They talked every morning and every night but Jake was missing them terribly. And it had only been three days! Jake was focused on football when he was at the facility, but the minute he got home, it was all about his family. The only problem was Denise figured out that he was back in town and was sending him nude pictures and trying to get to his condo. He had a meeting with Coach McGill and the police tomorrow to see what his options were.
He was just getting ready to make dinner when his phone rang. He was seasoning his salmon steak and hit the button to put it on speaker, “Hey Ash! How’s it going?”
“Jake!! Sammy’s in labor!”
He dropped the pepper grinder, “Are you sure?! How do you know?”
“Seriously? I have given birth; you know when you are in labor Jake! Her doctor agrees and she has been admitted.”
“Ok, I’ve got my bag ready. I’m leaving now for the airport. Is Sammy ok?”
“She’s fine, wants you here, but doing fine.”
“I’ll be there in a few hours. Tell her that I love her!”
“I will, now just get here!”
Jake covered the fish and threw it in the freezer, washed his hands and grabbed his bag. He called the number the owner of the team gave him to get his private jet ready then texted the coach, letting him know that he was leaving. Within the hour Jake was in the air flying home to see the birth of his child. He arrived at the small airport and grabbed the Uber that was waiting for him.
He raced up to the maternity floor and found the room his dad had texted him that Sammy was in. He pushed open to the door and saw Sammy panting with a grimace on her face as Abby talked to her. She looked up hearing the door open and sighed in relief when she saw him.
He all but ran over to her side and grabbed her hand, “Hey Baby. I’m sorry I’m late! Traffic was a bitch!”
She laughed a little, “I’m so glad you are here!”
“I wouldn’t miss this for anything!” He leaned over and kissed her, “How are things progressing Baby?”
“Last time I was checked I was four centimeters. If my water hasn’t broken when they check me next, they will break it to sped things along. I’ve been having contractions since last night and not progressing very fast.”
He nodded, and then turned to hug Abby, thanking her for helping until he got there. Just as they were starting to talk, the door opened again and Mike and Gracie came into the room. Gracie squealed when she saw him and ran to his arms. They talked a few more minutes and then the doctor came in to check her. Mike, Abby and Gracie went to the hall to wait.
The doctor wanted to speed things up and he broke her water. Jake was in awe of the whole process and the doctor was pleased when Sammy had a good contraction hit. He assured her things would start moving and to let the nurses know if and when she wanted pain meds. Jake helped her up to go for a walk. Sammy noticed that it was after Gracie’s bedtime when they found them in the waiting room playing.
Sammy convinced Gracie to go to Mike and Abby’s house to sleep and she would see the baby tomorrow. It was going to be a long boring night and when Gracie heard she couldn’t watch any TV while they waited, she happily agreed to go to head home with them. Jake promised to keep them posted as things moved along.
Jake and Sammy walked several laps around the floor, stopping when the contractions hit. Jake could tell they were getting more painful after the last one he saw a few tiny beads of sweat formed on her forehead. They walked a little more and about 11:45, things really started moving, quickly in fact.
Jake was feeling excited and extremely nervous as she began pushing a few hours later. He had never seen so much strength and perseverance as he did when Sammy was in the final pushes of the process. He was there talking to her, pushing her hair back from her face, coaching her and giving her whatever she needed.
And it was 4:30 am when Jake heard the doctor say, “The head is out! And there is lots of hair!”
Jake was on pins and needles as he encouraged Sammy to bear down and pushed the rest of the crying baby out. So much was happening at the same time and when they placed the baby on Sammy’s stomach as she cried seeing their child. Jake was just in awe and never felt the tears roll down his face as he looked the scene over. He kissed Sammy on the lips, telling her thank you.
“Well Jake, come with us while we examine your son ok?” the nurse urged him.
It finally dawned on him that he had a son. The word was music to his ears and followed the nurse who carried his son to a warming machine. He watched them work and his son didn’t stop crying the whole time. Jake loved to watch his little chin quiver and finally remembered to take out his phone and take pictures so he had them. Jake cut the cord and was shocked at the thickness of the line that kept him alive inside Sammy. When the nurse gave him the ok, Jake walked back to the bed where Sammy was cleaned up and sitting up in bed, talking with the doctor and nurse.
He slid into the bed next to her and handed her their son. He handed the nurse his phone and Sammy knew he wanted some pictures. That photo that caused him so much pain last summer, he was going to have it!!
They just sat together cuddling and looking over their baby. He looked just like Jake except for his eyes. Those were Sammy’s, the shape and they guessed the color too, they had a very real green shine to them.
“You know, I did all the work, so why do none of our children look like me?” Sammy asked pouting.
Jake kissed her gently, “I know, I’m sorry. Maybe the next one will!”
She laughed, “You are already talking about another one? Can we get out of the hospital in this one?”
“Fine, I’ll stop for now. But speaking of this one, what should we call him?”
Sammy looked at him, “What do you think? I don’t think he is a Steven like we were talking about.”
“I agree…What about Aiden?”
Sammy looked at him, then back at the baby, “What about Aiden Jacob?”
“How about Aiden Michael?”
Sammy was a little stunned, “You want your dad’s name and not yours?”
“Yes, I would like that…He has been a rock to you and Gracie…And helped me. I think he deserves it…”
“You’re a good man Jacob…Next one is after you!” She said kissing him.
He grinned and watched as his son nursed hungrily at his wife’s breast. This was the third best day of his life; just behind marrying Sammy and meeting Gracie. Just as Aiden was finishing up and Sammy was burping him, a nurse came in to take him to the nursery to finish up some health checks and a proper bath. They promised to bring him back for his next feeding.
“But in the meantime, get some rest Mrs. Doogan. Do you need any pain meds?” the nurse asked.
“No I am actually feeling really good,” Sammy assured her.
The nurse showed Jake how to make out the pull out bed before she pushed the rolling bassinet out of the room. Jake made up the bed, sent texts and pictures to everyone he could think of, then turned their phone off and lay down. He looked over to his beautiful and amazing wife to find her already sleeping. He smiled, closed his eyes and was quickly asleep.
One week later, Jake was folding laundry while Gracie was eating lunch and Sammy was getting ready to change Aiden after feeding him.
“Daddy, when are you coming back again?”
“I will be back in September for my game against Uncle Kevin’s team. But in the meantime, you are starting school in a few weeks, Aunt Lexi, Peaches and Lila are coming out to see you and Aiden next week and you know that Aunt Ashley and Auntie Lynn will be here and you know that Grampy and Grammy are here too; Plus Aunt Emily. So there are so many people for you to play with!”
“I know Daddy, but I just miss you.”
“I miss you too Baby girl, but remember that we will talk every night on the IPad. You have to tell me about how Aiden is and what you are doing in school. Plus you can watch me on TV!”
She laughed and finished her lunch before going out to play on the huge swing set he had built for her right after they moved in. Thankful that she accepted that explanation, he went up and sat on the floor in the nursery while Sammy was burping their son.
“You know that you are the most beautiful woman in the world right?”
“Flattery will get you everywhere Mr. Doogan, except in my pants!”
He laughed, got up and kissed her before taking the baby from her, “I want to change him. It’ll be the last time I can for a while.”
Sammy watched the sexy, muscular athlete with the tiny infant and it made her heart jump and butterflies swarm in her stomach. She loved him so much and seeing him in the role as a dad made her love him that much more. She was so surprised that he jumped right into helping with Aiden. He got up at night bringing the baby to her, changing diapers, helping with anything around the house and insisted on hiring a cleaning service to come in twice a week to clean the house for as long as she wanted it. Sammy knew it would be a lifesaver once he was in Texas.
Jake took Aiden downstairs and sat in the shade on the patio with his son and watched his daughter play. Sammy brought out some bottles of water and sat with him and he felt so incredibly happy. Life was good and could only get better. Jake hated to leave, but he had to be back in the morning. He would be missing so much and although Sammy promised she was good with it and they would be ok, it still weighed very heavily on Jake’s heart and mind. He had talked with Tom, his therapist once before the baby was born, once since he was still in Colorado and had an appointment when he got back.
After putting the dishes in the dishwasher from their early dinner, Jake grabbed his bag and was sitting on the couch with Gracie in one arm and Aiden in the other, waiting for Kevin to take him to the airport.
He kissed his kids, passionately kissed his wife and promised to be back when he could. Sammy knew it would be a long six weeks until the Denver game when they could see each other again. She knew they could do it.