"Fuck, fuck, owwwwwwwwwww," Meredith moaned through yet another contraction, digging her nails deep into Derek's palm. He steeled himself against the pain, and refused to flinch away.
"There you go," he said gently, lightly touching her sweaty face once the contraction had passed.
"Ohh," she cried. "This is taking to long. Why can't she just come out?!"
Derek shushed her softly. "It usually takes a while with the first baby," he reassured her. "You need to stay calm. You're doing so great."
"It's been fourteen hours," she whined. "Get the nurse to come check me again."
"Mer," Cristina spoke up from her chair on the other side of the bed. "She just checked half and hour ago and you were at eight."
Meredith groaned. "You have no idea what this is like. It hurts so much and they are faster. I definitely could have made it to ten."
Cristina gave Derek a look of doubt over Meredith's bed. Although he completely agreed with her, he didn't return the look, not willing to risk Meredith seeing it.
Their attention was drawn back to Meredith as she cried out in pain once again, her nails sending darts of pain through the hand she still hadn't released.
"Derek, get the nurse now!" she demanded.
"Ok, ok," he soothed. "Breathe through this one first though. Deep breaths. There you go."
She gave him a chilling look as soon as her contraction had past. "Nurse, now."
"Alright." He stood up, gently uncurling her fingers from his hand that she had been clenching tightly for the past two hours. He laid it down gently on the bed, and stroked her damp hair back from her forehead. "You're doing such a good job. I'm so proud of you."
"I don't care," she grumbled. "Get the nurse so she can tell me I can push."
As he walked out of the room, he could hear her start to moan in pain as another contraction hit. He heard Cristina yelp out briefly, and he smirked as he realized she was taking her turn at Meredith hand torture.
He found himself with a sunny smile on his face as he made his way to the nurse's station. It was approaching four in the morning and he had spent the entire night listening to Meredith whine and cry out in pain, and yet he had never been happy. His first baby would be making her way into the world within a matter of hours. Despite the circumstances, it had still worked out that the love of his life and the only woman he could ever imagine being with was the mother. So, really, everything in Derek Shepherd's life was perfect for the time being.
"Cindy," he said as he approached a tired looking nurse, who clearly didn't realize that this was one of the best days of the century. "Dr. Grey would like to be checked again. She thinks she's made progress."
"I just checked her half an hour ago," the nurse responded. "I don't think that she's reached ten."
"I know." Derek smiled brightly at the nurse. "She certainly hasn't, but she's demanding to be checked again anyways."
Cindy got up, muttering about time wasters, and lead the way to Meredith's room. Without addressing any of them, she ducked in between Meredith's legs. Derek went back to her side, and tenderly took her head back.
"Still holding up?" he murmured.
She gave him a dark glare in response and he stopped himself from chuckling. He completely understood that if he was in as much pain as she was that he wouldn't be willing to hear constant questions and reassurances. Yet, he knew that as soon as she saw their baby, she would be just as happy as he was right now.
"I'm sorry," the nurse said with little sympathy in her voice. "You're still at eight centimeters."
Meredith flopped back on her pillows and groaned. "Why doesn't this baby wanted to be born?"
"That woman was kind of a bitch," Cristina commented.
Meredith cracked a smile, but it was short lived as another contraction hit her. Derek gently coached her breathing. As happy as he was, it still hurt a little to see her in this much pain for such a long amount of time. Still, she was a trooper and everything was going perfectly, albeit a little slow.
The next two hours passed, blurring with the previous twelve. The nurse was in and out, a new one having replaced the sleep-deprived Cindy. Alex stopped in at one point and sat with them for a while. Meredith was nearing nine centimeters when he left, and he promised he'd be back soon to deliver their baby.
Derek offered as much support as he could to the love of his life, but he had learned sometimes that it was better to keep his mouth shut. Cristina was mostly silent, but Derek knew that Meredith needed her there, and that she was helping infinitely, there to reassure Meredith verbally when needed and just offer her presence the rest of the time.
Meredith suddenly cried out with more agony than she had for the entire labor, sending both Derek and Cristina immediately to their feet.
"Meri, what's wrong?" Derek asked, as calmly as possible.
The hand he wasn't gripping flailed and Cristina immediately grabbed it, leaning over her best friend.
"I need…" Meredith gasped for breathe. "It hurts…"
"Just breathe." Derek heard himself speak in union with Cristina.
"I need to push!" Meredith suddenly exclaimed.
Cristina dropped Meredith's hand and ran into the hallway, shouting for a nurse and for Dr. Karev to be paged.
Derek did his best to help Meredith control her breathing, his excitement growing by the second.
When her body let her relax for a second, she locked eyes with Derek. Hers were shinning with the excitement Derek had been feeling all day, and for once not clouded with pain.
"Derek, we're going to have a baby," she whispered.
He literally couldn't stop himself from saying, "I love you so much, Meri."
She gave him a soft smile, but the moment ended too soon as the room was suddenly filled with Cristina and two nurses.
"You are at ten centimeters," one declared brightly.
Alex hurried into the room at that moment. "Meredith, I hear it's time."
Her response was stopped by another contraction, and instantly Alex was at his place between her legs.
"Ok, Meredith, go ahead and push," Alex declared after a quick examination.
Her face scrunched with the effort, and a few tears finally escaped her eyes as she cried out again.
"I can't, I can't," she cried as the contraction ended.
"Meredith…" Alex and Cristina both started, but she continued crying as if she hadn't heard either of them.
Without, thinking about it, Derek leaned over her, dropping her hand so he could gently hold her face in both hands.
"Meri…Meri, look at me," he keep his voice soft and low, tilting his head and giving her the coined McDreamy smile when she finally made eye contract. He wiped the tears from her face with his thumbs, acting as though he had all the time in the world, despite the fact that he knew he had to get to her before the next contraction hit. "Meredith, my love, Meri. You're so close. You are doing wonderful, and I'm so proud of you. Now this is it, just a little more and we're going to have our beautiful baby. Aren't you excited to hold our baby, Meredith?"
Her eyes were shinning, no longer with tears. "Yes," she whispered.
He pressed his forehead against hers. "I am too. So let's get him out, ok?"
Their heads bumped together a little when Meredith nodded. A lone tear slipped out of her eye, and Derek tenderly wiped it away.
"Hold me?" Meredith asked so quietly he barely heard her.
"Always," he promised.
He leaned in to kiss her check, but she turned her head slightly and their lips brushed together for the briefest of moments. It was one of the best sensations Derek had ever felt.
It seemed as though it was only the two of them in the room as Derek helped her lean forward so he could sit in behind her on the bed. She grasped for his hands, and he gave her both of them, offering her as much support as his body could provide. He held her through the next contraction, encouraging her to push and push and push.
"The baby is crowning," Alex announced. "Ok, Mer, back off on the pushing for a second."
She didn't seem to hear him, so Derek gently squeezed her hand. "Meri, take a break. I'll tell you when to push again."
Her whole body suddenly relaxed at his words and she fell back against him.
Cristina peaked between Meredith's legs. "Oh, no, I think he's got the McDreamy hair. You guys are never going to be able to say no to him."
Derek chuckled. "I think we'll have that problem no matter what his hair is like."
Meredith cried out again, and Derek whispered softly in her ear, as he passed on Alex's instructions to push.
After a minute, she suddenly sobbed and fell back against Derek.
"You're ok," Derek soothed. "You're almost there."
"Can you get her to push again?" Alex asked.
Derek gently squeezed both her hands. "Meri, sweetheart, can you push again?"
With a strangled cry, her body tensed as she pushed hard, working to bring their baby into the world.
"There we go," Alex said. "The head is out. One more big push for the shoulders. Come on, Meredith."
She was nearly sobbing, but she obeyed without Derek needing to pass on the message and it seemed like she was responding more to her body than to anyone in the room.
"Here we go. You two have a beautiful baby boy." The baby slid out of her body into Alex's waiting hands.
Meredith had been lying heavily against him, but Derek could feel her respond as the room suddenly filled with the sound of a crying baby.
"Is that our baby?" Meredith asked, wiping frantically at her tears.
"Yes, Meri, that's our little boy," Derek said, unable to take his eyes off their beautiful miracle.
Alex laid the crying newborn on Meredith's chest, and Derek brought his hand up to lay on his son's back.
"Oh, Derek, he's beautiful," Meredith sobbed, touching a tiny hand, and touching one of his damp curls. The baby did indeed have the McDreamy hair.
"He's perfect," Derek agreed.
"Would you like to cut the cord, Derek?" Alex asked.
Derek nodded silently, carefully sliding out from behind Meredith and his perfect baby. Once he had cut the baby from Meredith, there was once again a flurry of activity as the baby was taken to be cleaned and examined, and Meredith finished delivering the placenta.
In a brief moment of calm, Derek leaned over Meredith again. "Thank you, Meri. Thank you for our son."
She started to cry again. "I've never been this happy in my life."
"I haven't either," Derek declared, feeling a tear of his own slid down his cheek.