Can you believe that we have 3 week old? It seems like yesterday that I was sending you a text message telling you that my water had just broke. I was so excited, and nervous, and all I wanted was you.
I don't know if words can adequately describe the thanks that I have for you. I could say "Thank you" a hundred times a day. I could brag about you to every person I see. I could do all these things and I still wouldn't feel like I had done enough.
Throughout our relationship you have always been the "strong" one. When something goes wrong, or something is scary or hard to deal with, when I am being a complete and total spazz, YOU have been the one keeping me grounded. You help me see reality and face facts instead of living in a fantasy world. At times we come to odds about certain things (cough, cough 'money' cough), but I know that you only want the best for us and for our family. That's who you are: a protector and provider of all that you hold dear.
Adeline's birth day was a game changer in our relationship though. Not only did it change us as individuals, but gone were the days of it just being "the two of us". I think I began to realize driving to the hospital that this was it. These were our last few minutes of Landen and Amanda. Yet even then, our thoughts were already turning to Landen, Amanda, and Baby.
I remember seeing your face when you pulled into the parking lot at school to pick me up and take me to the hospital. There was a sense of nervousness, a sense of excitement, and that same determination that you get when you know you have a job to do and the responsibility to do it right. I remember laughing on the way to the hospital because we hit every single red light and then had to stop for gas because we wouldn't have made it if we didn't. I remember how you were calmly and secretly keeping track of my contractions and when I started having some stronger ones you let me know that they were about 5 minutes apart. I thought to myself "wow, he's really on top of this".
When you dropped me off at the Dr's office and went to park the car, and I waddled upstairs, I remember you watching me the whole time you were driving away. You were right there waiting for me when I came out of the restroom and never left my side while I was being checked, rolled across the parking lot, and admitted into the hospital.
During the whole labor process you were my rock. You went from being squeamish about needles and all things bloody to holding my hand and talking me through both my IV and then my epidural. You watched my contractions come and go and stood by me during the more intense ones letting me know that they were almost over. Even when we weren't touching physically, your presence in the room was all that I needed to get through all the exams, pokes, and prods.
Even though I could tell you were anxious about what was happening, you never let on. When my heart rate and blood pressure started dropping and I was put on oxygen, you acted like everything was normal and that there was no cause for concern. When we started talking about a c-section and the fact that Adeline's heart rate wasn't doing what they wanted it to be doing, I caught a momentary fear in your eyes, but you never let me know it.
After being wheeled into the operating room, you were all I wanted. I remember asking them where you were and being assured you would be right in once they got me all prepped and ready. I remember thinking to myself how handsome you looked in your hospital attire and that I was so proud to see a camera around your neck! (Remember, I was kinda loopy, the thought that I was about to be sliced open wasn't really a big deal at this point.)
Hearing the sweet words "It's a baby girl!" couldn't have sounded any better coming out of anyone else's mouth. I am so glad that we got to have that moment.
I remember watching you take Adeline from the nurse like you were a seasoned pro. Gone was the nervous man who wouldn't hold a newborn baby for fear of causing some tragic accident. You held her like you had been holding babies your whole life. You watched them staple me back up and counted with them to make sure they didn't leave any foreign objects inside. You went through all the reflex testing before the nurses could to make sure that your baby girl was doing what she was supposed to be doing. You were a rockstar.
Telling our families together was an incredible moment. It made it even sweeter to see that our sweet baby girl is your spitting image.
In the days and nights to follow you completely knocked me off my feet. Between changing diapers (which you swore you'd never be able to do without throwing up, yet you changed your first one without any help from me or anyone else and without being asked), and getting up to feed her while I was having to supplement so that I could sleep, you showed over and over again that you were in this for the long haul. You continued to be my rock and yet when we found out about her Jaundice and her weight loss you had genuine concern and asked questions that I wouldn't even think of asking.
Those few moments after finding out that her jaundice has worsened and that she was still losing weight, when we held each other and cried and prayed for our little girl; I won't forget those moments. I won't forget how excited we were when they told us we could take Adeline home.
I won't forget the care that you showed me when we got home. Not only were you taking care of Adeline, but you made sure that I had everything I needed, both physically and emotionally. When I cried for absolutely no reason other than I needed to, you held me and talked me through it. When Adeline woke up at 2:00 in the morning you didn't even nudge me but got up, fed her and changed her and put her back down. You anticipated my every need and did it before I could ask. I don't think I would have made it through that first week without you. In fact, I know I wouldn't have.
I can honestly say, that I am more in love with you now, than I ever was before. Some can say it's a different kind of love, and perhaps that's true. I love the way you look at your daughter, the way you hold her, and the way you run straight to her as soon as you walk through the door. But I also love the way you look at me, the way you still ask me if I am feeling okay or if I need anything. The way you take the initiative to change her or feed her without being asked. I loved you as a man. I loved you as a husband. I adore you as a father.
I know that soon the newness will wear off, that the "honeymoon" period of parenthood will come to an end. But one thing I know will not change. My love for you will only continue to grow. I thank God for you every day and I hope that you can feel the love I have for you. I hope I am showing it to you each day.
I love you, period.