Saints quarterback Drew Brees beaming over the birth of his daughter

Drew Brees is now one child short of fielding his own offensive line.

The Saints quarterback and his wife, Brittany, welcomed a new baby girl Monday night at 7:43 p.m. The couple declined to share their daughter’s name since a birth certificate has not yet been filled out, but Brees said the 7-pound, 7-ounce, 20-inch child arrived healthy.

“Britt and her are healthy, happy, everyone is doing great,” Brees said. “It melted my heart to watch her be born last night. I actually got to take the snap, so to speak, and catch her on the way out. That’s a memory I’ll have forever. She already has daddy wrapped around her finger.”

The new addition is the fourth child in Brees’ family, joining sons Baylen Robert, 5, Bowen Christopher, 3, and Callen Christian, 2.

Brees said the ideal plan for his family was always to have three sons and then a baby girl. The quarterback said this way there would always be “built-in protection” when he is away from the home.

Right now, the couple is not planning on having any additional children, and Brees hinted that a procedure to prevent another child arriving could be in his future after he wins some “football games.”

“As I’ve been told by those who have experienced that, do it the Saturday before the Sunday final round at the Masters,” he said. “I’ll have an excuse to sit around and watch it.”

Brees returned to practice Tuesday after missing Monday’s session to be with his wife. Those in attendance showered him with congratulations and at one point he turned around to give them a thumbs up.

The picture Brees tweeted announcing the arrival of his daughter garnered 3,818 retweets and 9,049 favorites as of Tuesday afternoon. He said the support that he’s received from the community has been overwhelming.

“It’s awesome. They’re all New Orleans babies, so New Orleans will always have a special place in our hearts and in theirs,” Brees said. “This is their birthplace, this is where they’re growing up. It’s awesome.

“It just goes to show that the relationship between us and the fans, it goes well beyond just the playing field or what we do in the Superdome every Sunday. I would say that is most unique across all professional sports. I don’t know if it’s really like that any other place.”

The pull of those fans had Brees feeling restless Monday afternoon as he was sitting in the hospital. While he was excited about the arrival of his new daughter, there was a part of Brees that wanted to be on the field with his teammates for practice.

He said he spent a good amount of time pacing, hoping that the child would come sooner than later. He said that if he had known she was going to wait to arrive until the evening, he would have taken part in practice.

“I could have made it practice and got some work done,” Brees said. “I was there, as supportive as I could be. Obviously I’m not the one who is having to sustain the contractions and everything else. I’m just giving some rah-rah speeches along the way.

“I was just champing at the bit, many times pacing back and forth in the room waiting to see the baby girl.”

Though Brees declined to announce the name of his daughter, he said the couple had no trouble picking out a name. They started out with four options and eventually whittled down the options.

He says the one they are going with fits perfectly.

“We wanted to see her and spend time with her and see if we could feel that personality, and she looks exactly like what we’re going to name her,” Brees said.

While Brees always has some advice or insight to share when asked about football, the father of four said he is still at a loss when someone asks for parenting advice.

“I think regardless you’re in way over your head,” Brees said. “As prepared as you think you might be you can read all the books that you want you can ask all the advice you want but until you see it for yourself and it happens for yourself, there’s nothing like it.

“It’s God’s greatest gift, no question, boys or girls.”