We crawled into bed very late Friday night, just over 24 hours from when she was born. Our daughter was tucked into her crib sleeping, Jeff laid next to me tinkering with his phone before plugging it in for the night and as I starred at him, I started to cry.
"What's wrong?" he asked.
In all honesty, I had no idea. 'Nothing,' is all I could manage to answer back. Perhaps it was the hormones, errr, lets be serious, it WAS the hormones. He smiled at me, touched his hand to my face and gave me a gentle kiss.
From that moment on, going to bed at night would never be the same. I started the week as a family of 2 and ended the week at 3. I was overwhelmed that I had somehow reached the place in my life where a marriage, a house, and a family had become reality. I was overwhelmed with how much love I instantly had for her. I was overwhelmed at how much more this brought me to love Jeff and I was overwhelmed that it all belonged to me.
Lets rewind a bit...
Monday morning we woke early for our 7:45am appointment with our doctor. He performed an amnio procedure testing Natalies lungs to confirm she was ready for arrival. The office reported positive results that afternoon and the green light was given for the filter placement surgery Tuesday morning.
Tuesday went very well. It was my first experience on an operating table and sure my nerves were a little high, but they had assured us it was a simple outpatient surgery - we checked in at 8am and were out of there before 3pm. With the filter placed, now it was time for the real show to begin.
Wednesday arrived and because the doctors require the filter to sit for a full day before starting the labor process, our arrival time wasn't until 7:30pm. Jeff went to work, which was a blessing in disguise seeing as he'd been fielding work calls the last two days during our appointments, while I spent the day trying to keep my mind occupied. I wrote thank you notes, I baked cookies, did the laundry, and then I took a nap - explanation not necessary.
Lets fast forward... because the labor and delivery process isn't all that fun to write or read about... there were monitors, and IVs with medicine drips, and absolutely no eating - I wanted a granola bar super bad but labor and delivery is a no snack zone.
Natalie Elyse Kladder arrived Thursday at 10:21pm. She came out lungs a blaring, with all her fingers and toes weighing in at 6 lbs 12 ounces. She measured 20 inches at birth which lands her in the 91st percentile for height. With our genes, we weren't at all surprised.
Five days later and everyone's doing great. The kid doesn't like sitting in dirty diapers, she's eating well, and has even given us high hopes for longer stretches of sleep during the night. She's a huge fan of the Red Sox, Game of Thrones, and Jeff shared me this weekend that she already told him that he's her favorite parent.
This morning she's bundled next to me sleeping while I write this. I can't help but stare at her and think, 'God is so, so good.'