A Complete Family - Legends of the Veil
My next blog post for Cure of the Fallen is live!
In the middle of all the welcome home celebration, I froze as I felt warmth suddenly blossom and spread over the lower half of my body.
“Mama,” I asked cautiously.
“Yes, dear?” Medea responded.
I gulped down my nervousness, already knowing the answer to the question I was about to ask. “Um, how do you know if you’re about to…” I trailed off, knowing I didn’t have to finish the sentence for everyone to get the message.
“Morgan,” Minotauros asked with caution. “Are you…?”
Medea raised an eyebrow. “Did your water just break?”
I hesitantly raised my skirt to show my mother and my husband. “I think so.”
With wide eyes, my mother shouted, “Mino! Get her to a bath now!”
Before I could say or do anything in response, my husband scooped me up in his arms and ran straight to the nearest bathroom. I wrapped my arms around his neck, holding him tightly in panic. Here was the moment we’d all been waiting for with excitement, and yet there was an inherent panic to the event. Mama tore into the bathroom behind us, creating buckets of hot water and clothes as she went.
“It’s early. It’s too damned early,” Medea mumbled under her breath as she rushed to work.
Too early? I had talked to Medea about how the baby might be born early due to her Godly lineage. Mino’s mother had been pregnant with him for only a week. Some mortals gave birth to demigods in a day. But now Medea was saying it was too early. If it was, that wasn’t good for my daughter. Right after Medea’s mumbled comment she called for Gabriel.
I had to ask; I had to know. “She’s going to be okay, isn’t she?” I wasn’t so sure anymore. I didn’t want to lose her. In my short time with her, I had come to love her so much. So did Mino. We couldn’t lose her. We couldn’t. Seeing my distress, Minotauros gripped my hand tightly. I clenched his hand back, needing his godly strength then more than ever.
Medea nodded, trying to reassure me with a smile as she filled the tub with water. “Yes, of course. I’m here, sweetheart.” Even so, I couldn’t help but look between my mother and my husband, fear written all over my face. “It’s okay, dear. Mama’s here. I’ve got you.” I took her hand in my free one, and gripped it as tightly as I gripped Minotauros’ before allowing Medea to set back to work.
My mother moved her hand around my stomach, feeling where the baby was. I’m not completely sure what she was looking for or if what she found was good or bad. All she said was, “Sweetheart, this is going to be uncomfortable, but I need to help guide the baby out… Ok?”
I nodded through my heavy, panicked breathing. “Yes, Mama. I trust you.” She promised she would be there for my daughter’s birth. I would’ve trusted no one else with the birth of my child.
In an instant, my body was wracked with a pain unlike any I had ever experienced. That was saying a lot given I had been stabbed in the back with the magical blade Excalibur, by a person I had once considered a friend. One whom, after years of dislike and distrust, I would come to consider a friend again in our battle against Kane.
I bent clean in half, screaming, “Ahhhhh!” My scream deafened me; I was sure everyone in the sanctum—hell, the world—could hear me. Yet, Mama kept her focus on the task at hand.
Through my screams, we heard Gabriel’s voice call out from the lounge, “Medea.”
“GABRIEL, WE’RE IN THE BATHROOM,” Mama shouted without taking her eyes off her work.
That was when more pain ripped through me, threatening to tear me apart from the inside out. “It hurts!” This was going to kill me. There was no way I was going to walk out of this alive.
Grabriel came running in. “What is…” He trailed off, getting a good look at the situation.”Oh.”
Mama took her attention away from me to look at her lover – now fiancé, as I had come to learn shortly before I went into labor. “Take her other hand, and push whatever healing you can into Morgana. NOW!”
Grabriel didn’t have to be told twice. He dropped down next to me, taking my free hand and gripping it as tightly as my husband gripped onto me. I knew I liked him for a reason. He’d made Mama happy after such a terrible heartbreak, now he was there to support us all. Just like a family. He was going to be a perfect husband for Mama… and I might actually decide to call him Papa one day.
I used short, sharp breaths to breath through the pain, occasionally giving way to screaming grunts. That pain… what had women ever done to deserve it?
“Ok, dear,” Medea soothed. “Here I go.” I nodded, letting her know her warning had registered, despite all the pain wracking my body. I felt Mama, slowly slide her hand into me, gently moving around in search of something. “I’ve got her. Now, push.”
“Grip my hand as tight as you need,” Minotauros whispered comfortingly into my ear. I did as he said, gripping his and Grabiel’s hands as tight as I could. From both, I felt two strong energies, similar in nature, yet different. From Gabriel, I felt a strong power of the light. It seemed to flow into my body, dulling that pain that consumed my entire lower body. From Minotauros, the love and devotion which was just as strong as the day we married.
I hung on to my family as tight as I could as bullets of sweat cascaded down my head, mixing with the tears of pain that streaked down my face. This family we had made for ourselves was about to become bigger, if I could survive this ordeal
Medea took deep breaths as her hand guided my daughter out of me. “My hand is almost out, dear. Push. Once the head is out, the rest will be easier. I promise.” I matched my mother’s breathing as Gabriel continued to pass his healing energy into me. I could do this. I had to do it. “Push, Morgana, baby. Push.”
Gritting my teeth and clenching my eyes shut, I contracted my stomach, pushing against the pressure in my lower extremities. I was going to have to thank Gabriel profusely when this was all over. Before his healing energy filled the connection between us, I was certain I was going to be torn apart from the inside. There was a chance I was actually going to survive this.
I felt the mass in my stomach start to drop lower and lower towards my opening. “Ok, my girl,” Medea encouraged. “One more. Come on, Morgana. Give me one more good push.”
“You’ve got this my love,” Minotauros whispered to me in loving comfort. All of these people believed in me, supported me. I hadn’t felt this loved since my early days in Camelot… when Merlin and Arthur had actually been my friends.
I took the deepest breath I possibly could before I contracted my stomach one more time. “Ahhhhhh!,” I screamed in a mixture of pain and strained effort. Come on, baby. Come on.
My mother smiled. “Good, Morgana. That’s it!” With the turn of a moment, the weight I’d been carrying for such a short time expelled from my body. A shrill, tiny scream echoed around the bathroom and throughout the sanctum. She was here. Baba Pasiphae was finally here.
I collapsed back into the tub as physical and emotional exhaustion overtook me. I felt my husband push my hair back from my face. “You did it Morgan,” he whispered his pride to me. “She’s beautiful.”
As I caught my breath, I took in the sound of her strong lungs crying out for me. The tears flowed freely at that point as a smile spread across my face.
Through the crying of my daughter, I heard my mother singing softly as she cleaned my child. “Baba Pasipahe, you are loved, and protected. You are perfect in every way. Your mama and papa will always be there for you.” And we would be. “And so will I.” And she would be.
With tears streaking her face, Medea planted a blessed kiss on Baba Pasiphae’s head. She turned to me and Minotauros and laid our child in my husband’s arms. “Be careful dear. She’s the most fragile thing right now.”
The moment Baba Pasiphae was safe in our arms, Medea collapsed to the ground. My first instinct was to leap up and go to her, but something stopped me; it wasn’t just the pain in my abdomen from the trauma it had just endured.
It was power. Power that had the distinct feeling of my mother, and even my grandmother. Invisible as it was, it’s strength could not be denied as it departed Medea’s body and took mine as its new host. As I watched, my mother’s eyes and hair became streaked with silver. Meanwhile, I felt the last strand of childhood leave me. My eyes thinned as the girlish wonder left them, taking up residence in the eyes of my daughter, who looked up at her father with adorable affection
Medea had passed the power of the mother to me and taken her place as the crone. Meanwhile, the power of the maiden left me for my new daughter. We were a complete set once again.
Gabriel slowly stepped away to go to my mother while Mintauros leaned over, allowing me to get a better look at our new baby girl. Baba Pasiphae. She was so beautiful. Her lack of hair was a sure sign she was going to have my red hair. Her tan skin had a light pink tinge to it, but it was soft and perfect. Her eyes were big, glossy, and dark, like my husbands. My favorite part was her ears. She had Minotaurs’ ears; they were so cute. She was so cute, perfect, and beautiful. She was everything. She was OUR everything.
“Life is the greatest gift on the planet,” Medea said to us. “But if I may make a suggestion…”
I rubbed my head over my daughters bald, little head while Minotauros rocked her in his arms. “Yes, Mama,” we both said at the same time.”
“Stay here,” Mama told us. “Where we can look after you. I thought you would have time: time on the island; time to yourselves. But I can’t look after you if I’m not there.” I opened my mouth to speak, but Medea cut me off. “And before you say it, I know I’m welcome. But the wards are so much stronger here to protect her for the time being. Even a couple weeks. Let her get stronger, and then we’ll get you set up on the island.”
I looked up at my husband. “She’s not wrong,” he conceded.
“To be honest… I would like your guidance.” I was still so worried about whether I would make a good mother. I didn’t want to mess this up; having Medea there to help me would be invaluable. I’d been thinking about asking her to live with us for some time. So, the solution was exactly what I had wanted, in a way.
“As would I,” Minotauros doubled down on my admission.
Medea nodded. “Now, they need to get cleaned up, and put on dry clothing. Get her out of the tub, Mino. Before they both catch a cold.” Well, it certainly didn’t take her long to take up her new role as our guide.