It’s amazing how different pregnancy is the second time around.
Maybe it’s a result of chasing a toddler around. Maybe it’s the thinking that we “know what to expect”. Maybe it’s because we are getting older. Or maybe it’s something else.
This time, I understand the magnitude of it all. I am capable (well, as capable as I can be) of wrapping my head around the fact that a real, live, human being is the result of this experience – one with their own humor, hobbies, dreams and joy. That’s what makes the second time even more meaningful – to know the love this little one inside of you, brings with them into the world.
My back may hurt a little more, a post-work nap is no longer an option and the weeks may seem to be passing more quickly this pregnancy than the last, but the kicks are even sweeter and the excitement Hadley has brings me greater joy than I could have ever been prepared for.
I’ll never forget being in the hospital before Hadley was born and having the idea to write her a letter in that moment. To tell her how excited I was to meet her, all the things I hoped and prayed for her, and who I wanted to be to her. And I didn’t write it.
I had IVs hooked up to my writing hand, and got distracted (labor tends to do that to you, ha) and never went through with it. I have thought of that so many times since – wishing I had taken the time to write her a letter.
So to make up for that, I wrote her a letter in the final weeks of being our only child. And I have to admit – I think this one is even more meaningful than one I could have written in the hospital. I referenced my journal from when I was pregnant with her and included prayers I prayed for her throughout my pregnancy. I shared special memories (small and large), favorite things she says and the qualities and gifts we already see that she bestows even at this young age. I won’t give it to her until she is either 18, or becoming a mom herself, but it was such a good way to “book-end” this season for me, and to make sure all of the things I’m feeling, praying and even struggling with would be documented.
So to all the pregnant moms, new moms, second/third/fourth time moms reading this – I encourage you to write a letter to your little(s). Share your heart, prayers and memories with them. If nothing else, it can be something for you to look back on as they grow older.
One thing about this experience that isn’t different is the anticipation. The daily wondering if “this will be the day”, or when the moment will come. Knowing that your entire life and family are going to change at any moment, but never having a clue when that moment is. This time however, instead of allowing this anticipation bring anxiousness, I instead am choosing to be grateful for each passing moment, as it could be one of the last where it is just the three of us.
I can’t wait to meet this little girl – kiss her cheeks, fall in love with her. I can’t wait to feel my heart grow again, to hold an even greater capacity than it already does. I can’t wait to see Hadley step into a new role as big sister, and see another tiny, precious little body being held by my husband.
But until then, I’m grateful for the moments we have together as a family of three, waiting to become a family of four.