Merlin eyed the angled seat of the birthing stool with misgivings. Yes, he knew that it was supposed to ease a woman’s confinement but he wasn’t really a woman. Still, the child would come in much the same way. He just wasn’t sure he had the strength to endure the contractions and keep himself upright as the stool was exactly that-a stool. It had no back, no support of any kind. He knew that usually a laboring mother would lay her legs along the flared wings of the seat and rock herself back and forth until the child came but usually a midwife was there to use her body to strengthen the straining mother. Who would help him? Gaius was amazingly vigorous for a man of his age but he wasn’t really sturdy enough to take Merlin’s weight for that long.


Mike was down on his luck. Being 21, without a job and kicked out of home when his parents had enough of him, he was spending most of his time hitch hiking from town to town doing small jobs for some spare cash. He was a relatively thin boy with dark hair. He could be a model if he paid attention to the groom plus if he had more money to by better clothes.

The head popped out and she pulled against her bindings as the shoulder stretched her even further. She whimpered, laying heavily upon the mattress. Seeing the girl's strength leaving her the woman unwrapped the cord from the infant's head and grabbed it's neck. She began pulling the babe up and down, furthering it down the birth canal. The girl panted as the woman did so. "Oh! Oh!" She cried, feeling the infant move within her. Unable to fight she groans as the shoulders divide her more. With a scream the child is renched out, allowing the remaining fluid to expel from her. Her opening burns and is still freely bleeding when the woman cradles the infant. She smiles, discovering the sex and holds it up for the others to see, careful of the cord. "Male!" she exclaims and the men cheer. The infant wails as it's placed upon the new mother to be cleaned. She could only lay and pant in exhaustion as the woman smiled upon her. "You did well," she congratulates her, "Definitely a keeper."

I’m in transition for almost an hour, the contractions hard and constant. At one point they put me on oxygen because I’m hyperventilating from not remembering to breathe between screams. Then I start to feel the intense pressure of needing to push, which I do for almost forty minutes before the searing pain of my first baby’s head stretching my formerly tight hole hits me. It’s a looooong crowning, followed by stubborn shoulders that spread me so wide I could swear my pelvis is breaking.


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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