Dear Milly,

I’m so tired right now, but at least I got to put together a good few hours of sleep.  I was dead to the world, which I know because people kept coming in every few hours in the wee hours of the night (or morning, technically) to check on things with your mom.

I did get up at least once though.  They took you to a room with a bunch of other newborn babies to take some blood from you for some tests.  You only cried a very little bit, and you weren’t all that loud about it when you did.  You’re tough, like your mom.

Speaking of your mom, she did so great yesterday and today.  We really wanted to give you a natural birth without any drugs.  She got to 7cm dilated (pushing for birth happens at 10cm) then nothing happened for hours.  They gave your momma an epidural at long last to try to help her relax, and after a while more when nothing was happening she was given some pitocin, which is supposed to increase contractions and move you closer to labor.  The contractions increased, but there was still no more dilating.  The doctor was doubtful that anything was going to progress in a timely manner, so he suggested, knowing full well that we wanted it as a last resort only, a c-section.

Your mom and I prayed and talked about it, and your mom finally felt at peace with going for it, so we did it.  You were born at 01:10 this morning at 7 pounds, 7 ounces and 20.5 inches long.  When I talked to your Pap this morning he said that I was 7-7 and 21, so you’re taking after me so far.

Speaking of taking after me, your mom loves your nose and thinks it comes from my side of the family.  I think you’ve got a lot of Horner traits, that is, from my maternal grandmother.  We’ll see.

I’m looking at you right now, all swaddled up.  Your little hat’s coming off and it’s exposing your thick, dark, dark hair.  It doesn’t seem as curly as it did last night, so we’ll see how that turns out.  When your mom was holding you a little while ago your hair reminded me of the way Stanton Pickens, one of your mom’s cousins, styles his hair.

You’re looking fitful right now.  I hope you’re not hungry because your exhausted mother just got to sleep.

We’re still debating on the particulars of your name.  We’re definitely calling you Milly as a nickname for some form of Melia.  I won’t bother going into the names we’re considering, but it’ll be an homage to at least two, possibly three of your great-grandparents plus my Aunt Robbie (whose middle name is Melia).

You are such a beautiful baby, and I really don’t think I’m biased in saying that.  You’ve got your mother’s skin tone, your hair is so pretty and dark.  You’ve got some chubby little cheeks (though they’re not Wicker cheeks) and a little chin and lips, tiny perfect fingers and toes….  I can’t really use words to say how beautiful you are.

You mom and I prayed over you last night in the operating room, once we got to hold you.  I thanked God for the gift that we know you are and prayed that he will guide us in raising you, that you would always be a friend to him and that he would watch over you and bless you all of your life.

Right now you’re feeding.  You wanted to just sit there for a few minutes without taking any action, but you’re doing well now.  Your mom looks angelic when feeding you.

What else is going on today?  Well, I picked a smoothie up for your mom, along with a muffin that I don’t think she’s touched yet.  She doesn’t really have her appetite yet.  I talked to a guy in the Leland Fire Department at the Port City Java next to the hospital where I got our smoothies.  He’s got his second kid, a boy, due on his two-year-old girl’s birthday.  He’s the first person I was able to show a picture of you to aside from anyone online.

I talked to my side of the family for a bit today.  Pap hadn’t gotten the text message I sent him last night, so I filled him in on details.  Your Aunt Andra wanted me to send her some pictures of you to her phone.  She put your Cousin Addy on the phone.  She was making noises, and when I put you on during a short cry apparently Addy took notice.  You guys are exactly seven months apart.

I just put socks on your feet for the first time.  Your feet are adorable.

You’re pretty strong, I think.  When I was holding you over my shoulder a few minutes ago you lifted up your head and were looking around.  I don’t think most newborns can do that, although you did come exactly a week later than we expected, so you’re probably a little more developed than most newborns.  That may explain why you were so quick to latch onto a nipple too (though you’re only liking your mom’s left one right now for some reason, and we need you to take the right one), but I prefer to think you’re just a superlative baby.

We expect you’ll have a number of visitors this evening and over the next couple of days.  Nick and Amy and Eli Warkentien were going to come right after Nick finishes up working at church, but we’ve got some things to attend to here in the hospital first.  Uncle Adam wants to come by and Lars and Kaitlyn Boscaljon have called to see about coming too.  Cyra Sherburn texted us about it, your mom’s boss, Laura Wyte wants to come by sometime.  Anna and Barry are going to come by later too, although we got word to Hannah too late for her to come see you before she goes to California.  I would guess that Kirsten is coming with them though.  And then there is whoever else wants to stop by.

Your mom keeps saying, “I think we did pretty good,” in regards to you, and she’s right.  Sure, if we’d have known the way it was all going to turn out, that you were facing up instead of down inside the womb and that the umbilical cord was wrapped around you three times, we probably wouldn’t have subjected your mom to 26 (and a half) hours of labor, but looking at you, we know it was all well worth it.

You’re exactly twelve hours old right now, and I think I just did my first decent job swaddling you.