She was aware of being turned in her bed and the bulge of her tummy seemingly towering above her. They had doped her up on drugs again, she couldn't remember consenting to anything like that but then she couldn't remember much right now apart from the pain. The pain was gone now although it was becoming obvious that her muscles were still clenching and clamping down on her little baby. She could see it even if she couldn't feel it. She was certain she had seen the imprint of a tiny foot the last time but that could be down to the drugs.
It was a strange sensation, like everything was underwater. The room seemed to flow around her, people moved ridiculously slowly as she watched them through heavy eyelids and they spoke as though they were in a different dimension entirely.
She was aware of Grissom's hand clutching hers as tightly as he dared, she could almost feel the sense of fear radiating out of him as he watched her. She tried to turn her head to look at him, to send some reassurance into those eyes but for some reason she was weak, so weak that even turning her head was proving almost impossible.
The doctor was speaking to Grissom, he was stood over her and she had her eyes firmly fixed on his lips in an attempt to lip read. She had decided it was an impossible thing to learn, she had been trying for years and had gotten nowhere fast and she was still getting nowhere. If she had the energy she would roll her eyes and look away but she seemed to be transfixed on the doctor's lips. she did wonder why morphine made her react this way, she had heard people saying it had no effect on them, that they continued to feel fully conscious and in control with the only effect being the absence of pain. She wondered if it was possible they kept giving her too much, it wasn't fun for a control freak to be so helpless.
They had their hands on her again and suddenly Grissom was hovering over her. His voice was muffled but she could make it out if she concentrated really, really hard.
"They're going to scan the baby and see what's going on. It'll be ok, I promise"
It surprised her that she was able to pull enough energy from somewhere to nod at him. His hand gently stroked the mass of her stomach, she was sure it hadn't been that huge this morning. Her son seemed to grow insanely quickly while she slept. Sara was by no means a large framed woman; her visions of a 15lb baby did nothing to calm her shattered nerves.
The jelly was cold on her abdomen, the baby shifted out of the vicinity of the disturbance which, although not painful, was incredibly uncomfortable. Yet it was reassuring, to know that even with all this chaos going on around them he was ok. He was moving and feeling and responsive.
The image on the screen was difficult to distinguish. The shadows swirled and moved in sync with the movements inside her and the doctor chatted to her husband. She didn't pay any attention to what they were saying; she watched the baby on the screen as it wriggled in and out of focus. It still seemed surreal to her, her baby on that screen. It was only a matter of time before her baby was in her arms, only a matter of time before she was a mother. That baby swimming around on the screen would rely on her for everything. Parental responsibility, it was an incredibly daunting prospect.
"I'm not ready" her voice rasped and scratched and while her brain told her to shout it, physically she was only capable of a whisper. They ignored her, consumed in their own discussion and dismissing her sounds as part of a drug induced hallucination and that was incredibly frustrating.
"I'm not ready!" she cried, this one came out exactly like she hoped and suddenly all eyes were on her. The doctor and the nurses and Grissom, they were all looking at her.
"I can't do it yet, I'm not ready" tears strained at her eyes as Grissom took the chair by her side and clutched her hand. He brought her hand to his mouth and kissed each one of her fingers gently, his thumb running over the top of her hand like a feather. It was a familiar gesture to her, a calming gesture reserved for times like these when she needed to know she had his unwavering support.
"It's alright, it's not time yet." She raised her eyes to meet his; she probably should have been listening to the doctors before she spoke up. "Your sugars are elevated and he's growing a little bit too fast, pressing down on his cord. That's all"
"He's not coming? I've had contractions…" she pressed Grissom's hand against her belly as her muscles clamped once more. A small nurse carefully wiped the gel from the sonogram from her stomach with a soft reassuring smile.
"We'll be monitoring those, it looks like pre-labor. They are called Braxton Hicks; in women with good muscle tone they can be very powerful"
She wasn't sure whether to be relieved or terrified that this wasn't the real thing. The contractions she had been having were powerful enough to floor her and she had genuinely believed she had a high pain tolerance.
The next few weeks passed surprisingly slowly. A steady stream of visits kept her occupied throughout the day and the stack of books by her bed grew and grew as did her stomach. Grissom dutifully sat by her side day in, day out and told her tales of the stack of baby things getting delivered mysteriously to his door ever morning. He knew, of course, that this was down to the laptop perched on her bedside and her ability to memorize their credit card numbers. What she wanted more than anything was to see it for herself, she wanted to run her hands over the soft blankets and smell the new furniture smell. She wanted to help paint the walls and hang up the tiny clothes. It was all part of having a baby, or it should be anyway. Her pregnancy had so far been a mess of disasters and a long, long hospital stay that seemed to stretch on forever.
The end was in sight though, she could feel it coming. She could feel the change in the shape of her bump and the pressure shift lower. Her pelvis felt like it was splitting in two whenever she stood up and tried to move around which was irritating because she had never been the kind of person who was capable of sitting still and doing nothing for any length of time.
Her blood sugar had been fluctuating between normal and high, they were reluctant to diagnose gestational diabetes in her case especially since they were so closely monitoring her diet and the baby's growth. He seemed to be on a constant growth spurt, reaching the 5lb mark by the time she hit 30 weeks.
It was 3 weeks later she felt the biggest change. Overnight her son stopped punching lumps out of her and stilled and not only that but the pre-contractions that had become routine faded away to nothing more than a mild cramp. The doctors reassured her that as baby grew he would run out of space and stop moving so much.
Grissom brought photographs of the new nursery, he and Nick had spent the past week decorating and getting everything ready. It was hard to be out of the loop, it was hard to be detached from such an important time but she had to admit they had done an amazing job.
She smiled as she spotted Grissom dozing off in the chair, he had clearly showered before he came to the hospital, and she could smell the soap and see the moisture as it curled his hair. He had missed a bit though, a thick streak of paint clung to a clump of his hair behind his ear.
It felt like she was heaving a whale out of that bed, her whole body was tired and heavy as she slipped her legs out of the bed and to the floor. Grissom's head fell back against the chair; he probably wasn't sleeping very well at home. It must be just as hard to be the person waiting at home for news as it was to be the one in hospital.
As she stood up and reached out to the streak of paint she suddenly felt the pressure in her lower abdomen literally fall out. A massive rush of fluid splashed onto the floor and in the shock her legs seemed to give way under her. Grissom woke with a start just in time to reach out his arms and prevent her from clattering to the floor.
The contractions were back with a vengeance only this time there was absolutely no mistaking it, this time it was happening for real.