Introducing ...

Faye Alice.

Born at 6:53 a.m. today, weighing in at 7 pounds, 4 ounces and measuring 20.5 inches long.

We think she shares a lot of resemblance to Phoebe after she was born, except little Faye has a full head of hair. Phoebe did not.

She’s spent most of the day sleeping, and we’ve heard barely a peep out of her, aside from little squeaks here and there as she stretches and moves to get more comfortable. We may nickname her Squeaky.

She seems content as can be and quite laid back. We’re definitely going to keep her.

* * *

So here’s how we got to this point …

I arrived home from work last night, and Phoebe and I promptly headed outside to play together, as we’ve done every night this week. From kicking a ball around the back yard to dribbling a basketball and shooting hoops, our nightly playtime together has created some awesome daddy-daughter bonding time. Something I’ve tried to emphasize especially these last couple weeks with the big changes afoot in our house.

We had one of our epic dance parties, bounding around our family room to La Roux’s “Bulletproof.” Then I retreated to work on my graduate studies, while Phoebe joined Kates on the couch to watch whatever was showing on the Food Network.

At about 9:30 last night, Phoebe was zonked out next to Kates, who called me up to carry her to her bed. Her world would be forever changed when she awoke.

Kates headed to bed not long afterward, while I stayed up until about midnight, continuing to work on my graduate studies and touch base on a few other projects. Any other night, I might have pushed myself to stay up longer, but something told me last night that I needed to get some rest.

Then, at about 1:15 this morning, I was awakened by Kates sitting up in bed. Just the way she sat up told me something was happening. It wasn’t her usual I’m-getting-up-to-use-the-bathroom movement. Her water had broken.

I phoned the hospital to let the nurses know we would be arriving within the hour and then scrambled to make contact with our friends Gina and Jeff, who we lined up to care for Phoebe whenever this moment arrived. Finally, after what must have been a half-dozen attempts, Jeff picked up and said Gina was on her way. I packed the car with our bags and by 2 a.m. we were heading to the hospital.

As labor progressed, it wasn’t nearly as dramatic as the events of Phoebe’s arrival. But we’re totally ok with that.

By the time we were settled into the delivery room, Kates was 7 cm dilated and the medical staff was forecasting a fast delivery. Kates' doctor --  Doctor M. -- was on her way, Kates’ blood pressure was stable and the labor was progressing well.

At around 4 a.m. Kates received the epidural. Which pretty much put her legs to sleep and had her flying nearly as high as kite. She said she could barely feel a thing.

Around 6 a.m. the labor process had stalled a bit, however. Kates remained at 7 cm and it was beginning to seem like we might not see Baby 2 for at least a couple more hours. In the meantime, we had settled into a “Brady Bunch” marathon on “Nick at Night.” In this morning’s episode,  “Katchoo,” poor Jan had come down with a serious allergy and the Bradys worry that one of them is the culprit.

Then, at around 6:30, the room began stirring with nurses. Kates was fully dilated and Doctor M. said, “Let’s have this baby!” Everyone took their positions, and after a few rounds of pushing, Faye arrived. Phoebe arrived after about 11 hours of labor; Faye arrived in half the time.

Kates was so cool and calm throughout the whole process. Doctor M. and the nurses have commented repeatedly since this morning how well the delivery went. We had classical music playing in the room. The nurses and doctors were amazing cheerleaders. It was a beautiful thing that could not have gone more smoothly. … Better yet, Kates is up, walking around and her pain is minimal.

As the morning continued, we began communicating the good news to family and friends, snapped our first photos, and got to know little Faye. We ordered breakfast from room service and watched a little “Live with Kelly!” with this week’s guest host Seth Myers.

Back at our house, Phoebe had awakened and was having her fun with Gina. As told to us by Gina, Phoebe awoke this morning and walked into our bedroom, as she usually does, but she didn’t find us. She then headed for the living room, where she found Gina on the couch. Phoebe giggled and said, “My parents were sneaking on me.” Gina explained to her why we weren’t there, and with that she ran to give Gina a hug and flopped onto the couch, ready to eat breakfast, watch TV and commence her morning routine.

Around 1 this afternoon we finally got moved from our delivery room to a recovery room. Turns out there’s a little baby boom happening in The ‘Ville right now. The maternity wing of the hospital is booked solid, and we couldn’t move until one of the families was discharged.

After getting settled in the new room and some burgers for lunch, we were ready for Phoebe to meet her little sister.

* * *

Kates and I have anxiously awaited how Phoebe was going to accept a new person in the house. For the last four years, our world was her world. The way she reacted the day we shared the news of a new baby with her was a good sign, but these last few months we’ve remained cautiously optimistic about the adjustment, often discussing how a new baby would “rock her world.” Then again, she’s asked some really sweet questions the last few weeks about what she will and won’t be able to do with the baby.

After I led her into the hospital room this afternoon, she asked almost immediately if she could hold Faye. We obliged as Phoebe took a seat on a couch in the room. Kates laid Faye gently in Phoebe’s lap. And Phoebe was immediately smitten. She didn’t want to let Faye leave her sight and her protective, big-sister spirit was firing on all cylinders.

Phoebe stayed with us through the evening until I took her home to put her down for the night. She was so tired out from all of the day’s excitement that I skipped her bath, read her a story -- The Berenstain Bears' New Baby,” appropriately -- and tucked her in.

Kates’ parents are en route and will stay at the house with Phoebe tonight. Once they arrive, I’m heading back to the hospital to spend the night with Kates and Faye.

* * *

So here’s an explanation about the name …

As I wrote Saturday night, Faye’s name wasn’t the easiest to decide. But when it came to us, it clicked.

A bit of research informed us the name is a variant of the Middle English word faith and the Old French word fay, meaning loyalty, or belief. Everything about it felt right, and we liked the way it fit with the middle name we’d chosen. … As for the answer to my hint of the character in one of our favorite movies, which was released in 1996: That would be Faye Dolan in “That Thing You Do!”

Faye’s middle name, Alice, is my grandmother’s first name. Having borrowed Phoebe’s names from Kates’ family tree, we planned all along to incorporate my family tree in our second child’s name. Phoebe’s middle name, Joanne, is Kates’ mother’s name, and we had hoped to have a son with the middle name Daniel, after my father. ... When we learned we were having a girl, we chose Alice, my father’s mother, as her middle name.

We’re proud of our choice.

For the record, since we never revealed it after Phoebe was born, the boy's name we selected at that time was Noah Daniel. That wasn't the name we had as our backup this time in case Faye turned out to be a boy -- a name that I'll hold a secret for now.

Here's a look back at some of this journey's highlights ...
a The announcement
a It's another girl
a Getting ready
a Not this year, Baby
a Extremely hot and incredibly uncomfortable
a Mother's Day
a The baby's room
a This, we weren't expecting
a The names game
a The waiting game

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