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.

This is the last regular chapter of MASHward...little sad to be saying that. The epilogue will post next Wednesday, and I'm currently working on the final chapter of "I Think I Dreamed You into Life" as well as "The Family You Make" so there will be a little lull in posts, but hopefully not too long. RL has robbed me of my writing time a bit this week, but the plus is that I had plenty of research time and I've got the majority of information I need to move forward with "The Family You Make" when I start that after finishing what I'm writing at the moment. Enjoy this bit, because the research for this chapter had me giggling. Oh how things have changed.

Love to mizzdee as always, she keeps the pitter patter of keys going, and the good times rolling.

Chapter 17 – The First Steps of Forever

Once their friends had left, Bella was facing the problem of fitting herself back into her own life. Edward had been successfully taking care of himself for thirty-three years, including this past year when the job should have fallen to her.

Edward made a point to take her out for a belated anniversary dinner, and as they talked about the future he could see her struggling with what came next.

As he reached the end of his contract with the hospital, Edward decided to step away from his position on the staff so he could focus on his practice, though he was still affiliated with it for the purpose of treating patients.

Knowing that she would be taking on the position of his nurse at the practice, Edward began asking for her help with much of the organization and then introducing her to some of the patients.

Bella found some new recipes to try until Esme shared her wealth of knowledge with her on the culinary arts. While Bella enjoyed cooking and baking, she didn't have a great deal of variety in her repertoire, so she was taking a lot of time to experiment with new things.

The first two months after returning, Bella focused on tending house, using the practice to help her stave off boredom. Although she was happy to be out of the insanity that was Korea, sitting home all day with little to do was never Bella's idea of fun.

Her birthday was a quiet evening at home with Edward bringing home food from a local Italian restaurant and the couple relaxing together. After dinner, Edward laid a comforter and a few pillows in front of the fireplace in the living room and lit a fire in the hearth.

"You seem to have something up your sleeve tonight, Dr. Masen," Bella teased as she took in the scene before her.

"I just want to enjoy my beautiful wife on her birthday, there are no tricks," he promised.

"How do you manage to be so good at everything?" Bella asked, feeling her own insecurities creep up.

"What do you mean, Sweetheart?" Edward replied with a question of his own.

"You're outgoing, intelligent, charming, an amazing doctor and a wonderful husband. There doesn't seem to be an effort or a struggle with anything you try, meanwhile I feel like I'm failing you on the most basic level," Bella explained.

"How could you be failing me? You're my partner both in life and in business and every day since you've come home to me has been a blessing. I know that this has been a hard transition for you, but I need you to tell me what you're feeling. You say that you're failing me, where do you feel that you're lacking?"

"I'm not sure how to be a wife. I cook and I clean, but there's so much more to it than that and that is where I feel lost," Bella told him.

"You do the things a wife should without thinking, Bella, it comes so naturally that you don't notice. You take care of me and you love me. And we're already hard at work on building our family. We were never together as husband and wife in any real situation before our separation, so you feel out of sorts, but you've been my wife in name, spirit, and action since the day you said 'I do' in Korea. We will be fine, my love, we just need more time to get used to the daily life together."

The tears began to flow at his comforting words; Bella had been so sure that her actions weren't enough. Edward pulled her to sit beside him on the comforter, his hands tracing up and down her arms. Those innocent touches grew bolder as Bella leaned in to kiss him. Those kisses led to shirts being unbuttoned and shoes and socks being thrown a good distance away. When Edward stood to strip out of his pants, Bella slipped her skirt and stockings off, careful not to get a run.

With only their underwear between them, Edward once again settled over Bella's body on the blanket, the heat of the fire keeping the chill out of the air. His lips kissed a trail down her body, before he returned to her breasts. Kissing up to the peak of her bullet bra, his hands found the clasp on the back and soon the fabric was stripped away, giving him new territory to explore. A short time later underwear was the last to be removed as Edward settled into the cradle of Bella's legs.

"Oh, Edward," she gasped as he entered her, her eyes shutting at the sensations.

"My darling wife, god am I lucky to have you," he breathed as he pulled back, starting a rhythm that they both knew well.

There in front of the fireplace in their living room, Edward showed Bella with his body what he had told her with his words, that she was his wife and that she saw to every one of his needs.

After her birthday, Bella was able to stop worrying about her life and start living it. Using the wealth of information she had gained both from Esme's handwritten notes and the books she'd bought at the local bookshop, Bella spent a little bit of time everyday making up recipe cards.

Bella also went to a local nursery to find out how best to prepare the soil in her little garden for the following spring, as she knew it was too late to start that year. Trips to the local fabric and notions store had her making clothes and her knitting was done for pleasure instead of as a way to stave off the boredom as it had been in Korea.

Even her work at the practice gave her a greater sense of purpose as Edward gladly relinquished his appointment book and patient filing to Bella's administrative mind, allowing her to greet patients during their open hours as his receptionist as well as helping when he had a need for it.

They continued to work towards their goal of starting a family, and when Bella noticed that she was considerably late in getting her monthly, she made an appointment with her doctor to have herself checked out. It took a few days to get the call back, but a week before Halloween, Bella was able to give Edward the best news imaginable.

It started with a special meal, a bottle of wine and a new dress that she'd just finished that morning, so the moment Edward came in, he knew something was up.

"Bella, is Alice finally in town? Because Jasper didn't mention anything when I spoke to him yesterday," Edward asked in hopes to get an explanation for the special evening.

"No, she won't be done with things in Mississippi for another two weeks. Though I told her that now that she has a definite date, Jasper and I would begin to look for houses for them. That way, he can show her his favorites and she can make a final decision without too much traipsing around the city," Bella said as she emerged from the kitchen.

"Well, if we aren't having company, then what is with this set up? I haven't missed an anniversary of some sort, have I?" Edward asked, trying to remember what he might have missed.

"No, nothing like that, I just had some news to share with you, and I decided to make it into something a little special," Bella explained.

"Sweetheart, what is going on?" Edward asked her as she gestured for him to sit at his place at the head of the table.

"We're going to need to decorate the fourth bedroom soon, my love," Bella told him cryptically.

"Angel, you can decorate this house however you wish. I left that bedroom unused so that we might easily be able to turn it into a nursery somed…" Edward trailed off as he realized what she was telling him. "Bella, are you pregnant?"

"I am, Edward," she whispered as Edward pulled her onto his lap so he could hug her to him.

"Oh, Bella, you make me so happy," he gushed before his mind began to go over an infinite number of things. "Wait, but you said you wanted to go to help Jasper look at houses? I know you want to help, Darling, but I think it best if Alice and Jasper do that on their own now. With your history-"

"Edward, stop," Bella said, ceasing his upcoming monologue. "We don't know for sure that I had been pregnant. It may have just been an irregular cycle. And the doctor said I am in excellent health. I will stay away from the practice if it will make you feel better with the possibility of germs causing a problem for the baby and I, but if you think the next seven and a half months will be spent in bed, then you will have another thought coming. I am a nurse and a woman and I know what my limits are."

"But how will you cook if you have to reach above your head to reach the cabinets, and all the walking around various houses to find something that Alice might like…no, Bella, it's too risky."

"So you'd rather see me drugged, lying in bed with no ambition as I wait out the better part of a year?" Bella countered, seeing that he was losing his resolve. "Women have been having babies since the beginning of time, most without doctors poking their noses into things. My mother continued on her normal routine when she was having me, taking breaks when necessary, and there wasn't a single complication. Edward, how often do we tell patients that a small bit of non-strenuous exercise is the best thing for them? Just let me try this my way until a time comes when I might begin to feel poorly."

"I will defer to you for the time, Isabella," Edward conceded, "but if you begin to feel poorly, you must tell me. I won't risk either one of you."

"That's fair, Edward, now sit down and I will bring dinner out," Bella told him, fixing him to his chair.

Their conversation that night focused solely on their unborn child and the preparations that would be needed. Edward kept telling Bella to slow down her plans, but she knew all too well that once the quintessential baby bump appeared, it would be a constant reminder of her condition, and with it, a reminder that she shouldn't be doing much of anything.

Bella and Edward returned to bed that night, his hand protectively resting on her stomach as they drifted into a peaceful slumber.

The following morning, Edward went to take care of his morning patients before having to hang out in the office for the afternoon that he left open for walk-in patients. Jasper arrived shortly after breakfast, his list of houses organized as Bella had asked.

"I have the listings you asked for, but is there a particular reason why we aren't visiting them in person?" Jasper asked.

"I promised Edward that we would weed them out a bit before we went out to visit them," Bella explained as Jasper cocked his head at her.

"Does he need your help with the practice this afternoon?"

"No, it's just that he's feeling a little protective of me since my return," Bella hedged, but Jasper knew something was up.

"You're expecting, aren't you?" he asked excitedly after a minute or two of mulling it over.

"No hiding it from a doctor, I guess," Bella said with a laugh. "But understand, Jasper, I don't want to be treated like a piece of crystal."

Laughing heartily, Jasper reassured his friend. "Bella, I'm from Texas. Women down there are doing chores until the weeks leading up to their delivery. I'll see if I can ease Edward's rigidity a bit on the matter. Now, let's get back to these listings."

Bella helped Jasper narrow down his search, knowing what Alice would reject based on their conversations when Edward was sending information on his work on their own home. With the list a little more manageable, Jasper and Bella climbed into his car to take a drive out to visit a few of them.

Driving to the furthest of the ones they'd chosen for that trip, so they could work their way back home, Bella told Jasper to keep driving before he'd even stepped out onto the curb at the first two places, knowing that Alice would never consider the houses that had bolstered themselves up in their advertisements to a point where they were unrecognizable once you arrived there.

A few of the houses had a potential of being the one, while others were either too small for a couple that wanted to start a family, or too big for a family starting out. Of the seven they had actually stepped foot inside, four of them were good enough to show to Alice.

As Jasper and Bella returned in the early evening, they found Edward waiting for them, a fire burning beneath the surface. "Isabella, can I speak with you in the den?"

"What's wrong, Edward?" she asked, confused by his anger.

"It is nearly three-thirty and you're only just now returning from your morning out. I believe we had discussed the changes that needed to occur, but it seems that I need to remind you."

"Edward, seeing as Jasper is aware of my condition because I had to explain to him the change in how we would have to go house hunting, I will speak frankly in front of him. I am not even two months pregnant yet, and I spent most of the day driving around, only walking for a few minutes in between trips. So your outrage is unwarranted. Not to mention that Jasper believes that a healthy amount of exercise is good for someone in my condition. Women in Texas work on the farm until shortly before they are ready to deliver."

"Well then, it's a good thing that we aren't in Texas," Edward growled.

"I think I'm going to let you two finish this discussion in private, Bella, I will talk to you in a few days," Jasper said as he headed to the door.

"Jasper, Alice can help you find a place from here, I'd prefer my wife to stay close to home." Edward glared at his best friend, who seemed to just take it all in stride.

"I'm going upstairs to shower, we'll talk about this when I'm back," Edward told her, but she wasn't in the mood to wait. As he went to clean up, Bella took a piece of paper and scribbled a note.


I'm going to spend the night with the girls. I need a little space to calm down and I believe you do as well. I will see you tomorrow.



Not even bothering to pack a bag, Bella climbed into her car to drive across town to her old apartment. She needed to cool down so she wouldn't say anything that would upset Edward more, but his tyrannical behavior was not something she could live with. He spent a great deal of time telling her that they were a team, but when he acted like that, it felt anything but.

The Black girls didn't pry when she arrived, allowing her to spend the evening in her old room while she tried to sort things out.

Meanwhile, Edward came downstairs to find the missive from his wife and the wind was knocked out of him. He hadn't meant to be so curt, but when she had needed him the most, he'd been half a world away and he felt the need to protect her from any possible harm. Edward knew that going to see her would only end in an argument right after she walked out, so he resolved to give her the space she asked for…today.

Bella and Edward ate their dinners separately and went to bed early, miserable about being alone. While Bella's day of fresh air had tired her out, Edward tossed and turned for a portion of the night, and when he did drift off to sleep it wasn't long.

Around two in the morning, Edward gave up trying to fight a losing battle and got in his car, driving to where his wife was and knocking gently on the door when he got to the apartment.

"Edward?" Rachel asked as she opened the door.

"I'm sorry for coming over here at such a late hour, but I have to see her, I have to make things right with my angel," he pleaded, breathing in a sigh of relief when she stepped aside so he could enter.

Edward walked down the hall to the room he knew had been hers at one time and opened the door to see her curled up in the small bed. He slipped in behind her and pulled her against him, memorizing the feel of her against him.

"Edward." Bella's sleep-laden voice got his attention and he looked into her weary eyes.

"My sweet angel, I'm so sorry," Edward told her. "I didn't mean to be so short with you, but I'm afraid of something happening to you, and that would kill me."

Sitting up to face him, Bella rubbed at her eyes as she began to speak. "I can understand the concern, but you disregard my feelings and beliefs. Women believe that a lot of these new ideas are for the birds, especially nurses who are mothers. We know our bodies and we know medicine, and this is one of those instances where it's a pound of medicine for an ounce of cure.

"I'm surrounded by medical professionals, Edward, if something were to happen, I would be in the best care imaginable. I'm not asking to run marathons; I just want to live my life. If something happens to change my condition then I will scale back, but there has to be a middle ground."

"I can live with that, but can you not do all day excursions without me?" Edward requested. "And I respect Jasper, but when you throw his difference in opinion in my face, it makes me think that you're diminishing what I feel."

"It wasn't my intention; I just wanted you to hear from someone you did respect that a little activity can be good for a pregnant woman." Bella moved over in the bed to give him more room. "Why didn't you wait until tomorrow morning to come get me?"

"I needed you," he whispered. "Being apart from you was killing me…I couldn't sleep, and my chest was tight with dread. Please don't walk away like that again."

"I won't. I was just afraid of saying something that would hurt you more. I was so upset; I knew I could just say something in the heat of the moment that could hurt you worse than anything else I did. But the anger could never erase the love, and I will never leave again. It hurt me just as much to be back in this room and remember my life before you. I don't want to go back there."

"You never will, Bella. Now, let's go to sleep so we can go home tomorrow and talk more about this," Edward said as he pulled her to his chest so they could fall asleep for the next couple of hours.

After that first confrontation, the couple found a happy middle ground for Bella during her pregnancy. Renee took Bella to shop for the baby on many occasions, starting with the search for appropriate furniture for the nursery.

While making her way through the department store, Bella purchased things like the bathinette, a changing table on wheels that lifted up to reveal a basin to bathe the baby in, and a wooden crib. She also purchased a dresser for the baby, a rocking chair, a carriage, a Hawkeye Baskenette, and a car-bed.

On another trip, she started shopping for things like cloth diapers and other daily items, knowing that the time would come quickly when it would be too late to stock up. Esme's package came in handy to start Bella off with baby clothes and books, but it seemed that everyone was helping to supplement it.

Alice had been enthusiastic to help out once she arrived, quickly finding a place that both she and Jasper liked out of those he'd visited with Bella. She also offered Edward a bit of salvation by taking Bella's place, at least temporarily, at the practice and handling the office so that he could focus on his patients and Bella.

Edward had begun a habit of purchasing little things, like books or teddy bears, a wooden horse on wheels, and leaving them in the nursery to add to the growing pile of baby items.

Thanksgiving that year was far more festive, with Bella and Edward making the trip to the Reservation with Alice and Jasper in tow, adding to the group that spent the holiday with the Black and Clearwater families.

As the year came to a close, Edward and Bella celebrated their first holiday in peace time, and the love between them grew with each day.

Bella was busy in the New Year, knitting items for the baby and making her own maternity clothing. As she gave herself more jobs to do, staying home became easier and it assuaged Edward's worries about her doing too much.

On one evening in early February, Edward and Bella sat cuddled on the couch, her belly now fully showing signs of the life growing within, as they watched I Love Lucy.

"Are you knitting another blanket? Bella, there will be more afghans than space to put them if you keep it up at the pace you make them," Edward teased, but she just nudged him.

"The last two I made were for Alice and Jasper's house, but Alice made a good point. Having a few downstairs on the couch and recliner means that we have blankets to cuddle under during the colder weather," she told him. "Just think about you and I swaddled in a throw blanket, your hands free to roam without anyone noticing the movements."

"There's no one to notice them now," Edward whispered as his fingers moved to her stomach ghosting over the surface just in time to feel a brush against his palm. "What was that?"

"What was what?" Bella asked confused.

"That tiny nudge I felt," he said, turning to face her.

"That was our baby saying hello; he's very active at night. I think he's on Korean time," she joked but Edward just stared at her.

"You called the baby 'him'," Edward said.

"It's how I picture him, I have no idea for sure," Bella explained, but Edward had to rile her a little.

"I don't know, a little girl with your hair and eyes would be pretty amazing. And we wouldn't have to worry about a daughter getting drafted."

Bella sighed, knowing that was a worry of his, especially with the hostilities in Vietnam growing by the week and the French beginning to look for a way out. "I don't think that will be something we will have to worry about for a while, Edward. The draft may be over by the time any son of ours comes of age."

"Let's not talk about that right now, I just felt our baby move, and that is something worth celebrating," Edward told her.

"What did you have in mind?"

"How about we leave your knitting for tomorrow and go upstairs to work on our cuddling, because if we're going to be hiding under blankets, we'll need to be very sure of our movements," Edward teased as he reached over to sit her needles into her sewing bag beside the couch.

"Always thinking ahead, my husband," Bella crooned as she let him lead her upstairs.

The amorous nature of Bella's personality was only bolstered by her pregnancy hormones, leaving Edward with no idea how to handle her at moments, but when he was prepared for it, it was a beautiful thing.

Time continued to pass for them and as Bella and Edward went to another appointment with her doctor, the doctor told her that she would likely deliver sometime at the end of May or beginning of June.

With that leaving them with two and a half to three months in her pregnancy, Edward started to be a little more vigilant with Bella, though he tried not to show it.

It was two weeks later, on the first day of Spring, that Bella was put onto bed rest after a fainting spell. Bella hated that she'd made it so far into her pregnancy to develop a problem in the last six weeks, but as there was a real medical concern she reluctantly took her place in bed and allowed her mother to move in a few weeks early.

That was an adjustment for both Edward and Bella, who had grown used to living with their routine and way of doing things, which was much different from how Renee operated. In a few days, Renee had reorganized the kitchen and the linen closets, but when Bella woke from a nap to see her rooting through Edward's underwear things, she had gone too far for Bella.

"Mother, what are you doing?" Bella tried to hold in her annoyance as she asked the question.

"Don't mind me, dear, I'm just organizing this better so you have enough room for everything. As it is you can barely get his clothes in these drawers."

"His dresser is fine, Mother, just leave it be."

"But I have to finish the laundry, Bella. Now that the kitchen is setup, I can work my way through the rest of the house so that everything will be in hand when you're done recuperating," Renee explained, but it only upset Bella more.

"There was nothing wrong with the way my kitchen was setup, and I would appreciate it if you simply helped out with the things we asked, and not create little projects for yourself," Bella sniped, earning a pinched look from Renee.

"Of course there was nothing wrong with it, but there are better ways to set up your cabinets and-"

"Mother," Bella yelled, "leave the clothes on the dresser and go spend the night with Dad."

"But Bella, you need me here to help out," Renee balked.

"Right now, Mom, I need you out of my sight," Bella grit out.

"Very well, I will see you again when you are in better spirits," Renee said as she made her way to Edward's office and asked Alice if she could pop back to see him.

"Sure, Mrs. Swan, you know where to find him," Alice said cheerfully as she finished up the last of the paperwork for the evening.

Renee walked back to the office and knocked, opening the door when Edward called for her to enter. "Edward, will you be able to manage tonight without me, because my daughter has had her fill of me and told me to go home."

"She what? What happened?" Edward asked, more concerned with Bella than his mother-in-law at the moment.

"I was doing my part, but she got combative over how I was doing things and I think its best not to upset her. Call me in a day or two once she's calmed down." Renee smiled at her son-in-law and left without any more conversation.

Edward was worried about his wife so after he watched Renee drive off he asked Alice to close the office and then jogged over to his house and up the stairs to find Bella hyperventilating.

"Angel, I need you to calm down," he pleaded as he sat facing her on the bed.

"She doesn't think I can take care of either of you," Bella sobbed into his shoulder as he took her into his arms.

"I don't think that was her intention, Bella, but she did seem a little more abrasive than I've ever seen her," Edward admitted.

"She forgave how you had things when you set up our home because you were a man, you couldn't be expected to understand the finer points of how to keep your pantry or cupboards. But my choices in how I set things in order weren't how she would do it and she took the opportunity to mess with everything. She even implied that she could organize our clothing better in the dressers."

"I will admit, it's a little extreme considering what we asked her to do. I wanted her here more to keep you comfortable than I wanted her to focus on the house. Perhaps we should talk to her about it," Edward offered, but Bella was against it.

"Edward, you're using Jasper to fill in at the practice during the first month after the baby is born so that you won't bring anything home, correct?" Bella asked.

"Yes, I don't want to risk you or the baby getting sick from something I pick up at work."

"Then you'll be home to help me, correct? Can't you tend what my mother might have for those first few weeks? I shouldn't be on bed rest then, only taking it easy and getting a chance to bond with the baby before the world intrudes on us. I would much rather have you taking care of us." Bella was worn out from all the energy she'd used fighting her mother, and Edward could see that she was frayed. He would do anything to ease her ordeal.

"Just the two of us, unless you want someone to help you with an area where I might be out of my depth," Edward promised. After she relaxed, he reached for a notepad he'd left on the nightstand and handed it to Bella.

"What's this for?" she asked.

"Write down how you want things to be arranged. I'll take some time to put things back the way you had them," Edward offered.

"I love you, Edward," she whispered.

"I love you too, Angel."

Edward returned to the kitchen to start dinner while Bella made lists of what she knew her mother had rearranged.

Over the next two days, Edward set the house to rights, leaving the task of the kitchen for last so that Bella could join him at the kitchen table to supervise his work. It was the first time Bella had been downstairs in a few days and she appreciated the change of scenery.

"Like this?" Edward asked as he arranged the canned goods in the last cabinet.

"Yes, and put those up top until I finish with what you have on the lower shelves," Bella told him with a smile.

"You seem to be in a much better mood," Edward said to Bella as a noise from the doorway startled them.

"Of course she is, the meddler's gone," Renee answered.

"Renee," Edward said in warning, not wanting another argument to break out.

"Don't worry, Edward, I come with a peace offering," Renee said as she put the Tupperware of cookies on the table. "You know, I forgot how much of a thorn in my side Gran Swan was when I first married your father. That woman drove me to the brink when I was setting up our house, and then when I had you…what a terror. Your father had to talk me down every night because she had me wound so tight, I never imagined that I would do it to my own daughter."

"I don't like thinking that you don't approve of how I keep house," Bella told her.

"Sweetheart, it's nothing like that, I just wanted to help you out. But how you choose to run your house is your business. And since no one called needing help these past few days, I can assume that you're handling it well on your own," Renee said.

"We are," Edward told her.

"Would you still like me to stay with you after the baby is born?" Renee asked her daughter.

"Edward has Jasper covering the practice so that he can't bring any germs home, so we should be okay, but if we need help, I know you're only a phone call away." Bella smiled at her mother, who walked over to give her a big hug.

"That sounds fair; now, your father is taking me out for our anniversary, so I better get going. You take care of my girl, Edward."

"I will, Ma'am," Edward told her as he walked her out.

For the next few weeks, Bella and Edward hunkered down and awaited the arrival of their child. June began and as moving became more difficult for Bella, Edward could tell it was only a matter of time. Edward went to work in the morning, sending Alice to check on Bella periodically throughout the day, but on the evening of June fifth Alice came running back with the word he'd been waiting for.

"Bella's water just broke," Alice called into the temporarily empty office.

"How long has she been in labor without you telling me?" Edward asked as he washed up and grabbed his keys.

"Since mid-morning, but she didn't want to worry you. Go on, I'll call Jasper and then wait to let your last patient know that you're out of the office for a family emergency," Alice assured him as he went inside to find Bella sitting at the top of the stairs.

"Come on, angel, let's go meet our baby."

After getting Bella in the car, he ran back to get her bag and then drove as quickly as he could to the hospital. Once they arrived, Edward was forced to stay behind as they brought Bella up to the room that had been prepared for her after they received the call from her doctor informing the hospital of her impending arrival.

It annoyed him that as a doctor, he couldn't find a way back there, but they insisted that it would be better for him to wait downstairs until a nurse came to give him an update. The hours seemed to drag along for Edward as he paced and cursed the rules that kept him from being at Bella's side, but by ten forty-five, a nurse arrived to tell Edward that Bella was being moved to the delivery room.

It was another hour and a half of hair-pulling for Dr. Masen before a different nurse came to inform him that his wife had delivered a healthy baby girl just after midnight. Another nurse would escort him to her room once she was settled in, but then he was expected to go home until visiting hours the next morning.

When he was given the word, Edward followed a nurse up to the room and was overjoyed to see Bella lying peacefully in the bed when he walked in to sit at her bedside.

"Have you seen her?" Bella asked.

"No, I only get a few minutes with you tonight, so I decided to detour to the nursery on my way home," Edward explained.

"She's beautiful, Edward."

"Just like her mother," Edward whispered as he leaned in to kiss her. "How did everything go?"

"It was fine, Edward, a textbook delivery."

"I'm sorry, Dr. Masen, but we really need to get Mrs. Masen to bed," the nurse said from the doorway.

"I understand, goodnight, Bella." Edward kissed her again before he walked out, taking a moment to visit the nursery and get his first look at his daughter.

Upon seeing her in the nursery, he smiled at the pink cheeked little angel in the bassinette marked Susan Masen. "Now I have two angels."