My darling baby,

It is so wonderful to say that you are finally here. We were all so anxious for your arrival. The house was ready, your brothers were prepared and your daddy, grandparents and I had a plan for when I went into labour. It was now up to you.

It all began the evening of Jan. 30. You started to send signs to my body that you were ready to come, but I was too excited to acknowledge that was what you were doing. However, you persisted and at midnight it could no longer be ignored. We swung into full gear. Your Nana began more closely timing the contractions, your daddy called his parents and asked them to make the hour-and-a-half trek in the middle of the night to stay with your brothers.

Your brothers, sensing something was going on, both woke up. Michael quickly went back to sleep, but Patrick was not going to miss any of it. He packed a bag for himself and Michael in case we all had to go the hospital soon, and he laid on the couch, watching, listening and offering help. Just after 2 a.m. in the morning, your grandparents arrived and we got ready to leave for the hospital.

Before we left, I needed to spend a moment alone with each of your brothers. I looked at them, I held them and told them how much we loved them. For as excited as we all were about your arrival, I knew in a few hours all our lives would be changed forever. The next time we walked into our house, it would be as a family of five, and I needed to say goodbye to our family of four. Once we arrived at the hospital and got settled in, I was blessed to have your daddy and Nana by my side the entire way. They held my hands, rubbed my back, talked to me, laughed, prayed and anxiously waited your arrival.

At 7:14 a.m.. there was no more waiting. We all watched in awe as you entered the world. Your daddy and I were holding hands, and he told me he loved me as they placed you onto my belly and announced, “It’s a girl!” What else could we do but look at you in awe, shed tears of joy and proclaim our love to one another? Your entrance into the world opened a whole floodgate of emotions and more joy than I could ever anticipate.

Once everything calmed down, your daddy picked up the phone to call your brothers. They were already awake, dressed and waiting for the news of your arrival. As soon as they hung up, your brothers were on the way to meet you. I was so excited about introducing them to their little sister, yet there was some fear – fear that they may feel incredibly displaced and that their love for you may take time to grow and not be instantaneous. However, once your brothers walked into the room, my fears were alleviated.

Patrick came to look at you right away and though Michael was looking, his first concern was getting his good-morning cuddle. Your brothers examined you, touched you, talked to you and both of them leaned down and gave you a kiss. The pride I felt at that moment is undescribable.

The next morning, we were able to leave the hospital and bring you home. The transition has been amazing. You have come into our lives and it is like we already know you. Your brothers and your dad are so proud to have you around. There are constant negotiations about whose turn it is to hold you, change you, etc. and I have the honour of sitting back and looking at my family, a family filled with love and joy.

Kathryn Johanna, your entrance into the world has increased our joy. On your first night home, during his nighttime prayers, Michael thanked Jesus for giving you to us. That says it all. Thank you for coming into our lives, for trusting us and letting us love you. We look forward to the journey ahead of us.