Ouch. OWWWW. Oh my gods oh my gods just breathe. This hurt so bad but there was no way I was going to say that out loud, not when she was the one giving birth. I could fix my hand after, I needed to be there for her now. You would never know by the look on my face that Annabeth was literally crushing my hand. My sword hand no less.
She was a few days early, and as much as I begged our birth plan did not include a water birth. So here I was holding her hand while Glen coached her through a natural birth. At first I was concerned that another man was getting a clear view of my wife's lady bits. But now I was just praying that he could help her get through this fast enough. She seemed like she was in a lot of pain and it was putting me on edge. I've always been there to help her burden, ease her pain. But I couldn't help this time, I couldn't make the pain go away. All I could do was sit here, hold her hand, and say soothing things. She face was slick with sweat, her breath labored, but on her face was nothing but determination. She was the bravest woman I had ever met.
It had been hours, or at least it felt like it, time wasn't really a priority of mine at the moment. Glen finally looked up at Annabeth, "Okay are you ready to push?" Annabeth swallowed and nodded her head. "Glen nodded back, alright so on the count of three... one. two. THREE." "AHHHHHHHHHHH!" She leaned forward, her face contorted in pain. With every push came more screaming, until a new sound entered the chaos of the old ones. It was quiet at first, but grew louder and louder.
"Boy" Glen placed a little human in my hands. This is my son. He had his moms blond hair and my sea green eyes. His little heart was beating so fast, his hand clamped tight around my pinky. I wanted to just sit there and marvel in the moment. But alas there was still one more child to be born. Annabeth looked at me, " Noah, Noah Robert Jackson." We had a deal that she could name the boys and I could name the girls. Apparently Noah is a biblical name, and this dude sailed around for forty days and forty nights. Sounds like a great guy to me. And Robert was of course after our friend we had to leave behind... Bob. He saved our lives in Tartarus and now we honor him.
At this point had let go of my hand and was clutching the side of our bed. She was taking deep breaths, "Okay one more to go, I can do this. I can do this. I think I'm ready." Glen gave her a comforting pat on the leg, "Alright when you're ready." I wanted to detach that hand from his wrist and feed it Festus. Piper came up behind me, "It's okay Percy, he plays for the other team. He's not at all interested in your wife. I blushed I had no idea I was making my discomfort so obvious.
Annabeth had started pushing again, this time her mouth was clamped shut, and her teeth were gritted. That look of pure determination was the dominate if not only feature on her face. I looked at her now, and I did not see pain, I did not see fear, I did not see fatigue . She heroic, and brave, and I loved her. Little Noah was sucking on my knuckle slowly falling asleep. He was big and healthy looking, that's all I could have prayed for.
"Girl" I didn't even know I was in my own little world with Noah until he called out that word. Oh gosh, this was it, now it was my turn to name our child. I handed Noah to Annabeth who was practically glowing with relieve. I turned to Glen who handed me a tiny baby girl. Black hair and big gorgeous gray eyes. I nuzzled her into the crook of my elbow. "Gracie Beth Jackson... Welcome to our crazy little world."
I handed her to Annabeth who was now holding both of our little creations. I held my breath and looked at my beautiful family. I am a dad. Me... Percy Jackson. I created two small little humans. I am now responsible for them. I would have thought that that idea would have terrified me, but looking at them now I couldn't think of my life any other way. I mean come on I had a good looking family, all we needed was a white picket fence and a dog and we're perfect.
Piper shoved me over towards them, "We'll don't be shy, I want to get a picture of you guys before we let everyone else in to see them." I took Gracie, while Annabeth held Noah and we smiled while a couple flashes went off. Then one by one the rest of the group filed in to see. After that it was a parade of pats on the back, congrats, can I hold him, can I hold her, they are gorgeous. Piper was helping Annabeth put the clothes my mom sent us on the kiddos. Noah was wearing a little blue onesie with a big elephant on it. And Gracie had a pink one with a giraffe.
Nico was standing next to Glen, Glen said something and Nico giggled and ran his hand through his hair. Everyone seemed happy today, even Nico was making friends. I sat down next to Annabeth and leaned my forehead against hers. She sighed, "Aren't we lucky, our kids were born on the same day we get married. I guess now you'll never forget our anniversary." I laughed and kissed her forehead, "I could never forget this day. It's been the best day of my life." She leaned into my shoulder and closed her eyes. Within minutes she was sound asleep, I gently got up and walked over and took my new babies from the people leaving. A chorus of whispered goodbyes, good-nights, and final congratulations followed them all out.
I cradled them both in both of my arms. I lightly hummed a lullaby that I distantly remembered from my younger days. I heard a poof in the corner of the room. I turned around to see my father standing over a brand new rocking chair humming the very same song I was just humming. "I used to sing that song to you, especially on the nights you had nightmares." His eyes beamed as he looked at Noah and Gracie. "I've had so many children, but it's extremely rare that I ever have grandchildren... Can I ?" He gestured to take them from me. I hesitated for only a moment, not wanting to hand them over. But this was my father, I placed them in his hands. He cooed and bounced up and down, and continued humming. I wondered how many times he had done this to me. How many memories I didn't have because I was too young. He looked back to me, " I made this rocking chair myself. I carved it out of drift wood from the shores of Oak harbor, a little island of the coast of the state of Washington. Naturally there are a few enchantments. It soothes and comforts those who sit it in it. Help you get better night sleep." The chair was bone weight with a few pebbles pushed in to the armrests.
"Thanks dad, it really means a lot that you came." He placed the kids down into cribs that matched the rocking chair, "They said we had to stay away from our children, they never said anything about our grandchildren." He winked and disapeared.