Hope you enjoy.
Mara was becoming increasingly uncomfortable as her due date approached. Heidi was growing restless within her cramped space as she was getting herself ready to enter the busy world. Not even Luke's massages would help relax Mara. Luke played the ever dutiful husband and father-to-be, tuning out some of Mara's rants and listening to others.
"How are you feeling today my love?" Luke rolled over on their bed to face Mara. "Think Heidi will make her appearance today?" Luke had starting asking Mara that question almost every day since she hit her ninth month. Mara sometimes laughed and other times rolled her eyes. Depending on how active Heidi was that day or how Mara felt, she would try and make a guess.
"No anxious one, I don't think it'll be today," Mara smiled at Luke. Mara was in fact as anxious and nervous if not more so than Luke. "Luke," she started hesitantly.
"Yes," he stroked her hair back behind her ear tenderly.
"I'm scared," Mara admitted.
Luke propped himself up on his arm and looked down at Mara and she continued. "When I had the Force I just felt like I had more confidence, could come at anything head on. Now I feel somewhat vulnerable. I can't see what's going to happen even if things are always in motion. I've never in my life at least not that I can remember have ever been this uncertain, this uncontrolled. Knowing that there is someone so defenseless and depending on me is a bit unsettling. I don't know, unsettling isn't the right word. Maybe confusing, but it kind of also fills me hope and need. All of this is unnerving."
Luke didn't say anything for some time, letting Mara's words set in. He sat up, bringing Mara with him and she settled into his warm embrace. "You want to know a little secret?" Luke murmured. "I'm scared too. Even with the Force Mara, raising a baby will be uncharted territory for me. There's not exactly a "The Force's way of raising a child" book out there. We'll be doing this together, a team, a family. Together we can face this uncertainly and raise Heidi the best we can."
"I know and it'll be one for the books," Mara chuckled. "I remember, gosh it just feels so long ago, but it was only six months ago when we first found out about the baby. I still cling to the feeling," Mara said reflectively. She looked up at her husband. "But you know what?"
"I'll be okay. We'll be okay. The majorities of mothers don't have the Force and still have a great bond with their children and figure out the ways of the world. If they can do it, so can I," Mara said more confidently.
Luke hugged her tighter. "You're going to be a wonderful mother Mara."
"And you a fantastic father," she passionately kissed him.
Mara wanted to once again attempt to reconnect to the Force. Instead of being in her bedroom she decided to be in the baby's room. Since Luke had said that Heidi was so strong in the Force she thought having her child in the room and being surrounded by the belongings would enhance her chances.
"Breathe deep and look within you, Mara," Luke spoke softly. "Seek out the light and help it burn bright. I'm right here with you."
Mara closed her eyes and did as she was told. All she could find was darkness. She tried harder. "Relax Mara. It'll come," she heard Luke say. A soft glow appeared and soon began to get brighter. She tensed at the unfamiliar feeling and shielded her eyes. Let it burn bright, Luke's voice guided her.
Luke watched as Mara lifted her hand up and the little nerf doll she had practiced with before started to shake in place. His eyes widened and his pulse started to race. The doll lifted ever so much up in the air when Mara's eyes burst open. "Luke!" She cried happily. Then a very confused and glazed look came across her face.
"Mara?" He asked uneasily.
"My water just broke."
"Come again," Luke gulped.
"I either just wet myself with all the excitement or my water broke. I do believe you're going to be a father very soon farmboy so you better help me to the hospital," Mara was surprised at how calm she felt, even when the first large contraction hit. She let out a gasp and clutched the arms of the chair.
Luke helped Mara up and she looked down at her favorite chair with a grimace. "We'll get it cleaned," Luke assured.
On their way down the building a few more heavy contractions hit Mara and she clutched her stomach in pain. Luke worried this wasn't normal.
"Unfortunately I read that it was," she groaned as they walked out to the hover car that Luke had called. "She's just in a hurry to get out," she exhaled.
On their way to the hospital Luke quickly called his sister and Han. "We're heading to the hospital now!"
"Okay Luke, just remember to stay calm," Leia said over the comm, "We'll meet you there."
Luke turned his attention back to Mara who had broken out into a sweat. "Aren't we there yet?" She growled.
"Almost, hang in there. Han and Leia are going to meet us as well as Cilghal." Luke said though gritted teeth as she clenched her nails into his leg as another big contraction hit.
The decision to have Mara hold his artificial hand was a better idea and Luke could finally get some feeling back into his real hand.
"So are you ready Dad?" Han clapped Luke's back.
"How are you doing Mara," Leia asked much less boisterous than her husband.
"Just peachy, just like pushing a bowling ball out of you," she ground out through another contraction.
"Oh the joys of child birth," the vital machine alerted them to another contraction hitting. "Hang on Mara, they are coming closer. It won't be much longer." Leia sensed something different within Mara and looked over at her brother.
"How?" Leia could feel the Force radiating ever so much from Mara.
Mara turned pained but loving eyes to her husband. "He didn't give up on me."
Before Luke got to elaborate, Cilghal and some nurses came into the room to check up on Mara. Leia and Han were ushered out into the waiting room. "You're just about there Mara," Cilghal confirmed. "We're going to move you to the delivery room." Mara nodded and gave a nervous smile to Luke who donned the hospital garb.
"A new fashion statement for you," Mara teased.
"Haha funny," Luke rolled his eyes at the jab of his wardrobe. They were taken back to the delivery room, Mara never letting go of Luke's hand.
"Okay Mara, you're going to have to push hard," Cilghal said.
"I am pushing hard," Mara stressed.
"Just a couple more and she'll be here," Luke wiped the sweat from her forehead.
With a mournful moan, Mara pushed. Luke just winced in sympathy. Okay baby, we've been through a lot, but just a little bit more. Mara thought. Mara closed her eyes and with determination, she called upon the broken power to reunite with her. To her surprise, the beacon Luke had told her about was calling to her.
"Mommy?" A angelic voice called to Mara. The light morphed into a human form and her daughter stood before her, just as she had with Luke.
"Heidi," Mara fell on her knees and opened her arms for Heidi to run into her embrace. A special and unbreakable bond between mother and daughter formed.
"You're father is right, you are a ray of sunshine," Mara said as she held her daughter.
"Thank you for never giving up Mommy," the little girl smiled as she faded away.
"I love you Heidi, so much," Mara said tenderly.
Luke immediately felt the change, almost overwhelmingly so. The floodgate opened up and their bond instantly linked. Both gave out a startled yelp, Mara forgetting to push with the intense impression of her husband's essence entering her mind. Once the sensation passed Mara turned her attention back on her baby, but now could feel Luke's support. They both greedily clung onto each other through their new reformed bond.
Cilghal felt the rift pass through her and had to take a moment to compose herself. Out in the lobby Leia paused midsentence with Han and even Han who wasn't Force sensitive felt the hairs on his arms and neck stand up.
Back in the delivery room Mara gave one final push and yell and they were rewarded with the sound of a very loud wail from their daughter. Mara fell exhaustedly back onto her pillow, sweaty and sore but ready to hold the new life that she just delivered.
After the cord was cut, being cleaned up and wrapped in a soft pink blanket, the brand new baby was handed over to the nervous but excited father. Luke with gentle ease as if he had done this a hundred times, took his daughter and was immediately in love.
"Hello Heidi, I'm your daddy," Luke said with all the fatherly adoration. "We finally get to meet in person. I know you've already been through an ordeal and you've just entered the world, but I promise that I'll do everything within my power and more to protect and love you. I'm hogging you all to myself but know that I love you so much little darling; I know that your mommy wants to see you now as well as your aunt and uncle."
Luke looked up to see Mara beaming at him. He walked over to her and gently laid the infant in her arms. He caringly stroked the baby's soft head and bent down to kiss Mara.
"Look what we did Luke," Mara said with awe as she ran her finger down her new daughter's cheek. "She's so beautiful."
"Just like her mother," Luke's eyes twinkled.
"Little Heidi," Mara cooed to her new child. "We've been through so much already and you've just entered this lively world." Heidi cracked her little eyes open to peer at her mother. Mara's heart swelled and she never realized until this very moment in time that all her concerns, all her uncertainties paled at the comparison of love she felt toward her daughter and husband. How could she have ever had any doubt about facing anything with this man?
"Your daddy says that you are going to be a great Jedi, a light and beacon to those in this galaxy. Sounds like a tall order already I know little one, but you'll have a loving family plus an extended family by your side." Mara's voice turned into a whisper. "I'll be by your side little baby and if you fall I'll be here to catch you. Have no worries." Mara caressed her baby's Force signature and with much surprise, Heidi reached back out to both of her parent's as if telling them it was going to be okay.
The new family was taken to a separate room where they could have some privacy and rest. Han and Leia anxiously entered the room to find Mara dozing and Luke holding baby and softly talking to her.
"Is this my new niece?" Leia asked tenderly, trying not to wake Mara.
Luke looked up at his sister and brother-in-law with a proud new fatherly smile.
"Leia, Han this is Heidi Skwalker," he introduced. Leia took the bundle into her arms and Heidi cracked a jaded eye open.
"She's beautiful Luke," Leia cooed at the baby.
"How you doing kiddo," Han asked warmly as he pulled up a chair next to Mara. He and Mara had become much closer since their talk a few months ago, even to go as far as saying he had a brotherly connection to her.
"Hi Han," Mara smiled tiredly.
"Congratulations Mom," he grinned, but his eyes stayed serious.
"What is it Han?" Mara asked.
Han looked over at Leia who was gently rocking the new baby and Luke hovering right at her side. He turned back and looked at Mara. "So I guess you have the Force again?" Han asked awkwardly.
"Yes, I guess I do," Mara sat up straighter in her bed, now fully awake and curious to Han's question. When he didn't elaborate, Mara reached out a covered her hand on top of his. "Han look at me," she waited until she knew she had his undivided attention. "You have been invaluable to me and always will be. It's still a long road to recovery just as you once said to me. I'm going to need you brother."
Han regarded her for a moment and he gave her an understanding half smile. "I'll be here for you sis."
Leia handed Heidi over to Mara as she started to get a little fussy, letting them know she was hungry. Han and Leia took their leave and Mara and Luke bid them a good night.
Mara looked down at her daughter who was contently eating and then back at Luke who had his head propped on his arms, leaning tiredly on the hospital bed.
"Did I ever tell you that the day you found me I heard you tell me to hold on?" Mara told Luke.
Luke was taken off guard at her topic. "You never said anything, no."
She ran her fingers through his mused hair, and then with as much passion as she could muster said, "I heard you farmboy, and I'll always hold on for you."
Thank you all for reading. I know I left it kind of on a cliff hanger. I am thinking of doing a sequel but I wanted to hear what you all had to say. Hope you all enjoyed the story!