Disclaimer: I do not own the characters from Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. The rights to those characters and to the show belong to the creators of the show, to CBS, The Sullivan Company and to A&E.
By, Ashley J.
In the early hours of the morning, Michaela woke to feel her unborn child kicking inside of her womb. She could tell the baby was strong and ready to be born, but she would have to be patient. The baby wasn't due for another week, and it would come out when it was ready. She was anxious, but she knew she could wait for the sake of her child. Having Katie had been frightening enough, especially since she decided to come two weeks early, so Michaela didn't quite know what to expect with this one.
Michaela wasn't the only one excited about the upcoming birth. Sully was nervous and excited at the same time, and he couldn't wait to become a father all over again. After having Katie, neither Michaela nor Sully thought they would ever get to experience the joys of impending parenthood again, but when Michaela became pregnant so quickly after Katie's first birthday, they couldn't have been happier. Though neither of them knew she was pregnant until a near-miscarriage, they were both excited about the idea of having another child. The news came at a particularly difficult time in their lives, but now that the dust was settling from the events of the past year, the Sully family was happy and focusing on preparing for a new baby.
Sully hadn't been told about the new baby until shortly after Michaela nearly lost it, but he was thankful that whatever power was watching out for them had saved their child's life. Katie would be getting another sibling! It was exciting, and though it was unexpected, both Sully and Michaela were eager to have another newborn in the house.
As the baby kicked, Michaela traced her fingers along her belly through the fabric of her nightgown. It felt as if the baby could feel her touch and was trying to communicate with her. It was an incredible feeling, and all Michaela could think of was what that child would look like. Would it be a boy and look just like his father? Would it be a girl and look like her mother? Perhaps she or he would be a mixture of both parents just like Katie was.
Katie was nearing her second birthday, and Michaela knew that Sully was feeling guilty for missing so much of her second year of life. It wasn't completely his fault, but he still felt terrible about it. Katie didn't seem to hold it against her father, however, and Michaela had made sure that the children got to see Sully as often as possible while he was in hiding. It had been a traumatic year for all of them, but they were quickly recovering and getting ready for the new arrival.
"Alright little one," Michaela whispered as the baby continued to kick. She was growing restless as well, so she decided to take a walk and let Sully sleep peacefully.
As she pulled herself out of bed, Sully stirred but stayed sleeping, and as she pulled her robe on over her gown, Katie woke and stood up in her crib.
"Hello sweetheart," Michaela whispered. "Do you want to come on a walk with mama?" Katie grinned sleepily at her mother and held her arms out. Michaela picked her up, hoisted her onto one hip, and started out into the hallway.
Katie was soon sleeping in her mother's arms as Michaela paced the upstairs hallway quietly. She didn't want to wake Brian, but she didn't want to try to make her way down the stairs in the dark being nine months pregnant and carrying Katie in her arms.
The unborn baby seemed to have fallen asleep, as it had stopped kicking around after a few minutes of walking. Michaela felt pressure in her back, and she knew it would take her forever to get comfortable. Luckily, she wasn't going in to the clinic in the morning seeing as Andrew was taking over for her once again while she was on maternity leave. Preston wasn't happy at all, but he was dealing with it anyway.
Once Katie began to feel heavy in Michaela's arms, she crept back into the bedroom and placed her down in her crib. She stood there, smiling down at her beautiful little girl for a few minutes. That little girl had been created out of the love of both of her parents, and now a new baby was being brought into the world through the same situation.
She sighed softly and walked over to the mirror. She could barely see anything in the palely lit room, but she could make out her appearance in the mirror. She wasn't quite as large as she had gotten with Katie, but she was still feeling just as miserable with the backaches and the swollen ankles.
"Can't sleep?" Michaela felt Sully's strong, protective arms wrap around her, and his hands rested upon her belly.
"The baby was kicking."
"Woke ya up again?" Michaela nodded and smiled a little. Sully reached over and lit one of the oil lamps before his hands returned to their previous positions on her stomach.
"I'm feeling some pressure in my back as well," she replied with a little concern in her voice. "It's nothing new."
"But the baby's comin' pretty soon," Sully said. "Maybe we should get ya into town." Michaela would have normally shook her head and waved off Sully's suggestion, but considering the fact that the baby was due quite shortly, and Katie was born two weeks early, she didn't think it was such a bad idea. "Here. Come sit." He helped her over to the bed, and Michaela slowly sat down. "Let me go wake up Brian and tell him to stay with Katie." Michaela nodded, and Sully disappeared from the room.
As Michaela was sitting there, she felt more pressure and finally a little pain.
"Oh no," she whispered. She swallowed hard and groaned out loud, waking Katie from her sleep. Katie stood in her crib to look over at her mother.
"Mama!" she cried out. She could sense that her mother wasn't feeling well. She began to cry, and Michaela waited for the pain to subside before she stood to console Katie. She found that standing hadn't been a great idea, because as she did so, she felt her water break.
"Oh!" she cried out. Sully came into the room after having woken Brian up. He saw the look on Michaela's face.
"What is it?" he asked with concern in his voice.
"My water just broke," she whispered. "This is not happening. Now now!"
"Is it too late to get you into town?" Michaela nodded, and sat back down on the bed. Sully picked up a crying Katie from her crib. "Um, alright. I'll have Brian ride over to get Andrew." Michaela realized that the idea sounded great. Having Andrew come to the homestead would be the best bet.
"Alright," she whispered. "Oh, I should write out a list of what he needs to bring."
"Andrew's a good doctor. He knows what to do," Sully replied softly. "He knows what to do." Sully was trying to keep strong on the outside, but on the inside he was frightened for Michaela and anxious for the arrival of the newest Sully child.
The nervous expectant father took Katie out of the room again to inform Brian to ride out to find Andrew. As he was doing this, Michaela made herself useful by removing her robe, pulling back the covers of the bed, and finding a few of Katie's old baby blankets to wrap the baby in at birth. As another contraction hit her, she pressed her hands down into the mattress of the bed as her feet planted themselves firmly on the hard wood floor. When the contraction passed, she got onto the bed, propped a couple of pillows behind her back, and waited nervously for the next contraction.
They were ready for this baby. Katie's cradle was sitting in the corner, newly re-finished and sanded down for this new little one. As soon as the baby arrived, Katie would be moved into the little room down the hall. She had been sleeping in there for a while, but recently she'd wanted to sleep near her parents. Somehow she sensed that things were going to change, and she needed her mother and father close by before that change happened.
"It's alright," she whispered, stroking her belly. "I've done this before. I can do it again." The memories of pain from Katie's birth were coming back to her now. It was amazing how much she had forgotten once she held that beautiful baby girl in her arms for the first time. The pain hadn't mattered, and she knew she'd feel the same way once this baby was born.
When Sully came back, Katie was still fussing, but when he put her down in her crib, she realized that she wasn't going to be the center of attention at the moment. So, instead, she sat in her crib with her bunny in her hands, and she watched as Sully tried to console Michaela.
"You feelin' okay?"
"Mhm," she moaned as another contraction hit. Sully sat down on the edge of the bed and took her hand in his.
"Breathe," he whispered. Michaela nodded. She exhaled slowly after the contraction ended, and Sully wiped the loose strands out hair out of her face. "Brian's goin' to get Andrew, so he should be here before everything happens."
"I hope so," Michaela replied. The look in her face told Sully that something was on her mind.
"Well, it's possible that this labor and delivery could take considerably less time than when I had Katie. This is our second baby, so it could come much more quickly than Katie did." Sully swallowed hard.
"Well, if that happens, we know what to do. We've done this before." Memories of delivering Katie came flashing back to him. Oh God! What if he forgot something? What if something went wrong? No. He couldn't let himself think like that. He needed to think positively, because Michaela was most likely worrying enough for the both of them. "Do ya need me to get ya anything?"
"No," Michaela replied, panting a little. "I'll be alright. Would you take Katie into the other room? I don't want to frighten her."
"Good idea," Sully responded. He picked up Katie, and she giggled. "Come on Katie." He kissed her cheek. "You're almost a big sister, ya know." Michaela smiled as she heard Katie giggle when Sully tickled her tummy. She could hear the barn door open as Brian went to saddle up Taffy. She let out a sigh, feeling some comfort in the fact that she wasn't giving birth under a tree this time.
"Sully?" she asked as he walked back into the room.
"My medical bag."
"Ah, right." Sully retrieved her bag from the bureau and put it down beside her on the bed.
"We need to think of a name."
"Well, we got plenty of time for that."
"I want our baby to be named before it comes into the world. I want him or her to already have a name established. Please?"
"Well, what names do ya like?"
"I've been reading this book that Brian showed me from the library. It has a lot of names in it and what they mean, but I can't decide on the ones I like best."
"Well, what names do ya like?"
"I like Jonathan, Jacob, and Josef. I'd rather have Josef as the baby's middle name though. That is if the baby's a boy of course."
"So it's either Jonathan Josef Sully or Jacob Josef Sully?" Sully wondered, not sure if he agreed with his wife.
"Well, that's why I'm confused. I really don't know if I want those names together." Sully chuckled a little. It hadn't taken long to name Katie at all, but Sully knew for sure that Michaela thought the baby was a boy this time around.
"What if it's a girl?" Michaela smiled a little.
"I'm not sure," she admitted. "I honestly have had the feeling since I found out I was pregnant that the baby's a boy. I could be completely wrong, but it's just a feeling."
"I need ya to know that you don't have to feel obligated to give me a son. I'm proud of the children we've got." Michaela smiled, and Sully leaned in to kiss her. When he pulled away, Michaela gripped his hand and waited out another contraction.
"I also like Alexander," she panted out as the contraction wore off. Sully thought for a moment.
"Alexander Josef." It had a nice ring to it. "I like it."
"Me too," Michaela replied with a grin.
"So if it's a boy, we'll name him Alexander Josef?"
"Yes. Now that we have that settled, we had better thing of a girl's name just in case."
"Well, how about Elizabeth after your ma?"
"But Katie's middle name is Elizabeth."
"So, I want her to have her own distinct name."
"Well, we can't exactly have her middle name bein' Josef, can we?" Michaela giggled a little.
"No," she replied. "I want something simple though."
"What about Alexandra?" Sully wondered. Michaela shrugged.
"I thought about that one. I'm not sure if I want that." Sully laughed. "Oh!" She trembled as another contraction hit her with even more force.
"What about Sarah?" Michaela shook her head and closed her eyes tightly as the contraction slowly dissipated.
"I like that name, but I want something else for our baby," she replied.
"Well, we can think about this later, Michaela."
"No! We need to do it now!" Sully decided not to argue with a woman who's suffering was partly his fault.
"Alright. Alright, just relax." At that point, Katie began to cry.
"Go to her."
"Are ya sure?"
"Yes. Go on," Michaela insisted. She hoped Andrew showed up soon. This baby was coming quickly, and she wasn't quite sure if she was going to be able to wait until Brian returned with Andrew.
Not even twenty minutes later, Michaela was screaming so loudly that she was sure that the nearest neighbors several miles away would be able to hear her.
"Where is he!" she screamed as Sully's hands rested on his wife's shaking knees. Brian was still not back with Andrew.
"He'll be here any minute," Sully said urgently. He knew he was probably wrong, but he knew from experience that he needed to keep Michaela calm.
"Sully I'm scared," Michaela cried as tears trickled down her cheek. Sully swallowed hard and touched Michaela's cheeks with his hands. He brushed her tears away.
"You're doin' such a good job, Michaela. I can almost see the head. It's almost ready to come out, and then the hard part will be over."
"That's easy for you to say! Sully, I nearly lost this baby once before. What if something happens?" she asked, clutching her stomach.
"Listen to me, Michaela. Listen," he started, "nothin' is gonna happen to our baby. Our baby's gonna be born and he or she is gonna be lucky to have your for a ma."
"Sully!" Michaela cried out. "I need to push!"
"Are ya sure it's time?" He checked Michaela, and he could see the top of the baby's head. It was pink, and he knew from experience that that was a good sign. "Alright. Push, Michaela!" Michaela bore down hard and pushed with all of her strength. "You're doin' a good job, Michaela! C'mon! The baby's comin'."
"Sully!" she screamed out, feeling the baby beginning to make its entrance into the world. "I can't!"
"Come on! The head's almost out!" The moment the baby's head was out, Michaela let out a breath of fresh air. "Good job, Michaela. I'm so proud of you!" He had tears in his eyes, and just as Michaela was pushing the baby out, Andrew burst into the room. When he saw that the baby was nearly out, he rushed to the bed and went into action. With one final push, Alexander Josef Sully came into the world. Sully cut his son's cord and held him up for his mother to see. "It's a boy!" he exclaimed. "You were right," he whispered. Michaela was crying with joy, and after Sully wrapped the boy up, he handed him to his mother. Andrew watched with complete adoration as the family bonded with one another. He only hoped he'd have these kinds of wonderful moments in the future.
"Congratulations," Andrew said with a smile.
"I tried to wait," Michaela admitted. "Alexander wanted out though." Andrew chuckled.
"Well, the hard part's over. Would you mind if I examined him?" Michaela nodded and kissed Alexander's forehead. She handed the baby over to the doctor, knowing that her son was perfectly healthy.
"Our little boy is here, Sully!" Michaela cried. "I knew it would be a boy."
"It's a good thing you were right."
"So you did want a boy?"
"Oh, well, I didn't care if it was a boy or a girl. I was just thinkin' that it was a good thing he was a boy, 'cause we didn't have a girl's name picked out yet." Michaela laughed, and Sully hugged her close. "I love you so much."
"I love you," Michaela whispered. "Thank you for helping me."
"You did all the work."
"I don't think I could have made it this far without you." Sully kissed her softly.
"I missed too much of Katie's firsts when I was gone," Sully pointed out. "I ain't gonna let that happen with this baby. I wanna be a better pa."
"Sully, our children couldn't ask for a better father. Katie loves you just as much as she always has or even more. This baby's going to love you just as much. Sully, don't ever doubt yourself when it comes to being a father."
"Congratulations," Andrew said again, interrupting the moment. He placed Alexander back in Michaela's arms. "Everything appears to be normal."
"It's hard to believe that I nearly lost this little one," Michaela whispered. "Thank God he's here; he's healthy."
The parents bonded with their newborn son, and once Andrew had examined her, and she'd been cleaned up a little, Andrew left. Brian was waiting patiently in the hall with Katie on his hip.
"She's just fine. So is the baby."
"Do I have a baby brother?" he asked hopefully. Sure, he loved having a little sister, but he wanted a little brother too.
"Why don't you go see for yourself?" Andrew pat the boy on the back and left. Brian knocked on his parents' bedroom door.
"Come in, Brian," Michaela called. Brian slowly opened the door and walked in with Katie. He saw his parents sitting on the bed with the baby in their arms. "Come meet Alexander."
"It's a boy!" Brian asked.
"Yep," Sully replied proudly. "You've got that little brother ya wanted."
"Look Katie! We have a little brother!"
"Baby," Katie cooed.
"That's right," Sully replied, taking Katie into his arms. She crawled over to examine the child in her mother's arms.
"Meet Alexander Josef Sully," Michaela said with tears in her eyes. "He's perfectly healthy and finally here." The baby's eyes opened for a moment, and he grunted. Brian laughed.
"Can I hold him, ma?"
"Of course," she whispered. "You're his big brother."
The family spent the next hour together, getting to know the newest member, and once Katie and Brian had gone to bed, Michaela and Sully sat in bed with their little boy. Sully cradled him against his chest, and the baby cooed softly. It was hard to believe that this little boy was almost not meant to be. They had come so close to losing him, but he'd held on for his parents. He was determined like his mother, even from the start. Alexander Josef Sully was a miracle; he was their miracle.