Gilraen woke up and groaned. How could she have this many aches all at once? Then she looked down at her belly and smiled. She rubbed her swollen abdomen and said, “Well, baby you sure put your momma through one rough night.” There was no kick or even response. “Oh sure now you want to sleep! Well you may be able to sleep but momma must get up.” She rolled onto her side and swung her legs over the edge of the bed. Movement was hard these days. Gilraen couldn’t wait for the days to come to an end, but she still had a whole month to wait. She almost hated the elven women because they never had such aches and pains.
She got in the warm water of the bath and let the warmth wash away all the kinks. She reflected on the last two years of her life as she allowed the warmth to seep into her body. Raion was a wonderful husband. He never forgot special occasions, and sometimes he brought her flowers just because. Now that she pregnant he did many things just to make her smile. She tried to make him as happy as possible. She made him his favorite meals just because and each special occasion was a real celebration. This was not to say they were without conflicts. Their first bad fight was 3 days after their wedding. She had asked Elrond to take Raion off the guard patrol. She did it because she did not want to loose him like she had lost Arathorn. He said she would take away all that he was and had been all his life by asking Elrond behind his back. They had not gone to bed happy that night. They soon learned to respect each other and discuss things rationally. Estel and Sermë were good children for the most part. Now they were adding to the family. Gilraen was so tired lately and never seemed to get enough sleep. She could not wait for the baby to come.
As much fun as it was being in the warmth of the tub, she needed to get out and get ready. She had to go see the
Linwë about the delivery. She needed to talk and make some plans. Things were very different for her than for the elven women. There were never any problems with elven babies and their deliveries. Gilraen was a human and an older one who was having a few problems. Her feet were swelling every night and it was very hard to get around to do for her family. Not that they were not capable of taking care of themselves. Sermë was a sweet 13-year-old girl who would do anything for her, and Estel at 12 pampered his mom as bad as Raion. Between the two of them they drove her nuts some nights. “Go rest you need it,” says Raion. “Do you want some tea and a scone momma. I will bring it to the couch just for you.” Estel would say, and not just once but all the time. She just could not imagine going on without some sort of relief so they would quit worrying.
She walked down the quiet street. The spring was turning out to be just lovely. She noticed how each budding leaf looked like a tiny rose. As she was looking up, she started to feel a little woosie. The feeling soon subsided so she thought nothing of it. Before she realized it she was at the house of healing. She smiled as Linwë took her back to the room.
“How is the mommy this morning? Linwë asked.
“Oh so tired. Baby just kicked all night half the night. I think I no sooner got to sleep than the sun was calling me to get up.” Gilraen sighed.
“Well it will be all over soon.,” she said as she felt for her pulse. “So how much do you feel stressed these days.”
“Oh nothing more than usual. The way the family fusses over me you would think I was a fragile flower.”
Linwë checked other things on Gilraen, and then sat next to her to talk.
“Gilraen I know from the way you said about the family fussing over you that it makes you feel upset, but these are my orders. You are to stay in bed for the rest of the time. You heart rate is higher than I want it to be and that is not good for you or the baby. I know I don’t see too many humans, but I do know what is good and what is not good.” She gave Gilraen time to digest what was just said. Gilraen started to breath heavy and it looked like tears were on the verge of falling. Gilraen stopped it though. She clenched her hands together and took a big sigh so as to relieve the stress she was feeling.
Linwë smiled at her and took her hand. She was constantly amazed at how strong Gilraen could be. She had always thought that humans were puny lesser beings than elves. Glraen was causing her to see humans differently. She respected her for it.
“So where is Raion now?”
“He is on the border doing his duty. I think he should be back after dark. Why?”
“I don’t want you to walk home alone. I suppose Estel and Sremë are at school.”
“Yes and they have archery class after school also.”
“Oh and how are they doing in Archery?”
Gilraen smiled and proudly said, “They both are at the top of their class. I am so surprised at how quickly they both took to archery. Sometimes I think Estel was born with a bow in his hand. I think today they are practicing shooting while riding a horse. We shall see later how well that goes.”
“I remember watching Estel ride the horse that time for you and Elrond. He was so happy that day.”
Gilraen laughed, “It seems like such a long time ago. He felt so awful that he could not ride, But Elladan was the perfect teacher.”
Linwë saw how much calmer Gilraen was becoming so she said, “Well if you promise me that you will go straight home and get yourself to bed then you may go home.”
Gilraen was happy to be released from the sudden prison (albeit a very lovely one) that the healing house had felt to her. She gathered her things. As she bent over to pick up her silk scarf, that Raion had given her; she became lightheaded and almost fell onto the cot.
“Whoa, Gilraen. You are not going anywhere. I am calling Elrond. You lie down and don’t move. I will be back.”
Gilraen was relieved to lie down. Her head hurt and the room was wildly spinning. She closed her eyes to stop the spinning. It did not help too much and soon the room went black.
Things went from bad to worse quickly for her. She was out of it and so did not know what was happening. As soon as Elrond walked into the room he saw her pale face and that she was not conscious at the time. He got to work as fast. He checked her heart and found her breathing very shallow. He opened the windows to allow as much fresh air as possible and unbuttoned her dress. Linwë helped him work and she talked to Gilraen to try to get her to respond. She soon came out her unconscious state, but she felt a sharp pain course through her abdomen.
“What was that?” she cried.
“Your body is not doing well with this pregnancy. We need to get you on some herbs that can bring down your heart rate and make the baby under less stress.” Elrond responded. “Do you think you can drink right now?”
She sat up and took the cup but another sharp pain ripped through her again. She almost dropped the cup and cried out, as the pain got more intense. She gulped in as much air as she could while Linwë put her arm around her back so she would have some support. As the pain ceased she layback down and her breathing returned to normal.
“Gilraen can you drink this tea for me? It is very important that you drink it.”
“Alright,” she said quietly, and then gripped Elrond’s hand as she took the cup. “Elrond, I am very scared. I need Raion now.”
“I know. I am going to get him for you, but you must stay as calm as possible. Ok?
“I will. I trust you Elrond. Please don’t tell Estel yet.”
“No. Now you drink that all while I am gone.”
He left the room and called Finrod to go fetch Raion.
“Tell him to come quickly but not to hurt himself trying to get here. Finrod tell him I am taking the best care of her that I can.”
Finrod raced off with all speed and Elrond went back to the room to find Gilraen in the middle of another contraction. He was happy to see that she had drunk all the tea. Things had gone wrong too quickly in this situation. The tea was to help Gilraen get strong enough to deliver this baby. He knew things were not good for the baby already and he did not want to loose the mother also.