that regardless if her baby was a boy or girl, that we will help her find a loving home for her baby, with us.” She waits hopefully for her husband’s response.
And Lord Kitt, rather than chastising his dear wife Lady Cecily for excluding him from this momentous family decision, he tenderly kisses her upon her lips and sighs.
Lord Kitt: “My Dear Dear Love, you are the soul of kindness. Of course we will adopt Lady Ophelia’s baby girl as our own. And I concur with your wish to have Lady Ophelia be one of her godmothers. I am glad that it has all worked out.” Lady Cecily looks at her husband with a puzzled expression. “You see, My Love, your Mama took me aside when she visited after our baby son Cecil was born, apprising me of a family relation who needed to place her baby girl with a good and loving home—though, of course, she left out the particulars. So it was then we hatched the plan of having the baby girl left as a foundling at Wells Castle to remove suspicion of her origins from your side of the family.”
Lady Cecily: Tearing up with happiness, she shares her gratitude. “Oh thank you, Kitt! Thank you for understanding!”
Placing his arm about his dear wife Lady Cecily’s shoulders, gazing at the baby girl in her arms, and then into Lady Cecily’s eyes, Lord Kitt replies.
Lord Kitt; “Always, My Love.”
Then they lovingly kiss again. And over the next several minutes discuss baby names and settle upon the name of Lady Katherine Mary Wells—with Lady Kitty as her family nickname.
After a lovely joint baptism two weeks later at Wells Castle’s Chapel in mid February—of the Carlisle’s and Wells families’ four new babies—Caroline and Alexander Carlisle, and Baron Cecil and Lady Kitty Wells—each set of new parents serve as god parents for their cousins new babies. Each family also chooses another unmarried family member as an additional god parent for each set of children—the unmarried Lady Ophelia Winwood for the Wells’ babies, and Lord Martin Carlisle who is a slightly older and distant unmarried cousin of Lord Edward’s for the Carlisle’s babies.
Having Lady Ophelia and Lord Martin also be god parents was partially not to draw attention to Lady Ophelia as the only unmarried god parent—not wanting anyone to draw comparisons in looks between herself and her new god daughter Lady Kitty.
And after previously having Lady Ophelia to stay at their Wells Castle home for the two weeks leading up to the baptism, Lady Cecily and Lord Kitt took her under their wing and guided her in coming out of her shyness shell after her sadness of her fiance’s death and then of birthing their out of wedlock child—by dressing Lady Ophelia more becomingly, as well as some hair and facial styling as well—to deaccentuate her prominent nose. Lord Kitt cannot resist a challenge—whether it was his dear cousin Lady Emily’s single eyebrow and outmoded sense of fashion, or his new cousin by marriage Lady Ophelia Winwood’s nose.
And, as it happens when good souls help one another, good things result. And Lord Martin Carlisle decides to stop his world wide wandering and settle down at home in England—him finding Lady Ophelia quite charming at the Carlisle-Wells babies baptism. She, in turn, finds Lord Martin witty, kind, intelligent, and charismatic. So after a short month long courtship later in the Spring when the weather turned nice–of tea at their respective cousins and then their parents’ homes, carriage rides in The Park, watching over their respective god children a time or two together, and trips to the opera and to the ballet with Lady Ophelia’s cousins Lord and Lady Wells and Lord Martin’s cousins’ Lord and Lady Carlisle—Lord Martin gets down on one knee and proposes marriage to Lady Ophelia in her family’s London Townhouse garden.
However, that good lady feels that she can not enter into marriage with Lord Martin—and become his Marchioness—without telling him of her sad past.
Lady Ophelia: “Thank you for your kind offer of marriage, Lord Martin. I am honored by your proposal.”
Lord Martin: “But?” He asks with a whimsical note in his voice.
Lady Ophelia: “I feel that there are certain matters that I need to apprise you of, before you formally ask me to marry you.”
Lord Martin: “Oh trust me, Dear Ophelia, my offer of marriage to you is formal and irrevocable.” He smiles jauntily. As a jovial man of the world, nothing could or would shock him. “But go ahead and tell me what you will, if it will ease your mind.”
Lady Ophelia: “Thank you, it will.” She hesitates, gathering her courage. Then she speaks from her heart. “I am very fond of you Martin—most fond—and I regard you most highly. But, … you should know that I was engaged once before—it was a love match, and he and I would have married. But he was a soldier and he was killed on his last mission, two weeks before we were to be married.”
Lord Martin: “I am so very sorry for your loss, My Darling.” He returns to the settee—easier on his knees that way—and gently clasps her hands in his, urging her on.
Lady Ophelia: “Our last parting was bittersweet. And I wonder now if he sensed that he would not return from his mission. But we were together for one night of love, that begat our child.”
Lord Martin: “Children are the living proof of love.” He responds tenderly. “And where is your child now?”
Lady Ophelia: “I know you will keep this secret—not for my sake, but for the child’s sake.” He nods his head. “She is my god daughter, Lady Kitty Wells.” She looks up into his eyes, hoping that he will accept this news of her past—that is also her future as a godmother–but her being realistic, that noblemen want a noble and a virtuous wife. And she lowers her eyes after several minutes, when he does not say anything—her hopes dashed. Then she feels him standing up from the settee. In looking up, she astonishedly finds him returning to his knees.
Lord Martin: “Oh my Dear one, how you have suffered with your lost love and the uncertainty of bearing his child, your child, while also hoping to secure your baby’s future. This knowledge only makes me love you more—for your courage, for your selflessness, and for your great love for your child. Please marry me, My Darling Ophelia. And marry me soon. For I cannot wait for us to have children of our own—whom will no doubt love playing often with their cousins, the Wells’ and the Carlisle’s children as they grow up.”
Lady Ophelia: “Oh Martin, do you mean it?” She asks in wonder.
Lord Martin: “I do. And I will say I do again in two weeks time, formally, before a vicar, our family, and our friends. Please say yes, My Love.” He kisses her hands, then gently enfolds her in his embrace for a few precious moments. “Just one thing.” She looks up expectantly at him. “My knees are killing me! Ha ha ha ha ha!” So he stands up, then sits beside her again on the settee. “Say yes to a lifetime of love that we two shall have together as husband and wife, parents, and god willing, grandparents.”
Lady Ophelia: Her taking a leap of faith, Her hand caresses his face and she smiles. “Yes, I will marry you, Martin, My Love.” Then they share their first brief but tender kiss as a future husband and wife.
And so two weeks later, in mid May—Lord Martin Carlisle Marquess of Leeds marries the Lady Ophelia Winwood, her becoming his new Marchioness of Leeds [(3) right]. The lovely couple are radiant in their happiness.
Amongst the many family and friends guests, the now four month old baby girls Miss Caroline Carlisle and Lady Katharine Wells serve as flower babies; and their brothers Mr. Alexander Carlisle and Baron Cecil of Wells serve as baby ring bearers—each baby being held and walked up the aisle by one of their parents, who also served as wedding attendants for Lord Martin and Lady Ophelia. It was a most heartfelt wedding ceremony and celebration.
And as the weary newish parents of Lord Edward and Lady Emily Carlisle and Lord Edward and Lady Cecily Wells survey their finally sleeping babies at the wedding breakfast, Lady Emily remarks.
Lady Emily: “Well Edward Dear—and Kitt and Cecily—we may have just seen the youngest set of flower girls and ring bearers in wedding history. Ha ha ha!”
Lord Edward: “Indeed! My Princess Emily.” He responds to her with the childhood endearment that he created for her and lifts her hand to his lips for a tender kiss.
Not to be outdone, Lord Kitt weighs in.
Lord Kitt: “What say you my Darling Cecily? Shall we take that wager?” He then kisses her hand most tenderly and smiles.
Lady Cecily: Smiling with a pinkening blush, she places her free hand not holding her baby daughter Lady Kitty, on her stomach. “We shall see.”
As Lord Kitt’s eyes widen for his dear wife Lady Cecily’s implication of an impending future child to be born to them, Lord Edward jovially slaps his longtime friend’s back.
Lord Edward: “I will also take that wager, Kitt!” Then, in turn, now Lord Edward becomes astonished by his wife’s reply.
Lady Emily: “You will, indeed.” And Lady Emily also delicately places her free hand upon her stomach.
So as love and harmony abounds in the Carlisle, Wells, and the newly married Carlisle-Winwood homes, the niceties of marriage are multiplied—and then some.
Dear Readers and Friends,
Thank you for taking this journey with me as we followed the lives and loves of Edward, Emily, Cecily and their families in my original Regency romance “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”. I hope that you enjoyed it and thank you for the many votes, comments, and adding my story to your reading lists.
And I am also ending this story on a personal high note for me, as it is my and my husband’s anniversary. So I wish you all good fortunes in love with friends, family, and your romantic partners in life—and the niceties inherent within those relationships.
Hugs & Holiday Cheers! Gratiana Lovelace
References for Ch. 25 End & Epilogue of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”,
by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1435) December 30, 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.
- LadyEmilyCarlisle-holding-their-twins-is-myGrati-manip-of-DanielaDenby-Ashe’s face as-MargaretHale—onto a stock photo of a mother with twins_May2112gratiRev; the original babies image was found at http://www.corbisimages.com/stock-photo/royalty-free/RF4473506/mother-holding-her-newborn-twins
- Laura Carmichael as Lady Ophelia Winwood Carlisle and Harry Hadden-Paton as Lord Martin Carlisle on their wedding day was found at https://i2-prod.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article7070778.ece/ALTERNATES/s1200c/We-return-to-the-sumptuous-setting-of-Downton-Abbey-for-the-finale-of-this-internationally-acclaimed-hit-drama-series.jpg
Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad site link for Ch. 25 of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
Previous SAL blog Post #1434 link for Ch. 24 “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 24: Christmas Blessings, Part 3, by Gratiana Lovelace, December 24, 2021 (Post #1434)
Happy Anniversary to you and your husband!
This was a delight to read, from start to finish. 💖
LikeLiked by 1 person
January 01, 2022–Dear LadyGrayse, Thanks so much for your kind anniversary wishes! And I’m so glad that you enjoyed my original Regency romance “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”! I truly appreciate your kind remarks about my story! Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year 2022! May we all be safe, healthy, and blessed with peace and kindness toward others! Hugs & Happy New Year’s 2022 Cheers! Grati ;->