Root Beer Float: A Meeting Myself Outtake by SammieLynnsMom
Warnings: No Warnings Needed
Beta: Feralness_Is_Me aka Boo's Boy
Summary: Take a look into one late night mere weeks before Aubrey Cullen is born. How does Edward feel about becoming a dad-again? How is Bella coping with a new identity outside of being a doula? Sugar and sweet with everything nice-just one big, awww fest!
Before my eyes even opened I knew the other half of our bed was empty. The warmth I was so accustomed to feeling from Bella was absent, as were the sounds of her breathing in her asleep. Despite having my eyes shut, I knew there would be no morning light greeting me. My hand reached over to feel the lingering heat left by Bella. She couldn't have been gone very long before my subconscious realized it. It had become a pattern in the past few weeks, so I assumed it was close to three in the morning. Her internal clock had gone haywire around the time she entered her seventh month as her body prepared for Aubrey's arrival.
So, as I stretched my arms above my head letting the sounds of my back cracking echo throughout the room, I groaned and pushed myself up. My body was definitely not as limber as it was in my twenties, but I sat on the edge of the bed for only a few seconds before standing up. My eyes blinked a few times, while I rolled my neck before heading to the door of our bedroom.
Despite any outward traces of where Bella could be inside the house, I already knew where to find her. So, I bypassed the hallway light switch and headed for the stairs, not wanting to draw any attention to myself right away. Not only was my throat a little dry from sleep, I also knew Bella would appreciate a treat when I went back up to find her. Even in the low-lit kitchen, I knew exactly where to reach to find everything I needed. I grabbed myself a bottle of water out of the refrigerator, before reaching for the root beer and vanilla ice cream. I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't be a pro at making root beer floats by the time Bella gave birth, but you'd never hear me utter a single complaint about it. In fact, I was becoming rather envious of root beer floats as of late.
There had been a few times where Bella was having a rough day, I could tell she wasn't totally listening to me as I talked, but would snap all of her attention to my hand the second the mug came into view. As soon as she'd reach for it her face would turn into a beaming smile and her mood would immediately brighten. While I admitted being jealous of a drink was a little overboard, I did realize this stage would be a rather short lived experience. Despite a lot of crying episodes in her first trimester while her body adjusted to all the extra hormones, the second trimester seemed to breeze by before fear set in during her last trimester. Growing a baby wasn't an easy task for the average woman, but when you've experienced what Bella went through while trying to deliver Jameson, it just made all the worrying and fears compound into something extremely more powerful and magnified. No amount of reassurance would ever be enough until Aubrey was resting safely in her arms.
I smiled as I imagined Aubrey wrapped up in a pretty pink blanket asleep in Bella's arms with me sitting at their side. Savannah was such an even mix of me and Angela that a part of me wondered if you'd be able to tell they were sisters as Aubrey got older.
At the thought of Savannah, parts of me wanted to sigh. I wished more than anything I had baby pictures of her to compare later on. Of course, more than that, I wished I were there taking those pictures, though it hadn't escaped my notice that the same month I dropped my daughter off at college, I found out I had another child on the way. Aubrey would never be a replacement of Savannah, but it almost made me feel like I'd be more of a dad because I'd be involved the entire time. I had never voiced that to Savannah, though, for fear that she'd snap at me. To Savannah I was the dad she was always supposed to have. Even though she still loved and adored the couple who adopted her, I knew she wouldn't take kindly to my thoughts about being 'more' of a dad to her sister than her.
I shook my head of the thought before cleaning up the ice cream and root beer. Being honest with Bella about all of my fears was harder than I ever imagined it would be. I always felt guilty because I lost sixteen years, but at least I had Savannah now. Bella buried her son while she was still a teenager and would never get a 'do over' like I was granted. Without a doubt, I knew Bella would listen and comfort me, but I never wanted to put her in that position especially now that she was pregnant and fearful of birthing Aubrey.
Though I offered to do a repeat C-section without any questions asked, Bella wouldn't even give that option the time of day. It was obvious that she wanted to experience what she was supposed to go through the first time, but that didn't stop us from the a lengthy discussions spanning multi-days in case of any 'what ifs' popped up along the way.
With a water bottle and root beer mug in hand, I took to the stairs quietly before quickly passing by our bedroom to get to Aubrey's room.
Though Aubrey wasn't here yet, I knew it wouldn't be too much longer with Bella's last month starting in a matter of days. Bella's nesting had set in full force in the past few weeks as well, which was just another sign of things to come. Sometimes I'd come home from work to find Bella on the floor folding and re-folding all the baby clothes to put away or dusting off the framed ultrasound pictures that didn't have a speck of dust on them. Of course, it was common to hear stories of women nesting and going absolutely crazy with organizing and cleaning while I practiced medicine, but with Bella's pregnancy I actually got to witness it. Despite all my protests to relax and sleep as much as she could, Bella would just shrug me off saying she couldn't help herself. I wanted to debate her, but knew better of it, so I'd find something else to do or join in the effort of putting stuff away or cleaning every nook and cranny of our house.
The door to Aubrey's room was wide open while Bella stood at the far window staring up at the sky. The doors to the window were wide open as well, allowing a light breeze to flow through that I could feel from the doorway. The moon was high and full lighting up a glowing aura around Bella, making her look like an angel as she stood in her long, pink nightgown. She was so excited to find long silky maternity nightgowns around the time she hit twenty weeks. Bella swore the silky fabric kept her feeling cooler at night, so it was no surprise to me when she came into bed each night wearing one. Though, she didn't always stay in it.
There were times where I could tell Bella started feeling self-conscious about her pregnant body. The first time she told me 'no' when I asked to take a shower with her, hit me like a slap in the face. Even though I knew she hadn't meant to hurt me, my face showed my emotions for a second too long as she shied away from me saying she felt fat. Of course, I was more shocked than anything else, and I pushed a little until she gave in. When we got into the shower I noticed a new stretch mark and all the puzzle pieces began to snap together in my brain. After that, it became a new driving force to never let my wife feel like she couldn't be naked in front of me. My determination showed not only physically, but also verbally. Every day I made sure to tell her how beautiful she was, even more so than before, and at one point she told me she'd promise to never get self-conscious again if it meant I'd lay off a little. I simply shook my head no and went on with what I had been doing. Bella soon realized that no matter how big she got, how bad her mood swings could get, what kind of a day she was having, I would always find her to be the sexiest woman alive, and I had absolutely no problems with expressing my love to her in any way she'd allow me to.
As her belly grew we simply found more creative ways to have sex so that we both experienced equal amounts of pleasure. It was nothing that didn't take a bit of practice, but once we adapted to Bella's physical restrictions we were back to business as usual; which normally meant making love as much as humanly possible. Sex was another thing we both acknowledged would go by the wayside for a while after Aubrey was born. Not just because of the standard waiting and healing time, but also because Bella would be tired, as would I, as we juggled our new normal. It was nothing our marriage wouldn't adapt to, but it helped being on the same page with things. It made us appreciate what time we still had being just 'Edward and Bella,' while still being anxiously excited to be new parents too.
It wasn't until I realized I had been standing in the doorway staring at Bella in a dazed trace that she hadn't heard me come in behind her. Instead of calling out to alert her, I stepped further in and cleared my throat. She turned around with a smile and, even in the moon light, I could see her eyes gleam brightly at the root beer float mug in my hand.
"Thank you," she said quietly as she reached for the mug. "I was just thinking about walking downstairs to me make one of these. Sometimes I think you can read my mind."
"You're welcome," I replied as I kissed her forehead while she brought a spoonful of ice cream to her lips. "I missed you," I said after a second.
"I'm sorry," she apologized after swallowing a sip of the root beer. "My back started to hurt, and I just couldn't get comfortable, so I figured I'd come in here to air the room out for a bit. What time is it?"
"Almost three," I answered as I looked down at my watch. "Did standing help any?" I asked as I placed my water bottle on the window ledge and moved behind her. Even though she nodded her head, I lifted both of my hands to her lower back and began to knead softly. Immediately I heard sighs of contentment as she continued to finish her treat, before setting the mug down next to my water a few minutes later.
More time passed before I realized we were both rooted in place staring out the window. The sky was unusually clear as the moon, and several stars, could be visibly seen up above. The trees outside were swaying from side to side as the wind continued to pick up in spurts, before calming down for a few seconds, and then repeating. I was thankful for the quiet moment though, as it allowed me more time to focus on the woman in my arms. There weren't exactly words for what I felt for Bella, but complete and total love, adoration, and respect were decent places to start.
Thinking back to where my life had been just five years ago to now, was like a total transformation. I would never be able to thank Savannah enough for having the courage to find me. Whether she liked to accept credit or not, her one single action put into motions events that would change both of our lives forever. She brought me to Bella, and now that I had her in my life, I couldn't picture it any other way. The same stood for Savannah, too. It truly did feel like I had reclaimed my life from the crushed sixteen-year-old boy I had been in the past.
"You don't have to stay up with me." Bella broke the silence first. "I know you have a pretty full patient load in the morning, so feel free to get some sleep."
"I'm in the only place I want to be right now, baby," I whispered down into her ear as her body shivered in response. "Are you cold?" I questioned realizing her skin felt cool from the breeze outside blowing in, and I didn't want her to stand there frozen.
"No." She shook her head and laughed. "Not at all. In fact, I'm quite toasty with you behind me now."
"Okay, but if you get cold just say something and I'll grab a blanket," I informed her. "Now, would you like to tell me what's going on in that pretty little head of yours? You seemed like you were deep in thought when I came in here."
Bella sighed, but remained quiet for a few seconds before turning around in my arms. Her belly pushed out too far for her to be able to wrap her arms around me, so she angled her body just enough to rest her side against my chest. "I was hoping you'd missed that," she admitted honestly. "But, since I know you won't drop it even if I asked…"
"That would be correct," I interrupted to agree with her.
"I was thinking about my job," she informed me without saying anything else.
"What about it?" I pushed for clarification. Bella had come to me about a few months back about taking on new patients. Before we announced her pregnancy, she hadn't been seeing anyone due after her, but she started getting calls for woman that were due in the months immediately after her. As much as I knew it pained her, she said no. She offered to meet with them, talk with them, and answer any questions they had, but was adamant that she would not be able to be in the delivery room. So far, she hadn't said anything else about going back to work after Aubrey was born, so I was curious to hear what she was thinking about.
"I don't know what to do," she admitted honestly. "I've been a doula for over a decade, and I'm a little nervous about what I'll be without the title. I mean, I know I can always go back later, but it'll probably be years down the road before I even consider it. And, of course, that's assuming we only have Aubrey. What if we decide to have another baby? That pushes it off even further, and I feel like I need to be there to make sure these women get the birth they deserve, but that would be at the cost of time away from my own baby now.
"I didn't even like the idea of the school daycare with Jameson, and that was simply to finish high school. I just don't picture myself being able to pull myself out of bed in the middle of the night, passing Aubrey off, and going in with you," Bella explained in a rush. She spoke so quickly I wondered if she feared that breathing would make her lose her train of thought.
"Bella, your identity is not defined by your job, but by the person you are," I spoke seriously after a second.
"But, that's what scares me," she admitted with tears in her eyes.
"Baby, please don't cry," I begged as my fingers brushed away several tears that had fallen down her cheeks. "It kills me to see you cry."
"I know," she hiccupped. "I'm sorry. Damn hormones."
"It's okay," I whispered before kissing her forehead. "But, sweetheart, you're still not defined by your job. You are so much more than just a doula. I'd never knock your job, but people aren't going to judge you if you decide not to go back for a while. I'd like to think Aubrey may not be our only one, if that's what we want in a few years, and if staying home is what will make you happy, then do it. I make more than enough to support us, and nothing says you still can't host a class or two at the hospital, or something like that.
Baby, you're changing as our lives evolve, no one will judge you for that," I reassured her as she nodded. "And, trust me; I know what it's like to feel like your job is your identity. Savannah helped me see that I was so much more than just Edward the doctor, but you, my dearest wife, made certain that I never looked at myself that way again. You're not just Bella the doula, you're also Bella my wife; Bella the mother to Jameson, Savannah and Aubrey; Bella the volunteer; Bella the…"
"I get your point," she interrupted with a glance that could stop my heart. "I mean, I know that I'm more than just one thing, but I also feel like I'd be letting people down too."
I nodded my head thoughtfully as I thought about how to word my next thought. It wasn't that I was vain or thought of myself as the perfect doctor—Rosalie's delivery would always haunt me on that front—but Bella had to realize I was still going to be there too.
"Honey, you know that I don't take unnecessary risks, intervene before needed, and so forth. I could understand your concerns more if you were leaving these women to the likes of Black, but they'll still have me in there. Not that I'm Godly or anything, but you know I'm a good doctor," I explained though I didn't feel like I had done the greatest job at it.
"You're not a good doctor," Bella admonished as my eyes went wide. "You're an amazing doctor. One everyone is very lucky to have, but I think it's just going to take some time to adjust to the thought; even though it's been plaguing me for months."
"Oh, sweetheart, just wait. Aubrey will have you so tired and busy you won't even have time to think about it," I teased with a light hearted laughter to my voice. I could see Bella scrunch up her nose at me before laughing herself.
"I think I'm tired enough to lay down now," she announced as I took her hand reminding myself we'd have to clear off the window ledge later. "Wait, the mug." She tugged at my hand, but I wouldn't let go.
"We'll get it later," I replied as she reluctantly walked with me down the hall and into our room.
Bella climbed into bed first and attempted to get comfortable lying on her side, before I slid in behind her.
"Scoot back," I urged once I climbed in and attempted to line our bodies up to each other, to ease the strain on her back. Bella did as I requested, and a few seconds later I heard her sigh in contentment before yawning. My free hand brushed through her hair for a few minutes before her breathing shifted, and I knew she had fallen back to sleep already. I couldn't help the smile that spread across my face as my arm wrapped around Bella's stomach. Aubrey pushed out a few times until I adjusted my arm to where she didn't mind me laying it. Though, it somewhat worried me that she was already being a bit bossy in utero, I knew she was going to be perfect. And, I absolutely couldn't wait to meet her.
A/N: Thank you to everyone who donated! You are amazing!
So, probably not the update you wanted from me, but some cute fluff is good, right? Well...how's the weather where you are? *cue awkward silence* Yeah, hot as hell here. I won't comment much on the scandal because ya'll can check my FB or twitter for my feelings there, but at this point I don't know where this leaves Open. I want to finish it. I don't not finish things because I'm ridiculously OCD, but right now merely opening the doc makes me shake my head. I can see it in my head, but then I try and write it and ... ugh. In all of my stories, I have pretty much always seen Rob as Edward, even my older Edward's I simply age him, but Kristen has never been my Bella. Even though I watched the movie Twilight before reading the books, and even though I thought she was decent at first, I read the books, looked back, and shook my head again. She just wasn't what I was-writing Open, I actually saw her. Needless to say, I've been rocked between this newest revelation and the on-going IRL situation I talked about earlier. I'd like to finish it, but it probably won't be done quickly.
When I decided to write Open, I was picking between two major plot bunnies, both begging to be written and I feel like I chose the wrong one because the other one would have never been effected.
Right now I'm focusing on my Leukemia & Lymphoma Society outtake. I'm toying between Meeting Myself (Edward & Bella running into Jane) and Blind Intentions (Edward realizing what he missed out on with Nathan while he experiences it with Daphne). If you have a preference, I'm all ears and I feel like saying I'm sorry for failing right now simply isn't enough.
At the very least, if I come to a point where I know the story will never be completed, the outline will go up so you get the ending.
Thank you, as always for your support. This fandom has seen me through some dark moments and some happy ones, and I'd like to stay in it, I just feel like I'm on a rope dangling a edge that once I fall I'll be lost for good.