Simple Choices 13 (R)


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Mulder woke first and looked over at her.  What had disturbed him?  He listened for a sound, for any indication that they weren’t alone.  Nothing.  He tried to relax back against the pillow but he looked over at her as she stirred.  Shit!

 

“Dana?”

 

“Mmm, Muld - ?”

 

“How do you feel?”

 

“What?” She tried to roll over, but was only one step into a three step process when she stopped.

 

“Dana?”

 

She looked up at him.

 

“You’re in labor,” Mulder said, a little surprised his voice was steady.

 

“How would you know that?”

 

“I can’t answer that, but it woke me up.”  His hand caressed her face.  “Are you okay?”

 

“Yeah.  Help me up?”

 

“Sure.”  He rounded the bed and helped her to her feet.  She could see he wanted to ask how she was again, but forcibly restrained himself.  She squeezed his arm and he cuddled her to him.  She’s the one that broke the embrace and turn toward the bath.  He watched her go. 

 

It was inevitable, but his regret at missing the Lamaze classes was running deep right now.  Oh, he’d read everything he could find on-line and of course she was a doctor, but still . . .

 

He needed to get dressed.  He pulled on yesterday’s jeans and found a t-shirt.  She still hadn’t emerged and worried, he headed that way.

 

“Dana?”

 

“Just a minute.”  She sounded breathless to him.

 

Should he break in?  Was she okay?  Before he could make up his mind, the door opened.  He didn’t speak, but his eyes asked all of his questions.

 

“I’m okay.  My, my water broke.  We need to go on.”

 

Fear gripped him, but now wasn’t the time.  He nodded.

 

“Could you get my blue smock?  I think that’ll be the most comfortable.”  His arm went around her and led her back to the bed.  He seated her and turned to the closet.  “Mulder?”  He turned back immediately.  “Are you okay?”

 

He managed a sick sort of grin.  “Sure.”

 

She actually chuckled.  “I’ll take that under advisement.”  She allowed him to help her dress and urged her to breath during her next contraction.  Finally dressed he helped her out into the main room.

 

Stephen, Chuck and Rob were waiting for them.

 

“Did we wake you?”

 

“Not sure, maybe he did,” Stephen answered.

 

“Do you want us to go - " Chuck started to ask.

 

“No.  Stay here.” Mulder handed Stephen his sig.  “You’re the best shot.  Look after them and I’ll call you when I can.”

 

Dana looked back and forth between them but didn’t speak.  When the next contraction started all attention was on her.

 

“We have to go.  I’ll call you.”  His arm back around her, he led her to the car.  The boys stood silent, watching, not knowing what to say.

 

The drive seemed longer than Mulder had remembered it, but that was probably because he knew she was in pain and there was nothing he could do about it.  They had their story straight - on vacation, things happening early, their insurance information.  They were quiet; he held her hand as the contractions continued.

 

“I sure wish we’d gotten to take that class,” he murmured after the next contraction eased.

 

“You’ll do okay,” she smiled.

 

“Not good enough,” he said quietly.

 

“Yes, you are.”

 

He glanced over at her and the concern and love caused her breath to catch.

 

“Dana?”

 

“We’re good.”

 

He pulled into the hospital and at her insistence parked legally, then helped her inside.  The nurse at the desk smiled up at them, but he was beyond smiling now.  “She needs to be lying down.”  When the nurse nodded indulgently, he visualized slamming his fist into her face.  Dana obviously picked that up and squeezed his arm.

 

The nurse motioned for an orderly and he brought over a wheelchair.  Mulder helped her into it and started off beside her. 

 

“Sir, you need to fill out this paperwork.  We need the name of her doctor.”

 

“I need to stay with her.”

 

“It’ll just take a couple of minutes.  They need to help her change, do a quick exam.”

 

Dana squeezed his hand.  “It’s okay.  Just hurry.”

 

He managed to get the paperwork out of the way without actually assaulting anyone, then took the stairs up to the third floor, unable to wait for the car to make it down to the first floor.  He jogged down the hall and fairly burst into her room.

 

A young doctor looked up startled.  “Excuse me, you need to - "

 

“I want him here,” Dana said quickly.

 

The doctor looked between the two of them but then returned to his examination.  Damn it looked like he was hurting her worse than the contraction.  Mulder drew a breath to challenge the man but before he could speak the doctor had sat up and was removing his glove.

 

“You’re doing very well.  Already to six.  Your water breaking naturally probably helped there.”

 

“How’s her blood pressure?” Mulder asked.

 

“A little high, not in the danger range.  We’ll be keeping a close eye on it.  Were you able to reach your doctor?”

 

“No, he’s out of town.  We thought we had a couple more weeks,” Dana said relaxing back and squeezing Mulder’s hand as another contraction began.

 

“Okay, it’s pretty obvious this one isn’t going to wait, Kathy.  You take it easy and someone will be in to check on you shortly.”

 

Mulder looked up quickly.  “You need to give her something for the pain.”

 

“She doesn’t - “

 

“I don’t need anything.  Just sit here with me.”

 

He obviously wanted to protest that, but her look rendered him silent.  The doctor nodded and let himself out.

 

“Have you called home?” she asked.

 

“Damn, I didn’t even think about it.”

 

“Go ahead and let them know we’re here safe.”

 

He nodded and took out one of the disposable phones.  It was answered before the end of the first ring.  “How is she?” Stephen’s voice was higher pitched than usual and louder.

 

“We’re here.  They say things are going okay.  She’s at 6.”

 

”Can we speak to her?” Mulder heard Chuck in the background.

 

He looked up and realized she was having another contraction.  “No.  I’ll call you later.”  He hung up and turned back to her.  “Why don’t you let them give you something?”

 

She shook her head.  “It’s better for the baby.  If you’re here I won’t need it.”

 

He shook his head slightly at that but he didn’t want to argue with her.  She’d explained focal points to him and he found she was using his eyes as hers.  His hand lightly massaged her stomach as they talked softly.  They were left alone as much as possible, a nurse quietly coming in to check, mostly on her blood pressure which hadn’t gone any higher.  He was grateful; the interruptions distracted her which didn’t help at all.  He didn’t bring up pain medication again, but she could see from his expression he wanted to.  She was too busy to reassure him further.  Things were beginning to happen faster.  It seemed that one contraction was right on top of the next.

 

“Mulder, you need to get the nurse.  I want to push.  Hurry.”  He pressed the call button but when no one appeared instantly, he glanced at the door.

 

“Try to relax between them,” he gave her a quick kiss on the brow, then stepped toward the hall.  She was unable to mutter what she thought of that advice.  The nurse came immediately then and he was back at her side.

 

“Let me do a quick - " Mulder saw the nurse’s eyes widen.  “Don’t push, Kathy.  Let me get the doctor.”

 

“Wha - " Mulder started, but she was already out the door.

 

“Muld . . . “ Her grip was painful now and she was blowing, trying not to push.  Where the hell was the doctor?  The nurse?

 

The young doctor fairly burst into the room then, still putting on his gown and snapping on his gloves.  “Told you this one didn’t want to wait,” he said as he quickly took up his post.  “Give me an easy push, Kathy.” 

 

The nurse positioned Mulder so that he could support her for pushing.

 

“Whoa, stop pushing Kathy.  Blow for just a second here.” 

 

Mulder couldn’t really see what was happening, but his attention was more on her anyway.

 

“Okay, Kathy, the head’s out, I don’t feel the cord, come on give me another one.”

 

Mulder raised her shoulders letting her rest against his chest.  “You can do it, Dana,” he whispered in her ear.  She nodded, tucked her chin into her chest and pushed.

 

Now Mulder’s eyes were focused on the baby.  He could see the head and he marveled again at her strength.  Then the baby seemed to tumble into the doctor’s hands and screamed his fury.  The doctor looked up grinning.  “You’re gonna be rushing to keep up with this one.”  He laid the tiny boy on her stomach and clamped the cord as her hands explored him.

 

“You want to cut the cord, Dad?”

 

Mulder blinked at that, then looked down at Dana.  She smiled nodding.  He steadied his hand after taking the scissors and cut the cord.  The nurse began cleaning him up, a little roughly in Mulder’s opinion, but Dana didn’t complain and this was her area.

 

The baby continued to cry.  Dana took Mulder’s hand and placed it on the baby.  His hand could almost cover him but the baby blinked and seemed to look at him.  He calmed down immediately, like he was trying to see him.

 

“Kathy, we need to finish this up.”

 

“Yes,” she watched the nurse take the baby from them.

 

“Wait,” Mulder said his hand out.

 

“I’m just taking him over here.  We need to weigh and measure him,” the nurse explained.

 

“Go with him,” Dana said.  He leaned down and kissed her again, then nodded and followed the nurse.

 

He watched as the nurse weighed the boy, six pounds, seven ounces and measured him, 19 ¼ inches.  “Put your hand back on him.  He seems to like it.”  The nurse put the tiniest diaper Mulder had ever seen on the baby as his hand rested lightly on the baby’s chest and his finger caressed the boy’s face.

 

He looked back at Dana who was resting against the raised bed now, watching him.  She smiled tiredly at him.  The nurse touched his arm, drawing his attention again.  “Why don’t you take him over to see his Mom?”  She started to hand the swaddled infant to him.

 

“Wait, I - "

 

“Get used to it, Dad.”  She grinned and placed the bundle carefully in his arms.  He looked down at him, the awe showing plainly on his face.

 

He spotted the tears on Dana’s face and faltered for an instant, but her bright smile reassured him.  She held out her arms and he put their son into them.

 

“He’s beautiful,” she breathed.  He couldn’t speak, just watching them.  The baby began rooting around so Dana opened her gown and brought the baby to her breast.

 

“Could you get me some water?”  She looked up at Mulder.  He nodded and picked up one of the bottles the nurse had left on the counter.

 

He eased down into the chair by the bed as she changed breasts, the baby barely missing a beat before latching back on.  His knees were suddenly weak.

 

“Mulder?”

 

“Um?” he couldn’t take his eyes from them.

 

“You okay?”

 

“I will be, in a few years.”

 

She smiled, nodding.  “You need to call home.”

 

“Oh, yeah.  I hadn’t even thought of them.”

 

“I’m sure they’re worried.”

 

He pulled out the phone and dialed quickly.  “How is she?” Chuck’s voice came over the phone, not bothering with a hello.

 

“She’s great.  He’s - "

 

“Yeah,” Chuck laughed, “we know about him.  He made his displeasure at the whole ordeal very plain.”

 

“You’re been in touch with him?”

 

“Like we could help it,” Chuck laughed.  “We were awfully glad when you put your hand on him.”

 

Mulder sat there rendered silent.  Dana reached for the phone and he handed it over.

 

“Hello?”

 

“Dana!  Are you really okay?”

 

“I’m wonderful.  The baby’s wonderful.  Big brother was a little shaken, but he’s doing okay now.”

 

“Thank goodness.  We can’t wait to meet him in the flesh.”

 

“It won’t be long.  They may have us stay overnight, but no later than tomorrow.”

 

Mulder’s eyes widened at that and opened his mouth to protest, but she just shook her head.  “We need to keep this short, but everyone is doing great and we’ll see you soon.”

 

“We love you.”

 

“I love you too.  Bye.”  She broke the connection and handed the phone back to Mulder.

 

“Are you kidding about leaving tomorrow?”

 

“I’m hoping to leave in a few hours.”

 

“Are you, are you serious?”

 

“Everything went very well, classic actually.  My blood pressure is great, look.”  She pointed to the monitor they still had her on.  “And I do know how to look after an infant, even my own.”

 

“Well, I know you can look after him, but, but I mean what you just went through - "

 

“Went very well, and very quickly, thank you.  You made it bearable.”

 

He opened his mouth to protest that, but the door opened.  “How're we doing in here?”

 

“Wonderfully.  He nursed about two minutes on each side,” Dana offered.

 

“You seem to know what you’re doing,” the nurse smiled.  “Do you want me to take him to the nursery or do you want to keep him in here?”

 

“In here,” they said together and the nurse chuckled.

 

“I kind of thought so.”  She returned to the door and wheeled a plastic bassinet into the room.  “Supplies are on the bottom shelf.  You should try to get a little sleep, Kathy.  You’ll be feeding this one every couple of hours for a while.  You need to rest when he does.  Let Dad handle the housework.”

 

“You hear that?” Mulder looked at her and she rolled her eyes.

 

“Just hit the call button if you need anything.”

 

“Do you know when I can leave?” Dana asked.

 

“You have to travel to get home, right?  I know the doctor won’t want you in a car with this little one for any length of time.  He’ll be by later or at least first thing in the morning.  He has two other women in labor, full moon you know.  Just rest now.”

 

Mulder rose and took the baby from Dana. 

 

“I need to change his diaper,” Dana said starting to get out of the bed.

 

“I’ll do it,” Mulder said.  “I need to get used to it, right?”

 

“Very right,” the nurse said quickly.  “Do you want me to watch?”

 

“Uh, actually I’d rather you didn’t.  She’s going to laugh hard enough without help.”

 

“Somehow I doubt that.  Okay, call me if you need me.”  She left them alone again.

 

Mulder changed his diaper and settled him to sleep in the bassinette.  He turned back to Dana who was watching him.  “Close your eyes.”

 

“I’m too keyed up to sleep.”  He automatically looked over at her blood pressure but it was low, lower than at any time during her pregnancy.  When he looked back at her, she stuck out her tongue.

 

He had to laugh, the tension finally leaving his body.  “Go to sleep.”

 

“Yes, sir.”

 

*****

 

They compromised, with Mulder finally agreeing with the doctor that she was perfectly okay to leave, even though the doctor thought they had quite a drive to get home.

 

When the nurse came to have a final talk before releasing them, she asked about the birth certificate.  Mulder filled out the paperwork using Kathy and Philip Miller as their names.  They’d have to fix it eventually, but for now they had to get out of there.  They chose William Carson as his name.  Then the nurse asked about a car seat.  Without missing a beat, Dana admitted that all of their supplies were at home since they hadn’t expected him on this trip.

 

“That’s not a problem, we have car seats that have been donated, we’ll get you one of those.  When you get home and to your things, you can donate it back to your hospital.”

 

“Thank you.  We’ll do that.”  The nurse called down to get a seat ready, then wheeled Dana, holding the baby, down to the main floor.  Mulder pulled the van up to the entrance and helped her into the car, then watched as the nurse secured the seat and took the baby from his arms to strap him in.  He looked so tiny and vulnerable there.  He felt another surge of love for this tiny boy and felt Dana’s eyes on him.  She nodded her understanding.

 

*****

 

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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.