“We’ll take care of her,” one of the EMTs says.
As soon as we enter the master bedroom, Goose stands up in front of Sophie and growls. I knew he was a good dog before that, but guarding my girl just earned him free rein—especially since he’s the reason I knew something was wrong to begin with.
“Goose.” I point to the floor next to the bed, and he immediately goes there to stand guard. The EMTs hurry over to Sophie. I kneel above her head, putting my lips on her forehead, telling her softly that everything will be okay.
“We need to get her to the hospital,” one of them barks at his coworker.
Everything is such a blur around me that I don’t even have time to think before they’re carrying her downstairs on a gurney. I see my dad’s cruiser pull up as I’m climbing into the back of the ambulance. He nods, letting me know that he will follow as the doors close behind me.
“What’s going on?” I ask when there is a lull in activity.
The one carefully placing an IV in Sophie’s arm looks at me, his face telling me more than I want to know right now. “We’re not sure, but we think one of the babies’ cords is tangled, and she’s going to have to have an emergency C-section as soon as we get to the hospital.”
I look down at Sophie. She’s the most important person in my life. I can’t imagine something happening to her, and that thought alone scares me more than anything else. I nod at the EMT and hold her hand a little tighter, my other hand going to her belly and rubbing it once before closing my eyes. As soon as we arrive at the hospital and get her out of the ambulance, they run us down the hall towards an operating room that I hear a nurse say is already prepped and waiting.
“I’m here, baby. Everything’s going to be okay,” I tell her, seeing her nod as tears begin to form in her eyes.
“It’s going to be okay,” I repeat as the bottom of the gurney she’s on slams through the door ahead of us.
“Sir, I’m sorry, but you’re not allowed past this point,” a small woman wearing scrubs says, wrapping her hand around my arm.
“That’s my wife and kids,” I growl.
“I understand, sir. I’m sorry, but until I get the okay from the doctor, you’re not allowed,” she says calmly.
“Go get the f**king okay from him then. My wife is in there alone. I promised her—” I hear the break in my voice and try to swallow it down. Sophie’s back there by herself and scared, and there is nothing I can do for her.
“As soon as they get her prepped for surgery, I will talk to the doctor. For now, why don’t you come with me and get changed. That way, you’re ready if you’re allowed to be with her.” I immediately follow the nurse into another room, where she hands me a stack of clothes. “Just put these on and I’ll be back in a few minutes,” she says quietly.
I jerk up my chin and start pulling on the baggie scrubs over my clothes and then slip the shoe covers over my boots before taking a seat. I don’t know how long I’m in that room alone, but I know I pray more in that time than I have in my whole life.
“Sir, you can come with me.” I look up to see the nurse standing in the doorway. I get to my feet and follow her out of the room, down a well-lit corridor. “Now, when we get in there, you need to stay near her head unless instructed differently.”
I nod and follow her the rest of the way in silence. Once we reach the end of the hall, she grabs my arm and leads me into the room. Everyone is moving around quickly while people yell back and forth to each other around her. When my eyes land on Sophie, my stomach drops. She’s lying on her back, her head the only thing I can see. Her hair is covered, and they are getting ready to put an oxygen mask over her face. I pull my arm free from the nurse and go to her.
“Hey, baby.” I bend down, breathing her in.
“You’re here,” she croaks out.
“Nowhere else I would want to be.”
“All right, Mr. and Mrs. Mayson. Are you guys ready to have some babies?”
I look across the blanket at the doctor, whose cheerfulness relieves a little bit of the claustrophobic tension that’s been building inside me since I heard Goose barking.
“You ready, baby?” I run a finger down her cheek. She nods and closes her eyes. “We’re ready when you are,” I tell the doctor.
“Then let’s get started,” he says before disappearing behind the curtain.
The nurse comes back over, bringing a rolling chair for me to sit on. I thank her and put my face near Sophie’s.
“All right, you’re gonna feel some pressure, Sophie,” I hear the doctor say above the beeping of the monitors.
“You okay, baby?”
“Yeah.” She nods, squeezing her eyes closed.
“There we are! We’ve got baby number one,” the doctor says happily.
I want to stand and look over the curtain when a loud cry fills the room, but instead, I sit there, not breathing, holding Sophie’s hand.
“Okay, Mom and Dad, baby number one is a girl.” I smile down into Sophie’s face, quickly drying the tears starting to fall from her eyes.
“Just a quick hi so I can get her cleaned up,” the nurse says, bringing our daughter over to us.
“She’s perfect,” I whisper to Sophie, looking at our little girl, seeing her cute little face and headful of dark hair.
“Let’s go get you cleaned up,” the nurse coos before taking her away.
“You’re doing great, baby.” I smile down at Sophie, so f**king proud of her.
“Okay, Mom and Dad, we’ve got baby number two, and she is a pretty girl as well! I’ll let you see her after I have her checked over,” the doctor says.
“Two girls.” I laugh, looking down at Sophie, who looks worried. “You did great, baby.”
“What?” I ask before pulling the mask away from her face so I can hear what she’s saying.
“Everything’s okay, baby. You and the girls are okay.” I kiss her before putting her mask back in place and smoothing her hair away from her face.
“Two girls… Can you believe that?” I ask her, shaking my head. I certainly can’t.
I smile when I see a small one forming on Sophie’s face, and I’m so happy to see that smile again. At that moment, a second cry fills the room, forcing me to let out a long breath. All three of my girls are alive and healthy; nothing would ever matter as much as that.