Thank you so much for the amazing reviews and feedback for these outtakes – I've been blown away.
You're all amazing!
A fuck with Edward against the wall for each and every one of you!
Love to my Cherub girls, Rachel, Vic and Kristen – you're all fab girls – I love ya ganzabillions and then some! (6 days bb!! NY here we come!)
A little emotional this one…I have tried to keep the medical stuff as realistic as I could – apologies if that is not the case…
See you on the other side with tissues and baby booties…
A Love like No Other – The Birth of Mini-C
I never thought through love we'd be
Making one as lovely as she
But isn't she lovely made from love.
"Baby, its fine. Stop apologising."
"But this is the third time."
"Well," I shrugged as I suppressed a huge fucking yawn, "Like Dr Hawkins said; these things happen."
I placed Bella's hospital bag on the floor as we walked in through the front door and turned to her. I cupped my palms on the sides of my wife's face and leaned down to place a soft kiss on her lips.
"She'll come when she's ready," I soothed as I gently pulled her against me.
She chuckled lightly into my chest. "Yeah, she just needs to be less indecisive and make her mind up already. She's already too much like her father."
I laughed into her hair and breathed her in. It was 3AM and we had been at the hospital since seven the previous night. Bella had been having small contractions on and off for the past two weeks but last night, after an hour of progressively stronger, although painless, contractions, she thought it was the real deal.
'Operation Mini-C' was, once again, quickly in effect.
Dr Hawkins, Bella's OB/GYN, who was also now my own personal hero, explained that these contractions and 'twinges' were very common the closer we got to the due date – which was three weeks away - but it didn't help stop Bella's incessant apologies.
"Your mom wasn't mad was she?"
"Bella stop," I said with a sigh.
I looked down at her and shook my head slowly. She looked tired but still devastatingly beautiful.
"Mom is more excited about the arrival than all of us put together, including my damn sister so no, she wasn't mad, she just wants to make sure you're both ok." I tucked her hair behind her ear.
My mom and dad had arrived at the hospital just after midnight and had stayed until we left. Alice, thank God, had been flying back from New York with Jasper so the squeals of excitement were kept to a minimum.
"Can I get you anything?" I asked as I flicked on the kitchen lights.
"Sprite," she said as she rubbed her hands across her stomach.
I chuckled and grabbed a bottle from the fridge that was fast becoming a Sprite/cold Chinese food/mango yogurt storage unit.
"Black bean noodles?" I asked with a cocked eyebrow as I held the box towards her.
She bit her lip and frowned at my hand. "Um...I really shouldn't-...ok."
She grabbed it from me with a small blush and took the fork that I held out for her in the other hand. I grabbed one of the vegetable rolls that were piled at the right side of the fridge shelf for me and turned back to see Bella, sitting on the breakfast bar stool, sucking up the noodles like a damn vacuum.
"Hungry baby?" I asked as I pulled my cap off my bottle of water.
"Mmhm," she managed with an ecstatic roll of her eyes.
I laughed lightly and continued to watch my exceedingly pregnant wife finish a box of noodles in record time.
We cleaned up, once the box was 'definitely empty' and wandered slowly up the stairs to bed. She sat down with a soft thump as I crouched down in front of her so that I could pull off her shoes for her, as well as her pants. I moved the sheets down so that she could snuggle into bed and I threw all my clothes, save for my boxers on the floor, too tired to fucking caring if I was making a mess and hurried under the covers, spooning my wife and rubbing my hand lovingly across our daughter.
7 months earlier...
"Bella, are you sure you're ok?"
"I'm fine, just go on without me. I'll meet you in the car," she replied through the bathroom door.
"Not gonna happen, baby. I'll just wait here."
I sat myself on the edge of the bed and stared at the doorway, wishing to hell that my eight-year-old-birthday-candle-wish of x-ray vision had worked, so I could see what the hell my wife was doing.
There was something wrong and I was worried.
She'd been 'off' for a while. At first I thought that it was a little nervous excitement for our anniversary trip and that she'd be fine once we arrived - but that had been four days ago and there had been little change in her. She was quiet and a little withdrawn. She seemed tense when I hugged her and we were yet to make love since we landed in Sicily.
Yep, I was definitely fucking worried.
"Bella, please, sweetheart," I called again while rubbing an anxious hand down my face.
I heard shuffling and what sounded like a light thump against the door. Puzzled, I stood and walked over to it, placing my palm on the wood.
"Baby," I whispered loud enough that she could hear me. "You're scaring me. What's wrong?"
I heard the same shuffle and another light thump.
"What is that noise?" I asked loudly.
"My head," she replied, "banging against the door."
"Why the hell are you doing that? Ya know, forget it. Open the door."
"Isabella Cullen, open the door." I knocked with my left knuckles and twisted the door knob in my right, even though I knew it was locked. "Seriously, I will break the fucker down. Open the door!"
"Don't Edward!" she called back.
"On the count of three, I'm comin' in!"
There was silence.
Still nothing. I swallowed as I thought about busting into my own bathroom like a crazed lunatic.
The lock clicked and the door opened slowly. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw that she seemed ok, standing looking exquisite in her new dress that I had bought her for the dinner that we were now five minutes late for.
"Are you trying to put my ass in an early grave?" I asked, leaning my forearm against the frame of the door.
She shook her head and bit her lip as she dropped her gaze to the floor.
I stepped towards her and lifted her chin with my index fingers, staring intently at her, desperate for her to open up and speak to me. She took a deep shaky breath and licked her lips.
We spoke at the same time, easing the tension minutely.
"Sorry," she muttered.
I smiled at her and rolled my eyes.
"You first," I said as I rubbed my palms down her arms, clasping her hands in mine.
She smiled but it didn't reach her eyes making it look more like a grimace of pain. She exhaled and her lip was suddenly wedged back firmly between her teeth. Using my thumb, I pulled it out again, grabbed her wrists gently and led her to the bed where I sat her down next to me. I pushed the hair from her shoulder and placed a gentle kiss on the skin that was showing.
"I love you," I whispered against her as I moved my mouth up towards her neck. "I love you more than life itself, Bella." I kissed her throat. "I would kill for you, die for you."
She gasped when my tongue flicked her jaw line.
I sat back up and gazed at her. "You're everything to me, sweetheart and whatever it is you're upset about, angry about, pissed about, I swear to you I'll try and fix it. Just talk to me."
Her eyes instantly became wet and her chin shook slightly.
Ok, really fucking worried...
"Baby," I murmured as I pulled her to me.
She buried her face in my neck and flung her arms around me.
"Edward, I love you so much."
"I know you do," I whispered into her hair. "Just tell me what's going on. What are you feeling right now?"
"I'm scared," she mumbled into my dinner jacket.
"Why are you scared, beautiful?"
"I'm scared...because I don't know what you'll say when I tell you...what I have to tell you..."
Christ the thoughts that started running through my head ranged from the extreme to the fucking ridiculous. Was she ill? Had something happened to her that I wasn't aware of? Had someone hurt her?
I took a deep breath and lifted her face from my shoulder.
"Whatever it is, baby, we'll deal with it together, ok?"
She sniffed and nodded slowly. "Ok."
"I think I'm pregnant."
I rolled over to find Bella's side of the bed empty. I sat up quickly and looked at the alarm clock.
Sweet Jesus I must have been exhausted.
I threw the covers back and made my way to the bathroom, had a quick shower and set off down the stairs. Bella was sitting on the sofa watching Sunday morning cartoons with her feet on the coffee table and a bowl of dried fruit resting on her stomach.
"Good morning, sleepyhead," she chimed as I poured a cup of coffee from the machine.
"Morning, beautiful," I replied as I walked over to the couch and leaned down to kiss her and then her belly.
"Mm," she hummed with a smile.
I sat myself down on the arm of the sofa and leaned around her. "How did you sleep?" I asked as I ran my fingers through her hair.
"Great," she answered quickly, "Until your daughter woke me at seven with a nicely placed kick against my bladder."
"That's my girl," I muttered into my cup, buckling over as Bella slapped my stomach. She intended for it to be done playfully but it still fucking hurt. "Christ, baby, do you really have to hit so hard?"
She smiled and threw a dried apricot into her mouth. My cell phone ringing in my pocket stopped my mouth from coming up with some smart ass sarcastic shit which, considering Bella's current condition, may have not been the best idea. I had learned fairly quickly that a pregnant woman is not to be fucked with.
"Hey Jazz," I smiled down the phone. "How was the Big Apple?"
"Big and juicy my friend," he answered, "Big and juicy! How's the baby cooking coming along? Your mom said that it was another exciting no show last night. Which is good news for you seeing as Alice would have ripped your balls off if Mini-C made an appearance and she wasn't there to see it."
"And since when the fuck is that my fault?" I asked incredulously.
"No clue, man. She's your sister. Just passing on a message," he answered.
I rolled my eyes and shook my head as Bella laughed at my side, able to hear every word my dickhead brother-in-law was uttering.
"So, what were you really calling for, Jasper?"
"Oh yeah, well, it's Sunday and Peter and I were planning on taking a trip around the golf course. Alice and Charlotte have gone out for the day, you in?"
I glanced down at Bella and her gorgeous round belly and sighed. "No can do, man," I answered. "I'm spending the day with my wife."
Bella's head whipped around to me with a surprised expression on her face. "You are?" she mouthed with a frown.
"Hang on, Jazz." I placed the phone against my chest so he couldn't hear our conversation. "Yeah, is that not ok?"
"Of course but why are you not going to play golf?"
"Well, what if you need me?" I asked with a cocked eyebrow.
"Oh, Edward, I'm fine, really," she scoffed. "I'm just going to sit here, watch TV, grow even more gross and fat and maybe have a sleep."
She laughed lightly at my expression over her self description. She was anything but fat and fucking gross. She was resplendent at the very fucking least.
"Go," she continued with a dismissive wave of her hand. "Have fun. Play boy games."
I exhaled and furrowed my brow. I was really loathed to leave her on her own when we had had three visits to the maternity suite of Cider Sinai in the past week and a half.
"But Bella," I started with a huff.
"Baby," she interrupted with a roll of her eyes. "Go out with Jasper. You've been cooped up here as long as I have and I love you more than anything but the truth is, I'm just aboutready to go all Jack Nicholson in 'The Shining' on your ass. So go."
I smiled at her, laughing gently and leaned over to kiss her head. "Ok, scary pregnant lady, your wish is my command."
"Jazz," I said into the phone. "What time?"
7 Months earlier…
Man, I really needed to get my ears checked.
I needed them blasted with ice cold fucking water or some shit because I would have put my Aston and my Viper on the fact that Isabella Cullen, the light of my life, my astonishing wife, had just told me that she thought she was pregnant.
I blinked at her a few times in quick succession.
I hadn't said anything because apparently all my verbal and oral skills - in fact all my normal motor functions - had fucked off back to LA, leaving me in Sicily beginning to freak the fuck out, while knowing in the back of my mind that Bella really needed me to say something – and quick!
I just needed a minute…or fucking ten…
Pregnant…like, a baby…pregnant…
"Edward, say something."
My eyes suddenly focused in on the beautiful, anxious and clearly terrified face in front of me.
Come on, Cullen…get your shit together…
"Um…I'm sorry, I just…I mean…um…you just caught me off guard."
Understatement of the fucking century!
"Tell me about it," she muttered as she dropped her head again.
"Bella," I said softly as I lifted her face to me. "I'm sorry it's just that that was the last fucking thing that I thought you were gonna say."
She frowned in confusion but didn't question what I meant.
I continued to stare at her, still not finding the words to make her feel better in the clusterfuck that was my brain at that exact moment.
"Edward," she whispered. "What do we do?"
Good question, baby…
"Well," I said with a sigh and then cleared my throat.
My wife needed me. She needed my support and understanding and I was doing a fucking crap job of showing her both.
"You said you 'think' you're pregnant?"
"So, you haven't done a test or been to the doctors?"
She shook her head.
"Ok," I said a little more firmly.
So it wasn't a definite pregnancy. She could be mistaken. Plus she was on the pill, maybe it was something to do with that.
"How late are you?" I asked gently, rubbing my thumbs across her knees, as much for her comfort as it was mine.
"Nearly two weeks," she answered quickly. "Eleven days."
"You know exactly?"
"My periods are like clockwork, Edward. They always have been. I'm never late. Ever. Plus, I'm on the pill so I have no idea how…" she trailed off and I could see her face become more distressed.
You're not helping, Cullen…
"Hey, hey," I said calmly as I moved onto my knees in front of her at the bedside. "We'll figure this out, ok? You and me."
She exhaled and nodded slowly with slumped shoulders.
"Alright, so we need to find a pharmacy that's still open or a store that sells pregnancy tests."
"Right now?" she asked incredulously.
I nodded. "Yeah, now's as good a time as any. Don't you wanna know for sure either way?"
"Well, sure but what about dinner?" She gestured to my suit and then to her dress.
"I think this is a little more important, don't you? And anyway the table was booked for half an hour ago."
She gasped and looked at the clock on the bedside table.
"Oh God, I'm sorry, Edward. I'm so sorry…I know you booked that table specially, I'm sorry, baby…and my dress that's so beautiful and…I'm sorry, I shouldn't…"
I stopped her word vomit with my lips hard against hers.
I knew that she wasn't that upset about the table and I needed to man the fuck up and be there for her. We were both in a daze about this not-quite-definite news but I decided that, until I saw a blue line or a pink dot or a what the fuck ever on that pee stick, I was gonna be as strong as I could be.
After that…well, who the fuck knew…
"Come on, beautiful girl," I whispered as I cupped her face. "Let's get changed and go."
She took a deep breath, rubbed her finger tips under her eyes and looked at me. "Ok."
"Nice shot!" Peter called as my golf ball smacked the green and curled to come to a rolling stop two feet from the seventh hole.
"Fucking-A," I replied with a smile.
"Not too shabby, Cullen," Jasper conceded with a slow nod as he pushed his shades back up his nose from where he had been watching my shot.
It was a gorgeous, perfect day for golf and after an hour I knew that it was a good decision to be there.
Bless my wife and her sadistic, pregnancy induced, axe-wielding tendencies.
I hadn't had real 'guy time' for a while, between work and the pregnancy, and being with Peter and Jazz, I suddenly realised how much I had missed it. I missed Bella like fucking crazy, don't get me wrong and I worried about her even more, but it was definitely nice to be surrounded by testosterone for a while.
My happiness was also being helped by the fact that I was whipping Whitlock's bitch ass.
I sniggered as he took his shot and landed it straight into the bunker. I hissed through my teeth sarcastically. "Too bad," I said quietly as I clapped a hand to his shoulder.
"Fuck off," he muttered, rubbing the back of his head with the handle of his nine-iron.
We wandered around the course, shooting the shit and having a blast when my cell phone rang. I pulled it out of my pocket and felt my stomach clench when I saw Bella's name on the screen.
"Bella, are you ok? The baby alright?" I spat in panic.
"Hey, yeah we're fine, sweetie. Calm down."
I blew a breath through my lips and rolled my eyes at Jasper who was laughing at my shit scared expression. I flipped him the finger and threw a golf ball at him, clipping his shoulder quite nicely.
"Ok, what's up, honey?"
"I was wondering, if we have any Tabasco sauce in the house?"
I frowned in confusion, "Tabasco sauce?"
"Mmhm, I'm having a craving for it," she said with a hum. I was sure I could hear cupboard doors opening and shutting in the background.
"I don't think so, baby. I can pick you some up on my way home?"
"Would you? Oh God, Edward, I will love you to infinity and beyond if you do that," she answered with a satisfied groan.
I laughed lightly and rubbed the back of my neck with my palm. "Does that mean you weren't gonna love me that way anyway?"
"Oh shush," she replied. I could hear the smile in her voice. "I'm sorry I interrupted. Are you having a good time?"
"Yeah, really good. I'm whipping Whitlock's ass so it's all the more fucking excellent." I ducked as a golf glove flew past my head. "How are you, really?"
"I'm great. Just finished watching Spongebob Squarepants and now I'm onto Ren and Stimpy, although with my bladder the way it is, it's maybe not a good idea. Seth said he might come over."
"Ok, sweetheart, hey we might stop for a late lunch after the game, is that ok?"
"That's fine. I told you, Edward, have fun. I love you."
"Love you too. See you later."
Nearly two hours later, the game won by a mile by yours fucking truly, we were sitting in the sun at a restaurant down town, eating the most fuck awesome meat ball sandwich I had ever tasted.
"So," Peter said as he wiped mayonnaise from his top lip. "You and Bella all ready for the arrival of…"
"Mini-C," Jasper answered quickly with a mouth full of fries and ketchup.
Peter looked at me utterly puzzled.
"That's not what we're calling her," I said with a roll of my eyes. "That's just the stupid fucking nickname this asshole came up with."
"Oh," he replied with a slow nod and a smile at Jasper. "So, what are you calling her?"
"Don't fucking bother," Jasper interrupted again with his palm up. "That shit is a better kept secret than the recipe for Coke a fucking Cola!"
"You'll find out in due course," I said with a satisfied smirk.
No-one, not even our parents, knew what we were going to call our daughter. It had been Bella who came up with the name and as soon as she said it, I knew that it would be fucking perfect.
"Fair enough," Peter replied with a chuckle. "How's Bella doing?"
"She's good," I answered. "She's been suffering badly with back ache, her cravings are still insane and the false alarms have been coming thick and fast but apart from that, she seems fine. So she tells me anyway." I shrugged.
"You don't think so?" Jasper asked seriously.
"No I do, it's just, well it's Bella, you know. I think she's getting really anxious about the birth. She has a birthing plan but there was concern about her size in relation to the baby. I don't know. They don't know if a caesarean will be necessary. Dr Hawkins thinks not but I know Bella's worried. I mean, why wouldn't she be?"
Peter nodded knowingly, "And how about you?"
I looked at him in surprise. "Um…I'm…" I fiddled with a piece of lettuce on my plate. "I'm just trying to be there for her."
In truth I was shit fucking scared about the whole caesarean concept as a whole. I knew that I would be what was best for Bella and the baby but I was still terrified that something was going to go wrong. I had fought my worries down ever since it was mentioned but the closer the due date came, the harder it was to suppress. I just had to remind myself that whatever I was feeling, my wife was feeling ten times more.
"Daddy Cullen," Jasper muttered with a chuckle. "I still have a hard time imagining that."
"You and me both, dude," I agreed as I sipped my drink.
"You'll do great," Peter commented. "Believe me, I was a mess myself when Charlotte had our first. How did you take the news initially?"
I swallowed and laughed lightly with raised eyebrows.
"I fucking shit myself," I answered honestly.
7 Months earlier…
"Do you want me to stay?" I asked quietly as Bella turned the box containing the pregnancy test over and over in her hands.
We were sitting on the side of the bath tub in the en suite and had been staring at said box for at least fifteen minutes.
"Bella," I said quietly, running my palm down her back.
She jumped slightly as if she had forgotten that I was there.
"Bella, I can stay while you…" I trailed off gesturing towards the toilet.
"Oh," she murmured then shook her head. "No, no that's fine. I'll be ok but…"
She paused and ran a finger over the picture of the baby on the box.
"But what, sweetheart?"
"You'll be in here as soon as I'm done, right?"
I sighed and pulled her to me. "Of course, baby. We're in this together."
I cupped her face and kissed her softly. "Just call me when you're done."
"Ok," she whispered and stood slowly. I followed her movement and walked out of the bathroom, closing the door gently behind me.
I moved to the wall at the side of it and slumped against it in a daze.
How the fuck did this happen?
I mean, shit, yeah, I knew how it happened, but we'd only been married a year. Surely this was far too soon to be thinking of babies and stuff? I wanted a family with Bella, of course, I wished for nothing more but fuck…now?
What kind of father would I be?
I rubbed an anxious hand down my face, feeling panic start to well in my stomach.
I really wasn't sure whether I was ready for it. I was only 27. Wasn't that too young to be having kids? And what about Bella? She was obviously terrified about the notion too. How could I possibly be what she needed when my head was so far up my own ass?
I closed my eyes and dropped my head back against the wall, listening for her call through the door.
"Get a grip," I muttered to the empty room.
I had to focus on Bella. I had to push my worries aside and be there for her. She had been dealing with the news for eleven days on her own, which I knew couldn't have been easy and the last thing she needed was for me to be acting like an insensitive motherfucker.
I shot up from the wall as the bathroom door opened and looked to see Bella holding a handful of tissue.
"Hey," I muttered.
"Hey," she replied quietly.
She nodded and sighed. "It says it takes two to three minutes."
"Ok," I replied, my eyes glued firmly to her hand.
My stomach was tight and my throat was drier than the Sahara. I honestly thought my heart was gonna break the fuck through my ribs the force at which it was beating.
"Edward," she said almost pleading.
"What, sweetheart?" I asked as my eyes met hers while I took a step towards her.
"Can you…?" She lifted her hand to offering me the tissue and the test that was within it. "I just don't think…"
As soon as I saw the shake of her wrist I took it from her.
"Sure, baby," I soothed. I clasped it in my hand and guided her with my arm around her shoulders back to the bed.
We sat in silence, both of us watching the digital clock as it meandered slowly from one minute to the next. I really had no clue what to say. My fist gripped the tissue in my hand and I could feel the shape of the test against my palm. I realised with a large gulp that I had never been as scared in my entire fucking life.
"Edward." Bella's voice drew me from my fear and brought me back to the room.
I turned my face to her and noticed she was looking at her hand that was nearly white from my grip on her.
"Shit, sorry, Bella," I murmured as I loosened my grip.
"It's ok. I'm scared too."
I looked in her eyes and saw the exact same thing that I was thinking.
This was a big fucking deal and we were both utterly petrified about what it meant for us. But as I continued to stare at her I also saw the love that she had for me, so completely unconditional and unbreakable just like mine for her.
We were in this together.
She had helped me through so much since the day that we had met that I knew with each other we would get through whatever fate rested in my hand.
"It's time," she whispered.
I blinked at her and exhaled, bringing my hand from my side. Bella shuffled back a little so that I could lay the test on the bed between us. I looked up to her and she nodded. I clenched my fist to stop the shake and cleared my throat as I pulled back the tissue a piece at a time.
And there it was.
A small pink dot; bright and positive.
"Hey, man, can I have your autograph?"
I turned from the condiment shelf in front of me to see a young guy of about eighteen standing holding out a piece of paper and a pen for me.
"Um…yeah sure," I answered, taking them both from him.
"Can you write it to Becky?"
I nodded and did as he asked.
"Thanks, dude, my girlfriend will be so fucking stoked!"
I smiled and nodded as I handed it back to him. "No problem."
He held out his hand and I shook it.
"You're cool, man," he said firmly, "Awesome that you won the Oscar too."
"Thanks," I replied as I ran a hand through my hair.
"See ya," he muttered and sauntered down the aisle towards the exit. I glanced around quickly to see that no one else had seen the conversation and breathed a sigh of relief before continuing my shelf hunt for a bottle of Tabasco sauce.
"Where the fuck?" I murmured as I scanned each and every one in turn for about the hundredth time.
I pulled out my cell and dialled Bella sighing at the thought of not being able to get what she needed.
But I needn't have worried because her phone simply rang and rang. I let it ring until it hit voice mail.
Ok Cullen, breathe. Don't panic, ring the house phone…
I had been adamant about getting a land line so that I could get hold of her in case her cell battery went. It was cordless so she could have it with her at all times when I was out of the house.
That too rang and rang…
"Fuck," I fumed under my breath as I began walking towards the store exit and back out to the car lot.
Ok, call Seth…
"Hey Seth, its Edward, are you at the house with Bella?"
"Um…no I left about two hours ago, why, is everything ok?"
"I don't know, I can't get hold of her," I answered as I slammed myself into my car seat, turning the engine on at the same time. "Was she ok when you left?"
"Yeah, she was fine," he replied. "I'm sure she's ok."
"Yeah," I muttered. "Sorry to bother you."
"No problem. You'll let me know she's alright?"
I threw the phone down on the seat next to me and drove through LA back home like a bat out of hell. I knew I shouldn't have fucking left her.
"Idiot, idiot, idiot," I seethed at myself in the rear view mirror.
I pulled the car up outside the house and dove through the front door, "Bella?!"
Fuck my life.
I searched the down stairs finding nothing other than empty Sprite bottles and Chinese boxes on the coffee table along with her cell and the fucking house phone.
I ran up the stairs and barrelled into the bedroom. The sounds of my piano music came from the en suite which I charged towards, hitting the door so hard it banged into the wall behind it. I gasped in relief, my knees nearly buckling when I saw my wife in the bath surrounded by a huge amount of bubbles, looking at me in utter panic.
"Isabella," I gasped, pinching the bridge of my nose. "Sweetheart, I love you to the ends of the earth but seriously don't ever, fucking do that to me again!"
"Your cell and the house phone are down stairs, Bella and here you are…upstairs!"
"I'm sorry," she murmured, sitting up slightly so that her belly disappeared under the bubbles. "I just…I needed to get in the bath so I left them there. I didn't think. Sorry, baby."
I took a second for her words to register.
"What do you mean you needed to? Are you ok?"
She took a shaky breath. "My contractions started about forty minutes ago."
I rubbed my face. "Dammit, Bella! Why didn't you call me?"
"Because we've had so many false starts, I didn't want to worry you."
"Didn't wanna…?" I repeated incredulously. "I swear woman, you're a fucking nightmare."
I walked over to the side of the bath and knelt down beside her.
"I'm sorry," she muttered, leaning her head back against the bath tub.
"It's alright…just, don't shut me out. I need to know that you're both ok."
I rubbed my hand across her damp hair.
"Edward," she whispered, closing her eyes gently.
"Can you get in here with me? My back…I think…these feel really different."
"Different how?" I asked, feeling my panic rise through my body.
"Just…different, like…more intense than before, like they're deeper inside. I don't know."
"Do I need to call Dr Hawkins?"
She bit her lip and nodded.
"Ok," I said, lifting immediately from the side of the tub while pulling my cell phone out of my pocket.
I explained to the doctor what Bella had told me, while she asked how far apart the contractions were and at what level of intensity they were between one and ten. Bella answered with a four.
"Ok, it definitely sounds like you need to bring her in," she said firmly. "The first stages can take a long time however so don't rush and panic her. You said she's in the bath?"
"Yeah," I answered quickly. "She says it helps her back."
"It will and she's fine to stay there as long as the contractions stay as far apart as they are. As soon as they become closer together you need to get her here."
"No problem," I assured her.
"Call me when you set off."
"I will, thanks Doctor."
I pushed my cell back in my pocket and started to undress. Bella scooted forward slowly and I stepped in behind her, folding my arms and my legs around her sides. I kissed her hair and rubbed the sponge gently across her stomach.
"You ok?" I asked softly.
"Mmhm," she replied lazily. "That feels good."
"I love you, you know," I murmured into her ear before placing a soft kiss on her neck.
"I love you too," she answered, as I continued to caress the sponge and warm water over her body.
7 months earlier…
Holy fucking shit…
I stared at the pink dot, so small but so fucking monumental all at the same time.
My lungs suddenly began to burn with the breath that I didn't know I was holding. I exhaled slowly not wanting to alert Bella to my utter shock and alarm.
Pregnant…like, for real…
"Oh God," I heard her whisper.
I looked up to see her large brown eyes fill with tears and her hand cup to her mouth.
Man up, Cullen…
"Isabella," I said softly, placing my hand over the test, moving it to the bedside table. "Come here."
She didn't move.
I shuffled towards her and placed my hands under her arms lifting her to me, ironically, like a small child. I placed her on my lap, tucking her head under my chin and let her cry into my chest. I had no idea what her tears meant. They could have been fear, shock, anger, happiness – I had no clue.
All I knew was that I was going to be a father and I had no fucking idea how I felt about it.
We sat, like that, for a long time, letting the news sink in slowly. I was, by that point, leaning my back against the head board with Bella still curled up against me, stroking her hair and wishing to God that I knew what she was thinking.
"Baby, we need to talk about this."
Slowly she raised her head to look at me, her face saying so much it was indecipherable.
"You need to tell me how you feel about this," I urged. "Because honestly sweetheart, I have no idea what to do for you."
"For me?" she asked looking puzzled. "What about you? How do you feel about this?"
Now there was a question…
"Um…" I ran my hand through my hair. "I don't know." I shrugged apologetically.
She smiled and blew air down her nose, "Me too."
"Are you…happy?" I asked nervously.
She stayed quiet for what felt like years.
"Edward, I want nothing more than to have a family with you…"
"But…" I offered, dropping my head to catch her gaze.
"No but…I just…is it too soon? I mean, we've only been married a year, together for not much more than that. I kind of thought that we'd have longer…just you and me and I'm sorry for thinking that and being selfish but…I don't know."
"Hey," I croaked, feeling so entirely relieved that we were on the same page that I could have danced around the room. "It's ok. I feel exactly the same but…"
I licked my lips and took a deep breath, feeling a wave of calm wash through me.
"Bella, since the day we met I've kinda believed that we were meant to be. You were meant to come into my life the way you did at the exact time that you did. I was meant to fall in love with you the moment I laid eyes on you and we were supposed to get married in our meadow and be here at this precise moment too."
As the words came from me I knew in my heart that I meant every single one of them. I cupped her face with my right palm while I played with her hair with my left.
"I love you and I agree that it is soon and I too would have loved to have just you and me for a little while longer. But, Bella, I have this overwhelming feeling that this," I gestured to her stomach, "was meant to be."
I shrugged not knowing if she understood what I was saying.
It was the strangest sensation feeling utterly terrified but also weirdly content about the entire situation. Part of me wanted to run and hide from my fear about being a father and all that that referred to but the other, larger part of me wanted to face my fear at my wife's side and take on the huge adventure that was headed our way nine months down the line.
Two huge tears rolled down her cheeks as she stared at me.
"I know exactly what you mean," she whimpered. "I…do…want this, Edward."
I smiled at her and nodded, feeling my panic ebb away gently at her words. I slowly took her hand and placed it along with mine against her stomach just below her belly button.
"Me too, baby. Me too."
And it was nothing but the absolute truth.
I wandered back into the maternity suite at Cedar Sinai to see that Bella was hooked up to an electronic foetal monitor while a nurse took her blood pressure.
"Dad says he'll be here when he can. Mom's still in San Francisco," I said as I took my seat at her bedside. "And I've arranged a flight for your mom and dad. Angela and Seth said they'll be here soon, as well as Alice and Jazz."
"Thank you," she said with a smile as I rolled my eyes at the prospect of my overly excited sister.
We had been at the hospital a little under two hours and although Bella's contractions were still a distance apart they were beginning to become more painful. She tried to hide it but I could see it in the winces and twists of her face and I hated it. I wanted to take it away or suffer it myself. She looked so small and helpless in the large bed but I knew deep down that my wife was anything but.
The foetal monitor was used because of the possibility of her caesarean. Dr Hawkins had explained that she very much wanted Bella to have a natural delivery but that all options had to be considered carefully.
As amenable as I was to that, the electronic equipment and wires freaked me the fuck out.
The nurse left and I took the opportunity to place a soft kiss on Bella's lips.
"How are you doing, baby?" I asked as I skimmed her cheek with my thumb.
"I'm ok," she answered with a small smile. "I just wish it was over with."
"It will be soon," I replied, praying like hell that it was true.
Although Dr Hawkins had said that it may take hours I was still hopeful that she was wrong. I just couldn't imagine sitting, waiting, watching Bella in pain for hours. That shit was going to drive me insane.
I made sure that she as comfortable as she could be and that she had plenty of ice chips to keep her cool and hydrated but I still felt utterly frustrated that I couldn't do more. I held her hand through the contractions, holding my breath through every one, willing it to be quick but after another two hours they were lasting longer and were clearly hurting her.
"How long?" I asked the doctor as she checked the monitor again.
I couldn't help but notice the slight frown that covered her brow as she marked the paper with her pen.
"Um…still a way yet, I think. But you're doing beautifully, Bella."
She turned to us both, clicking her pen and placing it back in her breast pocket.
"I'd just like to set up another monitor so that we can hear the baby's heart beat for a little while. Is that ok?"
"Yeah," Bella replied. "Is there something wrong?"
"No, nothing to worry about," she said with a small smile that I couldn't quite figure was genuine or not. "I just want to make sure that baby is comfortable and that her heart beat is nice and strong."
Bella looked at me and I smiled in agreement. She looked back to the doctor who stood patiently.
"Ok," she said with a small nod.
The doctor left and the room suddenly became weirdly quiet.
"Do you think there's something wrong?" Bella asked as her grip on my hand tightened.
"No, beautiful," I answered as evenly as I could through the huge ball of fear and doubt that was filling my throat. "I'm sure everything is fine. She said you are doing great."
"Yeah," she answered with uncertainty in her eyes.
"Hey," I whispered. "I'm here, ok?"
"I love you."
The heart monitor was set up and we sat and listened to my daughter's heart beat as it filled the room. Short of Bella's laugh and the sound of my name on her lips it had to be the most beautiful fucking thing I had ever heard.
The doctor continued to make small pen marks on the foetal monitor and infuriatingly the frown I had noticed before was still present. She unhooked the monitor after about an hour; spoke quietly with the two nurses that were with her and the started leaving the room.
"I'll be right back, ok?" I said to Bella as I kissed her head.
"Hey Doctor," I called as I hurried after her down the hallway.
"Hey," she answered with the same smile.
"Look, tell me if I'm wrong but you don't seem happy with whatever's on that paper."
She slipped her hands in her pockets and nodded. "At the moment everything looks ok…"
"Just ok?" I asked crossing my arms over my chest trying to hold myself the fuck together.
"Yes," she replied quickly. "The baby's heart rate dropped a little. It's nothing to be too concerned about just yet but I need to keep a close eye on it."
"Do you not think you should tell Bella this?"
My voice sounded funny as the words heart rate and dropped slammed about my head.
"No," she answered firmly. "The baby, for now, is perfectly fine and if I tell Bella she may get more anxious and panicked and cause more problems for your baby. It is very important that she stays calm through this. You need to stay calm through this for her, ok?"
I nodded feeling anything but fucking calm.
"I promise, if the situation changes you'll both be the first to know."
Although her tone was firm I knew what she was saying was the truth.
"Thank you," I muttered.
"You're welcome. Now go and look after your wife." She smiled and set off back down the hall.
6.5 months earlier…
"Are you nervous?"
"A little," Bella replied, placing her hand on my knee that was tapping up and down like crazy.
"Not as much as you obviously," she smiled and kissed my cheek lovingly.
"I'm sorry," I muttered lifting her hand to mine so I could place a soft kiss on her knuckle.
"It's ok," she said softly. "We're in this together remember."
"Yeah," I answered with a smile and a sigh of relief.
Thank God for that…
We both looked up to see a young blonde haired nurse standing with a clip board.
"We're ready for you."
Bella took my hand, giving it a small squeeze as we walked through the white doors and down a hallway towards the ultrasound room. It was surprisingly dark in the room that we entered and my eyes immediately went to equipment that looked like a TV and was sitting in the corner of the room looking all technical and scary and shit.
"Mrs. Cullen," a dark haired lady smiled as we approached. She shook her hand and then turned to me. "Mr. Cullen."
"Edward please," I offered as I released her hand.
"Ok," she replied with a nod and a noticeable blush. "I'm Debbie your ultrasound technician. Shall we get started? Mrs. Cullen…"
"Bella," she interrupted.
"Bella," she repeated with a smile. "If you could get up on the bed for me and lift your top up and unfasten your jeans that would be great."
Bella let my hand go and did as she was asked, lifting her t-shirt and loosening the buttons on her fly. I sat down in the chair next to her and watched as Debbie placed a green sheet on Bella's legs and tucked it into the waistband of her jeans and panties.
"So, Dr Hawkins tells me you're now at around eight weeks is that correct?" she asked as she lifted a sheet of paper from a clipboard.
"Yeah," Bella answered with a quick glance at me.
"That's wonderful. This is your first, right?"
We both nodded and smiled nervously.
"Ok, well let's see how your baby's doing today."
With that, after putting a pair of latex gloves on, she lifted a large bottle of green coloured liquid. "This may be a little cold, sorry."
Bella giggled slightly as it was squirted onto her stomach.
The screen of the TV suddenly lit up but it was turned away from us, making it impossible to see what was on it. Debbie placed a device that looked like a one end of a dumb bell onto Bella and the picture flickered.
"Alright, let's see…"
I fidgeted in my seat, like the impatient fucker I am, wanting desperately to see what it was that she saw.
"Aha," she said quietly. "There we are. Yeah, eight weeks sounds about right."
And with that she turned the screen towards us.
I'm not entirely sure what I expected to see but I'd be fucked if I knew what the hell I was looking at.
"That is the gestational sac and this…" she clicked a couple of buttons, "…is your baby."
She pointed to a small peanut shape in the centre of the screen and my breath caught in my throat. I leaned forward in my seat, feeling Bella's hand grip mine to her side. It was the tiniest, weirdest most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my entire life.
"That's…that's our baby," I muttered to no one in particular.
"It is," Debbie answered with a smile. "And this…" she clicked another button, "Is your baby's heart beat."
The room suddenly filled with a loud thumping sound that was so quick I could barely keep up with it.
It was the single most incredible sound I had ever heard and made the hairs all over my body stand in awe.
"Bella," I whispered as I looked at my beautiful wife.
She beamed at me and cupped the side of my face as I stood over her and kissed her hard on the lips.
Ultrasound techie be damned.
"I love you," I murmured as I kissed her again "My God, Bella, that's…can you hear that…? That's…"
"I know," she said with a quiet laugh and tears in her eyes. "It's amazing."
It was and so much more.
It was my baby; our baby and until that moment I had never realised a heart could hold as much love as mine did for something so small.
"Bella, breathe, baby, come on sweetheart."
"Christ almighty," she gasped as she gripped my hand with the strength of a world champion arm wrestler. "God…Edward…"
"I'm here, breathe, beautiful," I urged as best I could, hating the pain that was etched across her face.
She panted and slumped back against her pillows. A light sheen of sweat sparkled across her forehead.
"Holy shit," she moaned.
"You're doing great, baby." I leaned over and kissed her cheek. "I love you."
"I love you," she groaned. "But I can't…"
"Yes, you can," I said firmly before being interrupted by a loud beeping that was coming from the foetal monitor.
The nurse who had been checking the paper that was coming from the machine turned to the doorway where another nurse had suddenly appeared, seemingly out of thin air.
"Get Dr Hawkins quickly!"
My heart dropped into the soles of my feet and the entire world seemed to slow.
"Wh-…what's wrong?" Bella whimpered, fear covering every inch of her face as her eyes flickered wildly from my face and then back to the nurse.
"I don't know," I answered with a slow shake of my head as I watched the nurse click buttons on the machine in front of her.
Dr Hawkins entered the room at super speed, rushing over to the nurse where they conversed in what I could only decipher as fucking Swahili.
"What's going on?" I asked as loudly as I could without my voice breaking.
But no one answered me.
Why weren't they telling us anything? This was my wife, my daughter and they just remained fucking silent like they didn't fucking matter.
"Hey! What the fuck is going on?!"
"Edward," Bella gasped, gripping my forearm.
I looked down at her and immediately regretted my outburst. I had to remain calm but fuck it all to hell I was fucking terrified and I wanted answers.
"I'm sorry," I muttered sheepishly.
"It's alright," the doctor said softly. "Bella, your baby's heart rate has dropped far too low for my liking and she's obviously in distress, so we're going to need to prep you for an emergency caesarean. It will only take five minutes. We'll get you into surgery and I promise you I can have your baby out in ninety seconds."
"Oh God," she said through a loud sob. "Edward."
She grabbed for me like she was drowning and I had no clue how to save her.
"It's ok, sweetheart, I'm here. I'm here." I cupped her face and showered her face with kisses, willing my body to quiet down and stay calm but the fear…
Jesus it gripped at my heart like a fucking vice.
"Mr. Cullen," Dr Hawkins said gently. "Come with me a moment?"
"No fucking way," I growled as I held onto my wife.
Her eyes pleaded with me and I knew I had to do as she asked. I turned to Bella and stared at her intently.
"I'll be right back."
"Come back quick, please, Edward, please," she begged through soft sobs.
"Where else am I gonna go?" I asked as I placed a kiss on her forehead, scrunching my eyes shut as I felt her shake under my lips.
I followed the doctor into the hall, running my hands through my hair, wanting to rip it from its roots.
"I'm sorry," I muttered, feeling my lungs squeeze in my chest. "I'm just…" I rubbed my palms down my face.
"I know, but you need to stay as calm as you can right now for Bella."
I nodded, putting my hands on my hips and dropping my head towards the floor. My whole body felt numb, exhausted and utterly fraught.
"I know…I just…" I swallowed hard as my voice cracked. I bit my lip and looked up at her. "That woman in there…she's fucking everything to me. Everything…I can't…our baby…if anything…"
"I know that and I'm going to do everything I can to make sure her and your daughter get through this with the minimum amount of distress. But I need you to help me with that, ok?"
"Yeah," I said quietly as I swallowed back my tears.
My chest ached and the utter sense of helplessness and terror crashed through me like cut glass.
"Ok, let's do this."
She disappeared back into the room. I stood for a moment trying to compose myself before Bella saw me.
My breath left me in a rush as I turned to see my father walking quickly towards me.
"Dad," I whispered, feeling my emotions scratch hard at the surface.
"Son, what's wrong? Is Bella ok?"
I shook my head. "The baby…her heart rate…they have to perform a caesarean, Dad…"
He put his hand on my shoulder and rubbed it firmly.
"Bella…she's…Christ, Dad, what if…?" I couldn't finish my sentence as the tears I was holding in over flowed and ran unashamedly down my cheeks.
"Come here," he murmured, pulling me to him, holding me tightly as I cried desperate, frightened tears into his shoulders, just as he had nearly eight years before when he picked me up off my apartment floor when I hit my lowest point.
"I can't lose…my daughter, Dad," I sobbed quietly, holding onto him for dear life.
"You won't, Edward," he said determinedly while rubbing my back. "The doctor's here are incredible. They'll do everything they can."
He pushed me back from him, cupping the sides of my neck.
"Listen to me. You need to be there for Bella. She needs you now more than ever. I know it's hard, Son, believe me, I know. When your mother had Alice and she…" He trailed off with a large breath.
"You need to focus on your wife. She'll be terrified right now and you have to be strong for her."
"I know," I coughed through my tears. "I'm trying…I'm fucking trying so hard."
"I know," he muttered, rubbing my shoulders again. "You're strong, Edward. Remember who you are."
I blew a long breath through my lips and nodded. "Thank you."
"Any time, I love ya."
"I'll wait here. Your mother should be here soon."
I wiped my face with my hands and set off back into the room where the nurses and Dr Hawkins were milling around my Bella.
Her eyes widened in relief when she saw me.
"Hey my beautiful girl," I whispered, standing as close as I could without getting in the way of the nurses. It was so hard being unable to take her in my arms when the pull I felt for her was as strong as it was.
"I'm so scared," she whimpered.
"I know it, baby."
"What if they don't get her out in time?"
"Shh," I soothed her, taking her hand and kissing every knuckle. "They will, sweetheart. They will."
Her grip on me tightened.
"Hey, do know what I was thinking about?"
She shook her head slowly.
"I was thinking about the day we found out that you were pregnant. Do you remember?"
Of course she remembered, but as long as she was thinking about that she wasn't thinking about what was about to happen and that was all I wanted.
"I was so scared then, Bella. I had no idea what to do or say to you as I held you. You were so worried about what my reaction was gonna be." I smiled and raised my eyebrows. "But I knew that this was meant to be, Bella. Do you remember when I told you that?"
I cursed myself as my voice broke. She nodded and bit her lip.
"I knew that when you said you wanted this…our daughter…that I wanted it too. More than I've ever wanted anything and you looked so beautiful when you realised that."
"Baby," she murmured, pulling me towards her.
I kissed her softly, leaning my forehead against hers.
"I can't wait to meet our daughter, Bella."
"Me too," she replied, kissing me again.
"Ok," the nurse behind me said gently. "We have to get her into surgery."
"I'm right here," I promised her as they wheeled the bed towards the door and out down the hall.
Dad stood from his seat that was situated outside of the room.
"I have to…I have to go," I said, gesturing towards the procession of bed, nurses and doctors.
"Go. I'll be here."
I nodded and then ran like a motherfucker after my wife.
Within minutes of entering the OR, the whole place and every person in it, including me, were covered in blue scrubs and sheeting. I stood by Bella's head while the doctors prepped her baby bump with some fuck awful orange looking stuff.
"Can you feel anything?" I asked as I smoothed my hand across her forehead.
She looked so fucking tired and I ached to make it all better. I ached to kiss her fear away and I ached to have my daughter safely in my arms.
"No," she answered quietly. "Can you see anything?"
I shook my head. "I'm staying right here until I don't have to."
She smiled and blinked up at me slowly.
"I love you," I whispered as I leaned down to her. "I'm so proud of you, Bella, you have no idea."
"I love you," she whispered back. "Tell me it's going to be ok, Edward, please?"
I let out a shaky breath. "It's going to be ok, beautiful."
She sighed and closed her eyes.
"Do you know something?"
"I had a dream last night about what she's gonna look like."
She grinned and her eyes lost some of their uncertainty. "Really, was she beautiful?"
"Oh yeah," I replied with a furrowed brow, "Devastatingly beautiful, just like her mother."
She rolled her eyes and laughed lightly.
"She had big brown eyes and dark hair - with a little bit of red." I pointed to my hair that was covered with a surgical cap.
"You may feel a slight tugging sensation, Bella, but that's perfectly fine, ok honey? We'll have her out in about sixty seconds," the voice came from the far end of the room but my eyes never left my wife's.
"Edward." The look of panic was back.
"And she had long, long eyelashes, like me," I continued, not missing a beat. "And beautiful pink lips and a small nose like yours." I brushed my finger tip against hers to show her. "My God she's going to be gorgeous, Bella."
She nodded as I wiped the tears that were falling down the side of her temples onto the bed she was lying on.
My head shot up but all I saw was a blur of motion and blue.
"Can you see her?" Bella asked. "Edward, can you see her? Is she ok?"
"I can't see her, baby," I answered, trying like hell to see past the bodies that surrounded a table at the far side of the room.
"Why can't I hear her? Oh God, Edward, why can't I hear her? Isn't she supposed to cry?"
I looked back down at her and what I saw shattered my heart into a thousand pieces. She was so fucking terrified, desperate to get to her child, to hear her, to hold her.
My heart pounded in my chest as I leaned my head to hers.
"Just wait, baby, she will."
Please, please, please…
"Breathe Bella. Just wait…just wait…"
"Breathe…you'll hear her…you'll hear her…just wait…"
Oh God…Oh God…please…
And then there it was.
The most incredible, magical fucking sound I had ever heard.
My daughter crying.
I exhaled with a sound that was almost pained in its relief and the tears burst from me large and unrelenting. I grabbed Bella's face and kissed her.
"I love you. I love you. I love you."
"She's ok? She's ok, Edward?"
I lifted my head and my eyes met Dr Hawkins who smiled widely and nodded gently. She walked over to us and looked down at Bella.
"She's perfect, ten fingers, ten toes, six pounds ten ounces. We're just giving her some oxygen and then you can see her."
"Thank you," I sighed.
"My pleasure, you did wonderfully, Bella." She looked up at me, "Both of you."
"Thank you," I repeated with a nod.
I was itching to see her but I didn't want to leave Bella's side but within moments a nurse holding a small bundle of blue blankets approached me.
I held my breath as I felt my eyes widen.
She gestured for me to take her but I was paralysed to the spot. All I could see was dark hair and a small nose peeking from under the woman's arm.
"Edward, baby, take her," Bella whispered with a smile.
"Um…yeah," I muttered, taking a step towards the nurse.
I opened my arm and she placed the baby's head in the crook of my elbow.
I looked down at the creature in my arms and I was lost once more.
My whole world came to a grinding halt and surrounded the baby girl I was holding.
I instantly knew without any fucking doubt that I would do anything for her, be anything for her and do it until my dying day.
I would love her, protect her, throw myself in front of a bullet for her, play with her, teach her and be the best father I could be for her because I knew, as I gazed down at her, that she deserved nothing less.
Never had I seen anything so perfect, so beautiful and so like my dream I had to blink twice to make sure she was real.
But she was.
She was real and I was holding her.
"I dreamed of you," I whispered as I kissed her perfect forehead.
"Is she beautiful?" Bella asked tenderly.
I turned slowly and crouched slightly so that she could see her.
"Edward, she's perfect."
"She looks like my dream," I murmured. "She's just like you."
Bella lifted her hand and stroked a finger down her tiny face.
"Hello, Angel. God she's so soft."
I watched as my wife introduced herself to our daughter, speechless, overwhelmed and so happy there were no words to describe it.
"Thank you, Isabella," I said as I kissed her lips. "She's beautiful, she's just so perfect. She's everything."
"She's Elizabeth Anna Cullen," she said gently as she kissed me back.
I laughed softly and nodded.
"Sure beats the hell out of Mini-C," I smirked.
"That it does," she replied with a chuckle.
Grudgingly, after fifteen minutes, I handed her back to the nurses who said that she would have to be placed in an incubator for a couple of hours just to make sure her oxygen levels were normal. I scoffed slightly at that.
Normal? This is my fucking daughter, she's fucking awesome.
Once Bella was stitched up, she was wheeled back to her room where she fell asleep almost instantly. I kissed her forehead, telling her subconscious that I would be back. We still had family to tell.
I wandered back down the corridor, seeing my mom and dad, sister, brother-in-law and friends jump up from their seats in silence as they saw me.
I stopped and opened my arms wide. "I have a daughter."
The squeals and shouts of joy echoed down the hall and I was suddenly bombarded with hugs, kisses and back slaps that I welcomed unashamedly, especially the ones from my father and mother.
I kissed my mom and held her tightly.
"She's so fucking perfect, Mom," I whispered.
"Of course she is," she sobbed in my ear. "Of course she is."
"Congrats man," Jasper said with a wide smile as he hugged me. "Mini-C is finally here."
"Um…no, she's not," I argued. "My daughter is called Elizabeth Anna."
The silence that fell on everyone was stunned. I glanced nervously at my mother.
"Is that alright?"
She smiled and wiped her eyes.
"It's perfect, Edward." She hugged me again, kissing my cheek. "It's perfect. I know she would be so proud of you."
I squeezed her to me with a smile allowing myself one precious second where I thought of my mother, Elizabeth, in heaven, proudly watching over the new angel in my life.
Holy….no words, Batman….
Leave me love –I'm off to blow my nose and dry my tears.