Dear Finn Gunnar,
That’s the first time I’ve ever said (err, written) your name! Rolls right off the tongue like it’s the name you were most certainly destined to have. Finn, meaning “fair” (by some definitions, also meaning “fair warrior”) and Gunnar, meaning “battle”. And a fair warrior you are, son.
Finn Gunnar Franzen
You’re only a few hours old and already I can’t imagine my life without you. You are beautiful and precious, and thank God, perfectly healthy. We worried so long that you would be born too early, or that you would have to be in the NICU like big brother. Those last two months of my pregnancy were scary and uncertain, at times we were terrified we’d lose you. But they are now already a very distant memory because you’re here and you’re okay. Yes, right here in my arms you are, the picture of health and adorable as can be, and how blessed I feel right now does not even scratch the surface.
We look pretty good together, no? Pure joy!
I’m sitting here trying to type one-handed on my tablet because I know in a few months these memories will start to fade and also because I’m never, ever putting you down! I’ve waited so long for you and gone through too much so I will not waste a moment — I’m going to spoil you, child!
Once Daddy and Grama & Grampa all went back home to get some sleep, the epidural wore off, and the adrenaline finally left my body, I sat and basked in the quiet night alone with you in our hospital room. I know these hours will pass all too quickly, and in a day we will go home, where our crazy life with our now-bigger family will begin. In those hours, it was just you and me. From our 6th floor room, I looked out the big windows over the twinkling lights of this snow-covered city and fought back tears. Then all at once I didn’t fight them anymore, I let those tears fall because I just felt so overwhelmingly happy.
The hours right after your birth were a little bit magical, I think. When I was in the hospital after having Asha, I was so excited, but terrified and had no clue what I was doing. With Noah, he was so sick when he was born that I spent most of the night just sick with worry and fear. But with you? I just savored every single minute with you. I was too wound up to sleep, and it was pretty late by the time you were born, so I spent most of the night snuggling you close to my chest and just staring at your beautiful face. I was blissfully soaking in each moment and feeling all kinds of emotion: elation, exhaustion, pride, wonder and relief. The joy that you have already brought into my life is immeasurable, little boy. Our boy. Our son.
You, little one, are a very special child. We were surprised by you in so many ways. We didn’t know our family had room for another kid, but you know what? We had plenty of space in our hearts, and it turned out to be just your size! You have the advantage of being the youngest child – I have learned from my parenting mistakes with the other two, and yet, I will of course make other mistakes with you. That’s just life. But the one thing I will not make the mistake of is taking for granted any moment of your childhood. Because as I learned (the hard way) from my prior parenting experience, time is a fleeting thing. Kids grow up in the blink of an eye, and you too will be all grown up before I know it. So with you, I get the advantage of carrying that bit of wisdom with me. I’m not going to sweat the small stuff, not going to stress over being ‘perfect’. I’m going to slow down and thoroughly enjoy being your Mommy!
As I look at your precious little face, I of course find myself wondering who you will be as you grow up. Raising another boy will certainly be challenging and hilarious and crazy and fun, and I can’t wait to experience it with you. I can’t believe how fortunate I am that I get to be your Mom. You are going to be so tremendously loved by your big sister & brother – and all your extended family, for that matter – I can’t wait until they meet you!
Welcome to our world, my fair warrior. Love you forever,