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Double the Trouble. Twice the Fun.

Posted on 29 Apr 2018 @ 8:46pm by Lieutenant Joey Geisler & Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij

Mission: Crossing Over
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: [Backpost... Three Days After Arrival In The Zone]

Joey stopped a few feet away from the doors that led into Medical and took a deep breath. She didn't know why she was nervous, after all, she'd been pregnant for nineteen weeks already and had undergone many checkups to see how her children were progressing, but this time was different. This time would be to see what she and Harvey would be welcoming into the galaxy, and she had her theories.

For some reason, she just had a feeling there were two boys tucked away inside her womb, but hadn't verbalized those thoughts to anyone. It wasn't that she didn't want share her thoughts with anyone, but sometimes instincts could be wrong. Especially in situations such as this, but there would be a definitive answer soon.

She'd reminded Harvey about the appointment that morning, but knew Captain Geisler was an incredibly busy man. If he wasn't able to make it, Joey wouldn't be upset with him, and that was mostly because she understood his duties as Commanding Officer of the Black Hawk. A very large part of her knew he'd make it, though, especially considering this was a moment that they would only ever get once.

This was a moment that would change everything. A moment they'd find out the sex of their babies, which meant they'd be able to start talking about names for them... giving them the beginning of their identities that would stick with them for the rest of their lives. Just thinking about such things made her emotional, but thankfully, she was able to keep those in check for the time being.

For now, she focused on the doors in front of her. Just a few steps, then she'd be inside the medical facility and that would place her closer to knowing. But, Joey was nervous, or so the butterflies in her stomach told her so. At one point, she might have thought it would have been one of the babies kicking, but as of a couple weeks ago, those had become more pronounced. The feeling inside of her stomach now were definitely butterflies, and they were proving to be quite distracting.

Babies were quite possibly the best thing in the history of all the universe as far as Jayla was concerned, and prenatal appointments were her favorite work-related thing to do. So, she was ready long before Joey was to arrive. Even better was the fact that they should be able to determine the genders of the babies today. It was enough to send her into ecstatic catatonia at any moment.

She checked the cheonometer. Hm. Joey should have been here sixteen seconds ago. She had to remind herself that it was only sixteen seconds and people were late quite frequently on starships; there was just so much to do that losing track of the time was easy. Wait ten minutes, Jayla, she told herself. Ten minutes and then you can call.

How long had she been standing there? A couple of minutes maybe, which meant she was officially late for her appointment. Joey would berate herself for that later, but right now, she was just too excited. Without any further hesitation, she closed the distance between herself and the doors, then stepped into the facility, stopping long enough to take a look around. It wasn't long before she saw Jayla and smiled, making her way toward the Trill woman. "I'm sorry I'm late. I can't blame it on anything other than the fact my mind wandered."

"It's okay," answered Jayla, giving Joey a wide grin. "I didn't even notice. Anyway, come on over here and we'll get started. Hopefully daddy will be along shortly."

Harvey entered sickbay just a few moments later. Even though he had made this visit a priority for himself, he couldn't stop every crewman from approaching him in the corridor. It was only a short time ago when all memories had been restored, but everyone was still nervous about this mysterious Convergence Zone, and spooked thanks to those who had invaded the ship so easily. Hopefully that would not happen again. "Sorry I'm late," he said, approaching the two women.

Joey looked a bit sheepish. "I was late, too," she admitted.

"It's okay, really," said Jayla. "We hadn't even got to the bio bed yet. Up here," she told Joey, indicating the waiting bed. "I've got everything ready to go." The excitment was evident on her face. She couldn't have hid it if she'd wanted to.

Joey climbed onto the biobed as instructed, then got as comfortable as she could. That was something that didn't come easy as of late, but she was a trooper and didn't really complain much about it. After all, there wasn't much anyone could do, and it was one of many things that came with the territory. "I have to admit, I'm pretty excited, and I haven't said anything before now, but I think they're boys."

Harvey tried to help her onto the bed, but somehow she took care of it on her own before he could even extend a hand. "You think so?" Harvey asked. He honestly hadn't given too much though, aside from their discussions a few weeks ago.

"It's just a feeling I have, but I've been wrong before," Joey said, wondering if there were really two girls in there and her hunch was way off the mark.

"Sadly, after centuries of medicine, there's still no way to know what they'll be from just looking at you," Harvey confessed. "At least, not without an ultrasound or a imaging scan."

A smile formed on Joey's lips. "Which is exactly why we're here. So, what do you think, Doctor Kij? Think you'll be able to tell us what we're having?"

"Quite probably," answered Jayla, pulling the nearby equipment closer to them and powering it up. "This is my favorite part of being a doctor. What we have here is a screen, obviously, and this," she said, pulling a boxy contraption on an arm from the side of the monitor, "which sends sound waves through your body and sends it as a picture here," she tapped the screen. "It's actually really cool if you've never seen it before. It looks like you could reach out and pluck the baby from the monitor." She positioned the boxy contraption over Joey's abdomen and activated it. Then, watching the screen, adjusted its position before locking it in place. In a matter of seconds, the picture resolved to show two babies side by side, facing one another, their arms twined together as if in comfort. Jayla's face immediately lit up with the brightest smile anyone had yet seen from her.

Joey listened to everything that Jayla had to say. It really was a fascinating process, but there was no way she'd know how to work any of the equipment, which is why Jayla was handling things. Her gaze turned toward the screen and locked onto it, waiting to see her unborn children for the first time. She didn't even realize she was holding her breath until their images appeared on the screen. There they were... two perfect little beings. The sight before her caused tears to begin welling in her eyes. This was the first time she'd been able to see them in such a way, and now it made everything seem so real.

She couldn't blame the tears that made their way down her cheeks on hormones this time. This time, they were from a variety of emotions coursing through her at once, and not one of them were negative. Joey found herself moving forward a bit more when she noticed rapidly fluttering heartbeats coming from each baby. She wanted to say something... to speak the words that the sight before her made her feel, but she feared if she tried, her voice would be choked with too much emotion for her to be understood. Despite it all, though, there was a smile on her face that definitely showed just how happy and excited she truly was.

Harvey knew he was about to become a father. At least, he knew it in the back of his mind. Up until now, Joey could have easily been affected by some sort of unknown alien virus that had caused various parts of her, including her abdomen, to swell up to the size of a watermelon. In fact, his medical mind had, on more that one occasion, had theorized the potential possibilities and the possible treatments, including the highly dangerous poke with a needle and watch everything ooze out.

That however all changed in an instant. The image on the screen of the two children cemented the reality of the situation. He now knew that he was about to become a father. A wave of fear, uncertainty and shock rippled over him as he just stared at the screen. Before he knew it, however, his hand slipped into Joey's and squeezed it ever so gently.

Joey returned the gentle squeeze and leaned forward a bit more to see if she could tell what the babies were. Their positions weren't the best for cooperation in that regard, but the soon-to-be mother wanted to know. Unsure if it would work, she brought her free hand up to her abdomen and began to apply gentle pressure in an effort to get the twins to shift a bit, and while one of them proved to be a bit stubborn, the other turned to give them a better view.

"They're bigger than I thought," Harvey mumbled, finally regaining control of one of his motor functions. "And, you're sure there's not any more in there than these two?"

Jayla grinned. "There's definitely only two of them there," she said. "It looks like this one's a little boy, though."

A delighted squeal left Joey's lips before she even had the chance to control it. Her instincts were right! At least there was one little guy tucked away inside there, but the other one still didn't seem to want to cooperate. "Why do I get the feeling this one," she said, pointing toward the uncooperative baby on the screen. "has inherited his or her stubbornness from both of us?"

"I'm not stubborn," Harvey deadpanned. Of course he knew it wasn't the truth, and both the woman sitting on the bed and the woman with the hyposprays could, and likely would, quickly refute the fact.

"Please," his wife said with a grin. Of course, Joey knew that to be false. "You're more stubborn than I am, and I think nearly everyone on board this ship knows how stubborn I can be." While she spoke, she began to gently prod at the other side of her stomach to see if she could get the other baby to shift. One the screen, the baby could be seen giving a kick. Perhaps it was one out of annoyance, or one meant to get Mom to stop what she was doing, but it finally did the trick as the baby turned ever so slightly to give the onlookers an opportunity to peek.

Joey looked from the first baby, then back to the second as her hand finally stilled. "So... this baby is clearly lacking what the first one has. Does that mean..." Her voice trailed off, hoping someone would confirm what she thought.

"Looks like a girl," confirmed Jayla. "And they look very healthy, too. Right where they should be at this stage. Would you like to hear the heartbeats?" she asked excitedly.

"Yes," the taller woman answered softly, unable to take her eyes off of the screen. A boy and a girl? Never in a million years did Joey think that would happen, but now that it was confirmed, a smile formed. One of each. How did she get that lucky?

With a smile that could light up the universe, Jayla tapped a button on the monitor and a sort of fwish-FWISH, fwish-FWISH sound filled the air. "It's distorted coming through all that fluid," she explained. "But, that's what a heartbeat sounds like through amniotic fluid and living flesh."

Harvey was absolutely enthralled, to say the least. Seeing both of their children only further cemented his new reality; and strengthened his resolve. There were nearly eight hundred souls aboard this ship. While he was determined to make sure every single one of them made it home, he now firmly desired to make sure his family made it home safely. "We're parents," he whispered in Joey's ear, unable to muster enough volume for solid speech.

Joey couldn't even begin to put what she was feeling into words if someone asked her to, and that was because there were so many things going through her at once. For the second time, tears sprang to her eyes as she sat completely mesmerized and totally in love with the two tiny little people that relied on her to keep them safe and healthy. "We are," she managed to say, though it was barely above a whisper. She looked toward Jayla and tried to get her voice back. "Is there any way to get images of them? Or to have a copy of this? Maybe both?"

"Way ahead of you," replied Jayla, who had set the machine to record video and audio as well as take pictures every so often. "I'll make sure to send them to both of you; it never hurts to have back ups."

"Thank you, Jayla, truly," Joey said, reaching out to hug the Trill woman. She was so excited she could barely contain it.

"Yes, thank you very much," Harvey concurred. It only, albeit briefly, occurred to him that this situation could be a bit awkward for Jayla considering the relationship she once had with him. Seeing her excitement in all of this though quickly tempered that thought. "Are you going to be following us throughout the remainder of the prenatal care, or will another physician be attending?"

"Do you really think I'd let anybody else do this?" she asked, eyes sparkling. "Of course I'm doing all follow up exams. I'll probably get Doctor Road to help with the delivery, though, because she's got more experience."

Delivery? Joey mused to herself, trying to keep herself from going into full on panic mode. Up until this point, she hadn't even given that any thought, but now that it was mentioned, that's all she could think about. She knew what delivery entailed, and that scared the hell out of her. Sure, the Intel Chief had endured her share of pain in the past, but this was a different level of pain. They were talking about trying to push cantaloupes out of nostrils kind of pain. Don't hyperventilate... don't hyperventilate, she repeated to herself over and over while taking deep, calming breaths.

Noticing the look on Joey's face, Jayla smiled calmingly. "That's still a long way off," she said. "And there's not near as much pain as people say. Or so I'm told. I've never given birth myself." She frowned slightly. "But, my mother advises to take all the pain killers they offer. Apparently, she tried to give birth to me without anything," she added with a slight grin.

Harvey raised an eyebrow at that remark, finding himself thankful that he did not bear more than one X chromosome. He knew that he was never experience anything remotely close to what Joey would navigate over the next few months. At least he could be beside her during the process. "Women have given birth for millennia," he offered. "We've got modern medicine and more. You'll do fine, Joey."

"I know, but the entire concept is just scary," she admitted. It was funny really. The woman had put her life on the line countless times throughout her career as a Close Protection Officer, and even after she left that part of her life behind her. Hell, she'd even had her heart stop beating during the final battle with the Consortium. Now, here she was, afraid of delivering her children. It wasn't the pain she'd have to endure... that would be a walk in the park compared to some things she'd been through, nor was it the process. It was something entirely different... something she didn't truly feel often. Fear. "What if I completely mess this up? I've never even been around a baby before, except my little brother during shore leave, but that doesn't count. I didn't get to spend more than a few days with him. Hardly enough time to make me an expert."

"There's plenty of time for that," Harvey assured her. "The ship's library has a lot of resources, and I'm sure Jayla has a few things handy." Harvey looked to the Doctor, hoping his assumption was more than accurate.

Joey knew she was being completely irrational, and needed to calm herself down, not that she was overly worked up to begin with. "I don't think books or other resources will teach instinct," she told them. "I've got the urge to protect them and give them anything they could possibly want as far as cravings go, and they aren't even here yet, so that means something, doesn't it?"

"Absolutely," replied Jayla. "And if you want a mother to talk to, I'm sure Doctor Road would adore mom talk from time to time."

Maybe things wouldn't be so bad after all, she thought to herself as her gaze turned back to the display screen. "Thank you. I think I might have to take some time to talk to Doctor Road and pick her brain."

Harvey smiled, continuing to hold Joey's hand, which he gently gave a reassuring squeeze. "They do look pretty healthy," he said, turning their attention back to the images of their children. "Is there anything we need to be doing at this point?"

"I'd love to know the answer to that myself," the woman settled on the biobed said. Though, she was still a bit nervous about the future, she felt a tad more confident given her maternal instincts seemed to be kicking in.

"For the most part, just the usual- eat healthy and try to stay active," answered Jayla. "But, specifically, if you still experience nausea, peppermint or ginger tea can work wonders. I believe we have both- peppermint in the aeroponics bay and ginger in the arboretum. You may also notice pain around the abdomen- this is normal. It's just the round ligament, which connects the uterus to the groin and stretches through the pregnancy. Sometimes coughing or just standing up can cause sharp pains. If it does, just wait it out. Sitting or lying down can help. If they seem to come back after resting or don't want to go away within a few minutes, come see me immediately.

"And that should be all, I think," she finished. "Other than the standard 'come to Sick Bay if anything at all seems out of the ordinary,' of course."

"So, that's what those little twinges of pain are?" Joey asked, though it wasn't really directed at anyone in particular. She made a mental note to get peppermint and ginger as soon as she was able to, and keep tea on hand at all times. Sadly, though, even she knew it was unlikely to make freshly brewed tea all the time, so maybe replicated would work just as well. "Trust me, if something doesn't seem right, I'll transport here if I have to. I'm not going to take any chances. Though... I do have a question about delivery." There was a mental shudder given. "What's the safest way since there are two babies instead of one?"

"Vaginal birth is always the safest for the mother," answered Jayla. "Unless, of course, there is a reason that's impossible. As for the babies, if they are healthy and not in danger, it doesn't really matter. That's why we still prefer vaginal birth whenever possible. Granted, there is always the possibility of complications that tip the scales in favor of a C-section. Fetal transport is only used in a few extreme cases, usually when the baby is lodged in the birth canal. Let's hope it doesn't come to that," she added. She had only performed the procedure in simulation and wasn't sure if any of the other doctors were more experienced.

Joey's head felt like it was spinning from all the information she was getting, but these were all things she needed to know. Especially when it came to her safety and the safety of her children. "Then, we'll go with what's safest unless there's a reason not to," she said. "And hope that there's no reason for the alternatives."

"Agreed," Harvey quickly said, able to process and follow the information and advice Jayla gave them. "At the end of the day, we've got a vast amount of twenty-fourth century medicine at our disposal. The success rate with normal births is increasing every decade. You'll do this perfectly," he assured Joey, squeezing her hand in the process.

"As I understand it, it's surprisingly self-explanatory," agreed Jayla. "Trill don't give birth like that, though, so I'm not likely to ever know first-hand. Anyway, you'll be fine," she agreed. "You'll know what to do when the time comes."

Joey knew everything was going to be fine, and she had nothing but faith in Jayla. "I don't suppose if I'm in the middle of something I'd be able to cross my legs and hold them in until it's done, could I?" she asked, her tone clearly joking. Even she knew that wasn't a possibility. When their son and daughter were ready to make their debut, nothing was going to stop them.

 

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