By Reid Mathews
Saturday, April 3rd, 2021, was the greatest day of my entire life. I got to meet my princess Janet Lee “Jaylee” Mathews at 11:07 AM. She was 7 lbs 7 oz and 20 inches long, and she stole my heart immediately. The days leading up to that were filled with anticipation and slight anxiety, but everything went perfectly. We feel very blessed to have worked with the great team at Tidelands Waccamaw Hospital in Murrells Inlet who helped us welcome our baby into this world.
What does it mean to me to have a daughter now? It means everything. It is crazy to me how much I love her and how I would do anything to protect her and provide for her. My heart hurts when she cries (which Praise the Lord has not been too often!), and my heart explodes with joy when I see her smile (or at least what looks like a smile in the first few days of life!). The Bible states it so clearly in Psalm 127:3, “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.” I look at this verse a little differently now that my princess is here. I don’t necessarily see it as a reward as much as I do just a pure blessing. I don’t feel like I could ever do anything to receive a reward this grand and precious. My wife and I prayed for years through our infertility journey for this child, and God blessed us with her. She is truly is a gift from God.
We had a midwife named Jess in the delivery room. During the beginning of the labor process, I began to get a little queasy to say the least, but after a few minutes, Jess asked me if I wanted to help catch my daughter Jaylee and then hand her to my wife. I said yes, and I was able to help deliver her. It was by far the most amazing and incredible thing I have ever been able to witness and be a part of. The wonders and miracles of God all came out in the delivery room, and I feel so blessed He allowed me to witness that process.
One of the other big takeaways for me is the love that God has for us. Being a father now and feeling the emotions I have of love, protection and wanting the absolute best for my daughter have given me a glimpse of how God looks at us. He has plans to prosper us and give us a future and a hope. He wants us to thrive, love people, and live a life of excellence just like I want for my little girl. I feel a great sense of responsibility to teach Jaylee God’s Word, the Truth, and I will continue to pray for guidance, wisdom, strength, and perseverance as I go through this next journey of my life.
My wife Jana and I are so grateful for Jaylee, our Berry Financial family, our family and friends, and for the Lord. We cannot thank you enough for your prayers and kindness. This process has been eye opening in so many wonderful ways. I am absolutely in love with my wife and my little girl. This love that I feel is unlike any other, and I want to shout it to the top of the mountains all day long!