TITLE: Your Father's Child

AUTHOR: Lorri

FEEDBACK: coates@tdsnet.com

RATING: PG

DISTRIBUTION: Just let me know where so I can visit on

holidays.

CLASSIFICATION: MSR, babyfic

SPOILERS: Requiem (kinda sorta)

DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Chris Carter, 1013, Fox, blah blah blah.

THANKS: To Denise for lending me her muse, then this dragged on so long I took her replacement muse too. And to Robby for the voodoo dolls.

AUTHOR NOTES: This one is a sequel to "Wait Until Your Father Gets Home" and "Your Father Came Home", but you should be able to read it independently without any problem.

SUMMARY: And baby makes three

**

Mulder has been back for exactly 32 days, 4 hours and 51 seconds. I am 4 days from my due date and we are making each other crazy. I know, I didn't think it would be possible either. I thought I'd be so elated to have him back that I'd never complain about him again. That lasted exactly 11 days, 9 hours and 22 minutes. At that moment he asked me for the 1,000th time if it was time to go to the hospital. He has had my bag packed and ready to go for three weeks. Last night I had to break into it to get a clean bra. He immediately re-packed everything and set it just exactly in the same spot, right near the door.

Don't get me wrong, I am so happy to have your father back that most of the time I am still beyond words. I find myself staring at him without realizing it until he gently shakes my shoulder and asks if I am having a contraction. We are both so anxious to meet you that I swear if I could induce labor at will, you'd be here in my arms by now. Your father is just as anxious to see you and has come up with several suggestions that might speed your arrival along. I tried the chocolate sauce on mashed potatoes, which by the way wasn't bad, but drew the line at jumping jacks. I can barely get out of a chair by myself these days, so I'm pretty sure aerobics are out of the question.

Mulder waits on me hand and foot, of course. I know that much of his time is spent trying to find out what happened to him during those long months he was missing, but when he is home with us, he is the perfect father-to-be. Last week we went shopping for a few more things you will need and he stood in the baby aisle with the tiniest pair of socks in his hand for the longest time. I told him you already had enough socks. He smiled and bought you seven

more pairs.

Right now your father is out getting us some chocolate ice cream. He laughed the first night I put a bowl of it on my belly and you moved it back and forth across my stomach with your elbow or knee. I wasn't especially craving it tonight, I just wanted him to go out and get some fresh air. He is so hesitant to leave us, even for a minute, but I needed this time to be alone with you. I feel you kicking so strongly and know that this will be the day you are born. Today I will become a mother.

Mulder makes it back from the grocery store in record time. He notices me pacing and before he can even ask, I tell him, "Yes, it's time." I remind him to put the ice cream in the freezer and to call my mother. He phones her, then helps me put my shoes on. It's been months since I've seen my feet. He clutches my bag with one hand and me with the other.

It's a relatively short drive to the hospital and within minutes I am seated in a wheelchair and Mulder is filling out the required medical forms. A nurse comes and wheels me up to the maternity ward. Mulder begins writing even faster, although at my last appointment the doctor told him that first babies often take their time coming into the world.

By the time he finishes with the paperwork and finds me, I am settled into my bed, watching TV. Mulder looks almost disappointed, as if he expected to walk into the room and see me with my feet in stirrups, pushing you into the world. Instead I am lazily flipping through the channels, finally settling on an old episode of "Wheel Of Fortune". Mulder prefers "Jeopardy", but I'm the one giving birth here, so he knows enough not to even ask for the remote.

The doctor comes in to check on us within a half hour of our arrival. He performs a cursory exam and tells me that I am dilating nicely. I almost expect him to pat me on the head and tell me to keep up the good work. He suggests I get up and walk for a while, letting gravity help you come along.

With a groan I put my robe and slippers on and your father and I begin pacing the halls. We walk from the nurses station to the windows overlooking the parking lot and back again. And again. And again. I have to stop every few minutes to catch my breath and wait out a contraction. They are coming at more frequent intervals, but still not soon enough to be moved to the birthing room. And so we walk some more. A particularly strong contraction overtakes me and I gasp and lean against Mulder's chest. He holds me firmly but gently and leans against the wall, taking the weight of all three of us. When the worst of the sensations pass he takes me by the arm and leads me back to my room, whispering that I've had enough walking for now. I'm so tired I only nod my head and climb back into bed. I wonder how I am going to have the strength to help you be born when I am already so exhausted.

Shortly after we return to my room I am hooked up to a fetal monitor. There is nothing apparently wrong with you, but my doctor has learned to err on the side of caution where I am concerned. I am able to relax a bit while listening to the steady beep of the machine that indicates your strong heartbeat. I notice Mulder tapping out a rhythm with his fingers that matches your pulse. It would almost lull me to sleep if I weren't being kicked in the ribs every 5 minutes. No pressure, but if you do not grow up to be a world champion soccer player, I'm going to assume they sent me home with the wrong baby. Occasionally Mulder will lean in close to my stomach and begin murmuring to you. When he was first returned, he was very shy around me, to the point of uncomfortable awkwardness. He didn't want to hurt either of us, little one. Within a week he was talking to you whenever he could. It amazed

me how soon you learned to recognize his voice. If you were being particularly active, he would begin speaking into my belly button and you would calm down. Once I woke up during the night only to find him holding a flashlight to a section of newspaper and reading you the stats from the Knicks game. I quietly watched the two of you interact. He read and you listened. I reached out a hand to stroke his hair and he smiled towards me, his eyes glistening with unshed tears. I smiled back and nodded my head to indicate that I understood what he was doing, reading the sports page to my belly at 2:00 in the morning. He's missed so much time watching you grow inside me. He wants you to recognize him when you are born. When he was taken we didn't even know you were there but when he came back, there was definitely no mistaking you for something else.

I am torn from my reminiscing by a sharp pain that reminds me this isn't all a dream and soon I will be a mom. Judging from that last contraction, that time isn't far in coming. The doctor in me knows that I shouldn't start pushing, but the woman in me wants nothing more than to have you out of my body and nestled in my arms. Mulder is trying to help, but all he can do to help is press his knuckles into the small of my back, trying to massage the tense muscles there.

The doctor comes back in to check how far I've dilated. He says it won't be long now, and that soon I will be moved to a delivery room. "How soon?" Mulder asks him. "Get your cigars ready," he responds before leaving the room. Your father turns to me in a panic. "Scully, I forgot to get cigars." "There will be plenty of time for that later, Mulder." He settles back into his chair to continue the waiting game.

I spend the next two hours half watching Mulder pace and half keeping an eye on the fetal monitor. I have new esteem for those women you hear about who give birth in fields, sling their babies onto their backs and then continue to harvest the crop. I couldn't even collect a bag of candy corn at this time. My mother sits on the edge of my bed and tries to talk to me, but Mulder's constant fidgeting keeps driving her from the room. She is, however, there for what ends up being my last doctor exam before being moved to a delivery room. Now that it is time, I'm suddenly afraid and I clutch Mulder's hand with all my might. He walks with me as far as he can, but then the doctor tells him to go wash up and put on a gown while they get me ready.

By the time he returns I am in a new bed, being fitted for a lovely set of matching stirrups. Once everything is adjusted properly, they tell me it's time to "get down to business". I'm fully dilated and it's time for this baby to be born. My feet are placed into the stirrups and I can see just enough past my belly to wish that I'd shaved my legs recently. It's been months since I've been able to take a bath and the last time I tried to shave while in the shower I just ended up crying into a towel. Mulder gently sat me on the toilet and lathered my legs with shaving cream before finishing the job. I was going to ask him to do it again tonight, but you had other plans.

The excitement I feel begins to fade after an hour and a half of pushing with no results. I am exhausted, but with each contraction Mulder pulls me into a sitting position and tells me to "push, push, Scully, PUSH!" I shoot him a dirty look and ask him what the hell he thinks I've been doing. Oh, and that breathing they teach you in Lamaze? It's a total waste of time. All I can do is gasp for air and dig my fingernails into the most tender part of your father's hand that I can reach.

The doctor tells me that with that last push you began to descend and that it won't be long now. I vaguely recall himtelling me it would be "soon" about 5 hours ago. To hell with the forceps, somebody hand that man a Timex.

I barely have enough time to catch my breath before I am being tugged upright again. Mulder is telling me to push, the doctor is telling me to push, the nurse is telling me to push and I am trying so hard to do what they tell me.

Sweat runs in rivulets down my face as I strain to push you from my body. One of my hands clutches the bedsheet, the other holds Mulder's fingers in a death grip. My entire body shakes with the effort. And still I push.

I'm concentrating so hard on that one act and there is so much noise around me that at first I don't even realize it's over. The doctor smiles up at me from between my legs, I hear a loud wailing and the next thing I know, he is laying you on my stomach. Mulder kisses my sweaty brow and brushes a trembling hand over your tiny head. I make a quick count of your fingers and toes while your father moves aside to cut our umbilical cord. You're truly on your own now.

You are beautiful. Perfectly formed in every way. From first appearances you are a good blend of both your parents. You have your father's lips and dark hair. Thankfully, you've inherited my nose. Mulder takes a seat at the side of my bed and stares at you. I watch his face as he takes his first long look at you. There is a mixture of emotions there. Fear, hope and a fierce devotion. He begins to croon softly to you, telling you how much you are loved and how he'll never leave you. A tear trickles down my cheek as I realize you have quieted. You recognize his voice. You are truly your father's daughter.

The End

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