A short little one-shot of the birth of Tenzin.
Gusts of wind smashed into earthen hut, crashing and howling into the night. There was no rain rushing through the gutters, no water engorging the forest floor. No lightning brightened the dark grey sky and no rumbles of thunder rolled in the atmosphere. Only the bitter wind circling around their hut was present that late autumn night. The howls of wind and the howls of a water tribe woman in labor merged together as one.
In a candle lit room, with incredible decorations from all four nations, laid a screaming, crying, and thoroughly angry waterbender. Katara was giving birth to her third child. And with the evidence of her extreme pain, she was having more trouble with this child than the two she had years before. She had been in pain for 13 hours already, and although this was not that unusual for some women in childbirth, it was unusual for her. Katara was getting irrational and frantic as she used her dissipating strength to bend some water to heal over her bulging tummy.
“Aang, do you think there’s something wrong with the baby? I don’t know what to do! I’ve tried everything I can think of. The herbs that Gran Gran suggested, my healing, everything!” Katara pleaded before she interrupted herself with a scream of pain from a fierce contraction. Aang was beside himself with worry and horror as he watched his beautiful wife writhe in pain. Watching the suffering of his loved ones was the one thing that the Avatar just couldn’t deal with.
“Do you want me to bend some of the water in your fluids or something?” he suggested weakly. Even after the birth of his first two children, he was still uncomfortable and not very knowledgeable with childbirth. The past two births were in the water tribe, surrounded by women that could help. But this time, with their own house in the valley in the area surrounding the Southern Air Temple. Katara thought she would be okay since she had done it before, but now they knew they were dreadfully wrong. Aang’s breathing was getting quick and panicked as he held his wife’s clammy hand.
“No! It’s too delicate! We don’t want anything happening to them!”, Katara screamed as sweat dampened her dark hair. She was so angry and frustrated at herself for putting not only herself in danger but her baby.
“Wait! I have an idea!”, Aang suddenly piped up after a few contractions. “Concentrate on your breathing more. That’s what you need to do in labor right? There’s a special technique the Air Nomads taught me. Maybe if you’re more calm it won’t be as painful and it will help?” Aang looked hopefully into Katara’s eyes as she looked at him with scrutiny.
“Whatever, just tell me what to do.” She answered through her teeth.
“Take your breath in through the bottom of your stomach. And then let it all out. Then take your breath in only from the bottom of your throat. And let it all out.” Aang softly whispered as he touched each area of her body as he spoke of it.
“That’s better, good.” He whispered in reassurance as Katara repeated his instructions again and cycled through the breathing.
Minutes went by and contractions started to get closer and closer together. Soon Katara started to scream:
“HE’S COMING, HE’S COMING!”, Aang quickly rushed to pull the infant out gingerly, very unsure of what to do.
“Uhm, do I clean him? Or…” And as Aang muttered that silly question, the baby began to cry. His cry was almost deafening to the young couple. The winds howled in response with the baby’s loud crying. It almost seemed amplified.
Bewildered by this, Aang quickly tied the umbilical cord and cut it and handed the child to Katara. She softly cooed to the baby and stroked his smooth dark hair. They both exchanged a glance, a glance that sparked a hope in both of their hearts. Aang might not be the last airbender anymore. And with that they grinned to each other. Not recognizing their theory, for fear of it being untrue, but for the hope that it could be. Those grins couldn’t be ripped of their faces for days after.