J.R. Smith, a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, says touching his premature kid for the first time was one of the “best days” of his life. Smith uploaded a photo on social media of the poignant moment he held Dakota for the first time, one month after his wife Jewel Harris announced that she had given birth to their daughter Dakota extremely early. “Today is one of the most memorable days in my life.”
Today I get to hold my youngest for the first time! GOD is GREAT! #DakotaStrong,” Smith, 31, captioned the Instagram snap.
Smith and Harris, who have been married since last August, shared news of Dakota’s early birth in a video posted to Uninterrupted on January 7. “We’ve got very important news,” J.R. said in the video. “Hi, everybody,” Jewel added. “We decided to share with the world what’s been going on with our family the past five days. We know a lot of you folks wished us well with our beautiful baby girl’s pregnancy, but she arrived five months early. Dakota, who is five days old and weighs one pound, is her name.” The couple’s motivations for reaching out to the public were then explained by Jewel. “We know we’re not the only family dealing with this, who has dealt with it, or who will deal with it in the future.”That’s why we decided to share what we’re going through with you guys. Please keep us in your prayers and we’ll do the same for everyone else.”
Dakota remains hospitalized in the NICU as J.R. and his family stay by her side. Harris has been posting updates on Dakota on her blog, mykotabear.com. “I am so grateful to have seen this day, for over two hours her and I soaked in each other’s presence. The numbers on her monitors told me this experience was all that and a bag of chips for her; the look and smile on my face did the very same for me,” Harris writes on her blog. “Next In line was daddy also known as poppa bear when I tell you this man was skinning and grinning I felt his energy it was vibrant and contagious.”
Cleveland Cavaliers player J.R. Smith says holding his premature baby for the first time was one of “the greatest days” of his life