It is a Girl
The squeeze of her abdomen made her catch her breath as Enamra wiped
down the tables, but she took a moment to rub her belly with a grimace
before continuing. She had been experiencing infrequent tightening and
contracting for the past sevenday, so she did her best to ignore what
seemed to be no more than a cramp. She wiped her brow with her arm,
waddling towards the next table and continued trying to scrub the
tables down with a fine sand. They were getting rough and... the next
sudden tightening around her abdomen shot a deep pain into her lower
back and she cried out, half-bending to clutch at the table.
Thayde had been in the Dining Hall for a fresh cup of klah and
hopefully a semi-fresh pastry when the sounds of distress met his
ears. Turning to scan his eyes over those gathered, they zeroed in on
a very familiar form. "Get the Headwoman," he said to the nearest
drudge as he left his cup of klah on the service table and jogged over
"Enamra," he crouched to look into her face, "let's get you to the
Frightened eyes lifted to Thayde's as she rapidly shook her head. "I'm
not ready. It's not time yet." She closed her eyes tight, trying to
wish the aches away."It's just cramps. They've been happening for a
sevenday. I'm not ready. I'm not ready." She hissed through her teeth,
then blinked, looking down as there was a quiet splash between her
ankles. "I...I just mopped that..."
"Your water broke, Enamra," Thayde explained calmly and slowly. "The
baby is coming, now, today. It's time." He waited for that to sink in,
even as they began to draw stares from some of the dolphineers who
"Aaand, we'll take care of that later," Jylanya smiled. "They come
when they're ready and this one appears to be ready. So, let's go to the
birthing room, alright?" She took one of Enamra's arms and lifted her
chin for Thayde to take the other so they could get her there.
She let them lead her away, but trembled in anticipatory fear. Twice
she had to stop with a whimper, the band of muscle around her belly
tightening painfully. The moment she set foot in the birthing room,
real fear took hold and for a moment she balked. "I don't wanna
"Easy there," Thayde said as he used more of his strength, which
wasn't difficult since she was so small, to force her into the room
with Jylanya's help. "We need to send for the Weyr's Headwoman," he
commented as they approached the bed with Enamra.
"I already sent someone," Jylanya nodded to where she'd come from the
kitchens. She'd been watching for the signs and had sent the messenger
to the Weyr as soon as she had seen a real grimace from the girl.
Scooted in by the pair of them despite literally dragging her feet,
she approached the bed and was settled on it before she really took in
that _it_ was finally going to be born. She grabbed at Jylanya's hand.
"Please don't go..."
"I'm not going anywhere dear," she said and squeezed Enamra's fingers.
"You get settled there and we'll be about it, shall we?"
Thayde turned and began pulling the supplies that they would need. He
had promised Enamra that one of the weyr healers would come down as
well to help out, to put her at ease that she wasn't going to die in
childbirth. The dolphineer pulled a bowl and filled it with cold water
and a rag and handed it to Jylanya for the girl's sweaty brow.
"You want to get her shoes and stockings and things off," he murmured
to the Headwoman as he turned to roll back his sleeves and wash his
hands and forearms.
Enamra clutched at her belly and held her breath as another painful
clench of the abdomen caught her. She didn't notice as her shoes were
removed, nor the ruined stockings. When the contraction eased, her
breath exploded from her in a wheeze. She knew from watching her
mother give birth that it was painful, but she hadn't realized how
deep the pain could be. "I didn't want this. " she wiped at her face
with her free hand. "I'm scared."
"It's alright," Jylanya told her. "I've done it before, you can get
through this sweetie."
"We're here," a voice said, pushing the door open. A petite woman
entered with journeywoman healer knots and behind her the Dolphin Cove
Headwoman entered. "A dragon brought us," Meysa explained brightly as
she nodded to Jylanya and went over to where Thayde was and began
washing her hands as well.
"Thank you for coming," Thayde murmured to the weyrcrafter. "It will
make her more comfortable."
"I'm here to assist however you need me," Meysa assured him.
Chaysea smiled at Jylanya as she approached, not sure how close Enamra
would want her. The decision to take in the young girl's baby had been
nearly second nature for the Headwoman. She'd wanted children and at
her age, but with no prospects of weyrmates in her future, this was
her opportunity to pursue motherhood.
Enamra's breathing was ragged as she tried to master her fear of the
entire situation; the entrance of the Healer and the Headwoman did
soothe her just a little, but another contraction took her and she
cried out, bending her body with a sob. Her hand clutched at Jylanya's
through the contraction. "I hate him!" She burst out, the pain
bringing out the hidden anger and shame of the entire situation.
"I know," Jylanya soothed and acknowledged Chaysea with a lift of her
chin and a half smile. "Glad you could make it," she said. Then her
attention went back to the girl. "You're doing fine, just breathe."
Thayde turned as Meysa pulled up a stool for him at the food of the
delivery bed. "I am just going to check your progress, Enamra," he
told her as he settled between her raised knees.
Chaysea clasped her hands together as she watched the dolpineer and
healer working together. She had thought at first that Enamra had been
referring to the baby, but then what Jylanya had shared with her about
the girl's pregnancy came back to her. She was talking about "the
"Why did he do this to me? Boys are horrible." Enamra bit out as
Thayde and Meysa examined her. "It's not fair..." She leaned back,
sweat beading on her brow. "I didn't want this." Her lip trembled and
she stared up at Jylanya. "I want my mama, Jylanya." Another
contraction took her breath and she grimaced with a groan.
"I know," Jylanya felt like she kept repeating herself but there it
was. "She's not here but I'll help you dear," she leaned over and
kissed the girl's forehead. "It shouldn't take much longer. Then it
will be all over."
"You're progressing well Enamra," Thayde said, hoping the good news
would encourage her a bit that she could do this and that she wouldn't
suffer the same fate as her mother. In truth, Thayde felt a bit
nervous. Sometimes women died in childbirth and there was nothing that
could be done about it, but he had promised her he would pull her
"It hurts. It hurts. It hurts." The pauses between the pains seemed to
be getting briefer and it was harder for her to catch her breath
between each one. That couldn't be right. There shouldn't be this much
pain! She grunted, then cried out again, tightening her entire body
and twisting to try to find some measure of relief. She released
Jylanya's hand and gripped the mattress, her short nails digging in.
"Make it stop!"
Jylanya put a cool cloth on her forehead. "Pushing the baby out will
make it stop Enamra. Now take a deep breath and blow it out when the
next contraction starts." She looked at Thayde. "Is she ready to
"Not yet," Thayde said as Meysa handed him a pair of sterilized
scissors. He made a quick snip and handed the scissors back. "Maybe
she won't tear," he murmured to Meysa who nodded in agreement. "Okay,
Enamra," he put his hand on her knee to get her attention, "on the
next one you're going to push, okay? It's going to be a continuous
push, I'll count for you."
She looked up wearily and then slowly nodded, her face tight with
concentration. She half sat up, clutching at the side of the bed and
when the contraction came, she cried out, but did as instructed. Sweat
dripped down her temples and neck as she breathed as Jylanya
instructed, feeling a horrible burn and pressure.
"You're close Enamra, I can see that your baby has dark hair. On this
next push you're going to deliver." Over Thayde's shoulder, Meysa
began preparing the warm cloths to clean the baby when it arrived.
"Here we go, Enamra. Push, push, push."
She didn't care if it had dark hair, she just wanted the thing out of
her! With a shriek of agony, followed by a guttural cry, she bore down
as hard as she could. There was a spasm, a strain, and then a
tremendous release of pressure as she felt the child thrust from her
body at the last push. Enamra fell back, panting and sheened with
sweat, her fingers twitching as her body shuddered with a final
convulsion. She heard the full throated cry of the newborn, protesting
its birth, and closed her eyes.
Thayde snipped the umbilical cord and rose from the stool. Meysa took
his place and began the process of checking Enamra and getting her
cleaned while the dolphineer took the warm rags and gave the baby her
first good scrub. It had been a long time, but Thayde's hands still
remembered the proper way to swaddle the newborn tightly in a blanket.
"There you are, Headwoman," he said, turning and putting the baby into
the crook of Chaysea's elbow, "a daughter."
"Thank you, thank you," Chaysea murmured, to Thayde, and to Enamra,
tears of happiness on her cheeks. They had already discussed that
Enamra had no wish to hold or see the baby, and so the Dolphin Cove
Headwoman turned and left with the infant tucked against her chest.
She would take her back to the Weyr and immediately to a milk mother.
Once Chaysea was out of the room Jylanya whispered to Enamra, "She's
gone, You can open your eyes now," She swept a hand over the girl's
hair and kissed her forehead. "You did a good job. I'm sure Chaysea
will be very happy with her new baby." She looked at Meysa and smiled
while she held Enamra's hand.
Enamra clamped her eyes even tighter and felt a single tear leak from
beneath them as she gulped a quick breath of air. A girl. The baby was
a girl. She just nodded and while she was being cleaned, spoke softly.
"She'll be happy?"
"From what I know of Chaysea, she will be very happy and loved. That's
what you want for her right?" Jylanya knew how she'd felt about the
father and what had been done to her but she also figured Enamra
hadn't realized these emotions might hit her.
Her lips trembling, Enanra nodded and slowly opened her eyes. "Yeah."
Her eyes met Jylanya's and flicked back down to Thayde and the other
Healer. "Then why do I feel so...." She swallowed and struggled not to
burst into tears again. It seemed that was all she could do sometimes.
"Why do I feel so bad?"
Meysa came over to the girl while Thayde cleaned himself up. "It's
natural to feel emotional. Many mothers feel this way. It will pass."
Thayde's hands were trembling as he washed them. He had felt so
tightly coiled the entire time during Enamra's delivery, worried that
something might go wrong, and now that it was over and she was fine...
The adrenaline was still fading from his system.
"You did a hard thing today," Jylanya told the girl. "I'm so proud of
you." She knew those feelings after birth and could only imagine what
it would feel like to send your baby away. "We'll get you cleaned up
now and then some food and rest alright?"
She was exhausted; though the pain of childbirth was over, another
deeper pain lingered. "Can I just sleep? I'm so tired." She closed her
eyes and clasped Jylanya's hand lightly. "Just sleep for a while?"
Meysa stepped back as Thayde brought a blanket up over Enamra's legs.
"I'll come back and check her again later," he said to Jylanya.
Jylanya just nodded and pulled the covers up closer to her chin. "Of
course," she said and just held her hand.
Last updated on the March 11th 2019