Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sweet Baby

Dear Baby Bear,

You are lying beside me, sleeping on your Daddy's chest. You were both so exhausted. The summer has been hot and humid and though you love the outdoors, it tires you out. As always, I just want to stare at you. You, my Baby Bear, the most precious gift I have ever received.

Speaking of gifts, it was my birthday this week. It was, by far the most wonderful birthday I have ever had. We had a simple day, simply perfect. You and your Daddy secretly made me breakfast in bed while I slept. When the two of you woke me, I smiled so much my cheeks hurt. I kept looking at the two of you and wondering - could this be real! Could my life have come to this - to this place of utter bliss and contentment? The only birthday wish I could think of, the one that ran through my mind all day, was if only I could freeze this moment in time. This moment with your precious tininess, with our amazement at your every breath and movement, with the deep love the three of us share - our little family is exploding with it.

But all things change, as you will learn, and watching you grow is incredible. Yesterday, for the first time, we had a long play session. We sang together (Eensy Weensy Spider & Open Shut Them) we read a book (What Do You Do With An Idea?) we played on your play-mat, and in between you smiled, we cuddled, and I watched in amazement as you grew before my eyes. We went to see your doctor last week (we love him) and he was so thrilled and impressed by your growth. He couldn't get over how long you had gotten.

Your Daddy and I are so proud of you. Proud of everything you do - of the way you communicate your needs to us, of the way you help us get to know you. You have a loud, strong cry. You always let us know when something is wrong. You are a great cuddler. You have just begun to smile and it makes our hearts melt when we see it. Baby Bear, I could never explain to you, though I will always try, how much I love you.

I am overwhelmed with love for you, little one,

Your Mama

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Now We Have Everything

Dear Baby Bear,

At some point, Mama should probably write a note about your birth - it was quite the adventure in many unexpected ways. But right now, with your warm body in my arms, all I want to do is smell your skin and tell you how much I love you. Baby Bear, the past week with you in my life has been the most beautiful gift I could ever dream of. In all these years and months of waiting for you and loving you, I could never have imagined this. This deep love, down in the center of my being. When you cry my Baby, I feel it in my bones, it hurts me. When I walk into a room without you, the whole world seems empty. How, my Baby Love, did I ever live without you?

You, Baby Bear, are the most perfect blessing of a baby. You move in the most adorable ways, your Daddy and I could just sit and watch you for hours. You stretch your little arms and wrinkle your face and our hearts light up. I love the way your eyes open wide when you hear bird calls and you turn towards the sound and listen in complete stillness. I love the way you grasp Daddy's finger when he is cuddling with you, and sometimes you shove it into your mouth. I love when you finish eating and you slip into a food coma and slide off my breast, you lay on my belly with your own belly full and complete contenment on your face.

Baby Bear, I love the small traditions we have already created as a family. Last night we all took a bath together - your first real bath because your umbilical cord had just fallen off. We snuggled, you ate in the bath, we washed you and splashed a bit. It was so sweet. In the mornings, we sing our own little version of Modei Ani - I am Grateful - and sing about the things we are grateful for in the morning. Then Mama gets up and takes care of herself while you nap with your Daddy. It was so meaningful for us when we got to light three candles to welcome in Shabbat this week. For the past month we have been wondering when that week would come, and here it is - Baby Bear, you have made us a family.

I am overwhelmed with love for you, little one,

Your Mama

Friday, May 16, 2014

An Invitation

Dear Sesame Seed,

The day of your birth is drawing so close. Every single night I go to bed thinking, maybe tonight I will wake up in labor? And every morning I wake up thinking, maybe today will be your birth-day? Your Daddy and I keep on talking to you, telling you how excited we are for you to be here. We've been telling you about all the exciting plans we make and how we want you to join us for them. We've been telling you about all the ways we can show you our love when you are on the outside. Of course, we know you will choose the right time for your birth. It's your call, my Baby, but we are ever so anxious to meet you.

Everyone else, everyone who already loves you, is also excited and anxious. So many people are sending you love and strength for the big adventure we have ahead of us. And it will be quite and adventure! I want you to know, my Baby, that we are partners for this big day to come. It might be a little scary, and it is certain to be hard, but Baby, we are going to work together. I already see how strong you are, from the way you kick and move about, and I know your strength will help me. I want you to know that I am strong too. My desire to hold you in my arms will guide me to bring you into the world, and I would do anything to bring us together. If it's scary for you, as you push through the birth canal, as you enter a world of brights lights and harsh noises, know that your Daddy and I are here, on the other side, waiting to bring you comfort. We will hold you tight, we will sing to you softly, and we will make sure you know how much you are loved.

Sweet One, you are everything I've ever wanted. I cannot wait to kiss your sweet face, to breathe your smell, and to share with you all the love I have to give. Please, my Baby Love, come to us soon.

I already love you, little one,

Your Mama

Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring in the Air

Dear Sesame Seed,

I have been doing less writing to you and more preparing for your arrival recently. Actively doing things to get ready for you is not strictly necessary, but it helps Daddy and I to get our minds in the right place. I can't wait to share all the projects I have been making for you! So far, I have one quilt and one blanket for you, plus an almost finished quilt. I would never have believed I could make all that before I had such a good reason to try. I have also made a bunch of baby wipes, a couple of fabric boxes to hold your stuff and have attempted, but have not yet been successful, to start making you some clothing. Daddy has made you two wonderful stuffed animals. He told you about Izzy already. The other one is Sleepy Snake, anyone who sees him can't help but cuddle up against him and get cozy. He is like a baby-sized body pillow.

Besides for crafts, we've also been doing a lot of reading, researching and learning about various decisions we will eventually need to make. We have started to try to find you a doctor, we met with one so far. We are thinking about making our house safer for you, and about all the fun things we will do once you are here.

The other day we had our first really warm day. It felt like spring, and your arrival seemed so close because I have been saying you are due in the spring for so long. I took out a blanket and lay on the grass in the sun reading and day dreaming for a while. I think that every time I've done that, for the past maybe ten years, I have wished for a baby who would lay next to me. Who would look up at me and call me Mama. Now, that is so close. Baby, have I told you yet how grateful I am for you? I am overwhelmed by how beautiful our life is right now, and how wonderful it is going to be. When we lie in bed, just Daddy, me and you in my belly, the world is so prefect, so right.

Baby, this pregnancy has gotten physically harder for me in the last few weeks. I get very little sleep and sometimes I feel delirious with tiredness. A lot of my body hurts, and sometimes I get so frustrated. But Baby, you are such a gift. Even while I hurt, even if I say I can't handle it, Baby Dearest, you are everything I have ever dreamed of. And I can't wait to hold you in my arms.

I already love you, little one,

Your Mama

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

From Daddy

Dear little sesame seed, 

You are getting so much bigger than a sesame seed - your mommas belly is hugeamongous! Oh, by the way, this is your daddy. Your momma asked me to write a little love note to you so here it is. 

I made you a little friend that I'm so excited for you to meet. He is a stuffed animal, I gave him the name Izzy but you can choose a different one if you want. He's all yours and you can decide. I hope you'll like him. He's not like every other animal friend - he looks a little funny, his mouth is lopsided, his eyes are buttons, and his body is a wonky shape. I made him with my own hands for you. 

Baby, your momma and I are so excited for you to come and we spend a lot of time making things for you with our hands. We want everything you see and sleep on and play with to be made with so much love. We want every stitch on every toy to be sewn with so much love. We want your life to be filled with strange, funny toys that are creative and colorful so you grow up knowing that life is filled with strange, funny things that you can play an active role in creating. 

So you have Izzy. And your momma has made the most beautiful quilts. And I upholstered (that means, I made the cushions for) the glider that your momma will sit on while she holds you and feeds you at night. You won't notice things like that because you are just a sweet, wonderful baby who doesn't care about things like that. But I think you'll know. I think you'll notice how silly Izzy is and it will help you to be silly too.

I can't wait for you to drool all over Izzy and throw him on the floor. He's just waiting around for it. 

See you sooner than you know! 

your daddy

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Growing Joys

Dear Sesame Seed,

My are you growing! You must be gaining an ounce a minute, because all I can do is eat, eat, eat and I still feel hungry in between bites. Today, you got your first (I think) taste of a snickers bar. I hope the heavenly sweet gooiness made it through your umbilical cord. Your Daddy went out to pick up a pie of pizza (it's not worth getting a slice 'cuz I'd be hungry in two minutes) and came home with that and a snickers bar for me. Baby, you got one awesome Daddy.

I always thought I'd be one of those Mama's who only feeds you super healthful food. Maybe I still will be, most of the time, but I can't say I'm not excited to watch you bite into your first slice of pizza or lick your first ice cream.

So much has happened since I last wrote you a letter.

Yesterday, we saw your eight-year-old cousin A. It seems like he noticed my belly for the first time, and he was thrilled by the discovery. Sesame Seed, if he made one thing clear, it's that he loves you. He sat with his hand on my belly, feeling you kick, with bright eyes and the sweetest smile. It was so beautiful to see him connect with you in that way.

Last week, we went to the city to see a Broadway show for your Grandpa's birthday. We saw Pippin, a show full of awesome dancing, costumes, acrobatics and singing. Your Daddy talked about one of his favorite shows, The Blue Man Group, and how excited he is to bring you to see it one day.

We also got to spend three days at a hotel with our dear friend R and her Baby A. I was watching A while her Ima was attending a conference. It was so sweet to hold her and play with her, to feel a baby in my arms. I hope the two of you will be the best of friends. A couple times she fell asleep in my arms and you kicked in my belly. It was nice to feel the two of you at the same time. I worried that you might feel jealous, but your Daddy said he thought you were comfortable right where you were. I hope so. Soon you will be the baby in my arms. I can't wait to hold you.

I already love you, little one,

Your Mama

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Dear Mama

Dear Ryvr, soon to be Mama,

Sesame Seed, I hope you'll forgive me, but this is not going to be a letter to you. Instead, I am writing a letter to myself. Your birth is coming closer every day. I am 6.5 months pregnant, and time is moving quickly. You will be here so soon. As your birth comes closer, I want to take a moment to record the things I want to remember during your birth. Although I do not feel any fear of your birth, I know that pain often overwhelms me. I want to be able to remember this feeling of fearlessness when the time comes. So, here goes.

Ryvr, you are a strong woman. To begin with, the woman part. Though you have grappled for years with identifying yourself as female, there is no doubt that you can do what women have been doing for thousands of years. You can birth your baby. In the past six months, your body has done incredible things. It has grown and shifted to make room for a new life. It has, of it's own accord, built from a small collection of cells an entire living being. It has grown your baby. The matter of bringing this baby out into this world seems small, though significant, in comparison. There is no doubt that your body, that has already come this far, can do this. Will do this.

And the strength. Think of how far you have come. Of how long you have fought to be here. You picked yourself up from a world of pain and fear and built yourself a life of love and joy. A life you are so happy with that you are willing, no excited, to bring a baby into it. This experience of pain is also one that will end. And when it does you will be given the greatest gift of your life. Your baby to love. All hardship, all pain that you have endured in your life so far has passed and left behind only blessings. The love, compassion, kindness and gratitude you are able to experience now are the shadows of those hardships and that pain. They are what you have been left with. The pain of birth is like that. It ends. And when it does it leaves you with a baby to love.

Remember all that waiting? All that longing? That ache you felt in your womb when you thought of your baby to come? It is all over. All that needs to happen now is the journey your baby is making through your body and out into this world. Imagine those small fingers, that sweet smelling skin, the way it feels to hold a baby against your chest. And imagine that magnified by the fact that this one, this little baby, is yours. It is here in this world through the love of you and the one other person you love most in the world. It is yours to hold and to protect and to love. This baby is here to take away that longing, to relieve that ache. Let it come, Ryvr. Let your body and your baby do the work of bringing your new child into this world.

Ryvr, remember those words you said years ago? "I am here, I am strong enough, and all we hear are echoes of the storm." That is still true.

You are strong enough, Ryvr.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Strong Enough

Dear Sesame Seed,

I guess we are back for another of our middle of the night writing sessions. As you grow bigger, it becomes harder for me to adjust and find comfortable positions for my body. It is miraculous and incredible to watch you grow, to feel you move, and to know the pains and discomfort I feel a lot of the time are my Baby becoming a little, fully functioning, person. I am awed by you.

The dream I just woke from was a dream of your birth. In my dream, the birth was so easy. It happened at home, your Daddy was there and two doctors were assisting. There was some kind of odd tension between the two doctors, and I spent most of the time avoiding doing what they said. They weren't that present anyway. When it came time to birth you, I seemed to know exactly what to do. With Daddy supporting me from behind, I squatted down, and I smoothly and painlessly pushed you out into the world. In the dream, my eyes were closed an I concentrated only on pushing. I knew and trusted that Daddy was right there to catch you. I opened my eyes for a moment to see your head crown, then I closed them again and just felt with my body what needed to be done. I knew, rather than saw, that as long as I birthed you, Daddy would be there to catch your body. It was an amazing feeling of trust, in my own body and in Daddy's support of both me and you. I woke up soon after.

The thing is, I have hardly been thinking about your birth itself at all. It seems odd to me, but I just can't focus my thoughts on it. Part of me worried that I had some kind of deep fear of it - fear of pain or loss of control - and I was avoiding thinking about it. Another part of me thought I must just realize how impractical it is to obsess over something I could never truly predict - I couldn't know how birth would feel for me regardless of how much I thought about it, so why bother.

Now, after that dream, and knowing how revealing my dreams sometimes are, I wonder if I just feel at peace with birth. I have never wanted anything more than to bring you into my life, our lives. Maybe, somewhere inside me, I know I can do anything to bring you here. Maybe, finally, after all this time trying, I believe I am strong enough. Strong enough to carry my Baby, strong enough to birth my Baby, and maybe even strong enough to be the Mama my Baby needs.

Thank you, my dear little one, for helping me to believe.

I already love you, little one,

Your Mama

Friday, January 24, 2014


Dear Sesame Seed,

Oh, I can't wait to hold you and play with you! You have been so cute recently. I think you respond to touch on my belly, when I hold my hand there for long enough you start to kick. And you always make me laugh. I invented a new word - kickleing - for when you tickle me with your kicks. When we are sitting on the couch, cuddling or just hanging out, sometimes Daddy will turn to me and say that he can't wait till all three of us can cuddle on the couch. He'll pick up his arms to his chest, as if he is holding you there, and smile at the thought. We are just so excited for you to join our family.

Your new cousin was born two days ago. We will probably go meet her next week. I hope you two become fast friends. In a couple weeks our dear friends from Canada are going to spend a few days here. We are going to be hanging out with Baby A all day while her Mama attends a conference. I am so excited for the two of you to play together! Her Mama and I have been talking about raising our kids together for as long as we've known each other and, although we are many miles apart, I still hope we can do that.

Oh Baby, there is so much I want to show you and share with you! I know you have more growing to do, and I want you to take your time, but when you are ready we will have so many wonderful adventures! I can't wait to show you the beach and the forest, take you for hikes and teach you to garden. I can't wait to introduce you to the people we love and to read you our favorite books. I can't wait to sing to you and listen to music together, I can't wait to show you the joys of playing in the mud.

Many people have asked me recently what I want to be doing with my life, what I want to accomplish, what my ambitions are. Sesame Seed, I want nothing more than to be your Mama. I want to love you and care for you, teach you and learn from you. I want to be there for you every time you need me. I want to be there to see every new discovery you make. When you are old enough, and you are wanting freedom and independence, I am sure I will find other adventures for myself so that I can give you space, but until then, my Baby Love, I just want to be your Mama. That is the greatest honor I could ever wish for.

I already love you, little one,

Your Mama

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My Little Acrobat

Dear Sesame Seed,

Wow, have you been active! You put your Mama to shame with how much activity you manage in that little gym you set up in my belly. I am so glad of it, too. I love feeling you kick and tumble, reminding me you are there. You have some kind of rhythm, most days you wake up soon after Daddy and I do, around 7:30 and start kicking up a storm. These are usually your strongest kicks of the day, which is great because then the three of us can lie in bed a little extra and Daddy can feel you too. Sometimes, we can even see you moving around in there - it's weird! The rest of the day, I can feel you periodically. I'll be in the middle of a conversation and then, there you are, kicking and tumbling. Actually, you are moving around right now. As I type this I can feel your little body against my left side. It is so deliciously you.

The other day, I was in a waiting room, late for an appointment and running low on patience. Then, as I sat there being grumpy, you started to kick. Baby, it was impossible to stay grumpy after that! Feeling you inside me makes everything worth it. I had a really great appointment after that, and my day was so much better because I knew you were there with me.

I already love you, little one,

Your Mama