Sunday, April 1, 2012

Letter #3 to my unborn son

Little One,

In 7 weeks you'll be joining us, and your father and I are getting ready for your arrival.

A friend loaned us a book regarding childbirth, called A Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth.  I thought reading it would help alleviate my anxiety, but it hasn't -- in some ways it's made it worse. There are so many pros and cons with things like epidurals, inducing labor, episiotomies, obstetricians, midwives, etc. Everyone has an opinion. Some opinions are even based on facts. But the more I read about childbirth, the more I realize that modern medicine has interfered so deeply with women's reproductive matters that we've lost or come to distrust thousands of years of knowledge of something that is innate to us. Childbirth is a natural event that is treated more like a medical emergency waiting to happen, and I guess that is what has me so nervous about the birthing process. Honestly, I'd like to skip over that part and just have you delivered via stork, ok?

We've bought the infant car seat and the stroller for you -- we found a great, gently used Chicco Cortina travel system on Craig's List for 1/3 the cost of new. Your Grandpa Stan went with me to pick it up from a couple who are at Stanford University.

The gifts are coming in from the baby registry we set up on, and we've been getting wonderful items second-hand from friends, some with the tags still on them. Your Great Aunt Marsha sent a bib with a power-tie printed on the front, and a cute little sailor suit, and of course, a little golfer's outfit. My best friend from Junior High days sent a big box of toys and clothes, and two baby carriers. Your father's friend, David, and his partner, Lynn, brought over some of their favorites from their son's infancy, too. Their boy is 18 months and growing so fast! I know you'll be doing the same. I have some friends who are wonderful at knitting and crocheting, so we've got some beautiful little jackets and hats made with love just for you.

Meanwhile your, Grandfather has really been working hard with us to finish up the landscaping projects we've had going, especially the side-yard gravel-to-paver project. When you're walking around next summer I won't worry about you falling and getting hurt on that sharp-edged gravel anymore. The exterior of your home is shaping up very nicely, though the interior is in a minor state of disarray, thanks to a leak in the master bath. The good news is we've discovered a closet that was abandoned during a renovation. We've just got to figure out how we're going to make it useful and aesthetically pleasing once again.

You're going through your growth spurt right now, and for the first time in my life, I'm anemic. Your expanding circulatory system and red blood cells require lots of iron, so I'm having to supplement my prenatal vitamins with additional iron. I'll probably be doing that for several months, while you're nursing, too.

You're starting to crowd my lungs. I can't take deep breaths anymore, but I'm not feeling short of breath so far, so that is something to be thankful for. In addition to my lungs being crowded, so is my stomach. A lot of food just isn't agreeing with me these days, and vomiting hurts, so I'm eating a lot of yogurt and cottage cheese and blueberries and protein drinks and protein bars. My weight gain so far is at about 10 lbs, but I'm noticing that while my breasts and belly are growing, other areas are shrinking a bit. So far, there are no signs of gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia, and my blood-pressure is very good. Sleeping for more than 3 hours at a time is nearly impossible now. I suppose it's one way for me to get ready for napping between feedings.

Jasper the kitten isn't very kittenish anymore. He's 8 months old now and weighs 9 lbs. We're hoping he outgrows his adolescent phase before you arrive, because he's a bit aggressively playful. He's fun and sweet and cuddly and he'll be a good companion animal for you when you're both older. I'm not sure how he's going to deal with competition for my breasts, though. They seem to be his favorite place to curl up for a nap.

Your father is being very good to me. I can't wait for the two of you to meet each other. He's such a wonderful, gentle-hearted man, and I think he's going to fall for you pretty hard. He's planning on taking all 7 weeks of his paternity leave so he can spend as much time with us as he can. As it is he's doing everything he can to help me with my physical discomfort right now, and he's great about joining me when I lay down for a nap so I can snuggle and rest. Snuggling up with him is like coming home. You'll understand what I mean some day soon, I'm sure.

Time for bed.

See you in 7 weeks, maybe sooner.


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