A Birthday present for scarletcourt
When they’d announced to her family they were expecting it had gone over about as well as a led balloon.
To be fair, they hardly knew Tom. To say the pregnancy was a surprise to even they young parents, didn’t quite capture the stunned moment when Sybil realized her upset stomach had nothing to do with a virus. They hadn’t really reached the point in their relationship where the two families were interacting much.
He’d met them, joined them for the New Year’s celebration, but had, for the most part, had little contact.
One thing was clear though, despite how little Lord Grantham knew about his youngest boyfriend, it was enough to convince him the Irishman wasn’t good enough for his little girl.
They’d heard it all: They were too young, too naive, too poor. It took two to raise a child. When the going got rough they fully expected him to pull a runner. Sybil didn’t realize how difficult it was going to be to finish school with a newborn. Where were they going to live? Did they really know each other well enough to be having a baby together? How irresponsible could they be to get pregnant in the first place?
Yes, it had been a rough night, one that ended with Tom holding an emotional Sybil, soothing her to sleep, even as his mind raced with worry.
They had only been a couple for a few months, but Tom had never fallen in love so quickly or so hard. He’d never had a connection to another person the way he connected with her.
He loved her, and never wanted to live without her.
He’d woken her up, the room dark and still, to ask her to marry him.
Looking back on it, the timing hadn’t been the best. She was scared, uncertain, embarking on something completely new and foreign. She’d worried he was asking because her family had pressured him into it.
It had taken time, but he’d showed her that his desire to marry her was about her, and he’d wait for her to be ready, even if that meant he’d have to wait forever.
She loved him. That much was clear.
He’d never forget the moment they went for the scan only to discover that one baby was actually two. He thought such a revelation would send a fresh wave of panic, but oddly, he felt none of that uncertainty. They were shocked, but once the news had settled in, when they found themselves sitting at a cafe sharing a chocolate pastry, discussing what to do next, they smiled because it suddenly, and for no real reason, felt right.
Telling her family hadn’t gone much better than the first time around, except this time Sybil was already a mother. She already loved the babies growing beneath her heart and her desire to protect them had grown fierce. And the weeks previous, where Tom had held her hair back and helped clean her up when she’d vomited so hard she had snot running down her face and needed clean underwear, where he’d worked extra shifts at the garage in order to bring in additional income, where he’d promised her he wouldn’t let her give up her education, that he’d do all that he could to ensure she’d finish her nursing degree, had shown her the doubts and fears her family’s prejudice had created where unfounded and baseless. Proudly she stood up to her father, telling him it didn’t matter what he said, she and Tom and their children were a family, and if the Earl of Grantham couldn’t accept that then he’d miss out the chance to know his first grandchildren.
Tom had felt the power of her commitment to him, to their relationship.
It was a begrudging Robert Crawley who nodded, a tentative truce called in the face of his daughter’s conviction and firmness, extending his hand to the man who was now irrevocably linked to the Crawley dynasty.
It was around her seventh month, when she felt her energy beginning to wan, her body grown bigger with each day, her back aching, when she woke him early in the morning to tell him she was ready. She didn’t want to wait for after the babies was born, she didn’t want a big wedding, she just wanted him. She wanted to run away with him and begin their new life together as husband and wife. They picked a weekend and quietly slipped away, marrying with only her sisters as witnesses and a honeymoon spent assembling the nursery.
At 31 weeks Sybil went into labor.
It became 4 weeks of horror. She was given medication to stop the contractions and then sent home for strict bed rest. They were back at the hospital a few days later, her contractions having started again. They gave her steroids to try and help the babies develop as much as possible and more medicine to stop contractions. It was a nightmarish cycle, never knowing how long they were going to be able to keep the babies in. Sybil was a wreck, worrying over the health of the babies, terrified to even move for fear of going into labor.
Finally at 35 weeks and 3 days her labor started, and the couldn’t stop her cervix from dilating. The babies were coming.
Twenty three hours later both baby boys had entered the world at 4 lbs 3 oz and 4lbs 11 oz respectively.
"How could they grow more beautiful each day?" Sybil whispered, gazing down at her feeding son.
Tom stood burping their other two-month old, having perfected the technique over the last few weeks. After ten days of seeing his sons in the hospital, feeding tubes and breathing tubes, and heart monitors, having them home and healthy, feeding at their mother’s breast, is an image he will treasure for the rest of his life.
"They are handsome little buggers aren’t they?"
"Tom!" Sybil scolded, impressively keeping her voice low while still communicating her displeasure. "Could we not call our sons ‘little buggers’?"
Tom smirked. He loved his passionate, stubborn wife and he loved shocking her prim upbringing as well.
He saw Sybil wince, his own face mirroring the motion.
"The little bugger bit me," she ground out, tenderly pressing against her breast.
"Your Ma still coming by today?" he asked, trying to remember what they discussed earlier. He found that sever exhaustion messed with his memory.
Sybil could only smile. She wasn’t much better.
"Yes, she’ll be by before you leave for work."
Tom frowned. His first day back at work. He’d finally landed a journalist position just before the babies were born, and now he was going back full time.
"I hate that I’m going to miss out during the day," Tom confessed, snuggling his cheek against his son’s head.
Sybil tenderly stroked the bottom her son’s foot, watching his jaw work as he pulled milk from her body.
"I know," she answered softly. "Trust me, we’ll miss you."
"Did you ever think this is where we’d be?"
Sybil glanced up at him, smiling lovingly at her husband as he swayed subtly back and forth, rocking their eldest twin to sleep.
"I think betting on you was the best choice I ever made."
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SCARLET!!!!!!!!!!! You are awesome and I adore you soooo much!!!!!