For Better or For Worse

by FoolAmongTheStars

Sixth Month

“So,” Sunburst began casually. “What do you think is going to be?”

“A boy.”

“I know that.” He mutters. “I wasn’t asking about gender…though I’m still betting on a girl.”

They weren’t betting anything substantial, except the right to brag about it in the future. They had missed their window to find out via ultrasound, but Starlight didn’t really care. This baby had been a total surprise to begin with, why not add the gender to the list?

“Hmm, really?” She turns back to the book, a smile still on her face, and flips a page; feeling not so much ignorant as happily tormenting.

Her boyfriend frowns and plops next to her on the couch, she doesn’t look up from her book as she tilts sideways to use his shoulder as pillow, curling to his side with ease.

“C’mon, not even a hint?” He tries again, slugging a foreleg over her shoulder and pulling her close, nuzzling her cheek in a way that usually makes her melt and give in to whatever he wants.

Then he does something even more underhanded. He presents her with a plate of garlic mushrooms, dipped in custard with a side of horseradish. Her eyes zero in at the steaming plate of food, her hunger and cravings coming in with a vengeance, the book forgotten on top of her growing stomach.

“Not even for this?”

She glances at his face, and he wiggles his eyebrows suggestively, pushing the plate closer to her nose. Oh, he’s devious when he wants to be, and she wonders if he learned it from her or is it a skill he always been capable of, hidden under the layers of his good nature. But she’s stubborn, and much better at being deceitful than he is (even if she uses her talents for good now) and doesn’t give in to his persuasion.

Instead she smiles sweetly and sighs, Sunburst perks up and his guard drops as he eagerly listens. One minute he’s looking at his girlfriend’s gentle expression and the next he’s dropped, upside down, on the recliner chair. The momentum springs the chair open and hits him on the back of the head, sending his glasses askew.

“And spoil the surprise?” She chirps, giving him a wink and takes a bite of the delicious food. “No way, nice try though and thanks for the food.”

She can see him pouting from where he’s lying on the couch and her smile widens.

He wants to know if there’s a unicorn, a pegasus, or an earth pony growing beneath her skin. All three were equally possible, considering how diverse both their family trees are: for example, her grandmother had been an earth pony and one of Sunburst’s aunts is a pegasus. She’s sure if she asks her dad, he would come up with a detailed family tree of both their families and find more than just unicorns in their branches.

But as for her own child, she knows the answer; she can feel the gradual lump of magic forming within her. Which would explain her tiredness as of late, the little one had to get its magic from somewhere. She just hasn’t told him. She’s wondering if she should.

The thing about giving birth to a unicorn is that infants don’t have control over their magic. Once, Rarity had spoken of her younger sister, who would have random bursts of magic even when she was in the womb, causing her poor mother a bunch of medical problems she suffers to this day.

But either race had its ordeals she supposed. Like Scootaloo’s wing deformation —for example— was caused by being born three months premature, usually a pegasi gestation was longer than the other two races, considering the extra pair of limbs they had to grow. Or the fact that Apple Bloom’s mother, who had been having a home birth—as was the tradition in the Apple family­—had to be rushed to the emergency room, when the umbilical cord had wrapped around the baby’s throat and slowly started suffocating her from the inside.

They were the kinds of stories that she knows Sunburst will go insane with worry over, because it makes her worry too. Reading all these maternity books, speaking to other mothers and their experiences with birth, sent her imagination into overdrive. A lot could go wrong, even with all the magic and medical advances at their disposal, there was always a chance—a slim chance, but a chance—that things could go south. Giving birth is a dangerous ordeal and she doesn’t want to think about it, so she doesn’t. She does what she does best and ignores those fears, because they’re unfounded.

The doctor tells her that the baby is healthy and Starlight feels fine, so there’s nothing to worry about.

Even though Sunburst been pretty cute with all the fawning over her pregnant-ness (because “pregnancy” sounds too old, and she’s not that old), it gets annoying. It’s not worth it to tell him. Bad enough that he’s trying to get her on maternity leave when she was still perfectly mobile, her stomach just barely beginning to show. If she tells him, he might find a way to keep her from going shopping, or maybe from moving at all.

Which is silly, and the rational part of her admits that no, he wouldn’t try to be that controlling. It sounds more like something out of a romance novel than real life, though that might have something to do with all the flimsy paperbacks with titles like What it Means to Love that she’s been reading lately.

Totally only because they’re so bad they’re good, so she can pass her time between chores and relax, because sometimes she wants to read something stupid and corny, and no she doesn’t actually enjoy reading these cheesy romance scenes and she certainly doesn’t imagine Sunburst doing any of that crap for her because she’s not an angsty teenager anymore dammit!

So yeah. No telling Sunburst. For now. He’ll figure it out himself…eventually. Probably. Maybe.