“Push, Your Highness,” the doctor said. “I need you to push.”
“Aghhhh!!!” Lyla cried out as beads of sweat dripped down her forehead. She squeezed Mark’s hand so hard he thought the bones would break. Her blotchy face was pinched in agony.
“What are you doing to her?” Mark demanded. “Can’t you see she’s in pain? Why is this taking so long?” Mark’s stomach clenched in panic.
“Your Highness, if you are not able to maintain calm, I will pull rank and ask you to leave the delivery room,” the doctor said.
“Don’t you dare leave,” Lyla cried, gripping his hand even tighter. “You did this to me. You’re the one who needed to produce an heir, now you’re going to stay right here until… iiiiiiiow!”
“You’re doing great, Your Highness,” the doctor called out. “One more big push and we’re going to meet our new prince. One more push. You can do it.”
Lyla’s whole face and body grimaced into a shriek of pain and before the doctor could finish his sentence, a burst of energy seemed to power through Lyla’s body and her shoulders relaxed into Mark’s arms. It was over.
The anguish of the previous six hours seemed to disappear in the tiny wail that replaced his mother’s cries of pain.
“Benjamin,” Mark whispered in awe, gazing at the perfect little person the doctor held in his hands.
“Your Highnesses…” the doctor said, ceremoniously. “You have a son.” He reached over Lyla’s hospital gown and laid the squirming, shrieking, slimy boy onto his mother’s chest. Mark’s hand took over, holding the tiny little man in place, his other arm draped around his wife’s shoulders.
“Look what we made, Lyla,” Mark whispered. “We made a boy.”
“We sure did.” Lyla lifted her face to Mark’s and shared a kiss.