I felt it again.
I know that, for every woman, their first pregnancy is a strange thing. New sensations are a constant surprise. Morning sickness, a sudden movement within, pains and aches where before there were none. These are the normal experiences of pregnancy. But I was far from normal. And so, perhaps not surprisingly, neither was my pregnancy. I was one of the few half-vampire half-human hybrids. And as far as we knew, I was the first to procreate.
"Ok, Edward. I'm sure that wasn't just movement. You're sure you can't hear the baby?" I asked my father. I must have asked if he could hear my baby's thoughts a thousand times by now.
"Babies move in strange ways. I'm sure it's still a baby. You're just having fancies, Ness. Probably because you're not sleeping properly."
I scowled at him. Easy for him to say. Of course I wasn't sleeping properly, I was quickly approaching the size of a house. "Where's Carlisle? I want an ultrasound."
"You know he doesn't want to give you too many of those," he pleaded with me.
My hormones were out of control. "Is the equipment upstairs? I'll do it myself," I threatened rising from my seat.
Edward sighed and escorted me to Carlisle's office. He had decided to humor me. I felt the awkward shift again. The baby hadn't moved; I was certain. And yet it felt different. What was going on?
Edward chuckled as he squirted gel on my distended belly. He didn't chuckle long as he put the wand to the gel.
"Is that - a snout?" I asked. There was another shift and now the baby was definitely human. Edward adjusted the settings on the monitor. He didn't answer me. "It was, wasn't it? Where is Jacob?" My voice was ice.
"Just wait," Edward tried to calm me. "The baby looks fine now." I narrowed my eyes. I hadn't missed the last word in that sentence. I felt another shift inside me.
"Is that - " It was definitely mammalian, but now it had a little tail and at this angle it seemed to have long ears. "A rabbit?" I asked.
Edward's jaw hung open.
"I TOLD YOU!" I shouted at him. The baby shifted again as I shouted. The head had a definitely canine cast to it now. "Jacob," I growled.
"Yes, well," Edward was at a loss for words. That was very uncommon for him. I wanted my husband and I wanted him now.
"Where is he?" I demanded.
"Hunting with your mother. I'll.... I'll call them," he said a little anxiously. He was obviously as puzzled by this development as I was.
"Please do," I asked in a strained voice. "But please, allow me to inform him just what he has spawned."
My father was trying very hard not to smile at the acid in my tone. He wasn't succeeding.
"Call Carlisle as well, if you please," I asked in a much more level voice. He simply nodded at that request.
"Did I hear something about spawning?" Rosalie asked upon entering. "Is it time?" She was smiling broadly, looking forward to a new baby. She saw the monitor and her face fell. "A dog?!" she moaned. "You're having a puppy?" I thought she might start to cry.
"Well, a minute ago we thought it was a bunny, so it might change." I stroked the side of my belly trying to find some humor in the situation. It was difficult. There was another shift and the baby was human again. "Please, please, please, baby. Stay that way. You are driving me to distraction!" I fussed to the fetus.
Rosalie came and stroked my hair. Edward pulled the wand away and cleaned it. He didn't say anything else, pulling his phone from a pocket. "Bella? Is Jacob still with you? Have you nearly finished your hunt? Well, because Renesmee would like to speak with you both. No, Jacob doesn't need to bring her back his kill."
"Yes, he does!" I hissed at Edward. For all that this baby exhausted me and made it difficult to hunt or sleep, it also made me ravenously hungry. Raw, bloody meat. Rosalie heard my stomach rumble and laughed at me.
"Um, Nessie requests you do bring the elk home. All right we'll be waiting for you." He closed the phone and turned back to me, grinning again. "Well, I must say, even with this rather serious complication, you've still had much healthier and easier pregnancy than your mother."
"A slower one too," I grumbled. I couldn't really complain though and my father heard that in my thoughts too. I had only been pregnant a few months and I was already nearing term based on my waistline. And those ultrasounds. Regardless of shape, those babies all looked nearly fully developed. Edward toweled off the gel and I felt the baby shift again. I started to cry. What was he now? I didn't want to know; I didn't want to guess. "You recorded that, right?" I asked my father now. "Or are we just going to fire it back up when they get here?"
"No... there's a recording." He hit the playback and I heard Rosalie gasp. Now I had a better look at the first image. It was more feline than canine. Tears rolled unbidden down my cheeks. Now in the human shots I thought I saw the baby's sex.
"Wait, go back a few frames. Is it a boy?" I asked as Edward rewound, grinning. He'd seen it too. I started to laugh again. My mood was everywhere. I hated not being in control of my emotions and pregnancy was the worst I'd experience since puberty. "Well. I guess Jacob and I can pick some names."
"Cujo?" Edward suggested and I smacked him. Rosalie laughed though.
"Not funny, Dad," but I was smiling too. He opened his phone again still laughing and called Carlisle. "Where's Jasper?" I asked Rosalie now. "I seem to be especially strung out today. Maybe he could balance me again."
"I'll see if I can find him," she promised me before leaving.
"Carlisle is on his way home already. He should be here anytime."
Soon I was surrounded by most of my family. I held Jacob's hand to keep him closest. Jasper had been with Alice and Esme setting up a nursery in our home. It was one of the outbuildings, but Esme had fixed it up for Cubby and I. It was lovely, cozy. However it only had two rooms. They had built a third. Now that Carlisle was back Emmett had joined the crush around the monitor.
"Now, before Edward starts this up, I want you to know, I love you." I pulled Jacob down to kiss me. "And that this is ALL your fault." Emmett and Jasper both guffawed loudly and Edward chuckled as he turned the monitor on. Carlisle was front and center, being the one who would really analyze what was on the footage, but Jacob was able to see clearly over everyone's heads. His jaw dropped. It closed and then it dropped again.
"A boy!" Carlisle said as that moment passed in the replay.
"Yes," I agreed happily and Jacob closed his mouth again.
"A boy?" He asked.
"Well, assuming he doesn't change sex as easily as he changes shape," I amended and Carlisle's brow creased. Edward was leaning into him with a grin on his face. Carlisle was having a lot of interesting theories, I was sure. I didn't want theories. I wanted to know what this baby was. Was it going to be born human or was the silly thing going to sprout fur on it's way out of my birth canal?
Edward burst out laughing. "Nessie," he muttered. Obviously he thought my horror was funny. I stuck my tongue out at him.
"All. Your. Fault." I said again, poking Jacob in the chest with each word.
Esme was wide-eyed. "Well. I think we might need to add a few things to the nursery."
"A cage?" I suggested and she smacked me.
"Of course not. I was thinking of climbing bars, maybe a scratching post."