It was at about the 10-week mark that your dad started asking me if I could feel you moving yet. I would remind him that you were still quite small and that milestone was likely some weeks away. But he kept asking every couple of days; he was just excited.
We heard your heartbeat for the first time in June; it was fast and strong. You danced around a bit, all your then-1.5 inches of growing body. The ultrasound tech gushed about how cute you were, and even though you were really just a little bean of thing on a black-and-white screen, I admit you were pretty cute. Sorry I rhymed just then. It was really quite unintentional, but you should probably know straight away that your mom is a certified dork and this is just something you’ll have to live with.
We’ve longed for you, little one, but somehow your arrival still managed to catch us off guard. We felt rather certain that at least another month would pass with continued hope but no positive result, but then there you were one Sunday morning, two pink lines on an at-home test indicating your existence. It was Mother’s Day.
We’ve known about you since then, holding you close to our hearts and quietly delighting in these private moments of adjustment. We have shared the happy news with a few family members and friends, and now, we’re sharing the news a little more widely. You are so loved already, and every time I hear the excitement in someone’s voice when I introduce your presence to them, my heart becomes even more full. The impact one little life can have on another is just so evident in those moments. And what a thrill to your mama that it is your life spreading such hope.
Some will question why we would try to grow our family in the midst of a crazy year like 2020; maybe you, too, will have questions for us one day. I think it’s providential, a lesson in surrender, that I would become pregnant with you, my first child, in what could arguably be described as the least opportune moment. I long fought against the possibility of getting pregnant at the “wrong time,” always waiting for the stars to align and a Greek chorus of Muses (a la Disney’s Hercules) to start singing terrific gospel music around me pronouncing it the “right time” before feeling truly ready myself. (I told you I was a dork, kid, get comfortable.) So of course now would be the exact time that you debuted. A pandemic is ongoing, your dad just started a two-year intensive executive MBA program, politics are what they are (probably even more so because we’re in a presidential election year), the economy is a bit questionable, you name it. Your timing is excellent, you should pursue a career in stand-up comedy.
But even so, I think we mostly have to figure out how to live in the tension between the perceived right and wrong times for things; learning to get properly comfortable with that tension, and even dare to embrace and celebrate it, is a lesson we all have to tackle eventually. As well as the very difficult reality that there is a lot that will always be out of our direct control. I’m still learning, and am getting rather a crash course right now, but nothing could be more worth it than you, little girl.
And yes, we found out a few weeks ago that you are a girl. There was some discussion as to buying a cake to share the big reveal with loved ones over a video call, but as soon as the receptionist at our doctor’s office handed me the envelope containing this next piece of the developing puzzle that will reveal you, I knew I wouldn’t be able to wait any longer than it took to get back home and grab your dad. We want to know absolutely everything there is to know about you as soon as we can. Patience on this point is impossible.
I’m told that you can hear now, not distinctly yet, but with increasing clarity every day. So I talk to you, or sing, or hum a tune. I ask you your opinion on our activities: Should we go make dinner soon? Aren’t cherries just divine this season? You know what’s great…a little ice cream at the end of the day. (Yes, these questions often have to do with food. What can I say, I’m growing a human.)
I tell you that you’re loved, my little daughter, and you are doing such a good job growing. That you should just stay nice and cozy in there for at least 4.5 more months, and Mom and Dad will handle the rest.
So that’s it for now. We saw you again this week at our 20-week checkup, and you’re utter magic. Just know that while I very much want you to stay put until your due date in January, I am also counting down the days until we get to meet face-to-face.
With all my love,