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Author's Chapter Notes:

Thanks for the lovely reviews form all of all of you.  Glad that you liked Jo & Jack calling the bear after it's previous owner.

A week after Stephen was born, Jo was finally beginning to recover from the birth. She had slept a lot of the time between feeds, the nurses bringing him in to her when he was hungry and when Jack came to visit her. She was still on complete bedrest until Jem was able to assess her properly.

When Jack appeared on Saturday afternoon, he had a surprise for Jo. Robin and Daisy followed him into the room and ran over to greet her. They had been warned that they needed to be quiet since Jo still tired easily.

“How are you, Jo?” Robin asked as she kissed her.

“I’m still tired, but much better than I was a week ago.”

“You do look washed out, still. Make sure you get plenty of rest before you come back home.”

“Don’t worry, Robin. She won’t be going anywhere for a couple more weeks, at least,” Jack replied.

“Auntie Jo! Are you going to introduce us?” Thus Daisy, who was struggling to control her excitement.

“Come here, Daisy,” Jo instructed and Daisy ran over to kiss her aunt. “Jack, will you do the honours?”

“I’ll pass him over and you can do them.” Stephen had been put into the cot in the corner of the room when Jo had finished feeding him, so Jack picked him out and handed him to Jo to introduce.

“Here you are, girls. This is Stephen.” The two girls gathered round Jo and the baby to admire him to their heart’s content, whilst Jack looked on. He knew bringing Robin and Daisy had been the right thing to do. He had seen Jo beginning to look restless and she needed some distraction if she was to continue to improve.

“Would you like to hold him, Daisy?” Jo asked.

“Yes, please.” Jack came over and helped Jo to hand the baby to her. Then he directed her to go and sit down in the corner of the room, which she did with much joy. Robin joined her, to continue admiring the small boy and patiently wait for her turn to hold him. Jack came to sit next to Jo.

“Happy, darling?”

“Yes. Thank you for bringing them over, Jack.”

“My pleasure. I’d noticed that impatient look in your eye and thought they’d be a nice distraction for you. Until Jem’s assessed you and you’ve had some more X-rays, we don’t know what will happen. The more you rest now, the better your chances are at being allowed back up, again.”

“I know.” Jo sighed.

“What’s wrong, Jo?”

“I just want to be able to look after Stephen without the nurses doing everything for me.”

“I know you do. You’ll have that chance soon enough. You have to rest to be able to do that. Looking after a baby isn’t all plain sailing, as you should know.”

“I know it isn’t, but I just hate this feeling of helplessness. I’d rather know how long I have to be in here, than this limbo I’m in at the moment.”

“I’ll speak to Jem for you, Jo. In the meantime, you’ll just have to be patient I’m afraid.” He kissed her and then looked over to where Robin and Daisy were sitting. “Daisy, time to let Robin have a turn.” Daisy reluctantly gave up both Stephen and her seat to Robin, who was equally delighted to be able to hold such a tiny being.

“Would you like Madge to visit one day next week?”

“Yes, please. What about some of the others? I’m sure they’d like to see him and if I’m stuck in here for ages, they won’t get chance.”

“I’ll see what I can do, Jo, but don’t expect it. The doctors might not like all the hordes coming to visit you, plus they’ll tire you as well. They may have to wait until you get home, though they aren’t coming all at once, even then. Robin and Daisy and Madge are different. Madge is your sister and Robin and Daisy both live with us.”

“I suppose so. What about Flora and Fiona? They live with us, too.”

“If they come, then Bride, Primula and Peggy will want to come as well. I think they can wait until you come back home.”

“That’s true. I hadn’t thought of that.”

“I’ll catch Jem if I can and have a word with him about bringing Madge to see you as well as coming to talk to you about how much longer you’ll be here for.”

“Thanks, Jack. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“You’d manage, I’m sure.”

“I don’t know. I certainly didn’t manage when I thought you were gone.” Jo brushed her hand across her eyes as a stray tear insisted on falling.

“Shh, Jo. It’s all in the past, now. I shouldn’t have said that, it was insensitive of me when it’s still so raw to you.”

“It’s not easy to forget, Jack. You’re also still not right either, even though you claim you are.”

“I’m improving, but you’re correct. Jem’s refused to have me back at work until after Easter and only then if I’ve found a way of sorting out these migraines. Coming here every day has helped that, but I still get them rather too frequently to be able to get through a full shift without risking one happening at the moment.”

“You can’t rush it. You of all people should know that.”

“I know. I’m not going to, either. It means I’ll get to spend some time with just you and Stephen, hopefully. I’ll leave you and the girls for a short while and go and see if I can locate Jem, now. I saw his car on the way in, so I know he’s somewhere about. Will you be all right?”

“Yes. We’ll manage between us.”

“I won’t be long. Girls, bring Stephen back over here and talk to Jo as well. I’m just going to see if I can find Jem.”

“Will you help me with the chair, Uncle Jack? It’s a bit heavy for me to lift on my own,” Daisy asked. Robin had already taken Stephen back over to Jo and was sitting in the chair by the bed. Jack obligingly moved the chair for Daisy and then departed to see if he could locate Jem in the building.

Left alone, the three of them chatted happily away, unaware of the time speeding by. They only realised that Jack hadn’t returned when the nurse appeared to send them off home. She took the baby from Daisy and shooed them outside to wait in the corridor for him, firmly telling them that Mrs Maynard needed her rest and visiting was more than over. They reluctantly kissed Jo goodbye and promised to visit again as soon as they could before they fled under the nurse’s steely gaze. Jo was instructed to get some rest and Stephen would be returned to her when he was hungry. Since she was tired, Jo didn’t object and her eyes soon closed as she lay in the quiet room. The nurse had drawn the blinds and turned the lamp down before she left, so the dimness of the room soon lulled Jo to sleep.

When Jack finally returned, it was to find Robin and Daisy waiting impatiently in the corridor.

“Has visiting finished?”

“Half an hour ago. We were made to leave by the nurse,” Daisy answered.

“I’m sorry, girls. I didn’t expect to be gone so long. I’ll just have a quick word with Jo and then we’ll get off. Here’s the car keys, Robin. You two set off and I’ll catch you up in a minute.” He checked the corridor for nurses before going into Jo’s room. As he crossed to the bed, he saw that she was sleeping, so just satisfied himself with a kiss on her cheek before slipping back out. He managed to get back into the corridor without being caught and hastily made his way towards the exit and the car.

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