cervical dilation

pairing: harry potter x pansy parkinson

setting: modern, non-magical, hockey au

link: ao3

notes: future timestamp / bonus chapter for time go


Bear is eight pounds, fifteen ounces when he’s born.

The nurses coo about what a “big boy” he is while he screams and cries and does something pouty and weird with his mouth, but Harry—Harry is pretty fucking sure that Bear is the tiniest baby that’s ever been born. Ever. Like, he’s chubby and red-faced and hasn’t opened his eyes yet and he doesn’t seem to have a neck and his fingernails are all essentially the size of a single grain of uncooked rice and he’s tiny. Really, really tiny. He isn’t a big boy. He has little wrinkles on his feet and a little blue hat on his head and one of his little ears is gently folded into a very little Lord of the Rings elf-point because he’d come out sideways. He’s tiny. He’s fragile. He's—

“Pansy,” Harry says urgently, leaning forward to rest his elbows on the end of her hospital bed. She hasn’t spoken to him since the epidural wore off. “Pansy, we’re going to break him.”

Pansy finally—finally—glances up from where she’s been staring at Bear’s bizarrely flat, scrunchy nose like it’s the most fascinating thing she’s ever seen. “What?” she demands, before scoffing. “No, we’re not. Shut up. He’s perfect.”

Harry deliberately does not blink. “Exactly.”

Pansy heaves a sigh and runs the pad of her thumb along the curve of Bear’s chin. “I want pizza,” she says mournfully. “Can you believe they just—stopped feeding me?”

Harry scratches at the stubble on his jaw. He’s still wearing his game day suit, and he still smells like a fucking locker room, and his ring and middle fingers on his left hand are still clumsily taped together. He probably needs an x-ray.

“We’re going to break him,” Harry repeats, aghast. “Pansy. Pansy.”

From the cradle of Pansy’s arms, Bear makes a whiny gurgling sound and starts to root around the front of her tank top. Pansy gasps, visibly delighted, and then unclips the strap of her nursing bra, nestling him even closer to her chest.

“I also can’t believe you looked,” she continues, like nothing else is happening. “I told you not to look, you promised not to look—”

“Look at—what?”

“—and I get that it’s basically a car accident, but you once literally watched someone get stabbed in the throat with an ice skate, why would you need to—”

“What?” Harry asks weakly. “What are you—”

“—and, like, do you even understand the mechanics of cervical dilation, because let me tell you, ten centimeters is not—”

“Wait, are we—this is about your—” Harry gestures helplessly to her thigh—hip—region, and then lowers his voice. “Down there?

“Oh, now you’re shy,” Pansy snaps, gently stroking the downy-soft cushion of Bear’s cheek. He grunts, a crescent shaped divot appearing between his nonexistent eyebrows.

“He’s just—so small,” Harry eventually croaks.  

“Mm,” Pansy agrees. “Zero muscle definition.”

“Like, none of those jerseys everyone bought are going to fit him.”

“It’s not his fault none of your teammates know what a toddler is.”

Harry fiddles with the jagged edges of the tape around his fingers, considering. “I don’t really know what a toddler is either, though.”

At that, Pansy snorts, and Bear snuffles, and Harry—

Harry kind of feels, in that moment, like his chest is about to crack open. It’s unpleasant, the expansive, wildly unpredictable pressure building behind his sternum; like the weight of a penalty shot in the third period of a tied playoff game, only worse, but also, strangely, simultaneously better, because as much as this is the culmination of something—it’s the beginning of something, too.

He smiles.


anonymous asked:

Just out of curiosity, when a women gives birth, is it only her cervix that dilates 10cm? Or the opening as well?

Well, Efface Paint, I assume that by “opening” you mean the vagina? Because the cervix IS an opening – the opening from the uterus into the vagina, to be precise.

The cervix, since it is made of tougher tissue that helps “hold the baby inside the uterus” during pregnancy, must go through dramatic physiologic/anatomic changes to gradually stretch to the 10cm “goal” to allow for delivery of the baby (especially the baby’s head, which is the widest and least-collapsible part).

The vagina, on the other hand, is perfectly designed to stretch quite a bit, regardless of pregnancy or not, so there’s no preparatory “physiologic dilation” that has to happen there. True, sometimes the delivering doctor might do an episiotomy (cutting the vaginal and perineal tissue) to “enlarge” the opening if they feel the baby is having trouble getting out, but more and more studies seem to show that episiotomies are used more than is truly necessary. With careful stretching by the physician (or the patient’s partner, midwife, etc) during the preparatory stages of labor, the vaginal tissues can accommodate a lot of tension without tearing or ripping (at least, not tearing too horribly). And TA-DA! Baby comes out!

(Now, when a mommy and a daddy love each other a lot… oh, but that’s a different story for a different time.) :)

***Cranquis-Mails: 16***

A pregnant woman

One of my friends used to date an obstetrician, and one day he told her this story (and eventually she told me).

Some years ago, he and his colleagues got a very weird case. It was a pregnant woman - she seemed to be very poor (judging by her clothes, a homeless person) and very old (60-something - of course it could be just their impression, because of the terrible state she was in). She had been brought to the ER screaming in pain, but wouldn’t talk to anybody or answer questions in any way. She was accompanied by a teenager, a toothless girl with old-fashioned, thick clothes. She would also scream all the time, but at least she talked to other people and answered some questions (she said the pregnant woman was her mother), but most of her answers were nonsense (“What is happening to your mother?”, “She wanted to eat my hand”; “Where do you live?, "In a cardboard box, with the corpse”). She seemed terrified, scared of someone or something.

The woman seemed ready to give birth, she had all the signs - painful contractions, x cm of cervical dilation (I don’t remember how many, it’s been some time since he told the story) and, of course, a big baby bump.

But before the medical team could take the woman to the delivery room, she simply dropped dead. As the team rushed to her, still trying to grasp what the hell was happening, the teenage girl bursted out laughing and ran away. The place was a mess, and the guy who told the story said he and his colleagues were trying to resuscitate the woman, so they just let the girl go.

I don’t remember how exactly happened, but the guy said that eventually, he and the rest of the team decided to try and deliver the baby.

He said he will never forget it. He cut her belly open, and immediately saw something glistening.

Inside her womb were dozens of earthworms.

A Pregnant Woman

One of my friends used to date an obstetrician, and one day he told her this story (and eventually she told me).

Some years ago, he and his colleagues got a very weird case. It was a pregnant woman - she seemed to be very poor (judging by her clothes, a homeless person) and very old (60-something - of course it could be just their impression, because of the terrible state she was in). She had been brought to the ER screaming in pain, but wouldn’t talk to anybody or answer questions in any way. She was accompanied by a teenager, a toothless girl with old-fashioned, thick clothes. She would also scream all the time, but at least she talked to other people and answered some questions (she said the pregnant woman was her mother), but most of her answers were nonsense (“What is happening to your mother?”, “She wanted to eat my hand”; “Where do you live?, "In a cardboard box, with the corpse”). She seemed terrified, scared of someone or something.

The woman seemed ready to give birth, she had all the signs - painful contractions, x cm of cervical dilation (I don’t remember how many, it’s been some time since he told the story) and, of course, a big baby bump.

But before the medical team could take the woman to the delivery room, she simply dropped dead. As the team rushed to her, still trying to grasp what the hell was happening, the teenage girl bursted out laughing and ran away. The place was a mess, and the guy who told the story said he and his colleagues were trying to resuscitate the woman, so they just let the girl go.

I don’t remember how exactly happened, but the guy said that eventually, he and the rest of the team decided to try and deliver the baby.

He said he will never forget it. He cut her belly open, and immediately saw something glistening.

Inside her womb were dozens of earthworms.

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