In just a couple days, our lives are going to change drastically – again! I’m officially 40 weeks + 5 days pregnant, and we are scheduled for an induction on Friday night. That means this weekend, we will become a family of four. Crazy!
One question I keep hearing is “You must be so excited – right?!” and if I’m totally honest, my emotional self has to answer with a bit of uncertainty. I am absolutely thrilled to finally meet our baby boy, hold him in my arms, and kiss his chubby baby rolls, but there are so many mixed emotions in my heart at this very moment. My brain prods me to recall that I had most of these same emotions while I was pregnant with Austyn, and also that they were swept away in an instant after giving birth. But there’s something about PREGNANCY HORMONES that will cause you to, well, basically lose your mind (and my amazing husband is emphatically nodding YES).
Today, I’m dedicating a post to sharing an open letter to each of the wonderful souls in my home. I figured that doing so would be cathartic in so much that it would help me to better understand and sort through my own emotions. At the same time, coming back to these kinds of posts after weeks, months, years have gone by is so cool, and I know I’ll love having the reminder of this season of life.
I am beginning with you because in truth this ALL began with just the two of us. You asked this weird girl to marry you, and from there our adventure took foot. From moving across the country to settling into our very first home, to starting a family and moving two more times after that, none of my favorite stories and memories (both sweet and bittersweet) would exist without you. I love that I can be completely transparent with you and that you feel the same with me – although maybe sometimes we’re a little TOO transparent with one another. :) You tolerate my highs and lows…did you notice that they became more exaggerated with each pregnancy? ;) You’ve been constant, patient, and gracious through it all.
You embody love, and not just the novelty of it – but true, honest, gritty love. We’ve definitely butted heads on more topics than we can probably remember, but through everything we’ve stuck it out. Daily, you choose to love me no matter what comes our way, and you’ve taken our wedding vows with a level of gravity that I’ve never seen anyone do. You seek to understand me and my heart so that you can love me better. You are the best man I have ever known, and it’s a dream to be your wife.
I am so thankful that I get to experience this journey with you. At times, the day-to-day can feel mundane. But it’s when I take the time to look back on all that God has has done and the story he is weaving in our lives that I am overcome with gratitude to be with you. When the children are grown and leave the house, we’ll take a deep breath, and I’m sure I’ll be sobbing on your shoulder again. But in truth, it’ll be back to just us again. Just like it began, me and you. And I’ll be so thankful and excited to start yet another chapter.
Austyn, raising you is one of the greatest joys of my life. Your daddy and I watch in amazement with each passing milestone – partially because you’re just so create and intelligent, and partially because it all seems to go by so fast. I specifically remember the moment the doctors set you in my arms after you were born. I was overcome with astonishment at the little life God had entrusted into my hands, and that feeling hasn’t gone away in the slightest. I love that although most of your day now centers around “I can do it,” or “let me do it” (stubborn, imagine that!), you still have your more tender moments where you insist on me holding you, rocking you to sleep (those times are precious and few nowadays), or just stretch your arms out because you want to give me a kiss and a hug. You have a heart that bursts with love for others, and the ability to brighten anyone’s day with that grin and those antics of yours.
To be honest, the thing I am most afraid of right now is you feeling displaced once your baby brother comes. I find encouragement in the fact that you are so excited to meet him, but I wonder how you will feel with that initial excitement wears away (if it actually does). Although you’ll always be my “baby girl,” you’re not a “baby” any longer, and I wonder if that reality will hit you too hard once there’s an infant in our home. A little being that needs my constant attention and care like you once did. The thought of it terrifies me, because the mere idea of your little heart breaking rips me to shreds.
I was reminded last night that I had similar feelings when I was pregnant with you. I was so tortured by my own emotions because I was afraid of the change that would happen between your Daddy and I once you were born. To my utter amazement, my love for your father only grew once you came into our lives. Little things changed here and there, but our family dynamic shifted into one that I wouldn’t given up for anything. You brought so much more love into our home, and I have to believe with all of my heart that it will grow exponentially when you set your eyes on your sibling for the first time. You were the first to make me a mommy, and nothing will ever change the fact that you are my baby girl.
In less than 48 hours, I’ll be holding you in my arms. It has certainly been a long, crazy past ten months, but the waiting is finally over and I’m finally going to get to see your face. I’ve carried you with me through some pretty tough times (and some wonderful times, as well), and together we made it over my biggest business hurdle yet by traveling back and forth between Texas and South Carolina nine different times. It’s really cool for me to imagine you in my belly, growing and wriggling and becoming YOU all the while I went about my work. You’ve truly been my little travel buddy over the past few months.
Pregnancy has certainly been a different experience this time, which forces me to wonder how much different you’ll be than your big sister. At the same time, you’ve made no hint at wanting to make your grand entrance on your own, which is absolutely like Austyn – so I’m counting on you flaunting your stubborn streak just as openly as the rest of us. :) What color will your hair and eyes be? Will your brow really be as distinctly like your father’s as it shows in your sonogram? And will you be a creative thinker, an entertainer, or an intellect? All three? I can’t wait to meet you and learn everything that makes you so unique.
I have no clue what our mother-son relationship will look like exactly, but I do know that it’s going to be wonderful and different than anything I have known. I only know what it’s like to grow up with and to raise girls, so I’ve been praying that God gives me the patience, wisdom, and understanding to parent a little boy. :) I’m sure that your antics will make no sense to me – your running about, jumping and kicking, playing with cars and robots, emulating manliness in the only ways you know how. But I promise to let you grow into the young man God has designed you to be, and to love you and support you all the more for it.