Guuuuuuys! This is the last chapter! Oh my goodness how time flies! Anyway, here you go! Record comments going on so keep it up!
P.s. I know some of you commented on the graphicness of the birth scene - but SVU doesn't shy away from the real stuff and the hard stuff. And to anyone who has given birth, it's not something to be glossed over lightly - it's something that should be celebrated and recognized! After all, writers make you FEEL, and not all feeling are pleasant :)
It might also be due to the fact that before I decided I wanted to go into teaching I had my courses all planned for becoming an OB/GYN. But I digress...
Anyways, you know the rule! 10 comments! Let me know what you think, LOVE hearing from you guys!
Elliot helped hold her legs back and she could feel her hips shift and could feel her body opening as she gave birth. "I can't, I can't" she moaned, flopping back on the pillows and gasping for air as she tried to catch her breath.
"You have to Olivia she's almost here, you know I would take the pain away for you if I could but you're doing so good Liv, so good – just a couple more pushes honey and she'll be here".
Tears streamed down Olivia's face as she gathered her strength for another contraction, and when it came her face turned red and scrunched up with the effort until she fell back again, legs shaking.
"Open for the shoulders Liv that's it, that's it, you're doing it" Elliot guided the shoulders out and cleared the baby's nose and mouth with the tiny syringe from the medical kit.
Olivia felt the baby empty from her womb and used the last of her energy to bear down hard and expel her baby girl into her daddy's waiting arms.
Elliot wiped her off gently, stroking her cheek as tears ran down his own face. "Come on sweetheart" he encouraged as Olivia watched and waited in fear. The baby gave a small gurgling cough before breaking into a wail of displeasure.
Olivia and Elliot cried along with their baby, who thank God was healthy and perfect. Once she'd started crying he'd placed the baby on Olivia's stomach so she could hold her daughter and she gathered the precious flailing bundle into her arms.
"Oh baby, oh sweet girl, it's okay, it's okay, I know honey, mommy knows, oh sweet baby I'm so happy you're here". Olivia reached for a soft pink receiving blanket and wrapped her tiny daughter in it, examining every part of her, counting every finger and toe.
As Elliot cleaned up she watched on in amazement as the baby opened its eyes and big dark blue eyes blinked up at her framed by long dark wet lashes.
She rocked back and forth gently, to soothe herself or her baby she didn't know. A terrifying kind of feeling rose up in her and she gave into it, gave into all she knew it to mean.
She loved this tiny baby more fiercely than she'd ever thought possible. And in loving her daughter and releasing herself to the possibility of the pain of emotions again she knew with equally resounding feeling that she loved Elliot as deeply.
Her heart broke in that moment, but underneath was a newer, stronger one – one that was ready to take chances and the risks of giving love freely. In giving birth to her daughter she'd been born again as well – she felt alive.
Elliot finished and he settled down next to Olivia, an arm around her shoulders and a hand helping to hold the baby. He pressed a kiss to Olivia's forehead and she leaned into him as they studied their new family.
Elliot agreed with Olivia's silent thought and continued "you're amazing…" he kissed her again.
Olivia could only smile as she stared down at the tiny miracle in her arms. "So what are we going to call her? I don't know if babygirl number two's going to work as a name option".
Olivia smiled tiredly as she spoke but she didn't want to close her eyes. The sight of Elliot cradling their daughter in his large work roughened hands made for the most beautiful sight she'd ever seen.
But before Elliot could answer Olivia stiffened and flinched. Noting her look of inward concentration Elliot transferred the baby. Noting her look of inward concentration Elliot transferred the baby to one arm.
"What is it Liv?" "Another contraction" she grimaced; "must be the placenta and afterbirth, ooooh I thought I was done this contraction thing". Pain gripped her belly and again she breathed through its intensity, concentrating on relaxing her muscles to widen the birth canal.
Elliot breathed with her, his eyes never leaving hers as they bore into him. She groaned again and Elliot's brow furrowed in thought – she was losing too much blood, it should have slowed down by now.
He remembered something they'd learned in class in regards to emergency childbirth and he cupped her face, drawing her attention back to him.
"Honey? Olivia can you hear me? I'm going to press down hard on your belly as you push okay? You're losing a lot of blood and I need to see if we can manipulate the fundus so you don't haemorrhage".
Olivia nodded mutely, squeezing her eyes shut against the discomfort of the contractions and the pressure on her belly. Finally the placenta began to emerge, and with Elliot at her side encouraging her and telling her how brave she was, how beautiful, how proud he was of her she pushed out and delivered the rest of the afterbirth.
Elliot kept up the firm massage on her newly soft stomach until the bleeding began to wane after another long minute or so.
All the while Olivia's blurry vision was locked on the baby, lying tightly wrapped beside her. After she finished delivering the placenta she reached over to pick up her baby again, missing her already – her arms feeling the emptiness.
Elliot returned from throwing away the set of sheets and he came back with a Ziploc bag, into which he lifted the placenta for the hospital to examine to make sure no part of it had detached and stayed inside the uterus.
He tied off the cord and Olivia re-tucked the blanket around her baby's chin. After all that was finished Elliot climbed into bed next to Olivia and they stared at their daughter. Olivia's eyes grew heavy even though she never wanted to close them again.
She felt Elliot take the baby from her arms and help her to lay down on the pillows. The last thing she felt before she drifted into unconsciousness was the light pressure of his lips against hers and she smiled.
As Olivia slept, Elliot carefully got out of the bed, careful not to jostle her and walked over to the window.
The little girl in his arms stared wide-eyed into his face with those dark blues, blinking as if in surprise at the abrupt shock at coming into the world. She had a shock of brown hair that almost seemed to curl at the edges and over her forehead.
He kissed the top of her head and she blinked again "so that explains all the heartburn your mama had" he chuckled, remembering an old wives' tale about hair and heartburn.
Perfect rosebud lips opened wide into a perfect 'O' as she seemed to yawn and stretch before drowsily opening and closing her eyes before drifting to sleep as well.
He placed the tiny bundle just beside the pillow and Olivia's head and he eased into bed, making a kind of creche with their bodies for the baby.
He slept for another few hours without interruption and when he woke he saw Olivia lying on her side, stroking the sleeping baby's cheek with one finger, just staring at her.
He smiled and whispered "Good morning".
"Mmm, morning to you too" In her sleep the baby pursed her lips and scrunched up her little face before waking. She made a squeaky noise that they already knew would turn into a cry.
"I think she's hungry" Elliot picked up the baby rocked her gently as Olivia unbuttoned the top of her flannel nightshirt wincing "Ugh I hope so". Looking uncertain, Olivia looked up at Elliot for reassurance and he held out the arm not holding the baby so she could sit up a little.
She reached out her arms slightly and Elliot placed the baby into them. He scooched closer to Olivia as she tried to incent her daughter to nurse.
At first the baby just kept making those squeaky impatient sounds and turning her head, but after a moment and some repositioning she latched on with surprising strength.
Olivia gasped at the odd sensation and the slight tug on her sensitive breasts but soon relaxed as her milk began to flow, and some of the tightness and heaviness eased.
"Look at that, you're a pro" she smiled down at the eagerly sucking baby, who was now making contented little snuffly sounds as she nursed.
"How are you feeling?" Elliot kissed her lazily as her head lay against his chest, "Exhausted" she admitted "and sore - but so happy she's here and she's healthy and perfect...and you said Calvin came out of surgery completely fine and his arm should heal perfectly, thank God".
Elliot nodded, "now that it's morning the ambulance will probably be here soon for you as well. I want to get my girls checked out and declared in perfect health as well".
The baby had stopped nursing and had dropped off to sleep, full and content - a tiny milk bubble at the corner of her lips.
"Have you called Cragen and Munch and Fin and everybody yet?" she asked as she rebuttoned the plaid pajama top.
"Not yet, I was a little pre-occupied" he teased. "I'll call them and tell them they can meet us at the hospital if you're feeling up to visitors".
"Yes, I want to see them. We have some important introductions to be made".
"You know, you did give birth less than 12 hours ago" Elliot chided gently. She grimaced ruefully "ugh -don't remind me".
"She's so small" Olivia cupped the baby's head in her hand but the baby just slept on, oblivious to her besotted parent's musings. "Small but feisty" Elliot added smiling "just like her mom...she looks like you you know. She has your lips and nose".
"Mmm, maybe. But she has a combination of both our eyes I think - and definitely your impatience" she grinned wickedly.
The apartment door buzzer rang before Elliot could get a reply out and he went over to buzz them up. They loaded Olivia on a stretcher and started her on an IV of saline and antibiotics as a precaution before heading back out.
Cleanup crews were already at work on the streets, replacing power lines and clearing up fallen trees and branches, although a light dusting of snow still held fast on the ground.
Olivia had just gotten her daughter back in her arms after several hours of tests and getting stitches for the back of her head and for vaginal tearing from her daughter's dramatic entrance into the world.
But other than that they were both pronounced in perfect health and could be discharged after another 12 hours or so of observation.
A light rap on the door and Elliot poked his head in, "are we decent?"
Olivia smiled and adjusted the baby's blankets and hat, "yeah, bring them in". The door swung fully open and Cragen, Munch and Fin all came over to the bedside, stopping just short of it.
Elliot perched on the bed next to her, "Olivia and I would like you to meet Margaret Grace Stabler, Mia for short, weighing in at 6 lbs. 9 oz. and born at 2 this morning on December 1st".
Olivia looked up at Cragen, "Hey Grandpa" she whispered "did you want to hold your granddaughter?" He moved closer and Olivia placed the baby in his arms as Elliot talked with Munch and Fin about the night before.
"Hi" the older man looked down into the face of the baby who had been named in honour of his late wife. Tears ran freely and unashamedly down his face as he held the tiny precious girl in his arms. "I'm your pop-pop sweetheart".
Munch and Fin had taken turns holding her as well, and it was evident that little Mia already had them wrapped around her tiny little finger. "Hey little one, I'm your favourite Uncle Munch" John said and Fin snorted.
"In your dreams old man. Hey baby babygirl, we're going to have so much fun together, wait and see".
"How are you feeling Liv?" Munch sat down on the bed next to her. "Loved" she said simply, "I'm so glad I have such great family around me, and for Mia as well" Elliot squeezed her hand and she squeezed back "thanks guys".
"What is family for?" Munch smiled back and replied in rare un-cynical prose.
"So what ever happened to the Hayes and Carl Jorkins?" Olivia asked, unconsciously holding her baby tighter as she spoke their names.
"Carl tripped...had a nasty fall" Fin said bluntly - a hint of a smile betraying him and the others. "He's in the hospital ward at Bellevue, but when he wakes up he's looking at 3 life sentences - to be served consecutively".
Elliot nodded in satisfaction, but the next second his heart dropped like a stone and all the air was sucked from his lungs.
He whirled around on his heel and cupped Olivia's face with his hands, "Olivia...last night...the baby...I didn't..." he stuttered in shock.
She reached a hand up to stroke his face, "Elliot, he didn't rape me"' she reassured him. His face had lost all color and he looked as though he had aged ten years as he took the hand she'd placed on his cheek and pressed his lips to it.
He put his arm around her shoulders, pulling her into him as he buried his face in her shoulder, overcome with relief.
Olivia started to speak again, this time to everyone in the room. "He had planned to he told me, but this little girl..." she nodded to the baby in her arms "decided to come a little early and he was decidedly turned off - at least for the moment".
"Olivia" Elliot croaked hoarsely shaking his head in disbelief.
Olivia shook her head as well but in reassurance, "Elliot you saved me and our daughter, he'd just come back when you got there. And I don't know what he planned to do to me, only that he was going enjoy hearing me plead for my baby's life" she shivered at the memory.
"So he was never really going to give the baby to Rita - he only needed her to plant the croissants and use her as a distraction" Elliot confirmed as the events came together in his mind.
"Now what were you saying about your ring on my finger?" Olivia asked innocently after everyone else had left, a wicked smile curving her lips as she tilted her head. Elliot shook his head and gave a low chuckle before getting down on one knee.
"Olivia Benson; I stand – or kneel I guess in reality – before you today, and I'm in awe of you". Olivia rolled her eyes and scoffed slightly but Elliot continued.
"For nearly 14 years I have loved you. The thousands in overtime we've both worked were worth every sleepless minute and fight at home, because for the most part they were spent with you.
I have never met another woman, or another person, with the goodness or the joyful heart and pureness of spirit you have. It has taken me over a decade to get my own head straightened out and my life – but never once in all those years did I doubt that I loved you, or that you belonged with me.
I know that you saw how my marriage with Kathy worked out, and I know you're scared of that happening with us. But there is one thing we have that that relationship didn't.
I love you Olivia, in any way imaginable. You are my best friend, my soul-mate, the mother of my child. Our connection didn't end when our daughter was born, because there is still a part of me in you. You have my heart, Olivia. It's yours with no expectations or restrictions or exceptions.
You love my children like I do. I watched you grow big with my child, with a new life inside of you. None of it was easy and every hurdle, every complication you took head on.
I saw you nearly die giving birth to our daughter and with her you've given me the most precious gift.
You've been my partner in work for so long, how about being my partner forever – in the rest of my life.
I love you Olivia, with every fiber of my being – and if it's what you want I'll stay just a live-in lover and father and boyfriend – but I want to make you mine Olivia, and you would make me the happiest man in the world if you would agree to be my wife".
"I'm already yours Elliot" Olivia laughed tearfully, "I've been yours for the last 14 years. Yes I'll marry you".
With surprising speed Elliot stood and leaned over her to kiss her. It was only after a small disgruntled squeak came from between them that they broke the embrace.
"I'm sorry sweetie" Elliot laughed as he kissed his daughter's fair haired head "daddy didn't mean to squish you".
The baby stared up at him with fat little rosy cheeks, her mouth moving in a familiar pattern. "Oh I see what the problem is" Olivia smiled and pushed aside her hospital gown. She put Mia to her breast where the baby sucked greedily, closing her eyes again as she nursed.
Olivia looked up from her daughter to see Elliot staring at her, a soft smile on his face that broke into a wide grin as their eyes met.
He reached over for his jacket and pulled something out of the pocket. He opened it and took out a ring. It wasn't the usual engagement ring type, but it was stunning – and Olivia couldn't think of anything she could have picked out that she would have liked better.
It was an eternity style, with two bands of diamonds crossing over each other and meeting in a flawless carat diamond that sparkled brilliantly, even under the hospital's dim fluorescent light.
"Elliot" she breathed – he shook his head.
"You've given me everything Olivia". He kissed her again and they looked down at their daughter.
"Mia doesn't seem too impressed" Olivia teased, kissing the now sleeping baby's head. "She'll have plenty of time to worry about boys in 30 years when she starts dating" Elliot said ruefully and Olivia broke into helpless laughter at the protective stance he'd taken already towards their daughter dating.
"I love you Elliot, forever".
I'm actually almost a little sad you guys commented so quickly :P I realize I'm being contradictory but I don't want it to be overrrrr!
EO forever & all my love!