Since we found out, I’ve been thinking a lot about you. I didn’t have an over-the-top emotional moment with your Dad the evening of the positive test. No tears were shed. No screaming or jumping around. Don’t get me wrong, you were very much wanted but, frankly, I didn’t believe it. There’s really a teeny, tiny little person in me? No way. What further made me wonder was after I went to the doctor: they said it was a “no” after doing their own test. She said it could simply be too early to tell but as far as their test went, you weren’t there and my doubting was confirmed. They said to get blood work done just to be sure. So the poking happened and the waiting started. All the while your Dad kept saying, after intricately reading the directions on the box that first night, that “There’s no false positives.” I still didn’t believe it. Throughout that time, though, my body naturally told me there was life brewing and as the days passed by, I started to believe you were really there. Then the test came in with sky-high HCG levels. Confirmed.
Then something happened at work just days after finding out to confirm it yet again. A little boy – about 3 years old – came into the office while his mom was signing him out. Now this was not uncommon as there are many kids that pop in to say hi, get a treat, or just stand there and stare waiting for you to acknowledge them as children sometimes do. What was different was this little guy was not one that typically did so. But this day he came in, looked me straight in the eye, and to the horror of this mother innocently said:
“You have a baby in your belly!?”
It caught me so off guard that I awkwardly laughed and replied, “Ahhhh…” – if that’s even counted as a reply. His mom profusely apologized, told her son, “Hunny, we don’t say that to ladies,” escorted him out and reassured me I didn’t look pregnant. Although it was all quite funny, I am convinced kids can be sensitive to things and used by God in interesting ways. I felt after he left that it was God’s silly way of telling me that “Yup, this baby is for real.”
Now that you’ve heard about what it was like to find out about you, there are so many things I want to tell you. A sweet lady from your church, whom I’m excited for you to meet, came to me early on and told me that she felt God tell her I needed to write to you. “Don’t write about, write to your baby,” she said. Little did she know I started this post before you were the size of an orange. So read on, little one, and hear about a few of the things I can’t wait for you to discover in person…
Dear Baby, Just wait until you meet your Dad. You’re going to think he’s the best. I certainly do. I’ll let you in on something – when I was back and forth about starting our little family just yet, it was your DAD who was set on the idea more than me. In fact, when we were lent a fetal doppler, we recorded your fast, little heart beat and sent it to your family and close friends for fun. Click below to hear it:
A few days later, I saw your Dad with his phone smushed up to his ear. It didn’t take me long to realize what he was doing: He was listening to your heart beat. Let’s just say he can’t wait to meet you.
There’s so much to write about your Dad. I want to write that “he is who he says he is.” But that wouldn’t be entirely true. Because he doesn’t say he’s anything, actually. That’s what I love about him. He just consistently IS.
And he’s so fun. I’m certain you’re going to have a blast with him.
There are many things about him that I pray I see in you. You will certainly be who you are meant to be and I can’t wait to discover what you’re all about. But if you’re a tad like your Dad on top of your own thing that you’ll have going on, you’ll be quite alright.
A lot of focus is on the two of us right now but that moment when you make your appearance will be a pretty big moment for your Dad too. There’s something that tells me I will need lots of tissues when I see him hold you for the first time…
Dear Baby, do you know how loved you are by your Great Big God? So much so that on May 11th I heard Him quietly whisper to me “I love this Baby” when I was at work. It was said in such a knowing way. He already knows you. Since then, the song “How He Loves” has been on my mind in regards to you. So we made this sign together, with the help of a friend, to go above your crib:
I have this inkling you’re going to teach me more about the deep love of Jesus…
Your Dad and I are going to try our best to teach you about who Jesus is and what it means to follow him. Lord knows we don’t have it all together but he also knows we are going to work hard to create an environment where you can learn from us, follow our lead, and then make your own, personal decision. I’m already praying about that certain day, that certain moment. Your moment. The moment when you will willingly bow your knee to the One who gave it all for you.
Dear Baby, your Dad and I can’t wait to bring you home. We’ve only lived in little St. Andrews for a year but we definitely feel at home. When deciding to buy a house we thought about many things we wanted in one – a big percentage of our thinking focused on a home that would easily accommodate a future family and have enough comfortable space for company. We looked at over 20 homes and we landed on what I now call “My Dream Home (within our means).” People said we would just know when we stepped foot in “the one.” Sure enough as soon as we walked up the stairs I wanted this one. In fact, I never voiced to your Dad or the realtor about something I wanted in a future home: a cathedral ceiling. This house has a cathedral ceiling!! I also wanted to live on a country road with “no lines.” Sure enough, little one, we live in the country on a road WITH NO LINES. (The perfect road to ride bikes on!) When the sale went through and it hit that we actually bought a house, I was taken back by how God loves to surprise us with the little things – the little things we don’t even voice. He’s a detail sort of God and I’m pretty sure he likes seeing our reactions when we enjoy something he’s blessed us with. All in all, we can’t wait to take you home, play outside with you in the yard in the future, and simply have you here in this space we’ve created.
Dear Little One…you have a NANA. She’s the one I texted the most questions while you were in my belly (Is it ok that I sleep on my back? Do you really have to avoid lunch meat? Mom, I’m almost 180 pounds!! WHAT HAPPENED? I think I drove your Nana crazy at times…)
If you look back at the picture of your crib you will see a blanket hanging on it – she made it just for you. (Your Nana is very talented like that.) She lives a few hours away but don’t worry – she comes quite often. You have 4 pretty cool cousins you’ll have to share her with but I am absolutely convinced, when you get bigger, you will count down the days until she comes to visit.
Dear Baby, guess what? You have an Oma and Opa, too. I wish I could have each of your cousins (and you have a lot of ‘em) tell you all about them because I think their opinions would out-weigh mine. I asked your Oma what her #1 advice would be on raising children and her response wasn’t what I thought it would be. All she said was:
So we heed this advice and we will try our best to do what we say we’re going to do and visa versa and with God’s help be parents who have hearts you can trust.
On top of all the great things you’ll learn from your Opa and Oma in the coming years, the house your Dad and I bought is only 7 minutes away from them…and they totally have a pool. Fun summers are in your future, kiddo!
Dear Baby, you ALSO have a Papa. He calls you “Bootsie Jr.” “Boots” was my nick-name growing up. Below is a picture of the book where it all started:
I was 5 and I had lost my first tooth. So, your Nana and Papa got me this book. Let’s just say it stuck – your Mom is still “Boots” to this day! Side note: this book is in a basket by your crib. As you can see it was a lift-the-flap book. Note was a lift-the-flap book – don’t get too excited. Your Aunt Rae, in her younger years, ripped every one of them off. (She’s gotten a lot nicer since then. You’ll love her! )
So, your Papa is terribly excited to meet you. Here’s how we told him (and your Aunt Akaycia!) about you…he ended up being the funniest to tell!
Sweet Baby, I officially felt you move on July 3rd! It would be a few more weeks until your Dad could feel you. Now, we can SEE you moving around!
…and we finally picked some names, three to be exact – two to choose from if you’re a boy and one if you’re a girl.
Dear Baby, on the topic of not knowing your gender, there are a few people that’ve told me your Dad and I are a bit crazy for not finding out. Quite frankly, your Mom finds a little bit of enjoyment in going against what the majority does…
Here are the funny things we’ve heard since announcing we were going to wait:
“You’re brave! I could never do that.” — I know. We’re really “living on the edge” here, people.
“Don’t you want to know?” — Of course we do. We’re terribly curious! But waiting and being surprised on that special day totally trumps finding out ahead of time.
“I don’t think you connect with your baby as much when you don’t find out” — So all those years of not being able to find out, mothers did not connect with their babies? You and I…we’re connecting just as we should, little one.
“But you won’t be prepared…” — I’ve found people are often talking about clothes when they say this. And if I’m right, I may not have perfect outfits from newborn to 15 years of age prepped and ready, hanging in the closet when you’re born. But there are many other things we’d like to have and will have prepped and ready for you when you come. Child, I’m convinced we’ll have clothes for you (gender appropriate and not all green and yellow! ) Your Dad and I just don’t think we need it ALL before you’re born.
“I could never do that, I like to plan.” — I’ve found this is the most popular. Sweet child, THIS MAMA LOVES TO PLAN. I have done much of that over these months! But I am still trying to figure why we have to know what gender you are to plan for you…
The biggest thing I try to explain when given the opportunity is that, regardless of whether you’re a boy or girl, we pray all the same. We pray for your growth and development, that you grow strong and healthy. We pray about the day you will make your appearance, that there will be peace and no complications. We pray about being Mom and Dad to you and constantly ask God to give us wisdom. We also pray for your heart, your mind, your spirit, your character – the deeper things that will make you who you are. It doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or girl right now, we pray all the same.
Dear Baby, I just want to say that your Dad and I will make sure you have everything you need (and you’ll have more on top of that, I’m sure). But your parents are minimalists, in some little ways. Now, don’t get me wrong – you are going to come home to a house with more conveniences than you’ll know what to do with. We are completely blessed. And I like nice things, for sure! But we choose to go without, sometimes. We think it’s healthy and right. We just set our hearts on the fact that we don’t…need…everything. And we don’t need to do everything. And when there’s things we want, we save up for them (and pay cash). Your Dad and I have tried to live a certain way, hope to continue to do so even more, and hope to teach you to live the same.
Dear Baby, we saw you for the first time on May 24th. You were already jumping and wiggling around! We wanted to just stay in that dark room, stare at the screen and watch you.
This Thursday you’ll be 38 weeks big and you’re healthy enough to come any day. We feel ready for you and then we don’t. We half-jokingly say “What the heck are we going to do with a baby?!” We’re nervous and excited and know it’ll be hard and exhausting. But we’re pretty sure it’s going to be a blast too.
Last week I got a sweet message from someone wishing me well over this last stretch of having you in my belly. She said God was just adding the “finishing touches” to you now.
I can’t wait to see your plump lips and head of hair that I saw on the fuzzy ultrasound screen in person. We can’t wait to see every inch of you – to count your fingers and toes, see your tiny fingernails and the little creases at each knuckle. I look forward to feeling the weight of you switch from in my belly to on my chest the moment you’re born. I’m convinced we are going to be completely mesmerized by you in those first few moments and days.
We can’t wait to see every last one of those finishing touches.