All parents think their newborns are wondrous marvels and tiny little miracles. But given the fact that I watched science assist us in fertilizing an embryo, transferring it into my wife where it grew for 40 weeks — as far as I’m concerned I witnessed an honest to goodness miracle last week.
Samuel Christopher Gouveia was born on July 31 at exactly 2 p.m. His Tankness (as I’m referring to him as of late) was a whopping 9 lbs, 3 oz and 21 inches long. MJ delivered him after less than 15 minutes of pushing, and because she’s a badass she didn’t even need any stitches afterward. It was an ironically painless and uncomplicated culmination of a process that was fraught with pain, uncertainty, and heartbreak.
I don’t want to dwell on the past because other people had it tougher and I (unfortunately) know too many parents whose young kids are no longer with us. But that doesn’t change the fact that MJ and I went through a hellish time the last few years. And although neither of us admitted it at the time, we had both given up hope of completing our family. It was evident in our demeanor, the things we said, and the choices we made. Like last year when MJ needed a new car. We thought about going with a minivan because we wanted another kid, but we bought a Kia Sportage instead. Why? Because neither of us believed we’d ever really need the extra room. And even the night before Sam was born, MJ turned to me and said “Are you convinced something is wrong with the baby?” It was no use lying to her, because that is ALL I could think about and I did believe something else was going to go wrong.
But it didn’t. Sam is healthy and beautiful. And for the first time in years, I feel like I can breathe again.
I won’t describe what it was like to hold my healthy son after so many years of waiting. I’m not sure I can do it any justice. Seeing MJ hold him and break down in tears of gratitude was pretty damn amazing and touching, no doubt about it.
But you know what really got me? Will.
Seeing Will walk confidently into the delivery room, jump on the bed, and hold his new little brother was — well, it was one of the most memorable experiences of my lifetime. Sure they’ll fight and bicker and Sam will be an annoying little brother soon enough. I know how that it is, having had my own annoying little brother for more than 30 years. But once that angst passes, he’ll have something else. He’ll have a best friend and a bond of brotherhood that lasts forever. A built-in buddy and someone he can always talk to no matter what. I’m not knocking only-children, but that was never what we wanted for Will. And knowing that he and Sam have each other going forward is just the best.
Before Sam was born I wondered how I’d ever love a new baby as much as I loved Will. Now, just a week into this, I see how silly this was. Your heart expands to accommodate new life and it’s not a matter of which kid you love more. It just becomes a huge vat of love and there’s more than enough to go around. Looking at the two of them — tucking them into bed at night — I’m moved to the point of tears at how lucky I am.
I want to thank the nurses at Sturdy Hospital for being so freaking fantastic, as well as our doctor who expertly delivered Sam. All of our friends and family who supported us through all of this. My mother-in-law who stayed with Will while we were in the hospital, my parents for doing EVERYTHING all the time for us. Everyone who gave us presents and came to visit. And last but certainly not least, the hundreds of people online who wished us well. It means the world to us. You have no idea.
We have a son. We have a healthy, huge, perfect boy whose personality is already developing and who I love like a maniac. I love him. I love my family. I love all of you. But there is one thing –
I TOLD YOU IT WAS A BOY!!