New Years Eve found Alison sleeping later than she has been. Of course, as her third trimester wore on, she'd been sleeping later and later again. She was tired a lot and in the last few days, the babies had been shifting lower into their birthing positions and she'd felt like she'd been carrying around a bowling ball between her knees. Every step was an effort. The elevator had never looked so good to her.
But, around noon she finally got herself up and dressed. Then she made her way down to the kitchen where she found her mother in law and Miyuki waiting for her. The jonin had produced a daifuku recipe for her at Christmas, but Alison decided to wait and make them on New Years for the tradition. The only problem became her attention span. It was hard to concentrate on anything other than how badly her legs and back ached, and the Braxton Hicks that had been plaguing her since she woke up. Or, maybe that had been what woke her up. It was difficult to say. Either way, it was uncomfortable and distracting.
Eventually, Longshot had wandered in and asked how things were going. Alison had burst into tears and the jonin had gently shooed them out of the kitchen. Miyuki ended up getting Alison's daifuku lesson in her place with the promise that she would show Alison how it was done when she was feeling better.
Alison spent the rest of the afternoon curled up on the couch with Longshot and the girls, watching movies. After their first film, Rogue and Dakota had wandered in and joined them. It took several tries at getting comfortable and Alison had ended up curled on her side with her head in Longshot's lap. He rubbed her back in wide circles as they watched some cartoon Lisa and Gloria Jean picked out. Something about rats. Alison wasn't paying too close attention. The contractions had gone from aggravating to miserable and she was having a hard time focusing on anything else.
It took a few minutes more before she realized that the Braxton Hicks had stopped and the actual labor had begun.
Asuka took over finishing the lesson in the kitchen while the jonin came to sit with Alison. The labor, she had said, wasn't progressed enough to require the doctor's presence. But, to ease Alison's mind, they'd contacted Dr. Crusher and let her know the labor had begun. She promised to join them just as soon as she had her medical bay covered.
As the labor progressed, Alison got restless. She asked to relocate to the bedroom. For one thing, she suspected that Dakota -- and the boys, if they ever came inside -- would appreciate not having to see the actual birthing process. She also found that having an audience was making her just as uncomfortable. Longshot and the jonin helped her to the elevator and up the last flight of stairs. Alison had found herself muttering dire curses at the stairs as she hobbled her way up.
Dr. Crusher arrived around the time that Alison had latched on to Longshot and refused to be more than a few inches away from him. The 'slow dancing' they'd seen in the videos slowly devolved to 'Alison clinging and Longshot holding her up'. Was it over yet?!
The doctor had applied a small, flat monitor to Alison's tummy to keep track of baby heartbeats and other vitals during the delivery. Both she and the jonin were perfectly calm. Maddeningly calm, in Alison's opinion. Alison had decided at that point that she hated small, flat monitors, she hated dancing, and she hated the color orange. Fortunately, there was nothing orange in the room, so nothing had to be lazered. Yet.
When the labor had progressed to the proper point, Dr. Crusher had asked Alison to lay on the bed on her side so that she could administer pain relief. Because she had her back to the room, Alison missed the kind faced jonin dropping Longshot into a chair and sitting on him. Even though Dr. Crusher didn't use penetrative needles, he was still having difficulty with the idea of anyone messing around with his wife's spine. By then, Alison would have taken anything the doctor had wanted to jab at her if it made the pain easier. Longshot was released when Alison turned back onto her back. She held his hand tightly and made soft, whining sounds between contractions. It was better than yelling, she figured.
Their first baby crowned just before sunrise and Dr. Crusher asked Longshot if he'd like to watch. Alison was too busy pushing to note his reaction, but she did notice he declined the invitation when their daughter crowned.
A lot of tears and a little blood later, Alison relaxed in her husband's embrace with a sleeping newborn in the crook of each arm. Longshot sat behind her and braced her arms with his own. She was tired and her forehead drooped lightly against his neck as she dozed. She knew he wouldn't let her drop the babies.