Cameron John Sheppard is born - welcome, first son of Atlantis.
Carson got Cassie settled as best as he could in his makeshift infirmary, talking her through the contractions, which while they were coming faster than regular contractions, did not appear to be dilating the cervix at a particularly fast rate. He checked the baby and he appeared to be fine and coping with the intrusion into his peaceful existence, on the brink of being thrust into a world of turmoil.
Carson keyed his comm to keep John updated. “She's doing ok lad, so's your wee man, so keep your mind on the ship John. I need you to radio through to Atlantis and get them to contact the SGC urgently and have a neonatal monitoring system sent through. This wee man is a tad early and he will likely need some assistance. I also have to tell you John, I read the obstetrician reports from New York and we'll likely be doing a C section – Cassie is just too tiny in the pelvis area to accommodate this big strapping lad here, even early as he is, he's a big boy and she doesn't have the space to push him out. I'll radio my medical team on Atlantis and have the operating room standing by. How far are we out lad?”
John's reply was terse as he fought to keep his concentration. “We'll be dropping out of hyperspace in a few minutes – I've brought us in over the city, you know that normally we don't come in this close to the city, but these are extenuating circumstances.”
“Colonel, you'll need to beam Cassie and I out of here and into the infirmary – it's too long from the east pier to the infirmary by foot and I need to get things set up immediately.”
“Copy that Doc, I'll beam you out as soon as we drop out of hyperspace and are over Atlantis. And Doc, I'll see my son born!”
“That you will Colonel, that you will...”
The Aurora dropped out of hyperspace just over Atlantis as soon as it was safe to do so, John beamed Cassie and Carson into the infirmary and he concentrated on landing the ship. Once all engines were shut down, he was on the pier and running, heart in his throat, his only thought to get to her side, to be with her. It was a clear path, no one dared get in his way, Elizabeth had warned all personnel to stand clear. Ronan was behind him, giving John a little space to gather his thoughts.
John burst into the infirmary, out of breath and wildeyed and was immediately at her side, her hand in his, squeezing gently so that she knew he was there.
“Doc?” John's eyes leapt to Carson's in question.
“It's ok John, I've just given her a little pain relief so she'll be a little out of it. The contractions were too strong for her and they're not dilating her as fast as they should be so she is exhausted. She's also had a rough time of it these past few days, I'd say she has endured more than just a wee bit of torture and does not have the strength to go through a full normal labour, even if she had been able to. I want to give her time to rest up, and the longer your wee man is in there, the better off he'll be.”
John looked toward the neonatal chamber that stood ready to house his son if it proved too difficult for him to breath on his own and squeezed his eyes shut tightly at the news of what she had undergone in the hands of the wraith.
Carson saw the toll this was taking on him and did his best to reassure. “He's doing fine Colonel, he's a strong wee lad. That is just a precaution. She's a strong woman also John, you know that. Most could not have survived what she went through, but she has pure steel in her spine – you can be proud of how she has come through this so far.”
John brought both her one good hand to his lips just as another contraction hit, but weakened and medicated as she was, she took it lethargically, just grimacing as the pain hit and peaked, squeezing John's hand weakly to let him know that she knew he was there. Her broken arm remained unset, once Carson had stabilised her he would look at her other injuries – priority was to get her baby born.
“Cass? Sweetheart? I'm here and I'm not leaving your side. Push your pain at me if you can, I'll happily take it for you, I'll take it all away if I can. I'm so proud of you Cass. Have I ever told you that? You are the strongest woman I know, the bravest and you've got the biggest heart. You are my life, and our son will be too.”
“John?” Cassie's voice was weak. “I was so scared. It hurt so much and the thought of having him, there, on that wraith ship... John, I just wanted to die. They wanted our baby, I wanted to kill them!”
“Shhh love, don't waste your energy, just rest so that you can get through your contractions. Carson said it might be a while yet.” Carson had given him a cool wet cloth and he gently wiped her face pushing her slightly upright and supporting her back as another contraction gripped her.
“Colonel, push her up a little bit more and you can squeeze slightly in behind her to support her that way. It will take some of the weight off her and put her into a better position.” John did as Carson suggested and Cassie's weight sagged against him and he took a deep breath preparing himself for something he had no knowledge of.
Another hour of contractions and they began to strengthen causing stronger dilation of her cervix and Carson told John they were going to have to operate soon. “She's done the best she can, but she's tired now and not able to get through these contractions any more. Her body is wanting to give up, and I can see that he is not going to get through her pelvis, we need to get her into the operating room and prepped. Do you want to be in there when we take him out?”
John had tears in his eyes and reached for a gown. “Do you need to even ask Doc?”
Ronan had stood fidgeting at the back of the room for the last hour, knowing he could not be of any assistance but wanting to be there for his friends. He came up to John now and put a hand on Cassie's shoulder smiling down at her. “You've done good Cassie, we are all proud of you, now it's time to let the doctor do his thing. John Junior's ready to announce his presence to the world I think.” He gave her stomach a gentle rub and dropping a kiss onto her head he left the room to wait outside, wishing it was over.
They moved her into the operating room, and John gowned up now, followed her in, holding her hand all the way. While Carson and his team prepped her, he positioned John at her head, so that he had a downward view of the procedure and would have first view of his son when he was brought out of her uterus. She was given a local anaesthetic to block the pain from the waist down, rather than a general and John held her hand tightly, smoothly back her hair with the other hand, waiting for the medication to take effect. Carson stood on the other side of the discreet cloth that had been placed tent like over her stomach, to screen the view of cutting into her stomach from Cassie. Her eyes looked frightened and Carson smiled at her reassuringly. “It'll be over soon lass, and you'll be holding your wee boy in your arms.”
She looked up at John as he stood over here, and although his mouth was covered by the sterile mask, she knew that he smiled at her, watching his eyes crinkle at the corners and fill with love. She took a deep breath at the same time that Carson made the incision into her stomach, and John, fascinated in spite of the fact that he was cutting into her stomach, watched, breathless for the first look at his son.
They heard him before they saw him, lungs they were not sure had reached full maturity certainly told them otherwise as in no uncertain terms, he made his presence noted in the operating room and here on Atlantis. Cassie's breath hitched as she heard his cry and she saw tears fill John's eyes as Carson raised him out of her womb, and slightly into the air so that they could see him. Jet black hair and piercing green eyes, that should have been shut as he built up for another indignant cry, but were open and looking at them, with almost tangible curiousity. Carson, laid him gently onto Cassie's stomach so that he could attend to the placenta and have John the special tool to cut the umbilical cord. Cassie reached out a shaking hand to place gently on her son's head as John cut the cord. A nurse was quick to take him away to check him over and bring him back with a beaming smile, wrapped securely in a blanket. Carson had run through the standard new born tests and announced “Cassie, John, meet your son – perfect in every way. A gorgeous wee man with his mum's stunning eyes. Congratulations you two, well deserved this is, ay it is!”
Carson was jubilant and went out to tell the others waiting in the adjoining room that it had been a successful operation and mother and child were both well. Cassie lay there, with her son at her breast, tiny mouth looking for sustantenance. Gently, John pushed aside her gown and he was instantly drinking greedily, bringing a delighted laugh from John, who drifted a soft finger down his little face as his cheeks puckered with their sucking motion.
“Oh Cass, he is perfect. Look at him, he is just perfect. And you, my love, are amazing. I love you so much, you are amazing...” Crying now as he looked down at them both, his family, at the look of contentment and joy on Cassie's face.
Carson had stopped in the doorway and took in this amazing scene and felt a sliver of magic circle in that room. One by one John's team and friends came in, ignoring Carson's protests that Cassie and baby needed to rest, he was pushed aside. Ronan strode through first, a beaming smile on his face and a rather overenthusiastic slap around the shoulders for John. Teyla and Elizabeth were next, marvelling over the baby and they kept coming, until Carson shooed them all out so that the new family could be moved into the main room and have a little privacy with their new addition.
John stretched out on the bed beside Cassie wanting to be as close as possible to her. He slipped the ring out of his pocket and placed it back on her finger. “You are mine, understand and nothing will change that, not ever.” She smiled at him sleepily, baby Cameron, as they had decided to call him,after her brother, sound asleep at her breast and he tucked her head into his shoulder, not wanting to leave them.
Carson came in half an hour later and found them like that, one unit, alseep on the bed, having found peace for the first time in many days. He smiled and Elziabeth coming up beside him leaned comfortably against him. “First son of Atlantis, Carson. He has a big destiny to fulfill.”
“Aye Elizabeth, that he has, but he has the backing of amazing parent's who have already gone to hell and back to keep him safe. Welcome to the world, Cameron John Sheppard.”