Author's note: This is the last prompt! I've really enjoyed revisiting this verse, I hope you have too. I won't say no to coming back again, but for now, this is it. This is the birth of Emma and Killian's first child. Enjoy!
Baby Makes Three
"Killian! Have you seen the wicker basket?"
Killian ducked out from under the Christmas tree, a little water spilling from the cup he was using to water it. They'd gotten a real tree for their first Christmas in their newly built dream home; he'd been unable (once again) to resist Emma's pleading emerald eyes. Thankfully, it was New Year's Eve and they could get rid of the bloody thing tomorrow. "I think it's in the attic, love," he called. "I'll fetch it."
She poked her head out from the kitchen. "I can get it."
"You're already three days late, sweetheart. You heard what the doctor said."
She scowled at him. "I feel fine. It's only stairs!"
He returned to the kitchen, setting his cup aside and cradling her round stomach in his large hands. "And what if you went into labor on those narrow steps? We didn't design them for someone of your girth."
She still looked annoyed, even though she knew he was right. "I feel like a hippo," she said crossly.
He didn't laugh. Her moods were delicate these days. "You're gorgeous."
"Stop being nice. I can't even see my feet!"
"You're always going to be stunning to me, love. Might as well accept it."
She sighed. "I know. I'm just being a grump. I wish our little girl would hurry up already."
He leaned down and kissed her forehead. "She's stubborn like her mother."
Emma moved to lay her head on his chest. She was annoyed that they couldn't hug properly anymore; she was simply too big. Killian wrapped his arms around her shoulders and squeezed before rubbing her back. "The others will be here soon."
"Let them. Perhaps your mum could take over the snacks. Would you like me to rub your feet?"
"Would you?" she asked hopefully.
"Anything for you, darling." He guided her toward the couch in the family room, leaving the half made snacks and drinks for their loving family to deal with later. He didn't think anyone would mind; the ladies, at least, had some idea of how uncomfortable this was for his wife. The imminent arrival of their wee lass was the reason the family was celebrating the holidays in California in the first place. When they realized how close Emma's due date was to Christmas, their annual London trip had to be canceled. Instead, their family came to them; Liam, Molly and their little ones rented a nearby house for the holidays. Ingrid had been there since Thanksgiving, determined not to miss the birth of her first grandchild.
Emma flopped more than sat when they got to the couch, groaning in annoyance. "I'm all ungainly," she complained.
"It'll be over soon. Won't it, little one?" he murmured to her stomach. "It's very rude to keep your mother waiting like this."
That got her to smile warmly. Now matter how uncomfortable she was, seeing Killian talk to their daughter filled her with joy. He was going to be a wonderful father. "And what about dad? How's he doing?"
Killian settled on the floor, taking her right foot into his hands. She sighed happily as his hands began to work their magic. Those hands had saved her so many times over the past few months. Sometimes she joked that he should consider becoming a masseuse as a second career. He smiled at her. "A bit nervous," he admitted. "Anxious to meet our daughter."
The tenderness in his voice, the warmth in his blue gaze, caused a lump in her throat. Damn hormones. "Keep talking," she murmured. "She likes listening to you talk."
"As you wish." He switched feet and launched into a story from when he and Liam were small, some little boy mischief, and Emma felt the little one stir slightly. She always responded to Killian's voice. Honestly, it was more for Emma than for her baby; the smooth sound of Killian's accent relaxed her when her nerves were frazzled. And the last few days, as her due date came and went, her nerves were definitely frazzled.
Killian talked until his wife fell asleep; poor thing was exhausted these days. He gently covered her with a blanket and let her nap for a bit. He went back to the preparations for the party, fetching the wicker basket Emma had been looking for earlier. Ingrid arrived, carrying another bag of baby items.
"Shopping again?" Killian asked, taking the bag from her.
"Guilty," Ingrid admitted. "Where's Emma?"
"Asleep. She was feeling a bit cranky earlier. These last few days have been hard for her."
"You don't think anything's wrong?"
He shook his head. "The doctor said Emma was the picture of health. Wee lass just doesn't want to make her appearance yet."
"For Emma's sake, I hope she comes soon. I'm worried about her."
"Honestly? So am I. The books say the first birth is the hardest. I hate seeing her suffer."
"Let's just try and keep her as comfortable as possible then," Ingrid said hopefully. Together, they returned to the kitchen and finished getting things ready. When the snacks were taken care of, Killian went to check on Emma while Ingrid went to put her purchases in the nursery. Killian was proud of that room; they'd painted the walls themselves, custom designed all the furniture. It was pirate themed, something they decided on before they even knew if they were having a boy or a girl. It was heartily approved of by Liam's Izzy, old enough now for opinions on the matter. Killian's niece adored Emma; she spent the holidays scurrying after her aunt, shushing people for being too loud.
Emma was still asleep when Liam and Molly showed up, so the party began in the living room. If she didn't wake up in another hour, then Killian resolved to wake her himself.
Emma rolled over, or tried to. She was stymied by her belly, which stirred her from her nap. "Ugh," she groaned, covering her eyes with her arm. She could vaguely hear people in other parts of the house; she must have slept longer than she thought. It was hard to feel rested; she was constantly tired. And she had to pee. Again.
Reluctantly, she heaved herself up; the bathroom was on the way to the living room. She tossed the blanket aside, not remembering how she got it. It must have been Killian. She made a note to thank him when she found him. She used the facilities and washed her hands, staring at her refection in the mirror. Killian may think she was beautiful, but she didn't feel it. She felt bloated and exhausted, very unattractive. "Come on, you," she said to her belly. "Mom and Dad want to hold you, okay?"
Nothing happened and she sighed. But as she turned away, she felt a sudden twinge in her belly. She stopped dead, hand flying to her stomach. "Ow." But she'd had twinges before (not as sharp), so she brushed it off. Instead, she headed for the living room, the noises of her family getting louder. "Hey everyone."
Killian was at her side in a moment, kissing her temple. "Welcome back, sweetheart. Have a good nap?"
"Yeah," she began, wincing as another twinge gripped her. "Shit."
She took a deep breath, hand back on her belly. "I...uh, I'm not sure, but..." There it was again, the sharp twinge. She hissed. "I think the baby's coming."
Killian swallowed, arm going around her waist. "Are you certain?"
"No? It's not like I've done this before!" Panic was rising in her throat, unsure of what her body was telling her.
Molly stepped forward. "Emma, look at me," she said sternly. Emma did. "Focus. Where does it hurt?"
"Here?" she said, pointing to the sides of her belly. "Molly?" Her voice rose as another pain gripped her, a little stronger than the last.
"Breathe," Killian and Molly said together. Then Molly smiled. "Well, I think you're right, Emma. Your daughter's on her way."
"Right," Killian said anxiously. They'd prepared but he was oddly disconnected from it. All he could see was Emma frightened and in pain. She fumbled for his hand, which galvanized him. He squeezed her waist. "Can you stay with Molly while I get your bag, love?"
"I'll get it," Liam said hurriedly. "Do not leave her."
"It's in the bedroom!" Killian yelled after his brother. He was suddenly thankful his brother was there; Liam and Molly had done this twice. "Emma, let's get you to the car, okay?"
She winced at the idea of walking but nodded. "Okay." She smiled weakly at Ingrid as they passed. "Come with us?"
"We're right behind you," Ingrid assured her. She smiled at Emma, hiding her concern. She couldn't help it, excitement and worry warring in her. Liam returned, bag in his hand. Molly gathered the children; everyone was going to the hospital.
"You can ride with us, Ingrid," Molly said as Emma and Killian headed for their car. Emma gripped Killian's hand tightly, more scared than anything. None of their classes had prepared her for how scary it was.
"Only ten minutes to the hospital," Killian reminded her softly. "You're both going to be fine."
She looked up at him as he helped her into the car. "I'm scared," she whispered.
His heart melted and he awkwardly pulled her into his arms. "It's going to be okay, love." He kissed her lips. "I promise you. I'll be here every minute. You won't be alone. Do you believe me?"
She nodded. "Yeah."
"Good girl." He stoked her belly. "Hold on for a little bit longer, lass. We'll see you soon." Emma laughed at him and he felt better. He helped her with her seatbelt, then hurried to the driver's side. He drove as fast as he dared; Emma fumbled for his hand when another pain gripped her.
Killian darted through traffic, cursing softly, not taking his eyes off the road. He wouldn't do anything to endanger his wife and daughter. He helped Emma out as soon as they arrived, supporting her as they headed inside. He barely opened his mouth to the on call nurse before a wheelchair was coming around the corner. Emma fell into it, wincing in pain.
"When did the contractions start?" the nurse asked crisply.
"About a half hour ago?"
"No," Emma hissed.
"Okay, let's get you up to the maternity ward. You're in for a long night."
Emma groaned but made no protest. Killian pushed her to the elevator himself, advising the nurse of their doctor's name and other pertinent information. The nurse promised to bring Emma's paperwork forthwith, leaving them in the charge of the maternity nurses. Killian flat out refused to leave as they worked to get Emma into a gown, a task complicated by her water finally breaking. His clothes were soaked, but he wouldn't change until Emma was settled. He accepted some scrubs and changed into those once he and Emma were alone.
"Sorry," she mumbled, taking a moment to breathe. She hadn't been in labor very long and already she was exhausted.
"I didn't like those pants anyway," he assured her, pulling on the soft blue scrubs.
"They looked good on you."
"Did they?" He held out his arms, spinning around. "How about this?"
She grinned. Even now, she could see how hot her husband was. "Let's just say you should hold on to those. Might come in handy some day."
He approached her bedside. "Feeling the urge to play doctor, love?" he teased.
She laughed, which melted into a groan as another contraction lanced through her. "Isn't that how I got like this in the first place?"
"Oh, I don't think we've ever done that one," he said, pretending to think. "Perhaps it was the pirate captain and her handsome prince."
"Hmm, that was a good one." Their sex life was as varied and lively as ever, something that came in handy during her second trimester. She was afraid she would wear him out with how needy she'd been. "Our little pirate."
"Aye." He kissed her sweaty brow. "Try to rest. I'm sure the doctor will be here soon." He was right, no sooner had Emma closed her eyes than the doctor was coming in to examine her.
Killian stayed by her side as the young doctor looked between Emma's legs. "Hmm, everything looks normal. You're only about two centimeters, Mrs. Jones. This young lady is taking her time."
"Can you give her something for the pain?" Killian asked.
"Not yet. If we do the epidural too soon, it'll wear off. And trust me, you don't want that. I know it's uncomfortable, but just hang in there for a few more hours."
"Hours?!" Emma screeched.
"We discussed this. First births tend to take a long time. We'll take good care of you." The doctor turned to Killian. "Do you want to fill out her paperwork while you wait? Then perhaps help her walk around a little. Sometimes that helps."
"I'm not leaving her."
"That's why they invented tablets," the woman said with a smile. She handed him the tablet. "Just give this to the nurse when you're finished. I'll be back later."
Killian nodded, then made sure Emma was as comfortable as possible before he started filling out the forms. Their family arrived shortly after, entertaining Emma as they waited. And waited. And waited. Emma gripped his hand when the pain got to be too much. They took the doctor's advice and tried walking around but it just made her tired. It was more than five hours before the doctor would administer the drugs; Emma soon felt better, despite the increased rate of her contractions. It was at that point that the others were ushered out, leaving Emma and Killian alone.
"Maybe this was what she was waiting for," Emma mumbled, laying her head on Killian's shoulder. He'd climbed into the gurney with her, growling at anyone who tried to move him.
"What's that, lass?"
"The baby. Maybe she was waiting for everyone to be here. Everyone we love."
He smiled into her hair. "Well, they've been here for a couple of weeks now. You'd think she'd have made her appearance sooner."
"Christmas," she muttered. "No kid wants to share their birthday with Christmas."
"Perhaps you're right. She'll be a New Year's baby instead."
"At least we won't have trouble remembering her birthday."
"As if either of us could forget. I remember every important day I've spent with you."
"I just want her to be healthy."
"She will. Then we'll take her home. Our family, Emma."
"Our family," she echoed. She twisted enough to kiss him, lips lingering on his. "I love you."
"I love you, too. Both of you."
It was nearly dawn when they finally wheeled Emma into the birthing room. Killian had his mask, cap and booties in place, anxiousness clawing at his throat. "Just breathe, Emma," he said, unsure who he was trying to reassure.
"He's right," the doctor echoed. "Remember to breathe and push when I say. We'll have your daughter here in no time."
"It's been twelve hours," Emma muttered in complaint. "No time my ass."
The doctor said nothing, ducking under the sheet once more "On the next contraction, I want you to push as hard as you can, okay?"
Emma nodded, bracing herself. In moments a strong contraction gripped her and she bit her lip as she lunged forward. Killian helped her as much as he could, never letting go of her hand. She didn't want to think about how much this would hurt without her shot, but it was still the hardest thing she'd ever done. It took four more lunges, with Killian whispering encouragement, before a high pitched cry filled the room. Emma collapsed, exhausted, sweat running down her neck.
Killian was torn between looking after his wife and trying to get a look at his daughter. "How is she?"
"Ten fingers, ten toes and adorable," the doctor said with a smile. "Let us get her cleaned up and you can hold her." The tired parents caught a brief glimpse of their girl as her cord was cut, healthy screams actually making them smile.
"She's inherited your lungs," Killian teased, kissing her damp forehead. "You were brilliant, my love."
"And just what are you implying?" Emma complained, swatting his shoulder.
"Nothing." He kissed her sweetly, needing to cover his impatience. He wanted to hold his daughter.
"Here you go," a matronly nurse said quietly. She had a bundle in her arms, wrapped in a white blanket. "Mom?"
Killian helped Emma sit up, tears stinging his eyes as she held out her arms. The nurse eased the baby into her mother's arms, then backed away. Emma felt a tear slide down her cheek as she gazed into her daughter's eyes. She had blue eyes exactly like her father's. "Hi," Emma whispered, gently touching her forehead. "I'm your mom."
The baby gurgled, blinking up at her. Killian wrapped his arm around her, unable to tear his eyes away. He had no words for what he felt, aside from love. He loved these two people like he had never loved anything. "Hello, little one."
Emma smiled. "That's your dad," she cooed, stroking her daughter's soft cheek. "He's the best, so you should get used to that."
"I happen to think your mum exaggerates, lass. She's the amazing one."
They both laughed. "So what do you think?" Emma said, looking at her husband. "Still like the name?" They chose something months ago, but wanted to meet their daughter before choosing it definitively.
Killian nodded. "Aye. I think it suits her. Alexandra Ingrid Jones."
"Alex," she agreed. "Welcome to the world, Alex." She turned to Killian. "You want to hold her?"
"Aye." He moved, shaking a little as Emma placed Alex in his arms. To his surprise, his daughter didn't cry; she just waved her tiny fist at him. "I love you very much, Alex," he whispered, placing a featherlight kiss to the baby's downy head. She had only wisps of dark hair; Killian was sure Alex would have her mother's golden locks some day.
Emma started crying softly, but they were happy tears. She finally had what she'd dreamed of as a child. She had a home. A home with the man she loved more than anything. And now they had a child of their own. Her heart was so full, it felt like it would burst out of her chest. Killian saw her tears and handed little Alex back to her, hugging them both. "Don't cry, darling."
"I'm just happy," she whispered, pressing kisses to Killian's cheek and Alex's forehead. "I have my family here."
"Here's to many more years of happiness," he said, kissing her.
"A lifetime's worth," she agreed.