"Okay, _____, vee~" Feliciano whispered as he helped you lay down on his big bed.
"Thanks..." you grumbled, hating that you were so ginormous that everyone had to help you with the simplest of tasks. You put your hands on either side of your nine month old baby bump while Feli put a pillow between your thighs. He then climbed onto the bed beside you and kissed your belly. The unborn child kicked in response. You smiled warmly and rubbed the spot where it kicked. The Italian lifted up your shirt and continued kissing your stomach.
"Any day now, right? Vee~" he questioned.
You nodded. "Yeah, really soon..."
He smiled excitedly and pressed his forehead to where the baby kicked. "Papà non vede l'ora di incontrarmi con voi."
The next 12 hours was a rush. That night you kept waking up with severe contractions. In the morning, as soon as you stood up, your water broke onto the floor. Feliciano, of course started freaking out as he hastily helped you out to his car and drove wildly to the hospital. You were screaming the whole time due to his reckless driving and the painful aches of labor. Once you arrived at the hospital, a nurse sat you into a wheelchair and pushed you to a delivery room. Feliciano was right beside you the whole time. He refused to let the nurse help you change and lay down on the bed. He did it himself.
"I'll be right here the whole time, _____," he said comfortingly. The Italian sat behind you with his legs on either side of you. You leaned back against his chest and clutched his hands, breathing shallow and ragged. "Just breathe, vee~" he kissed your shoulder.
The doctor moved your feet into the stirrups. "You're almost ready to push, Mrs.Vargas."
You looked up at Feliciano. "W-what if I can't do this, Feli?"
He just smiled and nuzzled his face into your neck. "You'll be fine, _____. We'll all be fine, vee~"
"Okay miss, start pushing!" The doctor commanded. The Italian squeezed your hands.
"Just think about pasta, okay? Vee~"
"NO!" You screamed as another contraction wracked through your body. Everything came naturally. Instead of riding it out, you took deep breath and and pushed along with it while you dug your fingernails into Feli's hands.
"That was a good one! A couple more just like that!" The nurse exclaimed from beside the doctor.
You were in labor for another good 20 minutes before you gave the final push. The doctor cut the umbilical cord and your baby started wailing.
"Oh, _____, she's so tiny..." Feli whispered.
"Yes, it's a girl. Congratulations!" the nurse chimed as she loosely wrapped the baby in a blanket and handed her to you. Your face gleamed as you cradled her closely. Her crying subsided to a fuss.
Feliciano rested his chin on your shoulder and wrapped his arms around yours so you were both holding your daughter.
"Ciao bella!" he cooed softly to her.
You felt something wet against your shoulder. Looking up to Feli, you asked, "Are you crying?"
"S-si..." he replied, "I'm crying because I'm so happy. I couldn't ask for a better family, vee~"
You just smiled at him. The baby's fusses stopped and she opened her eyes. "Just like yours, vee!" the Italian said.
You kissed your daughter's nose and stroked the thin wisps of reddish brown hair. "And your hair, Feli..."
You nodded in agreement.
"Just like you, _____."
You were exhausted, Feliciano could tell. He got up and the nurse cleaned the baby. You laid down and watched them carefully, feeling the maternal need to protect your daughter. After they finished, she started crying. Feli picked her up gently and held her close. He walked down the room with her, speaking Italian softly to help her calm down. The baby's crying stopped and she slipped off into a deep sleep. The new father kissed his daughter's forehead and continued walking around the room.
Your eyes followed his movement and you began thinking to yourself. "Having a child separates the boys from the men. I had mostly seen the boyish side of my partner, but during my pregnancy he had shown confidence in being a parent and he expressed undying love towards me and the baby. Other people may call him weak, childish, or a cry baby, but I knew he was more of a man than anyone I had ever met.
"Real men aren't afraid of becoming a father. Kissing and hugging their very pregnant girlfriend in public, buying roomfuls of toys for their unborn baby. Holding you closely during labor, and crying when they hold their child for the first time." He said he couldn't have asked for a better family, you couldn't have either.
Your smile never faded as you closed your eyes and drifted off to sleep. Feliciano crept over and laid your baby beside you and took your left hand. He pulled a ring out of his pocket and slid it onto your ring finger. He kissed your palm and sat down on a chair next to the bed.
"Vi voglio bene tanto, dormire bene...."