It’s strange for me to write a letter to you that you may read in a few years, but one which you won’t really grasp the full import of for maybe another 20 or so years into the future. I say that because while you can have some level of appreciation for the event of your birth that I’m about to describe, it just really isn’t one of those things that you can really understand and appreciate until you go through this experience and have your own first child.
The simple act of being the first born in our family, of course that carries enormous significance. The birth of any person is significant. However, if you look at the number of people in the world, how many are born every second all over the world, it somewhat diminishes the singleness of the experience. But, I’m pretty sure that there is something completely novel about the first born in a family because of the simple fact that it is the first time to ever occur in our family. That is what makes your arrival so truly awesome (using that word in its truest sense). Yours are the first diapers of any of our children that your mother and I will change. The sleepless nights we experience because of your being a newborn, that’s only entirely new when it is with you. Obviously every child we have will be exciting and wonderful in their own ways, but our firsts with them will only be their own, but in your case, your firsts are our firsts too. Not just firsts, but firsts ever. That is something really unique.
Anyway, I digress. The story of your birth goes like this…
Your due date was September 13, 2012, and except for a few aches and pains that your mother had, especially with her back, things really couldn’t have been much better. Truly we were so blessed with you. Without much to go off of, we thought you might come late, just because your grandmother Mary always came late with her children, but of course you had different plans than that. You spared your mother the pain of being pregnant longer than the due date, which is something that nobody ever wants to do. (Again, something you’ll appreciate more later down the road.) And like your mother, you were very punctual, coming the day before we expected you to.
Something we really hoped for with your birth was just for it to be a surprise. It seems like so many people have false alarms or end up getting induced, so we just hoped that it would be something like out of the movies where we absolutely know that you are about to come in a major way and make your first mark on the world. You did not disappoint in the slightest.
Your mom and I went to bed around midnight on the night of the 11th, as is standard fare for her and I, only to be woken up a couple hours later at about 1:50 by the bursting of her water sack. Until it happens, you just never realize how jarring it is to be woken up out of a dead sleep in the night by, "Oh my gosh, my water broke! This is happening!" It was just crazy, and to be instantly aware of everything that is going on at that time too. There was not even a second of grogginess, or trying to grasp the gravity or import of the situation. It was perfectly simple: We were going to be having a baby and you were most likely going to be born that day, September the 12th.
We left for the hospital right away, sent out some texts, and made a couple of phone calls to the people who would want to know first. People were sweet. Some were up at that time (Mike and Brian Walton, of course), while others were woken up by the text and couldn't wait to hear the progress (Elisha, your aunt, and my stepmother, Juliana), but most everyone was pretty unaware until the morning.
Progress was mostly pretty slow from that point. Amy was having contractions, and although the pitocin was stimulating the contractions to occur about a little more than a minute apart (which is pretty close together), she wouldn't fully dilate for awhile. Because she ended up getting an epidural, for us, that meant that we would just try and pass the time by taking naps, watching movies and TV, and eagerly waiting for your arrival.
Most of the day passed without anything really interesting happening. The contractions were consistent, the pain medication was working fine, so we just waited. And waited. Finally, a little after 5pm our nurse came back, saw that Amy was fully dilated, and told us that we could begin the delivery soon. Our room began to fill with people, and your mother started pushing.
The experience was just so fun for us. We found ourselves laughing frequently in disbelief; We just couldn't believe what was about to occur, and I guess that's just kind of how we react to things, which I think is a nice indication about the condition of our relationship, and how surreal that event was for us. She pushed and your head began to emerge. Everything just looks messy when you haven't seen that kind of thing before, but it was just so amazing to see everything unfold.
You finally entered into our world at 6:41pm. It turns out that your heart rate had been slowed because the umbilical cord had wrapped around your neck, and that prompted some of the procedures that followed, but it wasn't something to be really concerned about.
When a baby is born the medical staff will look for a few different things to make sure everything is okay. One of those signs is a good healthy cry from the baby. Not crying can be an indication that something is blocking the airways, but for you, once that had been cleared and everything checked out okay, you still wouldn't cry - not much anyway. You kind of whimpered a bit, cried some, but you calmed down so quickly. And that's kind of how you've been ever since you were born. You have such a sweet and mild temperament. Even when there are things that should upset you, you hardly stir a lot of times.
You've been with us now for a few weeks and so far the transition to having you in our lives has been easier than we thought it would be. It feels like we have had you our whole lives. I guess that's how a lot of these transitions can feel sometimes. You forget what life was ever like before that thing happened, but you're glad now that it's always going to be this way. That's how your mother and I feel about you at least.
Your birth and growth has been the highlight of our marriage to this point. We just love you more than we could ever express and we are so glad to call you our own. Welcome to this world, Jane. Your mom and dad love you so very much.