Sunday, January 31, 2010

9 Days to Baby Toes


Dear Baby Hedvig:

We are now counting down to your arrival in single digits. I have to be honest, the last two days have been rough. You wriggle and writhe and stick toes in places that they just don’t belong. You wake me up in the middle of the night and cause heartburn that feels like I am having a heart attack. I’m cranky when I don’t sleep and that makes me extra mean to your father.

When I’m cranky, I let dark thoughts invade the peaceful space that is usually filled with nothing but love and excitement for our first meeting. And tonight – the darkness came, softly but swiftly like a fog rolling in from the sea. By the time I noticed it, I was panicked.

You see, dear girl, I’m a little bit freaked out about the prospect of changing my life for your arrival. I’m nervous about losing myself. Before I met your father I wore my hair long, my dresses short and never left the house without at least 2½ inches of stylish heel. I signed up for missions in Bosnia or Africa or Albania when life felt boring. I loved coming home to an empty apartment, a clean kitchen and a well made bed. I slept on a different side of my glorious bed every night and cherished staying up late with my laptop writing blogs and answering my Friendster, MySpace, Facebook and emails. Dating was my favorite sport, shopping was my cardio warm-up and eating alone in a coffee shop was a daily exercise. My life was wild and free and easy.

Of course, your Dad changed all that and I’m happy that he did, but I’m still sort of adjusting. And now here comes you. People keep warning me that “everything is going to change”, “you will never leave the house again”, “you will become nothing more than a feeding machine”, and I can’t help wondering if all that I once loved about myself is about to die. I know you will keep me busy and entertained, but will you keep me mentally stimulated? Will I be trapped inside a world of diapers and bottles and sleeping schedules with no outlet? Will Dad stop talking to me about articles he read in the Economist? Will we ever have date night again?

I already feel like a bad mother for even thinking these things. These fears come and go these days – and are most often triggered after an evening with friends who have kids of their own. I wish I could promise you that once you are born these fears will vanish. I hope that they do. I also hope that your father and I don’t stop caring for our souls and our minds when you burst into our world. I hope that we allow you to widen our world and not shrink it. I hope that we get to be kids again because of you and that our love for one another deepens as a result of your presence in our lives. My dear sweet baby, I hope you never know the fears that threatened to eclipse the sunshine of your bright spirit coming into our world.

Look, I have never been good at knowing what will make my life complete and happy. In fact, the things that have brought me the greatest joy are things I resisted at first. A stable (boring) job, a move to Philadelphia, your Dad, a career change, marriage! So I think it’s okay that I’m feeling this way tonight. I think it’s okay to mourn my independence one last night. I think, well I hope, that this is normal and healthy and all part of the journey towards becoming a mom.

Regardless of how I feel, you are coming soon and there is nothing I want to change about that fact. You are the most important project I will ever accomplish and the next great journey in my life. You are my chance to give back the copious amounts of love I’ve received in my lifetime. And for that I’m truly grateful.

Don’t worry sweet baby, I’m ready whenever you are. Just a little reluctant tonight.

Love, Mom


Ligia said...

This is beautifully written. I love your honesty.

All your fears are normal. Don't dwell on them. Yes there will be changes, but they don't have to be as radical as your friends tell you. You are still in control of your conversations, the books you read, the places you go, the clothes you wear. You don't really have to give it all up, you just have to adjust your schedule.

The biggest change you will face is this...
you will truly experience love.

nenad.dedic said...

Between all the, for lack of a better word, warnings about imminent changes, I forgot to mention a detail. A detail that makes all the difference.

I had met with a good friend, after a year of not seeing each other. He'd said that, since David was born, I smile a lot more, and that mostly when I talk about him. It's true :)

Pop Culture Casualty said...

Thank you Ligia! You are my greatest champion and Gabe and I are so lucky to have you as a friend.

And thank you Nenad! I believe I will smile more as well. You have a warm and lovely family and Gabe and I are so glad that we met you! Thank you for the support.

jjohnsice said...

hi ingrid,

before i read this i knew nothing about you... now i feel like i know who you are..and i like you!


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