So, a lot of my fans have more of a birth kink than anything else. Today’s chapter of The Fallback Plan is really for them. Episode 26, available now on both Vella and Reamstories (check the Subscriptions link above), has Dr. Noriko Camp deciding to undergo labor and birth without the computer dialing down her pain receptors. It’s still an accelerated birth process, but she wanted to write her guide for the crew with as much perspective as possible.
This is a 500-word excerpt (yes, sadly I am limited to 500 words per sample by Amazon’s Vella TOS) from today’s episode. As you can see, it’s a three-woman delivery with the doctor (Noriko), the ship’s captain (Susan), and a software engineer (Laura) all in labor at once. Rachel, a structural engineer who happens to have a birth fetish, is learning from Noriko how to handle a delivery room.
One of Rachel’s hands was on Noriko’s belly, and she used the other to hold Noriko’s hand. “Squeeze if it helps. Squeeze as hard as you want,” she told Noriko.
She felt the doctor’s belly shift under her palm, tensing and then exploding with pain. Noriko’s body pushed her baby hard against her cervix. She let out a grunt as she felt herself slide open further, dilating and letting a little bit more of her baby’s head slip through. She was laser-focused and didn’t even realize she was squeezing Rachel’s hand.
Rachel squeezed back, honestly worried that Noriko was going to dislocate her fingers.
Noriko felt the pressure build under her bladder, the baby being driven down hard into her cervical opening and dragging her cervix downward with it. Video showed that the top of her birth canal was already stretching, opening to let the child through.
Rachel could feel through her palm the heat radiating from the doctor’s belly, as the muscles underneath contracted hard, exerting to expel the baby.
Noriko felt a nearly undeniable urge to push. But she looked over at the video and saw that she wasn’t fully dilated yet. While the baby’s head was pressing down on her cervix and dilating it, she wasn’t quite ready yet. And so she groaned and endured it, waiting through the contraction as the baby slowly opened her up the rest of the way.
Rachel stole a glance over her shoulder. Erika was doing what she could for the other two. Both of them had chosen to keep their tops on but were nude from the belly down. Laura had chosen to labor in a squatting position, and Abbey had chosen to lie down on the table.
And then Rachel felt the doctor’s belly deflate sharply for a moment, coupled with Noriko’s gasp as her water broke.
Rachel turned her attention to Noriko’s vagina as a flood of her fluids poured out onto the exam table. The fluid pulsed, coming and going with the shifting tension on the doctor’s belly.
Noriko clenched her teeth and groaned as her belly doubled down on the contraction, squeezing down to press against her baby directly. She breathed hard as the pain intensified for a minute or so, then let it go. As well as Rachel’s hand, which she only just then realized she’d been crushing.
Noriko smiled faintly and said, “Pro tip – the inclined bed means that runs down, instead of pooling up under your butt.”
Rachel nodded, trying not to draw attention to the fact she was rubbing her hand to restore it to life.
“It’s probably going to get a lot worse now. Once the water’s broken, the cushioning is gone. I don’t think you’re going to want to hold my hand for the next one,” Noriko said.
Rachel looked at the projection, seeing that the baby had moved farther down. “If I’m reading this right though, it looks like you’re ready to push now,” she observed.
If you want to read more, check out The Fallback Plan (link) via either Amazon Vella or Reamstories. The story is up to 89k words now, which makes it nearly as long as The Hobbit, and longer than the first two Harry Potter books. I expect that it will be complete somewhere around the 120k mark – the plot is advancing quickly now, and the human-vs-AI conflict is starting to edge towards inevitability. Will the humans and the AI risk the future of humanity by trying to fight it out on a ship in the middle of space? That’s the question we’ll answer over the remainder of this book.