II. Stillbirth as two oyster nuts

I am delivering my cousin’s baby. I have no experience delivering babies, and, in absolutely uncharacteristic fashion, I haven’t prepared one whit. So I’m multi-tasking, a-panic and absurdly – reading literature on the topic from my left hand, which hovers adjacent to her swollen belly, while rooting and ruffling about inside her with my right. The article informs me of an abdomen-squeezing procedure that will pass the baby into a spot better suited for extraction. I squint skeptically at the pile of alien tools on the floor next to my cousin’s body.

I try the thing. Not only does the baby move; it comes out entirely. And what comes out is, in fact, two nuts. The nuts are shelled but cracked open like tiny mussels or oysters, and there is gunk visible within. But this is normal, the “baby” being two oyster-like nuts…except the goop within should be alive, or it’s the wrong shape slightly, or the nuts shouldn’t have wholly exited her womb just yet.

So it’s a stillbirth, and I’ve botched it royally. I feel incredulous, then limp, like a hunk of warm cheese. My mother and aunt are around us, attempting to soothe me (me, not my cousin – whose reaction, or lack thereof, is unfeatured). We can’t actually know to blame my ineptitude, as the neonate might have been dead a while already. My aunt coos this logic, my mother nodding sadly but emphatically. Nevertheless, my dismay spirals up and out.
 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 
I awake and think about my cousin as nonentity there.
 

~ by kingzoko on April 30, 2015.

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