The story of Kat’s birth
Full moon in the sign of Capricorn
It was coming at last. This time she was sure. She leaned against the wall as a ripple of pain swept through her.
The nurse turned on a battery-powered lamp. It cast long, spidery shadows on the walls of the empty ward. “Sorry about this. Hopefully the power will be back on soon. I’ll send in a midwife as soon as one’s free.” She plumped the pillow, then left.
Tess stood alone near the window. She stared out into the dark night. There was another, louder crack of thunder, and a fork of lightning lit the sky, but still no rain.
The pain came again. She tried lying on the bed, but that made it worse, so she hauled herself to her feet and dragged a chair to the window. She braced herself against the ledge.
Pain began to come more regularly, resolving itself into an intense wave that washed through her body again and again. She lost track of how much time passed this way, though she vaguely noticed when the lamp near the door flickered and went out. Then the room was lit only by the moon. The clouds had blown away, and the full round sphere bathed her in its light.
The sensation in her body began to change, and when it seemed too intense to continue any longer, she closed her eyes and followed the instinct to bear down as the wave moved through her.
Something broke free of her body in a slippery rush, and she turned to gaze in wonder at the intact amniotic sac. The baby girl floating within looked up at her through the clear liquid, wide eyes luminous in the full moon’s silver beams.