Title: Tense Delivery
Season: Post-2; Future
Spoilers: Singularity, In the Line of Duty
Rating: PG for medical tension
Summary: Janet's not in control of this medical situation
Disclaimer: Stargate Sg-1 and its characters are the property of Stargate (II) Productions, Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author. This story may not be posted elsewhere without the consent of the author.
Archive: Fanfiction.net, jackfic, heliopolis, samandjack; all others please ask.
Author's Note: For my sister.
This wasn't the way it was supposed to happen.
My baby should have been here, on my chest, in my arms, looking with enormous eyes into my face, or trying to nurse for the first time. Our instructions on the birthing plan and in our discussions with our ob/gyn had been very clear: baby goes immediately onto mother's chest. What is happening?
The labor, even transition, that had been fine. I can remember my mother telling me once that we Fraisers might be petite, but we had "good breeding hips." Of course, the epidural had helped nicely. I'm not an obstetrician, but I'd seen enough in med school and residency to know that the pain of labor wasn't anything I really wanted to experience first-hand.
My adopted daughter was at my side, stroking my hair soothingly. My best friend was on "Japanese tourist" photo duty, and I'd quickly lost track of the number of times she'd reloaded the camera and recharged the digital. Thank God SG-1 was on downtime. I wondered briefly if Sam had deliberately asked for this time to continue her research in her lab. If she hadn't, of course, I'd have had to trump up a medical reason to ground them myself. I was glad she'd spared me the effort.
My husband was at my other side, helping me count, breathe, push, breathe, and count some more, our left hands locked together, his right hand on my hair. His blue eyes turned alternately to my face, to the heart monitors, and to my belly. He had helped deliver three babies, but this was the first in a medical facility, where he was peripheral to the action instead of a main player. He seemed to be handling it well.
Or he was.
Until the obstetrician called "She's crowning!" I craned my neck, trying to raise myself on my elbows to see my daughter. A nurse pressed my shoulder back down. "Push, Janet!" the doctor ordered.
Daniel kept counting, backwards from 10, as I pushed, but when we reached 1, the ob/gyn signaled him to begin again, and then again, as I gasped for air. What was happening? For the hundredth time, I wished that the fetal monitor was on audio, so I could hear the heartbeat. Was she in distress? Was this why I wasn't to stop pushing?
I see a brief blur of blue from the doctor to the nurse, and then to the isolette-the "warming pan," as Daniel referred to it. I crane my neck again, this time as far left as I can, but the monitors and nurses completely block my view. Daniel half-turns and takes a step toward the crib. I can't see my baby, but I can see my husband. Tears are spilling over his cheeks. He's never been the "I'm too macho to cry" type, but I think this may be more than just overcome at the idea of fatherhood.
The delivery room suddenly seems very quiet. Daniel is squeezing my hand. Sam is frozen in place, looking to where I know my baby is. Cassie is stroking my hair. I don't hear my baby. I realize I haven't heard my baby at all.
"How is she?" I ask, trying to keep my voice calm. No one really answers. Two nurses are bent over the isolette. Their hands are busy, but I can't see what they're doing. Maybe they're used to ignoring all new mothers this way.
But not doctors, I hope. "What's her APGAR?" I snap in my best Chief Medical Officer voice. One of the nurses answers me "We're trying to find out." Daniel squeezes my hand again. Trying to find out? That sounds ominous.
I become aware that Cassie is talking, maybe has been talking for a minute or two. "She's OK, she's OK, she's OK," she repeats, timing her words to her fingers' movement in my hair. I want to believe her.
"I saw her move, Janet," Sam offers, reminding me that Sam really knows very little about babies. That movement should not have been news.
"She's OK, she's breathing, she's moving, She's OK," Cassie chants. If I could move, I would hug her to pieces. I wonder if she has any idea of how her words are a lifeline to me right now.
"Sam." She turns to look at me. I turn my gaze pointedly to Daniel. "Please..."
Sam closes the distance between them, puts her arms around Daniel, and squeezes. "She's OK, Daniel. She is." Daniel puts his free arm about Sam, and turns to lean his cheek on her hair. I can feel his shaking conducted through our linked hands.
"Thanks, Sam," he whispers.
I don't know how long we stay that way, Cassie connected to me connected to Daniel connected to Sam, all of us focused on one point in the room, one tiny life, one tiny face that I have yet to see. All of the medical equipment in this room, all of my own expertise as a doctor, all of the efforts of these two nurses, and still we cannot affect whether this baby will live.
The nurse at my baby's head straightens and pulls the oxygen tubes away from my daughter's face. I can see a bit of pink through the clear plastic of the isolette. The other nurse wraps our baby in a white receiving blanket, over and over, like a burrito in an over- large tortilla.
Then she turns and hands this bundle to Daniel, who releases my hand for the first time in what seems like hours.
"I'll get the others," Sam says quietly, and slips from the room.
Daniel looks from our daughter to me, and pulls back a bit of blanket so I can see her eyes. They're huge and dark and wide open and scanning the entire room.
"Hello, angel," I whisper, as he places her in my arms. Daniel resumes his post at my head, one hand twined in my hair, one hand covering mine.
He drops a light kiss on my forehead. "I love you," he says.
"I love you, too," I answer, as Teal'c and the Colonel enter quietly. O'Neill is grinning, and I can see that he's taken advantage of the happy occasion to wrap his arm around Sam's shoulders. She is back to taking pictures, and seems to be using that as an excuse to "not notice." Teal'c has a slight smile on his face, which is the equivalent of O'Neill's grin.
"Sam, we wanted to name her after you." Sam's mouth drops open, and she pauses between photos. "But, we couldn't see having a 'big Sam' and a 'little Sam'."
She grimaces in acknowledgement. "Thanks, guys."
"So," Daniel continues, "we though we'd name her after *part* of you." He grins at me. "A *beloved* part of you. So...." he takes a breath.
"Jack, T -" Daniel stutters and ends up abbreviating Teal'c's name, "Sam, Cassie," he looks to me for confirmation. "We would like you to meet our daughter, Amanda* Jolie."
"Short for Jolinar," I add, knowing how much the Tok'ra has meant to her.
"Oh, Janet," she exclaims, and I see tears start in her eyes. "Thank you. Thank you both."
* Amanda means "Beloved" in Latin.
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