April 14, 2010

Dear Heidi Chase...

First of all, welcome to all four and a half pounds of you. You may seem small, but already, you seem bigger than life. Your arrival is something we have been looking forward to, this goes without saying. You are the reality of something we have, until today, only dreamed about.

But it sure was a surprise that you showed up when you did.

Congratulations. You upstaged your brother. At 9:30 in the morning on April 14th 2010, you arrived. In a state of hurried panic on the part of your parents, you arrived even when we were saying aloud to ourselves that ‘now is not your time.’ You had other ideas, and indeed, there was no stopping your entrance. What’s more, you showed up in a hospital, which was not the plan. You were supposed to be born comfortably at home eight weeks from now. But, what should we expect. It was your brother’s plan to be born at a hospital, but he was born at home, early. So, go figure; we respect your right for independent thought and action.

Gestationally speaking, let it be know that you decided it was showtime at 32 weeks. This, for the record, is more than just a tad early. Your brother Sacha…he was a ‘tad’ early at 37 weeks. You, our adorable little beauty with your velvety soft skin and crop of dark hair, are ‘way’ early. But, as an Aries—a Ram, no less—it would seem that you needed to have it your way.

The prospects of what your astrological sign may make you both thrills and horrifies. Gung-ho and enthusiastic; fearless as the gods (yahoo!), but an ego and lack of pragmatism to boot (uh-oh).

But the better parts of your sign make you an ideal candidate for what you’re dealing with right now.

Your tiny cries haven’t been heard by many ears yet, nor will they for a few weeks perhaps, until you’re allowed to come out of the hospital. We’ve got to get you up to speed on a few things you weren’t prepared for, like how those lungs work, and how to eat food. You’ve got a few tubes in you at the moment, but don’t worry about those. You’ve got the grit to take care of that situation.

By being born under Aries, being courageous and forceful, you will forge your way ahead in this. With this new endeavor called ‘life’ undertaken, you’ve got the goods to make it through a tough few days and you’ll come out shining.

Now, this may sound like we’re hinting at something very dire, but it’s really not that bad. You just need a kick start, and then you’ll be fine. You're in great shape, especially compared to some of your roommates. Always count your blessings, little Heidi, remeber that. Really, we as your parents just don’t want to see you connected to monitors, and we want to hold you. Soon enough. And then you’ll start discovering what this life is all about.

As we told Sacha when he was born, this is a great world to be a part of. People care, most of the time, and don’t be afraid to let them in to raise you up when you need the help, just like your doctors and nurses are doing for you now.

Life can be like that, you know. Just when you think things are awful and frightening, you get surrounded and carried to a better place. May you know the comfort of rescue when it’s needed and it comes, and may you know the feeling that comes from being some else’s rescuer, too.

And while we’re on the subject of rescue, maybe we can just ask you to make sure you do some good in this world. On little scales, on big scales, whatever. Just do things that make you happy and proud of yourself. Oh, but the same comment applies to you as what we told Sacha on the day he arrived: if you want to be a champion at something, make sure it pays well, so that you can fund our retirement for us.

Lets talk about your names for a second. Heidi: there is no significance; it’s just a great name and we know you'll wear it well. Ballem, on the other hand, is more significant. It is your mother’s maiden name. It comes from your Grandy’s side of the family. If it brings to you what it has to others who carry the name, then we can be fairly sure you’ll be brilliant, charming and attractive. Which reminds your father… he’s going to go out and buy a new Louisville Slugger right now, for use in scaring off potential suitors when you get to your teenage years…

So anyway, it’s hard to say where to go with all of this. Need it be said aloud, your arrival today was about as big a surprise as we could’ve imagined. There is joy at your arrival mixed with a melancholy for not yet being able to hold you and seeing you hooked up to machines. The day was melancholic to begin with, which you might later understand: April 14th is the day your Granddad lost his battle to cancer, three years before you were born, so the fact that you chose to show up on just this date…well, lets just say there is a whole ‘nother circle of life conversation that could be had over this whole affair.

But we don’t need to focus on the death side of things today, now that we have your new life. Your joyful life, just begun and soon to flourish. And we can’t wait to watch it happen before our eyes. Early as your arrival may have been, we are so glad you’re here.

Love always,
Your parents


Anonymous said...

Love her already. What a sweet memento letter Stu!

Anonymous said...

Congrats you guys! Hoping Heidi "catches" up quickly and gets to go home asap! Lots of love your way,
Mer, Jay and Anja

Bloggy Mama said...

Welcome Heidi!!! Praying she catches up quickly. Love to you all!!

Lindsay Van Boom said...

She is precious and I love the name. Congratulations to you,Kate and big bro Sacha!

Unknown said...

Stuart, congratulations on your unexpectedly early arrival!

Eva & Jim

Unknown said...

She is so beautiful! Thanks for getting us the pics Stu. Praying for a quick catch-up for Heidi and that she gets home soon. April

Erica M said...

Wow! Congratulations you two! What a beautiful family! Erica

Unknown said...

Heidi-when I said I wanted to meet you before I left for mexico I didnt mean it quite so literally.

I cant want to meet you and I love you already! I know Heidi will get up to speed quickly and then she can come home and meet everyone!
Oh and by the way thanks for the neice!!!!!! XOXOXOXOXO

That was beautiful by the way Stu and I think that Heidi chose this day for a reason.

Callie said...

WOW. What a beautiful letter! I don't know you, Stu, but congratulations and please give Kate a huge hug on my behalf!

This gave me goosebumps - those Aries girls do like to surprise us! I remember this happening with my second almost exactly two years ago (34 weeks, not 32!) I can completely relate to the unexpected hospital scenario and hope that the 24/7 pumping is going well and that all those tubes and electrodes on wee Heidi are not too scary.

Congratulations on becoming a family of four (a little early) and take care!

Callie (from Fit 4 Two Prenatal Fitness)

Anonymous said...

Welcome "little" Heidi... you have been born into a wonderful family! I'm sure you'll grow big and strong like your daddy and mommy soon enough! What a great day to be born! Congrats!

Lots of Love, cousin Robyn

Bee W said...

I just love this - you are an amazing writer and I am wiping the tears away as I peck out this comment - thanks Stu for yet another wonderful read and congrats on your new little gal - hugs to all
Brenda (Bee)

Stu Chase said...

You guys are awesome, thanks so much for all the thoughts, prayers, and words of support! Callie, I hear you're also coming over to wash our windows ;)

Heidi is doing really well! all that 'white light' is working great!

Suman Atlas said...

STU!!!! Congratulations!! I hope all is well with babt Heidi and mommy!!

How U doin??

Suman your homeslice.

Marcia Tabb said...

Welcome to the world,Heidi! I hope to get to the west coast one of these days to meet you. Love, your great aunt Marcia in Richmond,VA.