There was a certain basis of reason back of this. At some time, during those early hours of misty half-consciousness, it had been decided that two children would be too much for her to attempt to nurse.
She had a notion that this idea hadn’t originated with the doctor, though it was he who had stated it to her with the most plausible firmness. Rodney had backed the doctor up, firmly, too. Rose was only a girl in years—why, just a child herself; hadn’t had her twenty-second birthday yet; the labor had been long, she was very weak, the children were big and vigorous, and she couldn’t hope to supply them both for more than a very few weeks, anyway. And, at this time of year, as the doctor said, there was no difficulty to be apprehended from bottle feeding. It would be better on all accounts.
Still, it didn’t sound exactly like Roddy’s idea either.
When Harriet came in for the first time to see her, Rose knew. Harriet was living here now, running the house for Rodney, while Rose was laid up. Doing it beautifully well, too, through all the confusion of nurses and all. Not the slightest jar or creak of their complex domestic machinery ever reached Rose in the big chamber where she lay. Harriet said:
“I think you’re in great luck to have had two at once; get your duty to posterity done that much sooner. And, of course, you couldn’t possibly be expected to nurse two great creatures like that.”
Rose acquiesced. What was the use of struggling against so formidable a unanimity? She would have struggled though, she knew, but for that queer trick Fate had played her. Her heart ached, as did her breasts. But that was for the lips of the baby—the baby she hadn’t had!
When she found that struggling with herself, denouncing herself for a brute, didn’t serve to bring up the feelings toward the twins that she knew any proper mother ought to have, she buried the dark fact as deep as she could, and pretended. It was only before Rodney that the pretense was necessary. And with him, really, it was hardly a pretense at all. He was such a child himself, in his gleeful delight over the possession of a son and a daughter, that she felt for him, tenderly, mistily, luminously, the very emotion she was trying to capture for them—felt like cradling his head in her weak arms, kissing him, crying over him a little.
She wouldn’t have been allowed to do that to the babies anyway. They were going to be terribly well brought up, those twins; that was apparent from the beginning. They had two nurses all to themselves, quite apart from Miss Harris, who looked after Rose: one uncannily infallible person, omniscient in baby lore—thoroughgoing, logical, efficient, remorseless as a German staff officer; and a bright-eyed, snub-nosed, smart little maid, for an assistant, who boiled bottles, washed clothes, and, at certain stated hours, over a previously determined route, at a given number of miles per hour, wheeled the twins out, in a duplex perambulator, which Harriet had acquired as soon as the need for it had become evident.