Thursday, December 19, 2013

Dear Baby Bean

Hello, Little One. This is your mother, writing to you for the very first time—which seems fitting since I saw you for the very first time today.  You were just a tiny speck on the ultrasound screen, a little seahorse-shaped bean, but I could see your heart beating wildly (144 beats per minute!), and it made my heart beat a little faster as well.  You are real.  You are really on your way.

Your dad was beside me, wrestling with your big brother Noah who was, of course, being a pill in a moment that I had imagined would be still and spiritual.  I think Noah’s squawks must have drown out the heavenly choirs that were singing, but it didn’t matter—when I turned to look at your dad, he was grinning from ear to ear watching that little heartbeat on the screen, and that was sacred enough for me.  I love him, and I love that you are a piece of him.

After that fleeting magical moment, I mostly just felt nauseated and a little overwhelmed as I lay there on the exam table.  Pregnancy and motherhood consist of a lot of feelings, many of which are not romantic and blissful—but I do feel like it’s important to capture the moments that are perfect.  As a friend once told me, the magical moments may not outnumber the hard or mundane moments, but they definitely outweigh them.

For example, I vividly remember the moment that I started wishing for you—well, I’ve always wished for you, but I remember clearly the moment that the possibility and dream of you first became real.  I hadn’t felt ready to even consider another baby for over a year after your brother was born.  Adjusting to motherhood had been difficult and disorienting for me, but one day when Noah was about 16 months old, we were playing in the bathtub, and as he squealed, splashed, and splattered bubbles on me, I felt overwhelming joy and thought, “I hope I get to do this again.”  I was surprised to realize that, quite suddenly, the thought of another baby joining our family brought excitement instead of fear.  I knew then that it wouldn’t be an easy road to get you here, and it hasn’t been—but I also knew that I would do whatever it took to make it happen.

Now that you’re on your way, I feel so many things.  I feel excited to pick out a special name for you, to have a baby bump and to feel you kick inside of me, to experience labor and bringing you into the world, to rock you and snuggle you, to watch you learn and grow and develop personality and spunk, like your brother.

But I also feel scared sometimes—mostly that I am not up for the challenge of two children.  I often feel like I can barely manage my life as it is, with one child.  After over two years, I still haven’t “mastered” being a stay-at-home mom.  Some women are naturally so good at this—at getting up and getting going for the day, planning fun outings and activities for the kids, enjoying every moment (okay, probably just most moments) with their little ones while managing their homes with ease.  Me, not so much.  I’m going to be honest and say that most days, I am still in pajama pants, unshowered, at 3:00 p.m., and we are lucky if dinner gets on the table and the dishes get done each day.  This has been especially true lately with fertility treatments and now pregnancy exhaustion, hormone-related blues, and of course, the ever-present nausea.

But what I need to remember is that I’m a good mom.  I might not be a good homemaker, but I’m a good mom.  I love Noah fiercely, and I love reading to him and teaching him.  I know that I have enough love to give to another child, even if it sometimes feels like I don’t have enough time management (or organization or motivation or whatever it is!).

I can’t wait to welcome you to our family.  I can’t wait to see how you fit and what you bring to us.   Right now, you are just our little bean, but before we know it, you will be here, fresh from heaven and ready to start teaching us.

I can’t wait to hold you and to look into your eyes for the first time.  But for now, I will treasure the memory of that little beating heart—and the way that it filled and settled into mine.

I love you so much already, my little miracle baby.

Keep growing.  We will keep praying.  And we will see you again soon.


Your Pregnant Mama


  1. Seeing the baby on the screen for the first time is pretty special! I remember early pregnancy not seeming real until I saw the baby on the T.V., heard the heartbeat, and started feeling movement. It is an exciting time! Love you!

  2. Rachel, I've noticed that whenever we leave the house, it's usually preceded by a 30-minute wrestling match over clothes and hair and shoes and coats and snacks and whatever else. But we look pretty put-together once we leave. And then whenever we have people over, it's preceded by a 30-minute (at least!) scramble to throw the toys in the closet, pile the random junk into a laundry basket, and frantically clear off the table and counter to make it look like I clean up after meals. My point is, we see each other when we're looking our best, so it's easy to think the other people are always like that. But most of us have trashed houses and PJs all day (or kids that sleep in their clothes... sometimes the same ones for three days in a row...).
    I am so excited for you! Thank you for sharing some of your thoughts along the way. And ask your doctor about Zofran. I took some this week when I had the flu, and it took away all the nausea. I wish I'd taken it when I was so sick with Penny.

  3. Such a sweet letter. Ultrasounds are so amazing! Hope you are feeling alright.

  4. Being a stay at home mom is tough but don't let the worlds of Facebook, Pinterest and even blogging make you think you aren't doing it right. Remember those are places people put on their fairytale world where everything is perfect. I have two girls and have been a work from home mom for 10 years. Our house isn't always clean (especially when they were toddlers and toys were everywhere all the time) and we often stay in PJs with our hair not brushed all day. Don't let the Facebook moms get you down - it isn't real!
    Congrats on your little one. I wish you the best!

  5. Congratulations on the pregnancy! Also congrats on figuring out that homemaking and motherhood aren't the same thing. It was so freeing for me. Too bad it took me many years of being a mom to figure it out. I am glad you have and keep on remembering you are a great mom.

  6. Oh, dear Rachel, I wish all of those things for you as well. I agree with Grommiegirl: Despite the oversharing of just about everyone on Facebook, most don't show the real story of a barely clean house and semi-washed family. Don't sweat it; you're doing great now, and you will continue to do so. Much love to all of you!

  7. I just love love love how you write. It feel sometimes like you're writing my own thoughts and I love that. Im so incredible excited for you to get to experience pregnancy, something I know I wasn't sure I was ever going to be able to do! But don't feel guilty if its not all magical! I used to feel so guilty if even more a minute I stopped feeling blessed and felt yucky because of the constant sickness, fatigue, ect. Its ok to feel those things too :) Cant wait to keep getting more updates on the little bean!

    Also as Im still totally in the "fear" zone, its encouraging to hear how you moved to the "excitement" to have another baby zone!


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