There's so much I want to tell you. Rather than wishing I had started writing to you earlier, I’ll simply be grateful that I have the opportunity to do so now.
A few things have inspired me to start writing to you over these past few weeks.
First of all, your Papa and I are taking a HypnoBirthing class. I won’t get into the details, but know that it’s helping us prepare for you. For one, it’s helping me release stress. As always, I'm a continual work in progress this area, but I notice that I'm faster to let go and quicker to laugh at my own frustrations. Every small positive shift encourages me. It’s also helping your Papa learn about birth and how to support us. We’re learning affirmations and relaxation techniques, we’re shifting our language so that we feel empowered rather than afraid, and we’re opening our minds to different ways of thinking about how we want to welcome you into this big, beautiful world.
Your Papa and I also recently watched the movie Waitress. (Fun fact: Your Papa loves the Sara Bareilles soundtrack to the musical version, so you've probably heard that a lot already and will continue to hear it a lot more.) In the movie, the pregnant main character writes her baby letters. Hearing her speaking to her baby moved me like no other, and I thought, “Why am I not doing that?”
Well, it's probably because I feel like I’m doing so many other things in addition to my full-time job – preparing our grocery and Amazon lists since we can’t actually go to stores (you’d be amazed at how much time I spend on those two websites), making delicious meals (one definite benefit of social/physical distancing), trying to stay at least somewhat in touch with people (though I’ve not been very good at this one), fitting in my prenatal workouts and outside time for the sake of sanity...and preparing for you!
There's the baby registry (endless, endless research that feels almost intolerable at times, because I only want the best for you, but I don’t know wtf I’m doing, even with advice from many mother friends), the four books I’m reading, researching more books to read, practicing my HypnoBirthing exercises, finding a doula and infant CPR/first aid classes...and so forth. I’m taking it step by step, but I didn’t really do much in the first trimester. You see, I wanted to make sure you were good to go. We had a few scares along the way, which didn’t help, and I couldn’t quite fully dive in until I felt certain. 90% certainty wasn’t enough – I needed 100%. Now that I’m there, it’s officially time to do all the things!
I’m focusing more on bonding with you every day. I’ve been rubbing my belly and talking to you, and I started reading to you. I borrowed some favorite books from my childhood from your grandparents’ house and have been reliving them with you.
Did you know that some of the most important learning you’ll do is now, in my belly? True story. You’re learning the sound of my voice, which comes in loud and clear, while many other noises sound like the teacher from Peanuts. Your taste buds are fully functional, which means that you’ll like lemony kale and chocolate equally, I suppose. You can hear other sounds, so I’m convincing your Papa to listen to Mozart and other classical music instead of CNBC all day. I don’t want you to respond to certain voices...Let’s just leave it at that. I’m also trying my darndest to get back in my Broadway groove – to play it on the radio and to carve out time to play the piano and sing to you. Imagining you lighting up and recognizing show tunes from your time in the womb...I don’t think there’s any greater gift for this Mama.
My world is your world – the air I breathe, the food I eat, the chemicals I'm exposed to (which is why I’m such a fanatic about such things), and the emotions I feel. Did you feel that surge of red-hot anger at those damn gnats in the kitchen that I can’t manage to kill, so help me God? We don’t like gnats. And when I completely lost it in the car the other day and ended up sobbing because the lake was too crowded in these Times of Corona even though all I wanted to do was go for our first swim? That was the full weight of COVID crashing down. It happens.
Luckily, you got to see the light of the sun (which I know you can see now) when your Papa took us to a secluded lake spot. We even had our first swim! I hope you liked it as much as I did. Odds are, you will. I can see you being quite the fish. You sure do like to move around, especially after meals and at night. (Huzzah for chocolate!) Soon your patterns will be more cyclical, or so I hear, but they’re sporadic for now. Even so, I see you graceful in my belly. I just had a peek at you at our follow-up sonogram. That small bruise on the placenta isn’t growing, and it’s not affecting your growth or amniotic fluid, so all is well. You’re a very healthy 1 pound, 9 ounces. Grow, baby, grow!
You finally got to feel your Zia Leah’s hand the other day, and she felt you kick – or punch, or elbow or knee jab, or head butt – whatever it was you were doing at that particular moment.
She asked us what we all thought you would look like. Blue eyes, most likely, or some shade of blue/green. I’m hoping for blonde curls – or a full-on afro like the one your Papa had when he was younger. It would be pretty hilarious if you were on the shorter and squatter side. Odds are, you’ll be a string bean. One of your grandmother’s childhood nicknames was Pony Legs, and Zia Leah had the same legs. You might get the Wolff nose, but I didn’t get it, so TBD on that one. Probably a mouth on the smaller side. Maybe a widow’s peak like your Mama, because that’s definitely genetic.
At week 25, we’re both settling into this journey, growing in our own ways each week. You are my inspiration, my wisdom, my strength.
We can’t wait to meet you.
Love, Your Mama