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Chapter 9: The Arrival
Daniel slid into the wall as he ran towards the infirmary. He couldn’t help but grin. The message Jack had sent had been brief and to the point: ‘Emily’s coming.’ He raced around the corner, bumped into two scientists…he thought Jay Felger was one of them, but he didn’t take the time make sure.
Doctor Williams had moved Casey into the largest medical observation room that SGC had. Daniel had spent time there when he had carried the personalities transported into him by Tryan of Talthus. He had already notified her parents, and received word that they, along with Duncan and Tessa MacLeod, Gina and Robert de Valicort, Oma Desala, and Methos would be arriving to witness this birth. Lya of the Nox had also been notified. He figured there would be quite a crowd waiting to welcome Emily Jackson into the world. They would fill the room.
When Daniel made it to the infirmary, and found that Casey wasn’t there, he panicked. It took two nurses to calm him down and take him to where she was waiting; Jack, Sam and Teal'c were by her side. Teal'c had the camcorder and was already recording events as they happened, including Daniel’s breathless arrival.
He dashed into the room just as a contraction over took her. He took her fingers, lifted them to his lips. "I’m here, babe," he whispered, stroking her hair back from her face. She smiled, but said nothing. She continued to breathe slowly.
"Okay, cleansing breath," Sam instructed. She smiled up at Daniel.
Casey obeyed, then squeezed Daniel’s hand. "Hey, handsome," she smiled.
"Your daughter decided to spite you," she said.
Daniel chuckled. "So I see. Is the bag here?"
She nodded. "Tony grabbed it for me. It’s in the corner."
Daniel went and got the tote bag. Inside was a bag of lollipops, a small, framed photograph, a deck of playing cards, a bottle of her favorite body lotion, and two tennis balls. He grinned when he saw Jack and Teal'c frowning at the items he put on the table nearby. "She can’t eat or drink anything, but she can have ice chips to keep her mouth from getting too dry and lollipops to give her an energy boost. The photo is what she’ll use to focus on during transition, the hardest part of her labor. The playing cards are to pass time if things slow down. The body lotion goes without saying and the tennis balls will help her back if need be," he explained.
"Daniel, I already told Doctor Williams that I want you to be the one to deliver Emily. I want the first person who holds her to be her father," Casey said softly. Everyone in the mountain was aware that Daniel had delivered several babies, including Sha’re’s.
His eyes lit up. "I wouldn’t have it any other way," he replied, kissing her gently.
"Is Tessa here yet? I want her and Sam to help me when it’s time."
"She’ll be here soon, babe." Daniel glanced at Sam. "When is the next one due?"
"About three minutes," Sam replied. She handed the stopwatch to Daniel, then pulled a stool up next to the other side of the bed.
"Okay babe, get ready. Cleansing breath," he instructed.
Casey obeyed, then felt the contraction hit her body. She breathed slowly, her eyes locked on the blue ones above her. His hand caressed her belly, felt it harden with the contraction.
"Just about over, babe. Five seconds…Okay, cleansing breath."
She took a deep breath, sighed as she let it out. The klaxons were wailing once again.
Not more than five minutes later the doors to the room flew open and almost a dozen Immortals raced in. Aaron and Erin were the first to her side. After assuring them that she was okay, she managed to convince them to make themselves comfortable somewhere. She grabbed Tessa’s hand, whispered her request, then closed her eyes for just a few seconds of respite. Duncan stood next to Tessa, his arm around her shoulders, his eyes full of love and excitement as he watched the woman he had loved, the woman he now considered his dearest friend, working toward delivery of her child.
Jack looked around, shook his head and grinned. He motioned to one of the nurses. "Get an Airman to bring some chairs in here. Don’t think we’ll be able to convince them to leave the room."
"Unscheduled gate activation!" came over the speakers.
"That, I’m betting, will by Lya," Daniel said. He looked over at Jack.
"I’ll bring her up," the older man grinned.
Daniel checked the watch. "Cleansing breath, babe. It’s time."
A A A A A A
Time passed slowly. Daniel had rubbed her back, her feet and her legs, using the lotion. It was nearly 3 a.m. She had already gone through two cups of ice, and three lollipops. Doctor Williams had just checked her progress. Her cervix was opened to eight centimeters.
Transition, the final and most grueling part of labor hit without warning. The contractions were coming one and a half minutes apart, barely giving her time to recuperate between each one. She had continued to refuse the epidural, wanting to wait until she felt she couldn't manage without the drugs. Now it was too late.
"Okay babe, here it comes," Daniel said. He held her hand, counted the seconds out, watched as she concentrated on the picture of the two of them. At the height of the contraction, she cried out, her fingers squeezing against his.
"I have to push!" she groaned. "I have to push now!"
"Breathe, babe," Daniel said. "Come on, you can do it."
Casey glanced at him. "I’ll get you for this," she said between clenched teeth.
"I know, babe," he replied. "Love you, Angel."
Doctor Williams hurried over. He put on a clean glove, and as soon as the next contraction wracked her body, he checked her. He nodded up at Daniel. "Think you’d better get ready to deliver your daughter."
Teal'c, who had stopped filming several hours earlier, grabbed the camcorder once again. Duncan moved to take Daniel’s place by the monitor, so that he could count out the seconds remaining in each contraction. Sam was getting tired, so it had been decided that Jack would take her place, although she continued to sit at Casey’s side, holding her hand.
Doctor Williams was already raising the bed so that she was sitting. He looked at Tessa and Jack. "When the next contraction comes, you’re going to put an arm around her shoulders and help her to sit up as far as she can. The other hand you’ll hold against her foot, with her legs up as close to her shoulders as she can get them. She’s going to be putting a lot of pressure against your hands with her feet, so press against her foot as hard as you can." They nodded, and positioned themselves. Daniel was sitting on a stool at the foot of the bed.
"Casey, babe, scoot your butt down here a little," Daniel instructed her. Jack and Tessa helped her to move.
She screamed as the next contraction tore through her body.
"Push, babe," Daniel said. "Push!"
"I am pushing!" she managed to gasp.
Duncan counted out the seconds of the contraction, watching the monitor as it peaked and ebbed, called time. Jack and Tessa helped Casey relax back against the bed. Jack glanced over his shoulder and noticed that the cameras in the room were on. Every man and woman in the mountain right now were waiting for word on this birth. He figured the control room was filled to capacity.
Aaron was pacing in the shadows at the side of the room where the rest of the Immortals and Lya waited. Erin was sitting, tears streaming down her cheeks, her hands clenching those of Gina deValicort. Methos was leaning against the wall, his eyes glued to the scene in front of him. He would never admit how much the birth of this child affected him; he would never admit how much the mother of this child affected him.
Within less than fifty seconds the next contraction came. Casey held her breath, and pushed as Daniel counted. The contraction had barely ended before the next one began. Tears began to fall on her face as she struggled to keep up with what her body was doing. She was gasping for breath by the time the contraction was over. Doctor Williams put an oxygen mask on her face.
"Oh, god," she moaned as the next one hit. Tessa and Jack held her up, she held her breath and pushed, her fingers squeezed Sam’s, and she focused on the sound of Daniel’s voice as he counted to ten.
"I can see her head, babe," he said excitedly. "Okay, next one - push hard. When I say stop, you stop, okay?"
Casey managed to nod weakly.
"It’s almost over, babe," Daniel said, caressing her leg. "Okay, babe, push!"
She was so tired, so very tired. She pushed with all the effort she had left, until she heard Daniel sharply order her to stop. Sam was beside her, encouraging her to pant, helping her to deal with the overwhelming urge to continue pushing.
"Okay, Casey, this is it, babe. Push," Daniel said softly.
With a moan she complied.
Daniel’s heart nearly stopped beating as his daughter slid into his hands, her skin covered with the waxy material that protected her, and just a bit of blood. He held her up, forced his finger into her mouth to clear it. The nurse handed him a syringe, and he carefully cleared the tiny nostrils and her throat. She let out a wail to let him know that she didn’t approve. Tears filled his eyes. He stood up, laid the baby on Casey’s belly, against her breasts. "Say hello to Mommy, Princess," He said softly.
Casey’s arms came up to cradle the infant against her. "Oh, hello, baby! Hello, Emily!"
She looked up at Daniel, watched the tear that slid down his cheek. "I love you, Daniel Jackson," she whispered.
He lowered his head, rested his forehead against hers. "I love you, Casey Jackson."
Doctor Williams held the scissors toward Daniel. "Let’s get this cord cut, then we can get the placenta taken care of." He put two clips on the umbilical cord, Daniel cut between them. "Okay, Casey. I know you’re tired, but I need you to give me one good long push."
Casey obeyed, felt something drop out of her. She continued to look at her baby, stroking a finger over the tiny cheek. She looked at each perfect, tiny hand; each perfect, tiny foot. Tears fell when the baby’s hand closed around her finger.
"Okay, let’s take this little lady over there and get her cleaned up and taken care of," one of the nurses said softly.
Daniel picked his daughter up and followed the woman to the side of the room.
Sam adjusted the blanket over Casey. "That was intense," she said, a smile on her face, tears in her eyes. Jack stood silently, tears in his own eyes, his hands on Sam’s shoulders.
"But beautiful," Tessa said, tears streaming down her cheeks. She looked over at Duncan. He had tears on his face as well. They leaned against one another.
Teal'c moved beside the bed, put his hand on her knee. The Jaffa’s face was unreadable. His eyes, however, were shining.
Aaron and Erin rushed to Casey’s side. "Are you all right, darling?" Erin asked, her voice unsteady, her cheeks wet with tears.
"I’m fine, Mom," Casey assured her.
"That was the most amazing thing I’ve seen in a very long time," Aaron said softly, tears on his cheeks. "I had forgotten what a struggle it is for humans to give birth."
The sudden wail from the corner brought a smile to every face in the room. Daniel walked back to Casey, the baby wrapped in a blanket in his arms. She held her arms out, and he put Emily into them. "She’s six pounds, two ounces; sixteen and three quarters inches long, and she’s absolutely beautiful," he said proudly. He leaned over and kissed his wife. "Love you, Angel," he whispered.
"Love you, my heart," Casey whispered back. Emily was rooting at her breast.
Daniel helped her move the gown, but kept the blanket pulled up over her, watched as his daughter latched onto a dusky rose nipple and began to suckle. He felt as if his heart was about to burst. He traced a shaking finger over the downy cheek. "Love you, Emily Rose Jackson," he whispered.
Casey laughed out loud when the winner of the betting pool was announced on the speakers overhead. Master Sergeant Siler had won, betting that the baby would be a girl, born on April 20, at six a.m. He had missed on the time, she had been born shortly after four a.m., but since no one else had even bet on the day, he was the closest, and won.
A A A A A A
She was back in the infirmary, all of the Immortals and Lya had taken turns to come in and visit the new family. Lya had held Emily close, then whispered something into the newborn’s ear. She gave the baby back to Casey, then looked at Daniel. "You wish to know what it means to be The Chosen. That is a question that I cannot answer. I can tell you this: when the time comes, you will know. Remember this always: the love that you and Casey share is a special love. It is a strong love. As such, it contains much power. That power flows through both of you. You are The Chosen , she is Your Chosen. Together you cannot be defeated." She turned and walked away.
"Wow," Daniel said softly. He looked down at Casey. She was looking at him with such love, such devotion that it nearly knocked him off of his feet.
"Told you you’re the most incredible man I know," she whispered. Emily began to fuss in her arms. "Better get a bottle ready. The last time I tried to nurse her, she didn’t seem to get much."
He nodded, went to the table where the baby supplies had been carefully arranged.
Doctor Williams had checked her, already her body was returning to the way it had been before she had become pregnant. He was amazed that there was no vaginal bleeding, in fact, he had told her that within another hour or so it would be impossible to tell that she had ever given birth, or even been pregnant.
By the time Daniel had a bottle of formula prepared, Emily Rose Jackson was declaring to the world at the top of her lungs that she was hungry. He handed the bottle to Casey, watched as she held the baby close to her body.
"Hey, what are you two doing to my goddaughter?" Jack demanded as he came in with Sam, his arm around her shoulders. He was smiling.
Daniel smiled. "She had to wait for me to get the bottle ready. She’s not very patient. Sort of like another incredibly beautiful blonde I know."
Casey rolled her eyes, but had a smile on her face. The fine hair on the top of Emily’s head was very light blonde. Her eyes were blue, and shaped exactly like Daniel’s. She definitely had Casey’s lips and chin, and it looked like she would have Casey’s nose as well. She was a beautiful baby, and would grow to become a beautiful woman.
Jack pulled a chair close to the bed, looked around before he began to speak. "Sam and I have our resignations printed out, ready to sign and turn in. We’ll all leave together. I talked to General Hammond about an hour ago. He sends his congratulations, by the way. He’s bringing a group of his most trusted. They’ll empty your lab and office, and Sam’s. It will be sent to the new labs on Gamma. They’re going to help the teams get the scientists and everything important out of here and to either Gamma or the Alpha site ASAP. Who goes where is already worked out. Duncan is waiting for us Gamma side. Teal'c caught word that the NID may have found out about Casey’s Immortality. We think they’re on their way now. Doctor Williams says that he’s satisfied that both of them are in perfect health. Doctor Montigue on Gamma has already been sent Casey’s complete medical file, as well as ours. Daniel, I suggest you go get everything in your quarters packed and ready. Sam will empty her locker and Casey’s. We want to be out of here in an hour, two tops." He kept his voice low.
"I don’t want to leave them alone," Daniel said. The knowledge that the NID was on their way left him feeling more than a bit nervous. There had always been at least one NID mole in the mountain, and there was no doubt one lurking about. He would not leave his wife and daughter alone, not here, not now.
Teal'c chose that moment to walk through the door. "I am ready, O’Neill," he said softly.
"Stay with Casey and Emily. We’ll be ready in an hour," Jack said.
Casey watched as they left. "T, if you’ll take her, I’ll get dressed."
The baby fit neatly in the Jaffa’s hands. He held her while Casey quietly pulled on her overalls and put all of the baby items into the tote. When there was nothing left to do but wait, she sat back down on the bed. According to every book she had read, she should be feeling sore and uncomfortable. She felt perfectly fine. She ran a hand over her abdomen. It was almost as flat as it had been before the baby.
It wasn’t quite an hour later when Daniel came to get them. The only person in the control room was Walter. He had tears in his eyes as he saluted General O’Neill and Colonel Carter. They returned the salute, the emotions in their own eyes saying more than words.
The doors to the ‘gateroom were sealed, and the dialing commenced. By the time the Marines had opened the doors, the five Immortals and the baby were gone.
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