It is my absolute privilege to announce that my wife gave me the best anniversary present of all time last week! Jack ‘Jet’ was born on Thursday, September 15, which was exactly four years after we said ‘I do’. How amazing is that?! This past week has been a whirlwind as Jack arrived three weeks early. Life really hit me while I was sitting outside the operating room waiting for the doctors and nurses to set up for an emergency C-Section. When both Natalie’s and Jack’s blood pressure rose to scary levels, the doctor ran in and said that the baby had to come out right away. I was in a state of shock when a nurse handed me scrubs and a surgical mask and told me to pack up the labor room.
I can’t remember being more alone or afraid in my life as I sat in the long, quiet hospital hallway, staring at the door behind which were the two most important people in my world. Through my tears, I prayed hard that they were going to be okay.
A nurse walked by and asked if I was okay. I nodded ‘yes’ but she must’ have known that I was anything but. When it was go time, I was escorted into the brightly lit, sterile operating room and instructed to sit right behind Natalie on a small stool. When I counted 16 to 17 people in the room, I became even more nervous. But that didn’t last long because within three minutes of hearing the doctor call for her scalpel, I heard Jack cry, which made Natalie and I both sob for joy.
Can you believe that we’re parents and I’m a father?! I honestly didn’t know if I would ever hear those words but I have never been more proud in my life. I’m especially proud of my wife for being such a warrior throughout her entire pregnancy. This whole experience really opened my eyes and I find it absolutely incredible the sacrifices women make and the difficulties they go through to give life to their children. I said this to one of the nurses at the hospital and she jokingly replied: “If men had to give birth, it would mean the end of the human race.” And I whole heartily agree!
In the months leading up to this monumental event, I had so many friends tell me that my life was forever going to change once the baby was born. And in less than a week, my life has changed dramatically for the better. I never knew I could love (or worry) so much! As I wrote on my personal Facebook with the photo above: There’s no feeling in the world that can compete with being a first-time dad. Not a home run in the bottom of the ninth, a goal in overtime, winning the lottery or getting an upgrade on a long flight. This is my happiness.
Since Jack was born so early, he was put in the NICU and the staff at Cedar’s Sinai took great care of him and Natalie. However, the day before we were all supposed to be discharged Natalie was diagnosed with postpartum preeclampsia, which was another rollercoaster ride. Fortunately, the doctors caught it early and she will be okay but she needs to rest even more than what was already planned for the next six weeks.
This newsletter you will find all kinds of apps, websites, videos… that are geared towards family travel, Los Angeles (where he was born) and Jack. You definitely won’t want to miss the video as I helped surprise Natalie by flying in her sister.
Don’t worry I’m not turning this into a family travel site but I’m so excited to welcome the new guy to our world that I couldn’t think of anything else to write about this week.