Chapter 200: Out
So, part of this whole having a baby thing is that, eventually, the baby comes out, and you need a place to put said baby.
Later that night, after dinner and calling Gibbs, officially to give him an update on the case, but really just to check in on him, they head up to Kelly's nursery and get working on furniture assembly.
Gibbs is making the crib. And had made the rocking chair.
But she needs more than a crib and a rocking chair.
Abby's on décor duty. She's putting up tree and flower decals. Tim's assembling the dresser/changing table combo thing.
"So, hospital or the birthing center?" Tim asks. Because the other thing about having a baby is that you've got to pick a place where you intend to have said baby come out.
"I was thinking about here."
He puts his tools down and stares at her, perplexed, wondering if he heard right. "Here? You mean, here? At home?"
"Yeah. Here, in our home."
He stares at her for a long minute, waiting for her to smile or something to indicate she's kidding. But she's just looking at him expectantly.
"You're not kidding." He can tell from the sound of his voice and the way Abby's looking at him that he'd gone completely white at that idea. He looks down and sees his hands are shaking. And in a sort of disassociated way, he realizes this is fear.
"No. I'm not."
Which is when the disassociation crumbled and he went back to actually feeling what's going on with him. He looks up at the ceiling and tries to think of something more constructive than shouting, ARE YOU INSANE! The whole idea of it terrifies him on a level he can't even put words to, but he's not so far gone he doesn't know that's a bad idea. Finally he came up with this, "You know how we each have veto power over names that we don't like?"
"Because we respect each other and want each other to be comfortable…"
"Okay. If you think I've been insanely overprotective over the last seven months…" He pauses, takes a few deep breaths, because just the idea of this makes him want to yell, and he knows that's not helpful, either. "I will completely fucking lose it if there aren't exceptionally well-trained medical professionals less than thirty seconds away from us when you're in labor. I'm vetoing this."
"Midwife, doula, water birth, whatever else you want, I'm fine with and will get for you. But not that. Anything happens and there have to be people who can deal with it around. And not just a twenty minute ambulance ride away. If Kelly needs to come out NOW, someone's got to be there to do it."
She's looking at him like she's being completely reasonable, and he's insane, and she's finding it annoying. But she's the one being sane, so she offers, "What about having Jimmy and Breena come, too? He's a doctor. They've done this before. Twice."
"And they are more than welcome to come. You want them along as labor support, and I'm fine with that, as long as we and them are in a hospital or birthing center. Yeah, Jimmy's a doctor, and you know what? He didn't deliver his own babies! Ducky came over when Breena went into labor, so there were two doctors there with tons of experience, and that tons of experience told both of them they aren't obstetricians so all three of them went to a hospital where there were obstetricians."
"We go to the hospital and the rate of c-sections and interventions skyrocket."
"They skyrocket because you can only get a c-section in a hospital! It's called cherry picking the data, and you know that. The rate for home birth c-sections is zero because you can't get one at home! The only people who give birth at home are people who are likely to have uncomplicated deliveries, and the only ones who finish at home are the ones who actually have uncomplicated deliveries." This isn't going well. She's on the verge of crying, and he can feel himself getting more scared any angry with each word. "Okay." He blows out a long, frustrated breath. "Tell me why you want to do this here."
"Why do you care? You've already vetoed it." And now she is crying, and he's feeling like a complete asshole.
"Because if I know what you want, we can try and find a better compromise."
"I don't want a compromise! Right now your definition of compromise is do it your way."
Okay, that's true enough that he doesn't have a good response for it.
"Look, I can't do this at home. You will be in pain, and I have a bad time with that to begin with. There'll be blood, your blood, and that's gonna freak me out, too. I'm a firm believer in the idea that you are not supposed to be in pain and all of your blood is to be located inside your body at all times. So, even in a hospital with lots of people who know what they're doing, and the fact that this is all perfectly normal, I'm already going to be in bad shape. I'm so scared I'm yelling at you right now," and he is, with every word his voice has gotten louder and higher pitched, "just at the idea of this, so I think it's fair to say that I will not handle the real thing with any sort of grace!" Another deep breath as he tries to calm down, and his voice was fairly normal when he said, "Just, please, tell me what about here at home it is you want."
The problem of the two them arguing about things like this is neither of them has the emotional cool to just back off. So he gets upset. She responds by getting upset. Her upset jacks his emotions up a few notches. That in turns ramps her up. And him losing it has sent her into blubbering, crying mode.
So her face is red, her eyes teary, and she's speaking between sobs as she says, "I want to be home, with you! I want Jimmy and Breena and Ziva. I want the people I love around me. I don't want to be constantly poked and prodded by strangers. I want to be able to move and eat and not be hooked up to machines. I don't want to be pumped full of drugs. I don't want to get sliced open. I don't want someone else deciding that it should go faster than it is and try to make my body speed up. I'm not sick, so I don't want to be treated like a patient."
"Okay." And if it wasn't for paralyzing fear, all of that would make a lot of sense to him.
"I want to be able to hold Kelly the second she's out. I don't want her whisked away to be poked or prodded either. I want you and me to do this together, and I want all three of us together as much as possible!"
"I want that, too. But if something goes wrong…" He stands up to go over to her, and wraps his hands around her waist, his belly against hers, his forehead pressed to hers. "We're not set up to deal with that here. Even with Jimmy here, we're still not set up for it. Please. I'll scour DC, Virginia, and Maryland for a birthing center that'll get you what you want. And we'll stay home for as much of the labor as we can… But…" his hands cup her belly, stroking gently over their daughter, "If anything ever happened to you… I can't lose you. Everything I can't live without is right here in my arms, and I can't take risking that."
She's staring at him as he says that, and gently touches his face. "Okay."
He takes a very deep breath, lets it out slow, and kisses her. "Thank you."