Authors Note: Thank you to Jasmine Garden who works so hard at editing my chapters for me! I know that even from the other side of the world I am annoying!
It's Cooper's two week birthday and we are so excited to take him home. Hayley and I have lovingly nicknamed him, Super Cooper! He has put on weight, breathing issues due to prematurity have subsided and now he has been given a clean bill of health.
Smith, my long term security, has arrived from a quick trip to our home, transporting the remaining gifts and flowers. We have been inundated with gifts by friends, family and work associates. We were even sent freebies from companies wanting their product, to be photographed with us and our baby however we have chosen to donate these items to charities and have no interest in selling photos of our child, to the highest bidder.
I gently lift my sleeping son from his hospital bassinet, making sure that his little head is fully supported and buckle him, securely, into his newborn car seat and check that he is fastened securely. My son's great-Grandparents, (my grandparents) gave us this invaluable gift that locks into both a stroller and a car seat base. My Grandfather was beside himself with joy, when I told him that we had named our child after him. I double-checked that Cooper is in safely fastened, in his seat. We have waited so long for this special gift and I am refusing to take any chances with him.
"Is he still sleeping?" Hayley asks softly.
"Yes," I respond, admiring our child. I take out my camera, ensuring the flash is off and take the one millionth photo of him. "Cooper's first ride in his carrier," I say, making Hayley smile. She comes over and I wrap my arms around her.
We hear a knock at the door and Smith enters. "Everything is set. The car is in the private Doctor's Parking Lot where there is no media access, so we can leave unseen, " he tells us. His news is a major relief to us all.
"Thank you, we won't be long," I tell him. Smith nods and walks outside. We had managed to divert the media for three days, but then rumors started to surface and it became necessary for a press release.
Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.
Contact: John Samuels For Immediate Release
On November 7th, Theodore Raymond Grey, Vice President, Grey Enterprises Holding, Inc., and his wife, Hayley Thompson Grey, welcomed their first child, Cooper Carrick Grey. Although born four weeks prematurely, Cooper Carrick weighed a healthy 4 pounds and 8 ounces, measured 19 inches long, and continues to thrive. The family requests that the media use discretion and give the family privacy. Mr. and Mrs. Grey will not be issuing official photos for foreseeable future.
This is the first grandchild for Christian Grey, CEO, Grey Enterprise Holding, Inc., and Anastasia Grey, CEO, Grey Publishing and for John and Mary Thompson.
The Grey and Thompson families would like to extend their heartfelt thanks for all the congratulations and well wishes and to Dr. Greene and the staff of NorthWestern Hospital.
We all decided not to release the fact Phoebe, had delivered Cooper at home. It would have greatly increased the public's interest and attention, which we wanted to avoid. Protecting my precious bundle of joy was paramount!
"I am ready to go home. I have been getting cabin fever," Hayley says. She looks at our son lovingly and we can't get rid of the smiles on our faces.
"Nothing would give me more pleasure than to take you home with Cooper, but first, there is one thing I have to do," I tell her. I have been wondering, what on earth I could give, the woman I love, who has given me the most important things in life, Love, life and a child. Nothing can match these wonderful gifts, but I felt the need to do something. I grab a small box and I can't help, but smile.
"Hayley, this is for you. It doesn't come close to what you have given me for the past ten years that we have been together, past four years that we have been married, the last few years we tried to have a baby, and the eight months you carried our child, the last two weeks we have spent as a family, and the rest of our life that I look forward to," I tell her, lovingly looking into her eyes. I kiss away the stray tears that dare to run down her impeccable face. "Open it."
She carefully opens the box, to reveal a Cartier platinum locket on a thin and delicate chain. She opens the locket, to reveal a picture of Cooper that I had sent over to the jeweler on one side. The other side is engraved 'Thank you for the greatest gift. Forever yours, T.R..G.'
"It's beautiful. Can you, put it, on me?" she asks. I am instantly excited, as Hayley has always been a little uncomfortable, when I have given her expensive pieces of jewelry. I fasten the latch and she turns around.
"Its looks more beautiful on you," I tell her, then kiss her. The only other time, I was as happy as I am now, was when we got married, but now I feel whole. "Come, let me take you both home. I lock the baby carrier into the stroller, checking it twice, and push it out the door. Hayley follows behind, pushed in a wheelchair, per hospital regulations.
Smith escorts us to the private parking lot and we get into the SUV. Hayley and I sit on either side of Cooper, both of us watching him intently and ensuring he is okay. I take another photo. "Baby's first car ride," I tell Hayley and she just laughs.
When we exit the parking lot, we see the media, but are able to avoid them. Either way, the dark windows and the capsule mean it would not be possible to photograph our baby. Cooper closes his eyes and sleeps the rest of the way home, as does Hayley. I sit and watch them both sleeping, unable to take my eyes off them. I wish I could tell Hayley how much I love her and how thankful I am. She has gone to hell and back to have our child, and has compromised her career to raise our child. Now, my number one objective in life is to protect, provide and ensure both their dreams come true.
The second we arrive home, Cooper wakes up and cries. "He is probably hungry," Hayley states. She takes him out of his carrier, holding him close. We enter our living room, which seems to have already been partially transformed, with a battery operated baby rocker, play gym and a series of newborn toys, all presents from my Sister and Michael. I run into the baby's room and retrieve the feeding pillow, I had custom-made and sized for Hayley's comfort and support.
"Relax Ted, I have been doing this for two weeks," she tells me. I wish I could, but I feel the need to make sure that everything is perfect, for my family. "I will try. Is there anything I can do?"
"I need a large glass of water, it's essential for producing milk," she tells me. I get a large, cold glass of water, place it next to her and sit to watch my wife feed our son. It is so natural, comforting and peaceful. Afterwards, I take our son, burp him and change his diaper.
"Okay Super Cooper, time for sleep," I say, swaddling him in a baby blanket and placing him in his crib. I watch Cooper fall asleep and turn on the baby video monitor. I take the receiver with me and watch it, making sure he is okay. We did consider putting the crib in our room, but the nursery is next door to our room and I want him to get adjusted to his surroundings.
It is 1am in the morning. Hayley has fed Cooper. I have changed, burped, rocked and even sung to him, but he is just not falling asleep. The second I put him down, he screams.
"Here, let me try," Hayley says. I pass Cooper to her, but no such luck.
"Why don't you go back to bed? There is no reason for us both to get exhausted and you are more tired. He will have to crash, sooner or later," I tell Hayley.
"Fine, but then you need to sleep during the day," she says. I kiss my perfect wife and she leaves the room. I don't want her to be overtired.
I sit down on the rocking chair, in the nursery and start to rock softly. Cooper yawns, but his eyes are not closing.
"So little man, I can tell you are tired, but your eyes are not closing. It's very late. The sun went down a long time ago, so here, outside the womb, that is supposed to mean we sleep," I tell him. He looks at me and I can't help but just smile. Even at this hour, with my lack of sleep, I think he is just so perfect. "So, since I am awake and you are not willing to sleep, what do you want to talk about? I could tell you all about the world of mergers and acquisitions, if you like and maybe one day you can come and work with me, just like I did with your Grandfather".
I suddenly feel a pang of guilt. Wait, am I already planning my son's whole life, even though he is only fourteen days old. "But you don't need to, if you don't want to; there are lots of options in life. You can do anything you want," I tell him. I relax instantly, knowing that I have not put undue pressure on him. Hang on, he doesn't even know what I am saying. Have I made my first parental mistake? "I am so sorry Cooper, but your Daddy is likely to make lots of mistakes. I will try to keep them to a minimum, but I can't promise. I do promise to make sure you are looked after and cared for. Your Mommy and I, have been waiting for you, for years and you are perfect. I will make sure that you have every opportunity you could imagine and you are so loved. Your Grandparents, great-Grandparents, Aunt Phoebe and all of your family, are so excited. They are coming over tomorrow, for lunch. Aunt Mia has made a big cake. You will love her. She is full of life and a little naughty as is your Aunt Phoebe," I grin, as I realize how much I am blabbering on.
Just then, Cooper coughs three times and his face turns bright red. His breathing seems strained, though it calms, but it worries me instantly, especially when it happens again. He was born with a few breathing problems and maybe they haven't really cleared up, like the doctors said. It's 2:00am now, but I decide to call my Grandmother, like my parents did when we were sick. I know she doesn't practice anymore, but she is still a brilliant and well informed doctor.
I get my cell phone and call my Grandparent's house phone, next to their bed.
My Grandfather picks up the phone. His voice is strained, obviously from having been woken up, in the middle of the night.
Ted: Grandpa, it's Ted. I am sorry that it is so late, but I really need to talk to Grandma. I think there might be something wrong with Cooper.
Carrick: I will wake her.
I can hear my Grandfather, waking my Grandmother.
Grace: Ted, what is wrong?
Ted: Cooper's breathing seems to be strained. He has been coughing.
Grace: Is he still coughing?
Ted: No, but it has happened twice and each time, his breathing is strained afterward. I am really worried. What if, he is in bed, does it and can't breathe right, he might choke.
Grace: I think it is unlikely.
Ted: But it could happen. Can you come over and have a look at him? I will send a car over, to pick you up.
Grace: No, that's fine. Your Grandfather will drive me. We will be there shortly.
Ted: Thanks, Grandma. Bye, see you soon.
I hang up, thankful they are coming over. I feel badly, but I don't want to take any chances. Maybe I should have contacted Phoebe, but she has little experience with newborn babies. My Grandparents arrive quickly, dressed in their robes and night clothes and I put Cooper down on the table, with a thick blanket underneath him. My Grandmother checks his vitals, listens to his heart and watches him. Finally, he has fallen asleep.
"Ted, he is fine. I have listened his breathing: it's excellent, and the lungs are clear. His pulse is steady and he is reacting appropriately. Go and put him in his bed," My Grandmother tells me. She has wrapped him up and I place him in his crib. I go back to see my Grandparents and find them sitting on the couch. When they see me, they laugh a little.
"Sorry, I know it is really late, but when I saw his face go so red and then his breathing again..." I sigh loudly and flop down on the couch.
"Don't worry about it. Your Dad use to do it all the time. It is normal for first time parents to worry," My Grandmother tells me.
"Well, I guess I need to convince Phoebe to specialize in Pediatrics now. This way, I will have two family members to call late at night." They both laugh, but I am serious. "It is really late, why don't you both stay? I can have fresh clothes brought over for you two, tomorrow and you can just hang around, until everyone is here for lunch."
They both look at each other and shrug. "Also, it would just make me feel better, knowing you're both here."
"Alright Ted," My Grandfather says and I show them to the spare bedroom. I go to bed feeling a little better.
I wake up at 8am and turn over. Hayley is sitting up, in bed, feeding Cooper. "What time did he wake up?" I ask.
"Only ten minutes ago. He woke up at 4am for a feeding, but then went straight back to sleep." I still feel a little tired, but I am so grateful for these few weeks off. We suddenly hear some voices and I remember calling my Grandparents, last night.
"That sounds like you Grandmother," Hayley says, curiously.
"It is my Grandmother," I tell her and then proceed to tell her about last night, my overreaction and calling her to come over. Although I know in retrospect I overreacted, I couldn't help it. Hayley giggles at me.
"Stay here and do not move," Hayley has a familiar look in her eye that I do not see so often. I watch her get off the bed with our fully fed son. She softly burps him and leaves the room. Gosh, I don't think she has ever been sexier, than she is now and I can feel my body react.
Five minutes later she returns, minus Cooper. "Is Cooper asleep?" I ask.
"Your Grandmother and Grandfather have him downstairs. They are playing with him before he falls asleep and will put him in his rocker." Hayley is now removing her robe, slowly, at the end of bed." I love how you look after Cooper, and me. I know that I don't need to worry, because I have you."
"So you're not upset, that I called my Grandparents?"
"No, I think you need to let off some steam, to relax. I think I know exactly how to do that," she says, pulling down my pajama pants. My body reacts quickly. "Pleased to see me, are you?"
"More than you know. It's been a long two weeks."
Hayley straddles me, after removing her panties and I quickly remove her bra. Hayley's breast have swollen due to breast feeding, but are so soft. I grip them both hard and a few drops of breast milk drips. I rub the tips in her nipples intrigued.
"Taste it," Hayley whispers. I flip her over, so she is lying on her back. I place my lips around her nipples and suck. I desperately want to I place a couple of fingers inside her, but I know I can't. It's only been two weeks since she gave birth.
"I so want to go inside of you. These four weeks are going to be very hard, "I tell her.
"Then let me ease some of the pressure for you." Hayley gets up and drops to her knees. I feel her lips around me and instantly, I start to feel relief.
After showering and getting dressed, we both go downstairs, where we find Cooper, sleeping peacefully in his rocker. My Grandparents are sitting down, having breakfast and are dressed. I am glad that they got a change of clothes so early.
"Good morning you two. Ted, you look better than you did earlier this morning," my Grandfather tells me, with a smirk. They know what we have been doing, but who cares; I am feeling better.
"Has Cooper been alright? Has he coughed again?" I ask inspecting my son again.
"Yes, he has been perfect," my Grandmother says now, sitting next to the rocker. I go over and check that he is warm enough, much to the amusement of my Grandmother. "Ted, it is natural for new parents to worry, your Dad did with you and Phoebe. He often asked me to come over, for instance, when he couldn't get you to burp or sleep. He was beside himself, when you actually had your first fever. It was a good thing I was able to get over to the house in time, or I am sure your Dad would have rushed you to the children's hospital"
My Grandmother did actually make me feel better. Maybe Phoebe was right, maybe I am becoming more and more like my Dad, every day.
The whole family turned up and by 3pm, we were all sitting together in the living room. We had all enjoyed a delicious lunch and Cooper was fast asleep. We were all engaged in minor conversations when Phoebe speaks up, getting everyone's attention.
"So Michael and I have been talking, and we want to host a New Year's Eve party this year. This is the first New Year's I have been able to spend at home, for four years, so I really want to do something special." Phoebe then hands out envelopes to everyone. Hayley and I open the invitation.
Dr. Phoebe Grey and Mr. Michael Fuller
request the pleasure of your company
New Year's Celebration
on Saturday, the thirty-first of December
at eight o'clock in the evening
11905 Lakeside Drive
Black Tie R.S.V.P.
I take note of the address, and notice the party is at my Grandparents' address. "You not are having it at Escala?"
"No, I requested that Grandma and Grandpa let us use their place, so there is more room to move. We are going to have it inside, as the weather at that time is awful. Also Grandma and Grandpa here are going to be in Portland for a few days beforehand, so we are going to stay there and get a few things ready," Phoebe explains.
"Part of this deal also is that we don't go into our home, before 6pm that day, So Christian and Ana, we may intrude upon you both that day," My Grandpa tells us. My Mother's smiles and nods, but my Father is eying-off Phoebe and Michael.
"Dad, I know what you are thinking and I am not trying to be rude by keeping Grandma and Grandpa out of their house, but we just want to do this by ourselves. So, you all need to keep the night free, or cancel whatever plans you have." Wow, it actually seems as if Phoebe is ordering everyone around.
"How many people do you have coming?" Dad asks.
"We are inviting about 60. We only want family and close friends," Phoebe tells us.
Michael and I leave Ted's house, hand in hand, "Everyone seemed to like the New Year's party idea. They are going to be rather surprised, you know."
"Yes, I know. It will be one to remember!" I respond.
I know I didn't reveal where Phoebe and Michael both went but that makes up part of the next chapter. In the next chapter I will jump a few weeks to new years eve... so looking forward to writing it.