Sunday, June 20, 2010

Part III - The Daddy

As a little girl, I had an idea of the man I wanted to marry one day. He would be handsome, gentle, hard working, a prince among men, and above all a great daddy! It is no secret that little girls plan all of these things out well before they are old enough to actually get married. Her husband, her wedding, her house, how many children would be running around her house, what those children will be named, and every other minute detail of her life are written for no one to see in that journal she keeps in here mind. Sometimes she will doodle these thoughts on paper, but not often. I do not know about you, but my journal is full!
I knew what I wanted in my man and a good daddy was right up there at the top of my list. Jamie is a wonderful father to all of his children.
When Jamie and I first began talking about how many children we wanted and so forth and such, he made it very clear that he ONLY wanted boys because the thought of a teenage girl scares him out of his wits. So when we found out that Jay was a boy he was able to breath easy (until Jay started walking running around). Then we got pregnant with Cooper. I picked on Jamie quite often telling him that God was going to give him his little girl this time. Then we found out he indeed was a boy. Jamie was able to breath another huge sigh of relief. We were two for two at this point and then we got pregnant with Lucie Rose. If any of you doubt whether or not God has a sense of humor, I promise you he does. Jamie was so sure that he only had the ability to produce y chromosomes. He literally made Michelle, the u/s tech, check over and over again to see if there was anything she was missing. Life as he knew it was about to change. I do not think he had any idea just how quickly a little girl would capture his heart and wrap him around her little finger. I don't think I knew how fast a baby girl would steal his heart either. I am still so amazed at the difference he makes over her and the boys. Of course I have two mama's boys and he now has a definite daddy's girl. Every afternoon when he gets home, she gets her daddy time. She sits right up under him and they watch AFV. If I even think of coming close to sitting in "her" place she will tell me that I am in her way. From the man that didn't want boys...he eats it up. He also loves helping with the boys sports teams. Even during tax season when he is working a bazillion hours a week he finds time to help with their activities. He is a man who loves his children and loves to make sure they know it. He tucks the kiddos in every night and makes it a point to tell them he loves them. We have family dinner just about every night. During this time we always talk about our day. We tell our favorite part of the day, our most interesting part of the day, and sometimes even our worst part of the day. Jamie started this just to be able to know what his children were up to each day. It is now a must with every dinner. LR will not let us forget it.
When I was pregnant with Jay, every night Jamie would rub my belly and get him stirred up. He would talk to him and love only the way a father can. The day our little Jay was born Jamie was so excited. It was a long labor and finally around 5:30 am the next day our little guy was born. You should have seen the proud father holding his infant son. It was so amazing. Then ten months later we got pregnant with Cooper. Coop was and is a stubborn little fella. He decided he wanted to come six weeks early and we put him off with meds for about two more weeks. At 36 weeks our little Coop bug came into this world screaming and weighing 7 pounds 2 ounces. Once again Jamie was such a proud papa. Jamie was working full time and in school full time during this period and I know he was worn out. He never complained. He just picked up and did what any father would do. Then in 2007 we found out that we would welcome another little one into our family. This pregnancy was my easiest by far, if you exclude the 107 degree temperatures that summer. Lucie Rose was born in August. Jamie could not have been more doting than he was and still is of his baby girl. He was right by my side during all of our births. He has been just an amazingly loving father. He does it all... midnight feedings, baths, diaper changes, right there with me. When the kids wake up in the middle of the night and call for daddy, he goes.
Then we got pregnant with Eli. You want to measure the worth of a father? Here is an appropriate measure. Jamie has always taken an active part of my pregnancies. He has gone to every doctor visit, enjoyed feeling them kick and all of the fun things associated with being pregnant. Nothing was different about Eli's pregnancy until 20 weeks. When we found out our world would come tumbling down. Jamie stepped up even further. That first week after Eli's diagnosis, I did not cope very well. Jamie kind of had to play mama and daddy. He was crushed too but he did not stop. He literally kept me going as well as everything else. When the kids were at school, we would just hold each other and cry. He tried to make sure I was eating because he knew Eli needed nurishment. He took care of so much. I remember the first time he felt Eli kick. Because there was no fluid, movement was a great deal more pronounced. I have a very vivid picture in my mind of Jamie's face that night that I will never forget. It was pure bliss. This baby that would not make it outside of my womb was wowing us with his ability to fight. We developed our routine where once the kids were in bed we would lay on the couch with my head in Jamie's lap and he would rub my belly and get his "Eli time". Then in the mornings before anyone else, Jamie would get up, take his shower, then come and sit in the bed and wake me up so I could lay my head in his lap again so he could get some more "Eli time". We would spend time like this for about 30 minutes each morning. Those times were precious and I miss them. He still gets up early and I still lay my head in his lap, but I miss the "Eli time". Twelve weeks after we found out about Eli, he was born. This day Eli's father was a one to be proud of. He never left my side except to suit up for the OR. Once Eli was born, Jamie had to do one of the hardest things a father could ever do. He had to make decisions that only God could have directed him to make. Jamie became my hero that day. Other than doctors and nurses, he was the first to hold him. He held him long enough to walk down the hallway of the hospital, let his brothers take a peek at him and place him in my arms. He was right by my side when Eli slipped from this earth. He held him, loved on him, sang to him, talked to him, bathed him, dressed him, swaddled him in a blanket and ultimately did something I would never have been able to do in a million years. He handed his tiny little body to the man from the funeral home. I can not even imagine how difficult that was for him. He knew I couldn't, so he selflessly did it instead.
On Wednesday of that week, we got to go and spend some time with Eli's body. This I will never as long as I live forget. We were both so nervous. We were unsure of how he would look and the grief was more intense than you could ever imagine. He was still beautiful by the way. He looked like a little old man laying there. The first thing Jamie did was walk up to him so tenderly and pick him up and say "hey bud". He just held him close for a few minutes and then brought him to me. I do not know who was shaking more, me or Jamie. Neither of us thought we would ever get to hold him again after Sunday night or early Monday morning. Then Saturday we had Eli's funeral. We had decided that we would close his casket and not open it back up this day, but I had to hold him one more time. Jamie did too. So, after all of the visitors and family had been seated in the chapel, we decided to say our goodbyes once more. Jamie picked him up again and brought him to me at which point I just fell to pieces. This was by all means the hardest thing we have ever done. Then once I had said my very final goodbye, Jamie took him and cradled him in his arms and told him goodbye. He walked over and placed his tiny little body back in this casket. Then he kissed him. This man that will forever more be a hero to me was the last person on this earth to hold our little Eli.
I could go on and on about what a great man Jamie is. There are so many stories to tell. I know he is an amazing father. I just wanted you to know also!
Happy Father's Day Jamie Hill!

Much Love,


  1. Oh Jennifer, I'm crying. My husband is similar in so many ways and it just breaks my heart to see their love and pain and know they struggked to have strength for everyone else through it all. Sending you lots of love and wishing Jaime a very Happy Father's Day. xoxo

  2. Hooray for great husbands and fathers! It is a blessing to have such great men in our lives! Happy Father's Day to Jaime :)

  3. You said goodbye for a season....a short time....I hope you will find peace in knowing Eli is at perfect peace, in a perfect body, worshiping our perfect God.....we said goodbye for only season.....we will meet our boys again....