“See, baby? They’re already showing off. Listen to those lungs.”
“Okay, girl number one is four pounds and seven ounces and seventeen inches long. Girl number two is four pounds and three ounces and sixteen inches long,” one of the nurses yells from across the room.
“They’re so small,” I whisper and watch across the room as a nurse puts one of the babies in an incubator.
“Why are they putting her in that?” I ask, my heart starting to pound.
“Her O2 level’s a little low, but that machine will help bring it up.”
“Are they both okay?”
“Twin number one is doing great, and twin number two needs oxygen but looks great otherwise,” the doctor says, calming me.
“Baby”—I look down at Sophie—“we really need to give them names. I think they may get upset with us if we refer to them as twin numbers one and two for the rest of their lives,” I tell her, trying to change the look of worry I see in her eyes.
I move the mask away from her face again, and she answers, “Willow and Harmony.”
“Those are perfect.” I kiss her forehead.
“Are you mad you didn’t get a boy?” she asks with genuine concern.
“How could I be mad when I have two beautiful girls?”
“I can’t wait to hold them,” she says softly.
I look down at my daughter, Harmony, who’s been sleeping quietly in my arms for the last hour. Her sister, Willow, is still in ICU being monitored. They said that it’s just a precaution; they were worried about her oxygen levels. I’m willing to do whatever is necessary for her to get healthy so I can take all my girls home. Sophie is still out of it from the drugs they gave her for the C-section. She’s been asleep since they brought her into this room.
I look over at Sophie and can’t believe that it was just a few hours ago I was worried out of my mind, not knowing if she or the babies were going to be okay. After Sophie was brought into the room, I went out and saw my family to let them all know that she and the babies were doing great and I would call them the next day when they could come by for a visit. They were all worried, and as much as I wanted them to meet my girls, I didn’t want anyone near them yet.
“How is she?” I look up from Harmony’s sleeping face to her mom’s beautiful eyes.
“And Willow?” Her voice cracks, and I hate that she’s upset.
“She’s fine, baby. The doctor said she should be in here with us by tomorrow morning. They just want to monitor her for now.”
“Can I hold her?”
“Of course you can. Let me lay her down so I can help you.” I carry Harmony over to her bed before going to Sophie to help her sit up, adjusting the bed and pillows around her. Once she’s comfortable, I bring her Harmony and watch as tears fill her eyes.
“She is perfect.” Her eyes meet mine, and this time, they’re smiling.
“She is, and so is her sister.”
“I can’t wait to have both of them with us,” she whispers.
“I can’t believe how much I love them already.” She traces a line down the center of the baby’s tiny nose. I nod; I can’t talk with the tears clogging my throat.
We stay close the rest of the night, and the next morning, when they bring Willow in, I lose it completely. Seeing my wife holding each of my girls to her breast while they feed is a moment I will never forget. I can’t believe how perfect my family is. My girls are both gorgeous. Harmony has dark-brown hair like her mother, and Willow’s hair is dark blond like mine. We won’t know what color their eyes are for a while, but I pray they’re brown with golden flecks like Sophie’s.
“I want you to sleep for a while, baby. I’m gonna have a nurse help me take the girls out to meet everyone while you rest.”
“They can come in here,” she says quietly, looking down at the girls, who are both sleeping.
“No way, baby-mama. You need your rest, and I know if we stay in here, you won’t sleep.”
“I don’t want to miss anything,” she complains with a pout.
I smile then bend forward, kissing her. “I won’t let you miss anything. They’ll probably sleep the whole time anyways.”
“Okay, but if they smile or do anything cute, you need to take a picture.”
“Promise.” I press the call button for the nurse so she can help me take the girls to see my family.
I carry Harmony while the nurse carries Willow into the waiting room. Everyone is excited to see both of our girls, but with the babies being so small and Sophie being out of my sight, I want to get them back to the room as fast as possible. I don’t know how I’m going to stand going back to work. I don’t even like to think about not seeing them for any length of time.
“Where’s your wife?” the nurse asks when we walk into the room.
I look at the bed expecting to see Sophie there, and it takes a second to realize that she’s not in bed. The blankets are half on the floor, and the bed they brought in for the girls is pushed to the side. My heart starts slamming into my ribcage when I see that the bathroom door is open, letting me know that Sophie isn’t in there either. I walk to the bed, pressing the call button before pulling out my cell phone and calling Kenton.
“We’re just getting in my car. You need me to bring you something?” he asks as soon as he picks up.
“Sophie’s not in the room. I need you back in here. Now,” I tell him, trying to stay calm. Something isn’t right.
“What do you mean she’s not in the room?”
“Exactly what I just said. Get back in here now.” I hang up.
“Did you need something?” a second nurse wearing bright pink scrubs asks, stepping into the room.
“Do you know where my wife is?” I ask, not wanting to hear the word ‘no’ come out of her mouth.
“She’s not here?” she asks, looking at the nurse holding Willow then around the room before walking into the bathroom and turning on the light.
“Get security for me,” I growl impatiently.
“Yes, of course,” she mumbles, looking worried. She leaves the room, and I look down at Harmony then over at Willow.
“Anything?” Kenton asks, coming into the room.
“I’m waiting for security to get here before I go look for her myself. Do me a favor and take Willow.” I motion for him to take my daughter from the nurse, and he does immediately. “Go check and see what’s going on with security,” I tell the nurse, and she nods, leaving the room quickly.