To you, Healer: A day in the life of Jung Hoo and Yong Shin


To You
Healer | A day in the life of Jung Hoo and Young Shin as a married couple.

“Turn up the music! Now!” Young Shin demanded from between gritted teeth. The contraction took complete hold and she curled up on the bed.

Jung Hoo finished stuffing his legs into his jeans and held it up with one hand while he repeatedly hit the + on the player on top of the dresser. 

“Not that one!” She puffed.

“W-w-which one then, which one? Young Shin-ah, are you sure we shouldn’t bring you to the hospital?” He gestured coaxingly in the direction of their bedroom door, taking two steps toward it.

On the speakers, Shin Hae Chul’s ‘To You’ blasted in, with saxophones and awkward drums. Whooo, ooooh yeah crooned the rocker. 

Young Shin's mouth curled into what she supposed passed for a smile. From Jung Hoo’s perspective it was a horrendous marriage of grimace and grin. But that was how she coped with everything - laughing. And singing. So he tried to smile too, and the two of them ooh-ed with the singer. He even tried to bop. 

Then she stopped and gave up all pretense. She gripped the pillow and tucked her knees up, because the spasm moved down her swollen belly and fisted low in her womb. A final squeeze made her gasp, before it started to ease.

Jung Hoo ran back from the door, his shirt flapping out behind him. He skidded to a stop on his knees next to her. With his free hand he grabbed hers, still clenching on to the pillow. 

“Uh, b-b-breathe. Breathe?”

The last of the contraction disappeared. Without opening her eyes she addressed her panicking husband. 

“Jung Hoo-ya, we said we’d labour at home until we have to get to the hospital, remember?”

“B-but-but you’re in pain! Something is wrong!”

“You know that’s part of it,” she gently reminded him. She wasn’t worried. It hurt, but it wasn’t the worst pain she had ever experienced. And there was a beautiful baby to be had soon. The prospect of a shining tiny face smiling at her beat back every shadow of hurt she had ever experienced.

“Call Ahjumma,” she suggested. “She’ll have a plan for you.” At least it will distract you, she thought. “Put her on speaker, I want to hear too.”

He scrabbled frantically in the bedside drawer for the earpiece and stuck it in his ear. How he managed to activate it and input the scratch code on the bedside table, he later credited to auto-mode. Two strokes down and one up, executed with one fingernail.

“Ahjumma!” He yelled, when the connection clicked through. “Call the doctor!”

“Already? What’s wrong?” Ahjumma’s voice floated in from the speakers embedded in the lamp base. In her office in the basement, Ahjumma leaned back in her armchair. 

“It’s urgent! Young Shin is in pain!”

“You giant mound of steaming dog poop.” 

Young Shin chuckled.

 “Isn’t that part of labour? She did say she wanted to give birth at home. Call your mother. I’ll even transfer you.”

A series of electronic bleeps later, his mother’s voice came floating over the earpiece.

“Jung Hoo, my son, is anything wrong? It’s midnight.”

“Omma, are you sure she can stay at home? The contractions have started.”

“Ah, my goodness! How long? How far apart are they?” 

He didn’t know. They were just pain. She’d woken him up with her soft moans. He had no idea how long they’d been going on. Why wasn’t anyone listening to him?

Young Shin’s nails dug into his forearm. 

“N-n-now it’s now,” he whispered, terrified.

“Alright,” came his mother’s brisk voice. “I’m timing it.”

Jung Hoo made himself watch Young Shin’s contorted face. Sweat already dampened her forehead, and her curls tightened into small wisps. Everything about her was small. She was not going to be able to give birth to that swollen thing in her belly. This tender, young body should not be wracked with spasms. He was never getting her pregnant again. Never, he swore. Even if it meant not touching her again, ever. Even if he regretted it, forever. 

Finally, her claw-like grip eased. She sighed.

“Th-that ended. I think.”

“That was one minute. She’s doing well. Now tell me when the next one starts.”

He nodded before he remembered that she couldn’t see him. “Okay.”

Young Shin was quiet, just resting with her eyes closed. Her hand continued to hold his arm. He rested his other hand on hers, hoping to comfort her.

“Most first-time mothers in the ward take at least seven hours, if not more,” Omma comforted him. “You took all night, I remember. So save your energy, Jung Hoo-ya, we have a long night ahead.”

Jung Hoo was about to nod when Young Shin’s grip tightened along with the contraction that took over her body.

“Now, Omma!”


“What do you mean ‘already’? This isn’t right, is it? Is it? It’s too fast!”

“Oh hush, Jung Hoo, and let me count.”

A minute passed, though for Jung Hoo it felt like an hour with Young Shin’s pained face filling his vision and her fingers clawing into his arm. When the contraction eased, Young Shin sighed.

“Now, Omma,” Jung Hoo croaked. In his head, he knew there was hours of this left. He wasn’t sure he could survive even another minute.

“Fast.” Omma sounded pensive. “Min Ja-ssi,” she called, “are you ready?”

“Just finishing up!” Ahjumma waddled through the door struggling with a mound of grey wool and wires in her arms. She settled into the armchair. The wool landed in her lap and spilled over onto the floor in a tangle of wire, glittery silicon bits and knitting needles. “Give me a minute.” She resumed knitting furiously.

“Okay. Meanwhile, call Chi Soo-ssi to get the car. Jung Hoo can’t drive in his state.”

Min Ja cast a glance at Jung Hoo. She sniffed at his half-clothed state. 

“I’m here,” Young Shin’s adoptive father appeared at the door too. He took one glance at Young Shin on the bed and paled.

“I don’t have good news. There’s more snow than there is car outside. We’re stuck.” His eyes shifted to Jung Hoo. “You’re dead.” 

“Appa!” Young Shin pleaded from the bed.

Jung Hoo stood up solemnly next to the bed. He still held his jeans up and his shirt skewed drunkenly to the right. 

“Aboenim, I am never touching your daughter again,” he swore with utter conviction. 

“Stop that nonsense,” Myung Hee said from behind Chi Soo. Her wheelchair nudged him aside.

“Omma,” Young Shin called in relief from the bed. 

“Sorry, I’m late. Your father just ran up from the study and left me to struggle up here on my own.” Her smile was gentle as she teased him. 

“It’s ready.” Ahjumma stood up. “Jung Hoo Omma, tell me where to place it.” She held up what looked like a fuzzy grey snake with two tiny tentacles.

“On her back,” Omma’s voice replied over the hidden speakers. “Two just below the bra strap, and two on her lower back. In the hospital, the TENS machine usually helps with the contractions. We’ll get her through it. ”

“Alright Chi Soo-ssi, Jung Hoo dear,” Myung Hee ordered, “You are both going downstairs and you are both going to stay there, until I call you.”

“Now,” Jung Hoo’s mother-in-law added when his mouth turned mutinous.

“Now,” said his birth mother over the speakers.

“Go, dog poop, we have it,” Ahjumma, his non-mother muttered. She leaned over Young Shin and started wrapping the homemade TENS around her swollen belly.

“I added something special to yours, Young Shin,” she said, her hands busy but gentle as she attached the pads to her back.

Young Shin didn’t have time to say her grateful thanks to her, or to all the moms, before the next contraction took over.


When Jung Hoo and his father-in-law were finally permitted to re-enter the impromptu birthing room, they didn’t jump on the chance right away. They weren’t sure what they were going to see. Myung Hee nudged them, and they both climbed the stairs with leaden feet.

Young Shin looked up when they both stood in the doorway, jammed shoulder to shoulder in the tiny space. Tucked under her arm, the newborn squirmed. Jung Hoo’s legs gave out first. So he sat right down. Chi Soo joined him a second later. 

“Dog poops,” muttered Ahjumma, from her seat in the arm chair. She went back to her knitting. This time it was a baby hoodie. Pink. 

Young Shin smiled gently looking at the two men in her life, sitting helpless in the doorway. Jung Hoo, the freelance photographer and former night errand boy - she’d never seen him floored by anything or anyone. Appa, the lawyer extraordinaire – as comfortable making a skillful defense in a court of law as he is behind a coffee counter creating coffee art for his customers. And now, this tiny bundle in her arms had succeeded in weakening their knees so badly that they couldn’t scrape themselves off the floor. They just sat there, staring agape.

Young Shin beckoned them over with her hand, and they both got up with great difficulty and followed obediently.

Reaching the bed first, Jung Hoo grabbed Young Shin’s hand and held it tight, looking at her carefully, checking to see if she were still distressed or hurt. He only saw her bright loving eyes laughing at him amused, as she pulled down the blanket covering their baby to show him the little one.

“Baby girl, meet your Appa,” she cooed. “Your scaredy-cat Appa who can climb buildings and beat up bad people, who can make the toughest mafia gangsters cower at the mere mention of his name but goes weak in the knees when he sees you – such a tiny thing, but how powerful.”

Jung Hoo looked at his daughter in a mixture of awe and wonder, unable to form a coherent thought. A myriad of emotions passed through his eyes - a little bit of disbelief, amazement and finally the kind of warmth that only a father can have for his child. His chest swelled with pride and affection.

 "Beautiful..." he was all he managed.
After a little while, he turned to his father-in-law cowering behind him, and nodded encouragingly at him as a silent gesture. Chae Chi Soo broke out into a teary smile as he reached out to touch his granddaughter’s cheek. 
“Ah, she is beautiful, Young Shin-ah.” And then he ran out of words. He couldn’t understand it himself.

Jung Hoo sat down carefully beside his wife. He wanted to throw his arms around her and hug her but he was too afraid he would hurt her. He had never been so afraid in his life seeing her in so much pain. Tears of relief mixed with happiness now fall freely from his eyes.

“Dog poop! Whatever are you crying for?” called Ahjumma from where she was knitting furiously in the arm chair. “Hug your wife and child! Do I have to teach you that too?”

“I-I-I don’t want to hurt h-h-her-“

“What a load of crap! She’s not made of fragile glass – she just popped out that baby the size of a football, and now look at her! Does she look like she’s hurt?”

Jung Hoo looked at Young Shin and realized she had quietly started singing 'To You' again. Why, she was virtually bopping while holding their baby in her arms.

“Even if I lose everything I love

I can't give you up

No matter where I am

I can feel your breath

Until the day my life ends

I will always be by your side.”

She happily warbled off key. Then she smiled and held one arm out to him. He went into her embrace eagerly and hugged them both - his wife... his wife and their newborn daughter.

Pabo anya?” she whispered. “Never touching me again? Are you crazy? I’ll kill you if you don’t.”


All CREDIT and heartfelt THANKS to @mywebfoot @azzurri @briseis @Noxn @liddi @larienssi and all other Healerities who contributed ideas and support! 

If you want to see exactly how badly our couple bobs to the music, check out this video. If you want to see how badly infected we are with Healerities, see our dedication video for the cast and crew!