Sam had decided she really didn't like being in labour. None of the books had prepared her for the pain of this particular activity and Jack was still not there. Charlie was trying to help and Daniel was doing reasonably well but they weren't whom she wanted. General Hammond had arrived some time before to say Jack had transferred from the helicopter to the air force plane and was on his way as quick as the plane could bring him.
For Sam, though, it was not quick enough. She wanted Jack here and she wanted him now. Her body tensed with another contraction. It was all just getting to be too much and she didn't know how much more she could take. Daniel fed her ice chips and Charlie wiped her forehead.
"How long, Janet?" Sam whimpered
"A little while, yet, Sam. You're moving along, but not very fast. Looks like this little one wants to wait until Daddy's here."
"No, Janet. I can't do this," Sam stated, getting more and more anxious.
"It's ok, Sam. You can do it," Daniel said, holding her hand.
"No, I can't, I can't," Sam whispered.
"Yes, you can, Sam. I know you can." Jack's voice had a little hitch in it but was clear from the doorway.
"Jack," Sam breathed.
Daniel moved from his position behind Sam as Jack approached the bed.
"Yeah, I'm here, and I know you can do this." Jack took her hand.
Sam looked up at him with tears in her pale blue eyes. "You came back. I didn't believe the General."
Jack stroked her fingers. "I'm sorry I left, Sam. I thought it was for the best."
"I'm sorry I pushed you away," Sam sobbed.
Jack moved closer, almost sitting on the bed beside her. "Ssshh, Sam, it's ok. We can talk later. I'm not going anywhere."
Sam's face looked like steel. "No, we need to talk now."
She grabbed his hand tighter as she was hit by a particularly strong contraction. As the pain eased she slowly turned to face Jack and used her free hand to run her fingers down his face and back through his hair.
"I love you," she said quietly, but firmly. She needed to put her cards on the table no matter what his response was. Even with all the pain she was keeping a clear head.
Jack leaned over and stared into her eyes then bent further to kiss her gently. "I love you, too," he whispered.
Sam's face lit up with a smile that Jack thought had been lost to him forever. Then this was replaced by a look of agonising pain.
"Aaagghh. Janet, they're getting stronger!" Sam shouted to her friend.
"Ok, Sam. We'll look and see what the situation is," Janet said, moving back to the bed she had left to allow the couple to talk. "Right, Sam, we're getting closer. Baby must have wanted to hear Daddy's voice. We need to prep you for delivery."
Janet left the room to check the hastily prepared delivery area and get changed into new scrubs. The nurse handed Jack a gown and she then helped Sam change from her sweaty one to a new one. Only Jack noticed that it was the first time he had seen her with no clothes on. He stood looking at the scene and reminded himself that he led a very weird life; his baby was about to be born and he had only just kissed the mother for the first time ten minutes previously.
Sam was moved quickly to the delivery area, holding tightly onto Jack as the gurney was quickly wheeled along the corridor. Once they'd reached the delivery room Jack took up position behind Sam on the bed, rubbing her back to try and soothe her as she whimpered when another contraction started.
"You can do it, Sam, I know you can," Jack whispered.
"Ahhhhhhhhh! God, it hurts!"
"Just a little more, Sam, and it'll all be over," Jack said. "You're doing great."
Sam leaned back against Jack as the pain eased up, exhausted, and Jack wrapped his arms around her.
"How much longer, Janet? I really wanna push."
"Not much longer, hon," Janet soothed, as she looked back down to see how things were progressing. "Ok, this is it, Sam. You're almost there. I can see the head. Now, next contraction, push!"
Jack groaned as Sam grabbed his hand and squeezed it even harder than before. "Ah, Sam, I need that hand, you know."
"Wanna swap places?" Sam growled.
"Ah, no, no, one hand's ok," Jack joked, then added seriously, whispering quietly to Sam, "But you know I'd swap places with you in a heartbeat, if I could."
Sam looked up at Jack with a tired smile, tears in her eyes. "I know."
"Sam, you have to concentrate now, and push," Janet interrupted.
Sam really wanted to kick her. However, she curbed that desire as the next contraction hit, and pushed, very grateful that Jack was there with her.
After more pain, some screams and many tears, the loud, high-pitched scream of a baby could be heard by the small group of men outside the delivery room. A few minutes later a nurse came out to report that Mom, Dad and baby girl were all doing well.
Back in the room Jack was still sitting behind an exhausted Sam. The baby was being cleaned and Sam relaxed into Jack's arms.
"You were amazing. I love you so much," he whispered into her ear, trying to get his head around what he had just witnessed. He had missed Charlie's birth and had always wondered what it would be like. Now thanks to the beautiful woman in his arms he had experienced it.
The nurse came back with a cleaner - but still pink and puckered - little baby and Jack was in complete awe. The nurse placed her in Sam's waiting arms and was not surprised when all three began to cry. She helped Sam begin to feed, allowing Jack to hold both his girls.
"She's incredible," Sam said, clearly in awe herself.
"What we gonna call her?" Jack asked. Sam burst into tears. "Hey what's wrong? Did I say something wrong?"
Sam turned her head and smiled at him. Through broken sobs she explained, "No…it's just the first time...you've accepted that she's yours, too."
"Is that ok?" Jack asked, fairly sure he had screwed things up again.
"More than ok," Sam said, moving to kiss him.
After a few minutes Jack broke the kiss and pushed back a little to look at Sam. He gently pushed some hair from her face. "So…what are we going to call her?"
"I don't know," Sam acknowledged. "I was kinda planning on a boy and calling him Jack after you."
Jack sighed and put on his 'thinking' face. "Oh well, we're going to have to think of a suitable name." Sam giggled at his face, she was so happy.
Janet returned from changing her scrubs again. "Sam, I need to get you checked out. How about we let Jack go and show her off and I can get you comfortable."
Sam was reluctant to let go of the little bundle but as Jack moved from behind her she caught a glimpse of the joy shining from his eyes. She couldn't resist and handed their baby to her father.
"We'll see you in a bit, ok?" He leaned over and kissed her again then walked out of the room to show his little girl to her new uncles.
The three men rose as one from the plastic chairs when Jack emerged from the delivery room. They quickly huddled round to get a good look.
"Wow, she's beautiful." Daniel was the first to state the obvious.
"Good thing she looks like Sam," Charlie added.
"It is indeed fortunate, O'Neill," Teal'c agreed.
"Hey," Jack said, trying not to shout, "I would resent that if it wasn't so true." He looked down at the little girl who was going to change his life. Life was going to be very different from now on and Jack really couldn't wait.