New Life

She lay there cold, with legs exposed, as they spoke. Backs turned to her; she caught few words.
“A mess. . .”
“No more feeling. . .”
“Stiches.”
They looked over at her and she held their gaze, wanting answers. The doctor approached, mouth moving in silent speech as he searched for the right words.

“Ma’am, there have been…some tears. You will need stiches to help the healing. I’ll…do my best, but you may never-.”

Her stomach turned, she knew.

A squeak.
She pulled a blanket over her chest as she looked down, heart swelling as her baby suckled.

Warm…and strong.



This week’s contribution to the Carrot Ranch’s weekly 99 word challenge is inspired by an event I will experience in a little under 2 weeks’ time!

After generously sharing some hard times from her past, Charli’s prompt is about finding the semicolon’s in life.

She challenges us to:
“…write a renewal story that proclaims, “This isn’t the end; I will go on.” Think of the mythical phoenix that rises up from the ashes; of Cinderella after midnight on the night of the ball; of a hero that faces certain death; of love after tragedy; of renewing life’s lemonade transitions.”

Our third little one is due on the 27th of April and I know all too well the anxiety that comes with the anticipation of labour. Luckily, I’m more confident this time around and not as fearful, and I thank God for the smooth run of our first two.

Having experienced only minor tearing during our first, I have incredible sympathy for those whose bodies have had to recover from less forgiving outcomes.

Every kind of labour creates changes in a person’s body, changes that can affect the rest of a lifetime. Despite the challenges of the miraculous process, I like to think of the semicolon…

The struggles of labour; the creation of a brand new life.

Now, I know it’s a topic that’s often spoken of; where women need to be honoured and worshipped for their ability to give birth.

Don’t get me wrong here, it’s an incredible ability to have, but I also think a man’s life is just as challenging, but in different ways. Right from social pressures, to the stresses of supporting a family. Times might be changing—slowly—but it’s still a primal instinct as the ‘man of the house’ to protect one’s family.

The birth of a child—and all other results of the process—affect not only the person giving birth, but their life partner also. It’s a process through which equality, respect and support is vital for everyone involved.

The birth process is a lifetime change for not only the female, but for males also, even if the effects aren’t visible.

Invincible

Mind cycling through the daily routine, I slowly slide off the bed. I waddle around with my swollen belly, pain erupting from inconveniently placed baby kicks.
I feed the animals, step back inside, breathe. Head spins from standing too long washing dishes. Turn on washing machine, more pain; crouch down, turn, bend, breathe.
I waddle up the stairs. Panting at the top, I head toward the girls’ room.
“Good-morning Mum-mum!” my three year old squeaks, “cuddle please!”
I embrace her.
She nuzzles into my chest “I love you thousands and millions!”
My heart swells and I feel invincible again.

Eyes of Blue

“What’s this, Mum-mum?” Isabella wondered aloud as she walked into the lounge room, looking at a pet cage on the floor.
“That’s Crystal, Bubba,” I replied, indicating our newest family member inside. She sat still, watching her three feline siblings study her from afar.
“Crystal!” Isabella chirped at the cage. As she did so, a little furry white head turned to look at its greeter. The kitten’s unblinking, bright blue eyes fixed on the little girl. It was still trying to discern who was friend and who was foe in this unfamiliar terrain.
“Crystal scary!” Isabella laughed as she ran over to me, “blue eyes!”
Crystal danced back and forth, bouncing and pacing, studying every angle of the room from between the gaps in the cage walls. Her eyes fixing particularly on each of the three cats. They watched her, pupils large and focused, ears forward and tuned to her every movement. Our black adult cat approached the cage, sniffing the air, trying to catch the kitten’s scent from as far as possible. Isabella spotted him and jumped at the opportunity to play.
“Corey!” She cried as she ran to the cage before I could stop her. Scared and on edge from the presence of the intruder-kitten, Corey sprinted for the safety of our bedroom. In response to the fright, the long-haired and most timid of our cats – Fuzzy – followed him, eager to hide away from the unpredictable action.
“Where did Corey go?” Isabella asked, “where did Fuzzy go?”
“They’re hiding in Mum and Dad’s bedroom, Darling, leave them,” I said.
Isabella returned her attention to the blue eyes in the cage. She approached it.
“Hello Crystal!” She cried as she bent down to peer inside. Once again, Isabella ran screaming as Crystal looked at her.
“Crystal scary!” She laughed, cuddling into my leg.
“She’s just a baby cat, a kitten,” I reassured her as I stroked her smooth brown ringlets. I enjoyed this opportunity to witness her first ever meeting with her new sister-cat, a brand new experience. A kitten who I hope will appreciate Isabella’s company as much as Isabella adores hers.
“Kitten,” Isabella said, eagerly watching the cage.
Our third adult cat – the king of the household – still hadn’t moved a muscle. Focused and almost impossible to distract, his eyes trained on the kitten’s every movement. It was up to him to remain in control of his domain. The other two cats experienced this first-hand when we introduced them as kittens; they quickly learnt to mind his mood and to respect his personal space. If they weren’t careful, they risked provoking him and promptly experienced his abilities. He would pounce and secure his victim in place long before they had a chance to respond. Such swift abilities like his only came with age.
Isabella finally spotted our oldest cat; he was still glaring at the kitten, unaware of Isabella’s intentions.
“Kobe!” She cried out, but this time I discovered her plan before she had a chance to move. I picked her up and sat her on my lap.
“Leave Kobe, Bubba, he’s angry, you leave him, okay?” I explained to her, attempting to prevent an outburst of disbelief. She almost never gets to play with Kobe, but she certainly understands when he is angry.
“Okay, Mum-mum,” she grumbled, “Crystal?”.
“Yes, you can play with Crystal,” I said, putting her down, “but not Kobe.”
By this point, Crystal was now laying down, watching her oldest feline brother, but never holding his gaze for too long. To do so would mean a threat, and it seemed she already knew which battles to avoid. I put Isabella down and she toddled back to the cage.
“Crystal?” She said, crouching and peering in again. Crystal remained in place and turned only her head to look at Isabella, though this time Isabella didn’t run away. She stayed there, looking at her new little sister-cat with wonder. Emboldened, she pushed a finger between the gaps of the cage, beside Crystal’s head and Crystal licked it tenderly.
Isabella giggled, “Crystal funny,” she said, smiling back at me, “love Crystal.”

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