My dear, sweet baby girl –
I’m currently timing the very labor contractions that could bring you into the world this Mother’s Day. Technically you’re past due (May 6) but earlier than either your Dad or I expected. The women in my family have a history of hosting babies in favorable environments—you and your cousins feel no huge rush to leave the world and join us!
Your Dad and I are so overjoyed for you to enter the world and change our lives forever. Your conception and pregnancy have gone better than expected or planned—I found out I was pregnant one month after we decided it was time to expand our family and I’ve had the easiest pregnancy in perhaps the history of the world. (Fingers crossed your labor and delivery follow this same pattern—I’ll have to report back later.)
I knew in my heart I was pregnant with you the day before I should have had my period. Your Dad made us wait one day to take a test, but I knew you were there, you’d remain viable, and we could count on your little spirit joining our family. We took the test one hour before your aunts Kendall, Mallory, and I ran in a 200-mile relay race from Mt. Hood to the Oregon coast. How much I had to think about while spending 32-hours in a van away from your Dad and unable to tell my best friend/sisters.
We kept the news to ourselves until we had our first ultrasound at about 8.5 weeks. Dad saw your pixelated beating heart and finally believed you were a real thing! We told Grandpa, Grandma, and Mallory in the next few days and Kendall and Alaina a few days later. Everyone else we waited until 16 weeks; about a month longer than is typical. We loved having a chance to plan and dream in a vacuum; and since I wasn’t having any regular (and awful) first trimester symptoms it was easy to keep the secret.
Dad didn’t pass the Oregon State Bar exam the first time he took it. He was also called as the Ward Mission Leader and I continued to work full time (in fact, I still am! I’ve planned to work clear up until the time you join us). Plenty of things didn’t go perfectly during the time we’ve been waiting for you, but we’ve felt exceptionally blessed in so many ways that has made life manageable. Dad took the Bar again and passed; he was sworn in as an Attorney a few weeks ago, friends and my work have thrown you the sweetest baby showers and now we anxiously await your arrival. (I wish your contractions would either speed up or slow down; this waiting game is excruciating!)
We’ve had the best 2.5 years as a couple. Dad and I have traveled, we’ve worked on the house, we’ve cheer-leaded each other through difficult school, work, and family situations. We are legitimately each other’s best friend; there’s very little—in fact nothing—we’d rather do than be together. We waited a long time to find each other and the wait has been more than worthwhile.
It’s not unusual for either of us to say, “Babe! We’re having a baby!” Many times a day. For many months. “We’re having a baby girl!” It still feels hardly real; even as we’ve had your nursery set up and clothes, gear, and the massive other amount of purchases completed, toured daycares, and tried to decide on a name.
We know life is going to change, but as yet our brains can’t quite fathom how much.
Perhaps my biggest worry and unknown in welcoming you into the world is understanding that life will never be at stasis again. Dad and I know what to expect from each other, how to be together, how to communicate, and generally how one day will play out from the next. Once you breathe your first breath, we’ll have another player to add into the equation; and knowing how much you’ll grow, change, and continue to refine yourself (hopefully never stopping!) means the life we know will also continue to grow, change, and evolve. Let’s all plan to take it one day at a time, shall we?
Baby Girl, we can’t wait to meet you. To hold you and to love you. You’re going to have the best Dad. He didn’t have the happiest upbringing and is looking forward to giving you the love he never had. There are so, so many people anxious for your arrival—grandparents, aunts, cousins, and our ward family.
I hope you’ll be patient with us. We have such little experience being parents; you’ll be our guinea pig until we can add a brother or sister for you. Just remember that we’re doing the best we can; we’re not perfect but we’re counting on all of us loving each other enough to cut the others some slack. We’ll do our best to always make you happy, but our primary job will be to teach you how to be a good person and Child of God. You probably won’t always agree with the decisions we make, and there are times you’ll think us mean, or strict, but we know the potential you have and want you to learn how to live up to it.
We cannot wait to hold you in our arms and show you all the amazing things life has to offer.
Already I love you so,