“It’s fine, drop me here,” I say, nearly throwing myself out of the car. The hospital entrance is filled with people, all of them looking at me in bewilderment as I push through.
She can’t have this baby without me.
Queues of people surround the lifts and reception, and I scan the area for signs to guide me to my family.
Finally. I race down the corridor, skidding at the end when it veers right. At the end of the hall, like a beacon in the night, is the Labour Suite.
My lungs are burning when I reach them, tugging them open to see the nurses turn to me with wide eyes.
“Jolie Summers,” I gasp, as the youngest nurse nods, understanding my hurry.
“Room two,” she says, pushing open the door for me.
“Oh thank God,” Lauren cries, her hands in Jolie’s grip.
Jolie is red faced, and gritting her teeth when I rush over to her, dropping kisses on her head.
“You didn’t answer the phone!” She hisses, her face contorting with pain.
“I’m so sorry, breathe,” I say, turning to meet Lauren’s eyes.
“I’m trying to breathe, Jax, but it’s a little difficult at the minute!” Jolie moans, tears pricking in her eyes as she gasps. Her hair is matted to her head, and Lauren presses a flannel against. The midwife speaks from the bottom of the bed, almost giving me a heart attack.
“Jesus,” I mutter, as Jolie grips my neck, dragging me down towards her.
“I can’t do this,” she sobs, her grip tightening as the midwife pushes her knees to her chest.
“The next contraction you feel, Jolie, push.”
“You can, you can do anything,” I murmur against her slick brow, her body almost limp in my arms. “You’ll get her here.”
“Now, Jolie,” the midwife commands, and Jolie inhales deeply, letting out a deep groan as she bears down, me and Lauren pushing her hands up as she does for leverage. Her face turns alarmingly puce, but all I can do is whisper how much I love her.
She gets her breath back, tears streaming down her cheeks. I can sense her exhaustion, and her frustration at not getting the baby out then.
“Listen, you’re bringing a life into the world,” Lauren coos, mopping Jolie’s brow. “A girl, no less! She’ll be a girl boss, you watch, just like her mama. All you’ve gotta do is get her here.”
“You’re doing really well, Jolie. One more big push and hopefully she’ll be out in no time,” the midwife continues cheerfully.
“One more big push and I’ll be dead,” Jolie snaps, and I wish more than anything that I can take this from her.
“It’s coming,” Jolie moans, gripping our hands as she pushes, letting out a shout as the midwife orders her to keep pushing and not to stop.
“Come on baby, come on,” I whisper against her, my mouth buried in her hair.
Then she relaxes, her body spent as an ear splitting cry fills the room.
“You did it,” I stammer as the midwife places the bundle of perfection straight onto Jolie’s chest. She’s covered in blood and mucus, her tummy fists bunched up as she screams, her body still curled in the foetal position.
Jolie stares down at her, her chest still heaving with exertion, but her eyes are filled with adoration. The midwife drapes a cover over the two of them, and hands me a pair of scissors.
“Do you want to cut the cord?”
“Yeah,” I beam, tears in my eyes.
Of course I do.
But I don’t want to sever their tie, the thing that connects them together. But as I gaze at them, I realise that it’s purely physical. The two of them are made for one another, Jolie kissing our baby’s head, humming words of comfort which soon soothe our bewildered girl.
Lauren is choking on her own tears, and the two of us share a smile.
“She’s so beautiful!” Lauren sobs, wiping her nose in the back of her hand. “I’m so proud of you.”
Lauren kisses Jolie before backing away, fanning her face.
“I’ll call your aunt,” she smiles, leaving us alone.
“Can I hold her?” I ask Jolie, who looks up with a flash of annoyance. “Please?”
The midwife waits for Jolie to agree, which I thought wasn’t ever going to happen. Jolie is like a lioness protecting her cub.
The midwife swaddles our daughter before handing her to me, and I dunno to the seat beside Jolie as the midwife cleans her up.
“Hello, beautiful,” I whisper, as the creature in my arms stirs, sucking her lips in before releasing them. She’s got the cutest button nose, and her mouth is shaped just like Jolie’s. Her hair is a white blonde, and I can’t help but wonder how we created something so beautiful and perfect.
I slide my little finger into her right fist, and she grips it, looking content.
“Oh, I’m daddy,” I say, my smile so wide I can barely feel my cheeks. “I’ll always be the one wrapped around your little finger.”
“Ivy,” Jolie mumbles, her eyes half closed. “I want to call her Ivy.”
“Then that’s her name,” I say, standing up to kiss my tired angel. She half smiles, and I rest my head against her, our baby cradled between us.
“I’m so proud of you baby,” I choke out, as Jolie’s eyes flutter open.
“I did it, Jax. I did it for us.”
“You did, wait till Imogen sees her.”
“I love you. Both of you. All three of you,” Jolie says, as I gaze at her.
“I’ll never stop loving you. My girls. My three, beautiful girls.”
If I died tomorrow, I’d die a happy man. But I’d quite like to marry this girl first, and see my daughters grow up.
I can’t wait to see Jolie as a mother. I know she’ll make me in awe of her, because she’s effortlessly flawless at everything.
Her confidence one night in a bar created a family, gave a man two new reasons to be grateful.
One night with Jolie led to a lifetime of smiles, laughter, excitement, and most of all, family. So, as much as I’m grateful for that one night stand, I’m glad I’ll never have anymore. Because I found my girl, and I’m never going to let her go.
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