A Late Night of Reflection
This feeling, it was unlike anything he'd ever felt before. He couldn't stop smiling; really, he couldn't. He knew now, there was a God. How else could something so beautiful, so miraculous be created?
He slowly walked around the quiet room, his son feeding from a bottle in his arms. It was around three in the morning and he was in his usual nightwear; an undershirt and boxers. The baby was only four, five now since it was technically morning, days old and this was their first night at home, so Changeling was still in daddy shock. He had never felt so proud in his life. Out of everything he'd ever done, this was his greatest achievement.
He looked so small in his father's arms. The size of his fingers alone made him look like he was a doll. A perfectly crafted, beautiful little doll. His skin was fair and soft. His dusting of hair was green, just like his father's. And, like his father, his little ears were slightly pointed and adorable. His body was small and delicate; and currently clothed in a light blue one piece. His little eyes were closed as he filled his tiny tummy.
He still couldn't believe it. This child, this little boy in his arms was his; his flesh and his blood. He had created a human being. Well, he'd helped to create a human being. Of course it wasn't a single person's accomplishment. He certainly hadn't done it alone. He'd had help from his wife, who currently lay curled up in their bed.
They had tried to get pregnant for so long. They had decided right after they married that they wanted a child. They began to try, but for months they were unable to conceive. Starfire and Nightwing had decided to start a family not too long after they had decided and were pregnant within a month of making their decision. Down, but not out, they continued to try. Both knew they should see a fertility doctor, but neither wanted to. What were they to do if they found out one or both of them were sterile?
But, by the time Starfire gave birth they decided it was time to get professional help, no matter how scared they were about the results. Both knew what the likely outcome was going to be. Their genes probably couldn't mix since Raven was half demon and Changeling's DNA was a mixture of human and animal DNA. That was what they expected to hear from the doctors.
To their astonishment, all of the tests came back negative. There was no reason they shouldn't be able to have a child. They asked why they hadn't been able to conceive yet and the doctors said that sometimes it takes a while. But, to help them out, they gave them a few key dates when they should be able to conceive.
And, thank God, two months later Raven was pregnant. When she found out she decided to break the news to her husband as calmly as she could. He had been out at the time, saving the city once again, and when he came home he was greeted with a large banner that read, "Congratulations Daddy!". Confused, it took him a full five minutes to figure out what was going on and freak out with excitement. Finally, after nearly a year and a half, they were going to have a baby.
Ravens pregnancy had not been an easy one; not by a long shot. She had gone through basically every complication in the book. She was in and out of the hospital every other week and scared out of her mind that she'd lose the baby. Of course, Changeling was there for her, giving her support and telling her that no matter what they would be okay. But he would have been lying if he said that he wasn't as scared as her.
She went into labor three weeks before her due date and the umbilical chord had wrapped around the baby's neck. They ended up having to do a cesarean section to get the baby out before damage could be done. Raven and Changeling had been nervous and worried sick the entire time. It was a hectic time for both of them and they had never been so glad to have their friends there to help them through it.
Luckily, the little boy was born strong and healthy, if not a little small. They had never been so relieved. And now they were finally home, all three of them. And what a relief it was. Two and a half years of disappointment and struggles had finally paid off.
The baby had finished eating and Changeling set the bottle down. He lay a spit up blanket on his shoulder and lay the baby on it as he began to gently pat his back. He walked over to the window and looked outside. It was such a big world out there. He began to wonder how he was going to be able to teach his son about it. This little boy knew nothing yet; his mind was an innocent blank slate. And it was his job to raise him and teach him.
The little babe let out a few burps, grunted a few times, then cuddled against his father's shoulder. Changeling smelled his sweet little head and gave it a few kisses. He never thought he could love anything as much as he loved this little boy. Even when he cried neither Changeling nor Raven could help smiling. He was such a blessing; such a miracle.
Even though the newborn had been fed and burped, he couldn't put him down yet. He didn't want to. He just wanted to pace around with his son softly sleeping against his shoulder. He had waited his entire life for something like this. He knew when he was young that he wanted to be a father when he grew up. There was no question about it.
And that's when he realized; he was grown up. He was a full grown man now. He was a man. He couldn't believe it. He thought he'd be a kid forever, but here he was a husband and father. He was an adult with responsibilities. No one ever thought they'd see the day when Changeling, formerly known as Beast Boy, was grown up and mature. But he was.
"Gar?" he heard a soft, tired voice say through the darkness of the room. He turned and saw Raven sitting up. "What're you doing? Is he okay?"
"Yeah, he's fine," said Changeling with a smile. "I was just feeding him so you could sleep."
"Did you burp him?" she asked as she slipped out of the covers and slowly made her way over to her husband and son. She was still quite sore from the C section.
"Yup," he said. "His tummy's full and his diaper's clean."
Raven reached them and wrapped her arms around her husband, kissing her son's sweet little head. Changeling leaned down and kissed Ravens forehead and the three slowly swayed back and forth.
"I'm so happy he's here," said Raven.
"Me too," said Changeling. "I was so scared we'd never have him. But he was totally worth the wait."
"Definitely," said Raven with a small smile. She ran her hand over the little boy's head and smoothed his hair, kissing him again. "He's so beautiful."
"Are you surprised?" Changeling chuckled softly. "Look at his parents."
Raven rolled her eyes and gave him a small smile. "Can you believe it? We're parents," she said.
"I know," he said, beaming. "It feels so… cool!"
"Hush," Raven whispered. "You're going to wake him."
"Sorry," he whispered back and went over to the little bassinet. He gently lifted the sleeping babe off of his shoulder and lay him down on his back in the little bed. He moaned and grunted a few times, but settled in and went back into his peaceful slumber.
The two went back over to their bed and climbed in. Changeling took his wife into his arms and kissed her. He loved her with all of his heart and soul. She gave him things no one else ever could; she loved him, she understood him, she was patient with him; his little quirks that used to annoy her now were what made him special in her eyes. And she'd given him a child. He would forever worship the ground she walked on for that alone.
"What're you thinking about?" asked Raven, looking into his eyes.
"You," he said with a smile. "I love you so much."
She smiled and broke out in a slight blush. She always did when he told her how much he loved her. "I love you too," she replied.
"Do you want me to get up in three hours and feed him again or do you feel up to it?" he asked.
"I'll do it," said Raven. "I'd rather he fed from me than from bottles anyway."
"Okay," he chuckled. "Let's get some sleep while we can."
"Good idea," Raven sighed and closed her eyes.
The room grew silent once more and Raven was fast asleep within a minute. Changeling just smiled to himself and cuddled up beside her. He had gone through a lot in his life to get to this point. Surviving a disease that's antidote turned him green and gave him animal shifting power, watching his parents die right before his eyes, never seeming to live up to the Doom Patrol's expectations of him, nearly failing and dying multiple times as a Teen Titan; the list was far more in depth but at some point you must let some things go. But now, in this moment, he realized something; life was good. Life was very good.