Summary: The birth draws near.
Info: Final chapter at last! I may do a sequel at some stage if anybody's interested.
"God it's good to be out of the infirmary," Sam smiled as she followed Janet through the door of their quarters at the SGC. "Just you and me, no more pokings and proddings. I've missed you Jan."
"I've been there the whole time," Janet smiled.
"Yeah, I know, but it's not the same. Too many others around. I want you to myself," she put her arms round Janet, and held tight. "How are you doing, baby?" Sam asked. "Are you feeling okay? You should be on maternity leave right now."
"I'm great, Sam," Janet replied, kissing her gently. "Especially now I know you're going to be okay. I can't wait to be a normal size again, though," she grimaced.
"Uncomfortable?" Sam asked, solicitously.
"A bit," Janet admitted. "Everybody says the last few weeks drive you crazy, turns out they were right."
"You're feeling okay, though, right?" Sam sounded concerned.
"Totally," Janet reassured. "I swear."
Sam reached out with her uninjured arm and kneaded Janet's back gently. "How about a one-handed massage later?" she offered. "I'm getting pretty good at doing things with just one hand."
"No, baby, you don't need to do that," Janet said. "You should be relaxing, you're the injured one here."
"I'm fine now, Jan. All better," Sam grinned, knowing that wasn't exactly true. "Anyway, I know I don't need to give you a massage," she added, "but I'm going to. Okay?" she smiled at her lover.
"Okay," Janet agreed. "I'll look forward to it. Just so long as you're careful, I don't want you hurting yourself."
"I won't, Jan, I swear," Sam promised.
= = =
"This isn't working, is it?" Sam said ruefully as she and Janet tried to get comfortable that night.
"Swap sides," Janet instructed.
"Swap sides?" Sam queried.
"Yeah," Janet said. "That way, you can still lie on your side, but I'll also be able to see your face. To touch you," she said bashfully. "If you lie on the other side, you'll have to turn away from me."
Sam reached over and cupped Janet's cheek, kissing her softly. "Well I'm never gonna turn away from you, baby," she said, and shifted over to the other side of the bed. She lay down carefully, and turned on her side gingerly to face Janet. "It worked," she said with a smile.
"Good," Janet stifled a yawn. "Now to sleep," she said. "We're both too tired for anything else."
Sam nodded her reluctant agreement. "Sleep well, Jan," she said, and stroked Janet's face.
"You too, baby," Janet replied, reaching up and grasping Sam's hand, bringing it to her lips and kissing it. She kept hold of it, and pulled it to her own full breast, molding it round the firm globe. "S'that okay?" she asked Sam.
"Oh yeah," Sam said with feeling. "That's more than okay honey."
= = =
"I can't believe it's only two weeks since the accident," Janet smiled as she checked Sam's bandages. "You're healing real fast honey."
Sam grinned. "That's because I need to be back up to full strength before this one," she caressed Janet's bump, "makes his appearance. Two weeks to go Jan, it's incredible." She frowned slightly then.
"What is it, Sam?" Janet asked.
"I don't wanna go back to work, not without you there," Sam admitted. "Suppose something happens?"
Janet took her face between both of her hands and kissed her soundly. "Nothing's gonna happen, baby," she reassured her. "It's still two weeks to go. This baby's not ready to show her face yet. And if anything were to happen, you're only 20 minutes away. Cass and Annie are real close, and they're both on vacation from school. And I can always get a cab. Or an ambulance. Or get an airman to come get me. Vala's only five minutes' away. We have backups, Sam. Lots of them. And anyway," she grinned, somebody in this house has to bring the bacon home."
Sam laughed. All the years of hazardous pay, as well as good investments, meant that money was not a concern for them, but she appreciated Janet's use of humor to lighten the atmosphere. "I'm goin'," she mock-grumbled. "But the slightest twinge..."
"... and I'll call you. I swear," Janet laughed, pushing her lover out of the door. "Now get to work woman. And Sam," she looked up at Sam.
"What?" Sam asked.
"I love you," Janet said simply.
Sam turned back and took Janet in her arms. "Right back at ya," she said quietly, and kissed her softly. "Both of you."
= = =
"How are you feeling this morning?" Sam asked Janet, cautiously.
"Pissed," Janet returned shortly. "This damned baby should be here by now. It should have been here six days ago."
Sam reached across the bed, putting a gentle hand on Janet's shoulder. Janet shook it off grumpily. Sam flinched as though she had been slapped. Janet turned and caught the look of anguish on Sam's face in the split second before she managed to school her features to a neutral expression. "Oh Sam," Janet's heart broke. "I'm sorry, honey," she reached out and grasped Sam's hand. "I didn't mean it. I'm so sorry," and to Sam's horror, Janet started to cry.
"Jan!" Sam cried, pulling Janet to her. "Sweetie, what is it? Are you sick? Is it the baby?"
Janet shook her head, and buried her face in Sam's shoulder. "I'm sorry Sam," she said through her tears. "Oh God, I love you so much. I'm so sorry. I'm just tired, and sore, and uncomfortable. I just want this to be over now. I'm just fed up with feeling like a whale, with having backache and indigestion and heartburn and insomnia."
Sam rocked her lover gently, rubbing her back comfortingly. "Shh," she said. "I know you're pissed baby. It won't be too much longer, it can't be."
"I know," Janet's words sounded muffled but still miserable. "At least we can be sure about our dates," she said.
"Yeah," Sam smiled ruefully. "That's one thing we can be sure of. How about I run the tub for you Jan?"
"That'd be nice," Janet said, not loosening her hold on Sam. "Soon. Just hold me for a bit first, huh?"
"For as long as you want," Sam said. "C'mon, let's lie down again awhile. You let me know when you want the tub. Until then, just try and relax. Sleep, if you think you can. I'll be here, I won't let you go. Not for a moment." She felt some of the tension leave Janet's body as they both lay down.
Janet burrowed herself deep into Sam, her left hand reaching out and pushing Sam's camisole top up, exposing a rounded, perfect breast. Janet caressed it, and then reached over and kissed it softly. "Is this okay?" she asked, and at Sam's nod, she closed her mouth over the plump nipple, suckling it gently.
Sam reached her hand round the back of Janet's head, and cupped it. "It's all gonna be okay, Janet," she whispered, cradling her lover like a small child. "We'll make it okay."
Within minutes Janet was asleep, whimpering slightly with pleasure even as she dozed. Sam stayed awake, and gazed lovingly at Janet's face. "I'm so sorry you've had such a tough time, sweetie," Sam whispered, not loud enough for Janet to hear. "I just hope it's all going to be worth it."
= = =
"Sam, it's okay, you don't need to panic!" Janet tried to stifle a laugh. "I just said we should probably get to the mountain sooner rather than later. The contractions are still 40 minutes apart, this baby's not going to get here in a hurry."
Sam was white with fear. She couldn't remember when she had last felt that afraid. Never, she decided. Even staring down Apophis had nothing on this. This time it was Janet who was at risk, at least that was how she saw it. She'd rather face endless Goa'ulds, or Wraiths, or Ori, than see Janet go through pain. And she knew pain was inevitable, it was just how much there would be that still remained in question.
Sam sat next to Janet on the bed. "Car's all packed," she said unnecessarily. Janet knew the car had been packed for the last six weeks. "I'll just get your coat."
"No," Janet reached out for her hand. "Let's go after the next contraction. If possible, I'd like to avoid having contractions in the car. If we time this properly, and leave directly after the next one, that should mean I'll have been in the infirmary 15 minutes before the next one."
"Good idea," Sam said. "So when's the next one due, 10 minutes?"
Janet looked at her watch. "Nearer 12, I'd guess. It's not an exact science, honey." She looked up and smiled at her lover, running her hand down her soft cheek. "It's okay, baby," she reassured her, "this is something that's been happening for thousands of years. Longer. It's all good, hon," she said.
Sam smiled, and put her arm round Janet's shoulders. "Sorry, sweetie," she grinned, embarrassed at her lack of cool. "Want me to give you a back rub, while we wait?" and she climbed behind Janet on the bed, using her talented hands to knead and massage in all the right places. Just over ten minutes later, she felt Janet lean over slightly, her muscles tensing. "Jan?" she asked. Janet just nodded, and reached out for her hand. With her other hand, Sam kept up a steady rhythm, rubbing circles on Janet's back.
"Oh God," Janet gasped, sweat beading on her brow. "That was a strong one."
"Think you can walk?" Sam asked.
"In a minute," Janet said.
Sam jumped off the bed and grabbed Janet's coat, hanging it round her shoulders. She kissed her tenderly.
"Okay," Janet said a couple of minutes later, rising from the bed, and feeling for Sam's hand. "Let's go."
= = =
"It's been nearly 23 hours," Sam followed Carolyn Lam behind the partition. "She's exhausted," she looked back over at her lover, who was being comforted by Cassie, who had insisted on coming to the mountain as soon as she heard her mother was in labor.
"I know," Lam said in a low voice. "But she's okay, so far. It's slow, I know, but everything that should be happening, is happening. Just slowly. We'll give it another...." she looked at her watch, "another two hours, and if there's no more progress, we might have to consider a C-section. But her vitals are good, and the baby's okay so far. We're monitoring everything, Sam," she put her hand over Sam's. "She's okay. They're both okay."
= = =
"How are you holding up sweetie?" Sam sat back down next to Janet, and took her hand.
"I'm okay," Janet replied. "Tired," she admitted.
"You got much pain?" Sam asked.
"It's not bad," Janet said. She looked over at Sam. "It's really happening, huh?"
Sam smiled, and caressed her face. "Yeah," she said. "It really is. Too late to change your mind now!" she joked.
"Our baby," Janet said, a note of wonder in her voice. "I can't quite believe it." Her grip on Sam's hand tightened. "Oh God," she gasped, as another contraction hit.
Sam climbed on the bed behind Janet, supporting her and holding her tight. "It's okay," she whispered over and over, "I'm here with you honey. Go with it, baby."
After a few minutes, Janet leaned back in Sam's arms. "Must be close now," she said weakly.
"Time for another look," Carolyn Lam said, and raised the sheet to check on progress. She smiled widely. "Fully dilated," she said.
"At last," Janet panted. "I don't think I can take much more of this."
"You're doing real good, Jan," Sam said softly, wiping the sweat from her lover's face. "Nearly there now," she said, "you've done so well. I'm so proud of you."
Janet gripped her hand again and cried out.
"Push, Janet," Lam urged. "More, you're so close."
Janet fell back to the pillows, her breath coming in short gasps.
"One more should do it Janet," Lam said.
Sam tightened her grip on Janet, supporting her with both arms. "You're doing so well, baby," she whispered to her, massaging her with her strong hands. "Let me know when..."
At that moment, Janet cried out again, grabbing desperately behind her for Sam's hand.
"That's it, Janet," Lam encouraged. "Keep pushing Janet, the head's out."
After one final push, the baby slid out into Lam's waiting hands. Janet collapsed back into Sam's arms. For a few, tense seconds, there was no sound. Sam's heart was in her mouth. Then they all heard the sweet sound they had been waiting for; the cry of a baby. Carolyn Lam looked up and smiled. "You want to come say hi?" she asked Sam, who just looked at her stunned, not moving from behind Janet.
"Go," Janet said breathlessly.
Very carefully, Sam climbed off the bed, making sure to prop Janet up carefully on pillows. She kissed Janet passionately on the mouth.
"I'm all sweaty," Janet protested.
"You're beautiful," Sam said, her voice cracking. She made her way to the bottom of the bed, where Carolyn Lam was cleaning off their baby.
"What is it?" Janet asked Sam as, at Lam's prompting, she took their baby in her shaking hands.
Sam looked up from their baby's face, her own face streaked with tears. "You were right all along, sweetie," she said, trying not to cry. "We've got a daughter." She pressed a gentle kiss on their daughter's forehead. "A beautiful daughter. She's perfect Jan," Sam started to sob as she brought the baby to Janet. "She's just perfect." Very carefully, she placed the baby on Janet's front.
Janet cradled the baby to her, her emotions threatening to overwhelm her. "Hi," she whispered to the infant.
Sam kissed Janet again, and reached out to stroke their baby's head tenderly. "Are you okay, honey?" she asked.
Janet looked up at her. "Never better," she said in a quiet voice. "She's so tiny, so precious. It was worth it all, Sam, wasn't it?"
"Yeah," Sam said. "We're the luckiest parents in the world."
"Can you go get Cass and Annie?" Janet asked. "They'll want to meet her."
"Are you sure you're ready for visitors?" Sam asked.
"They're not visitors," Janet said softly. "They're our daughters."
Sam kissed Janet again. "Be right back," she said.
= = =
Sam let herself out of Janet's room, and into the room next door, which Cassie and Anna were occupying. She tapped lightly on the door, and was charmed to open it and see Cassie and Anna both snuggled tightly together, dozing in the one large armchair. "Hey," she said softly.
Cassie's eyes opened, and seeing Sam she leapt to her feet. "Well?" she demanded.
"A girl," Sam started to cry again. "She looks just like your Mom. She's beautiful."
Cassie and Anna enveloped Sam in a tight hug, and held her as she cried.
After a couple of minutes, Sam pulled back, and wiped her eyes. "Come and meet her," she said. "Janet wants you there."
= = =
Janet looked up at her daughters as they entered the room. "Hi," she said. "Come meet your baby sister."
Cassie and Anna kissed Janet, and Janet passed the baby to Cassie. "Here," she said, "time for you to get acquainted. We should call Mom," Janet said to Sam. "She'll want to know."
Sam dialed the 'phone, which was answered on the second ring. "Hey Kathryn," she said, unable to keep the glee from her voice. "Expecting a call?" she teased. "Okay, okay," she said, "I won't keep you in suspense. I'm gonna pass you on to Janet. She has news for you."
Janet took the 'phone from Sam. "Hey Mom," she said, almost shyly. "You've got another granddaughter," her voice cracked. "She's beautiful. Yes, Mom, I'm fine. So's she. And so's Sam. And the girls. Well we haven't discussed names properly yet. But I think I know what I want to call her. If Sam agrees. I'd like to call her Thea, after Sam's mom," at that Sam's eyes filled with tears. "Thea Kathryn Carter," Janet continued, her throat constricting at the emotion she could see her in lover's face. "Thanks Mom," Janet said. "I'll call you later. I love you," and she hung up the 'phone.
Cassie kissed her sister tenderly on the forehead, and passed her to Sam. "Here, Sam," she said quietly. "Take Thea."
Sam took her daughter, and looked into her bright eyes. "Hey, Thea," she said. "Welcome to our family."