I've been sporadically writing pregnancy updates for this blog so that I can help myself retain the many memories from my first pregnancy and our time together with you in my tummy. But I wanted to write a letter specifically to you to tell you what I've loved most about carrying you with me for the first few months of your existence and what I'll miss about this crazy experience.
I love the way you squirm around at night. As you've grown bigger, I've felt you more and more throughout the day. But there is something about the evening and right before bed that gets you so excited about punching, kicking, hiccupping, and rolling around. I hope this doesn't mean you'll want to stay up all night, every night after you're born. :) When I lay on my side, I can feel your whole body twist and turn and it makes me believe that I'm already learning about your personality. Maybe you'll be a cross country runner like your daddy or maybe you'll always be on the move like your momma. Feeling your little body inside my stomach like this makes my heart leap and it's my prayer that someday you'll dedicate every move you make to seeking and doing God's will.
I love how now when I'm alone, I'm never really alone. You dad works out of town sometimes and he can be gone for many days at a time. It gets a little lonely without him, but with you, I'm not alone. We can sing songs in the car (and you kick along!) and I can tell you all about my day. That may sound silly, but I love that you can hear my voice and that it's becoming recognizable to you. This aspect of our relationship also draws me closer to God because it reminds me that no matter where I am, I'm never alone because God is always with me too.
Thanks for already being such a loving little boy. When I get angry or I cry, you start to squirm. I'm sure this is mostly because my heart rate goes up and you can feel it, but feeling you move when I'm upset calms me down and reminds me of how blessed I am to have you. Because of you, I let go of frustrations a little quicker and remind myself that I want to be the best example of how to handle oneself in tough situations for you.
You've been good for my pocket book! :) I used to be the kind of person who bought what I wanted when I wanted because, why not? I've always been good at budgeting and being aware of money, but with you, I've become a bargain shopper. I'm always keeping an eye out for diaper coupons and saying no to things I don't truly need. You've already taken precedence over my wants and this makes me happy. What a gift it's going to be to love someone so much that I sacrifice what I want for what you want. I've experienced this with your dad to a certain extent, but it's different with you. I already want to give you the world.
I already worry like crazy about you. What if I wake up and I've been sleeping on my back too long? What if the little bit of caffeine I'm allowed is hurting you? What if I ate too much sugar today? What if I forget to take my pre-natal vitamins one day? What if this or that happens during delivery? I know this worrying will never stop. Someday, I'll be worrying that a kid at school said something mean to you and hurt your feelings or you'll drive off in a car for the first time and I'll worry about crazy drivers on the road. As a momma, this worrying will never end. But you're teaching me to put even more faith in our God who will always be able to take better care of you than I can. Knowing He's holding you in His hands gives me peace, but boy don't you ever doubt - you're always on your momma's mind.
I'm already praying for your future spouse. I'm praying for a little girl I may or may not know. She might not be born yet, or maybe she isn't even a thought in her mom and dad's minds. Maybe she's 3 or 4 and running around enjoying her toddler years. But either way, I pray for her heart and her mind. I pray that she would be a women who seeks after God and loves Him first and foremost. I pray for her parents, that they would be Godly examples to her, both in life and in marriage. When I hear the song, "God Made Girls," by ReaLynn, I tear up a little. God is creating or will create a girl who will someday become your wife. And for her you will open doors, get dressed up, learn to dance, and show a vulnerable side that you don't share with others. She'll make you want to be a better man and add value to your life in a way that only she can. And I already love her so much for this. I can't wait to meet her and tell her that I've been praying for her her whole life.
I love how you've already turned your dad into the best dad ever. He was so scared when he first found out we'd made you. I've always known he'd make a great dad, but he didn't. He's still worried he won't know what to do or be good enough. But I have no doubt he will be the best dad to you. Your pack-n-play and duo swing/bouncer have already been put together because your dad just can't help himself. He keeps saying how ready he is to hold you and watch Scooby Doo together (his childhood favorite). He wants to teach you to shoot your first gun and how to be super clean/organized like him (and mom appreciate this!). And he even fell asleep in your nursery the other day while laying on one of your blankets. He may not think so, but your momma knows he's ready.
And I'm already sad that there will come a point in time (and sooner than later) that you won't be in my tummy anymore. Right now, I breath for you and my immune system fights for you. In a few short weeks, you will make your appearance and you will immediately become 10x more self sufficient than you are now. And yes, you will still need me for so much, but every day as you grow you'll need me less and less. I'm going to miss feeling you squirm around inside my belly and someday when you're at your first swim meet (because dad and I are convinced you'll be a swimmer like him with those big feet we saw at your 3D sonogram!), I'm going to tear up watching you flip turn in the pool as I remember what it was like when you first started practicing those flip turns in my stomach.
Barrett, you have already changed my life in so many ways and I haven't even held you in my arms yet. We have a loooong way to go, you and me. We both have so much to teach each other. But do me a favor, ok? Remember that this is my first time to be a momma and I'll remember it's your first time to be a baby. We'll get through this together, I know it. We've already been through so much and if you ask me, we're rockin' it out. :)
9 more weeks (or less) to go, little Bear. I can't wait to meet you.