- Ow, my belly! screamed Lucy.
- Start to pant, said the midwife.
Lucy drew her knees up and parted her legs:
The pain was excruciating, overwhelming, like nothing she had ever experienced before.
- Pfrr, pfrr, pfrr.. she panted. - Pwrr, pwrr, pwrr..
Rubber-gloved hands of the two medical students took hold of her feet and gently opened her legs further.
- I can see the baby's head! said the midwife suddenly. - Give a big push..
- Nnnngggggg.. oh My AAAAARRRRRGH! roared Lucy, straining with all her might.
The midwife's hands started to press and massage her belly to help her.
- Owee, ah.. AAAAAHHH, OOH.. NOOOOOO..
The pain reached new heights.
Lucy took hold of her thighs, pushed hard - felt a twinge of embarrassment: what if she pooped? it crossed her mind..
- Almost there! You're doing very well!
- The head's out! Another push..
- NNNNNNGGGGG... oooh.. - aah!
The pain was gone, Lucy sighed with relief.
- It's a boy..
Lucy clutched the baby as it was placed on her right breast.
It immediately began to suckle hungrily.
Its body felt strangely fluffy..
Her teddy bear was nestled against her breast. Rafael had laid it there, and was rubbing her belly again gently clockwise.
- Don't worry.. it is only a dream, he said. - You didn't half moan and groan and thrash around in your sleep..
- I dreamt I was giving birth..
Clearly she had. Her blanket had fallen to the floor, her nightie had slipped back, her knees were still back and apart.
Embarrassed, she straightened her legs, and winced. Her belly still felt painful and tender. Wind, from the dinner's bean soup.
- Shall I continue rubbing?
- Please.. ..aaah, that's better..
Her wind released with a loud rasp.
They both laughed together, glad that the window above their bed was open.
- Let's sleep on..