Dear Sweet Baby,
You are perhaps my most mysterious baby yet. So much about you – how you came to us, why you chose us, the incredible movements you make, the way you make me feel so alive – are a delicious little secret.
About 12 weeks more, give or take, until I meet your authentic face and I have began to visualize your coming. The bathtub is my respite, my cove of nurturing. It’s where I soaked in a hand-mixed, unique concoction- crafted entirely by my sweet Shell – of cocoa bliss in the photo below. During that bath, the aroma of hot cocoa was so intense it took every ounce of my being to not jump up and make a yummy cup. My skin was melty and soft afterwards and I feel into a deep, relaxed sleep that night. It is true that Shell is a Bath Witch of the Highest Accord.
Yes, the bath…where I light candles and float in the flickered darkness and dream about the waves of labor and the beloved faces peering from shadowed corners; holding our space in this very home. I wonder: will it be night, as I’m accustomed to, in the calm stillness of a summer evening that grounds my body? Will your sisters be asleep, or up wondering and wandering? Will you come fast and whirlwind-like or smooth and mellow?
When we bought this home, I specifically noticed every detail and asked aloud “Could I give birth here?”. Yes, baby, this is the sacred place that we’ve tended that you and I will birth together in. A temple of crayon-colored walls and random stickers stuck to a variety of surfaces. This wood and stucco haven that the first spark of your life was ignited inside of. It seems right to transition you in this way: from womb home to earth home.
I am at peace with the impending mystery of your position and presentation. I only know breech babies so if you are head-down I’m not sure I’ll know what to do. But I will breathe in deeply and exhale and go with it. Bring it on.
Kaia calls you Peaches. Indigo calls you “Baby in Belly”. There will be two toothy smiles, four eyes framed with wispy hair, 20 sticky fingers ready to greet you when you arrive. Your placed is waiting to be etched in the circle of our family; already you are so present.
I open my heart to you, baby. It’s doors have been swung wide and are unhinged so that you may grow and pass through exactly as you need to.
I am your Mama. I love you. And the honor is all mine.
P.S. Here are some journal entries from the past few weeks. Just bits and baubles…
This is the first pregnancy in which I am not sleeping with any extra pillows NOR have I felt a knot of soreness in my hips from sleeping on my side. I cannot believe how comfy I am at night without a slew of pillows between my knees and under my belly and behind my back. I credit both of those good news stories to the weekly Chiropractic care I am receiving from a dear friend, Jenny.
This baby move so so so much now, to the point I can actually just watch my belly move and undulate. It is so glorious, a time of oft-overlooked bonding for a third baby. On the busy days, I feel bad that I don’t stop and notice the baby. But at night, my practice is to lay hands on my belly and reconnect, sending love to this mystery baby. Boy or girl? I have no idea, no feelings, no vibes, nothing. I love this baby in an amazing way but perhaps in a different way than I have loved my other babies. It is almost in a secretive way, wanting to keep it all to myself, not wanting to ask too many questions or assume too much. A quiet reverence. I have often wondered if I’m not connected enough to this baby. But I think it comes down to a simple feeling of gratitude for growing and nurturing a life. This baby mostly makes me smile. Thank you, baby, for the gift of you. For the gift of pregnancy once again. For growing and stretching and moving and keeping me on my toes.
Guess what? I am measuring exactly 25 weeks! Lat month, I was measuring 19 weeks, a bit behind, but I knew that was wrong. I must have had a big growth spurt, but I was also shocked to see I only gained 1 pound which puts my total weight gain at 14 pounds. Baby was breech, but lots of babies are breech this early on and I have no concerns about baby’s position; now or later. It was awesome to palpate and have Jason palpate as well; feeling tiny baby parts. To feel the baby’s head floating back and forth was surreal and amazing.
Just this past week, a bit of heartburn began. Nothing too bad, just a noticeable little burn in my chest. I sure hope it doesn’t get as bad as it did with Indigo. Also, my thighs have began to rub a little. Oh, here with go again with the thigh rubbing! It is mostly an unavoidable thing in my pregnancies. I must embrace the flab. But a new novelty for me is the tingling of restless leg syndrome, which mostly comes on as I’m laying down to put the girls to sleep at night. I have to heave myself out of the bed after a short time just to place my feet on solid ground and stop the annoying pins and needles sensation.
Little bean, my body is becoming more cumbersome. I am waddling and lumbering more. I am “ooofing” more as I climb into the big diesel truck and pull myself from the couch. Tying my shoes – while still possible – requires bending and stretching and a bit of breath holding. It seems there is no posture, besides laying down, that is quite comfortable. My bra, yes my ONLY bra that fits, often digs into the top of my uterus in a way so it incites Braxton Hicks contractions. I have ripped it off numerous times while driving. Not so safe, perhaps, but utterly necessary. Being on my feet for awhile causes pressure on my cervix, even if it’s just house cleaning or grocery shopping. I’ve noticed this week that I have started to slow down more. Which is GOOD for me, in general. I move at a slower pace and am trying to cut myself some slack.
I am also trying to relish these last few months with the girls. I want their memory to be of a happy, patient, loving mama before YOU, beautiful you, came into their lives. I am trying hard but my patience wanes like the setting sun. This is one of the best times, baby, when you still have room to move around and kick and squirm. And DO YOU EVER. Even Daddy has said the same thing. I am aware that this time won’t last long, as my uterus becomes more cramped. So I try to really savor your kicks and punches, even though the waking me up at night is a little frustrating at times. A few nights ago I watched my belly pulsate and wave with your movements and giggled out loud, amazed at your abilities. Kaia has felt you a number of times with her soft, tiny hands and grins widely when she feels you bump. Oh, baby, she adores you already!
In a months time, I gained 6 pounds. Ha! So much for that “only gaining 1 lb” in the previous month. I knew I’d catch up.
Baby, I have dreamed of you many times, but only once saw that you were a boy or girl. You were a boy. With dark hair. You were perfect. When you come to me in my dreams, the circumstances usually surround you being born too early. So please, this is my offer – my supplication – for you to stay as long as you need to. Grow, be strong, relax, float. I will be ready when you are; arms warm and soft and waiting.