I woke up to a searing pain in my side. It was a constant throbbing pain. I bit my lip to hold back to scream that was growing in the back of my throat. I tried to find comfort by hunching over the side of the bed. But nothing. No, this can't be happening, I thought, it's too early. Another wave of pain crashed over me, as if a sharp, rusty knife was being wiggled inside of my lower stomach, I grasped for the side table, the pain threatening to make me fall from my bed to the floor. In that moment, I felt a hand being laid on my back. Peeta. Never before have I been so grateful that he is such a light sleeper.

"Katniss," his voice sounding a touch frantic, "Katniss, what's wrong?"

I shook my head, the pain slowly fading, leaving a dull ache in it's path. "I'm not sure," Peeta began to rub my back as I felt another wave of pain wash over me. "P-Peeta, I-It hurts." It took everything inside of me just to speak those few simple words.

"Kat, we have to get you to the hospital, we have to go," I watched as he jumped off the bed, grabbing the already packed hospital duffel bag and throwing it over his shoulder. For once in our entire relationship, I had no problem with him taking the lead.

However, I had no idea the amount of energy it would take to even walk out the door and to the ele

There really is nothing that can prepare you to endure childbirth. No amount of classes, books, or advice can help you even being to imagine what the pain in like. All I feel is pain, pain, pain, pain. It's the only thing consuming my being. At some points I feel Peeta's calloused hands on my forehead, and his fingers running through my hair. Everything is mostly a blur. A blur of doctors, of nurses, of people that I don't recognize, but Peeta's here, sitting in the hospital chair right next to the bed. His face is the only thing I cling to. The only thing helping me through all this.

I see his face come closer to mine, his lips touch my ear, "They can give you pain medication now, Kat." I hear him breathe a sigh of relief. "You're doing so wonderful. I'm so proud of you." My hand comes up to touch his cheek. It's wet. He's been crying.

"Peeta, what's going through your head?" I whisper.

His forehead touches my head, I can hear the quiet sobs that he's releasing, "You've been in so much pain for hours and I couldn't do anything to help you." His voice cracks, "I'm supposed to be able to protect you, to never let you go through any more pain than you've already endured."

"Peeta," I sigh quietly, finally feeling the effects of the pain medication they've given me. "This isn't your fight to fight. It's mine. And at the end of it we're going to have something so precious and beautiful that it's not going to matter about the pain that I went through, all that will matter is the little life that we will have. Then it'll all be worth it."

Peeta lifted his head, leading against the bed, he raised his hand to touch my face, "You're incredible, you know that right?" A smile crept onto his face. "I've never loved someone so much, the way that I love you."

The next three hours consisted of quite a lot of soft snores, lots of medication, and many many 'I love yous'. Almost all three of them concerning Peeta, except for the fact that I was the one giving birth, not him, so unfortunately I was the one who needed the pain medication. But I was comfortable to watch him sleep, knowing that it would be one of the last peaceful nights we'll ever have. Each time he would wake, I'd pretend to be sleeping. A few times I'd drift off as well, but the pain was still there, awakening me each time I found sleep.

I heard the doorknob wiggle, and a head popped in, "Hello, Mrs. Mellark, may I come in?" I simply nodded.

The doctor walked in and with him were four other nurses, "Are you ready for this?" I noticed him putting on gloves and the other nurses scattering around the room setting up what needed to be done.

"It's time?" I asked, my voice cracking from nervousness.

He turned and nodded at me. I let out a sharp breath and my heart began to race. It's time. I shook Peeta awake. "It's time, it's time." Immediately he awoke and grabbed my hand.

"It's going to be alright," he said, hearing the nervousness in my voice. He placed his hand on my cheek, I leaned my head into his hand, then placing my own hand on top of his.

"I'm scared," I replied. In that moment I felt so weak, so little. I had no control over what was going to happen. I was placing my life and the life of my child into the hands of these people whom I barely knew.

"I know, I am too." he admitted. "But I'm going to be right here next to you the entire time."

"Okay, Katniss," the doctor smiled at me, "Let's deliver a baby."

I nodded and began to push. All I felt was pressure. An enormous amount of pressure that I just wanted to go away. I let out a cry of pain. I felt Peeta's hand in mine, squeezing hard.

"Push, push, push, Katniss," I heard the doctor yell. "You're almost there, keep going,"

"Come on, my beautiful Katniss," Peeta's soft voice whispered in my ear. "You're so strong, and such a fighter, you can do this. One big push," My sweet Peeta. I listened and gave one big push.

"Welcome to the world, you gorgeous little girl!" the doctor pronounced. I felt a wave of complete relief wash over my body as I felt all the pressure entirely leave. They placed my baby on my stomach and washed her off. Peeta kissed my forehead, "I knew you could do it," he laughed.

I looked down at the child that was now mine. She had a beautiful blonde head of hair, and stunning blue eyes. "She looks like you, Peeta." I could feel tears running down my cheeks. And I could hear Peeta crying beside me. I run my fingers over the little blonde hairs that she already has. One moment I'm touching her, the next they're taking her away.

"Where are you taking her?" my voice sounds harsher than I intended it to, but I suppose it's the motherly instinct already kicking in.

"No worries," one of the nurses said, "She'll be right back in about 15 minutes. We're just going to wash her off, get her vitals and measure her." she smiled at me.

"Katniss, you did so wonderful," Peeta chimed in, a smile spread across his face. I chuckled at the site of a grown man smiling as big as Peeta was.

"Thank you," I whispered, "I couldn't have done it without you."

Once the fifteen minutes had passed, we were able to see our daughter again. Peeta held her first, I enjoyed being able to watch him look at her. He had nothing but an overwhelming love for her. I could tell the way he kissed her cheek and held her close to his chest. I laid back and watch him interact with her, I had never felt more content with life. Peeta spoke, but didn't take his eyes off of her, "What shall we name her?" A name. She needs a name. Crap. This was one of the parts about being a mother that I hadn't thought through. My child needed a name.

So I closed my eyes, and just let my mind wander to a name.

Alba.

It was something new. Something so different.

"Alba." I declared.

Peeta looked at me, then looked back down at her again and smiled, "Alba." he ran his hand on the hat that now covered up her beautiful ashy blonde hair. "It's so beautiful."

"Alba Rue Primrose Mellark."

Peeta looked to me and smiled. "It's perfect." He walked toward me, "She wants you," I could see her wiggling in the blanket and I opened my arms for him to place her in them.

I looked down at this beautiful child in my arms. She was mine. This little human that grew inside me for nine months was now in my arms. The child that caused me many mornings crouched over the toilet, many sleepless nights, and countless mood swings. I gave this beautiful child life. Peeta and I gave this child life. Her soft fingers wrapped around my index finger and I felt her sigh into a deep sleep.

I moved over on the bed with enough room for Peeta to lie beside me. His right arm wrapped around my shoulders. He kissed my temple and looked down at Alba. "I was hoping she'd look more like you." I chuckled, as I looked down at my Alba. She had every feature of Peeta's. Her blonde hair, and blue eyes, the way her eyebrows scrunched as she slept, and the way her lips curled as if she were concentrating on something important. Everything about her was beautiful. "Sadly, she has my nose though," I laughed.

Peeta placed his head against mine, as we watched her sleep. I couldn't help but feel so full of joy and love and peace. In this moment, everything was so perfect. This beautiful little person in my arms was mine, and I loved her more than anything. And the man beside me was holding me in his arms, whispering in my ear beautiful things. Everything that had happened in my past was blurred, and for the first time in my life, I was able to focus purely on my future and the wonderful things that were in store for my family.

As Alba began to fall asleep, my own eyelids began to feel heavier. And soon enough I fell into my own sleep, feeling more love and contentment than I ever have in my entire life.