Finally, the day came that Abigail was awoken by a sharp pain in her stomach. She cried out before she knew what she was doing. In the next moment, she saw her mother’s face hovering over her.
“What is it? Are you all right?”
By the time she finished asking the question, the pain had subsided and Abigail could breathe again. “It’s over.”
“What’s over? What happened, Abigail?’
“I’m not sure. All of the sudden I had this terrible pain in my stomach, but it’s gone now.”
“A pain in your stomach? Like a cramp?”
Abigail nodded and her mother called for the midwife.
The labor felt like it dragged on forever and Abigail had never imagined anything could be so painful. Her mother’s voice was the only thing that got her through it. Without that voice, she wasn’t sure she would have survived. But she did, and at the end of it all was a tiny wail that broke her heart.
Abigail reached out her arms and a pink, healthy, perfect baby girl was placed in them. Abigail was so overjoyed that, for a moment, she forgot she was supposed to be disappointed.
“It’s all right, dear,” her mother said, stroking her hair. “There’s always next time.”
At first, Abigail couldn’t fathom what her mother meant. Then she remembered they had been hoping for a boy – she was supposed to have had a boy – but she couldn’t bring herself to care. She knew she should. She knew her husband had been counting on an heir. But all Abigail could think about right now was the wonder of this tiny human she held in her arms and marvel at the fact that she had created this miracle.
She looked at her mother and all she could say was, “May I open the windows now?”