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/\= Sickbay - USS Vindicator =/\

Erin was in pain, crying out for James. Dr. Kelly Clark looked up, wondering who had just beamed in so suddenly into the room. She was starting on the delivery process, and now she had a husband to deal with. Having only some experience in OB/GYN, taught back during her clerkship and rotations, Kelly knew that the medical care provided needs to be aimed towards both parents, not just the mother. Vance walked immediately to Erin, and the Kelly could see that he was as white as a ghost.

"Erin is Sebacian, and in mind-link with me being her mate. I will make contact with Erin, and she'll use me. Do not interfere and go ahead to deliver her baby," James said. He turned to his wife: "I got here as soon as I could darling..." Erin grabbed his hand and arm with hers. James froze in place, like he was in a trance. Both of their colors returned, and Erin's body relaxed to help with the delivery.

Kelly remembers quite a bit from her OB rotations. Erin was very noticeably in her second stage of labor, with close to complete cervical dilation. The team at triage had already started a PIV, ordered a set of lab studies, hooked up a fetal monitor, retrieved medical records, compiling the data into a widescreen pad. Erin was draped, prepped and almost crowning.

The doctor slipped into a blue surgical gown, pulled off her first pair of gloves and donned a second sterile set. Getting into position, she sat on one of the chairs directly at the end of the bed. Erin had her legs bent up, the usual dorsal lithotomy position.

Not sure how this 'mind-link' thing works, Kelly leaned towards James: "Does your mind-link help relieve her from the pain?" she asked, wanting to know if any anesthesia would be required. There are various types: regional (epidural), systemic pain control, etc.

Erin released control of James slightly as his eyes came back, and he was allowed to respond. "Yes, she uses my resources for whatever she needs to ensure her baby's ability to deliver our child. As I understand it, it's similar to a Vulcan mind-meld, but I'm not totally certain. My body and mind is attuned to her needs - pain being one of them during this period. I will not be able to talk to you again, until the delivery is complete," James said. His pupils dilated, and he was gone as Erin tightened her grip on him.

Kelly gave a short, weird expression on her face upon hearing James' explanation. "Right," she said, returning to her work. The baby was crowning - a term used when the fetus' head forcibly extends out. Covering her hands with sterile towels, the doctor examined Erin's posterior perineum, in order to reach the baby's chin. She applied pressure upwards, while her other hand pushed down behind the head to flex it. A nurse had an instrument tray ready beside the doctor, holding out a suction catheter to suck away the thick fluid in the baby's oropharynx.

Erin could feel the little one slowly moving down, and knew that the end was near. Finishing on the Ritgen maneuver, Kelly then applied a downward traction on the baby to expose the shoulder. The rest handled itself, and the doctor said: "Okay, Erin - just one more heave!"

With one gigantic effort, Erin pushed and a muffled cry erupted as the little one popped into the bright lights. The doors to the back opened, and the CMO stepped in, gowning and gloving up. Perfect timing, thought Kelly, as she cut the cord and prepared to hand the baby over to Dr. Rhodes, so he could examine the child under the baby warmer. Just procedural stuff.

Erin let go of James' hand as she felt that he did well, and looked up smilingly as the trance lifted. "Hi Daddy... thank you, James," Erin said in a tired voice The light came back into James eyes, and he looked at Erin. Still holding on to her, he bent over and kissed her on the forehead. "Anything for mommy and the baby darling... I love you and will be with you till delivery ends. Then I have to beam back to the bridge. So far we are on one nacelle and likely have to go back in shortly. But with new targeting filter we should be able to expose those platforms in short order. But doctor, batten down - we may be bouncing around a bit latter," James said.

Kelly turned back to her patient, letting the CMO take over with pediatric responsibilities. "Erin, we'll give it about 10 minutes and I'll help you deliver the placenta and umbilical cord, okay?" She reminded herself not to use excessive cord traction (to avoid uterine inversion), and that there was always a risk of postpartum hemorrhage. She turned to the nurse: "Oxytocin, 10 IU by PIV, keep that Saline open..."

"Okay... I just need to rest for a bit," Erin replied and laid back. She closed her eyes for a few seconds, noticeably exhausted after all that pain.

Zach held the baby, and was a bit overwhelmed with emotion. He'd just returned from the senior staff meeting, where he'd given his report, which had included the casualty lists. It was amazing that he was holding new life in the midst of so much death. Picking up a nearby Tricorder, while holding the baby and supporting its head with the other, he scanned it. Smiling, he cleaned him up, wrapped him in a warm blanket and brought him back over to the happy couple. Holding the baby out to Erin he said, "Congratulations to both of you. Your baby boy is completely healthy. Have you decided on a name for our newest crewmember?"

James looked at Erin feeding his little baby and smiled. "Well, Kyle is sure hungry, sweetie. I love both of you with all my heart..." James said and bent down and kissed Erin deeply and hugged her and the baby. She could see in his face that they may soon have to go back to danger again.

As the two parents decided on the boy's name, the placenta and umbilical cord was quickly delivered, and Kelly made sure those looked good as well (it should be, but isn't just about the kid!). The cord was already cut, so it had a hemostatic clamp clipped over it.

The doctor then checked the placenta for completeness, and made sure the cord had one vein and two arteries running through it. Pulling on her third pair of gloves, she then returned to her patient and palpated Erin's abdomen, and inspected the birth canal. Everything looked good as she cleaned up.

Kelly then glanced over at the baby, and turned to the parents: "Congrats, he's looking good," she said, happy for the couple. Not all deliveries go this smoothly, even with such advanced medical technology.

"Keep her on O2 non-rebreather," Kelly ordered quietly to one of the nurses, ripping her gloves off and dumping them in a nearby bin. "Tricorder CBC, coag profile, electrolytes, ABG, and monitor the acid-base status. Get a private ward-bed ready, call transpo and page me if her BP drops below 100 systolic."

James looked up. "Thank you, doctors. But unfortunately, I have to head back to the bridge for a short, but will be back to see Erin and Kyle as soon as I can." He kissed Erin again and stepped away.

"Hold on, Lieutenant," Rhodes quickly caught up. "I want to know more about this link. When you were under it, it was though you were nearly dead. I couldn't detect any breathing - the tricorder is telling me that you're physically drained."

"I assure you doctor, I was not dead. Erin was in control, that's all. Ask her more about it, and I'll be back as soon as I am relieved. I have to see Erin and Kyle so check me over then," James replied to the CMO. Without waiting any further, he headed out the door of the delivery room, down the hallway outside.

Dr. Kelly Clark nodded at the CMO in thanks, for helping her out with caring for the newborn child. With other cases to attend to, she left the room, giving the mother (and perhaps Rhodes as well) some private time to admire the little baby. Kelly could only imagine Erin and James' sense of joy.

It's always good to watch the beginning of a new life with no complications, Kelly thought. Where she completed her residency, the NICU is no place for a baby just out of the womb. But sometimes it's just necessary. It gives them a chance.

= = = = = = = = = = = = =

Lt.(JG) Erin Kryton-Vance Assistance Science Officer USS Vindicator NCC-78213

Lt.(SG) James Vance Chief Science Officer USS Vindicator NCC-78213

Lt.(JG) Zach Rhodes Chief Medical Officer USS Vindicator NCC-78213

Dr. Kelly Clark, MD Staff, Internal Medicine Specialist Medical Officer USS Vindicator NCC-78213

(NPC Played By Ray)

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