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As many of you know (especially if you read everyone’s favorite post about why I can’t wait to be a dad) my wife, Tina, was pregnant and due in August. We had always felt that the baby would come early, but about five weeks before the due date, Tina woke up at the 4:30am with contractions. Later that day, she was admitted to the hospital, and in a few hours, our lives would change forever.

Officially, let me announce that at 8:50pm on July 17, 2012, Hayley Rose Mergola was born at 5lbs 12oz, 18 1/4″ long. (Side note: I find it really funny that everyone always quotes the weight and length of the baby. I guess I can understand the weight, but what does the height have to do with anything? “Just making sure you’re baby is short like you!” Yes, she is, thanks for reminding me about my inadequate height.) Since she was born so early, she spent a week in the NICU to gain some weight and make sure she was eating properly. She has now been home with us for a week, and she really is a calm, sweet (from what I can tell) baby. I can go on forever, and I will in other posts, but she is here, and she is awesome.

Speaking of awesome, mad props to my beautiful wife for the nine months of pregnancy and a healthy delivery. Truthfully, she should deserve little credit for the birth of our child, since it was a C-Section. In fact, when I gave Tina her “Push Present”, I titled it a “Congratulations on Successfully Surviving a Surgery During Which a Living Being Was Removed From Your Abdomen and Became Our Child” Present. Good thing I didn’t have to look for such a card.

Obviously, there is only so much I can joke about what Tina did that night. C-Section or not, she amazed me even more than I could have ever imagined, right down to proving that she was able to stand on her own in order to see our daughter a few hours after delivery. What was even more impressive was her recovery. She was off all of her pain medication (except Motrin) within a couple days and at this point, she looks like she was never pregnant. I couldn’t be more proud of everything she has done in the past 16 days. I have told her repeatedly that I LOVED her being pregnant, and I’m already excited for it to happen again, but I am blown away by how tough she was from December until now. Throughout everything, I never had to worry about her. Thank you for that, Tina.

Really, thank you for all of this. We both wanted a baby shortly after we got married, but you were the one that had made up her mind that this was happening. I will never forget the night you told me that you were pregnant. The birth of our daughter was one of the greatest days of my life, but the night we found out you were pregnant will always be the “night we danced like we knew our lives would never be the same.”

And Hayley, now that I can finally address you by name, and not just “baby” (even though I still call you “baby” when talking to you), I am so happy to have finally met you. Your mom and I (crazy, I know) are so happy you are here, as is everyone that hears about you. I get texts every single day asking how you are. Don’t let it go to your head, but you’re pretty much the center of everyone’s universe.

So welcome to the world, daughter. Welcome to my website. This is who I am. I did not intend for this post to be so deep, but I wear my heart on my sleeve and I don’t hide my emotions. Between me and your mother, you don’t stand a chance to not be an emotional person. Embrace it. People like those who are open and honest, as long as you are a good person. So be yourself, enjoy everything the world has to offer, and just know that your parents love you more than you will ever know.