Chapter 12

The rest of the day was rather uneventful, and so was the next morning – for Matthew anyway. He stayed on the estate and did some sort of admin with Tom and Robert that Mary could never understand. Mary went to see the Doctor, which Matthew didn't know about, but she thought it best. She went with the mind set of, What he doesn't know won't hurt him. Of course, Mary knew all along that she was going because she thought she might be pregnant, but she didn't want to tell Matthew even that much, just in case it got his hopes up and it wasn't to be, so she kept it to herself, to Sybil and to Anna. She had told Sybil (as the only member of her family to know) because Sybil had obviously been through such events more recently than anybody else in her family, and she felt she had to tell Anna because of their strangely wonderful and remarkable 'employer, employee, upper class, lower class, yet friends on an equal' type relationship. Sybil accompanied her to the hospital, as sheer support. When they arrived they sat and waited until Doctor Clarkson was ready, and despite the arguments they had had in the past, Mary still wanted Sybil to come in with her. Doctor Clarkson examined her and informed her of her situation. "It seems that you are indeed pregnant, Lady Mary." Mary's natural reaction was to break down into tears, but Sybil understood and gave her a hug, saying,

"Don't worry, Mary. That's what I did when I found out I was pregnant with Harriet!" Once Mary had got herself a little more composed, Doctor Clarkson told her the things that would happen and what she could expect in the near future, with Sybil adding in little snippets of what it was like for her, like, "It's fine – that bits not as bad as it sounds," and, "That's not nice, but it doesn't last long," and, "That's a lie. They say that to make you feel better!" And of course Sybil knew better than any woman Mary knew, as a mother and as a nurse. She'd been on both sides of the story. But Mary laughed at a few of her little interruptions, which eased the thought of giving birth a little more.

She and Sybil walked home together, Sybil giving her reassuring words and looks of encouragement the whole way. As they walked into the house O'Brien was in the great hall and said,

"Oh, Lady Sybil, Mr. Branson would like to see you in the library."

"Gosh, that sounds formal!" she replied, laughing and looking at Mary. She turned back to O'Brien and said, "Thank you, O'Brien, I'll be there in a minute." O'Brien nodded and walked away, as Sybil turned back to her sister. "Are you sure you'll be alright?"

"Yes, I'll be fine," Mary said, smiling, but with a trace of nerves in her voice. Sybil gave her another quick hug and turned to go and find Tom. She looked back at Mary, who was still in the hall, not sure what to do with herself, as she reached the door of the library. Sybil smiled, kindly, and turned away, worried about her sister. As Sybil entered the library there came a squeal from Harriet, to which Sybil said, "Hello to you, too!" She walked over to her husband and took Harriet to make her happy. But then she noticed Matthew sitting in one of the chairs. "Ah, Matthew," Sybil said, softly, not wanting to alarm him, "Mary's in the hall, and I think she may want to speak to you." Sybil smiled at Tom as Matthew left the room and when he asked where she'd gone, she simply replied that she'd gone for a walk with Mary, not wanting to tell anyone until Mary was ready.

In the hall, Mary was still milling about, feeling hopeless, until Matthew walked out of the library and shut the door behind him. Mary heard the door and looked up, and sighed a sigh of relief. Matthew walked over and kissed his wife before saying, "What's wrong?"

Mary took a deep breath in and said, "This morning I went to see Doctor Clarkson-"

Matthew cut her off with, "Oh, why, what's wrong?"

"Let me finish!" Mary laughed, authoritatively. "And I'm fine, so stop worrying, will you? I went because I thought I was pregnant, and Doctor Clarkson said that I am!" Matthew smiled and kissed Mary lovingly, softly, gently, kindly, tenderly, intimately, passionately, romantically, affectionately, enchantingly, warmly, sweetly, deeply, blissfully – no words could possibly describe what Mary felt – but when they came out of it they were both crying. Matthew held Mary for a while, but they both then went into the library where they could sit down and Matthew could share his joy with another father. They walked in and Matthew said,

"Tom, did you feel this exhilarated when you found out that Sybil was pregnant?" Matthew still had tears in his eyes, although he wasn't crying, but nonetheless, Tom still realised that Mary had clearly just told Matthew that she was pregnant. But he was very calm about it and said,

"Yes!" with a smile, and walked over to give Matthew a slap on the back. Matthew didn't leave Mary's side as they walked over to the sofa to sit down. Tom and Sybil sat on the opposite sofa, with Harriet on Sybil's knee. Soon, Edith walked in and started to say, "Mary, have you seen my..." but she interrupted her own train of thought when she saw that both Mary and Matthew had been crying recently. "What's wrong?" Mary burst into tears again, and Edith realised that Tom and Sybil weren't crying, but were beaming, but not for their own sakes. She said, "Oh! Mary are you..." Mary nodded and smiled and cried and hugged Matthew and realised that it was going to be an emotionally draining day. Edith smiled and wasn't sure what more to say. She just sat down on a spare chair nearer Mary. The five of them sat and established that Mary was about four months gone, which explained why she thought she was showing a little when she was out of her corset and in her nightwear (of course with a corset on nobody could tell anything, as they shaped Mary's figure uniformly every day). Sybil and Tom told some tales about Sybil's pregnancy with Harriet and soon Mary decided she had to tell Anna before she would normally see her. She went into her bedroom, knowing that Anna would be more comfortable if she were alone, and rang for her – the only way she thought she could get Anna to her room without sending a member of her family down to go and get her. She waited patiently and sat on the bed. Anna walked in and looked hopefully at Mary. Mary instantly stood up and the two quickly walked towards each other as Anna said,

"Are you-" But Mary cut her off mid sentence with simply,

"Yes!" She said it with a joyous tone to her voice and a look of elation in her eyes. Anna hugged her, which she knew she should never do, but neither she nor Mary cared for rules and regulations. The pair of them were simply overjoyed for Mary and for having the ability to share in such news. Anna then said,

"Congratulations, Milady!" as she gave her another hug. Sybil then knocked on the door, and entered. Mary nodded at Anna to say to her, Thank you, but you can go now. Anna smiled, nodded back and said, "Congratulations!" once more. Sybil looked at Mary and said,

"You've told our maid before you've told our family?"

"Yes," Mary replied, not caring about what her sister said, when she usually would use it as an excuse to start a fight. "I speak to Anna more than I speak to papa anyway." Sybil looked at Mary, tilted her said to one side and said,

"Fair enough. Right, I came up to say that Granny has invited herself for luncheon. I don't know why, but I just thought that you may want to know so that you and Matthew can figure out if you want to tell everyone today." Mary and Sybil then walked out of the room and back down the stairs to see the rest of their family.

The remainder of the morning flew by and in no time Violet arrived and lunch was ready. The family stayed as normal, but when they were all gathered in the drawing room again, Mary was talking quietly to Edith about what Doctor Clarkson had told her that morning, but Cora overheard and soon there was a buzz of chatter about her, Matthew and their baby-in-process. The rest of the day went quickly as well. In a blur that Mary couldn't remember most of. At supper she sat next to Sybil, though, and said to her, "Is it this emotionally draining the whole time?" To which Sybil replied,

"Not the whole time. It was like this for a week with me, then a few randomly chosen days in the middle and then for the vast majority of the last month, but you'll be fine, I promise. I sort of got used to it, if I'm honest." Mary realised that over the next half-year or so, she and Sybil were going to become a lot closer. When it came to the time when she wanted to go to sleep, which was, understandably, earlier than normal, Anna attended her. Although Anna and Mary had been so excited earlier that day, it was as if nothing had ever happened, which is what Mary admired about Anna so much. She knew when to be excited and friendly, but also when to be polite and to do her job as a job and not much more. Although Anna did smile at Mary – a smile which Mary gladly returned – on her way out of the room. Mary got into bed and Matthew walked in – changed and ready for bed, not long after. Mary snuggled closer to Matthew than she normally did, which she didn't think was possible, but found that she managed it anyway. She lay with her head on his chest, listening to his breathing as a way of relaxing her into sleep, and with her arm over his lower torso, holding his hand in her own. She felt Matthew's other arm move protectively, lovingly, and comfortingly around her back and near her stomach. She moved her body slightly, so that his hand could reach her stomach, and that's how she slept. A gentle hand on her child's dwelling, a constant ticking over of breathing to listen to and the knowledge that her whole life was ahead of her. She was so remarkable in love with Matthew and slept with a smile on her face and in her heart.

Well, there it is, the end of the story. I hope you have enjoyed it, but We Made the Most of Love has come to an end. I wasn't sure whether I should end it or not, but I thought I would as I've been busy and the chance of me doing much more of this are quite slim. So this is the end. Honestly, I think it may have been influenced by the fact that I've been left rather deflated by the end of the Christmas special, but oh well. Thank you all for being so lovely in staying with me, and please feel free to leave a comment if you so wish, but I hope you had a good Christmas, and hope you have a happy New Year, too. All the best,

Zip Goes A Million

And always remember that every story has an end, but in life every end is just a new beginning.