Child Of Destiny
The Child Of Destiny
The labor started out normally, but it quickly became apparent that something was very wrong. Astrid was sweating profusely, and appeared to have developed a slight fever. She had been having contractions for some time, and had dilated, but the babies head had not yet emerged or crowned. The midwife slowly began to realize that the baby was in a breech position, and was not going to come out head first. She also began to fear that the umbilical cord might have wrapped itself around the babies neck. If either the princess or the baby died she knew that she would be held responsible for their deaths, and would be put to death herself. Grima and Gunnlod became very concerned, and asked the midwife if she felt she could deliver the child sucessfully. In tears the midwife told them that she was not sure that she could.
In the back of the room stood the serving maid who had been at the great feast in Opplandene. She had been bringing in clean cloths for the midwife, and occasionally stepped forward to wipe Astrid' s forehead. When Freyja came forward to wipe the sweat off of Astrid's brow again, she placed her hand gently on her stomach. The midwife asked what she was doing, but Freyja ignored the woman because she felt that the child was in distress. Freyja looked at the queens with concern : " Queen Grima, Queen Gunnlod, the princess, and her child, are in grave danger ! I know a woman who can deliver this baby, and save the life of the princess as well. But we must act quickly ! " Freyja said with great urgency. " Then do it ! Do it now ! " screamed Queen Grima in panic. At that moment Queen Gunnlod put away her hatred of Grima, and put her arms around her to console her. " Yes, at once ! " Gunnlod added in tears. " I will be gone but a moment my ladies ! " Freyja told them as she ran out of the birthing room.
Freyja ran down the hall until she found an empty chamber. Inside, she raised her hands, and with very powerful seidr summoned Mother Frigga. She had barely appeared when Freyja shouted with a loud whisper : " Frigga, the mother and child will die if you do not act quickly ! " Frigga followed Freyja into the birthing room, and began at once to examine Astrid. The queens were startled by the way this new midwife was dressed ! Frigga did not have time to disguise herself, and came into the room wearing the gown of queen. A gold gown that only the Queen of Asgard would wear. Frigga placed her hand on Astrid's lower belly and closed her eyes. Then she turned to the queens and said in a calm voice : " The boy child is facing the wrong way, and needs to be turned. The cord of life is also wrapped around the babies neck, and he is being starved of breath. " Grima stepped before Frigga, and in tears fell to her knees. " Please ! Please save my daughter and her baby ! Please ! " she pleaded.
As Freyja pushed the terrified midwife out of the way, she placed a blanket over Astrid so that no one could see what was about to happen. Frigga then placed her hands under the blanket, and firmly pressed her fingers into Astrid, as Freyja quietly chanted a spell that took away Astrid's pain. Frigga, slowly, and very carefully, rotated the child's body by holding its pelvis. She then twisted its body in such a way that the arm was behind the shoulder. In the same motion she removed the umbilical cord from the child's neck, and then repeated the procedure to free the other arm. With a pleasant smile she looked up at Astrid who was exhausted : " Child, I need you to push when I tell you. " she said gently. With terror in her eyes the princess nodded that she understood. As Frigga gently pulled the baby its head deflexed. " Now child ! Push ! " Frigga commanded. With tears streaming down her face Astrid used her last measure of strength to push as hard as she could. With practiced hands Frigga guided the baby out , and raised the child upside down over her head.
At first the baby looked blue, and was not moving ! Everyone in the room froze in fear that the child had died ! Frigga, smiling, kissed the baby on the forehead, and then gently tapped the baby on the behind. The child began to wail ! The child, a rather large boy, began to wriggle in the air like a fish on the end of a hook, as it screamed to let the world know that he had arrived. Frigga then asked Freyja to remove one of the golden strings from the bodice of her dress. Freyja untied the string, and handed it to Frigga, who in turn handed the child to Freyja. Frigga then tied the golden string tightly around the umbilical cord. She then reached down to her side and took out an ornate bejeweled knife, and cut the child's connection to its mother. As Freyja held the child Frigga cleaned him, and wrapped him in a blanket. Freyja then handed the child back to Frigga, who kissed it, and whispered something into his ear . Queen Grima, still crying, stepped forward to hold the child, but Frigga stepped passed her, bent over, and handed the child to Astrid. " It is a boy my dear. " Frigga told her. " Thank You ! " Astrid whimpered as she took hold of her child.
Frigga then stepped over to the midwife, and said with a touch of sarcasm : " I need to wash up ! I believe that you can handle the rest ! " Embarrassed the midwife simply nodded. Frigga walked out of the room and disappeared as quickly as she had come. Freyja followed soon after, and also vanished like smoke in the wind.
As Queen Grima and Queen Gunnlod stood side by side admiring their beautiful new grandchild, Gunnlod turned and looked at the door where the elaborately dressed midwife had just left. " How did she know that it was a boy ? She said it was a boy child before it was born ! How did she know ? " Gunnlod asked to no one in particular. " I do not care ! She saved my daughter's life and the life of my grandson ! That is all that matters to me ! " Grima said with tears streaming down her face. " Yes, of course, Gunnlod said, but how did she know........"
From up on Hlidskjalf Odin frowned at Frigga as she approached. Frigga smiled, and took a deep breath before she said to her husband : " One little mistake ! " Odin and Freyja broke into laughter at her embarrassment. As they looked down at Midgard and observed the joy that filled the birthing room, Frigga turned to Odin and said : " Freyja and I have given you the child that you asked for. Now it is your responsibility to fulfill the rest of the prophecy my husband ! " Odin just smiled, the smile of a proud father, as he watched the events unfolding below.
- Glenn Bergen, Copyright, 2014.
Coming next year : King Of Destiny