4. "Just let this moment last forever."
Stepping out of the hospital for the first time in 36 hours Adam threw his empty coffee cup into the bin, shaking the exhaustion from him he headed straight for his car, almost on autopilot he drove towards the stores, Chelsea's list of items they needed nestled safely in his pocket.
"Hello," Adam yawned as he was greeted by the sales assistant. "I'm here to pick up an order that my wife phoned through, the name's Newman Adam and Chelsea Newman."
"Oh yes," the sales assistant smiled. "Yours is our biggest order of the year. Congratulations on the birth of your daughter.
Adam found himself grinning, just like he always did when he thought about his perfect little daughter. She was not yet even 2 weeks old but already Matilda had changed his life in ways he hadn't even thought possible. "Thank-you."
Just over an hour and almost 10 thousand dollars later Adam drove his loaded up car back to the house, emptying the various boxes of baby items into the entrance he called out to the decorators who had taken up residence over the last few days as they worked feverishly to finish Matilda's nursery.
"Hello," a tall, blonde man in white overalls greeted. "Is that everything on the list?"
"Everything but the kitchen sink," Adam joked.
Cataloguing the boxes the decorator nodded. "With all of this we should be finished by the end of the week."
"Great. That's great news. Now if you'll excuse me I need to get back to my wife and daughter," Adam informed him, he may have only been away from the hospital for a matter of hours but already he was missing his wife and daughter. The 2 people that made getting up in the morning a whole new experience.
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Walking into the NICU Adam stopped in his tracks as he took in the sight before him. Chelsea was leaning back in a rocking chair with Matilda nestled against her, nursing.
"When did this happen?" Adam asked, his eyes bright with pride.
"Just now," Chelsea replied, her tired voice full of pride. "I tried to wait for you but Matilda was hungry and-"
Kneeling down Adam rested his hand on his wife's leg. "Hey no apologies needed, this is an amazing thing Chelsea."
"I know I've always been her mother," Chelsea began, her voice low so that she didn't startle her nursing daughter. "But being here right now, in this moment I finally feel like I'm actually doing something to help her you know? Ever since she got here the doctors and nurses have been the one feeding her and I've just been sat here powerless to help but now … with her nursing from me … it finally feels real."
"It's real Chelsea," Adam assured her.
Chelsea nodded. "I know."
"And you're an amazing mother, you always have been, even before she was born," Adam told her as he tried to push down his own anxieties at the circumstances surrounding Matilda's birth for the sake of his wife.
Watching as Chelsea's eyes fluttered shut Adam felt his concern growing, in the days since Matilda's birth he had watched his wife push down her own pain and health issues and give everything to their daughter. But there was no hiding the fact that she was still suffering, he saw the way she would wince as she sat down, her slow careful steps whenever she moved anywhere and despite the glow of parenthood that surrounded her there was no denying that her face was far too pale and the circles around her eyes too dark.
"How about we go home tonight?" Adam suggested.
Chelsea shook her head. "No. I can't leave Matilda on her own, I need her to know we're here."
"I know that Chels but you need to look after yourself too, your body has been through a major trauma and you've barely given yourself any time to recover," Adam pointed out.
"I know that," Chelsea breathed. "But I'm ok and once Matilda's home with us where she belongs I'll be more than ok."
Knowing that he was fighting a losing battle Adam decided that there was more way than one to get things done, standing up he placed a kiss on Chelsea's head before leaning down and kissing his daughter.
"Ok," Adam agreed. "Listen there's just a few things I need to do, the store didn't have a few of the items we ordered so I need to go and pick them up somewhere else. But I'll be back as soon as I can. Promise."
"Miss you already," Chelsea smiled tiredly as she watched Adam leave before turning her attention back to her daughter who even as she slept was sucking eagerly, obviously a natural when it came to nursing.
"Your father worries too much Baby-Girl," Chelsea told her sleeping daughter. "But you better get used to it because it's only going to get worse as you get older and it's only because he loves you so, so much, just like I do."
As if she understood everything her mother was saying Matilda's eyes opened and she looked upwards, her bright blue eyes connecting with her mother's brown eyes.
"I love you more than anything else in this world Matilda, I hope you know that," Chelsea informed her daughter.
As she looked down at her half-asleep daughter Chelsea finally realized what it meant to be a mother, even though she had already given birth before and her son would always hold a special place in her heart Johnny had never been hers but with Matilda it was different, she knew that from the minute she was born every decision she made was no longer about her, instead it had to be about what was best for her daughter.
Because that's what being a mother was all about.
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Standing by the door to the private hospital room that he had arranged for Chelsea to stay in after she was discharged from the hospital Adam watched as his wife made her way slowly down the corridor.
"When did you get back?" Chelsea asked him as she approached her husband.
"Not too long ago," Adam lied as he wrapped his arms around his wife.
Keeping his arm draped over his wife's shoulder Adam led her into the room, turning on the light he was unable to keep the smile from his face as he took in the look of surprise that flashed across his wife's tired features.
"Oh my God Adam," Chelsea exclaimed as she took in the relaxing haven that Adam had transformed her room into.
Tiny little mood lights sat dotted around every surface as the smell of aromatherapy oils filled her senses, the bed was covered in luxurious silk sheets and blankets and a feast fit for a king sat covering the table.
"When did you do all of this?" Chelsea asked as she helped herself to a strawberry.
"While you were feeding our daughter," Adam smiled.
Turning to face him Chelsea wrapped her arms around him. "It's amazing Adam. Thank-you."
"You've spent every waking minute looking after our daughter I thought it was about time someone took care of you," Adam explained.
"You always take care of me Adam, always," Chelsea assured him.
Adam ran his hand through her hair as she practically melted into him. "I love you so much Chelsea. You've given me so much that … I always thought things like this only ever happened to other people but-"
"Sh," Chelsea sang, cutting him off. "I don't think you have any idea how amazing you are, Matilda and I are so lucky to have you in our lives."
"As am I," Adam agreed.
Looking over at the bed Chelsea suddenly realized how tired she was. "Do you think the food will keep till the morning?"
"Why?" Adam wondered.
"Because that bed looks like the most inviting thing in the room right now. After you of course … And I was thinking how nice it would be to just lay in your arms," Chelsea explained, ever since she'd had Matilda it had been like Adam was almost too scared to hold her for fear of hurting her.
Adam panicked, scared that he might do something to hurt Chelsea as she was still recovering from the surgery. "I'm not sure that's such a good idea."
"Adam please, sleeping hasn't been real easy lately and I always sleep better when I'm with you," Chelsea pleaded.
Taking her hand and leading her over to the bed Adam nodded. "Ok."
"Ok," Chelsea echoed as she lay down, waiting for Adam to lay next to her she closed her eyes as she felt his arms wrap around her as they fit together perfectly like to pieces of a puzzle.
Running his hand through his wife's hair Adam watched as it took just seconds for her body to relax as she fell asleep in his arms her arms, finally allowing herself to give into the exhaustion that she had spent more than a week fighting.
"You've given me more than I ever dreamed I'd have Chelsea," Adam whispered into the ear of his sleeping wife. "Something that no money could ever buy … you've given me a family again," he finished as she wrapped his arms a little tighter around her and closed his eyes, finally allowing himself to relax safe in the knowledge that Chelsea was finally getting some much needed rest.