Human Paraphernalia Additional Footage - Apollo Part 4
Month after month, Luna followed through with her appointments and she was growing right on schedule, at least the way a human would. The problem was she didn't know how she was going to deal with juggling her two jobs and then the questions started...
Her family was growing suspicious and her friends were begging for answers. She had no choice at four months pregnant to spill the beans to everyone and she was overwhelmed with questions about the father and how she was going to support the infant at only twenty-two years old. Plus she wasn't married, which her father screamed at her over the phone for nearly an hour. But she never revealed Apollo or his family's secret...
Stressed Luna ran from her house after slamming her phone onto the phone. She couldn't take her father's screeching any longer. Through broad daylight she ran for the lair; the only safe place she could go without being judged. She wandered into the nearest alleyway and found a manhole cover. The large metal lid was impossibly heavy and she struggled to pull it up.
Startled Luna let go of the lid and quickly stood up, brushing herself off and trying to hide her now protruding belly. She wondered who called out to her and looked towards the end of the alley. "Oh hey!" she called back.
It was Michelangelo dressed in heavy human attire and holding several grocery bags, "You shouldn't be lifting that," he said as he headed towards her. He dropped the bags on the ground and easily pulled up the manhole cover, "Ladies first."
Luna smiled and carefully climbed down the ladder, followed by Mikey.
The two of them walked back to the lair together, Luna telling him everything...
"I see. Your dad is not so happy..."
Luna sighed, "Yeah...I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I can't tell anyone about Apollo. People are going to keep harassing me until I do and what's going to happen once the baby is born?"
"I don't know," Mikey said. He had suggestions for her but ultimately it was up to her and Apollo. He looked at her. She had such a sad face, "Cheer up, things will turn out just fine in the end. Why don't you give me a hand in the kitchen today? I'm making a chocolate cake."
"Just cause I feel like it! And don't pregnant women always crave something sweet?" Mikey said happily.
"I guess so," she replied. It did sound good and it might get her mind off her everything. Upon reaching the lair, she was greeted by everyone except for Apollo. The two of them haven't spoken since the argument at her place. Apollo still attended her appointments after Leo pushed him into it, stating he would regret missing out.
She stayed mostly with Michelangelo today and the two of them whipped up a spectacular lunch, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed. They all had to wait on dessert since they were so full.
Luna was assisting with the cleanup when Don asked, "Since your a few days early, wanna get your appointment out of the way?"
"Sure, let me just finish up here."
Don was waiting for her in the lab, the external ultrasound machine and wand were ready for use. Luna wasn't required to change into a gown. Her current exams only required a measuring tape and a standard ultrasound. She slid onto the table and unzipped her jeans, tugging them down to just across her hip bones.
"I have to get maternity clothes this week. My pants are getting too tight," she commented.
Don chuckled, "It happens," he joked as he tucked a cloth inside her jeans to protect them. He then did the same as she rolled up her shirt. Then he followed up with the saline gel and spread a generous amount on the wand and placed it on her belly.
She gasped, "Cold..."
The wand moved easily along her stomach and Donny seemed very excited.
"I've gotten a lot better at reading the images since the first time. I was winging it then," he admitted.
"Heh, it's okay."
Don was about to begin the exam when he was interrupted by a little ball of fur. Aurora was running through the lab, dragging her little stuffed fish. This was the fourth stuffed fish she'd gotten this month and she already had the stuffing almost out of it. She zoomed around the lab and then leapt onto the exam table. She curled up next to Luna, "Whatcha doin'?"
Luna smiled at the little girl, "I'm having an ultrasound done."
Don shook his head, "Little miss, you shouldn't be in here when I'm giving a medical exam."
"Awe...but uncle..." she whined.
"Go on, you need to go outside so you won't bother Luna."
Then Aurora looked up at Luna and gave her the saddest eyes she could.
"Awe..." Luna cooed, "I don't mind, she's not bothering me." She then placed an arm around the little girl and giggled when the cub started purring.
"All right, you can stay but you have to sit still and be quiet. Okay?"
Aurora grinned and nodded profusely.
Luna relaxed against her pillow and gently stroked the little girl behind the head, listening to the rhythmic purrs once again. Don replaced the wand on Luna's belly and started the session.
The wand slid down to her lower abdomen and Don located the baby's feet, "There's the feet, and two toes on each foot."
As he went over this portion of the anatomy, Apollo burst through the door, looking a little disheveled and he jogged over to the bed, "Sorry..."
"That's okay, we just started. Looks like the baby has your feet Apollo," Don said. He skimmed the wand over a little to the right and found another appendage..."Hm...I'm gonna have to go in from another angle, I can't tell what part of the body that is...might even be the placenta." He moved the wand higher and found the infants torso, "Yup, there's the shell and it's still in development."
Apollo glanced at the image, "What's that behind the shell?"
Don looked carefully, "Probably the arm, we'll get to that next." He moved the wand more to the right and as suspected there was an arm and a tiny hand with three little fingers, "Yup, there's the hand and three digits. Hm, looks like the tests I did years ago were accurate. Apollo, your dna is dominant over Luna's...just like Leo's was over Eridian, I'm certain of it. These images are just...wow..." Don gushed. He moved the instrument up to the baby's head and now there was a clear picture of it's profile.
"Awe...there it is..." Luna said, smiling.
"Is that my baby sister?" Aurora asked.
"Well, we don't know what the baby is yet and until it is born, the gender is a mystery," Don replied.
"Really?" Luna asked.
"Yes. The genitalia are tucked up beneath the plastron for boys and Im not certain for girls...we've never had much experience with them and there aren't any books on humanoid turtles obviously. The only female we've met was Michelangelo's daughter...and she stayed in the next century. So I can't exactly ask her. I'm just going to make the assumption that it's the same for girls...perhaps?"
"Well then maybe we'll find out, who knows..." Luna said as she cuddled the baby druid.
Don moved the wand around for only a few more minutes and took several pictures. Afterwards he cleaned off Luna's belly and pushed aside the ultrasound, "Well, one thing's for sure, the baby is breech but that's common. It will likely turn a few weeks before delivery. Anyways Luna, mind if I draw some blood today? I'd like to check your glucose levels."
"Sure," she said and buttoned her jeans underneath her swelling tummy.
"Good, let me go make a sugary concoction. You're going to have to drink all of it and wait an hour before I can draw."
"Great..." she said with a touch of sarcasm.
Five and a half months later...
On and off, Luna stayed with the turtles, mostly when she was too frightened to be alone. She didn't want to be with her father as he was very angry with her about the pregnancy. He was Catholic and a bit obsessed with being devout. Her being unmarried was the straw that broke the camel's back and he made sure to tell the entire family of her 'sin'. They stopped speaking to her...and it broke her heart.
Luna was now on maternity leave; two weeks granted before she was scheduled to give birth and another eight weeks for recovery following. She remained cooped up in her house until one night...
She was making a cup of raspberry tea. Her kettle was filled and she was ready to place it on the stove when she felt a light trickling sensation moving down her leg. She felt a little embarrassed as she may have lost control again. The baby was sitting on her bladder after all. On the way to the bathroom, she grabbed a new set of pajama bottoms and a fresh pair of underwear. She quickly rushed in, waddling like a duck almost and sat down on the toilet after kicking off her wet clothes. She tossed the soiled garments in her hamper and decided she may as well empty the rest of her bladder. It was best that she probably start wearing thicker pads just in case another accident reared its ugly head. After cleaning up and getting comfortable in her fresh clothes, she washed her hands and returned to the kitchen.
The tea was soothing. Leonardo recommended it to her. Apparently there's an old wives' tale about raspberry tea helping to bring on labor. So she made sure to drink one cup every night...no signs thus far. Halfway through the warm drink, she felt another trickle and grew frustrated with her lack of control. But she was wearing a pad so she ignored it this time.
Thirty minutes later...
Luna glanced up at the clock, eleven pm. She wandered into the living room and switched on the television. She was becoming suspicious, but she didn't want to jump the gun. She swore she felt a mild cramp in her lower belly, but she had them for several weeks. Don mentioned something about false labor and to watch for signs of erratic cramps. The clock ticked and she watched it like a hawk, casually sipping her tea every so often.
Another cramp began...
It was very mild and she shifted her position. This wasn't so bad. She was relatively comfortable and happy watching The Late Night Show. Her eyelids drooped and Jay Leno was steadily moving out of focus...and then he disappeared as she fell asleep.
Three hours later, Luna awoke to an awful cramp in her abdomen and she sat up. She noticed that she dropped her teacup on the floor and cursed at herself. Her carpet was now stained with a pink splatter of tea.
She got off the couch when the cramp subsided and picked up her mug. She marched through the darkness into her kitchen and ditched the mug in the sink, when suddenly another wave struck. It was annoying as hell and she looked up at the microwave's digital clock, almost two thirty in the morning. The pain subsided and she pressed herself into the sink, leaning over enough to just see her feet and breathed out. She wasn't leaking anything at this point but she began worrying. Her anxiety would get the better of her if she didn't call someone. When another ache started rumbling through her, she grabbed her house phone off the wall and quickly sat down at the table. She programmed Donatello's shell cell in her phone memory and dialed the number seven. She waited...
The dial tone ran four times before someone answered. They were obviously groggy...
"Donny is that you?" she asked urgently.
"Naw...Mikey..." he said.
"Oh I'm so sorry for waking you but can you get Don, I need to talk to him immediately," Luna said.
The phone was silent for a moment and then, "What? Luna...that you?"
"Yes, Mikey it's me...I really need Donny!" she cried.
It seemed to get Mikey's attention and he snapped himself out of it, "Luna, you okay? I'm getting Don on the phone, just hang on."
There was a bit of static on the other end and she could hear shuffling and then two voices quickly talking to one another. Another moment went by and a new voice resonated...
"Luna? What's going on?"
"Don, I'm having pain. I don't know if it's time yet, should I come down there?"
"No, no...don't come down alone. I'm gonna come and get you. Just try to stay comfortable."
"Can you make it for thirty minutes alone? That's all it should take me."
"Well I don't really have a choice..."
After the call ended, Luna paced around her kitchen, stopping every ten minutes or so when a new cramp came along. She groaned against the table, rocking back and forth on her heels as the ache subsided. Then she heard a knock on her front door and knew it was Donny. She slowly walked through the living room, gently rubbing the soreness of her belly and she peeked through the peephole of the door. She saw nothing, grew confused and opened the door just a crack, making sure to leave the chain up.
"Hello?" she called.
"Luna?" a voice called.
"Where are you?"
Four black forms appeared on her porch.
"Oh shit...don't do that, you scared me," Luna said and she quickly closed the door to release the chain. The turtles; Don, Leo, and Apollo all stepped inside.
The eldest turtles gathered themselves in the living room while Luna and Apollo remained behind in the foyer. It was an awkward meeting for them since they hadn't really spoken since their fight months ago. Now that she was near the end of her ordeal, she felt she needed to talk to him in private.
"Don give me a couple minutes ok," she called.
"Alright, don't be long," Don replied and he took a seat on the couch with his brother while Luna brought Apollo into the kitchen.
Apollo crossed his arms and leaned against the sink. His brow rose slightly, signifying he was ready for her to speak.
"I've been doing some work and I've gotten in touch with some old friends of mine...and I, well..." she began stumbling through her sentence.
"Yes?" Apollo encouraged.
"I have a friend who lives in California and she's extended the offer for me to move in with her. I can't stay near my family after what's happened and my job will easily transfer to one of the sister offices."
"W...wait, you're going to move to California? What about the baby? I'm the father, I have the right to see it and make the decision for it to stay close to me!" Apollo shouted.
"I know you do! Wait till I finish before freaking out!"
Apollo looked irritated and ready to break something but he held his temper in check to hear the rest of her story.
She sighed, "I've decided to relinquish my right as primary parent..."
"What? No the baby needs a mother. I can't raise a child alone...I don't have the experience."
"Neither do I, but there's plenty of resources out there to help you. Apollo, your father raised a daughter and your uncle is raising Aurora. They'll be able to help you."
"So that's it then...you're running from your responsibilities?"
"I'm not running from...ugh!" she cried out as another ache rushed into her abdomen. She leaned over the table and started rocking against it to help dull the pain.
Apollo felt slightly guilty for her discomfort and he stepped up behind her and placed his hands on her back, gently rubbing in circles.
"Ah..." she groaned, "If I wasn't sure before, I am now..." she mumbled. The ache died down and she regained composure, "Like I said, I'm not running from anything. There's no possible way the baby can live above ground with me, it's too dangerous for it and I can't let my family figure out what the baby is, they'll go ballistic! I've already made up my mind...and it won't be changed."
He shook his head, "I still think you're running away, but I can't stop you. Fine...once the baby arrives I'll take it and you can go on your merry way to California." He stepped away from her, "I actually thought we may have had something..." he admitted.
Feeling a little ashamed Luna approached and attempted to place her arms around his neck, but he brushed her hands away.
"Don't, you'll make it worse," he said.
She frowned, "But also keep in mind, I'll be making decent money and I'll send proper child support. I just need to know where to send it."
"I'll get a p.o box. Does this mean you'll still be in the child's life?" Apollo asked.
"I'll keep in touch if you'll let me," she said, "Through birthdays, holidays, and if I can come to New York to visit, I'd like to come down to the lair."
"Yeah, sounds fine..." Apollo agreed.
The two of them had an awkward moment of silence and without another word they returned to the living room where Don and Leo were waiting.
"Ready for an exam?" Don asked.
"Yeah..." Luna said.
Ten minutes later, Luna was resting comfortably on her bed with her back against a stack of pillows and her legs propped up. Her knees were bent and apart, making room for Don. He was checking to see how far along she was in labor. She didn't really like this part of the exam as it required him to stick a finger into her vagina and touch her cervix. She groaned as he withdrew his hand and snapped off his glove.
"If I had to guess, I'd say you're around five centimeters dilated. Has anything unusual happened before I got here?"
"Um, I thought my water broke because I felt a trickling sensation a few hours ago."
"No, I felt the membranes still in tact. It's common for women to experience that in the final month. Baby putting a lot of pressure on your bladder?"
"Yeah..." she replied sheepishly.
"It's okay, just try to get up every hour or so to relieve yourself. You'll be a lot more comfortable and we'll see how you progress."
The next four hours were easy and now that it was daylight, the turtles closed every curtain in the house. Luna was encouraged to walk around by Don. She was escorted everywhere by at least one turtle. Donny checked her again and she was still five centimeters.
Luna rolled onto her side, "I want this over with..." she moaned as she finished another wave of aches.
"The hard part hasn't even started yet," Don said.
"I know...I don't look forward to it either..."
"You're not moving very fast through active labor. We can speed it up if you want to," Don said.
"This isn't as bad as I thought it would be."
"You won't be saying that when hard labor hits," Don chuckled, "Want to speed this up?"
"Yeah, I don't want this be at a snail's pace."
"Okay, just follow me to the bathroom." Don then got off the bed and helped her up. Then he stuck his head out the bedroom door, "Apollo!" he called and then turned around to grab his knapsack off the bed. He joined Luna in the bathroom. "Sit on the edge of the tub and please pull up your nightgown."
Apollo found the two of them in the bathroom, "You called?"
"Yeah, can you support Luna while I do this?" Don said as he rummaged through his bag.
"What are you doing?" Apollo asked.
"Well, if I do this correctly, the bag of water will be broken and the onset of labor will accompany it."
"Ah..." Apollo replied and he reluctantly stood behind Luna, letting her lean back into him as she straddled the edge of the bath.
Don removed a baggie holding a sterilized plastic hook and he tore it open, "Okay...here we go." He sat down on the edge of the tub near her leg and once again reached into her body, locating the amniotic membranes. Then he glided the hook along his finger until it reached the sac and caught it. He pulled upwards gently.
Luna breathed out and suddenly a large gush of fluid spilled out of her.
"There, that should get things moving," Don said, sitting back and placing the hook back in its baggie, "Let's get some extra towels and set up a comfortable place for you."
Twenty minutes later, Luna had crawled onto the bed, making sure her bottom was set upon the pile of towels . She placed a plastic liner underneath them all to avoid a huge mess on her mattress. Apollo pulled up a chair and sat next to the head of the bed where Luna could see him.
A very tight sensation rushed into her abdomen and grew steadily stronger, this time it was strong enough to make her grimace. "Oh...ow..." she groaned and stretched herself out.
Donatello had timed a couple of the waves for her, "About three minutes apart now. On a scale of one to ten, how strong-"
"Six," she blurted out, "They're getting worse..." she said quickly.
"Good , the amniotomy was successful. Now we wait..." Don said.
For the next hour, Don and Apollo remained in the room, assisting Luna whenever she asked. They rubbed her back, adjusted her pillows and let her squeeze their hands when necessary. Leo poked his head in every now and again to see if they needed anything. Eventually he just stayed in the room and spent a great deal talking to Don.
It was getting harder and harder for Luna. No matter what she did she couldn't get comfortable. Her insides felt like they were being squashed by a mack truck. It wasn't sharp, but it was awful regardless. She rolled off the bed, ignoring Don's advice to stay on it and she grabbed the nearest bedpost, leaning into it and moaning loudly. Apollo was by her side, doing what he could to make her feel better but he did not expect her to say...
"Fuck off Apollo!" she screamed as her contraction worsened.
Leo and Don's eyes widened and they saw Apollo's fill with a deep shade of red as he backed away from Luna. He never anticipated that.
When the contraction subsided, she knelt down to the floor, "I'm sorry Apollo...I didn't mean it..."
"It's okay, I understand," he said.
By this point, Luna was on the ground on all fours, rocking back and forth on her hands and knees and moaning.
Leo was starting to worry a little bit. It's been several hours since her water was broken, "Is she progressing at all Donny?"
"Her moaning is actually helping her along. Speeds up the process. I'll check her again in a minute."
Two more hours passed and after another exam, Don stated she was ten centimeters. "She just needs to let us know when she's ready. She's gonna feel a ton of pressure and the urge to bear down."
Apollo grew very nervous and anxiously sat near the head of the bed, watching Luna hug a pillow to her chest. She was able to relax a little.
"Contractions back off some now that she's fully dilated and effaced," Don said.
"I commend you for being able to do this a second time," Leo said.
"It was a little nerve-wracking the first time, but this time I'm a little more confident," Don replied.
Luna rolled over and faced Apollo, "Now..." she whispered.
"What?" Apollo asked and he scooted down onto the floor next to her face.
"I want to push so badly..." she said, keeping her voice low.
A light switched on and Apollo snapped his fingers, gesturing to his uncles. He couldn't speak; nerves frightening him. He pointed frantically at Luna.
Leo was by Apollo's side in an instant, "Just stay calm."
Don was replacing his gloves with a fresh pair and ordered Leo to get a set of clean towels and water ready. He had a few tools nearby for use, just in case. "Luna, how do you want to deliver? On your knees, sitting, your back, or you can do it on your hands and knees if you want..."
"Um...knees first...okay," she mumbled.
"Okay, let's get into a comfy position for you."
Don had Apollo support Luna from behind as she knelt down on the floor. He held her arms and kept her nightgown from falling in the way.
Leo was a little embarrassed to be in the room, able to see Luna's bare body, but Don insisted he needed Leo's help. So the eldest turtle stayed close, holding a thick towel and a warm wet washcloth, waiting for instructions.
Donny parked himself right in front of Luna and he placed a hand at her base, gently rubbing a finger along the inside of her perineum. It helped to stretch out the skin for passage. He had her crouch even lower to further open up the birth canal. "Okay, when you feel your next contraction, just bare down and go with it. Rest when you need to and try to breathe slowly."
Only a few seconds went by when a lot of pressure filled her pelvis and she started to push through it. Her teeth gritted and her eyes squeezed shut. Don was moving his fingers along the perineum as she did so. It was hard work, but she made it through the initial wave.
"Good job," Don said and he removed his finger, "Keep pushing like that and the baby will be here fast.
A few pushes later...
Luna was getting tired. She'd been going for twenty minutes now and she didn't make a lot of progress. "W...why's it taking...so..."
"It's going to be a difficult delivery. This baby is a lot bigger than a pure human infant. I can imagine the shell is the culprit behind it."
"Now..." Luna whimpered when more pressure appeared and she started pushing again.
Don glimpsed down at her base and waited. Blood was beginning to drip down her thighs, which didn't worry him yet. If it grew heavy, then there would be cause for concern.
"Owe owe owe!" Luna started to cry as she felt the 'ring of fire' begin to form around her vagina.
"Leo hand me the wet cloth," Don said and extended his hand.
Leo dropped the cloth into his brother's waiting hand and peered down at the armful of towels, not sure what he should be doing at this point. He watched as Don reached down under Luna and pressed the cloth against her.
"This should make it less painful," Don said. He held it against her perineum as she pushed.
She struggled through it and tears ran down her face as she felt she was being overstretched, "It hurts!" she screamed.
"Try to breathe through it, you got this," Don encouraged. He briefly took the cloth away and peered at her. Her skin was stretched pretty far and now the baby's head was visible, "It's crowning." He placed his hand underneath the top of the infant's skull and gently touched it.
Luna exhaled; her breaths fast and irregular. "I don't want to do this anymore..." she mumbled, her voice cracked and she was in full blown sobs.
"You're doing just fine," Don said, "A few more pushes and it'll be over with." He said many words to comfort her, even though he wasn't sure how long this process was going to be.
"No..." she moaned as another bout with the pressure came upon her and she couldn't resist the urge. She pushed with all her might and felt the horrific burning intensify as the baby's head passed through. Her scream rang throughout the house and suddenly she had a short period of relief.
"Okay, the head's out, take a breather." Don quickly grabbed at his bag of tools and pulled out a nasal bulb. He gently held the baby's head and carefully suctioned out mucus and other fluids from the baby's mouth and nostrils.
Luna let another wave of pressure bypass without pushing to get a little bit of rest. She leaned back against Apollo again as Don worked on clearing the baby's airway. Then he waited for her once again while supporting the head. Luna felt ready again and bore down, pushing heavily but she didn't appear to making progress this time. The stretching came back with a vengeance this time and she wailed as her body burned. "Oh shit...oh my god...worse!" She stopped her efforts to make the pain go away. Then her urge went away.
"Is she all right?" Leo asked, concerned that her pain was getting worse by the second.
"It's the shell, the baby's body is larger than the head. She's struggling with it," Don replied.
Leo panicked. This is was the issue that Eridian and Christine had and they bled to death. There was only one option for them but he wasn't prepared to see another woman die over them again. "Can we figure out a way to get the infant out without..." Leo's sentence tapered off, he couldn't say it.
Don held onto the baby's head, continuing to keep its face clean, "Luna has actually gotten farther than Christine or Eridian. Apollo and Sadie were born via crude cesarian because their mother's couldn't even pass them through the pelvis. There's something different about this baby. It made it through the pelvis and to the outside."
Luna groaned as she tried pushing again and she screeched in agony before stopping, "I can't do this!" she whined and more sobs escaped her.
"There's only one thing I can think of to do at this point," Don said, "Can you adjust your position and lay on your back?"
"Okay..." she said, trying to compose herself somewhat.
Apollo helped her slowly climb to one foot and he lifted one of her legs to keep them open. Don continued to support the baby's head until Apollo got her up on the bed and eased her onto her back. Leo dropped the towels down next to Don.
"Leo, hand me my tray of tools please," Don said.
Leo did as he was asked and placed the tray on the bed. Don reached for a syringe, already prepared for use.
"I'm afraid I don't have a topical numbing cream for this," Don told Luna.
"What is it?" she asked.
"It's a local anesthetic. I 'borrowed' some from a hospital," Don admitted.
Apollo smirked, "You stole it..."
Don shrugged, "What else could I do? Luna I'm going to inject this into your perineum and then perform an episiotomy to help get the baby out."
"Okay," she agreed. She didn't have much of a choice at this point.
"Just relax." Don then carefully held up the infant's head and pressed the needle into Luna's skin.
She flinched and groaned as the needle pierced her but the pain was nothing compared to the burning.
Afterwards Don put the needle aside and took up a pair of surgical scissors. He waited a few minutes before touching her perineum, "Can you feel this?" He tapped her a few times.
Luna shook her head, "No." Several minutes of endless pressure went through her but she had to ignore it until the procedure was done.
"Good." Don swiftly brought the scissors down and underneath the infant's head, placing them on the perineum and he made the incision. Not a sound of discomfort came from her. He put down the instrument and draped the warm cloth against the now cut perineum, "Okay, when you're ready, try pushing again."
The room remained silent until Luna motioned her next wave and she started the process again. This time the burning was much less, thanks to the medicine and the incision and she felt something sliding along her canal at a faster pace.
"We have an arm...make that two..." Don said, a lighter tone to his voice.
Luna cried when she felt stretched to capacity once again but then a gush of fluid accompanied by the sensation of a little baby leaving her body overtook her. She sighed heavily and closed her eyes.
Apollo was in shock at the scene before him and almost fainted. This was by far the most fearful experience he's ever had.
Don was holding the newborn, inspecting the little one for any injuries. The baby started to cry. "Leo, can you take the baby? I have to finish up."
Leo quickly approached, a fresh towel in hand and he allowed Don to place the baby in his arms, "This is so...interesting," he commented, looking over the infant. It looked exactly like a turtle, but the birth process was that of a human, umbilical cord and everything.
"Give me one more push Luna and you'll be able to relax," Don said and he tugged gently on the umbilical, while rubbing her lower belly. He let the afterbirth slide out of her and into his hands. He placed it onto a plastic bag and looked it over, making sure it was in tact. The cord stopped pulsating and he offered the surgical scissors to Apollo, "Do the honors?"
"Um..." Apollo stammered, taking the scissors and watching his uncle clamp the cord with two pieces of wire. Don held the cord out to him and he awkwardly cut through the thick cord. He felt so strange at this time.
Exhausted, Luna nearly fell asleep as Don started repairing her incision and cleaning her off. She was changed into fresh clothes and placed into bed to sleep as the guys looked after the new baby.
Don thoroughly enjoyed the exam on the infant.
"This is unbelievable. Look at how the umbilical formed against the infant's torso and here, this explains why Luna had an easier time getting the baby through her pelvis." Don gently squeezed the infant's carapace, "It's like cartilage."
"Cartilage? You mean like a human's ear?" Leo asked.
"Yes. Cartilage is firm but very soft and flexible," Don said.
Leo pressed gently on the shell and his finger immediately indented into it, "Wow, it's very soft. So the baby was able to pass through because the cartilage could be manipulated."
"Exactly and check this," Don began. He lifted the blanket off the baby's belly, "The plastron is completely soft like human flesh. He pushed a finger down on the baby and it had the same result as the carapace, "It's not like cartilage though...just regular skin with a pattern like a turtle shell. There's so many tests I'd love to do..."
"Easy Don, let's let the two of them recuperate before starting any tests," Leo said, "By the way, can you tell the gender?"
"Bring the baby into the light," Don said as he handed it off to Apollo.
Leo and Apollo followed Don out into the hallway where there was a lot more light and Donny pulled up the blanket on the now sleeping infant. He gently pulled the baby's legs apart and peered up into the shell, "Looks like...it's a girl."
"She looks exactly like you Apollo except for the skin. She's got Leo's coloration."
Leo smiled, "Well then...I think it's been a long day. Don now that Luna's out of the woods, how long will her recovery be do you think?"
"Maybe eight weeks, like a normal human of course."
The baby stirred slightly and yawned.
"He's got the right idea," Don commented, "I'm going to take a much needed nap. You guys should too. We've been up so long and tomorrow will be a busy day."
The following day...
Luna woke up in mild pain and heard the others talking out in the living room. She slowly crawled out of bed and instantly regretted it when she felt a sharp twinge at her groin. That's right...she had stitches, but she was starving and hadn't eaten in over twenty-four hours. She slowly made her way into the living room.
"Hey, look who's up," Donny greeted, "How you doing Luna?"
"I feel like shit...and I'm hungry," she replied. She looked over at Leo who was holding the newborn baby.
Leo smiled at Luna, "Want to hold her now?"
Leo picked himself up off the couch and held out the infant to her. Luna slipped her arm underneath the little girl and cradled her. The infant was sleeping. Now Luna was able to study the baby's features, "So, it's a boy, girl?"
"Girl," Don said.
Luna smiled, "So, I made it through the worst..."
Don nodded, "You are the first human to survive and we know why."
"Really? Why did I?"
"The baby's shell was extremely soft, like the cartilage in your ears and nose. It'll stiffen somewhat, but will never be the consistency of ours. Her plastron is nothing more than skin with a pattern on it. I have a feeling this baby may be even more human than Apollo. I wonder how she'll look when she's older..."
"Who knows," Leo said, "So...what are you two gonna name her?"
"Haven't really thought about it," Apollo said.
"Well Greek names seem to be popular in your family, why not choose one of those?" Luna said.
"What you mean like Aphrodite or something," Apollo commented.
"No..that's awful," Luna chuckled, "Maybe Hera or Demeter, or..."
"Diana, Cora, Helena?"
"How about Kaira?" Don threw out there.
Apollo and Luna glanced at each other, "I think that's pretty," Luna said.
"Okay," Apollo agreed.
"Kaira, " repeated Luna and she placed a small kiss on the newborn's head.
One month later...
She was gone. Luna had left for California, leaving Apollo with baby Kaira and a small sum of money to help him during Kaira's first year. They planned to keep in touch through letters. Apollo wasn't happy with Luna's decision but there wasn't anything he could do to change her mind. However he would have his arms full in the meantime. Mikey was spending a great deal of time with him and helping out.
Right now, Apollo was seated outside the nightclub. It was a much needed break from the responsibilities of parenthood. The baby was down for the night under the watchful eye of Michelangelo. He listened to the music blaring until it was nearly two am. The club would be closing shortly.
His attention was grabbed when a new heat signature appeared to his left, but he knew who it belonged to and climbed to his feet.
"Late night stroll?" Apollo asked. His father Leo had touched down gently on the rooftop after leaping from building to building.
"Yeah, thought I'd check out this club you seem fascinated with. Is this where you met Luna?"
Apollo nodded, "Yeah, it plays a lot of good music."
"Mm...metal mostly. Sometimes industrial."
There was a pause between them.
Apollo rubbed his eyes, "I was going to come home at this point in the night. Have to get up early..."
"Right, mind if I accompany you on the trip home?" Leo asked.
"Sure," Apollo replied and he took off alongside Leo.
"You know I never expected you to have any kids. You didn't seem the type," Leo commented.
"People do unexpected things," Apollo said.
"I agree, they do. I thought I was similar to you at one point, but my father saw something in me and gave me Ava," Leo reminisced, "It was the best decision I've ever made...and then Ava grew up and made a decision for herself. I was devastated...but then something else happened to me..." Leo said. Both turtles dropped down onto a rooftop, "I got a son to help heal my heart."
Apollo flushed a little bit. He wasn't used to talking to Leo like this.
"I couldn't have asked for a better son..." Leo said.
A breath of air caught in Apollo's throat, what should he say? Another pause...and just before they continued the journey home, Apollo finally said...
"And I couldn't have asked for a better father..."