"Will Baby Make Three?" finale!
Finals are upon us, in more ways then one! Good luck to all you students out there!
Disclaimer: in part one [if you can remember that far back, if not please have a look :) ].
CJ and Danny had gotten through the slight mess of announcing their involvement. Their jobs and reputations were still intact. Despite this, CJ somehow felt that the other shoe would eventually drop. She seemed very fragile at times and like she really needed to be home rather then in the office. Even the reporters had noticed. Leo, in particular, wanted her to go on maternity leave.
"CJ, what are you waiting for? To have the baby here? Just because you and Danny work here doesn't mean this has to be the first place the baby sees and, god forbid, thinks is home." Leo sat down next to her. "Leo, really, I'm fine. I'm tired but lots of pregnant women are tired. It gets a little uncomfortable trying to fall asleep with this belly getting in the way." "Okay, I'll give you that much. Jenny wasn't in the best of moods towards the end of her pregnancy with Mallory. But she didn't look the way you do. Have you noticed that sometimes it seems like people just want to hug you?" "Yes, but I thought it was because I'm pregnant. People always do stuff like that. They touch your stomach when they don't even know you; ask you personal questions like they're your best friends but they don't even know you; they do all kinds of crazy and totally unacceptable things to a pregnant woman that they never would do if she weren't." "No, CJ, it's because you look so damn lost, fragile, pale, which word do you like best?" "None of them. I am not fragile or lost but I am pale so I'll go with that, if I absolutely have to pick one." She smiled at him. "Don't try that on me. I know what you're doing and it's not going to work. That smile may work on Danny but not on me. Go on leave...the sooner the better." "Okay, I'll talk to the doctor about it." With that she got up to leave. "Thanks, Leo." "Get out." He smiled but sounded his usual gravely self.
As she was going back to her office, she felt a twinge but figured it was the same thing that happened the last time...when it was just stress. She decided not to mention it to anyone this time until she absolutely had to. "They get so worked up over me sometimes." She thought to herself. Another twinge.
CJ managed to get through the day without the twinges getting worse and without mentioning them to anyone, even though she thought she ought to mention them to Carol, just in case it meant anything. Carol would be able to let the others know if anything went wrong while she was at work. Danny was always home lately so he could do the same on that end. Her bases were covered.
At home, she suddenly felt like cleaning the whole apartment. Danny thought she was nuts but went along with it, chalking it up to 'insane pregnant woman disease'. CJ did not find that title particularly amusing. When they were finished cleaning, she took a warm bath and they went to bed. She seemed uplifted but tired at the same time. "What is going on with you, Claudia Jean?" She asked herself. Not that she had an answer. She didn't seem very sure about anything concerning her pregnancy lately. "This kid is certainly going to have a mind of her own and probably drive us nuts in the process." She chuckled at this. "Having a party by yourself?" Danny asked her. "No, I was just thinking about her getting older, having her own mind, being just like us, which is going to drive us mad." "Typical child trying to become independent while still close enough to her parents for assistance when necessary. What's wrong with that?" "Smug man, those words will one day come back to haunt you." "Maybe they will but that's okay. After what we've gone through, everything will be worth it." "Everything to a point. We can't spoil her too much, you know." "I know. Don't worry, we won't." He kissed her gently. "Go to sleep." "Good night."
The next day, the twinges were still going on. They seemed to be getting a little worse though. She still didn't want to mention them to anyone yet. At the briefings, it was all she could do not to grab her stomach when the twinges came. That would have been too big a giveaway. She managed to get through each of them.
"Danny, why do you still follow me to my office?" "Because I always knew you secretly wanted me to." He took her hand in his. "Are you kidding?" She didn't have to worry about holding his hand anymore since the big announcement so this walk was stress free. There should have been no twinges, but there were. Once they were back at her office, Danny's demeanor seemed to change a little. "What's been going on, CJ?" He was looking back and forth between her eyes and her stomach. "Nothing, why?" "Don't lie to me. I know you are having some type of pain because I watch you closely during the briefings and see it in your face. I also sleep with you and can hear you whimpering." "I do not whimper." "What's wrong?" "Some twinges. No biggie. I'm fine." She put her arms around him. At the same time, another strong twinge occurred. Danny felt it. "CJ, that doesn't seem good." "It's just that the baby kicks, that's all. You were close to me so she kicked you, too." She kissed him. Danny responded passionately. When they pulled apart, he was staring at her hard. "You wouldn't lie to me, right? Not after everything that's happened. I don't want to lose you or the baby." "You won't. I'm not going anywhere. If I was going to I would have done it a long time ago. The baby, on the other hand, only has to be born. She decides when that is, not us, not even the doctor. She's in total control." "You think she's going to be early, don't you?" "Yes. I don't think I can carry her to full term." "Why? Because of what you did in college?" "Maybe. Maybe I can only just go so far. Maybe seven months is it. That is not so bad, Danny, it's much better then eight." "But nine is better then that. It's the best, in fact." "I know. Just be with me and be ready for anything. That's all we can do."
She was able to get through the next few days with the twinges. The doctor had told them that morning that they were just Braxton-Hicks, fake contractions, and that many women get them. Danny didn't seem convinced. He felt they were a foreshadowing of things to come. In fact, they were. CJ went into labor the next day at the office.
"Carol!" There seemed to be a bit of panic in CJ's voice. "CJ, what's wrong?" Carol was yelling from her desk. She got up to go to the office. She couldn't believe what she saw. CJ was sitting at her desk with a puddle by her. "Oh, my God!" She started to leave. "Carol, this is not the time to start panicking. Just call everyone on the list, okay? That's all I need you to do. The bag is in my car and there's one in Danny's just in case. You know he's a worrywart. Everything's taken care of." "Okay. I'm on it." Minutes later, she was back. "Danny's on his way over. Is there anything I can do for you?" "Yeah, can you do the labor? I hear it's not much fun." "Uh, no, I don't think so. You can tell me all about it when it's over. In fact, not all, just tell me how long and then talk about the baby, no gross stuff involved." "Okay, some people are so fussy."
Danny arrived. He was red in the face. "What were you doing? Running?" "To here. How are you?" "Fine. Oh, and one thing, Danny, I changed my mind about actually having the baby. She can stay in there. I'm totally alright with it." She was trying to make a joke of being so scared. "She doesn't want to stay in there or she wouldn't being trying to escape as we speak. Now come on. You'll be glad you did this when it's all over." "Says you. There's not much physical stuff for you to do." She was squeezing his hand like a stress ball. "Ouch. Let up a little, okay? I'm sorry that my participation is limited but that is not my choosing, that's genetics, so take it up with them. We need to go to the hospital before she is born here. That would be quite the headline, don't you think?" "Not one I want to see in my lifetime." They were ready to go.
At the hospital, CJ and Danny were in the birthing room. She was still insisting that she had changed her mind. Her nurses were informing her that it was medically impossible to do that. Danny was having trouble keeping a straight face. All in all, things were going well for a premature birth. They had thought of trying some medication to stop the contractions but because the water bag had fully broken, they quickly decided against it. CJ was going to have her daughter despite her protests to the contrary.
After a few short hours, Siobhan Kaitlyn Concannon was born. She weighed four pounds twelve ounces, so she was in pretty good shape there. Her lungs were developed enough for her to breathe on her own. A great sign! She just needed to stay under a lamp to prevent jaundice and be watched closely for any changes. Babies usually lost a few ounces before they went home from the hosptial so she would have to stay at least a week to make sure she gained them back and was thriving.
CJ and Danny were thrilled with the health of their daughter up to this point. A photographer at the paper had come by to take pictures. The hospital staff almost suffered a stroke when he arrived with his camera. They were reassured that there would be no flashes used. The baby would be fine. He also took the pictures through the nursery glass at first to appease them. Later, they allowed him to get pictures just inside the room, where he didn't bother any of the babies, including Siobhan. He took pictures of the proud parents as well. Of course, these would be used in the paper. It was not every day that the Senior White House Correspondent and the White House Press Secretary had a baby together. Today was definitely news. Siobhan was famous before she even knew who she was.
Their friends stopped by the hospital to bring them well wishes and to get a glimpse of Siobhan. She was beautiful. She had red hair and brown eyes. She had CJ's alabaster skin. She was tiny, just eighteen inches and would soon make the five pounds needed for release. "Who could believe that tiny human being was inside you for the last seven months? It's amazing!" Josh was gushing over his godchild. "Donna, you think you could do this sometime?" "Uh, CJ, how long was it again?" "Just three hours. I hear that's very short for a first baby." "Three hours, huh? Well, Josh, I wouldn't hold my breathe for me to do this anytime soon. I'm not big on pain and three straight hours of constant pain just does not sound appealing to me at this time in my life. Are you following me, Joshua?" "Yes, absolutely. You're not ready yet. That's great. Neither am I. But when we are, you will be. I am totally following you on this one, Donna." "That doesn't sound like what I said but I'll let you get away it for now because we're in a hospital and I don't want to be embarrassed by being thrown out by security." "You talk alot." "Children, children. The patient does not need this. Say good-bye." It was Leo. Taking charge, as usual. "Good-bye, CJ. Good-bye, Danny. Congratulations again. We'll just be passing the nursery again on the way out." "Thanks. Bye."
"Hey, CJ, you done great!" Leo kissed her cheek lightly. "You have gone from being just 'CJ' to 'CJ the mom' in a very short time. Take it easy from now on and enjoy your time with her. You never had maternity leave so you get to use it all for when you're home. That's an advantage to practically giving birth in the office. The disadvantage is that if you ever do that again, I will personally chase you out of the White House before the bag breaks." "Okay, that's a deal. But to be honest, I'm not thinking about doing this again anytime soon." "Good. I don't know how much we could take. It's a lot of work worrying about someone you care about. You practically wore us out." "Give everyone my thanks for caring and worrying. It will not be forgotten. "I know it won't be."
The day of Siobhan's homecoming was recorded for posterity. It paid to have friends in the newspaper business. Everything was done in friendship...no charge. All the major players were able to send a message to the baby for her to hear when she was older. The last ones were from her parents, of course. They did those in private. The idea was to give her the tape for her sixteenth birthday. She would be in the height of adolescent rebellion and they wanted something to keep her grounded with and to further cement the relationship that began the day CJ learned she was pregnant.
Regardless of the path it took to get here, it was well worth it. CJ and Danny had no doubts about their decision. Siobhan was a loved and much welcome child in their lives. She would remain their own personal miracle for as long as they lived; no matter what happened, no matter what twists and turns their lives took, she would always be precious in their eyes.
Know it took forever to get the end out, but thanks for hanging in there! Hope it was worth it.
:-) feedback welcome.