You Loved Me Once

71: Already Like Her Mother

“I did give you the number for the hotel, didn’t I?” Lionel posed as he placed the last of his things into his bag, his eyes peeking at Alba who sat up on their bed, her eyelids drooping tiredly. She was overdue, Alba’s due date had been almost a week previous and still there was no sign of their daughter, but Lionel knew that there was little he could do, even if he did hate seeing his girlfriend so uncomfortable, it was merely a case of waiting until the baby was ready to put in her first appearance.

“You did” Alba commented, shifting a little in an attempt to get a little more comfortable “You also ensure that I have a direct line to Luis Enrique should I need it” she added, a small grimace pulling over her features. It had been rumbling for a while, her latest bout of discomfort, and she was greatly looking forwards to the moment that their daughter finally arrived. She’d steadily grown to dislike being so uncomfortable most of the time.

“You know why I’ve given you that” Lionel countered, pulling on the denim shirt that the team wore on away trips “I’ve waited 9 months for this, Alba, I’d hate to miss out on the big moment” he explained.

Alba shifted a little, letting out a small sound which pulled Lionel’s attention to her, his forehead furrowed. “Alba?” he pressed “Nena, are you OK?” he fussed as he stepped towards her.

Alba let out another small sound before she shook her head, her blue eyes peeking up at him. “There is a chance that this is the start of my contractions” she murmured “These pains have been coming and going for the last couple of hours, I thought they were merely cramps, but they’re getting worse and worse” she whimpered.

“How long’ve you been having them?” Lionel posed as he reached for his phone.

“A couple of hours” Alba murmured “Are you going to call Enrique?” she posed, watching as he flicked through his phone. It was last minute, with Barcelona having started the new season a couple of weeks previous, they were due to fly out to Madrid that afternoon in order to play the first Clasico the following night, but she doubted that Lionel had much of a choice. If she was right, then her contractions had started and there was no way that Lionel was going to leave her side in favour of a match, even if it was the derby, he’d been waiting for the birth for as long as Alba had been and wasn’t going to skip out.

“I am” Lionel confirmed “You should go and collect the bags and I will meet you at the car in a second, OK?” he posed, pushing the blonde hair away from her face.

“OK” Alba murmured timidly.

“Hey” Lionel mused softly, his hand gently tipping Alba’s head back so that she looked at him “It’s going to be Ok” he mused softly as he spotted the apprehension in her face.

Alba nodded. “I know” she murmured “I am just…I am scared” she admitted softly.

Lionel smiled. “You’re going to be fine” he murmured, kissing her cheek gently “And in a few hours, we’re going to have our beautiful little girl, something I know you’ve been looking forwards to since we found out about her. It’s going to be OK” he assured her gently.

Alba offered him a slightly dubious look, but didn’t say anything, something which enabled Lionel to peck her lips briefly. “Go and find the bags” he mumbled before he took his phone in his hands, moving to call his coach.

“Did you manage to get a hold of your madre?” Alba posed from her spot on the hospital bed, her eyes watching as Lionel stepped back into the room. It had been a while, Alba’s waters had broken almost as soon as she had arrived at the hospital, but still almost 6 hours had passed, something which had left her feeling tired and irritable. She knew that it was a slow process, Cassandra had been quick to warn her that it might take a while for their daughter to arrive, but she merely wanted it over with. Nothing seemed more appealing to her than a nice nap.

“I did” Lionel mused “And she’s called your sister and Eva. They should be on the next flight they can find” he added.

Alba nodded softly. “How did Enrique take it?” she posed.

“He understood” Lionel noted softly “He says that the team send their best wishes though” he added as he moved to sit down, offering Alba his hand which she took, instantly squeezing it tightly as the door swung open, allowing Cassandra to step into the room.

“How are you two doing in here?” she posed as she padded towards the end of the bed, collecting Alba’s chart.

“OK” Alba squeaked softly “But I could do with this being over. Are we anywhere near being able to push?” she posed gently, her blue eyes watching as Cassandra lifted the sheet which covered her legs.

“You’re still a little way away” Cassandra noted as she carefully set the blanket down “You’re at about 8cm, which means you still have two to go, but you’re still doing OK. I will come back and check on you in a little while, but try and keep yourself relaxed. You’re progressing so well, Alba” she fussed softly before she flashed Lionel a smile, ducking back out of the room.

Alba watched the midwife out of the room before she rested back in the bed, letting out a frustrated noise.

“She’s coming” Lionel mused, his thumb carefully brushing over her hand in an attempt to calm her “But she’s clearly already like her mama, she’s very much prepared to do things in her own time and her own way” he teased softly.

Alba merely offered him a glare. “You don’t get to make jokes” she grumbled “This is your fault” she added.

Lionel shook his head. “It’ll be worth it, Alba” he mumbled as he stood up, carefully kissing her forehead “In a little while, we’ll have baby girl Messi Nunez here with us” he fussed.

Alba shifted a little, moving through another contraction, before she turned her head, looking up at him. “Isabella” she murmured.

“Isabella?” Lionel posed, flexing his hand a little.

“Isabella Messi Nunez” she noted “It’s the one I liked best. We don’t have to go with it, but it’s something” she noted, closing her eyes sleepily.

Lionel mulled the name over for a moment, mouthing it a couple of times before he smiled. “Isabella” he confirmed softly, his hand gently brushing over Alba’s bump.

“Just keep pushing, Alba, you’re almost there” Cassandra instructed. It had taken a little while longer, Alba had been in labour for a further two hours before she had reached 10cm dilated, but she was pleased that it almost over.

“How much longer?” Alba squeaked, her hand gripping onto Lionel’s tightly.

“About 10 more seconds” Cassandra noted gently “Just keep going, Alba” she added.

Alba let out a groan and continued to push for a few more seconds before the smallest crackle of a cry emanated from the other end of the bed, something which caused Lionel to perk up, his eyes immediately landing on the tiny infant that Cassandra held in her arms, her own little legs and arms moving as she cried. “Congratulations” Cassandra cooed as she moved to wrap the baby up in a blanket “You’re now the parents of a beautiful little girl” she fussed as she carried the infant towards the head of the bed.

Alba, who’d been watching the baby, tilted her head a little as Cassandra leant down, placing the baby in her arms.

“Alba?” Lionel murmured gently.

Alba sniffed a little. “She’s here” she murmured, her blue eyes caught on the baby “Leo, she’s here” she babbled.

Lionel smiled and leant a little closer, carefully brushing the blanket away from the infant’s face. “Hola, Isabella” he murmured as he carefully touched the top of her head “We’re very excited to meet you” he mumbled before he ducked away, pressing a kiss to the top of Alba’s head.

Alba smiled a little at the contact, but didn’t move her eyes away from Isabella who had quietened almost as soon as she had been placed in Alba’s arms.

She couldn’t quite believe that she had arrived.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comments :)