My little Wriggler,
I woke up the other morning with the sudden urge to write to you: I don’t expect you to ever really read this and I imagine that in a few months’ time, I will likely find this a tad embarrassing and delete it anyway. You and I have been living in quite some uncertainty in recent months and I’m so very mindful that it’s easy to forget the beautiful moments that we have had amongst all of the angst and the worry.
So here’s your daft mother’s attempt to write a few of them down, because soon, you are meant to be here, gracing my day with regular demands for feeds, nappy changes and, I imagine, a new level of (welcome) pandemonium and unpredictability that only a child can bring.
As I type this, I can feel you turning and stretching; we’re sitting in the sunshine on the balcony where we currently live and you’ve recently discovered that you can kick my stomach – yesterday you got me between the ribs when I wasn’t expecting it and you momentarily took my breath away – not for the first time, and I can imagine definitely far from the last.
I know I’ll be getting revenge in about a year with bath time, so feel free to build up your score. It’ll even out in time, I promise.
Last week you got the hiccups again and I couldn’t help but laugh – I felt a little bad, but I know you’re not feeling any pain. I wonder what you will sound like when you have them when you’re actually here. Whilst you were fighting with your diaphragm, your Papa phoned, quite drunk, sounding very chuffed that he had just told a friend of his about you.
He may not always show it very clearly, but I know that you already mean the world to him – unser kleines Wunder.
I can remember the moment I found out I was carrying you like it was yesterday; test in hand and feeling numb in shock and disbelief. The mind is a very clever and powerful thing; it can conceal things from you, it can convince you of things that aren’t necessarily true; and it can persuade you to overlook facts that are right in front of you. The one thing it does poorly, however, is hide your true response to a surprise.
To say I was surprised by the news would be an understatement, but I felt joy and excitement in the moments before hundreds of questions and thoughts spilled over into my mind. The main conundrum facing me being how to tell your Papa.
Should you ever have to share important news with someone, please do not do what I did. It’s normal to be nervous when you have important news to share, but I choked so many times that evening, I ended up doing the one thing I didn’t want to do: blurt it out shortly before leaving for the night.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen your father stunned before. Or the grin he had on his face whilst the news sunk in. On our more challenging days I relive that moment in my mind and it’s important you know that deep down, he is as excited as I am about you; sometimes these things feel a little scary, but that’s normal.
Did you know that you already react to your Papa’s voice? You have done so for a number of weeks now, although at the beginning it was mostly when he was getting irate with other drivers when in the car. More recently you respond to his voice when he’s not shouting obscenities at people (thankfully), and to his touch. The look on his face each time is priceless.
It’s funny how you move in your sleep – you fidget and my tummy twitches in a really odd way. Did you know, that tomorrow we’re 90 days to the day before our due date? Something tells me that you won’t want to wait until then. I even dreamt about holding you for the first time a few nights ago; I woke up in tears, completely overcome by the mixture of emotions brought to the surface. It was a most bizarre way to start the day, I have to say.
At the weekend you managed to out-do yourself, you rascal. I was eating dinner with your Papa and you managed to kick me hard enough in the stomach to make me burp. I don’t know who was more startled at the abrupt outburst: your father or I. Fortunately I didn’t have my mouth full, else that could have been quite disastrous. Can’t take either of you anywhere, it seems.
There are so many of these “little” moments; always so fleeting, but so very important. One of the many things I would like you to learn is to recognise them and take the time to say to yourself, “isn’t it nice“. We could live in a big house, you and I, and I could have a job where I work long hours but earn a lot more than I currently do; but then I feel the sun on my face and I watch the ripples as you stretch and wriggle about and I actually feel quite content.
If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.
…But please take your foot out from between my ribs.