Thank you to Robstenfanpire for being my beta on this story.
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or any of the characters in Twilight. I'm just borrowing them to have some fun.
Chapter 39 - The new Arrival
"Where is he?" I ask for the thousandth time, knowing the answer before it comes.
"He's on his way, Bella, please try to relax." Ang holds my hand as Jess checks on my progress.
"How far away was he last time he phoned?" I'm at the stage where things are not staying in my mind for long and time is warping, as the contractions come hard and fast.
"He was still about an hour out, Bella. He'll be here soon." Ang continues to try to reassure me.
"Well, Bella, you're nearly fully dilated. Not long to go now. Baby is correctly positioned, so I don't see any problems when the time comes. Do you want to sit back up before the next contraction hits?" Jess emerges from between my legs.
"I'm so close, he's not going to get here in time." I worry, ignoring her question but attempt to scoot myself back on the bed to get into a more upright stance. I find it more comfortable like this when riding out my contractions.
Both girls take me under the arms, one on each side and help me to maneuver into position. I notice them giving each other looks over my head.
"Oh, God," I say, "he really isn't going to get here is he? You know something, what aren't you telling me?"
"Bella, relax," admonishes Jess. "You are still at risk from your pre-eclampsia, you need to keep calm, else we are going to have to sedate you and go for a C-section. I can't let your blood pressure get any higher."
I take some deep breaths to try and calm myself before I quiz them further, but before I get a chance another contraction rips through me; this one the strongest yet. I grip the hands of my two best friends and attempt to breathe through it. I know things are close, I can feel it, but I need Edward. I need my Cocktail Man by my side. I can't do this alone. Where the hell is he?
I come out of the fog of my contraction and turn to face Angela. "Where is he?" I ask once again.
"Bella, I don't know," she admits. "We expected him to be here by now, but I'm sure he's on his way and will walk through that door at any moment."
It must have been about an hour ago when I last spoke to Edward. He called through to me, hands free, from the road telling me he was close but was running out of power on his mobile. We spoke until his phone died on him. It was good to hear his voice. For about five minutes I could pretend he was here. He made me laugh, he coaxed me through a contraction, and then he was gone.
After my waters broke last night, we'd stayed in contact as much as plane travel allowed. He'd refused to hang up on me during that initial conversation. He went to arrange his return ticket while I called a nurse, arranging for her to page Jess to let her know things were starting. Now I wish we'd thought ahead and conserved his battery. I needed to hear from him now.
I'd had him on speaker phone when Jess confirmed that, at 37 weeks, the baby was in a good position to be born, and if she was ready to enter the world then we needed to be ready to welcome her. He spoke gently to me as I experienced my first few contractions, all while also talking to the booking agent at the airport. He worried about the pain I was in, while I laughed, knowing from experience this was nothing compared to what was to come.
He'd had to leave me while he went through security, but he phoned me right back and helped me to time my contractions as things seemed to speed up faster than they had with the other three. Jess reminded me about my need to stay calm and the complications that could arise with the pre-eclampsia.
We then didn't speak for just over two and a half hours as he flew north, but I reminded myself that every contraction, every minute, not only bought my daughter closer to me, but also my Cocktail Man.
He phoned me again as soon as he was able after getting off the plane. By then my pains were starting to feel serious, but Jess told us we still had plenty of time so we didn't panic. Even so, he got through the airport as fast as he could and got on the road. Once he was on the road he revealed his phone was starting to get low on power so we resolved to only talk periodically. He'd been checking in every half hour. I'd lived for those calls. The sound of his voice calmed me in ways nothing else could. When he helped to talk me through a contraction, encouraging me to breath, I swear to god the pain was less. But it's been over an hour now since we'd last spoken, and things are getting close.
He couldn't miss this, he had to get here in time.
Another contraction hits hard and I concentrate on breathing, as my world shrinks to just my body and the sensations coursing through it. I feel Angela's hand gripping mine, but my eyes are shut. The waves build and seem to go on and on. Then I feel Angela shift beside me and her hand is gone. I reach out, needing the contact to help ground me. I find a hand and grasp on, but it's not Angela's, and then I hear a voice that calms me and fills me with joy.
"Cocktail Man," I sigh, as I start to come out the other side of the contraction.
"I've got you, Beautiful," he whispers, and it's so good to hear his voice.
I turn to him and smile and the smile he gives me back lights up my world. "You made it," I say and he nods before leaning forward and planting a kiss on my forehead.
"I couldn't miss this," he says, raising his hand and wiping the film of sweat from my brow.
"I'm a mess." I complain, but he just shakes his head.
"I've never seen you look more beautiful," he says, and then he comes in for a real kiss. I'm just getting lost in it when yet another contraction hits and I pull away as the waves build. He talks to me throughout. I couldn't tell you a word he said, but the words themselves don't matter, just the sound of his voice calms me and gives me the strength I need to get to the other side.
"They seem strong, Beautiful, is there anything I can do?"
"You're doing it," I reassure him. "Just having you here is all I need, but a sip of water would be good, and perhaps a wipe of my face with that damp cloth. Oh, and I could also do with another pillow behind my upper back to give me a bit more support." He laughs as my list of demands increases.
"Anything for the woman birthing my child," he says as he reaches for the water, a face cloth and another pillow.
"Anything?" I question after taking a much needed sip of water and allowing him to wipe my face and neck clean of sweat, the coolness of the cloth bringing much needed relief.
"Anything," he declares, confidently, giving me a peck on the nose.
"Then could you kindly arrange it so that you're the one lying here giving birth to this baby and I'm the one holding your hand?" It's a joke, and I mean it humorously, honestly, I do. But there is a slight edge to my voice, after all I've been at this a while now and I'm keen for it to be over.
"Not long now, Bella," Jess reminds me with a giggle. "Just remember the end goal; that beautiful little girl you'll soon be holding in your arms."
And I do. In my mind she has Edward's eyes and his devilish smile. I see her sharing Kim's and my long dark hair, but with mine and Edward's lighter skin tone.
"I can't wait to meet her," I divulge looking into his eyes.
"She's going to be the best of both of us," he whispers.
I know he is about to say more, but I reach out and grasp his hand firmly as I feel the tell-tale signs of another contraction starting. Once again his presence helps me through it. Following that contraction we don't get much time to talk, as another follows quickly on its heals. The contractions now seem to be lasting longer than the breaks I get between. I barely seem to get time to ask Edward to wipe my brow, or spritz me with cooling water, or allow me an ice cube to suck on, before the next one is upon me. Through each one I feel his presence as I grip his hand and hear his words of encouragement.
It feels like only moments have passed when I'm telling Jess I feel the urge to push.
"Trust your body," Jess tells me. "It knows what it's doing." And with the next contraction I follow my body's demands and bear down, starting the process that will deliver our baby into our arms.
"Is this it?" murmurs Edward after my first contraction where I was actively pushing. "Is she going to be here in a moment?" His voice is low and breathless and I understand the emotions there.
"Any moment now, we are in the final stages," informs Jess.
"Bella, I can see her head. Another couple of big pushes and we should be there," I hear Jess say excitedly, an unmeasured amount of time and uncounted number of contractions later. "Edward, would you like to look?"
Up to this point Edward has stuck close to my side, his attention firmly on me, and not on the business end of things. He looks to me, as if asking permission, but if he wants to see this I'm not going to deny him so I give him a small nod.
He moves down and I catch the moment when he spots the top of our daughter's head. There is no revulsion at what he is seeing, just awe and wonder. "You can touch her if you like," says Jess and he reaches out a tentative hand and strokes the top of our baby's head. As he looks up at me there are tears in his eyes. "Bella," he says, "it's our baby."
I smile at him, mirroring his expression, I'm sure, until another wave hits me and I once again feel the need to push.
Edward is still down the business end of things, seemingly caught in a daze. My hand is reaching forward and down, grasping his, needing the contact at this time. He holds onto me throughout, his eyes darting backwards and forwards between my face and our baby's head.
As the contraction ends he looks up at me. "Would you like to touch her too, Beautiful?" he asks, "Her hair is so soft."
I nod my agreement before asking, "What color is it?"
He looks down and then back up at me. "It's a little hard to tell, it's kind of covered in gunk." He crinkles up his nose in such an adorable fashion, I can't help but give a little chuckle, but then I'm riding out another contraction that has followed straight on the back of the last. I push with all my might. The pain is excruciating, but Jess, Angela and Edward continue to urge me on, and then the pain subsides and I look down at an astonished Edward who is cradling our baby in his arms. He looks up at me. "She's here," he mutters, as if he can't quite believe this is happening. I take in the wonder in his face, and I'm so glad we found each other, that he is part of my life; part of his daughter's life.
She gives one loud cry to let us know she really has arrived and Edward lifts her up to his chest, ruining his shirt in the process. Jess hands him a blanket, and then she is on my chest, as I open my top to allow her skin to skin contact. We both stare down at the new life we have created. I hold her close as he runs the tips of his fingers over her delicate flesh. He seeks out her tiny fingers and toes, as if checking they are all there, before placing a protective hand over her back. He then pulls a blanket up over us both to keep us warm. I can't stop looking at her as she snuggles silently into me.
There is no need for words, but I hear Edward mutter some anyway, however, I think he's speaking to himself more than me. I catch the odd word though, "Beautiful…. The most amazing thing ever…. All ours…. Nothing compares." And I couldn't agree more.
A/N - Just one more chapter left, plus an Epi.