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Story Alerts: rebabe.
Chapter 12: The Cries of Joy
"Are you sure?" I glanced over at the dark-haired girl beside me, a little apprehensive.
Sam was now six months pregnant with our baby, a little girl as we had found out at one of the ultrasounds. Of course, her round belly or anything else to do with the pregnancy was not going to stop her from doing what she wanted. "Of course I'm sure."
"Sam, a home birth could be really unsafe," I tried to argue.
Her mind had been made up two weeks ago after watching a video on the internet of a mother giving birth at home to her first child. "It's what I want," she said, arms crossing over her chest.
I gritted my teeth, trying my hardest not to grip the steering wheel too tightly; I'd learned to drive three months earlier. "And I want my wife and my child to survive through birth," I ground out, blinking as my eyes started to burn. I didn't need to look over at her to know that had hurt. Sighing, I glanced over at her to see her staring down at her hands, sniffling. "Honey, come on… Don't be like that. I didn't mean to shout."
Wiping at her eyes, she shook her head. "You know you didn't shout; you didn't even raise your voice. But you're right too. I'm being selfish, and even the doctor says it's unsafe what with my first pregnancy ending in a miscarriage."
That, I hadn't known. I didn't know she'd talked to the doctor about it or that he'd even advised her against it because of the miscarriage. Gripping the steering wheel, I tried my hardest not to get angrier. How could she think to go against a doctor's advice? Especially when she knew we had nearly lost this one too. Sam had been admitted to the hospital after she started having labor pains at only four months pregnant. Thankfully, a specialist doctor had seen her and had managed to calm her and the baby down enough to save both of them. We visited that doctor now because of his specialty.
"Are you mad at me?" Sam whispered, sniffling once more.
How could I answer that? Gritting my teeth, I took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Pretty much, yeah. I mean, you know the risks, know how close we came to losing this baby too, even had a doctor's advise against your plan, but you were stubbornly going to insist on your own way putting yourself and the baby in danger." I looked over at her, ignoring the way my eyes still stung. "What the hell am I supposed to do if I lose you both, huh? It was bad enough with the first miscarriage, but honestly!" Shaking my head, I turned away as tears started slipping down her cheeks. "I just can't believe you would do this to me, yourself, and our baby."
"I'm sorry," she wailed, making me jump. I had to slam my foot on the gas again to keep from slamming into the guy in front of me. "I really just hate the idea of the doctors trying to put me through a cesarean! You can't ever have a normal birth after that! They won't let you! I really wanted to give birth naturally."
Running my fingers through my hair, I sighed. "Sam, you can still give birth naturally. The cesarean is for safety precautions, but you don't have to do it. As long as she and you are healthy enough, the doctor will let you do it naturally at the hospital. You have to be prepared that something might go wrong though and that you may have to go through with a cesarean."
She wiped at her eyes, hiccupping as she tried to stop crying. "O-okay, I just want what's best for baby."
Pulling into our spot at the apartment complex, I got out of the car then went around to help Sam out. As soon as she was standing, she hugged me tightly around the middle and started crying once again into my stomach. "Honey, come on," I whispered, wrapping my arms around her and stroking her hair. "It's going to be okay." I tilted her head up, kissing her gently on the lips. "I just don't want to lose you and the baby. It's so selfish, but I don't think I could survive if I lost both of you."
Her lilac eyes peeked up at me, and she managed a small smile. "'Snot that selfish," she whispered. "If it was the other way around, I wouldn't want to lose both of you either."
I gently stroked her cheek, gazing down at her. "So, we're going to a hospital for the birth, right?" She smiled up at me and nodded. "Good. Makes less for me to clean up too." She laughed and slapped my arm.
Sam looked ready to pop. It was the best way I could describe it as the due date of our baby came closer and closer. The doctor had said September 15th, and it was already the 12th. I was surprised Sam could be so calm about this; I felt like I was on pins and needles. Every time Sam called for me, I thought for sure she was telling me it was time. Maybe I was just anxious to have the baby already; we'd waited so long for this little bundle of joy after all.
"Danny, just relax," Sam complained as I leapt out of bed for the fifth time that night. "Every move I make does not mean she's coming."
I ran my fingers through my hair, shaking my head. "I'm sorry. I'm just so antsy. The doctor said the fifteenth, and that's only a couple of days away!" I sat down beside her, sighing as she rubbed my shoulders. "We're so close to having her… I just want to hold her already."
"Trust me, sweetheart. I'm really excited too, but she'll come when she's ready. Would you really want her to come out before she's really that ready to join us in this world? Maybe her little lungs still need time to adjust. Maybe her little heart doesn't feel ready to beat without my help." She gasped suddenly, and I turned to look at her. Her eyes were wide, and she had a hand on her abdomen. "Or maybe she was just waiting for her daddy to calm down."
"What?!" I leapt up off the bed, staring at her. "She's coming now?"
She laughed then grimaced, gripping the comforter tighter. "Yeah, I'm pretty sure this time it's real. Get the hospital bag. I'll call Dr. Eldivar."
"No, I'll do that." I snatched the phone from her hand, scooping up the bag we'd prepared early for this time. "Come on, honey, let's get you to the car." Quickly dialing the doctor's number, I put the phone between my ear and shoulder then reached out to help Sam off the bed.
"Ow! Ow…" She gripped my arm tightly, and I tried my best not to complain either. "Ugh, I didn't realize this would be so painful."
I laughed. "Of course it's going to be painful, honey." Then I turned my attention to the phone as a groggy doctor answer. "Hi, Dr. Eldivar? It's Daniel Fenton. Sam and I are on the way to the hospital. She's started having some contractions."
"I'll be right there," he said then the line went dead. I raised my head so the phone fell to the floor, kicking it out of my way as I led Sam as quickly and as painlessly as I could toward the front door.
Just as I got Sam into the front seat of the car, something wet trickled down from between her legs. "Uh, Danny? I think that was my water breaking."
"Shit…" I made certain she was completely in the car before closing the door and running around the front of the car. "Buckle up," I told Sam as I climbed in behind the wheel.
We took off, the tires screeching on the pavement. I had thought I would be prepared when this moment came. After all, I'd spent so many times leaping out of my seat at Sam's every call thinking it was time to take her. Unfortunately, actually having to take her to the hospital was a completely different situation. I tried my best to catch every green light. When they were red, I would wait—just like an emergency vehicle—then take off when it was clear.
The hospital came into view far too slowly for me what with Sam gripping either my arm or the arm of the chair and squeezing it with her vice-like grip. Parking in the labor and delivery area, I ran for a wheelchair for Sam before helping her out of the car. She was breathing really heavily, and she was already sweating a lot. Dr. Eldivar met us just as I walked into the ER, leading us down to a birthing room.
"Relax, everything's going to be fine," Dr. Eldivar said. I thought he was talking to Sam, but he gently pried my hand off of the wheelchair handles and pushed me into the chair beside the birthing bed. "Really, Mr. Fenton, you need to relax. Sam will need your support more than anything else, but you'll be no help to anyone if you keep hyperventilating like that."
I hadn't even realized I'd been doing that. I tried to keep my breathing even and light as Dr. Eldivar and two nurses helped get Sam onto the bed. Dr. Eldivar left to prepare, promising to be back to check on Sam's dilation levels now and then. One of the nurses stayed behind to hook up an IV and heart monitor. The last thing she did was hook up a heart monitor for the baby too then checked on Sam's dilation.
"Danny…" Sam's eyes were wide as she turned her head toward me, reaching out for my hand. I reluctantly relinquished it to her, gritting my teeth as she squeezed it tight. "I'm scared!" There were tears streaming down her cheeks, and she was shaking her head. "What if something goes wrong?"
"Honey, just relax." Evidently I looked a lot calmer than I felt because I was freaking out inside. My thoughts were right where hers were. What if we lost another baby? "Everything's going to be fine. We've made it this far. I doubt we're going to lose her now."
"I'm so scared, Danny… Please, just hold me," she pleaded. I couldn't exactly climb into the hospital bed with her, but I did my best to wrap my arms around her while still letting her hold tightly to my right hand. At least it had gone numb now.
Dr. Eldivar returned about an hour later, looking much more prepped to deliver a baby and not quite as casual as when he had greeted us. "All right, Mrs. Fenton, let's just take a look here." He lifted up the blanket to look between her legs, and I had to look away. Something about another guy looking at her down there, even a doctor, made me nervous. "You're doing great, Mrs. Fenton. In fact, I think you're ready to push." He set the blanket on her knees, looking up at Sam. "Have you felt like pushing yet?"
She nodded. "Every other contraction feels really powerful, like it's trying to push without me."
"Good, that's good." He pressed the 'call nurse' button on the wall then went over to the sink, sterilizing his hands. "Mr. Fenton, do you plan on cutting your baby's umbilical cord?"
"Oh, uh, um… Yes?" I hadn't even thought about that, but I supposed it couldn't hurt. Sam gave me a weak smile then gritted her teeth once more.
The nurse walked in and began preparing the weigh area and cleaning area for the baby. She wouldn't actually do anything for the birth, but she would be taking care of everything afterward. Dr. Eldivar walked back over to us, sitting on a stool between Sam's legs. I tried my hardest not to get jealous; that was just not the best place I could think of for the doctor to sit right now.
"All right, Sam, push."
I thought for sure I would go deaf again between Sam screaming at me and the doctor trying to yell over her to tell her to keep pushing. Sam threatened me with castration, complete penile removal, chopping off my balls herself, and for some reason she threatened to shove a red-hot fireplace poker up my ass. None of that sounded very pleasant, but I tried not to take it to heart. Even so, my groin seemed to ache a little just with the thought of those promised threats. It seemed like hours had gone by, but when I looked at the clock, only half an hour had gone by.
Just as I turned my head back to Sam from looking at the clock, the doctor shouted, "She's out!" The nurse rushed over and lifted her up a bit, rubbing her, and the tiny cries of my baby girl filled the room.
Sam was staring at the little person in the nurse's arms with absolute awe in her eyes. I couldn't help feeling the same way, unable to believe that the beautiful baby girl now getting rubbed down was ours. The doctor handed me some medical scissors as the nurse sectioned off the area where I would cut with medical clamps. For some reason, I was afraid I would hurt the baby, holding these scissors in my hand. I knew the umbilical cord didn't actually have anything left in it that was actually helping the baby. There were no nerves in it, but I couldn't help wincing as I cut it.
Nothing changed in the baby's cries, and the nurse took her over to be weighed and measured before bringing her back over bundled up in a blanket with a little hat on her head and mittens on her hands. Sam held her arms out for her baby on instinct, tears sliding down her cheeks. The nurse relinquished the baby with a smile and a murmur of congratulations before slipping out of the room. I sat by and watched as my wife and daughter bonded for the first time outside of the womb.
"Oh, Danny," she whispered, gently stroking the little bit of hair our daughter had, "she's gorgeous."
"Yeah, she is," I whispered, edging closer.
As if sensing what I wanted, Sam smiled at me then held the baby out for me to take. I hesitated, suddenly worried that maybe I would drop her or she wouldn't like me. Very slowly, Sam helped me get her situated in my arms, and I stood as I held her. Rocking her gently, I smiled as she opened her eyes to look at me.
"Hello, baby," I whispered, "I'm your daddy…"
Author's Note: Finished! Hope you all enjoyed, and I hope you all keep checking back for more stories from me! I've got plans for a really angsty tale. I just gotta think of a way to start it... I can think of several scenes I want to write right now, but none of them are the beginning scene.
Blanket disclaimer: Chapter 1.