electrifying | giving birth

A peaceful sleep was concluded by pain rippling through her lower abdomen. Briarstar sat up, collecting a painful hiss in the back of her throat. Her eyes were wide, her pupils slits. They're coming, she told herself. Over twenty moons ago, she had done this for the first time. She'd had Amber by her side, even Hare Whiskers. Now? She felt alone. She knew she wasn't. She had Bonejaw, she had Dusk, Honey, Pitch, and Thistle. It's not the same, she thought. It wasn't. Amber deserved to be here to see his children born. Hare Whiskers should be here, too.

Briarstar lugged herself to her paws and trudged out of her den. She'd wanted to stay there as long as possible but she knew her kits would fare better being raised in the nursery alongside other kittens. The last time she had done this, she hadn't been the leader of a Clan with nine lives and a heap of duties. She would need to rely on the help of the other queens when she could not be there for her kits, though she hoped she got to spend more time with them than not. She curled up in the nest she had prepared for herself days ago when she knew her time was close. She curled up in a ball, anticipating the next contractions. This was going to be a long day.

After a series of painful pushing, the first kit slid out into the wet moss. Briarstar got to work cleaning him and nudged him to her belly. Her firstborn from this litter was a tomkit, a little writhing ball of black and white fur. She studied him for a moment before deciding on a name. He reminded her a lot of her sister and he deserved to have a name that reflected that. "Marrowkit," she decided, tacking the -kit suffix onto the end of his name. She'd heard that Sootstar had done the same with her kits in WindClan after receiving her leader name, and so Briarstar decided that the tradition should be carried in ShadowClan as well. With her son clean and safe at her side, her head dropped back onto the moss for a few moments of rest.

The next kit did not allow her much relaxation. Another tom joined his brother. Briarstar cleaned him and nudged him to her side, same as the first. While wet, it was hard to tell what color he was going to be, but as he dried she realized he was a black tabby that possessed the same beautiful tabby pattern that Amber had. He was a handsome kit and Briarstar was very proud of him. "Slitherkit," she decided. She was proud of him like she was the marshes, so what better way to honor both her son and her home by giving him a name that reflected the creatures that dwelled there?

Soon after the second kit, a third joined her brothers in this new world. She looked very much like the first tom, mostly black with patches of white. As she was nudged to her mother's belly, the kitten let out a series of soft chirps which gave Briarstar the perfect name idea for her. "Starlingkit," she said, for she sounded like the bird and her pelt looked a bit like it too. She ran her tongue over her daughter's forehead to quiet her and then she attempted to rest in case there were any more kits.

The next two kits joined the world just minutes apart and looked strikingly similar with their jet black pelts. One was a tom, the other a molly. Briarstar cleaned them and nudged them to her belly. She had the perfect names in mind for them since they looked so similar. "Crowkit for the tom," she said, smiling down at him. Her gaze shifted to the molly. "Ravenkit for the she-cat."

Satisfied, she rested, thinking she was done. Five kits was a lot, more than her first litter.

But alas, she was wrong. Another she-cat joined her five siblings with fur bristling on the back of her neck. A family staple. Briarstar laughed and tried to smooth it down but to no avail. The prickly fur was there to stay. There was only one name appropriate for this young one. "Bramblekit," she cooed. Please let that be all, I'm ready to rest.

But the stars had other plans. A seventh kit joined his siblings. Briarstar nudged him to her belly and cleaned his soft fur. She wrapped her body around her seven kits, kneading at the moss beneath her paws as they suckled at her side. "Ashkit," she decided for this last one, because seven good things had come to her from the ashes of great despair despite all of the horrors she had faced these past several moons.

These seven babies were her new hope.

/ @rhosmari @ANTLERS @Jay @empyrean @Archivist @juniper @cosmos WOOO BORN!
It was Sage who entered the nursery first, creeping anxiously into the den. She had been lingering outside for some time. For what could she really do for Briarstar? Where on earth was Bonejaw when you needed her? She couldn’t offer the help of a medicine cat.

But still, the molly went to the leader anyway, a small pure bubbling in her throat as she looked down at the seven kittens and tried not to feel too jealous. These kits would grow up with their mother, something Sage herself had been deprived of despite scarcely being out of the nursery herself.

“Congratulations Briarstar,” she said. She paused for a moment, unsure. “Can I get you anything? Some water or something to eat?” She wanted to help, even if it wasn’t much in the grand scheme of things.

──⠀ ﹙†﹚⠀MORTIS ⠀: ⠀ marrowkit was born the first of his litter. a strong, leanly - shaped kitten with slicked ears and closed eyes, delicate just as everyone was upon taking their first shuddering, desperate breaths. marrowkit. the only bony thing about him is his name, kitten fat a thick layer of health over his fragile body, bicolored coat fluffing out with each quick, rasping lick his mother passes over him. eventually, the child squeaks — little pink maw stretching wide and glued eyes scrunching in an imitation irritation. her attention was pulled elsewhere quickly, however, and the tomkit takes the time to stretch tiny forepaws in search of too - soft belly fur. he finds it, the heavy scent of milk drawing his damp nose into her tummy until he finds a teat. as he goes to latch, another bundle is pushed to his side, encouraged to drink. slitherkit. the word means nothing to him yet, knew not the brother that now takes this side. marrowkit produces a sound most akin to a grumble, drawn towards the warmth despite the way his limbs flail wildly about his sides until milk finds its way down his throat in rich rivulets.

the little prince of shadowclan finds himself nestled within the tabby pelt of his sibling, relaxing quiet into the safety of their mother.

  • − marrowkit ; he / him. kit of shadowclan, son of briarstar and amber
    − longhaired spiky black tom w low white & sunburst orange eyes
    − two months old, penned by antlers

would you do anything for me?
Born alongside her nearly identical brother, the newly anointed Ravenkit was a tiny, bony creature. Fragile even compared to the other kits clustered around her. There were sounds and sights around her that she could not understand, nearly overwhelming her. Something soft brushed up against her. Nudging her towards a the soft belly fur of her mother, and her milk. She settled in immediately, seemingly perfectly content.

At least until Briarstar's attention drifted away from her.

The moment the soft touch that had guided her to her place drifted away, affixing itself to the next in her litter, the pulled back with a cry. She made her distress at this laps in attention known, letting out small, pitiful yells as her mother went to name her siblings. Squirming against the other kits around her as she sought to recapture their mother's attentions.

Starlingkit. A name, her name. Something that right now, to her sealed ears and closed eyes meant absolutely nothing to her, nor did the other names that were spoken after hers. All that mattered in this moment in time was her mother, the warmth of the siblings she now found herself nestled amongst. In time, these words would take on a meaning, a shape, but for right now she least out tiny chirps, not quite wailing like Ravenkit does next to her.

For what she is calling out for she is uncertain, only knows that she must call out to something. Maybe to the soft muzzle that had first nudged her into place after she had been born, or for that wet tongue to rasp her fur clean again. The soothing feeling of her fur being brushed. For now though, she supposes she must content herself with suckling away alongside the rest of the strange wriggling bodies next to her.

// sorry if this is bad I’m awful at birth intros
Ghost didn't know what was happening.

Briarstar had come to the nursery, her eyes gloomy like fog lying over a swamp. Her belly was swollen, more so than he's ever seen. She's sick and dying, he realized. She was coming to say goodbye to all the kits before drawing her final breath.

So it didn't make any sense when Ghost was suddenly ushered away with a gentle word and press of a wet nose. Ghost was promised that he could return later, but by then, Briarstar would already be dead. Ghost picks flowers for Briarstar, or at least the closest things to flowers Ghost can find. She was a good leader, this one has heard others say.

So when he's let back in, he comes with flowers and stuff (mostly 'and stuff'), but he nearly drops them all when he sees what's happening.

Briarstar's tummy ache is all gone, and suddenly there are kits. But they're all so small and pale and wet. They're dying. Briarstar must've given her sick to them so she'll be all better. How bad was the tummy ache to need seven kits for it all? That's so much.

"Oh noo..." Ghost drones, a flat, willowy sound as he scrabbles forth. He gives a flower to all of them, (but he could only find one flower... everyone after 'Marrowkit' gets lots of grass though, to make up for it.) He shakes his head at 'Ashkit,' solemn. "Buh-bye..."

Her sister has been heavily pregnant for a while now, almost to the point of bursting and she supposes that means a large litter. She isn't sure, she isn't the type to think about these things or what can come of them. How is she supposed to do any of this? Her paws press against the moss she has with her, tearing it either thorn sharp claws. Her eyes are barely open when someone comes forth suddenly to tell her that her sister is kitting. Blinking it takes her a moment, some hesitation, before she is rushing to her paws and making her way towards the nursery where she is sure that everyone is gathering to witness and be there to help. The queens will surely be of more help than she will. Still she is there, moving into the space and looking at the bundles that have started to come into the world. One after the other.

Each one receiving a name from her sister and there are seven of them in total. A large litter it is. Her burning gaze looks over all of them and she presses her nose against each one, as if she actually knows what she is doing, and then she sighs gently before stepping back. It's burdensome looking like a fool but she will get used to it. "They all look healthy enough. Congratulations, Briarstar..." She glances to little Ghost then who gives the children flowers and grass before saying bye to them. "It's oka7, these are going to be your new nurserymates."
He would never admit it, but he was worried for his mother. Although, Pitch wouldn't have to admit it to anyone for it to be painstakingly obvious. The rosetted tom paces next to Briarstar's nest, his tongue clicking in impatience as he steals wary glances towards the silhouette of the black queen. It is a disgusting process, with far too much blood and slimy substances for his liking... But one by one, his younger siblings are brought into the world.

He counts each damp, mewling bundle, his eyes growing wider with each addition to the family.

"Seven," he whispers once it is over, eyes glossy as he stares at the seven kittens nursing at his mother's stomach. His tension has faded. The dumbfounded look quickly shifts into one of glee, and Pitch laughs. "Seven siblings! I have seven siblings!" He's forgotten to be quiet in his excitement. The rosette tabby prances around the nest, crouching next to the squirming newborns with a rusty purr rumbling in his throat. This is the happiest he's been since Amber's death.

His father lives on in these tiny little things.

He rasps his tongue over one of their heads, only to recoil with a gag, his nose wrinkling. "Oh, they taste... weird." Pitch decides then that he'll let Briarstar handle the grooming before he tries that again. But his purr does not falter as he leans closer, inspecting each kitten, another laugh rumbling in his chest when a jet black she-kit squeals in indignation.

Marbled ears twitch as his mother names each child... Marrowkit, Slitherkit, Starlingkit, Crowkit, Ravenkit, Bramblekit, and Ashkit. Pitch nearly pouts, then. "None after Dad?" He would've thought...

He huffs and straightens up into a sitting position. Ah, well... Whether they're named after Amber or not, he loves them. The pout dissipates as quickly as it'd arrived. "Are you hungry, Mom?" The question is half-joking, glancing towards Starlingkit, Crowkit, and Ravenkit with a snort. But underneath his mirthful tone lies a genuine question; she must be! She'd just pushed seven kittens out of her, and while Pitch would (thankfully) never have to experience it himself, he imagines it must be taxing.
Bramblekit. The young kitten didn't have a clue what that meant. Honestly, it sounded like gibberish. And she was far too impatient to deal with this boring, ceremonial occasion. She was hungry, a grumbling belly telling her so, and something smelled really good. Whether she had to crawl over her siblings or shove them to the side, she would feast. A gummy mouth greedily drank her fill - and then some - of her mother's milk. Though barely a few minutes old, it was obvious that the spiky-furred kit would be quite the pawful.

ooc:// sorry this is so short ;; not used to playing kits right after birth / i dont know what they do lol ​
The stream of cats to congratulate her slipped into the nursery. The first was sage, asking if she needed anything to eat or drink. Briarstar blinked slowly and gratefully at the gesture. Her pain was still subsiding so she didn’t think she could stomach any food quite yet, but her throat was dry and parched from the labor her body has been put through, so she nodded to the younger feline. “Some water would be much appreciated. Thank you,” she said, smiling softly.

As the kits squirmed at her belly, a young Ghost waddled into the nursery bearing gifts for each of her children. Briarstar smiled warmly at the sentiment until he said, ‘Oh no. Buh-bye.’ Her ears flicked questioningly as she looked up at Bonejaw for answers. She let her sister handle the explanation. “Yes they seem healthy. A rare thing with litters this big,” she said. She could only hope they’d survive these next few critical weeks in their first moon of life. After that, their chances of survival would skyrocket and she would feel better about leaving them alone.

Pitch followed. Her sweet son. One of her first children. His litter had been much easier coming into this world. She was less tired. She had Amber beside her to help her care for and nurture them. The thought brought a tear to her eye that she quickly blinked away. “You and the others were easier to bring into this world,” she said with a weak laugh when he counted all seven kits. The bigger the litter, the more toll on her body. ‘None after dad?’ He asked her. Briar’s shoulders sagged. “I waited for one to look just like him so I could. I guess my genes are too strong,” she laughed as the dark balls of fur all squirmed at her side. None looked like Amber, not in her first litter and not in this one now. “In a way, I’m kind of glad. I think I would have held them to a certain standard that I wouldn’t have held the rest of you to,” she sighed. “Perhaps, one day, one of my grandkids…”
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