June sixth, two thousand eleven. . .

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dear Peanut, (This is what we've been referring to you as, since we don't know whether you're a boy or a girl yet.)

It was a week ago today that I stood in our bedroom, staring down at a pregnancy test in shock. It's hard to believe it was that long ago. We aren't sure how long you've been with us yet. My best guess is six weeks, which would mean you're somewhere between the size of an apple seed and a pea. However old you were when we found out about you, you're a week older now. You develop and grow so fast during these early weeks of pregnancy that one week is monumental. We're one week closer to the ten week mark, which is when they say the risk of miscarriage declines significantly. We're one week closer to the first time that I'll feel you move inside me. We're one week closer to the day that I'll hold you in my arms and hear you cry for the first time.

I've only been a parent seven days and I already wish things would slow down a bit, so I can hold onto every moment and every detail. I want to remember exactly how I felt when I saw those two lines appear. I had just woken up, so my eyes were still adjusting to the light coming through the bedroom window. My hands were shaking as I opened and took three more tests, praying and thanking God for this miracle under my breath. I was still shaking as I walked into the Women's Health Clinic a few hours later to ask them to take a blood sample. I remember rambling on, my words coming out somewhat jumbled, to the nurse about what had happened that morning, and she said nothing, just handed me a stack of papers and a pen. Later I remember sitting in the exam room with my face turning red, shaking out of anger, when the same nurse said, "Well honey, you can't get pregnant with irregular cycles." I didn't need negativity or skepticism. I had plenty of worry and doubt of my own. I needed someone to say, "Congratulations! I hope your test comes back positive," and it did. I can't express how relieved I was.

I set up our camera in the spot that I planned on telling your Papa, and waited, nervously. I took a shower and fixed my hair. I put on makeup, hands still shaking. I did anything to keep my mind and body busy. I knew how he would react. He would laugh and cry and kiss me and pick me up and spin me around and call me 'Mama' . . . and he did, so that wasn't what I was nervous about. I wanted that moment to be perfect for him, and for you. This would be one of the most defining moments of our lives and it would only be experienced once. Even the video doesn't do that moment justice, though. As I placed your Papa's hand on my belly, I saw a surge of emotions come over him that could never be accurately captured on film. His expression went from confusion, to disbelief, to shock, to excitement in record time. My entire life I have written letters and stories, but I will never be able to find the words to describe how perfect that moment was. I'm afraid what I've come up with falls short of portraying the joy and overwhelming love that we both felt as we laughed and cried together. I wish I could have captured all of the thoughts and emotions floating around in a jar, like fireflies, and kept them for you to open and experience one day.

Papa and I went camping this weekend to celebrate, and I had a lot of time to reflect, to think about what's going to happen in the next nine months and beyond. There are so many words that can be used when referring to the news of a pregnancy, the most common being 'excited,' but the one that I think most people forget is 'fear.' We are such a mess, and part of my fear comes from wondering how two barely-adults who live for adventures and sleeping in will manage to not make a mess of ourselves or you. The rest comes from the list of dreams and desires that I have for myself and the constant comments from people telling me to forget about all of those, forget about myself, because all I will be is Mama. Then I look around and realize that we've made it this far, we've made it through almost two years of marriage with our bills paid, we've made it through the separation and stress of your Papa joining the Air Force, we've made it through two cross-country moves in two months, we have food in our bellies, smiles on our faces, and we continue to fall in love with each other more and more with each passing day. When it comes to raising you, we won't have it all and we won't know it all, but we're going to give it our best shots. You won't enter this world with your college tuition paid, a big house with a backyard, or a room full of new toys and clothes, but I'm pretty sure you'll never notice. The really good stuff in life can't be found in a bank account or on the shelves in a store. I can't promise we'll be able to give you everything you'll ever want, but I promise you we're wealthy in the things you'll need the most. We have a beautiful life, and I can't wait to share it with you.

As for my dreams and identity, your well being will always come first, of course, but I truly believe those people are wrong. I believe that by nurturing my identity and making conscious steps to keep myself engaged in things that I enjoy, I will be able to keep that liveliness in my eyes, continue being passionate about life, and in turn, be a better mother. I can't wait to share my successes with you. I can't wait to take road trips, and climb mountains, and conquer cities, with you strapped to my chest. I can't wait to bring you into my studio and show you how it feels to look through the lens of a camera or how a paint brush feels in your hand. I can't even wrap my mind around the idea that we're going to be on the other side of this whole parenting business yet. We don't really have a clue how to raise a well-rounded, content, yet spirited and passionate child, but I do know that I love you, that we'll do our best to give you a happy childhood and a promising future, and that you're going to change the lives of many one day, because you've already changed ours and we haven't even met you.

All the Love in the Universe,


  1. Congrads!!!!! Im so happy for you!! The letter is beautiful and i cant wait to read more. I love you and Alex and think of you often. Keep up the wonderful work you are doing. michelle gilley

  2. Awe, Andres that is so sweet! It almost made me cry because I felt that way exactly when I found out I was pregnant. I have learned that with parenting comes many challenges, but I learn more everyday. I do the best I can and as long as she is happy that is all that matters (no matter how tired I may be). Congratulations again and I wish you a healthy pregnancy!

  3. I just stumbled across your blog, but wanted to say a big congratulations to you and your hubby! It's the most exciting news in the world, isn't it?! Congrats and enjoy the ride! :)



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