Gen IV Chapter 32 - Instinct & Love

When the sun rose Aerie was already awake, tossing and turning most of the night. “As if I'm not stressed enough” she whispered, “now you're kicking me so much I can't find a comfortable way to sleep.” She smiled wearily as she rubbed her belly.

It was not long after breakfast that she heard the doorbell, waving off Iris as she made for the door. “I got it mom, I know who it is. I'll be out for a while.” As she opened the door and greeted Ms. Wu Aerie felt a small chill as she read Wu's face. She caught Ms. Wu's eyes give her a look from the feet up, stopping for a moment at her mid section. Her face said it all, she was not happy, and she'd better explain why she drug me out here.

“How could you grow lax Aerie, I-” “I'm not fat and I didn't get lazy” Aerie interrupted, “I'm pregnant.” Wu lost her composure and the shock was clear on her face, “pregnant?” she repeated, “yes. And before you ask, the father is not up for discussion. I have my reasons.” She couldn't do it, not now. She didn't know when she would break the news to Wu about him, but it just wasn't the time.

“I know you're disappointed, but I didn't-” “Disappointed?” interrupted Wu, “no no, I didn't expect this, but I'm not disappointed with you Aerie. It's written all over your face, and I've known you for years, it's clear it wasn't planned.” Aeries eyes stared back into Wu's as a smile spread across her face, “this is better than I could have hoped” she thought, “she's taking it rather well.”

“How far along are you?” questioned Wu, not waiting for an invitation to start feeling the ever growing belly. “I just started my 3rd trimester, I haven't been able to touch my toes in months.” Wu laughed softly, “and you had better stop trying, I don't want you straining yourself.”

“Let's go somewhere where we can talk, I'll assume your mother Iris is inside?” “She is” replied Aerie, “but how did-” “because you haven't invited me in yet.” Laughed Wu. “Let's go to the park” suggested Aerie as she waddled toward her car. “Oh that's just adorable!” laughed Wu teasingly, “don't” laughed Aerie, “I look like a whale!”

As they made their way towards the park Ms. Wu cut off the stereo. “Aerie” she said flatly, using her business tone, “I know you said he was not up for discussion, but-” “You're right, he's not up for discussion” interrupted Aerie. “I'm sorry Ms. Wu, I don't want to sound rude, but there are some things I can not, will not talk about. At least not right now, not yet. I'll put this in a nutshell, I fell for him and he disappeared before I even knew I was pregnant. And he's doing a damn good job at not being found.” Her tone was flat with a hint of anger and disappointment, the car remained silent the rest of the way.

As they entered the park Aerie stopped for a moment as she felt a little overwhelmed, the sound of kids playing, constant chatter, teens hanging around. She had never noticed any of it before, “is everything ok?” asked Wu as Aerie jumped a bit, startled. “Sorry, I'm fine, I just.. No, don't worry about it, there's an open chess table over here.

Ms. Wu wasted no time once they sat, using the usual cover of playing chess while quietly discussing business. “Listen Aerie, our family is not cold-hearted, you are being placed on maternity leave. I'm going to have a word with Vincent about not noticing and placing you on it earlier. You are not to set foot anywhere near work, no exceptions. And another thing, no more special assignments, ever.”

Aerie's eyes widened, “but-” “no buts” interrupted Wu, “I was already being careful about putting you in danger, you know you're like a little sister to me, but now it's out of the question. You need to understand, you can't put yourself at risk anymore. It's not just you anymore Aerie, that child will be depending on you for everything. I will not risk you getting injured, or worse, leaving that child without a mother.” Aerie's lips were shut tightly, fighting her want to object. Her eyes began to water and she couldn't help it, she had loved the special assignments, and cutting her off from them meant very few trips to China. If any.

They both fell silent, and Aerie could see a slightly pained expression on Wu's face, she knew how much those assignments meant to Aerie, and yet she still banned her from them. Once the silence drifted on for a few minutes Aerie's cell rang. “One moment” she explained as she raised a finger. “No, this is perfect timing” mentioned Wu, I need to visit the compound and speak with Vincent, and I'll be on the next flight back home afterward. I will contact you later with details of your leave.”

It had been Claire on the phone, calling to catch up. With nothing better to do after Wu's departure Aerie obliged. After catching up for a couple of hours Claire invited her to the spa for a massage. Aerie was grateful, and stepped inside to see her sister already at the desk. “You're huge” laughed Claire, Aerie blushed a bit but found her usual nerve, “so were you.”

The next month was relatively smooth, to kill boredom Aerie had begun to write, though she never listened to Iris' encouragements to publish her works. “Just writing is fine with me mom, I don't plan on making a living with it.” She received a call from Claire to come over, the two had been spending more time with each other, and Claire was a fount of knowledge when it came to pregnancy questions.

As she waddled up the front walkway and rang the doorbell Aerie froze. A sharp pain shot up her spine that nearly brought her to her knees. “Shit, wha-” Aerie hunched over, her voice caught in her own throat. Her pants were soaked, and she could barely breath through the pain.

Claire saw her silently panicked sister through the window and bolted outside. “Aerie breath! Forget everything and just breath!” “I'm.... Trying.... Damn it!” she cursed between breaths. “What's.... Wrong?......  Not.... due..... till..... next..... month!.....” “Stop talking and breath! No questions!” demanded Claire, her face so hard and serious Aerie dared not question anything. “You're in early labor, and that baby want's out, let's go.” she said almost coldly, yet reassuringly as she helped her sister into the car.

9 ½ hours of unthinkable pain, her OB/GYN tried to be as helpful as possible, even Claire herself kicked out the assistant and threw on her scrubs to assist her sister. While she tried her best to comfort Aerie, telling her everything would be fine, both she and the ob/gyn were called every cruel & insulting name in the book. After one final push and one final insult to the women helping her, Aerie lost consciousness.

She woke to see Claire hovering over her with a look of concern, “welcome back” she whispered, tears welling as she smiled at Aerie whom only had enough strength to make a half-smile. “You lost a lot of blood, so don't try to say anything, damn Aerie you scared the hell out me” she whispered as she laughed nervously. “I have someone who wants to say hello.” Her eyes brightened and her smile could not get any bigger.

She handed Aerie a tiny bundle wrapped in a pink blanket, “congratulation on a baby girl sis.” The nurse propped Aeries bed up so she could hold her, “so... tiny...” laughed Aerie, her voice barely audible. “I said no talking” whispered Claire with a hint of coldness, “you want to pass out again?” Her face softened as her glance shifted to the newborn.

“She is tiny though, she's only 5lbs.. And don't worry, I've already called mom, she's downstairs waiting to visit you. Though you'll be sleep when she comes in. We've placed you on a drip in your I.V. You lost a dangerous amount of blood & you need rest. Don't think you'll be leaving the hospital for a while.

Three weeks later...

Aerie said her goodbye's to the nurses, still feeling weakened by her dangerously severe postpartum hemorrhage. Something her sister Claire had to explain to her in detail so she would understand why Claire threatened to tie her down if she tried to leave early. She held her newborn daughter snugly, “Meilin” she whispered, “I promise to do my best.”

She held Meilin close as she stepped out of the hospital, shielding her from the cold breeze. She couldn't put her finger on it, but she felt a pang of loneliness as she made her way to the taxi. “I wish Claire didn't have to work” she whispered to herself, but she knew her sister was pulling a double shift, and Iris had went home ahead of them to get things ready. Though Aerie had no idea what she had to prepare for.

The ride home was a hard one, she sat silently, taking in the feel of the infant as well as the sweet smell of her breath, causing a smile to spread on her her lips. Though she was already fighting mentally to keep from thinking about everything, and the changes she would have to make. “Baby steps” she kept telling herself, “baby steps.”

Iris was waiting outside despite the cold, and waved off Aerie's concerns before she could say a word. “It's worth welcoming home my granddaughter” she said with a smile, “I have a surprise for you both” They headed up the stairs towards Claire's old room, “mom, she's too-” “Oh don't fuss” laughed Iris as she hushed her, “you don't need to tell me she's too little. I'm glad to hear you want her in your room with you, I would have insisted you do so anyway. That just proves you're instincts are already in full swing” she said with a wink.

As she opened the door to Claires old room Arie let out a small gasp of shock. “When did you-” “You've been in the hospital for weeks Aerie, I had plenty of time to finish it. Claire & Ezra were a big help, she's too young now, and I know you're not comfortable enough yet; but when she's older.” She smiled and nodded as Aerie walked around the room with a smile. “Thanks mom, really, thank you.”

While she was a quiet baby, she had no trouble getting Aerie's attention. While every time Aerie jumped up and bolted to see what was wrong, Iris laughed softly, “calm down Aerie, she's got a good set of lungs on her.”

Aerie glanced up at Iris, “I can tell, she's also got an appetite.” She looked down at her daughter, who was suckling quietly, her eyelids closed as she seemed completely content. “You seem awfully calm for someone who was just screaming her lungs out” she whispered with a laugh. “Think she's rough, try doing this with two at the same time” joked Iris. “I know where she got those lungs from” she said with a wink, giving Aerie an obvious glare as she pointed at her.

As another day drew to a close, she set Meilin quietly in her crib. “Sweet dreams” she whispered, her heart feeling like it would burst as she watched her tiny chest raise & lower as she slept soundly. “I hope I can sleep that well” she thought to herself, “be nice and let me sleep too.”

Always the early bird Iris peeked in her daughters bedroom to check on them. As she approached the crib she could see the infant begin to stir. “Well aren't you the polite one?” she whispered quietly with a laugh. “Let grandma see what woke you.”

Meilin let out a small sniffle as she began to cry softly. Not a moment later Aerie shot up in bed, starting to stand but fell back into the bed. She took a moment and held her head feeling dizzy and lightheaded. “Rest Aerie, you've been discharged, but you still need to rest and recover.”

“I'm fine mom, I can-” “Shhhhh....” Whispered Iris, hushing both Aerie and Meilin, “Aerie, every pregnancy is different, so is the recovery time for each new mother. I am not going to negotiate with you on this one.” Her voice was calm, but final, a soft lullaby that sounded very familiar to Aerie hummed from her lips as she held Meilin close.

When it was clear to Iris that Meilin was not sleepy she made her way to the chair and sat. “Aerie, I'm not a young spring chicken anymore. Let me spoil my granddaughter while I still can” she said with a smile. Just as Meilin started to fuss.

“What's wrong with her? Is she ok? Just let me see-” “Aerie” interrupted Iris, who stood up stopping Aerie whom darted over in no time. “You don't know how happy I am to see you worry and fuss over her like this. It means you're going to be a great mother.

I know you're worried, confused, and learning, but I am quite capable of helping you with a fussy infant. You have your doctors orders to rest as much as possible to speed along your recovery. Now go lay down and rest before I call Claire and explain how you refuse to-” “Ok, ok” interrupted Aerie, letting out a long sigh. “No need to call her, you've made your point.” “No need to call the medical demon” Aerie thought to herself, for as sweet and polite as Claire is, she can be a terrifyingly serious demon when it came to enforcing medical direction.

Not 60 seconds had passed since Aerie tucked herself in and she was fast asleep. “Just look at you sweety, you're exhausted” whispered Iris as she watched her daughter fall fast asleep. “why do you resist sleep when you must feel how tired you are?” She burped Meilin and headed downstairs with her granddaughter, leaving Aerie to a sweet and much needed slumber.

Until next chapter...


  1. Replies
    1. It was bound to happen sooner or later. ;)

  2. Meilin is such a pretty name. And I love Iris doting on her youngest grandchild. Awesome update as always.

    1. Thank you. Iris wishes went crazy once she was born, she started popping up everywhere on her wish panel. ^_^

  3. Meilin Such a perfect and beautiful name. Wonderful. I am glad she is taking to mothering so well... also I am glad she is not preggo anymore, she just looked so vastly different to me xD!
    Iris is so cute too, definitely the loving grandmother!

    1. Iris has been wanting multiple grandchildren for ages, she dotes on Meilin even on free will!


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