You sat comfortably on the couch, reading a book that you had started a few days ago. As you read, you ran a hand along the curve of your belly, letting the life inside of you know you cared. There was a light push against your hand from a foot. You giggled while placing the book down on the couch. "Hello to you, too, little one," you spoke to the baby softly.
Since Ludwig found out you were pregnant this past Christmas, he made sure that you and the baby were taken care of. If he saw you tire throughout the day, he'd coax you to the couch so you could rest. He'd talk to the baby while the two of you relaxed in the evenings, lightly stroking your belly. The way he lit up and chuckled as the baby kicked his hand made you giggle. You could tell already Ludwig was going to be a great father.
At the beginning of May, you and Ludwig went to your last doctor's appointment. You were told the baby was healthy and to expect to deliver on your due date in two weeks. You steadily grew nervous about it the closer it came. The anticipation of finding out if it was a boy or a girl only added to your nerves. At Ludwig's insistence, you were doing this the old fashioned way.
You heard the front door open. A set of keys clinked as they were hung on their hook. "____?" Ludwig called from the hallway. "Are you home?"
"I'm over here!" you replied from the living room. You marked your place in your book and set it on the coffee table. Ludwig walked in the room with a tired smile. He sat next to you on the couch, placing his briefcase next to your book. "How was your day?" you asked him.
"It vas gut, yet I vanted to be home vizh you two," your husband said while he draped an arm behind your shoulders. "You vere in my zhoughts all day." He placed a hand on your round belly.
You chuckled at his comment. "I am glad you're home. Oh! I think I finally decided on names for the baby."
Ludwig's smile gained a warm glow. "Vunderbar! Vhich vones do you like?" He drew you closer to him.
"Well," you said as you shifted to accommodate his desire, "I like Liesel for a girl. And for a boy, I chose Dieter."
"Liesel is a pretty name," Ludwig agreed. "Dieter is a good, strong name, too. I like bozh of zhem." He pecked your temple. "All zhat's left is to vait for zhe baby to come."
You looked up at Ludwig. "Do you still think it will be a boy?"
Ludwig's smile turned into a smirk. "I don't zhink it, ____. I know it." He stroked your belly, getting a kick in return. "Ve're having a boy."
Before you knew it, the two weeks flew by. On the day before your due date, you started feeling some contractions. They weren't that painful, and were a significant distance apart. The doctor told you that would happen, and to not worry. It meant that labor wouldn't be too far behind. When you told Ludwig, he called in work and told him he wouldn't be coming in tomorrow, just in case you went into labor. It was a good thing, too. Your water broke early the following morning.
Ludwig held your hand while he drove you to the hospital. Every time you had a contraction and winced in pain, he wished he could do more to ease it. He drove fast, yet didn't break any laws to get you there safely.
When you checked in the hospital, the doctor and nurses gave Ludwig the option of staying with you or waiting in the lobby. He chose to be with you. He'd seen far worse things in his lifetime, and the delivery of his first child wasn't something he wanted to miss. Ludwig held your hand and comforted you the best he could throughout the delivery. Three hours later, you gave birth to a baby boy.
The next afternoon, you and Ludwig brought Dieter home. The feeling you and Ludwig shared as you took turns holding your son was indescribable. When night fell, Ludwig held Dieter in his strong, protecting arms. He gently stroked his thick blond hair, saying sweet things in German to the baby. The sounds Dieter made in response to him warmed your heart.
Ludwig kissed Dieter's cheek before placing him in the crib beside your bed. "Sleep vell, son," he said softly. You walked up behind him, stroking his back as he ran a finger along the side of Dieter's face. Ludwig sniffed and cleared his throat, a sign you knew well.
"Are you alright?" you asked concerned.
"Ja, Lieb. I'm fine," Ludwig assured you. He turned to face you, placing one hand on your waist and the other on your cheek. "It's just . . . I realized how lucky I am to have you and Dieter. You have no idea how happy I am."
You gave Ludwig a smile. "I do know, just from a different point of view."
The kiss you and Ludwig shared was the most tender and heartfelt one you've ever had. You drew him to bed and settled in for the night. Ludwig snuggled you from behind, wrapping an arm around you. "Good night, Vatti," you teased lightly.
Ludwig chuckled and nipped at your ear in response. "Guten nacht, Mutti," he replied.
The two of you got a few hours of sleep before a little cry woke you up.