things you should know

Dear L’Dub,

I swore I wouldn’t do this.

I promised myself I wasn’t going to start writing you letters.  I think it can be very, very sweet with other moms-to-be do it, but somehow it didn’t feel like my style.  I can be emotional, and even sentimental, but I’m not a very sappy, schmaltzy person.  I lean a little more to the snarky side, and have little patience for overblown affection.

However, it turns out that when you carry around a little creature 24 hours a day, you tend to start a dialogue with them, regardless of whether you want to or not.  Since you’re probably not going to remember most of these conversations, I figured I’d fill you in on some of the high points.  So, in no particular order, a few things you might like to know…

* We currently refer to you as L’Dub, short for Little Wetzel.  We have a name picked out for you, and when it’s just the three of us, we use your name all the time.  However, your Papa wanted to keep this piece of information quiet for now, because as you will soon find out, your Mama has a big mouth and tends to share more information than Papa would always like.  I don’t mind keeping this secret.  I like having this little part of you all to ourselves for now.

* I have also started referring to you as Little Ninja.  Because you never stop moving.  Ever.  And as you get bigger, these movements become more pronounced.  This morning, in fact, I was resting my kindle on my tummy, trying to read about what on earth to do with you once you get out, and you gave my hand several swift kicks, enough to dislodge the device from it’s resting place, causing me to lose my spot.  You often kick hard enough to make my shirt jump.  The first time you did this we were in Arkansas visiting the Green side of your family, and after we finished our BBQ lunch you signaled your approval by giving an enthusiastic thumbs up that your MiMi could see from across the table. I know I shouldn’t mind any of this, because these are all signs that you’re healthy and growing (I do get nervous when you’re still for too long) but seriously, I wish you could know what it feels like to get punched in the stomach from the inside.

*Along the lines of your wiggliness, it took three ultrasounds and four ultrasound techs to get all of your measurements at your 20-week appointment.  I wasn’t really feeling you move too much yet, just a flutter here and there, but once we got a peek at what was going on in there…it was obvious I was in for a boxing match.  After the first appointment, when my midwife saw how few measurements the tech actually got, she laughed and said, “What was your baby DOING in there?!”  I ended up having another appointment a few days later because little Finn jumped off my tummy a little too enthusiastically one night, and we had to make sure everything was okay.  It was; you were still doing somersaults.  However, they still were able to capture all they needed, and at the third appointment, the first tech we had laughed and said you were a mover.  Then she got frustrated, and said she’d never seen a baby move that much.  Then she had to go get another, more experienced tech to give it a go.  That final tech had me rolling from side to side, trying to get you to stop in the position she wanted you to be in, and in the end we were rewarded with a blurry, grainy picture of your little face.  I wish I could say that I can tell you look like me or Papa, but really, who can tell from those things?

* Speaking of the dogs, they’re excited for you to get here.  I’m assuming.  They’re definitely enjoying laying on your baby blankets, and sniffing all the toys that keep showing up at the house.  So far Finny has been our “test puppy”.  We’ve put him in the Baby Bjorn, the swing, the rocker, and the bassinet.  He enjoyed the bassinet until we turned on the vibration, at which point he got out of there as fast as possible.  Bentley also tried to test the swing out for you, but he’s just a hair over the weight limit…plus it’s hard to jump onto a moving object and stay put.

*Finn and Bentley are slowly losing the lap space that they usually share, thanks to you.  I suppose this is just getting them ready for your arrival, because once you’re here I’m not sure I’ll be able to hold on to you and two puppies at the same time.  Finn doesn’t seem to notice you in there kicking away, but Bentley likes to rest his head on my belly, and you often try to “pet” him with enough force that I can see his head bouncing around.  I’m sure he doesn’t mind.  In fact, I think you two are going to be great friends.  We keep telling Bentley that we’ve gotten him a little boy to play with, and that he’ll be here soon.  Don’t worry; you’ll have a little time to adjust before we start letting him wrestle with you.  Oh, and you’re taking over poop scoop duty as soon as we can get that physical dexterity and hand-eye coordination up to par.

* Things I have lost/misplaced since becoming pregnant: a laundry basket, a blue oven mitt, and a pair of maternity pants.  I’ve also burned my arm on both the iron and the pizza pan.  Your Papa doesn’t let me get food out of the oven anymore.  Oh, and yesterday I went hunting for your crib online, only to find out that it is being discontinued and is currently on sale.  Rather than pay $50 to have it shipped to the house (read: your Mama is cheap), I decided to go pick it up from the store.  However, the closest store that still had one in stock was 45 minutes away.  I counted up the gift cards and cash we’d received so far, realized I had enough, and headed out he door.  I dropped off Finny so he could visit Papa’s office for a while (he’s the Affirma mascot)…and while there I realized I’d left the envelope full of cards on my desk in the living room.  So I had to drive back.  And then drive to the store in rush hour traffic.  Please stop sucking up my brain power for your ninja kicks.

* You probably don’t want to know all the gross stuff going on in your Mama’s body, do you?  For now, let’s just say that I just started my third trimester, and I’m feeling rather large.  In fact, I don’t understand how I get larger.  My tummy muscles feel so stretched out all the time, and I’m dreading the feeling I’ll have a month or two (or three) from now when they’re stretched even further.  You seem to be a big guy; at the final ultrasound we had, when I was probably about 22 weeks, the tech said you weighed about a pound an a half.  The books I’d been reading right before your appointment said by 22 weeks you would be nearly a pound.  Apparently you’re taking after your Mama…although if you come out at 10 lbs 10 ounces I WILL hang it over your head for the rest of your life.

* Speaking of your ultrasounds (apparently one of my favorite topics), a few things happened in the days leading up to when we first laid eyes on you (electronically, of course):

  • Between April 25-28, a total of 330 tornadoes broke out across the U.S.  Over 20 happened in my home state of Arkansas, and 2 EF5s blew through both Alabama and Mississippi.  The Alabama tornadoes were by far the worst, killing and hurting a lot of people.  It was scary, and made me sad for my home.
  • On April 29, Prince William married Catherine Middleton.  I did not stay up until 2am to watch the ceremony, as I assumed you would forgive me for not being able to recount every last detail for you at some point in the future.  Plus, the American press went so crazy that I knew I’d be able to see most of it the next morning.
  • On May 2, Osama Bin Laden was shot and killed. We found out via Twitter as we were leaving our Bible study, and rushed to the car to listen to the president address the nation. We sat in the car at Scott’s Dairy Freeze listening to his speech, and ran to the house to turn on the television as soon as we got home. It was a bizarre, bizarre night.
  • On May 3, we saw you.  You wiggled and jumped, and I didn’t care about anything else in the world.  I cried, and your Papa looked stunned, as though he wasn’t sure until then that you actually existed.

I think that’s good for now.  I’ve been sitting long enough that you’re starting to get uncomfortable…or I would assume by the nudges you’re giving my stomach.  I’m guessing you’d like me to go work on your room a little more, eh?

Love,

Mama

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