My Darling Baby:

It is with much excitement that we await your arrival. As a family, we count down the weeks until you arrive. We talk about you both at home and at school. How long you are, how you are continuing to develop and how life will change with your arrival. However, in this pregnancy I find myself not taking as much time to simply enjoy your presence.

When I was pregnant with your brothers, I recall not only noting every movement and change, but sharing them with everyone. With you every movement warms my heart, but in the chaos of life, I find myself taking little time to simply sit and enjoy you. There have been times while lying awake in the middle of the night that these thoughts fill me with guilt. What kind of mother am I if I don’t take the time to enjoy all of the small, routine things my children experience?

Many people say that after the first couple of pregnancies, it becomes old hat – that these feelings are natural and that when you are born it will all change. I question such advice. Why should you have to wait until you are born for us to take the time to be with you and enjoy how you are growing? Unfortunately knowing and believing this was not enough to get me to slow down and be with you. Only you were able to do that. This past month, my little angel, you taught me that lesson.

It started one morning when I woke up and realized I had slept the whole night without your movements waking me. I simply chalked it up to being very tired and went on with my day. That afternoon at work, I still hadn’t felt any movement and again I didn’t slow down; I simply blamed it on the business of the day. That night when things had finally wound down at home, I realized I still hadn’t felt you move. I started to worry. Your dad and I tried various things to stimulate you – drinking orange juice, exposing my belly to light, having daddy talk to you and playing music, but nothing seemed to work. Fear set in. What if something was wrong? What was happening with you? What could we do to help you? I knew the best thing to do was get comfortable, try to relax, give you some time and pray. It was one of the longest nights of our lives.

What was in reality 24 hours seemed like 24 days. Suddenly, there was a small movement. Dare we believe it was you? Through more and much harder movements, you quickly let us know you were fine. Your dad and I rejoiced and thanked God again for your presence.

Ever since that frightening night, I have been much more vocal in sharing your movements and changes with everyone. I take time each night to simply rub and talk to you. Thank you for reminding us of your precious presence and for being so patient. Patient in knowing that even if mom and dad aren’t immediately present or with you in the moment, we love you no less. Patient in reminding us that some of the most valuable lessons we learn as parents, we learn from our children.

May you continue to grow and kick in peace.