Saturday, June 23, 2012

Letter to baby

looking at belly


The letter I wrote to the baby a couple of weeks before he arrived:

Dear Baby Boy:

One day, I imagine you’ll wonder what it was like to live inside my belly. By the time you ask, I’m afraid I’ll have forgotten. So let me tell you what your life was like before you were born:

Your life began on an island called Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. Your dad and I spent our days snorkeling, working on our computers, and experimenting making Caribbean food. We were staying in an apartment right on the beach. The water was warm and clear. Nearly everyone on the island spoke French and had dark skin.

The day I found out I was pregnant with you, I met a girl named Aurelie and I thought that might be a nice name for you, if you were a girl. I waited to tell your dad until the evening, when we went out to eat to celebrate our first date anniversary. It was October 13, Friday the 13th, and your dad and I went on our first date 5 years earlier. I was a little teary when I told him, but your dad just started laughing and saying “That’s crazy!” and he was obviously happy and he took my hand. I didn’t like the dinner I ordered that night—little did I know that it was a sign of a lost appetite for the next several months.

The day I first went to the doctor to confirm the pregnancy, our apartment owner began painting his apartments and decided he wanted to renovate the one we were staying in as well, got angry at your dad for not answering the door fast enough, and told us we had to move out.

Your dad voted that we move to Mexico City. I was leaning more towards Costa Rica because Mexico was supposed to be dangerous, but your dad thought that sounded boring. Thus your future nationality was determined.

Within a week we were there.

Your favorite food was string cheese. You did not like spicy foods. You wanted things bland. I didn’t normally eat meat, but I ate some about once a week just to cover my bases.

You made your mom very tired. And unusually calm.

When we first saw you and heard your heartbeat, I cried.

Your heartbeat was so fast that the conventional wisdom said you were a girl.

The next doctor’s appointment the doctor still thought you might be a girl at 14 weeks.

The doctor moved offices so we couldn’t confirm your gender since he didn’t have his ultrasound machine. We kept announcing we were about to find out whether you were a boy or a girl, only to have to say we still didn’t know. We had to wait til we got to Utah.

In Utah, we got a shock: you were, in fact, a boy. We had to start thinking of boys names. On the car ride home from the ultrasound, Jacob threw out “Ryder.” He was listing names of basketball players (Isaiah Rider prompted your name). We haven’t found anything we liked better.

The first time I remember you kicking was at my former voice teacher Dr Stripling’s house during Uncle Jack’s voice lesson at the end of January.

Your favorite time to kick was when your mom was trying to go to sleep. Your foot always kicks in the same place, in the right side of my belly. I like to push on it and you would push back or move away.

You got the hiccups a lot.

Your dad and I would wonder what you would look like, but we figured you would be blonde with green eyes, skinny and long like your dad.

We went to birth classes and we had a doula who helped us do exercises to prepare for your debut.

I prayed for you. I prayed you would be healthy. I prayed you would be able to enjoy our unusual lifestyle. I prayed we would love each other. I didn’t know what to expect when you arrived.

I hoped you would be healthy and happy despite anything I might do.

I hoped you and I would grow to be friends.

I cried sometimes worrying what being a mom would be like. But…

I knew that you were the fruit of your dad and I’s love. I love your dad very much, and I was happy that there would be another person like him to come into this world. I was scared, too, of course, because you were going to teach me how to be a parent. Nevertheless I knew I was supposed to be a mom, your mom, and that the greatest adventure of my life would be learning and growing with you.

These last 9 months have gone by so fast. I can’t believe I’m going to meet you in a couple of weeks.


Your mom


Adespain said...

Beautiful letter Kalli. It will be fun to look back on.

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