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It Just Feels Right Bonus

Cassie and baker’s story

Baker

Cassie shakes her head side to side. “I can’t do this.”

I start to laugh, but when I see the serious look on her face, I try to hide my smirk by leaning in and pressing my lips to her damp forehead. “I think it’s a little too late for that.”

She rests her head against mine. “Baker, I’m not joking. I just need to rest.”

The room is absolute chaos around us, but I try to keep the noise out and focus on my wife. “Cassie, look at me.”

She lifts her big green eyes to mine. It’s been over five years since I met, Cassie and each and every day since then, she’s made my life better. Of course, we’ve had our ups and downs, but one thing has stayed constant, and that’s our love for each other. “It’s just me and you,” I tell her as I breathe with her.

She finally cracks a smile and looks around the room that is full of people. “Really? Just me and you?”

I gesture with my head. “Ignore all that and focus on me.”

She lifts her shoulders, nods her head, and puts all her attention on me. “All right, I’m looking at you, Baker.” She looks almost ashamed of herself. “I really don’t think I can do this.”

I grab her hands in mine and give her a small smile. Inside, I’m panicking. I’m worried about her and the baby, and my own fears of becoming a father are intense, but I can’t give in to any of that. Cassie has been in labor for twelve hours now. The doctors are all saying that we’re close and it’s time, but Cassie is exhausted. I brush a piece of hair off her face and tuck it behind her ear. “Baby, you are the strongest woman I know. I know you’re tired, but you can do this. You’re almost there.”

She whispers with a roll of her eyes, “You realize they’ve been saying that for the last two hours, right?”

I nod. “I know. I know. Let’s just do one more push and see what happens.”

The doctor hollers, “Just one more, Cassie. You got this.”

Cassie grimaces but nods her head. “Okay.”

I lean in and kiss her real quick. “Fuck, I love you.”

With her eyes on me, I nod my head and help her into position. All at once, the room seems to get into action. The doctor is spouting out instructions, but my eyes never leave Cassie. “You can do this, baby.”

She nods and bears down. The pain on her face will forever be ingrained in my head, but no matter what she’s feeling right now, she’s determined. I know that look and this is it… We’re about to become parents.

She grunts and screams and curses. The doctor and the nurses are all offering her words of instruction and encouragement, but the whole time, she’s focused on me. I’m nodding my head at her and hoping that she can see everything I’m feeling right now.

Being vulnerable is hard, but with Cassie it’s easy. She has loved me like no one else ever has, and I feel the same for her. The excitement in the doctor’s voice gets even more emotional. “That’s it. That’s it.”

But I stay focused on Cassie. She bears down, and with this last push, it all happens so quick. For just one brief second there is complete silence, and then the sound of our baby crying fills the room. Cassie falls back onto the bed, exhausted, and I hover over her. “I love you.”

She nods with a smile. “I love you too. Now check on our little girl.”

I kiss her again, torn between wanting to be with Cassie and wanting to see our baby. Thankfully, I don’t have to go far. The nurse lays our daughter on Cassie’s chest, and my heart constricts. I know what love is. Because of Cassie, I know how it feels and how all-consuming it is. But I wasn’t ready for this right here. To see my daughter for the first time lying against my wife’s chest. I lean down, wanting to be close to them.

Our daughter is crying, and I put my hand on her back. It soothes her instantly. The people are all working around us, but all I’m concerned about is my little family.

Cassie looks at me through hooded eyes. “I picked out her name.”

I laugh because we made a deal. She could pick out our daughter’s first name and I would do the middle name. “Okay, what is it? I’m ready.”

I’ve prepared myself because for the last month or so, she’s thrown out some off-the-wall names, and I’m a little nervous about what she’s going to pick. She’s staring at me. “Are you sure you’re ready?”

I try not to wince. “I think I am. Let me have it.”

She bites her lip and smiles softly. “I picked this name because even though I know I never got to meet her, I know she’s the kind of mother I want to be…” She pauses and takes a deep breath. “Lorraine. I chose Lorraine.”

All at once, the emotions hit me hard. “My mom…”

I can’t even get out all the words because I’m so stunned.

Cassie searches my face. “I mean, if that’s okay. If that’s too much then…”

I shake my head and don’t even try to hold back the tears. “It’s perfect. Thank you, Cassie.”

She reaches up and puts her hand at my jaw. “I love you, husband.”

Choked up, I lean down to kiss her. “I love you too, wife.”

The nurse interrupts. “All right, what do you say we get you cleaned up? You have a lobby full of people wanting to meet the new princess.”

After my girls get cleaned up, I’m hovering over them as Cassie holds Lorraine. We’ve put off letting people in for as long as we can, but I know they’re all getting restless. “I don’t want to share you guys.”

Cassie laughs. “You do know if we don’t let your dad in here soon, he’s probably going to start breaking down doors, right?”

I sigh. She’s right about that. Dad is over the moon about being a grandpa. “I know.”

I lean down to look Cassie in the eye. “Before it gets too crazy, there’s something I need to tell you.”

She’s looking at me wide-eyed. “Okay.”

“I love you, Cassie Johnson. Thank you for choosing to date me all those years ago even though we had so much going against us.”

She laughs. “I didn’t have much of a choice. You weren’t giving me any options.”

“Har, har. Funny. Thank you for agreeing to be my wife. Thank you for sticking by me through thick and thin. Thank you for our daughter. I love you more and more every day, and I promise that I will love, protect, and be here for both of you until the day I die.”

Her hand circles to the back of my neck, and she pulls me to her. “Thank you for never giving up on me.”

I choke back the emotion. “Never.”

“I love you, Baker.”

We kiss, and I don’t want to pull away, but I know it’s time. I sigh. “You ready to let them in?”

She squeezes my shoulder. “With you by my side, I can do anything.”

I nod, kiss her again, and then kiss baby Lorraine. “All right, I’ll let them in.”

After a longing look at my family, I call my dad to let him know that he and Brooklyn, Cassie’s sister, can come in.

As we wait for our family, Cassie and I stare down at our baby girl, and all I can do is think about how blessed I really am. I love my family.

Thank you for reading!

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