From: <[email protected]>
To: <All_Contacts>
Subject: Announcing our new human and my realization that Heather is really, really strong!

Dearest friends and family,

Heather and I are thrilled to announce the arrival of our new person, River Ryan Jackson, who came into the world on Friday at 4:36 AM. River and Heather are healthy, happy, and doing great. Heather was a total warrior throughout. Seriously, guys, she was so strong. Every time I saw what she was going through, I was in total awe. Like… Wow. Women are strong.

I’ve never really thought of any woman, including Heather, as strong in the traditional weightlifting sense. I think of them more as strong in the silent and beautiful sense, like a sunflower, or a large quiet whale. But watching Heather give birth? That was weightlifter-on-steroids strong! Superman strong! The whole cast of the Fast and Furious franchise combined strong! After watching Heather give birth, I’m never gonna believe that she needs my help opening a pickle jar again.

I mean, seriously, I’m the guy who built all the furniture for the nursery: the crib, the diaper table, the rocking chair. Heather’s trying to tell me she can push our beautiful watermelon-sized baby out of her who-ha but she “needs help” putting together two pieces of particle board with that little Allen wrench? I don’t believe it! The next time we get a bookshelf from Ikea, she’s putting that sucker together herself.

I forgot to mention that River weighed 8 lbs, 3 oz! But enough about that little bundle of joy, and back to Heather’s mental and physical fortitude.

Heather’s water broke right after she’d made us dinner. We timed her contractions while we watched Yellowjackets (once you start looking, you see strong females everywhere, including this show, which is so scary, lol), and then we headed to the hospital around midnight. After some pushing, River Ryan was born!

The pushing. Wow. Heather can push, which I really didn’t think she could do! One time on a road trip, our Ford Expedition broke down in the Arizona desert, and I asked Heather to push the car while I steered. She kept saying, “This is really heavy” and “I’m only five-foot-three.” At the time that sounded reasonable, so I got out of the car and pushed it myself. But after watching that little lady give birth, she’s pushing all the broken-down cars in our future!

I will say, it is incredibly difficult to watch someone you love so much go through a lot of physical pain, so shoutout to our doula Deb for comforting me in the corner.

Heather has done a ton of impressive things. She’s run two marathons. She maintains a relationship with her brother even though he’s a total nightmare (Hi Derek! Hope you’re well!). But watching her give birth was the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen anyone do. So now that I know what Heather is capable of, I’ve got a little postpartum surprise for her: I’m quitting my job, because she’s strong enough to be a woman who has it all, and by “it all” I mean baby River and sole responsibility for our mortgage.

To all the women reading this email who have given birth, and to all the women everywhere who have ever given birth (not you, Aunt Linda, because you’re childless): Wow. You are so strong.

Much love to you all, and I can’t wait for you to meet little River!