Dearest Hannah Rose,
Twenty days ago, you were born – while no one ever remembers themselves being born into this world, I hope that when you get to read this, it helps you learn about this very special day – I’d prefer that you hear it from my lips, with all the feelings that went along with every moment we had; this is here, so that in case you want to keep coming back and read about it, you’ll know where to go, and you know that I wrote it down not just for me, but also for you. But I would really prefer to be the one to tell you.
Tell you how I broke into tears as I heard your first cry, and how your mother shed tears when your nurse put you on top of her chest to be with you for the first time.
Tell you how worried we were that you had to be taken into the NICU due to respiratory distress, despite the best attempts of your nurses to tell us that it was purely for precautionary reasons to help you acclimatize to your new surroundings.
Tell you how painful it was for me to watch them try and put in IV lines on your hands and feet, and how painful your cries were at each attempt.
Tell you how each visit your mother and I had to your room at the NICU gave us the perspective of how lucky we were that you only needed a few hours there, seeing how dire and precarious the conditions of other newborns in the NICU were.
Tell you how each and every doctor, nurse, respiratory therapist, and support staff cared for you and helped us be prepared to take care of you when you were finally brought out of the NICU and over to our postpartum room.
I’ll do my best to hold on to the details of this special, special day – the day you made our family complete.
This was the day that your mother and I fell in love again – we loved you from the very moment we knew we were going to have you, but that love takes off to a whole different level when you’re there for us to have and hold.
P.S. – Thank you, Kaiser Permanente, for preparing us for the whole childbirth experience – for preparing me enough in your classes to be in that room the whole time, to be able to hold my wife’s hand with every contraction, count up her pushes with every contraction, see the slow but steady progress of our little one come into our world, and to cut the cord.
I’ll always be thankful for this experience as I know it further enriches our marriage, being the one there for my beautiful one in her time of pain, to help her manage her anxiety and fears. I truly believe that my right to be called a father was earned not just during our little one’s creation, or in our child’s care after birth, but in the whole process being my wife’s support during pregnancy, preparation for delivery, actual delivery and postpartum. To be a father and a husband means to care for both mother and child and not just provide for them materially.