There was no maternity leave in this era, but Elsa would be taking a leave of absence at the beginning of the year. This was her first pregnancy and her body and mind were unstable.
Elsa thought that she would have to resign so she was thankful that she could take a leave of absence. She planned to come back after she gave birth, if she was well enough to.
She was due in spring and her stomach was bulging a little, but people couldn’t tell when she wore clothes. It was also a little annoying that Luca took any opportunity he could to spoil her. Was he always like this?
Luca and the servants were happy so Elsa tried to be happy too, but it was impossible. Luca’s mother, Lorena, visited Elsa when she was feeling gloomy. To be exact, her father-in-law, Giotto, was summoned by the Royal Court so Lorena tagged along.
“I heard you’re with child. Congrats.”
“…… Thank you.” Elsa only replied for the sake of replying and Lorena narrowed her eyes and smiled gently.
“You’re not happy about it?”
“It’s not like I’m not but……”
“I guess it’s what you call maternity blues. Anyway, please sit down.” Lorena said and Elsa sat down onto the sofa. She was always told to sit and rest when she became pregnant, so she did it so without any complains.
“Everyone around you is so happy but you feel anxious instead. You feel too anxious to be happy.”
“……” What Lorena said accurately described how Elsa was feeling. Elsa was anxious.
“How do I explain it……? I don’t understand it well myself.”
“I know.” Lorena rubbed Elsa’s back in comfort. Elsa said, “I never thought I’ll have a child…… No, but I did think that it was a possibly. But I didn’t think it would really…… From the start, I didn’t think that I would get married since I was already nearly thirty. I didn’t think I would be able to do it so I don’t know what I should do when I become a mother.”
Elsa was a scholar that was invited to attend the Philosopher’s Conference but her words were all jumbled and incoherent. However, Lorena responded appropriately while listening to her talk.
“I don’t know, I can’t tell you exactly how I feel but anyway, I’m anxious and scared.”
“Well…… I do understand somehow.” Lorena said. She smiled as she caressed Elsa’s cheeks.
“I was also very anxious at the time of my first pregnancy. At that time, I wondered if I could be a mother.” Women who become mothers generally experience this. Unlike the fathers, the mothers had the child growing inside of them. They had to protect the child. She realised that she was reluctant to be a mother.
“My son is thoughtless, so he probably didn’t notice that you were feeling like this. Well, my husband also didn’t notice how I felt.” Lorena said as she flicked Elsa’s forehead. Luca’s easy-going personality was like his father’s. Elsa remembered that she said, 『Don’t you feel like apologising to me』many times to him.
“Luca loves you, so he’s very attentive towards you. You don’t have to worry about it. You can act like you always have. You don’t have to be attentive towards him just because he is towards you. For example just like before.” Being told so, Elsa remembered 『before』…… What time was she talking about?
“You sat on the sofa without any complains before, did you not?” Elsa remembered that she did. That was certainly true.
“…… Thank you.”
“That’s not it. You’re slightly off-point, I wonder if you resemble Luca in that manner?” Lorena said meanly. Even though you’re so level-headed, she added while smiling.
“Luca doesn’t understand the cause of your anxiety, but I think that he knows you’re feeling anxious. That’s why he’s being attentive to you, but you know that so you try to do the same. That’s why you’re stressing so much.”
You both think of the other so you two miss things, Lorena said.
“It’s fine. You, who are worrying so much over this, would definitely become a good mother.”
Elsa clung onto Lorena, who was hugging her, and cried. She cried a lot. Lorena rubbed Elsa’s back.
Lorena patted Elsa’s back when she cried so much she got tired. “Have you calmed down?”
“Yes…… But I don’t feel so well……” Most pregnancy symptoms settled during mid-pregnancy but Elsa’s remained unchanged. She was still feeling unwell. Right now, she couldn’t decide whether she was hungry or feeling bad.
“Oh my, that’s proof that the baby is healthy.” Lorena smiled as she rubbed Elsa’s stomach. Elsa’s bulging stomach stuck out when she was seated.
The entrance became noisy. Luca and Giotto had returned. Lorena didn’t go to greet them, so Elsa waited for Luca and Giotto. “I’m home, Lorena.”
“Welcome home.” Lorena got up and hugged Giotto. He kissed both her cheeks. Elsa thought that married couples who have been together for a long time were different.
“Yeah. I’m home.” Elsa said to Luca without getting up. She felt a little bad but she was feeling unwell and didn’t have the energy to stand.
“…… Are you feeling alright?”
“I’m fine. Just a little unwell.”
“I don’t think that’s fine though,” Elsa shrugged. This had become the norm so she wasn’t that worried about it.
“I’m fine. Luca, you worry too much.” Someone said this but being pregnant wasn’t an illness. You can live normally up to a certain degree.
“I…… do, don’t I?” Luca said uneasily. Elsa smiled wryly, she felt a little better after talking with Lorena.
“Well, help me to the dining room,” Elsa said jokingly. She was about to stretch and get up off the sofa when Luca took her into his arms. This was what you called excessive.
“You two get along well.”
“You’re still newlyweds after all,” Elsa’s parents said. Elsa put her arms on Luca’s shoulders for support.
“Am I heavy?”
“No, I was prepared for this much.”
“So, if you weren’t prepared for it then you can’t carry me?” She was aware that she’d gotten heavier. There was no point if she didn’t. Incidentally, the doctor who came to visit told her to gain more weight.
“Can you eat dinner?”
“Even if I can’t, I have to force myself,” Elsa replied with a wry smile. They were both close to thirty but they acted like young sweethearts. They were newlyweds after all.
“While this may be fun, I’m hungry.”
“Yes. That’s enough. Let’s go.” Lorena and Giotto called out to their son and his wife. That’s enough.
“…… I’m scared so let me down.”
“I won’t drop you, you know?”
“No, I can’t trust you after all.” She could trust his intellect but she couldn’t trust his strength at all. He had carried her many times but he’s never dropped her. However, scary things were scary, especially when she was pregnant.
That’s why she wanted him to put her down. But Luca pulled her closer. “Thanks.”
“No……” She felt like Luca was sulking. Elsa smiled inadvertently.
“You don’t have to make that kind of face.”
“…… I was a little shock.”
“Okay, okay.” Elsa rubbed Luca’s head and he stared at her.
“You’re in a good mood.”
“I can’t be?”
“No. Your mood’s been bad lately, so I’m glad.” Luca was kind after all, but he did say rude things at times because he was straight-forward and serious.
“Because mother-in-law is great.” Elsa laughed as she looked at Lorena, who also laughed in return.
“Hey Duke. I said I was hungry, didn’t I?”
“Ah, yes.” Luca was very meek in front of Lorena.
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