“It’s almost time,” Laird said to Martina. It was ten-thirty and they were sitting around the table in the kitchen after having cups of Rooibos tea. “Are you nervous? I know I am.” She was in her 40th week of pregnancy. The estimated day of delivery was Friday but it could happen earlier or later. His father had told him that he, Laird was a week late so his mother had to be induced. Hopefully, the same thing wouldn’t happen with this baby. Hopefully, he or she would be right on time like uncle Karson was.
“I’m excited and anxious for this baby to come. I can’t wait to hold him or her in my arms for the first time.”
“I hope it’s a girl and that she’s a beautiful as you.”
Martina smiled. “And if it’s a boy, I hope he looks like you.”
“We decided that if it’s a boy, we would name him Karson.”
“Yes, and if it’s a girl, we would name her Charlotte after your mother.”
“If my mother were alive, she would be making such a fuss about her first grandchild.”
“I don’t know.”
“I’m sure he would be thrilled for you.”
“I’m not sure he would be because of Antonia.”
“I’m sure you and he would have patched things up by now. You would have explained what happened. He probably would have fallen out of love with Antonia.”
“It’s no point saying that I wish Dad and Mother hadn’t adopted her. They did and she’s part of the family whether we like it or not.”
“Aunt Margery and I.”
“Speaking of Aunt Margery, how are things progressing between Dad and her?”
“They’ve been seeing a lot of each other. Dinners, day-trips, concerts, the opera. I won’t be surprised if he proposes before the end of the month.”
“That’s great…but what about Antonia?”
“What about her?”
“She isn’t fond of Aunt Margery, is she?”
“It doesn’t matter how she feels about it. Dad’s happiness is all that matters and if he could he find it with Aunt Margery, then, good for him.”
“What will happen when they get married? Will Aunt Margery sell her house and move into the mansion?”
“And is Antonia still going to be living there?”
“I don’t think so. I advised Dad to have her find her own place as soon as possible.”
“I still can’t believe that she pushed Aunt Margery down the stairs.”
“Antonia’s a bad seed, Martina. The best we can do is to leave her to God.”
“I will continue to pray for her. Constant, sincere prayer can make all the difference.”
“I hope so, for your sake.”
“I hope there will be a wedding soon.”
“If things continue as they are, there will be. Now, I think it’s time for you to go to bed. You need your rest.”
“You’re right. I’m feeling very tired. Had a long day today. What about you?”
“I’ve some work to do.”
“Don’t stay up too late. You need your rest too. You’ve been taking care of me and the flat since I’ve been on Mat leave.”
“I’ll be fine,” he assured her.
She got up from the table and waddled over to where he was. He stood up and leaning over, he kissed her on the lips. “Goodnight,” she said softly.
“Goodnight, Darling.” They kissed again and then, she turned and slowly exited the kitchen. He washed the cups and after turning off the light, left the kitchen and headed for the study where he spent two hours pouring over papers.
The next morning, Martina woke him up. “It’s time,” she said.
He stared at her groggily. “Time?” he murmured. “Time for what?” She couldn’t have meant that it was time to get up and get ready for work because it was Saturday morning.
“It’s time to go to the hospital,” she gasped. “The contractions are getting closer.”
He was out of the bed in a flash. He had her sit down on a chair while he took a quick shower. Her bag was already packed. He grabbed it and they left the flat. He helped her into the backseat of the car. She lay on her side, frantically doing her breathing exercises as he drove to the hospital. When they reached, he helped her out of the car, took her into the lobby and raced off to find parking. Martina leaned against the glass, closing her eyes and breathing as the contractions continued to get closer.
Laird got a wheelchair for her and off they went to triage. As soon as she got there, her water broke. Fortunately, her doctor was there with a nurse. They tended to her. She lay there on the bed, gripping Laird’s hand tightly, breathing and trying to fight the urge to push. After 4 hours of labor, Martina gave birth to an 8 lb. 13 oz. baby girl.