A/N: I've wanted to write this couple having a baby for a long time, and I was finally able to get the story out. So now NerdStud is a NerdDaddy! Big thanks to Makesmyheadspin, ChanelAddict, and ARedheadThing for loving NerdBaby and being his fangirls.
Thank you to Missus_T and Krismom both for lending this their beta eyes. There are a couple of things that were pointed out to me by them that are not completely accurate, but when I tried to rewrite the lazy side of my brain shot the productive side, so you'll just have to forgive me.
In Which NerdStud Has A NerdBaby
"Sookie! Did you take your vitamins? I put them on the counter," I called out from the shower as Sookie got ready for our doctor's appointment.
"Yes, Eric, I took my vitamins," she said, her voice not hiding her annoyance. She hadn't been for a couple of months now.
I wasn't sure why she was so annoyed with me. I just wanted to make sure she was taking care of herself and by extension, our child. She was six months along now, and it seemed like she went from a tiny protuberance to a full-on, no mistaking it for anything other than a baby bump, bump overnight.
When I got out of the shower Sookie was no longer in the bathroom, so I finished up and then got dressed before heading down to the living room. Sookie was sitting in her big comfy chair, one of her hands pressed into the side of her stomach. There was a small smile on her face.
"Everything okay?" I asked as I knelt in front of her.
She nodded as she took my hand and pressed it on the same spot hers had been. I waited for a moment, and then I felt two distinct kicks. Sookie smiled broadly at me, and I leaned forward to press my lips against hers. She wrapped her arms around my neck and pulled me closer, opening her legs a bit to give me room. My wife was horny, and I knew it. She had been for a couple of weeks, but the last time we attempted to have sex I felt the baby move and it freaked me out.
"Sookie," I started, ready to give her my speech again about knowing that the books say it's okay, but that I just wasn't comfortable with it until we talked to the doctor… but Sookie only rolled her eyes and stood up.
"Let's go then. The doctor will tell you the same damn thing I've been saying, so we better pick up some power bars are Gatorade while we're out because when we get home I'm going to make you fuck me until I pass out."
She was in a mood, and I knew better than to say anything, so I only got up and followed her out to the garage. She got into the passenger seat of the car and buckled up with a huff. The whole way to the doctor's office she stared out the window, only speaking when I moved to turn the radio on, and that was just to tell me not to do it.
When Sookie got in a mood like this, I repeated a mantra in my head.
It's just the hormones, she still loves you.
Because really, when she got that look in her eye like she absolutely couldn't stand to be in the same area as me, it hurt. Almost as if she knew what I was feeling, she reached over and rested her hand on my thigh. I picked her hand up and kissed the back of it, and then held it on my leg.
"I love you, Eric," she whispered.
"I know, and I love you, too."
A few minutes later we pulled up to the doctor's office and headed in. Sookie signed in, and then we went to sit down in the generic chairs. There were three other ladies in the waiting room, two of them visibly pregnant. One was about the same size as Sookie, and the other looked like she was ready to give birth any day. We waited for twenty minutes before a nurse finally came to get us. She did the routine stuff, and then left us in the exam room.
"I'm sorry about earlier," I said when we were alone.
"I know. It's fine," she said, rather stiffly. "She'll tell you that I'm right, and then we can go home have a few orgasms, and everything will be good again."
"You're making me feel like a shitty husband," I complained without thinking as I plopped down on the rolling stool next to the table.
"Oh for the love of…" she started, then took a deep breath. "You are not a shitty husband, you're just being very fussy about everything and it's getting on every last one of my freaky pregnancy hormones. I'm horny, Eric. All I want is for the man that knocked me up to have sex with me. Is that too much to ask?"
Before I could respond the door opened and instead of our regular, short, round, kind-faced woman doctor, in walked a tall, bearded man. Immediately I stood up and placed a hand on the small of Sookie's back.
"Mr. and Mrs. Northman?" he asked with a smile.
Sookie's posture immediately straightened, and she plastered on her flirty smile.
"That's correct," she said.
"Where's Dr. Cooper?" I asked, and Sookie elbowed me in the ribs.
"Don't be rude," she chided.
Rude? It was rude to ask where our regular doctor is?
"Dr. Cooper had an emergency this morning. I believe it was a death in the family. She'll be gone indefinitely, so I'm taking over her patients. Now, I know that I may not be a good match for you, but for everyone with appointments today I thought I'd just go ahead and meet them now. If you'd like a referral to another doctor I'd be happy to help you find one that fits your needs."
Sookie was staring at him with moon eyes.
"And you are?" I asked.
"Oh gosh, I'm sorry. I'm Dr. Herveaux, but you can call me Alcide if you want," he said, holding his hand out for us to shake. I took it first and gripped his hand hard, but he just smiled and offered his hand to Sookie who blushed when she took it. Goddamn it.
"Well I see no reason to turn you down. Why don't we see how this appointment goes and we'll go from there? The most important thing to me is comfort, and I'm quite comfortable with you," Sookie said.
She was flirting. Flirting with the new goddamn doctor right in front of me. I had never regretted not having sex with her more than at that specific moment.
"That sounds good to me. I've just reviewed your chart, and it looks like things are progressing quite nicely. Mrs. Northman, if you'll please lie back and uncover your stomach we'll take a look at baby Northman."
The good doctor went to the sink to wash his hands as Sookie happily assumed the position we'd both become used to, and when Dr. Herveaux turned around with gel in hand Sookie was lying there with her shirt pushed up under her breasts and her maternity jeans pushed down enough to uncover her stomach, happy as a motherfucking clam.
"As I'm sure you know by now, this will be a bit cold," he laughed, and squirted a bit of the gel onto her skin, then he began moving the wand around. We all looked at the machine, and after a couple of seconds I could make out a head and an arm. I smiled at the picture. That was my child.
"Have you decided to know the sex or do I need to be careful of what I say?" he asked.
"Eric wants to know, but I'm not sure yet, so we haven't found out," Sookie explained.
"Okay then. It looks like the baby is just where it needs to be, and I see nothing that concerns me. You two have a very healthy one coming your way," he said, winking at Sookie, and causing her to blush and smile at him. Now this was just getting ridiculous.
He let us listen to the heartbeat, which again was normal, and then it was over and Sookie was covered again.
"Do either of you have any questions?" he asked.
Sookie looked up at me with a smirk. Oh no, oh hell no. I was not asking Dr. Good-Looking about sex. When I stayed silent, she nudged me in the ribs again.
"Go on, Eric. It's nothing to be embarrassed about," she said sweetly.
"I can answer anything you'd like to know," Dr. Herveaux smiled.
Again, I stayed silent, and apparently Sookie thought it would be fun to torture me.
"Obviously he's just a bit shy about the topic since it deals with our sex life."
"Nothing to be shy about. Having sex during pregnancy is perfectly natural, and safe."
"Well, the last time we tried was a little over two weeks ago, and he felt the baby move and became convinced we were going to hurt it, but really I think it just freaked him out. We've read the books, and I've told him over and over again that it's safe, but he insisted we get the okay from the doctor." I hated that she was talking about me like I wasn't even there. "So please, just tell him that it's safe because it's just been such a long time since he's taken care of business, if you know what I mean."
By that point he was blushing right along with me, but I'm man enough to admit that I deserved every bit of embarrassment I got. I had let my mind get in the way of keeping Sookie satisfied even though I knew how horny she was, and a sexually frustrated Sookie was not someone you ever wanted to come across.
Dr. Herveaux cleared his throat and put on a smile before answering.
"Mr. Northman, it is perfectly safe to have sex throughout the pregnancy as long as Mrs. Northman isn't feeling any discomfort and there are no complications."
"Thanks," I said quickly.
"See Eric? It's fine. No need to worry about me or the baby," she said, then looked at Dr. Herveaux again. "He's always been a bit on the sensitive side."
"Okay then," I said quickly. "I think that's it, we'll discuss this soon and give you a call if we're good to go with you being our doc. Sookie, let's get going."
"I have my card up at the front desk, please take one and give me a call when you decide," he said, shaking each of our hands as we walked out of the room. Sookie stopped to get her little 'next appointment' card, and then we left the office.
"I don't know about you, but I like him," Sookie said cheerfully as we walked to the car.
"Of course you do," I snapped. "I felt like I should have given you two some privacy."
Sookie stopped dead in her tracks. "Excuse me?"
"Oh don't give me that bull, woman. I know you too well. You're sexually frustrated; you'd flirt with a homeless guy. Did it have to be our potential new doctor though? The guy thinks I'm a pansy who's too grossed out by pregnancy to make love to his wife."
"You said it," she snapped.
"Oh so you think I'm a pansy?"
"I think you're acting like one!"
"Why don't you go back inside and get with the real man then?" I yelled, and instantly regretted it when tears formed in her eyes. I sighed. "Sook, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that."
She kept her eyes wide, trying to keep the tears from falling. She held one hand out, the other resting on her stomach and said one word, "Keys."
"I don't think you should drive while you're upset…"
I reluctantly pulled them out of my pocket and handed them over. She immediately turned on her heel and made a beeline to the car. Luckily she didn't lock me out, so I got in the passenger seat and buckled up as Sookie adjusted the driver's seat.
"Don't talk to me right now."
There was complete silence in the car until suddenly Sookie pulled into a Wendy's drive thru.
"What are you doing?" I asked, but she ignored me. When we were on our honeymoon just after she found out we were pregnant we both agreed that we would only have organic food for the baby's sake. Sookie had been craving greasy food for a while, but I made her stick to her promise.
She pulled up to the speaker box and ordered herself some kind of burger with three meat patties and bacon on it and a side of fries along with a frosty. It sounded delicious, I'll admit.
When the employee asked if that was all, she turned to me and asked, "Do you want anything?"
"I don't think you should…"
"Do. You. Want. Anything?"
Fuck, she was pissed.
"That's all then," she said. The employee gave her the total and she drove around the building to the window. I wordlessly handed her purse over, and she paid for the food. A minute later we were back on the road, and a few minutes after that we were home again.
Sookie didn't say anything as she carried her bag of fast food into the house and dug the ketchup out of the fridge. She sat down at the table, unwrapped her burger, and took a huge bite. A very satisfied sigh came from her as she chewed that bite and swallowed, then took another. She put the burger down to eat some of her fries, half of which she dipped in ketchup, and the other half she dipped into her frosty. I simply stood in the doorway and watched her eat in disbelief.
It wasn't until she was finished that I realized she'd begun crying at some point. She was sniffling into the remainder of her frosty. I quickly grabbed some tissues and sat down in the chair next to her. I took the frosty from her hands and set it on the table, then used the tissues to wipe the tears from her cheeks.
"I'm sorry," she cried. "The way I behaved in the doctor's office was wrong, and I shouldn't have flirted with him, especially not in front of you. And I'm sorry about implying that you're a pansy. You're not, and I know you were just freaked out, but what you don't realize is that I'm freaked out too. I just live with the wiggling constantly so I'm used to it, and I'm so horny that I don't even care."
"It's okay, sweetheart," I said, taking her hand in mine.
"No, it's not okay. And I'm sorry I just ate all that greasy food, but dammit, I'm pregnant, and pregnant women crave things, and anytime I think about getting some I see you staring down at with all this disapproval. You have to stop. Okay? You just have to stop being so fussy about this pregnancy. You're driving me insane."
"I know," I confessed. "I can see that it's bugging you, but I just don't know how else to be about it. So much of pregnancy is just downright scary to me. I can't control it, or what it does to you. Your experience of it is so much different than mine. I just… I thought I was doing my part by making sure you took your vitamins and ate right. I thought I was supposed to put your feet up when you sat down and make sure you're comfortable."
"And you can do all that, but not every single time. If I've had a long day or I'm too tired, you'll notice. You've always been very good at figuring out when I need you to comfort me or make me comfortable. I'm not alone in this pregnancy, I know that. You're wonderful to me, Eric, but right now I feel like you treat me like a child that needs to be taken care of, not a wife who is supposed to be your equal."
"I'm sorry," I said, unable to meet her eye line. She was right, and she had every right to be annoyed as hell with me. Her hand cupped my cheek, gently forcing me to look at her.
"I know you are," she said. "I love you, okay? No matter what, that will never change."
"I love you," I said, and kissed her. "Can we go take a nap or something? I feel like a snuggle."
"That sounds perfect," she smiled, so I took her hand and led her up the stairs to our bedroom.
We both kicked off our shoes, and crawled up on the bed. I curled myself in behind her and rested my hand on her stomach. The baby wasn't moving, but that was okay because Sookie didn't rest well when it moved too much. All it took as a few minutes for us to be out, and we slept for a couple of hours.
Sookie woke up before me, and my first alert to that was the feeling of her mouth on my cock. My fingers threaded into her hair and I groaned loudly, the two weeks of self-imposed celibacy finally catching up to me. I felt her smile around me for a moment, and then she went back to her task, sucking and stroking, fondling and licking…
"Holy hell," I shouted when she took me into her throat suddenly. I thanked God every time she did that for not giving her a gag reflex. She released me just as quickly, and then she was climbing on top of me.
I sat up against the headboard so we could kiss, but that was all I had time to do before she had me inside of her. She let out one of the sexiest moans I've ever heard when our hips met.
"If you ever make me wait this long again I'll kill you," she panted, then pulled my head to hers for a hard kiss.
"I won't," I said as she began to ride me.
Sookie could really take control when she wanted to, usually by bringing out the handcuffs, but she didn't need them this time. She was taking what she wanted, what she needed. I was fine with that. There would be time for sweet lovemaking later. Right now we both just needed an orgasm, and we were also both dangerously close to one. A handful of thrusts later and we both exploded, shouting with the pleasure coursing through us.
"Holy fuck," Sookie panted as she collapsed onto my chest. "I didn't realize just how much I needed that."
"Me either," I said, rubbing her back. "I won't be a pansy about it again, I promise."
She sat back a bit to look at me, and ran her fingers through my hair.
"I never really thought you were a pansy. Unreasonable, yes, but not a pansy."
"You're perfect, you know that?"
She sighed dramatically and said, "Yes, I know. It's hard being this amazing."
"Come on, let's go take a warm bath," I laughed.
Three months later we were back to not having sex, but not because we didn't want to, it was because Sookie was no longer comfortable enough to do it. Her feet and ankles were almost constantly swollen, her back hurt all of the time, add to that the sweltering humidity of a summer in Savannah and you had one miserable pregnant woman.
We had decided to keep Alcide on as our doctor after we made an appointment to talk with him and apologized for our behavior. He actually was a nice guy, and what neither of us had noticed before was the wedding ring on his finger. That made both of us more comfortable with him, especially since his wife was actually one of the nurses that would be there for the delivery. He had no issues with our birth plan, and even revealed that he'd delivered more babies than Dr. Cooper. All in all, we were happy with him.
About a month after that first appointment Sookie and I were trying to find decorations for the nursery, and she finally decided that she wanted to know what we were having. We got a hold of Alcide and put on the speakerphone to ask him.
"Are you both positive you want to know?" he asked.
"Yes," we answered in unison.
"Mr. and Mrs. Northman, in a couple of months you'll be the proud parents of a healthy baby boy."
Sookie's hands immediately went to her stomach, and we were both silent with awe.
"Are you there?" Dr. Herveaux asked. "Everything okay?"
"Everything's perfect, thanks Alcide," I said, then ended the call.
"A boy," Sookie said, a huge smile on her face.
"You didn't want a girl did you?" I asked, suddenly a bit worried, despite her smile.
"All I want is a healthy baby, I don't care what the sex is. I wouldn't mind having a girl later, but I'm perfectly happy with a boy. We're… we're having a baby boy, Eric. I can dress him in tiny sweater vests and baby converse, and he'll look just like an itty bitty you."
"You make me so happy," I said as I pulled her into my arms.
In no time we were at the point where I was desperate to meet the little guy, and Sookie was desperate to get him out of her. She'd been having contractions sporadically for the last couple of days, but they never lasted more than a couple hours and were always too far apart to even consider going to the hospital. In the meantime we simply stayed prepared. We had a "go bag", and I kept the car topped off with gas. The nursery was fully prepared; all we needed was the baby.
The time finally came when Sookie was two weeks overdue, and she was set to be induced. But the day before we were supposed to go in, Sookie went into labor. At first we thought it was just contractions like before, but they didn't let up after a couple of hours. After seven hours, and five calls to Alcide's nurse, the contractions were still about ten minutes apart, and even though it was too soon to go to the hospital we went anyway.
Since we were scheduled for an induction the next day we were admitted, and an hour later the contractions were coming every eight minutes. Dr. Herveaux came in a few minutes later, and after examining Sookie he confirmed what we already knew.
"Looks like you're having a baby tonight," he said with a smile.
I was immediately an equal mix of excited and terrified. Not only was the thought of finally taking care of our baby scary, but something could go wrong, causing me to lose one or both of them.
"You okay?" Sookie asked, taking my hand.
"Not really, but I'll pull it together, I promise," I said.
"We'll be just fine, Eric. Women have been having babies forever, and I haven't had any problems. We'll be fine."
She was speaking in her soothing voice, the one that could always calm me down no matter what. But then I realized that me being worried wasn't going to help her when she was pushing our kid out of her body.
I smiled. I kissed her. I held her beautiful face in my hands.
"You're going to be amazing, Sookie."
Six hours later I was glad I had pulled it together when I did, because there was no way we could have both been broken down at the same time. Sookie was twenty minutes into her pushing, and my hand no longer had any blood in it at all from how hard she was squeezing it. She'd had an epidural a few hours before, but still, I'm sure nothing could really take the pain away from pushing a baby out of there.
"He's crowning," Alcide said, and some sort of morbid curiosity made me want to look, but as I started towards that end of the bed Sookie screamed at me.
"Eric Northman, don't you dare look down there!"
"Okay, okay," I said, reassuming my position beside her.
"I need a big push, Sookie," he said, and I took a deep breath with her before she started on her push. When his head was out, they told her to stop and she had to breathe like she was trying to blow out a candle while they cleaned out his nose and mouth.
"Okay, next come the shoulders. Big push!"
Not five minutes later we heard our son scream for the first time. He was loud, but it meant he was strong, and also pissed off. Not that I blamed him, living inside Sookie was probably heaven to the little guy. Sookie was able to see him for a moment right after he came out, but then they had to take him away to clean him up and take his measurements.
When the nurse handed my son to me, it was by far the most profound moment of my life. This new life, this new human being was created because of his mother and me. He was made out of love, and we would love him more than we would ever love anything.
"Eric," Sookie said from the bed, so I smiled down at her with tears in my eyes.
"He's perfect, Sookie."
I held our son and cooed at him softly until I realized that his mother would like to hold him too, and then I handed him gently to Sookie. She beamed with pride and love at him, and I sat on the edge of the bed to admire him with her. Even though she said she wouldn't be one of those clichéd mothers who counted fingers and toes, she did it anyway. Twice.
"Hi sweetie," she said to him. "I'm your mama."
"We don't have a name for him," I said.
We'd thrown around a few name ideas, but we both felt it was something we would just know after meeting him.
"I don't think he'll mind being known as Baby Northman for a day," she said.
"I don't think so either."
When the nurses took him away again, I left Sookie alone to get some rest so I could go make phone calls. Sookie's Gran passed away two years before, so I only had to call her brother. I got his voicemail, which wasn't a surprise.
"Hey Jason, it's Eric. I'm calling to tell you that your sister had the baby. I know she'd really appreciate it if you could pull your head out of your ass for a week and come meet your nephew."
Up next were my parents. I figured I would get the people who wouldn't answer the phone out of the way first. They were off in Europe on a yacht somewhere. I'd told them when Sookie was due, but they expressed no interest in being there for the delivery. Me being a writer instead of a lawyer didn't exactly please them. Neither did moving to Savannah with my college girlfriend and marrying her.
As expected, they didn't answer, so I left them a message. "Hello Mom, Dad. Just thought I'd let you know that Sookie had the baby today. You have a grandson. We haven't named him yet, but we will have by the time we e-mail a picture to everyone. It … it would be really nice if you could make a trip here to meet him soon. You're the only grandparents he has. I hope to talk to you soon."
I didn't have a phone number for Pam, only an email address, so I didn't have to call her. Now for the fun call. I dialed Tray's phone, and he answered almost immediately.
"Hey man, what's up?" he asked.
"Is Amelia there with you?" I asked.
"Yeah, she's right next to me."
"Put it on speaker," I said, and waited while he did it.
"She had the baby, didn't she?" Amelia practically squealed.
"We are now the proud parents of a healthy baby boy," I said, happy to be sharing the news with people that truly loved us and would love our baby.
Their words of congratulations overlapped, and then were drowned out by Amelia's squealing. When it finally quieted down, Tray asked me how I felt.
"I'm in awe, man. That's the only way to describe it. Holding him for the first time? It was just amazing."
"I know the feeling," Tray said.
"How is Sookie?" Amelia asked.
"Just fine. She's sleeping right now, but I'll have her call you when we get settled in. You guys have to come visit soon and meet him."
"Have you named him?" Tray asked.
"Nope. We'll figure that out before we send out a picture. Keep an eye on your email."
"Will do. You let us know when you're ready for guests and we'll come down for a week or something," Amelia said.
"That sounds great! I'll talk to Sookie about it."
"Okay, we'll let you get back to it. Thanks for calling, Eric. Give Sookie and the baby our love!"
After hanging up, I went back inside and into Sookie's room. She was sound asleep, and I was glad. I'd never seen a human being do something quite like she just had. I sat in the glider next to the bed for a moment and just stared at her. I thought of how far we'd come, how we had met in college and fallen in love before either of us was ready to admit it. I thought of the night I lost my virginity to her, and how wonderful she was about that whole situation. I felt a stab of pain when I remembered our only break-up and why it came about. The best thing to come out of that was that we learned from it. We never had a miscommunication like that again, and Sookie learned to come to me before assuming the worst. She learned to trust me completely. We had definitely come a long way, but we only grew to love each other more with each year. I was lucky to have her, and I knew she felt the same about me.
Even though I knew she was exhausted beyond belief, she still looked beautiful to me. I could hardly wait to get home with her and our son. I was anxious to see him again, so I went to the nursery to see how he was doing. The nurse I recognized as Dr. Herveaux's wife was swaddling him and putting him in his bassinet. There were only two other babies in the room, and they were both sleeping. My little guy was wide awake.
"How is he?" I asked.
"He's doing great. He'll probably be hungry soon, is your wife resting?"
"Yes, she's asleep. Is there something else we can give him until she wakes up? I know she's supposed to breastfeed, but we talked about it and she's okay with him having a bottle if she's unable to feed him."
"We can do that. Would you like to feed him?" she asked.
"Yes," I said, smiling down at him. He was absolutely perfect. He had my ears and Sookie's nose. The rest we would probably be able to tell later, but he seemed to have my eyes.
A few minutes later a nurse brought me a tiny bottle with a small amount of formula in it. I picked him up and sat down in a rocking chair by the wall, then cradled him into the crook of my left arm. The nurse handed me the bottle, and I put it to his lips. He sucked it right in and started eating like it was the most natural thing in the world. When about half of it was gone he stopped sucking and I looked up at the nurse helplessly.
"They don't usually eat much at first," she said. "Now comes burping."
"Is there a special way to do that?"
"You can either put him up on your shoulder and pat his back, or you can sit him on your knee, support his front with one hand and pat his back with the other."
I chose to put him over my shoulder, because that's how I always saw Sookie do it when Tray and Amelia's daughter was a baby. The nurse put a burp rag over my shoulder and I gently patted his back until he let out an audible burp. There wasn't much spit up, so I gently wiped it away and sat back in the rocker with him. I tried to get him to finish the bottle, but he was quite content with what he'd eaten so I settled for holding him.
"Mr. Northman?" asked a nurse who popped her head into the nursery.
"Your wife is awake and asking for you and the baby," she said.
"Oh, great! Thank you."
"Here, I'll put him in his bassinet and wheel him in for you," Dr. Herveaux's wife said. "I recorded how much he ate, and we'll need to keep track of diaper changes too."
"Okay." I'd have to remember that. It was like all the reading and knowledge I had just flew out the window when he was born.
We got into the room and the nurse checked the baby's ankle bracelet with Sookie's wrist one, then she left us alone. Sookie was sitting with the bed tilted up, and held out her arms for her son.
"What, no hello for me?" I asked as I picked him up and placed him into her arms.
"Nope. There's a new man in my life now," she joked, then looked up at me with a smile. "Thank you for letting me sleep."
"You needed to rest," I said, then gave her a kiss. "I fed him a bit of formula. He only ate like two ounces. I didn't want to wake you."
"It's okay, I don't mind. I'll feed him from now on though," she said. "We need to come up with a name."
"I've been thinking about that. What do you think of Jackson for the first name?"
"Jackson," she said, trying it out. "We could call him Jack for short. It would be a good discipline name. You know, only using his full name when he's in trouble."
"Already thinking of disciplining him? He's an angel, Sook, he can do no wrong."
"He's also your son, so he'll be very curious. That's going to lead to so many messes."
"It's good to be curious," I laughed. "But yes, a lot of messes."
"What about a middle name? I was kind of stuck on Carter," she said.
"Carter. Jackson Carter Northman. It sounds great."
"Did we just name our son?" she asked.
"I think we did."
The next evening we got to take Jackson home. He slept for the entire car ride, and on into the house, so we put him in his crib and turned on the baby monitor before curling up in our own bed to take a nap. Of course, we'd only been sleeping for ten minutes before he started fussing. I went to get him and brought him back to Sookie so she could feed him.
"What does it feel like?" I asked.
She gave me a strange look, and I realized that my question was a bit weird.
"It feels like I'm a dairy," she said.
"Sorry," I said, but she just smiled and told me to go back to sleep if I wanted. "No, I'll stay up."
"You don't have to. I'll be up every couple hours feeding him anyway. One of us needs enough rest that we can go get him and attach him to my boob."
"Yeah, that's true. Wake me up if you need help, okay?"
"You got it."
I lay back down and closed my eyes, and an hour later I woke to sound of Jackson crying. Sookie wasn't in the bed, so I went down the hall to the nursery to see what had him so upset, but I stopped in the doorway. Sookie had just finished changing his diaper, which we learned he really, really didn't like. She swaddled him up in his baby blanket when she finished and cradled him in her arms.
"It's okay," she cooed at him, but he wasn't convinced in the least, so she started humming to him. She swayed back and forth, humming a slow song, and Jackson finally started to calm down.
"You're wonderful," I said, causing her to jump slightly.
"I hate seeing him cry," she said. "It's awful."
"We'll get used to it," I said, rubbing her back in comfort.
"I know. I'm just emotional right now."
"Why don't I take him, and you can go call Amelia. I'll bet she's anxious to hear from you."
"Okay," she agreed, and passed Jackson to me. She headed off to call Amelia, and I sat in the rocking chair.
"Let's make a deal, okay? Try not to cry like that in front of mommy too much. I know you're a baby, and you can't help it, but it makes mommy feel bad, and daddy doesn't like it when mommy feels bad. When you grow up and fall in love you'll feel the same. Nothing is worse than seeing the woman you love cry. But don't worry, because I'll teach you all about how to treat a woman, and if you listen to me, you'll hopefully never make one cry."
He just kind of stared up at me as I talked to him, but that was okay. As the parent who didn't have to leave the house to work, I would get to be a stay-at-home dad. I wasn't the least bit upset about it. Sookie and I had yet to discuss home schooling yet, but if we decided to go that route, I'd be his teacher as well. There was just a world of things I wanted to show him, and I could hardly wait to start.
I rocked him to sleep, and then went to see what Sookie was doing. She was still chatting away with Amelia, so I got her attention and asked her if she'd like me to order pizza for supper. We hadn't had a good greasy pizza since we found out she was pregnant, and as I expected she readily agreed to order some.
The pizza was there in thirty minutes, and Sookie got off the phone with Amelia right as I brought it into the kitchen.
"It smells so good," she said.
"I bought two so we have leftovers," I smiled.
"I know," I winked at her. "We better eat some before he wakes up again."
We both sat down at the table, opened one of the pizzas, and devoured a slice before we started talking again.
"You know, I don't mean to sound conceited, but we made a really, really cute kid," Sookie said.
"It does help that we're both so damn attractive."
She giggled and continued to enjoy her pizza, but when we were finished she looked guilty.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"I should probably stick to the whole pregnancy diet thing if I ever want to lose the baby weight."
"Don't worry so much about it. You're going to be feeding him, which will help, plus all the sleep deprivation… I'll bet in a couple of months you'll wonder where the extra weight went."
"You're perfect," she said again.
"You keep saying that," I teased her.
"Hush," she smiled. "I was thinking earlier, while you were sleeping. We've come a long way, haven't we? If I went back to where I was before I met you, I never would have believed that this is where I would be and what I would be doing in less than ten years. Married, nursing the child I made with the love of my life."
I smiled at her. We really were perfect for each other. Just the day before I'd been having my own thoughts about the same subject. I leaned forward and kissed her.
"What was that for?" she asked, a slight blush tinting her cheeks.
"After all these years, you still blush when I kiss you. That's what it was for."
She smiled and kissed me back, but then the baby monitor alerted us that Jackson was awake again.
"Let's go get our son," I said as I stood and offered my hand to Sookie. She took it and we walked upstairs together. Jackson needed a diaper change, and then we took him to our room and laid him on the bed between us. We admired him, cooed at him, talked to him, and generally made fools out of ourselves trying to get him to smile or make noises.
I don't think he was too impressed.
Two Months Later…
"Oh my god!" both Sookie and Amelia screamed as they launched themselves at each other. Tray, Amelia, and their daughter had just arrived for a visit. Tray walked up to me carrying little Laura, who looked exhausted. We shook hands and patted each other on the back before rolling our eyes at our still-embracing wives.
"How's the little guy?" Tray asked.
"Sleeping, but he's due awake anytime. How was the trip?"
"Long," he said, but smiled, like there was something he was keeping from me.
"Let's get inside then. You want to put her down for a nap?"
"Naw, she'll be fine, she just needs to realize where she's at. She slept almost the whole way here."
We all got inside, and Tray left Laura with Sookie and Amelia while he and I got their luggage into the guest room. Jackson woke up just as we finished taking the last of it up, so I hollered down to Sookie that I'd get him. He'd grown so much in just a couple of months. Tray followed me into the nursery and peeked over the crib at him. Jackson looked at Tray like he was trying to figure out who the heck he was.
"Christ Eric, he looks just like you," Tray laughed.
"Wait until you see Sookie holding him. It's like an optical illusion. He's my twin when I've got him, and Sookie's when she's got him."
I changed him into a dry diaper, and then we took him downstairs. Amelia jumped up immediately when she saw us and came over to take him from me.
"Oh sweet baby, come to Aunt Amelia!"
He seemed thoroughly amused by Amelia, and didn't fuss at all for her. She cooed at him and fawned over him until he started to whine.
"Sorry Ames, it's time to feed him," Sookie said. Amelia handed him over, and I draped a blanket over Sookie's shoulder so she could feed him and still visit.
"So, we have some news," Tray said.
"Good or bad?" I asked.
"Good. It's actually two bits of news," Amelia said. "The first is that Tray and I are expecting an addition to our family in about six months."
"Congratulations!" Sookie and I said together.
"We think you'll enjoy the next bit of news too," Tray said. He reached over and picked Laura up from where she was sitting on the couch, and sat her on his lap. "We're moving."
"Closer to here?" I asked.
"Try around the corner," Amelia said, and Sookie burst into tears. Amelia jumped up and gave her a hug, then sat next to her.
"I'm sorry," she said, wiping her tears away with one hand. "I've just missed you guys so much, and it was always a dream of ours that our kids would grow up with each other, and I just… I'm so happy."
She'd said it all. We were happy, all of us. Sookie and I were starting our family, and would surely add to it in the years to come. Our best friends were moving in around the corner, and our children would grow up together. They were the closest thing we came to having family since our own was so MIA. Jason still hadn't come to meet Jackson, but he did call Sookie to congratulate her. My parents surprised the heck out of us by visiting two weeks after he was born, but I knew they wouldn't be a constant in his life. Tray and Amelia would be. Sookie and I would be.
With all the love that was sure to surround Jackson and any of our future children, I knew without a doubt that everything would work out just fine.
If you're curious about what NerdBaby looks like, here is a picture of him when he's a bit older...