Joey just sat there, his whole body shaking. He didn't know what to do. Moments ago he was happier than he had ever been in his life, and now, he just felt so scared and helpless, knowing he couldn't do anything for Phoebe. It was killing him not knowing what was happening or whether or not she was going to be ok. He just wanted her to be ok so they could take their baby home and be a family, like they were supposed to.
Hearing his name, Joey looked up, seeing Monica, Chandler, Rachel and Ross coming towards him from down the hall. They all looked excited, expecting happy news. He didn't know what to tell them.
"So how'd it go, man?" Chandler asked. Joey just stared down at the ground, unable to answer him. Their smiles dissappeared when they noticed the state he was in.
"Joey?" Rachel said, sounding concerned. "Honey, what's wrong? Is the baby ok?"
After a moment, Joey swallowed hard and wiped his eyes as he slowly rose to his feet.
"The baby's fine..I think. We, um...we had a boy. But Phoebe's...she's..." Joey took a shaky breath. "I don't know what's going on... She had to have a C-Section, and...and something went wrong, and they...they won't tell me what's going on, they just sent me out here and.. I just.." he stopped himself as he started to choke up.
No one said anything for a moment or two. They had never seen him so upset before. Rachel put her arms around Joey's shoulders. "Oh, Sweetie..it's ok!" she said, giving him a hug.
One by one, they all gathered around him in a group hug. They just stood in the hall like that for a minute or two, not saying anything. Every one of them was scared for Joey and the baby. Scared that they might lose one of their closest friends. Even so, Joey was glad they were there, and that he didn't have to go through this alone right now. It was times like this he was really grateful to have such close friends.
A moment later, Joey saw Phoebe's doctor came around the corner, and he rushed over to talk to him. "Dr. Turner! How is she!?"
"Mr. Tribbiani, I'm afraid your wife lost a lot of blood during the operation.." Dr. Turner began. "She's very weak right now. We've given her a blood transfusion, which could stabilize her condition, if her body doesn't reject it, but the next few hours are going to be critical. We're doing everything we can at this time.."
Joey shook his head. He wasn't satisfied with the doctors answer, and knowing that he was going to have to wait even longer to know if Phoebe was going to pull through.
"Look...that woman means the whole world to me. And..and we have a baby now! If she..." Joey paused, trying not to break down again. "Dr. Turner, you cannot let anything happen to her!"
"I promise that we're doing absolutely everything we can for her." the doctor said again. "This is a common complication with Cesarian section births, and I can assure you she's in good hands."
Joey let out a sigh, knowing that all he could do now is wait. These next few hours were going to be hell to get through.
"What about the baby?" he asked.
"He's doing fine." Dr. Turner assured him. "From what I'm told, he's very healthy. You can see him if you'd like."
Joey nodded. "Yeah, I would."
"Alright, I'll have the nurses bring him to your room, and I'll be sure to keep you updated on your wife's condition. I'll let you know if there are any changes."
Dr. Turner turned around to go back into the operating room, and Joey turned back to his friends, who had heard everything the doctor said.
"Hey, um..do you guys mind if I go alone to see the baby? You guys can see him afterwards, I promise." he said.
"Yeah, of course, Joe." Chandler told him, patting him on the shoulder.
Monica gave him another hug. "Be strong, Joey. We'll be right out here if you need us."
"Thanks, guys." Joey said.
A few minutes later, Joey was in the room where him and Phoebe were supposed to stay tonight after the delivery, waiting for the nurses to bring the baby in. He sat down in a chair next to the empty bed. He so badly wished that Phoebe could be here during the first few hours of their son's life.
He could hear a baby crying somewhere outside the room, and then two nurses came in, with what looked like a plastic bassinet on wheels.
"Hi, you must be the father of this little guy!" One of them said. "We've just measured him and weighed him in. 6 pounds, 4 ounces. That's a fairly decent size for a baby born so early. He's very healthy, and very beautiful! congratulations."
Joey gave a half smile as he got up. "Thanks." he said, already proud of his son. He noticed the baby was still crying.
"He's a little fussy right now, but I think he'll settle down after his first meal. Would you like to try feeding him?" the nurse asked Joey, who gave her a puzzled look.
"Uh...how am I going to do that? I mean, I don't have.."
The other nurse laughed. She had prepared a baby bottle, and handed it to Joey before she picked the baby up out of his bassinet. She wrapped him in a blanket and Joey sat down on the bed, as she placed him into his arms. He couldn't believe how tiny he was. He felt so light and fragile in his arms.
"We'll let you two get acquainted, and we'll be back in a few minutes to check on him, ok?" the nurse said, and they left the room.
Joey couldn't stop looking at the baby he was holding. He looked so different, now that he wasn't covered in blood. "Hey, little guy...Shhh, it's ok, don't cry!" Joey said. He tried putting the bottle in his mouth. The baby took the bottle and immediately went quiet, except for making a few little noises as he drank. He kept opening and closing his eyes, looking up at Joey. He seemed content in his arms, like he knew that he
was with his dad. Joey smiled. He reached down, putting his finger in his tiny little hand. It instantly closed around it.
"Quite the little grip you got there!" Joey said with a laugh. After a while, the baby closed his eyes, drifting off to sleep.
"You really are beautiful." Joey whispered to him. "Just like your mom. It's kinda hard for me to tell right now, but I think you have her eyes. You've got my hair, though." He touched the baby's full head of thick, dark hair which naturally stuck up at the ends, similar to his own hair. He noticed that he had already finished the bottle and set it aside. "I think you have my appetite, too." he said with a laugh. He carefully lifted the baby to kiss him on the forehead, trying not to wake him. "They said you were crying because you were hungry, but I think you just miss your mommy, huh?" Joey took a deep breath. "I miss her, too.." he said. The terrifying thought of taking him home without her suddenly hit him. He tried to remember what Monica said about being strong. It was the only thing he could do right now. "Hopefully you'll get to meet her, soon. You'll like her. She's so sweet, and pretty, and funny..she has the most amazing laugh. But I guess you already know that, I mean, you lived in her for 9 months."
A little while later, a nurse came back to check on him.
"Hey, uh, there's a group of four people outside in the waiting room, could you please send them in here?" Joey asked.
"Of course." The nurse said, and left. After a few minutes, the others came into the room. They gathered around where Joey was, looking at the baby.
"Oh my God, Joey, he's adorable!" Monica said. "Can I hold him?"
"Yeah, sure." Joey said, carefully handing the baby off to Monica. "Just...be careful. Don't drop him!"
Monica laughed. "It's ok, Joey, I raised two babies, remember?"
Rachel was looking at him over Monica's shoulder. "God, he's so tiny and cute!" she said. "Do you guys have a name picked out yet?"
"Nah..we haven't really decided on anything yet."
"I thought you and Pheebs both wanted to name your kid The Hulk?" Chandler said.
Joey smiled. "Yeah..we did consider it, but then I wanted to name him Spiderman and it just became a huge arguement, so we decided against it. " his smile faded as he was reminded of Phoebe again, and he sighed, sitting down in the chair.
Chandler, sensing his pain, sat down on the bed, across Joey while everyone else was still occupied with the baby. "Hey, come on, man. She'll be ok." he said.
"Yeah, what if she's not?" Joey said. "I just..I don't know if I can do this without her, you know? I don't know anything about being a dad.."
"Neither did I when the twins were born." Chandler told him.
"But you had Monica.." Joey pointed out.
Chandler reached over, putting his hand on Joey's shoulder. "Listen, I'm scared for Phoebe right now, too. We all are. But do you really think she'd want us to worry?"
"No.." Joey said, knowing Chandler was right.
"Things'll get better, Joe. You'll see." Chandler said, as he stood up and gave Joey a hug.
"Thanks, man." Joey said, and they went to go join the others. Just then, the door opened and Dr. Turner was there.
"Mr. Tribbiani, can I speak with you for a moment?" he asked.
Joey held his breath when he saw him, not knowing whether he was there to bring good or bad news about Phoebe. He wasn't sure he was ready to hear what he had to say. He stepped out into the hall and forced himself to look at the doctor, but he was unable to read his face to know what he was about to say.
"What is it, Doctor?" he asked, trying to emotionally brace himself.
"I just thought I'd let you know that the transfusion is going very well, so far. She's going to need a lot of rest, but we don't expect there to be any problems. You may even be able to leave here as early as tomorrow if all goes well."
Joey felt a huge sense of relief suddenly wash over him hearing those words. This was the best news he had ever heard. He was so happy that he hugged the doctor without even thinking about it. This was the man who had just saved his wife's life. "Thank you...thank you, so much, Doctor!" Joey said, stepping back. "Can I see her?"
"Your very welcome." Dr. Turner said with a chuckle. "And right now, she's in recovery. She's heavily sedated but you're more than welcome to visit her if you'd like."
"Alright, thank you." Joey said again, and went back into the room. Everyone was waiting by the door. They all looked at him when he walked in, anxiously waiting to hear what the doctor said and how Phoebe was doing.
Joey smiled. "She's gonna be ok." he said.
"Oh, thank God!" Rachel said. "I knew she'd pull through!"
"That's great news, Joey!" Ross told him. He was holding the baby, who was now awake, but he wasn't crying. Ross smiled down at him. "You hear that, buddy? You're mommy's gonna be all better! Yay!" He handed him over to Joey. "Well here, why don't you take him to Pheebs? I think it's about time they officially met!"
"Yeah, I think you're right. She's gonna be so happy to see you!" Joey said to the baby. He looked up at everyone. "Alright, I'll see you guys in a little bit."
The last thing Phoebe remembered, before everything went black was seeing her baby in the doctors arms, hearing his cries. Had that been a dream? Was the baby here? She slowly opened her eyes, and realized she was still in the hospital, but it was dark. No one was around. She struggled to lift her head, feeling so groggy and weak. Pulling herself as far upright as she could manage, she put her hand on her stomach, expecting to feel the bump that had been there before. She was suddenly awake when she felt that her stomach was flat. "Oh God..." she murmered. "Where's my baby!?"
She looked around the room in a panic. She saw that Joey was sitting in a chair next to the bed, and he seemed to have fallen asleep. He was holding what looked like a small bundle of blankets against his chest.
"Joey!" she cried out.
He opened his eyes, somewhat startled. "Hey, Pheebs! You're awake!" he said.
Phoebe was so confused. "Wha- What's going on!? Where's the baby?"
"He's right here, sweetie. It's ok." Joey said.
Phoebe looked at him, still confused. "What happened? How long have I been in a coma? What year is it?" she asked.
Joey laughed as he stood up. He sat down next to her on the edge of the bed. "It's only been a couple hours, Pheebs." He put his free arm around her, pulling her close to him, and kissing the top of her head. He just held her tightly for a few seconds. "I'm so glad you're ok, Phoebe." he said. "I would have woke you earlier, but the doctors said I should let you sleep. Here, you wanna hold him?"
Joey layed the bundle he was holding down in her arms. She looked down at him, speechless for a few seconds when she saw his little face. "Oh my God. He's..he's beautiful!" she whispered.
"Of course he is, he's got good-looking parents!" Joey said with a grin. He put his hand on Phoebe's face, looking her in the eyes very seriously. "Listen, Phoebe...you are never, ever allowed to scare me like that again, ok?" He said.
"..Ok?" Phoebe agreed, still slightly confused. She didn't realize the seriousness of what happened when she blacked out.
Joey smiled. "Good. Because I have never been so terrified as I was today, just thinking about not having you in my life." he leaned in closer, kissing her softly. "I love you so much, Pheebs."
"I love you, too." She said. She heard the baby making little noises and looked down, smiling at him. "God, he's so tiny and perfect. I already love him so much!" she said, running her hand over his soft hair. "We did a pretty good job reproducing, huh?"
"Yeah we did!" Joey said, putting his arms around her. He rested his cheek against her hair as he looked down at the baby. "I still haven't thought of a name for him yet.." he said.
"Well, I thought we agreed on naming him after you?" Phoebe said.
"Yeah...but, I was named after my dad, and I was thinking, it might get kind of confusing if there were three of us in the family." Joey pointed out.
Phoebe thought it over for a minute, looking at her son, and trying to think of what to call him. "Well, if we had a girl, I wanted to name her Lily, after my mom but.. Ooh, we could name him after Jackson!"
Joey looked at her, confused. "Who's Jackson?"
"He was the cop who showed up at our house to bag my mom's body, after she killed herself. Officer Edward Jackson. He was so nice. He bought me and Ursula ice cream on the way to the police station."
"Huh.." Joey said. He was reluctant to name his son after something attached to what he thought of as morbid, but then again, Phoebe had never really thought of her mom's death as morbid. More like a life changing event for her. Doing something slightly odd like this was pretty typical of her, and that was why he loved her. He nodded in approval. "I like it!"
"Yeah?" Pheobe said, grinning. She was glad Joey agreed. "I think it suites him."
"I think so, too." Joey said. He saw that Jackson was starting to fuss and cry all of a sudden.
"Uh oh.. he probably just needs a new diaper. Let me go grab one from the nurse and I'll change him. I'll be right back!" Joey said. He kissed Phoebe on the cheek and Jackson on the head before he left, even though he would see them again in a few minutes.
Phoebe smiled down at the baby, realizing that she had a moment alone with him. "Shh, it's alright, my love. Mommy's right here." she said, holding him closer to her and rocking him until he calmed down a little. "By the way, it's really nice to finally meet you. I know we didn't get a proper introduction earlier, because I kinda fainted...sorry about that. Sorry if I scared you. But I'm here, now. You know..I didn't have a mom growing up, and let me tell you..it was tough! I don't ever want you to have to feel that emptiness that I felt, so I promise that I'll try to stick around as long as I possibly can.. Unless, y'know, something happens to me, but I'll try to be extra careful from now on, and I definitely will not kill myself, because I wanna see you grow up, and I will always be there for you, no matter what happens, ok?" Phoebe bent down, kissing his forehead. "Your dad and I love you so much. We've loved you from the moment we knew that you existed. When you were just a tiny little..bean-shaped thing on a grainy ultra-sound screen. I think we're gonna be a pretty awesome family." she said with a smirk, as touched his hair again.
She felt the same sense of love and happiness that she did whens he was holding her brother's triplets for the first time. Only this time, she was even happier, because she knew that this time, she really could bring him home, and see him everyday. This baby was hers to keep.
A/N: Thank you so much to everyone who read and reviewed this, I hope you enjoyed it! I will be writing an epilogue to go along with it soon, so stay tuned! :D