So a lot of people have been asking about this and after a lot of research, I finally decided to do this. This is an alternative chapter to chapter thirty one, "A Brighter Dawn". Basically, this is if Effie had a natural birth instead of a cesarean section. I have had a few ideas for "lost chapters" but this one has stuck with me the most. I hope you'll enjoy. Feedback is greatly loved and appreciated. -Jen (Also I accidentally wrote this in the third person. Sorry about that. And, self promoting here, but if you like True Blood and PamxEric, I just started a Paric baby story called "When the Bough Breaks" so feel free to check that out!)
Alternative chapter: Olive's Birth
The pain. It was as if my body was an inferno from with. Organs twisting, muscle contracting, every fiber of my being screaming in agony. I gritted my teeth together, a low sound of anguish escaping from between my dry lips as someone touched me. I didn't care who it was at this point. President Snow. A guard. Someone who wanted to hurt me. I was already dying, my body feeling as if it were splitting a part. And my baby. My poor, sweet, innocent child. Why wasn't she moving?
"I need three Ccs of morphling," a voice said over head. "Someone get an IV in her arm!"
My vision was blurry, my throat still burning from whatever caused the explosion. I didn't even feel when the needle pierced my arm or if it even did for that matter, my lower half was contorting from the inside. The air from my lungs being sucked out with every jolt of pain. Contractions. Merciless. Resilient. Time was lost to me. I just wanted to die. Why couldn't they allow me this last luxury?
"No," I whimpered, not even sure if I managed to swat at whoever was moving my legs. "Please...I don't want..."
"Ms. Trinket," another voice said, this tone far kinder than any I had heard for the last several weeks. "We are here to help you. My name is Carmilla, I'm a medical technician. We're going to get your baby out, yes? I need you to stay with me?" And then to someone else. "Ten centimeters dilated, I need scissors and a bassinet now!"
It was so hot. Burning. I wanted to cry out. Scream. No matter how weak or how immature that might have been. But I couldn't. Only the tiniest moans escaping from me as something from within pressed heavily against my pelvic region. Splitting me. Tearing me. For the love of Panem, I am on fire. Just let me die. I don't care anymore. Just let me die!
"My baby..." I tried to explain, my vision slowly starting to focus, only to be greeted by the glare of a bright light. "I can't feel her...I can't...she's gone..."
"Heart rate is decreasing," someone called out. "Patient is going into shock."
Their voices were so calm, so clinical. If they were trying not to bring any more fear to me than I already had however, it was not working. My chest ached, the pain growing worse with each small breath I took. And with the burning pressure from below, I was almost certain my end was drawing near. My baby was gone. I knew she was-I remember reading that a mother could tell these things. And I, as cowardly as it was, did not wish to see her small lifeless body pulled from me. Oh please, just allow me the liberty to die...
"Dammit!" There was a loud crash, the shuffling of feet. "Get the hell out of my way! I don't care if this is a sterile area! I want to see her!"
There was something familiar about that voice. The roughness of it. The accent. Haymitch? I attempted to lift my head, the motion causing a wave of nausea to bubble in the pit of my stomach. In what appeared to be the door frame, a figure-much scruffier and thinner than I remembered-struggled to get past a few figures in thick, dark gray suits. Our eyes locked, the feeling of pain replaced briefly by shock. Haymitch.
"Out of my way," he barked, nudging aside the woman I assumed to be Carmilla. "I have clearance to all areas. I don't give a damn what Coin told you, she's having my kid." Another jolt of pain took me, my mind growing too hazy to understand what he said next. But when I regain what little energy I had left a moment later, he was by my side. I met his eyes again, his expression undescribable. Perhaps it was pained or worried or enraged. I don't know.
"Hurts," I breathed, gripping onto his hand when he offered it. I was too forgone to have any questions for him at this point. "Haymitch-it hurts!"
"I know, Princess," he mumbled. "I know. But you have to hold on for her. She needs you right now, alright? We'll get through this."
"The baby,"I tried to explain when another contraction shot through me. This time I managed to scream.
"The baby is beginning to crown," Carmilla said, moving between my legs. "Ms. Trinket, when you have another contraction, I need you to bear down. Mr. Abernathy, if you could move behind her, act as a support...it would help."
"No," I whispered hoarsely, gripping Haymitch's hand tighter when he attempted to move. "No, no don't leave."
Haymitch's fingers gently tightened around my own, his eyes much softer than I had ever seen them before. "I'll be right behind you," he promised. "I'm not going anywhere. Not now. Not ever again."
When the contraction came, I pushed just as was asked of me. Chin tucked to my chest, fingers digging into the fabric of the gurney, I bore down for what felt like an eternity. "Good," someone coached. "Very good, Ms. Trinket, she's moving down." I rested against Haymitch, sweat trickling down my temples. Disgusting. Embarrassing. That was, it would if I cared at this point. "Another big push for us now."
I shook my head, too exhausted to even cry. "Haymitch," I said weakly. "Haymitch, I can't..."
"You can," he said firmly, the lack of sympathy in his voice surprisingly causing me some annoyance. "The Effie Trinket I know wouldn't just give up. Not even if there wasn't a damn hope left. Not after all of our tributes were slaughtered! She'd keep going. You can keep going."
But I wasn't the Effie Trinket he once knew. I had changed. We all had. But when I wanted to explain this to him, the contraction came and my body betrayed me. I pushed, sorrow filling me I as slowly felt her body slip from me. I knew she was dead. She couldn't possibly be alive. Why did I have to deliver my dead child? "Good," I heard Haymitch murmured, his hands pressed to my soldiers. "Keep going, Princess." But I didn't want to. I wanted this to stop. I wanted all of this to-
All at once, the pressure left me, a final gasp of air escaping from my mouth as something slipped from me. And then, after the longest moment of silence, a shrill cry erupted from the air. Haymitch and I both watched in awe as Carmilla held a very pink, very annoyed, very much alive infant in her arms. Her hair was dark, matted with blood and white vernix to her large, squished head. Her skin wrinkled from the many months of her soak. Someone was laughing and, after a moment, I realized it was me. She was okay. She was alive.
"It's a girl," Carmilla breathed, her smile tired as she rested her on my chest. "A very healthy, beautiful little girl."
I looked down at her as her large, blue eyes stared up at me unfocused. I could feel Haymitch's grip on my shoulders slacken as he moved to my side to get a closer look. Hesitantly, he reached out with his index finger, the infant grasping it at once. I could have sworn I heard him chuckle a little pridefully at this.
"Does she have a name?"
"Hm?" I questioned, looking up in surprise at the nurse.
"The baby," she repeated. "What are you going to name her."
A memory. Something...fuzzy from long ago. Or perhaps it was much sooner than I thought. But it ached in the back of my mind, begging to be released. I looked to Haymitch who already seemed to know what I wanted to say. He nodded, finger still held in the tiny infant's grasp. I too looked down at her, marveling at the perfect little being who had been through so much and yet made it. The reason that I knew we would all now make it.
"Olive," I whispered. "Her name is Olive."