Karlsson on daughter's early birth: 'It was a really scary feeling'

Ailish Forfar
NHL Editor
Erik Karlsson and his wife Melinda welcomed a baby girl back on October 3rd. (Getty)

Fans will recall the confusion shrouded in Erik Karlsson’s late scratch before San Jose’s season opener in Las Vegas on October 2nd for ‘personal matters’.

The next day all was clear after a post by the assistant captain announcing the birth of the couple’s first child, a baby girl named Harlow Rain Karlsson.

The Sharks defender shared more about Harlow’s birth with The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz, including the true fears and joys of those unexpected 24 hours.

Melinda was scheduled to undergo a Caesarian section almost two weeks later on October 15th, but she called Erik before the game in Las Vegas and said “I think you probably have to get home. They said we’re going to have to (deliver the baby)”.

Erik immediately headed to the Las Vegas airport and flew back to San Jose where his wife was set to give birth five weeks early on a standard-term pregnancy of 40 weeks.

“It was stressful, especially since she wasn’t supposed to come at that time and everything,” Karlsson told Kurz. “But you know, (the doctors) did a good job in letting us know that (Melinda) was doing OK and we just needed a few hours to prepare everything and make sure that everything went accordingly. But yeah, it’s a scary feeling.”

Adding to the couple’s fears was the fact that Melinda has what Erik explained to Kurz as a “rare disease” which required her to take blood thinners throughout the pregnancy, causing them to wait another 12 more hours before the doctors could operate to reduce “the risk of her bleeding out”.

Plus, the devastating loss of the Karlsson’s son Axel who was stillborn a month before his due date on March 21, 2018.

They were uneasy until the moment they heard their baby’s first scream.

“It was a really scary feeling until she finally came out,” Karlsson told Kurz. “(Until) you could hear (the baby) scream, that’s true fear. That’s real fear, not knowing if everything is OK or not.”

“But that fear changed to excitement and joy as soon as you realize that everything is OK. It was a cool thing to experience. We’ve all been scared before and we’ve all been happy before, but this was a different animal to experience that.”

Born at five pounds two ounces, Harlow needed to stay at the hospital for another two weeks before the couple could finally take her home last Thursday. After that time, Erik added that she is doing very now.

“She just needed a little bit of help on the way, but now she’s off to the races.”

In what could be a touching tribute to their past, the Karlssons gave Harlow the middle name Rain. In the photo caption that Erik posted for her birth he mentioned, “it hasn’t been easy but after the rain finally our little rainbow arrived.”

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