It felt like he was watching a movie as he saw the doctor cleaning out his son’s mouth and nose. Jason beamed as their little boy, Jackson was almost certainly going to be his name, was nestled into his arms by a grinning nurse. Distantly, he wanted to hold him too but the mere seconds of relief following his exit had disappeared and the pain was back with a frightening intensity.
Danny and BrieDanny paced back and forth clutching his swollen belly as Brie warmed the water in the birth pool. His contractions were about seven minutes apart and getting closer together each time they happened. He was actually more bothered by trying to walk with such wide hips swaying back and forth. He didn’t know how girls could do it, and wasn’t used to this female body shape even after over nine months of it.

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.


It didn’t come but he could hear the doctors and nurses voices take on a note of alarm. He saw Jason’s face, blurry above him, and knew he was urging him to hold on even though he couldn’t hear the words. He felt the doctor’s hands leave his body but before he could be grateful another pair landed on his abdomen, grazing the tip of his bloated penis, and started pushing down.

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