I haven’t forgotten about you

Little Miss Z, let’s be honest, it’s sort of hard to forget about you, what with your constant kicking and jellybean cravings. So listen up, Lil Jellybean, Momma’s got a secret to share with you.

I love you. Have loved you since the moment I learned you were coming into our lives.

It’s been a more subtle excitement with this pregnancy than it was when we were preparing for your brother’s arrival. Not less excited, just less in-your-face attitude.

You move in my stomach so much more than your brother did; it’s almost as though you don’t want to be forgotten, not even for a second. You have great aim, too, if you’ve been looking to hit my ribs or spine. You are a definite mover.

If your time in the womb is any indication, you’re going to be a lot like your Momma, just like your brother has mimicked a lot of Daddy’s personality traits. The men in our lives are calm, mellow, easy-going. Your Momma has to be kept busy and on the move at all times. My to-do list is always a few pages long and my dream-big list is even longer. I’m stubborn and I have a temper, so I hope you don’t inherit those traits, but I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

We’ve known your name for months now. Well, your daddy knew your name before there even was a you. It’s so fun calling you by your name, so much more real to talk about when ____ _____ will join us. (Psh, we have to keep SOMETHING a secret!)

Your daddy made a video recently about your brother’s first 18 months (Zack’s been a bit of a celebrity hot shot lately… Oh, OK, enough about him, you’re right…) and I can’t stop watching the images in it. I had forgotten about some of those early moments with your brother… the getting-to-know-each-other in a hospital room… your daddy putting a ball in his hands in the first week… the visitors rocking you with love… and those uncoordinated movements of his fingers and neck and legs.

I can’t wait to share those sort of moments with you, Lil Miss.
As exhausting as a newborn can be (And I’m sure it’s even more fun with a toddler hanging around, too), some of my favorite moments came from late-night rocks in the glider and watching little fingers grab at buttons and zippers during feedings. I can’t wait to kiss you on 50 different places on your little face. I plan on kissing both eyelids and both cheeks several times. I will smooch the heck out of the top of your head, too.

So, a recent e-mail tells me you’re about the size of a squash. All that does for me is make me hungry.

There are still a lot of uncertainties. We don’t know when you’ll decide to come see our world; we don’t even know by which delivery method. A lot of that depends on how many jellybeans you’ve really eaten and whether or not you’re really “lil” at all.

We certainly don’t know yet if you’ll be healthy and what that even means anymore. I just know that I will love you with all of my heart, accept your every challenge and quirk and attitude with every fiber of my being. That you will early on realize unconditional love and fierce love and know I have nothing else to give.

You should be head-down on Week 32 of our journey together, but we’ll find out at our next doctor’s appointment and ultrasound in the next week or two. It will be nice to see another picture of your beautiful self.

Speaking of pictures, you better be prepared for some serious camera flashes. Your Momma will be the biggest culprit, and I promise to use natural lighting for as long as possible, but once you get on the move, there’s no holding back for the flash to capture a great shot, OK?

Every day, at least once, I stop by your crib in your nearly-completed room (We need a few decor items and some crib sheets but are almost done getting ready for your debut). I run my hand over the now-empty space six inches above the crib mattress. I imagine I’m running my hand against peach fuzz hair and a rising chest in soft fabrics. If I’m not careful, I get so lost in my imaginings at that crib that I can very easily let 10 minutes pass by without realizing it.

You’re so close to being in my arms. I’m so close to meeting you in person; to counting your toes and thanking all my lucky stars and many blessings that you made it to me and your Daddy and your Big Brother.

Whether you realize it or not, you’re making a difference in this world. You see, your Birth Day is the deadline for a fundraiser your family is doing for the National Down Syndrome Society. We hope to raise… wait for it… $5,000. That money will make a difference in advocacy programs, education and research related to Down Syndrome. It will make a difference not only in your brother’s life and future, but yours as well. It will make our lives even better and even richer and even more rewarding than we could ever imagine. I’m hoping your aunts and uncles and grandparents and cousins and friends and friends of friends and sons and daughters of friends will all want to help you with your mission, especially since your hands are tied, er, stuck in the womb, at the moment.

I haven’t forgotten you at all, Lil Miss Z.
And I love you so, so much.

See you soon!

PS – Get off my ribs, you naughty girl!

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