Chapter 17: Childbirth

"So, darling, how are you feeling?" Patterson asked as she entered her best friend's room, accompanied by all her colleagues. After waiting a good half an hour for the mother-to-be to settle in and have her doctor examined, they all came back to support them.

"Like I'm going to expel a bowling ball," Tasha exclaimed, half-joking, half exhausted.

"And again, my darling, this is just the beginning," Allie hissed knowingly. It made everyone laugh except the mother-to-be who looked at them with big eyes.

"For what it's worth we're wholehearted with you," Rich remarked compassionately.

"He is right. Finally, maybe we should go back to the waiting room so you can get some peace," Kurt advised.

"It's nice but stay a little longer. Your presence distracts me, and the doctor said it might last a while so I might need it," the expectant mother explained. All obeyed and sat down, continuing to discuss. Everything went relatively well. They chatted peacefully, laughing. Obviously, the conversation mostly revolved around the baby who would arrive within a few hours at most. Neither of them could believe how far they had come over the past nine months.

The discussion was very pleasant; however, the more time passed the contractions intensified. Natasha could no longer hold a conversion in the face of imminent childbirth. As strange as it may seem, the presence of her friends reassured her. Indeed, she had difficulty admitting it to herself, but the future mother was scared to death. It was probably just a mixture of hormones, aches and pains, and a whole bunch of other feelings about giving birth to new life, but those emotions were not easy to deal with. After about two hours, she said with difficulty.

"Honey, I am not a doctor, but now I'm really starting to want to push so I think it's time to call the obstetrician."

"Stay with her! It is obviously time that we leave you. I will go warn the doctor on my way out," Patterson announced, guessing Natasha would need Edgar's presence by her side, more than anything else. The couple thanked her with a nod of the head then in turn the team transmitted all their love and support to them.

"Good luck honey! I've been through this it's not a walk in the park, but when you're on the verge of exhaustion remember it's worth ten thousand times," Allison whispered as she hugged her friend. The young woman knew how hard childbirth could be, even if it was the most beautiful thing in the world.

"You're very reassuring, you know that" Rich joked, following the rest of the group out.
"Do not seek, no man can understand even with the best will in the world. Whether you like it or not, it is painful," Bethany's mother concluded, sitting in the waiting room.

Discussions were going well and the whole team was excited by this birth. They had seen their friends turn around, love each other, tear each other apart and let their love consume them for nearly ten years so seeing them happy, ready to start a family filled them with joy. On the side of the future parents, the obstetrician finishes her examination to come to the same conclusion as the future mother.

"Natasha, you are right, it will soon be time to push. I will call the midwife and we'll take you to the labor room," the doctor announced calmly. The medical team was quick and in barely ten minutes the expectant mother and her partner were ready to see the birth of their baby girl.

The young woman was already very tired from hours of contractions and she might have an epidural, Zapata felt that the moments would come would be much more painful than a gunshot wound. Fortunately, Allie's voice echoed in her head and the love she felt at the thought of holding her baby in her arms kept her steady. She felt the next contraction arrive and at her doctor's signal, Tasha began to push.

The pain felt made her scream for the 55 seconds that the contraction lasted. The brunette was holding one of her boyfriend's hands in hers when he placed the other behind her back in a tender circle. Edgar whispered sweet words to her to encourage her as best he could.

"Oh my God, " she whispered once the contraction was over.

"I know, my love. I do not imagine how difficult it must be, but you are doing very well. We're going to see our little girl soon", he whispered in her ear just after kissing her.

"I love you; you know. For a long time, I was unable to say it out loud, but I love you so much."

"I love you too, more than anyone," her boyfriend replied with tears in his eyes, moved by the intensity of this moment. The couple barely had time to breathe when Tasha felt a new contraction arrive. At her doctor's signal, she began to push again. The pattern repeated itself several times in a noticeably short time and for about a quarter of an hour.

"I'm tired Reade; so tired."

"I know my love. You are so strong, and you are doing really well."

"He is right and if that can reassure you it should not be for long. I am starting to see the face," the doctor reassured touched by this adorable couple. Three contractions later the head was out and the mother-to-be was almost exhausted.

"More courage, this is the last and then you can hold your baby in your arms," sheannounced. The two lovers exchanged a look and when the next contraction came the Hispanic gathered her last strength and pushed with as much energy as she could.

The midwife smiled and just seconds later they could hear crystal clear crying. Both parents automatically began to smile. Under the instructions of the nursing staff, the policeman approached to cut the umbilical cord then as quickly as possible they cleaned and swaddled the baby to hand her to her mother.

"How is she? Is everything in order?" Natasha asked.
"She is perfect, look for yourself," a nurse smiled, putting her daughter in her arms. The young woman instantly began to cry. It was without a doubt the most beautiful moment of her life. In her arms was the most beautiful baby.

An absolutely adorable little girl with brown hair. Edgar was right next to her sitting on a stool with one arm around her shoulders and one hand on her daughter's head, dazzled by the wonderful little angel who was right in front of him.

"My God Tasha, she is so beautiful. I cannot believe you created this little being in not even nine months," the deputy director pointed out to the angels. This sentence made her smile immediately.

For nearly half an hour, the three of them spent a tender moment, enveloped in a bubble of immense happiness. At the same time, the medical team did some care on the young mother and her baby to make sure that everything was fine and then rushed to tell the troops (the whole team, Bethany and Avery, Tasha's father and mother-in-law, her brothers, and their families as well as the dad's parents) in the waiting room mother and child were doing well.

Everyone jumped for joy at this announcement and hastened to ask when they could see the little family. So, it was still half an hour later that everyone calmly entered the hospital room. They could instantly admire Zapata in her bed with a small form nestled in her arms, her boyfriend sitting right next to her.

"Hey, come on," the young father invited in a hurry to introduce his daughter. Discreetly, they approached the bed and could only marvel at the little girl who was the perfect mix of her parents: very brown and curly hair already present, dark skin slightly golden like her mother, the trumpet nose of her dad, and her small eyes looked, though she still struggled to open them, also looked a lot like those of the young man.

"Oh my God, she's adorable," Jane, Patterson, and Allie were immediately moved. Kurt and Connor could only nod at such evidence. Bethany and Avery were quietly observing the scene, as were Rich and Boston. When Edgar looked up to see his parents' reaction, he could see that his mother was crying in emotion. Zapata's father and mother-in-law were at least equally troubled.

"Mom, please don't cry, and if you come over to say hello to your granddaughter."

"I have just become a grandmother, so I cry if I want," she grumbled gently, approaching, accompanied by her husband.

"If you tell us instead what the name of this baby girl is?" The younger brother of Zapata asked abruptly delighted to meet his niece. Everyone in the room nodded impatiently.

"Friends, this is Rose Nina Reade-Zapata," Natasha announced with a smile on her lips as happy as exhausted.

"Like grandma but Nina, that is for who?" Her second brother asked.

"My mother," Edgar's father revealed, touched by the gesture. They all smiled at the announcement of that name and all this little world chatted for an hour before letting the new family rest, promising to come back separately as soon as possible. This day was the proof, that a night caused by alcohol, ten years of frustration, and pain could lead to the most beautiful changes of life.