Monday, May 13, 2013
This is the continuation of the synopsis on my previous post:
My hero receives the approval of the woman's father and goes to meet with her at her father's home; however, there is a problem. The petulant woman, Blanche, is unwilling to wed him because she's already in love with another man whose circumstances make him less eligible; she refuses to meet with the man waiting impatiently downstairs, despite her father’s insistence and suggests her sister go in her place. Christine is five years her junior and she came to London for her first season; however, since arriving in London she caught a chill that kept her in bed for the two week since they'd arrived. Christine was now well and ready to attend her first ball; she overheard her father arguing with her sister and intervened by agreeing to meet with the Marquis in her sister's place. Although much younger and more slender than her sister, she is much more beautiful, and she is also gifted with commonsense, a trait her sister apparently lacked. The Marquis, impatient at having been kept waiting much too long, accepts Christine's proposal in the interest of time, and agrees to wed her in one week.
Questions for the reader may now arise regarding the girl's ability to breast feed, her ability to please her husband's sexual aggressiveness--he's been celibate far too long--, and whether the match will incur trust and love.
There is an underlying mystery to be solved stemming from the Marquis's previous marital relationship, which causes some controversy between Christine and him that eventually resolves; there is also an added interest involving childbirth; the first wife died due to complications of birthing and Christine's mother died birthing her so the Marquis researches that potential problem too. My hero found a Chinaman to assist with a safer birthing method, and since this story had a successful conclusion, the Chinaman’s methods worked. Even though my story is set during regency times and women often chose not to breastfeed, I decided to make this pertinent to the period as well as providing natural birthing methods that would fit into the time-period even though not widely practiced. It is conversely accepted that the confinement of a woman in labor rarely occurred in the presence of her husband and a midwife often attended her; however, a mysterious Chinaman with Far Eastern magic has some intriguing ideas to add to the story.
My previous career was as an RN working in Obstetrics, hence my interest with breastfeeding and natural birthing methods; I could not resist adding that knowledge to my writing. Modern methods of childbirth changed drastically during my many years in that field, and they now fall back on a more natural approach that includes sexual tactical stimulation, coitus in the early stages of labor, and hypnotism. These methods are known to reduce labor pain and provide enjoyment to the delivery without some of the dangers of intravenous medications and epidural anesthetic. Childbirth does have dangers regardless of which method women choose and applying caution with experienced birth attendants are currently recommended.
It is also a fact that milk can be produced in an untried breast with appropriate stimulation and certain hormone use; given that the story is set in the early 19th century, such hormones would not be available other than those naturally produced. I did some research to discover that some men do enjoy drinking a nursing woman’s milk and some think it is abhorrent; the idea came to me before my retirement that perhaps a man suckling a woman’s breast could enhance the production of milk. This is not dependent on the initial size of a woman's breasts.The principle is simple with breast-feeding that whatever milk is removed, will be replaced; this usually refers to the baby taking what is needed and the breast then replenishes the supply for the next feeding. The more frequently a child feeds, the more frequently the milk is replenished. Some women don’t need the assistance of their partner because they have a plentiful supply but others, this includes me, barely have enough to provide for the infant. I have no idea if my husband would have been willing to drink my milk since neither of us suggested it or even thought of it but the idea has grown in my mind since then. I haven’t heard of any studies being done with this idea in mind but the result of such a study would be interesting.