- for Keavy O'Fannon
24 December, 1886
Banshee knew the baby swelling within her stomach had to be about ready to show up. Her back had been absolutely killing her off and on for about half the day, so she'd spent much of the day asking around, to see if anyone knew of a midwife in the immediate area. She really ought to have done this much, much earlier, but she had had her mother to help with much of the being pregnant. Spells to manage the swelling of her feet, and such. And the younger siblings would occasionally steal an extra apple or biscuit for her.
That couldn't stop this from coming.
So when she woke up, in the huddled pile of Simmons, with a distinctive feeling of overt pain in her abdomen. The first thing she did was try to rouse her mother - she could only rouse Giggle, who just hugged her arm and told her to go back to sleep. Which was when Banshee realized she was on her own.
Following the directions given to her by those who had been willing to speak to her, Banshee took the more central roads (if you could really call them that) through the slums to the house she'd been directed to go to, that stolen wand out and held it against the fold of her dress, just barely concealed from view. A hidden advantage against anyone who might try to attack her.
And that brought us to where we are now - Banshee standing at a stranger's door, leaning against it with her face screwed up in pain as she hugged her belly. Another minute and a half passed, and the brunette straightened, using the hand of the arm she had hugged herself with to knock on the door. Finally.
"Hello?" she gently called into the building. "Please...please, I need help. Please. I don't have anyone else to go to."
It wasn't often that Keavy stayed at her little ramshackle home in the slums. There really was no point, not when she had a decent room with a far nicer bed in a far warmer home at the Pettigrew estate. But, she had kept the home as a back up should anything ever happen. She was very grateful she had as a mother she'd delivered for before had gone into labor late that previous night and it had left her rather exhausted. She'd been so tired that trying to make her way back to the Pettigrew estate would only end in disaster. As such, she'd stayed at her little home with the plans of just getting a few hours of rest before heading back to relieve the maid who had been kind enough to take over for her.
She'd ended up sleeping a bit longer than anticipated, however, and was awoken by knocking on her door. It took her a few moments to get her bearings but once she did she headed to the door to hear the pleas of a woman. That was more than enough to kick her into gear and fully wake her up.
With the door open, Keavy was able to see with one look that the woman on her doorstep was in labor. "Come in, quickly," she said as she ushered the woman into her small home. With the door shut behind her, she quickly guided the laboring woman into the small room that housed Keavy's bed. "Lie down," she said as she began to move about and gather the things she would need, asking questions all the while, "How long have the pains been happening? How frequent?"
Nolan rocks my world!
With how horrid Banshee's luck usually was, she honestly didn't even expect the woman to answer the door. Even being ushered into the room, to the bed - an actual bed! It'd been years since she'd had anything like it - was like walking in a dream. Being told to lie down, Banshee did, brushing her hair out of her eyes and taking the moment to relax. "I'm not entirely sure...I woke up in intense pain...I think they're about...three or four minutes apart?" She couldn't be sure; none of the Simmons or Roselovs had watches.
She closed her eyes for a moment, savoring the feeling of it. Of being in a bed, of being inside. This wasn't her norm. T\he fact that it wouldn't last brought tears to her eyes; they streaked down the sides of her face to disappear in her hair.
Keavy nodded at the woman's response but didn't actually say anything herself. She simply kept busy, gathering the needed supplies with a methodical sort of grace. "You've still some time before anything will really happen so try to rest as best you can," she said after she'd put her supplies down on a nearby table, "I've got to gather a few more herbs and some fresh water but I'll be right back."
She tried to give the girl the most reassuring smile she could offer before disappearing out of the bedroom and off to gather the remainder of the things she had just said she'd need.
Nolan rocks my world!
A while to go. Banshee didn't know if that news was reassuring or nerve-wracking. She was scared, God knew, the worst case scenario on her mind. But...this baby would be coming into a world that would never accept who this child was. Banshee's baby would be an outcast, bastard of a bastard. Poor. The child of a whore.
Banshee had never wanted that for her child. She didn't want to be like her own mother, a prostitute with a mess of children she couldn't support. half of the family wasn't even hers now, not since Joker's wife died.
"Here we go, little one," she murmured softly, before another contraction ripped through her, effectively silencing her.
Keavy came back with her hands full of a mixture of herbs just in time to hear the woman mutter something then be taken with a contraction. "Shh shh," she cooed gently to the woman as she quickly hurried herself about preparing the herbs. From the sounds of the contraction and the sudden tension, it wouldn't be long before she was in active labor.
"Do you want some herbs to help take the edge off?" she asked of her, watching to see the woman's reaction in the event she was only able to give a nonvocal response, "They'll perhaps make you a bit out of it but they'll help with the pain."
Nolan rocks my world!
Banshee shook her head vigorously. "No, no. I don't want any herbs," she insisted. "I want this to be as organic as possible. Real. You know?" She couldn't explain it more clearly than that, than a deep desire for everything to feel and be real. It would be real, yes, but she wanted to feel it.
She wanted to know for sure what was going on.
"Keep those on reserve, though, yeah? Just in case?"
Keavy couldn't help the raised eyebrow when the woman turned down the herbs and gave her explanation. It wasn't that she didn't hear it, she heard it more often than she would have ever expected, but it still seemed absurd to her. But then again, willingly giving birth to a child seemed absurd to her. She'd been in attendance of birthing plenty of babes that she'd vowed long ago never to have one herself.
"I'll leave them here," she said simply as she set them aside before going to stand at the back of the room to wait for the woman's contractions to come closer and closer together. Before long, she was there and Keavy moved into position to help with the delivery of the baby.
It was a decent amount of time later when the baby was finally there and Keavy was seeing to the little things of it all. The birth hadn't been an easy one but it hadn't been an overly hard one either. Luckily, however, the babe seemed to be healthy enough if not a little on the small side. She had the little boy swaddled up soon enough and moved around to the side of the bed. "It's a boy," she said with a faint smile, sweat still beaded on her forehead, as she offered the bundled up baby to the woman.
Nolan rocks my world!
Having never touched the herbs, Banshee lay in the aftermath of labor, skin coated in a sheen of sweat, hair by now a tangled mess. Slowly, the brunette lifted herself up into a sitting position against the wall.
Banshee laughed gently. "I suppose that's fortunate," she commented, as she took into her arms the newborn boy. "Isn't it, Charon? Otherwise your name would have been much more simple. Much less interesting." She only knew of the ferryman of the river Styx from her father, who had told her of him in a bedtime story once upon a long-ago. The name made sense to Banshee, given her own name. A herald of Death, the mother of a guide into an afterlife.
A beat later, she turned her gaze to the midwife. "He'll be all right, right?" Knowing what had become of her own twin, and another sibling...Banshee did have some reason to be unsettled.
Keavy watched the new mother and her babe, a faint smile on her lips. She was actually quite surprised that the first time mother, or so she had assumed, hadn't even asked for the herbs. It usually wasn't the case for those going through the labors of birth for the first time. She was clearly a strong one and Keavy could appreciate that. Actually, it seemed as those who lived more privileged lives were the ones to cry out for the herbs at the slightest bit of pain.
She nodded at the woman's question though, her smile still present. "He looks jus' fine now," she said with another nod, "So long as ye feed 'im and keep 'im warm, he'll be good. Keep 'im outta public as much as ye can for awhile though." She knew the fears of losing a child were very real ones, even in first time mothers. There were many what ifs but the babe at the moment was healthy. It was just up to her to keep him that way.
Nolan rocks my world!
Feed him and keep him warm.
Banshee knew this was going to be the biggest trial of her life - much harder than even feeding herself while pregnant with the boy. Now she had to feed herself, make sure he ate, make sure he was warm...and hopefully, keep him safe.
Now was as good a time as any to distance herself from her family.
"Thank you," Banshee said gently, fingers gentle as she held Charon close. "I should probably go."