Dear Holly: You Were Born on April 24, 2016!

Newborn.

Dear Holly: You Were Born on April 24, 2016

Dear Holly,

You have finally arrived- and the world rejoices! Two days ago on April 24th, 2016; you were born after less than 3 hours from the time we checked in at the hospital. You were born weighing 7 pounds, 5 ounces and, exactly like your brother Jack when he was born, you were 20.5 inches long.

Because of how quickly things transpired, Mommy amazingly ended up giving birth to you without having to induce labor or have an epidural; instead, she just had the Nitrous oxide; also known as laughing gas.

Dear Holly: You Were Born on April 24, 2016

You were born with slightly wavy, light brown hair with blonde highlights. And I couldn’t help but notice you have the most beautiful eyes, which clearly came from your Mommy. (The current consensus is that your eyes are blue, by the way.)

Everyone who meets you instantly falls in love with you. I will never forget the moment I got to hold you and kiss you on the forehead saying, “Daddy loves you.” It was so emotional for me that I couldn’t cry.

Beyond emotions.

Dear Holly: You Were Born on April 24, 2016

And obviously, your brother Jack is smitten by you. You are like a stuffed animal that suddenly came to life.

Thank God, you are here and you are healthy. All the many doctors who have seen you so far all simply tell us the same thing: She’s a perfectly healthy little girl.

Even though there was concern from some of the midwives a few weeks ago about you being underweight, you still ending up being born 7 pounds, 5 ounces.

Dear Holly: You Were Born on April 24, 2016

You have been such an easy baby so far. When you cry, it’s so soft and it’s actually kind of funny.

Based on what I’ve seen in these past (less than) 48 hours, I get the idea you are going to be a low-maintenance baby.

It’s okay that you waited 4 days after my birthday to be born. We still get to celebrate our birthdays the same week, for the rest of our lives.

You are here. Wow.

I love you so much!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: You Were Born on April 24, 2016

Dear Holly: I Want Mommy to Go into Labor Tomorrow Night

39 ½ weeks.

Dear Holly: I Want Mommy to Go into Labor Tomorrow Night

Dear Holly,

Here we are, 3 days before your due date on the 21st, and just 2 days before my birthday on the 20th. So you can imagine what I want to happen:

I want you to be born on my 35th birthday.

For that to easily happen, Mommy needs to go into labor with you late Tuesday night (the 19th) and then you can be born on Wednesday (the 20th). Even if Mommy has a long labor with you like she did with your brother Jack (20 hours), you would likely still be born within the 24 hour time frame of April 20th.

The stars are aligning for this to take place. Today begins Mommy’s 4 month maternity leave; plus, Grandma (Mommy’s Mommy) flew in from California late last night.

Therefore, Mommy has so many reasons now to finally be able to relax…and have a baby!

And that brings up another reason it be nice for you to be born on the 20th; Grandma specially had her flight moved up by 36 hours to help ensure she got here before you did.

Even if you’re not born on my 35th birthday, our birthdays will still be close so I’m happy about that either way.

That’s the way it was with Nonna; my own Mommy was born on April 11th, just 9 days before my birthday.

So ultimately, even if you’re not born on my birthday… you, me, and Nonna will all have April birthdays!

The strangest thing happened today on the home when I stopped to get gas. The lady across the pump from me asked me to help her unscrew the lid on her portable gas container. I then complimented her on her Honda Fit; which I want to be my next car.

As we were talking, I mentioned that “my wife is about to have our 2nd child in a few days.”

She immediately responded with a confident smile, “Your wife is having a girl?”

With amazement, I said, “Yes… but how did you know that? Did I already tell you?”

She told me she just could tell; even though she was just looking at me. I hadn’t show her a picture of Mommy or anything. I guess it’s even further fascinating that she followed up with, “And your first born is a boy.”

While I started to imagine she might be an angel walking among us, she told me she is a school bus driver named Darlene. She said she’ll be looking for me on my way to work each morning now, since her route is the same as mine. Her bus number is 69, so I’ll be on the lookout.

We are so happy and so ready for your arrival! While the whole labor process is obviously on the chaotic side, it’s something that Mommy and I are officially looking forward to now.

I am ready for our family to grow, by about 7 pounds… hopefully on Wednesday.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Mommy is Feeling Miserable Right about Now

38 weeks.

Dear Holly,

Dear Holly: Mommy is Feeling Miserable Right about Now

With your due date being just 2 weeks from today, I get asked by other people on a daily basis how Mommy is feeling.

I always answer honestly and directly:

“She is feeling miserable; as I suspect most women do when they are 8 and a half months pregnant. She can only sleep for a few hours at a time, she’s getting contractions, and she either feels too hungry or too full.”

As much as I hate to see Mommy in discomfort, I have assurance in knowing these are all good signs that you are healthy and growing inside her tummy.

I’ve asked her if she would prefer you be born a few weeks early, but she reminded me that’s not ideal because Grandma (her Mommy) doesn’t fly in from California until the 16th, which is 5 days before your due date in 2 weeks

So if you were to be born early, it would be nice if at least Grandma is here to help. Granted, Nonna and Papa are on call and can be here within about 3 hours too.

I feel that mentally, both Mommy and I are ready for your arrival. I personally am not nervous or anxious about it.

This isn’t our first time to have a baby, so we’re better prepared this time around.

I’m at my worst when I don’t know what I’m doing. But when I am trained on it, no matter how challenging the situation, I can live in confidence knowing I have authority on the subject.

With your arrival, I will not feel like a bumbling idiot trying to figure out what to do. I feel I will be able to appreciate the whole experience that much more.

Obviously, you’re a girl, so there will be new material for me to learn. But as for the basics, I doubt I’ll be in major culture shock.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: The Concept of Getting Sleep While We Still Can

34 weeks.

Dear Holly: The Concept of Getting Sleep While We Still Can

Dear Holly,

While I know good and well there is no such thing as proactively making up for all the sleep I’m going to lose when you are born, by sleeping more now, I still attempted it anyway.

Last week when Grandma was in town from California, Mommy and I were able to get to bed by 9:00 each night, since Grandma sped up our nightly routine. With her doing dishes and cleaning up afterwards, it added an extra free hour to our night; which we as the parents used for sleep.

However, this process simply reinforced to me how I am physically wired: I get more exhausted when I get 8 hours or more of sleep every night.

So for a week, I slept much more than I’m used to: I usually sleep about 6 and a half hours each night.

That extra 90 minutes per night was not a good thing for me.

This week I switched back to about 6 hours of sleep per night, and now I feel great!

I feel so well-rested, energized, and aware of life. I am in a great mood. Whereas last week with all the sleep, I was so groggy.

So while I obviously recognize that my sleep schedule will be greatly reduced when you are born next month, and it will remain that way for months to follow, I’m actually basically ready for that chaos.

As for Mommy, her sleeping needs are different than mine. She can’t function like I can if she goes to bed at midnight; she’s often falling asleep by 9:00 at night anyway.

In the end, there’s no true way to prepare for the sleep we will lose when you are born, but it’s no big deal.

I’m not worried about it. I’m just glad you are healthy and going to be here shortly.

Love,

Daddy

P.S. You are 34 weeks old in the womb this week… while I’m 34 years-old outside of the womb.

Dear Holly: Your Newest Sonogram Pictures

33 weeks.

Dear Holly: Your Newest Sonogram Pictures

Dear Holly,

This week our family went to Mommy’s newest check-up at Vanderbilt; even Grandma got to go with us because she is in town right now from California.

To our surprise, one of the newest sonogram pictures was 3-D. Your brother Jack immediately responded as we all saw the picture for the first time, up on the giant TV monitor:

“That picture is creepy. It’s an old rock man.”

While it’s always great to see new pictures of you, the most important thing is that the technician confirmed you are looking real good. In other words, you are a healthy baby.

We have prayed every night as a family for your health. So we didn’t take it for granted to hear that you are doing well.

On a lighter note, the technician explained to us that your butt is up high at the “top” of Mommy’s baby bump; which explains why Mommy keeps getting poked in her right side, that’s your elbows and hands.

Plus, she confirmed you are (still) a girl. I admit that Mommy and I had doubts in the backs of our minds that we might be that family who learned they were actually having the other gender baby.

But no, we won’t have to be repainting the room or changing out your wardrobe. We specifically asked the technician, and she officially confirmed, “Yep, it’s still a girl inside there.”

Dear Holly: Your Newest Sonogram Pictures

Speaking of your bedroom, with Grandma in town, your room is a little fuller.

There is now a really cool lamp that perfectly matches the hair ribbon holder, which also matches the bird decals on the walls.

And I obviously am proud of the outfit Mommy picked out for you this week: Daddy’s Sweetheart.

We now officially can say you will be born next month. April 21st is just 7 weeks away.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Your Newest Sonogram Pictures

Dear Holly: You Technically Traveled Back in Time 2 Weeks

31 Weeks.

Dear Holly: You Technically Traveled Back in Time 2 Weeks

Dear Holly,

This week Mommy went in for another check-up.

Mommy told me the appointment went well and the shot wasn’t that bad. Interestingly, she was only up 2 ounces from her last weigh in. (Her coat must have weighed more than she thought from the last weigh in).

She told me the nurse who draws blood and gives shots is the best one and Mommy told her that as well!

Mommy has an ultrasound scheduled in less 2 weeks (March 1st)  when her own Mommy will be visiting here in Tennessee. During this appointment, they will determine whether the placenta has moved up. (Plus, I can get extra confirmation you truly are a girl.)

This week when they measured Mommy’s stomach, they said it’s measuring around 28 weeks which is a few weeks behind, but the midwife said it should be okay—that makes us wonder if you will be a May baby after all. (Your due date has been April 21st this whole time.)

So with this week’s appointment taking place on Tuesday while you were still 30 weeks old in the womb, and today making you 31 weeks old, that means you are measuring 2 weeks behind.

The way I see it, you technically traveled back in time 2 weeks.

On March 1st for the next appointment, we can also get another confirmation you are indeed a girl.

The reason for doubt is that so many people who have seen the way Mommy is carrying you, say she looks like she’s carrying a boy.

I’m looking forward to seeing the new sonogram pictures too. I’m sure I’ll see how you still look like Mommy.

Oh, and you are constantly moving around inside Mommy’s tummy. I can’t hug her without feeling you kick me! You are so active.

We’ll be meeting you in about 2 months now. We are so excited.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: The One-to-One Parent-to-Kid Ratio When You Get Here

29 weeks.

Dear Holly: The One-to-One Parent-to-Kid Ratio When You Get Here

Dear Holly,

There will be quite the celebration when you arrive in about 11 weeks. It’s so exciting to see new packages at our door every couple of days: new outfits for you, as well as diapers and wipes…

And even that double stroller a few weeks ago. This weekend your brother Jack enjoyed testing it out.

While he is excited, he’s also getting anxious about the changes that will happen when you are born.

Here’s what I predict will happen. For the first several months, I think he and I will naturally team up, to balance out the fact Mommy will be spending so much time taking care of you as a mother does for her newborn.

There will be a one-to-one parent-to-kid ratio for the first time in our family.

That’s actually fine by me. First the first year and a half of your brother’s life, I was by default the 3rd wheel. It was undeniable.

Jack was needing so much of Mommy’s attention, both physically and psychologically, that I often just felt like the silent chauffeur and custodian.

Socially, I didn’t really feel that needed.

I feel that won’t be the case in April.

Jack will depend on me as someone to keep paying attention to him on a constant basis, which as an only child up until this point, is something he’s accustomed to.

My plan is simply this: I’ll do whatever Mommy needs help with for you, but really, my main job as a parent for the first several months will be to help your brother Jack transition into his role as big brother.

As for you and I, if this is anything like it was for Jack and me, then you won’t really think I’m that big of a deal until you’re about 15 months old. Until then, I’ll mainly be a blurry figure with a deep voice.

I’m okay with that. I know what to expect.

It’s a matter of respecting everyone’s role and place. Mine will be your brother Jack’s shadow until you are able to become more physically independent, but that will be a while.

Love,

Daddy