Life in the house was normal even though there was a dark cloud hanging over it. Nathaniel insisted on coming to see both Genevieve and Cullen so he could get to know them better. When these visits happened Claudio made sure to whisk Clara away so she didn’t get too stressed out.
Claudio often caught Nathaniel glaring at his Dad as if he felt threatened by him, or like he was going to do something wrong. He tried to approach him about it but all his Dad would say is he didn’t have to worry.
Claudio was heading outside to get Clara from painting when he saw her standing in the doorway grasping her stomach in pain.
“Clara?! Is everything okay?!”
Claudio rushed over and saw a sheen of sweat across her forehead as she groaned in pain,
“It’s too early...it’s not supposed to happen yet…”
Claudio’s eyes widen as he yelled out to his Mom and gathered Clara in his arms to get her to the car,
“MOM! Call Kurtis and tell him to meet us at the hospital NOW! Clara’s gone into labor early!”
Claudio smoothed Clara’s hair out and gently kissed her forehead repeatedly as they made their way to the car.
“You’ll be okay love, don’t you worry. We’re going to the hospital right now, okay?”
The whole car ride was a blur of Clara moaning in pain and Claudio weaving through traffic while trying to get to Newcrest General. When they finally arrived Clara’s face was so pale she looked like death was on her doorstep.
Kurtis was already prepped and ready for the delivery when they wheeled Clara into the room.
Harley decided to come with them and leave Mason with Genevieve and Cullen. Clara was like the daughter she never had and there was no way she was going to let her go through this alone.
“Clara, listen, you’re going to have to push, and I mean push good and hard now.”
Harley smoothed out Clara’s hair as she pushed and whispered in her ear,
“You can do it sweetheart, take it from me, at least you aren’t giving birth to twins!”
Clara breathed out a chuckle as Claudio had her hand in a death grip. He didn’t like to look on Kurtis's face, it looked like something was wrong but he didn’t want to tell anybody.
Just as Claudio was about to ask him Kurtis raised his hand and told Clara to stop.
“W-why do I have to stop?”
Harley looked at Kurtis with a serious expression on her face. She could tell he was holding something back.
“Tell us Kurtis.”
Kurtis sighed and clicked the buzzer asking for more nurses to come in and help.
“I’m only a little concerned because you’re starting to bleed a little bit more than normal. It’s nothing to be alarmed about, alright? I just want to get a few more nurses in here as backup in case something goes wrong.
After the nurses came in they started to monitor Clara to make sure nothing was wrong and after a few more grueling hours of labor out came a beautiful, healthy baby girl.
Harley looked on in disbelief as Claudio had to hold back tears. They had gone through so much to get to this point and now here was this little bundle of joy right in front of them.
Clara weakly raised her arms and sniffled when she saw her baby,
“Oh hello you...we’ve waited so long for you to get here and now you wanted to come early. Welcome to the world little one.”
Just as Kurtis was about to set the little girl in Clara’s arms, she reeled back in pain and screamed.
Alarmed Harley and Claudio gripped her hands while Claudio cupped the back of her head,
“Clara?! Clara, baby, what’s wrong?!”
Kurtis handed the baby off to one of the nurses and lifted the sheet up to reveal a pool of blood. His face went white and he yelled out to the nurses to fetch the other doctors as he tried to stop the bleeding.
“You two have to get out of here NOW. She’s hemorrhaging very badly and if we don’t get this fixed right away she’ll die.”
Claudio was being dragged out of the room kicking and screaming. He couldn’t leave her alone, she needed him more than ever.
Through the tears and the pain of being torn away from her Claudio yelled,
“Clara! Don’t you die on me! You live damn it!”
Clara felt herself drifting away. Every breath she took sent her further and further into the fog she felt taking over her body. She heard muffled voices of doctors and nurses trying to stop her bleeding, and then she heard something that pierced through that fog. Claudio...Claudio yelled out to her. What did he say? She couldn’t make it out...but she felt tired all of the sudden...so very tired...maybe it would be okay to go to sleep for just a little bit. Then she could see her little baby girl when she woke up. Yes...maybe just for a few minutes she could…
Kurtis walked into the nursery with a heavy heart. After everything they did, after already saving her one time, he couldn’t save her again. It all happened too fast, there was to much blood and they couldn’t save her.
He rubbed his forehead and sighed,
“Her name is Rose.”
Kurtis raised his head and looked into the eyes of a man who has been through pain beyond his years. His eyes were bloodshot from crying, but he still had a broken smile on his face. As the baby cooed in Claudio’s arms Kurtis knew that he didn’t have to tell him what had happened. Clara was his other half, the other piece of his soul. He would have felt it when she died because a piece of him died with her.
Claudio turned back towards the bassinet and looked the little girl in the eyes and whispered,
“Her name is Rose…”