SVEN

A tough choice.

”Arghh! ” Frieda cried out as she fought to push the baby out. She lay helplessly on the mattress and two of the midwives held her arms to keep her in place.

”Calm down Frieda! deep breaths! ” one of the midwives said and she reached down between her legs.

”Mmmphhh…! ” she moaned, trying her best to calm down, then the pains came so sharply again and this time it was unbearable. she screamed out loudly and the midwives tried to calm her down.

”Frieda, please calm down…take deep breaths…steady…thats it. Don scream, you
e doing just fine. ” one of them assured her with a smile and she shook her head immediately in response.

”Steady…now push! ”

She pushed with all her might, stopping at intervals to take some deep breaths. Finally, the head of the baby was out and the midwife held its head and pulled the baby out slowly, urging Frieda to add more pressure to birth the child.

”Now, a little more push, and your baby will be out. Don worry, everything will be over before you know it. ” the midwife assured with a slight smile.

”Ahhhhh…mmmph…. ” She groaned as she pushed harder and harder.

”Wait! the babys stuck! ” the nurse shouted. The umbilical cord had wrapped around the babys neck.

Frieda looked at the ceiling, gasping for breath. She was bleeding so much and at the same time, extremely exhausted.

”I…don think Im going to make it… she thought, staring at the ceiling as her eyes went dim.

Im tired…Im very tired… she thought further as tears welled up in her eyes. Im going to die…but I don want my baby to die with me…

She looked at the midwife who stood beside her with the saddest eyes, and she returned the stare. She didn need a soothsayer to tell her that Frieda wouldn make it out alive.

”No…..Im….not going to let my baby die with me…Im going to perish alone! you will come out and rule this world…..you won die! Not ever! ” Frieda thought. She was suddenly filled with great strength and immense courage.

Taking the midwifes hand in hers, she held her tightly and pushed with all her might, using the last breath in her to birth her baby.

”Its a boy! ” one of the midwives exclaimed with joy. They handed the baby to her and she received him in her quivering arms.

Freida looked down at her baby as he cried aloud and smiled sadly. She lowered her head back on the bed and died.

”Frieda…? ” One of the midwives tapped her, but she was motionless.

”Frieda? Frieda! ” she called out in panic, shaking her vigorously but she didn respond. The other midwives surrounded the bed and one of them put a finger across her nostrils. She wasn breathing.

”Shes not breathing! ” the midwife whispered in fear.

They stared at each other in horror.

”Shes…dead! ” the midwife whispered and they looked at each other, terrified.

Just then, Gunter and his wife Elena rushed into the room. The midwives turned to the room entrance, startled by their intrusion.

”Is Frieda alright?! ” Elena asked, her face etched with worry.

The midwives stared at each other, then turned to face them again. The paleness of their faces was enough evidence that something was wrong.

”Im sorry… ” She whispered sadly, handing the wrapped baby to Elena.

She stared at the midwife with a gaze of uncertainty and tilted her head to see Friedas body lying motionless on the mattress.

”…Frieda! ” she called out in a whisper.

”Shes dead. ” The midwife blurted without mincing words.

”What?! ” Elena let out a dry gasp.

”She…couldn make it…we tried our bests. Im so sorry. ”

The duo stared in horror.

”Unbelievable…! ” Gunter whispered. ”Frieda…is dead?! ” he asked in shock and the midwife nodded.

They looked at the cold corpse lying on the bed. It was such a pitiful sight of the young girl lying dead and drenched in her blood. Elena covered her mouth as she cried. She looked down at the baby and felt sadness and great pity.

After some hours, Frieda was buried at the village cemetery. It was a sad burial, and everyone who heard what had happened was left in deep thoughts and shock. She was a happy young girl, always smiling and making everyone around her very happy. Her sweet smiles and big, chipper eyes were buried in their hearts, and they could never get over her tragic demise.

That night, Elena bathed the baby and fed him with milk. She looked at him for a while and sighed. The baby had cried a lot earlier as if it knew that a terrible fate had just befallen it. As she put the baby to sleep, Gunter came into the room. He looked at his wife, then the baby and he sighed in frustration.

”What are we going to do with the baby? should we keep him? ” she was rocking him to sleep in her arms.

”Keep him?! no Elena. we can keep this baby. We barely know his mother, and we just gave her accommodation out of pity. Now that shes dead, you want to keep her child? you know the implication of this right? besides, I don want any other burden on our shoulders. We are peasant farmers and we barely have enough to take care of ourselves. ” Gunter explained rather quickly.

Elena looked at the baby.

”But…hes just a baby. We can just abandon him. ”

”And I am not ready to carry this heavy burden on my shoulder, woman, ” he said as a matter of factly.

”Then what are we going to do with him? ”

”Take him to an orphanage or something. They will handle him there. ”

”We can just take him to an orphanage. Hes only a day old. ”

” Im sorry but we don have any other choice. You either take him to an orphanage or dispose of him! ”

Elena sighed heavily. As much as she wanted to keep the child as her own, she couldn afford to argue with her husband especially now that they were stressed about the situation.

” Ok. Ill take him to an orphanage tomorrow. ”

” Good. Now you get some sleep when you
e done. ” Gunter said bluntly and left the room.

Elena looked at the baby and sighed. She felt so much pity for it.

”I wish I could keep you. Taking you to an orphanage will only be the beginning of your trials and tribulations in this world, but its worth it because you
e a child of destiny, I know it deep down. You must go down that path, to become who you
e destined to be. ”

Elena laid the baby on the small mattress and covered him well. She watched him sleep for a while and smiled sadly before leaving the room.

Its not going to be easy…hes only a baby…what if he dies of malnutrition or illness in the orphanage? I won be able to live with myself if something bad happens to him…

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