I loved this, even if i can't relate. I stopped contraception and two month later i was pregnant.
i found interesting how you turned your own experience into a Spuffy tale.
Awww... thank you! It was really healing for me to write even though it was difficult to write at times. Thank you for reading and loving my Spuffy tale! *big hugs* I am happy for you that you got pregnant so quickly.
I’m not usually drawn to baby fics, but for some reason, I decided to add this one to my bookshelf a while back. I’m glad I did! It was a wonderful story, and you wove the IVF journey, the supernatural plot line, and Spuffy’s story together so well. I was in the mood for it and started it Friday. On Saturday, I got to meet the friend I mentioned’s baby boy for the first time (from 6’ away, outside). He just turned two months old. We have talked about her IVF journey, including the medical stuff, but this story helped me understand her story better, and, for that, I thank you so, so much.
Thank you so much for reading my little fic that turned out much longer than originally intended. I'm so pleased you read it despite your usual avoidance of baby fics. Awww...you met your friend's baby from six feet away (what a world we live in right now)! That makes me so happy to hear and what perfect timing with the fic and the meeting. Hearing others' stories has been one of the things that has been such a happy and unexpected result of putting the fic out there. Glad I could help you in some way! Stay safe out there!
Loved the Something Blue callbacks!
This made me a little misty because my guy best friend walked me down the aisle at my wedding. Even though I’m (happily) divorced now, that’s still a special memory.
Yay! Glad you loved the callbacks!
And wow, that's so special that your best friend walked you down the aisle.
Ha ha! Well done! Labor, painful and mind-numbingly boring at the same time!
Omg, another thing that isn't always the way they describe it in the movies. lol
Yeah, and they were both so close with their mothers, it’s definitely something they’d both be thinking about. I liked the way you worked in addressing those inconsistencies.
Thank you so much...I knew I wanted to address their parents since they are about to be parents and didn't realize some of the inconsistencies until I started writing their conversation.
Babies ‘R Us closing was the loss of in-person one stop shopping for pregnant women and it made me sad.
We just moved away from Houston, but they reopened Toys R Us in the Galleria there in December 2019. New Jersey was the other location. I was lucky enough to take my son to the grand opening. He had a blast! I wonder what COVID will do to their revival. I hope the company survives.
I didn’t know they were trying to bring it back! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for them.
My friend had her son via IVF this year. They had tried a few other times and things hadn’t worked out, so they were really nervous and waited a while to tell anyone. Then, she went into premature labor around 18 weeks and had to have a cerclage put in. So then it was just hoping to get through each day with her son still safely inside her and counting each week until the doctors said the baby would have a good chance of surviving if he was born. She was scared for her baby, but also sad about not being able to enjoy her pregnancy and do things like schedule her baby shower. For a while, she was afraid to buy anything for him because she didn’t want to jinx things. When she got to around 28 weeks, they finally felt like it was ok to start doing those things. She was so happy and emotional at her shower, it was beautiful to see. And she actually ended up going into labor right around her due date and now has a healthy baby boy.
I completely relate to the fear. We did two rounds...our second was our last shot for a lot of reasons and I was scared to really believe there would be a baby. I was afraid to jinx things, too. Probably around the third trimester, I believed that maybe there might be a baby. And now, that little guy is three years old and sitting next to me watching Lion Guard. lol Thank you so much for sharing your friend's story. I'm so happy for her that she has a healthy baby boy!
Spuffy confronting Angel was deeply satisfying. It was so gratifying to see them presenting a united front to him. And Illyria wrangling them all back in by talking about family was a good resolution to the conversation.
YAY! I'm so glad you loved the confrontation chapter and Illyria was fun to use as a way to break up the tension with her selfies and fourth party perspective. lol
The description of Illyria as being like a big cat - that whole paragraph was PERFECT! You completely captured Illyria and how to communicate with her!
I loved everything about this chapter - Nessie!
Thank you so much!
* squints at Angel suspiciously* I’m watching you, Liam, always watching...(said a la Roz in Monsters, Inc.) He’s been suddenly showing up where they are and knowing when they’d be there the whole time, ever since he sent Illyria to Dawn’s. Maybe it’s a red herring and he’s working for TPTB, but his secrecy pisses me off, anyway.
That brings me to something I was thinking about last night because I wanted to word it right (you may have noticed I get a little fixated on that LOL). That line in Spike’s text about how Illyria trusts Spike in a different way than she does Angel started me on this train of thought.
Angel’s mission is the greater good. He is one of those people you can trust to do what he thinks is best for you, and to do what he thinks is right. There are two different trust issues there. The first is that he’s not going to consult you or necessarily tell you what that is. Everyone but Angel is on a need-to-know basis - what HE feels they need to know. The second is that Angel will do what he feels he has to do for a situation, even if it includes betraying you if he sees that as being what has to be done to bring a given situation to an acceptable resolution. It may cause him great pain to do so, and he may do it reluctantly, but he’ll be resigned to doing it. Also, this fuels his brooding and martyr complex. On a personal level, this breaks down to not being able to rely on him to have your back if it doesn’t fit into what he sees as the bigger picture.
Spike’s motivation is putting the needs of the people he loves above anything else. You can trust him to do what you need/ask him to do, even if it might not be what’s best for you. He may argue vehemently with you about it if he thinks it’s not in your best interest, but in the end he’ll go along with your plan. If he makes a promise to you, he’ll keep it, no matter what. He sees the big picture (see: Becoming) and will work toward the greater good, but if that puts his loved ones in danger, all bets are off. The trust issue with Spike is that he could get himself dusted by acting on instinct/impulse if he thinks someone he loves is in imminent danger. On a personal level, that means he’ll do whatever he has to do to protect the people he cares about, even if that means taking a bullet for them, even if they don’t want him to.
Hana is my spirit slayer - that whole part about the slow movements of tai chi and getting all twitchy and her brain getting over active when she tries to meditate? That is me. All of the birdsong and trickling stream and new age-y music they play to meditate to? It makes me edgy. When I need to focus my brain on something or zone out, I listen to “Bittersweet Symphony” or “Where Is My Mind?” by the Pixies.
I just want to say a huge thank you for reading my fic and for leaving me all your notes! *hugs* I'll be replying soon. They have been such a nice mental break from work and stress.
Totally agree about Angel vs. Spike on all points. Angel is definitely being his usual self and Buffy is totally viewing it differently this time. Don't worry...there will be a conversation soon. It was one of my fave chapters to write. lol Hope you enjoy it as well!
I am the same about meditation, etc. Meditations have to be something like progressive muscle relaxation or something with continuous talking or directed instruction. Otherwise, I'm off all over the place in my brain. LOVE Bittersweet Symphony! I never thought of it but it is rather meditative. You're making me want to listen to it. lol I'll check out the Pixies song, too.
I took a peek at your profile and saw you're a social worker! I'm a clinical psychologist. Are you staying safe during COVID?
I’m glad I could give you a mental break! I did love the conversation with Angel chapter! The Pixies song is pretty discordant, but there’s a repetitive melody that helps my brain relax. If that’s not your jam, though, there’s a gorgeous instrumental version on piano that was in Fight Club and The Leftovers.
I work for a non-profit foster care agency, and they’ve been pretty amazing in how they’ve handled the COVID situation. We’re all working from home, doing virtual home visits with video chat apps, and getting to log our full 40 hours every week. PA has a red/yellow/green level re-opening plan. We’re still in the red in our county and the other counties we serve, and we’re not going back to the office until at least the end of that. I know I’m lucky. I feel so bad that you still have to go into the office. That’s so unfair.
I loved Fight Club and the Leftovers! The Leftovers was a very interesting show. My husband I watched it together (we rarely watch shows together) and for some reason, we kept getting drawn back to watching it.
Wow...what an amazing job you have! My friend, who is also a social worker, and her husband are fostering to adopt two kiddos right now. Good for your state for being much better about reopening than Texas. I like the red/yellow/green plan where they are keeping the mental health providers safe and the families safe. Thank you for what you do! (One of my friends is a psychologist in PA...she works with infants.)
I’m just watching Leftovers for the first time - virtually, with the friend who walked me down the aisle, actually. We just finished season 2 last week. It’s so good! It’s a strangely comforting/cathartic show to be watching during this pandemic. The Pixies song and its piano version are the music they use during the scenes where Kevin and Laurie are having flashbacks to losing it and remembering what they did when he was sleepwalking and she ran over the GR members. He gets the rock version, she gets the piano version.
I’m sorry. I have a few friends who live in TX, and they’re very nervous right now. Hurray for your friend! Fostering to adopt is difficult and uncertain, so thank you to her and her husband. I’ve been so thankful for our governor and our completely kickass Secretary of Health through all of this. And thank you for what YOU do, too! Being a clinical psychologist working with teenagers takes a special kind of person.
WHOA! This is one of those time I’m glad I’m not reading this in real time because I’d be like GAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
So, I think I read that text message at least a dozen times before I kept going, and my first reaction was: “Til the end of the world. Even if that happens to be tonight.”
My second was: Angel, you complete bastard, manipulating the situation to suit your agenda
My third was: Overprotective as he is, he ultimately trusts Buffy to be able to take care of herself.
My sudden thought: OMG is he going to give Illyria his soul to protect Dawn and Fred?
LOL...yeah. Lots of cliffhangers here. It's hard to remove Spike from the story for a long period. Well, it is for me. lol
And yep, Spike is doing what he always does in putting the people he loves first. And he does trust Buffy to take care of herself. Hope it shows just how good their relationship is now.
You'll find out soon about what he does to help!
Yes! I love where their relationship has gotten to in this story
(Sorry - continued because I hit submit and then I needed coffee and snacks and then I had to add this part because my brain was processing while I did that.)
So, I didn’t articulate all my thoughts well above because I was still busy being mad at Angel in my head and I didn’t feel like going back to edit the whole comment, which I probably could have just done by now BUT I’M TIRED AND THEREFORE ILLOGICAL, SO ANYWAY - the brute strength thing wasn’t going to work, so I feel like Spike talking to her is their best bet because even though that sounds dicey at best, he has that pet thing with Illyria, yeah, but also he was the one she spent the most time with and actually held conversations with besides Wes back in the AtS days and gets away with calling her Blue and she knows he has genuine affection for her and she has Fred’s memories of when he saved her life knowing that might leave him a ghost forever and when he’s not feeling insecure and defensive, he’s good at knowing how to talk to people. Especially mentally unbalanced women. He’s got over a hundred years of experience with that. OK, I think I got it all out now, lol.
Oh totally agree with all the stuff you wrote about Spike here. He is the best to go after Illyria and can totally talk her out of harming Dawn or Fred.
LOL - thank you for being patient enough to read my very long late night comment which completely ignores all rules of grammar!
What you’re waiting for is never coming, Angel, so GTFO. That “Spike chose” bit! If he knew a horde of slayers was going after Buffy and Buffy herself had just texted him about Dawn, and he’s the only one besides Angel who knows Illyria, Buffy would have wanted him to do what he did if she were the one strategizing. None of the slayers would stand a chance because Illyria’s stronger than anyone. Spike and Willow have experience, Willow’s magic, Spike’s knowledge of Illyria, and they love Dawn. They’re the best hope of getting her back. And if Spike really felt Buffy and the baby were going to be safe, he’d probably sacrifice himself so Willow could whisk Dawn away if it came to that because he does tend to put both Summers girls before himself. But I’m also not sure I believe Angel’s telling Buffy the whole story because I don’t think Spike would take it on faith that Buffy and the baby would be saved by the slayers if he knew the vamp witch had them tied up on a Hellmouth. So....basically, I’m totally not sure what I think is happening, and that’s just the argument I was giving Angel in my head. Because he’s being shady and he’s trying to break up Spuffy.
Angel is definitely telling the story from his POV and twisting things a lot in an attempt to get her back. So glad the chapter did its job and pissed you and Buffy and me off as much intended. Haha.
Hahahaaaaaa! Oh, Livvie’s cheer team uses Group Me, and it’s the bane of my existence because all the parents and kids are on it. Let’s just say I wish a couple of the kids didn’t have cell phones!
The William Pratt/Lydia’s (that was her name, wasn’t it?) thesis part cracked me up, and the EF slayer cameos are so much fun!
LOLOL...I can't imagine a Group Me full of tons of parents and kids. My brain might explode...kind of like it almost did when I was writing this chapter with so many characters in it.
Aw, such good talks in this chapter! And I liked the dimensions in describing Spike and Angel’s relationship (fun fact: autocorrect always tries to make “Angel” into “Angelus”). Especially the camaraderie part. I was just talking to a friend about that the other day, about how the older you get the more people you have that really odd relationship with, just by virtue of having been through all of that crap together, even when you weren’t on the same sides through all of it. It’s a strange thing.
LOL...love that your autocorrect makes Angel Angelus. That's such a good point about friendships and relationships. Life is funny sometimes. And thank you about this chapter. Though Angel is very annoying for the reader in this fic (and the writer...haha), Buffy and Spike both have such complex relationships with him. And I couldn't write them out of character. They love the guy even if he's a jerk sometimes.
Re:chapter end notes. At first, I was a little unsure and freaked out by the traitorous teenage heart part (especially after not telling Spike she saw him at the parade bc it made me nervous), but the human Angel thing had to have been shocking and a little overwhelming. As it went on, her feelings became clearer, as described in your note. You did a good job!
*And when she teared up realizing she’d felt the baby’s first kick with Angel instead of Spike?
My other reaction, which I’ll censor a little since this is a PG-13 story, was, “You’re telling her you’re now souled, human, and available, and her response is to tell you she’s having a baby with another man - GET YOUR F****** HAND OFF OF HER LEG, YOU SON OF A B****!!!!!!!!!!!!!” And the whole it’s-not-Spike’s-baby-you-used-his-relative’s-sperm thing? I wanted to break through my phone screen and smash his face in! He’s human now, I could probably do some damage. SO ANGRY!
Thanks so much...don't worry, I would never put Bangel together (well, there is one short fic I wrote for a friend a long time ago but she was a sweet Bangel and we're still friends today). But almost all my other stories are Spuffy.
I know...poor Buffy with the kicks.
And HAHAHAHA...I LOVE your Angel rant. Curse away. I work with teenagers and now curse like a sailor. And Angel totally deserves it in this story!
Lol - as soon as you said Shane and Charlotte were there, I wondered if there would be Shane/Dawn attraction! Angel...WTH are you doing, Peaches?
Angel is being lurky and annoying. lol I'm usually pretty fair to Angel in most of my fics but I dialed up this side of him in this fic.
You didn’t make him over the top dialed up, though, so it worked.
So much sweetness and nostalgia! The reminiscing about Pangs was a lot of fun! And Giles and Spike and the whiskey - I got all choked up. What an excellent Christmas chapter!
Thank you so much about the Christmas chapter!
Nice Katie and Liz cameos! I like that you have Giles and Spike basically at peace, but still quick to irritate each other. It’s realistic.
The cameos were so fun to include! Loved getting to write Spike and Giles...
I do get Spike’s overprotectiveness because it’s the only thing he can do since he’s not the one caring the baby. And I get Buffys frustration, too. Also, it was hilarious that you named The Vamps after Harry Potter characters.
Glad Spike and Buffy felt in character here! Buffy does need to take it easy but it's hard for a Slayer. lol
Btw, you’re being such a tease with all the lovely New Orleans food as I sit here eating a bowl of Honeycombs LOL
Omg, the food in New Orleans is amazing. I miss it so much. Now I'm craving cajun but ooo, Honeycombs! I haven't had those since I was a kid! Mmmm...
I am tired, and apparently being very obtuse about the second layer of stuff that you were hinting that, unless it’s some kind of weird prophecy or something. But you know what, I’m OK with that because it just makes the surprises more fun.
LOL...no worries about the prophecy stuff.