Writing has been a cathartic outlet for me for nearly ten years now--and despite "losing my voice" earlier this year (as a result of "writing fatigue" after a lengthy PhD dissertation), it is slowly coming back to me. I have decided to write a few letters to my unborn daughter so I can emotionally prepare for her and then give them to her one day. It has truly helped me process becoming a mother in these weeks leading up to the big D-day!
This one is called "Tears and Fears"
To my daughter,
Before you have even been born, I have already shed many tears for you.
I cried two years before you were conceived, when I realized you were the "missing piece" to me and daddy's life.
I cried two months before you were conceived, while we waited in the emergency room to find out if we suffered a miscarriage after praying so hard for you.
I cried when my pregnancy test finally turned "positive", partly because I couldn't bear it to be wrong and partly because I couldn't believe you would be finally coming into our lives.
I cried when I saw your cute peanut-shaped body on the ultrasound for the first time, knowing you were already your own little person growing inside me.
I cried when we found out you were a girl, not because we were disappointed, but because suddenly I felt even more responsibility to be a good mommy to you--to teach you all about womanhood and how to navigate this world as a female.
I cried when I took you back to where mommy and daddy met and when I told my belly "this is the place", you gave a little kick like you already knew.
And I cry as I write this--9 months pregnant, waiting for your birth--because I can only hope that I can be the mommy you have been waiting for as much as you are the baby I have been waiting for.
Can you tell I cry a lot? :) Daddy laughs each time I cry because he has to ask if it is a sad cry or a happy cry. Most of the last 9 months has been a happy cry--or an excited cry, or a hopeful cry, definitely in a few weeks when you are born it will be a painful cry-- but they have all been grateful cries. I am so grateful to have you coming into our lives. Every day I feel my belly rounder and your kicks stronger I am bursting with joy knowing you are right around the corner.
I am also anxious and afraid. What if I am not the mommy you need? What if I can't give you what you deserve? What if I fall short in the most important job in the world?
You should know your parents are not perfect. Well, I can only speak for myself because Daddy might say he is perfect (! he's a funny guy, you will love him!).
I am being honest to you when I say that these are things I am still working on...
I get overwhelmed. I might seem all warm and cozy while you grow in my belly at the moment, but I am not always happy. Sometimes I cry sad tears. I get overwhelmed by the world when it feels too big, too loud, too fake, too much. I have to hide from it and reflect on how I can manage better. I have to remind myself of what I do love about the world, and eventually I push myself out into it again by traveling, volunteering, making connections with others, and sitting in nature. I hope to share with you the things I love about the world so you can know how wonderful it can be.
I get grouchy. I am not the best person to be around when I am tired. I can get grouchy and sarcastic and I am only cured by a good nights sleep. I know you and I won't sleep much in the beginning, so I am hoping that when we do, we can go away in our dreams and explore dreamland together. Eventually we will learn how to keep each other happy no matter how tired we get. Daddy will love us no matter what! :)
I am a high-achiever. I am still learning to be "good enough". Before you were born I achieved many things because I wanted to prove to myself that I could. I pushed myself hard to become the "Best ____": teacher, wife, student, writer, coach... all because I knew if I could--I should. But the last 9 months you have been in my belly, I have been trying to teach myself that "Good ____" can be just as satisfying as "Best ___". I don't want to sit up at night worrying if I was the Best Mom each day as I know that you will love me even when I am Good Enough.
I am messy. I like to live life messily. Daddy says that piles of stuff follow me around--dishes, paintbrushes, books--I like to explore by making big messes If you come out to be like my mom or like Daddy- you will like to be clean. You may get annoyed at how messy Mommy can be, but I hope to teach you the joys of losing yourself in what you are interested in and not worrying about making a mess.
I like to help. I like helping others grow. It may seem like a good thing, but it can also feel overwhelming when you may just need me to be there for you. I know you will age just fine, but to truly grow I will have to put you in situations that may be scary for you. It will be hard for me because I will equally want to protect you as a mother and help you grow because that is my life's purpose--helping others grow. If you get scared when I make you do things for the first time, please know I did it because I wanted the best for you. I wanted you to become who you truly are inside--not who the world wants you to be.
I am afraid these things will annoy you one day. Please forgive me when these character traits may sneak into our relationship. Like I said, I am not perfect, but I try to embrace what makes me ME.
Daughter, I cannot wait to meet you. No matter what happens and who you become, I know you will be just the daughter I was meant to have. To hold your little feet in my hands and to put you on your Daddy's chest for the first time will bring even more tears. I hope you are ready for it.
I know I am.