(1938-10-15) Womanly Bits
Details for Womanly Bits
Summary: Ranjit has to deal with the shy Takeshi on his rotation on the Maternity Ward and Infant Care.
Date: 1938-10-15
Location: Midwife and Infant Care Ward, St Mungo's, London

Maternity Ward and Infant Care

Like a muggle maternity ward, St. Mungo's has rooms for mothers who have recently given birth as well as a large room for the care of newborns with babies in tiny beds positioned in a grid pattern, with a large window for viewing. That's where the comparison ends.
Each bed hovers above the ground, giving it a floating sensation to calm the babies, and each also has an auto-adjusting blanket that covers or uncovers each baby to their needs. Each baby is given a pacifier that, when feeding time comes, automatically turns into a bottle of formula. Ten portraits line the walls to the left and right of the window, and of those two on each side must be present at all times, to alert on-duty mediwizards in case of an emergency. Once a day, the beds are, one at a time and under the supervision of a healer, transfigured into a bathtub so the healers can bathe each baby.

Being a junior apprentice means lots of rotations in lots of different hospital departments. Last week it was spell damage, this week maternity and infant care. Today Healer Jadu is taking the rounds. A friendly, bubbly little British-Indian witch with a Brummie accent, she stands at the main nursing station inside the ward and counts heads checking to see if everyone is present. "Alroight everyone, I'm Healer Jadoo and Oi will be leadin' this rotation." Everyone got that? "Who here has haad some experience with maternity care before?"

Takeshi stands there quietly, not answering either question, his eyes moves around the area slowly as he shuffles softly in place, trying his best to pay attention, but he is clearly nervous. His hands start to fiddle with his robes trying to get them just right as his gaze moves up to look at Healer Jadu.

Seeing no hands up she nods. "That's what I thought. Right follow me." Ranjit motions for the group of five students to walk after her. She leads them to one of the birthing rooms. "Have a good look round. This is a birthing room. You will be, at some point, assisting in the delivery of a baby. It is part of the training everyone does." Noticing Takeshi's fidgeting she lets the others go explore the exceptionally clean room but hovers back to speak with him. "Junior Apprentice," Ranjit glances at her list of names and takes a wild stab in the dark that his is the foreign one, "Odori?"

Takeshi looks up, "Oh… umm… umm… Yes Healer Jadu?" he asks softly as he was getting ready to go look at the room, but stops standing in front of her, shifting slightly on his feet, his head down as he looks around at the other Apprentices who are giving him odd glances as they discuss the room. "Did… I… umm… umm… umm…" he says looking up at Ranjit for a moment, "Umm…do something… umm… wrong?" he asks curiously, his tone timid and shy.

"No, not at all." Ranjit offers Takeshi one of her readily available smiles, brilliant white teeth flashing. "I just wanted to see if you were alright, you looked a bit more nervous than everyone else. Is there anything I can do for you, any questions you want to ask but not in front of the others?"

Takeshi looks around the room and lets out a deep sigh, he still looks nervous, "Well…" he starts before shuffling a little bit more, "Umm…" he says slowly, his eyes closing tightly for a moment, trying to keep from having a nervous outburst, "Why… this?" he says softly gesturing to the area. Hoping that Ranjut understands.

Ranjit thankfully can speak Nervous. She flashes Takeshi another smile, "Before you can settle on what your speciality will be — what you hope it will be — you must experience everything the hospital has to offer. You're, well all five of you, will take turns in each department this year. Just short rotations, building up to longer ones after Christmas." She gestures to the birthing room. "This is one of the rooms where witches give birth, we call it a birthing room. As a midwife I am on hand to help assist with that birth and if necessary take over so that the child can be born safely."

Takeshi still shuffles uncomfortably, "The… concept of it all…" he begins shaking his head, "I mean… umm…" he says slowly, "It… just seems… like a… rather… uncomfortable speciality." he says slowly, looking around the room again.

Hugging her clipboard to her chest with one arm Ranjit reaches into one pocket of her robes and pulls out a small wallet. With a flick of her wrist it opens to reveal dozens and dozens of baby photos. "Oh no," she tells Takeshi, "it is the best one there is. Each of these little tykes is one I helped bring into this world." She shuffles through some of them, showing them to him as if they were her own children; beaming with pride. "To help bring life into the world, that Junior Apprentice Odori, is the best kind of healer there is."

Takeshi looks at the photos for a long moment, before his eyes move across the room again, "Birth… is also… very messy…" he says slowly closing his eyes for a moment, he tries to picture the room being used and shivers slightly, "I… umm… umm… am not saying it is not… umm… rewarding." he starts his eyes moving back towards Ranjit shuffling slightly, "It is… does… umm… seem uncomfortable…" he says slowly.

A few more pictures are looked at before Ranjit sighs and tucks them all away again. "Do you want to be a healer, Junior Apprentice Odori?" Ranjit gives him her stern look, "If so then you are going to have to get messy. There is nothing we can do about that. Medicine is messy. Healing is messy. But, that mess can be managed if you know what you are doing. Right now you don't know what you are doing so it seems overwhelming." Her soft tone belies the look as she finishes with, "Give yourself time. You have only been here a couple of months."

Takeshi nods slowly, "Of… course… I do…" he says looking like someone just knocked the wind out of him, like someone had just punched him in the gut. "I… umm… understand…" he says slowly, with a small nod, "Thank you." he says slowly, not saying anything else, his eyes just moves around the area slowly, trying to take it in.

Pants nearly scared off of one junior apprentice Ranjit moves into the room proper to address them all. She explains what each piece of equipment is for, the sensical and nonsensical and answers questions before transfiguring the equipment into chairs for them and playing a little magical picture show of a witch giving birth. Let's hope nobody passes out! After that she rounds them all up to go see the cute babies, everyone's favourite part — mainly because the picture show has grossed them out.

Takeshi sits in his chair as he watches the video, he seems to get more and more nervous, his eyes close for part of it, it is not a look of being grossed out, but more of embarrassment, his pinks bright red as he looks at the cute babies, staying quiet but still blushing and still looking rather uneasy. He adjusts his bright yellow robes, his head hanging low as he starts to take slow deep breaths.

"Now for the good bit, the babies." There is no doubting that for Ranjit this is the good bit, she however steps back and lets one of the nurses explain how things work in the nursery. Sharing the attention and adulation so to speak but stepping in if there is a question the nurse cannot answer. "Later this week you will be assigned to a midwife and will observe during a birth, provided the mother consents. Is there anyone who feels they will be unable to cope with this at the present time?"

Takeshi shifts in his seat as people ask questions, then the news comes and it looks like Takeshi has just been hit by a broom, a really big broom. He still has his head hanging low as his hand moves up, "Umm… I will… not… be able… to partake…" he says slowly, looking around to see if he is the only one raising his hand. I mean other people are raising there hand right?

Somehow Ranjit doesn't look surprised when Takeshi lifts his hand, a bit disappointed perhaps but not surprised. Another apprentice also raises their hand, this one a woman. "I have scalewort." Which has given her some nasty scaly skin which falls off. "You are excused from the observation, but both of you will need to see me within three months to ensure it is completed."

Takeshi lowers his hand slowly, not even looking up at Ranjit, the blush deepening on his cheeks as he hears a valid reason from the other Junior Apprentice. He starts to nervously fiddle with his robe sleeve, "Umm… I under…stand…" he says slowly, still not wanting to make eye contact with Ranjid.

Ranjit makes a note on her chart of the names of the two who have opted out and gives out assignments to the rest of the junior apprentices. Takeshi and the scalewort girl are instead given nursery rotation; they still have to stay in midwifery and infant care but they will be washing babies instead.

Now Takeshi doesn't mind washing babies, he gets up and reports to his assignment. As he prepares everything with small flicks of his wand, bringing his supplies over, small smile forms on his face as he talks to the baby he is now washing, "Oh hello…" he says looking at the chart, "Jeffrey, my name is Takeshi." he says slowly, his heavy Japanese-British accent showing through more when he is not as nervous and stuttering, "I will be taking care of, well." he says softly, "Your soggy bottom." he says with a small nod as he start to do just that.

Nurses generally over see the baby washing and a rather stern looking one is doing so now, arms crossed as she watches Takeshi bathe the baby and the scalewort girl struggle to put on the gloves they have made her wear. Ranjit bustles the other students to their assignments with other midwives then comes back to check on them, just watching for now.

Takeshi still seems happy, despite the angry nurse looking at him, he babies laughs as Takeshi plays and bathes him, "Mr. Soggy Bottom, Jeffrey." he says softly, "You are here by promoted to, Mr. Dry Pants Jeffrey." he says smiling at the baby, "You have brought great honor to your family." he says with a smile, reaching over and tapping the baby's tummy, before starting to move to the next one.

With a satisfied nod the nurse moves off leaving them to get on with things, if anything should go wrong there are portraits watching. "You are very good with babies," says Ranjit from just behind Takeshi. "Their mess is acceptable to you, I take it?" The question is posed with curiosity as if she were tyring to understand him.

Takeshi had just picked up a chart, "Ah Mr. Davi.." he starts before Rangit startles him, causing him to juggle the chart for a moment, "Oh… umm…" he says slowly, "Thank… you…" he says slowly, "They are… just patients…" he tries to explain, looking at the new baby he is working on, "Like Mr. David Soggy Bottom here…" he says slowly with a small nod, "He needs taken care of… so I am going to take care of him…" he says slowly, "Its…" he starts trying to explain, his cheek going bright red in a blush, "You see…" he continues, looking down at David and covering his ears softly with hands, before leaning in and whispering, "Umm…umm… it's the… umm… we are both… professionals right…?" he asks slowly his brow furrowed.

Shifting her clipboard to hold it behind her back Ranjit nods slowly. "Yes, we are both professionals. And you are doing an excellent job, Junior Apprentice Odori. Please," she nods towards the baby, "continue."

Takeshi still has his hands covering the babies ears, the Baby curiously trying to look up at Takeshi through those weak new born eyes, "I am… uncomfortable around… women bits." he whispers, the blush grows even deeper, til his cheeks look like bright red tomatoes. One of the portraits asks Takeshi, "Why are you covering the babies ears?" sounding rather stern, and Takeshi releases the his hands looking back down towards the baby, shuffling slightly in place, attempting to gain his bearings, "So sorry, Mr. Soggy Bottom David, we will not proceed to bring honor to your family." he says softly to the baby, tapping his tummy and starting to clean him.

Ranjit has been a healer for many years now and she has heard this before from shy men. "I can understand that, Junior Apprentice Odori. I am going to ask a few questions, not to pry but to just guage where we can go from here." She looks to see if Takeshi is alright with that, "While I do, I don't want you to stop what you are doing but continue, I think it will help you relax." Hands still behind her back she begins with, "Are you finding it difficult because you are sexually attracted to men?"

Takeshi is listening to Ranjit, still washing the baby, playing and talking with him, before finishing, "You have also brought great honor upon your family, Mr. Dry Pants David." he says softly running his finger across the baby's forehead with a smile, before moving towards the next one. Picking up the chart, he reads it before putting it down. "No." he answers Ranjit's question slowly, a brow raising slightly before he shakes his head, "Hello Mr. Jakob Stinky Pants." he says softly, as he starts to his whole routine over again.

As Takeshi moves down the line of babies cleaning them up Ranjit walks behind, staying a distance away. "Are you comfortable healing a woman patient who's upper body is uncovered?" Since she has discovered it isn't a revulsion issue.

Takeshi continues to clean the babies, his blush deepens slightly, "Umm… yes." he says slowly, as he plays with little Jakob. His gaze moves from Ranjit back to the baby slowly, "Is… is…" he says slowly before stopping just waiting for the next question.

"So it really is the lower regions which you find difficult to handle at present?" Ranjit motions for Takeshi to carry on with his work. "I think what we can do to help you, for this is not unusual. Every year there is one just like you. What we can do is have you slowly work your way to being comfortable with the idea. We have three months."

Takeshi blushes softly still working, still trying to play with the baby, "Umm… well… I've never…" he starts but stops, still working with the baby, it laughing and giggling as he plays with it, "Yes… umm… three months…" he says sounding a bit worried, as he finishes up with this baby and moving towards the next.

Ranjit nods slowly, with understanding. "Yes, I get that, but it is not necessary to be sexually active in order to train or work here, Junior Apprentice Odori. I am not insinuating you rush out into a relationship to become more comfortable. Merely that we will slowly work back towards your rotation here. But for now, you are entitled to a lunch break. After lunch there will be lectures on infant care in the lecture theatre."

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