02 December 2011

Dear Austen

Dear Austen,

I can't believe your arrival is just weeks away!! In many ways, it seems like we just learned we were expecting you. At the time, you were no larger than the size of the period at the end of this sentence. And as my round belly will now attest, you are quite a bit bigger and your presence is much more obvious.

34 weeks belly (B/W)

There are a lot of things I want to say to you, but before I do that, I wanted to tell you about this pregnancy. I was curious about my mom's pregnancy with me and chances are, I'll forget some of the details if I don't write them down, so I will do that first. We found out we were pregnant with you on May 3, 2011. I suspected I was pregnant 2 days before I ever took my first pregnancy test though, having felt the telltale round ligament pain that betrayed your existence to me before I told anyone. It was a couple of weeks later that I started getting sick. I became sick with your brother Ewan, but not nearly with the frequency and intensity that I did with you. Dry heaves and losing anything I ate became a regular part of my day, 3-5 times a day.

My favorite part of being pregnant was feeling you move. We started feeling little jabs here and there at about 15 weeks and by the time we had our first ultrasound at 21 weeks and a few days, we could already notice your feet popping out of my belly with impressive force for one so little! A few months later, and my belly looks like a wave machine with the way you move in it. There are some days you're a little more chilled out than others, but for the most part, you are always on the go!! I often tell you what a good girl you are for kicking your mommy so hard -- but rest assured, that will change once you're born. :o)

I think that there are few babies in the world as anticipated and cherished as you are, Austen -- I know that all good parents love their babies, but where there has been loss, I believe that new little one is loved in a way you can't learn how to love unless you've lost. Losing Ewan was by far the worst thing that had ever happened to us. We still love him to the moon and back, but he's not here and I can't begin to tell you how sorry I am that you will not get to meet him, that we will never know what it's like to be all together as a family.

After losing him, life felt like an unending black hole. Our days felt so dark and there were many times I wondered if we'd ever be ready to say yes to another baby again -- which we knew only too well was to say yes to the possibility of loving and losing again. But it was Ewan who broke my heart wide open and who made me want more children if they were going to be anything at all like him -- while he was here, a little slice of heaven with sweet baby skin on.

But we did say yes, and we are the most fortunate people in the world, Austen, because we got you. And let me tell you -- you are feisty and spunky and full of energy and all kinds of wonderful. You're healthy and you're strong. And you know what? We are going to have a lot of fun, little girl. We are going to have so much fun.

Your daddy and I can't wait to meet you!! Until then, kick, nudge, and squirm away and never mind my exclamations of "Ow!" or "Ooh, that hurts!" It's all worth it, baby girl -- never forget that -- the saying "yes" and being scared of what might happen, the physical pain, the hurt in our hearts that will never go away from saying goodbye to Ewan -- it's all worth it. And I hope that more than anything you learn from us, you will learn that truth, and know it well.