Chapter 24: The final family update
Buttercup shivered as soft infant lips wrapped around her erect nipples followed by a tiny tongue gently rolling over it and fresh mother’s milk began to flow into the waiting mouth of her infant son.
“There you go” Laura whispered. “Now he’ll get his fill. You want to just stay with him or do you want to try and do them both?”
“Both.” Was Buttercup’s instant reply. “I want to learn right away how to do them both at once, ‘cause I know I’m going to have to.”
Laura chuckled softly. “I suppose you’re right.”
After giving birth, Buttercup and her newborn twins had settled down for a nice rest, and when they had woken up, the twins had started to fuss. Laura was now showing her how to breast feed; although, since Laura herself never had twins before she was using second hand-knowledge and previous observations to help Buttercup feed both at once.
Buttercup had her arms crossed, with one hand holding Danté to her right breast and Laura was now gently depositing Emerald into the other. It was a little awkward holding them this way, especially since they were both a healthy weight, but she was adapting and she had her wings wrapped around her in such a way that they helped hold the babies in place.
“Don’t forget to let him breathe.” Laura reminded the new mom. Buttercup winced and pulled her son away from her nipple for a moment to force him to take a few breaths. He whined softly in protest of being separated from his food source but he was soon returned to it and went silent again as he resumed suckling.
Buttercup giggled. “It feels funny. Breastfeeding that is.”
Laura smiled and helped put Emerald into place against Buttercup’s left breast. “Yes it is quite something, although you’re getting it in stereo.”
Buttercup shivered again as Emerald began her feeding and then took a deep breath to relax herself and enjoy the feeling of breast feeding her first children for the first time. It was an amazing feeling, the closeness of the three of them together, their soft bodies against hers and them feeding from her was all so incredible. It was so relaxing and the sense of bonding added a whole new dimension to it. It was like she could feel her children’s moods again, just like she could when they were in her womb. They were not scared anymore, although they were aware that they were some place that was not where they had been, the place that had been their home for so long. They knew who she was though, they knew she was mother, and they trusted her. She could sense their unrestrained, uncompromising trust and love and it brought tears to her eyes. She felt a hand on her back start to rub up and down. She opened her teary eyes to see Laura smiling at her.
“Congratulations Buttercup. You’re a mother.”
Buttercup smiled back, sniffling back a few tears. “Thanks. I’m honored.” She looked down at her new babies and gave them each a kiss on the head before bringing the hungry tykes back to their feeding. “I’ve never been happier.”
“I’m sure. Now wait right here and I’ll go get those outfits for them. I’m sure you’d want them dressed before you show them off to their family.”
“Yeah and I wouldn’t want to disappoint Bubbles after she went to all that work.”
“Well they are cute.” Laura held up Danté’s red jammies with a look of approval. “I can only imagine how well dressed her own children will be.”
Buttercup chuckled. “Well considering how friendly she’s been getting with your nephews, we might not have long to wait.”
Suddenly Buttercup heard a distressing gurgle and felt warm liquid splash back against her breast and start to drip down. She looked down at her son and her eyes widened in alarm. “Oh no! Laura Danté threw up! What do I do?”
Larua grabbed a wipe from the nearby shelf and rushed over. “Buttercup, relax, relax, we’ve been over this. Sometimes babies throw up and it’s not always because they’re sick. Remember they’ve never used their stomachs before now. Just keep calm or you’ll upset them.” Buttercup immediately tried to stop panicking and took several deep breaths to calm herself down.
Danté whined as his grandmother wiped him clean but was pacified when Buttercup held him against her and gently shushed him, holding her two babies against her chest and doing her best to keep them calm and soothed.
“Well then I guess we’d better hurry and get them into their diapers and then into their clothes.” Laura gently patted her grandchildren on the head and then stood up to fetch the diapers. “Are you sure you didn’t want Dray here with you?”
Buttercup nodded. “I asked him to check up on Mandy for me and to keep Blossom from biting through one of the support beams or something. Knowing her she’s probably like a stir crazy squirrel right about now.”
Laura laughed. “Well I suppose that’s true. I hope Mandy is doing alright. She might still be resting.”
“I can imagine that with labour that long. Though if her kids are anything like mine she’ll have to wake up soon enough to feed them, though I’m kinda surprised the kids took so long to wake up and get hungry for the first time.”
“Oh, that’s the post-birth semi-hibernation we mentioned. They go into an especially deep sleep after birth while they adjust to not being connected to you anymore. It’s good because it lets you get some more sleep. Having raised the first three, I can tell you it’s a blessing.”
Buttercup winced. “Yeah, I guess you weren’t as lucky as me and have a son the first time.”
Laura sighed. “Nope. Now, let’s get these kids dressed in their first little jammies.”
Buttercup smiled and looked down at her children who were resting against her body and then looked up at her. “Better get used to it kids, cause I’m sure your auntie Bubbles is gonna be putting you in plenty of outfits.”
Larua grinned. “And she won’t be the only one I’m sure.”
“Argggh why can’t we see her yet! It’s been nearly nine hours since she gave birth!”
Margaret sighed. “Blossom please keep it down. Remember there are babies around trying to sleep.” The offending girl bit down on her lower lip and glanced away ashamed but she didn’t stop her incessant pacing. Her mother sighed and went back to stroking the head of her other daughter resting in her lap. Bubbles had finally fallen asleep about an hour ago, something that hadn’t been easy with Blossom’s anxious pacing and worrying. Considering how far she had gone to try and protect Buttercup’s children, Bubbles had more right to worry than Blossom but the blonde had been as cool as a cucumber and totally relaxed as she waited and was now sleeping peacefully.
To her left, her husband had also fallen asleep, his back and head resting against the wooden wall and his arms crossed over his chest. The book he had been reading and recently finished now sat on the bench beside him and Margaret dearly wished Blossom would pick it up and read it instead to keep her squirrely mind occupied.
The sound of footsteps echoing through the corridor grabbed her attention, and she looked down the hall to see Bunny approaching with Will beside her, chatting lightly as they walked towards them.
“Oh Bunny you’re here!” Blossom ran up to her purple eyed sister and trapped her in a firm hug. Bunny laughed and hugged her back.
“Hey Blossom, nice to see you again. Good grief, you’re all warm. Were you exercising before we got here?”
“That’s one way to look at it” Will snickered. Blossom glared daggers at him but he seemed unmoved by her gaze.
Margaret felt Bubbles stir in her lap and the girl slowly sat up and rubbed her eyes, stifling a yawn. “Welcome back Bubbles. Sleep well?”
“Eh, okay I guess Mom. Is Buttercup awake yet?”
“She’s just taking care of the twins right now.” Will answered. “Mom’s teaching her how to breast feed.
Margaret felt a twinge of jealousy at that. As Buttercup’s mother that kind of thing was her duty, but having never given birth to children herself she lacked the ability to teach her anything of the sort and that hurt her a little. It drove home just how much Buttercup needed to leave home and become a part of Will’s family, trust issues aside. At that rate, was there anything Margaret could teach her about being a parent?
Another yawn to her left drew her out from her self-reflection, turning to see her husband just waking up. “Has anything happened yet?” He asked.
“Buttercup will be ready soon. Just a few more minutes.”
“Oh I see.” He rubbed his eyes and then looked at her for a long moment. “Are you alright?”
“Oh I’m fine, just tired , that’s all.” She didn’t want him to know about her feelings regarding her inadequacies as a mother, especially after she had lectured him so many times these past few months.
“Aren’t your sisters coming to see the baby?” Bubbles asked Will, but the dragon shook his head.
“Nah, not just yet. They’ll be along later when they’re finished with things at home. Anyway, they’ll have lots of opportunities to see the kids and it’s best not to overwhelm them when they’re newborns.”
The sound of a door opening caught everyone’s attention, especially since it was Laura who emerged. She smiled and gestured into the room, silently granting them permission to go inside. Bubbles flew to the room, a blue light trail in her wake.
“Don’t rush in!” Blossom yelled, even as she flew after her.
Margaret chuckled inwardly. The girl’s ironically childlike excitement lifted her spirits. Now maybe she could truly enjoy and take in the moment as much as it deserved to be.
Buttercup could hear Bubbles and Blossom flying to the room before they got there, and she made sure to shield her new twins with her wings as they two rushed in. Bubbles was first, streaking into the room with Blossom right behind her.
“Be careful would you?”
Bubbles looked slightly ashamed while Blossom protested. “I-I was just trying to stop her from doing it!”
“Shhhhh!” Buttercup said harshly, demanding their silence them. The rest of her family entered the room seconds later, with her husband taking post on the left side of the bed, opposite the door. Feeling secure now, Buttercup unfolded her wings and revealed her babies to a collection of hushed gasps and wide eyes. The infants turned their little heads to look at the people they didn’t know, but the sounds of their voices were somewhat familiar to them.
Bubbles crept closer, peering down at the little forms in their jammies, Danté in red, and the girl in green. The girl stared at her with her big green eyes and Bubbles heart almost leapt out of her chest. “Oh she’s so adorable! What did you name her Buttercup?”
“Emerald.” Buttercup answered proudly.
“Awww it’s just perfect.”
Now everyone was coming closer, reaching out with their fingers to gently touch the tiny newborns. Seeing everyone fawning and gushing over her babies, saying how beautiful and perfect they were, Buttercup couldn’t help but feel extremely proud as their mother, as the one who had sired them. She tensed a bit when her parents reached out to touch them, ready to react should her babies utter even the slightest protest to their presence. They didn’t, Danté in particularly seemed perfectly calm despite all these new faces and people around. Emerald kept looking away from them, and staring up at her instead. Buttercup guessed she was being shy but she didn’t seem to mind people playing with her little feet.
“They’re beautiful Buttercup” Her mother told her. “Just perfect.”
Buttercup smiled. “Yeah, they are.” She felt a tap on her shoulder and turned her head to see Will looking at her with a raised eyebrow and he motioned with his eyes towards Bubbles. Buttercup nodded, remembering what he was trying to remind her of. “Bubbles?”
Her blonde sister took her eyes off of the twins for a moment and met her gaze. “Yes?”
“Would you like to be Emerald’s godmother?” The room went silent and Bubbles eyes widened slowly as the weight of Buttercup’s words registered, her jaw dropping.
“M-me?” Buttercup chuckled and held Emerald out towards her. Bubbles gently put her hands underneath the tiny baby and like a priceless vase, lifted her from her mother’s arms and cradled her in her own. Tears started to drip down her cheeks, and a heartfelt smile spread across her face as she stared down at the newborn in her arms, and she looked back up at her with her big green eyes. “I....I would be honored.”
Buttercup nodded in appreciation and then handed Danté over to Bunny to begin the process of passing the new babies around for the family members to hold. She was still tired but at the moment she was also too happy and proud to care. This was a moment of pure bliss for her and she hoped that Mandy was able to feel the same.
Mandy giggled softly as Ymaera suckled on her breast, drawing milk and sustenance through her own digestive system for the first time. Holding her new baby close to her, feeling its warmth against her, it was a wonderful feeling. Billy sat on a chair beside the bed, watching contently, staring at his daughter as she drank quietly.
“I still can’t believe she’s ours.” he said softly.
Mandy understood the feeling. It still hadn’t sunk in that the baby she’d been carrying inside her now flat belly for so long was now out in the world. “Yeah, it’s nice.” She was at a loss for words, she could find none to describe how she was feeling right now. She was just so calm and happy, heaven was probably the best word to describe it.
Ymeara finished her feeding and Mandy wrapped her up in the little baby blanket. Billy reached out and began gently stroking his daughter’s soft little head, sighing contently, just enjoying the moment. They stayed like that for several minutes until a knock at the door interrupted. Billy got up to answer it and found Krystal on the other side.
“Is it alright for us to come in now?” Billy looked back at Mandy for confirmation and with her nod of approval he opened the door to let in Krystal and all of Mandy’s siblings. Miril leapt onto the bed and looked closely at the tiny baby in Mandy’s arms.
“Wow, its so small! Were we small like that Mommy?”
Krystal brought a finger to her lips. “Shhh you need to keep quiet sweetie. You don’t want to scare the little baby. Remember you’re an auntie now.” Miril blushed slightly. “Sorry.”
Lilly climbed up on the other side and leaned against Mandy as she gazed at the tiny bundle in her arms. “Wow. How did you get her out?”
Mandy sighed. “It wasn’t easy, I can tell you that.”
Krystal smiled and stood between her boys watching from the end of the bed. “How is she?”
“Tired I think. She did just eat.”
Krystal nodded. “Yes she will be quite sleepy for a while.” She grinned and then added. “As will you.” This earned a grimace from her daughter who wasn’t too thrilled at the idea of being woken up at all hours of the night.
Miril let Ymeara grab into her finger and was surprised how strong her grip was, while Lilly played with her little feet, giggling. Mandy smiled as the two girls played lightly with the baby, soaking up their innocence and imagining what her own little girl was going to be like at their age. In addition to that, with her young siblings, her mother, Billy and her newborn daughter, she really felt like she was part of a complete family. She closed her eyes and took it all in, the feeling of them all united together to celebrate the coming of their new family member.
“Are you sure we have everything?” Mandy asked.
“Yes I’m sure” Billy replied tiredly. “Most of the baby stuff is at home anyway.”
Billy and Mandy were packing up to go home after finally having Ymeara and Mandy had regained her strength. Her mother had gone home to drop off the quadruplets at home so that there would be enough room in the car for all of them.
“Well I don’t want to leave stuff here for someone else to clean up.” Mandy went over to the car seat sitting on the nearby table and smiled at the little bundle, her little bundle, sleeping peacefully in it. Ymeara was snuggled under layers of warm blankets in addition to the set of jammies Bubbles had made for her, which Mandy appreciated very much. She resisted the incredible urge to pick her up and hold her again, she needed to let her sleep. Billy went over and put his hands on her shoulders, eliciting a gentle sigh from her.
She put one of her hands on his. “I’m fine Billy really.”
“Yeah I know. Just doing it.... Just ‘cause. Um, sure you don’t want me to carry the seat?”
Mandy rolled her eyes. “Come on Billy, I’m not pregnant anymore. Basically it’s only a little big more weight than I’m used to carrying, even if I’m not using all the same muscles.” Mandy picked up the car seat by the handle and walked out of the room. Billy shook his head and picked up the bag containing Mandy’s belongings and the handful of babycare items they’d brought to take care of their newborn.
Mandy carried her sleeping baby towards the foyer of the lodge and set her down on the table as they waited for her mother to come back with the car. She heard footsteps approaching and turned to see Buttercup and Will walking towards them, each carrying a car seat and Will also carrying the baby bag.
“Hey you two.” She greeted. “I see you’ve been busy.”
Buttercup huffed. “You have no idea. These two can barely move and already they’re a handful.” They put their car seats on the table next to Ymeara and took a peek at the other couple’s baby, just as Ymeara started to stir awake.
“Awwww she’s adorable.” Buttercup said softly, brushing the little one’s cheek with her index finger. Mandy went over to admire Buttercup and Will’s twins, looking into the car seats and seeing them snuggled in nice and tight. They’re little wings, and their matching eyes. They were like little clones of their parents.
Will leaned in to give Buttercup a kiss on the cheek. “I’ll go bring the car around honey.” He hurried outside into the daylight to fetch Dragon, leaving his wife and children with their friends for the moment.
The two women switched back to their own children, trying to keep them calm and assured that their mother was there with them.
“It finally happened.” Mandy said quietly. “After all that time, after all we went through, they’re finally here.”
Buttercup smiled and touched the faces of each of her children. “Yeah, they’re here.” She pulled back and gave Mandy a tight hug. “Congratulations Mandy. You made it.”
Mandy smiled and returned the hug. “Congratulations Buttercup.”