Three months later:
Georg sat in a large upholstered chair in an alcove just off the main sleeping area of the master suite, waiting anxiously. He still wasn't quite used to the richly flowered chintz that had replaced the dark blue fabric, but right now as he stared at the pattern he found it comforting. It had been changed when the room had been redecorated to Maria's taste, while they had been on their honeymoon. A soft moan from the bedroom drew his attention, and he checked his wristwatch. Dr. Krauss should have been here by now.
Early on the day before the wedding, Dr. Krauss was out to the villa, and gave Maria a clean bill of health for the wedding and the honeymoon trip Georg had planned, his only caveat being that she rest frequently and stay hydrated.
The moment the doctor followed Frau Schmidt out of the room, Maria got out of bed and headed straight for the closet.
"Uh, Fraulein? What do you think you're doing?" Georg leaned against the bedpost, his arms crossed in front of him.
Maria peeked out at him from behind the closet door. "Why, getting dressed, of course! There's a million things to do today. I've fallen so far behind in getting ready…" The rest of her sentence was lost to Georg as she pulled her dress over her head. She came back out of the closet still buttoning her bodice.
Georg kissed her sweetly. "That's what the staff is for, darling. I thought perhaps we could go over the itinerary for our honeymoon. Then have a romantic, private lunch together." He could see he had her full attention, and he smiled and kissed her again. "Of course, you'll need to rest after that. Then, perhaps spend the afternoon with the children. A nice, quiet family dinner," they shared a laugh at 'quiet'. He kissed her again, taking her in his arms, knowing he'd changed her mind when he felt her arms go around his neck, her fingers softly dancing into his hair.
"Mmm, I must say that does sound wonderful," she admitted. "As long as I don't have to stay in bed."
"I promise, you won't have to stay in bed. Not until we are on our honeymoon." That was a promise he'd kept, happily.
"Harrumph. Excuse me, sir, Dr. Krauss has arrived," Franz announced. Georg left his memories, as he rose from his chair to greet the physician.
"Thank you for coming, Bertram," he said, shaking his hand. "I'm sorry about the ungodly hour."
The doctor smiled warmly. "Babies are on their own timetable, you should know that by now. Besides, I delivered the other seven, how could I stay away?"
The two men shared a laugh as they walked into the bedroom. Dr. Krauss placed his medical bag on a stool near the foot of the bed before heading to the washroom. The only other person in the room was Frau Schmidt, and she nodded at the Captain before stepping out.
Georg sat on the edge of the bed. "How are you, darling?" he asked his wife, before kissing her cheek. Maria's eyes were clouded with pain, but she reassured him she was fine.
"Frau Schmidt says it shouldn't be too much longer," she said, grimacing as a labor pain wracked her body.
The housekeeper reentered the room with a pile of linens. She glanced at the Captain, nodding in acknowledgement, replied, "Frau Schmidt also says this room is no place for a husband to be right now."
Before standing to leave, Georg kissed Maria's hand, then waited while she squeezed his, hard, through another contraction. "I'll just be in the next room, darling, if you need me, all right?" Maria nodded, and Frau Schmidt shooed him away as the doctor began to check Maria's progress.
He went to the window and looked out, before realizing it was the deepest part of night, and he could see nothing. Pacing the room, he noticed the brightly colored Hermes scarf he'd bought for Maria in Paris, tossed on the top of her bureau.
They'd spent four weeks in Paris. Georg had thought of keeping her there for six, but neither of them wanted to miss Christmas with the children. But those glorious weeks alone in the City of Light had done wonders for both of them. Long, languid mornings were spent enjoying each other before having breakfast in bed. Sightseeing, visiting a museum, or buying presents for the children took up their afternoons. Georg would take Maria back to the hotel after their outings, massaging her back or her feet and making sure she got enough rest. Dinner and concerts filled most of their evenings, until once again they would find themselves in bed, making love until the wee hours.
He listened, helplessly, as the soft moans from his wife's throat intensified into grunts and shouts. Despite having seven children already, he'd never been there when the children were born. He'd either been back out to sea, or for the births of Gretl and Marta, tending to the older children. Pacing again, he worried his wedding ring, slowly twisting it around his finger with every sound that reached his ears.
The wedding itself had been almost perfect, the one glitch being when Louisa refused to walk up the aisle. Brigitta, not wanting to walk alone behind Gretl and Marta, opted to join Louisa and her brothers sitting in the chancel. Maria looked incredibly beautiful, and the gown she'd made disguised her pregnancy as much as possible. Holding the huge bouquet of flowers helped as well. In the photographs the baby was completely hidden, and even in person, most people wouldn't have been the wiser.
Georg sat in the chair again and picked up a book on the table beside him. He flipped through it, his eyes not focusing nor his mind caring at all about the printing on the pages. Each time Maria made a sound, his heart ached. If only he could share in her pain, or better, take it away entirely, he could rest. He tossed the book back on the table, it bounced off and landed on the floor, and a
folded paper fluttered out. Picking it up and unfolding it, he smiled when he saw the written words.
The list was growing longer every day. Maria would make cross outs, then new additions. Georg would cross out Maria's additions, then add more suggestions of his own. There wasn't a single item on the list that both of them could tolerate. This routine continued for weeks, with neither of them willing to compromise.
She stood at the window, looking out over the lake. He came up behind her, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her close.
"You know, this child will grow up simply known as Baby von Trapp if we don't decide on a name very soon."
They had finally made selections that were agreeable to both. Georg had laughed when Maria insisted they agree on a girl's name. "But I know it's boy," he'd insisted. "Johannes is a wonderful, strong name."
"But it isn't wonderful for a girl, darling." He'd been so certain he'd given in to her favored choice, Rosmarie, though he didn't much care for it. They could battle it out again next time.
Georg must have drifted off into sleep, only to be awakened by noises now coming from the bedroom. Maria's pain was obvious and he found it nearly unbearable. In any other circumstance, he'd run in there and battle away whatever was attacking his wife. With one long, last almost unearthly yelp, followed by a slap and a mewling sound, it was done.
After she arrived home from school later that day, Gretl tiptoed carefully across the plush rug covering the bedroom floor. Her eyes were fixed on the bundled, yellow knitted blanket Maria held in her arms.
"Come here, sweetheart, and meet your baby sister," she whispered to the little girl, who suddenly seemed so big, and so grown up.
Georg lifted his youngest daughter up onto the bed beside her mother, and Maria moved the blanket away from the baby's face, so the six year old could get a better look.
"Oh, Mother, she is so tiny! She is even smaller than my doll!"
"Yes, but soon Rosmarie will grow big and strong like you."
A/N: Thank you all for following the journey with Maria and Georg. As I stated in the beginning, this is simply my take on a 'what if' of the discrepancy of Rosmarie's birthdate on historical documents. I hope you enjoyed this, and please leave a review!