Chapter 20: Biggest Surprise
A cool cloth being pressed against my lips woke me from what little rest I'd gotten over the past seventeen hours. My eyes opened to Edward's worried gaze, and I reached up placing my hand against his cheek as he moved the cloth against my dry parched lips, "Hi," I managed. My husband turned his head placing a cold kiss against my palm before shutting his eyes. He was worried because of how long all of this was taking, and how hard it was for me. "Rest with me," I whispered. An instant later he was under the warm covers of our electric blanket helping me roll on to my side. His hand moved over my large belly and I shut my eyes willing my body to relax while I still had time.
After Renesmee's first birthday we were planning for a quiet summer. Our daughter was thriving, and so beautiful and smart. She really was the light of our world, not just for Edward and for me, but for the rest of our family. Everyone was still on alert, still trying to piece together why that werewolf had come and what that meant for me and Renesmee. Carlisle and Esme had gone to Europe to do a little research looking at all the legends of Werewolves in an effort to understand what Caius's interest was based on Alice's vision.
Rosalie and Emmett had taken a trip up to Denali visiting Tanya and her family wanting to see if maybe they knew anything about the Children of the Night, and drop hints about our situation with Renesmee without being too obvious. That left Alice and Jasper at the big house, and us at ours. I remember we had talked about going to Isle Esme but at the last minute Edward agreed with me that spending the summer at home sounded just as nice.
Pressure in my back drew me out of my memories and Edward kissed the back of my neck as he pressed the palm of his hand right where the pressure was, "Take a deep breath," he reminded me and I did, focusing only on his touch and nothing else. When the pressure subsided Edward settled back against me placing his hand over my stomach, gently rubbing it.
"Do you remember that day in the park?" I asked.
My husband was silent for only a moment, "I remember how your hair fell around your face when you were tickling Renesmee and how much I enjoyed hearing both of you laugh," he began.
"You were rocking her while she drank from her cup the first time I heard it," he said softly brushing his lips over my shoulder. I shut my eyes remembering that too.
We had spent most of the afternoon in the park because it was gloomy enough to be out without having to worry about protecting my husband. Renesmee had run us, well me ragged, pulling me from one thing to the other showing me with her mind, when she had a question about something. Sometimes she even used her voice when she wanted to know something. She spoke using clear words, which amazed me because she was just a year and a half old. When Edward had spread out the blanket for Renesmee to eat, our baby hadn't been interested and had gotten fussy until I laid her down and began to nibble her neck. Her tinkling laughter caused me to laugh too, and after I stopped she sat on my lap while Daddy fed both of us fruit and some of the meat he packed.
Edward was a wonderful father and had more patience than I did with our little girl. He would never admit it, but I think deep down he had wanted this. It's like Rosalie had once said to me during the time I thought about being changed back when Victoria's army was readying for their attack, I hadn't known what I would want. Now that we had our little girl I realized how lucky I had been, how lucky we both had been to be given such a gift, even if she wasn't exactly what we had planned.
Once we had eaten I cradled her in my arms helping hold her cup as I rocked her brushing my fingers through my baby's soft bronze curls while Edward read to us. When he paused I looked over at him seeing that far away look in his eyes when he was trying to really focus on something. I looked behind me, but there was nothing amiss. In the distance some kids were playing ball, but they were far enough away not to bother us. "Edward, what is it?" I asked when he looked down balling his hands into fists.
He didn't answer me so, I laid Renesmee down on her side, glad she had fallen asleep, and crawled to him moving his arms and crawling on to his lap. "Please, talk to me."
Edward drew in a deep breath gathering his arms around me. "I hear a heart beat," he said softly and for a moment I was confused. Of coarse he heard a heart beat they were all around us. As I was about to ask it hit me and I drew in my own breath looking down as he moved his hand over my stomach.
The pressure in my back returned and I gasped as Edward pushed his palm where I needed it. "I need more," I said before biting my lip. The back pain had been a constant since Carlisle had induced my labor. It appeared that this baby was perfectly happy to stay where it was, but after being two weeks late, and experiencing a few days of mind numbing headaches, we all agreed it was time to get the show on the road. Laying down wasn't helping and once the pressure subsided I pushed myself up with my right arm and Edward's help. "I want to walk again. I'm not going to get any sleep like this," I said.
He helped me stand up and I kept my hands around my stomach as I stretched out being very careful. Carlisle was encouraging me to walk, but our last check up wasn't encouraging. Our baby was still pretty high up in the birth canal and I'd heard him talking about a C-Section. I remember briefly wanting one with Renesmee, but this time I wanted to do this on my own. We were in the guest room at Carlisle and Esme's and Edward put his arm around me helping me walk to the window. I watched as he opened the blinds looking out at a beautiful sunny day. "What's Renesmee doing?"
"Rosalie and Emmett have her at our house. She kept trying to sneak up here and see you while you were asleep."
As Edward kept his arm around me, keeping his other hand on my back, we walked out of the room and down the hall to the nursery. There was now a single sized bed pushed up against the east wall with a guard rail to keep Renesmee from falling out. Her crib had been put in to storage quite some time ago, though we would put it to use again if we had a girl. The pressure in my back began to build again and I shut my eyes resting my forehead against Edward's chest when he moved in front of me. I wrapped my arms around his waist feeling a little relief as he rubbed both hands over my back.
"We need to let Carlisle have a look," my husband said once the pressure had gone.
I nodded feeling my legs shake as we began to make our way back to the room.
When Carlisle told us Bella was half way there, the atmosphere in the room seemed to lighten. To move things, along he broke the bags of water with a special instrument strong enough to get through the thicker membranes around our baby. The fluid was clear and after he left and Esme had cleaned up the padding, Bella sighed leaning against me as she took one of my hands in hers. I wasn't sure where my wife got her strength, but it was that strength and her determination that made me fall in love with her all over again. Neither of us had expected another baby because Bella was on a strong form of birth control. I remember after Carlisle confirmed what we already knew asking him how for a year and a half the birth control had worked and felt as though all my years in medical school had gone to waste when he gave me the answer.
"What are you thinking about?" Bella asked.
"I'm just remembering how stupid I felt when Carlisle explained why you had gotten pregnant when the birth control had worked for so long."
She nodded, "I guess I never really thought about breastfeeding along with the birth-control helping to keep us from getting pregnant so soon. But I know that doesn't always work. We will have to watch out this time too," Bella whispered, kissing the palm of my hand as I had done hers many times before.
"You should try and get some rest if you can," I told her.
"Only if you hum my lullaby," Bella replied lightly.
Making sure she was warm enough I pulled her closer and shut my eyes humming the song she had inspired while thinking back on what we had gone through to get to this point.
At first we didn't make a point of telling Renesmee anything. She had her own agenda and nothing really changed for any of us after Carlisle determined that the baby would be here sometime in early May. By the time college was back in session, Bella and I were both attending along with my brothers and sisters. Esme was happily busy taking care of our daughter, and Renesmee adjusted to us being in and out most days. The first time she really noticed anything different about Bella was right after the New Year. Bella had gotten her ready for bed, and was resting in Renesmee's new bed reading to her when I heard my wife talking about the baby living in her tummy.
I had been in our room putting away laundry but left that and made it too Renesmee's door without either of them hearing me. Our daughter had put her cheek against Bella's tummy and her thoughts projected the things she had done that day. I didn't know if our unborn child could see what Renesmee was showing, but later on Bella told me our newest baby had stopped moving around after that.
Bella's steady breathing became shallow and I pushed the palm of my hand on her back as she began to tense. "Take in a deep breath," I reminded.
She did, whimpering. I pressed a little harder wanting to put pressure to relive the pain, but not wanting her to hurt either.
"It hurts," she gasped. She continued taking in deep breaths of air letting them back out until the contraction subsided. We looked at the door as Carlisle entered and Bella shuttered when we had to move her blankets away.
I kept one wrapped around her shoulders as she leaned against me, "I love you," I whispered while Carlisle examined her again.
"Eight centimeters," my father told both of us.
"Why is it all in my back?" Bella asked as Carlisle put the blankets back over her.
"It may be the way the baby is positioned," he answered though we didn't have a way to know. Like with Renesmee, this baby didn't show up on ultrasound machines, but Carlisle had been able to determine using what he knew from the last birth that the baby was in a safe position to be delivered.
"Can I get up and walk?"
"I would feel better if you didn't, but you can try sitting in a chair."
When she nodded, he disappeared and was back a second later with the Victorian rocking chair that had been down in the family room.
My silly wife was instantly worried about ruining the upholstery if more fluid spilled out, "Bella, Esme knows some wonderful people who can take care of that," I assured as I helped her over to the chair. Once she was seated, it was evident in the expression on her face and the way she held her body that she was much more comfortable. "Better?"
"Much," she breathed. We had the heater going, but when my wife began to shake I got the blue polar fleece blanket I had used to drape over her shoulder and put that over her. "We haven't decided on a name," I reminded as I knelt in front of her.
"I picked Renesmee." she said smiling at me.
"You want Edward Junior for a boy? EJ?" I loved my wife and in my human life I had been a junior. Maybe that was why I was so apposed to it. Bella's argument so far was that EJ would be an easy name for our daughter to say, but I still didn't like the idea. Over the past few weeks I had been trying to think of names that would make us both happy, and sticking to my own name I had one thought. "What about Anthony?"
Her eyes had been closed as she gently rocked, now they were open and a smile was spreading across her lips. "Anthony is your middle name. I like that." A second later Bella tensed and she moaned loudly as I got to my feet lifting her to my arms. Downstairs I heard Carlisle leaving his study and by the time I had her back on the bed he was there. Bella was shaking her head as I told her to breathe and Carlisle confirmed that she was ready to push.
"No, you can get him out," she begged fighting what her body was wanting her to do.
You need to get her calmed down and focused, Carlisle thought.
There wasn't time for me to think as my wife screamed. I got in bed behind her pulling the discarded blue blanket between us. "Bella, listen to me. You have to do this." Her head was shaking and I wanted to take it all away from her. "You're the one who can make the pain go away. You need to push. Take in a good deep breath."
Bella's hands clamped against my thighs as she did what I said. When Carlisle told her to push I counted to ten. Her head shook back and forth, but she didn't let up until the contraction subsided. Her breathing was labored and she was shaking, more from what was happening with the labor than being against me. My wife only had a moment's reprieve before another contraction hit and she screamed again before she pushed.
Time seemed to slow down to almost nothing. Bella had been pushing for a solid hour and had said a few colorful things. I'm sure if this would have been any other occasion Emmett would have given her a difficult time. I thanked God he and Rosalie had Renesmee at the other house, though a few times they had both been thinking about us and what they were hearing.
"I don't want to do this anymore," Bella whispered. There was a lull in her contractions and I knew how tired she was.
"Just a little more," I whispered kissing the top of her damp head.
Her body tensed with the onslaught of another contraction and I sat us up reaching out to pull her legs back, something that seemed to be helping her make more progress.
"Bella, the baby's head is where I can see it now. I need you to take in a deep breath and push."
My wife nodded, gasping as the contraction worked to get our baby out of her. With the next push the head was out and already our baby was gasping, crying as Carlisle sucked out it's little nose.
Hearing our child seemed to give Bella renewed strength because it only took one more push before our son was born. A moment later the room was filled with his loud cries as Carlisle cut and tied off his umbilical chord before placing him on my wife's stomach. Her hand's shook as she reached out to gather him closer, and I could remember one other time when the ability to speak left me.
"He's so perfect," Bella said as her body trembled against me.
We only had that one moment before I realized something wasn't right. Esme was there taking Anthony away and Bella began to convulse at the same time I realized what Carlisle was thinking. She was losing too much blood.
The only time I ever remember feeling so out of it was when I gave birth to our daughter. As I began to climb out of the darkness, I was aware of how light I felt and how something was making my left arm itch. I wanted to scratch, but felt a cool hand on my right wrist stopping me. "You need to leave that there," Edward said.
It took a few tries before I managed to open my eyes. We were in the guest room at Esme and Carlisle's and for a second I thought I was dreaming about having our daughter. It was then I remembered holding our son, recalling how loud his cries were. Anthony was here. "Where is he, why do I feel so funny?"
"Our son is asleep in the bassinet to your left. You lost too much blood and Carlisle had to give you some, which is what is in your elbow."
I turned my head looking at my husband, seeing how frayed he looked. "It was bad?"
"You had us worried, but it wasn't bad enough to turn you."
I wanted to be like Edward, but on my own terms, not because I was forced. I guess his way of thinking had finally won me over and I smiled, "I want to see him."
Before he left our bed Edward kissed my lips. I wrapped my good arm around him. "I love you."
"I love you, too," he breathed. In a second he was leaning over the same bassinet Renesmee had once used. My eyes stayed focused on him as he straightened up and when he turned he held a small bundle of blue and white. This time around, I was smart enough to wait for him, letting Edward help me sit up while he put more pillows in behind me. Once I was comfortable, he laid our sleeping son in my arms. I never knew my husband in his human life, and there were no baby pictures of him, but our son had his father's features, just in a smaller size. Idly I wondered if like the baby in my dreams, he had green eyes, but guessed he wouldn't. Renesmee's had started turning a darker brown, like mine. A powerful need to count his fingers came over me so I laid him next to me and undid his blanket.
My son had on a white sleeper with little puppies printed on the soft fabric. His tiny hands were against his chest and I reached out stroking the back of one. He opened it and I moved my finger there feeling my heart pull as his tiny perfect hand closed around it. "Has Renesmee seen him?"
"She was already asleep by the time we had everything stabilized, but Rosalie and Emmett will have her here undoubtedly as soon as she wakes up."
I nodded unable to look away from my son as he continued sleeping. "Did he already have a bottle?"
"Two of them. Carlisle says his DNA more closely resembles mine than yours, which may mean he will need to take more blood." Edward sounded worried as he said that and after wrapping Anthony up and settling him against my chest I looked at my husband "I just want him to be healthy, but I guess we do have to be careful if he doesn't nurse as much," I said thinking about what it would be like for us after we were able to resume making love. The other thing was figuring out how to nurse him and deal with our two year old daughter. She was asserting her will more and more these days, but I wasn't worried. Right now my world was perfect, we were perfect.
The next morning after I had breakfast, I tried nursing Anthony for the first time. Edward had been rocking him while they waited for me to eat, and they hadn't given him another bottle wanting to let me have a chance to see if he would nurse. Unlike his sister he didn't seem all that eager to try, and even with Esme's help it was a struggle. When I was about to give up he finally latched on and was still drinking when someone knocked at our door. A soft giggle let me know who it was and a second later Edward walked over with our little girl.
"Who that?" Renesmee asked softly.
"That is your new brother, Anthony," Edward replied sitting on the other side of the bed with her still against his shoulder.
"He got wrinkles head," she said resting her cheek against my husband's shoulder.
"He has to grow in to those wrinkles," I told her.
"He's having his breakfast," Edward answered as Anthony pulled away and cried.
As I shifted him to my shoulder I pulled my night shirt down and patted his small back.
"He loud. Go now," she said as she struggled to be put down.
Once she was gone, I let Edward take the baby leaning back against the pillows. "What was she thinking?"
My husband chuckled, "About the waffles Esme was making for her breakfast."
We both laughed, and Anthony cried again before he burped and spit up all down the front of his outfit.
While we were getting him changed Rosalie came with his bottle and knowing she wanted to hold him I let her observing how quickly he took to drinking from that. Maybe Edward had a point, but I wanted to give nursing a shot before we made any final decision one way or the other.
By lunch, I was tube free and made a few trips to the bathroom. Renesmee liked being with me only when her brother was asleep. She didn't seem to have a preference for him one way or the other, but I hoped in time she would grow to love him and think of him as her best friend. The rest of the family had gotten to meet Anthony and now I was alone with him watching him sleep on the bed in front of me as I sat up stretching my arms. Edward had gone to put our daughter down for a nap, and I could still hear her crying, hating that she was upset.
"If you keep sleeping like this, I'm not going to get any sleep tonight," I whispered reaching out to take his small foot between my fingers. He had on his third outfit of the day and I had to admit that Alice's need to buy tons of clothes was now paying off.
Our family seemed complete now that we had our daughter and our son. Maybe now that he was finally here, I could finally do what I needed and make a solid decision on being turned. Edward seemed more open about that now, and it made more sense, especially in light of what our family had found about the Children of the Night. Tanya's family had encountered three men killing one who had attacked a young woman. Our visit wasn't something that was isolated.
Suddenly, Anthony's peaceful expression changed and as his face wrinkled I lifted him into my arms settling him against my chest as I began to rock him. Edward said he was dreaming when he would have these moments where he would cry without being provoked and I felt the need to protect him like I did his sister. Once my son was in my arms he went back to sleep with his tiny arms above his head. We we were still rocking when Edward came back. "Do I need to go sit with her?"
"She's asleep for now. I think we will all do better once we get back in the comforts of our home," my husband replied settling in the bed next to us. I leaned into his embrace with Anthony still in my arms. As Edward began to hum, I didn't recognize the tune and smiled, guessing this one was for our son. We truly had everything and for now that was enough.
AN: I hope you guys enjoyed this look into Anthony's beginning and I'm glad there were requests for this. I feel I can write him better now as a result, so thank you to all who wanted this written. Now go check out the second story, Family.