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“Hold onto the rock face if you have to. Take your mind off the pain.”

Will didn’t know if his hand was getting the brunt of his wife’s grip, or the rock face. Either way, he felt like his hand could snap at any moment. He looked to Bev on the other side of Deanna and cleared his throat.

“Remind me again how having her stand is helping speed up labor?”

Bev rubbed Deanna’s back for a minute and then looked at Riker.

“Gravity Will. Standing has helped speed up labor for women for thousands of years. Worked for my great-great-great-great grandmother. She had my great-great-great grandmother in a potato field. Afterwards, she carried her daughter around while she picked potatoes. At one point, she made a carrier and stuck my grandmother in it, carrying her around on her back like some of the Native American tribes of the former United States did.”

A startled expression crossed Deanna’s pretty face and Riker pulled himself closer to his wife when she stopped gripping the rock face in a death-grip.

“The pain is gone. I can’t explain it. I’m not feeling anymore contractions.”

Crusher looked at Deanna with a hard to read expression clearly written across her face.

“I don’t understand this. My scans aren’t showing any indications of labor. No contractions, and she isn’t straining. It’s like labor was shut-off. I can’t explain it.”

A slight smile adorned Will’s face.

“Well that’s good isn’t it?”

Bev shook her head and knelt down next to Deanna. Will looked away and the color drained from his face once again.

“I’m not completely sure I like my explanation. Besides, Kait’s still very high up. I don’t think she’s ready to come out right now.”

Crusher laughed at Riker and spoke up once more.

“It’s ok, you can look now. I’m done. Will you would not make a very good doctor. You’re too squeamish. We’re all born the same way. I’m pretty sure you’re not that way when the two of you make love.”

She had him essentially pinned on that frame of thought. Watching him sputter his remarks, she shook her head and laughed some more.

“But this is d-different! A woman has a child coming out of them, their bones move and the pain is excruciating. Then there is all that blood.”

Bev continued to laugh at Will. She was having fun poking fun at him.

“It’s natural Will. All that blood is just the shedding of the placenta and…”

Will looked as if he were physically about to be sick.

“I got it Bev. No more explanations. I’ve read enough on the subject of birth to last me three lifetimes. It’s a good thing men don’t have wombs. I don’t think we could handle what women go through. The process is daunting.”

Bev stopped laughing and crossed her arms.

“Very true. There wouldn’t be room for a womb in a man’s body anyways.”

Riker straightened out his dirtied uniform shirt and got his coloring back.

“So Kait’s not coming right now? Deanna’s not in labor?”

Crusher shook her head and looked down to Deanna’s feet. Her bare feet had dug into the dirt below her.

“Nope. The amniotic sac is intact, which means her water
hasn’t broken. But we’ll have to monitor her for the next few days for any signs of trouble. You have one stubborn little girl Will. I’d say she’s like you already.”

Will had to smile at that. Both women laughed at him and shook their heads, both speaking at the same time.

“What are we going to do with you Will Riker?”

Riker wasn’t sure, but this little scare had just taught him a valuable life lesson. Never underestimate nature Will. It can blow up in your face.

To Be Continued…


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