Staff Sgt. Skyler Cooper, a soldier in the Kansas Army National Guard, had been sending his wife messages, asking for updates on their growing family. But as Cydney started to text him back, he slipped into the room — with flowers, balloons and a giddy smile.
A video shows Cydney look at him, then cover her face and burst into tears.
“I looked up and there he was,” Cydney told The Washington Post on Wednesday. “I had been holding on by a thread. I saw him, and it just all went away. I got super overwhelmed, but I was also relieved. And incredibly happy. It was just pure shock.”
Cydney said her husband, who had been serving in Kuwait, had not even seen her pregnant with the twins — she had given him the news over the phone. She posted a video on Facebook in September, showing the other soldiers revealing his daughters’ gender to him with a game of baseball and what appears to be pink-powder-filled balls.
Cydney got the flu last month and went into labor seven weeks early — delivering their twin daughters, Emma and Kyla, on Jan. 24. She had been splitting her time between her new daughters, who were being kept in the neonatal intensive care unit, and the couple’s 1- and 3-year-old sons.
That’s why, she said, it was an emotional moment when Skyler returned home Feb. 5.
She said it took her several minutes to calm down enough to talk to him.
Cydney posted the video on Facebook, writing, "1 year of crazy, 1000s of miles, 1 solo pregnancy and delivery, 48392 Skype calls, some superheros, a few plane rides, 12 NICU days, tons of help from family and friends, and many tears later . . .
“A soldier came home.”
Skyler, 28, met his daughters for the first time — then went home to surprise his sons.
One video shows Skyler hiding outside with superhero figurines and popping out when the boys — Leighton and Corbett — come to the door.
Another video shows the soldier receiving an affectionate welcome from the family dog, Lucy.
Cydney said the twins are doing well and, as soon as they grow a bit bigger, will be going home.