Widening The Berth

Prompt Day #123: Craft a scene where a doctor explains to his patient why he must break his bones. Include an unexpected tool.

 This one comes with two warnings. 1. WARNING: explicit and disturbing material, 2. WARNING: actually this is more a plea: do not judge me for this one. You write what you know, right? And like it or not, I am a horror writer, so I merged the two of me into one creepy sicko who would never, ever, ever do this kind of stuff (even if a patient pushes all my buttons with their anti-doctor comments)

Widening the Berth


“Well, Mrs. Lacoste, I have some frankly surprising news. The good news is the mass is your abdomen is not a tumor. It is a baby, well, based on the size, it is a toddler actually. And what’s more surprising is the child appears to be alive. You haven’t been feeling it move?” Dr. Henry said, puzzling over the reports he held in his hands.

“Oh, really? Well, that makes sense.” Mrs. Lacoste said thoughtfully.

“How so? Because I have to be honest with you, I have never in my life seen anything like this. When was the last time you had a period, Mrs. Lacoste?”

“Well let’s see, it would have been maybe twenty-five years or so ago. But I guess that makes sense then, since I’m pregnant, don’t you think so, Doctor?”

“No. I would think you underwent menopause and that is why you weren’t having periods. Are you currently sexually active?” Dr. Henry asked. He had no idea how to even go about getting the right information from her. The radiologist had called him from the ultrasound room earlier to say that he was having trouble measuring the baby because it was off every growth scale available but otherwise it looked healthy and normal.

“Sex? It’s been so long. My Archie died in 2001 when a blood vessel burst in his brain, he fell right there at the dinner table. One minute he was shoveling peas into his mouth—his favorite vegetable, he ate them at every meal—and the next minute his face was lying in them. I thought he was just enjoying them so much he didn’t want to bother with the fork, but no; he was dead. So it would have been sometime before that.”

“Mrs. Lacoste, how then would you say that it makes sense to you that you are currently pregnant?” Dr. Henry prompted frustrated and confused.

“Oh well, because about twenty or so years ago I was pregnant but then I just never had the baby.” She said

“You were pregnant, but then you never had the baby? But what did the doctor say? I mean typically the doctor would induce labor and I can guarantee no one would just let you go on for years without delivering.” Dr. Henry said through clenched teeth, none of this made any sense.

“I didn’t go to a doctor. I’m sorry if this offends you Dr. Henry, but Archie and I never did. We just didn’t trust them. You all take money from the drug companies and the vaccine makers and in exchange you tell your patients they need those things to survive. I mean take cancer for instance. You all have had the cure for cancer for years and yet, if you cure it, look at all the money you’d lose from labs and CAT scans and chemotherapy. I read a lot of books. So, when Archie and I found out I was pregnant—I won’t even get into the fact that when we first got married the doctors told us we would never be able to have children—anyways, when we found out, we decided we wouldn’t expose our child to the dangers of modern medicine. Women have been having babies in their homes for years without doctors coming along telling them they need to be cut open to have their babies and they need to take dangerous antibiotics and pain medications. No thank you. So, we waited and waited but I never went into labor. The baby never came. I just thought, well, it will come when it’s ready and frankly, we both just forgot all about it after a while.” Sara Lacoste crossed her arms, leaned back in her chair and silently dared Dr. Henry to disagree with her.

“O.K. then, Mrs. Lacoste, I do apologize for wasting your time today. When you passed out in Wal-Mart and they called 911, I’m sure they didn’t realize your feelings about hospitals and doctors and whatnot.” Dr. Henry said. He was still trying to wrap his mind around this medical enigma but now she’d pissed him off. He didn’t have time to argue with people like her. He had to see a patient every fifteen minutes just to pay the bills not to mention the hours of electronic charting that he would not be compensated for. Let her go home and deliver this child who, if she was to be believed was twenty years old and who, if the radiologist was correct weighed twenty-four pounds.

“Well, I’m here now, so what are you going to about this?” She asked dropping some of the indignant attitude. Dr. Henry stood silent for a moment, letting the rage and disgust he usually kept locked away inside when in public, seep out. She wanted a home birth and back home was where he just happened to keep all his special tools. Just thinking of them and what he could do with them washed down his rage in a wave of serenity. He smiled.

“You know I used to do home calls; if you still want to have this baby at home, we can arrange that.” He grinned a wide, innocent Cheshire cat smile.” Mrs. Lacoste perked up

“So, you would let me do that? Really? In my own house? No IV’s, No Medications?”

“Exactly what you wanted. No surgeries, No pain medications.” He promised.

“Well, that would be very nice. I can deliver this baby in the bed where he or she was created. It will be as if Archie was there with us.” She rubbed a hand over her unbelievably enormous belly. “So, when can we do this, Doctor? I’ve been waiting for this baby for so long”

Of course she had, she’d been waiting so long she “forgot all about it”. Well he was going to ensure that she never ever forgot it again.

“I can be there tonight if you want. No time like the present.” He knew just what to pack in his little black bag and now he couldn’t think of anything else. He canceled the rest of his appointments and went home to pack and prepare.

“Ok, Mrs. Lacoste, as I said earlier today, this baby has been in there a very long time. It has gotten much bigger than a typical baby.” Dr. Henry said rummaging in his bag. Mrs. Lacoste looked up at him between her knees.

“What? Well, what does that mean?” she worried

“It means, we’ll need to make some room, that’s all” he said pulling a large, round, metal pear shaped device from his satchel.

“What’s that? It looks old. What are you going to do with that?” she scooted her bottom back away from him. The child in her belly swam up to the surface. The skin bulged up and rolled across her massive abdomen like the loch ness monster.

“Mrs. Lacoste, please. You need to trust me. This baby is far too large to come through the birth canal as it is, so we’ll use this device to break your pelvic bone into many pieces so that it can easily expand enough to deliver your little man or woman as the case may be.” Dr. Henry wiggled the device at her and grinned, showing more teeth than any trustworthy physician would ever present.

“What?! No! I mean, don’t you usually do a cesarean section when a baby is too big to fit?” She tried to pull her feet back and crawl further up the bed away from him but he had her by the ankles now and she was so much older and weaker than he. There was no point in fighting. He had her bound to the foot of the bed with surgical tape.

“Oh, no, Mrs. Lacoste, I promised you. No surgeries, No pain meds. Only a natural delivery.” He picked up the antique device again; “As I was saying, this device is called the Pear of Anguish. And you are correct, it is very old. I purchased it on E-Bay.”

He pointed to a long screw-like stem with a turning key. “I simply insert this device into your vagina as high as I can, then I turn the screw like this” He demonstrated it, and the petals that made up the pear began to open out, like the bloom of a deadly nightshade. Mrs. Lacoste gasped and tried to pull her legs together but he had taped them as well and she was indeed powerless.

“People have been using them for centuries, you know, just like having babies which was so easy and safe in medieval times, that I thought you would appreciate me choosing this to aid in your delivery.” She watched helplessly as he leaned forward. She felt the pressure of the device begin to push on her pelvic bone. “Now, just relax, remember your breathing.” She heard her bones snap just before the pain set in and she screamed. “And, Push”