Morning sickness, she read somewhere in one of the many books Sunburst bought for her, is the body’s attempt at detoxifying the expectant mare’s body for optimal infant development. Vaguely, as she chokes on water and stomach juices all nicely mixed up together, Starlight wonders is she’s going to start vomiting blood.
She wouldn’t be surprise at this point. Starlight can’t barely keep a bite of food down for more than a few hours, and the things she used to enjoy she can’t look at without gagging. It makes her wonder if her previous diet was just that bad, or it was her body’s way of telling her that this was a horrible mistake and she’s going to pay dearly for it.
Why, she wonders dazedly between heaves, did she think this was a good idea again? It’ll hurt. It’s hurting. It’s been hurting.
And parenthood. Oh, merciful Celestia, parenthood. Should she take after her mom, and forget about the poor thing every once in a while, to go out and play? Only entertain it when it’s vaguely amusing and suits her interests? Or use her dad as a role-model, and smother the kid with so much affection, to make up for the time she isn’t there, until they can’t stand her anymore? (Maybe she’ll stick with the Cakes tactics then? Just wing it? The twins turned out alright enough…)
She hadn’t thought of her mother in ages, and vaguely wonders what became of her between gasps of air. Maybe her dad would know. Maybe she did find what she was looking for, the bright future her cutie mark had promised. Maybe she didn’t. Maybe she shouldn’t care for her at all. Why should Starlight start now? Her mother never did.
In her darkest hours, (like right now, with half of her face in the toilet bowl and feeling feverish,) she would wonder is she was even cut out for parenthood. Considering her checkered past, all the ponies she hurt, all the mistakes she made. Was this baby just another tally in her long list of blunders? She chokes back a sob, but if it’s from feeling powerless or the pain of throwing her guts out, she couldn’t tell.
She rests her head on the cool porcelain of the toilet and closes her eyes. The room is still spinning and her stomach, though mostly empty, hasn’t settle yet. She hears the sound of Sunburst’s hooves approaching and a glass of water is offer along with a sympathetic smile, but Starlight pushes it aside in favor of grasping the toilet bowl and dry heaving into it.
There’s always adoption. It’s stupid, because it’s not like they aren’t financially stable, and they’re not a pair of stupid teenagers with nowhere to go, but what they are in lack of is time. All of her time is devoted to the school, to her students and her staff, what little free time she has is spent travelling to Canterlot or other cities, promoting the school, gathering material for future lessons. She’s Headmare, he’s her vice-headmare and a researcher. Sunburst is often called for his expertise in magical artifacts and the like, meaning he is away most of the time too. They’re always busy, there is always something to do, something that needs their attention.
To have this baby meant sacrificing something else in return, things she worked so hard to achieve. Things she isn’t sure she’s ready to give up. Things she can’t bring herself to tell Sunburst to give up too, even though he’s already starting to do so without her prompting.
He doesn’t tell her, but she knows that he’s rejected several invitations to give speeches and lectures at several respectable magic schools, even cancelling a few he already had programmed, though technically his schedule is perfectly clear to attend those events. She knows very well why he rejects them, and she’s touched by his commitment to her—more than she could ever say out loud—because she needs him now more than ever. However, she also feels horribly guilty that she’s holding him back.
Sunburst is a genius. He can run circles around Twilight any day when it comes to magic, he’s done it to Starlight ever since they were little. She’s incredibly happy and proud that his intellect is finally being recognized, he deserves it after all this time. And yet there he was, holding her messy hair back instead of holding some trophy or priceless artifact. He’s a genius, but he also has a big heart. If he were a little less kind or a little smarter, Sunburst would realize he’s under no obligation to stay with her, he would cut his losses and move on.
And if Starlight were a little more selfless, she would have told him to do so a long time ago. Nonetheless she is very, very selfish and she doesn’t voice these thoughts, just clings to him like a lifeline and is grateful that he is who he is. She wouldn’t change him for the world.
Starlight Glimmer abhors failure more than anything else, it was almost comparable to the level of loathing she had for cutie marks, way back in the day. The mere idea of abandoning this baby to the social services system, or give them up like her mother had given up on her, leaves a horrible taste in her mouth that has nothing to do with morning sickness. But she can’t see how this is going to end well. She just can’t. Whether through neglect or simple bad choices, it seems like whatever solution Starlight comes up with still dooms the baby to a less than perfect future. She can’t suppress the shudder that rattles her frame as her mind tries to wrap itself around the notion of a predetermined failure.
Sunburst, on the other hoof, mistakes her shudder for disgust at the contents of the toilet, and tries his best to make things better as he holds back her mane and rubs her back.