Karene knew it was her time, she'd only borne six other children. Her seventh was being more and more of a little brat by the minute. She saw no reason to call the healers. The sky outside grew dark. Does the little one come?
The dragon began crooning to the little baby and Karene. She was quite comforting to all of Karene's children.
The night wore on and her contractions came closer together. There was still time, however before the babe would make his or her appearance. She took a bath, had her personal drudge set fresh linens down on her bed, enough to absorb any after birth from the baby. There were more for once the child was born. She refused to go to the infirmary.
This would be her last child and thus far everything was going along smoothly. Despite her age, she insisted her drudge only get the healers if it seemed like they were needed.
She had contacted the Headwoman about a wet nurse for when Karene had duties but she almost never had use for one before. She very much doubted she would allow the child to be breast fed by anyone but herself. She could be quite adamant at times.
This would likely be her last child, if the healers had anything to say about it anyway. And it didn't matter that she and Andris had been moving apart recently. She never had enough time to give him and now she knew she would have even less. Karene had given him permission to move on. They both had to but this child would surely bring him some joy even so.
He might have no other children either. Being that he was as much a workaholic as she was.
As the contractions came more closely together she found it harder to stand thought she had been pacing the room for some time now. She found herself unable to lay there and wait, no matter the pain of the contractions. Karene wasn't a normal person. Everyone who knew her could see that. So it wouldn't surprise anyone that she behaved strangely.
When it got to the point where she knew she would have to lay down, her breathing had quickened. Karene got her breathing under control and laid down in the bed. Reassuring herself that she was doing the right thing didn't stop Galadrieth from seeking out someone to tell.
To Taroth she said, My rider is being stubborn, can you have yours send for the healer. Her child is almost with us. There was a hint of pride in her voice as she bespoke the Bronze.
The birth was coming along easily, much more easily when Karene didn't have to be somewhere she didn't want to be. She'd never had much trouble with birthing. She was bred for it after all. Not that she thought herself as an animal but Lords wanted their daughters to bear children, it was the whole purpose of their existence. Her mother's family was quite fertile.
She was no exception and would have had more children had she been inclined.
By the time the healers did arrive, she didn't have the concentration to get angry with Galadrieth. The baby's head was crowning just as the healers came in. Immediately, having her drudge hold her hand and put a cool, wet cloth to her head. She ignored the younger woman and focused on the task at hand. Within moments, there was a loud squalling coming from her weyr, shortly after his head, the baby's shoulders and the rest of his small body came with him.
The healers were too preoccupied with cleaning him up to scold her for trying not to include them.
"Another boy, my lady, you really are trying to breed in dragonriders." Her personal drudge said in awe. "Shall I fetch the wet nurse?"
"No." She said breathlessly. This was her baby. She held out her arms as soon as the child was clean. "Karendris." She whispered to him, as she held him close to her.
"Bring me a weaver in the morning." She said and brought the baby to her naked breast where he searched for her breast. His dark hair off set his blue eyes and flushed skin. He was beautiful but weren't all her children?
She had Galadrieth send word to those who should know before hte Weyr was abuzz with the baby's birth. Her other children, the baby's father and her Weyrleader would be the first people to know that the boy had arrived and they were both in good health.
No more bed rest. She thought with a smile.
If any of her children wanted to see the baby, they need only ask, she would allow them all time to meet their brother if they were curious. Strangely enough all of her children, despite having different foster parents kept tabs on one another. Especially Thanekar and Emerene.
In that moment, she was once again glad she had decided to have her own children. She never thought any love could compare to her love for Galadrieth but love of her children was almost as strong. The best human love to be found on Pern.