Monday, January 21, 2013

To Our Little Riblet...

Dear Baby Boy,

In theory we're a little over six weeks away from your arrival, but realistically you could be here within a month, if not sooner.  That is scaring me to death, for a lot of reasons, but this experience seems so different than it was last time around with your big brother.  I'm sure there are a lot of reasons why that is, but rest assured, despite the fear, we are very much looking forward to meeting you.  But I wanted to write you this letter before you got here, because I know that once you come my brain is going to go to mush and I won't remember what it felt like to be at this point with you.

I'm not going to lie--you're the second child and you're probably going to get the shaft on a lot of things.  As it is I've already blogged about you and this pregnancy infinitely less than I did with your brother, mostly because your brother keeps us busy enough and he's here in the flesh, keeping himself front and center.  I blogged about every little detail when I was pregnant with him, but I guess I haven't this time because a) it would be repetitive; b) I'm more tired; and c) your brother creates enough blog fodder on his own and I guess I need to keep telling his story too.  He'll probably think he's getting the shaft quite a bit in the coming months (and years!), too, but he's had over four years of being the center of attention so it's probably time for him to let the spotlight shift a bit.  He might not know it now, but having you around will probably be one of the best things that ever happened to him.  I hope so, anyway.  The good news for you, by the way, is that I was the second baby too and I don't really think I ever felt like I got short-changed.  So hopefully you won't either. 

It's amazing to think that we're so close to the end of this part of our journey.  We waited so long just to get to the point where you were a little blob on an ultrasound screen, and now it's been nearly seven months since that point.  Part of those seven months dragged terribly, mostly because I felt so sick for so long, but the past four or so months have absolutely flown by and I can't believe you're almost here.  Part of me is so excited to meet you, and part of me is terrified of you making an early appearance because we still have so much to do to prepare for you!  I want things to be just right for when you finally join us, because the more that's ready means the more time I can spend just enjoying you, rather than using every spare moment and every last drop of energy playing catch-up.  I also want you to be "fully cooked" so you're as healthy as possible when you come out.  We spent a week in the hospital with your brother last time, and that was really hard.  I feel like we missed out on some great time to bond comfortably in our own house, rather than dealing with nurses and uncomfortable chairs and convenient visiting hours.  So, the longer you stay in there, the more I can get done and the healthier you'll probably be once you come out, which makes things better for all of us.

I will say that despite my fears of readjusting to life with a baby (and helping Jacob adjust, too), I am probably far more excited at the prospect of meeting you than I was when your brother was born.  I think back then I was just so terrified at the thought of being a parent that I couldn't get past that.  Now I know that I can do it, at least passably well, and I know what it's like to have a baby and watch him grow.  I marvel as I look back at all of the pictures I've taken of Jacob over the years (I hope that's one spot where you don't get the shaft--I want to take as many pictures of you as possible, I swear!), and can't believe how much he's grown.  I remember so many of those moments so clearly and I can't believe he's now this walking, talking person with his own personality.  So now that I know how that process works, I'm looking forward to meeting you and finding out who you're going to become.  I look forward to seeing if you look like Jacob, what you take an interest in, and watching you and your brother interact as you get older.  He's ready to teach you sports, if nothing else!  Just a warning that it might take him a while to warm up to you--he seems a little unsure right now--but hopefully once you're old enough to actually respond to him, he might think you're the coolest thing ever.  Don't take it personally in the meantime.  Also don't take it personally if you take a couple soft baseballs to the head.  We'll try to make sure that doesn't happen, but Jacob is really into sports and gets a little overzealous sometimes.  Just yesterday he hit me twice with a (very soft) ball while practicing baseball in his room, so it happens to the best of us. 

It boggles my mind a bit to think that we've gone all these years without you, and inevitably you're going to be the piece we didn't know we were missing!  We've been so used to life with just the three of us for nearly five years now.  It's never felt entirely complete since we knew we'd want another child someday, but down the road I think we'll find it hard to believe that what we've experienced in these last 4-1/2 years was ever as normal and "complete" as it was, since your presence in our lives will do doubt change things up yet again and add a whole new dimension we never knew could exist.  It's hard to believe that we'll find enough love (and energy) for another child, given all that we put into Jacob since he was born, but I have no doubt that it will miraculously come out of nowhere...well, the love, at least.  The energy is going to be a challenge, but we'll get there.  I'll give you a hint--the better you sleep, the more energy we'll have :)

If you ever get to read this blog, you're going to see how much I had hoped you were going to be a girl.  I'm not going to lie--it would have been pretty cool to have a daughter, for a lot of reasons.  And there will be many times in the years to come that I will wish I had the opportunity.  However...none of that has anything to do with you, so please know that I will love you just as much as I ever would have loved a girl.  The bonding opportunities will be different, certainly, but we'll find our way.  I have actually experienced many moments of relief knowing that I won't have to deal with a lot of things that girls normally have to go through.  I'm probably better at playing girl stuff, admittedly, but for so many other reasons, I'm relieved that you're a boy.  For starters, we already have a ton of clothes and toys floating around our house that you're going to love.  I've also had some practice at raising a boy, so hopefully that works out well for you, too.  If you would have been a girl you'd have to suffer through me figuring out how to make real outfits and do actual hairstyles.  I'd have no advice to offer on being cool through the awkward years because I totally was not.  Sorry to tell you that your dad was lacking in that area, as well, so he won't have much advice either...but being an awkward girl is so much worse than being an awkward boy, trust me.  It'll be a character builder, if nothing else, so at least there's that.  Perhaps having an older brother might come in handy, too.  I think that's actually the most important thing about you being a boy--I am so happy for both you and Jacob, that you will have each other.  It's not that brothers and sisters can't be close, but I think brothers have a better chance than anyone else at being best buddies throughout their lives.  I so wish that for the two of you.

We still haven't finished picking your name yet, but I think we actually have a front-runner.  At the very least we're completely undecided on your middle name.  Naming a child is such a tough choice.  What kind of name will fit both our adorable little baby AND the cool, successful guy we hope you will become?  Will it be a name that can avoid childhood teasing?  Does it have meaning?  Will we like it two months from now?  Two years?  Twenty?  Does it go well with Jacob's name?  Too similar?  Too different?  Does it go with our last name?  And considering our last name, is it reasonable to think that a kindergartner will be able to spell their whole name?  There is so much to consider, and yet we haven't even met you yet.  Maybe it was easier the first time around because we didn't have a concept of how you want a name to match a personality, and now we do...and what we know of you now seems woefully inadequate to make such a major decision. 

I could sit here and tell you all of the things we hope for your future, but I don't really want to saddle you with a load of expectations since, you know, you haven't even taken a single breath yet.  Suffice it to say that we hope for nothing but the best for you--a long, happy, and fulfilling life, at the very least.  We wish for a life full of health, faith, and love.  I hope that we as your parents give you all the love, support, and guidance you need, but that you have just enough brief moments where you dislike us just a bit, because that probably means we're doing our jobs. 

This pregnancy has been quite an experience.  In these last few weeks I would really appreciate it if you found a new position to sit in.  Lately you've been making things difficult for me, sitting on my bladder and kicking me in odd places that make me think you're a little extra eager to escape.  You're making me nervous and interrupting my day a few too many times because I'm constantly wandering off to the bathroom, so a slightly new position might help.  As uncomfortable as I can be at times, please take your time making your appearance.  This is probably the last time I will feel all of this craziness, and I do enjoy watching you make my belly move.  I want to appreciate this experience as much as possible, but I need a little help from you to make the discomfort a little less distracting.  If not, I'll deal, but your responsibility is making sure that you stay there for another month, at least!  Enjoy your time in there, because you'll be coming out into a very chilly world here for the first couple months.  The hugs and kisses will be great, though I can't say we'll be meeting the rest of your needs as well as what my body's doing for you right now.  But once you're here, we'll do everything we can to make your life awesome. 

In the meantime, it's my bedtime.  You wear me out already and I need to get as much sleep as I can while my belly keeps your volume on mute.  But trust me, as hard as those middle-of-the-night feedings will be, I can't wait to spend that quiet time with you.  But no need to go there just yet.  We can't wait to meet you, but there are so many reasons for your to stay put for now.  Enjoy your warm little home for at least another month or so. Take it easy on me while you're in there, and on your way out, too!   We'll see you soon enough! 

Mommy (and Daddy and Jacob, too!)

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