First one, ruddy and plump, his shrill cry piercing the air of the birthing room. Then the other, equally pink and just as loud. The midwife cut the second umbilical cord before swaddling the babe and laying him next to his brother in the rough hewn bassinet. The midwife turned her attention back to the young woman, her legs still splayed wide. Her dark hair plastered to her pale face.
“Sont-ils en bonne santé? ,” she husked weakly.
“Oui, mon petit,” the old midwife murmured as she squeezed the water from a cloth and began cleaning the exhausted girl. “Ainsi,” the midwife continued, her voice firm as she nudged the girl down to rest against the bed, “maintenant tu devrais te reposer .”
Inside the old cradle the babies struggled against the rough and foreign bundling. Tiny hands worked free from their blankets, prodding along until each found the familiar grip of the others hand. As inseparable as they had been in the womb, the boys held tight.( Read more... )