Nineteen years old, privileged and cultured.
“It hurts! Oh, my God…make it just stop!” Completely undone and screaming in pain, eyes wide with fear. All the prep schools, private lessons, moneyed friends and world travel couldn’t change the fact that child birth was a messy, painful and at times terrifying undertaking.
Especially if you were a nineteen year old girl who was facing this head on and alone.
Her choice, of course. This had been her choice. Pippa tried to remember that as a nurse slid an arm behind her back, pulled her into a half seated position. Another one was pushing Pippa’s leg back even as the girl grabbed at her own knees.
Bear down, push…breathe. Scream. No, breathe. Breathing was more helpful. And for God’s sake…PUSH.
A scream, a wail, a primal grunt and then a gasp as she collapsed back against the sweat-soaked sheets—it was done. She knew because she suddenly felt hollow. She hurt but it wasn’t with fierce intensity. And there was a baby crying somewhere in the room.
She kept her eyes closed, didn’t want to see. But oh, she could hear. Angry. That’s what Pippa thought, the baby sounded angry. She. It was a girl. That much could be gathered from the other voices. She was angry.
And Pippa was very sorry. Sorry that she was here, that her life had turned out this way and sorry that she wasn’t keeping this angry, screaming girl. That’s why she didn’t want to look at the child; afraid she’d renege on the adoption that had been put in place months prior. Maybe she was sorry for that too.
And then it was quiet, the baby gone. Taken to the nursery perhaps or to meet her new parents. Pippa didn’t know and she didn’t ask. She was tired, bone-weary and emotionally drained, and yet she wasn’t done here. Not yet. She gave in and followed the nurse’s commands, the doctor’s instructions. One more push to deliver the after birth.
What comes after the birth? No more. That’s what Pippa decided. No. More. No one would tell her what to do any more. No one would take away her choices, paint her into corners and nobody was going to take anything else away from her.