Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Thanks to my new beta, cekh1908!
I woke up to Edward holding our baby. I could see the weak milk substance coming through my top through my nipples. "Hi," I said.
"Is this a perfect moment or what?" he whispered. "She's beautiful. Perfect. Wow. How did we do this?"
"I know," I said. "Ten fingers, ten toes. I know, I counted."
I had refused to go home on FMLA until I went into labor. I broke my water when I got the call that Alice and Rosalie were waiting for me for lunch. I stood up and it felt like I had wet myself. I called Jessica and she ran me out of her office and the four of us ran to the hospital. That was about a day ago. I wasn't in too much pain until the last two hours, but I had skipped out on an epidural and later regretted it. The first time I saw my daughter, though, it was all worth it. My vagina was still healing from labor and felt really, really sore still.
I gingerly picked up my phone and text messaged Alice. She had long since quit her job as a personal shopper and was trying to get pregnant now, too.
Edward handed little Carly Elizabeth to me. I undid my top to nurse the baby again. "I don't regret a single thing we've done, here," Edward said. "Look, I think she's got your brown hair."
"I hope she has your eyes," I said as she nursed.
"I've been waiting on that text message," Alice said, coming through the door right as I was about to tie my hospital robe back on. "When do I get to start planning your wedding?"
"I'm done losing the baby weight," I said.
"You just got to decorate a nursery in a new house," Edward said, picking up my sleeping baby.
"Let me hold her!" Alice demanded.
"Where's Jasper?" Edward said, carefully handing over Carly. "Careful- support her head!" Carly woke up and began wiggling.
"He's parking the car- shhh, shhh," Alice cooed. She began to cover the baby with kisses.
"Don't get germs all over my baby!" Edward cried.
"I'm healthy! And you're getting her vaccinated, aren't you?" Alice asked.
"There she is!" Jasper cried, walking through the door. He had a personal DVD player and a box of Audrey Hepburn movies in his arms. "Here- until they release you, Bella. It comes with headphones, too, so you don't wake her up."
"Aw, thank you, Jasper!" I cried.
"Let me hold her," Jasper said.
"Hey, I just got her!" Alice pouted.
"Hand her over, Midget," he said. Alice complied, glowering. "Hi, beautiful."
"This is your Uncle Jazz," Alice said.
"Uncle Jasper," Jasper corrected. "She's so pretty."
"Yeah, we do good work," Edward said, proudly.
"Ew, I don't want to hear that!" Alice cried.
"We'll do better, hon," Jasper said.
"I'm so sure," I replied. Nobody could be a beautiful as my baby.
"I'm giving you three months to lose enough weight, and then you're getting fitted for a wedding dress," Alice informed me.
"Hi," a new voice said. "Can I see the baby?"
"Heath!" I cried. He had had enough therapy to be able to walk short distances without overtaxing his new heart. So far, his body hadn't rejected the transplant. His face was full and his coloring good, now. He wasn't anything like the child that had been operated on seven months ago. Bethany followed him inside. She looked younger and fresher than I had ever seen her. The money had just come through- they had a little house in Tacoma, and she was finishing her high school diploma part-time, and was going to become a social worker for children in medicine. "She's not getting a lot of sleep right now, we're playing pass the baby. You can hold her if you sit down."
"Yeah!" he cried. He sat down on the chair and Jasper handed him the baby.
"Support her head."
"What's her name?" Bethany asked.
"Carly Elizabeth," Edward said. "It's a combination of both our father's names. And my birth mother's name."
Heath tried to rock her, but it made her cry. "Let Momma hold her," Bethany said, picking Carly up.
"Have Mom and Dad been by to see her, yet?" Jasper asked.
"Yeah," I said. "They loved her. Esme's coming over tonight to get some pictures of her before they release us."
"Heath, why don't you give Bella the present, now?" Bethany asked.
"Here," Heath said, giving me a giant sack filled with tissue paper.
"Thank you," I said.
"You haven't even opened it, yet," Heath said.
"But I already got a present from you at my baby shower," I said. I pulled out the tissue paper to find a pink crochet baby blanket out of the softest yarn I had ever felt. "It's beautiful!" I cried, pulling it out. "Edward, feel this! Where'd you get this?"
"I made it during Heath's PT," Bethany admitted.
"I love it!" I cried. Edward's fingers entwined in it, too.
"I just want to bury my face in it," he said. "I thought this was professional, Bethany! Let's wrap her up in it and see how she likes it." He spread it over my chest and she set the baby in my arms. I wrapped Carly up in it and she started to relax.
"Where's our beautiful niece?"
"Not nearly as beautiful as our Mattie," Emmett said, coming through the door.
"Shh," I said. Rosalie was still in her scrubs.
"Hey Bethany, hey Heath."
"Hey, Emmett!" Heath cried.
"She looks better than she did in the picture I got this morning," Rosalie said. "This is a beautiful blanket." Bethany beamed. "When do I get to hold her?"
"Right now," I said, holding her up.
"Thanks," Rosalie said, picking up Carly, walking her around the already crowded recovery room.
"Do we have enough people in this recovery room?" the nurse asked. "We're sending you home early, Ms Swan."
"That'll be so nice," I said, breathing a sigh of relief. One night in the hospital was so annoying. They didn't let me sleep through two hours. "Sleeping in my own bed."
"I'll take good care of her," Edward assured her.
"Well, here are your papers," the nurse said. "Sign here, here, and here."
"Thanks," I said, signing away. "Edward, call your parents- and Charlie, too."
"I'm on it," Edward said, standing up where his phone got reception near the window.
"I think sheath dresses would flatter your figure the most," Alice said.
"I'm too lumpy right now for that," I said.
"Keep on nursing and eat nothing but lean protein and vegetables," Rosalie said. "You'll be able to wear any kind of dress you want… except a ballgown. Ballgowns are sooo hard to wear unless you're tall."
"Yeah, you wouldn't know anything about that," Alice grumbled.
Everyone chuckled. "I want some caffeine tomorrow morning at breakfast," I said. "Rosalie, I never thanked you for the breast pump. That's going to be so useful when I go back to work. And at the wedding."
"Don't mention it," she said.
"Mom and Dad are going to pick us up," Edward said. "They want to take us home. Your Dad says he's going to start the drive up after work so he can come up and see her."
"The best part of getting married is the wedding registry," Alice said.
"Hey, Dr. Edward?" Heath asked. "Can I be your ring-bearer?"
"Heath!" Bethany cried, embarrassed.
"I'll do you one better," Edward said. "You can be one of my groomsmen, little man."
"Alright!" Heath cried.
I was dressed and wheeled out to the exit of the hospital while Rosalie held Carly We passed the information desk and they left me out front, where Esme's car was waiting. "There's our Carly," Esme sang. "Let's get one picture of Bella holding Carly in the wheelchair before we get into the car."
"You always were one for nostalgia, dear," Carlisle said. Rosalie set Carly in fr5y arms.
I let Esme take a picture of me, despite the fact that I was thirty pounds overweight according to the scale in my bathroom the morning I gave birth. "One with Edward," Esme said. Edward kneeled down next to me, and she took a picture of him kissing the top of Carly's head. "I'm sending that one to Renée!" she cried. "She'll love it!"
"I'm going to put her in her car seat," I said, standing up with Edward's help.
"I want a picture with my granddaughter," Carlisle said.
"Excuse me!" Rosalie cried.
"My other granddaughter!"
We let Carlisle get his picture taken holding my baby before we put her in the car seat. Carly closed her eyes and yawned, starting to fall asleep as we all chattered and talked before getting into the car. My phone rang.
"I'm on the last ferry to Seattle," Charlie said. "I'm almost there."
"I'll be home when you get here," I said. "I can't wait for you to meet her, Dad."
"Good. Have you finally set a wedding date, yet?"
"Dad, I just gave birth!" I cried. "But Alice is giving me three months to lose the baby weight and she's making me go through a dress fitting."
"Dress fitting for what?"
"A wedding dress, Dad!"
"Oh. Well, at least Alice has some sense," he said.
"Dad, I'm not listening to it."
"Alright Bells. This kid better be as good as you were or I'm going home."
"She is, she is."
"I'll be there in an hour or so."
"We'll have dinner," I promised. "Come hungry."
"I am, trust me."
"Who was that? Charlie?" Edward asked.
"Yeah," I said, yawning.
At our house, we had a giant lasagna from Jessica and Mike waiting in the oven. We waited for Charlie to show up in his police cruiser before digging in. While we were was waiting, the Rosalie and Emmett showed up with Mattie, Alice and Jasper came in.
"Hi, Mattie," I said. "Meet your cousin." She reached out as I held her over Carly.
"No touching, Mattie," Emmett said. He took her and sat her down on the floor. She was able to sit up, already.
Charlie's police car came up the driveway. "There's Charlie," I said, struggling to stand up. Alice helped me up. I went outside to see Charlie. "Hi Dad," I said.
"Hi Bells," he said. He was still a bit cranky with me about getting pregnant, always hinting at what a mistake it was. "So, where is this grandchild of mine?"
"She's inside, sleeping," I said. "She fell asleep in the car." I lead him inside and to the living room where Carly's car seat was. "Dad, this is Carly." I unstrapped her from her carseat and very carefully picked her up so she didn't wake up. "Alright, here she is."
I handed her over to Charlie, settling her into his arms. "This is Carly? She was named after me?"
"Yeah, even after all the things you've said to me after I got pregnant," I said. "About getting pregnant being a mistake outside marriage."
He looked at her for a long time, rocking her, patting her tummy, walking her around the room. "Oh, Bells," he said, rocking her softly, finally speaking. "I love you. This here… this is no mistake."