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Archive for November, 2012

Well, I might have lost the induction battle, but I’m totally going to win the baby war!

We’re heading to the hospital first thing tomorrow morning. Yesterday at this time, I was ready to fight my doctor (who probably would have preferred to induce me even earlier), but once we were there at the appointment, I realized I didn’t want to. I trust her. Maybe this induction isn’t necessary, maybe it is, but it’s not my call. I do think my doctor has my best interests and those of my baby in mind. I want to let her take care of me the way she thinks best. And so, we induce.

Apparently I’m a weirdo for not being eager for an induction. My appointment today was with a nurse practitioner, and we could hear her communicating my situation to the doctor in the hallway outside our room.

“I’ve got Rebecca. She’s 41.5 weeks,” the nurse said.

“Forty-ONE-point-five?” My doctor was clearly surprised.

“She doesn’t want to be induced.”

“What is she waiting for?”

I could hear them scheduling the induction for tomorrow, and I started to cry. I cried through the nurse’s explanation, through the waiting room, into the car, and onto the phone with my dear friend Anne, who’d called to check in. She encouraged me to see this as my first lesson in parenthood: No matter how well we try to plan things out perfectly, we can’t always force them to go the way we want.

No, this might not be the idealized version of natural childbirth I’d imagined for myself, but I am so incredibly eager to meet this baby. Over the past several hours, I’ve felt myself relax, and I’ve become more and more excited. We are having this baby, maybe tomorrow, maybe Thursday. We will bring him home this weekend. I am ready. Chris is ready.

And I can’t stop thinking how my life is about to change forever. I dreamed about the perfect natural labor for nine months, but I’ve dreamed about having a baby since I was practically still a baby myself. However he gets here, I’m so happy to welcome him.

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In the beginning.

To pass the time while we wait for our baby to join us — as our doula reassures us, babies know when they want to be born, so there’s no need to rush him — I’ve been thinking a lot about the past nine months (over the course of which I spent so much time thinking about now). I’d hoped to write letters to the baby regularly throughout my pregnancy, like the one I wrote last night, but like with so many of my big ideas, I was a bit lacking in the follow-through. Here, though, is the first letter I wrote him, back on Feb. 29, just a few days after finding out I was pregnant. I think there are two or three other letters somewhere in an unpacked box. When I find them, perhaps I’ll post them as well.

Editor’s note: I admit that I gave this letter a little bit of an edit before posting it. It was full of exclamation points, sometimes ending several sentences in a row. I think I was just really, really excited, but it made for a bit of an exhausting read.

Dear Baby,

We have known about you for about five days now, but we have been dreaming about you for much longer. I love your daddy for a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest and most important is that I know he is going to be a wonderful father. I cannot wait to meet you, but I also can’t wait to see how happy I know you’re going to make him.

It’s hard to believe you’re real. According to what we’ve read, you are between the size of a poppy seed and a sesame seed. (Your daddy and I haven’t found a nickname for you yet but have been referring to you as our “little poppy seed.”) In a week, you’ll have grown to the size of an orange seed, and you’ll soon be sprouting all sorts of amazing things, like arms and legs. In three weeks, we might get to hear your heart beat!

We planned very carefully when we wanted to make you. If we’d followed our hearts, we would have made you as soon as we got married, maybe even before that, but we let our brains convince us it was wise to wait a few months and let all of the wedding excitement settle down. (Plus, we had a trip to Italy planned for January, and Mama loves her wine.) When I didn’t get pregnant immediately, we were so disappointed, but it made us all the more determined. I think I have single-handedly kept the pregnancy-test industry in business the past two months, taking tests even when I was basically sure there was no chance they’d be positive. But then, after a negative one on Wednesday, I spent Friday, Feb. 25, with stomach cramps and told your daddy I was going to take another test when I got home.

I had gotten so used to seeing just one little pink line that I had to stare at the test for a long time before I believed the second one was real. It was totally, completely amazing. Your daddy was still not home, and that was the longest 20 minutes I’ve ever waited. He walked in the door, and I was sitting on the rug in the living room, looking up at him. All I could do was smile. Finally, I handed the test to him and told him: “I think we’re pregnant!”

And you know what? Your daddy is the best kind of daddy: the sensitive kind. He had tears in his eyes, and a huge, goofy grin. In fact, he looked just the same as he had almost exactly one year earlier, on Feb. 26, 2011, when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

We hugged and high-fived and then immediately took another test because it was just too good to be true. This one was the kind that says “Not Pregnant” or “Pregnant,” and, again for the first time, it said “Pregnant.” In the end, I was glad to have taken so many negative tests, because it made two positive tests in a row pretty much irrefutable evidence that we were going to have a baby.

Of course, this meant I could not drink the wine that your daddy had brought home for us that night, but I let him have some anyway.

The next morning, we woke up and went straight to the bookstore, where we picked up three books about pregnancy. We walked all the way home from Borough Hall to give you some fresh air and exercise, stopping by your dad’s favorite butcher to pick up two steaks (we checked first to make sure I was allowed to eat steak!), and we also picked up a hoodie sweatshirt for you that says “Brooklyn” on it. Even though we’re planning to move you to Boston before you’re even born, you will always be a Brooklyn baby. Brooklyn is where your parents lived when we met, where we fell in love, and where we dreamed you up. It is a very special place to us.

Today, we had our first doctor’s appointment. For the first time, we got to talk to someone in person about you. My doctor confirmed that you are indeed real. He estimates that you will be born on Nov. 4, which is your Aunt Julie’s birthday. You know what is really special about that? Aunt Julie’s first baby is due on May 2 this year, which is my birthday. You two are going to be great friends, I just know it — just like your mommies are.

You’ll also be great friends with June, who is your Aunt Anne’s daughter. She is a big girl — she’ll turn 2 before you’re even born — so you’ll be able to learn a lot from her. Anne and Julie are so excited about you. So far, they are the only people who know about you, aside from your four grandparents and, today, my doctor. Three of your uncles — my brothers — and your aunts will find about you this weekend, when we all get together in San Antonio. I can’t wait to tell them. They are going to be so, so happy — but not possibly as happy as we are.

I love you, little poppy seed, as tiny as you are!

Love,

Mama

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Dear baby.

Dear Baby,

You are officially late. According to your revised due date, you were late as of Thursday, but I was hoping you might be waiting until today, your original due date. Alas, you seem happy where you are, tucked safely inside your mama.

We are so excited to meet you. Your papa is especially anxious to get you out into the world, and he regularly attempts to convince you that’s a good idea — speaking to you or tapping out beats on my belly or rubbing it in what he thinks is a particularly encouraging way. You usually wake up when he does this, and you two communicate back and forth — you kick or push, and he taps back with his fingers to let you know he’s paying attention. He loves you so much.

Every night your papa speaks to you through my belly. “Hello, my son,” he says. “I can’t wait to meet you.” He tells you about all the things we have done to get ready for you–the car and house we have bought, the room we have painted blue and decorated with books and dolls and gifts from the people who love you, the classes we have taken to learn how to bring you into this world and feed you and help make you happy. He reads you books, too, and makes up songs about you, and he kisses you goodnight.

Your papa thinks perhaps you are waiting to come till Tuesday and the presidential election to make sure the right guy wins.  Yes, it is scary sometimes to think we are bringing you into a world that can feel so uncertain and  even unsafe, but we are confident at least that this world will be better with you in it.  Our own little world certainly will.

I’m excited to meet you too, but I’m not impatient yet. I am trying to cherish these last days with you inside me, trying to savor this special time we have left together, just you and me. I have loved being pregnant with you, and as much as I know I will love having you on the outside, I know I will miss having you on the inside, too.

I have been so lucky — you have been an easy baby to carry these past nine months. Sure, I am not as spritely as I used to be (and I admit I look forward to being able to bend over again and to not waking up with hands so swollen I can’t curl my fingers to pull up the covers), but I feel remarkably comfortable with my boy on board. I am still sometimes surprised to realize I am even pregnant. Just in the past few weeks strangers have really started to recognize you — every time I check out at a store, especially, the checker congratulates me or wishes us luck, and today at dinner in the city we had our 45-minute wait for a table reduced to 5 minutes after the hostess saw my big belly. What you and I get to share is so special and intimate, so it surprises me to realize that it is also so obvious to the world that this amazing thing (you!) is about to happen to me — and has been happening to me for all the months I’ve gotten to carry you.

But yes, we are ready for you — at least as ready as we can be, having no real idea of what life will be like with you in it. We wonder all sorts of things about you — what color hair and eyes you will have, what your cries will sound like, how you will want to be held, what will make you laugh,  what you will grow up to like and do and say, whom you will love, where you will go. We have thought about you for so long, but we really know nothing about you, except that you are already so very loved. The whole world, it seems, is anxiously awaiting your arrival, and we can’t wait to share the wonderful news with everyone.

Good night, my son. I’ll see you soon.

Love,
Mama

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