Mara Jade Hales

Yesterday morning at 7:55, my daughter, Mara Jade Hales was born via c-section at Butler Memorial Hospital in Butler, PA.

Her mother and I couldn’t be any happier.

As I write this, I look out the window and it’s snowing. Not a heavy snow, but a light flaking that is not melting when it hits the ground.Somehow, it seems the perfect backdrop for what is the first 4 days of my daughter’s life. Of course, no gift comes without a catch, namely that Mara has 2 cosmetic issues that we’re going to have fixed within the month. Namely a malformed ear that doesn’t interfere with her hearing, and a sizable skin tag on her cheek.

Even with these caveats, she is perfect. I wonder if all fathers think their daughters are so beautiful? I should hope so. When they brought her out of her mother, she and I wept like wash-women, half for the reality that I had such an amazing miracle happen to me, not far from our 1st wedding anniversary, and half in sorrow when I realized that Mara will be dating in 14 years, and I’m going to have to dig a lot of holes. Manual labor bothers me on such a basic level.

When they wheeled Donna into the OR for prep, she was nervous and obviously scared. When I got in there, she was obviously relieved to be seeing me. I asked her if she was okay, and she said yes. I asked her if she was scared and she said again, yes.

I looked her in the eye and said, “You should be. I paid each of these guys 50 bucks to replace your heart with a baked potato.”

Laughter in the OR. The anesthesiologist had to walk away from his area for a second due to laughing so hard.

Despite that this hospital environment is murder on my sinuses, nothing short of happiness has entered this room (aside from a brief episode yesterday that I won’t get into), and I couldn’t be anymore excited.

Yesterday, Donna’s family as well as select members of mine came to see us and were so excited for us. My brother Shaun was determined to get me to eat my daughter, alas I really have no equipment to prepare a baby under these conditions.

The only thing I can do to end this little entry, is to thank every one who had a hand in making this easy for us. While I can’t really thank too many people for making the pregnancy itself easy (as it wasn’t, too much family drama), the delivery and Donna’s subsequent recovery has gone swimmingly and everyone who works in this hospital has gone out of their way to welcome my daughter into this world, and to praise my amazing wife for the 8 months she had her in her womb, as well as the praise for her restraint when I want to gut anyone who so much as looks at my daughter wrong with a fishing knife and a spoon…

Becky, Bud, Shaun, Reba, Maddie, Deb (my surrogate girlfriend), Holly, Heidi, Belly, Whitney, Jocelyn, Dr. Cypher and his associates, Helena, Lori, Connie (for nom-noms) all of the nurses and anyone I forgot, you guys have made things so seamless and easy for us. I can only hope that you overlook the 10 times I blew up the bathroom…

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