A/N: This outtake was written expressly for DICATAKADD, which she purchased in support of Alex's Lemonade Stand for the Fandom Gives Back. You can thank her for supporting a great cause in addition to providing more sweet, lemony Edward and Bella goodness.
Things I own: An encyclopedic knowledge of birth control methods. Trufax. Did my Master's Thesis on it. No joke.
Things I don't: Twilight. It's all Stephanie Meyers'. Damn.
OUTTAKE: SPECIAL DELIVERY
I breathe in deeply, taking in his delightful scent. I feel him snuggle into my body more closely, and the sense of happiness, the sheer contentedness of being next to him, is nearly overwhelming. It's the last thing I think of before I fall asleep, and the first thing I think of when I awaken.
I remember telling Edward that I wanted to get plenty of baby-making practice in before we officially tried to make one of our own. He's been a most willing partner, taking one for the team, practicing at least once a day, usually twice. I smile secretly at the thought of how earnestly he practices with me.
There is a very specific reason that Edward is always on my mind as I fall asleep and awaken—we always seem to fall into having sex before and after we sleep. More than once, I've been awakened in the middle of the night by my horned out, insatiable husband. He explains that when my naked ass rubs against him as we spoon, and my naked breasts happen to find themselves in his hands, his hard cock announces itself; what else are you going to do? One plus one is two, and sex is inevitable. When he greets me with his deliciously hard morning wood, the same concept applies—you do what you have to do. Oh, do we have to do it. We can't help ourselves. If practice makes perfect, then we are extremely close to achieving perfection.
It's amazing how wonderful and different sex can be. At night, when we're both tired, it becomes slow and lazy. He slides into me gently, and we morph into one. During our coupling, we talk, we kiss, our hands explore each other's bodies. It's the perfect end to our day.
In the morning, however, our sex is a completely different animal. It's as though our naked bodies, rubbing together all night long, have been in an extended version of foreplay—we usually awaken hungry and needy for each other. It's always hot, heavy, and aggressive. We make love every night, but we fuck each other senseless every morning. It serves to wake me up in a way coffee never could and, frankly, given a choice between a mug of coffee and fucking Edward, he wins hands down every time.
Not surprisingly, his perfect, created-to-meet-my-specifications cock is making its presence known on my backside. Edward is still asleep, and unconsciously tightens his grip on me, pulling me in closer. As always, his hand is nestled over my breast. The combination of cock-hand-spoon gets my lady business overwhelmingly over-stimulated. Need. Edward. NOW.
I lift my thigh over Edward's and reach around to place his incredibly hard cock at my entrance. Wetness is never a problem for me; just the thought of Edward's hard cock makes me go haywire. I hear Edward give out a combination moan/mumble when I place him where I so desperately need him. I turn my head to the side and whisper loudly.
"Edward? Baby? I need you to fuck me."
It takes a moment, but suddenly his grip on me tightens. Oh yeah, that woke him up!
His voice is raw and raspy. "Do you have any idea what it does to me when you use words like that to wake me up?"
"I'm hoping it makes you even harder and needing to fuck me as badly as I need to be fucked." I'm not playing any games here; I need him inside of me as much as I need oxygen to breathe.
"Fuuuck! Bella, you naughty little minx, I hope you're ready, because I'm going to fuck your brains out. Right. Now."
"Quit talking and get sexing, baby."
In one swift motion, Edward turns me over onto my stomach, tugs to raise up my hips, and slides right into me. It's amazing what a feel we have for each other's bodies; we seem to know instinctively where the other's is. We're like a finely tuned machine, completely working in tandem towards our mutual goal. Good god, what an amazing mutual goal it is! It's as though I'm making up for lost time every time we have sex; I was a horny virgin for so many years, I need to have as many years as an equally horny sex queen. Because that's exactly how Edward makes me feel: Horny and regal.
This morning, Edward chooses my favorite position, undoubtedly because he knows it will get me even more worked up than usual. There's something entirely erotic about feeling his grasp on my hips, hearing us slap together as his balls slam against me, that makes me go completely bonkers. It's animal and hot and lusty all at once.
I never let Edward get the upper hand completely during sex; while he's preoccupied with pumping into me at an incredibly fast rate, I carefully slide my knees together and cross my ankles over each other. The result is positively mind blowing for both of us. I arch my back, changing the angle of my hips, and suddenly, he hits the jackpot. His cock starts pounding over and over on top of my g-spot, and it takes about 15 seconds for me to come. It's like an explosion that arrives from out of nowhere, taking us both by surprise.
"Fuck, Bella…so fucking hot…baby, coming…" I feel his grip on my hips tighten as he releases into me.
After he finishes, he leans onto my back, sprinkling it with kisses and affectionate words. My husband is the most romantic man I've ever known, but you'd never guess that when you first get to know him. The fact that only I am privy to this side of him fills me with such love and pride.
Eventually, we collapse back onto the bed, facing each other on our sides. I nuzzle into his chest, inhaling deeply. I can never fill my senses enough when I'm with him.
He sighs and groans a little bit.
"Sweets, what's wrong? Why the deep sigh?"
"Because I have to go to the office for a board meeting today, when all I really want to do is sit here and smell your hair for a few hours, then sex you up a bit more. Do you realize how many surfaces of our house we have left unchristened? It's positively scandalous, and we need to remedy that at once. Our bed has been hogging up all of our sexing."
"Would it help you come back sooner if I tell you that I'll wait here in bed for you, naked, until you return?"
His eyes take on that dark, lusty look I love so well. "No, Bella, that would do the exact opposite; it would make me stay in bed with you all day long."
"Board meetings can be rescheduled, can't they?" I ask coyly, while planting soft kisses over his nipples.
He forces himself to disengage from me, rolling over to the edge of the mattress. I pout a little bit, and he kisses my forehead. "I really do have to get going, love, but I promise to make it up to you later."
"I'm glad to hear that; I'm feeling like we still have so much practicing to do, you know?" I grin.
"You'd better be careful what you ask for, or you might end up being too sore to walk for a few days."
"Yes, please, husband! I want to know just exactly how much sexing it takes for me to be too sore to walk. We could make it like a science experiment, with lots of trials to ensure accurate data collection."
He holds his hands up, as if in surrender. "Why don't you spend the day dreaming up all of those different experiments we're going to do, and I'll spend the day thinking of all the different ways I want to ravage you. Then tonight, we'll do them both. How does that sound?"
I cannot even answer the insanely beautiful man standing before me. I simply swallow hard and nod my head. I watch his ass as he walks out of the room; as usual, he stops in the doorway to confirm that I've been watching him and turns to give me the Full Smirky shot. Buck naked and smirking away. It takes everything within my power not to jump out of bed and attack him.
I move over to Edward's side of the bed, where it is still warm and smells of him. I nod off, only to wake up to Edward's kiss on my cheek. I pry my lids open and see his perfect face in front of me.
"Just be ready for me when I get home, my little sexual demon," he says, grinning at me.
"Just be careful what you wish for, hot stuff, because it's probably going to come true."
As I lay there, images of my husband fucking me over and over again flash through my mind. It reminds me that it's time for me to change my monthly NuvaRing. I've been on it ever since we took the Plan B pill after we had sex for the first time. It's really convenient and easy to use, and I don't need to worry about taking a pill at the same time every day. Lord knows, our schedule during film shoots is such that I would never remember to take it every day. I'm determined that when we get pregnant, it will be when we decide it's the right time.
I make my way to our bathroom and prop one of my legs on the toilet lid. I reach in to pull it out the ring out, but it isn't there. My heart stops beating for a moment.
How can it possibly not be there? Where the hell is it? Did it get lost inside of me? Jesus, only I could fuck up something as easy to use as this!
I put my fingers back in, checking once again for the ring. Nothing. Shit! Who knows how long it's been out? We've been "practicing" at least twice a day, every day. Well, I did say we had nearly reached perfection, didn't I?
My train of thought is quickly cut off by strains of Jefferson Airplane's "Go Ask Alice." I run back to the bedroom to get my phone.
"I had a dream."
Oh, sweet jesus, no!
"I'm afraid to ask. Just tell me, Alice."
"Are you pregnant, Bella?"
"God no! Why would you ask that?" Of course, I know exactly why she would ask that, but I'm still in denial, even as my heart races.
"I had a dream: Edward was holding your hand while you were in a hospital bed, you were panting, straining, swearing up a blue streak with a beet red face, and then I heard a newborn baby cry."
"Can't you just keep the scary dreams to yourself, Tiny Tim?"
"Do we need to meet for coffee? Jasper has a meeting today, so I'm pretty free."
"Um, no. I don't think I can. I have an appointment."
"Is everything okay? You don't sound so good, sweetie. Your voice is all strained."
"No, everything's fine. You just caught me off guard. Your dream didn't happen to tell you how far into the future this was going to take place, did it?"
"Come on, my dreams aren't that good! It's probably nothing, but I woke up and it felt so real, like it had just happened."
"If it just happened, I'm certainly not aware of it, pipsqueak. Gotta run. I'll talk to you later, okay?"
"Love you! Mwah!"
Okay. That's it. I'm pregnant. I know it. I didn't know how long the ring had been missing; Alice confirmed my worst fears. Looks like the universe has an altogether different plan for my reproductive organs than I do. At least it could have warned me ahead of time, you know?
I call my OB/Gyn to have an emergency exam to see where the hell that ring is. I'm scared to death it's floating around inside me somewhere.
As I sit in the waiting room for my name to be called, everywhere I look there are babies. Pregnant women, babies being toted around in car seats, brochures, posters, you name it; it's all right here in front of me. Panic has definitely taken hold.
When my name is called, it seems to reverberate throughout the waiting room. I feel like I've been called to the Executioner. I pee in a cup, get my hemoglobin level checked, and I'm whisked off into a room where I'm forced to don a paper gown that covers the top half of my body, and a small paper sheet to cover my lower half. I'm freezing to death. The combination of fear and discomfort makes this place about one step above going to the dentist. In my world, that's not a good thing.
Dr. Meyers comes in, and she is instantly calms me down; she has a very soothing energy. She sits down at the table to ask me some questions.
"So, Isabella, you're here because you had a 'birth control malfunction'?" She reads from her notes.
"It's Bella. Uh, yeah, I went to take my ring out this morning and it wasn't there."
"Okay. When was the last time you knew it was in place?"
"When I put it in?"
"Hmm. Well, that doesn't give us much to go by, I'm afraid. Now, it's very rare for the ring to become displaced, but it can happen when you use a tampon, if you have really rough sex, or when you poop."
My doctor just used the word "poop." I'd giggle if I weren't so grateful for her not using the word "stool" or—the masterpiece of horrid words—"bowel movement."
"At any rate, let's have a check to see that it truly has been displaced, and we'll go from there."
As she warms her hands and inserts the metal clampie-thingy, we make small talk. She asks me how long I've been married, how much I've been having sex, the usual. When I explain to her exactly how often we hump like bunnies, she murmurs, "Well, that will certainly increase your chances."
"Increase my chances for what?"
"To get pregnant."
She finishes up with her exam. "There was no ring embedded anywhere. The most likely scenario is that it fell out, sometime within the past few weeks. I suggest we do a pregnancy test. Have you felt any symptoms?"
"I don't think so. I just feel like I'm going to get my period soon. My boobs are pretty tender."
"The first signs of pregnancy are often similar to those of your period, but to a greater degree. Then there is the nausea, of course. At any rate, let's take the test and see what we need to do next."
I'm back to sitting in the cold room, but at least I get to put my real clothes back on. As I wait for the nurse to come get me, I start to process what it would mean to be pregnant. I'm a little bummed out that it's happening so soon. I wanted a lot of time to get to know Edward, do interesting things, and to simply enjoy each other. Still, the thought of a mini Edward growing inside my belly makes me giddy, if I'm truly honest with myself. I think Edward will probably be pretty excited about it. Esme and Carlisle will be positively over the moon; I don't think they ever expected to have grandchildren, with the way Edward had closed himself off in the past. I cannot even imagine how thrilled they will be. I smile at that thought. While it would have been nice to have everything planned out, life doesn't always happen that way; you have to take what you're given. Since my equation already includes Edward Cullen, I really have nothing to complain about. I'll take it willingly.
The nurse takes me to the bathroom and explains how to work the test. I do my work, and, sure enough, the little plus sign shows up.
Holy hell, I'm pregnant! Really, truly pregnant!
The doctor quickly calculates when they baby is due: June 18th. Two days before Edward's birthday. I feel a total thrill run through me, knowing that our baby will always celebrate its birth around the same time as my husband. Once more, it feels like fate has intervened.
Suddenly, I'm grinning like the Cheshire Cat. I can't wait to tell Edward. I pull out my phone as I'm exiting the office, still clenching the pregnancy test wand. I stop while I'm in motion; I'm inspired by a great idea. I text Edward to see if he is still at the office; I'm in luck—he is.
I drive to the Masen headquarters, trying very hard to contain my excitement and to act as normally as possible. I talk with Mrs. Cope, then make my way to Edward's office. He's on the phone, so I stand in the doorway. His back is towards me, but he slowly turns around. A huge smirk blooms on his face as he finishes his conversation.
"Baby, I told you I would sex you up a thousand ways until Sunday when I got home. What's wrong? Couldn't you wait that long?" He gives me his signature smirk, and I want to kiss it right off his face. God, I love this man!
I walk swiftly over to his desk and jump into his lap. "You and that ego of yours. You'd think you were god's gift to women," I say, pointing my finger into his chest to emphasize every word.
"No, not all women, just my woman," he says as he slaps my ass.
I can't resist. I lean in for one of his illegally good kisses. For the first time ever, it seems, I break the kiss first. I lean over and whisper into his ear, "I have a surprise for you."
His smirk becomes a degree sexier, if that is even possible. "Oh? What is the surprise, you naughty girl?" He cups my ass again. I try hard to stay focused on my task, but Edward makes it so difficult, sometimes.
I stand up, holding the wand behind my back. "Guess which hand."
That elicits a groan from Edward. "Can't you just show me?"
I shake my head vigorously. "No. Absolutely not. You have to guess."
"Okay. Left hand."
I quickly shift the wand to my left hand and pull it around to the front. It is lying on my palm, face up, with the "+" sign clearly visible.
"What…" he says, looking at the object with a mixture of confusion and curiosity; I see the realization dawn slowly on his face. He turns white as a ghost.
"Bella? Is this what I think it is?"
"Yes, Edward. We're going to have a baby."
He looks at me, mouth agape, saying nothing. I'm starting to get very concerned the longer he goes without speaking. Without warning, he grabs me and kisses me with more passion than I've ever experienced before.
"I love you so fucking much, Bella Cullen! We're going to have a baby!"
He grabs my arm and pulls me out of his office.
"Everyone! I need everyone here at once!"
Mrs. Cope scrambles from office to office to gather everyone.
Esme is one of the first to arrive. She gives me a big hug and kiss, like she always does. As she moves away from me, Edward flashes the "+" sign in her face. She looks wholly confused, not understanding what it is. Clearly, she hasn't had to take a pregnancy test for a while.
"Mom! Bella's PREGNANT!"
Esme glances between both Edward and me, as if looking for confirmation that she isn't dreaming. "Really? Are you sure?"
"I just came from the OB's office, Esme. Yes, we're sure. I'm pregnant."
She screams out loud and embraces us simultaneously. "I'm going to be a grandma!"
By now, the rest of the office has gathered, and some of them have an inkling of what's going on. For those who don't, Edward makes an impromptu announcement.
"Everyone, the newest member of the Cullen family will give birth to the newest member of the Cullen family! My adorable, beautiful, wonderful, perfect wife is pregnant!"
There are words of hearty congratulations all around. I meet Jasper's eyes, and his look suggests that this isn't a total surprise.
"Alice told you about her dream, didn't she?"
He laughs. "Yes, she did, but I kind of shrugged it off. Looks like I underestimated her talents."
"Over the years, I've learned to always pay attention to Alice's dreams. The last one she had was about my meeting Edward, and it really did happen. The very same day."
"You'd better call her, you know, or she'll be mighty put out that she was the first and the last to know!"
"Oh my god, you're right! I completely got carried away by Edward's enthusiasm."
I interrupt Edward's conversation with Esme. "Sweets, I need to call Alice, and you need to tell Carlisle, too."
He gives me an unexpectedly tender kiss. "Why don't you call her from my office, and Esme and I can call my Dad from her office?"
"Kay!" I say, running off to his office. I feel terrible that I haven't thought to tell her. This day is just weird and wild; I can hardly keep things straight. I dial Alice's number.
"So I was right, huh?"
"Oh my god, Alice, how did you know?"
"You sounded so off this morning, I sensed that something was up and you just weren't spilling the beans. I figured you were calling me for a reason."
"I can't believe you told Jasper, you know. What if I hadn't been pregnant?"
"First of all, Bella, it was a dream. They don't always come true. Second of all, he's my fiancé! Who else am I supposed to tell? I mean, besides you, of course."
"It's okay, I get it. I'm still kind of shell-shocked, I must admit. I cannot believe it happened!"
"When are you due? Have you told Charlie yet?"
"Oh god, I totally forgot about Charlie. Shit, I need to call him. Um, it's due June 18th."
"You're going to have two Geminis to deal with, you know. They can be tricksters."
I can't help but laugh. Trust Alice to already have the horoscopes ready. "Hey peanut, I really need to call Charlie. I'll catch up with you later, and we'll go over everything. Okay?"
"Love you, Bells! I can't wait for my godson to arrive!"
"Wait, Alice, wha?..." I'm talking to dead air. She hung up. Please don't tell me she found out the gender of my child, too!
While I very much would love to have Edward next to me for moral support while I call my Dad, I know this is best handled on my own. Charlie has been so supportive of my relationship with Edward, going along with our whirlwind romance and incredibly brief engagement. The last thing I want is for him to suspect that we had to get married. Even though the timing is such that I clearly got pregnant on our honeymoon, I just know that's the first place his mind will go. Once again, I am forced to call him in the middle of the day to give him some surprising news.
"Bella! Is everything okay? You never call me during the day…"
"Yes, Dad, everything is fine. I do have a surprise for you though, which is why I called."
"Are you already coming home?"
"Charlie! Of course not!" I hear his laughter in the background, but still. Not funny. "Okay, wise guy, I'm going to make this difficult for you now. You'll just have to find out through the gossip mags."
"Aw, come on, kiddo! I was just having some fun. What's the news?"
"How do you feel about becoming a grandpa?"
"Well, that depends on when I'll be becoming a grandpa. Something tells me that it's going to be sooner rather than later."
"You're right. I'm pregnant."
I hear my dad gulp. All I hear for a few moments is his breathing. Shit, he's disappointed. I can't deal with my Dad being disappointed, I just can't.
"Dad? You okay?"
"Bells, you just made me the happiest man in the world, and I don't have the words to describe how I feel. You make me so damn proud, all the time."
His voice cracks as he finishes his last sentence, which makes me start to tear up. Now it's my turn to swallow hard.
"Thanks. You know how much I love you, right? I can't imagine where I would be without your influence; I will always be grateful that Renee chose to leave us, because our lives were better off without her craziness. Speaking of Renee, we only found out I was pregnant today, so we should probably keep it quiet for a little while. I want to wait as long as possible before she finds out, because you know she will find out."
"I'm actually going to encourage you not to even think about that, because it will drive you crazy. Trust me, I know from experience."
Charlie's voice suddenly sounds so sad and alone; when I focus on my own issues with Renee, it's easy to forget that she was once the love of his life. I'm reminded of how devastated he was over that loss. It is only recently I've seen him start to move forward, away from his decades-long grief. It is equal parts heartbreaking and disgusting to admit Renee's capacity for wreaking havoc on the hearts of everyone she touches. Charlie is right; I just need to let sleeping dogs lie; no point in worrying about something that can be neither controlled nor resolved.
I heave a big sigh. "I know. The restraining order is in place, she's long gone, and she can't say anything to the media, unless she wants to go to jail. Still, I find myself always on edge waiting for the moment she's going to arrive. I know that I need to focus on the baby and Edward now; I don't have any room left in my life or my heart for zero sum relationships."
"That's the attitude you need! You have to live your life as though she isn't a part of it, because she really isn't anymore. You're an incredibly strong person and you're going to be an incredible mother. That little one is going to be so lucky to have you and Edward as parents."
Charlie is a man who is rather terse. He is both reserved and private. Putting so much emotion into his words catches me off guard; it is unexpected. I understand implicitly the importance of his meaning—I am not my mother.
"Thank you, Dad. Your reassurance and support mean the world to me. I was a little worried that you would be disappointed."
"Bella, how could I ever be disappointed in you? You've always, ALWAYS exceeded my expectations. You've taken every bump life has given you and turned it into an opportunity. Think about all you went through with Renee, then when Alice's folks died, when you helped her to open the Café, even your choice of Edward. You've got a good head on your shoulders and you're nothing like your mother. You're going to be fine no matter what comes along. Is that clear?"
"Yeah, it's clear. I should probably get going. I'll be in touch to let you know how everything is going."
"Aren't you forgetting something?"
He catches me totally off guard. "Huh?"
"Exactly when will be become a grandpa?"
"Oh, yeah, I totally forgot! Sorry! Um, the baby is due June 18th. Right before Edward's birthday."
"And right around Father's Day! Looks like you're going to have busy Junes for the rest of your life!"
I laugh. He's totally right; I have my work cut out for me, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
"Gotta go, Dad. Talk to you soon, okay?"
"Sure thing, kiddo. Thanks for the call."
I hang up the phone and wander around to find Edward and Esme. They're still in her office, having an animated conversation. When he sees me in the doorway, he walks quickly over to my side and wraps his arms around my waist. I'm surprised when Esme joins me at my other side.
"You have no idea how happy you've made Carlisle and me, sweetheart!" she says, giving me a kiss. "When is the happy event going to take place?"
"The baby is due on June 18th."
Edward's answering grin is beautiful. "Maybe he'll wait until the 20th, and we can celebrate together every year."
"What makes you think it's a boy? I have a strange feeling it will be a girl."
"We're going to find out before hand, right? So we'll know what kind of nursery to prepare?"
I feel myself frown. "No, Edward, we're definitely not going to find out the gender ahead of time! If I have to suffer through hours of labor, I want something to look forward to at the end. Plus, it's like opening a Christmas gift early. The surprise is half the fun."
I see Edward furrow his brow. "How about if I find out and you don't?"
I slap his arm playfully. "Absolutely not! You know that it will come out by accident at some point; I genuinely do not want to know. Okay? Am I clear on that?"
He gives me a sweet kiss and carefully replies, "Yes, baby, you're very clear."
I mutter, "Wise answer," and kiss him back.
Esme has been quiet for a few minutes. I look over at her, wondering the reason for her silence.
"Esme? Are you all right?" I ask her gently.
"Hmm? Oh, yes dear, I'm fine. I was just doing some math."
"Math?" I look at her, confused.
"Yes, mother dearest, it was conceived on our honeymoon."
I feel my face flush in response.
Edward cups my face between his hands, rubbing his thumbs over my cheekbones. "Blushing, Bella? Nothing to be embarrassed about! I think it is perfect." He gives me a sweet kiss on my lips. "But I think it is time for us to go home. I don't want you to get too worn down."
"Edward, I'm only about 4 weeks pregnant…it's too early for me to get worn down." No sooner than I say that, I start to get light-headed. My knees buckle and Edward holds me up.
"Famous last words, love. Let's go."
My mouth gapes open, ready to rebut his request. His hand is at my mouth in a flash.
"Don't even start, Bella Cullen. That's my baby you're carrying around in there, and it is precious cargo. We're going home."
All I can do is smile at him—already so protective of both me and his child. I love that side of him. "Yes, dear. May I drive myself home, or will that be simply too dangerous an undertaking?" I'm teasing him, of course.
"I didn't think of that. I'll just have Jasper drive your car for you."
"Edward! I was just kidding! Being pregnant doesn't make me handicapped for god's sake!"
He turns to whisper in my ear. "I know, love, but I want to have you all to myself as soon as possible. Remember, we have that arrangement we agreed upon earlier."
I feel my knees buckle again, but this time it is for a completely different reason. I whisper back to him, "Yes, please!" which causes Mr. Smirky to return.
"I've made an executive decision that we are ordering in tonight. What will it be, my lovely wife?"
"Thai sounds really good, actually."
"Then Thai you shall have, love."
I realized that I'm absolutely famished by the time dinner arrives. Edward dishes it up for me, and we sit down to eat. I hungrily attack my first bite. Suddenly, and without any warning, I'm eating the most disgusting food ever. I spit it out and run to the bathroom, swiftly barfing up a lung in the process. Edward is right behind me, holding my hair out of the way. That is true love right there, holding someone when they hurl. True dedication.
"Are you all right, Bella? Do I need to call your doctor?" he asks me, worriedly.
"I'll be fine, baby. Women have survived with nausea during pregnancy for centuries. Maybe I should just stick to saltines or something bland. Anything without a strong smell associated with it."
"How about some toast?"
"I'll do it. Why don't you go finish your dinner?"
"Love, how am I supposed to take care of you if you won't let me?"
"Baby, it isn't like I broke my leg! I'm just pregnant, and I can deal with this."
The concern on his face is evident. "You have to remember you're not on your own anymore. We're in this together; we're having a baby together. You have to let me help, it is the only thing I can do while you do the work of growing our child."
"You know what? You're absolutely right. Old habits die hard—you know how independent I am. I need to get used to the fact that there's two of us here to make decisions. I don't do it on purpose; I'll try to do a better job. Sorry."
He kisses me gently on the forehead. "That's all I can ask of you. Why don't you go to our room, and I'll bring you some toast. That way, you don't have to go past the ruins that was once our meal."
"That's really thoughtful of you, baby. I'll meet you in bed."
"If you weren't feeling so awful, those words would have me very wound up, you know."
"Like I said, I'll see you in bed," is my coy response.
Edward and I are coiled up in bed, and his hand is resting on my belly. It's funny, ever since he found out I was pregnant, his hand hovers over that area of my body constantly. It's so sweet, like he is being unconsciously protective of our baby. I love that. He's been incredible about our accident, taking the entire thing in stride. It's almost as if it's too perfect—I keep waiting for the shoe to drop, because that's just how my life always seems to play out. I'm good at waiting for imagined disasters. Without meaning to, I heave a deep sigh. I feel Edward's hand start to rub my belly, soothing me.
"I'm almost afraid to ask the origin of that deep sigh, but I'll delude myself and imagine that it's due to a deep, abiding sense of love and happiness."
That makes me giggle. "How do you understand me so well, Edward? How did I ever get so lucky?"
Apparently, Mr. Smirky has decided to make an appearance. "I think it had something to do with some rather sticky buns, a Snarky shrew that I couldn't resist, and who also couldn't keep her hands off my goods."
"Smirky, there is plenty of room in the guest room bed, you know. Just saying."
He laughs as he kisses my forehead, but I take a moment to be serious and share what's on my mind.
"I'm just thinking about our accidental pregnancy, and how you've been okay with it from the moment I told you. It's weird, because most guys would have totally freaked out or left me in the dust."
He looks at me with the most sincere expression on his face. "You should know by now that I'm not like most guys; I suspect that is one of the reasons you love me. I guess my reaction is really because I never expected anything that I have right now—your love, a baby, a family. I always thought it was unattainable for me. The only women I ever dated were such sycophants, interested in my fame or my money, not in me as a person. But you? You've never been remotely interested in that aspect of my life. In fact, it's almost like you eschewed it, and it kept you away from me. Somehow, the moment I realized that I was in love with you, the puzzle pieces of my life fell into place right in front of me. I always longed for what my parents have—an incredible bond in their marriage, a happy, cohesive family—but I never had any hope of achieving that with any of my previous relationships. When I met you, suddenly my possibilities were endless. While we never planned to have a baby right now, it has always been in our plans. How could I ever be disappointed in something as unimportant as timing? We have all the resources we could ever want at our fingertips in terms of family and money—we can manage a baby easily. Of course I'm ecstatic! Our love is now growing inside of you; it's wonderful and amazing, just like you."
By the time Edward finishes his words, tears are falling from my eyes in earnest. Just when I think I can't possibly love him more, he comes up with something that deepens my love for him immeasurably. This man is my life, and the fact that we are creating a new life together fills me with so much joy and satisfaction, I'm certain I will burst.
My eyes flutter open, and find myself snuggled into Edward. He's leaning against his pillows, reading, his hand lazily stroking my hair. My head is resting on his chest, so he's doing his best to balance his book while allowing me to be as comfortable as I am able at this stage of the game. I didn't think it was possible to get this large, but apparently, I was wrong. Ugh. Two more months to go, and it's only going to get worse. Dammit. Then I realize why I woke up in the first place—I need to pee. Again. This is getting really old. I groan and roll away from my husband, and make my way for the bathroom.
When I get back to the bedroom, I take in Edward's form. He's in nothing but boxer briefs, and his long, lean legs are stretched out. He's holding his book with one hand, running his fingers through his hair with the other. I grin to myself, because he does that all the time, unconsciously, and it is so sexy. He has no idea how fucking hot he is. All he has to do is look at me and I want him. Oh, let's be honest. He doesn't even need to look at me—I simply want him all the time. My eyes scan his form, following his beautiful happy trail, stopping where it disappears into the waistband of his boxers. That leads me to focus on his junk. I can see the outline of his cock, his achingly beautiful cock, and I think my mouth starts to water. I need the junk. STAT.
Edward looks up from his book, because apparently I've been standing there, staring at him, for an unusual amount of time.
"Bella? Are you all right?"
I don't answer him, I rush over to the bed instead. In one quick motion, I remove his book from his hands and place it on the bedside table. I straddle him, taking his face into my hands, and kiss him with conviction. I don't meet any resistance. He knows well enough by now that resistance is futile when you're living with a horny pregnant woman. You submit willingly, or be damned. Frankly, he hasn't complained once about my attacking him.
Although my hugely pregnant belly is in the way, I still can't help but move my hips over him, sliding over his now wonderfully erect cock. Hmm, layers of clothing in the way. Must get rid of all clothing.
I stand up, towering over Edward, and slide off my underwear. I point to his boxers, and he swiftly removes them without being asked. God, I love this man!
His beautiful erection hovers below me, and I get back on my knees in front of him. I grasp the base of his incredibly hard cock and give it a squeeze. He groans and shifts his hips in response. Good boy!
I swirl my tongue around the tip of his penis, s-l-o-w-l-y savoring its slick smoothness. Again, I am rewarded with a groan and thrust of his hips. I move to take in all of his length, appreciating how good he feels in my mouth. I love driving my husband crazy this way. I pause when he reaches the back of my throat, and he knows what comes next. He whimpers, which only encourages me more. Slowly, I stroke my tongue up and down the hard center of his shaft, while still squeezing the base of his cock. His hips always thrust when I do that, and it is so fucking hot. I feel him weave his elegantly long fingers into my hair, subtly guiding me up and down. The noises I tease out of him only serve to get me more worked up.
I stop what I'm doing and return to straddling him, so his cock is positioned between my slick lips. When he feels how wet he makes me, it always evokes a moan, which turns me into a full-fledged sex maniac. I can't get enough of him, ever. He pulls my face roughly into him, kissing me with passion and raw lust. He puts his hands on my hips, coaxing me onto his hard cock. The minute my pussy is flush with the base of his shaft, we both groan.
"Fuck, Bella, do you have any idea what you do to me?"
"Um, yes, I think I have an idea."
Using his hands on my hips, he starts gliding me up and down his cock.
"Jesus, you feel so good. You get so wet for me."
I'm starting to breathe harder. "Can't keep myself away from your cock. Need it always."
His hands move from my hips to my breasts, which are getting so huge it's ridiculous.
"Ungh, baby, your tits…" his delicious fingers start pinching my nipples, which are quickly replaced by his tongue. As he swirls that wicked good tongue around my nipple, I'm gone. My orgasm bursts forth out of nowhere, strong and hard. Ever since I've been pregnant, I can orgasm at the drop of a hat. I always push him over the edge when I cum, and he's right behind me.
"Fuck, Bella…so hot!"
Spent, I collapse on top of him, and we catch our breath.
"Remind me to keep you pregnant for the next twenty years."
"Why in god's name would you say that?"
"Because I never want to say goodbye to my horny, pregnant wife. It drives me crazy when you can't keep your hands off of me," he smirks.
"Just be careful what you wish for, because it just might happen."
"Then my dick will die a happy death."
"Edward, if you kill off that superb cock of yours, it's a deal breaker. Just so you know."
He lifts up my face and kisses me hard. "God, I love you!"
After a few minutes, we slow down, kissing more gently, and his hands start to roam over my big belly. The baby starts to move under Edward's touch.
"I love feeling him move after we've been together. It's as though he can sense how much we love each other, and can't wait to meet us."
"Just remember, it's probably a girl."
"No, it's a boy. I'm sure of it."
"I'm going to be so happy to prove you wrong, you know."
"Alice thinks it's a boy."
"She could be wrong."
"Mmm, I don't think so. I'm going with Alice on this one."
I'm standing in our baby's nursery, checking to make sure everything is ready. I've been nesting for several weeks now, driving Edward crazy. He just doesn't get it—I need for everything to be ready. It isn't like my normal, anally retentive ways; this is something entirely stronger. It's like an instinct left over from our ancestors, back when we were still cave people.
I check to make sure the diapers and wipes are set up on the changing table, that the sheets are perfectly spread out on the crib, and that all the clothes are folded and in place in their drawers. I sigh. Yes, it's ready.
Lost in my thoughts, I don't hear Edward sneak in behind me. He wraps his arms around me, with his hands on my belly. The baby shifts under his touch. The shift causes its head to hit my bladder, and its legs to kick my ribs. I groan with discomfort.
"Are you all right, baby? Is there anything I can do for you?" He kisses my neck sweetly.
"You can get this baby delivered, thank you very much. I'm about four weeks past ready at this point!"
"I wish I could help you out…I hate it that you have to be so uncomfortable."
"I'll live, sweets. I would love to be able to see my toes again."
"I assure you, they are just as cute and adorable as ever."
"Let's go lie down for a minute, okay? The nursery is fine. It has been fine every time you've looked at it in the past month. Nothing has changed."
"I can't believe we didn't have to buy anything for the baby yet. We are so spoiled."
"You know my parents were so thrilled to be able to surprise you with the nursery furniture and design. You aren't an easy person to surprise!"
"I've had so many baby showers it's ridiculous. I don't think I will ever get used to people's generosity when you're famous."
"Come on, love, let's lay down." He takes my hand and gently leads me across the hall to our bedroom.
The minute I collapse onto the bed, I see the wisdom of my husband's suggestion. I sink down, feeling instantly relaxed. Since I can no longer lie on my back or my stomach, I move onto my side, and feel Edward spoon in behind me, hand over my pregnant belly.
As is usually the case whenever we spoon, Edward has risen to the occasion. He starts to plant soft kisses on my neck, and I'm gone. I reach behind me to start unfastening his fly. He quickly does the rest.
"Baby, please just slide into me. I need you so much." I'm suddenly overwhelmed with my love and passion for this man. My feelings are all over the place these days, and I simply need to have him; I feel empty without him inside me.
Gently, he moves my panties to the side and glides easily into me.
"So wet for me, aren't you love?"
"Always, baby. I always want you."
He moves in me slowly, holding my pregnant belly. It's divine.
But then, suddenly, it is not divine. I feel a cramp seize me.
"Ungh, Edward! Stop!"
"What is it, love?"
I stumble out of bed and waddle off to the bathroom, holding my belly. Edward follows close behind.
"Bella? Please, tell me what's wrong!"
Fuck. Another one.
I grab the towel bar and pee all over the floor.
"Shit! Oh my god, Edward, I just peed!"
I look down at my legs, and they are covered in clear fluid with streaks of blood.
"Do I need to call the doctor? Please, Bella, tell me what's going on!"
Then it dawns on me—everything I've read, the Lamaze classes—it floods back to me.
My water just broke.
"My water broke! It's time!"
"Really?! Shit, um, okay. Bag, I'll grab your bag. We'll go to the hospital."
"Fuck the bag, Edward! I need a towel!"
"Oh, right, a towel. Sorry, love."
While he cleans me up, another cramp hits. It's more intense than the last one. I grunt.
"Baby, I'm so sorry! What can I do?"
"Clean clothes. I need clean clothes."
He takes me by the hand and escorts me to the bedroom. He stands in front of the dresser, zoned out.
"Edward? Clothes?" Nothing.
I let go of his hand and grab a few things. When I bend over to put on my underwear, another cramp hits, and I groan. That brings Edward back to life.
"Sweetie, why don't you call your mom and dad to let them know? I'll just grab my bag, then we can leave."
I make my way to the nursery, and hear Edward babbling on to Esme. I smile, until another cramp knocks it clean off my face.
Edward wraps his arm around me and walks me to the car. The hospital isn't far, but you'd think my husband just became an EMT with the way he's driving.
"Sweets, this isn't a race; you can stop driving like a Cullen."
He gives me a panicked smile. "If ever there was a time to drive like a Cullen, Bella, now is that time."
He's so freaking…CRAMP! CRAMP!
"We're almost there, love. Hang on."
I almost wonder if he is trying to reassure himself, he looks so worried.
We make it up to Labor and Delivery with no problem. We have a private suite prearranged, because we know the fucking paparazzi will descend like flies the minute they catch wind of my imminent delivery.
The nurse gets a gown for me to change into and goes to get the monitoring equipment. She comes in with Dr. Meyers, who instantly makes me feel better. She is so calm and collected, acting like this is just another routine day. Well, except for her it is. For me, the panic has set in.
I'm having a fucking baby and it hurts already. I can't do this. I cannot fucking do this.
"So your water broke Ms. Cullen? Let's just check and see how much you're dilated."
She sticks her gloved hand up my cooter and pokes around. OUCH!
"What exactly are you doing down there that feels so damn uncomfortable?"
She places a hand on my thigh to reassure me. Strangely, I do feel calmer. "I need to see how ripe your cervix is. It needs to not only dilate, but also get thinner, before the baby can be born. You're dilated to a three, but your cervix still needs to be more effaced."
"Thinned out. The goal is full effacement."
"The nurse will hook up a monitor so we can keep track of the baby's heart rate and vital signs. I suggest you settle in."
"Um, how, exactly does one settle into labor?"
She just smiles and leaves the room.
"Edward! I can't settle into labor! We've talked about this!"
He sits on the bed next to me, kissing me and stroking my hair. "You need to try to relax, Bella. All we can do is wait and work through it."
"I'm scared. I don't think I can do this. In fact, I'm sure I can't do this. It hurts too much. FUCK!" Another contraction hits me.
Edward just keeps soothing me, making suggestions to keep my mind off of the real reason I'm here.
"Do you want to watch a movie, love? Anything you want."
"NO! I do not want to fucking watch a movie! How the hell am I supposed to watch a movie when it feels like an elephant is stepping on my abdomen?!"
Before long, Alice and Esme arrive at the hospital, and that makes me feel remotely better. Right when they come into the room, I have a huge contraction that makes me throw up all over the bed.
Jesus fucking Christ on a gurney, do you have to take away every last shred of dignity I possess? Seriously?
Edward's face turns a bit green, and he volunteers to find the nurse. I'm positively mortified to have hurled on my best friend and my mother-in-law.
The nurse returns with Edward, carrying clean linens and a new hospital gown in her arms. They work together to get me up to the bathroom. I notice a whirlpool tub in there, and it sounds heavenly.
"Oh my god, that's perfect! I would love a soothing whirlpool bath."
"Oh, honey, I can't let you take a bath now that you're water is broken. It is a potential source of infection for the baby."
"Then why in Christ's name did you wave it in front of me, taunting me with its promise of soothing jets of warm water! You people are masochists!"
I hear everyone in the room burst out in laughter, but I see nothing funny about a taunting whirlpool. I growl at everyone.
The nurse cleans me up and helps me into a new gown, then leads me back to the bed.
Just as I sit down, another contraction hits, along with another case of Tourette's.
"JESUS MOTHERFUCKING CHRIST!"
Again, everyone laughs, but I fail to find any humor in the situation.
I turn to Edward, pleading with him.
"Baby, you know I can't do this. I can try to relax until I'm blue in the face, but I can't do it. I'm physically incapable of relaxing even on my good days, and we both know this isn't one of my good days! Please, sweetie, hit me over the head and render me unconscious. Just until the baby arrives. I'm begging you!"
"Are you ready for an epidural, love?"
"Hell, yes! Isn't that what I've been trying to tell everyone?"
Once again, Edward leaves to get the nurse. Once again, she gloves up and reaches up into my cooter.
"Jesus, it's like we're having a rummage sale, and everyone has to come test to merchandise! I didn't realize I was going to sign away my dignity at the door."
The nurse laughs at me. "Sweetie, there is absolutely nothing private about having a baby! Get used to it. You're going to have more strangers check out your vagina than a porn movie!"
The nurse pokes around in me, and tells me that I'm a four, and partially effaced. I'm far enough along that I can have an epidural. PRAISE JESUS!
An hour and a half later, I'm still waiting for my fucking epidural. I've ceased with the grunts, growls, and groans, and have progressed to outright screams. Edward looks so worried and upset every time I scream, but I can't help it. It flies out of my lungs without warning. I have no control over my body anymore—it is on automatic pilot. I don't want automatic pilot, I want to be steering the goddamned plane! NOW!
The Tourette's gets progressively worse as well. I'm contracting and squeezing the life out of Edward's hand, when a slew of swear words that rivals the Exorcist spews out of my mouth.
"I don't fucking goddamn motherfucking care what he's doing, get that asshole motherfucker anesthesiologist's ass in here fucking NOW!! I NEED A FUCKING EPIDURAL!!!"
I hear someone clear their throat. "Oh, you rang?" It's the anesthesiologist.
I didn't think it was possible to blush while in labor, but I was wrong. Even though I have beads of sweat clinging to my forehead, I feel the blush spread over my entire face.
A bit sheepishly, I apologize for my outburst. "Oh, I'm sorry. This is just really bad, and I need meds. Badly. Now."
"Strange, I hear that a lot from my pregnant patients."
He has me sit on the side of the bed and lean over, so my spinal column is in position for the needle. He cleans off my back with antiseptic and gets his needle ready.
"Wait! I'm going to puke!" I grab the bucket and puke for the 100th time.
"Are you finished?"
"How the hell am I supposed to know? My body isn't exactly taking orders at this point. I ceded control hours ago."
"This is going to sting, Mrs. Cullen. 1-2-3…" OUCH! Surprisingly, it wasn't as bad as the contractions. All of a sudden, it's like a black veil is dropped over me.
I hear an alarm whine in the background and everything smells funny. I open my eyes to find myself lying in the bed with about ten faces staring at me, looking panicked. Dr. Meyers enters the room, bellowing out orders to the nurse. They push Edward aside, and my hand loses contact with him.
"NO! I need Edward!"
"The patient is awake, Dr. Meyers."
"What are the baby's vitals?"
"Heart rate has returned to normal."
Once again, I feel someone rifling around downstairs.
"Well, Mrs. Cullen, I have good news. You are now dilated to ten and are fully effaced."
"How did that happen? I was just at four before the epidural."
"Apparently, the minute we took away the pain, your body was able to relax. You dilated and effaced instantly. That's why you passed out; your blood pressure crashed for a moment, along with the baby's heart rate. Everything is fine now."
Edward speaks for the first time in hours. "What do you mean 'everything is fine now?' My baby's heart rate plummeted, how can that be all right? My wife passed out in front of me! Nothing appears to be fine now!"
"I assure you, Mr. Cullen, this kind of thing is actually pretty routine. We've been monitoring the baby the entire time, and it is fine. Look, you can see its vital signs right here; they are exactly where we expect them to be. It was just a brief moment where its
vitals were a concern. The good news is that now your wife can start to push, so you're going to have a baby very soon!"
"Wait, what was that you said about pushing? I can't feel anything below my chest. How the hell am I supposed to push?"
"Well, that's one of the side effects of the epidural, it makes it harder to push. But you're ready, the baby is ready, and you need to get into pushing mode!"
Esme and Alice have been quietly supportive from the corner of the room, but I hear Alice squeal the minute she hears the nurse say the words, 'ready to push'."
"Bella! You're having a baby!"
"Yes, Alice, I am aware of that. I'm not sure how, though, because I feel like my lower parts are made of Jell-O."
I feel Edwards's kiss on my forehead, and I turn to kiss him on the lips. Despite all my puking, sweating, and swearing, he is right there, holding my hand, willing me to move forward. In that moment, drenched in his love, I feel my resolve suddenly take shape.
I squeeze his hand and smile. Quietly, I say to him, "Are you ready to have a baby?"
He presses a wet washcloth into my forehead. "So ready, love. You can do this. You're the strongest woman I know."
I turn to the nurse. "Right. Let's get this done. This baby is coming whether it wants to or not!"
The nurse instructs me to grab my knees, flexing my hips open. I start to push, at least I think I'm pushing, but the nurse corrects me afterwards.
"Honey, this isn't like holding your breath kind of pushing. You need to use your lower abdominal muscles. Pretend you need to poop."
As if this isn't mortifying enough—I've have the entire hospital in and out of my vadge, I've puked, I've peed, and now I need to poop? Really? This is bordering on macabre. I decide, however, that I don't care, because I want to have this baby. I am resolved to having this baby. So, if I need to pretend like I'm pooping, I will fucking pretend I have to poop. I don't care anymore. This baby is coming.
I'm pushing as hard as I possibly can. I'm panting, and sweating, and swearing. My hands keep slipping off of my legs, they are so slick with perspiration. The entire time I push, Edward is in my ear, murmuring encouragements, giving me kisses, cheering me on. Neither puke, nor pee, nor poop has scared him away, so he clearly loves me beyond reason.
"Bella, do you mind if I go down to see our baby's head?"
I'm breathing to hard to use words. I simply nod my head up and down. I'm completely unprepared for Edward's response to seeing a bit of our baby. He starts to cry and shake.
"Bella, love, this is the most amazing thing I've ever seen. He has a beautiful head of dark hair, just like you! You're doing such a wonderful job, baby! He's almost here to meet us!"
I'm moved incredibly by Edward's display of emotions, but I've had it with his believing he knows the gender of our baby. "For god's sake, Edward, it isn't here yet! We don't know that it is a boy!"
Alice pipes up to answer. "It's a boy, Bella. Trust me. It is."
Now that just pisses me off. I don't want to know the gender yet; I don't want anyone else to think they know the gender yet, dammit! I'm now determined to get this baby out once and for all, in order to prove everyone wrong.
I start to push as if my life depends upon it. I flex my hips as far as they will go, and grunt like Monica Seles during a tennis match. I scream, I strain, I push that baby as hard as I am able. Dr. Meyers suddenly tells me to stop pushing.
STOP?! What the fuck?! I scream my response to her. "How the hell am I supposed to stop? I can't stop!"
"Bella, we need to suction out it's nose and mouth. You have to stop for a minute."
I look up and see Edward looking at me, and his face is so filled with love and adoration, I'm struck dumb for a minute. It just so happens that I pause at exactly the right moment. I feel the next contraction start, and Dr. Meyers gives me the all clear.
I give one final, loud, bellowing scream, and feel the pressure break. My baby popped out in one additional push, into the doctor's arms.
"Mrs. Cullen, you have a baby boy!"
Oh jeebus, I will never live this down! They were right!
I hear Edward's voice first, thick with emotion and love. "Bella, love, he is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen!"
Esme and Alice are crying, looking at my beautiful baby. Edward is crying. I'm crying. I just want to meet my baby boy, hold him, and stop his cries. I don't care if he is just born, my very first instinct is to soothe away his tears. Edward cuts the baby's umbilical cord, and the nurse places him on my chest. He sounds like a foghorn, he is crying so plaintively.
I pull him close to me, kissing his little forehead. I whisper to him, "I'm so glad you're here, baby. We've been waiting for you!" He stops crying, and looks over at me, as if he is trying to remember who I am. "I love you, little baby," I coo. He continues to look at me, so seriously.
I hear the nurse break in. "He is going to be a remarkable little boy. I can already tell."
I'm shocked at her words. "How can you possibly know that?"
"When you've delivered babies for 30 years, you get a feel for that sort of thing, Mrs. Cullen. Very few babies can stop crying like that, and then focus on a subject so intently. I'll tell you what—you come back in ten years and tell me if I'm wrong. I won't be. You'll see."
Edward leans over to kiss my forehead, then his son's. He whispers to our baby, "I always knew you would be remarkable. Just like your mommy."
I feel a flood of emotions take over, and I start to sob in happiness. The long wait, the work, it is all over, and I have a baby and a husband I love deeply.
The nurse whisks the baby off to be weighed and cleaned up, and Esme and Alice lean in to give me their kisses, too.
"Bella, thank you for loving my son so much and for giving me a grandbaby. I'm so happy, you have no idea."
"Actually, I do have an idea—I never imagined I could be so happy, Esme."
I hear someone clear their throat, and look over in the direction of the sound. Carlisle is standing in the doorway.
"Is it all right if I come in to meet my grandbaby, too?" he says, sheepishly.
Esme, runs to meet him, and they come to the bedside, arms linked, huge smiles on their faces.
"So, Edward and Bella, what is my grandson's name going to be?"
We decided on a name just a few weeks ago, but didn't breathe a word of it to anyone. We wanted it to be a surprise. I nod to Edward, signaling him to break the news.
"Mom, Dad, welcome your new grandson, Masen Edward Cullen, into the family."
"You used the family name?" Esme says, shocked. "It's lovely and perfect, just like him!"
Alice giggles and clapped her hands. "I knew it! It's what I dreamed! And you know what day it is today, right? June 20th!"
I'm shocked. "Alice, you never told me you dreamed the gender and the name! How could you? How did you know it would be Edward's birthday?"
"Because you needed to come up with it on your own, silly. That's how these things work. If I told you, it would be breaking the spell."
I roll my eyes at her, but let it go. How can I argue with fate?
A few hours later, when little Masen is clean and ready to be presented, we dress our son for the first time, in an outfit we chose together. It evokes shades of Snarky and Smirky, and tells us exactly what to expect of him for the day: It is a onesie that says, I was worth the wait.
With Edward sitting next to me, holding our son together, everyone gathers around us to say hello to our little guy. Jasper's arms are around Alice, Carlisle and Esme are hugging together, and Rose and Emmett are holding hands. Even Charlie joins us, having caught a flight out when Edward called him to tell him that my water broke. Looking into the smiling faces of the people I most love in the world, it hits me: It was worth the wait. All of it. Edward, our marriage, our baby, our family, our life.