Beautiful Bellies Contest: Take Two

Title: Instinct
List of prompts used: Braxton Hicks, Jenga, blubber, super-cali-fragilistic-expialidocious & algebra
Characters/pairing: Bella/Edward
Genre: General/Family
Word Count: 6195
Rating: M
Summary: Bella isn't the maternal sort exactly, but fate has other plans and a surprise in store for her.

*8*

Bella remembered how some years ago when she had visited the ladies restroom of her workplace a woman then her age was hiccupping for air, her eyes red and puffy from crying while another tried to comfort her. Bella had excused herself into a cubicle, wanting not to meddle with other people's business but really wanting to pee.

She had listened the other woman try to calm down the blubbering one and couldn't really judge either of them. She had been in both their places, figuratively speaking, for more than once she had hushed comforting silly nothings to Rose when she had stressed over her and Emmett's financial situation, and she remembered very well the three days she had cried in a row when on Alice's and when on Rose's shoulder when Edward and she had fallen apart for six months. It was only when the crying woman voiced her reason of distress that Bella snorted at her idiocy.

"How can I tell him, we've discussed having children and agreed now is not the time. He just got a promotion, he doesn't have the time to play dad! What if he leaves me, what do I do then? I can't raise a child alone!"

That's what you should have thought about when you decided to have unprotected sex, Bella had wanted to holler from the cubicle but had kept her opinions to herself. She simply vowed that would never happen to her, that she wouldn't be that stupid.

In the end, stupidity had nothing to do with it at all. It was the point two odd something failure rate of her pill that had brought her to the current predicament. She thought it was unfair, for she had taken her pill religiously every evening within a 30 minute range and should she have forgotten or missed the time frame for some reason, sex was banned in their household for the following week unless Edward wrapped it up.

Fair or not, there she was, five weeks pregnant. She had been able to live in hope that the two pregnancy tests she had taken were both mistaken but there was no denying it when the doctor had announced she was going to be a mother.

Turning sideways towards the mirror Bella ran a hand across her stomach. Five weeks give or take, of course it didn't show yet, but it was in there, growing. The doctor had given her a list of symptoms she should be ready to expect, such as the nausea, tenderness of her breast, fatigue, even excessive salivating she had never heard of and wished she wouldn't suffer through. So far she had had none of the signs and she wondered if she would, whether it was physiological or psychological now that she knew of her condition. And say she began to sleep until noon on the weekends or spit buckets of saliva into the trash bin at work, how long could she hide it.

Although the crucial question was how long should she hide it.

She almost wished her problem was the same as that woman's who had crumbled down and cried to a co-worker in the middle of the day. Bella knew that if she told Edward he would be ecstatic. There was just the small matter of if indeed.

When Bella had grown up in the small town of Forks, Washington she had seen too many teenage couples who got stuck in the town because the girl got pregnant at seventeen and the guy was admirable enough to go through with it because it was his responsibility or because both their parents demanded he did or brainwashed him into thinking he wanted to. At the age of twelve when boys suddenly began to interest her, Bella had been sure she'd forever live in Forks and have her first child by the time she was eighteen.

By the age of sixteen she had kissed two girls just to see if she simply didn't fancy boys that way, but realised soon that it was just the boys of Forks she didn't fancy. She also found out that she was pretty good at certain subjects at school, good enough that if she worked a little harder she could start dreaming about a decent college far away from Forks. Having children anytime soon became an undesirable objective at that point of life and she started the pill just to be on the safe side even though her sexual encounters had ended when she and her childhood friend Jake had ended their relationship.

When the Cullens had moved to Forks in the middle of her junior year of high school her sex life had seen a definite boost to it, but it hadn't been until at final years of college, when she and Edward had really began to put their lives and relationship under the microscope, that having children had been discussed in any seriousness.

Had Edward gotten his wishes true they'd definitely have a child by now, maybe even two. He had even painted the picture of the two of them with two beautiful babies, a boy and a girl – in that order – so vividly Bella's heart had ached. Bringing Edward down from his high by admitting that she didn't want to have children, not now and maybe not ever was one of the hardest things she had had to do in their relationship. Their fallout had followed soon after and for half a year they had been apart and miserable only to reunite with their love renewed. They had moved in together soon after and Bella had dared to poke the ice with a stick, making sure that their expectations didn't cross any lines and that children were not in the agenda. There had been definite sadness in Edward when he had said that one day they'd have children if it were meant to be, if not, he'd still have her and that was more than he had ever hoped for.

In recent years Bella had strongly considered getting her tubes tied but when she had sprung the idea on her gynaecologist he had not recommended it before she had her first child or before she turned thirty. Now there she was, pregnant with the child purely by chance, a child Edward secretly wanted although Bella couldn't even remember the last time he would have even hinted something along the lines of her dropping the pill, and she was thinking about an abortion.

Telling Edward she was pregnant and then that she planned to take care of it was far worse than giving a kid candy only to take it away. Bella wasn't that cruel or stupid, and she knew she had to think well what and when to say, if she were to say anything. There was that if again.

Sighing she turned her back to the mirror, gathered her hair to the front over her shoulder and stared at her ass in the apricot boyshorts she was wearing. She didn't have much of boobs but she had always liked her behind. What would happen to her ass should she carry a baby to the term. Would it grow a dress size or two, maybe she'd even get stretch marks.

"You know what happened to Narcissus don't you?"

Bella screeched and brought her hand to her throat where her heart had jumped, crouching down and exhaling in relief when she saw and recognised her husband by the doorway.

"Narcissistic tendencies are hard to come by when one has to dye out the grey streaks from their hair at this age already."

Edward chuckled and came to offer her a hand to help her up, pulling her into an embrace almost in the same fluid motion.

Bella sighed and rubbed her cheek against his five-o'clock stubble, for the first time that day feeling unworried and relaxed. "I was just thinking that my 28-year-old ass looks mighty fine, considering."

"Oh it's a very fine ass", Edward agreed as one of his hands slipped into her underwear and kneaded the soft flesh there. "How was your day?"

Bella was three minutes into forgetting just how her day had turned out, and she shifted in the embrace to hide her momentary tenseness. "Rather uneventful", she lied, "how about you?"

"I think I'm getting old for all I could think about throughout the day was that thank god it is Friday so that I can go home and just lounge for a couple of days with you."

The hand in her underwear travelled lower and Bella's breath caught as the first wave of desire hit her. She looked up to the man who had stood by her side for ten years already and had promised her forever. Their forever was about to change depending on what she decided but Edwards clever fingers were unbeknownst to him currently convincing her to think about it some other time, maybe after the weekend of relaxation they had ahead of them.

A few days didn't matter she assured herself as she began to loosen Edward's tie and backed him towards the bed.

*8*

"Okay, you're obviously not into this, what's the matter."

Bella closer her eyes and cursed, fisting her hands into her hair and clamping her thighs together as Edward withdrew his fingers from her centre. It wasn't the first time in the past few weeks she was unable to focus and give herself into the pleasure Edward provided, but it was the first time Edward noticed.

"You've been somewhere else inside that pretty head of yours a lot lately. I understand work has been stressful of late but I'm beginning to wonder if there's something else. Or if you just are too tired and don't want to have sex, in which case you should just say so, I won't be offended. I thought we didn't fake."

Or at least it was the first time Edward decided to say something.

Bella sighed and opened her eyes, looking straight into Edward's worried ones. An unsure smile was playing on his lips but Bella knew that was just a charade which was supposed to make her feel better. Once you learned to know Edward as well as she knew him, his eyes never lied.

"I'm sorry", she managed and blinked away the liquid film from her eyes. Her hormones were running wild and it seemed that things that made her blush in the past now made her cry.

It was week eight and she felt like a complete stranger in her own body. A week ago she had noticed that her jeans sat on her hips just a little tighter. Not by much and it was far from uncomfortable but it had been an eye opener, she was getting bigger.

Friday night dinners at Edward's parents were pure torture. Half of the things brought to the table her doctor had advised she did not eat, and the other half she wanted to wolf down all by herself. It was difficult to maintain the role of a polite and petite young lady when you wanted to growl at the person touching the bowl with the chicken wings in it.

Quitting coffee had been even harder. Bella blamed it on stress from work and that caffeine made her stomach hurt. She craved for pickles and black liquorice, feeling safe enough to keep a good stock of the former at home, but indulged on the latter only at her workplace, keeping a bag of the dark candy in her desk drawer.

To keep up the façade she had begun to flush her pills down the toilet, afraid to keep eating them in case the hormones in the pill would damage the fetus, but also afraid to cut the habit in case Edward should ask her about it or run into her pill pack which ran on Tuesday although it was Saturday. She had begun to hate it how the white lies began to stack.

Quite frankly she couldn't even pinpoint the moment she had decided to have the baby. At first she had given herself a day to think about it, then a couple of days, which turned into a week, then another, and eventually she found herself thinking that she'd tell Edward only when she was sure it was going to keep.

Her parents had had great difficulties having her and Bella knew her mom had suffered several miscarriages before her and at least two after she was born, after which her parents quit trying for the sake of her mother's health. A part of Bella, a part she was by now ashamed of, had given matters into fate's hands and wished she'd be like her mother, unable to carry a child past sixth week. Week six had passed without any complications at which point Bella had decided she'd come clean to Edward by week eight.

Only the words didn't want to come out just like that. Bella wished she had lived back in time when a woman's job was to be a good wife, stay at home mom, and when her husband would be proud when she announced she was expecting.

She wondered if Edward had been just as nervous when he had asked her to marry him a year ago. That weekend Edward had wined and dined her at her favourite Italian restaurant, taken her to a romantic walk at a beach, finally to pop the question when they had been reading the Sunday newspaper in bed the following morning. She had said yes and laughed when Edward had admitted he had had a small doubt and was afraid she'd turn him down.

Bella now knew how that doubt just crept in even when the rest of her being was screaming at her just to tell him.

She looked at her husband who was patiently waiting for her to say something, anything at all. Edward had the first signs of smile wrinkles at the corner of his eyes and now that he kept his copper hair shorter than back when they had first met it wasn't quite as unruly as then. The eyes were the same that had taken Bella's breath away when they had first met in high school however, jade green in sunlight, dark emerald in the darkness of their bedroom, now a mossy green filled with unanswered questions and worry for her.

"I'm afraid", she whispered quietly at which Edward frowned.

"Afraid of what?"

Gulping loudly Bella had to look away. "That I don't love it as much as you do. That I won't be a good mother, that the instinct just isn't in my genes."

"Bella…what?" his frown grew deeper and he sat up, peering at Bella from a higher vantage point which made her awkward for she was wearing nothing at all.

Following suit Bella scrambled to sit up, folding her legs underneath her and raising one arm across her chest to give her at least some coverage. "Edward, I'm pregnant."

Her husband's eyes fell on her still slim stomach before meeting her eyes. "But you're on the pill."

"Appears there's a teeny tiny chance, less than one out of three hundred women. Well, I'm that one woman."

Edward's eyes fell down from her face again and Bella's only comfort was that he wasn't ogling at her boobs or pussy for that matter. "How far?" His words were barely audible.

"Eight weeks", she admitted.

"Eight weeks?"

"Edward, don't yell at me."

"I'm sorry I just…" he ran a hand through his hair, a nervous habit he had had since forever. "I'm just trying to get the facts right before breaking to a song or starting a jig around the room. Pregnant, really?" The smile finally broke through.

So did Bella's tears. "Yeah, really."

Before she knew it she was lying on her back with Edward on top of him, a haste 'sorry' muttered against her lips before she was kissed thoroughly so that she felt it in the tips of her toes. When they broke for air Edward was literally beaming down at her and for a moment Bella was afraid he might break into a song indeed. How she wished he had never found the super-cali-fragilistic-expialidocious sing along song from YouTube.

"I'm going to be a dad, really?"

Bella laughed. "Yes, really. Although I'm beginning to hope our child gets my intellect."

"Come now, this is something to digest. A good thing, definitely, I was afraid for bad news, you've been so off lately."

"Yeah I'm sorry about that, I've been digesting myself."

"How long have you known?" he asked, running a finger between her breasts to her stomach where he laid his hand out, staring at it as if in wonder.

Bella supposed the gesture wasn't supposed to be erotic but it sent a pleasant shiver down her spine. "Three weeks."

"Have you told anyone else?"

"No, you were the first."

At that his smile grew tenfold and he reached down to kiss her once more, grinning against her lips. "Damn, and here I was looking forward to one day try and get you pregnant."

Bella laughed, all the weight of the past few weeks lifted off her shoulders. "Well maybe you can celebrate succeeding."

*8*

"Hello baby mama how are we today?"

Bella wanted to roll her eyes and saw that safe behind Alice's back Rose actually did. "I'm fine Alice, I wish you would stop calling me that." She hugged them both, although by now getting her arms around Rosalie who was halfway through her third trimester was somewhat difficult. It was her third pregnancy and expecting twins she had been well showing at three months already. By now she appeared huge but she still carried it with a style and rarely complained to others than her husband although she had to be uncomfortable at times. To some motherhood just suited, Bella thought.

"Just wanting to make sure everything is alright with my nephew and his grumpy mama", Alice fussed. "How big is he now?"

This time Bella did roll her eyes for there was seemingly no end to Alice's enthusiasm. She and Edward had agreed that they would tell their families once they got past week twelve and the crucial point. The shameful hope of miscarriage had turned to fear of miscarriage once she told Edward but so far everything had ran just smoothly and if she hadn't woken up for a snack at three in the morning almost every night or didn't battle with her increased libido, sometimes Bella was even able to forget about her condition.

They had dropped the bomb at the usual Cullen family Friday dinner two weeks ago. Edward's parents had been as happy as they had been surprised; Esme had cried and even Carlisle, usually cool as a cucumber, lost his composure for a minute before mirroring his son's wide smile. Rosalie and Emmett had been calmer about it, but happy for them and clearly pleased their children were about to have a little cousin. Only Alice went over the top, promising Bella she'd take care of everything, all Bella had to was ask. When Alice began to call her at work Bella had snapped and told her that she should get pregnant herself so that she could fawn over her own belly, not hers, but Alice couldn't be hurt in a long term and even though it did end the phone calls to her work place, Alice was still all over her whenever they saw each other.

Bella sighed. "About the size of a jenga block and who says it's a 'he'?"

Rose snorted a laugh and Alice appeared shocked. "Did you just refer your baby to a jenga block?"

"No, I merely referred that my baby is the size of a jenga block." It had been the first aid with which she had been able to visualise the length of 3 inches, although the doctor had said it was more realistic to think about a small fruit. "And again, who says it's a boy? Have you been talking with Edward?" Bella knew he wished for a boy.

"Nope", Alice said, popping the 'p' and winking. "I just have this feeling."

Alice and her feelings, Bella huffed. Annoyingly often she was right, however, but unless she had something the modern medicine was avoid of, there was no saying whether it was going to be a boy or a girl.

Shaking her head Bella ushered them onwards. "Let's go. If I'm grumpy as you say it's just because I'm hungry, and I really need your help with shopping for the reason I'm wearing this ratty shirt which I know you've been judging is because it covers my crotch. I couldn't get my zipper up this morning."

Later that evening when returning home Bella found herself thinking whether it was going to be a boy or a girl and if it mattered. She had decided against finding out the sex beforehand through ultrasound. Perhaps she had seen a few too many Hollywood movies where the midwife raised the newborn baby up her arms and hollered: "It's a boy!" Bella wanted it to be a surprise, a little something at the end of nine months of waiting.

Her eyes landed on her first ultrasound scan from week ten. Edward had been there with her and had put the picture up on their magnetic notice board in the hall. Bella had seen enough ultrasound scans of co-workers and Rosalie's where the child resembled a blob or a peanut. She wasn't sure if she was biased, but in their picture it actually looked like a tiny human being.

She found Edward lazing on the living room couch and crawled into his arms after they exchanged a quick hello and a kiss. He asked her about the shopping trip with the girls that had proved successful for she had found two pairs of straight pants for work with a slightly elastic waist that would fit her for a good while, and she had even bought a knit dress in which Rosalie swore on.

Before when cuddling Edward had always rested his hand on her side or her hip, but these days it was always stroking her stomach. Bella wasn't sure if he was conscious about the action but she liked the affection and the thought that Edward was already including the third one still in her belly into their daily life through small gestures. The warmth of his hand on her belly grew and spread to her whole body and she felt, simply put, loved.

"I think it's going to be a her."

Edward leaned back so that he could have a look at her, and then traced her smile with his finger. Bella hadn't even realised she was smiling.

"Her?" he asked, arching a questioning eyebrow but smiling even wider than she was.

"Well, yes, I don't know", Bella shrugged and grasped the hand that was still rubbing her stomach. "I guess, I don't know, it's hard to explain. I guess I wish it were a her because girls I know. I was a girl. What do I know about little boys, nothing."

"Bella, as lovely as your thought, I was referring to you calling our baby a 'her' instead of an 'it'."

"Oh." Bella's jaw hung open before she remembered manners again and closed it slowly. She shrugged. "I guess I haven't just thought about it before." It was a lame excuse, she knew, for 'it' could have been easily replaced by 'baby' or any similar word.

"I'm not judging", Edward nuzzled the side of her neck. "I'm kind of hoping for a boy, but I guess that's a male thing."

Bella laughed and he joined her. "I know you are."

"Yeah."

"But seriously, what if it's a boy. I know nothing about raising a little boy."

"Is this where you're going to tell me about the daughter you have raised and I don't know about?"

"No silly", she elbowed him in the ribs gently. "You've been a boy all your life so you know what it's like. Plus you had siblings, a brother even, you know how to make the perfect mud cakes and where to find frog eggs. The best I can do is to teach him how to tie his shoelaces."

Edward guffawed and held her tighter. "I think he's better off learning how to tie his shoelaces than where to find frog eggs. Although I will be teaching him how to catch baby frogs. Girls in kindergarten find them disgusting but think you're cool if you can catch any."

"I can't see how that would work."

"I got my first kiss that way."

"What if our child is good at algebra? I suck at it. What help am I going to be when she enters school?"

"Baby", Edward chuckled close to her ear, "you're not alone in this, you've got me. I don't think parenthood is supposed to be easy and that's why there's two of us, one to teach our child algebra, another how to tie their shoelaces. It's not going to be a walk in the park but we are going to make it, together."

Bella melted into the embrace and smiled giddy. "I've got you."

"You've got me."

*8*

Bella called it a power nap, lying half underneath her work desk, one with the messy clusters of computer cords. She was mildly disgusted with how dusty the rear panel of her computer was and tried to ignore all the flint on the carpeted floor, but the air condition made the floor level pleasantly cool and she was much comfier there than on the two seater loveseat of her office.

The pregnancy that had otherwise gone smoothly had hit a bump at week 30 when the practice contractions had started. Bella was getting cynical over how much practice she needed. At their worst her contractions hit her every 45 minutes, but her midwife had ensured her well enough that it was all going well and she did not need to worry that she was able to be sarcastic about it.

The seemingly constant back ache turned into pain when the contractions hit and the baby had turned so that its head was pressing against her hip bone especially when she was seated down, an ache that only eased when she was able to lie down. In this light, her office floor was heaven.

Had her reflexes been able to get her off the floor when the door opened and closed fast enough she would have tried to save herself from the embarrassment. She knew she was getting some decent leeway from her superiors and co-workers due to her condition and even though it was her lunch hour she was burning away with her little nap, she tried to be a good worker while pregnant. Her current state was probably not a good example but fortunately her guest was not from within the company.

"Isabella."

Edward rarely called her by her given name, most only when he was exasperated, horny, or plain angry. Now his tone of voice was the same it had been when Bella had accidentally fuelled his Volvo with wrong kind of gasoline.

"Hi", she grinned at Edward when he seated himself at the chair she had pushed away from the desk in order to fit better under the table herself.

"To get things straight, I want this to be the first and the last time your secretary calls me to tell that my wife is lying underneath her desk humming nursery rhymes, no matter how endearing the latter part is. Would you care explaining me what on earth are you doing."

"I'm having a nap", she said cheerfully.

"Isabella."

Huffing she finally sighed and let her smile fall. "My back hurts."

"And lying on the floor makes it better?"

"Actually, it does."

"Fair enough. Did you consider all the floor we have back at home when you decided to get comfortable?"

"It's in the middle of the workday."

"And you are 35 weeks pregnant."

Bella grimaced. Edward's words might have not hit home, but another contraction did.

"A contraction?" Edward guessed.

"It's just Braxton Hicks."

"I'd like to keep it that way."

"Edward."

"Isabella."

Bella closed her eyes and bit her lip, to keep at bay the tears and the angry words. They had had their fair share of fights in the past months, mostly ruled by her running pregnancy hormones and quelled by the fact that Edward did mean well.

"I've been thinking about baby names", she blurted out, coming back to the original thought she had toyed with during her power nap. "And I'm not changing the subject, you can take me home later, we can even argue if you'd like, but I'd rather not scream and cry at my workplace, even though it is my office."

Edward pursed his lips together but humoured her with a sigh, even joining her on the floor in his 800 dollar suit. "Shoot."

"Renesmee."

"Sounds long to write."

Bella smacked his leg.

Edward laughed. "I like it, I really do. You'll make my mother cry. What if it's a boy?"

Bella snorted, still clinging on her hope and gut feeling that it was going to be a girl. "Anthony. That's only one letter less than Renesmee by that way."

"I like it, too, although I can see you're definitely betting on it that we're having a girl."

"For one thing it would be a lot easier to have to worry about one penis in the household only", she bit, daring her annoyance and hormones to come through a little.

"You think about it when she's fifteen. You'd have to begin and worry about all the penises."

Bella grunted and sat up, getting on her feet with Edwards help. "I hate it when you're right."

Her husband seemed to know they were not talking about baby names anymore. "I believe many would agree if I said you've done more than your fair share till this point. Would it be so terrible I took you home and you'd stay there? I know you only have two more weeks before your maternity leave begins but I'm positive the firm wouldn't go bankrupt overnight if you started it with a sick leave tomorrow."

"I still hate it when you're right", Bella muttered and pecked his lips. "I was sure I'd be able to pull off the superwoman stunt, handle work, pregnancy, and the baby without a second thought."

"You're a superwoman alright", Edward chuckled, "but even they have the rights for a maternity leave. It's called being a mom."

*8*

"When the fuck is this going to end?" She raised the question particularly to no one but her husband was ready with an answer which did not satisfy her at all.

"Honey, everything's fine. Just relax, we'll see this through."

"You try and relax when your uterus reminds you about what's going on every eight minutes. With pain."

"Bella…"

"Edward, could you step outside for a while for I'm really beginning to feel nasty and although I should say it is my right as a woman in labour to curse the male species to the lowest of hells, I really don't want to curse you out. Please. I'll call you back in if something should happen anytime soon, or if I feel tolerable enough towards penises in my room."

Edward merely chuckled good-naturedly and kissed her forehead before leaving the hospital room.

Bella breathed her way through another contraction after which her nurse checked the situation, telling her she was still only four centimetres dilated but that there was no reason to worry, they'd just have to wait for the baby to be ready to come out. Bella wanted to bite back that she had been waiting for twelve hours already, but she tried to be nice even though she couldn't remember cursing so much since her teenage years.

She had woken up at five in the morning to a funny feeling. After lying still for a minute and coming to the conclusion that nothing was out of the ordinary, she had shifted to cuddle closer to Edward. That's when she had noticed the wetness between her legs.

Laughing so hard a couple of times that she had peed herself a little hadn't been the greatest times of her pregnancy, but she had accepted that along the other changes to her body. Why would it happen in her sleep she had no idea, and simply tiptoed to the bathroom as quietly as she could, only to realise that it had been her water that broke, not her uncontrollable bladder.

She hadn't woken Edward up until an hour later when the first contractions had hit. An hour later they were already ten minutes apart and they had been asked to come to the hospital. It was now six in the evening and it didn't appear they were anywhere closer to the finish than four hours ago when the nurse had announced she had dilated from three centimetres up to those four she seemed to be stuck at.

Edward had been at the hospital with her all day, when with Bella in the room, when somewhere outside waiting for her to cool down from her newest hormonal tantrum. Bella tried to remember and apologise for every time she was being a bitch but as the hours dragged on it was getting harder. Edward comforted her, telling her he had finally managed to finish reading The Lord of the Rings while waiting, and by saying that there was no place else he'd rather be.

An hour later things finally began to progress. She had dilated another two centimetres and the midwife said the time for an epidural was now or never. Bella couldn't find her masochistic streak and didn't want to go through the pain anymore than she had to and said yes please.

She had her epidural half past six and was asked to push twenty minutes later. That part was relatively pain free as far as she could remember, although later Edward liked to at least joke that she had been close to crushing his hand when squeezing it so tight. Three past seven in the evening, May 26th on a Saturday, their son was born and Bella forgot that there had been any pain to start with.

"Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Cullen, you have a beautiful baby boy", the midwife smiled at her from between her legs.

"A boy, really?" Bella laughed, sounding hysterical to her own ears. Damn Alice.

She watched in awe as Edward cut the umbilical cord and only vaguely listened to the instructions concerning the delivery of her placenta as she tried to keep an eye on her furiously screaming newborn baby who had been taken across the room to be cleaned and measured.

Edward was whispering silly nothings to her, sounding giddy and unable to keep his hands away from her. Every other sound in the room disappeared into the background when the small bundle wrapped in blue and white blanket was handed to her.

He had such tiny hands that kept scratching his head, almost tipping the already askew blue cap off completely. Bella tucked it back to its place better, noting the tufts of copper coloured hair that lay on the top of his head. He had her nose and ears, but Edward's lips, and Bella was sure one day he was going to be a charmer.

"Bella?"

"Hmm?" She turned to Edward who was smiling down at her, at them. "He's beautiful", she whispered, afraid that any loud noise would break the spell.

"And you're amazing", Edward groaned and kissed the top of her head, then their son's small fingers which curled instinctively around his large one. "So is he."

"He's so tiny."

"I know."

"I think I love him."

"Oh Bella", Edward let his lips graze her cheek. "I know you do."

Bella simply nodded, unable to word out her feelings any better or tear her eyes away from their son. It was a peculiar feeling, one she hadn't been prepared for, the unconditional love she had for someone she didn't even know. At no point of her pregnancy had she been a mother who talked to her stomach or visualised how the baby would look like. She had focused on taking care of herself and the baby while at it, letting Edward fuzz over her and do all those things that didn't come to her naturally.

But the love for her son did come to her that way, naturally. If it was what they called maternal instinct then it was nothing to joke about. She had never found babies interesting per se, but the tiny creature in her arms captivated her completely and was a hundred times more interesting than anybody else in the room, perhaps her husband aside.

It was strange, but it was so simple.

Bella nodded. "I think I know, too."

-END-