I’m a young, first time mom, heavily pregnant with triplets. I arrive at the hospital in early labor, deposit my husband in the waiting room, and am shaved, given an enema, and catheterized before any medication is administered. Once the meds start to take effect, my legs are strapped into stirrups and my arms tied to the side of the bed. For the next twenty hours, I writhe and scream in agony as the contractions get increasingly stronger. It feels like by body is being ripped apart but I’m too out of it to remember my own name, much less than I’m pregnant and in labor. The nurses mostly ignore my crying and moaning, casually chatting about their weekend plans as they make sure my restraints are still in place despite my desperate bucking. 
             Jim attempted to get down on his hands and knees and mop up the mucus and blood mixture now staining the shower tiles; until he felt the little secret loosely move in him, down lower, like water from flood gates. He jolted against the wall in a sitting position knees bent. Jim knew he couldn’t stay here, his gym class would soon be over and the other boys would soon be coming back in. When the contraction passed, Jim dragged the now saturated towel and placed it in the garbage can under some paper t
Arthur growled wordlessly and Gaius subsided. Merlin lay still, wasted in the wake of his latest pain and wondered for the first time if he really had the strength to do this. He’d been undernourished for months, at first unable to hold onto anything he ate and later unable to force much of anything down his throat. He’d always been skinny but he didn’t think he’d ever been this thin before. He’d observed plump, healthy women, glowing with vitality killed off by the process of childbirth. He was about as far from healthy he could get. This was only his third contraction and he could already feel himself succumbing to exhaustion. He didn’t try to fight it; it was just so much easier to give in to the tug of sleep. Merlin was barely aware of the bed dipping beside him and a rough hand grasping his own in a gentle grip before he was lost to the darkness of sleep.
"F-Francis..." Niso mumbled softly, shifting so the tired male could see the baby. He looked down at it too when it began to cry. "N-Niso.." Francis moaned weakly, leaning his weight against the older male, his body still shaking from the strain of delivery. Slowly, he turned to look at the squalling baby cradled in Niso's arms. Francis couldn't believe the baby had come out of him. Before he could dwell too long on the insanity of the birth, his body convulsed and he arched his back, groaning anew when another contraction hit and a torrent of fluids expelled from his anus. "No..no..n-not again," Francis cried, face flushed and shiny with sweat. It was too soon! Niso bit his lip and got up from the tub, finding a towel and wrapping the baby in it. After laying the baby on the floor where it was safe he got back into the tub, gripping Francis' hand now. "It's happening again?" Niso asked, swallowing hard as he looked down to Francis' still swollen stomach with a shake of his head. Francis nodded jerkily. His chest burned with each quick and shallow breath, his lungs desperate for more air. But before he could gasp again, he surrendered himself to another painful contraction and bore down with a vengeance. The pressure in his anus was escalating. He bellowed loudly and squeezed Niso's hand for support. His head was spinning from lack of oxygen and he wanted the pain to disappear but it was only worsening. He paused for a brief moment to collect himself then jerked back with a cry when an involuntary spasm seized his body. The next baby was on the edge of crowning. "I can't," Francis begged and looked imploringly at Niso. He was defeated. "I can't do this..It hurts too much.."Niso just shook his head and kept a tight grip on Francis' hand. "Push Francis!" He ordered him harshly, glaring a little. "I gave birth to your six kids! Now push!" He growled. Deep down, he felt mildly angry at Francis' for giving up so early. He pressed his hand to Francis' stomach and narrowed his eyes at him. "Push.” "S-Stop it! Get offa me." Francis bucked and jerked, trying to wrench himself free from Niso's grips. He felt as though he was tearing in half, his sore anus bulging and straining to release the baby trapped inside his canal. It did not come out with his last push and he gasped for breath then fell forward, groaning as its head edged closer and closer to his anus, stretching him past the point of pain. Grunting, Francis threw his head back and pushed again, face and neck reddening from the extreme effort. Despite the pain wracking his body, he yanked his knees to his chest and bore down, cursing and screaming, when suddenly something slippery and wet emerged between his thighs, gushing fluids. "Haa..haa..h-head's out," he called weakly.
Niso shook his head quickly. "You have to push it out, the head's out Francis!" He said, reaching into the water and holding the baby's head still with one hand, his other holding Francis' swollen stomach. "Push!” "Tch..!" Francis gritted his teeth. He quickly drew breath, biting back a cry as his anal muscles contracted, sealing itself around the baby's neck. The next time he pushed, a fresh peal of pain bloomed in his anus from when both the baby's shoulders were battering against his opening. The grip on his knees weakened as shooting pains radiated up and down his spine, his teeth baring as he pushed, hard. “Just one more..” Francis muttered darkly then heaved, feeling the baby's shoulder slide all the way out before it was followed by the rest of its body. Dazed, he fell back and panted in exhaustion. Niso quickly caught the baby and pulled it out of the water, surprised to see it didn't have an umbilical cord. He held it close to himself and looked at Francis, shock on his face that Francis had just given birth.
“Yes. I wasn’t pining for Gwen. That morning when I woke up with you wrapped around me…I realized it was really you I’d wanted all along. And I felt horrible because I knew you’d only been with me because you felt sorry for me, because you are the best friend I could ever ask for. You wouldn’t turn me away when I was hurting and it was so damn selfish but I wanted to keep you and I knew…I thought that I couldn’t.”
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.
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