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An Unspeakable Beauty

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Andy Sachs could heartily admit she had spent the last two years of her life in a blaze of happiness and this was down to one woman, one of the only people to accept her wholeheartedly, the incomparable Miranda Priestly.

The fact was, if she was honest with herself, which she always tried to be, she'd always been truly awed and captivated by the woman who was, at that particular moment, in the process of giving her the greatest gift.

The unreachable dream, a child born from their unforgettable love.

Glancing down at the woman panting through another contraction, she could see Miranda wasn't what society would claim was a conventional beauty, but for her, she was truly magnetic. For Andy, there was no one as stunning and it wasn't because of the usual clothing, hair or make-up, but the way her small smile often stopped her in her tracks, radiating warmth and love., the way her eyes could light up the world when she came home to find her cuddled up on the sofa watching movies with the twins, or how she danced when she's cooked breakfast for them, humming along to whatever was playing on the radio, her stomach swollen with their coming child and with the early morning sun filtering through her hair from the kitchen window.

Everything about her wife was mesmerising. Everything about her redefined what she saw as perfect. Miranda could make her forget how to breathe.

Thinking of the early days, when she'd been Miranda's assistant, she'd often been the cause of a nervous stomach, headaches, the inability to think and a weakness to her knees. It was seriously all she could do to stay upright when in her commanding presence. Miranda was a woman who inspired. She was talented, driven, smart and so different from anyone else she'd ever encountered. It was impossible not to love her.

Andy wasn't one to pray, but each day she offered up her thanks to the universe for the beautiful woman who believed, she, above anyone else, was worthy of her love and affection. The way Miranda loved her, sharing her deepest thoughts and understanding hers was unlike anything she ever imagined. She allowed her to feel perfect and beautiful, because of who she was inside, and outside.

The pregnancy had been wonderfully straightforward, despite Miranda's age and the warnings they'd been provided about it being high-risk. Miranda had hated the extra attention from Page Six once she started to show but had appreciated having Andy there for support, even with her conclusion that she would prefer to be surprised by the gender of their children.

Her hand being grasped tightly had Andy's focus taken from her thoughts, and when she looked down at the woman beside her, her makeup smudged, face covered in a slight sheen of perspiration, her hair flattened and eyes scrunched closed, her breath caught once more. "You're doing so well, my love." Andy offered in a whisper of reassurance. "You're amazing."

The grip on her hand tightened. "This is your damn fault." Miranda seethed between clenched teeth as she bore down.

Andy winced. Upon their arrival at the hospital, after Miranda's waters had broken, their OB-GYN had done the usual blood work, set up the IVs, strapped the dual baby heartbeat monitors onto Miranda's belly to keep an eye on everyone's blood pressure and stress levels, and tried to explain the whole process to her. Up until that point, where the OB-GYN had told her she was fully dilated and it was finally time to push, Miranda had paced the room impatiently, dragging the IV stand with her while bemoaning the fact that the twins she'd carried with so much grace for 36 and a half weeks had decided to ignore the planned c-section the following week and to arrive early. The natural and medication-free birth was certainly not something Miranda had even considered, but the labour wasn't to be stopped. After having experienced terrible pain in her lower belly, that she'd ignored, for two days and having only managed 6 hours of sleep over the two nights, she was exhausted and it made her even more feisty. She'd refused the epidural when it was offered up and between pushes, which she'd complete on her back to the slow count of ten, she'd rolled onto her side to ease the discomfort as much as she was able.

When her hand was released and Miranda sank back into the pillows, taking a moment to rest, Andy clenched and unclenched her fingers before shaking her hand in an attempt to get the circulation flowing. For such a petite woman and one that was more than often gentle, Miranda was incredibly strong. "You know, it took two to create these babies, right?" Andy huffed good-naturedly, offering Miranda a cheeky grin.

Miranda peered up at her, her lips twitching as she rolled her eyes. Her smile faltered and she grimaced as another contraction began and Andy's eyes flicked to the monitor directing Miranda's pushes. "Hand." She demanded, before starting to pant through the waves.

Quickly, but with a low groan, Andy entwined their hand. "On the count of ten, push." She reminded. "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight—"

Before Andy could even finish counting, Miranda focussed her gaze at her navel and bore down, squeezing her eyes shut as she clutched the hand in hers. "Aaaaaarrrrrgh!" Miranda let out a stream of cussing in various languages between her teeth.

"And the head's born." The OB-GYN stated.

Miranda inhaled sharply as she tried to gather her strength for the next push which was rapidly approaching.

Andy watched the monitor closely "And again. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, ni—"

Once again, Miranda pushed, her gaze fixed at the point between her legs where the OB-GYN was situated. "Merde!"

There was total silence for a moment before a loud wail rose through the private birthing suite Miranda's name had generated.

Andy chuckled at the sound even as tears sprang into her eyes from the knowledge one of their babies was finally here. "Oh my gosh, that's incredible."

"A girl." The OB-GYN offered. "Would you like to cut the cord, mama?"

Looking at Miranda, her eyes pleading, she was gratified when the older woman released her hand and nodded tiredly. "Go on, my darling."

Andy stood and swayed slightly as the blood rushed to her head. "Woah." She quickly balanced herself before taking the half dozen steps needed to reach her daughter.

Andy stared down at the newborn, her eyes drinking in the incredible sight in front of her. "Hey, baby." Carefully, she stroked a finger down the baby's chest before concentrating on the OB-GYN as he explained how to clamp and cut the umbilical cord. Once that was done, she lifted the baby girl into her arms carefully and as she looked down at the small bundle, she was euphoric.

To have created life, was astounding. For her to find out they were being gifted with another set of twins all those months before had her ecstatic, scared, and overwhelmed, all at the same time, and those feelings had not dissipated in the months since the revelation. Stepping quickly back to Miranda, she watched her unfasten her nightshirt and set the baby against her chest in their first skin to skin contact. A nurse draped a blanket over them to keep their daughter warm.

Looking down, Miranda smiled softly as she stroked the tips of her fingers over the baby's fine dark hair. "Are we still settled on Calliope?" She asked softly.

Andy watched silently but nodded her head. "Yeah."

"Welcome to our family, Calliope Beth Priestly-Sachs," Miranda said gently.

Andy gasped. They'd only discussed middle names half-heartedly, but hearing her mom's name, and looking at the baby, it fitted perfectly. It was a truly beautiful way to remember and honour her mom. "I like it," she admitted, growing teary-eyed.

Miranda's smile grew. "Your big sisters are looking forward to meeting you." She said as she guided the baby to latch onto her breast, having been told it would speed up the birth of the second and winced as a contraction immediately took hold. "I think it's almost time to welcome our other little one into the world." She muttered.

"Are you ready to push again?" The OB-GYN asked.

Miranda nodded quickly and without even thinking about it, placed her arms around Calliope, still holding her close to her breast and pushed.

Andy stepped quickly towards the OB-GYN as he gestured to her, and glancing between Miranda's thighs, saw the head crowned. "Oh my gosh, I can see the head!"

Taking one last huge breath in, Miranda pushed with everything she had as the nurse counted to ten, and the head slipped free. Miranda's eyes closed and she muttered to the baby in her arms that her brother or sister would be there soon.

Calliope tore her mouth free from Miranda's breast and started to cry as another contraction hit, bringing her twin into the world. The OB-GYN caught the newborn swiftly and cleaned its face and vigorously dried the baby by rubbing the body. Andy intently watched her baby's lungs fill with air as it took its first breath before letting out a shrill cry. The cord was clamped and Andy was guided through the cutting of the cord, for the second time. She completed the job easily and was passed her baby.

She held the mewling baby to her chest and the exquisite softness of the newborn baby's skin against her own triggered a fierce protectiveness within her. "Oh my God." Andy sobbed, looking down at the little one in her arms. "A boy." She choked on a small laugh. "What the hell are we meant to do with a boy?" She cradled him against her chest again, trying to soothe him and listening to the tiny sounds of his vulnerable cries.

Miranda chuckled then winced as the OB-GYN kneaded her stomach. "I'm sure we'll work it out. You will be the perfect role model for all our children."

There was a multitude of emotions rolling through Andy after meeting her babies for the first time and when the OB-GYN stepped away from Miranda, a covered bowl holding the placenta in his hands, she handed him to Miranda and Calliope was whisked away to be cleaned up properly and Apgar-tested. Settling onto the mattress, she tried to put her emotions into words, to express what this moment meant to her.

"You know, I think I finally understand the things people claim about this moment in their lives, the feeling of awe and ecstasy when you first look at the baby and realise it's yours. That rush to scoop them up, to touch, feel and hold them. That need to keep them safe. But most of all, I'm amazed by you, Miranda. In the space of twenty minutes, you delivered our two babies, Callie and Chris." Andy smiled shyly as she watched Miranda guide the baby to latch onto her breast. "I suppose our little man will have a middle name too?" She queried.

"Christopher Andrew Priestly-Sachs." Miranda shifted in an attempt to get more comfortable, still cradling the baby boy against her. "For his mother, as if you couldn't guess." She shifted again and the nurse took Christoper to complete the usual tests. "I must admit, throughout the pregnancy, I had the most beautiful daydreams of what it would be like when I held my babies for the first time. But more than that, I imagined you holding them, meeting them for the first time and seeing yourself reflected in them. The anticipation of this moment was immense but this is so much more than I ever expected. They both look so much like you. They are beautiful."

Andy brushed a loose curl of hair from Miranda's forehead. "You're beautiful. You make my heart and breath catch; it leaves me overjoyed just to be on the same planet."

Miranda blushed. "What time is it?" she muttered sleepily as the babies, sharing a bassinette were wheeled next to them, swaddled in blue and pink.

Looking at her watch, Andy realised that it was after midnight. The arrival of their babies was a true Christmas gift for the family. "Almost half past midnight." Looking at Miranda, she noticed, despite how tired she was, she simply glowed. Every slight imperfection was absolute perfection. An unspeakable beauty, she couldn't find the words for.

"To be fully alive is to have an aesthetic perception of life because a major part of the world's goodness lies in its often unspeakable beauty."
- Yukitaka Yamamoto