Books, Characters, Location, Research

MacDougal snippet, Christmas 1871, Part 8

Ross and Amelia are returning to their wedding party after realizing she is likely carrying twins

“Amelia has something to say,” called out Ross. She raised her eyebrows at him in question. He rubbed his belly.

“They know I’m hungry, Ross. I’m carrying two babies, so I’m always hungry.”

“About time you realized you’re carrying twins.” Doc’s voice rose over the sudden silence. “Auntie and I wondered how long it would take you.”

“You knew, and didn’t say anything?” Amelia balled her hands on her hips and tilted her head.

“You looked too worried to add that to your burden,” he replied. “Do they run in the family?”

“Amelia just looked at her family Bible for the first time,” said Ross. “Prudence had a twin brother who died shortly after birth. Her mother was a twin, and had twin brothers.”

“Carrying two babes will shorten your time,” said Rosa in her usual booming voice. “Since you were saying March, be prepared for the end of January. Take it easy, as you want those babies to stay inside as long as you can, so they’ll grow big enough to live.”

Everyone stared at Rosa. Few had heard her string more than a few words together, and that usually a stinging, well-deserved comment. Her face flashed red. Her eyes darted to Doc.

“Excellent advice, Rosa,” he said kindly. “It’s hard on the mother, but the longer you keep the babies growing, the bigger they are and the better chance they have to be strong and thrive.”

Amelia groaned. She knitted her fingers under her bulge to support the weight.

“Meggie,” asked Beth, “would you like to move in here and help Auntie take care of the home? It would be excellent practice for when you marry. You’ve learned everything I can teach you, and it’s time for your sister to take her place as my number one assistant.” She smiled as both girls glowed at her words. “If, that is, you don’t mind, Amelia.”

“Mind? That would be wonderful! Ross said we’re likely to have a few elderly relatives living in the bunkhouse soon.”

“Some will help, some will bother,” said Auntie. “Good to have Meggie here. Young legs are better than old for working.”

“With that settled,” said Ross, “Amelia wants to know if there are any berry tarts left.”

“Two,” she called out. “One for each baby.”

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