8 months Later
Loved ones came and visited the other mothers on the ward, excitedly gushing over their new bundles of joy. Excitedly talking about their new additions to the family. My heart twisted painfully, knowing no one was excited to meet my son. No one was coming to check on me or offer support. No one cared for the boy suckling at my breast. No one was coming, it was him and me against the world, but that was ok. I would make it work. How could anything so tiny and sweet be called a mistake? How could you throw your flesh and blood away, your own daughter, over her falling pregnant?
It was a difficult labor, 34 hours and 45 five minutes of pure agony and no comfort, not even from the midwives. They were nothing but rude and mean, telling me to quit my crying as I begged them to make the pain stop. I had never felt so vulnerable or alone as when I was in labor. The woman across from me was being doted on by her mate. The support he was showing her and the comfort made my heart clench.
It was hard enough to be a werewolf and grow up with expectations of being the Alpha’s daughter but shun her because she fell pregnant. Strip her of her title, and for one night. That one night turned my life upside down.
Hearing the nurse come in, I look up. She grabs my chart from the end of the bed, looking it over before eyeing me. Her glasses perched on the end of her nose. She didn’t hide her disgust for me. No one did; everyone looked down on me because I had a child with someone who is not my mate; that much was evident because where was he? Not here beside me like the rest of those new mothers on the ward, my mate wasn’t here gushing over this newborn baby in my arms.
“You really have no idea who the father is?” She asks, clicking her tongue. I knew exactly who the father was, but the last thing I needed was for him to hunt me down. I already had that run-in. A run-in I would much rather forget when I told him I was carrying his child. He didn’t even remember me. Didn’t help he was a rival pack Alpha. It was easier pretending I didn’t know. The shame I have brought my family for being pregnant was bad enough; my father would have killed me for the disrespect of foolishly getting into bed with the Blood Alpha.
I watch the nurse flick her red curly hair over her shoulder. “He is cute; shame his mother was a whore” She sneers, and I see the points of her canines pressing beneath her gums as they protrude past her lips.
“Can I get some panadol?” I ask, ignoring her comment, I had received multiple along the same lines since being here, and now I was feeling a headache coming on. I didn’t feel the need to defend myself; there was no point. Nothing I say would make them look at me any different.
“Sorry, can’t. It is not on your charts,” She says.
“It’s panadol, not like I am asking for morphine,” I tell her.
“Doesn’t matter. It isn’t on your charts, so you will have to go without,” She says, dropping the chart on the table beside me. Most women heal directly after giving birth. Because I haven’t shifted yet, I had no such healing ability.
“Can I get something to eat at least?” I ask her. I was starving, and breastfeeding was making me ravenous.
“You came in after the dinner rounds, and breakfast is at 7Am,” she tells me. I look at the clock and see it is only just after 8pm. I nod, knowing this nurse was not going to help in any way possible. Crap, every nurse here was horrible because of my situation. I sometimes wished I could leave this City, pretending to be human and just go about my life with my son.
The nurse leaves, stopping at the blue curtain that divides the beds. “Did you even think of the repercussions of having a child to someone who isn’t your mate? Did you think of the poor woman who finds him and one day learns he fathered an illegitimate child to some random she-wolf?”
I thought of that every day since learning I was pregnant, but it was his choice too. I fight back the tears from her words. Staring down at my amber-eyed boy, those eyes are definitely from his father. Mine are light bluish grey.
I had just put my son down after he fell asleep in my arms when I saw the head nurse walk past. She stopped when I waved to her before coming over to me. Her long pencil, straight hair hung to her shoulders; she would have been in her mid-twenties because she was closer to my age. Well, not really, I was barely eighteen, but still, she looked nicer than the previous nurses. She picks up my chart, flicking through it.
“Is there somewhere I can get some water? Or maybe a cup of tea?” I ask her, and she glares at me. My stomach drops. Maybe she wasn’t so lovely after all.
She presses the buzzer behind my head, calling another nurse. Yet she still didn’t answer me. My son starts to stir, and I reach over and grab him out of his crib when another nurse comes in, my stomach cramping from the sudden movement.
“Why is she in here?” The head nurse asks, making me look at her. I just had a baby. Why else? I thought to myself.
The new nurse looks over at me, her hands tremble slightly, this head nurse obviously instilled fear among her colleagues.
“Get her to the unmated section. We don’t need her disturbing the mothers in this ward,” The woman says before turning her nose up at me and walking out. I stare gobsmacked at this hospital’s bedside manner. When I heard the girl in the curtain off room beside me speak.
“I knew something was up with her hun, her mate never visited her. No one has. Now I know why,” the girl says to her mate. She was right. We were allowed one person with us constantly while in here. The girl next to me, her mate, hasn’t left her side since I got here. The person across from me had multiple people come in during the night, and her mate also hadn’t left.
I tried to ignore their mates, gushing over them and tending to their every need while here I sat, copping nothing but sneers and judgment.
Feeling the bed move, the nurse started rolling me out of the room because I was sitting upright. I had to grab the bar that ran along the side to stop from falling back. She wheels me through the maternity ward before going down a corridor, and I appear to be leaving the maternity unit altogether. The nurse finally stops at a curtained-off area and places the bed against the wall. The woman then turns on her heel and leaves.
“Wait, can I get some water?” She was already gone and didn’t even acknowledge my question.
“I wouldn’t bother. They won’t help us,” comes a voice before someone jerks the petitioning curtain away. I found two more girls. One looked to be nearly thirty with long blonde hair and sparkling green eyes. The other was around sixteen with her black hair cut in a Bob.
“My name is Macey,” the oldest of them says.
“Hi, Everly,” I tell her.
“Her name is Zoe. Welcome to the shunned mothers club,” Macey chuckles before looking down at her baby. She sighs heavily.
“Don’t expect them to help; they won’t. Seriously your best off getting out as soon as you can,” Macey tells me.
“But they are supposed to,” I tell her, feeling disheartened.
“Yeah, I have been here two days; bub has a few problems, half the time, they don’t answer when I buzz and forget about them feeding you. I haven’t received anything since being here,” Macey explains before reaching to her feet and pulling a bag toward her. She rummaged through it before pulling out a Muesli bar.
“Here you must be starving, I was, and I came prepared expecting this,” Macey explains.
“You had a baby before?” She shakes her head.
“No, this is my first. My mum was a single mother too. We are rogues like you,” she says.
I open the muesli bar, my stomach growling at the sight of food.
“Boy or Girl?” I asked the younger girl. She seemed rather shy.
“Boy,” I tell her.
“Thanks,” I told Macey before biting into the muesli bar.
“Plenty in there, just help yourself. I brought extras in case there were other girls. Which pack are you from? Your aura feels quite strong for a rogue?” She says, staring at me.
“Alpha blood,” I tell her, and she seems shocked before nodding.
“In that case, you don’t have to tell me. I understand why you would want to keep that to yourself. Zoe was born rogue, so was I,” she says, and Zoe nods.
“If you don’t mind me asking, but where are you girls living? Are there any refuges or anything for women?”
“I have a place at a refuge. But I know it’s full to capacity,” Zoe tells me.
“Me? I live with my mum and my brother,” Macey tells me.
“Where are you staying? No family would help?” Zoe asks.
I shake my head. “No, we will be alright, I will come up with something,” I tell them, hoping that would be true, though I have been living in my busted wagon I paid $500 for, for the last eight months.
It saddened me that we were pushed aside, but for the next day, both girls helped me, for which I was grateful. Macey also shared her food, and she was right. Not once did anyone come to check on us, no food was brought to us, nothing. Shunned for having a baby, and we suddenly don’t matter anymore.