Chapter 1

“A couple more big pushes, Brenda,” Dr. Joe Martin said.

“Ugh!” Brenda screamed. “I am pushing. Give me some more drugs, dammit!”

Robin brushed Brenda’s hair back with her hand and wiped her face with a wet washcloth. “Brenda, you’re so close. And then, finally the baby will be here.”

“Stop with platitudes, Robbie. I’m not in the mood.”

“Joe, please make the pain go away,” Brenda pleaded.

“A few more pushes, Brenda, and it will be all over,” he said.

Brenda fell back against the hospital bed, exhausted. “I can’t do this anymore. Just cut me open and take it out.”

Anna leaned over the bed and whispered into Brenda’s ear. “Bren, stop with the pain nonsense and imagine holding this precious baby that you’ve, we’ve all been waiting months to see. Concentrate on that, luv. Concentrate on that.”

With renewed strength, Brenda sat up. “Let’s get this over with.” She began to push again.

“Two more good pushes, Brenda,” Joe said.

Brenda pushed and pushed.

“I can see the head.”

Robin abandoned her post by Brenda’s side and stood next to Joe.

“Brenda, the baby has a head of full of black hair,” Robin cried excitedly.

“One more big push.”

Brenda looked into Anna’s eyes filled with love. Anna nodded encouragingly. Clutching Anna’s hand in a death grip, Brenda pushed the final time and collapsed against the bed.

Joe held up the screaming baby for Brenda to see. “It’s a girl!”

Anna kissed Brenda’s cheek. “Congratulations!”

Robin cut the cord and Joe laid the baby on Brenda’s stomach. Brenda reached out and touched her baby. Tears streamed down her cheeks.

“Hi, little one. I’m your mommy,” she said softly to the newborn. The newborn’s blue eyes stared intensely into her brown ones.

Joe removed the baby and handed her to Robin. Brenda protested.

“They’re just going to clean her up and you can have her back,” Joe stated calmly.

Joe cleaned Brenda up and the remaining staff left the room.

Robin walked over to Brenda with the baby in her arms and gently handed her to Brenda.

Brenda moved the blanket so she could see her daughter’s face better.

“Hello again, little one. Can you open your eyes for mommy?” Brenda asked gently. Slowly the baby opened her eyes as if responding to her mother’s request. Brenda stared into her eyes as tears instantly in love.

Anna and Robin each hugged Brenda from their sides of the hospital bed.

Brenda pointed to Anna sitting on the edge of the bed. “That is your Grandmum Anna.”

Anna waved.

“Tomorrow you’ll meet your Grams Gloria and Papa Carmine, right?” Brenda said questioning.

Robin nodded.

“And one day you’ll meet Grandpa Mike, Grandma Monica, Grandpa Alan, Great Grandfather Edward, and Great Grandmother Lila.” Brenda turned the baby around to face Robin.

“You should recognize the voice of your Aunt Robin. She’s the one who made you listen to all that classical music.”

Anna laughed.

Robin reached out and held her niece’s hand. The baby grasped her finger tightly. “We won’t tell mommy that auntie threw in some N.E.R.D., Miles Davis, and Pearl Jam.”

Brenda looked down at her daughter. “That explains why sometimes you were kicking up a storm.”

Robin tried to hide a yawn.

“I think that’s our cue to leave,” Anna said as she stood up. She walked over to her daughter and wrapped her arm around her. Robin laid her head on her mother’s shoulder.

“I think so too,” Robin replied.

Robin and Anna gave Brenda and the baby kisses and headed for the door.

“Goodnight, you two,” they said from the doorway as Robin dimmed the lights.

Brenda took the baby’s hand and helped her wave goodbye. “Night, guys. Thanks for everything.”

“All in a day’s work,” Anna simply stated and closed the door quietly.

Brenda laid the baby down and opened her blanket. “It’s just you and me, kiddo. Let’s see what we’re working with here.”

She spent the next few hours counting toes, fingers, and simply enjoying this new life she had helped create and had the privilege to rear.