Another guest post. You thought I was slacking but here I was doing all of this writing. This one is for a very good friend who is, as you are reading this, knee deep in dirty diapers and the exhaustion of recently having his 2nd child. Seeing as how his hands will be a little full, he asked if I could write something for him. I had this brewing for a while and because he will be welcoming his 2nd baby, I thought it was a good time to finally write this post. Check out the post on his site and check out his site and maybe wish him congratulations (or good luck): Diaper Dads
I know I’ve told you all about the day you were born. How your mom and I went to the doctor’s for her last check up, only to be sent directly to the hospital because she was in active labor. I know you’ve heard the stories about the flat tire we got pulling in to the hospital’s parking lot (and how I went out and changed the tire with your grandfather). How we waited all day long for you to come. I’ve told you how Mommy acted so “funny” towards Daddy (depending on when you read this, I’ll explain to you why funny is in quotation marks…like if you’re over 21). You’ve heard all the stories about that July night when you were born.
But there’s something I didn’t tell you. Something I think you should know.
I never told you how worried I was to be your dad. Not because I was worried to be a dad. I had already spent 3 years with your sister. Three years of hugs, kisses, and cuddling. Three years of being pooped and vomited on. Three years filled with trips to the doctor, occasional emergency room visits, and dirty diapers. I was exhausted and had a perpetual smell of sour milk and Desitin. I had the dad thing down pat.
What I was worried about, in the three years with Hannah, I had given all of my love to her. The moment I held your sister for the first time, she owned my heart. And now, as your mom was lying in a hospital bed looking like some sort of high tech marionette with all the wires and machines attached to her and trying her best to breathe through the contractions, I was moments away from having another daughter who would require all of my love too. So I worried. I worried because I didn’t know how I would be able to do share that love (leave it to your father to think of this as your mother was in active labor and not 5 or 6 months before that when it could be discussed).
See, your mom was preparing to pass an eight pound human being through her; she had enough on her plate, so she was no help. Your grandparents were giddy with euphoria about your impending arrival and wondering if department stores would give them bulk discounts for all the clothing they were planning on buying for you. It should go without saying, they were no help either.
So I sat next to your mom and in between breathing with her and hyper-ventilating slightly, I kept worrying. I didn’t want to be a parent who shows favorites. I didn’t want you to grow up thinking, “Dad loves Hannah more than me.” I wanted to be able to love you both with all of my heart. I wanted you to know both you and your sister would occupy the same amount of space in my heart. But how?
Then, at 8:40pm, on July 19th, 2005, you were born.
The nurses sucked, squeezed, stretched and weighed you then wrapped you in a blanket and gave you to your mom and me. When I was finally able to pull you away from your mom, I held you in my arms. Your curly hair was matted down on your head and your eyes closed. Your pudgy arms instinctively tried to wrench free of the blanket the nurses wrapped around you that fit you like a wetsuit. I knew there would be no issues, no problems, and no worries about being able to love you as much as your sister.
Why? There is no definable reason that will make sense to you until you are a parent yourself. Sufficed to say, there are no limits, no boundaries, and no edges to the love a parent has for their child or children. Something I didn’t understand until that moment on July 19th, 2005. All my worrying was for nothing because the moment I held you in my arms and introduced myself to you, I was yours. You owned all of my heart. You…and your sister. Forever.
I just wanted you to know that.
I love you Emma Jolene.