Personal Narrative Essay: Perceval's Child

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Joan turned and pinned up the final stray hairs. She situated her wrap, hugged Perceval, and set of for Mary’s, who lived just on the opposite side of the castle path, so it was a short walk.
Mary, the midwife, posted her hours of availability on her door each week. Many women often arrived at the same time, so the practitioner had several comfortable chairs situated outside, and a few more indoors. She conducted examinations behind a privacy curtain in her small cottage.
By her door, Mary placed a clay jar where her patients could leave payment; she demanded no fixed fee for her services. Some women could afford more (courtiers also saw her, because she was so experienced), while others could not afford to pay anything. Often, her patients
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Nerves taking hold, Joan sat on a chair in front of the cottage and enjoyed the light breezes outside. She took a calming, deep breath and leaned back in the comfortable seat, closing her eyes as the warm late-summer summer sun hit her face. Joan then rested her hands on her lower belly, picturing the tiny life growing inside her womb – her and Perceval’s child. The whole idea of a baby was new and exciting. This was a gift, nothing to be nervous about.
Not long thereafter, an obviously pregnant young woman emerged from the cottage, her hands supporting what looked like her straining
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I’ve been going this a long time, so I am certain you’re between nine and ten weeks along. That means a spring time baby for you, sometime in April, most likely, right at lambing season. Congratulations to you.”
A tear came to Joan’s eye. She’d known she was with child, but to hear the news confirmed stirred up her emotions.
“He’ll be so thrilled,” said Joan. “I’m thrilled!”
Mary dried off her hands on a fresh cloth and said, “Unless you have any problems like pain or bleeding, for the first six months, you can see me monthly. And while you’ll want to share the news with your husband, you may want to wait until you reach twelve weeks before you inform others. Most pregnancies that end in miscarriage do so before twelve weeks. There’s no reason to think that will happen to you, but it is something to consider.”
The midwife leaned in and hugged Joan, then went to tidy up.
“About the nausea,” said Mary, “some ginger tea in the morning and a few bites of stale bread can help. “Really, any time you feel stomach upset coming on, a spot of ginger tea can help. It’s best to keep your chambers well stocked with it. I’ll give you a little bit to get you through today.”
Joan thanked the midwife, collected her tea and belongings, then dropped a gold coin into the woman’s payment jar; Mary had earned
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