According the free pregnancy application I have on my iPod, there is just under more month before I finally get to meet the source of all the kicking and hiccuping that has been going on inside my belly.
Before I get to gushing over how excited I am to meet my little girl, I want to thank you for the wonderful pregnancy you have let me have. We're always told that it's a wonderful and natural time, but the more anecdotes we hear from friends, reality TV and miscellaneous sources, the more terrifying it can seem. My mother had such terrible morning sickness that her obstetrician suspected that my brother (your Uncle Ben) was twins! Since witnessing her terrible bouts of illness, I assumed it was genetic and resigned myself to at least three months of nausea and vomiting. While I did feel a little off for a few weeks, I was delighted to never once get sick.
Now, with under a month to go, I feel safe enough declaring that my pregnancy has been spared the other unpleasant symptoms of swelling, bloating, aching, reasons to worry about foetal health, infections in strange places, vascular issues. In fact, you have made me drink so much water, while I avoided coffee and soda, that my skin has never looked better! I have started to waddle a bit, which I think means you have started to drop down, but this has relieved the minor yet bothersome heartburn I was experiencing, so the extremely mild discomfort is a happy trade-off for me. My tummy, while definitely pregnant, hasn't gotten too big, though in the last few days I have gone from looking pregnant to looking like I have been shoplifting a basketball. I have been lucky in that I only had to purchase one or two pairs of maternity pants and a belly band. Otherwise, my normal clothes (as well as a hoodie I stole from your Dad) have sufficed. I am happy to put the money toward more important things like you!
Speaking of money, we have been so blessed by the generosity of our friends, coworkers and families, that the preparations for your arrival haven't cost that much at all. Three baby showers in all were thrown to celebrate you, and it made us feel so blessed to have people who care about us, and who are that excited for your arrival.
Pregnancy has been, despite what I anticipated, a lot of fun. The highlights have been getting to see you on ultrasounds (even the ones you spent hiding behind your arms), or hearing your beautiful heartbeat during checkups. Probably my favourite thing is feeling you move. During the second trimester, you loved kicking me. It mostly happened at night, which made me worry that you were planning to be entirely nocturnal. Then you spent a couple of weeks piping up during the daytime. However, that didn't last, so I now think you may be a night owl like your mother. Now that you have gotten bigger, you don't kick so much, but you really enjoy crawling around which both looks and feels very strange (almost like something from a Sci-Fi movie), but in a wonderful way. You have also started hiccuping a lot, especially early morning, which amuses me and lets me know that you will have good, healthy lungs when you get here.
I have officially entered the "nesting" phase of pregnancy. My desire to sit on the couch and knit baby clothes during any free time has been replaced with an urge to organize every last detail of your bedroom, pack our hospital bag and generally get the house ready for you. One of our cats, Panthro, is very interested in your room, and loves getting into the Pack'n'Play that our colleagues bought for you. Buttons is less interested in your stuff, but has been quite affectionate to me lately, so he may take a liking to you when you get here.
I am getting more and more excited for the day of your arrival. Your father and I took a hypnobirthing class and that is the approach that we are going to take with your birth. I have been really careful about the things I put in or on my body (no make-up for the past 9 months), to keep us both healthy so that you can have the best start in life. I also kept up a reasonably regular exercise and yoga routine for the same reason. The natural childbirth we have planned is also intended to give you a healthy start to life. I was getting a little annoyed by the fact that peoples' instant reaction to hearing that we are planning a natural birth has been to share stories of disasters, or predict our failure. I had until recently apologetically responded by discussing our plans as what we "hope" to do, quickly following it up with "but we'll have to see how it goes". However, I have found inspiration from one or two friends, and for the remaining month, we have decided to be firmly positive in any discussion of your birth and not allow anyone to undermine our plans. We have a wonderful Doula named Marie, and I know that she is going to help make your birth an amazing experience for us all.
Your father is getting really excited too. He loves to feel you kick and often says "Hi Soybean" to my belly. You may not recognize his voice when you meet him because he insists upon talking to you in a funny voice (a la Andy from The Office when he was pretending that he and Pam were having a baby). I have been really grateful for the support he has given me, from taking my hormone-induced moods with good humour to attending all the various birthing and prenatal classes. He may jokingly complain to our friends, but he has participated enthusiastically and I am really lucky that he's going to be your Dad. I do want to mention that your father is picking your middle name. He hasn't made a decision yet, but if you don't like it, blame him!
Your first name was agreed upon by both of us, but I initially suggested it. Your great-grandmother, my paternal grandmother, was called Vivienne. I knew her as Granny, but I didn't think you would enjoy that as a name so we went with her given name. She was an amazing woman and I have such fond memories of her. She taught me how to knit because she was annoyed that my teddy bear, Horatio, was losing stuffing through two holes. She knit one patch to show me how, and I knit the other one to practice. I still have Horatio, and his patches are such a treasured memory that I will always keep him safe. Granny Vivienne was a strong, loving and intelligent woman, and while I will never refer to you as being named after her, I hope sharing her name will bless you with some of her qualities (particularly her ability to sing, because you will not be inheriting that from me!).
That's about all I can think to share with you now. I can't believe I am this close to holding you in my arms. We already love you, but I know we are going to love you so much more once you are born. I promise to be the best mother I can be, and to keep my neurotic worrying to a minimum. I have already begun to fret over any number of things that might affect you from prenatal issues all the way to your adulthood. Please learn to see that as my caring for you, and not be driven to crazy by my fussing. I promise that I will love you no matter what. I also promise that I will have never come up with any dreams for how you turn out or what you become, and instead use my efforts to help you fulfill the dreams you have come up with for yourself.
P.S. Here's how dorky your parents are... There's going to be a lot of parental embarrassment in your future!