With a gentle kiss along his neck, Stacy woke Dan before his alarm. Emily slept soundly in her bassinet, giving Dan and Stacy a moment of quiet time together, which they had quickly discovered would be fleeting and precious. As he ran a hand over her stomach, he missed the feeling of life growing inside her. He asked if she thought about how many children she wanted.
“Oh, two or three, I think,” she answered.
“Three sounds good.” He moved his hand to her swollen breast.
“I hated not having any brothers or sisters. But it’s not like I had the best parents in the world, so it’s probably a good thing they only had me… You better leave that alone, by the way,” she said, removing his hand from her breast. “Otherwise, you’re going to get an eye full of milk.”
“I always wanted a sister to torment. It looked like fun.”
“You did your best to make my life hell when we were kids,” Stacy reminded him.
He pressed his lips to her collarbone. “You were fun to tease. But I think I was pretty nice most of the time.”
“I’m lucky to have you in my life, kochanie. I don’t know what I would have done without you. Even back then.”
“I’m the lucky one, Stace.” He pulled her in for a kiss and groaned when his alarm buzzed as soon as their lips touched. He rolled away from her and reached over to quiet the noise before it woke the baby.
Stacy held onto his arm. “Do you have to go in today?”
“I could stay if you need me to.” He rolled back to her and brushed her hair from her face. “Are you feeling okay?”
“I feel fine,” she assured him. “I’m just scared.”
“Scared of what?”
“I have no idea. That’s the crazy thing. I was so anxious to get Emily home, I didn’t stop to think how I would make it through an entire day with her, all by myself.”
Her voice carried so small and quiet Dan’s heart ached for her. He pulled her close and rubbed her back. “I’ll stay as long as you need me to. We’ll be scared together.”
“You’re scared?” she asked, dubious.
“Terrified,” he admitted. “I have been since the day we found out you were pregnant.”
“What are you scared of?”
“I’ve wanted a child for so long I never imagined I’d be afraid to be alone with her.”
“I feel the same way.” Dan gave Stacy a slow, soft kiss. “But we have each other, and the two of us together are going to make one spectacular parent.”
“Just one parent?” She smiled in confusion.
“Well, Emily will technically have two parents, one spectacular, and the other a basket case. We just won’t ever let her meet the basket case. We’ll keep that one hidden and only let it come out to hyperventilate over major crises.”
“What kind of crises?”
“Oh, the really big ones. You know, like diaper rash. And teething.”
“And walking and toilet training?”
“The first day of school.” Dan smiled. “Prom night.”
She returned his smile with one of her gorgeous ones. “Our baby girl’s growing so fast.”
“That’s why we have to have lots and lots of babies. Then we can slow time a little.”
“After the first ‘lots of babies,’ how will we find time to make the other lots?” Stacy laughed softly.
“There’s always time for baby making,” Dan assured her with a wink. “I can be quick if I need to be.”
She rolled her eyes and said, “How fun for you.” And then she smiled.
“I love you, Stace,” Dan whispered, his heart full. Complete.
“I love you, too, kochanie.”
Emily chimed in from the bassinet, calling out her love for them with a whimper of a cry that quickly rose in decibel. Eagerly, Dan rushed to her command.