I'm sorry, #3. I have only taken one 'growing belly' picture as opposed to the weekly ones I took with your sisters. There has only been one post about you on our blog so far. (Here's making it two.) We haven't come up with a cute little nickname for you, so right now, you are just "baby." I have eaten more ice cream, cookies, and Halloween candy than is good for either of us. But all that aside, I love you already. I get excited about all your little movements that I can feel more and more frequently that remind me of your presence. Your sisters talk to you and pat you frequently. (If you're remembering the pats, Staley's are the more gentle ones. Adelie's are more like thumps.) And we are all excited about getting to meet you in just a few short months.
The story of you isn't lengthy or mysterious. We weren't "trying for a boy", as many people have asked. Boy or girl, it really doesn't matter to us. (For the record, I kind of think you're a boy. Of course, I also thought that at times with both your sisters, so don't put a lot of faith in my 'motherly instinct' when it comes to gender guessing.) We just love our little family and thought it would be great if we could expand the love one more time. We're not getting any younger so as soon as we were able to try to add to our family, we did. And you came along. I still have my anxiety, born from our years of infertility and my years working at the hospital. I worried until I could see you on an ultrasound, worried with each appointment until I got to hear your heartbeat, and worry about whether or not you're moving enough, whether or not I'm drinking enough, whether or not I'm eating too much. I worry about your health. I worry about what I know can go wrong. I worry, but I also pray. I pray for you. For us. For our family. For your health. For your happiness. And for the ways I know your presence will change our family.
What I know about you so far? You made yourself known very early when I felt your first baby movements around 13 or 14 weeks, after a much-too-large meal of scrumptious Chinese food. (I still don't know whether you really liked it or really didn't. You'll have to let me know.) You move a lot, as each time I have an appointment, the doctor comments on your movements as she has to continually move the heart rate monitor around to find a consistent spot to hear you. You move a lot more when I'm sitting on the couch, driving in the car, and lying down in bed than when I'm active. (That might be why I worry sometimes about your movements--there are days that I just don't get to sit down much.) And I know that, with each week that passes, you (and I) are both growing more and more.
Baby, I apologize for the lack of pregnancy pictures. I apologize for the lack of early blog posts. I apologize for those brief moments that I get so busy with life that I almost forget that you are with me. I apologize for that package of Swiss Cake Rolls that I just ate while I sit on the couch and type this. (Although if you're anything like me, you probably enjoyed them too.) And I'm sure there will be more apologies needed in the years to come. But know that there is nothing I love more than my children. There is nothing I won't do for you. I will love you fully and unconditionally and fiercely. I will continue to pray for you every day. Even if I haven't taken enough pictures of you living in my belly, you are already living in my heart.