Dear Baby Girl:
Here I am, thirty weeks pregnant, and wondering how on earth I’m going to make it another ten weeks (or longer) until you decide to make your way out. Every now and then, I’ll sit here and wish that I could speed this up, to help you grow faster, to get you out of my womb and into my arms as quickly as humanly possible.
But then again, why rush? You’re going to be rushed your entire life.
From the first second you open your crusty little eyes, everything’s a race. It’s a race to get you out, to cut your umbilical cord (which I know is your lifeline right now, but don’t panic), to get you weighed, get you vaccinated, clean you off, and get you onto my boob for that “you’re-probably-starving-from-your-travels-here-have-a-snack” feeding. It’s going to be completely overwhelming, and you’ll scream your freshly-developed little lungs out…and you should. From that moment on, there’s no more cuddling up in my uterus, playing xylophone on my ribs, or practicing ninja moves on my bladder, where your only worries are to grow big and strong, and to make sure you find the exit with your head, not your feet. No, from that moment on, you’re on the outside, with a whole new set of problems.
But that’s where your Dad and I come in.
You’re our first kid, and I’ll be honest with you – it’s scary. It’s scary to think that in just a couple short months, we’ll be in charge of keeping a tiny human alive with virtually no prior experience. Sure, we’ve held babies and changed diapers and played with little ones that aren’t ours. But to have one that belongs to us? Let’s just say I had a nightmare recently that we forgot to change your diaper for two whole days (and you were not happy about it).
But you know what? We’ll figure it out just fine.
From the second your Dad and I discovered I was pregnant, when I shook violently in the bathroom staring at those two little positive lines, we knew right then and there that our lives were about to change. Sure, we had made the conscious effort to have you the second we got married, so of course we were elated! But we also knew about the crazy learning experience in store for us.
And that’s when I realized it was time to be selfless, not selfish.
I saw your little heart beat when you were just six weeks old. My body was no longer just mine – it was yours, too. It was the only thing giving you life. You were a flickering little spec on the ultrasound screen, but now, my actions were now affecting you, a tiny little life form inside of my uterus. I didn’t know if you were a boy or a girl, if you were healthy, or if you would grow the way you were supposed to. All I knew is that you were alive, and hearing the sound of your heart beat was enough to change my life in order to create the very best one for you.
We left that ultrasound with excitement and determination, and buckled up for the ride.
And I’ll tell you what, we realized that ride comes with a lot – and I mean a lot – of unsolicited baby advice from “experts” who assume I don’t know anything about you. My personal favorite? “Get your sleep now, because you’ll never sleep after the baby is born!”
Wait. Does that mean you’re not self-sufficient after exiting my body? We actually have to feed you? And bathe you? And tend to your every cry, no matter what time it is? You don’t just walk out of the womb ready to make a Taco Bell run for Mom while she takes a nap? What kind of baby are you?
Oh, a normal one. (And that’s what we call sarcasm. Dad and I will teach you all about that one day.)
But you know what the most surprising part of the whole ride is so far? We found out you were a little girl. Our very own daughter.
There you were on the ultrasound screen, 16 weeks old, your little lady parts in high-def, and the tech telling us you were a girl. You were no longer an “it.” You were a she. (As in, she won’t stop kicking the crap out of me, and she makes me pee 28 times a day.) We immediately began to imagine what you might look like – brown hair and big blue eyes like Mom, a perfect smile like Dad, and destined to be short, like the both of us (sorry). We thought about all the milestones ahead, all the protection you’ll need (Dad’s already sprucing up his arsenal), and all the advice we’ll give you. It took a minute or two, but the reality sunk in – you were going to be our sweet, amazing, precious little girl.
And that’s the best feeling in the entire world.
Sure, one day you might hear people make jokes about how miserable it was to carry you for nine months; but don’t you worry. I’m here to tell you that I absolutely love every second of growing you inside my belly. I mean, yeah, there are days when I’m exhausted, in pain, or crying at a cereal commercial because GOOD GOD, THE HORMONES. (Which may or may not scare your Dad.) Still, every little kick, punch, flip, or dance move you’re cranking out in there (I swear sometimes you’re doing the worm) reminds me that you’re an actual, real, little human, and it’s incredible. I feel like the luckiest woman in the world now that my main job is keeping you healthy until your big debut. You’re going to be perfect, I just know it!
But that doesn’t mean I don’t worry about things sometimes.
I worry about whether your Dad and I will do a good job. Will we raise you right? Will we give you the best advice? Will we know how to handle everything that’s thrown our way?
We have no way of knowing what the future holds, but all I can tell you is we will do everything we can to keep you safe, and keep you loved. Sure, we’ll make mistakes…but in our defense, we’re new at this, okay? No matter what, we’ll teach you about life, about working hard to achieve your goals, and about being kind. We’ll teach you about respect, friendship, and forgiveness. We’ll teach you how to be strong, to never blame the world for your problems, and that you can always make your voice heard, no matter how small you are.
But most importantly, we’ll teach you that you are never alone.
Yes, at times you’re going to feel like it. I’ll tell you right now, there will be a time in your life when you totally hate me and your Dad (probably over a boy at some point, if you’re anything like me). But even when it feels like the world is against you, remember that we will always be there for you, your biggest fans, and your biggest supporters. We love you so much already, and we haven’t even met you yet! (I know, sounds a bit clingy, right? But you’ll understand eventually.)
And one more thing: You may not understand this yet, but thank you.
Thank you for bringing a whole new sense of purpose and meaning to our lives. Thank you for every kick and every hiccup that lets me know you’re okay. Thank you for bringing your Dad and I closer together, and being the reason we love each other more, even when we thought we couldn’t. Thank you for making us smile every single day, knowing we’ll hear you call us “Mommy” and “Daddy” before we know it.
And thank you for being the most beautiful thing in our lives. We may not know the details of your little face yet, but hey, you’re a miracle, right? And miracles are beautiful.
We can’t wait to meet you, baby girl.