8.31.2005

Snarklings Swarm the Snarkometer, Round 48


Rita Byrne writhed in pain. Why is this hurting so much? She had birthed the baby. Across the room, she saw the midwife's assistant measuring the girth of his head with a paper tape.

A sharp pain tore through her womb. The midwife stood between Rita's legs twisting the umbilical cord, trying to ease it out.

"Wait!" Rita screamed, but she heard no sound. "Stop!"

Oblivious, the midwife continued. When the twisting failed to dislodge the placenta, she tugged.

Rita struggled to sit up. She tried to clamp her legs together, but something pinned her to the narrow bed.

The midwife pulled the cord again, hard.

Rita felt the placenta tear loose, and began to swoon. Blood flowed from her body with the afterbirth. A vicious cramp grabbed her womb. The gush continued, soaking the bed and puddling in a dark, viscous pool on the saturated sheet.

Rita knew it was a hemorrhage, knew she could bleed out in 15 minutes, knew the midwife had botched the birth.

She knew she was dying.

She woke to the sound of whimpering. Who was crying? She held her breath to listen, but the sound stopped. As she exhaled, it began again. Is that me?

Pain squeezed her uterus again, milder this time, sending another flow of liquid onto the sheet, and the dream flooded back. The baby. The midwife. Dying.

But, no. This was her bed, and her husband Patrick lay snoring beside her. A dream. It was only a dream. She got up quietly and hurried to the bathroom, locking the door behind her.


ohyuckyuckyuck.
Dying in childbirth.
The standard pregnant woman's dream. That or giving birth to something icky.
Ick Ick Ick.
I don't like dreaming about this and I don't like reading about it, but the problem is you're writing about something every woman has already experienced (well, ok 99.9%) so you're going to have to freshen it up mightily make it seem like something other than sameold sameold.

5 comments:

--john-- said...

Pull on a pirates wooden leg if yer so inclined--but NEVER! pull on an umbilical cord.
--john--

rachel said...

When I was pregnant, I dreamed I was pregnant with a dozen poppyseed Hamentaschen. Those aren't icky. Just offering another direction you could go with this, anonymous Snarkling author :)

Anonymous said...

I liked this alot, but wished it stayed with her dying, or almost dying. The dream pissed me off...sorry. It's so cliche. But the action up front is scary and riveting...stay with that.

Rhonda said...

I agree - it feels like a bait-and-switch tactic. Icky dream, though - you made me cringe.

When I was pregnant, I used to dream about smoking a whole pack of cigarettes, one after the other. What's weird is that I've NEVER been a smoker.

Anyway, having a bun in the oven kinda messes with you. haha

Rei said...

Part of the problem with the "dream sequence" plotline, apart from being a cliche, is that it's a huge letdown in terms of tension. How are you going to match her dream in terms of what follows? Unless she wakes up back on the alien spacecraft's operating table where she had been abducted to, your tension is about to fall *way* off. Reader boredom in three, two, one...