http://hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com/ ([identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com) wrote in [community profile] cuddys_house2009-11-10 06:28 pm

Sunday morning, May 27

At two weeks old, Emma had already changed. Cuddy knew some people would disagree with her but she was sure of it. They were small changes, admittedly, too subtle for anyone who wasn't paying attention to notice. She saw them, though. Emma had gained weight, for one thing. Again, it was a small amount of weight but when you only weighed seven pounds to begin with, even a small weight gain was noticeable. She'd lost a little of her hair, especially on the back of her head where it rubbed against the sheets in her crib. She was also, in Cuddy's mind, beginning to be more interactive with her environment. No, she couldn't play with her toys or move her own limbs with any coordination but she seemed more aware of the world around her.

The only thing that hadn't changed was Emma's insistence on nursing every three hours around the clock. It was as if she had an internal timer and when it went off, there was no pleasing her until she got what she wanted. Cuddy knew three hours wasn't unusual for a breastfed baby. Neither was it unusual that Emma hadn't sorted out the whole day/night thing. Emma was actually quite normal for a newborn. And Cuddy was beginning to think Emma was going to be the death of her.

It was early in the morning. How early, Cuddy didn't know. She didn't know much anymore. She could barely sort out the day/night thing herself. She definitely had lost track of what day it was...or month. She was so utterly exhausted, she couldn't think straight. Because of Emma's nursing schedule, Cuddy never got more than a couple hours of sleep at a time but she'd thought she was managing. She was tired, yes, but she was functioning. And then this morning, she suddenly felt like she was unraveling.

She sat in the rocking chair nursing Emma, tears streaming down her face. Emma was completely oblivious to her mother's distress...which was good. Cuddy didn't want her, or anyone else, to see how poorly she was coping with the strain. Millions of women throughout time had managed to take care of their babies. She should be able to do the same. Instead, all she could think about was how her back hurt from sitting in this chair nursing what seemed like 24/7 and how she felt like she just couldn't manage another five minutes without completely losing her grip.

A couple of tears fell on Emma's arm and Cuddy quickly wiped them away with the cloth diaper she used as a spit-up rag. Then she rubbed her hand over her face, telling herself to get a fucking grip, Lisa.... It didn't do any good. She knew she shouldn't be crying--she had nothing to cry about--but she couldn't make it stop. And the fact she couldn't make the tears stop only made her feel even worse.

[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com 2009-11-11 03:21 am (UTC)(link)
House had roused at the sound of Emma's cries but after opening one eye and seeing Cuddy getting out of bed to tend to her, he closed his eye again and fell straight back to sleep. Sleepless nights weren't a new thing for House but there was a difference between being kept awake because his mind wouldn't let him sleep and being woken up every few hours to a crying baby. A couple of times he seriously considered leaving Cuddy's place for a few days to stay in his own place, to sleep uninterrupted. He knew that would have been unfair on Cuddy, though. Still, the temptation had been strong.

He wasn't just kept awake or woken by Emma. His parents had been playing on his mind. Everything somehow ended up reminding him of them, too. A photo Cuddy took, a conversation she had on the phone to her mom, the cards and small gifts of congratulations that had been coming in since the birth, Emma herself. One of the things that took up his focus was cooking, something he'd been doing a lot of. Probably more than was necessary. Perhaps even a little obsessively. But it calmed him, it made him concentrate fully on the task and nothing else and each dish he'd made, he'd tried making again to see if he could outdo himself. Some cooking experiments ending up failing but some ended up being masterpieces.

House roused again slightly and shifted over onto his side but this time, instead of falling back to sleep, he found himself laying there, slowly becoming aware of his surroundings. Dawn had not long broken; beams of weak sunlight entered the room and he could hear birds chirping away at each other. Then he became aware that his bladder was full. He inwardly groaned to himself, not wanting to get up. But now that he was aware of the pressure pushing down, he was going to have to do something about it.

With a begrudging grunt, he sat up, throwing the covers off him, and he sat on the edge of the bed for a few seconds while he yawned and rolled his neck. He reached for his cane and stood. While he walked to the bathroom, he rubbed his bleary eyes and scratched his scruff. He'd pee, wash his hands and head straight back to bed. That was the plan, anyway.

The plan didn't quite go that way, though. Once he peed and washed his hands, he crossed the hall to go back to the bedroom. He stopped for a brief moment to poke his head around the nursery door, just to see his two favourite girls - and for once, he wasn't thinking of Cuddy's breasts. He did a bit of a double take at seeing Cuddy crying. He frowned, taking in the scene: the baby was fine - she was nursing quietly and contentedly. But Cuddy was red and puffy-eyed, her cheeks stained with tears and it looked like she'd been crying heavily for a while.

Well, he couldn't just leave her like that. "You okay?" he asked her, quiet and uncertain.

[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com 2009-11-11 04:43 am (UTC)(link)
Her first answer was the right one - she was less than fine and it was too late to hide it from him. He stayed by the doorway for a few moments, watching her hide her face from him while she patted Emma's back. He'd seen Cuddy shed a few tears since the baby had been born. It wasn't anything unusual and he attributed it to hormonal changes her body was going through, having had just given birth and feeding.

He wasn't so sure what was causing it this morning, though. It could have been any number of things: hormones still, tiredness and exhaustion, something else he wasn't aware of. He hated seeing her cry but this time he was pretty certain her tears wasn't because of him.

Her admission of not knowing what was wrong didn't really answer his concern, but at the same time it did. Maybe she was upset because she was simply overwhelmed with tiredness and the change of life. He lifted a hand and rubbed his forehead, then slowly limped into the room.

When he reached her side, he put his hand on her shoulder and gave it a rub. His eyes landed on the box of tissues by the changing table; he left her side for a second to grab her a couple of tissues, which he handed to her. Not knowing what was wrong didn't help him in knowing what to do. He bit his lip as he eyed Emma, then put his cane aside.

"Here," he said. "Give her to me." Given the baby seemed content, he gathered she must have had her fill. Taking the baby from Cuddy's arms, he drew Emma up to his shoulder and settled her there. He opened his mouth to say something to Cuddy but decided against it for the moment. Instead, he turned his head to Emma, who was wide awake, alert and ready for a play.

"How about we give Mom some space?" he said to Emma. Her head bobbed against his shoulder and she cooed happily, oblivious to how upset Cuddy was. Giving Cuddy space was probably a good idea for now. "I'll be back," he told Cuddy before he turned and headed out of the room with Emma.

When he reached the living room, he dragged her playmat out and lay her down on it. He placed the toy gym over her so she had something interesting to look at, and she kicked her feet and waved her arms. She'd be fine on her own for a minute or so, he decided. It wasn't like she could get anywhere. Still, he made sure the area around her was clear and safe before he went back to the nursery.

Cuddy was still crying when he returned. He wiped a bit of sleep out of the corner of his eye as he approached her. Again, he wasn't sure what to do, so he reached for her shoulder again and rubbed it gently. "You're a new mom, that's what wrong with you," he said.

[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com 2009-11-11 02:15 pm (UTC)(link)
"You think they started out that way?" he pointed out. He was about to add that she'd never been a fly on any of those mothers' walls and seen that they, too, all had their moments of losing it. Cuddy cut him off, though, demanding him to take note of how she looked.

"No, you're not," he replied to her claim she was a mess. Again, she gave him no time to explain why she wasn't a mess. He wanted to roll his eyes; she was blowing it way out of proportion. Just because she was a mess right at this very moment didn't mean she was a mess of a mother.

Truthfully, he'd never quite seen her like this. He'd seen her crying in happiness, crying in sadness, in pain, in distress. He hadn't seen her this unglued, though. And he had to admit, her lack of control was a bit like how he sometimes felt. He'd been adjusting to life with Emma but it hadn't been an easy adjustment. There'd been plenty of times already where he didn't know what he was doing and felt frustrated and defeated as a result.

He heard Emma out in the living room. She'd let out a noise that was a bit like a squeal. She didn't sound unhappy, though, so he decided she'd be fine out there on her for a few minutes more. "Of course you can manage yourself," he said. "You do a good job taking care of Emma, too. You've been doing both of those things ever since we brought her home. You're just having a bad start to the day. That doesn't make you a mess. It makes you human."

[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com 2009-11-12 01:15 am (UTC)(link)
Well, he couldn't argue that Cuddy probably felt barely human. Feeling barely human was hardly anything uncommon when it came to new mothers. He'd encountered plenty of overtired mothers who'd come into the clinic, not coping and at their wit's end. He wanted to tell her again that she was managing just fine, no different to any other new mother, but right now he knew she'd argue with him that she wasn't managing, simply because of the frame of mind she was in.

He listened to her say how tired she was, that she felt like she was in a fog. He felt a bit that way himself, had done for the last two weeks. And currently, he was still groggy from having just got out of bed. He was rubbing his forefinger and thumb into his scratchy, tired eyes just when Cuddy started going on about Emma and him deserving better.

He dropped his arm to his side with a mildly exasperated sigh. "Now, that's crazy talk," he retorted. "Deserve better than what? Emma's happy, she's always fed, she recognises you as someone important."

He sighed again while looking down at Cuddy's fragile, haggard state. "You're not supermom. This is the part of parenthood nobody can prepare for." He glanced in Emma's direction and added in a mutter, "I certainly wasn't."

House had known there'd be fatigue and frustration involved in being a parent but he'd had no concept of what that would be like until Emma had come home. Now he understood why new moms came into clinic feeling so overwhelmed. He hadn't reached any point of distress like Cuddy had now but he'd had his moments of thinking it was all too much to cope with. Lack of sleep really didn't help, either. But while he could go on about lack of sleep, he wasn't facing anywhere near as much physical demand as Cuddy was. He didn't have to feed every few hours. His body wasn't working constantly to produce milk.

"Come on," he said, his tone softer. He held his hand out for Cuddy to take. "Come here." He leaned over and grasped Cuddy's hand to pull her up from the chair whether she wanted to stand or not and once she was on her feet, he drew her into a comforting embrace. He rubbed her back at the same time, kneading his fingers into the tight muscles in between her shoulder blades and spine.

[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com 2009-11-12 03:59 am (UTC)(link)
He rocked ever so slightly with her, still rubbing and massaging her back to silently tell her everything would be okay. "I know," he murmured when she said she was tired. He shifted his arms up a little higher around her shoulders so he was hugging her tight. "I know," he murmured again.

Emma made another few sounds out in the living room, still happily playing and oblivious to anything that was going on. When he'd gone to the bathroom, he was going to head straight back to bed but now after finding Cuddy like this and hearing her tell him how tired and overwhelmed she was, sleep was going to have to wait for him. "Tell you what," he said. He pulled back enough so he could look down at her. "Go back to bed. I'll stay with Emma.

"And don't argue with me," he added before Cuddy could get any potential ideas about saying she had to keep going. He knew what she was like, always feeling she had to be doing something. Well, she was going to have to learn that sometimes, she was just going to have to stop if she wanted to be able to function. He dropped his arms from around her and pressed the crook of his finger under her chin to urge her to look up at him. "Don't do anything today. Forget about any laundry, any cleaning, just rest. The world's not going to fall apart if you let things go for a day."

He gave her a small, thin-lipped smile. With all the crying she'd been doing, she looked like she could easily sleep for an entire week. He lifted a hand and lightly caressed her cheek, then leaned in and pressed a kiss to her forehead. "You're a good mom," he told her when he pulled away. He pulled a thoughtful look for a moment. "No, actually, scrap that. You're a great mom. Believe me, I'd tell you if I thought you weren't."

House looked towards the living room, hearing Emma let out a mildly fussy noise. "I'll deal with her," he said before Cuddy got any ideas about doing so herself. "Do something that relaxes you. Have some breakfast, have a hot bath, then go back to bed. Sleep as long as you need to."

[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com 2009-11-12 12:18 pm (UTC)(link)
"Cuddy," House replied with slight impatience. "I've been basically living here for the last two weeks. I think I'm getting the picture what she's liable to do or not do."

He wasn't sure what Cuddy's point was in telling him that. Was she doubting he couldn't actually deal with Emma for any length of time on his own? Was she simply warning him because she knew he was tired to? Was she trying to point out that he couldn't cope without her? He was itching to demand to know what she meant. He forced himself to hold it back, though. Now wasn't a good time to go picking fights. Difficult as it was to let it go, he dismissed it from his mind as best he could, lowering his hand to take Cuddy's in his.

"Come on," he said. He tugged her hand and led her out of the nursery and into the bedroom. He guided her right up to the side of the bed and said, "Get in. I'll be back in a second."

Leaving her to climb into bed, he went into the bathroom and fetched a washcloth, which he wet with warm water and wrung out. "Here, wash your face. Might make you feel a bit better," he said when he returned to the bedroom, holding the washcloth out to Cuddy. Just as he did, he heard Emma let out a sound that was somewhere between a wail and a squeal of frustration. He ignored it. Emma was fine and her cry didn't sound urgent. When Cuddy finished with the washcloth, he took it back.

"Now sleep," he told her. "Don't worry about us." Once he dropped a quick kiss to her lips, he stepped out of the room and closed the door. He tossed the washcloth into the bathroom, where it landed on the floor with a light slap, and continued down the hall to the living room where Emma was really starting to kick up a fuss.

"Alright, alright," he said over the top of her. He bent over and scooped her up, and he held her up in front of him to look at her. She squirmed and kicked her legs with an unhappy expression on her face. House drew her closer and frowned. "Guess what? It's just you and me, kiddo. It's Mom's day to rest, so we both have to be very quiet."

Emma screwed her face up and grizzled. When Emma got like this, he usually passed her onto Cuddy because he was more comfortable with letting her settle the baby. He was going to have to suck it up and deal now, though. He brought her to his shoulder and patted her back, and she instantly calmed down a little. He yawned while he felt her head bobbing against the side of his neck and the top of his shoulder.

[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com 2009-11-12 12:19 pm (UTC)(link)
"So, now what?" he asked Emma once his yawn tapered off. He could easily go back to bed himself and sleep, which meant he needed a strong cup of coffee. "Come on," he added, turning towards the kitchen, "let's go and get Dad a caffeine fix."

Keeping Emma pinned to his shoulder with one hand, he went about getting the coffee ready to brew and took his morning meds while he waited. He'd had enough practice in the past two weeks with multitasking while holding Emma. He leaned back against the counter and pulled Emma down from his shoulder to cradle her in his arms, looking down at her peering back up at him with a much happier look on her face.

"So, what'll we do today?" he asked her. Emma gazed up at him curiously. "Yeah, I don't know, either. We could play chess. Or cards. Maybe I could teach you to play poker. Though, don't tell your mom I told you that." The coffee finished brewing and House returned Emma to the living room on her playmat and went back to pour himself a cup.

The next couple of hours went fairly slowly. House ate breakfast and read the paper while Emma continued to kick on the floor, and he joined her once he'd finished reading the world news section. He dangled toys over her, tickled her belly and let her grasp his fingers. He also encouraged her to grasp onto some of her toys - a set of bright coloured plastic keys, a rattle, a plush toy that had a hard plastic handle on it. While she gripped onto them, not really aware of what she was holding, he also encouraged her to move her arm to make the toys make noise.

Surprisingly to him, watching her on his own was a lot easier than he thought it would be. Even putting her to bed didn't end up being any kind of spectacle - she'd played for so long during the morning that by the time he put her into the cot she was already half asleep. He checked on Cuddy, too, who was dead to the world and he decided to leave her be.

For the next couple of hours, he did several things from watching TV to putting a load of washing on, to sorting the dry laundry out - a job he didn't like but one less job for Cuddy to do whenever she woke up. He also sat down at his laptop at one point with an email open and 'Dear Mom and Dad' written in it. He stared at the opening greeting for about ten minutes before he shut the laptop and tried to yet again push thoughts of his parents aside.

It was when he was dozing off in the armchair that he heard Emma stirring. "Hello, monster," he said when he reached the nursery and found her wide awake and calm. The first thing he did was change her diaper, making comments about the huge poop she'd left deposited in it while he cleaned her up. Freshly changed, he carried her to Cuddy's room but upon seeing Cuddy still fast asleep, he changed his mind about waking her. She was going to be very engorged by the time she woke up but that was nothing expressing wouldn't fix. She had said she wanted to express so maybe that would be a good time to start.

[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com 2009-11-12 12:19 pm (UTC)(link)
To feed Emma, who was rapidly getting fussy, he decided to break out the formula Cuddy had in the pantry. After he read the instructions while holding a hungry Emma against his shoulder, he shook up a bottle and heated it in a jug of hot water, tested it on his wrist to make sure it wasn't too hot and took it out to the living room. Having never fed a baby before, he wasn't exactly sure how to hold Emma, so ended up just letting her sit cradled in his arm on his lap. When he stuck the bottle in her mouth, she made a few confused sucks, not used to the plastic teat but she very quickly adapted and was soon sucking away happily.

He watched her while she feed, the way her hand caressed the side of the bottle and the quiet gulping noises she made each time she swallowed. He actually found feeding her more enjoyable than he thought he would. He quite liked the quiet time of simply holding her. In fact, as he drew the bottle away when she'd downed about half of it to burp her, he moved her up to his shoulder for a few moments and gently cuddled her.

He fed her the rest of the bottle and with her in a lazy, content stupor and a belly full of milk, he let her stay seated on his lap while he turned the TV on. She hiccuped and dribbled, at one point puked a slight amount of her dinner up, which House quickly wiped away with the spit towel. But she was otherwise happy sitting with him and he was happy to have her sitting with him.

Eventually, however, she started to get restless. He put her on the floor to play and finally decided to get himself showered. It was a quick in-and-out wash; he dried, dressed and when he came back into the living room Emma was getting fussy and tired again. He put her back down for another sleep and it wasn't until almost two o'clock that she awoke. This time, after changing her, he took Emma into Cuddy's bedroom.

He walked her around to his side of the bed and carefully crawled onto it, laying Emma down beside Cuddy. "Cuddy," he said softly, giving her a gentle shake. "I brought someone in to visit you." He cocked his head to peek at her face when he saw her eyes open. Between them, Emma was starting to get demanding for food.

"Want to feed her lying here?" he asked. "You can take your time waking up that way."

[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com 2009-11-12 02:46 pm (UTC)(link)
As Cuddy roused and pulled Emma in to attach, House shifted onto the bed and stretched out on his back. He stared up at the ceiling, legs partly splayed, an arm draped over his middle, and listened to Emma spluttering at the mouthful of milk she got before she was steadily nursing. Just like when he'd fed her the bottle, she was making quiet, grateful gulping noises with almost every swallow.

He lifted his head to look at the clock at Cuddy's mention of the time, then dropped his head back to the pillow with a soft plop. "No. I changed the time to disorientate you." He paused for a beat, then added, "Yeah, that's the time. You've been asleep for almost eight hours."

He lolled his head towards Cuddy and looked at her. "And yeah, she surely has gone that long without nursing." He pulled a innocent face, expecting Cuddy to start telling him off about being irresponsible for letting her starve. The next moment, he relaxed again. "Don't worry. She was fed at around ten. She nursed from me instead."

To 'demonstrate' how he'd fed her, he patted and rubbed his chest, over his left pectoral. Of course he was joking and he smirked as he lifted his hands behind his head, fingers laced together. "I gave her formula," he explained seriously this time. "I was going to bring her to you but you were more or less comatose. Decided to let you keep sleeping. You needed it."

He turned his eyes down to Emma. Her little head, bald at the back, bobbed slightly with each suck she drew on Cuddy's nipple. Her hand caressed and opened and closed on Cuddy's breast. "We had fun, didn't we?" he said to Emma. "Played poker. Blew up Mom's favourite pots in the backyard. Scared some nuisance kids of the lawn with Dad's shotgun."

[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com 2009-11-12 04:49 pm (UTC)(link)
"Not worthless," he corrected her without missing a beat, watching her trace her finger down Emma's arm. "Exhausted."

Typical she'd view tiredness and feeling overwhelmed as failure and worthlessness. Typical she'd focus on one particular bad day as a measure of how she'd been coping these past two weeks instead of focusing on every other day in the last fortnight. Every other day where she'd been tired and sometimes had succumbed to tears but still got on with it and still found energy to give herself emotionally to Emma. So long as she kept viewing tiredness as a weakness, he was going to keep contradicting her with the actual fact she was simply tired.

Pulling his hands from behind his head, he rolled onto his side towards Cuddy and propped his head up on his hand. He gave a one-shouldered shrug. "Fine," he answered. "She drank from it like a pro. Drank the whole bottle, too."

He looked at Emma, who hadn't missed a beat with drinking. She was still steadily sucking, still rhythmically and contentedly gulping. God, she was small. She was so small and fragile-looking. Without warning or reason, his chest suddenly seized with a swell of pride. His little girl. A sudden impulse to kiss her head and touch her overcame him but he staved it back. Instead, he snagged her tiny foot and gave it a gentle squeeze and toyed with it for a minute.

Then he looked up to Cuddy. She was puffy-eyed from all the crying, pale, dark circles under her eyes. But she also looked rested, despite grogginess. He'd genuinely hated seeing her so upset this morning. If she hadn't allowed him to take over, he wouldn't have known what to do. Letting Emma's foot go, he reached over to Cuddy's hip and caressed it.

He lightly patted it, too. "How're you feeling?" he asked, idly patting her hip another couple of times.

[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com 2009-11-13 02:16 pm (UTC)(link)
House just rubbed and patted her hip again in acknowledgement of her thanks. Thanks wasn't necessary. The thing that mattered most was that Cuddy felt like she could cope again. It wasn't going to go in anyone's benefit if she was an exhausted, overwhelmed wreck. And the thing was if he hadn't have walked in and found her in the state she was in this morning, he knew she never would have told him about it. As long as she'd been able to put on a front that she was able to cope, he'd never have known how much she was beginning to struggle.

He nodded when Cuddy mentioned the breast pump. "I was going to say something about that, actually," he said. "I'm glad you brought it up, though. 'Cos if I had, you would've insisted there'd be no need regardless how tired you felt."

He gave her a pointed look. Even if he had recognised that she wasn't coping before walking in on her this morning, she would have been determined to prove that she was just fine and god only knew what kind of arguments would have surmounted from that. Cuddy was damn stubborn; despite the fact that she'd already said before the baby was born that she planned to express for the times he was with Emma on his own, she would have only decided to start expressing on her own terms.

He considered what she said next for a moment, then nodded slowly. Looking after Emma on his own had been easier than he thought it would be. In fact, he'd enjoyed it. He'd enjoyed feeding her and he'd enjoyed even more having her sit with him while he watched TV. He'd really liked the way she'd been happy and content to sit on his lap, cuddled up against him. Not that he'd ever tell Cuddy that. For a start, she bring up that whole snugglebunny crap again.

"Okay," he agreed. He suddenly yawned, tired again now he was lying down on the bed, comfortable. He dropped his head from his hand to his pillow and closed his eyes for a moment. When he opened them again, and it was a little bit of a struggle to do so with the way a fuzzy grogginess was settling over him, he looked at the back of Emma's head, still nodding up and down in rhythm with nursing.

Pulling his hand from Cuddy's hip, he shifted in closer to Emma and Cuddy and wriggled down a little until he was lying with his face just by the back of her little head, cuddled up behind her. So much for not wanting to be seen as a snugglebunny, though he reasoned in his head that this was the closest he could get to cuddling up with Cuddy, while Emma was between them.

Up this close, he could smell that sweet, comforting scent Emma had. He closed his eyes again and quietly breathed in. "Now it's my turn to be tired," he murmured.

[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com 2009-11-14 12:45 am (UTC)(link)
He hummed quietly and thoughtfully at Cuddy's suggestion of a nap. A nap sounded like a fantastic idea right about now. The doze he'd had earlier had recharged his batteries a little but those batteries were rapidly depleting. He opened one eye at the touch of Cuddy's hand to his cheek.

Instead of answering her, he lifted his hand and grasped hers and laced their fingers together. He brought her hand down to kiss the back of it, a lingering press of his lips, then looked up at her. Whether he wanted to nap or not, succumbing to sleep was going to become inevitable as long as he remained comfortably curled up on the bed with Cuddy close by and Emma right there in front of him.

His eyes drooped while he was looking at Cuddy; he quickly stretched them open wide in attempt to stay awake. "You sure?" he finally asked her. "'Cos I mean, I don't mind..."

He didn't mind... He suddenly couldn't really remember what he was going to say. His brain was too fuzzy with sleepiness. His eyes drifted closed again for a moment and almost instantly he was tugged towards the beginning of sleep. A cough from Emma jerked him awake. She'd pulled away, milk having gone down the wrong way and House eyed the back of her with one eye screwed shut.

"Can't you do that quietly?" he complained to Emma. But as she was sat up to help clear her throat and to be burped, House turned his head up to look at her. Emma was looking a little sleepy herself. She looked content, the way she slumped with her head lolled to the side, eyes shut. "You have a good life," House told her. "Sleep whenever you want, get fed whenever you demand it, don't even have to go to the bathroom."

She let out a small hiccup, which stirred her from her momentary milk-induced doze. Blinking her eyes open lazily, she made equally lazy sucking motions with her tongue. House wasn't really aware that he was smiling fondly at her. His little girl, he was thinking to himself again. He reached his hand up and pressed his finger into her palm, which she instinctively grasped.

"So, what's next on the menu? Seconds? Mom's got a whole other jug of milk waiting for you." He glanced over at Cuddy and she did indeed have a whole other jug of milk waiting. In fact, the other jug hadn't even waited. Feeding Emma had caused a let-down reflex and her shirt was soaked where milk had seeped out of the other breast. "And she's participated in her own wet one-woman t-shirt competition just for me."

He suddenly scoffed in surprise and jerked his head back as Emma suddenly got an apparent surge of energy and kicked her legs, kicking him right in the eye. "Ow," he exclaimed mildly, his eye scrwed shut. "What was that for?"

[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com 2009-11-14 05:48 pm (UTC)(link)
House blinked his eye a few times and rubbed it just as Cuddy brought Emma's hand down to his face. Feeling her warm, little palm on his cheek, he turned his attention to her. He tilted his chin up to let her hand be moved down over his stubble. Even though it was Cuddy making Emma touch his face, her touch was still incredibly gentle and soft.

"And when you're old enough to date, I'll can kick all the boys you bring home that I don't like as much as I want." When Emma was laid down beside him, he propped his head up on his hand again and looked down at her, catching her little hand in his at the same time. Her fist grasped onto his thumb tightly. She looked satisfied and full, the way she was laying there calmly.

He watched Cuddy bring Emma back up to her chest. Emma latched on and started to suck but within a minute or so, it became apparent that she was full. House could see that the sucks she was making weren't for feeding but for comfort. "I think that answers that, then," he observed.

He shifted a little closer to Cuddy so he was pressed up by her side. Propping his chin on her arm, he added to Emma, "Mind hopping off so I can have a go?" He flashed Cuddy a quick smirk to say he was joking, then said, "Maybe now is a good time to break out the pump."

[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com 2009-11-15 02:27 am (UTC)(link)
House pulled away and rolled onto his back while Cuddy put Emma beside him. "Sure," he replied, his voice strained as he stretched. Beside him, Emma seemed to be stretching, too. Both arms were jerking about and she'd pulled her legs out straight for a moment before kicking them back into a bowed position.

When he relaxed, he turned his head to look at Emma. Her legs were tucked up towards her body, her arms close to her chest and her hands opening and closing against the material of her onesie. He rolled towards her onto his side and just as he was getting comfortable, Emma got a burst of energy and let out a kind of whooping sound, throwing her arms out and lightly catching House against his nose with her hand.

He flinched but then caught her hand with his finger in her palm. She grasped onto it immediately. "Easy for you to say," he said to her. "You've had two naps. I've had..." He paused to stifle another yawn. "None."

Pulling his finger from her hand, he rested his hand on her belly and closed his eyes. Staying awake was becoming a harder and harder feat. And even though Emma was awake and ready to play for the next half-hour, there was something relaxing about having her lie next to him. He toyed with her little foot, squeezing and lightly ticking it, then let his tired eyes shut again while he absently rubbed her belly.

He was drowsy enough that he was starting to slip into the beginnings of sleep. His head felt heavy and fuzzy with fatigue and his whole body was easing into a relaxed state. Without being all that conscious of what he was doing, he drew his arm around the length of her body so that she was cradled close to him, his face tucked in by the side of hers, and it took only another minute or so before he was lightly snoring.

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