By the time you're old enough to read this, you will also be old enough to understand that things did not go like we had hoped or planned. We always wanted you (before we even knew you were you), and while we didn't struggle to become pregnant as some couples do, the road to you wasn't easy. My body had been through a lot and we just weren't sure it would be prepared to accommodate another person. I am so glad that it was, that it has, and that it does.
|First positive pregnancy test: January 25, 2010|
We had such faith in the beginning that if God gave us you, He would also give us what we needed. We did our part to prepare, too: we read books, I had been maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and taking all the right vitamins a woman needs to take to carry a healthy child. We trusted God to provide us with everything we hoped for and expected: a healthy child, the means to provide for him, and the time with him that we would need.
Things didn't exactly work out that way. When I was 20 weeks pregnant and we found out you were most definitely a boy (legs unabashedly spread as they were on the sonogram), that is also when we found out about your heart. Everything else about you was perfect: your spine, your lungs, your ribs, your legs, your hands, your nose. Everything but that little heart of yours. And that's when ours were broken. Before that day, your dad and I each suspected privately that we would learn something about you that would test our faith and convictions about the sanctity of life, about how every person (no matter how small) deserves a chance at life. But nothing would prepare us for what we learned that day.
After the initial shock wore off, I was able to enjoy my pregnancy like almost any first time expectant mother. I took regular shots of my blooming profile, I rubbed my belly and sang to you and talked to you. I dreamed of your face and your smiles, and imagined you milk-drunk against my breast in the middle of the night. Even though none of it was turning out like we had planned, I couldn't imagine wanting or waiting for anyone but you, broken heart and all.
And then we got closer to when you were going to be born. Money was so tight, and we had no idea how we were going to pay for things when I was off of work, recovering from having a baby. Perhaps we've already told you about the terrible economy and the meager job market at the time you were born. Despite our best efforts, your dad couldn't find a job. I was the only one working, and I didn't have the time to do the things I wanted to do to prepare. I felt so much pressure to find a way to be with you in the hospital, but also to make ends meet. We honestly didn't see how we could do both, and the thought of that crushed me utterly. We didn't know if I was going to have to go back within 2-3 weeks after your birth, or if we would find a way to make it work. Luckily, we did -- just a couple of days ago, in fact. But the stress of all of it now means I'm at home resting (though you still happily roll and kick away when I am trying to nap), that my blood pressure is a little too high, and that I'm desperately and deliberately focusing on the all things about you and this experience that make me happy.
The truth is, you do make me happy. You move so frequently, so regularly, and so dramatically that I know you are alright. I know you are stubborn with how you fought to maintain yourself in the right side of my womb for so long (and still try to fit yourself over there sometimes), and I know you will probably love to be snuggled for the same reason. I know you are feisty and stubborn like me, because you never seem to rest, and I imagine you with a wry sense of humor. You seem to know just when I need to hear from you and how much. I imagine you coming out swinging and kicking, ready to put up a fight. I can't tell you how much you reassure me, more than almost anyone can.
I want so desperately to keep my body a safe place for you as long as I can. I want to provide the perfect place for you to grow and thrive. I'm hoping that this extra and unexpected time off will allow me not to dwell on all the unknowns that we cannot know or control (as I admittedly have been), but on how excited I am to meet you, to see your face, and hold you for the first time. Words fail me completely when I think of how much I love you; you have turned my heart inside-out completely, little one. I know you will be (and already are) my greatest teacher.
Stay safe, grow strong, and know that we are eagerly waiting for only you.
your mama bear