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J.R. Smith Holds His Preemie Baby For the First Time

NBA Dad Was Emotional Holding His Baby For the First Time After She Was Born 5 Months Early

NBA player J.R. Smith revealed that his wife, Jewel, gave birth to their daughter, Dakota, five months early. She was born at just 1 pound and after a long few weeks, J.R. and his wife, who goes by Shirley, finally were able to hold their baby for the first time. The Cleveland Cavaliers star took to Instagram to share this special moment with his fans. "Today is one of the greatest days of my life. Today I get to hold my youngest for the first time! GOD is GREAT! #DakotaStrong," he captioned the photo above.

The couple has been documenting their daughter's progress on the blog My Kota Bear, where Shirley shared some heartwarming notes about holding baby Kota for the first time. "My sweet Dakota, your touch has calmed my soul and your warmth has fueled the energy I needed to keep going," she wrote. "I am so grateful to have seen this day, for over two hours her and I soaked in each others 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."

J.R.'s team may have won the NBA championship last year and he's seen a ton of success in the league for the last 13 years, but he described this moment as one of the greatest days of his life. Shirley continued to write about her husband's experience holding their baby girl, and it sounds like the sweetest moment for any father to have experienced. She said that "this man was skinning and grinning I felt his energy; it was vibrant and contagious."

"Kota Bear looked like a little shrimp laying on her dads chest. I called my view of them two a miraculous work of art because his tattoos surrounded her tiny body in such a unique way; she added another piece to the story that was already permanently written on his body," she wrote.

Anyone who has dealt with the emotional roller coaster of giving birth prematurely knows how special this moment is for the Smiths. Shirley continued to explain that they've learned to really appreciate the little things in life and cherish every waking minute with their daughter Dakota. Check out Shirley's sweet photo below.

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