As part of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), I’m re-writing my first novel, Once Upon a Time in Canada. My NaNo profile can be found here: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/novabrunswick


THUMP!

A pillow pummelled Port Hawkesbury’s head. But this wasn’t abuse – she was engaging in a playful tussle with her husband Stellarton. He lugged out the bedsheets from under his wife, causing her to tumble to the floor with a CRASH!

“Ouch, that hurt a little bit.” Port Hawkesbury rubbed the back of her head. Stellarton only laughed, but she laughed with him.

Soon, things became a little more heated. Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton intertwined their bodies with each other, their caressing and kissing slithering like silk.

Stellarton took Port Hawkesbury’s hand. “Let’s get one on.”

“Alright,” she whispered sensually, and they buried themselves beneath the sheets in a showering of passion.


Port Hawkesbury awoke to the cold white ceiling, Stellarton laying still beside her. She could feel the sensation of something inside her stomach, something almost phantom.

“I think I’m…”

She couldn’t get herself to think of the word as she headed into the bathroom, yanking the cord down and closing the door. A few minutes passed, and Port Hawkesbury held the stick to the light to get a better look at the results.

Positive.

Port Hawkesbury gasped, and she eagerly tried to awaken Stellarton from his slumber.

“Stellarton!”

“What?” He detected some excitement in her tone.

“Stellarton, I’m…”

He gazed at her as more silence fell. Her hand curving over her stomach seemed to be suggesting that she was indeed in that state.

“…I’m pregnant.”

“Oh, congratulations.”

Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton shared a tight embrace and a long kiss, like no kiss they’d ever shared before.


“Calling Port Hawkesbury Birchwood and Stellarton Bridges-Drummond for Dr. Kettering, please?”

Stellarton helped his wife up, and she cradled her puffy belly in both of her hands as they made their way to the doctor’s room. They sat themselves down at his desk, each one shaking their hands.

“Good afternoon, Port Hawkesbury,” he greeted her. “So you’re here for your monthly check-up, correct?”

“Yes.”

“You’re four months in,” said Dr. Kettering. “This is an important stage of your pregnancy. You’re going to need a lot of nutrients and vitamins – as will your baby. How have you been doing?”

“Apart from feeling a little poorly on some mornings? I’m good.” Port Hawkesbury smiled.

“That’s normal,” the doctor continued. “It’s all the hormones in your system. Your baby’s gaining momentum in its growth, and nutrients like fibre will aid in that growth even more.”

Stellarton lay a hand on Port Hawkesbury’s stomach, feeling its warmth. “I want my child to be the healthiest they can be.”

“You’re making a great decision, Stellarton,” the doctor praised him. “No one wants to have a sick baby, do they? That’s why you’re here.”

Dr. Kettering typed out Port Hawkesbury’s diet recommendations on his computer, and printed them off for her to stick to the fridge. Just before they set off, he had a message of well meaning for Port Hawkesbury.

“I wish you all the best for you and your baby.”

“Aw, thanks, Dr. Kettering. You as well.”

“I’ll see you next month to see how you’re doing again.”

Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton made their way out of the hospital, and he lay another hand on her stomach.

“This’ll be our child.”

Port Hawkesbury nodded, and they both set off home into the early evening.


“Mrs. Birchwood and Mr. Bridges-Drummond for Dr. Jarl, please?”

Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton heard their names over the PA system, and they headed down to the ultrasound scanning room, where Dr. Jarl was waiting. Port Hawkesbury lay herself down on the bench beside the machine, pulling her dress up to just below her chest.

“So, you’re Port Hawkesbury, yes?” the doctor asked her.

“That’s right.”

“And you’re how many months along now?”

“Five.”

Dr. Jarl started the machine. “I’m going to scan your baby to see how it’s doing,” she explained. “Before I do that, I’m going to apply this gel to your belly to help me scan more easily. It might feel a little bit cold…”

Port Hawkesbury flinched as the gel was rubbed all over her stomach. “Brrrrrrr! I think it’s TOO cold!” she laughed, as did the doctor.

“Yes, it’s very cold, isn’t it?”

The doctor began rolling the scanner over Port Hawkesbury’s belly. A faint monochrome image slowly started morphing on the screen, and she watched as it sharpened and cleared up.

The image eventually took on the form of a baby, tightly curled up like a mouse hibernating for the winter. Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton gasped with hope.

“That’s our baby.”

The doctor studied the image, carefully checking it for any deformities or other unusual phenomena. She sent it to the printer, which promptly ejected several copies of Port Hawkesbury’s scans, and stored them inside a sturdy envelope so they wouldn’t get bent. Stellarton peeked inside the envelope, thumbing through the prints.

“We’ll keep these as a memento of today.”

Dr. Jarl turned back to Port Hawkesbury. “So I’ve checked over your baby, and they don’t appear to have any abnormalities. You should have a happy and healthy baby come birth.”

“Well, that’s good to know.” Port Hawkesbury felt her baby kicking inside her.

“I wish you all the best.”

Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton headed out into the early evening and took another glance at their baby scan prints, using a nearby streetlight to get a better look.

“So this is the first picture of our baby,” said Stellarton, and Port Hawkesbury nodded. She wedged the envelope securely under her arm, and they walked hand-in-hand back home into the sunset.


Port Hawkesbury jolted awake. An excruciating pain pierced her stomach, and she shot out a shriek loud enough to awaken Stellarton. Realizing she was on the verge of giving birth, he gasped and dashed for the nearest telephone to dial 911.

“Hello, is that the ambulance? I need to go to the Sutherland Harris Memorial hospital. My wife’s gone into labour.”

He nodded, replacing the handset, and went back upstairs to tend to Port Hawkesbury while he waited, a siren wailing faintly in the distance.

“Calm down…”

A few minutes later, the ambulance pulled up outside his house, its siren flashing in ruby red and sapphire blue. Using his might, Stellarton hauled Port Hawkesbury from her bed downstairs, letting the paramedics strap her securely onto a stretcher. He crouched down at her side, holding tightly onto her hand as he comforted her through her labour pains.

Outside the hospital, the paramedics rushed Port Hawkesbury inside to the maternity ward. Her midwife saw her and promptly got to work delivering her baby.

“Come on, push!” she encouraged her. Stellarton stayed by Port Hawkesbury’s side, also pushing her on in both senses of the word.

A couple of assistant doctors came to Port Hawkesbury to give further aid. Her midwife peeked under the blanket to find two feet with tiny toes.

“I see two little feet!”

Port Hawkesbury pushed even harder, revealing two little legs upon the two the little feet. Next came the torso and umbilical cord, then the arms and head. One of the doctors grabbed onto a leg.

At last, Port Hawkesbury gave one big push – and an ear-splitting scream. Her newborn baby popped into her midwife’s arms.

“It’s a boy.”

Port Hawkesbury smiled sweetly as her new son had his umbilical cord chopped off and his backside slapped. He inhaled deeply and started crying with his first breath. Port Hawkesbury cradled him in her arms, gently stroking his soft skin.

“Isn’t he sweet?” Stellarton remarked.

“He’s perfect,” added Port Hawkesbury. They took a short moment to admire their freshly-born son a little more, before it came to the big decision.

“What’ll you name him, then?”

Port Hawkesbury glanced around the ward, then spotted something on a noticeboard out in the corridor. She turned back to her son.

“Pictou.”

As if in recognition of his newly-selected name, Pictou’s crying grew noisier.

“Welcome to the world, Pictou Denoon.”

“He’s our baby,” Stellarton proudly proclaimed, his speech almost deafened by Pictou’s howling.

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