Hello! As it says in the description this is the continuation of another fic I have written. You don't have to have read A New Beginning but it will probably make more sense if you do. I most likely won't be able to continue to update daily, I've written a chapter a day for a month now and it's pretty taxing. I'm also studying and working so I have to prioritize, that doesn't mean I wouldn't rather spend all my time writing this!
Shay was already a week old and Erin wondered how the time had passed so quickly. Together Erin and Kelly had put into practice all the skills they had been reading about over the last few months. While it was uncomfortable at best Erin had gotten the hang of breastfeeding. Shay was growing slowly but steadily which provided the evidence Erin needed to persevere. Kelly had become the master of bath time, his big hands held Shay securely even when she was soapy and slippery. Teamwork was essential, together they managed to meet all of Shay's needs and get adequate sleep. Kelly only had a fortnight off work so in the second week he stepped up trying to do as much with Shay as possible. It wasn't a particularly demanding job, she slept most of the day. They learned as much about each other as they did about being parents and they had never felt more connected. Kelly didn't want to return to work but he didn't miss much. As Shay started to stay awake for longer periods of time Erin learned to use the baby carrier. Soon enough she was able to do everything, including visiting firehouse 51 with Shay safely strapped to her chest. Erin had been smart enough to store diapers, wipes and a change of clothes at both the firehouse and district so that she didn't even have to take a bag when she went out. Kelly arrived home after his fourth shift back to find both Erin and Shay frustrated. His shift had been hectic with two house fires and a complicated extrication following a car crash, he didn't feel up to soothing a screaming baby.
"How was your day?" Erin asked trying to talk over Shay's noise.
"Long" Kelly answered taking Shay from Erin, he knew she'd probably already tried everything but he needed the screaming to stop.
"I don't know what's wrong with her" She said watching Shay intently, it didn't seem to matter how she was held.
"She'll tire herself eventually" He said hopefully gently rubbing Shay's back.
"It's been an hour" She commented.
"Have you eaten? I'll take care of her for a while" He replied.
"Yeah, I'll go have a shower" Erin said though she felt bad about making him look after a screaming baby after a 24 hour shift. Erin knew as soon as she got out of the shower that nothing had changed, Shay was still crying and Kelly looked exhausted.
"Should we call a doctor?" He asked as she emerged from the bathroom.
"I don't think there's anything wrong with her, she's fed and she doesn't have a temperature" Erin replied trying to convince herself that calling a doctor would be an overreaction. Babies cry, it's a fact of life and they had just been lucky to have avoided it previously.
"Okay" Kelly said with a yawn.
"I'll take her for a drive, see if that helps" Erin said taking Shay from Kelly.
"I'll come" He volunteered.
"No, you've been at work all day" She reminded, he'd been yawning seconds ago so there was no way he could argue he wasn't tired.
"You've been home with her all day" He countered.
"Whatever" Erin conceded, she had her keys and was out the door before he had moved. She drove around with Shay until she finally fell asleep then was especially careful when taking her out of the car. They made it into the apartment without a sound but as soon as Erin tried to put her in her crib she started to cry again. Erin scooped her up and took her out into the lounge room hoping that Kelly would get some sleep. She fed Shay until she was asleep again then dozed on the couch for a few hours. It was after midnight when Shay decided she had slept enough and woke ready to play. Erin tried to hold her attention but struggled not to nod off. When Shay started screaming again Kelly emerged from the bedroom and instructed Erin to get some sleep.
"I wish you could tell me what's wrong" Kelly whispered to Shay, she stopped mid cry and stared up at him with matching bright blue eyes. As if what she had been trying to get across was finally understood she looked thoughtful for a few moments then started to cry again. With a frustrated sigh Kelly started to rock her gently. Erin took over again an hour later. They continued to take turns all night, at one point Shay slept for a whole hour but otherwise spent the night crying. By dawn her cry was a scratchy gasping, her throat too sore for anything more.
"I feel as bad as you look" Erin laughed when Kelly rolled over to face her.
"Same" He groaned burying his head in the pillow.
"I have mothers group at ten" She said miserably.
"You don't have to go" He suggested.
"I told Lara I would, she wants to meet Shay" Erin explained regretting how eager she had been in agreeing to go.
"Call her, she'll understand" He mumbled, he was right. There was an easy out but she already felt like a terrible mother and wasn't going to call Lara and prove it.
"No I'll go" Erin said handing Shay to Kelly, she was finally quiet. "If we let her sleep all day we'll have to do it all again tonight" She added, Kelly quickly sat up and started talking to Shay. Once Erin was dressed she made breakfast, Shay was being frustratingly good now the sun was up.
"I'm going back to bed" Kelly said once he had finished his toast.
"Okay" Erin said putting Shay in the baby carrier before putting on some washing and generally tidying the apartment. She left at half past nine knowing she would need the extra time to find the trendy café. It turned out that finding the café was the easy part, it was a car space that took most of the extra time she had budgeted. Lara was very excited to finally meet Shay and was apologetic that she hadn't had time sooner. Willow had grown and was almost twice the size Shay was. They talked together then joined in with the rest of the group. Erin wasn't fussed with consistency of Shay's bodily functions the way some of the other mothers were but tried to participate in the discussion anyway. She was glad to know that she wasn't alone, all the other mums seemed to expect endless crying and were envious that Shay wasn't usually like that. Erin let Shay sleep in the car on the way home then traded her off to Kelly for an afternoon nap. Kelly handed her a hungry baby after a few hours' sleep then joined her in bed until dinner time. Kelly made dinner and gave Shay a bath leaving Erin time to fold and put away the clean laundry. They slept better than they had since Shay had arrived, she only woke once for a feed then went straight back to sleep.
Just a nice short chapter to ease into things. What do you think?