"Okay let's take a look…"
Pam sat up on the hospital bed while Ryan still in his T-shirt and sweats stood nervously beside her. Her doctor, who Ryan called in complete panic an hour ago told them to meet him at the hospital since he was making his rounds there. The entire ride there Ryan pushed ninety, running red lights and looking scared to death. Pam sat with her lead lowered, her hands plastered on her stomach trying to feel for any movement at all.
"Ryan there's nothing, see?"
Ryan took his hand off the wheel as he raced down the highway and felt her stomach. Usually the baby would kick up a storm, Ryan had been joking the last couple of weeks about Jeffery being a future soccer player. Now there was nothing.
Ryan tried to focus on not crashing the car. Nearly pulling up on the curb, he helped Pam out and rushed her into the lobby.
Before he could say anything else Pam's doctor came out.
Now here they were.
Taking an ultrasound, both nervously watched the screen as the doctor sat moving the paddled across Pam's huge stomach. Once the screen the lit up, the doctor leaned forward.
Pam bit down on her bottom lip, she never felt so scared before in her life. The last couple of months had been the happiest of her life. She knew if something had happened to their baby that more than likely this would be the last time they would ever try again to be parents. Thinking of all those times seeing her baby movie on the screen, or having Ryan feel her stomach and having it kick inside of her she kept hoping so badly that there wouldn't be any more bad luck. Ryan and her had their share all ready.
Thinking of the miscarriages and the heartache both had agreed this baby was a complete accident. That they loved each other too much to try and pretend a baby could fix things. This had been the source of them falling apart in the first place. Thinking of holding her baby and then how that late night at the Michael Scott Paper Company had changed so many things…she wondered if they could take it if the doctor told them the baby had died.
This wouldn't be like any miscarriage…this was their son.
Pam's eyes filled with tears as Ryan squeezed her hand.
"Is it dead?"
The doctor looked at them before shaking his head.
"No, of course not…look."
He flipped a switch and the baby's heartbeat filled the room. Right away Ryan felt out the biggest sigh of relief she thought he might pass out. Pam began crying out loud before Ryan quickly dug into his pocket and grabbed his inhaler. The doctor grinned before looking at the screen closely and turned his stool.
"In fact, your starting to go into la"Webor Pam."
Pam and Ryan froze.
"The baby is completely developed, and it's all ready getting into position. Has your back been aching?"
Pam quickly nodded wiped her eyes before nodding.
"Yeah a little bit."
"Well if you and your husband want, we can induce you so you can deliver by eight tonight telling by how the baby is positioned. I'll give you a few minutes to think it over. If not I give it a few days at the most…don't worry, your baby is perfectly fine."
The doctor smiled as Ryan and Pam thanked him. After he left the two didn't say a word. Finally Ryan turned towards her, tears in his eyes.
"Okay…are you ready?"
Pam sniffled in, she never thought she had been so relieved before in her entire life. Rubbing her stomach she smiled, her heart pounding.
"We need to call our parents."
Ryan grinned before leaning over and kissing her.
Four hours later
"And push Pam push!"
Pam sat up in the hospital bed. Dressed in a paper gown and her beautiful red hair tied back she snapped her eyes shut as sweat rolled down her face. Ryan who was in scrubs stood beside the doctor helping hold back one of her legs. Two other nurses were in there soothing Pam and cheering her on.
Ryan nervously eyed Pam's monitor, his big blue eyes watching.
Pam's entire lower half was numb but she had never felt so much pain before in her life. Kicking herself for going natural, she couldn't believe how she felt as though she was being torn apart. Crying, she wanted her mother.
"Okay hold on!"
The doctor said on the other end of the bed, looking up before feeling her stomach.
"Just a few more pushes and you're all set."
Pam tried to take deep breaths as one of the nurses rubbed her arm. Looking down at Ryan who watched the doctor she wanted to hold his hand so badly. Thinking of the first time he ever walked into the office, his rain trench on and his thick black hair falling into his perfectly smooth and clear face. How he came over as she sat behind her neck and then how Michael had burst out from his office shaking his arm off.
She then thought back at them on the poker table at the Michael Scott Paper Company. She couldn't believe just a few minutes of not thinking clearly resulted in this. After all the years of trying and pain they were finally going to be parents. Pam felt scared to death and didn't think she could take the pain much longer.
Ryan looked at her, holding her leg.
"It's okay baby, you're doing fine."
The doctor wheeled in closer.
"Okay Pam if you listen to me and you do two more big pushes your baby will be here okay?"
Pam didn't feel like sitting up again but one of the nurses helped her. Trying to keep her eyes on Ryan she nodded.
"Okay bare down and push!"
Pam snapped her eyes shut, screaming out.
"A little bit longer…I can see the head…"
Pam took a deep breath.
"Come on one more! Push Pam!"
Pam tried again, squeezing the nurse's hand as she used the last of her strength. Finally the oddest feeling left her and she felt as though somebody had just yanked all her guts out. A dull throbbing followed and then…
Pam fell back against one of the nurses as she watched Ryan's eyes get huge. The doctor laughed holding up the crying and wiggling baby.
"Here's your son!"
Pam laid there, unable to breath. The doctor laughed holding the baby up for her to see and she saw the amazement in Ryan's eyes.
That was their son.
The one they had been waiting for.
One hour later
Pam laid propped up in the hospital bed downstairs holding her newborn baby who was wrapped up in a blue blanket. Ryan who looked exhausted and wired at the same time sat beside her. His eyes so filled with love as he kept looking down at their son and gently brushed the thin black hair he all ready had.
Pam couldn't believe how in love she was just now. The instincts her mother had explained had in fact kicked in. She wanted to cry, and keep thanking God for letting this happen for Ryan and her.
The wait had been worth it.
The baby was a little over six pounds and completely perfect. Pam didn't want to stop holding him.
Pam's parents were downstairs in the lobby making phone calls with Ryan's mother and his two brothers. They had just been up and couldn't stop telling Pam what a great job she had done. Pam's father and Ryan's brothers kept patting Ryan on the back as he smiled ear to ear.
Pam's mother had kissed Pam telling her she was going to make an amazing mother.
Now it was just them.
"He's so perfect Ryan…"
"Do you want to hold him?"
Ryan looked nervous. He didn't hold Jeffery in the delivery room since he claimed his hands were shaking too badly.
"Come on, you're not going to break him."
Ryan smiled as Pam slowly shifted the baby over to him. Jeffery thinly cried and Ryan looked at Pam scared to death.
"What did I do?"
Pam smiled, she was exhausted.
"Nothing, babies cry."
Ryan said looking down at the baby. Holding him he smiled, his arms tightly around the tiny little bundle.
"Hey there Jeffery…I'm your daddy."
Pam's heart swelled seeing him hold their baby. Ryan then leaned over and gently kissed the baby's head. Right away Pam laid back feeling like the luckiest woman in the world.
One week later
"Attention everyone. I would like you all to meet for the first time Jeffery Salem Michael Howard."
Michael said grinning as he held up the car seat with the sleeping baby inside. Pam and Ryan stood behind him eyeing each other. They had humored Michael and made his middle name Michael. This gave Ryan and Pam six paid weeks' vacation.
Everyone in the office approached, smiling and looking down.
"Jeffery Salem, that's really pretty."
Kelly said, awing over the sleeping newborn.
"Yeah we thought Salem would be nice since we got married on Halloween."
Pam said. In the background Angela rolled her eyes before giving the baby a slight nod.
"Salem, a town in which people claimed to be possessed by the devil. Real nice guys."
Ryan and Pam looked at each other. Michael showed off the baby like a proud uncle…or at least as close as an uncle could get. Phyllis smiled, looking down into the car seat. Jeffery was fast asleep, dressed in a black velvet onesy and a tiny black newsboy cap on. The baby was all ready chubby and didn't seem bothered by any of the noise Michael was making.
That day everyone sat down to coffee and cake as Michael continued to gush over how cute Jeffery was and how he would grow up to be just like his father…hottest in the office.
Pam was still on leave and Ryan was staying home helping out. The first night back home had been scary. Pam was still exhausted by the delivery and for three hours straight Jeffery didn't seem to want to stop crying. Pacing back and forth trying to sooth him, the two of them smiled at each other with tired and darkened eyes. Before dawn when the baby finally got to sleep both found themselves sitting on the sofa in the living room with Jeffery sleeping in Pam's arms.
The next day Ryan made the mistake of waking Jeffery when he was sleeping. Spending half of the day just standing in the nursery, Ryan told Pam he couldn't help it. He thought the baby wasn't breathing and got scared. This caused what seemed like a five hour fit of nonstop crying. It got so bad Pam was this close to calling the doctor's before she called her mom.
"Honey you have to remember never to wake a sleeping baby."
"I know mom, it's just Ryan was scared he wasn't breathing…"
Pam heard her mother chuckle on the other line.
"He's too cute. Tell him not to worry, his baby is just fine."
Pam's mother came over later that afternoon to help the two and was finally able to get Jeffery to drift off and take his feeding even though he had been fussy.
Pam looked at her mom completely exhausted.
"We're doing horrible…can you move in?"
Pam's mother laughed.
"You guys are doing great. Now let me sit with him, you two get some sleep."
Ryan and Pam collapsed the second they hit the bed.
Ryan loved holding Jeffery, in fact the entire first week he loved just holding him and kissing his head whenever he was walking around the condo. Pam was amused and even had to remind him that Jeffery needed his rest and had to lay in his crib sometimes. She was tickled by how much Ryan loved his baby.
Jeffery began spitting up a lot the day before and Ryan and Pam attempted his first bath only to have Jeffery turn bright red and begin to scream. Both stared at each other scared to death before calling Pam's mother. She told them not to worry, that to just get the baby used to the water and he would settle down. That afternoon Pam and Ryan stood by the kitchen sink in jeans and soaking wet T-shirts as they laughed and gave their baby his first bath.
Jeffery's hair was all ready coming in thick and had great big blue eyes. Pam was thrilled…he looked just like Ryan.
Now as everyone from the office ate cake and looked down at the sleeping baby, Jim walked over hands in his pockets before leaning down and looking at him. Pam sat right beside the car seat and was finishing her cake. Ryan was just outside talking and laughing with Toby and Creed.
Pam looked up smiling.
"Lovin the hat. Is that some old fashion Beesly fashion?"
Pam blushed before nodding.
"You got me."
"He's really cute though, you guys did great."
Pam smiled up at Jim as he smiled back.
"So how's that girl you're seeing going? What's her name again?"
"Amy, great. I'll bring her by sometime, you'll like her."
Pam smiled, knowing things were going back to normal.
7 months later
Pam turned on her webcam and laughed as the image on the screen was Ryan back at their condo holding Jeffery who was dressed in tiny little overalls. The baby giggled looking at the camera and touched the screen.
"How's he doing?"
Ryan smiled before blowing a strawberry on Jeffery's stomach making him giggle.
"Oh he's doing fine. Just wanted to say hi."
Pam smiled waving.
Dwight rolled his eyes from across the way.
For the last couple of months Ryan decided to leave his desk job at Dunder Mifflin and stay with Jeffery at home full time. Both Pam and him sat down together trying to figure out if they could afford this and things seemed to work out just fine. The extra ten thousand Ryan had sent Pam through his bank account was now Jeffery's slowly building college fund. Michael told Ryan whenever he wanted to come back the door was always open. Now some new girl named Alice was answering the phones.
Ryan loved being a stay at home dad and both had agreed it would be better for Jeffery the first few years. Ryan claimed he finally found the one thing he was good at…being a dad.
Pam was amazed how much he fussed over Jeffery. He was always dressed so nice and cute. Pam's latest hobby had been snapping photos of Jeffery dressed up. Ryan loved playing with him, and often took him to the playground a few miles away.
Pam saw a light in Ryan's eyes she had never seen.
They were both happy and had never been so much in love.
Ryan's blood sugar was getting under control now and Pam saw he was taking better care of himself. One evening when she came home he found him sitting at the kitchen table giving Jeffery his bottle and speaking in adorable baby talk. This made Pam laugh, she never thought she would see the day that Ryan Howard would become a stay at home dad.
Pam worked her job and often checked in via webcam twice a day usually on her lunch breaks. Their parents helped out a bunch and every Friday was date night for them. They had found a nice healthy balance in Scranton and loved being parents to their baby boy.
One year later
Pam was in the living room one Saturday with Jeffery who had just started getting his balance on his chubby little legs and was watching him move his plastic fire truck slowly back and forth across the hardwood floor. Pam laughed, sitting on the sofa with her sketchpad in her hands. Lately she had been doing more art and Ryan was trying to push her into entering more contests.
Jeffery's hair was now thick black and his big blue eyes exactly matched Ryan.
Ryan was pulling on his coat, he was going to help his brother move into his new apartment.
"Okay so I'll be back around six…"
Ryan said before leaning over and gently kissing Pam's forehead.
"Okay we'll be here."
Ryan went over to Jeffery who was slowly pushing his truck.
"Okay buddy I'll see you later."
Right away distress filled Jeffery's big eyes. Ryan ruffled his hair before kissing his head and stood back up. The second he began to move towards the door Jeffery latched onto his leg.
Ryan looked like his heart broke as he looked down.
"Hey buddy it's okay I'll be back."
Jeffery said. Just lately his language had really been improving. His first word of course was dada. Pam made jokes that Ryan was the favored parent and would put into a better retirement home when they got older.
Pam set her sketchpad down and scooped Jeffery up.
"Just go, he'll get more upset if you stall."
Ryan quickly kissed her again before kissing Jeffery.
"Okay bye guys."
Jeffery began struggling in Pam's arms, fighting to get down.
He began to cry out, reaching his arms out to Ryan. Ryan sighed before waving to Pam and then shut the door. Jeffery began to lose it, kicking Pam his cries got even louder.
"Dada! I want dada! No!"
Pam tried to sooth him, rubbing his back.
"Shhhhh, it's all right."
Setting Jeffery down he burst into fresh tears. Sighing Pam couldn't help but laugh a little.
He sure was the apple of Ryan's eye.
That weekend just as the cooler weather began coming in, Ryan brought Pam and Jeffery out to the park. Jeffery who was dressed in a warm sweater vest and giggled as Ryan threw him up in the air. Pam hooked her arm into his and looked around at all the colorful trees.
She had finally found it.
That night once Jeffery was put to bed. Ryan came back into the bedroom rubbing the back of his neck before changing. Pam sat up watching him, amused and turned on.
Ryan looked up as he began to unbutton his shirt.
"You know, you're really good with him."
"He's got you wrapped around his little finger. Spoil him anymore we might have ourselves a problem."
"Are you kidding, that kid is getting a sports car when he turns sixteen."
Pam rolled his eyes as Ryan laughed and began getting into his basketball shorts.
Just the week before Jim and Amy had gotten married. Pam received a postcard from their honeymoon. She was really glad he had finally found happiness just like her. Now watching her husband get ready for bed she knew she wouldn't trade this life for anything else in the whole world.
"three more years he'll be going into preschool. Scared?"
She loved teasing him about that. Ryan gave a look.
"Don't even start."
Pam laughed before Ryan jumped into bed, wrapping his arms around her and kissing her cheek.
"I love you Pam Howard."
"And I love you Ryan Howard."
Three years later
Pam and Ryan stood together as Jeffery turned to look at them one more time before stepping onto the bus. His black hair cut short he wore his backpack and looked slightly unsure at his parent's worried faces.
"Bye Jeffery, we'll be here the second you come home."
Jeffery smiled, his happy go lucky smile before getting onto the bus. Minutes later he pulled away. Pam sighed, feeling a weight lift in her chest. Her baby was really growing up. Looking over she noticed Ryan looking down rubbing his eyes.
"Are you okay?"
She asked smiling.
Ryan cleared his throat, his eyes looking puffy.
Pam rolled her eyes.
"Jesus Ryan it's just half a day!"
Ryan shot her a look.
"Half a day is bad enough. Come on I'll drive you to work."
Pam couldn't believe how cute he seemed. For the last three years Ryan had stayed home with Jeffery while she worked. She knew this was hard on him since he loved every waking moment he had with Jeffery, who Pam saw was turning out to be a smart, well mannered, playfully little boy.
Pam kissed his scruffy cheek before wrapping her arms around him and walking to the car.
Six years later
"Happy birthday Jeffery!"
Everyone clapped as Pam snapped another photo with her camera as Jeffery leaned over the table and blew out the candles. Everyone laughed as parents and their children stood around. Jeffery grinned up at everyone before Ryan began passing out the slices.
Pam stood beside Amy. Both were seven months pregnant.
"Hey dad can I go play?"
He asked, his big blue eyes sparking. Ryan smiled, now with a goatee.
"Sure sport, don't you want some cake?"
Jeffery jumped up from the table joining his little friends and going into the back yard where the kids were playing soccer. Michael who looked as though he was having a better time than most of the children patted Ryan on the back and helped him finish passing out the cake. Holly sat a few tables away, their two year old daughter giggling and bouncing on her lap.
"Man, my back is killing me."
"Yeah me too."
Jim walked over, before helping pull out chairs for them.
Any said before sitting next to Pam. Both laughed as they looked over the photos from today's party. Ryan walked over, a slice of cake for both of them.
"Here you are ladies."
"Thanks, I'm starving."
Ryan leaned over, kissing her cheek before feeling her stomach.
"I'm sure you are."
Jim stood back, his hand on Amy's shoulder as she shoveled in the cake smiling. In the background Michael had joined the soccer game with the rest of the kids.
Eight years later
"Oh my God you guys are being such dorks!"
Jeffery said rolling his eyes outside of the college campus. Both Ryan and Pam stood together outside of their car trying to hold back from crying. Dakota, their daughter sat in the backseat unaware of any of this going on. Instead she had her headphones on and was bouncing her head back and forth to the music. Her red hair tied back in a ponytail.
"Shut up Jeffery!"
Ryan laughed through his tears. Quickly he wiped them with the back of his sleeve and leaned over hugging his handsome teenage son.
Jeffery was going to college on a soccer scholarship. He now towered over with his parents and his black hair was falling in his eyes. He had been the perfect kid and now he was about to leave home. Pam and Ryan weren't taking it so great.
"Love you dad."
Ryan nodded before Pam burst into tears and hugged him tightly.
"Remember to be safe and call us okay?"
Blowing him a kiss, both watched him join up with his friends and head to their dorms. On the ride home with eyed Dakota in the rearview mirror and sighed.
Time really did go in the blink of an eye.
When Dakota turned five, Ryan went back to Dunder Mifflin. By then Jim had left, transferring to Mass with his family and Ryan was hired in his old position ever since David Wallace gave it the okay. It seemed the business was actually pulling through and had doubled their sales over the last ten years. Ryan couldn't be promoted any higher than that but began making sales the first month he was in. Pam had never seen him so proud.
Pam worked part time at Dunder Mifflin before going back to night school and ended up getting a nice job at Dakota's school as the art teacher. Pam loved being with kids and for once wasn't bored with what she did. Every night she would come home in a great mood and couldn't stop talking about her day.
After Ryan's mother remarried they moved into her old house which was nice and big for the four of them. There was a great big back yard and swimming pool for the kids.
Jeffery was a busy teenager. He loved high school and attended every sports event. He was popular and kept making Ryan crack up whenever he complained about his women troubles…which were mostly three different girls fighting for him at once.
He began dating a nice girl who he took to the prom. Now he was off at college.
Dakota was a very easy going little princess. She loved art like her mother and had a nice sense of humor for an eight year old.
Just a year before hand after Rusty past away they bought a new dog Rex.
Now here they were.
A month later, one weekend when Dakota was with friends for the weekend Ryan surprised Pam into driving her into New York. It was October and the trees were beautiful on the drive down. They parked in the city and walked hand in hand enjoying the crisp weather.
Right before dusk Ryan brought her to the park. Both stood on the side of the pathway watching leafs slowly scatter to the ground.
Ryan nuzzled up against his wife as Pam sighed, laying her head against his chest.
They were in the same exact spot they had gotten married.
"We must be crazy to have stayed together this long."
Pam smiled watching the sunset.
"Maybe that's why we're so in love, we're both a little crazy."
Ryan laughed, kissing the top of her head as a gentle cool breeze blew by them.
"Fire and Rain – James Taylor."