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Authors notes: *Peeks out from behind laptop.* First off, apologies for the super long delay. Yes, we are fully aware that it's been months. LisaDawn75 had massive computer issues and EternallyCullen grew and birthed a small person. It's been a crazy time on both sides of the pond.
We are going to be writing an outtake for this story for the Fandom for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – you can donate and receive lots of special chapters and stories. fandom4lls . blogspot . co . uk
Holy fucking hell! I never imagined such tortuous pain existed until I went into labor. At first, the contractions weren't that bad, and I thought, piece of cake! Well, ha ha, the joke's on me.
I gritted my teeth as another contraction rocked through my body. How was it that women had more than one child? Did the doctors give you something that erases your memory after you give birth? That had to be it. The military should really figure out how to inflict this pain on our enemies. I swear, Osama Bin Laden would have gladly spilled his secrets if the Navy SEALs had used labor pain as a torture method. Seventy-two virgins be damned.
The pain finally faded so that I could focus on my surroundings. Edward was sitting on the side of my hospital bed, his face drawn tight in concern. I had never lost my cool around him, so I figured that he was scared shitless. Good. This pain was all his fault anyway.
"Bella, are you all right?" Edward asked.
Am I all right? Seriously? "No, you fuckwit! I feel like an alien life form is trying to eat its way out of my body!"
I immediately felt contrite at the crushed expression on Edward's face. Yes, I realized that I had asked him to do this to me – if you wanted to get technical – but pain has a way of turning even a saint into a demon from hell.
"I'm sorry, Edward. I shouldn't have snapped at you."
He shook his head. "It's okay, love. What can I do?" he asked, his expression still pained.
I tried to turn onto my side so that he could massage my lower back, and I was sure that the Titanic had turned easier. "Can you help...?" I asked.
Edward jumped to attention and assisted me in flopping over. I hoped someone notified the Seismological Society so that a mass panic did not erupt on the West Coast. No earthquake, people! Bella Swan just turned over in bed! Go about your business, but be prepared for aftershocks!
His fingers gently massaged my muscles, causing me to let out a sigh. Damn, that felt good. This time, when the contraction hit, I clenched the bedrail and squeezed my eyes shut. I tried to remember my Lamaze breathing, but the white light behind my eyelids from the pain was a bit distracting.
"Not too much longer," Edward soothed. I knew that this was much rougher on him mentally than it was me. Over the last month or so, I had come to realize just how much Edward really did care about me. Actually, I thought he even loved me. The thought made me giggle. Even though I was currently in beached whale mode, I felt like a schoolgirl with her first big crush.
Suddenly, Edward's father, Dr. Carlisle Cullen, walked into the room, his wife, Esme, behind him. "So, it won't be too much longer before my first grandchild is here," he said, a smile on his handsome face.
I felt my face flush hotly, suddenly embarrassed. I mean, I was basically a walking billboard announcing, 'Hey! I had unprotected sex with your son!'
"Yeah, I hope so," I said.
Esme walked around the bed and sat on the side which I was facing. "Bella, honey, how are you doing?" she asked, concern evident in her green eyes that were so like Edward's.
I grunted as another contraction hit. Once it passed, I replied, "I'm fine."
Esme laughed softly. "You didn't just sound fine."
"Well, I'm as fine as I can be, in this situation."
"Is it normal for her to be in this much pain, Dad?" Edward asked.
I did find that I actually felt a bit sorry for him. He was trying so hard.
Carlisle patted him on the back. "Yes, son. Bringing a new life into this world, while a wonderful experience, is also quite physically painful for the mother. Bella's going to be fine."
At that moment, my nurse came in to check how far dilated I was. I felt my face flush hotly again and was grateful when she kicked everyone out. Well, except Edward. He had already seen me completely naked, so I figured this wouldn't be anything between us. I did not, however, want his father in the same room while my hoo-ha was being bared, doctor or not.
I was so glad I shaved. Well, okay, so Edward did the shaving... tomato, tomahto...
My nurse kindly waited until another contraction had passed before she none-too-gently inserted her gloved and lubed fingers inside of me. Okay, internal vaginal examinations are slightly more uncomfortable when you're preparing to squeeze a small person out of you. Everything felt as though it were throbbing, aching, and stretching.
Our nurse, Alicia, who was still perched on the edge of the bed between my legs patted my knee and smiled gently. "We still have a little way to go as yet, Bella. You're five centimeters."
I suddenly felt the rage building up inside of me. "Five... five fucking... stupid... tiny centimeters?" I all but growled.
"I know that isn't what you wanted to hear," Alicia kindly told me, "but you are doing so well, Bella. You've gotten to five with no pain relief. Keep going, you can do this. You're already halfway there."
I just wanted to cry! Halfway? It was as though I'd been laboring for hours. I'd been watching the clock closely between excruciating contractions, and the seconds were ticking by so slowly that it was almost as though for every one that passed, the clock would jump back three.
"I'm so tired," I sobbed, as I allowed the floodgates to open.
Edward got up off his chair and sat beside me on the narrow bed, taking my hand in his. "I'm so proud of you, sweetheart," he whispered, sincerity clear in his voice. "It'll be over before you know it. I promise."
Oh, God, I wanted to yell at him. I wanted to punch him square in his perfect jaw. How come I had to get all of the pain? It's all very well some guy – a strong, fit guy with much wider hips than me and a good, strong abdomen to push from – to tell me that it was going to be okay.
Instead, I remembered myself, and the fact that, although Edward did in fact put this soul sucking, energy draining demon spawn inside of me, it was what I wanted, and hopefully, in just a few long hours, we'd have said Demon Spawn snuggled up in a blanket. So, I sucked it up and tried to smile bravely for all of our sakes.
Another contraction hit, and Edward seemed stuck between watching my agonized face and looking at the monitor strapped to my abdomen that was measuring the contractions and both my and Spawn's heartbeat. The fucking needle almost jumped off the page. That one had been a lot more intense than the previous ones.
Alicia took a few seconds to study the readout, looked me over, and got back to her feet. "You just let me know when you want something for the pain; you can have anything you like now."
Oh, thank God. I wanted to kiss that woman so hard. "Please, now," I whispered.
"Sure, sweetie." I tried to ignore the term of endearment from the girl ten years my junior. "What would you like? Would you like me to have you set up for an epidural?"
I'd not been keen on pain relief to that extent. Yes, the pain was just awful, but you know what? I wanted to feel like I'd gone through childbirth. All of my friends cheered for epidurals, spinal blocks, and Cesarean sections, but something inside of me pushed me to want to try a slightly more natural birth. I'd discussed this with Edward, and although he'd argued till he was blue in the face about not wanting me to go through all the pain when there were drugs available to make the experience more... pleasant... I won. He told me that he'd support me no matter what I wanted to do – and as long as both me and our child were safe. He should, since I was the one doing all of the work here.
"Not an epidural... just yet," I requested. "Perhaps later, but I want to try something less invasive."
"Sure, whatever you want. Have you thought of what you might like?"
I grunted once again as another and even stronger pain gripped me. I bent over on my side and leaned into Edward who resumed massaging my lower back.
"I don't know... can't think," I admitted as I looked to Edward for support. I could see he was clenching his jaw and trying to be strong for me. He was just such an incredible guy. He was trying so hard to hold it all together for me.
"We can do whatever you like, sweetie," Edward whispered to me. "You don't have to go through this pain. No one will think any less of you if you have something to take it away."
I nodded as another pain shot across my swollen abdomen. "I'm good..." I groaned. He massaged my back gently. "I want to carry on; I think I can do this for a little longer." I figured as I wasn't screaming the place down yet, I could hold off on the pain relief a little longer.
Alicia rested her hand on mine. "It's up to you, Bella. If you change your mind, then you press the call button. I'm just going to make some preparations and make sure we have everything that you need for your delivery. I won't be too long, but if you need anything, you just call, okay?"
"Okay," I said, and Edward nodded in thanks and took my hand.
Oh. My. God. Why in the fuck did I turn down pain relief two hours ago? I thought as I leaned forward and onto my hands and knees, a mountain of pillows holding me in place. The rule where you were supposed to dilate one centimeter per hour? Yeah, sometimes it's so not true. I figured I could deal with the pain and hold off on the epidural, and in the space of less than two hours, I'd progressed to the full ten centimeters.
I pressed my chin to my chest and rocked forward as I moaned loudly, but when I say 'moaned', it was more like a "moo." I sounded like I was a dying cow. The noise escaping from my mouth certainly didn't sound human.
Edward was out of his seat and standing close by my bed, trying to be useful. He offered me water regularly and rubbed my back. Several times, I had to bite back the abuse I wanted to fling at him and not tell him to shut the hell up and sit the fuck down.
"You're doing so well, Bella; come on, baby. It won't be long now," he encouraged.
I swore he'd said it several times already. I screwed my eyes shut and took a deep breath.
"Okay, Bella, on this one, you can push!" yelled from my doctor from her position at my butt. Yeah, I was kneeling with my bare ass in the poor woman's face, but she didn't seem to mind and said that if I was comfortable, it was a good position for the baby as it would help it come down the birth canal. Apparently, it also gave her a good view of everything. Eww.
"Now, chin to your chest and push! So hard, get angry, Bella. Edward, help her out! Come on, Daddy, count with me! Push! One, two, three, four... yes, that's it! Keep going; take a quick breath if you need to! Five, six, seven eight... good girl, well done! Take a breather, and on the next one, I need you to do the same again – just harder, okay?"
Harder? Oh, shit, I feel like I want to poop! WHAT IF I POOP! And what's with all the fucking cheering? She must have been a cheerleader in her earlier days… ugh.
Edward swiped a cold, wet washcloth over my face and neck, and I took a moment to relax into the mountain of pillows that were there to support me.
"I don't think I can do this," I panted, feeling as if the pain were about to cut me in half. Why, oh, why didn't I take the drugs when I had the chance? Stupid! That's what I was!
Edward coughed slightly. "Bella, sweetie, you can't change your mind now."
I glared at him. I was giving birth – I could do whatever the fuck I wanted to! Unfortunately, Demon Spawn had other ideas, though. And so, the power struggle between mother and child had already begun!
"I'm not doing this," I said stubbornly. "Edward, I want to go home. Get my stuff."
"Bella…" He stared, looking panicked. "Honey... you can't..."
"The fuck I can't," I growled at him and tried to move my whale's body into a sitting position.
Alicia put a hand on my knee. "Bella, honey, I don't think that's such a good idea," she said soothingly.
Stupid, perky, know-it-all, twenty-something... with her flat stomach and boobs that stayed in place. I didn't have to listen to her!
"Well, I want to..." I started, and then the damn floodgates opened again. "I-I c-c-can't d-do this," I wailed between sobs. "And I w-want m-my m-m-mom!"
Edward looked perplexed, and he gingerly reached out to me. I flinched away from his touch, but at the very same moment, another contraction struck, and I found myself flat on my back. Like a flash, Alicia was at my side with the doctor down by my legs and peering in between my open thighs. "Come on now, Bella, PUSH! Really give it some effort!"
What the hell does she think I'm doing? Sitting back and sipping a latte? I'll show her effort.
I yelled loudly as I pushed with all the strength I had left. Everything felt like it was stretching. I tried to mentally block out her stupid little sing-song voice as she counted to ten. I felt the sweat bead and drop down my forehead.
Finally, after what felt like forever, the pain subsided, and my head flopped back, my knees falling together. My eyes were still screwed shut, and I fought for my breath. I was beyond exhausted.
"Bella, I can see the head. When you're pushing, your baby is coming down really well. Another couple of big pushes like that and you'll soon be meeting your baby!"
Okay, I can do this. Just a couple more. I tried to pep myself up for the next round of pushes, but I was beyond exhausted and was ready to just curl up and sleep for the next month. Demon Spawn, however, was having none of that and was ready to make its entrance into the world.
Alicia readjusted my legs. "Okay, Bella, push really, really hard this time. Ready? One, two, three!"
And I gave it all I had. I thought I was probably bursting some blood vessels in my brain, but at the moment, I didn't care. All I wanted was to get this thing out of me. Oh, my God, the burning. There was this immense pressure and then the overwhelming heat. I almost cried out for someone to fetch me an icepack for my hoo-ha! I kept pushing, screaming out loudly as I ran out of breath.
I collapsed back on my pillow again and heard a strange sucking sound.
"Bella, the head's out! Come on, one more big push!"
If I had had the strength, I would have kicked her in the head for that damn perkiness. I expected to see her kicking her legs up with pompoms in her hands. As it was, all I could do was bear down and try to push this kid out, one last time. If this didn't work, I didn't care what they said. I was done and going home.
"One more, baby, one more," Edward said encouragingly beside me. I swear, I think he was crying. He kept looking at whatever was going on between my legs then back up at me.
I nodded and pushed when I was told to. I heard what sounded like a demonic growl and suddenly realized it was coming from me. Huh. I let out the scary growl one more time and felt the thing slip out of me. I collapsed back onto the bed, utterly spent. I was ready to drift off to sleep when I heard the loud wail let out by the thing I had just pushed out of my body.
Oh, my. It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard.
"Here we go, Mommy! Congratulations!" cried Alicia as she suddenly whipped my hospital gown up and shoved the slimy, wriggly, and squirmy little pink monster onto my naked chest. My arms automatically wrapped around it and cradled it to me.
"Oh... o...oh, my God," I whispered as the floodgates, once again, opened. I thought the fucking hormones were supposed to go away as soon as you'd expelled the small creature? "What is it?" I asked.
Edward leaned in and looked at our new, tiny person. "It... it's a... it's a baby," he whispered in awe.
I blinked and then turned my attention to my chest. Alicia had strategically placed a towel over the two of us, and I peeked under it. Edward and I had requested in our birthing plan that we'd like to discover the sex of our child for ourselves, so it was finally the moment of truth. We had been waiting months and months for this moment to finally happen. Edward leveled his head with mine and looked. We both grinned at one another when we got a really good glimpse of our offspring for the first time.
Our tiny little daughter was staring at us both with the hugest blue eyes we'd ever seen. She was so quiet and content with just staring at us, almost as though she was taking her brand new world in for the first time.
"Congratulations, Mommy and Daddy," Alicia whispered once again and took a step back, for a moment. She began to hand the doctor whatever she needed to clean and stitch me back together again while the nurse from the nursery started to prepare the scales so that the baby could be weighed and have her length measured.
"Edward... look..." I whispered as the tears flowed freely down my cheeks.
Edward grinned at me and pressed a soft kiss to my lips and then leaned over and kissed our daughter's forehead gently. "You know, we did this, together. So perfect." He sniffed quietly. Edward was crying.
Baby Gwendolyn Stacey Cullen was perfectly healthy and weighed in at a ginormous nine pounds and two ounces. My hoo-ha required four stitches, and Edward had a bruised right hand with perfect little crescent shaped indents where my fingernails had been. His hand repaired itself a lot faster than my womanly parts. I thought I'd never be the same again down there.
After they cleaned me and the baby up and made us presentable, Carlisle and Esme reappeared in the room. Had they been here this whole time?
"Let me see my grandbaby!" Esme cooed softly.
My arms tightened instinctively around Gwen. I wasn't ready to hand her over just yet. The momma bear inside of me was out, and she was ready to scratch the eyes out of anyone who came too close to my precious little person. I wasn't a total bitch, however, and did, begrudgingly, hand her over. My eyes were constantly on her little face.
It wasn't long before Gwen's eyes screwed shut, her features turned into a little grimace, and she wailed. Esme cradled my daughter closer to her chest and tried to soothe her. I wanted to jump right out of my hospital bed and grab her, but my tired, aching body was having none of it.
Thankfully, Alicia came to the rescue. "Wow, sounds like someone is getting hungry! Bella, how do you feel like trying to nurse Gwendolyn?"
Nurse? Like, with my boobs? In front of everyone? I felt my face grow hot at the thought. Edward's father was in here! "Um..."
Alicia redeemed herself in my eyes when she shooed the visitors out of the room. "Let's give the new mommy some privacy."
Suddenly, the door was flung open, and my mom came rushing into the room. "Oh, Bella! Oh, my baby! Did I miss the birth?"
I nodded with my head to the bundle now safe in my arms. "Yeah... um, Mom... how-how did you get here?" I was almost speechless.
My mother flapped her arms like a chicken. "Oh, baby, Edward called me when you went into labor, and I grabbed the first plane. Oh, my baby just had a baby!"
I glared at Edward. Traitor! Don't get me wrong. I love my mom, but she's so harebrained that having her around at a time like this was always stressful. Very stressful. I almost laughed at the expressions on Carlisle's and Esme's faces as they gaped at my mom in her flowing peasant skirt, overlarge shirt, and flip flops. "Did you call Charlie, too?" I asked accusingly.
Edward nodded sheepishly. "Yeah, but he said he would be by after he got off work tonight."
Thank God. Both of my parents in the same room was enough to make me run and hide. On top of that, I'd just pushed another human being out of my body only an hour ago. It was enough to make me want to open the window and jump.
Gwen let out another loud and rather piercing scream, letting us know that she was still with us and still hungry. I looked around uncomfortably and then longingly at Edward, hoping that he'd get the message and remove everyone, my mother included, out of the cramped little hospital room. He did and ushered them out. My mom tried to protest, but to my surprise, Esme linked her arm with my mother's and led her out of the room, mentioning something about coffee. I sighed in relief.
"It's overwhelming, isn't it?" asked Alicia, knowingly. I nodded and exhaled.
"It's crazy; can't we just hide out in here forever? I don't want to share her just yet."
Alicia smiled, and Edward took my hand. "I can ask them all to leave, if you want."
I shook my head. "Ignore me; I'm just being weird." Edward insisted that I wasn't; he had, apparently, read in his daddy book that it was natural for me to be feeling protective over my child and that it was perfectly normal. He also said that it was perfectly fine to ask nosy family members to leave.
"It's fine, really. I want them here," I lied. "It's just a bit much all at once, you know?"
Alicia took Gwen for a moment and asked me to lift up my shirt. Together, we positioned Gwen at my breast. It was tricky at first to get her to latch on, but after a few attempts, she grabbed hold of me like a little leech and started sucking happily away. Her eyes rolled back into her head as I held her head in place and her body close to mine.
Nursing was strange. It was a little uncomfortable at first, and sometimes, if your baby didn't latch on fully, it could be painful. But it was simply, to me, the most amazing thing ever. Knowing that you were the sole provider for this tiny person was pretty incredible. And daunting.
After about ten minutes, and after what Alicia told me was a successful meal, Gwen stopped sucking, and her little mouth opened and dropped my nipple. She had fallen asleep. Edward was itching to hold her again, so I gestured for him to take her from me.
Sitting in the recliner by the bed, Edward held our baby close to his chest. He placed little kisses to her forehead and whispered things to her that I couldn't hear. He looked so perfect with her. He looked like a daddy... he was so relaxed with her and happy. I knew that he was built for this. He was a complete natural.
I knew I'd have no worries with him, and I was glad he wanted to be in it for the long haul. Although I was prepared, at first, to do this mom thing alone, I was now certain that I was going to have fun sharing it with Edward.
His parents were back in the room, along with my mother. They were taking turns passing Gwen around and awing and oohing over the perfect little bundle. I was exhausted and found myself slipping in and out of sleep.
Charlie slipped into the room and walked over to my bed, giving me an awkward, one-armed hug. "Hey, Bells. Everything okay?"
I nodded. If I wasn't mistaken, I thought Charlie's eyes were a bit moist, but I had to be wrong. Charlie didn't cry.
"So, Edward," Charlie said, "when are you planning on making an honest woman out of my little girl?"
Edward gulped. "Well, sir..."
"Dad," I interrupted. "Don't... please... not now…"
Charlie grimaced. "Fine, but just so you know, I'm expecting a ring on your finger – soon." He looked over at Edward, and a smile came over his face. "Just you wait, Edward. When she starts dating" –he nodded in Gwen's direction– "you'll understand what I'm going through."
A look of horror came over Edward's face. "Dating?" he whispered.
Charlie grinned in glee. "Yep... boys. Lots and lots of boys. You just wait."
Edward looked over at me. "B-boys? N-no, no way. No boys. Ever."
I laughed. "Edward, I think you have a while before you have to start worrying about that."
He shook his head, his face a pale white. "Huh uh, Bella. No boys. She can't date... ever. Or do… you know…"
I rolled my eyes and settled down into my hospital bed in an attempt to get comfortable. "Sure, honey. Whatever you say," I replied with a big yawn. I looked around at all of the people in my room – a blending of my and Edward's family.
Gwen was born into a special sort of family... Edward and I were still on our journey of discovery, yet Gwen would have the stability of lots of amazing people who already loved her unconditionally.
And Edward would have several years to deal with the boy problem. I smiled as I slipped into sleep, feeling nothing but love from everyone in the room. A year ago, I was alone with only the dream of having my own family.
Today, I was living my dream. And I couldn't want anything more.
Awwwwwwww ;-) Please let us know what you think.
Anyone catch the geek comic book and Twi cross over references?