It's strange to be waiting for a baby we weren't expecting. You are on our minds every day, all day: as we walk by your room--where felt poppies spin gently over your crib--as I feel contractions on and off throughout the day, as I toss and turn each night, as I wonder how many more days we will be waiting.
This last week I have felt restless and anxious, like I should be enjoying these last days as the mom of three more self-sufficient kids, before things devolve into the sleep-deprived state of bringing home a newborn. But I struggle. I'm worried about how I will do it all: how your birth will go, whether you will be healthy and strong, how I will nurse you all night and tend to you all day while welcoming company and mothering your sisters and brother well. It feels an absurd amount of work for one person, and I wasn't expecting it. I thought nine months would be plenty of time to get ready, and physically and logistically, I suppose it was. But emotionally and mentally, I am surprised to find I still can't believe it.
I can't picture your face, what color your hair will be, how it will feel to hold you. I'm trying to tell myself this is the last time I will ever be pregnant, to enjoy the way it feels when you move in my belly, to remember what it's all like since I will never feel it again. But I'm so uncomfortable that I'm having trouble embracing it. I am at the point where I am anxious to have my body--at least the inside of it--to myself again.
Unfortunately, I can remember all the hard things. The way it feels not to sleep for so long, the pain of endless nursing, the sheer exhaustion of being needed so completely by so many people. But I'm having trouble remembering what it's like to meet my baby for the first time, to triumph through the labor and birth, to hold my baby, to kiss her and smell the top of her head, to marvel over the perfection with which she was formed. I know that all of these things are true too.
Mostly, I want to tell you I'm not ready for you to come. I don't feel like I will be enough for you and your siblings. And in my own strength, I know that is true: I am not enough. But I'm trusting that the God who is bringing you to us is faithful to provide what we need. You are not an accident: I am meant to be your mother; you are meant for this family. I will mess up so much, baby. I make so many mistakes, many of them loud and large. I'm already sorry and you're not even here yet.
But also, I want to tell you it's okay to come. Even though I don't feel ready, I know that I am. I know we will cry as we see your sweet face for the first time, that we will touch our noses to yours and marvel over your existence. We have made space for you and we want you to come. I am saying a long goodbye to the way things have been, and I am releasing myself into this new season. It will be hard. It will feel like too much--it always does. But I will take it moment by moment, with you. I will love you and keep you and care for you. You are already so wanted, so loved.
Please come. We are waiting.