By 34 weeks Gerard had just taken to groaning around the house and crying at random intervals.
“I just want it out of me,” Became Gerard’s catchphrase over the last few weeks. Frank was only doing half days and mostly work from home, because he was determined not to miss anything about their child. It was less than two weeks until their due date, on September 28th. Gerard had to waddle everywhere, bending his back to try and accommodate for his huge stomach.
On September 11th, they watched Batman Begins, though Gerard kept drifting off during it. At half eleven, Frank convinced him to go to bed.
“No offense, Baby, but you’re not exactly the lightest at the moment. My legs are having to take the weight of two people right now,” Frank pointed out, helping heave Gerard up. Gerard groaned and moaned and collapsed into bed.
“It’s so uncomfortable. It’s like I can’t even rest inside my own skin,” Gerard whined, tossing and turning from side to side. Frank settled behind him and wrapped his arms around his waist as best he could.
“Shh. Sleep,” Frank cooed into Gerard’s ear. Gerard sighed and let his eyes close, his breaths evening out as he feel asleep quickly. Frank kissed the back of his neck lightly before he felt himself falling to sleep as well.
“Frank!” A voice hissed urgently above him, “Frank!” It yelled.
Frank woke groggily to someone shaking him.
“Get off me,” Frank groaned, turning over and away from the intrusion.
“Get the fuck up, Frank, I’m not fucking joking,” Gerard yelled, shoving at Frank. Frank rubbed his eyes and sat up.
“What’s going on?” He whined, but slowly he could feel the cogs whirring in his brain. It couldn’t be - they were two weeks away form the due date. Frank felt around and froze when a dampness on the bed.
“Shit, Frank,” Gerard said, his voice trembling. Frank felt out in the dark to turn on the bedside lamp and saw Gerard, sitting upright, his cheeks pink and his whole frame shaking, “I think I’m in labour.”
Frank jumped out of bed at those words.
“Shit!” He swore, scrambling around to find Gerard’s overnight bag. Gerard was still on the bed, his arms around his stomach.
“What if it’s not okay?” Gerard said, “It’s too early. Frank...”
Frank darted around to Gerard’s side of the bed, helping him out of bed.
“Shh, Gerard. It’ll be fine. We’re having a baby now,” Frank whispered, helping Gerard out of the room and downstairs to the car. Gerard was sucking in huge breaths to try and calm himself down.
Frank opened the car door for Gerard and strapped him in before throwing the overnight bag in the bag and starting the engine and driving like mad to the hospital.
“It hurts, Frank,” Gerard gasped, choking on his own breath.
“We’re nearly there,” Frank muttered, trying to concentrate on the road.
They finally got to the hospital and Gerard was put onto a trolley and transferred to a private room, where Doctor Blige was waiting for him.
“Good to see you,” Doctor Blige greeted, a frown on his face as he concentrated, “It’s earlier than expected, but not early enough to be life-threatening. Okay. I’m just going to see if you’re ready yet, and if so we can undergo the c-section. If not, you’re going to have to wait here a little while longer.”
Gerard screamed as he felt another contraction. He squeezed Frank’s hand so hard and Frank felt he was having a fucking contraction. Gerard gasped and panted and squeezed his eyes shut. Doctor Blige placed Gerard’s feet flat on the bed and knelt down. Gerard had changed into a hospital gown after they had got in.
“You have a little while yet,” Doctor Blige announced, “I’d say at least another few hours.” while poking and prodding around inside Gerard. Gerard groaned loudly and held Frank’s hand in a death grip as he had another contraction. A nurse bustled into the room.
“We just need to take your blood pressure,” She said, shuffling around the room. While Gerard was distracted, Frank took the opportunity to call their family.
“I’ll be back in a minute, I just need to call everyone,” Frank said softly, kissing Gerard’s sweaty forehead. Gerard just moaned in response.
Frank slipped out of the room and decided to call Mikey first, as he would probably call Gerard’s mom straight after and Frank could then phone his mom, giving everyone enough time to get to the hospital before the birth. Mikey’s home phone was one speed-dial, so Frank just held the phone up to his ear, hearing it ring and ring.
“Pick up, motherfucker,” He hissed. He tapped his foot impatiently on the immaculate linoleum floor.
“Frank,” He heard Mikey’s groggy voice, “What the fuck are you doing? Gerard didn’t chuck you out, did he?”
“No, Mikey,” Frank snapped, taking a breath, “We’re at the hospital. Gerard’s gone into labour.”
“Shit!” Mikey yelped, and Frank could hear him waking up Alicia on the other end of the phone.
“Just get here as soon as you can and call your mom,” Frank said, “I need to call my mom. We’re not sure when the baby’s going to come, but the doctor gives him another few hours.”
“We’ll be there as soon as we can,” Mikey said. Frank hung up without a goodbye and then dialed his mom’s number with shaking hands to tell her the same.
An hour later and Mikey, Alicia, Donna and Linda were gathered around in the hospital room, watching Gerard grip Frank’s hand with every contraction.
“Are you okay, Hun?” Donna asked loudly. Gerard threw his head back and screamed.
Doctor Blige came back into the room.
“Hello everyone,” He greeted, going over to Gerard’s side, “I just need to have a look and see if you’re ready for surgery yet. Your contractions are about two minutes apart, which seems about ready. We’ll just need to inject the anesthetic when we’re sure. Okay, place your feet flat and I’ll have a look.”
“Get it out,” Gerard gasped, “Get this thing fucking out of me, I’ve had enough.”
Frank leant over and kissed Gerard’s forehead, “Come on, Gee, just breathe and close your eyes.”
“Okay!” Doctor Blige exclaimed, “The baby looks about ready. We’ll only be able to take one of your to the operating theatre, but I’m assuming that’ll be the father.”
Frank nodded and looked around to see if anyone had any objections. Everyone else was silent, watching Gerard pant.
“Just let me call some nurses to wheel you out and we’ll start delivering your baby,” He said, darting out the room to call for two nurses.
“My first grandchild,” Donna sighed, reaching over and stroke Gerard’s hand.
“And last,” Gerard said through gritted teeth, closing his eyes for his next contraction. Two nurses came in to wheel him out of the room, which Frank following behind them.
“See you in a minute,” He said tiredly, waving to them all as they left the room.
“I can’t feel anything below my neck,” Gerard murmured, tipping his head up to look at Frank. Frank smiled and threaded his fingers through Frank’s hair, “It’s weird...I don’t know. I can kind of feel people in my stomach but it doesn’t feel like they’re in my stomach, y’know?”
“At leas it doesn’t hurt,” Frank said. Gerard rolled his eyes.
“Not being in pain is going to be the main goal for the rest of my life,” Gerard muttered. Frank laughed. He could see people working further down the table. There was a screen set up so that they couldn’t see all the ins and outs of the surgery. They were both suddenly shaken by a screaming down the other end of the table. They both froze and Gerard tried to crane his neck upwards.
“Say hello to your new baby boy,” Doctor Blige said, bringing over their baby, “You’ll just have to get sewn back up again and then we can take you back to your room.”
Doctor Blige stood next to Frank, their tiny, tiny baby cradled in his arms. He passed the baby, wrapped up in a blanket, to Frank. He was still wailing quietly and was waving his small fists around. Gerard reached out to touch his head lightly, his eyes watering.
“It’s our baby,” He whispered, “it’s our real, living, breathing baby.”
“He’s beautiful,” Frank whispered.
“We’re just going to take him and clean him off while we sew Gerard’s stomach up and we’ll bring him to you before you go back to your room,” A nurse explained, taking him from Frank’s arms.
Gerard sat up as he was handed his child, wrapped up in a soft blue blanket. He had a tuft of dark brown hair and the same pointed nose as Gerard. His eyes were wide and piercing as he stared up at Gerard. Frank had left to go back to his hospital room to tell everyone that the surgery went fine and that the baby was healthy. Gerard cradled his baby as he was wheeled back to his room. He wasn’t looking forward to the anesthetic wearing off.
“Gerard!” Donna shrieked as he was brought into the room. She took one look at him and burst out crying. Gerard looked slightly alarmed at her reaction but held out his child for her to hold.
“He has your nose,” She said, bouncing him up and down in her arms, “But he has Frank’s chin.”
“I see that,” Linda agrees, taking the baby when Donna hands him to her.
“It’s like pass the parcel,” Gerard said weakly, laughing. Frank sat on the side of his bed and ran his hands down Gerard’s side, kissing him softly.
“You okay?” He asked, as Mikey and Alicia took pictures of their baby on their iPhones.
“Just about,” Gerard smiled, stroking Frank’s cheek. The baby was eventually passed back around to them, after everyone had cooed and awed at him. They sat on the hospital bed and Frank watched as Gerard held their child; they way he settled into it just seemed to naturally and almost as if it was an instinct. He never realised it before he saw it, but Gerard was born to do this.
“Do you know what you’re going to call him?” Linda asked, staring at the baby as he stirred. Gerard looked up at Frank and they both exchanged weary, but pleased, looks.
“We decided on Oliver in the end,” Frank said, touching his baby’s cheek with the back of his finger, “Kind of after the book.”
“That’s nice,” Donna and Linda said simultaneously. Gerard smiled at them, jiggling Oliver in his arms. A nurse came in after a few minutes with a large incubator for the baby to sleep in and with a bottle of formula milk for the baby. Gerard sat up straighter to feed it to him, his eyelids drooping. Frank helped to hold the baby’s head up and kept kissing the side of Gerard’s head. When Oliver was done with the milk, which Gerard was amazed that he managed to drink without so little fuss, Frank took him.
“I think I’m going to try and sleep now,” Gerard said, moving down under the sheets.
“You deserve it,” Frank murmured, kissing Gerard again, “I’ll go outside with your mom and my mom and Mikey and we’ll take a walk with Ollie.”
Gerard smiled sleepily, “Have fun. I can’t wait to take him home.”
“Me too,” Frank whispered, straightening up with Oliver in his arms and gesturing with his head for everyone to leave to room.