All was finally quiet and settled after one of the most intense days Sheldon and Amy had ever experienced. They sat together in the hospital bed, Amy holding their brand-new daughter in her arms. Their friends had just visited, and after an excessive amount of gushing, reluctantly gave the baby back to Amy and left. It had all barely registered for the new parents. All they could see was their newborn and hadn't taken their eyes off her since.
"She's remarkable," said Sheldon, taking in her head full of dark hair and perfect little nose.
"She is," Amy agreed. "I'm so happy she got your eyes."
"Why? Your eyes are beautiful."
Amy couldn't help but grin at his comment. "Thank you, but so are yours. And with those blue eyes, she looks just like you."
Sheldon shook his head. "I see plenty of you in her. The more accurate conclusion is that she is an equal hybrid of us both, which is exactly what we wanted. She is…amazing," he said, his voice thicker than normal.
Amy gave him another smile and leaned her head on Sheldon's shoulder in contentment, causing him to wrap his arm around her in response. She continued brushing her finger along her daughter's cheek, drinking in her beauty, until she felt tremors coming from Sheldon. He looked away the moment she turned to face him. Was he…was he crying?
He ached at how much tenderness was in her voice, and found himself being pulled back to her.
Amy's suspicion was confirmed as soon as she saw the tears in her husband's eyes, but was still startled nonetheless. It was so rare that he showed this kind of emotion.
She gently set the baby in the hospital crib next to them so she could give him her focus. Her arms reached out to embrace Sheldon, and he fell into them without hesitation, sobs wracking his body. Amy rubbed his back, letting him get it all out. After a few minutes, she could feel his body begin to relax, and she pulled back just enough to see his face.
"Can you tell me what just happened?" Amy whispered.
He nodded as he released his grip on her. They repositioned themselves on the bed to get more comfortable.
"I find myself quite overwhelmed."
She sighed, expecting this. Their child had finally arrived, and reality was setting in. Although she had always been confident he would love their daughter, she'd been dreading how he was going to handle such a huge change and disruption to his carefully crafted routines and schedules. They had been preparing for months and Amy thought he was ready, but seeing how miserable he appeared to be at the moment gave her cause for concern.
"I know it's going to be hard to adjust to parenthood, but we will figure it out. Let's give it a couple of weeks to get adjusted then maybe you can create a schedule for yourse—"
He stared at her. "No, that's not why I am overwhelmed."
"Huh," Amy uttered, more confused than ever. "Then why?"
Sheldon exhaled deeply before answering. "It's…how much love I'm feeling for our daughter. I didn't expect it to feel quite like this. I've known for a long time that I wanted to have children with you, Amy, and I believed when the time came I would care for them the way a father should, but nothing could have prepared me for what I'm experiencing right now."
To hear Sheldon speak this way warmed every part of Amy's soul. She leaned in to kiss his cheek, which seemed to prompt him to continue.
"I finally understand a concept that has eluded me all my life."
And now he's admitting something actually eluded him? Who is this man? "What is it?"
"It's the way my parents loved Georgie, Missy, and myself. I was the child with the superior intellect, and by my own logic, the superior child, yet my mother always insisted it didn't matter who was smartest, or strongest, or most talented. She loved us all. I believe my father did as well.
"I always assumed if I had children with you, their intellect could be potentially higher than either of ours, that their mind could be something the world had never seen before."
"She might have that, Sheldon. It's too soon to tell."
"Of course, but what I've come to realize is that her intellect has no bearing on how I feel about her. I am already proud of her existence and the only thing she has done so far is cry. She could become an athlete or an artist, or heaven forbid a geologist, and I will still be proud of her. She could have Penny's intellectual level—"
"Hey," Amy interrupted. "That's my bestie you're talking about, and she's plenty smart."
"My point is no matter how our daughter turns out, I know now I will love her no matter what, simply because she exists. That's what my mother tried to show us, unconditional love, simply because we exist, not because of our accomplishments. I understand that now."
Amy cupped his face, looking at him like he hung the moon. "I never doubted how amazing a dad you could be. So far, you are proving me right."
They leaned in for a kiss, both full of gratitude that they had each other to help navigate through this brand-new chapter in their lives.
When they pulled apart, Amy added, "And you should tell your mom about all of this when she gets here tomorrow. I'm sure it would mean a lot to her."
"Perhaps I will. I should also apologize to you for my uncomfortable emotions."
"Don't ever apologize for that. You can always share how you're feeling. That's what I'm here for. Besides, I'm the one that should be apologizing for some of the things I said during labor. I don't even remember all that I was saying. I think there was something about throwing tea in your face?"
"Among other, more colorful insults."
Amy buried her face in her hands. "I'm sorry. You know I didn't mean any of it, right?"
"Yes. You were under the influence of tremendous pain, and you were bringing our child into the world, so you're forgiven. And since I haven't mentioned it yet, you did an incredible job, at least, what I witnessed when I wasn't passed out." He squeezed her hand.
They both looked over at their bundle who had drifted off to sleep.
"We should probably rest for a bit ourselves while she sleeps."
"Very well, I will take the chair," Sheldon said, beginning to stand up.
She pulled on his hand. "Don't you dare! Sleep here with me."
"But, Amy, we won't comfortably fit lying down on this bed!"
"We will if we cuddle."
Sheldon couldn't argue with that. Amy's twenty-six hours of labor had left him bone-tired, so he couldn't even imagine how exhausted she must be. Plus, he really did just want to be close to his wife right now. It sounded a lot more appealing than the chair.
"Just a second," he said, walking over to the crib.
He leaned over to kiss his daughter's forehead. "Goodnight, little one. I love you. Oh, and while I did mean what I said, please don't become a geologist. There are so many other fields that—"
"Sheldon," Amy said in a low warning tone.
"Right, sorry. We can talk about it later."
He got in bed and curled up with Amy, allowing sweet sleep to overtake them in seconds.
Hi, everyone! It's been forever since I've posted anything. The concept for this story has been in my head for a while now and took a few different forms before I landed on what you just read. I hope it wasn't too OOC. The more I wrote, the fluffier it got. I couldn't help it! ;)
Please review if you can! Reviews bless my soul! I will hopefully be back with more stories soon!