Chapter 2: "Or like doing splits on a crate of dynamite,"
A few weeks after Thanksgiving, Rory was woken up by the continuous ringing of her cellphone, sounding from somewhere in her and Tristan's apartment. She had been tired the night before and left it somewhere before crashing into bed just after midnight. She was finished with her finals and her and Riley had stayed up late getting all the final editing done on the last issue of the paper before the holiday break.
"Rory, it's just going to keep ringing if you don't get up and go answer it," Tristan said, kissing her shoulder when she rolled over to lay her head on his chest, pulling their blanket further over her body.
"It's the middle of the night, Tristan," she told him, "They can call back when the sun is up."
"Whoever it is, is pretty insistent," Tristan said as her phone went off for the third time before his started vibrating on the nightstand next to their bed, "It's Riley."
"Ry?" Rory said, when Tristan handed her his phone.
"Where the hell is your phone? We've been calling you forever," Riley said.
"We?" Rory asked.
"Yes, me, Luke, April," Riley said, "It's Mom."
"Mom? Is she okay? The baby?" Rory said, more awake now as she listened to brother.
"They're fine. Just get your butt dressed so we can down to Hartford Memorial. You're about to be a big sister again," Riley told her.
"Oh my gosh," Rory said, throwing the covers off her and jumping out of the bed, "We'll be there as soon as we can. Get dressed, Tris."
After getting dressed faster than she ever imagined possible, Rory and Tristan met Riley and Stephanie in the lobby of their apartment building so the four of them could ride together to the hospital to welcome Sophia Grace Danes into their family.
"How's Mom?" Rory asked April when they walked into the waiting room and saw her sitting there with Jay asleep on her shoulder.
"What's this?" Riley asked, pointing at Jay.
"Lorelai's fine," April told them, "And Dad knew it could be awhile before the baby is here and before you guys made it from New Haven. He didn't want me sitting out here alone wondering and worrying so he suggested I call Jay."
"At three o'clock in the morning?" Tristan asked, taking a seat next to Rory, placing his arm around her so she could lean against him.
"He knew the baby was coming soon and said if I needed to call him for anything I could. Any time," April said.
"I bet he's regretting that one now," Stephanie said, taking a spot with Riley on the empty sofa in the room, laying down with her head in his lap.
"Sleep if you want," Riley told he, running his fingers through her blond curls before kissing her forehead, "I'll wake you when something happens."
"Thanks, Riles," she said, before sleep overtook her as he covered her with his jacket.
"Man, Steph seems more tired than the rest of us," Rory said, "Is she alright?"
"She's fine, Baby Girl. She just hasn't been to sleep yet. She was still up studying when April called me," he told her, "She has her last final this afternoon."
"Then what is she doing here?" Rory asked.
"I told her she could stay home and sleep, but she wants to be here for Mom and for us," Riley said.
"That's sweet," Rory said, letting her eyes close a bit as Tristan ran his fingers up and down her arm.
A few hours later the waiting room was filled with the sounds of Emily Gilmore demanding to know where her daughter was and threatening every nurse and doctor she met until someone could give her an answer. Once told she was still in labor, Emily and Richard called the rest of the family before joining the kids in the waiting room.
"Oh, Richard, look," Emily said when she walked in ahead of him and saw the three sleeping couples. Jay was now laying on the sofa he and April shared with her asleep on his chest, his arms wrapped tightly around her. Stephanie was still asleep with her head in Riley's lap, but he had now joined her in sleep, his head resting against the back of sofa. Rory and Tristan were seated together on one of the large chairs; Rory on his lap, her head resting against his shoulder while his head had fallen to rest on the top of her, "Don't they all just look adorable?"
"They must have been here most of the night," Richard said, finding it sweet that his grandchildren and future step-grandchild were excited to meet their new sibling and that their significant others were happy to be there to support them, "Should we wake them and let them know we're here?"
"No, I'm sure they've all been busy with school and the paper. Let them be. We can wake them when the others get here," Emily said.
"Coffee," Rory mumbled a couple of hours later.
"Told you. Even one small cup all the way across the room would be enough to awaken a Gilmore," Jess said.
"You better have more than one small cup, Dodger," Rory said, opening her eyes as she sat up and looked around the room at the crowd before her.
Jess and Olivia had driven up from Philly. Liz and TJ were in a corner talking with Sookie and Jackson. Her grandparents, both sets were talking with her Dad and Sherry. April and Jay were now awake and watching a movie on the waiting room's television.
"Did Mom have the baby yet?" Rory asked.
"Not yet, sweetie," Christopher told her, giving her a hug now that she was awake.
"Where's Ry?" Rory asked, noticing both he and Stephanie were missing.
"They woke up an hour ago and Riley talked her into going back to New Haven so she could relax and study more before her final," Tristan told her, "He should be back soon."
"I'm back now," Riley said, coming into the waiting room, "And I come bearing gifts."
"Gimme," Rory said, not waiting for her brother to fully enter the room before grabbing a coffee cup from the dozen or so he had with him, drinking it down in a few gulps, "Yummy."
"Coffee number two," Riley said, handing her a second cup.
"Thank you," Rory said.
A couple hours later, it was nearing noon. Lorelai had been in labor for ten hours and was now ready to bring little Sophie into the world. Just before she was ready to start pushing, Luke came into the waiting room to get Rory, Riley, and April. They had discussed in the beginning of Lorelai's pregnancy and again just after Thanksgiving if they all wanted to be included and be there to welcome their baby sister into the world. While Rory and Riley were both a bit squeamish to the idea, April was all for it. She was long away from wanting a kid herself, but found the birthing process fascinating.
"You won't be thinking that when it's you doing the screaming," Rory told her as they walked behind Luke to the deliver room and April once again shared her excitement for what was about to happen.
"Probably not, but the scientist in me finds the process interesting. It's the most natural and human thing we can do, bringing another life into this world," April said.
"That's true, I guess," Riley said, taking both of their hands as they walked into the delivery room.
"My babies," Lorelai said when she saw the three of them enter the room.
"How are doing, Mom?" Riley asked, kissing her cheek.
"Besides the fact it hurts like hell," Lorelai said.
"Or like doing splits on a crate of dynamite," Rory added with a laugh.
"Right," Lorelai said, "But, other than that, I feel great. I can't wait to meet your little sister."
"Us, either Mom," Rory said, kissing her cheek.
"Okay, just another minute Lorelai and you'll be ready to be a mom again," her doctor told her.
With Luke holding onto one hand and Riley holding onto the other so Lorelai could squeeze them as she felt the pain of her contractions, Rory and April took spots, standing just behind them on either side of Lorelai's head, rubbing her shoulders and wiping her head with a cool washcloth as they welcomed Sophia Grace Danes into the world.