Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Before the Dawn

Dear Hannah,

Your birth day is coming. The day we get to meet you is just about here, and I have to say--no one is more excited to meet you than I am! After feeling you growing and moving inside me for months, I feel like I know you already, but there is so much more I don't know about you. What do you look like? Do you have hair, and if you do what color is it? Did you inheirit my big nose or my big feet? (Sorry about those, by the way.) Will you have my sense of humor or your dad's? Will you love chocolate on the outside as much as you do on the inside? Will you be the most paranoid baby ever thanks to the endless Law & Order: SVU bender I went on during my pregnancy? Most importantly, are you a Sox fan or a Cubs fan?

I had a great time decorating your nursery. I wanted it to be perfect for you. (Just ask your dad! I drove him nuts.) It's still not done--mostly because I procrastinate (and yet I sit here wondering why I'm still pregnant....looks like you inheirited my tendency to be late to everything!), but it's pretty close. Thankfully you won't be sleeping there for a few weeks, so I have time to get it exactly the way I want it for you before you officially move in. We've been spending a lot of time in there, though. I sit in the glider and rock with you, and I've been reading all the books we got for your library, all gifts from people who love you more than you can possibly imagine.

It's been hard for me, the last few days, dealing with all the phone calls, text messages, emails, Facebook messages (don't ask what Facebook is...it'll be dead by the time you're old enough to understand), and family website posts left by our family and friends. In these last few days with you, I just want to enjoy our time together. I've been ignoring my cell phone and not answering texts and messages because they aggrivate me--your dad and I have been waiting to meet you since April, months before anyone else knew we were expecting. It's hard for me to hear how badly everyone else wants to meet you because I really just can't wait to hold you in my arms and look at the little person who's been squirming and stretching around inside me since springtime. I have to keep reminding myself that everyone else already loves you and wants to meet you, not as badly as we do, but pretty close.

It's been a strange few weeks as I approach your birth day. Gradually, you've been growing from my conceptual daughter to my real, live one. Seeing you in an ultrasound and hearing your heartbeat bring us closer and closer to the reality that one day soon you won't be an image on a screen or a pounding echo on a doppler, but a living, breathing, beautiful little girl. Seeing your sweet face in my ultrasound last week was incredible. You haven't always been upfront about showing us your face, though you've never been shy about showing us that you're a girl (a trait that already has your dad worried). But, after some shifting and straining on my part, we were able to get your hands away from your face and your face away from my pelvic bones (HOW is that comfortable???) and we got some great images of your face. Seeing you up close like that just makes me even more excited for the day I get to meet you. I'll get to look into your eyes and hold you and see just how chubby those cheeks of yours really are.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the kind of mom I'm going to be and the kind of mother you're going to get. I know that I'm going to make mistakes and I have to apologize in advance for those. I know that we'll argue and disagree and there are so many things I'm going to not let you do, either because they aren't safe or because I'm going to be a Nervous Nelly, but I promise you that I won't keep you in a bubble. I promise I will let you fall down and bump your head sometimes. I promise that I will let you make mistakes, learn things for yourself, and occassionally eat something questionable-looking off of the floor. I promise you that no matter what, we're going to have fun.

And, I promise you that for every "fun" thing I want to keep you from doing, one of my friends will stand up with 14 photos of me doing ridiculously stupid things, thus rendering my decisions worthless. You, my dear, will have plenty of allies in your Quest To Make Mom Look Like A Moron. Trust me.

Your dad is so excited to meet you. I keep catching him looking at my belly and his eyes are a dead giveaway that he's so thrilled to meet you. When I realized I was pregnant, I was in shock. When your dad heard I was pregnant, he first went into shock and shortly afterwards got excited. He hasn't stopped being excited for your arrival since spring. You two are going to have a lot of fun together.

I haven't always loved being pregnant, but I've loved every kick and stretch you throw my way. Even though my ribs are bruised and you've danced my internal organs to mush, I wouldn't have it any other way. My friends who have had kids all used to tell me how much they missed feeling their babies moving around inside them. I used to think they were nuts. "Don't they love having their bodies back? Don't they enjoy being a normal size again and not as big as a house?" But now, I finally get it. In a few days, I'll have to share you with everyone. You'll be more popular than a Tickle Me Elmo (another ancient piece of technology that will mean nothing to you)! I can already feel myself longing for the days when I had you all to myself and I could feel you dancing away on my ribs, telling me that you liked what I made for dinner or that you approve of the giant chocolate Frosty I just packed away. I'm going to miss that.

Instead, I get to hold you in my arms and do my best to make you laugh and smile. I get to take you shopping and out to the zoo. We'll go on long walks together and I'll introduce you to my favorite books. I'll take you to a carnival and we'll get sick on cotton candy and the Tilt-A-Whirl. Like I said, we're going to have a lot of fun.

No matter what happens, I want you to know that today and always you are loved. You are so loved by everyone in your world. No one has had the chance to meet you yet, but they love you dearly. You are a lucky little girl.

But trust me, baby. No one loves you more than me.

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