Settings I'd like to roleplay: Childbirth in the bush in Africa - 2
Here is how the story could go on:
The girl held me back, sobs shook her body and her eyes looked at me in despair. Of course I could not leave her. I turned and sat down again by the fire. My head was spinning and for a moment it was black before my eyes. I felt utterly powerless.
Just to do something and to give her and myself a break from the choking atmosphere in the hut, I made her walk around outside. The poor girl could hardly crawl, but obediently she got up from the bed and we went outside. Then another pain threw her to the ground. She gave a wild shriek and all the old women who had been lingering around in the dark came to life. They rushed past me, seized the screaming girl and carried her into the hut. Now they took over; they seemed to know what to do. One took out of her cloth some white dye and painted a stripe across the girl's abdomen from the navel down to the pubic region for the baby to see its way. Others clapped their hands in front of the birth opening for the child to hear where to get out. When this did not help they sent for the men. The young husband who seemed out of his wits for fear was placed at the moaning woman's side and her father behind her back. He took her head on his lap, bent down over her sweating face and asked with a stern voice, "So why don't you work hard enough to get your baby out?" The girl gave him a scared look, then she glanced at her husband and at the other men around her. She whimpered, "I'm doing my best." She noticed the anger and disapproval on all their faces. A contraction interrupted the inquest. Her father took her head and pressed it hard down onto her chest. The girl gave in again, screamed out in her pain and started pushing again. “Fanya bidii! Fanya bidii!” they all shouted in a chorus and showed her how to bear down. "Work hard! Work hard!" They came in sweat themselves. It helped for a while.
In between the pains the father hovered over her urging her to work harder, to push the baby out. He accused her of being a whimp, of not being able to give birth. But the girl only wept. Now she had lost all her courage and gave up completely. When the next contraction seized her she screamed and screamed and the continued over-breathing took away the effect of labor. The peoples' agitation was rising to a pitch. Suddenly they all jumped upon the girl. I was pushed aside and forceful hands grabbed the girl. Her father was still holding her head, pressing it down as soon as her laboured breathing told him that another contraction was coming. Other people were forcing her legs open, opening her knees wide and pressing them far back towards her breasts. Two strong men, one of them seemed to be her brother, placed their arms on her belly, just above the child, and tried to push the child down and out. The girl's fists were flying around in the air, she pounded and tried to kick, but the men and women were too strong. The girl struggled to get her breath, giving out some awful sounds. A little boy who had slept in a corner started to scream, hens fluttered up in the air and rushed out of the hut.
Just as I thought it was no use I heard another heart-stopping scream: the baby's head broke through. In the midst of the terrible confusion I tried to get hold of the head. I shouted at the people to make room for me but was completely ignored. Between hands and feet and sweating bodies I finally grasped the head and pulled at it. The girl writhed and gave a last terrifying scream, I had to pull hard, but at last the baby was born.
Immediately the exhausted girl was left alone. Her husband took the baby out of my hands, beamed with pride and went outside. The girl was now crying softly. "That hurt so bad, that hurt so bad!" she whispered over and over again, ignoring the others who treated her with contempt. "What a useless woman you are," they said. "Why did it take you so long to birth this child?" The girl hid her face, and I noticed that her abdomen seemed just as big as before. I made everybody except the girl's mother leave the room while we were waiting for the afterbirth. Half an hour passed by, but nothing happened. Outside we heard people singing and praising their gods for the beautiful newborn. I decided to remove the placenta manually. Nobody seemed interested in what I did any more so I placed one hand on the girl's abdomen and with the other I felt my way through the torn tissues. Again she began to scream as I was working my hand deeper and deeper inside. Then my hand touched something like a little foot. I was electrified. Another baby! It had to come out quickly! But the girl was too exhausted, she could not possibly give birth to another child. All my senses fully alert, I carefully slid my hand along the baby's body until I felt the groove of the neck, then feeling the chin I got my index finger into its mouth and with the guiding help of my outer hand I began to turn the child around. Again she kicked and screamed, and quickly her mother called some of the partying people back inside. Again the girl was held down on the bed, again her legs were opened wide while I was working hard to get the baby out. Fortunately no contraction closed the womb around the child's body, which would have made the operation much more difficult. The girl was wailing and screaming bloody murder as I was working inside her womb. With quite some force I could guide the baby through the birth-canal. Although I did my best, the girl tore even more, but at least the baby was out. This time it was the girl's brother who grabbed the baby from me and ran outside, while I pushed my hand back inside her immediately to pull out the after-birth. The girl let out a yell and it took a while until she began to relax and realize that her ordeal was over.
All the tension, hostility and unhappiness from before melted away. The women wept and laughed with joy and clapped their hands. Nobody had thought of the possibility that the pregnant girl might have twins. That was why she had had such a huge abdomen. The contractions of the over-extended muscle fibres of a womb holding twins are less effective than when there is only one child - one certain reason for difficult labor. The girl fell asleep, and thankfully she was left alone. I knew: As soon as she would wake up, her whole family would again blame her for "not working hard enough" during the birth.
I walked down to the river with aching limbs, thinking about
childbirth. To deliver a child is a natural process which takes time. It
is painful, and in some cases more painful than in other. Few are prepared
for the agony on the delivery bed. Once the process has started,
there is no way back. No matter how much it hurts, you now have to give birth.
"I am dying" - each woman I had helped in childbirth said these words at
one point in her delivery. And not all did "fanya bidii" -
work hard. Some did, like the girl in this story, and still the birth was
difficult.Again I thought how glad I am that I am a man!
Would you like to roleplay this? Or maybe another ending for this story? Send me an email or contact me on Yahoo Messenger.
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