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Labor Intensive

Posted on Thu May 11th, 2017 @ 5:19pm by

Mission: The Space Between
Location: Transit Tube System/Hospital Complex

Ashley boarded the turbolift near the family quarters she shared with her Uncle Drew, smiling a greeting at the single occupant already aboard the car. She vaguely recognized the woman as the wife of the one of the security officers who patrolled the officers' residential deck. She noticed the extended abdomen and looked the woman in the eye. "So when's the baby due?"

"Hopefully soon," the very pregnant woman said with a laugh as the car began to move. "I'm Pam Billings," she said, holding out her hand.

Ashley took Pam's hand and gave it a gentle shake. "Ashley Knight, pleasure to meet you Mrs. Billings."

"Ashley Knight?" Pam asked, quirking an eyebrow. "Are you Meredith's daughter?"

Ashley nodded as she released Pam's hand. "Yes...Yes I"

"I knew your mother," Pam said. "She was going to be my midwife. I am so sorry she didn't make it." As if on cue, Pam's abdomen seemed to shift in shape and she pressed her hand against it. "Oooph. That was a big one," she said, leaning against the wall of the car. She grinned. "I swear....this guy is going to play football," she said with a chuckle.

Ashley took a step in and place a comforting hand on Pam's shoulder. "Everything OK?" She bore a very concerned expression.

Pam took Ashley's hand and placed it on her abdomen just as her baby turned again with a strong kick. "See what I mean?" she said.

Ashley's face lit up with what could only be described as an over powering sense of wonder as she felt the baby kick. A goofy smile came to her face. "Wow! That's...just amazing!"

Seeing her pregnancy from the eyes of the young girl, Pam smiled in agreement. Suddenly the turbolift came to a stop but the door didn't open. Pam reached over and touched the manual control but nothing happened. Raising an eyebrow she said, "I think we are stuck."

Ashley frowned as she shook her head. "This happened to me the other day too. Uncle Drew said that there was going to be occasional brown outs on the power grid, but nothing to worry about. It would just take a few minutes for power to return to the transit systems."

Pam sighed. "Good thing I'm not in a hurry," she said with a chuckle. Her baby began to change position and the muscles in her lower back reacted to the weight adjustment by tensing, painfully. Pam placed her hands against her lower back and grimaced. "Really, dude? Settle down. It's not a trampoline in there," she said as she did her best to massage her own muscles into relaxing.

Ashley knuckled up her hands into fists and started kneeding along Pam's spinal cord in an effort to get the pregnant woman's muscles to relax. "Better."

Pam closed her eyes and moaned with pleasure. "You have the touch, young lady," she said.

Ashley nodded as her hands opened up and she began rubbing Pam's neck and shoulders. Something happened that changed both their focus.

As soon as her muscles relaxed, Pam felt a sudden rush of fluid she couldn't control that burst passed the barrier of her panties and onto the floor between her feet. "Oh, no," she said, pulling her floor length skirt up and looking at the puddle.

Ashley looked down to see a puddle of fluid all over the flooring. Her expression grew nervous. "Uh...does that mean what I think it means?"

"My water's broke," Pam said with a nod. "It doesn't necessarily mean...," she was cut off when her abdomen muscles began to feel like someone had grabbed hold of them and was pulling them towards her feet with all of their might. "OOOOhhhhh," she exclaimed and her hands went to the bottom of her abdomen as if supporting it would stop the pain. "I take that back," she said, through gritted teeth as she slid down to a sitting position. She grabbed Ashley's wrist. "Time?" she asked and began to take slow breaths as the contraction began to let up.

"Uh..." Ashley looked at her watch. "It's 1207 hours." Her expression was tense. "What...can I do to help?"

"We need to keep track of how long between contractions," Pam said. This was her second so she knew the drill, even though it had been 10 years since she went through this. "And try and get someone to fix this," she waved her hand around, indicating the turbolift. "There should be an emergency alarm in the panel by the door."

Ashley nodded and opened the panel indicated. He looked in and started tapping buttons on the communications panel. "Hello...can anyone here me. This is Ashley Knight. Pamela Billings and I are stuck in transit tube car J33. Mrs. Billings has just gone into labor. Please respond."

Pam was surprised that there was no answer to Ashley's call for help. "What are they doing down there? Playing poker?" she groaned, trying to reposition herself on the floor so she was more comfortable. She tapped her own combadge but she got the dull bleep sound that indicated the signal was blocked...which wasn't unusual in these turbolift tunnels. "Dammit," she muttered as she felt the muscles in her lower back and upper abdomen begin to tighten, making her want to push downward. She leaned her head against the wall and closed her eyes as she said, "time," then began to pant in order to fight the urge to push.

Ashley gave a scared look at Pam before glancing at her watch. "1209. It's only been two minutes. Is that...normal?"

Pam didn't answer right away as she focused on her breathing until the contraction let up then she said, "nothing about this guy has been normal. I went through twice the morning sickness I had with my first and twice the size I was the first time and he isn't due for two more weeks. I have a feeling he is going to be as stubborn and pig headed as his father." She opened her eyes and said, "keep trying to raise someone."

Ashley complied with Pam's instructions, but to no avail. She looked at her watch and turned to Pam. "It's 1211. You're about due for...."

Pam stiffened as another contraction took her by surprise.

Ashley moved closer to Pam, trying in some small way to render comfort to the woman. "Comms must have gone out when the transit car lost power. What can I do to help you?"

Before the contraction hit its peak, Pam began pulling her panties down. With Ashley's help she got them off then struggled out of her blouse. "Put this on the floor to catch the baby on," she instructed. The contraction peaked and she let out a loud moan as she arched her back. Beads of perspiration formed on her forehead and she doubled her fists, pressing them against her sides. "Oh God!" she cried out through gritted teeth. Her face contorted and she forced herself to pant until the contraction began to let up. When it was finished she lay back against the wall, exhausted.

Ashley looked a palish green as she knelt down between Pam's feet and did as instructed. Her own breathing was coming in ragged gasps. She had never done anything like this before in her life.

Pam felt a tug at her lower abdomen as another contraction began. She moved her hands down to the bottom of her distended belly and pressed around until she felt a hard round object positioned just above her pubis. "Good. He's in position," she said as the contraction peaked and she was forced to growl in pain.

Ashley took a deep breath and scrunched her face up as she reached her fingers inside Pam to check for the yet-to-be-born baby's neck. She felt around to make sure the umbilical cords wasn't tangled around the neck. She gave Pam a nod. "All clear. Next contraction you need to push. The baby should crown then."

The contraction came hard and fast and Pam couldn't help but bear down with it as every muscle in her pelvis, abdomen and lowere back pushed toward her feet. "Awwww....oooooo....oh God!" she half growled, half screamed. She felt a pop inside of her and the contraction eased up.

Ashley looked from the just emerged head of the infant cradled gently in her hands to Pam. "Next contraction I need you to push really, really hard. OK?"

Pam nodded, her hair pressed to her face and wet from sweat. "I'll try," she said, weakly.

Suddenly the turbolift car jolted into motion.

Pam's next contraction had no build up. It peaked at onset and she let out a howl then held her breath and grunted as she pushed hard with the contracting muscles. As if in slow motion the rest of the baby boy's body slid through the canal and onto the blouse on the floor. "Is he alright?" Pam asked, weakly.

Ashley carefully and ever so gently placed the newborn infant boy on the blouse on the floor. A quick inspection showed no obvious signs of anything wrong. She could only think of how much of a miracle it was to be holding a new life. "He's beautiful." She lifted the infant, supporting his weight by the stomach as she began rubbing circles on his back.

The rubbing stimulated his circulation and Pam's son began to cry. "Oh thank God," Pam said, starting to cry herself as she tried to push herself up to see her baby.

Ashley quickly tied off the umbilical cord in two positions before handing the bundle of joy to his mother. Relief washed over her as the fear abated and a sense of near euphoric wonder took it's place.

In the intense emotional moment neither Ashley or Pam realized that the turbolift car had come to a stop and the door was being pried open. An Engineer stood to one side and two EFTSs rushed in. While one began checking Pam over, the other cut the cord, scanned the baby, wrapped it in an emergency blanket and placed it in Pam's arms.

"Oh. He's beautiful," Pam said, looking down at her newborn son. Then she looked up at Ashley. "Thank you, Ashley," she said, reaching out with her free hand and grasping Ashley's. "Thank you."

Ashley blushed as she shook her head. "You did all the work. I just held him as he came out."

Easing another emergency blanket around Pam the EFTS said, "he is beautiful. Have you thought of a name?"

Pam smiled and looked down at her baby. "My husband and I had decided on naming him after his father, Jonathan." Then she looked up at Ashley. "But I want his middle name to be Ash," she said. "If you don't mind."

Ashley swallowed an asteroid sized lump in her throat and nodded. "I'd be honored."

"Jonathan Ash Billings," Pam said, smiling down at her baby. "Welcome to the universe."

With that, the lead EFTS tapped his med-comm and ordered transport directly to Maternity and Ashley was suddenly alone in the turbolift car. The Engineer poked his head in through the partially open door and asked, "Are you coming out, Miss?"

Ashley shook herself out of her mild reverie at what had just occurred. She gave a nod to the engineer and stepped out. She couldn't help but feel like she was, in some small way, a part of the greatest miracle ever.


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