Historical setting: 589 C.E. Ana’s cottage in the Vosges Mts.
Thole led the horse, as we made the heavy trudge up the hill on foot. And Ana is delighted to see another familiar person from her childhood on the Loire. She hung the water pot on the hearth and spread the biscuit dough rising to make two into three.
“Thole came looking for you to ask your advice on finding someone to help with the birth of the baby he and his wife are planning for.”
“Actually,” Thole corrects, “We are in need of a midwife to stay with her through the months. I mean, it would be too long a journey for you to go just when needed. So you would be welcome to stay in our village.”
We have barely a cottage here, with only a half a roof, and not even enough hay for his horse. In among the ruin of this place was a stone cut for a watering trough, so we can water a visiting horse, but we have no stable and barely any oats now in this season between the planting and the harvest. I leave them to talk offering to tend to the horse. All I can do is loosen his lead and tie him out where there is pasture grass for this night’s visit.
When I return to the house Ana is sitting on the hearthstone, and Thole on the frame of the guest bed and they are talking softly and seriously over a pot of tea.
“Laz, Thole has told me of many great strengths and also of the brokenness of his wife, Tilp. I’ve never witnessed such a birth as this might be, but I have heard of it before. In the ancient times Julius Caesar, the Roman Emperor, was birthed by cutting the mother.”
“No, no. You can’t do anything that would hurt Tilp.” Thole interrupts.
Ana goes on, “I don’t know if it is something that could be used to save both the mother and child. My teacher said only to do this if the mother had died, and then it could possibly save the baby. I believe you, yourself, Thole, was one she saved in this way.”
“No.” Thole protests, “we don’t want the baby without Tilp. I know what that was for my father to endure.”
Ana offers, “I’ve heard it said that Caesar’s mother didn’t die. I just have to learn more about it. If I could find the ancient Roman writings I could prepare myself with a better understanding.” [footnote]
[footnote] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesarean_section Let me take a moment to warn readers and followers– this blog is most definitely an unreliable source for modern medical information even when Wikipedia is noted.
(Continues Tuesday, June 28, 2022)