Wow, the move is only 3 days away! I know you have no idea of this, sitting in your nice warm comfy uterus, but I wonder how my stress levels are communicated to you. And I am stressed. As you’ll no doubt discover, Mommy is a control freak, and spending today watching your Grandma and Great-Aunt finish packing my apartment, and Saturday sitting around waiting for the cable guy while other move things makes me a bit cranky.
Wednesday we did the walk through on the new apartment, and I spent the time mentally planning out rooms. It was so surreal to go into what will be Daddy’s and my bedroom and think about where your pack ‘n play will go, or to go into your room and think about decorating it.
I’m itchy to get started on setting up your room. I found an adorable quilt that I will be using as a wall hanging in your room, and the two plastic tubs of nursery stuff are haunting me. I want to open them and start hanging little outfits in your closet and arranging your books on a bookcase just for you. You are getting more and more real to me with each passing day.
This is also true for Daddy. He got to feel you kick repeatedly over the past few days and he’s head over heels in love with you. He’ll lay with his head on my chest and talk to you while he holds my tummy hoping to feel you kick. He likes to joke about paying you off if you’ll make my belly button pop out–something he’s fascinated at the idea of. As long as he doesn’t get you a pony before I get a pony, it’s all good with me, though.
This week is most memorable for me because it was the first time I’ve talked to Grandma in a long time and felt a real connection. You’ll discover that Grandma and I are like night and day in our experiences and our choices in life, and as a result, we often have a difficult time finding common ground. I’ve never doubted she loves me (something I want for you as well…zero doubt of my love for you) but our relationship is difficult (something I hope we will struggle less with).
What prompted the discussions with Grandma is that Daddy and I visited the hospital you’re going to be born at to get our tour. I’ve already seen the starting point from the inside (Labor and Delivery Triage–we were there every time I’ve had blood, which thankfully hasn’t been since 10ish weeks and last week with the carousel incident) so that made me feel calm about where things start. I know from my own first-hand knowledge that they are great in L&D Triage. But I also got to see a birthing room (although not a surgery room, which is where you’ll come out if I have to have a C-Section) and a post-partum room.
Seeing all that, and thinking about applying those rooms to my body and the suddenly very real idea of your exit from my body (don’t get any idea about appearing before November, missy, just because I’m mentioning it) made me think about what I knew about my own birth. I knew that I’d been delivered at a hospital in my homestate, one I went to when I was 8 to get stitches after an accident (try to be more less clumsy than me, kiddo). I knew that Grandma had given birth to me fairly easily, vaginally, and without pain medication (the whole “without medication” thing makes me think I owe her better Mother’s Day gifts in the future). But I didn’t know anything about whether her room was private or if she’d shared. I didn’t know how long she’d been in the hospital, or what her time there had been like.
I had the chance to see Grandma not as my mom, but as a woman who had gone through what I’m going through before this year is out. I also empathized with what it must have felt like to switch OB’s in the last few months of pregnancy and how scary that must have been. I was almost born in Hawaii, but because of a family emergency, I was born here on the East Coast, and that meant Grandma had to switch doctors a month before I was born, which was hard for her, as you can imagine.
I hope that you continue to be something that brings my mom and I together, Emby. You are occasionally the cause of disagreement, but it’s often disagreement brought on by how things have changed in the almost 30 years since my birth. Your Grandma and I are going to disagree, sometimes loudly, but it’s only because we don’t agree on what’s best for you. And that, little one, is what we both want more than anything.
This week I also saw a movie called “Mamma Mia” with Auntie Kate. I’ll spare you a description of the movie, except to say that the main character is trying to figure out who her dad is and that made me think about fathers in general, and then my father and yours in particular.
I grew up without a Daddy, and that makes your Daddy and your relationship with him so important to me. It’s hard to grow up without two parents who love you, especially with the knowledge that one of them had the chance to be a part of your life and decided not to be. I know that on some level I’m better off without my biological dad in the picture, but it’s also been a defining thing in my life and who I’ve grown up to be. It made me determined that when I procreated, it would be with a partner who I loved passionately and wanted to raise a family with, or it would be with a gay friend who would be part of your life, or it would be through a sperm donation so that you would know that you were wanted and NOT an accident of fate. It’s not being an accident that bothers me so much as the abandonment of my dad, and I wanted to spare any children of mine that feeling of abandonment.
Which is why I ended up with your dad. Your daddy is the most amazing person I’ve ever met. He’s my best friend. He makes me laugh, but holds me when I cry. He never makes me feel weak or insecure for needing to cry. He cheers on my goals, and doesn’t make me feel bad if I have trouble reaching them. When I fail, he supports me and gives me a pep talk. He’s smart. He’s caring. He’s a complete partner who makes me know every day that I (and now you) are the most important thing(s) in his life. I hope that one day you will meet a person (man or woman, you are free to be whoever you are, including your sexuality and gender identity) who makes you feel as loved, cherished, and comfortable in your own skin as your Dad does for me. And every day I hope you try to make that partner feel loved and cherished as I try to do for your Daddy.
This week you have begun to remind me of your presence more often. Every time I feel you move, it never fails to make me smile. I look forward to your active periods. I’ve noticed so far that noon, four, seven or nine, and around one in the morning are generally active points. I’m looking forward to seeing my OB next Friday on the first of August and seeing you on her ultrasound screen. The one thing that I have really loved about being a high-risk patient is all the glimpses we’ve gotten of you over the past (almost) 24 weeks. We have pictures of you at 6, 9, 12 and 16 weeks of development, but haven’t gotten a picture since-they forgot at the anatomy screen at 19 even though I asked, and we didn’t have time for an ultrasound at my last appointment at 22 weeks. I do have exterior belly shots of those weeks, though. I hope that some day they will be special to you, although I know they’ll always be most special to your Dad and I.
Keep growing, and I’ll see you in about 15 1/2 weeks.