DISCLAIMER: I have no idea who to credit so I’ll just say I have no affiliation whatsoever with “Hospital Central”.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
A Miracle in the Midst of a Storm
Torrential rains continue to drench the city and surrounding areas. Hospital personnel have been cautioned to stay at home and not to attempt to navigate the flooded streets. The staff currently on duty at the hospital will work rotating shifts until the crisis has passed.
A very pregnant Maca walks from the bedroom of her apartment to the den rubbing her lower back. Sitting down on the couch next to her partner, she says, "I feel bad that we can't get to the hospital, but I'd rather be here with you than stuck working until the flooding subsides."
Esther leans into her lover and replies, "I know. I talked to Teresa earlier, and she said the trauma area was a madhouse. I give her about a half an hour before she takes over the place."
Laughing, Maca responds, "You're so right. She's probably got a timetable set up with who works when and where. I bet its color coded too."
Grimacing in pain, she adds, "And the way my back has been hurting, I'm especially glad I'm at home."
Quickly sitting up, Esther says, "Your back hurts? Why didn't you say so? Here lie down on your side and let me give you a nice massage."
Maca dutifully complies, and Esther begins to massage her lover's back. She continues to move her hands until Maca indicates that she has found the painful area. Esther skillfully works the lower region when suddenly the lights go out leaving the apartment in total darkness.
"Mierda," is simultaneously uttered by both women.
Esther pats her lover on the backside and says, "Stay here. I'll go get the candles."
She stands and slowly makes her way to the kitchen bumping into objects and cursing the entire way. Finally reaching her destination, Esther opens a cabinet and feels around for the candles and matches. Retrieving some plates from the adjacent cabinet, she puts a candle in the middle of a smaller plate and lights the wick. She sighs in relief when the room is illuminated in the soft light.
The candlelight flickers as Esther carefully makes her way back into the den. She places the plate on the coffee table, and the glow becomes steady and illuminates the nearby couch.
Looking down at her lover, she sees a shadow of a smile before she hears, "You know we've never made love during a storm before. What do you say we take the candle into our bedroom and make love in its light?"
Esther grins as she picks up the plate and holds her hand out to Maca. Together, the two make their way into the bedroom.
Later, a sated Maca peers up at her lover and says, "Hmm, I no longer feel guilty about the others having to work; that was wonderful, sweetie. You are so good to me. Now, do you think we can move the candle into the bathroom and take a bubble bath? My back is still aching a little."
Rising from the bed, Esther walks into the bathroom to draw a bath. She pours a generous amount of bubble bath into the tub before returning for her lover.
The two reverse their usual positions, and Esther gets in first with Maca climbing in front of her. Maca leans her head back against Esther's shoulder and closes her eyes while Esther kisses her lover's neck and pulls her near.
After a few minutes, Maca places their joined hands on her stomach and softly moans.
Esther immediately asks, "My love, what's wrong?"
Frowning, Maca replies, "I'm not sure. I've been having some painful twinges all afternoon so I may be going into labor."
Esther sits up straight and brings Maca with her as she exclaims, "Labor! You're not due yet; it's too early. We need to get you to the hospital."
Maca stops Esther from fully standing and responds, "We can't get to the hospital. The streets are flooded, remember?"
Plopping back down in the tub, Esther answers, "Then we need to call your doctor to come over here."
Groaning as another contraction passes, Maca says, "Honey, no one can get out in this weather. You're going to have to deliver this baby."
This time Esther succeeds in standing and lifting Maca along with her. Turning her lover around, she replies, "Me? I can't deliver this baby."
"Yes, you can. I'm going to help you," Maca responds as she strokes her lover's cheek.
Esther shakes her head back and forth and answers, "But you're the mother."
Chuckling, Maca says, "Oh mi amor, I'm also a doctor, and you're a nurse. We are both highly qualified to do this."
"But I'm the mother, too. I can't do this," Esther quickly replies.
A stronger contraction hits Maca, and Esther immediately reaches out to steady her lover. She coaches Maca through the contraction until the pain subsides. Helping her partner out of the tub, Esther dries her off and leads her to the bed.
Two hours later, Maca is still in active labor. Esther has kept Maca calm and coached her through her breathing exercises, and she has even managed to successfully use a few relaxation techniques; although, she used one or two on herself as well.
After a particularly hard contraction, Maca says, "Let's try walking. Help me up and let's take a stroll through the apartment."
Esther slowly pulls her partner to a sitting position and assists her in standing. Putting her arm around Maca's back, she walks alongside her lover as they move from room to room using the flashlight Esther found in the nightstand.
Every few minutes, they have to stop while Maca leans on Esther until the contraction eases. With frequent stops on the sofa to rest, Maca is more than ready to get back in bed after several hours of the routine.
Esther helps her partner to the edge of the bed and leaves to get some extra sheets and towels as well as Maca's medical bag.
Returning, Esther places the extra bedding in place and holds Maca's hands as her partner slowly lowers herself so that she is lying sideways across the bed with her knees raised.
When Esther retrieves the pillow from the headboard and places it under her lover's head, Maca says, "I don't want to do this anymore. Let's wait to have a baby. Better yet, you have the baby."
Esther stifles a laugh and replies, "I'm afraid it's too late for that, my love. Lie back and let me check to see how far you've dilated."
Maca stubbornly complies, and Esther walks to the other side of the bed to check the cervix. Smiling, she looks at her lover and says, "Sweetie, I think you're past 8 centimeters. It won't be long now. I'm going to run into the kitchen and get more candles; we need more light."
Patting her lover on the leg, Esther makes her way into the kitchen and takes a moment to sink into the nearby chair. She closes her eyes and leans her head back. 'Okay Esther, you can do this. Maca needs you, and the baby needs you. You can fall apart later.'
Standing, Esther blows out a deep breath, and grabs the candles, plates, and matches. She heads back to the bedroom and places the numerous candles in locations where they will cast the most light.
The next hour proves to be painful for both women. The contractions are much stronger and occur every two and a half minutes. The bad part is each one lasts just over a minute.
Esther allows Maca to grip her hand while she encourages and supports her through each and every contraction and cynical remark. At one point, Maca even blames Esther for impregnating her, but Esther holds her tongue and doesn't point out that she isn't properly equipped to have done the deed.
When Maca starts to shiver and shake, Esther pulls a blanker over her and whispers that everything is going to be okay. Maca replies by squeezing her lover's hand hard enough to bruise it.
Checking the cervix for what seems like the hundredth time, Esther says, "I know you want to push, baby, but you can't yet. You're almost there, I promise."
Maca experiences another strong contraction and pants, "You've been promising for the past hour and still nothing. I'm ready for this baby to come out NOW."
Moving back to her lover, Esther wipes Maca's brow and leans down to softly kiss her partner. Gently releasing her lips, she says, "It won't be long now, sweetie. Our baby wants to meet his momma."
Maca reaches up to caress her partner's cheek and replies, "I know. I'm sorry I'm being so difficult, and just so you know, he wants to meet both his mommies."
Esther moves to kiss her lover, but an extremely strong contraction has her moving back to the other side of the bed to once again check the progress. She smiles when she sees the baby's scalp become visible, and she instructs Maca that she can now go with her urge to push.
Shaking her head, Maca whispers, "I'm too tired to push now. Can't he find his own way out?"
Esther looks toward her lover and in a firm voice replies, "Maca, look at me."
Maca throws off the blanket, and her dark eyes swing down to look at her lover situated between her legs. Any other time Maca would be overjoyed to see such a sight, but for now, she just wants the pain to stop.
When Esther is certain she has her partner's attention, she softly says, "Maca, I love you, and I hate to see you in pain, but sweetheart, our baby is ready to come into the world, and I need you to push when I tell you. My love, can you do that for me, please?"
Maca slowly nods her head and bears down whenever Esther gives the word.
The crown of the head suddenly appears followed by the forehead, nose, mouth and finally the chin. Esther supports the head and suctions out the mouth and nose while checking to be sure the umbilical cord is not wrapped around the baby's neck.
Turning his head to the side, Esther instructs Maca to slowly push and one by one the shoulders emerge followed by the rest of his body. With tears of joy streaming down her face, Esther wraps him in a towel and suctions the mouth and nose one more time before placing him on Maca's abdomen.
Both women are in awe as they look down at the small miracle. Seconds later, they laugh through their tears as they listen to their baby cry out at the top of his lungs.
Using supplies from the medical bag, Esther carefully places two clamps on the umbilical cord before making the cut between the clamps, and Maca instinctively pulls the baby near.
Several minutes later, Esther instructs Maca to give one more gentle push to expel the placenta and all goes well with the procedure. Placing the towels in a plastic bag, Esther quickly removes them from the room and returns in time to see her lover place a gentle kiss on the top of their baby's head while speaking in low tones.
She quickly moves to the bathroom to wash up and walks back into the room taking her place at Maca's side. The two women share a smile and are content to lie beside each other while talking babble to the baby.
When the infant begins to cry once more, Esther helps Maca position him to try to breastfeed, and the minute they try to coax his lips around the nipple, he latches on and begins to suck in earnest.
Looking down at the suckling baby and then back to her lover, Maca grins and says, "So much like his other mother."
Esther returns the smile and leans down to softly kiss her lover's lips. Pulling back she says, "He's beautiful, mi amor."
Outside, the rain suddenly stops, and sunlight filters through the window casting an ethereal light on the couple looking down in adoration at their child, a miracle in the midst of a storm.
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