The doctor talks to me and Mac for a few minutes and says we are going to wait and see how she progresses, but with the size of the baby, a C-section may be a possibility.

Kneeling down beside the bed, I take MacKenzie’s hand and try to think of what I should be doing. “Ice chips?” I ask, looking around the room. “Aren’t I supposed to be feeding you those?”

Mac rolls her eyes, but then another contraction hits her and she squeezes the life out of my hand. I thank God I’m kneeling because her grip would have sent me to my knees.

“Just shut up, Vince. Just shut up and be pretty. I’ve got this.”

I thought labor would be this very delicate, soft, and warm experience. I had this image in my mind that we would go in and a baby would come out and we would just glow.

It was nothing as I imagined it.

Mac fractured three fingers in my left hand before the doctors agreed that she’d need a C-section. After she got the good drugs and they got the baby out, it was all smooth sailing. But those hours up until that moment were like something out of The Exorcist, and my woman became a beast. I think I may have actually been afraid of her for a moment, but then I realized that if that’s the kind of mother she’s going to be, our child will always be loved and fiercely protected.

She endured hours of pain for our baby before she finally got the C-section. If her body hadn’t been so small, I think she’d still be at it. Mac was worried about the kind of mom she would be, but she’s only just begun and she’s already more amazing than she ever thought.

I look over and watch her feed our baby girl as one of the nurses wraps my hand. They can’t do much for me other than that, so I’ll just have to deal with it. It was worth it though, holding Mac’s hand and helping her bring our little one into the world. Our daughter.

When the nurse is finished, I walk over and sit on the bed next to Mac and watch the two of them together.

“She’s fallen asleep,” Mac whispers, holding her back a little and covering her breast up.

Any minute now my sisters and her brothers are going to storm through those doors, and we won’t have another second alone. Hell, I’ve only held her for a moment myself before Mac was wanting her back in her arms.

Looking up, I see Lucias peek his head in, and I smile at him.

“It’s okay, man, send them in.”

He nods and then the door shuts for a half second, then burst open and the room fills with people.

I look at Mac, and she’s smiling so big I can see tears in her eyes. She’s so happy and so full of love. I lean down, kissing her lips.

Looking around the room, I decide to make the announcement. “Ladies and gentlemen. I’d like to present our daughter, Angelina Vincenza Cassano.”

My sisters melt into puddles of tears and kisses and hugs. The guys all give me pats on the back and lean down to embrace Mac. It’s a great day, and our little girl is so lucky to have so many people that love her. We all are.