Oh, baby girl. Baby girl yet to be named. Baby sister. Baby girl whose presence and movements create a belly on me that could easily put Santa's "bowl full of jelly" to shame. Oh, little baby girl -
You know, I thought you might come on Friday night when I had light but consistent pressure waves for 4 hours. It was a false alarm, but a useful one - it got dad in gear to finally install your freshly cleaned infant car seat and to set up your Co-sleeper in our room.
You have been growing in my belly for over 37 weeks now. And I have hardly written a peep on this blog for you. That's not to say I haven't been preparing for you! If you could only see the chest freezer I have filled to the brim with food in anticipation of your arrival! Or the piles of your clothes that are washed and folded by size, ready and waiting to be worn by you. Nonetheless, Granny Shanks often remarks at how she keeps forgetting that I am growing you at all,
"You hardly complain about being pregnant. I forget that you're having a baby!"
And that's the truth. I haven't complained too much with you. After the first trimester queasiness, you've been pretty easy going on your mama for the most part. This could very well be due to your mom's employment status - barefoot and pregnant stay-at-home Mom - as opposed to Costco bakery worker. I'm sure that is in large part the case. Though, I also secretly hope it is an omen of a pleasant and easy-going personality in you. ;) If not, no worries my little love. I will still love you to pieces and will only place blame on Karma. I suppose I deserve some payback for the two times I flooded the upper floor trying to make our home a swimming pool, or the time I super-glued my fingers together, or the months I begged and tantrum-ed to go potty in every single public restroom within my line of sight, or the time Jeremy and I threw all the eggs on the kitchen floor before mom woke up for the day . . .
But as your time of arrival seems ever more imminent, I wanted to take the time to write down some of my memories and experiences with you in utero:
- Daddy and I felt strongly that you were a girl before we ever found out through the ultrasound. I didn't trust my feeling though, as I wanted to have a daughter so badly I was sure it was clouding my judgement. But after we found out, I was so pleased. I am thrilled to be a mom to a daughter - to you! I have so much I look forward to sharing with you little one. Women are so special to Heavenly Father, and to the cause for right in the world. And now, I have a little woman of my own to teach and love and grow right along with.
- Your big brother sends you love by kissing my belly each day now. One of his favorite books is the book called, "The New Baby" by Mercer Mayer. We read it at least once a day, and sometimes 5-6 times in a day. He loves babies - especially baby girls. He is so sweet and soft and nice to them when he sees them at church. I know he is very excited to meet you. He will be a good big brother to you because he loves you so much already little sis.
- Daddy is always surprised by how strong your kicks are at night when we cuddle. Your movements often startle him to jump. He likes to exaggerate your strength by complaining of the "bruises" he acquires from your energetic outbursts.
- Mimi likes to see how you are growing. So I show her your progress through our Skype chats by showing her my belly. Your big brother likes to show Mimi his belly when I do this, too.
- It seems to me as though you never sleep. Your flutters, kicks and twirls happen quite consistently throughout the day and throughout the night. Don't you ever get tired little one?
- Mrs. Amanda and Mrs. Allison threw an amazingly adorable baby shower to help me prepare for you. Pictures to come, hopefully soon.
- I am so excited for your birth. I have been practicing my Hypnobabies to prepare for your birthing time. I am even better prepared and more confident than I was with your brother. And I anticipate a beautiful experience of you coming in to the world. I think about it every day, and can't wait for that moment when I will see you and hold you for the very first time. And Daddy? Well, he's mostly just nervous. It's his job to keep you and mommy safe, so he worries. That Daddy of yours, he's one good guy. You are lucky to have him for a dad, you know that?
- When you were about 30 weeks along, a women came right up to me while I waiting in line at the bank, poked my belly full of you with her long fake fingernail, and said quite loudly, "Well, aren't you about ready to pop?!" I have heard similar remarks from others at church and elsewhere since about midway through your second trimester. What can I say? You are simply one solid baby, and you grow all in one place. Speaking of that . . .
- A woman in line behind us at Michael's told me a few weeks ago, "You know, you can't even tell you're pregnant from behind." That's pretty true. You, little miss, are growing all in one large ball in the front part of my belly, and if I stand just right some might not know you are there. But, all it takes is a slight turn to get eyes of passers by opening wide, or their mouths to curl up into a knowing smile. :)
- It's true, I cry pretty easily these days. Even on days when I'm not growing a sweet little baby in my belly, truth be told. But, there is just something about you coming this time of year that feels so sacred and special and tender. I've already begun listening and crying to Christmas music, in joyous anticipation of my favorite holiday of the year. I can't wait to hold your fresh little soul in my arms this Christmas. Or to take pictures of you in footie jammies with ruffle bums, nestled inside one of our stockings. You are already my most favorite gift this year, baby girl.
I do have to confess, though . . . not all has been easy in preparing for you to come to our home. Nope. I have struggled with guilt. Guilt for your brother. And guilt for you. How could I ever hope to continue to give your brother the same special attention that I have given him the last 21 months? And you, little love, will never get 21 months of me all to yourself like your brother did. Your identity is already so much woven within our family - you already and will forever have the title of, "Lincoln's little Sister." You are not an only child, you are a sibling and you therefore are subject to all the wonderfully beautiful and sometimes sad consequences of that reality. Lincoln, too. That has been the hardest part of growing you of all. I just don't know how I can be enough for your brother, and for you.
But, let me tell you something more. Something I've learned. One day I was driving and crying, thinking about this quandary of our growing family. I was so caught up, worrying and worrying and worrying about how I could care for you and your brother. I am only one person! How can I care for you and Lincoln both in a way that I feel like you two are getting all the love and mommy time you surely need?! I wondered, and pondered, and cried.
And then, in answer, a song came on the radio. This same song by Stevie Wonder that I put on your gender announcement blog post. "Isn't She Lovely?" It is the song I associate with you most little one. And I knew my answer was clear:
"Just enjoy this little life! Enjoy everything as it is and as it comes! Be excited for the beautiful little person who is coming into your world! Enjoy your sweet family made from love!"
And so, I try my best to remember that message when I waffle with nervous anticipation of how to be a mother to two. When I wonder if I will be enough for you and your brother, I go to that place in my heart where I keep my truest thoughts and feelings, and remember how truly blessed I am to have you in my life and so close to being here with me, and Daddy, and Lincoln.
And I am. We are all so thankful to Heavenly Father for sending you to us. We can't wait to meet you and to get to know who you really are. We can't wait for you to join our family. The time is so close, baby girl! See you, very very soon.