jamie barren

scatterations  asked:

Hi Gotham. What are your thoughts on this passage from Outlander (just after Jenny gives birth to Maggie) Don't you think it's odd that Geillis tells Jamie that Claire is barren? ‘Perhaps it’s as well,’ Jamie said slowly, as though to himself. ‘What’s as well?’ ‘That you’re barren.’ He couldn’t see my face, buried in his chest, but he must have felt me stiffen. ‘Aye, I knew that long ago. Geillis Duncan told me, soon after we wed.’

Yes, it’s definitely odd. But not out of line with Geillis’ character - she is nosy and wants to control situations and people.

The fact that she tells this to Jamie without any objective proof makes me wonder why she told him, and what she was trying to accomplish. Perhaps test his (already obvious) love for Claire. Or spur him to take a lover from the Leoch girls, and in so doing set up Dougal for a better position at the castle. Or perhaps just for the hell of it - after all, we know that with Geillis, literally anything is possible.

anonymous asked:

In the book Jamie tells Claire that Geillis told him that she was barren, and I always wondered how did that conversation come about.

Claire hadn’t seemed very surprised—or disappointed—when her monthly courses arrived shortly after their return to Leoch. Jamie had smiled and feigned relief as best he could though he had probably landed somewhere around resigned. So early in the marriage it wasn’t out of the ordinary and given the circumstances surrounding the marriage—not to mention his own restricted prospects… perhaps it was best for the two of them to have more time just the two of them before adding the worry—and strain—of a child to the mix.

Jamie desperately wanted to have children with her—could already picture their son with his stocky frame and her whisky eyes, their daughter with her unruly curls and his stubborn chin—but Jamie wanted Claire to be as excited about the prospect of their children as he was.

The second time her courses came she seemed a little less relieved, which he counted as progress. They were able to talk about it more comfortably than before.

It was probably a good thing. Until a proper pardon could be secured through the Duke of Sandringham—who would be arriving at Leoch shortly in response to Colum’s invitation—there remained too much chance that they would be forced to go on the run, flee to France, travel further north. That was no life to burden a child with if it could be helped.

But they weren’t trying to help circumstances along one way or the other and soon it would be three months since they’d wed and Claire showed no signs that her courses would be disrupted this month either.

Alec let Jamie off early at the stables after a particularly rough time with Donas—the horse had broken loose from Alec several times leaving Jamie the dangerous task of catching and coaxing the put out stallion. Jamie found that Claire was missing from both her surgery and their rooms.

“Have ye seen Claire?” he inquired of Mrs. Fitz, busy at work in the kitchen preparing supper and for the grand feast that would coincide with the Duke’s arrival.

“Mistress Duncan came by wi’ a packet of spices for me,” Mrs. Fitz informed him. “Claire went wi’ her to fetch a few plants and things to resupply I suppose. Dinna ken where they can have got to that she’s no back yet.”

“Thank ye,” Jamie said before heading back out in search of his wife. He didn’t like the idea that Claire spent so much time with Mistress Duncan—there was something about the woman that made the hair on the back of his neck stand stiff. He understood that the woman had been one of Claire’s earliest friends at Leoch but surely enough of the folk in the castle had come around to her by now that she could distribute her time and attention more discreetly.

Asking about the castle yard, Jamie was able to discern where they must have headed.

He was near the brook when he spotted a lone feminine figure coming towards him—it was Geillis Duncan; Claire was nowhere in sight. His pulse quickened with a small twisting of fear in his stomach as he moved to intercept Mistress Duncan.

“Mrs. Fitz told me you and Claire had set out together,” he said by way of greeting.

“Aye, so we had,” Mistress Duncan said, adjusting the basket on her arm. “She doesna ken what’s good for her and doesna listen to those who know better. We came across a Changeling child on a fairy hill nearby and she took it into her mind to—”

“I ken well enough what she’d take it in her mind to do,” Jamie interrupted already moving to get past Mistress Duncan to find Claire before she was found with the dying child.

Mistress Duncan made an odd noise somewhere between a laugh and a scoff. It pulled Jamie’s attention back to her briefly. She looked pointedly away from him with her brows raised and he knew that only more trouble would come from continuing the conversation.

“Thank ye, Mistress Duncan,” he attempted his goodbyes but she acted as though she hadn’t heard him.

“I ken it’s part of her nature as a healer but I think there’s more to it than that in this case,” Mistress Duncan remarked. “Her unfortunate… situation.”

He knew better than to take the bait but perhaps Claire had said something to Mistress Duncan that she wasn’t yet ready to voice with him; heknew that there was some secret Claire guarded fastidiously and he had promised himself he wouldn’t press her on the matter—they allowed for secrets in their marriage, after all, so long as they didn’t become lies. But Claire considered Mistress Duncan her friend and had for longer than they’d been wed; perhaps it was a matter she trusted with such a friend (though given Mistress Duncan’s apparent willingness to discuss it, he wasn’t sure that trust was well placed).

“Situation?” he murmured with his eyes narrowed and hesitant.

Mistress Duncan drew up with feigned surprise. “Ye canna tell me she hasna told ye? And you her husband,” she tsked before curling her body conspiratorially towards Jamie. “She’s barren. Try as she might wi’ her first husband, she couldna give him a child.”

Jamie felt his heart leap to his throat and struggled to keep his features immobile.

“I thank ye, again, Mistress,” he said calmly. “But I must find my wife… to help her back to the castle as it’ll be coming on nightfall soon.” He gave her a slight inclination of his head before turning his back on her and whatever else she might say intent of watching him squirm.

Could the woman be lying? He wouldn’t put it past Mistress Duncan to stir up trouble simply for the pleasure it gave her. But whatever he might think of her, she had been a good friend to Claire and he didn’t think she would turn against Claire in such a way. Besides, there had been plenty of signs of that particular truth that he’d simply been too reluctant to see and admit. He knew that she’d been wed before and that she’d no children from that marriage—he hadn’t wanted to possibly cause her further pain by asking whether it was the result of never having borne them to begin with or if she’d lost them as she had her husband. The fact that she’d not been surprised further supported that she knew and had been reluctant to tell him.

He could kick himself for what she must have felt in the face of his own disappointment and quiet hope that perhaps next time would prove different—a hope poorly covered with his talk of it being better for the time being. Was it any wonder that she hadn’t been able to bring herself to tell him?

Jamie stopped in his tracks, the breath leaving his lungs in a rush as his chest constricted suddenly and painfully.

They would never have children. He would never be a father. He would never teach his son what it meant to be a laird, would never teach his daughter how to dance, would never sit beside Claire in their old age as their grandchildren played before the hearth.

He felt tears prick at his eyes. Everything he had done so far towards clearing his name had been so he could return to Lallybroch with Claire, so they could raise their family there in peace. There would be no family there now, not with Claire.

But there would be Claire. He had only wanted children in the abstract before he’d met her. Since marrying her they had become tangible in a way, a way that had as much—perhaps more—to do with Claire than himself. He couldn’t think, now, of any other woman carrying his children—didn’t want to think of it.

He drew a deep steadying breath. If he couldn’t have children with Claire, then he would learn to live with the knowledge. It would take time to get used to the idea and no doubt there would be moments when the knowledge would feel as fresh as it did in that moment, but he and Claire would find their way forward together.

With renewed resolve, Jamie set off again in pursuit of Claire, directing his steps toward the fairy hill Mistress Duncan had mentioned.

Jamie tried to remember the days of his youth when his mother was still alive. Mostly he remembered the smiles she and his father frequently exchanged. He remembered a bit of that last fatal pregnancy of hers and felt the familiar pang of loss. His father’s pain had been sharper than his own. And then the loss of his brother Willie, too—the two deaths almost blended one into the other in his memory, they’d come so close together. If Jamie would never know the joy of fatherhood, he would not suffer the pain of such loss himself; Claire would be safe from that threat, at least.

The ground began to rise before him as he climbed the slope of the fairy hill.

If only he could keep her safe from herself.

She sat on the ground with her back against a tree, clutching a bundle—the dead child—to her chest and rocking it gently. He couldn’t make out what she was saying but he thought she might be singing. She didn’t appear to notice him drawing closer but her song ended and he could hear the wavering in her voice that meant she was fighting to speak through tears. Quiet and calm, she apologized to the child even as she readjusted its wrappings and stroked its cold cheek—a comforting gesture.

His heart broke for her.

She would have been a wonderful mother.

anonymous asked:

Jamie and Claire planting strawberries at Fraser's Ridge please and thank you☺️

“I thought… well, I thought a man plants his seed into a woman’s belly and it… well… grows.” He waved vaguely in the direction of my stomach.  “You know- like… seed.  Neeps, corn, melons, and the like.  I didna ken they swim about like tadpoles.”

“I see.”  I rubbed a finger beneath my nose, trying not to laugh.  “Hence the agricultural designation of women as being either fertile or barren!”

–Jamie and Claire, The Fiery Cross

—–

“Did you really tell Jem that we were planting strawberries up here?”

Jamie smiled into Claire’s neck. His fingers curled, tracing the gooseflesh that prickled the luminous skin of her breasts as the sweat cooled from their bodies.

“Ye mind how he made himself sick last summer, when he and Mandy filled her smock full of strawberries? Weel - I told him that since he and his sister had done such a good job of it, you and I had to replenish the crop.” Gently he ground his pelvis against hers - asking, not demanding - tracing her stiff nipple with his thumb. Her sharp intake of breath was all the answer he needed, and he slowly, slowly increased his pace.

Then he rose on his elbows to admire her - lips stained red from the berries he’d fed her, and swollen from his biting kisses; eyes hooded in bliss; hair sinfully exploding around her head. The marks of his passion, darkening on her neck.

One look - and he was three-and-twenty again, loving her amid the ferns on the day after their wedding.

She had never been more beautiful - more desirable - to him.

“I have to make sure the soil is fertile,” he gasped as Claire shifted, taking him deeper. His knees rasped against the scratchy wool of his plaid, spread on a bed of last year’s leaves, cushioning them. “The wee plants need to take root, ken?”

Claire tilted her chin up for a kiss - and bit his lower lip as her legs locked around his hips. “Take root, hmm?” she teased, pushing up against him, still holding his lip between her teeth, smiling. “I know a bit about roots.”

He cried out. She swallowed it whole.

Claire + pregnancy spoilery ask

HERE THERE BE DRAGONFLY IN AMBER SPOILERS:


Anonymous asked: It’s been a while since I read DIA so I can’t remember if this was addressed in the books, but isn’t it a little convenient that Claire doesn’t have any pregnancies between Faith (born May 1744) and Brianna (conceived Feb 1746)? Obviously it’s possible, I’m sure there are a million women who had a similar gap between pregnancies, and Faith’s birth was traumatic. Realistically though without birth control, Claire would likely have gotten pregnant at least once during that 21 month gap, no?

Hi anon - thanks for your ask!

I wouldn’t see it as a matter of “convenience.” It’s implied in DIA and Voyager that Claire has difficulties getting pregnant, and then has a hard time of it while pregnant (one of Reverend Wakefield’s diary entries found by Roger referred to Claire’s pregnancy with Brianna as “dangerous”). Realistically, without birth control Claire should have gotten pregnant within the first week after marrying Jamie - but she didn’t. Which makes the reveal at the end of Book 1 all the more amazing, especially when you do the math to figure out where/when Faith had been conceived.

Remember - in Book 1, Jamie thought Claire was barren, because Geillis Duncan had told him. He was sad about it, but at peace with the fact. This played out slightly differently in the series - but was no less powerful.

That Claire *didn’t* get pregnant during that big stretch during DIA makes her pregnancy with Brianna all the more poignant - because it was what she and Jamie had been hoping for, and praying for, for so long. Is it convenient for the plot? Of course. But I think it’s part and parcel with what we know to be Claire’s fertility struggles. And it makes the child they *do* eventually have so much more precious to them because of that.

Claire *does* feel self-conscious that she couldn’t - didn’t - give Jamie the house full of children that she felt he deserved. But this exchange from The Fiery Cross shows exactly what Jamie really wants, and what his true priorities are:

I touched him, lightly, and he made a small sound in his throat and laid his face against my hair, holding me tight. Our lovemaking was always risk and promise—for if he held my life in his hands when he lay with me, I held his soul, and knew it.
“I thought … I thought you’d never see Brianna. And I didn’t know about Willie. It wasn’t right for me to take away any chance of your having another child—not without telling you.”
You are Blood of my blood, I had said to him, Bone of my bone. That was true, and always would be, whether children came of it or not.
“I dinna want another child,” he whispered. “I want you.”