Thursday, February 10, 2011

36 weeks

Dear Bean,

I have only dared to write directly to you a few times during this pregnancy, and even then, it has only been in the privacy of my own journal, never on this website. I talk to you in my head all the time, telling you how amazing you are, how glad I am that you are growing, how exciting it was to hear your heartbeat. I call you "little love," and "sweet one," and "darling bean" in my mind. Writing to you directly has felt different than writing about pregnancy. It has felt like I would be tempting fate, possibly writing a letter that, horrifyingly, you might never get to read. I have been too scared to address you directly.

But I woke up this morning with the overwhelming urge to write to you. I am 36 weeks pregnant today, you are somewhere around 4-5 weeks from making your way in the world. Just like I cannot believe that I made it to 16 weeks, to 20, to 30, I cannot believe that we are here, glancing around the corner at the day when you will actually make your arrival in this world. It is in your hands, little love. We are ready whenever you are ready. Rather, we are ready to be not ready for the way that you will certainly turn our world upside down. We are as ready as we will ever be.

Yesterday the doctor felt your head. While I won't go into the (intimate) details of how she did that, rest assured that it felt just as strange for me as it did for you. You responded exactly the way I would expect someone who has resided completely undisturbed for 36 weeks, and your heartrate skyrocketed to 165, calming down to its usual 145 after a few seconds, in rhythm with my own decreasing heartbeat.

The amazing thing about the experience was the fact that the doctor FELT your little head. Until that moment, I had imagined so many things about you: your feet, your hands, your eventual personality, whether your first word will be "Julie" or "Stephen." But until yesterday, I hadn't pictured your little newborn head. It swam in front of my eyes with sudden clarity -- dark and curly, covered in yuck, soft and mushy and cone-shaped and requiring the utmost care. I wanted to kiss the image in my mind, wanted to reach out my hand to stroke the picture of your beautiful little head. And then I realized that sometime within the next few weeks, I will get to actually kiss you, that I will brush those dark, soft curls with my actual fingers, that I will get to hold your neck and stare at your face and be the person in your life who gives you the utmost care.

So I woke up this morning and wanted to tell you this: I cannot wait to meet you.

With every ounce of love and then some,
Your Almost-Mama

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