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January 24, 2014

NASH: Cecilia and Cooper

— Your mommy and I were not expecting the two of you for a couple more weeks, but no one is complaining about getting to meet you a little early. It was a strange struggle with feelings with the joy of getting to see our children as soon as possible and the fear that their development was not as far along as it needed to  be.

When you were born you were the smallest babies that I have ever held, but you were both very healthy. We were worried that you would have to be transported to another hospital if there were complications, but those concerns were quickly laid to rest. The specialist that was brought in observed you for a short period of time before declaring that your lungs were mature enough that you could breath well enough  on your own. I knew then that you were going to be OK.

You were born on a Tuesday morning and by the time we all got you back to our  hospital room the sun was shining through our window welcoming you to this world. Over the first few days of your lives the weather would be cold and dreary, but for those first few hours we were together the sky was as clear and the sun was as  bright as it had been all month.

A few days later we were allowed to take you home and your mommy and I were ready to get out of the hospital. The only glitch came when it was time for me to put the car seats in the car.  It has been over a decade since I last used an infant car seat and the technology has changed a lot since then. Adding to my confusion now I am dealing with two car seats at the same time. I thought I had more time to learn what to do, but your early arrival threw a monkey wrench into that plan.

We made it home safely and started to get settled. For the week you have been home we have all gotten into a fairly decent routine. I had worried about what would happen if both of you become fussy at the same time, but so far you have taken it easy on your tired new parents. It helps that mommy learned an exceptional swaddling technique from one of the nurses so you are always wrapped up tight and snug.

Your feeding patterns have been regular and mommy has developed quite a system that is working well. So far you have not been a burden beyond the normal feed, burp and soothe. I am hoping that your pleasant disposition carries on through your terrible two’s and possibly even through your teen years.

Changing dirty diapers is something that I will have to get use to again. It has been nearly a decade since any of my older children have worn diapers. Your Grandma Kathy hosted an ‘open house’ instead of a traditional baby shower and the men were encouraged to bring diapers as gifts. Before you arrived we had more than 1,400 diapers to start with but our calculations put us well shy of our eventual total needed. Especially since the two of you go through them twice as fast.    

As I am writing this I am preparing for my first day back to work after 10 vacation days. I know that you are in good hands with mommy, but it would be nice to get to spend a little more time together. When it is time for mommy to go back to work I will probably take some more time off to make that transition a little easier on everybody.

You are the younger brother and sister to four other siblings who are excited about meeting you. Your oldest brother Colin goes to college and lives in Utah with his wife so it might be a while before he gets a chance to visit. I asked him if he had any words of advice for his newest siblings and this is what he had to say:

“In the Vietnam War there was an American pilot shot down over North Vietnam. For two years his family did not know whether he was dead or alive. His captors then allowed him the opportunity to send them a message on condition it remain less than 25 words. I feel his advice to them sums up what we should value. He told them, ‘These things are important: [whom] you marry, college. Press on, set goals, write [your] history, take pictures twice a year.’

“My wife constantly reminds her elementary school students to find joy in their journey. Don’t let your childhood pass  you by without learning to appreciate it. Otherwise you will spend a lifetime trying to reclaim it. Write down the good stuff. You’ll be surprised at how blessed you are. Your parents aren’t perfect, but they are really cool. Your dad is quirky. But learn to love this because chances are you will turn out just like him. I am living proof.” (Colin Nash 01/16/2014).

— Matthew Nash is the proud father of a twin boy and girl born Jan.14, 2014, as well as four other children. He can be reached at dmatthewnash@gmail.com

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