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37 weeks: The Final Countdown

Dear baby,

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind as Daddy and I prepare for your arrival. I can’t believe your due date is just three weeks away!

This month has been full with football, family and fun. Your Uncle Brian is a kicker for the football team at Simpson College, and he and the team are having a great year. (It makes up for the fact that the Steelers are not.) Just so you know, baby, you are being born into a family that has some pretty serious Pittsburgh Steelers fans. You may have some Steelers onesies already. Your Grandma and Pap Pap Schaaf grew up in Pittsburgh, and most of your daddy’s extended family still lives in the area.

When I haven’t been tailgating and watching football, I have been celebrating your arrival with family and friends at two baby showers. You wouldn’t believe how much people love you already! Your nursery is now full of clothes, books and toys, and we’re fully stocked on onesies, blankets and bath time items.

onesies galore
Family decorated homemade onesies just for you!

shower
Gammie, me and your Aunt Katie. And you hiding in that bump!

Speaking of your nursery, your daddy spent some time putting the furniture together and getting it set up. I am so happy with how everything came together.

nursery before
The before picture of the nursery…

nursery after
After – the nursery furniture set up.

crib with pooh
After – your crib looks just as I imagined!

We’re waiting to put some finishing touches in your nursery after you’re born, including your name on the wall. Believe it or not, your daddy and I have names picked out for you! Just a couple hours ago we picked our top two boy and girl names. It was a long process with a lot more disagreeing than I expected, but Daddy and I are both happy with our final choices. We are not sharing these names with anyone, and we have decided to wait until we meet you to decide which name suits you best.

At 37 weeks, it’s crazy to think that you could be born at any time now, and I will be a mom in just a few short weeks. I’m showing signs that you’re getting ready and am starting to feel a lot more pregnant. I think about you all the time and hope and pray you’re doing well in there. I know it’s up to you whenever you are ready, and I just need to patiently wait for you to get here. Just make sure to make your arrival easy on Momma, okay? 🙂 I know the wait and the labor will all be worth it.

I can’t wait to see you soon!

With love,
Momma

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Families are like quilts.

Dear baby,

Your great-great aunt Evelyn wrote a note with your baby shower gift that has stuck with me:

“Families are like quilts: lives pieced together and bound by love.”

Right now, our lives literally are pieced together. It is the most amazing, indescribable feeling to carry and nourish you as your life forms inside of me. Feeling your little jabs, tiny hiccups and your body stretch in my growing belly are forever changing my perspective on my body. It is no longer just my body that I fuel and care for. I am now a vehicle that builds and sustains life – your life. You are a treasure that I must protect.

In about five weeks, give or take a few days, we will no longer be bound physically, but my heart to nourish, care for and protect you will grow even more as your momma. I can only fathom just how much this will continue to develop and change over the years as I watch you grow and become your own person.

For the first several years of your life, you will be dependent upon me for your survival. It is in these years that I will cherish the closeness that we share, with your snuggles and kisses you will need from momma. Then you will start to explore the world, realizing the freedom you have. These years I will want to protect you from getting hurt, but I will also want you to learn, discover yourself and become a strong person.

Before I know it, this freedom will lead you on your own adventures, and you will be writing your own story. You will no longer be dependent on me, but because our lives are pieced and bound together, you will still return to me. These years will likely break my heart because my baby no longer needs me, but they will also enrich my heart because I will be proud of the person you have become. As the years go by, we will forever be bound together by our love, no matter the changes or distance.

I know I am getting way ahead of myself here. I say all this not to fast forward through time or wish I could stop it forever; I write this to you because I need to. With every moment of being your momma, my heart will hold on to knowing that we will forever be bound by our love. No matter the circumstance, our bond cannot be broken.

Because families are like quilts: lives pieced together and bound by love.

With love,
Momma

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My promise.

Dear baby,

I can’t believe how close we’re getting to the end of this pregnancy journey. Time has flown, and this weekend marks six weeks until your due date. I can hardly believe that in just a couple months I will be your momma. Your little jabs, kicks and hiccups I will no longer feel in me, but I will finally get to see you. I will get to meet the precious gift that I have been waiting for.

I remember when I was little, the biggest anticipation was built up for Christmas each year. It wasn’t even just about the presents (although I’m not going to lie, I was pretty giddy about what my parents and Santa would bring me). It was also about the excitement of getting to see my extended family and spend time with my cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. I would even anticipate the goodies – the pie, the cookies, the mashed potatoes. I eagerly awaited it all. And when the time came, I always had a blast, but the time always went by way too quickly.

As I near the end of pregnancy and the anticipation of your arrival builds, I know that a new journey is just beginning. Parenthood is going to be the most exciting, challenging, demanding and rewarding job of my life. I have eagerly awaited this for so long, and I plan to savor every moment and milestone – because I know time will pass way too quickly.

I also want to make a promise to you tonight, baby. I see and hear too many parents publicly complain about the woes and struggles of being a parent and the things their children do. I know sometimes you need to vent, but there is a time and place for that. It is the continual public rants and complaints that just hurt my heart. I know they love their children, but there is no need to shame them. As a parent, you make that choice and you make sacrifices.

Which is why I promise that even when I am frustrated, when you cause so much trouble or do some incredibly gross bodily function and leave it all over the floor, I will never publicly complain about being your momma. I know it’s going to be hard. I know there will be days when I may question myself. But I know what I am signing up for. I would sacrifice anything for you. At the end of the day, you are my precious gift, my love, my baby. Nothing you do will ever change that.

Parenthood is going to be a roller coaster. Our journey is going to be one crazy and amazing adventure. And through it all I will always love you.

With love,
Momma