Ellie was overdue by a week. It really wasn't comfortable and she was getting agitated so Alec took her to the doctor to see if there was anything that they could give her. Really it was the same stuff that Daisy had found on the internet: spicy food, pineapple, walking and sex, though there was no way the latter was happening from Alec's perspective. Ellie seemed a lot more eager.
"You can tell it's your child: stubborn and on her own schedule," she whispered on the Friday afternoon.
"Well, she to come out at some point. The doctor did say that if she wasn't out by Monday, they'll induce."
"Not unless we do something about it. I mean it is doctor recommended."
"I'm not going to shag you so you'll go into labour."
"Oh for goodness sake you could make it more romantic."
"Right, come on. Let's go for walk. See if we can start getting something going."
"Do we have to? My feet are killing me."
"Come on," he said pulling her up. "Fresh air will do you some good."
"You know, I don't think this walk is working," Ellie groaned as they got to the beach. "It isn't so much walking as much as it is waddling."
"It was worth a shot. You not feeling anything?"
"Just some really bad back pain. You know this is the spot where you told me that you had been here before as a child."
"Still wonder where I was. I'm certain I would have remembered a lanky Scottish kid wandering around." They continued up to the hill though by the time they'd gotten to the top, Ellie was all puffed out and needed to sit. "I think you will kill me before this baby comes out." Alec sits down beside her, letting her rest her head on his shoulder. His fingers find his way onto her lower back, trying to loosen the knots. "Sorry."
"All I seem to be doing these days is moaning."
"Well, you are heavily pregnant with a seven pound baby compressing on your spine. You have moaning privileges."
"Were you ever this affectionate when Tess was pregnant with Daisy?"
"Tess was a lot more demanding if that tells you anything."
"Doesn't surprise me. Explains why you've been acting so whipped every time I ask you for something."
"I'm not whipped. I would just rather not be moaned at."
"You said I have moaning privileges."
He let out a small laugh, took her hand, resting it on her belly, "You remember when I told about what my mother said about God putting me in the right place?"
"I probably didn't realise how right she was until last year when we finally told the kids about us being together. It was that moment when I realised that I wanted to be with you for the rest of my life. Ellie, wi-"
"Oh god. I think my water just broke."
In his attempt to get Ellie home and into the car, Alec had a foreboding feeling that they were not going to make it. The contractions were too painful and by the time they had gotten to the boat yard, Ellie had enough and stopped, coincidentally in the same spot Alec had collapsed in almost two years previously. Though she had braced herself against the boat rather than collapsed on the floor.
Alec would be damned in hell if his daughter was going to be born in the same spot he almost died in.
He called for an ambulance, a little frantic but the woman on the other end was trying to be helpful, give him some advice. He rubbed her back until the ambulance turned up.
By the time they'd gotten to the hospital, Ellie was two centimetres away from delivery. The problem was that as they were nowhere near the house, they had no hospital bag with all the stuff needed for the baby. It was quite literally Daisy and Tom to the rescue as they brought the bag, albeit they were not going into the labour room for fear of being mentally scarred. Instead they stayed in the waiting room.
By the time he returned with the bag, Ellie had probably had more gas and air than she needed. It was too late for an epidural but the gas and air seemed to have been working.
"You know this stuff didn't work the first time," she told him. She sounded as high as a kite. "Second time it worked. Now I could just..." She put the mouthpiece back in her mouth as another contraction hit.
He quickly held her, looking over at one of the monitors, "Okay, breathe. It's okay. Okay worst is over. Okay we're done."
"If you say okay one more time I will whack this in your face," she warned holding the mouthpiece up.
The next few hours was mixed with periods of boredom with the occasional lapse of action (one threat of castration that he was not entirely certain was sincere but decided not to question it since she had already made true of her threat to hit him in the face with the mouth piece), which was almost a complete haze from Alec's perspective. It probably was a good thing that he wasn't squeamish or else he probably would have fainted just as they were about to go into delivery.
The thing that was clear through all the haze was the sound of their daughter's first squawk. He had completely frozen in shock as they put the slightly blood-covered baby onto Ellie's chest. He tried to blink back the tears as he knelt down to get on eye level with his new daughter. He softly stroked his finger over the small fist. This small, slightly wrinkly-faced, brown-haired girl. His heart shattered. She was perfect.
"Hey Jess," he whispered. The tiny hand curled around the finger and Alec could no longer hold back on the tears. He kissed any part of Ellie he could get his lips on: shoulder, jaw, cheek, lips. Ellie smiled tiredly, despite the dull aches, and welcomed each kiss he had given her. "I love you Ellie."
"I love you too."
While the midwives dealt with the health checks before wheeling them to recovery, Alec went to the waiting room, where Daisy had fallen asleep and Tom was playing on his phone.
"Hey, you two ready to meet your little sister?"
After visiting hours were over, Jessica had been tucked up in the small cot beside the hospital bed. Alec is lying on the bed, Ellie's back pressed against his chest, his arm wrapped around her waist.
"How's your cheek?" she whispered.
"Still sore. I'm not complaining given what you went through."
"Good, or else I would have ripped your bollocks off." He smiled and kissed the back of her neck. "Yeah."
"I'll marry you."
He sat up a little too sharply, "You what?"
"Just before my water broke you were going to ask me to marry you. After our little interruption, I am saying yes. Of course I am saying yes."
It takes him a moment for his brain to catch up but he smiles, a smile Ellie hadn't seen since she told him she was pregnant. He leans over to kiss her.
"I might have just died and gone to heaven," he whispered against her lips.