So, my dears, here is the epilogue you've been waiting 900 years for, I hope it gives you some warm and fuzzies :)
She really, really had to pee. But without Edward's help getting up, she wasn't going to be able to make it out of her chair. Her stomach was so swollen with their child, she was sure she must be carrying twins. Why else would she be the size of a small house?
"Edward…help!" she cried as she tried to rock herself forward and out of the chair. She was drastically unsuccessful. Her feet felt like stones, her ankles like sausages. She was useless for anything other than nourishing the tiny person growing inside her.
How could she have known, for all those weeks when she was separated from him, throwing herself into work in the summer heat, digging and planting and growing that she was, in fact, with child? She had attributed the nausea and restlessness with grief and worry and the unyielding emptiness she had felt for so, so long. And when Edward had returned she had felt such joy, unwavering radiance that she just couldn't suppress.
Until Rosalie, tactfully as always, asked her one night after she had hosted dinner her family and Bella's, if she thought her recent weight gain might in fact be the swelling of the growth of a child. Given her sickness and interestingly keen sense of smell, in combination with her slightly swollen belly, she had to admit it was a possibility. Bella had touched her stomach gingerly, like she was afraid that by touching it she might, in fact, be creating or confirming such a thing.
"You two did make love, did you not?" Rosalie had asked. Bella's cheeks flamed. Rose chuckled and patted her shoulder. "Perhaps you should move your wedding up some."
She had dreaded telling Edward; what if he did not want to have a child? Things were still so tense, both with his work and at home. Since he and Bella had not yet married, he had to visit her at her father's house, who was less than thrilled with their engagement. Charlie knew who Edward was, and was willing to forgive him most evils for saving his daughter, but could not overcome his suspicions of continuous wrongdoing, no matter what good things he had done to balance them out. Bella understood his skepticism, she had herself felt doubt of his character when they had met. She knew that he could come off as blustering and over confidant; to Charlie he was a somewhat brash man personally responsible for both the murder of his friends and the safety of his daughter. She could only hope that things would get better in time.
So when she broached the subject of what she realized now was a more or less certain pregnancy, she had been anxious. But Edward more than surprised her. He was ecstatic. Nothing, he said, could have made him happier. He had always wanted a child and had always been afraid that he would not live to see that child grow up, because of his position and the ongoing struggles. But not that things were simmering down, and he had been promoted, he could have a whole gaggle of children and enjoy every one of them.
"Perhaps we should start at one and see how that goes," she had replied. He laughed, kissed her full on the mouth, moonlight filtering through the late summer leaves. She was so happy.
Moving up the wedding would have been next to impossible without telling Charlie why. She thought it best to tell him on her own, even though Edward had tried to stay.
"He'll listen to me," Bella argued, "he'll only get angry at you. You'll be the murderer and the man who impregnated his daughter, and I don't trust him around you when he gets that news."
Edward had begrudgingly agreed to go back to his own house, which was conveniently only down the road a bit, but promised to come back if she sent for him. They parted, and Bella nearly fainted for fear of telling her father.
Instead of getting angry, Charlie hadn't spoken to her for three days. She had a distinct feeling that he had, at various points, gone out walking in the woods to break a few things or maybe cry, but when he sat down with at the table days later, he was calm. He said he couldn't change the way things were, even if he might have wanted to. She was going to marry Edward, and he was going to be the father of her child. He could see there was no way to get around it now. His polite resignation was not the ringing endorsement she craved in her deepest heart, but it was not a refusal or a rebuke. She would take what she could get.
Their wedding was small. Rosalie, Emmett and Charlie were the only guests in attendance. She wasn't showing quite enough for anyone to tell she was with child if she had not told them, but her mother's wedding dress, the one her father had given her to wear, was slightly more snug on her stomach than she would have liked. But in the end, the too tight dress, the small ceremony, the limited company, none of it mattered. She remembered back to the moment when Edward told her they were never going to see each other again. He had told her, without telling her, that he loved her, but they couldn't be together and she had believed him. She had never been so happy to be wrong.
She moved out of Charlie's house and into Edward's, which was much the same, if not slightly more Spartan and efficient. She settled into her new home and Edward helped put together a room for the baby, as her stomach continued to grow as their child grew. Eventually, she was so swollen she knew it was only a matter of weeks, or maybe even days until they had their baby.
And she was stuck now, in a chair. She got stuck frequently, in bed, at the table, in her chair. She was a relatively small woman, and it seemed like her pregnant belly was now over half of her person.
"Edward!" she called again, more urgently. He ducked into the room and saw her attempting to stand. He tried to conceal his laughter as he pulled her up to a standing position.
"Don't laugh at your pregnant wife!"
"I'm sorry, my lovely. You look radiant and as always, are absolutely correct. I shouldn't laugh at you."
She spared him a moment to throw him a dirty look but then rushed off to pee. It felt like the greatest relief of her life.
When she waddled back into the house, Edward was in his study, looking over papers and maps. She paused in the doorway to watch him as he studied his work, chewing his lip absently. He was the most attractive man she had ever seen. She knew it the moment she set eyes on him at the campsite, all dirty with ash and dirt. She knew it as he danced her around in a meadow in the middle of a thunder storm, she knew it as he was telling her goodbye for what he thought was the last time, and she knew it when she had jumped back into his arms when he came back to her. She had also known, she realized now, that she was going to have no choice but to love him all those times, too.
He noticed her staring at him and looked up at her. She smiled.
"Have you thought of a name yet?" she asked. They had agreed that he would get to name the baby if it was a girl, and she would choose the name if they had a son. She had decided on Jacob for a boy, but Edward couldn't make up his mind. He had at first thought of Alice or Esme or Renee, but had discarded them all. He was being uncharacteristically indecisive.
"I have a few in my mind," he replied. "I will choose when I look on her face."
"Or you won't have to, because we are having a son," she teased. They had both tried to guess the sex of the child as well; Bella adamantly argued for a boy, and Edward was convinced it would be a daughter. Admittedly, they agreed they wouldn't treasure the child regardless, but there was no harm in taking guesses.
Edward rose from his seat with a smile and made his way to his wife, whom he kissed first on the forehead, then on the mouth, then bent and laid one last kiss on her stomach. He laid his palms and his cheek against her belly and said hello to the baby. Bella giggled. She loved to hear him talk to the baby; he was going to be a wonderful father.
"Come!" he said, standing up, "let's go to the kitchen and I will make my pregnant wife some dinner." Bella knew she was spoiled. She loved every second of it.
Rosalie stopped by every afternoon to see how Bella was coming along. She wasn't just a nurse, she was also a midwife, and Bella counted herself lucky that it was her best friend she would be trusting to bring her child into the world. So every day Rosalie clucked over her, how her stomach had dropped, she called it, and how that meant she was going to have her child any day. She asked after how Bella was feeling, how Edward was faring, if they were nervous, how his work was going, if she had ever grasped knitting or if she was going to give it up altogether.
At the end of her visit she did what Edward always did, and put her face right up against Bella's stomach. It was no mystery to Bella that she was desperate to start her own family. She had watched Bella's pregnancy develop with both envy and admiration. But when it came to her job as Bella's midwife she took nothing so serious; Bella was, according to Rose, moving along at exactly the right speed.
"The moment you feel the contractions, you send for me, do you understand?" she said before she went out the door.
"Of course, doctor," Bella said flippantly. She had been getting the same speech for the past two weeks, every day. Rosalie gave her a playfully withering look and ducked back outside. Bella settled into her chair with a book and read her way through the humid afternoon, feeling her son or daughter kicking and playing, so close to coming into the world.
It was just about the time she finished her book when she felt a crippling pain rip through her. She gasped at the suddenness of the pain, which was gone as quickly as it had come on. She breathed slowly, trying to steady herself. Before she could get back to an equilibrium, another pain left her stunned in its wake.
"Edward!" she called frantically. She winced and held her stomach. "EDWARD!"
"Bella do you need help getting up again?" he asked, as he rounded the corner to get to her. When he saw her grimacing in pain he went to her, immediately sobered.
"Is something wrong? Are you okay?" he asked, clasping her hand.
"Send for Rosalie, now," she commanded, through gritted teeth.
Rosalie arrived within ten minutes. Her house was only a few minutes away, and she must have run all the way there. The pain was getting closer and closer together. Edward looked panicked and lost. His hair was standing up on end as he continually ran his hands through it when he was holding Bella's hand so she could squeeze it through the pain of the contractions. With Rosalie's help, Bella got up from the chair and they were able to get her to the bed where she was going to give birth. Edward stared down at his shaking, sweating wife with anxiety in his eyes. Hers were jammed shut as she rode out another contraction. She opened them wide and breathed out. Rosalie was bustling about, getting the things she had left at their home in preparation of the coming of their child. Bella reached again for his hand and smiled wanly.
"Strap on your armor, soldier," she said quietly, "we're about to go into battle."
Edward laughed, and the world again made sense.
"Have you decided on a name yet?" Rosalie asked, the house finally quiet. The baby was in Bella's arms, swaddled in blankets. Both mother and child were fast asleep.
"I was thinking of calling her Lillian," Edward said, gazing with quiet loving at his wife and his perfect daughter. Rosalie nodded appreciatively, staring in the same direction as Edward.
"You're a very lucky man, Edward," she said quietly, so as not to wake either exhausted party. Edward sighed.
"I couldn't have said it any better myself."