Saturday, August 21, 2010

joy of the father

I'm so filled with emotion these days that it's hard to know where to begin to describe it all.


We are having a little girl.


Just days ago, when this information was given to us, the concept seemed so foreign to me. All along - throughout the beginning of my pregnancy, throughout my life, it seems - i always assumed i'd be having a boy. First, i mean. I always wanted a girl, but kind of daydreamed that the boy would come first.


But God, as usual, would have other plans.


Our ultrasound technician is wonderful. She didn't tell us right away what the sex of the baby was. Instead, she simply asked if we wanted to know, inquired about the names we'd picked out for either gender, and then began to take measurements of the baby, starting with the head. With every measurement she would explain to us what we were looking at. Most of it was obvious...her arms, her little fingers...and all of it was perfect and more adorable than i'd imagined. Nothing, however, compared to seeing that little heart beating, each of the four chambers entirely visible and in working order. There was a life growing inside of me, and i was watching it. And nothing else in the whole world mattered.


"It's an Abby!"


The declaration awoke me from my stupor. The technician had been pushing hard on my belly with her instrument, trying to get the baby to move so we could get a view from under her bum - where, of course, i was expecting to see some little boy parts.


They were girl parts. No doubt about it.


Jeremy and i exchanged astonished glances. Really? We were having a girl?


But of course. Her face looked more like mine now, her movements more feminine. She was cross-legged, the way i sit indian-style most everywhere. And as soon as we saw her defining girl parts, she seemed to become shy and settled in for a little nap.


I rolled onto one side, then the other, in order to allow the technician to take more measurements - beautiful legs, tiny toes - but it wasn't easy. Little Abby was asleep.


I remember tearing up in the waiting room as we prepared to see our midwife, the realization that we were having a daughter striking me for real for the first time. They were joyful tears, mind you. I was going to have a little mini me, only a much better version. A tiny, pink, innocent, helpless version.


Still, it took a couple of days to get used to the idea. I was prepared for a boy, and especially knowing the sex of the child, our concerns had been somewhat minimal. How would i afford maternity leave? We'd cross that bridge when we got there. What kind of parents would we be? If it was a boy, Jeremy would teach him how to swim and fish and play baseball. Where would we fir him or her in the house? Any old corner would do; after all, babies don't take up that much space.


When we found out we were having a girl, all of this changed. I panicked about maternity leave; i work at Starbucks and can barely afford my bills. I panicked about being a good mother; suddenly i felt all this pressure to be crafty and womanly and enjoy shopping. And i panicked about where we'd put the baby's crib and rock her to sleep.


But with each day that passed, i've grown more and more excited about having a little girl, and all of these problems seem to be melting away. Though i don't have insurance through Starbucks, i found out that i still qualify for short-term disability, which will alleviate some of the financial stress that comes with taking time off from work. I may not enjoy shopping very much, but i can't wait to read my favorite children's books to my daughter, teach her how to comb the beach for sea glass, and lick the spoons with her after we've selected the perfect pumpkin for pumpkin pie. As for where she'll sleep? A plan to transform the sunroom into a tranquil nest for her has been weaving itself together in my mind.


I feel her presence more each day. Her little fingers and toes that graze my belly. The way i get emotional just holding a pink onesie. The fact that her name was chosen long before she was even conceived.


My beautiful Abigail Grace.








Tuesday, August 10, 2010
August 10, 2010






Jeremy's dad was a medic in the coast guard, and every now and then he pulls out his old stethoscope to see if we can hear the baby's heartbeat. Today was the first time i could actually hear it...veeeery faintly, but it was there!
Saturday, August 7, 2010

pitter patter goes my heart

My darling baby,


Daddy and i returned home today from Maine. We were very sad to leave this morning, torn emotions compounded by a long and tiresome ride home (thanks to lots of weekend traffic, a bikeathon, a blues festival, and the fact that mommy needed to stop a few times to pee).


Every moment of our time in Maine was wonderful. The quiet, lazy days at the campsite. The exhilarating days at the beach (Daddy was the only one there who knew how to bodysurf; he's the best wave rider i know). The visit from Jeremy's parents that led to indulgent dinners and one very long, interesting walk along the Marginal Way in the dark. The way Daddy and i loved each other's company and were always cracking each other up.


We love pointing out all the children that we think resemble what you might look like in the future, whether they're one year old, five years, or ten. Especially in Maine. "There she is," Jeremy will say, nodding at a tiny girl with curly hair splashing around at the beach, "that's our little girl." Or "That's you and our son," I'll say, watching a boy and his father building sandcastles. "He's going to love playing with you. You're going to be the best dad in the whole world."


The most pleasant surprise, though, came on the very first day we arrived. We had unpacked our car, set up our campsite, and showered. We planned to go out to dinner and walk the Marginal Way, but first we wanted to take a nap. So we crawled into the tent (it's brand new and VERY big; we bought it knowing that we'd be taking you with us next year), sprawled out on the air mattress, and closed our eyes, enjoying being peaceful as a warm breeze blew through the tent and soothed our souls. And that's when i felt you move inside me for the first time.


You came alive for us in Maine. Your movements were small, just gentle pokes in my belly, but they were enough. Daddy placed his hand on me, and although he couldn't feel anything, he smiled. We both agreed that you must have been able to sense that, finally, after working so hard for so long, i was starting to relax, and that maybe you were already enjoying Maine as much as we were. Certainly after i began eating things like lobster and steak and fried clams. It seemed that you quite liked those, and proceeded to let me know when you were ready for more (which these days is basically all the time!).


I'm not sure if you can hear my voice just yet, but i hope you can feel my love for you. When i feel you moving around inside me i smile, and when i think about seeing your face for the first time my heart swells and my eyes fill up with tears. You were real to me before, but now i know that you're happy and well, and i couldn't ask for anything more. On the 18th we will find out your sex, and though the thought is exciting, no matter what you are - boy or girl - we will be overjoyed knowing that God has chosen you specifically to make our family three.


Love always,
Mommy

me

My name is Audrey. I'm just a twentysomething learning how to master the arts of cooking, cleaning, working and being in a relationship, same as you.In between all that, I like to collect sea glass and salvaged furniture. Occasionally, I cut and paste scraps of paper together. In the end, I am hoping that all of these things together will somehow amount to something good. This blog is a journal of my efforts to get there.

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