My Sweet Daughter,
I am sitting here in a dark hospital room, listening to your constant heartbeat on the monitor, and wondering when you will be in my arms. It is 3:30 a.m. and Daddy is asleep on the couch just across the room (probably more like half-asleep with those accommodations), and though I know that I should be sleeping now, before the pain becomes too intense, I just can’t—I can’t stop thinking of you. And though the doctor warned me not to watch the monitors that track your heart rate and my contractions, I also can’t stop doing that. It is exciting to be in the midst of this, in the process of bringing you into this beautiful world.
My contractions right now are subtle and inconsistent. They come and go. The doctor decided to induce me today after my appointment in his office this morning when your heart rate started dropping during the non-stress test. They have been monitoring you closely these past few days because, at my appointment last week, they recognized signs that my placenta is petering out and you may not be getting enough nutrition. My uterus is measuring small, you are measuring small on the ultrasound, and most concerning, your abdomen is measuring disproportionately smaller than the rest of your little body. To make matters worse, your S/D ratio, which measures blood flow into and out of the umbilical chord, is elevated which is another sign of this placenta problem. The doctor felt it was best to wait to induce as long as we could, to give your little lungs more time to grow and develop, but after this morning’s results, he decided it is time to get you here. Daddy and I agree—we don’t want to take any chances when it comes to your safety and well being.
You will be arriving just over two weeks early, so you might be a peanut, but I think you will be just fine. I can’t wait to hold you in my arms, to kiss your chubby little cheeks (at least they looked chubby on the ultrasound this morning), and to look into your eyes for the first time—to stare deeply into the eyes of my daughter and to see you searching my face, learning me, and seeing for the first time the woman who will cherish you and be your mother throughout this life and into eternity.
I’m sure I won’t be perfect at it, my little love. In the past few weeks, mingled with my feelings of sheer excitement at the prospect of your impending arrival, I’ve felt a twinge of fear now and then—fear and inadequacy and nervousness. Because I won’t be perfect. And when I picture you wearing the tiny pink pajamas that I brought to the hospital, all swaddled up and ready to go home and begin the adventure of life, I know that you deserve everything—all the love and all the good things this world has to offer.
I promise I will do the best that I can. I promise that I will love you with every piece and particle of my soul. We will figure out this life together—you, Daddy, Big Brother, and I. We are so ready to add you to our “family squeeze” before bed each night (we will squeeze you softly at first, I promise), and we are ready to try our best to meet your needs, whatever those may be.
It has been an honor to be pregnant with you. Just the other day, I was staring in the mirror at my “baby bump” thinking, “Is this really happening? To me?” I never knew if I would have the opportunity to carry a child in my womb, and as difficult as it has been to be pregnant at times, due to sickness and other complications, it has been an experience that I would not trade—to feel you kicking inside of me, to see my belly growing over the weeks and months, to put my hand on my stomach and know that a baby girl is in there all nuzzled up, safe and growing. Pregnancy has been long and much harder than I ever anticipated it would be, but sitting here in the dark, listening to your heartbeat and feeling the contractions that will eventually (but probably not for a long time at this rate!) bring you into the world, I know that it was worth every moment of the pain to be a part of this experience.
You are almost here. In a few minutes, they plan to start me on Pitocin, so I am sitting here contemplating the unknowns. What hour of the day will you arrive? How will my labor progress? Will I end up with a C-section if your heart rate drops during contractions as it did this morning during the non-stress test? In my mind, I have an idyllic picture of how I’d love the next 24 hours to go (and that picture does not include a C-section or vomiting during labor or many of the other unpleasant things that often occur during delivery), but writing this letter has reminded me that no matter what today holds, it’s going to be a great day. Because, at the end of it, the world is going to be blessed with a beautiful, fresh, new soul. Certainly, my world will never be the same.
Happy birth day, my precious Sally Grace. Come quickly—I am waiting for you.
With love beyond words,
She measured 5 lbs 12 oz, 18 oz .
She is healthy and perfect in every way.