Disclaimer: Glee belongs to Ryan Murphy and Fox, not me.
April 17, 1994
You're doing this for Mollie, you're doing this for Mollie, Burt told himself, doing his best to refrain from jiggling his leg out of boredom. It really wasn't that bad, having to sit through church, but it really wasn't what he wanted to do, especially since this was one of the nicest, balmiest days they'd had in a while. Perfect weather for anything but being cooped up inside.
But he'd made Mollie stay home from church on Easter Sunday, after that early labor scare, and she'd pitched a fit until he promised to let her go today. He'd teased her about it, called her a "good little Catholic girl" while she rolled her eyes, but in the end here they were. He sat towards the back while he watched her sing with the choir up front, resisting the urge to lean back and close his eyes.
Apparently he wasn't very good at resisting, because the next thing he knew Mollie was poking him in the side. "Sit up!" she whispered, sinking down beside him.
"Sorry," he mumbled. He rubbed his eyes and draped an arm around her shoulders as she sat close to him, her hands resting on her immense baby bump. Her hair was tied back loosely at the sides, and Burt toyed lazily with the curling ends as the minister stepped up to the pulpit.
He must have dozed off again, because the next thing he knew Mollie was jabbing at him again. "Burt," she whispered. "Burt, we have to go."
He sat up, blinking at her. "Go where?" he repeated.
She hunched over, clutching her belly. "I think I'm in labor," she whispered.
Burt scrambled to his feet. "You're still too early!" he hissed, taking her by the hands and dragging her up.
"Well, hopefully it's just another false alarm, but seriously, Burt, we need to go," Mollie whispered.
As soon as they reached the foyer of the church she halted, bracing herself on a table. Burt grabbed her hand. "I'll go bring the truck around, okay?" he said. She nodded, biting down hard on her lip. Burt kissed her swiftly on the forehead and ran into the parking lot.
By the time he had screeched the truck up to the front of the church, Mollie was waiting for him by the doors, leaning heavily against the side of the building. "Oh, god, this hurts," she breathed. "Burt, my water might've broken."
"Might have?" he repeated, grabbing her by the arms and hoisting her up into the passenger seat of the truck. "You're not sure?"
She leaned back and closed her eyes as he buckled her in. "All right, so my water broke," she said.
He squeezed her knee. "You're gonna be okay," he said. "We'll get you to the hospital and you'll be fine, all right?"
He purposefully chose to pretend that the tightness in his chest didn't exist. Instead, he slammed the passenger door and ran around to the driver's seat, not even bothering with his seatbelt as he pulled out of the parking lot. He took a deep breath and headed towards the hospital. "So when'd all this start?" he asked, trying to keep the fear out of his voice.
"I've been having contractions on and off for a while, but I figured it was just Braxton-Hicks or something," Mollie said, leaning back and covering her eyes with her forearm. "But then I was up there singing and the baby went crazy, just kicking and moving, and then…then the contractions started for real." She inhaled sharply. "Oh, god, Burt, he's too early. He's too early. I can't be in labor yet."
"Too bad, you are," Burt said, biting back the bitter I told you you should have stayed home that wanted to spill out.
"He doesn't even have a middle name yet," Mollie said desperately. "I can't have a baby if I don't know what to call him!"
"Moll, it'll be fine," Burt said. "It's just-"
She suddenly bent over, biting down hard on her lip. Burt fumbled to grab onto her hand. "Contraction?" he asked. She nodded, eyes closed. He squeezed her cold fingers tightly.
"That was the biggest one so far," she gasped.
"We're almost there, just…just don't have the baby in my truck," Burt said.
"Believe me, it's not my plan," Mollie said through gritted teeth.
Burt skidded the truck into the hospital parking lot in record time, parking crookedly near the emergency room doors. He jumped out and ran around to Mollie's door, only to find her sobbing into her hands. "Hey," he said. "Hey, it's gonna be okay. We're here."
"What if something's wrong with the baby?" she whispered, for once sounding like the lost, frightened eighteen-year-old she was. "He hasn't…he hasn't moved since I started feeling the contractions so strongly."
Burt tipped her chin up and kissed her on the lips. "You're going to be fine," he reassured her. He bent over and kissed her rounded belly lightly, feeling her fingertips drop briefly to the back of his neck. "And this little guy too. I promise." He straightened and lifted her out of the car. "Now let's go."
The emergency room was quiet for a Sunday morning- just the nurses at the desk and a few patients scattered throughout the waiting room. He guided Mollie up to the front desk; she leaned heavily on the countertop as the nurse glanced up. "Hi, so…I think I'm in labor," she said.
"She doesn't think she's in labor, she is in labor," Burt cut in. "Her water broke."
Apparently those were the magic words, because in seconds they were moving Mollie to the labor and delivery wing and getting her settled in a room. He didn't much to do after that; he stepped back and let the doctors and nurses work on that. He was just a stupid mechanic. He couldn't be any help.
Mollie leaned back against the pillows, her soft brown hair beginning to curl around her face as she sweated through another contraction. She looked like a stranger in her hospital bed, dressed in the stiff gown with an ID bracelet on her wrist and an IV strapped to her hand. "Can I just go to sleep and wake up when the baby's here?" she panted. "I don't think I can do this."
"You'll be fine," the nurse said, adjusting the IV bag. "Your OB will be here in a minute and we'll see how far along you are."
Mollie looked up at Burt, her eyes wide and greener than usual. Burt quickly took her hand. "See? You're going to be fine," he said, trying to smile. "They've got everything under control."
"What they need to get is drugs," Mollie huffed, grimacing as another contraction gripped her. "I want an epidural."
"A what?" he said helplessly.
She gripped his hand so tightly the skin turned white under her fingers. "Epidural," she said. "I want to be numb. Completely numb. Oh, god, Burt, I can't, I can't take it."
"You'll be fine," he said again, but the promise sounded weak in his own ears.
Thankfully the OB walked in, pleasant and smiling. "Well, it looks like someone's going to have a baby today," she said.
"He's early," Mollie said immediately. "Is he going to be all right?"
"We won't know for sure until he's here," Dr. Allan said. "But thirty-six weeks is perfectly fine, especially for a first baby." She tugged on a pair of latex gloves. "Now let's take a look and see how far along you are."
Burt sidled close to Mollie, sinking down to the edge of her bed while the doctor poked and prodded. He held his breath, waiting for the worst.
At last the doctor stepped back. "Well, I have good news and bad news," she said.
"What's bad?" Burt demanded, feeling Mollie's hand tighten on his. "What's wrong?"
Dr. Allan adjusted her gloves. "Mollie, you're six centimeters dilated," she said. "You're on perfect track to deliver in a few hours."
"What's the bad news?" Mollie asked desperately.
"The bad news is that the baby is breech," Dr. Allan said. "In a normal delivery, the baby's head descends first, but your baby is turned feet first."
"He can still come out though, right?" Burt said.
"Not without causing considerable distress to both the mother and the baby," Dr. Allan said.
"Well, then what are my options?" Mollie asked.
Dr. Allan folded her hands. "A lot of mothers insist on a natural birth," she said. "We can try to turn the baby, but it might not be successful. Another option is to go with a C-section."
"What's going to be the best for the baby?" Mollie asked, lifting her chin.
"The C-section," Dr. Allan said. "Between the baby's breech position and the fact that he's still early, I think it's in our best interest to get him out as soon as possible."
"Then let's do it," Mollie said. Burt glanced at her; she had gone completely pale, but her mouth was set in a firm line. "I'm ready."
Dr. Allan patted her knee. "I'll get everything started," she said. "You two should have a baby in about half an hour."
Burt stared at the floor, dazed. I'm going to have a kid, he thought. No going back now, I guess.
The preparation for the surgery passed by in a blur- helping Mollie get through the epidural, walking with her down the hall to the operating room, washing up and pulling the blue paper scrubs on over his clothes. But before he had time to stop and think and let it sink in, he was sitting beside Mollie in the operating room as the doctors started the surgery.
He took her hand gently. "You all right?" he asked.
She sighed, staring up at the ceiling. "Tired," she said. "Sore. Scared."
"You're gonna be fine," he said for the millionth time that day. He couldn't think of anything else to say.
"I hope he's fine," she whispered. "If anything's wrong with the baby, I'll…I don't know what I'll do."
He kissed her knuckles lightly. "He's gonna be perfect," he said. "He's our kid, isn't he? He'll be a fighter."
Mollie smiled wearily. "I love you," she said.
"Love you too," he said.
The doctors worked steadily over Mollie, obscured behind the flimsy half-curtain, and then suddenly Dr. Allan straightened with a tiny little body in her hands. "Oh my god," Mollie gasped. "Oh my god, is that-"
Burt sat up. "Is he okay?" he demanded.
Mollie pressed back against the bed. "He's not crying," she said. "Oh, god, why isn't he crying?"
"We're sending him to the NICU to have him checked out," Dr. Allan said, leaning over the curtain. "He seems healthy, but we need to take every precaution."
Burt watched helplessly as a nurse turned away with his child in her arms. "Burt, go with him," Mollie ordered.
He looked down. "But Moll, you're-"
"I'll be fine," Mollie said. "They're just stitching me up. You have to stay with him. Stay with the baby."
"Burt, just stop arguing and go!" Mollie said, hitting her fist weakly against the side of the operating table. "Just stay the fuck with our son!"
He glanced desperately from his young, fiery-eyed wife to the rapidly disappearing nurse. "I'll be back as soon as I can," he said, dropping a kiss on her forehead.
She closed her eyes. "Just make sure he's okay," she said. "Don't come back unless you know he's okay."
"I won't," he promised, and he took off after the nurse. He ran through the labor and delivery ward, his heart beginning to thunk against his ribs.
What if something's wrong with my kid? he thought. What if something goes wrong with Mollie?
He didn't know if he should keep going or turn back around and stay with his wife, but then he rounded the corner to the glass-walled neonatal wing, and he stopped dead in his tracks. Several nurses were working over his baby; he could see a tiny little fist waving and his heart skipped a beat. He stared into the room, eyes boring through the glass, watching until his eyes began to burn.
And then he heard a high shrill wail, and saw one of the nurses smile down at the baby.
That's my son, he thought.
Suddenly that high-pitched cry became the most beautiful sound in the world. Burt leaned against the wall, dropping his forehead against his arm. Oh, god, I hope he's okay, he thought. Please let him be okay.
"Are you the baby's father?"
He glanced up at a round-faced nurse in dark pink scrubs. "Yeah, the…the one you just brought in," he said. "Is he okay?"
"We're running a few tests, but as far as we can see, he's healthy," the nurse said. "He's a little bit underweight and his lungs are slightly underdeveloped, but he's doing just fine. Would you like to come in and hold him?"
Burt swallowed hard. "Uh…yeah," he said hoarsely. "Yeah, I would."
He followed the nurse inside, his heart turning over and over and over again in his chest. They surrounded a small clear plastic crib, various pieces of equipment in hand. The nurse stepped up to the crib as the others parted, and she reached inside. "Congratulations, Mr. Hummel," she said.
Burt held out his arms numbly as the nurse placed the little blue-blanketed bundle in his arms . He had been sort of expecting something like Mary Elizabeth's new kid- squash-faced and bright red, squalling lustily and flailing at him. The baby in his arms was pale and tiny- too tiny. He was sort of scared that he was holding on too tight, but at the same time he was scared to loosen his hold for fear of the baby falling.
The baby whimpered, as if he was trying to cry but he couldn't. His little fists thumped against the blankets in frustration. Instinctively Burt pulled him closer to his chest, patting the baby's side. "Hey, there, it's okay," he murmured. "It's okay, kiddo. Daddy's got you."
It was the first time he'd actually called himself that.
And suddenly it all sank in.
"Hey, there, Kurt," he whispered. "I'm your daddy."
He held his baby son closer, feeling the warmth of his tiny fragile body against his chest. "We have just a couple more tests to run, and then we'll take him up to his mother," the nurse said. "I'm afraid I'll have to take him back for the moment."
"Oh," Burt said stupidly, arms still tight around the baby. "Oh. Okay."
He gingerly handed Kurt back to the nurse. "They've probably moved your wife to postpartum," she said. "We'll be up there in a bit with the baby."
"Oh," he said again. "Sure."
He glanced back at his tiny son, then headed out into the hall, already wishing he could just have his kid back. But he walked out of the NICU hall and followed the signs until he reached the postpartum wing.
It didn't take long to find Mollie's room. The nurses were getting her settled in her bed; she was paler than usual and her eyes were closed tightly. Burt felt a stab of guilt in the middle of his chest. "Hey," he said, taking her hand. "Hey, little girl. You awake?"
She opened her eyes slowly. "Where's Kurt?" she asked faintly. "Is he okay?"
"He's fine," Burt reassured her, sitting down beside her. "They let me hold him for a little bit."
Mollie smiled faintly. "Is he beautiful?" she whispered.
"He's perfect," Burt said fervently, leaning in to kiss her on the cheek. "Most damn perfect baby I've ever seen."
"You've only seen like…three babies in your life," she said weakly.
"Yeah, well, I know he's perfect," Burt grinned. He brushed her hair away from her damp forehead. "How're you feeling?"
"Tired," she said. "I'm sure I'll be feeling plenty more when the drugs wear off." She rubbed at her eyes. "I just want to see him."
"I'll do you better than that. Would you like to hold him?"
Burt glanced back to see Dr. Allan wheeling in the little plastic crib, smiling broadly. Mollie's eyes lit up. "Is he okay?" she asked.
"He's doing just fine," Dr. Allan reassured her. "He's five pounds, two ounces, seventeen and a half inches long. A little small, but that's normal for a baby that didn't quite reach full-term."
Mollie pushed herself up like she was trying to sit; Burt quickly made her lie back and tilted the bed up. "So he's healthy," Mollie said.
"As healthy as can be expected," Dr. Allan said. "We'll keep him her for a little while for observation, but as far as we can see, he's doing just fine. You're both very lucky." She reached into the crib and picked the baby up. "Would you like to hold him?"
Mollie nodded eagerly, biting her lip. She held out her arms for the baby. "Oh," she said in a small voice as Dr. Allan placed the round blue bundle in her arms. "Oh, hello, you little darling." She bent to kiss the baby's forehead. "Hello, little boy. It's Mommy." She smiled, her throat catching. "You're the most perfect little thing in the world."
Dr. Allan smiled at them. "I'll give you a few minutes," she said. "And remember, we need to fill out his birth certificate. You'd better pick a name soon."
Mollie kissed the tip of the baby's nose. "Kurt," she said. "That has to be his first name. And not just because we picked it out earlier. He just…looks like a Kurt."
Burt kissed her cheek. "What about his middle name?" he asked.
Mollie traced the baby's soft little lips with her fingertip. "He needs something soft and pretty, I think," she said. "Something lyrical, to balance out his first name."
"You wanna pick one of those names you like?" Burt asked. "You know I don't like a lot of them, but if there's one you really want…"
She patted Kurt lightly. "Well, he doesn't seem like a Gabriel, and I know you don't like that one," she said. "Or Riley, even though he's a good little Irish boy."
"Only half Irish," Burt corrected. "He's half German too."
He watched as Mollie trailed her fingertip along the contours of the baby's face- the straight little slope of his nose, his rosy lips, his soft cheeks- and smoothed the light dusting of chestnut hair on his little head. "Elijah," she said dreamily. "He just…seems like an Elijah."
"Kurt Elijah Hummel," Burt tried. "Yeah. Yeah, that's pretty good. That'll work."
Mollie smiled at the sleepy-eyed baby in her arms. "Hi, Kurt Elijah," she said. She kissed him softly. "Your daddy and I love you very, very much." Kurt batted at his mother's hand with one tiny fist, and Burt grinned foolishly at him.
A few hours ago, he was just Burt Hummel, Lima loser. A college dropout working a mechanic. Nothing of any real importance.
Now he was Burt Hummel, and he was somebody's daddy.
He leaned into to kiss Mollie, cradling her close with his lips firm and warm against hers, and slid an arm under the little blue bundle she cradled to her chest. He had never been a man of many words, and it seemed like the few he could muster had failed him.
"I love you," Mollie said, smiling up at him, sleepy and angelic.
"Love you too," he stammered back, and baby Kurt cooed happily at them.
YAY! KURT IS BORN!
Please forgive any inaccuracies. I did as much research as I could, but seeing as how the hubster and I do not have a baby yet, there's only so much I can write.
BUT YAY. THIS HAS BEEN MY HEADCANON FOR LIKE FOREVER.
Also, a note on Burt and Mollie's religious background: In my headcanon, Burt was raised as a special-occasion Lutheran- basically, his family considered themselves Lutheran, but they only went to church on Christmas and Easter and the odd Sunday. Mollie's mother was apathetic, but her father was a devout Catholic and insisted that Mollie be raised as such. So she was definitely the good little Catholic girl growing up, but after getting kicked out of her house she started veering more Protestant. And then you'll see how religion figures into their family as the story goes on. Please don't be mad at me for including this! I know Kurt is an atheist, and I don't plan on going against that, but I feel that Burt and Mollie came from their own sorts of religious backgrounds.
But yeah. So. Kurt has been born! Yay! And he's little and mostly healthy and perfect. Also, he's pale instead of red like most babies because he was born by C-section. Just thought I'd explain that here since I didn't get a chance in the narrative.
Originally the story was going to stop around here, but it's not! I'm going to write about Kurt's babyhood and toddlerhood and childhood, all the way up to Mollie's death. Although...even then, I might write more with Burt raising him alone. I don't know. It just all depends on if people want to read it! I don't want to overstay my welcome.
And feel free to suggest things you'd like to see! I have a very, very nice little outline planned out so far, and I think you'll like seeing little bitty Kurt growing up.