Two Mothers by DogDrawler (written on May 9th, 2020)
It was the spring of 2012. Two years had passed since Kate and Humphrey fell in love, and that love created the pups. At the base of Mt. Victory, the most important mountain in the West, lay Winston and Eve's retirement den. Kate was minutes away from giving birth inside it. Beside her was her mom who acted as the doula. Kate trusted her mother. If being in Kate's position once wasn't enough, Eve was also the most experienced pack healer in the Valley. And Eve was proud of her reputation. It wouldn't be smart for any patient to question her.
But even though Kate was well aware of her mother's accomplishments, she couldn't help but feel worried that Eve would try to insert herself too much into her daughter's business. Eve was also immensely proud of Kate, and the idea of Eve training Kate for parenthood could not be dismissed, especially since Kate's mate was an Omega who had no Alpha training whatsoever. But Kate valued independence. She wanted to learn on her own how to raise her pups. However, she let Eve be her doula since it would guarantee that the future leader of the pack and his brothers and sisters would come out with zero complications.
"Oh, my gosh! They're coming!" said Kate.
"You're doing good! You're doing good!" her mother assured. "Your cervix is fully dilated, so you should start feeling the urge to push any minute."
"Any minute?! It's already begun!"
"Then push like your life depends on it! In fact, it does!"
"I really wish Humphrey was here... I know he would have something sweet to say to ease my distress."
"It is custom for males to be absent when a delivery is in progress."
"I know... but it was also custom for an Alpha to not have any kind of romance with an Omega, but here we are." Eve chuckled in response.
"I think your father and Tony have had their fill of tradition-breaking." Kate then screamed in pain. "Okay, don't talk to me now. Just focus on your pushing. It shouldn't be too hard. Judging by your tummy, your litter size will be average or below-average."
"Humphrey and I think we'll have two pups."
Kate was on her back, lying on a pelt. Her mother made it to the area where her hind legs rested. She spread Kate's legs further to gain better access and brought her forepaws together, ready to catch the incoming young. It didn't take long. Kate had three deep breaths before making a major push. She clenched her teeth and all four paws, making a sound of strain.
The head of the first pup appeared. Eve gasped. She didn't try to pull the pup out as that would harm it and Kate. Instead, she insisted that Kate push harder.
"C'mon, Kate! You gotta hurry, or you'll suffocate him! He's already breathing!"
"Thanks, Mom," Kate replied sarcastically. She sighed before pushing harder. Its little arms came out, followed by its abdomen and butt. Kate closed her eyes and took more deep breaths. It was unfathomable pain, but Kate, being the tough Alpha, powered through it okay. Throughout her life, she was conditioned to the pain associated with physical activity. Although birthing was far more painful than any exercise that had gotten, she had the mental capabilities to learn how to cope with it.
"It's a male!" Eve informed. "The future pack leader," she added quietly.
Kate thought back to Humphrey and how she jokingly threatened to name one of their pups after his stench. Since Humphrey wasn't in the den with her at the moment, she knew it would be an epic showing of her appreciation of him if she actually carried out what she jokingly said she would do, enough, she hoped, to help make Humphrey feel that staying away was worth it. "Stinky..." She knew her mother wouldn't understand such a name.
"Stinky? Why not something more dignified for the future pack leader?"
"It's something cute that reminds me of my mate. Is that a problem?" Eve stayed quiet. "Besides, we don't know for certain if he's the heir. He could have an Omega-like personality for all we know."
"Just keep pushing please."
"Wait. What does he look like?" Kate asked.
"He looks like Humphrey but darker. He looks like your father. Aww!"
A minute after Eve cut the umbilical cord, Kate went through the same intense pain again and pushed the second pup out. It was female. "This little one is the fourteenth tan she-wolf in our bloodline!" said Eve. "If only my mom, Edith, were here to appreciate how far the trait had gone."
"Claudette. Humphrey let me name any females."
"Ooo! I love 'Claudette'!" Eve lifted the pup in the air to get a better look at her. "So beautiful... I hope she's an Alpha."
"Is there any more?" Eve placed Claudette next to Stinky then rubbed her daughter's lower abdomen, trying to feel any pups inside.
"I'm not sure," she answered. "Maybe... Try pushing some more." Kate did just that. Nothing came out. Eve continued to examine her thoroughly.
"I think that's it..."
"No. There's a runt."
"Huh... Humphrey and I never discussed a name for a third pup. We were so sure it was going to be two."
"We'll just call him Runt for now. Little Runt. Just until you guys come up with something."
"It's been so long since I've seen one. There hasn't been a runt born in the West since Can-do."
"Not born yet," Kate replied. She pushed as hard as she could. The little bulge inside slowly moved down towards the exit. The runt was so small that Eve had to assist in helping the little one find his way out. When he finally exited, which was two minutes after Claudette, Kate let out a big sigh. The birthing was over. Now it was nursing time.
She turned her body around and lay on her side. Eve nudged the pups one by one toward her enlarged teats. The pups gravitated to the teats and instinctively began sucking. "Ow! Ow! Geez... Little biters, aren't they?"
"That's nothing. You were quite the biter I'll tell ya'."
"Oh, yeah... While Lilly was a breeze, you were the embodiment of some demonic art. You wanna see the scars you left me?"
"No! No! No! I'm good! I'm good!" said Kate. She wasn't interested in seeing her mother that intimately.
For the next half-hour, two she-wolves enjoyed watching the newborns. They gradually nestled close and squirmed around each other, probably to maximize the feeling of warmth. Despite the fact that there were more than enough teats, the pups drank the milk like it was their last. They suckled so passionately that excess milk would occasionally drip from their toothless mouths. Eve could hardly contain her joy as they nursed. Kate was very much happy too, but her joy was limited, for she constantly thought of her own mother relentlessly being in proximity. "Hey, Mom, can I tell you something?"
"Of course, dear."
"Please, don't take this the wrong way, but I would like to raise the pups myself."
"Well, of course, you can, dear. They are your pups after all."
"Yes, I know, but I would be... happier if... you wouldn't visit too often."
Eve was taken aback. If it was any other wolf, she would rip their tail and shove it down their throat, but she resisted any insane urges. Her own daughter was sending a message, one where a line was being drawn in the sand. Eve wasn't dumb. She knew what her daughter meant. She was partly upset, but she was partly ashamed. To Kate's surprise, Eve accepted it with great haste albeit dejectedly.
"Ohhh... I see..." Kate had never seen her look so sad. "Umm... well... that's okay. That's okay, Kate."
"Is it okay?"
"Of course, umm... They're your pups, and... I'd hate to impose. Let me umm... Let me go get Humphrey. I know you'd like for him to come in now." Eve turned to exit the den. A sheet of guilt fell upon Kate. The tan wolf had realized what she was doing. Keeping Eve away from her pups would not be fair nor would it help her and Eve's relationship. Her mother only wanted to help and be the thing she knew best: a mother. It wouldn't be fair to the pups either, for they would barely enjoy all the goodness Eve had to offer.
Kate knew it. She had been selfish. Pure and simple.
"Wait," said Kate. "Hold on... I'm sorry."
"Forget what I said. I'm sorry, Mom. I was just feeling a little frustrated, and I took it out on you. You've been hanging around me a lot since I became pregnant, caring about me, giving me advice. And I thought cutting you off would fix things, but I know now it won't. I'm sorry."
"Aww..." Eve walked up to Kate and hugged her. "It's alright, dear. I admit it. I get a little... into it. I'm just so happy! And I love these pups! They're beautiful! I guess sometimes I care too much..."
"Maybe that's not so bad," her daughter replied. "I love you, Mom. You can come anytime you want."
"I love you too, Kate!" Eve then looked down at the pups. "I love you, Stinky! I love you, Claudette! I love you, little Runt!" She nuzzled them gently before preparing to leave the den in order to get Kate's mate. Kate could see the pup known as Stinky yawning. A ring of whiteness surrounded his lips.
"I am a mother... I am a mother!" It was one thing to contemplate being one during pregnancy. It was another thing to actually be one. "I am a mother... as Eve is."
(This is the last holiday short. I had a plan since the beginning to do most of the major U.S. holidays, and I'm happy to announce that I've accomplished that. I'd like to thank everyone who has stuck with this series since 2014, and I also want to thank any newcomers who just happened to come across this. Thank you, everyone, for your love and support! And happy Mother's Day!)