22 Weeks

22 weeks eyes closed

Dear Baby,

In the last week or so you’ve “pulled out all the punches”;  the big ones; the kicks that tell me you are growing and vivacious and still have room to expand in the womb.   You are active mostly in the early mornings, late evenings, and middle of the night.  Funny how a blow to the bladder or a push that extends my belly muscles visibly can induce a giggle from my throat.    But there is nothing else that can be said about the power of growing a person…the last person I will have the privilege of harboring safely in my very own flesh.

The weight of you, on my body and my heart, is immense and welcome.   It’s amazing how a few years between pregnancies has impacted my body.  I am not nearly as limber; my body feeling much more cumbersome.   My energy level waxes and wanes so quickly if I don’t keep up on my supplements, eating, and rest.    My patience is thinner which means my B12 and Magnesium supplements are in high demand.   My feel tire easily, my legs sore.  And yet how good to be the vessel you chose.

Your big brother kisses and hugs you every day, saying “A gentle hug for the baby”.  He rests his head upon my belly and smiles as if he remembers.  Of course he does.
“The baby grows a little bit every day”, he remarks. “After Christmas, in January, the baby will come, right mama?”.

P1100512

***************
When Grams was here last week, we brought down the bins of newborn clothes and washed them all.

I held them between my hands, marveling – as always – that your beautiful tiny body will fit into them.   Folding the onesies your sisters tie-dyed for your brother a few months before he was born, I smoothed them with my hands and imagined us helping to gently guide your chubby arms into the holes.     This task of washing and folding and putting away newborn clothes is a traditional ritual and meditation of mine.   Occasionally I open the frosted glass doors of the dresser and peek inside at the neat stacks; each of the outfits I can catalog in my mind…when and where your siblings wore them.   It is like re-reading a favorite book over and over, the soft pages worn and comforting with each turn.

You, on the occasion of your birth, will be a sentence that I underline with reverence in the pages of that book.   I will come back to that sentence again and again when I need to remember, when my breath gets caught between my ribs.

***************

Today the desert experienced a deluge and we opened the windows and listened to the song outside.  So I decided to snap a few photos in the same spot that I took photos of my pregnancy with Lyric at 22 weeks.   Drops still fell from the Palo Verde that canopied above my head.  I noticed the grey clouds and wondered what the air would smell like the day you are born?

lyric and baby 4 compare 22 weeks

(Lyric on Left)

And then inside, I picked up orphan plates and bowls from around the house, attacked the laundry piles, and wondered how I am every going to get this house into a state of nested bliss in time for your birth.

Will I be walking over wet towels from night’s showers, stepping on barbies and legos, and wiping sticky juice spills from the tile?

It won’t be perfect.  But it will be perfect.

And I suppose that’s really what Birth is all about.

I love you,

Mama

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