Historical Fudgery: Pregnancy

I’ve been reading the newest book by Patrice Sarath, The Crow God’s Girl, the third in her Gordath Wood series. Our heroine, Kate Mossland, is a modern girl trapped in a world where the society is comparatively medieval.

One of the things that we find out about the heroine early into the story is that she’s not entirely sanguine about the idea of getting pregnant, which makes her far more circumspect about sex. (her mother nearly died giving birth to her, and therefore she’s concerned the same will happen to her.)

You don’t see this in a lot of books, so I found it refreshing. It’s one of the things which authors often either a) fudge, or b) don’t consider. (Historical Romance novels are far more prone to gloss over this concern.) But even sending a character back to 1900 greatly increases their chance of dying in childbirth. And birth control? Well, we won’t go there….

I’ve written pregnant characters without having been through the experience myself. I’ve read a few pregnancy books, and can ask others for hints. In my own family’s history there have been comparatively easy births…and really tough ones. Me? I had a hyaline membrane problem and would have died if born in 1900, I bet.

Do I fudge this topic? Well, yes. I have yet to lose a main character in childbirth. I’ve kinda cheated on this and that along the way (there are some details that a reader just -doesn’t- need to know.) Yep, I’m going to stick with that. TMI doesn’t always sell…

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