Gentle hands eased him back in the bed, Arthur’s hands. Those same hands propped pillows behind him, helped him to sit up then gathered their son from his cradle and carefully passed him to Merlin. It wasn’t until the baby was in his arms that Merlin realized just how profoundly weak he still was. He could barely lift his arms up to hold his son. He trembled with the effort and felt a tear roll down his cheek. He made a pathetic mother.
Merlin drifted in and out of consciousness, catching snippets of conversation as he did. None of it made much sense and nothing could hold his attention for long. There was another contraction, more sleep and then yet another contraction. He would wake up while the pain gripped him and then fall back to sleep in between. He was vaguely aware of a hand in his when the pain was on him. He held onto that hand as to a lifeline as he thrashed in agony but was strangely oblivious to the person attached to the hand. It wasn’t until his pains began to come too close together for him to sleep in between that he realized the hand he’d been holding was Arthur’s. He dropped it like a hot coal when he became aware.
Jack swung down hard with the axe splitting the piece of wood almost perfectly in two. He liked chopping wood, it helped him forget. Forget things like dropping out of his residency to help care for his elderly parents way up in the mountains. At least up here there was not a hospital or even a clinic around for miles to remind him of his abandon career of becoming a doctor. Now that his parents finally past on Jack was left with a stalled life and a mountain home that was not selling. As he placed another log on the chopping block he saw a snow flake fall on his hand, great he thought another storm! There goes my chances of getting into town today.
She'd gotten dressed and waddled down to the kitchen to begin her baking. At least now, she knew she could have breakfast ready before the children woke up. She knew she was in for a long labour because of her body's physical shape so she didn't want to waste any time. Clive ran in before she was done, "Oh, did I wake you?" Alexis asked her eldest son, of almost 11. He nodded and sat down groggily.  "Well, breakfast will be ready soon. Why don't you go wake up your brothers and sisters?" He groaned and got back up again slumping back down the hall to go get them. It was about 20 minutes late before all 7 of her children that were able to walk had sat down at the table. "I didn't want to wake up Tommy." Clive told
He knew he was screaming, knew he wasn’t making sense, and certainly knew he wasn’t being a man about this but he didn’t care. All he could think about was the pain in his uterus, his back, and most alarmingly, in his penis and balls. He couldn’t see them over his gravid belly but he knew they must be swollen to the point of absurdity by the way everything down there felt like it was going to explode and not in a good way.
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