I sat there happily, staring at my beautiful wife. She was resting on the end of the couch, snuggled under a blanket. Outwardly, she looked tired, but I knew better. The excitement radiating out of her eyes gave her away. She caught my gaze and smiled. I could only mimic her, for I was as happy as she. We stared at each other for a few more moments, until one of my family members forced her attention away from me.
My entire family was surrounding her, talking excitedly. I had announced that Bella needed some rest, that she had been through so much the past few days, but no one really listened. Everyone was too wound up with relief and happiness to allow Bella out of their sight. She then insisted that she was fine, and would have time to sleep later. I reluctantly resigned my argument. I could never refuse her.
I half listened to the animated chatter going on around me. My mind was elsewhere. Before I could stop myself, I grabbed Bella's hand and kissed her gently on her forehead.
"I'll be right back," I whispered.
She nodded, and released my hand. I didn't miss the knowing looks my family gave me. For I didn't care if they knew, I was too happy.
I crept up the stairs at human pace, careful not to make any noise. I came up onto the third floor, wringing my hands a bit nervously as I made my way down to my room. I turned the doorknob, making sure to keep quiet, hoping that I could go unnoticed by my bedrooms newest occupant.
Pushing the door lightly, I stepped into the room and let the bright sunlight from the window hit my face. My room had been transformed, by Alice of course. The walls were now a light pink, trimmed with white butterflies and flowers. An antique wooden rocking chair now sat in the corner, covered in stuffed animals and lace. But none of those things is what drew my attention, for it lay in the large bassinet that now sat in the farthest corner of my room.
I tiptoed over, and knelt down beside it, resting my arms on the cushioned edge that now held my new daughter. I let out a shaky breath as I took her in. Nestled in blankets, she lay sleeping soundly, peacefully. I couldn't stop the ache of happiness that flooded my chest. I moved to sit on my legs, content in just watching her.
She was impossibly small. And in my eyes, she was also impossibly beautiful. Just as beautiful as her mother I thought. I reached out tentatively, to stroke her cheek, careful not to wake her. When she was born last night, I was afraid to even touch her, afraid that I would hurt her just from the contact of my skin. But Bella wouldn't hear of it, and from the second she was first placed in my arms, I couldn't get enough.
I had been sneaking up here every half hour or so, to the amusement of my family, just to check on her. I was worried something would go wrong, and the thought of losing her was terrifying already.
I watched as she sucked in a little breath, and blew it out softly, eyes still closed. I smiled, and as gently as possible lifted her into my arms. I knew that she needed her sleep, but I couldn't help myself.
I cradled her tiny form, and began to rock her steadily. I had already memorized her, imprinting her into my mind. She was my little Bella. She had the same heart shaped face, same color hair, and the two loveliest pair of lips.
She stirred a bit, signaling that she was going to wake. I stilled my movements, hoping that it would coax her back into slumber. Her eyelids fluttered, and then opened, revealing her dazzling pair of green eyes that were unmistakable reminiscent of mine.
She didn't cry, as I expected, but gazed up at me with a look of wonder. We stayed that way for a few moments, just taking each other in. She didn't have any solid thoughts, but I knew she felt safe in my arms, she remembered me, even if she didn't know what that meant yet. It was enough to warm my heart that been asleep for almost one hundred years.
I carried her over to the wide window, letting her feel the sunlight. My daughter. I kept repeating those words in my mind. I couldn't take my eyes off her for one second. How was it possible for me to be blessed with this miracle of life? She continued to look at me fondly.
"Good morning Michelle," I whispered to her. I rocked her steadily. I couldn't take the grin off of my face.
I heard the door softly open behind me, and felt a pair of warm arms wrap around my waist.
"She's awake," I said to my wife gently.
Bella walked around me, and stared at Michelle lovingly.
"She's perfect," Bella said, rubbing her hand over her head.
"Just like her mother," I replied with a smile and bent down to kiss her gently. Michelle turned her head slightly to look at Bella. Babies are born with some instincts, and she knew that Bella was her mother. I passed her to her carefully.
Bella gathered her in her arms just as I had, and cuddled up next to me.
"Thank you," I said after a few moments.
"For what?" she answered.
"For you…for her."
She smiled, and together we stood, looking out at the rising sun, for the first time as a family.