The next couple weeks had gone quickly and it was the day before Thanksgiving. Sidney and the Pens had a game and then they would be heading to New York for their game the day after. Karen was a little saddened that he wouldn't be home for Thanksgiving dinner with both their parents but knew it was one of those trade offs for being married to a hockey player. The team was going to leave after the game and Karen hated saying goodbye when this year, they each had a lot to be thankful for.
On Friday, Karen and her mom, Britnie, Trina and Taylor all braved the crowds and went shopping on Black Friday for all the sales. They all got a lot of good deals and Karen even bought Sidney a new laptop for Christmas since his other was getting old. When they finally got home and found something to eat, the phone rang and Karen smiled knowing it was Sidney.
"Hey yourself sweetie, it's Dr Kelley."
Karen started laughing when she realized it wasn't Sidney "I'm so sorry, I thought you were Sidney."
"I could tell" she said laughing on her end "I wanted to call and see if you could come by the hospital today."
"Why? What's wrong with the babies?"
"Karen, I need you to stay calm. I will explain everything when you get here ok?"
"Yeah, I'm on my way" she said franticly.
"Baby, what's wrong?" Karen's mom asked.
"I don't know. Dr. Kelley just said that I need to come by the hospital today."
"Did she say why?" Trina asked.
Karen shook her head and ran to grab her jacket "let me go with you baby girl" her mom said grabbing her jacket as well. Trina yelled to call and let them know what's going on as they left. Karen's mom drove because Karen was a little to wired to handle the road. Twenty minutes later, they pulled up to the hospital and parked the car with Karen running inside and up to Infant ICU. Dr. Kelley saw her running towards her and stopped her before she ran into the room.
"I'm here, what's wrong?"
"First, take a couple deep breaths. Second, I didn't mean to panic you. There's nothing wrong, look" she said pointing to the window.
Karen looked through the window and saw her son and daughter off all the machines and moving around out of the incubators. "I don't understand, are they....?"
"They're fine and wanted me to call you to come pick them up to take them home."
"What?" Karen said crying.
"After they were breathing on their own, we tried some different meds on them to speed up everything else. They got stronger everyday and they've been out of the incubators for two days now. We needed to make sure they were perfectly fine before I wanted to call you."
Karen heard everything she said but couldn't stop staring at her babies "I can take them home" she said more of a statement rather than a question.
"Baby, this is happy news. You can take your babies home today."
"What do I need to do to take them?"
"Just sign these papers and they're yours to take."
"Um, I don't have clothes or carriers to take them" she said as she signed her name.
"Don't worry about that. The nurses all chipped in and bought two outfits and you can borrow a couple carriers from the hospital and bring back later."
"I can't let you guys do that. I can run home get their clothes and carriers and be back."
"Karen, don't be silly" her mom said "take the outfits given to them and you can bring the carriers back tomorrow."
"You're right, I don't want to leave knowing they can come with me now."
"Well they are yours for the taking" Dr. Kelley said looking at the papers "but if you suspect anything within the first three months that you're not sure about, please don't hesitate to call me."
"I think we'll be fine but I will let you know if anything happens." Dr. Kelley just smiled and left them alone. Karen and her mom walked into the room and the tears started to fall again as she saw her babies so lively and moving around. She went to pick up Sidney, holding him to her heart "oh my baby boy, mommy's here. And my baby girl..." she said taking a hand away to rub Trina Nicole's stomach "daddy is going to be so happy when he comes home tonight and sees you in your cribs. Are you guys ready to go home?" Karen heard them coo and smiled through her tears that they were telling her yes. She put Sidney down and one of the nurses gave Karen the two onesies to put on them as she went to get the carriers and blankets. Karen laid Sidney back down and changed his diaper first before getting him dressed as her mom did the same to her granddaughter. The nurse came back with two carriers and two blankets, as they got them settled inside and covered them up. They were each given a knit hat and karen put them on their heads so the cold air wouldn't get them sick. Karen hugged the ICU nurses and thanked them for taking great care of her babies before her and her mom left to head home. They stopped at the store and her mom ran in real quick to get some extra diapers then they headed home.
Trina had heard a car pull up and ran outside with Taylor to see what was going on "I thought you would call Karen."
"I would have but I had a couple more packages to pick up" she said bringing out one of the carriers as her mom got the other one and they walked to the front porch.
"Oh my God, is that? Are those?"
"Mom, it's Sidney and Trina Nicole."
"I know that Tay, I'm just so shocked to see them here."
"That's what the emergency was, they were ready to come home" she said stopping for a brief second before they all went inside. Karen got the blankets off them so they didn't get too hot inside the house and picked up Sidney as Trina picked up her namesake.
"Can I hold one of them?" Taylor asked.
"Which one do you want to hold?" Karen asked her.
"I want to hold Sidney first."
"Ok, come sit down first" Taylor sat down beside Karen as she handed off her son "make sure you cradle his head with your arm and put your hand on his legs and just cradle him in your arm with the other supporting the one."
"Oh wow, look how small he is."
"He'll get bigger. It was a little cramped in there for both of them so they had to share the room."
"Here Karen, take your daughter."
"You can hold her for a while Trina."
"I'll get a lot of other chances Karen, believe me."
Karen took Trina Nicole from her mother-in-law and sat back looking at her daughter "I can't believe they are finally home."
"Are you going to tell Sid when he calls before the game?" Taylor asked.
"No, I think I'm going to surprise him when he comes home tonight."
"So that means you can't say anything to dad when you talk to him before the game either mom."
"Yes Tay, I know." They all sat around and took their time holding the babies and talking.
An hour before the game, Karen put the babies back in their carriers to take them to their room "here you go" she said showing them the room "your dad and I made it look like you guys are at center ice since you'll pretty much be the center of attention" she laughed at herself. "See all the people around you to watch over the two most beautiful babies in Pittsburgh." Karen and Sidney had painted the room to look like the inside of Mellon Arena. Their cribs were side by side on one wall by the players bench. Karen had painted two jerseys slung over the boards and all you saw was Crosby written on the back of them. She had also stenciled the outlines of a crowd on all walls as if they were on the ice. Sidney had gotten a rug specially made to look like the ice with all the lines painted on it, with the Penguins logo proudly in the middle. Sidney had his parents bring down the nets from the basement of their house and the one he had outside his house in Nova Scotia. They were able to put a dresser in each of them and on the opposite walls. Karen laughed the day they brought them home for knowing when they got older that room would be turned into a play area.
She set the carriers down and got each one out and placed in their crib. Karen watched them play around with the mobile over their heads before they settled down and fell asleep. She turned on the monitor and took the walkie talkie back downstairs with her. As soon as she got down there, the phone rang and she looked before answering.
"Hey baby. I miss you so much."
"I miss you too. Wish you were with us for dinner yesterday."
"I know but Billy's parents made a huge Thanksgiving dinner for the whole team, so we ate pretty well."
"That was nice of them."
"Do you know what I was silently thankful for?"
"Hopefully me and our children."
"It was. If I was home yesterday, we could have gone to see them."
"Well, we can go see them tomorrow when you're home."
"Like you could keep us away. I hate to cut this short, but warm ups are in 15 minutes."
"Ok. Have a great game and I'll be watching."
"You better. I love you."
"I love you too. See you when you get home tonight."
"Ok." They hung up and Karen settled in to watch the game with her mom, dad, Trina and Taylor.
When the game was over, Karen's mom invited Trina and Taylor to stay with her so when Sidney got home, they could have some family time together with the babies. They left and Karen cleaned up before checking on the babies and going to her bedroom and changing, laying in bed with a book. She wasn't all that tired yet and it was apparent, neither was her children. Karen went into the nursery and saw Trina Nicole awake and whimpering. She felt her diaper and changed her before sitting with her in the rocking chair. She figured she was probably hungry and tried breast feeding her. To her surprise, she took to her nipple and began sucking. Karen wondered if she would ever get to experience this bonding and was happy it was happening.
Sidney got home, it was about 2a. He quietly went inside thinking Karen was in bed and asleep but when he got upstairs he noticed the light on in the nursery and peeked inside the room.
"Hi daddy" she said holding up Sidney's hand to wave at him.
"What the fuck?"
"Language please, we have our children home now."
Sidney walked into the room shocked and looked in the other crib seeing Trina Nicole sleeping soundly then went and knelt down beside the rocker "how....when....why...."
"You forgot 'who and what' there. Stop and think about the sentence you want to ask" she said smiling.
"How did this happen? How are they home?"
"Dr. Kelley call me this morning and told me to come to the hospital. Of course I was panicked but when I got there, they were out of the incubators and alive and alert. I got to bring them home with me."
"Why didn't you tell me when I called earlier?"
"Because I wanted to surprise you."
"Is Sidney ok? Why do you have him?"
"I got done changing and feeding Trina Nicole and then this one woke up so I had to give equal treatment you know. He just got done eating a few moments ago."
"Don't get to comfortable with those breasts baby boy, they belong to daddy" he said lightly touching his head.
"Are you seriously laying claim to my breasts when they need them for food right now?"
"Just laying down the ground rules."
"Here, take your son" Karen said handing him over "cradle the head" she told him as he took him into his arms and looked natural holding his son. "It's like you were born to be a father."
"I know, it just seems natural holding him."
Karen got up and checked on Trina Nicole and turned to just watch Sidney with his son. Her eyes began to tear up when she realized at one point, this almost didn't happen. She moved when she saw him walk towards the crib to put him down "he fell asleep." Sidney rubbed his stomach and then looked into the other crib at his duaghter "hey baby girl, daddy's home." Trina Nicole moved a little and fell back asleep as Sidney kissed his fingers and put them on her head, lightly stroking it before wrapping his arms around Karen and holding her as they watched their children sleep for a little bit then headed to bed themselves.