Dear Peter,

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You were born today, on an overcast and rainy morning. Not in a depressed way, though – the kind of morning that brings a respite from the humid misery of mid-summer. In more ways than one, your arrival brought relief from a season that, while favored, gets oppressive after a while!

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Your mum’s water broke around 11 p.m. on Tuesday night. (Yes, today is Thursday. She did womankind proud, and has earned the right to hold those 30.5 hours over your head for the rest of your life.) Your mum and dad were at the birthing center by mid-afternoon Wednesday, and despite your slow progress, all were expecting your arrival sometime on the evening of the 5th. Jared & I rushed to meet you, afraid we would miss you before we arrived around 8! The latest wager in the pool for your entrance was 10 p.m., a suggestion met by groans from the gathering crowd.

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10 p.m. came and went. Your uncle Jared & I learned to play euchre while listening to your mom’s first groans. The [cucumber cool] midwife’s continued reports of “She’s progressing…” were met with growing skepticism. We began to wonder if it was all a ruse… whether the three of you had snuck out the back window and we were part of an elaborate psychological experiment. Naps were taken.

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[This position is purportedly quite comfortable. I figure it allows your back to straighten so you can lie flat on a concrete floor, since eleven people can’t fit on one couch.]

The night was a repeated game of hurry up and wait. (We don’t blame you or your parents for this, by the way. You were totally worth it.) While at the beginning some of us (read: me) felt it a little awkward to listen to the yells coming from the next room, by 11:30 all ten of us were gathered in the foyer, whisphering comments on every moan.

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Your dad emerged every now and then, looking like the waking dead, to be pounced upon by the crowd. Despite it all, he manfully gave us detailed descriptions of your mum’s cervix, which we kept asking for despite being a little weirded out. We were all tired, but looked at each other, thinking (and sometimes saying), “If we’re this tired, we can hardly imagine what Emily’s feeling.”

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Midnight came and went, with the 5th ruled out from being the date on which you’ll get cake and presents for the next 90 or so years. More breaks and more naps, with another major group eavesdropping session by the door around 3, and some nervous discussion about needing to take you to a hospital. We prayed. Your Nana went in to relieve your dad, who had to take a little lie down to avoid falling down.

You finally made your grand entrance around 5:36 a.m., complete with screaming. This is possibly the only day in your life when you screaming is considered aesthetically pleasing; milk it. (No pun intended.) Nana helped you out and ran out the door, tears streaming, and immediately all were running around to wake the sleeping, incoherently yelling “baby! baby baby! there’s a baby!”

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When your dad came out the door with you a few minutes later, we couldn’t get enough of your red little face and ENORMOUS HEAD covered with THICK BLACK HAIR with the addition of SIDEBURNS. I mean dang you are a healthy baby and friggin’ cute.

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[Sorry you’re kind of blurry in this one. It was too precious to pass up.]

When we were finally let in to see you and your mum both, there was some pretense of going in two at a time to go easy on you both. When we opened the sparkling cider, that idea lasted another two minutes. (The champagne also produced will probably be saved for the five minutes in between you being weaned and your first sibling being conceived.)

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[Oh that’s totally not a hat that I cast on halfway through Em’s labor. Nope. You’re seeing stuff. I would never do something like that.]

The incredibly sporting and somewhat green-looking new mom not only wasn’t bothered at this massive invasion of her privacy, but thanked us all for staying the night, asked her little brother if he wanted to see her placenta, and encouraged us all to play pass-the-baby. You dealt with all the swapping hands very well (apparently you’ve inhereted your mum’s sporting-ness) and seemed genuinely glad to meet both your new sets of grandparents.

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I was the last in line to get to hold you, but I got to keep you an extra-long time. You are a heavy little stinker at 9 lbs, 4.5 oz., and 21.5″ long, and my arms felt it, but you are a cute one. Trying to make sense of the fuzzy, upside-down shapes everywhere, experimenting with your new vocal cords… Me wondering if there are any freckles under the poop you’ve managed to cover yourself with. Those ten minutes bouncing you around, trying to talk you back into sucking on your blanket rather than crying, gave me a high that (with the help of a cup of coffee) should last me through the work day on 2 hours sleep with no problem at all.

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But the best moment of all was seeing you back with your mum and dad. They’ve been waiting for you for so long, hoping for you, and your adventure together is just starting.

Welcome to the world, little dude; we hope you like it here. I can’t even say how grateful I was to get to meet you today.

~Tia Rebecca.

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p.s. Em you are pretty much the queen of the universe right now. All together ladies and gents: NO MEDS. My cervix hurts just thinking about it.

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