CHAPTER ONE HUNDRED and EIGHTY-ONE
Friday night — 9:45 P.M.
“How are you?” Schmidty asked. He leaned on her hospital bed.
“Tired, a little sore, but really good,” Lizzie said.
He kissed her face. They were alone for the first time since she’d gone into labor at noon. Her Dad, Sandy and Maresol had met them at the hospital around three. Colin and Julie got there closer to six. Together, they had coached, cheered, and loved Lizzie into bringing Connor into the world.
“How do you feel about…” Schmidty scanned her face. “Connor?”
“The moment the doctor set him in Julie’s arms,” Lizzie said. “I…”
Tears fell from her eyes. She shook her head slightly.
“That was really hard,” Schmidty said.
“No,” Lizzie said. “Beautiful. So beautiful. And all the people who came to see him, love him, celebrate him. They…”
Lizzie began to cry. Not sure what to do, Schmidty held her hand.
“You don’t want to give him to them,” Schmidty said.
“He belongs with them,” Lizzie said. “He’s their baby. I just got him this far. They will take him where he needs to go. I feel…”
Schmidty stroked her face.
“Like I witnessed a miracle,” she said. “Like something out of the bible. Like I was involved in something… huge.”
“So you’re still all right with letting them adopt him,” Schmidty said.
“I had him for them,” Lizzie said. “I thought it was true before, but I know it now. Julie’s with him, isn’t she?”
“She hasn’t left him since he was born,” Schmidty said. “Colin took Paddie to the Castle but he’s back. They’re just across the hall. The doctor says they’ll keep Connor overnight. Did you know she’s breast feeding?”
“Isn’t that cool? I didn’t think it was possible but…” Lizzie shrugged. “She’s been pumping for a month and taking some drug to help. I think they belong together.”
“Me too,” Schmidty said.
“How was it for you?” Lizzie asked.
“Amazing,” Schmidty said. “I feel exhausted and charged up at the same time.”
“I know what you mean,” Lizzie said.
“When you’re able, we’ll go back to the beach,” Schmidty said. “You’ll rest. I’ll work. And…”
“We’ll start a real relationship,” Lizzie had told him over and over again that when she had the baby, they would start a real relationship.
“I don’t know Lizzie,” Schmidty said. “I don’t think it gets more real than what we went through today.”
Lizzie beamed at him.
“You need to rest,” Schmidty said.
“I couldn’t have done this without you, Jammy,” Lizzie said.
“Thanks for including me,” Schmidty blushed. “It’s all I ever wanted – to be included in your life.”
“Me too,” Lizzie said.
Schmidty reached over and turned out the light.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday…