It was one hour and twenty three minutes, one hour and twenty minutes since Smithy and Gavin had finally descended on St. Mary's Maternity Hospital, one hour and twenty minutes since Gavin had run past his parents and in-laws whilst his ecstatic and screaming Mother had thrust the camera in his face and snapped pictures of him, much to his annoyance.
It had also been one hour and eighteen minutes since Pam and Bryn had wept into each other's shoulders as it was 'finally, really and truly happening'.
"How you feeling, baby?" Gavin asked, as Stacey lifted her head off his chest after yet another contraction.
"Remember that time we got that Fried Chicken from that Chicken Place?" Stacey asked, wearily.
"From Herman's?" He checked, glancing at his watch, roughly twenty six seconds.
"Yeah, how we said it was like lead and how we wrote the will because we thought we were dying?"
"Yeah?" Gavin replied, rubbing her back soothingly in a bid to make her more comfortable.
"Well this is nothing like that, this is like how the toilet felt after Nessa was through with it," Gavin grimaced.
"You poor, poor woman," he stated.
39.432 seconds after her last contraction the next one started and Stacey's head flew once more to her husband's chest for solace.
"Shh, shh, shh," Gavin murmured, reaching for the gas and air with and inserting the nozzle into her mouth whilst the other went back to rubbing her back. "Inhale, babe, right in," He soothed, the sounds of his wife's moans and cries of pain killing him.
Five minutes later, the midwife came back in and began to examine Stacey after a few seconds she looked towards them both and Stacey. "You're ten centimetres, Stacey," She smiled. "Time to have your baby,"
"Well this is nice," Pam announced to the silent waiting room as she, Mick, Smithy, Nessa, Neil the toddler, Gwen, Bryn and Jason sat in the waiting room.
"Pam, I'm not bein' funny but that's the twelfth time you said that in the space of eight minutes," Nessa put in as she rocked a sleeping Neil the toddler.
"You think of a topic of conversation then," Pam replied, folding her arms across her chest.
Nessa grunted. "Nice weather," She noted and they all made noises of agreement. A few seconds later, she snapped. "Smith will you stop tapping your foot, it is bloody irritating and I need you to hold Neil – the toddler – whilst I go out to have a packet, my gum's clogging my tonsils!" As she spoke, she brought her ball of nicotine gum to her teeth to reveal her whole packet.
"Yeah sure," Smithy replied, standing up and taking Neil. "Come on, big boy," He grunted, as though his slight son was a hefty weight.
Neil gave a grunt, a heave and a sigh before snuggling into his dad's shoulder as Smithy settled himself on the plastic seating.
As Nessa stood, then paused. "Smith, can I borrow your had for a moment?" She asked.
"Yeah, sure, help yourself," Smithy directed.
Doing as she was told, Nessa took the hat spat her ball of nicotine gum into the felt lining then passed it back to her boyfriend. "Ta," she said, then turned on her black boot and strode out of the waiting room.
A slight silence ensued before Jason began, "Well that was rather ru..." His sentence was broken by Bryn and Pam's continual weeping for their unborn relative.
"In and out, in and out, in and out, in and..." Gavin coached, in an attempt to calm his wife, but to no avail.
"GAVIN! THAT IS HOW WE GOT IN THIS SITUATION AND TO BE HONEST I COULD DO WITHOUT THE REMINDER!" Stacey retorted angrily.
"Stacey you're ten centimetres," The nurse examining Stacey announced. "Time to have a baby!"
Gavin looked at Stacey and Stacey looked at Gavin.
"Funny things names are," Gwen stated, breaking the silence a few minutes later.
"How do you mean, Mum?" Jason asked, as all eyes fell to the soon the be grandmother who had been sat in the corner silently knitting.
"I mean names they're a single word – or a combination – in which a person, place, thing, body or class or, thinking about it, object of thought is designated, called or known,"
"That was very insightful Gwen, love," Mick nodded, patting his wife on the shoulder as she had gained some composure.
There were murmurs of 'I don't know,'
"She mentioned Caden to me," Nessa spoke up as she rocked Bryn in a similar fashion to how Mick rocked his wife.
"No!" Pam spoke up, hiccupping slightly, "they agreed – no Welsh names!"
"She's right," Gwen nodded, holding out her knitting in front of her to get a good view of it.
"We didn't really want to call Gavin, Gavin, y'know," Pam stated, taking a mouthful of coffee from the plastic cup her husband had passed her in order for the hiccups to pass.
"Oh?" Gwen asked, and, one by one, they looked towards her.
"Well, originally we..." She began but Mick interrupted her.
"No, Pam, you," He corrected her.
"Alright, fine, I wanted to call him something very regal, very bold..." She continued.
"Pam, get to the point!" Nessa intervened in an annoyed tone.
"Wald Griggell-Eschefska Shipman!" She announced proudly.
"Well that's lovely," Bryn smiled, over the mixtures of exchanged glances and suppressed snorts of laughter.
"Isn't it?" She agreed, and then shot to her husband. "See Mick! I told you it was a nice name!"
"How did you come up with... such a... unique name?" Jason asked, choosing his words carefully.
"Well, Jase, Wald was a very popular name back in the seventies, it means Forest. And calling your first born child the maiden name of the Mother is a tradition in my family, but Mr. High and Mighty over there wasn't having any of it!" She paused momentarily to give her husband a death stare. "No, ended up with a name each, his family tradition and some random name neither of us liked!" She concluded, folding her arms across her chest.
"No, Pam, we got Thomas after his Granddad because he died the day before he was born, Alexander was my name, Leonardo was yours..."
"After the artist," Pam said to them, "The man is a work of God,"
"And Gavin was the only name out of the Baby Book that you didn't say bleugh at," He concluded.
"I was taking a breath," Pam muttered.
Eight minutes Later
"Kumbaya my Lord, Kumbaya," Pam sang louder than intended to herself as she flicked through the pages of Take a Break. "Kumbaya my Lord, Kumbaya,"
The image of a sixty odd year old woman singing a biblical song provoked glances from the rest of the waiting room, until the twenty stone welsh woman stood up in the corner and joined in.
"Someone's crying Lord, Kumbaya!" Nessa bellowed, almost as proudly as she did the Welsh National Anthem and Kelis' 'My Milkshake brings all the boys to the Yard'.
Pam died down quickly, staring open mouthed at Nessa, much like the rest of the room.
After she finished, an awkward silence descended across the whole of Essex, which was broken by Nessa asking; "Anyone want a Nik Nak?"
A meatball. That was the only word that Gavin Thomas Leonardo Alexander Shipman had to describe the baby that had be lain on his wife's chest a couple of seconds prior, that notion was quickly replaced when he gently stoked his hand with an outstretched finger and his less than one minute old son grasped it as though he was never going to let go and in that single second as he gazed at his child, Gavin vowed, regardless of what this baby, this child, this teenager, this adult would do... Gavin would be the one that would never let go.
Stacey Shipman held her baby close; he had been washed, dressed in the blue and white stripy bodysuit that Pam had packed as well as a matching hat and a blanket that Stacey had bought from the big Mamas and Papas in the local retail park before they arrived at Pam and Mick's. He had been born at 11:27pm on Wednesday 3rd February 2010, weighing 6lb 1 ounce; he had a shock of black tufty hair like his Daddy and the most startling green eyes she had ever seen.
"Hello, sweetheart," Pam smiled calmly, for the first time since Stacey had been in labour, partly because Mick had warned her if she was overexcited, he'd have to take her home and partly because Nessa had given her something for the nerves and no one was sure they wanted to know exactly what it was.
"Hiya, Stace," Mick beamed, his arm wrapped strongly around her shoulders.
"Hiya," Stacey smiled as she gently rocked her baby, who neither the new grandparents nor the new father could take their eyes off.
"Mick, Pam, this is harry," Stacey announced as they gently passed her baby to Pam.
"Oh my goodness," Pam murmured, and for the first time in almost thirty years, she found herself speechless.
Gavin slipped past his parents who were now cooing over their new grandchild and settled on the side of the bed, wrapped his arm around Stacey and kissed the side of her head as they watched Mick and Pam interact with baby Harry.
"Harry Patrick," She added, smiling at Gavin as they both looked towards them.
"Patrick's a new one," Mick stated, gently stroking his grandson's hat covered head.
"Yeah well we talked about it and Gav absolutely hates the name Trevor and there isn't really a combination of Pam and Mick, so Patrick's like a mixture of all three," Stacey explained, he grin broadening as Pam and Mick's heads snapped towards her.
"He named after us?" Mick asked, his smile broadening.
"He's named after me!" Pam exclaimed joyfully, to which her little baby grandson threw up over himself and the woman whom he was named after.
First Gwen, then Pam and Mick, then Bryn, and now Jason was on his way to visit his newborn nephew.
"Do you think that Stacey's had adequate attention tonight?" Nessa asked Smithy, he looked towards her.
"Well she's had a lot, yeah, but her first kid's been born, that's kind of a special night," Smithy replied, yawning.
"So get ready for this one, big boy," Nessa stated. "I'm pregnant and I've spoken to my friend Lulu the midwife, she thinks it's quadruplets.
Smithy stared at her open mouthed. "Marry me," He stated.
There was a silence before Nessa gave a quick nod and a smile and in the first time in the three years that Smithy had known her, she seemed genuinely sincere.
"Can I just have a second please?" Smithy murmured, then stood from the plastic seats and collapsed against the glass door of the waiting room leaving it to shatter into thousands of little pieces and the obese twenty nine year old to lie there motionless.
It wasn't quadruplets, it was piles. Also, Smithy smashed the glass and had to go to court and ended up owing the Essex Local Authority £4000, which ended up resulting in Nessa being unable to fly Jay-Lo in from LA for the wedding, but of course, that's an entirely other story.
10 Months Later
Nessa was in the midst of wedding hype, trying to decide between a Puse coloured wedding dress, a mauve one or to dust off the leather one from her blast with Dave. Stacey recomended all but the latter.
There conversation was broken by the front door opening and Gavin's nightly greet of 'Hiya!"
He dumped his briefcase in the hallway, shrugged off his suit jacket and walked into the living room, disappointed not to find Harry there waiting for him.
"Hi, babe," Stacey smiled, standing up off the settee, meeting him halfway from the door and kissing him.
"Alright?" He smiled, "Hi Ness,"
"Alright, Gav, what's occurin'?" She replied, nodding at him.
"Not much," He stated.
"Good, right, I'll be off, got to get back to Neil, the boy and Neil, the fianceé" Nessa grunted, slipping the wedding dresses back into their compartment and heaving the box onto her back.
As they watched her ride away on the Suzuki, Gavin asked. "Where's Harry?"
"You've been in five minutes and only now are you thinking to question the whereabouts of your only child?" Stacey asked, incredulously.
"Well Nessa was here, and she's only just leaving and I was thinking about him the whole time!" He defended.
"God, Gavin, he could have been kidnapped or be dead/dying or being held to ransom by the cast of Love Actually!"
"The cast of Love Actually?" Gavin question, wrapping his arms around Stacey's waist. "Seriously, though, where is he?"
"Upstairs having a nap," Stacey laughed, "Go on upstairs and wake him up and get his shoes on, we're taking him to the park, then to the chippy cos I can't be bothered cooking,"
Gavin shrugged. "OK" he said.
Stacey got Harry's Red MacLaren Pushchair out from underneath the stairs and got her coat on, whilst Gavin got changed out of his suit before softly heading across the landing to his son's bedroom.
It was pale blue with a Thomas the Tank Engine motif on the walls and in the oak cot underneath the window lay Gavin and Stacey's reason for living, fast asleep.
Walking over, he ruffled the soft crop of black hair that had grown over the past ten months and slowly watched as his son began to wake up and open his emerald eyes. A smile spread across his face as he laid eyes on his beloved Father who he had not seen since half past eight that morning.
"Da!" He exclaimed joyfully as Gavin lifted him out of the cot and placed a kiss on the side of his head.
"Alright, little man?" Gavin grinned, pulling down his stripy jumper as he settled him against him. "Are we going to the park with Mummy then for fish and chips on the way home?" He asked as he made his way down the stairs, not forgetting Max the Monkey, the beloved companion of baby Shipman.
As Harry babbled to him in baby talk, Gavin gave a small chuckle as he saw Stacey struggling with the pushchair still. "Come here, bud, go to Mummy and let Daddy do the push chair," he stated, handing Harry over to Stacey who back away, knowing they'd still be here on Christmas Morning if it was left to her.
"Hello, sweetheart," she cooed, peppering his face with kisses. "Did you have a nice nap?" But Harry wasn't interested in discussing his sleeping activities with his Mother, instead choosing to gaze in wonderment at the Christmas Tree in the living room.
"Yeah look it's the angel!" She pointed to the top of the seven foot Christmas Tree and Harry mimicked her pointing and cried out "Anga!" which she assumed was his version of the word Angel.
"C'mon you two, let's be off!" Gavin stated, holding out Harry's Green Parka and Blue Clarks shoes.
"No that's not my Father Christmas, his boots are too shiny!" Gavin exclaimed dramatically before turning the page of the book. "That's my Father Christmas his beard is so fluffy!"
Harry, at that point, decided that he didn't want to read anymore and pulled the book out of his Father's grasp and proceed to suck on it, his dummy now falling onto his stripy sleepsuit.
"C'mon time for bed, you!" Gavin stated, eyeing the clock, "Off to Mummy!" He added, smothering his face with kisses and standing up and passing him to Stacey, whose turn it was to put him to bed. "Love you, mate, sweet dreams," He murmured as Stacey wrapped her arms around him and he settled his head into the crook of her neck and Stacey slipped the dummy into his mouth.
"I'll be back in ten," Stacey murmured to Gavin as she rocked Harry and left the room.
Gavin gave it five minutes before creeping up the carpetted staircase to gaze in his son's room and Gavin saw Stacey knelt beside Harry cot with the bar down as she softly stroked his hair and murmured a story to him.
In that moment, Gavin knew there was nowhere in the world he would want to be rather than here.
Hey guys, I guess this is it, Stacey's Pregnancy is officially over but you have no idea how much I have enjoyed writing this story and I really hope that you've enjoyed reading it all just as much.
Love you all, Preston101 :D xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx