I know I’ve said it before but I feel like the countdown is really, truly, officially on! As we approach the 34th week of my pregnancy, I’m feeling the days whiz by. From what I’ve heard from other mothers, the day will come where time literally stops and all we’re doing is waiting, waiting, waiting for you, little girl. But, until then, I feel like I can’t keep up with each passing moment.
This week started out rough but ended on a really high note. I’m finding my patience tested and stamina waning. It takes everything I’ve got to get through the long workday and by the time I get home at night, I’m completely spent. I’m cranky, emotional, and frustrated because I always have big plans to work on some sort of project and I just end up doing a light workout, walking Lola, and then melting into the couch in my pjs.
I’m a little nervous because I feel like this level of exhaustion will continue for the next 3-5 years of my life. Everyone is warning me that the third trimester is preparation for life after baby – i.e. lack of sleep, running on empty, etc. – and I’m beginning to realize, I don’t do so well when I’m tired (not that this comes as a surprise to anyone who knows me). While I’ve never been too dependent on caffeine, I do think it will become my friend and lifesaver in the years to come. Either way, I’m just praying you decide to be a restful baby who loves your sleep as much as your mama. And if not, well, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.
The weekend was awesome. Your dad installed a new closet organizer in our bedroom and now all of my shoes and outfits are on display in a beautiful and accessible fashion. This makes me very happy! Someday, you will understand the importance of a good closet but in the meantime, never fear. I had him install one in your closet a few weeks ago and I’m embarrassed to admit, we’ve already managed to fill up your space with all sorts or ridiculously adorable dresses, jumpers, and accessories.
Which brings up a topic that’s been on my mind and I want to discuss with you this week.
I sure hope that by the time you’re old enough to read these letters you’re well aware of how incredibly lucky you are to have the father you have. I know a lot of really great dads – Lord knows, I have one myself – and I have to say, one of the smartest things I ever did was marry a man who falls into that category. I have to be honest, I never gave it much thought when we were dating. I knew he was amazing to me and that I was head over heels in-love with him. I knew he was responsible and funny and ambitious. Honest and good and doting. And I just kind of assumed he’d be a good dad too.
But here we are just a few weeks away from your arrival and I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life – he’s going to be the BEST father! Throughout my entire pregnancy, he’s supported me every step of the way. He doesn’t second guess my decisions (even when I do) and reminds me constantly to slow down, take a breath, put my feet up, and trust myself. He’s the most engaged and participatory dad in our hypnobirthing class, he’s on board to try out cloth diapering, and he’s beyond confident that everything we don’t know, we’ll figure out along the way. He doesn’t pull the crap a lot of dads pull about waking up in the middle of the night or changing your diapers and instead says, “We’re a team. We’ll figure out a system that works for both of us and we’ll share responsibility for all of it – just like we do with Lola.”
You will have such a great relationship with him and I will do my best not to get jealous of the new girl in his life. The sun will literally, rise and set on you, little bird – I hope you realize how lucky that makes you. You will grow up knowing exactly what a good man looks like and when it’s your turn to find one of your own (should you decide that’s what you want in life), he will be your basis for comparison. And you will be picky because you’ll realize, they’re few and far between.
Until then, he’ll make you laugh because he’s silly. He’ll embarrass you because he can. He’ll support every decision you make and celebrate every accomplishment you earn. He’ll also be there when things don’t work out so well – to remind you that “this too, shall pass,” that you’re a strong girl and you will overcome even the greatest of challenges. You’ll have secrets and traditions that are all your own. He’ll say “I love you” every single day and kiss you hello and goodbye and just because. He will make you feel safe with the “big arm of the dad” and banish all monsters in your closet. He will put our little family first (he already has) and never let anything come before us.
Most of all, you will never, ever question whether or not you are loved.
Be good to him, little bird. Be patient when he struggles to let you go and remember, you are his baby girl. It will be hard to see you grow and conquer the world on your own. He won’t show it the way I will – with tears – but he’s very sensitive too and you can easily hurt his feelings. Don’t do that (or you’ll have to answer to me!). Love him as much as he loves you and learn all you can – about the world, travel, hard work, sports, music, and family values – from his example.
A little tip though (and this comes from your 32-year-old mama who speaks from personal experience), you will always need your daddy. You won’t think you will but he will always be the first man in your life and no matter what happens, he’s got your back. You’ll take that for granted because it’s all you know but one day, maybe when you’re 20 or 30 or 50, you’ll realize how very lucky you were to be born to a man who wanted you more than anything in the world.
Fly high, little one. And if you’re ever looking for a soft landing, remember, you have a father who will always be waiting in the sidelines – just in case.
I love you.