A/N: Written for Bethaboo and TheEdwardEmmett's "Make It Count" Contest! Thought it would be fun to explore one of Edward's and Bella's greatest moments. AH. Enjoy!

~*~Pieces of My Heart~*~

She looked so tired and broken, with sweat glistening on her skin and the tiny angel hairs around her face flattened to her forehead. Her eyes were closed for the moment as she breathed in heavy gasps. When her breath caught and her eyes squeezed tight, I knew the pain had returned and I couldn't do a damn thing about it.

"It's okay, baby. You're doing just fine," I said, trying to keep the worry out of my voice. Was she supposed to hurt that bad?

She held my hand tighter than I ever thought possible as she screamed in agony. This wasn't right. I didn't want to see my wife in this much pain, but I had to be strong for her and stay. So, I continued to hold her hand with mine and used my free hand to stroke the matted hair from her eyes, all the while trying to comfort her with my encouragements.

When finally the pain passed, her entire body collapsed in exhaustion and she let out the most heartbreaking sob.

"I can't do it, Edward," she cried softly. "I hurts too much."

"Shh, I know it does, love. But you have to work through it. You're almost there, Bella." She just shook her head as tears stained her face. I gently turned her cheek and leaned my forehead against hers, forcing her to look into my eyes. "Listen to me. You're strong and you are going to get through this and then you will hold our beautiful baby boy in your arms."

She stared at me, looking completely lost for just a moment before she nodded and sniffled a few times, trying to will away her tears. That was my wife. Determined, brave, beautiful. She was everything any man could ask for and she was mine. How I got so lucky, I would never know, but whichever God I pleased gave me the most wondrous creature known to man and she was giving me a son. I was the happiest man alive, but I was also miserable.

I had dreamed of teaching my son baseball and taking him to the park with Bella, but never had I imagined the emotional pain I would have to go through to reach that dream. My dad had assured me that all was well and that Bella and the baby were perfectly fine, but hearing my wife scream the way she did lent me no comfort. And there wasn't anything I could do.

I wanted to take her pain away and place in on myself, but it was impossible and all the whispered words in the world couldn't make me feel any bit useful. It was like I was just standing by while my wife suffered and I felt guilty for not being able to do anything for her. But I also felt proud. She was being so unbelievably brave that I was practically in awe of her.

My flurry of emotions left me when Bella let out another whimper and her face contorted once more. I reaffirmed my grip in her hand and talked to her as my dad told her to push. We were in the home stretch now and Bella only needed to be strong for just a little while longer.

"That's it, Bella," my father spoke calmly. "Just one more push."

With that, Bella let out another bloodcurdling scream, but with more force than I had heard in any of the others. She was fighting with everything she had to bring our son into the world and I was just fighting to keep it together. It seemed like that terrible sound lasted hours and yet, just seconds later, Bella fell limp again and I heard the new sound of a baby crying. I looked up then to see my son.

"Edward, come here," my father said with reverence.

I looked to Bella who was smiling weakly up at me and nodded her head for me to go get our baby boy. I smiled a little unsurely back and walked around the front of the table, taking the scissors from the nurse to cut the umbilical cord.

It was magical looking into that tiny face as the nurses went about wrapping my son gently in a blanket and handing him over to me. He was so small. I knew he would be, but the reality of how breakable he was hit me as I cradled him there in my arms. My beautiful baby boy. And looking over his tiny scrunched face still slightly messy from being inside the womb, I vowed that I would always protect him the way I vowed to protect his mother always.

And that mother was waiting patiently while I got used to my son. I looked into her smiling face and I couldn't stop the goofy grin that spread across my own face. I had a son. And as I handed my little man over to the beautiful, sweaty love of my existence, I couldn't help but feel complete. I had thought that marrying Bella was the happiest day of my life, but nothing compared to what it felt like seeing my wife holding our son.

My dad came to stand beside me as I gazed lovingly at my new family. I barely registered that he was there with how consumed I was at the sight before me, but when he placed a hand on my shoulder I glanced at him and smiled.

"You did good, Edward."

I smiled wider and turned back to my family. "I know, Dad. I know."

Life was full of pain and heartache, laughter and ecstasy. But whatever life threw at me, I knew I could handle it as long as I had the two pieces of my heart. I was invincible when it came to loving them. I was whole.

A/N: So, am I vote-worthy? If you think so head here (and take out the spaces):

http://www . fanfiction . net/community/Make_it_Count_Contest/67311/

Voting will open at NOON Eastern Standard Time on March 22nd and if I'm not vote-worthy, am I at least review-worthy? ^_^ Thanks for reading!