"I can't believe it," Nyota shook her head. "You've only been a Mommy for four days and you're already a natural!"
Andrea looked up from the bundle in her arms and smiled, "It's not so bad," she shrugged. "I figured we'd be ambushed with screaming and crying and constant diaper changes. But so far, Lillian's been a wonderful baby."
Two days after her grand entrance, M'Benga gave both Lillian and her Mother a clean bill of health and discharged them back to their home. When Leo, Andrea and baby Lillian arrived to their quarters, the entire bridge crew had been waiting inside, along with Chris and Joanna.
As she was passed around, Lillian was cuddled and cooed at by her Uncles and Aunt. Neither McCoy were surprised when the losers of a bet had to pay up to Scotty, since he was the only one that believed the newest addition was a girl.
"And what a lovely lass she is," he said, smiling down at the baby. "A perfect combination of yeh both."
After a half an hour, Leo had everyone out with promises to return at a later time. "My wife and baby girl need their rest," he said, as they all pouted- minus Spock of course.
Now, the day after, Andrea had Nyota and Joanna in the McCoy quarters, while Jim and her father managed to scoop Leo off for a congratulatory drink.
"You know what the best part was?" Andrea asked, shifting Lillian in her arms. "The look on Chapel's face when we walked out of Medical."
Nyota snickered, "I heard she as crying! Is that true?"
Andrea giggled, "She probably did when we left," she sighed. "Leo was carrying Lillian out, talking to her and making all these cutesy faces at her. My Dad and Joanna walked with me, since I refused to sit in a wheelchair. Anyways, Chapel was organizing hypos when we walked by and the look on her face!"
They both giggled quietly, "First her face got really pale! Then it got so red and her eyes got so wide!" Andrea shook her head. "She's so jealous!"
Joanna came running out of the bedroom, "Can we feed Lillian now?" she asked, stopping to stand near Andrea and Nyota. "It's almost feeding time!"
Looking up at the clock, Andrea saw that it was indeed feeding time. "Let's get her bottle ready and you can feed her this time."
Joanna smiled, "Really?" she asked, as Andrea nodded. "Cool!"
Shifting Lillian over to Nyota, Andrea got up slowly from the sofa and made her way into the kitchenette, preparing a bottle. After numerous tries, breastfeeding had failed to work leaving both Lillian and Andrea upset, frustrated and in Andrea's case- in total pain. Andrea pinpointed it to stubbornness, believing that her daughter had acquired that trait from Leonard. Something he denied constantly.
"Okay Jo," Andrea said, carrying the bottle out into the sitting room. "You remember how to hold her, right?"
Joanna nodded and Nyota carefully placed Lillian in her arms, "Support the head with your arm," she said. "Good!"
Handing the bottle to Joanna, Andrea watched as the older girl carefully tilted the bottle, pressing the nipple against Lillian's lips. "Come on Lilly," she urged. "It's a milkshake!
Lillian made an array of noises before taking the nipple into her mouth, sucking furiously. Joanna grinned and talked quietly to her sister, while Andrea sat down on the edge of the coffee table.
"How's the pain?" Nyota asked, as Andrea sighed.
"Depends," she shrugged. "Going to the bathroom sucks," she glanced at Joanna. "I'm terrified of what's going to happen when I have to.. you know.."
Nyota winced, "Maybe you can go to medical for that? Take laxatives?"
"Ughh, I don't even want to think about it! Leo had a big old laugh about it when we talked about my recovery process. He brought home a huge thing of sanitary pads- which I haven't used since I was probably eleven. And then he told me to take a ice bath and start up on kegel exercise!"
"Why can't he give you anything for the pain?" she asked, frowning.
Andrea huffed, "He doesn't want any drugs in my system, because he's hoping that Lillian will take to breastfeeding, which I'm not too keen about!"
Joanna looked up from her sister, "Mommy! Lillian's all done," she said, holding the empty bottle. "Now what?"
"Now you have to burp her," Andrea said, getting up to retrieve a towel from the laundry basket.
Setting the towel over Joanna's shoulder, Andrea helped her with shifting Lillian from her arms to her chest. "Now you pat lightly like this," she showed her. "Good, now you keep doing that until you hear a little burp and then afterwards we can put her down for a nap."
Nyota snickered, "Be careful Jo," she said. "Lillian might spit-up on you."
Andrea glared at her, "She only did that once," she scolded, as Joanna started patting her back lightly. "Daddy decided to jostle her around while burping."
"Grandpa was mad, "Joanna giggled. "He kept saying how he was too old to clean up puke and that Lillian got that from Mommy."
"Which is fabrication," Andrea stated. "Something that I hope you and your sister will NOT pick up from anyone- not even your Uncle Jim."
"Look at her go, Jo," Nyota smiled. "Full Mommy mode."
The next afternoon, as Andrea and Joanna took a nap together, Leo had Lillian out in the sitting room. Chris was sitting on the sofa with a PADD while Leo carried his daughter around in a sling.
"What should Daddy and Grandpa have for dinner?" he asked, looking down at Lillian. "Think Daddy can get the old man to eat something healthy?"
"I heard that," Chris called out, making Leo chuckle. "I'll kindly have something unhealthy please. It's bad enough that my daughter had to tell Boyce where my sweet drawer was at the office and in my own home."
Leo settled on grilled chicken salads and water for the both of them, "That's because the doctor told you take it easy on the sugar," he said, as Chris came into the kitchen. "Your body isn't the same like it was before the Narada."
"Tell me something I don't know, "Chris huffed. "My sister never fails to make sure that I've written down my feelings in a journal," he rolled his eyes. "I'm a fifty-five year old man, not a teenaged girl!"
Handing Chris a plate, Leo snorted. "At least you can write them down," he grabbed his own dish. "Andy's all about expressing feelings, which hopefully she'll let go now that Lillian is here."
Carrying plates and cups into the siting room, both men took their places on the sofa. Leo carefully pulled Lillian out of the sling and placed her down in the bouncer chair that sat on the coffee table. Once she was snuggled in with a blanket over her little body, Leo picked up his dish and started eating.
"How was she last night?" Chris asked, spearing a piece of lettuce with his fork. "Wake up at all?"
Leo shook his head, "Not a single peep," he chewed. "While she wont admit it, I know Andrea is getting worried. Probably thinks that she'll wake up and discover something awful in the crib."
Chris nodded, "That's understandable," he sighed. "But it is a little odd, no? For a newborn to be silent at all hours of the night?"
"I guess it depends on every baby. Joanna was a screamer the first six months of her life, and then she quieted down until it was time to learn how to talk," he said. "It is confusin' though. Andy's not a quiet person and I sure as hell ain't."
"No you're not," Chris snorted. "Maybe she's waiting for the right moment to spur it on you two? You know, testing the waters before diving in."
Leo groaned, "I hope not," he looked up at Lillian. "I like her the way she is."
Once Lillian hit a week old, a cause for major celebration on board the ship, it was also the end of quiet nights. True to Chris's words, Lillian decided it was time to make herself known, waking her parents in the middle of the night with high-pitched screams.
"Oh god," Andrea cried, as she carried Lillian around the nursery. "What did we do?"
Leo was trying to set the mobile over the crib, as Lillian's screams pierced his ears. "We didn't do anything, Andy. She's a baby and sometimes they scream."
Andrea was rubbing Lillian's back soothingly, whispering softly to her. "Shhh, it's okay, it's okay! Mommy's here," she shook her head. "I don't know what else to do, Leo!"
For the last two hours they'd tried feeding her, checking her diaper and singing to her. Andrea made Leo run the tricorder over her just to be safe, only to become frustrated when the results came back void of any disturbances.
"She'll tire herself out soon," Leo said, turning to look at her.
"Did we break her?" Andrea asked, choking on a sob. "Oh my god, I broke my baby!"
Cursing, Leo made his way over to her and wrapped his arm around her. "You didn't break her," he said, kissing the top of her head. "We just got too spoiled with her being quiet for a week."
Lillian continued to shriek as she settled between them, waving her fists around angrily at them. Leo carefully took her from Andrea and settled her against his bare chest, hoping that the warmth from his body would calm her down. It was something he did with Joanna during the many restless nights he had with her, as Jocelyn stayed in bed.
"Come on, Lil," he said, rocking her slowly. "There's no need to cry."
Andrea let out an exhausted sigh, mixed with a sob, as she watched them. Her clothes were rumpled and her hair was a mess, the exhaustion apparent in her face and posture.
"Go to bed," he told her, nodding his head to their bedroom. "I'll close the door and try the rocking chair."
She began to protest, "I can't let you stay up all night, Leo," she shook her head. "You have a double shift tomorrow!"
"If worse comes to worse, I'll ask Anna or M'Benga to start the first round of patients for me," he said, moving to the rocking chair in against the wall. "I'm not letting you stay up all night, Andy. You're still recovering and Lillian's gonna need you wide awake later."
Realizing that Leo wasn't going to give in, Andrea let out a reluctant sigh and nodded. "But if you need to sleep then you come and wake me up," she warned, leaning down to kiss him. "I mean it, Leo. You need the sleep just as much as I do."
He nodded, "I will," he promised. "No go on. Off to bed."
Andrea leaned down and placed a quick kiss on Lillian's cheek, wincing as she pulled away. "I'm sorry, baby," she lightly touched her hand. "I wish Mommy could help you."
As she made her way back into the bedroom, Leo couldn't help but take note of the look on her face. Heartbreak; as if she failed to make her child happy and comfortable. The door slid shut behind her and Leo turned his attention back to the screaming newborn.
"All right, Lil," he shifted her against his chest. "Lets calm you down before you hurt yourself, darlin'."
The scream-fest went on for days, driving both Andy and Leo up the wall. The long shifts in medical mixed with the lack of sleep, took it's toll on Leo as he snapped and raged at everyone who came across him. Chris tried a few techniques of his own, from wrapping Lillian in a warm blanket to massaging her tiny feet. Joanna read Harry Potter and various other pieces of kiddie literature that she had on her PADD. Nyota sang lullabies in various languages when she came to visit, hoping that one would sooth her. Pavel and Hikaru read nursery rhymes in both Russian and Japanese, while Spock tried detecting points of stress without conducting a mind-meld.
"Maybe she's come to realize that you're her Dad," Jim offered one morning, as he watched Lillian scream from her chair. "I'd be pretty upset too if I had a grump for a parent."
Coming off shift early, Leo and Chris made their way back to the McCoy quarters, discussing the issue.
"I've tried everything," Leo sighed. "I've run out of nursery rhymes and ways to calm her down at night. I can't take another night with an hour of sleep! I'm puttin' my patients at risk just by showing up for shift."
Chris nodded, "I'm sure there's something that will calm Lillian down," he said, exhausted from his afternoon with his Granddaughter. "Did we check for colic?"
Leo shook his head, "It usually shows up around two or three weeks old," he said. "But maybe it's an early sign?"
"I don't know, Leo," Chris shook his head. "You're the doctor here, not me."
They reached the front door by then, "I just want peace and quiet," he said, keying in the lock code. "I know that makes me sound selfish, but we seriously need it. Andy can't be jumping in and out of bed every five minutes."
"That's part of being a parent, Leo," Chris said. "You two need to figure out a schedule when it comes to who gets up for Lillian first."
Leo nodded, "Yeah, I know, "he muttered, as the door opened.
Both men were met with silence, except for the vid-screen going off. "Why is it quiet?" Leo whispered, as they stood in the doorway.
Chris shook his head and Leo quickly moved through the room, "Andy?" he called out.
With Chris right behind him, they both moved through the sitting room and found it empty. Fearing that his wife finally snapped at the overbearing screams of her baby, Leo quickly ran into the bedroom and skidded to a halt.
"What the?" he started, as Andrea sat on the bed by the pillows.
The bouncing chair sat in the middle of the bed, facing the vid-screen that was mounted to the wall.
"What happened?" Chris asked, appearing behind him. "Where's the baby?"
Leo looked at the vid-screen and saw that Titanic was playing. Yet it wasn't the fact that his wife and daughter were watching the movie that shocked him. It was the total silence from both of them, as the music and Kate Winslet's laughing filled the room.
"Oh my god," Chris said, watching as Lillian's head moved around as the noise filled the room. Her eyes were wide and her hands were in tiny fists, clenching and unclenching as she laid in her chair.
Andrea carefully got off the bed and made her way over to them, "Please don't say a single thing," she whispered, pushing them back into the sitting room. "It took me three hours to get her to stop."
"Wh-how?" Leo asked, shaking his head in disbelief.
She shrugged, "I don't know," she shook her head. "I got so frustrated with the crying that I needed something else in the background to drown it out. So I put the movie on and she stopped as soon as the opening credits started."
Chris sighed," Finally," he muttered, rubbing his hands over his face. "Why didn't we try this sooner?"
Leo nodded, "Had we figured this three days ago," he sighed.
"At least she's quiet now," Andrea said. "That's all that matters."
Chris snorted, "Yeah but wait until the movie is over, then what?" he asked. "You can't leave her sitting in the middle of your bed for the next year."
Leo thought for a moment, "Unless we get a vid-screen in the nursery?" he suggested. "I can see if Scotty can hook one up in there. We can program it to play the boat movie and maybe some baby vids."
After discussing the pros and cons of having a vid-screen playing all day in the nursery, Chris went to call on Scotty about it, leaving Andrea and Leo standing in the doorway of their bedroom. It was up to the infamous flying scene at the ships bow, and Lillian was quietly sitting in her chair.
"I can't believe this is the movie that's keepin' her quiet," he whispered, as Andrea settled her back against his chest. "Unbelievable."
Andrea snorted, "Startin' her out young," she shrugged. "She probably heard the movie playing when I was carrying her."
He sighed, "I guess we'll never get rid of this vid, huh?" he asked.
"If you want a full nights worth of sleep, you'll keep your hands off it," she warned, before moving back into the bedroom.