Lullaby - Part I
I knew Beth was next to me when I went to sleep but when I heard her scream, it scared me.
I immediately jumped up.
"Fuck!" I mumbled when I hit my head on the top bunk.
I panicked, "What's wrong?"
"I don't know," she cried.
When I sat down on the bed next to her I felt somethin' wet. I stood back up and pulled the covers off the bed. Sure enough, the bed was a little wet.
"Baby, I think your water broke," I said.
I couldn't help the huge smile that was splattered on my face.
Just as I reached out my hand to her, Hershel and Carol rushed to the doorway.
"Bethie, what's the matter?" Hershel asked her.
She was cryin' and clenched the blanket in her fists.
Carol stepped into the cell and put her hand over her mouth, "Oh my God, sweetie, your water broke," she turned to me, "can you get her into the other cell while I get Maggie and Sasha."
I nodded and reached out for her again.
She took my hand and stood up. I wrapped my arms around her and led her down to the cell they had set up as a delivery room.
Carol, Maggie and Sasha all rushed in a few minutes later.
Carol and Maggie examined her while Sasha prepared any medication they may need.
Suddenly, Beth squeezed my hand and screamed.
"The fuck's goin' on in 'ere? Y'all got Asskicker cryin'," Daryl said as he and Carl approached the cell. Thankfully Beth was covered up.
"Carl, can you keep an eye on Judith?"
"Yeah, but what's goin' on?"
"Beth's havin' the baby," Maggie told him with a smile.
Daryl patted him on the shoulder, "C'mon. We'll take Asskicker on watch with us."
Hershel was the next one to come to the cell. I stepped outside the cell with Sasha, Carol and Maggie so he could talk to Beth.
Almost everyone was up by now but no one else came by because they didn't want to bother her.
The sun had been up for nearly two hours when they examined her again.
"She's still not fully dilated yet," Carol said.
Beth was cryin' and covered in sweat. I moved so Maggie could sit next to her and pull her hair up.
Sasha and Carol continued on with whatever they had to do while me and Maggie sat with Beth.
She didn't say anything, she just started to cry harder.
We helped her sit up and I sat on the bed behind her with my arms wrapped around her.
"You're gonna be okay," I whispered and kissed her temple.
I felt her relax a little and saw her eyes close.
It didn't last long. She squeezed my hand until her fingernails drew blood and gritted her teeth.
"Aaaaagggh!" She screamed in pain.
Maggie stared at our hands. "Do you want a pair of gloves?" She asked me.
"No," I shook my head and smiled at her, "I'm fine."
She picked up somethin' and started fanning Beth with it until she relaxed again.
We sat there for a couple of hours before Carol and Sasha came back in and checked her again.
She patted Beth's leg, "You're not there yet, sweetie," she looked at me and Maggie, "y'all need to eat. I've already fixed y'all plates, they're in the common room."
We both told her we were fine but she insisted we go eat and she and Sasha would stay with Beth.
We found our plates in the common room and ate in silence until Hershel came in.
"How's Bethie doin'?" He asked.
We both shrugged.
"She's in pain," I said.
"Well, she can't have anythin' yet. When she can, it may not take the pain away or do nearly as good as an epidural would but she should be fine."
"She's tougher than she looks," Maggie said.
I walked over and stared into the cell block, "I'm gonna go check on Carl and Judith. I'll be right back."
I made my way outside to the courtyard and found Carl and Judith with Sarah, Karen and Michonne.
Carl jumped up from his seat when he saw me, "Is he here yet?"
I shook my head, "Not yet."
"What are you doin' out here?" Glenn asked, approaching us.
"She hasn't had him yet."
Glenn smiled, "Yeah, you keep sayin' "him" but I bet it's a girl."
"We'll see," I smiled, "y'all good here?"
Michonne nudged my shoulder, "Get inside. We're fine out here."
I nodded and went back inside.
"Oh God! Where is he?" I cried and screamed.
I've never felt so much pain. I was sure I was dyin'.
"He went to check on Carl and Judith," Maggie said.
I gritted my teeth. "Go get him!" I yelled.
"I'm right here, Bethie," he said, walking into the cell.
He sat down behind me and started rubbin' my back.
Sasha handed me a bottle of water and her and Maggie started fanning me with somethin'.
I thought it was bad waitin' for the baby but I was wrong, this is bad.
No matter how happy I am, I didn't want this. I didn't want Shane and I sure as hell didn't want him to do what he did. I started cryin' again just thinkin' about that and how I wished it had happened differently.
Beth closed her eyes and leaned back and rested her head on my shoulder.
"I can't do this," she whispered.
"Yes you can, baby. You're almost done," I whispered back.
She put her hand on my leg and squeezed, diggin' her nails into me. "Almost done?" She growled, "You wanna try havin' a baby?!"
"Bethie, calm down," Maggie chuckled.
She gave her a "go to hell" look and screamed as she had another contraction.
Maggie, Carol and Sasha were all timing her contractions but nothin' seemed to be progressing.
-Later That Night-
Everyone was tired, especially Beth, but they were all gathered in the common room waiting patiently.
Well, almost everyone was. Carl was pacing and kept askin' if he had a brother or sister yet. He was drivin' everyone crazy so Daryl and Hershel sent him outside to join Merle on watch with the promise they'd come get him as soon as somethin' happened.
"How much longer?" Beth asked Carol.
"Well, you're only at 7 centimeters. It could be a while. Just remember to breath," she handed me a wet washrag and I started wipin' Beth's face, neck and arms with it.
Sasha and Maggie came over and handed Beth some medicine and water.
"Daddy said these will help with the pain," Maggie said.
Beth took them and leaned back against me, closing her eyes again.
"We're gonna step outside," Sasha said. She, Maggie and Carol left the cell but didn't go too far.
I kissed Beth's cheek and her neck. "Just rest, baby," I whispered.
She nodded but gripped my hands tighter and screamed.
We sat there for hours with Maggie, Carol and Sasha comin' in every little bit to check on her.
"Hershel has everything set up for the baby," Carol told us before she examined Beth.
"You're up to 9, sweetie," she smiled at us but Beth kept her eyes closed and tried to breath calmly.
"We'll come back in about 30 minutes to check her again," she said before leavin'.
Beth wiggled in my arms before sittin' up.
"What time is it?" She asked.
I looked at my watch, "10."
"10!" She groaned and fell back against me, "I can't do this much longer."
Carol finally came back in but said she was gonna give it another 30 minutes.
Two hours later, Carol checked again.
She smiled at us then called for Sasha and Maggie.
"You're ready!" She told Beth excitedly.
Maggie and Sasha came in and took their positions and Beth squeezed my hands.
"Okay, Bethie. Push," Carol told her.
"Aaagggghhh!" She screamed.
She kept pushin' whenever Carol told her to and it seemed like it took forever but it didn't.
Beth started cryin' when we heard the baby cry for the first time.
"You did it, baby," I whispered and kissed her.
She kept cryin' but smiled.
Carol handed the baby to Maggie who in turn walked over to me with a huge smile. She looked down at the baby, "Daddy's gonna take you to see grandpa while we clean mommy up," she cooed before placing the baby in my arms.
"After Hershel finishes the check up and we get Beth cleaned up and ready, bring the baby back in here so she can feed him," Carol said.
I nodded in agreement and then left the cell.
Once I was in the common room, I stopped and smiled at everyone, "It's a boy!"
Hershel took the baby and performed an exam and cleaned him up. "He's as healthy as can be," Hershel said before handing him back to me. Everyone came over and took turns holding him. When it was Carl's turn, he smiled and carried him over to Judith, who was in Daryl's arms.
"Look Judy, we have a baby brother. Me and him are gonna protect you and mama."
Daryl raised an eyebrow, "Mama?"
"Well, yeah, Beth's his mama and she takes care of Judy. She's gonna be called mama."
Daryl chuckled, "Aight."
Carl handed the baby back to me before takin' Judith from Daryl and he sat down next to Hershel.
Just as I was about to sit down, Sasha came running in. She was out of breath and tears stained her face.
"Rick," she breathed heavily, "You need to come with me. We need you."
I froze as images of finding Lori flashed through my head.
"This can't be happenin'," I thought to myself, "not again."