It's the end. The final chapter. We made it!

It's been a long and bumpy road but I am so grateful to have shared it with you. I hope you have enjoyed my take on Ana and Christian's story.

I'm going to take some time out for myself. I'm still going to be writing but I want to have something complete before I start sharing it, so as to avoid inconsistency. Writing is in my blood now and isn't something I'm going to give up. :)

Much Love,

Chelsea x


SEVEN MONTHS LATER

My mind woke shortly before my body, sleep leaving me with reluctance. The sheer whirlwind of the past forty-eight hours had grounded me to a halt, every part of me giving way to complete exhaustion. The hours had been full of tears, crippling pain, anxiety and then, finally, relief. In a split second, I had gone from scared to overjoyed.

I had read so many books, articles, had attended various classes, but nothing could have prepared me for the day I become a mother.

Nothing at all.

Soft whispering was the first thing I heard when I stirred, my husband's voice breathy and close by. I cranked my eyelids open, waiting a second for my eyes to adjust to the dimly lit room. I had no idea what time it was, the curtains drawn to help me sleep.

Christian had arranged for us to stay in the best delivery suite in the best private hospital. Of course, he did. Nothing but the best would be enough. Our rooms felt more like a luxury hotel than a medical facility, with plush couches, a working kitchen area and the comfiest bed in the world. A fact I was grateful for after enduring endless contractions.

My labour had begun days ago, the contractions easy at first and few and far between. They were only slight twinges to start with, but they reached a crescendo yesterday afternoon.

My waters broke at noon and at 5:02pm on July 2nd our baby was born.

She was more perfect than I could have ever imagined.

Our daughter was placed on my chest as soon as she arrived, raised up from between my legs and nestled onto my front as she cried. She wailed for a few minutes, but the sound was beautiful. I had prayed for crying. All I wanted was to hear them cry and my wish was granted.

The birth had been as bad I was expecting, but it didn't matter now she was here. I didn't care about the stitches, my focus was entirely on her.

Christian had been incredible. He was there for every second, holding my hand, stroking my hair, and coaching me through the difficult moments. He gave me the strength to carry on when I felt like giving up and begging for a c-section. He cheered me on as I pushed as hard as I could and when our girl emerged, he broke down. Christian had been so strong, even while I was sobbing in pain. But when he saw her, he cracked.

Throughout my pregnancy, we had agreed we didn't care whether we had a boy or a girl. I knew Christian only cared about having a healthy baby, as did I, but deep down there was a part of him that was desperate for a daughter.

His baby girl.

"My beautiful angel," he whispered.

I rolled my head to the side and found him sitting in the rocking chair near my bed. His t-shirt was draped across the arm, his bare chest covered by a bundle of white blankets. He pushed his feet into the floor and rocked the chair back and forth.

"Don't tell Flynn or Rhian but you are the most beautiful baby in the world," he muttered, staring down at our daughter. "His kids don't have a patch on you… you are an angel, yes you are."

He bowed his head and kissed her downy hair, just visible over the top of the blankets.

"You look like your mommy," he told her. "Grandpa Ray will be thrilled about that."

I smiled to myself.

Bets were placed at my baby shower, everyone guessing who the baby would look like more. Whose eyes and nose would they have? What colour would their hair be? Would they have blue or grey eyes? Ray was adamant the baby would be my double – my dark hair and bright blue eyes were a cert for Baby Grey, apparently. So far, our girl had dark brown hair and her eyes were the colour of the ocean.

"I can't get enough of you," Christian whispered to her. "You're so beautiful… you're our baby girl. Your mommy and I love you so much already."

"We do," I croaked.

Christian snapped his head up and stared at me, wide eyed.

"Sorry, did I wake you?" he checked. I shook my head and he seemed to breathe a sigh of relief. "Do you need me to get a nurse?"

"No, I'm okay," I said. I pushed myself up onto my elbows and winced. He started to move but I held up a hand. "I'm just a bit sore. I'll be fine."

"Can I do anything?"

"Not really," I huffed. "I'm guessing it's normal to feel like this after pushing a watermelon out of you."

"She is a very pretty watermelon, though," Christian chuckled. "Not a little bean anymore."

"She stopped being a little bean when she started kicking me in the ribs every morning," I laughed.

I instinctively ran my hand across my stomach, to the place where I always felt her touch. I couldn't believe she was out of me and in the world. Officially a person.

"How long was I asleep?"

He glanced at the clock on the wall behind me. "About an hour," he said. "You should try to get some more rest."

"I want to try nursing again soon," I explained. We had tried it not long after she was born, but latching was more difficult than it seemed. "I want to get it right."

"You heard what the nurse said, it can take time," he reminded me. "But you'll get there… and if you don't, then we have other options."

I nodded my head at him.

He was so supportive throughout my pregnancy and I knew nothing would change now the baby was here.

I watched as he rose from the chair, carefully adjusting the baby to keep her close to his chest as he came over and sat down on the bed. He offered the baby over to me, helping to settle her in the crook of my arm.

She grizzled as she was disturbed, clearly having enjoyed cuddles with her daddy. I stroked my fingers down her plump cheek.

"She takes my breath away," I muttered. "I can't believe she's ours. We made her."

"You made her. My part was over relatively quick," he laughed. "You did all the hard work, baby."

I took time to study my daughter.

She blinked her eyes open and wriggled against me, her tiny fists coming up to her face. I picked up her left hand and she curled her fingers around my little finger. The white band around her wrist simply read Baby Girl Grey.

"Have you thought about any more names?" I asked, glancing up at Christian.

"I have some ideas," he nodded.

In the past few weeks, we had started to seriously consider names for the baby. We agreed on a boy's name quickly – it came naturally, it was perfect. Theodore Raymond Carrick Grey. Named after the three important men in our lives. We were going to call him Teddy for short.

But the girl's names proved more difficult. None of the names we thought up worked. Emily, Matilda, Sofia, Alice, Faith… they were all beautiful names in their own right but not for this baby.

Looking at her now, I knew none of those choices would suit her.

"What about Phoebe?" Christian suggested. "I was looking through a list of names on my phone earlier. It stuck out. It means pure."

Phoebe.

I scanned her face.

"Phoebe?" I hummed. "Is that your name? Are you a Phoebe?"

She wriggled in response, as if recognising the name.

"I think she likes Phoebe," I giggled. "I like Phoebe."

"I do too," he replied. "Phoebe Grey. It sounds good."

"Phoebe Frances Grace Grey," I nodded. His eyes widened. "I know we talked about having Grace as a middle name, but I'd love to have your grandmother in there too."

"She's going to be so touched," he sniffed, his gaze becoming glassy. "Thank you."

He leaned over Phoebe and pecked a kiss to my forehead.

"I'm so tired," I admitted. I slumped against my pillows. "All I want to do is have a shower, eat and sleep… but I don't want to take my eyes off her."

"I know what you mean," he smirked. "I'm too scared to blink in case I miss something. Or in case I wake up and find out all of this was just a dream."

"It's real, I have stitches to prove it!"

"Ana, I am so proud of you," he shook his head. "You did fucking amazing."

"Language!" I shushed him. "We have a baby now. You need to be careful."

"Jesus, we have a baby," he blew out his cheeks. "Someone let us become parents. What on earth were they thinking?"

"Clearly they weren't."

He kissed me again and it felt different. I hadn't experienced a kiss from him like that before. It was soft and romantic, but there was something electric about it. A new kind of chemistry between us.

We had transitioned from lovers to friends to husband and wife. And now, parents to a beautiful baby girl.

"I love you," I told him. "Just wanted you to know that, in case I haven't told you today."

"You haven't actually," he confirmed. "You called me a bastard yesterday, though."

"Was that before or after she started crowning?"

"After," he said. "So it was justified."

"Sorry," I winced. "You're not a bas… well, a bad name."

"I was expecting it," he laughed, shaking his head. "Rhian called Flynn the C word when she was giving birth to Joey."

"You got off easy then!"

"Looks that way," he grinned.

He cupped the back of my head and kissed me again.

"Thank you for bringing our girl into the world. I am forever in your debt, Mrs Grey."

"I'm not keeping score," I shook my head.

"Well, I am. And I am going to spoil both of you rotten."

"Spoil us with love, not things."

"I can't make any promises about the things," he shrugged. "My girls deserve the best and you will always get the best."

I decided not to battle him. I knew I wouldn't win. Christian loves fiercely and powerfully these days, and who am I to dictate how he shows his love?

I looked down at Phoebe and tried to soak in as much of her in that moment as possible. Something deep inside me told me time was going to fly by at record speed. That I will close my eyes and then suddenly she will be walking and talking. That it will be her first day at pre-school, her high school prom, the first day at her first job, her wedding day…

I know the sleepless nights, the crying, the dirty diapers, all of it will shadow in comparison to the joy she will bring us. She has completed us simply by being here.

I'm your mommy, I thought as I stared at her, catching her gaze for a second. I'm yours, Phoebe.

THE END