07 June 2011

Dear Baby ...

Dear Baby,

As much as I think about you, hope for you, and pray for you, I confess that I've also been spending a great deal of time thinking about your older brother. A day never goes by where I don't think of him and miss him, where I don't wish that things had turned out very differently than they did. This does not mean that I don't want you very much -- because I can assure you, I do -- it's just that my pregnancy with you so far is so much like the one I had with your brother. It is impossible for me not to connect the two in my mind.

Baby Petermann's older brother, Ewan

I have pictures of Ewan at my desk at work. I always look at them throughout the day and remember his soft skin, piercing blue eyes, and the demeanor that was as sweet as it was feisty. Today I found myself weeping uncontrollably every time I looked at them for no reason in particular other than the obvious: he died and he's gone, and I will never stop loving him.

It's because of this that I feel both incredibly hopeful for and protective of you. I don't have any strange or foreboding feelings that something is going to go wrong (like I did before we found out about your brother's heart, and which I dismissed as run-of-the-mill first-time mommy jitters), nor am I worried about losing you the way we lost Ewan. But because of Ewan, you should know even now what you mean to us. It will look different for you than it does for your brother, but you should know that even now, I love you every bit as fiercely as I do Ewan.

The websites tell me that right now, you're barely over an inch long and weigh somewhere around one gram. But don't let that fool you into thinking that even as I write this, that you are not mighty. I feel sick almost all day long and I need extra rest. There was a time when I minded all of this and while I won't sugarcoat things by saying that nausea and vomiting are a walk in the park or something I deal with while donning a smile, I am thankful for these signs that you are alive and well, thriving just as you should be. I do it for you, just as my mother did it for me.

You should also expect that we are all going to make quite a fuss over you. To say we will appreciate bringing you home, staying up with you, cleaning up your diaper explosions, and wiping up your spit is an understatement. While I don't expect I will coast through these moments without complaint, I do expect that I will find myself rejoicing that I get these moments with you at all. What others might see as mundane will be simply miraculous to me. This means there will be lots of kisses and cuddling, and that we may turn into the types of parents who cannot carry on a conversation without mentioning their child, or without photos popping out on display out of nowhere. When you're old enough to realize it, we will probably embarrass you. But if you're old enough to be embarrassed, hopefully you're old enough also to cut us a little bit of slack in that department.

Keep up the good work of growing, little one, and know that even now, there's a big brother who watches over you, loves you, and prays for you too. As big brothers go, I promise you that you really couldn't ask for a better one.

We love you to the moon and back again, and then some.