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Chapter 6: Month 6
They were in the same waiting room at the military hospital, for the second ultrasound. Daniel was still convinced that the baby was a girl. After Carlotta’s demonstration in the pizza parlor, Casey was beginning to admit he might be right. They would know for sure soon enough.
The same friendly nurse led them back to the same room. Casey was wearing one of her dresses today, so the nurse told her to take it off and put on the gown. Daniel settled into the chair in the corner, watched as her belly was measured, her vitals taken. Doctor Williams had weighed her earlier in the day. So far her total weight gain was six and a half pounds.
The technician came into the room, reading from her chart. "Okay, Mrs. Jackson, let’s see if this baby will cooperate and let us see whether we’ve got a he or a she." He pushed the gown up to her breasts, making sure that the paper blanket covered her hips and legs. He squirted a generous amount of goop on her rounded belly, then pressed the scope against her.
Daniel sat forward, watching the screen. He gasped when he saw a tiny, perfect foot appear.
"Well, there’s one foot, pressed right up against Mom’s uterine wall. Let’s see…yep, there’s the other one. Two hands…looks like we’re sucking our thumb here…okay baby, move around for me," the tech said. He pushed against Casey’s belly. The baby responded by moving. "That’s it…okay…and we have…a girl."
"You’re sure?" asked Casey, who had also been watching the monitor.
"Absolutely," the tech grinned.
She looked over at Daniel. He was grinning from ear to ear, his eyes shining with love and excitement. "Don’t gloat," she said, a smile on her own face.
The tech looked up when Doctor Williams came into the room. "We have a girl," he said, smiling.
Doctor Williams smiled. "Well, that leaves me out of the pool," he said.
"Me, too," Casey giggled.
"Okay, Casey, this next procedure is a bit painful. Mike is going to keep an eye on where the baby is, and I’m going to draw some of the amniotic fluid from the sac. We’ll run tests to make sure everything is okay. I don’t have any worries, considering your…health. But we’ll do the tests anyway." Doctor Williams turned to look at Daniel. "You might want to come over here and hold her hand. This isn’t going to be comfortable."
Daniel stood up and moved to stand beside her. He took her hand into his, lifted it to his lips.
Doctor Williams swabbed her belly. He picked up a hypodermic needle that looked to Casey as if he could drill to China with it. "Okay, Casey, deep breath. When I say now, you blow out slow and steady, okay?" He positioned the needle above her. "Now, Casey."
She began to blow, and the needle made its way inside her body. She let out a tiny cry of pain as the doctor moved it around in an effort to avoid sticking the baby. Her fingers tightened around Daniel’s.
"It’s okay, babe, I’m right here," he said softly. He watched the doctor, hoping that this procedure was about over. Watching the needle enter his wife’s body hadn’t been easy, and knowing that it was hurting her made it more difficult to handle.
The doctor was pulling back on the plunger, and clear fluid filled the tube. He withdrew the needle, patted her shoulder. "That’s it, we’re done. I’ll have the results when I see you the next time."
"You’ll do these tests in your lab, right doc?" Daniel asked.
"Absolutely. General O’Neill’s orders," Doctor Williams replied. No tests that might expose their Immortality could be run on any of the team outside of the SGC .
A A A A A A
Casey had managed to convince Daniel that she could rest just as easily at the base as she could at home. She had gone to the local bookstore, and armed with books about pregnancy, birth, and childcare, she spent most of her day in his office reading while he worked. Every day after lunch he walked her to their quarters, tucked her in for a nap. She was more than willing to sleep, her body craved more rest as her daughter continued to grow inside her.
The wail of klaxons woke her up. She sat up and stretched, then pulled her overalls on. It was probably her parents arriving from Gamma. She hurried down the corridor toward the elevator.
Aaron and Erin were already standing in the ‘gate room talking to Jack and Daniel when she arrived. Both faces lit up when they caught site of her.
"Oh, my darling daughter, let me look at you," Erin said, holding her at arms length. She reached out and patted the tummy that was starting to resemble a miniature basketball. "How are you feeling?"
Casey hugged her mother. "I’m great. The baby is great." She turned to her father. "Hey, Gramps, how are you?"
Aaron stiffened for just a second before he hugged her. "Gramps?" His face lit up. "I am going to be a grandfather, aren’t I?"
Casey giggled. "Oh, yeah. We found out what sex the baby is."
Two pairs of eyes looked at her expectantly.
"You’re going to have a granddaughter. We’ve decided to name her Emily Rose," Casey announced.
"Emily Rose," Erin said softly. "Emily Rose Jackson. It’s perfect."
"That’s what I thought," Casey agreed with a contented smile.
Daniel stood for a second, the name striking him in the heart for the first time. They had spent an entire week going through lists of names. They had agreed on this one. Hearing it for the first time from someone else overwhelmed him. Emily Rose Jackson. His daughter. For a few seconds, he wasn’t sure that he could contain the feelings of absolute joy…of love…of wonder…that washed over him in waves. He put his arms around Casey and pulled her into an embrace, the need to hold her against him too strong to fight. He pressed a kiss against her temple.
She held to him tightly, sensing his need. "Is something wrong?" she whispered.
He looked down at her, his blue eyes dancing with love and joy. "I’m fine. I’m better than fine," he replied softly.
She smiled. "I know,’ she said simply, and he knew that she did. She turned back to her parents. "Well, are you staying for the weekend?"
Aaron shook his head. "I wish we could, Casey, but Duncan has a meeting set up with the Asgard tomorrow, and all the Council members must be there."
"Anything we should know about?" Jack asked.
The Ancient shook his head. "The only thing I can tell you right now is this: The time has arrived for all Immortals to live together. In one place." He looked from Jack to Daniel and back again.
The two men exchanged glances. "I think we understand," Daniel said softly. He and Jack and Teal'c had already talked about the fact that their Immortality couldn’t be hidden from the Joint Chiefs and the Senate Oversight Committee much longer. The president had agreed that it must be kept secret; he had the same distrust of the NID as they had.
Casey looked at her husband. She understood exactly what her father was saying. She wasn’t too happy about it, either. She and Daniel had already discussed the move they would have to make; their house, as much as she loved it, didn’t have the additional bedroom they now needed. They had been looking in the paper for houses, but hadn’t gotten serious about searching, not yet.
Erin took Casey by the arm. "I know that you love your home, darling," she said softly. "But we can see to it that you have a home just as charming, and one large enough for a family. Gamma is set to declare its independence from Earth. We must, if we are to protect all Innocents. "
She nodded. "I just wish I could have my little house moved there, and a couple of bedrooms and a bathroom added on," she said with a smile.
"Don’t think that it couldn’t happen, darling," Erin replied. "Now, we’ll speak no more of this tonight."
A A A A A A
Her parents were sitting at the counter, watching as she and Daniel made dinner. She was browning the kielbasa sausage she had cut into chunks, Daniel was chopping the onion and green peppers that went into the casserole. The noodles for the dish were almost ready. She opened the package of sun dried tomatoes and added them to the sausage.
"You’ve done this before," Erin teased.
Casey smiled. "Every night. For breakfast in the morning." She absently rubbed her lower back. She was starting to feel the effects of her pregnancy more each passing day.
Daniel kissed her temple. "Sit down babe, I’ll finish this." He held out a rattan bar chair for her. He drained the pasta, went back to the cooktop, put all of the ingredients for the casserole into the skillet, and covered it with a lid. He turned down the heat, then leaned against the counter.
Casey looked over at her parents. "Would you like to hear the baby’s heartbeat? We have a tape of it, and Daniel put in on a CD."
Erin’s eyes brightened. "Oh, yes, please!"
Casey went over to the stereo, turned it on. The rapid, strong beat filled the room. She smiled at the look on her parent’s faces. Her hands went to her round belly as the baby began to move. Rolling over, it felt like. She walked to where they sat, took each of them by the hand. "Here," she said softly.
Erin listened to the sound of life, felt the movement beneath her hand. When she and Aaron had chosen to donate their genes to the Immortal nursery, they hadn’t realized that they would never have any other children. She had never carried a child in her womb. Tears streamed down her face. "It’s so…wonderful," she whispered.
"Babe," Daniel said quietly, "you need to get off your feet."
Aaron cleared his throat, tears in his own eyes. "Sit, my darling daughter."
With a sigh, Casey settled herself back in the chair. "He can get so bossy sometimes," she complained, though her eyes sparkled.
"I’m glad to know that my son-in-law is taking care of my daughter and grandchild," Aaron replied. He looked over at Daniel and winked. "I don’t imagine she makes it easy."
Daniel grinned. "She can get pretty stubborn at times," he admitted.
"Gets that from her mother," Aaron grinned. "As well as her beauty," he added quickly, his own eyes twinkling when he noted the look of irritation in his wife’s.
The rest of the evening passed pleasantly. Casey was genuinely sorry to see them return to Gamma that night. Perhaps, she thought, moving there wouldn’t be so bad after all.
She was snuggled against Daniel, his heart beating slowly beneath her ear, his hand possessively covering her swollen belly. She put her hand over his. As long as she was with him, she would…could…live anywhere. Even if it meant giving up this little house that she loved so much. She drifted back to sleep, a smile on her lips, peace in her heart.
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