Snowfall didn’t recall her previous pregnancies bringing so much fatigue. With Whitestag, she knew that she had been full of energy up until the day of his birth, and she remembered only slightly slowing down when she’d been pregnant with Quick Fang. This time? “Ugh...” she sighed as she rubbed her eyes for not the first time that night.
The huntress had gone out with the intention to catch something small, so she had gone out alone. But after a short walk to the Broad Meadow, she just wanted to sleep, and was tempted to do just that. She’d found a good place to rest, hidden between a tree and a rock, where she could just watch and listen — if she could stay awake.
She took a sip of water from her waterskin, then nibbled on a piece of jerky she had brought to stave off the never-ending appetite that accompanied her pregnancy. The water and food helped to waken her a little. Morning songbirds were beginning their songs, and Snowfall found herself silently identifying them to herself. Though she'd initially set out to hunt, she decided that she didn't want to tonight after all and, enjoying the music of the birds, the huntress fell asleep.
Snowfall awakened to a send from True Edge. **Snowfall?** he called. His mind-touch was anxious. The sun was up, and he had expected her to return from hunting some time ago.
Snowfall shook her head to clear the last of the sleep from her head, then patted her grumbling belly. "Just wait a little, dear one," she whispered to her developing cub. "Your father needs to know we are safe."
**At the Broad Meadow,** she responded. **I... fell asleep.**
The uncertainty she felt at the fatigue of this pregnancy leaked over into her send. She wasn't surprised when her lifemate responded that he was going to have Willow come with him to meet her.
She agreed, and said as much in response. **I've been thinking about it - this time is so different, and there is so much to be uncertain about. I'll feel better if Willow can tell us that our little one is all right.**
**Me, too,** True Edge responded, concerned as well.
When True Edge and Willow came into view, Snowfall stood and slowly walked toward them. At True Edge's offering of some jerky and fresh water, she grinned. "I was getting hungry," she confessed as she immediately began eating.
"I figured you were," her lifemate said confidently.
Snowfall rested a hand on her stomach, enjoying the feel of her child's movements and kicks. Then, stifling a yawn, she asked Willow if she would check to see that all was well, adding, "I've been with cub twice before. Neither time do I recall being so fatigued that I'd rather sleep than just about anything else."
Willow nodded her willingness, then stepped closer. Snowfall exposed her bulging stomach so that Willow could place her hands on it. The glow of Willow's magic enveloped Snowfall's stomach, and the huntress had to remind herself to breathe as she waited for Willow's prognosis. True Edge reached out to hold one of her hands, squeezing supportively.
After a while, Willow's magic faded and the healer stepped back from the couple.
"Well?" True Edge asked, not wanting to wait.
Willow smiled at them. "The cub seems fine. I couldn't find anything wrong with the baby, or with you. I didn’t find any particular reason for you to be so tired."
Snowfall felt relief at Willow's assessment. There was nothing wrong — she just needed to listen to her body and rest when it told her to. And if that meant resting more than anything else, she'd have to do it. Snowfall thanked Willow, who smiled and headed back toward the Holt, giving the lifemates some time together.
"I'm so relieved, Beloved," Snowfall whispered to True Edge. "I was starting to become worried."
He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. "I knew there was nothing wrong," he said.
Snowfall giggled at his false bravado. "Liar," she teased.
"You're right," he said, more seriously. "I don't want to lose you or our cub. I’m glad Willow says you’re fine. I do think you should rest more. Whatever the reason, you need it more this time."
"I know," she conceded, enjoying the smile he gave her — the one that said he liked being right, even if she'd already concluded the same thing. "How about I go back to our den, and you go and find me some fresh meat?" she asked. Then she added, "And after I've napped, we can enjoy the food, and each other."
True Edge raised his eyebrows for a moment and let out a low whistle. "What're you waiting for?" he asked her, swatting her bottom playfully. "Head back, and I'll catch something so quickly that I may beat you back there."
"I accept the challenge," she responded, then headed back to the Holt and to her bed.