I don't think I've ever seen Peeta move faster, he runs to the door and shouts for the doctor. I half-sit, half-lie on the bed in an awkward position, not being able to move because of the contraction and the overwhelming pressure to push. The doctor rushes in and reassures me that everything is fine and that the baby will be born soon. Peeta rubs my back and holds my hand until it's over, while I squeeze my eyes shut and hold my breath.
I lie back on the bed painfully and put my feet in the stirrups again. Dr. Worth checks my dilation and states that I am, in fact, ten centimetres dilated. I am absolutely terrified and my whole body is shaking uncontrollably. I feel like I'm about to pass out and I haven't even started to push yet.
No less than a minute later, another strong contraction hits me. The force of it squeezes tears out of my eyes and the machine monitoring my blood pressure beeps as my blood pressure drops.
"Katniss," she says firmly, "Ignore the monitor, I need you to push. Now."
Crying out in pain, I push slightly and struggle to hold back a scream. I manage to push a bit harder and it's the worst pain I've ever felt.
Fifteen minutes later, the doctor looks up and announces that the baby is crowning and she can see his or her head. I push for a bit longer and the head is out. On top of all the other pain, there is a horrible, burning sensation. I grip Peeta's hand and hold my breath, which helps me to manage the unbearable pain, but also increases the feeling of light-headedness.
Minutes later, the doctor orders me to push one last time and I gasp as the pressure is relieved, as is most of the pain. I fall back onto the pillow and finally breathe. I am covered in sweat and strands of my hair are plastered to my face. I hear a soft cry, which gets louder.
"It's a boy!" Peeta exclaims, ecstatic. I am so exhausted that I can barely hold my head up off the pillow. Peeta cuts the umbilical cord and they wrap the baby in a towel. For those few seconds just lying there, all I can think about is how much I want to hold my baby. I can see them checking him over and the doctor walks up to me, holding him in her arms.
"He's breathing fine. He weighs four pounds and ten ounces, so he's very small, but he's healthy. He's breathing fine, so there's nothing to worry about. Well done," she says softly, leaning over to put him in my arms.
Peeta leans over my shoulder and kisses my cheek as we both peer down at our son. He's perfect. His small amount of hair is clearly blonde, just like Peeta's, but he has grey eyes that look exactly like mine. I'm so focused on the little boy in my arms that I don't notice how light-headed I feel until black spots begin to appear in front of my eyes.
"Peeta," I gasp, fighting to stay conscious.
"Yes?" he asks, smiling happily at the bundle in my arms.
"Take the baby."
"What?" he asks, confused.
"Take...take the baby,"
At that moment, the machine to my left starts beeping loudly.
"Katniss!" Peeta lifts the baby out of my arms and calls my name repeatedly.
"Katniss!" the doctor almost yells, "I need you to stay awake for me, ok?" "Stay with me. Katniss! Katniss!"
I can't respond, so I try to focus on her voice, blinking slowly. I can't breathe in properly. It's so cold, I'm shivering. That's strange: it wasn't cold before. I can hear my heart beating fast. Way too fast. My legs feel slippery and I see red everywhere; on the floor, dripping off the bed. I feel another crippling pain in my abdomen and the combination of the pain and blood everywhere reminds me too much of my miscarriage in the arena.
Just as they start to wheel the bed out of the room, I give up and let the black spots swallow me whole.