Last Thursday was a day Erik Karlsson and his wife Melinda never will forget.
After a two-week stay in the hospital, Erik and Melinda finally got to bring their daughter, Harlow Rain, home. It's been a big help to the Sharks defenseman, especially his sleep schedule.
"My wife's good with that. She's doing the heavy lifting," Karlsson said about his wife getting up to be with the Harlow, via Curtis Pashelka of The Mercury News. "I can get my sleep and be able to do what I need to do for my profession. It's nice to have the family home."
Harlow was born a five weeks earlier than expected, with Karlsson having to fly home before the Sharks' season-opener against the Vegas Golden Knights to be with Melinda as she prepared to give birth to their daughter at the 35-week mark of the pregnancy.
Harlow spent two weeks in the hospital, so doctors could monitor her, but she finally got to come home Thursday. Bringing their little girl home without complications was a weight off both Erik and Melinda's shoulders. The Karlssons suffered a horrible tragedy in 2018, when Erik revealed the couple had lost their son, Axel, a month before he was supposed to be born.
Thankfully, all is well with the newest member of the Karlsson family.
"When something good happens, you want to be able to bring her home right away," Karlsson said, via The Mercury News. "We wanted to make sure she was OK. We were fine with that. It's not the most fun to be at the hospital all day long, but when I was home, I was there.
"But my wife was there way more than I was, obviously. It just takes a toll. Just nice that we can be at home now and we can figure our own stuff out."
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Karlsson and the Sharks haven't gotten off to the best start on the ice, amassing a 3-5-0 record through the first eight games.
They'll look to right the ship starting Tuesday when they open a five-game East Coast road trip against the Buffalo Sabres.
With Harlow and Melinda back at home, Karlsson feels better about focusing on the ice and is excited about the prospect of parenthood.
"It's great, Anybody with kids knows it's a lot of work, a lot of it obviously falls on my wife and she's doing a great job with it," Karlsson said. "We're new parents, so we're going to have to figure things out.
"We've getting lots of help from people around here that have that experience, people at home. But at the end of the day, we're going to figure out our own things and what works for us. We're excited about that."