So, I'm having a visit from my Australian friend at the moment so I don't really have the time to write. But I have managed to produce one part for you. This part is actually requested and mapped out by Roswell Fan Forever
. She gave the winning bid of $50 in the "Support Stacie Auction" and this is now, together with the enormous amounts raised, helping Stacie to pay for her medical bills.
Thank you everyone so much for the feedback!! Mucho appreciated!
This is for you, RfF
57. Z is for Baby
Max and Liz’s apartment
27th of October, 2:17 a.m.
(2013) Max is 28, Liz is 27
He let out a short groan of protest as his pillow started to move. Something was pushing on him.
“Max, wake up.”
“What, kitten?” he mumbled, slowing regaining consciousness.
His eyes slowly opened to the dark surroundings of the early hours of the new morning.
“I think my water just broke.”
He was suddenly wide awake, his head lifted from her chest and then he found himself staring down into his wife’s face. “What?”
Locking eyes with him, she repeated with a shake of nervousness in her voice, “I think my water broke.”
All he could think about was how wrong that was. “No. No, it’s too early.”
“The only alternative is that I peed on myself,” Liz said, a twinkle of amusement in her eyes.
Max didn’t find this one bit amusing, but instead jumped on the opportunity that Liz had mistaken a weak bladder for the arrival of their child. “That could be it.”
Liz laughed and brought a hand up to caress his cheek. “Evans. I think I would’ve known if I had peed myself. Especially since I still kinda need to go to the toilet.”
With a slow shake of his head, he pulled the sheet to the side and tried to spot in the darkness what she was claiming had happened.
“The baby’s coming,” Liz told him as his searching hand encountered the wet sheet under his wife.
“But the due date is in two weeks.”
She was about to answer him when her uterus decided to contract painfully. Her body stilled during the pain and her hand found Max’s. Squeezing his hand she closed her eyes against his worried eyes as she rode out the pain.
“You were saying?” she asked with a slight panting quality to her voice.
“Maybe it’s those…ehm…Brexton…Buxton…Botox-“
Liz laughed. “Botox?”
“Those false labor thingies,” Max tried, not appreciating that Liz was laughing at him when he was bordering on a nervous breakdown.
“Max,” Liz said slowly, making sure she had his attention. “The water doesn’t break when it’s false labor.”
“We have to get to the hospital,” Max mumbled.
“Hm…yeah,” Liz said, starting to roll her less flexible body out of bed. “That would be the best thing to do because I don’t think Nunchuck is waiting.”
Max narrowed his eyes at her as she got to her feet. “You’re finding this funny?”
She smiled at him. “No, Evans. I’m finding you
“This could be serious,” Max said with outmost seriousness. “It’s too early.”
“I don’t think I can stop it now,” Liz said.
Max stumbled out of bed, took a deep breath and watched Liz slowly move around the room to add the last essentials to her pre-packed hospital bag. As she walked past for the third time, his arms stopped her, pulling her towards him.
His arms tightened around her body and taking a deep breath he kissed her temple. “Are you okay?”
She smiled, letting his worry and love envelop her. “Yes. Just some contractions. Nothing I can’t handle.”
If he hadn’t been so worried about this monumental thing that was about to happen, he would’ve appreciated her joke more. “I love you.”
“I love you,” she whispered, the ‘you’ turning into a groan as another contraction hit.
His arms protected her body, muffled her pain, as they waited it out together. When she relaxed in his embrace, Max kissed her forehead and let her go. “Okay, let’s get this show on the road.”
She sighed deeply. “Couldn’t agree more.”
Roswell Regional Hospital
1 hour later
“Do you remember the last time we were here?”
“Have I had any other babies that I’ve managed to completely forget about?”
If he hadn’t been nervous, he might’ve appreciated her joke, but right now it flew straight past him. “When you broke your ankle.”
“Right. The whole incident that made me hate these places.”
He pushed the damp hair off her forehead and placed a tender kiss in its place. “How’re you holding up?”
“If they could just give me the drugs…” Liz sighed, putting on her best face of impatient five-year-old.
He smiled. “You’re doing great.”
“Hello. How are we doing?” They both looked up at the interrupting voice and saw a petite dark-haired woman with a warm smile.
Liz smiled back, instinctively comforted by the doctor’s presence. “Hi.”
“I’m Dr. Zoe Wright and I’m gonna help you deliver your baby today.”
A rush of excitement hit Liz at the words. She hadn’t fully had time to think about the end-result of this pain yet.
“Baby decided to start a little bit early, huh?”
Max straightened, his hand taking Liz’s as he focused his attention away from his wife and onto the doctor. “Yeah, you can say that.”
The doctor smiled comfortingly and walked up to the young couple. Addressing Liz, she asked, “How are you feeling, Liz?”
“I need drugs,” she stated simply.
Max almost rolled his eyes while the doctor laughed. Typical Liz not to beat around the bush.
we certainly can do something about,” Dr. Wright replied while she grabbed a seat. “Now, could you put your legs in the stirrups for me, please.”
Max gave Liz’s hand a squeeze of reassurance as Dr. Wright conducted a quick examination. “When did your water break?”
“About an hour ago,” Max answered in Liz’s place.
“Okay,” Dr. Wright said, rolling backwards on her rolling stool while removing the gloves from her hands. “You’re about 4 centimeters dilated. So baby’s getting ready.”
Liz nodded. “Peachy.”
“The golden number is 10 centimeters.”
Max nodded. He’d read that in one of those What to Expect when you’re Expecting
“I’m just gonna feel your abdomen, okay? Turn on your side, Liz.”
Liz glanced in Max’s direction, but he was concentrating so hard on reading the doctor’s every facial feature that he missed her search for reassurance.
Watching the changes move across the doctor’s face was perhaps not the best idea, since Max could feel worry etch itself in his heart as the seconds seemed to drag on.
Looking up, Dr. Wright glanced at the nervous father-to-be before she locked eyes with Liz. “The baby seems to be facing the wrong direction.”
Liz blinked. “Breech?”
Max felt his stomach drop and his eyes were digging into the doctor, as if staring at the doctor hard enough would reveal everything he needed to know to calm himself down.
“Yes. We’re gonna get the ultrasound in here to make sure.”
Within minutes, the ultrasound equipment was wheeled into the delivery room. Cold gel was applied to Liz’s lower abdomen and in black and white, the monitor confirmed the doctor’s suspicions.
The baby was facing the wrong direction.
Wiping the gel off Liz’s abdomen, the doctor had a brief conversation with the nurse before addressing Liz. “Okay, so…right now, the baby’s bum is where the head should be. Which is not what we want. Since your cervix is only 4 centimeters dilated we’re going to give the baby some more time and he might rearrange himself. A vaginal delivery is still the best option so we’ll just have to wait and see what the baby does.”
Liz nodded, “Okay,” while trying to take deep breaths.
“What happens if the baby doesn’t? Rearrange himself?” Max wondered, squeezing Liz’s hand almost painfully hard.
“We’d have to do a C-section.”
“Okay,” Liz repeated again, feeling the start of another contraction hitting her. Her hand squeezed Max’s, which had him refocusing all of his attention on her.
The doctor, understanding what was happening, said calmly, “Just breathe. Breathe through it, Liz.”
After the contraction had passed, the doctor squeezed Liz’s free hand. “I need to talk to you a little bit about cesareans.” Liz nodded. “It is
a standard procedure nowadays, but you still have to be aware of that, as with any operation, there might be complications like bleeding and infection at the incision site. Now, this very rarely happens, but you need to be aware of it.”
Liz nodded again. “Okay.”
“There’s no way to help the baby to turn? Medically?” Max asked worriedly.
Dr. Wright shook his head. “I’m afraid not. This is completely up to the little one.”
Max inhaled deeply and felt Liz hold onto his hand with all her might.
“I’ll be back in a short while to check on you, Liz,” Dr. Wright promised.
“Thank you, doctor,” Liz said.
Max mumbled something that sounded similar to what his wife had just said, but his concentration was already on Liz’s face. Brushing her hair away from her face, he kissed her forehead.
“I’m scared,” Liz whispered as Dr. Wright left the room.
Max swallowed. He was quickly losing it as well. But he couldn’t. Liz depended on him.
With a squeeze to her hand, he let it go, only to climb onto the bed and lay down beside her. Placing his arm across her rounded waist he buried his face into her hair. “We can do this. You can do this.”
A tear trickled down her cheek as she watched his hand slowly caress her pregnant belly. “I just want everything to be okay.”
“It will be okay,” he said softly. “It will be. These people know what they’re doing. It’s not like we’re the first couple this has happened to.”
She nodded and brought her own hand up to her stomach. Lacing her fingers with his, she whispered to her child, “Turn, baby. Turn.”
Seven hours later
“It hurts. It hurts it hurts it hurts.”
Max looked skywards, his whole body aching from the frustration of not being able to help. Of not being able to remove the pain Liz was feeling.
He kissed the side of her face and then quickly looked up as the doctor walked through the door, returning from a bathroom visit.
The doctor had barely left their side for the last seven hours. Something that both Max and Liz really appreciated. In a way, their baby’s life was in this woman’s hands and it was reassuring that she was there at their beck and call.
“How’s she doing?” she asked the nurse.
“She’s in a lot of pain,” the nurse answered.
Max heard Liz sob next to him and his heart broke some more. Do something. Just do something.
“It hurts, Zoe. It hurts,” Liz cried out to the doctor.
Dr. Wright put her hand on Liz’s pregnant abdomen and looked at Liz with a concerned maternal expression. “I know, Liz. I know. We’re gonna fix that.”
Sitting down, the doctor did another quick examination of Liz, trying to decide what their next move should be. The baby was not following the book and Dr. Wright was now seriously considering taking Liz into surgery.
Her voice was subdued as she told the nurse to prepare for surgery, but Max hadn’t missed one word.
Walking up to the bed, Dr. Wright made sure she had eye contact with her patient. “Liz? Listen to me, hun. The baby hasn’t turned. We’re gonna have to take you into surgery.”
Liz nodded, the pain of the uterus contracting with the inability to push exhausting her past recognition. But one thing she was sure about, “Can Max come? I need Max in there.”
Dr. Wright smiled reassuringly. “Of course.”
Liz looked to her husband, her eyes glistening and her face flushed and damp. “You’ll come, right?”
He was slightly taken aback that she felt like she had to ask, but on the other hand, fear had taken her over a long time ago. She hadn’t been the same Liz he knew for a couple of hours now. Without taking his eyes of her, he said firmly, “I’m not leaving you.”
She took a breath of relief and her whole body seemed to relax in a way it hadn’t since they contractions had started getting really close.
As long as Max was there, things would be okay. That’s all she could think about then.
As long as Max was there, things would be okay.
30 minutes later
“What’s happening?” Liz wondered, her view of the procedure being hidden behind a separating sheet.
Max looked over the sheet just in time to see the surgeons pick up his baby from the incision. As Dr. Wright announced, “It’s a girl!” Max felt his knees go weak.
“It’s a girl,” Liz breathed.
“Yes,” Max mumbled and sank down on the stool that one of the more perceptive nurses had put behind him.
He watched as the experienced medical staff suctioned the nose and mouth of his newborn daughter and his heart missed a beat as Dr. Wright asked, “Do you want to cut the cord, Dad?”
Max swallowed and looked at Liz who was smiling at him tiredly with happiness trickling down her face in the shape of tears. The healthy cry of their daughter surrounded them.
He stood on unsteady feet and took a hold of the surgical scissors that were handed to him. His hand was shaking when he concentrated 100% on doing the job correctly and with one cut his daughter was no longer physically connected to Liz.
“Good job,” Zoe smiled and handed the baby girl to the nurse opposite him.
While Dr. Wright began the job of stitching Liz back up, the nurse stepped around the sheet and presented the baby for Liz to see. “Say hello to your daughter, Mom.”
“’Mom’…” Liz whispered and touched her daughter’s small hand with her index finger.
“I’ll give her back soon,” the nurse assured them, “We’re just gonna clean her up a bit for you.”
Liz wasn’t sure she wanted to be separated from the girl, but she quickly realized it was in her daughter’s best interest.
Her husband’s hand brushing against her cheek had her turn her head away from where her daughter had disappeared. She could hear her daughter cry in the background, which at the moment was music to her ears.
“You did it,” Max whispered.
did it,” Liz retorted, taking his hand in hers.
He bent forward and gently kissed her lips. Brushing her hair away from her forehead, his mouth just an inch from hers, he whispered, “I love you.”
Just then, the nurse returned with their daughter. “Okay, Mom. Let’s get you comfortable while the doctor finishes up the surgery, okay?”
Liz didn’t really pay much attention to what the nurse was saying. Her complete focus was on the small life that the nurse was placing on chest.
“Oh my God,” Liz whispered as their daughter’s cry turned into sobs only to stop completely. Squinting against the bright light of the delivery room, the baby girl looked up at her mother. “We made her.”
“She’s beautiful,” Max added in awe. He was slowly running his hands down the head and cheek of the newborn, not believing that she was so small, that she belonged to them.
His heart was beating painfully in his chest, already swelling to a painful size with the love he felt for his daughter.
And right there and then, he vowed to himself to always protect this little girl with his life.
20 minutes later
“How are the parents doing?” a warm voice said from the doorway.
Max and Liz tore their eyes away from the sleeping girl on Liz’s chest and made eye contact with the doctor that had gone through it all with them.
“Hey,” Max replied, the smile coming easily.
Her smile growing wider, Dr. Zoe Wright said, “It looks like you are every bit a proud father.”
“Oh, he can hardly get over himself,” Liz said, earning an eye roll from Max.
Pulling up a stool to Liz, Dr. Wright reached out and stroke the soft chubby cheek of the little girl. “How are you feeling, Liz?”
“Tired,” she answered, her eyes focused on the baby.
“You’ve done an amazing job,” Dr. Wright said softly, stepping up to the wardrobe and pulling out two pillows. Crushing them to her chest she walked up to the couple.
“I couldn’t have done it without you,” Liz said. “Thank you so much.”
Zoe smiled. “It was my pleasure. She’s an absolute stunner.”
Both Max and Liz boosted with pride. “Thank you.”
“Now, have you read anything about breastfeeding? Learnt anything from your mom or from friends with babies?”
“Just a little bit,” Liz answered, the insecurity shining through.
“Don’t worry, hun, I’ll walk you through it.”
Zoe placed the pillows behind Liz’s back to put her into more of a seated position.
While Max watched with serious concentration that would’ve had Liz laughing out loud if she’d had the time to look at him, Zoe guided Liz through the breastfeeding.
“Your nipples might feel a bit sore. First-time mothers usually have that problem. If it really hurts, you could try and change the position that the baby is lying in against your chest because it might be a problem of how the baby latches on.”
Max was hanging onto Zoe’s every word, amazed by how easily the woman seemed to discuss ‘nipples’ and ‘latching’ with total strangers.
The baby slurped happily as she found the nipple and all three adults smiled.
“There we go,” Dr. Wright said.
Observing the baby feeding for a short time, Zoe eventually got up. “Okay, you’re a natural at this. I’m gonna leave you alone. I’ll come back later. Liz. You should try and get as much sleep as possible; you’ve been through a lot. And the more sleep you get, the faster that incision will heal.”
“Okay, Zoe,” Liz smiled, her attention still on the baby.
With a small nod and a soft smile, Dr. Wright left the couple.
“You know what I was thinking?” Liz said when they were alone.
“That we need to have a name.”
“Very wise. I’m not so sure Nunchuk would work in the long run. I mean, it’s cute and all when she’s small but just imagine her applying for a job and introducing herself as Nunchuk Evans.”
“Well yeah…my point exactly. So…how about Zoe?”
Max looked up from his daughter and met his wife’s eyes. “I like it.”
“Since we hadn’t thought of any names and…” looking down at her daughter, Liz added, “…she kinda looks like a Zoe, doesn’t she?”
Max smiled. “She’s gorgeous, Liz.”
“We did a good job.”
“Yep,” Max agreed. “We should do it more often.”
Liz laughed. “I’ve just gave birth and you’re already thinking about sex.”
Max shrugged innocently.
“Besides, if we were to do that any more often than we already are, I think I would die from exhaustion.”
“But you would die happy.”
Liz bent down and gently kissed baby Zoe’s head. “There’s always that.”
Liz nodded. She liked the sound of that. “Zoe Evans.”
Three hours later
Liz had to stop herself from laughing. It wouldn’t actually be very nice of her to laugh at her husband when he looked like he was having a nervous breakdown.
But that didn’t stop it from looking extremely amusing.
Cool, confident Max Evans was shaking in his boots.
About holding a baby.
But then Zoe was given to Max and Liz melted. His large hands and strong arms tenderly surrounded the small baby’s body. As if she was a porcelain doll. It was something about the contrast between Max’s strong body and the vulnerability and helplessness of that small baby that was squeezing Liz’s heart.
The back of Zoe’s head completely disappeared in Max’s palm as he supported Zoe against his chest.
Liz took a trembling breath, being torn between wanting to walk up to them and be a part of the beauty and not wanting to disturb what she was witnessing.
“Okay, just bring her over here,” the nurse said, bringing Liz out of her reverie.
Max ever so gently placed Zoe on the changing table.
“Just unbutton and unwrap,” the nurse said simply, hiding an amused smile. The first-time fathers usually didn’t appreciate this part of having a baby.
Max did as he was told, while Liz watched from the hospital bed.
Opening the nappy, Max took a step back, a horrified expression on his face. “Oh God…Oh…shit…”
Liz laughed. “’Oh shit’ is right.”
“That’s just…wrong,” Max mumbled, stepping back up to his daughter as Liz and the nurse laughed at him in the background. “Is it…supposed to be black?”
“Yes, these first days it will be,” the nurse answered. “It’s normal.”
can be classified as normal is beyond me,” Max mumbled.
“Okay, let’s clean her up,” the nurse announced which had Max paling a bit and Liz let out another laugh.
Looking over at her, he narrowed his eyes in a weak threat, “You just wait… Soon you’ll be healthy enough to experience this too.”
“But I won’t have learned it from an expert,” Liz said innocently, referring to the nurse, “I think it would be better for Zoe if you just kept on doing this part.”
“Oh no,” Max laughed. “You’re so
not getting away from this.”
The nurse just smiled, putting the moistened tissues in front of him. “There you go.”
“I love you, baby,” Liz sang from the bed and Max looked at the nurse helplessly.
“See what I have to put up with?”
The nurse just smiled, seeing the whole spectacle for what it was. A secure and loving relationship.
Now with the addition of a beautiful baby girl.
Max and Liz’s Apartment
2 weeks later
“Did you hear that, Zoe doughie? It’s time for your bath.”
Zoe didn’t look particularly impressed. For some reason her parents had decided to take off all her clothes and she would rather go and have a drink from her mother.
“Look! Mommy’s watching,” Max continued in his baby voice.
Liz shook her head where she was watching from the chair. She had been released from the hospital, but she was still a bit weak and even though she probably had the energy to help Max out with Zoe’s first bath, Max had more or less forced her to sit down.
She might be able to fight the exhaustion, but she couldn’t fight her very much stronger husband.
Walking up to Liz with Zoe, Max looked every bit the proud competent father. Liz was really impressed with how quickly he had adapted to the situation and had adopted his responsibilities – and several of Liz’s – when taking care of Zoe.
It was clear to anyone that saw them, that Zoe had Max wrapped around her miniature finger. Max had fallen head over heels in love with their daughter.
Liz kissed Zoe’s small forehead and smiled as she received a kiss from Max.
“We’re ready?” Max asked, as if there was a whole audience watching this monumental event.
“We’re ready,” Liz nodded.
Liz watched Max as he walked up to the red small plastic bathtub, seeing how his shoulders tensed ever so slightly. Even though Max was already competent while caring for Zoe, he was still afraid of accidentally hurting her. She was so small, so vulnerable and so dependent on him.
But then he rested Zoe in the crook of his arm, her body fitting perfectly along the length of his underarm and lowered both arm and baby into the water.
After a slight gasp from Zoe, her eyes brightened and she started moving her small chubby legs in the water.
“Come and look, Liz,” Max said excitedly.
Liz got up from her chair and stepped up next to Max to look down at Zoe.
“She’s loving it,” Max said.
“She is,” Liz said, reverence in her voice.
Together, they watched as Zoe kicked with her legs while making various sounds.
“You’re loving that, aren’t you?” Max said softly.
Zoe cried out in excitement and both Max and Liz laughed.
“Yes you are, yes you are
,” Max said and Liz looked to his profile.
Tracing the sharp shape of his jawbone, the outline of his long dark eyelashes and the excitement in his gaze as he watched their daughter, she rose to the tips of her toes and pressed a kiss to the corner of his mouth.
“I love you,” she whispered.
He turned and looked at her, love shining from every corner of his face. “Right back atcha, kitten.”
Max and Liz’s Apartment
Three days later
Liz barely opened her eyes as she mumbled. “It’s my turn.”
He kissed her cheek. “That’s okay.”
“Thank you,” Liz whispered, already falling asleep again.
She woke up in a bed that was still half empty. She wasn’t sure how long he had been gone.
Frowning, she pushed the sheet off her and placed her bare feet on the cool floor.
Liz walked over to Zoe’s crib, which was positioned only a couple of feet away from Liz and Max’s bed, only to find it empty.
Suspecting where her husband and daughter might be, Liz left the bedroom.
When she entered the hallway, she could hear a sound coming from the nursery. Her curiosity piqued, she aimed straight for Zoe’s future bedroom.
As she got closer, his voice got clearer and she smiled as his deep voice threaded carefully along the tunes of a song.
Stepping around the door frame, she stopped abruptly in the doorway at the sight of Max in the rocking chair, with Zoe in his arms.
“ You are so beautiful. To me. You are so beautiful. To me.
His eyes were on Zoe’s face and Zoe’s eyes were wide open, looking up at her father. Without saying a word. As if she was truly listening to him.
“You're everything I hoped for. You're everything I need. You are so beautiful. To me
Liz stood there watching Max and their daughter in the darkness of the night, her heart swelling in her chest.
Before he could see that he was being watched, Liz left the nursery and went back to bed. She fell asleep with a smile on her face.