Hvitserk reacting to child after Mother’s death due to eclampsia
He finally showed his face after months of dodging everyone. He’d finally come to see his infant daughter. She was well into being four months old now, and still hadn’t met her father properly. He was distraught and didn’t know or understand how it happened. He was away, raiding to the West when he came back and was told that his wife was sick. She was a cunning, smart, kind woman and he loved her very deeply. But he couldn’t look his baby in the eye without seeing his wife.
“Hvitserk?” The servant asked suddenly as he shook his head and placed the baby on the bed. He stepped back against the wall and put his head in his hands when the baby started to scream. “Why did you do that?”
He was at a loss for words when he finally looked at the woman holding his child. It scared him. Holding something so fragile. “I-I didn’t- I didn’t know what to do. It kept- kept moving.”
The servant sighs. “That is what children do.”
He could tell they were starting to get fed up with him. Even his brothers were beginning to say things behind his back about how he was coping. He couldn’t help but remember how Bjorn was when his first wife decided to leave without saying anything. He left his daughter to the servants and look how that turned out. Sigurd found her dead.
“You need to learn how to hold her. She is missing her mother and she does not know of her father yet.” The servant paused for a moment. “She needs her father, Hvitserk. She needs comfort from someone other than a wet nurse.”
He knew that she was right and he knew that he needed to step up and change what he’d been doing for the past four months and try. “I’m scared.” He let out finally, hands shaking as he stepped forward and looked at his daughter. “What if I drop her?”
The servant smiled warmly. “If you learn how to hold her, you will not drop her.”
“I’ve been distant.” He admitted. “To everyone. Especially her. But I do not know if I’m fit to look after an infant. I go raiding and-“
“Find another girl to make your wife.” She was half joking and half being serious.
He shook his head. Remembering her smile and her laugh. He couldn’t possibly make another girl his wife. “No.” He shook his head. “I just wish she wasn’t she gone.”