Jump to content

Woman's work


Metella
 Share

Recommended Posts

September, 77 AD

This morning, Metella had thought she had an upset stomach. The baby had made it uncomfortable to... do most things, really, as the day of birth drew nearer, so she didn't pay much attention to the small waves of discomfort that came and went. But by noon, she had to stop and frown occasionally, rubbing her belly as she went about her business in the household. It only dawned on her in the late afternoon that there might be something more to what was happening. She took a break and sat in the gardens, finally paying attention. The cramps were recognizable now, coming and going. Metella knew enough to know what his meant. She was done with the household chores.

The midwife was sent for in the evening, and Metella had retreated into the slightly larger room she had occupied with Attis since their marriage. The midwife had been carefully selected, with good recommendations - not for her social standing, but for her actual work. Metella was sitting on the bed when she arrived, trying to take slow, calming breaths.

@Liv (and @Sharpie)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Business had been neither great nor terrible. Babies were born every day, and people needed medicine every day, but there were more than enough people in Rome who shared Melia's profession. For the time being she was doing enough to keep a roof over her head, food in her stomach and her supply of necessary materials well-stocked. Word of mouth did not hurt either, although she was more than a little surprised when a senator's slave came calling on her, requesting she attend to one of  his fellow servants who was with child. She had not realised news of her trade had reached such lofty ears.

As the pair zigzagged through city streets Melia considered the possible consequences of this call. She had more than two reasons not to mess this up - despite mother and child's health being paramount, this was the sort of job that could open a few doors. A wealthy patrician who was sufficiently concerned about his slave's well-being to send for a midwife was bound to have many other slaves, presumably in good health. He would have friends with many slaves of their own too. Perhaps amongst the great servant flock she would one day find her siblings. After countless turns and ups and downs, she found herself being ushered into one of the majestic domi that graced the thirteenth region.

Another solicitous slave led Melia to a more modest room where a young woman with red hair as bright as flame and a bulging belly rested on the bed. If she was still in the 'deep breaths' phase rather than 'scream and moan' it was a good sign. After a whispered requested for the other slave to procure clean cloths, honey, hot water and warm olive oil, Melia turned to her patient in a gentle tone and with what she hoped was a calming smile. "Hello. My name is Melia." A slave would probably feel more comfortable with just the one name; this wasn't a stuck-up Roman to whom she had to prove her status. "Your master sent for me, to help you tonight. Is this your first child?" As her lips moved so did her hands, already extracting a series of small pyxides and leather pouches from the bigger bag she carried and setting them on a small table next to the bed.

@Chevi (and @Sharpie)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The woman who walked in was... young. Younger than Metella had expected. But she seemed to know what she was doing, and she had a nice presence.

"Hello. My name is Melia." 

"Metella" she nodded.

"Your master sent for me, to help you tonight. Is this your first child?"

Master better know what he was buying.

"Yes" Metella breathed. "First time on this end of the business. So far, I am not very enthusiastic about it." She shifted uncomfortably; she was between pains now, but she had no illusions about how much worse this was going to get.

@Liv

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...