letters to my unborn child

August 8, 2011

Dear Baby,

A lot of women wax eloquent about the beauty of pregnancy. I do not think they threw up for five months like I did.

But I do think it is a mind-boggling process. And it’s very weird to me that you are growing in the same spot that your brother grew. Two babies, each started out from two tiny cells, grew into two whole human beings inside me. That is “Alien” freaky. (You cannot watch that movie until you’re 18. So take my word for it. On second thought, you will roll your eyes at the wildly outdated special effects. Forget it.)

Sometimes I wonder if you leave each other a parting note, a word of wisdom scribbled on the wall of that dark cave, should anyone else come after you and be baffled by the strange process by which you are shoved out of your warm and lovely home. Or maybe you write a secret letter to your successor like the presidents do. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a nice mahagony desk in there, given how huge my stomach is now.

Either way, get to graffiti-ing. Your eviction notice is coming soon.

Love, Mama

August 9, 2011

Dear Baby,

This has been the most humid summer on record in your home state. Did you happen to notice that, in your perfectly climate-controlled 98.6 degrees? I wish I could say I will not trot out this fun fact as a future guilt trip for you, but I will. At least the electric company loves me.

Love, Mama

August 10, 2011

Dear Baby,

Your mama slept well last night for the first time in, oh, months. Today would be a really good day for you to arrive. I realize that I have no say at all in the matter, but apparently some chemical in your brain starts the whole process, so let’s fire it up.

Also, in a few months I will start to teach you that the best place to dance is on the kitchen or living room floor. Not on other people’s internal organs.

Your big brother continues to pray for you at every meal. Much more endearing than his other current sibling-related-habit which is to yank up the bottom of my shirt whenever we are out in public and ask to “see the baby!” An action which inevitably leads to a cheeky grin and inquiry of “Mama naked?” Which leads people around us to think he is raised by nudists. See the fun you have to look forward to in this family, post-utero?

Love, Mama

August 11, 2011

Dear Baby,

You didn’t come last night. I even vacuumed the whole house in a burst of nesting energy, hoping that would ensure your arrival. At least the joint is clean now.

Then I realized this morning that you wisely held off to ensure that you and your brother have entirely separate Birthday Weeks. Smart move, if compounding discomfort for moi. Your father and I share a birthday, and this house needed no more of that. Everyone deserves their own cake.

Did I mention that this was Not The Summer to be hugely pregnant, though? Off for ice cream…

Love, Mama

August 12, 2011

Dear Baby,

Still not here yet? Swell. Oh wait, those are my ankles.

Love, Mama

August 13, 2011

Dear Baby,

A short poem for your consideration:

Full moon,

date night.

Why not

come tonight?

Our best-laid plans await to go astray. Consider this your standing invitation. (Although before we would sprint to the hospital, I would be sure to finish the tub of popcorn I’ve been dreaming about since your father suggested one last movie night.)

Love, Mama

August 14, 2011

Dear Baby,

I’m starting to think that you and your older brother may emerge from different ends of the gene pool. He came three weeks early. No one on my side shows up early to ANYTHING. I begin to fear you may be three weeks late. If this is accompanied by the Irish temper as well, heaven help us all.

Then again, I’ve made it this far with both. So I’d still love you to bits.

And just another update: your father has forbade me from making and freezing any more baked goods. Apparently my attempts to deal with the “situation” of zucchini from our garden has led to a “situation” in the downstairs freezer. Nesting has gotten out of control round these parts. Please come soon.

Love, Mama

August 15, 2011

Dear Baby,

Today is the Feast of the Assumption in our Catholic tradition. I am going to assume that you will want to do something as nice for your mother today as JC did for his. I’m not asking to be taken up to heaven, body and soul intact. I just want my body to be a little less…rotund? Uncomfortable. Overripe. That would do wonders for my soul, too.

But lest I be accused of all-cheeky-complaining and no-genuine-gratitude, I will leave you with this one lovely theological thought. This morning I was praying for patience to wait for you to come on your own time. And as I rested my hands on my belly, I noticed for the first time that I could feel you breathe inside me. Now I know there’s no air inside, but your lungs do practice the in-and-out. I could see the gentle movement, feel it rise and fall under my fingertips.

And I realized that you will forever have your own rhythm that does not match my own – not my breath, not my plans, not my expectations. The same Spirit gives life to us both, but at our own pace and time. So keep practicing in there, keep me waiting, keep us both breathing patiently. I’m sure it’s good practice for each of us down the road.

Much love, Mama

6 thoughts on “letters to my unborn child

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