15 Sep I Want You
I Want You.
I want you, sweet baby. I want your painful birth, your downy head, your midnight cries, your drooly teeth slicing through tiny baby gums. I want your tottering first steps, your magic smiles, your barely intelligible first words.
I want you. I want you in my belly, now.
I want that little test that promises your life, declaring, “Pregnant” on a regular Tuesday morning. For everyone else, life will go on as usual, but for us, it will mean our world has shifted. You’ll be on your way to our family.
We didn’t try with our first child. She was a welcome surprise, although it took me a few days to accept the radical change to our plans. I later came to realize what a wonderful gift her unexpected conception was to my anxious, planning-obsessed mind.
Here we are, nearly three years later, with an exuberant toddler keeping us humble and threatening our sanity, yet somehow we want to start this journey again.
The first month we tried, I woke with hopeful expectation every day. Even as the telltale cramps started a few days before my period, I thought, “There’s still hope.” No, you’re not on your way yet.
One time, I asked a mom of four, “Are you just over the moon for him?” I knew her son was the last child they planned to have. She said, “I don’t know him yet, he just sleeps and eats so far.” As a new mama, I privately thought, “How can she be so dismissive of him?” Now, a few years later, I know what she meant.
She didn’t know his personality and predilections, his strengths and weaknesses, and where he fit in their family. She didn’t know what would make him giggle, or cry, or exactly how he likes to snuggle before bed. They were getting to know each other in a beautiful dance and it’s slow at first.
As your sister has grown, learning words and phrases, so many things make sense about her as a baby. She now has words and actions to put to her tiny baby feelings, and it’s exquisite to behold. I know her in a way I can’t wait to know you, too.
When they placed her skinny, wriggly body on my chest, I was numb with pain, exhausted, and completely overwhelmed. I didn’t feel anything at first. On that fateful April day, I had no idea your sister would become the sun in my universe, the most important thing I’ve ever done.
This time, it’s the same road yet completely different. Now I know what’s coming. I know how many things can go wrong. I know how very precious life is—I know conception is a miracle and a gift from God.
The first time I had a baby, I was blissfully and a little selfishly ignorant. I moaned about my violent morning sickness, indulging in self-pity every time I had to whip out a gallon Ziploc bag from my purse to endure an unpredictable episode of public vomiting. Now, I realize that was child’s play compared to toddler it’s-time-to-leave-the-park hostage negotiations, and how very unimportant public vomiting is when you get a child on the other side.
This time, this time, I can’t wait to feel your first flutters in my tummy, even if I’m puking over a trash can. I can’t wait to hear your heartbeat, to see your miniature feet on an ultrasound, to count down the days until we meet you.
I didn’t know, back then, how beautiful and sacred and special it is to be a mother. Your sister kicked and whirled in my belly, beginning a dance we will dance for the rest of our lives. I am hers and she is mine. We belong to one another. I want that with you.
I think about you every day, dearest. I want to meet you and I’m terrified something will go wrong. I’m so afraid I’ll lose you, or something won’t be right in your small, vulnerable body.
Our doctor says we’re young and healthy, that it shouldn’t take very long. But I know we live in a broken, fallen world where things rarely work out as they should.
My mind is running wild and rampant, anticipating and pre-processing all the things that could go wrong. What if we miscarry? What if we can’t conceive? What if there’s a birth defect? How will we cope? What will we feel? How will we get through it?
Sheesh. I’m not even pregnant yet, but I find myself planning and re-planning my worst-case scenario contingency plans in the dark of the night as I lie awake on my bed. I worried so much less last time because I just didn’t know. I didn’t know what I didn’t know and my mind was freer because of it.
But this time, I also know, in moments of piercing clarity, when I finally get a hold on my panicky mind, that I serve a good and gracious God. I have a loving Father and he has good plans for our family. His plans might look different or hurt more than I would choose for us, but I know that he loves me. On those dark nights filled with worry and fear, I remember that both you and I were woven together in depths of the earth before time began.
However you come, whenever he brings you, I want you, sweet baby.