“No offense doc, but you stating the obvious isn’t really an indication that you know what you’re doing.”
Cynthia chuckled. “Yes well, between the two of us, I think I’m just a tad more qualified.” Cynthia felt what she was looking for as she did her exam on Jen, “Okay it’s time to start pushing.”
Jen went still. “What?”
“Jen, I know you didn’t really get a chance to take the classes you needed to for giving birth, but surely you knew that this was the way she would come into the world.”
“If I didn’t need you right now, I just might knock you senseless,” Jen growled as she felt another contraction coming on.
“Okay here we go Jen,” Cynthia coached. As soon as you feel it hit, I want you to bear down and push, okay?”
Jen nodded and curled her fingers into the blanket as the contraction ripped through her. She tightened her stomach and pushed just as Cynthia told her.
“Picture your focal point, Jen. Breathe...okay, good job,” she patted her thigh gently.
The contraction passed and Jen was left breathless and dripping with even more sweat. She wanted to cry. She wanted her momma and she wanted her mate; hell, she just wanted someone to tell her she could do this, but there was no one and she was giving birth in a damn cave.
She felt a tear slide from her eye and she gritted her teeth to hold them back, but as another contraction built, she couldn’t contain them any longer. They poured from her eyes, blurring her vision, as she heard the doc’s voice once again telling her to push. She did. She pulled her legs up and pushed with all her might and when the contraction was gone, she knew it wasn’t enough.
“I can’t do this,” she said as she panted. She reached up to wipe away the tears but her arms were so weak that she couldn’t even do that. “Cynthia I can’t do this without him, I can’t.”
Cynthia looked up at Jen and her eyes were glowing. “You can do this and you will do this,” she said firmly. “This is your child, Jennifer. A miracle that you and Decebel created out of love and you will not let your mate or your little girl down. You are going to suck it up and do what needs to be done.”
Jen heard Cynthia; she felt the truth in her words and she tried to grab on to that truth. She had to do this. There was no out clause when in labor. She listened to the sound of the doctor’s voice as another contraction came and she pushed hard. She felt a stabbing pain and gasped. Immediately, she stopped pushing, and when she looked down at Cynthia’s face, she knew something was very wrong.
Cynthia’s eyes widened at the sight of the gush of blood that flowed from Jen’s body. The blood was bright red and there was so much. She flipped through her mind, quickly trying to remember all the things that could cause that much blood. She grabbed another blanket she had laid out and placed beneath Jen, attempting so soak up the fluid. Finally it hit her, an abruption, a placental abruption could cause this much blood, and was also extremely dangerous.
“Jen we have to get her out, I need you to push as hard as you can when this next contraction comes, do you hear me?” Cynthia looked into Jen’s panicked eye. “You can do this.”
Jen knew from the sound of Cynthia’s voice and the fear in her eyes that something was seriously wrong. She tried to take some slow deep breaths to get herself under control. She needed to be strong and as much as she wanted to curl up in a ball and cry her eyes out, she couldn’t. Her child needed her and she would not let her down.
The contraction started and Jen took a deep breath. She pulled Decebel’s face up in her mind and imagined him there beside her telling her she was strong, telling her he wouldn’t leave her side and that everything would be alright. She pictured him so clearly that she swore she could hear his voice. Then he was saying Cynthia’s name. Why on earth would he be saying Cynthia’s name in her little illusion. She opened her eyes and turned her head to see him there at the entrance to the cave. She saw her mate, strong and tall, and by the look on his face, royally pissed off. He was pounding on the invisible barrier that kept him from her side and she wanted to tell him she would be okay, to somehow ease the panic in his eyes. But the contraction hit and she couldn’t think about that anymore.
“PUSH JEN!” Cynthia yelled. “Come on that’s it...breathe... okay, and push again! You’re doing great!” Cynthia could feel the baby’s head and knew they had to hurry, Jen was losing too much blood much too quickly. She heard Decebel yelling at them and asking her if Jen was okay. The anger and rage in his voice was tangible and sent chills down her spine. Another contraction followed immediately after that one ended, and she was yelling at Jen again. Her attention was divided though, and she finally answered Decebel. “She’s had a placental abruption. I don’t have time to explain what it is so don’t ask. The baby seems to be doing well. I hear her heart rate and it’s normal. Jen, however, has lost a lot of blood. We need Sally if you can get her.”
Cynthia’s eyes watered as she saw the head begin to emerge and she was shaking as she maneuvered her hands into position to help ease the infant out on the final push.
“Okay, Jennifer, you can do this. One more, big, hard, long push for me.”
Jen nodded and then turned to look at Decebel. Her eyes locked onto his and a tear slid from them.
“You can do it baby,” he told her through the barrier. “I’m here, I’m not leaving.”
Jen nodded and then took a deep breath and pushed. She pushed with all of her strength, calling on her wolf’s help to give her the endurance she needed. She felt the pain as her child was born and tears streamed down her face as she looked at Cynthia who held the messy little life. She had turned her over and had her nearly hanging upside down attempting to clean out her nose and mouth and then the most glorious sound filled the cave.
Jen heard her daughter’s cry and felt the tears gush from her eyes. She was alive; she was breathing. She turned again to look at Decebel and saw that he was on his knees; his eyes were wide in utter awe of what he saw. Jen tried to look down at Cynthia and her baby girl again but her vision was blurry. She tried to raise her arms to ask to hold her child but they wouldn’t respond to her command. The light was fading and she felt herself drifting. She was so tired and cold, so very cold.
Cynthia let out a deep breath once the baby began to cry. She was cleaning her up as quickly as she could and once she had laid her on a clean blanket she grabbed the surgical scissors from the kit and cut the umbilical cord and then clamped it off with the clamp provided. She wrapped her up tight in the blanket and then went to hand her to Jen, but froze when she saw that Jen wasn’t moving and her eyes were closed.