Chapter 14/ Epilogue
And Now We are Four
"Push Bella" I encouraged my wife, as the doctor stood and waited for the head to crown.
"How about you push? How about we swap places and you get this damn watermelon out? I carried it for nine months, when the hell do you do your bit?"
I wiped her forehead free of sweat and chuckled at her rage.
"I believe I put it in you. That was my bit."
"Lucky you then. Lucky men. I hate men. I am never having sex again" she yelled.
My fingers feel like she has maybe snapped a couple, she is holding on so tightly.
"Get this out of me,,,,aauugh!"
"Maybe she should have an epidural?" I suggested again.
I hate seeing her suffer, even if it is for a good cause.
"The head is crowning. Now, just pant, Bella." he orders and Bella goes very pale and pants.
"Shit shit shit. Why did we do this again?"
"Because we want our beautiful baby , remember."
"We already have Tyler and someone else had to suffer to get him here. God, this was not one of my better ideas."
"Now I need one really big push, Bella. That's it, good girl, keep it going."
Bella is now beet red and gritting her teeth as she bears down.
"Here we are, it's a girl."
The doctor holds up our naked, screaming messy daughter and Bella smiles, then passes out from the sight of the blood.
It was expected, we knew she would never get through without seeing some blood.
The baby is screaming and indignant at be gawked at probably.
I hold Bella's hand and watch the nurses checking her vitals.
The doctor is delivering the placenta and hurrying to get her cleaned up so she can enjoy the new baby when she comes around.
The nurses strip everything away and clean my wife up and dress her and the dirty linen is removed from the room.
It is going to be a few rough weeks while she bleeds from the birth.
The plans are, to keep her in hospital for about two weeks so the worse bleeding is over when I take her home, then I will assist her and blind fold her for showers etc.
It's the price we pay to have a family, and I am not the least bit put off by having to attend to my wife.
My concern is, when I have to leave the children in her sole care, because kids fall and scrape their knees and bleed. And she can't help but collapse at the sight of blood.
I am rearranging all my staff because for the early years, at least, I will have to be home virtually 24/7 so my companies have to run without my presence. They have done so in the past but now I simply won't even be dropping by now and then.
If I am needed, Esme can stay with Bella and the kids.
"Edward, would you like to bathe your daughter or will I?" asks the nurse.
I am torn. I don't want to leave Bella but she will miss all this.
"I will. I will be right there."
I lean in and kiss my beautiful wife and follow the nurse out.
The baby has a mass of hair, so I have to thoroughly wash it over and over to get every speck of blood out. It's coppery and will satisfy any lingering doubts that this is my child, not Jacob's.
It would have had to be immaculate conception to be his but the scandal magazines have held out hope the baby will be a black haired, brown skinned "Surprise Package for Edward Cullen". I can imagine the headlines they had waiting to use.
Her skin is pale, white, even lighter than Bella's and mine.
Her eyes are almost fully green already, very little baby slate blue.
She has Bella's pretty mouth and eyebrows.
And the tiniest button nose.
"What's her name?" asks the nurse.
"Still undecided. Bella hopes she would take one look at her and know what the perfect name is for her."
"Good luck with that."
"Yes. I wanted to settle on the name beforehand. But Bella knows what she wants."
"My first daughter was weeks old before we named her. I mean, there were six granddaughters already in the family so the good names were all taken. Then with my second, my sister had her fourth that day as well. I decided to go with Fleur..I mean, how uncommon is that? Guess what my sister named her daughter? Fleur. Can you believe it? Neither of us were willing to change so my parents have two granddaughters born the same day, both Fleur."
"That won't be a problem. We have a son but my siblings haven't got any children yet. This is the first granddaughter."
Mind you, the pregnancy test stick with the "Yes you are' smiley face in Lizzie's bathroom I saw when I used her shower yesterday suggests she and Jacob have an announcement or two to make. They have not been apart since our wedding renewal, and he lives more at my house than at his.
Not that it matters, Bella and I are in our new house now so who lives in the main house has no effect on us. I know she enjoys having Jacob around and she loves that he is engaged to my sister.
"Nice. A boy and a girl. How lucky you two are. How old is your son?"
"Tyler is not yet two."
"Oh, nice and close. That should mean he will accept her fairly easily."
"I hope so."
Bella was in her private room when I pushed the plastic crib down the hallway and into her room.
"As usual, I miss everything." she complained.
"Well, you were awake for the actual birth and saw her once, so that was more than I expected."
"I would have liked to sleep through that delivery, actually."
I handed our precious new child to Bella and she smiled and traced a finger around her cheeks.
"She is the baby I dreamt about."
"Yep, exactly. She looks like you. And me. I hope she has your grace."
"I hope she has your soul. And neither of our tempers."
"Yes, it would be good to have a nice, calm member of the family."
"Tyler is amazing, especially considering his genes."
"He is all you, Edward. A clone child."
"Don't say that, I am hoping he is the new, improved he has so many of my bad habits already, poor boy."
"You survived, and he will too."
"But will those who surround him?"
"Here, you take Zoe and I am getting up and the nurse can help me have a proper shower, I feel like I am only half clean."
The nurse came in and blindfolded Bella and walked her into the adjoining bathroom.
"Hello, Zoe. I didn't even know that was on the list of possibilities. But I like it. Zoe Isabella Cullen."
Carlisle and Esme appeared at the door and I welcomed them in and handed Zoe to my Mom.
"I just want to get the name on the birth registration papers before Bella changes her mind."
Write child's name here. Please note, make sure of spelling, as this cannot be altered later other than by deed poll.
ZOE ISABELLA CULLEN.
When Bella came back, and climbed onto her bed, I handed the papers to her to sign as well.
"Yes, Isabella. Don't screw your nose up like that. She deserves to have your name in hers."
"Fine. Zoe Isabella. I can live with it, I hope she can."
"You are so funny, your name is beautiful. It suits you. And Zoe Isabella suits her."
Alice and Rose both approved of the names and Alice particularly loved it.
I hope she will have a beautiful life, like her name promises. Zoe means life, Isabella means beautiful. Perfect."
Bella opened the gifts and the women exclaimed over the tiny pink dresses and finally, they all left and I went and got Tyler and Charlie and they got to have a private visit. Tyler was delighted with the large parcel Zoe had thoughtfully bought for him and he sat on the floor drawing in his new book and holding his new teddybear.
Charlie was enchanted by the baby and cried a few tears.
"I remember when you were this tiny and had a little face like hers, so pretty. Though the hair is going to need plenty of ribbons to control it" he chuckled.
Poor Zoe. The messy hair was fine on men, it was simply labeled sex hair. Girls might not be so fond of it on their own heads.
"Her hair is beautiful" said Bella."At least she didn't get my boring brown. Oops, sorry dad."
We all laughed and I held my little girl against my chest and kissed her coppery mess of curls.
Charlie and i took Tyler home and I followed Bella's nightly routine and got him settled into bed and read him several new books about big brothers and little sisters .
"Mama?" he asked, hopefully.
"Soon, Tyler. They will come home soon and we will be the family I never knew I wanted until Bella brought you to me."
I still wished I could go back and at least be civil to her that day.
She saved my son's life and I had been a prat. I knew she had long forgiven and forgotten but I wished I could have more control of myself. I was improving, since the whole Victoria incident, I hadn't even felt slightly angry about anything.
I was blessed and I knew it.
I was redeemed, even though I had always thought that ship had sailed long ago.
I have a wife and two children and a perfect life now.
I will do everything in my power to keep it that way.
Alice and Jasper were on night duty with Tyler and I grabbed a pair of flannel pajamas and headed back to the hospital and found my wife and daughter asleep, so I changed and spooned myself around Bella and joined them.
Zoe woke up a few hours later so I rang for a nurse to assist Bella and walked the floor with the hungry baby, then helped..well, watched..the breastfeeding. Bella was so good , like a natural.
"I have done this before" she winked and reminded me.
"How many months do you plan to feed her?" I asked.
"Are you asking because you care about her nutrition or you want to know when you get your playthings back?"
"Is both an acceptable answer?"
"You could always share. If you are good."
I resolved to be very good.
"So, six to eight weeks until we can make love. We will have to be inventive."
"Bella, stop talking about sex now. I can wait but I don't need reminding."
"Good because you will have to remind me. I will miss sex."
"I know you will. Only, didn't you swear to never have sex again when you were in Delivery?"
"Only sex that leads to babies. Two are good, right? We don't need more?"
"I don't think we have to decide just yet. But two are good. It's probably best we don't allow them to outnumber us."
"Good point. And we have one of each, there's no further varieties."
"Wait until Alice and Rose and Lizzie start having kids, I bet you will be begging for 'just one more baby'."
"Maybe. But for now, I just want a long and happy life with you and our kids, agreed?"
"Whatever you want, my love."
Bella slept and I walked the floor with Zoe, asleep on my shoulder.
I sat down and held her out on my forearm and examined her sleeping face. She was beautiful and would be such a source of joy to us all. My little girl. So special. Bella's first biological child. I hoped she would want to do this again one day.
I wonder if she will want to give birth to a son, although I know she sees Tyler as her own child, she truly loves and accepts him as hers.
Let's face it, she loved him before I did.
She is truly a better person than I am and I know how lucky I am to have her in my life.
I stepped into a parallel universe when I met Bella and she changed everything but mostly she changed me.
I lay Zoe back in the crib and lay down beside my Bella.
She smelled sweetly of baby powder and milk and happiness.
Much as I look forward to our physical reconnection, this next six weeks will let us become closer in other ways and I look forward to that too.
Just to being Edward and Bella.
The luckiest couple ever.