My Darling Baby:

I can hardly believe that it is only 10 more weeks until your long-anticipated arrival. The last couple of months have been busy with birthdays, Christmas holidays, your brother’s exams and a celebration in recognition of your dad publishing his first book. It seems like there has been no time to stop and get things ready for your arrival. In fact, we have been so busy re-arranging rooms and getting your brother and sister settled into new surroundings, that your room is simply your brother’s old room painted blue with spaceship paper and an unassembled crib.

I was really concerned about having things as consistent and prepared in advance for your sister as possible. I know that regardless of any preparations we do, your arrival will be a big adjustment for Kathryn. Not only will she no longer be the youngest, but she will also have to share my attention during the day, there will be times when she will have to wait longer for her wants to be met and she may no longer be the only little girl in this house. She appears to be excited about your arrival, calling into my belly button for you to come out, taking toys into the “baby’s room,” and eagerly kissing and blowing on you through my belly numerous times during the day.

The reality of not only your arrival, but your lasting presence in our home, will take some adjustment. In order to help prepare her for this, I have been busy moving things that will be soon needed by you out of her room and going as far as preparing to get the infant car seat cleaned and into the van soon, so she can get used to having to share the middle seat. Many little steps, but things I hope will help all of us in the end.

In my haste to get all of this done, I hadn’t realized how much I had not done specifically for you. It came to my attention when I was talking to one of your dad’s friends.

He and his wife are expecting their first child in six weeks. After filling me in on how his wife was feeling, he began describing his amazement over all of the preparation that had to take place before the big day. He listed things like getting the nursery decorated and assembled just so, buying clothes and diapers, getting all of the necessary baby paraphernalia, choosing the perfect coming home outfit and making sure the hospital bags were packed with everything on the list. When we were done discussing all they had done, he politely asked how we were doing getting everything organized. I looked at him, smiled sheepishly and said, “Those are things I should probably start thinking about soon.” His look of disbelief was almost comical.

Of course, there are obvious differences. We already have much of the needed baby items from your brothers and sister, including clothes and a car seat so we can bring you home. Unfortunately, simply having things and thinking about bringing them about doesn’t mean it is done.

I must admit that when we were done talking, I felt slightly overwhelmed. I couldn’t believe I had been so busy focusing on the needs of your brother and sister that I hadn’t made time to get all of the things you may need when you come. How could I be so neglectful? How would I ever be able to balance the needs of four of you if I couldn’t even balance the needs of three children out of the womb and one in? After a momentary panic attack, reality set in and I calmed down.

I am meeting all of your needs to the best of my ability at this time. For right now, your only true need is to have a safe and secure place to continue growing – that I am able to provide for you. Though it would be great to have everything organized before you arrive, does it truly matter? No. The day you are born, we will have what you need – arms to hold you, blankets to swaddle you in, milk to feed you and, most important, a family full of love eagerly awaiting your arrival.

Luckily, there is a drug store near the hospital and your dad can stop and buy diapers if we still need them. A quick phone call will let your grandparents know if they should pull out the boys’ or girls’ clothes and begin washing. My darling, our home is not physically ready for you, but our hearts are and we will find the time to give you something other than an unassembled crib and planet wallpaper before you go to university.

May you continue to grow in peace.