A first-person Amidala vignette chronicling the loss of a child
They say that it is cyclical. It comes and goes. The only difference is the intensity level. I still feel the pain, Ani. I wish you were here to lessen it.
Our joy had reached the heights, only to plummet to the bottom of the waterfall and be smashed to pieces. A royal birth. The whole city of Theed was a buzz. Our happiness was theirs as well. I could see the joy on your face. It was as if you had won the pod race again and again and again. Then labor began and your expression was one of concern. I just smiled and told you not to worry. Women have given birth for millennia. I'd be fine. But you knew something I didn't. Just as well I didn't; you knew it was best.
You were with me in delivery. Hey, I wasn't going to do that alone. For all your strength, I'm sure I about broke the bones in your hands. But I was so tired. They gave me something for the exhaustion, but I wanted to feel our child be born. I wanted to have the whole experience. Then the royal medic broke the water. I didn't realize then why you became so pale, Ani. But I do now. Blood. If I had seen, I would have given up. You knew that. You wouldn't let me give up. I couldn't push anymore, so you did. It hurt, but I knew it would bring our child into the world.
Why was it so quiet, Ani? Our child should have been wailing. Skywalkers are not quiet. I saw the product of our love laid gently on my belly. My vision was blurry. She was pale and still. It's a girl, isn't it? The aide removed her. I already missed the contact. Ani, you were too quiet. Everybody in the room was too quiet. Say something, Ani. Okay, I break the silence. Is it a boy or girl? A girl they said. I was right. Oh, Ani we have our little Shmi. What's wrong, Ani? Then the medic slowly spoke the words that in the back of my consciousness I had been denying. I'm sorry, your highness but your baby is dead.
Instead of sharing cries of joy, Ani, we were sharing tears of grief.
The medic had wrapped little Shmi up in a pink blanket and put a little pink hat upon her head. She couldn't be dead. Then she carried Shmi to me to hold. My only chance to hold her. I unwrapped the blanket and gazed upon her toes. Her toes. Why did I just look at her toes? I was afraid she would break. Then you took her, Ani. You held her and gazed at her as any proud father would. I know you would have been a fine father, Ani, if only given the chance.
I don't know what I would have done without you, Ani. You stayed with me and intercepted well wishers. How do you well wish someone over a death? Please don't let anyone say 'You're young. You'll have another.' Shmi was real. Remember, Ani, when she first kicked? You tried to grab her foot but she was fast. She gave me bruised ribs. She gave me nausea, heartburn and hope. Hope for the future. I knew her and wanted to meet her. That meeting was denied. You were there at night when I screamed for my baby.
I didn't forget your pain, Ani. I know that you needed your mother. She would comfort you and take the pain away. But it wasn't to be. I would be the one to comfort you. I know your heart, Ani. I will do my best to help heal your pain. For I can be strong when necessary. I can be strong for you, Ani.
Thank you for the physical healing, Ani. When my milk came in, the pain was wretched. Doesn't this body know that there's no baby to feed? I have enough reminders, thank you. But you touched me and it was gone. Emotional healing cannot be done with the wave of a hand. But I worked through it with you, Ani. Even Artoo helped. I remember him rolling around the court preventing young mothers from coming near me. Why was everyone blessed? What did I do wrong?
Then, when I found out I was pregnant again, I couldn't wait to tell you. To share joy again. But you weren't there. I found the data pad about the death of your mother. Panaka told me that you were angry and left the planet. I never saw you again. Oh, Ani, did you notice the dates? Your mother didn't leave you. She went to be with your daughter.
The pain is here again, Ani. But it is different this time. Your children are alive and well. Yes, children. Two for one deal. Luke and Leia. Beautiful. Hey, I would have been ecstatic if they had told me I gave birth to a Wookiee as long as the baby was alive. But the Jedi says they need to be separated and hidden. It is the only way to keep them safe. It's not fair. They should have each other. We should be a family, not fugitives.
I watch them sleep and I feel hope and joy. I know you would too, Ani. Obi-Wan says you are more machine than man, twisted and evil. I don't believe him. I know who you are underneath the mask, Ani. A monster doesn't have tears. You cannot lie to me; I know you too well. There is good in you. Luke and Leia are so still. A twinge of fear escapes me and I pinch them. They wail. It is music to my ears. If only you could hear them, Ani.
Oh, Ani, why has it come to this? Strangers will raise our son, Luke. At least our little Shmi has her grandmother. Obi-Wan assures me that the Lars couple are good people who will love Luke as their own. I don't want to lose him too. I don't want to deal with the unknown. I won't see him grow. He'll call another Mother. Another will comfort him when he is hurt. He won't know who I am. I don't know if I can deal with that.
Alderaan is nice, but it's not Naboo. I miss Theed. The waterfall. Even Jar Jar. I want to turn back the chrono and return to the past. But that is not possible. Would anything really change? Leia is the only bright spot of my existence. I try to picture Luke in my mind's eye. I'm sure he looks like you, Ani. Like father, like son. The cycle has changed again and the intensity is lessened. Our little Shmi appears to me. I can finally smile.
No, Ani, I'm not an angel, but our daughter is.
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