“Breathe Felicity.” Dominic urged. “You’re doing so well.”
“Shut up you asshole! You did this to me, you fuuuuuuuuuuuuck” I yelled, my body shook through the contraction and Dominic was the last person I wanted to see in that moment. He’d loved me too much, and now his child was forcing its way out of me.
“It’s alright sir, your wife is in transition, she doesn’t mean any of it.” The nurse said softly as she took my blood pressure.
“I’m not his wife!” I yelled. not yet at least.
“We’re engaged.” He murmured to the nurse, then looked at me. “For real this time.” His smile melted my heart and I smiled back, all the anger toward him dissipated along with the contraction.
Almost as quickly as the pain was gone it was back again. But this time it was met with the need to push.
“I can’t do this.” I groaned. “He’s not coming out.”
“He’ll be out soon babe, it’ll be over.”
“I really can’t. Please. Nurse, make it stop I don’t want to do this anymore.”
“Your fiancé is right. You’re almost done. A few more contractions and you’ll be holding your baby.”
I slumped into the bed as the searing pain that felt like it was quite literally tearing my body apart calmed. A few more contractions sounded like nothing to them, they were merely watching me and waiting. I was a god damn sideshow for them. I wanted to feel angry at them, but I couldn’t. I felt cold and shaky, and it almost seemed like all of the nausea I’d had over the course of the pregnancy had combined and dumped on me.
As the next contraction forced itself upon me dug my chin into my chest and pushed with all my remaining energy. A second wind rushed over me, I could sense the finish line. I focused completely on listening to my body and everyone else in the room became white noise. I could do this. I was going to do this.
The relief of his body leaving mine was instantaneous. I could hear his cry as I closed my eyes and fell asleep for a few seconds. It had been a long labor, and I was exhausted.
“It’s a boy.” The midwife exclaimed as I finally opened my eyes. A short ten second nap had almost felt like an hour. “Congratulations.”
My relief was quickly followed by a need to hold my baby. My exhaustion was replaced with unconditional love, I looked down as Dominic cut the cord, and then the baby, our baby was placed on my skin, underneath my shirt. He cried a slightly wet, mousey cry; and It sounded sweet and adorable and I wanted to spend the rest of my life in the moment. His little hands began to search until Dominic placed his finger inside the baby’s hand. His tiny fingers clasped around Dominic’s finger.
“He’s beautiful.” I whispered kissing his head. Tears rolled down my cheeks and on to the pillow.
I felt Dominic’s lips press against my forehead. “He sure is.” He murmured.
Our baby began to search once more, but this time it was his mouth. I guided him and he latched on to my breast. I watched him in awe, so in love with him, so engulfed by love that my heart had constantly been in my throat since I’d birthed him. His crying diminished as he fed.
After the nurse had cleaned me up I looked up at Dominic and smiled.
“Call my Mom. She can bring Molly down.” I whispered.
“I already did a while ago, they’re waiting in the other room.” He smiled and stood up.
Dominic left to gather our family and I took the time to absorb my son’s sheer brilliance. He looked just like the baby pictures of Molly at home. The nurse walked over and smiled at me.
“Is it alright if I do some checks and weigh him?”
I nodded, although it was with great reluctance I let him go, He seemed equally as reluctant to unlatch himself at first, but didn’t cry as the nurse gently picked him up. Dominic walked back in with a curious Molly and a crying Mom. I pointed toward the nurse, they turned and watched her as she checked and weighed him. Once he was wrapped up again the nurse turned around. Dominic took our son from her and for a moment he let the world disappear. I could see it in his eyes, no one else was in the room with them, not in that moment. He kissed our baby on the head then walked over to Mom and gingerly placed him in her arms.
Mom began to cry once more, she walked over to a nearby seat and sat down as the tears streamed freely down her cheeks, Molly took one step, then another, until she stood beside my Mother.
“Nan, isn’t he the cutest.” She soothed, her fingers traced across his head.
“Oh yes, just a cute as you are.” Mom replied.
“He’s so little.” She mused.
“You were that little once.” Dominic exclaimed as he walked over to the bed and sat on the edge. His hand grazed over mine.
Mom and Molly doted on the baby, while Dominic and I just looked at one another. Only a few months had passed, enough time to grow a baby and forever bond a family. Still we had done so much more. Mom was thriving in her new job, so much so that she’d been move to second in charge within a couple of months. It was a majority vote, and she had aced it. Finally her business knowledge was being used to its potential. No person alone was doing great as well. My proposal was unlike any other, and I found myself being interviewed by some of the most prestigious business and sociology magazines in print by the time I was 7 months pregnant.
But the best step forward had been adopting Molly. Dominic had tracked his ex-wife down, and unsurprisingly; yet somehow shocking to me, she had signed all rights over without a thought for Molly. Molly hadn’t seemed to care, at least not yet. I knew one day the abandonment of a mother who didn’t deserve her might mess with her head, but I fully intended to be here, to help her through it.
“Mom.” She murmured. I smiled and drew my attention over toward her. She had started calling me Mom a few months before hand. Once my belly become so round she broached the topic of her brother calling me Mom. She had made a good argument about how they should both call me the same name. I’d told her to follow her heart and call me whatever she felt was right. The first time she called me Mom, I had cried.
“Yes baby.” I whispered.
“Can we call him Joel?”
I smiled and looked at Dominic, Joel was his late Father’s name. His eyes were wide and he looked down at our child. “Joel.” He whispered, testing the name on his tongue.
“Joel Dominic Coran.” I replied. “Sounds like a strong name to me.”
“Joel it is.” Dominic said softly. “Now you have an amazing story to tell your brother when you’re both older.”
Molly wasn’t listening anymore, she was whispering to her brother and brushing her fingers across his forehead.
Mom took Molly home later that evening. Dominic stayed with me. He placed him down in a crib after I had fed him then sat beside me on the bed. His hand ran over my rounded belly and he sighed. “I can’t believe you grew our baby in there.” He murmured. “And brought him out into the world.”
“It was nothing.” I teased. “Just a regular day at the office.”
Dominic let out a laugh and kissed my head. “I wasn’t there when Molly was born.” He replied, and I could hear the regret in his voice. “I wasn’t allowed. She barred me from the room.”
“Dominic, I know. You told me.” I leaned in to his chest and tried to hide my errant tears. The emotional rollercoaster of pregnancy was magnified times ten now that I’d given birth.
“Thank you.” He said, his own words were tinged with sadness, and I could feel his tears fall on to the top of my head. I had well and truly melted his once frozen heart. “I love you more than I ever knew I could. You are fierce to me, like a warrior.”
“You’re being silly.”
He lifted my chin up until our eyes met. “No. I’m being honest. I’m glad I fell in love with you, and that our children get to have you as a Mother.”
“Dominic.” I murmured softly. “I feel the same, and I already know you’re a wonderful Father.”
Our lips pressed against one another and for a minute I was his, and he was mine and there was no one but us in the world.
“When will you marry me?” he said pulling back. “I need you to be Mrs Coran.”
“When Joel can walk.” I said with a soft smile.
“I’d better get him walking early then.” Dominic replied exasperated.
“We have all the time in the world. I’m yours Dominic, marriage or not, I’m not going anywhere.”
“I know, but we’re a family now and I want us all connected in any way possible.”
I smiled and kissed him once more before snuggling back in to his chest. “I’m glad I came to work for you. Even if it was a failed favour for my mother.”
“I’m glad I took advantage of the situation and employed you.” He laughed. “But I’m happier you stuck with me and Molly when many others had given up.”
“Well, I always was a sucker for punishment.” I murmured.
“And I always was a meticulous rule setter.” He replied.
“Well then, I guess we’re perfect for each other.”
“You can say that again.”