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Whitehair experiences week he'll never forget


There are weeks in a person's life where everything seems to happen.

Maybe it was the week you graduated from college, got engaged and got your first desk job or the time you got a dog, a haircut and a raise in back-to-back-to-back days. 

Maybe it was a week you spent in Europe and managed to see the Coliseum, the Eiffel Tower, and a German man in a three-piece suit standing in the rain without an umbrella for no apparent reason.

Cody Whitehair just had one of those weeks.

On September 1, he agreed to a five-year extension, giving him a stable future relatively rare even among NFL players.

On September 5, he played the first game of the 2019 season, his fourth with the Bears and first playing guard.

On September 6, his wife, Hannah, gave birth to their first child, a baby girl named Blakely.

"Obviously the game didn't end the way we wanted it to," said Whitehair, "but once we got to the hospital it was all her. She had a long labor, but at the end of the day we had a good, healthy baby, so it was all worth it."

The Whitehairs married in 2016, shortly before the start of Cody's rookie season in Chicago. Kansas natives, they took to their new home and started to plan a life together in the big city.

"We wanted to stay here," said Whitehair. "That was my main thing. The culture around here, the guys, and what the organization put together is really special to me. Both my wife and I love it here, so we wanted to raise our daughter here."

Having a baby during the first week of the NFL season might seem like less than ideal timing. If the newest Whitehair holds to generally accepted development patterns, she won't be sleeping through the night until the playoffs at the earliest. Whitehair said that he and his wife have divided responsibilities.

"My wife has done a great job letting me sleep and taking over the reins of everything," said Whitehair. "Right now, all (the baby) does is eat, sleep, and poop. So, there's not a lot I can do except change diapers. She's done a great job and she understands that sleep is vital for my production on the field."

Nearly a week into fatherhood, Whitehair has had some time to ponder on the lessons of the father figures in his life. He talks about what he wants to pass on to his daughter.

"Let the baby know that they can count on you," said Whitehair, "and you're going to try to do everything you can for what's in their best interest. Obviously, that will happen more as she gets a little older. Just to let her know that she's my everything and I'll do anything I can for her."