“Any news?” he asked.
I shook my head in reply. Stringing two words together, in that moment, was impossible.
I’m not sure how long we stayed in that room, but it seemed like a damn eternity. Eventually we were put out of our misery when the doctor finally came in to talk with us. The pure relief I felt when I was told both Indi and Eve had survived, and were doing well under the circumstances, was indescribable. Thank-fucking-Christ.
Unfortunately, we weren’t out of the woods yet. Eve was born four weeks premature. She was immediately admitted into the neonatal unit. The nurse led me in to see Indi first. She was understandably upset. She was still in recovery after the emergency caesarean. Indi urged me to leave her to be with our daughter. She hated how she was on her own. To be honest, so did I.
I didn’t like the idea of Indi being alone either, so I was grateful Ross stayed with his daughter while I was taken to see mine. Indiana was just as worried and upset about our little girl as I was.
Nothing has changed between us over the years. I still craved her comfort in that moment, just as much as she did mine. Together, we were unstoppable. She will always be my strength … my rock … my air.
I’ll admit, when I saw how tiny Eve was, I broke down. She was beautiful, but nothing like the healthy, chubby boys Indi had given birth to in the past. I felt an instant love for her nevertheless. If not more so for the predicament she was now facing. She looked so fragile. It tore at my heart. Seeing her like this set off a fiery protectiveness inside me for some reason. In that moment, I knew I was a goner. Like her mum, I’d never be able to deny her anything.
Nothing was ever going to happen to my little princess while she was on my watch. That you could be sure of.
I slid my hand through the opening in the humidicrib, gently placing my finger against the palm of her tiny hand. I needed some contact with her. Anything. I needed her to know she wasn’t alone. When her little fingers clenched around mine, tears clouded my eyes while love and admiration surged in my heart. She was a fighter like her mum. She was going to be okay. She just had to be.
“Daddy’s here, baby girl. Everything’s going to be alright,” I whispered in a reassuring voice. “I won’t let anything happen to you, I promise.”
For the next few weeks, that was our life. One of us was always by Eve’s side. Indi did the days, and then would go home to be with the boys. I did the night shift. Neither of us wanted our little girl to ever feel alone. Fuck I missed sleeping next to my wife though. We’d never spent so much time apart. I was definitely having withdrawals.
Indiana would breastfeed Eve during the day, and express the milk into bottles for me to give her at night. We were lucky she was only four weeks premature; if she could get through the next few weeks, there was a minimal chance of any complications in the future. The main concern was her lungs and her weight. The nurse informed me it’s in the last month of pregnancy that a baby’s lungs fully form, and they gain their body fat. That explained why she was so tiny when I first saw her.
I was exhausted, but like Indi, I was prepared to do whatever it took to see our daughter get through this. I missed my boys, my wife, LJ and the life we had before the unfortunate circumstances we now faced, but she was here, and like her mum, she was a survivor. I took great comfort in that.
Indi and I would only get to see each other for half an hour or so during our shift changeovers, but we both knew as parents it was a short-term sacrifice we needed to make. Our little girl was worth it.
Eve was getting stronger with every passing day. It was now only a matter of time before we could take her home and get back everything we once had. A carefree happy life.
She was gaining weight daily, but she was still tiny. The boys are tall for their age. I can tell they’re going to have the same build as me when they’re older. Jaxson looks a lot like Indi, whereas Levi is the spitting image of me.
Eve, however, is the complete opposite. She’s going to be small and petite, just like Indiana. I know it. She even has her mum’s cute little button nose and full lips. She’s going to have me wrapped around her little finger just like Indiana does. I’ll be putty in her hands … I’m afraid I already am.
Two weeks later we got to bring her home from the hospital. It was a great day for the Reynolds family. My girl was healthy and exactly where she needed to be— with us. I was back in my home … my castle, with my wife, my three beautiful children, and of course LJ.
Jaxson and Levi adore their baby sister. Between the three of us boys, I know she’ll always be safe. That thought gives me a tremendous amount of comfort for some reason.