In case you missed it, it all begins here with Part I.
Later on that morning, when it was finally daylight outside, Katy woke from a two hour sleep. Candy had told her to nurse her newborn every two hours and so far, Katy had woken up like clock work. Breastfeeding was going okay but it was harder than Katy had thought. Although, to be honest, she hadn’t thought about it much at all before today. Once again, it had been Julia who had done the research and told her breast was best, if at all possible.
Candy had shown her how to set up the pillows to help her out. “Don’t worry, by next week you’ll be a pro.”
“I hope so,” Katy said doubtfully.
Candy laughed. “Look, I’ve already stayed late just for you. Now I gotta go home and get Christmas ready for my two little ones. I’ve loved being your nurse.” Candy hugged her and Katy felt the tears jump into her eyes. “Don’t worry. Postpartum hormones are nasty. You’ll be crying all the time for the next month. It’ll go away. See ya!” And she’d been gone.
Katy had just put her daughter back in the bassinet and tied up her gown when she heard her phone on vibrate. She picked it up and checked for messages. There were two from Tyler and one from Julia.
She read Tyler’s first. “I can hardly wait to see you again. Let me know when I can visit.” The next said, “You’re amazing. Thank you so much for trusting me to be your birth coach/baby daddy. It was an honour.” Katy smiled. She knew he meant every word.
Julia’s read, “Be there after lunch. Get dressed this time.” Katy chuckled.
She texted Tyler back. “I’m alone till after lunch. Come any time. Hospitals are boring.” There was no reply for a few minutes so Katy set her phone down and closed her eyes. When she opened them again, Tyler was standing looking out the window with her baby cradled in his arms. He looked perfect, leaning down to gaze at her adoringly, wearing cleaner work clothes than she had seen him in the other day.
“Were you at work?” she whispered.
Tyler swung around and smiled. “Yeah, I’ve gotta go back soon but I took my lunch break now. Sorry, I was trying to keep her quiet but I think she’s ready to eat again.”
“Oh good, I was hoping she’d wake on her own. I’ve been having to wake her, but it’s been…two and a half hours? Did I sleep that long?” Katy slipped her gown off her shoulders and waited as Tyler unwrapped the baby. He lay her on Katy’s lap and gently shushed her squawks and grunts as she tried to stuff her fist into her mouth. Tyler took her hands and she wrapped her tiny fists around his thumbs, eyes suddenly wide open.
“Look at her. She’s beautiful, just like her Mama. What’s her name?” he asked, standing up and passing her to Katy.
“I don’t know. I was thinking…Hannah. Or Hope.”
“But your last name starts with an H. Do you like alliteration?”
“What about your name? Tyler Thompson.”
“Exactly! I hate it! Pick something else.”
“I don’t know, I need a baby name book or something.”
“What? You didn’t look at one at all when you were pregnant?” Katy shook her head and focussed on guiding her hungry daughter properly onto her breast. Tyler stepped back.
“Do you want me to leave?” he asked.
“No, no, I just can’t get this quite right.”
“K, grab your breast between your thumb and fingers and tickle her mouth with your nipple.”
Katy looked up at him with her mouth open. “What in the world? You’re a breastfeeding expert too? Get in here now!” Between the two of them, they got the baby latched and Katy sat back and giggled. “Man, this is weird. We haven’t even dated and you’ve already seen me naked. And touched my breasts.”
Tyler shrugged and Katy watched him blush.
“I can’t believe you’re embarrassed. Three sisters and I’ve finally got you. Mr. Tyler Thompson is finally speechless. I can’t believe that….” Before she knew it, Tyler took one long stride in and pressed his lips firmly onto hers.
He pulled back and said in a husky voice, “Shut up, beautiful Katy.” He kissed her again and she could feel her heart beat faster. Finally he stepped back and Katy looked down at her daughter, not sure what to say.
“Now who’s speechless.”
She glared up at him and stuck out her tongue.
“Heh, if you want, I’ll kiss you again.”
Katy smiled and stuck her tongue out again.
Tyler moved in close and before he kissed her, he said, “I love you Katy Haden, and I want to be with you. I know deep down in my bones that we were meant to be together. You, me, and this little one.” He kissed her tenderly for a few seconds, then moved his head back to look into her eyes. They were full of tears and he tenderly reached up with his thumb and wiped them on either side of her face.
“What do you say? Can I stay this time?”
Katy lowered her eyes and looked at her baby who had fallen asleep again. She popped her finger in her baby’s mouth and pulled her off her body. The baby started crying and Katy gently held her on her arm and rubbed her back.
“Here’s a test. How about you pick a name and if I like it, I’ll say yes.”
“What?” Tyler groaned. “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”
“And committing yourself to a girl you’ve know for 84 hours isn’t?”
“And what an amazing 84 hours it’s been. Don’t you think?”
Katy looked up into his dark brown eyes. She remembered the hours she had spent in labour, gazing into his calm eyes and how he had given her strength she never knew she had. Yes, it had been pretty amazing. Sitting at church and napping on his shoulder while the children had sung about the birth of the Baby Jesus. How he dropped everything to come help her out. Who else in her life had ever done that for her before? And her mother approved so that was an unexpected bonus.
“Yeah, it’s been amazing. Strangely, the best four days of my life, minus all the pain, of course.”
“Which I didn’t cause. And you wouldn’t have to go through again. Unless you wanted to, of course.”
“And not be able to have you at my every beck and call? I’d have you wrapped around my finger the whole entire nine months, Mr. Thompson,” she teased.
“True. You are pretty adorable when you’re pregnant.”
“Can I think about it?” she asked, but her heart was racing. What would he say? That last time she had asked another man to give her time to think, he had gone off the deep end and eventually left. She looked down and managed to get her daughter latched on by herself this time.
Tyler reached forward and tucked her hair behind her ear. “Of course. There’s no rush. I just wanted to get that out of the way before you threw me out of your life again.”
Katy stammered, “I, I’m sorry, I just….”
“Shhh, it’s okay. I was just teasing. Kind of. I hope you don’t send me packing again. So until you’re ready, I’ll be happy to wait here with you and your Christmas baby. Heh, what about Noelle?”
“Noelle,” Katy said as she looked down at her breastfeeding daughter. “Yes. Noelle. I love it.”
“Merry Christmas, Noelle.” Tyler bent down and kissed her head.
Then he turned to Katy. “Merry Christmas, Katy.”
“Merry Christmas yourself,” Katy replied.
It was the first time she had wished anyone a Merry Christmas that year and actually meant it.
Wow, that was sappy and if you know me at all, you know I’m not a sappy person!
If you’re curious as to what happens to Katy and Tyler or you want to know what Tyler’s pre-Katy story is, I happened to write it all out. I knew that Katy and Tyler would end up together. Obviously. You all knew it too. But after I finished writing up until this point a couple weeks ago, I couldn’t stop thinking about how things were going to turn out for them. So…I wrote another couple thousand words so I could play the story out. Just so I could know!!
Of course, I could leave it all to your imagination, which would be the wise thing to do. 🙂