She’s so beautiful. She’s my little peanut!

I’m sure many are wondering how labor and delivery went. I can’t even begin to describe what was going through my mind at that point, because I have no idea. All I was concentrated on was making sure that I didn’t pass out and that I would be able to get a few photos in the first couple minutes of her life. Done and done! I did not pass out, but that’s not to say I was anything close to an immoveable rock. Really, the first hour was the toughest and most squeamish part for me, as we quickly got down to business. After that, it was okay. Not great, but okay. That is, until the epidural, when I had to step out into the hallway for a half hour.

Once it came time to push—which came quickly and unexpectedly—I’m pretty sure I didn’t say anything the entire 20 minutes. There were no words. My brain didn’t have the capacity at that point. I’m pretty sure I was only saying it in my head (I may have muttered it once or twice), but I was like OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG! Ummmm, this is really happening! OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG! I remember the nurses asking me over and over if I was okay and if I needed to sit down, likely because while uttering my OMGs, I almost certainly had a pale, white complexion with glazed eyes staring off into space. Thankfully, they were really nice and super accommodating for my wussiness.

Despite the madness of everything spinning out of control though, I actually I didn’t need to sit down. That’s right! Something got into me that last 20 minutes. In fact, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t even me in that delivery room. Things were happening too fast for me to even consider what was going on. When I gathered myself enough at the very end, I remember telling Kara that, “I can see her hair.” I probably delivered it more in a drunken, slurred whisper, but that’s what I intended to say anyway. You know what that means though, right? I actually went “down there” enough to see what was happening (hence again, the slurred whisper). And guess who cut the cord? This guy! Big shocker! After everything was wrapping up and Maya Mae was getting cleaned up, I grabbed my phone and shakily composed a text message announcement to all of my contacts. Wow, was I shaking!

So those last couple paragraphs were all about me. That’s mainly because Kara was what she normally is—an unflappable rock. She was so completely chill throughout the day that it made me sick! I guess she had it in her mind to be the strength of our family during delivery, knowing that I couldn’t fill the role myself. That said, her story is far less interesting than mine. She was calm, confident and chipper the whole time. She’s the man in our house. No question.

So how is life after meeting our baby Maya? Our time in the hospital sucked. Sleeping on a cot with nurses and doctors visiting your room every two hours, round the clock was brutal. Going home was glorious and one of the best feelings ever. . . Next to, of course, knowing that we were blessed to be bringing a very happy and healthy baby with us.

And as it turns out, yes people—you were right. Being a dad is far better than I could have imagined, and it hasn’t even been two weeks. As everyone told us before, it’s not something I can fully put into words. There is something about the miracle of life. Something about a baby’s warmth. Something about seeing the peace on their face as they sleep 20 hours out of the day. And, oh those tiny fingers and toes! I’m totally mesmerized as I just stare at her. Who knew it could be so amazing to watch a baby simply breathe? So cute! Then, when you least expect it, she’ll do something totally crazy, like sneeze. I love me the sneezes! And then, if we’re really lucky, she’ll get the hiccups. And when she gets the hiccups, she’ll squeak. I’ve videoed this stuff because it’s so awesome. And I’m sure it will make me cry some day. She’s become quite the grunter too, and fortunately it’s not always associated with her filling her diaper. I’ve fallen madly in love with baby noises.

*** Editors Note: having written that previous paragraph, I’m banking on a primarily female readership that would not judge me for admitting my affinity for a number of cute and unmanly details. If there are men in the audience, please know that I also enjoy lifting weights, watching many kinds of sports and operating a drill.

Kara is absolutely the pro mom that I knew she would be. She’s so patient and loving, despite already having had poop sprayed on her twice. She is so good with the baby that I’m sort of jealous. Great, so she’s the man of the house, AND she’s better with the baby! I’m learning how to be a dad in all of my awkwardness, and I’m getting there. At least my baby talk is solid. My swaddling skills are decent, but nothing to write home about. In it all, I think we make a pretty good team, (with Kara being the star player on our team). There’s no question that a baby brings you closer together and makes sure that you’re on the same page.

There really is nothing like having and holding your own baby, (not that I’ve held more than one other baby in my life). It’s crazy. It’s yours! It’s a little mini you! Even in just two weeks, we’re getting the sense that everything is going really fast. But, we are doing our best to slow down and enjoy every moment. That’s really something we should all do. As Hallmark says so beautifully, life is truly a special occasion!

Yes, I am now a DAD, and I love my Maya Mae!