Monday, July 6, 2009

Dear Baby,

Today versus tomorrow...

Today, you're just "the baby" or "the little boo boo." Tomorrow, you will have a name. Today, you have three beige outfits. Tomorrow, you will have a lot more outfits that mom and dad will buy you, in either pink or blue. Today, the 2nd bedroom in our condo is still called "the office." Tomorrow, it will be "________'s room." Today, we ask Shula and Stella whether they are excited to have a little brother or sister. Tomorrow, we'll be able to be more specific. Tomorrow I'll finally be putting a long while of daydreaming and online browsing about what your nursery will look like, what clothes I will buy for you, and what sort of birth announcement we'll pick out into action (not all at once, of course), because tomorrow, we'll know whether you're a BOY or a GIRL!

This is, of course, contingent on the fact that you cooperate during the ultrasound and show us the goods. Tomorrow is not the day for modesty or shyness. I'm serious. Your dad is even more excited and anxious than I am, and I can't promise that you won't be grounded for life if you play coy. We will never tell you this again, but we actually WANT you to spread your legs and show it all off tomorrow ;)

I first started to really believe in you when I had my first ultrasound and saw the flicker of your heartbeat. Before then, the 4 or 5 positive pregnancy tests I took really didn't mean much. But then I actually saw the little blob that will become your body, and that flicker that meant you had your own beating heart, and I finally believed that you actually existed. Since then, I've continued to believe in you...but I still don't feel that I know you. You haven't really let me feel you move yet (although I think I may have felt a little kick today, though it may have been just a muscle twitch), and all I know so far is that you've been very, very quiet and have kept a very low profile. You haven't made me feel sick at all, and the few symptoms I have had have been very subtle.

I know I still have a long way to go before I really "know" you. I know that even when I give birth to you and lay eyes my eyes on you for the first time, I still won't really "know" you. Getting to know you, on different levels, will take anywhere from a few days, weeks, or months (to "get used" to you), to an entire lifetime (to really understand who you are). But, at least by tomorrow, I am hoping that the process of getting to know you can finally begin. I've been told by some fellow pregnant women who are several weeks ahead of me that the next few weeks should be very exciting, and I am SO happy about that. Calling you by your name, feeling you move inside of me, watching my belly continue to grow, getting started on your nursery, and buying you a few gender-specific outfits or toys are all things that will make you even more real to me and that will make me love you even more than I do right now.

Everyone, including your dad and I, think that you're a boy. A lot of people have asked me what I would prefer, and I've been honest, especially when they say "But what do you REALLY want?" Before getting pregnant, I always thought that the "I don't care as long as it's healthy" answer was such a cop out. Then I got pregnant, and I understood - in those first few weeks and months when everything is still so cautious and the risk of loss is so high, you just want your baby to stick around and be healthy with no regard as to what gender you want. But then as the pregnancy gets further along and you become more confident, you start to daydream about what it would be like to have a boy or a girl, and I think for a lot of people, including your dad and I, a slight preference emerges. I'm not going to tell you what our slight preference is, because honestly, it doesn't matter. We really, really, really, really, really want to have BOTH a boy and a girl at some point in our lives. We want the experience and the honor of raising kids of BOTH the genders. So whichever one you are, it's're lucky in being the firstborn in that sense. All the pressure is going to be on your younger siblings to fill in the gap of the missing gender. Believe me, I'll tell you this from personal experience - it's not easy being the firstborn (especially if you end up being the firstborn AND a girl). So you take the bonuses where they come, and one of those bonuses is that despite any slight preference your parents may have, they will be completely and utterly thrilled out of their minds to find out your gender, whether you are a boy or a girl.

Speaking of your parents, here we are, exactly two years ago tomorrow:
This was taken at around 2:30 am at the end of a very, very, very long day and night - the best day and night of our lives so far - at our wedding. I know there will only be a few incredibly special moments in our lifetimes where your dad will stop and look at me that way. One was that night, 2 years ago tomorrow, after he made me his wife, and I hope there will be another one when I make him your father.

If you had told me on July 7, 2007, that I would spend the majority of 2009 pregnant and that on July 7, 2009, in addition to celebrating our two year wedding anniversary, we would also be finding out the sex of our first child, I wouldn't have believed you. See, we really weren't expecting you to come around so quickly, and I'll be perfectly honest and tell you that this was the source of a lot of anxiety for me in the beginning of my pregnancy with you. I felt hugely unprepared because you really didn't fit into the seemingly perfect timeline that I had created for myself. Don't get me wrong - we wanted you VERY badly, and if nothing else was at issue but our emotions, we would have made you a honeymoon baby. But you'll learn in life that sometimes, you create expectations of what is ideal, and then you make plans based on those ideals and try to stick to those plans as much as possible, because you think that if you don't, things won't work out the way you want them to. There are about a million cliches that I could use to express my next thought, but it basically comes down to the idea that sometimes life doesn't care about your plans, and the things that you think are happening out of order or in the wrong place in time end up being the best things that could ever happen to you. Now, I truly believe and understand that your timing couldn't have been more perfect, and I see little things like this (finding out your sex on our anniversary) as signs that everything is just as it should be.

So, little stranger. I know this has been a mouthful (you'll have to get used to call me "wordy" or "long-winded" would be the understatement of the century...I don't think I've ever said or written anything short in my life). But I hope that it sheds some light on where we are right at this moment. Our relationship will be something that changes and grows constantly from the second that you're born, so I want to do my best to capture the different stages of it the best I can, so that we can all remember. Time goes by way too quickly, so you can never be too careful in keeping your memories intact for the future.

I LOVE YOU! I can't wait to meet you.



  1. This is the most beautiful thing I have read in a while. Thanks for writing it. xoxo

  2. steph told me i HAD to come read this post. so i gladly put down my barbri book and indulged. beautiful, my friend. you're the type of mother i want to be...and you're not even a mother yet! i can't wait to hear!

  3. This is so beautiful. Your little one is so lucky to be able to read this one day. Good luck this afternoon!

  4. aww jen, you made me tear up :-D and not just because i'm a hormonal pregnant woman lol

  5. Beautiful, your baby is going to love this letter

  6. My goodness how the time has gone by! I remember sitting outside of class at UM talking about all of our wedding planning, and now we're having babies!! Congrats to you and Gaby and your baby girl...she's going to love looking back and reading this letter. xoxo

  7. Jen. This was written so well and so beautifly! You are so right about timelines...I am the same way. I live my life planned out ( I have like 3 agendas! lol).
    Congrats on this beautiful journey!

  8. wooowww... I cried through all of that Lol
    Then again I cried through you "last post" on the knot so big surprise there!
    Emma is very lucky to have you as a Mama! and you and Gaby are even more lucky to have her as a daughter. <3