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.
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.”