Thursday, May 26, 2016

Almost Here!

Dear Cecily,

You're going to be here any moment. Like...this one. Or...maybe this one? How about now? No? Fine. We're patient. We're all very, very excited to meet you, but I think your mom is especially excited, because it means you'll stop kicking all of her organs. You're obviously really tired of being in there, too, because you barely fit. You're sticking out every side. It can't be comfortable.

Everything is just about ready for you, though every time I think that, we come up with something else we have to do. Our hospital bag is packed. Your carseat is in the car. There is a lovely bassinet next to our bed just waiting to be filled by you. We have diapers and a changing table (well, okay, it's our dresser, but your mom has made it really nice). Of course, I still have to put your swing together and get your bouncer out of the garage and...okay maybe we're not quite COMPLETELY ready. But we're ready enough, so don't wait on our account.

As I'm sure I wrote to both of your siblings around this time, I wish I'd written to you more. There are so many things I wanted to tell you, but life gets busy. Maybe try to think of it this way: Instead of writing to you more, I painted your room and did a million other things. I've been nesting for months. So for every missing letter I should have written, know that I was writing to you with life instead. I'll have years and years to tell you everything. You'll be sick of listening to me.

We love you, and whenever you decide to make your appearance will be the perfect time for all of us. But for your mom's sake, maybe don't wait until July, alright?



Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wisdom from Your Big Sister

Dear Cecily,

When I was pregnant with your sister, I did a blog post for her with the help of your cousin Autumn. Autumn provided some wisdom to fetus-Maddie, and now Maddie (who will be FOUR YEARS OLD next month) is going to provide some wisdom to you!


1.) One thing I want to tell you is that I hope you look cute.

2.) I hope you feel the softness of your lovely blanket and your lovely rug.

3.) Advice I want to give you is I hope you are a bird baby.

4.) I want to say I hope you're going to love your home that's a nest.

5.) And I hope you have a lovely birthday and a party hat for the birthday bird.

6.) I love you, Cecily!

I don't exactly know why she thinks you're going to be a bird. We're pretty up front with Maddie about biology. But in any case, she is very excited that you're joining us soon!

So am I. I am a box full of aches and pains these days, but it's a good reminder that you're going to be here SOON. Soon, soon. And here's some really great news: YOU AREN'T BREECH ANYMORE! Nope, your little feet are wedged up in my ribs, and your head bangs against my cervix like a golden hammer of pain. Dr. Austin confirmed it. So good work, Cecily!

On Monday, I had my 32 week OB appointment, and I took a walk with your brother and sister beforehand. You're going to live in such a pretty part of the world, Cecily.

And here's the hospital you'll be born in! 

This is you right now. My feet are nowhere to be seen.

And this is the rug I'm working on, that Maddie mentioned earlier.

We love you, and are SO excited to meet you! 

Your Mama

29 Weeks and Cranky

Dear Cecily,

We've got about 11 weeks to go, but it feels like 100. Except when I'm thrown into a crazy nesting fury, in which case it feels like 2. Discomfort-wise, this pregnancy is MUCH worse than my other two. I can't imagine how some women have six, seven, or eight pregnancies. I feel like a crushed bag of pretzels below my ribs and above my knees. Literally all the time. I wake up in the morning, and it's Crushed Pretzel City. I lie down at night (with my Snoogle pillow under my head and between my knees - thank goodness for the Snoogle!) and it's The Republic of Crushed Pretzels. You weigh two-and-a-half pounds right now, so I can't imagine why it feels like I'm carrying around a full-grown ostrich in my uterus. In any case, we've got 11 weeks to go. We'll make it. And then it'll be "goodbye, SPD/clicky pelvis/general old lady malaise" and "helloooo, super cute baby!"

Okay, I'll quit complaining. I'm awfully, awfully excited to meet you!

Your Memere is here for a visit. Though she's leaving in a little over a week to go back to New Hampshire, she'll be back here in Washington just six weeks later, to help with Maddie and Simon in the last few weeks of my pregnancy, and to watch them while your dad and I are in the hospital having YOU! (And in the weeks after, while I'm snuggling you and recovering from your exit from my body.)

Speaking of your exit. I don't want to pressure you or anything, but you seem to transition between being breech and being transverse, and you have a couple of weeks to get your act together and get head-down, but I'm really hoping that happens sooner rather than later. You're making your mom a little antsy. I've had a couple of very successful vaginal births, and I'm counting on having a third. I'd rather not have a C-section, as I'm squeamish. And you know all of the complaining I just did about my pelvic discomfort? I'll be doing a LOT more of that following a C-section. So turn around, tiny friend. Head down.

Your Mama

PS, I wrote this post when I was actually 29 weeks pregnant. I'm just now getting around to publishing it at 32 weeks pregnant, so that will tell you that your mom is a.) busy getting ready for you, and b.) a bit of a procrastinator sometimes. I love you!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

24 weeks!

Dear Cecily,

I am SO sorry that I haven't written since Christmas. I've got to tell you, this pregnancy is a totally different animal than the one I had with your sister and brother. When I was pregnant with Maddie, I remember thinking that I was exhausted... But I also slept like a hibernating bear. Seriously. I was finishing my graduate thesis, and working on it when I wanted, and then I just basically slept the rest of the time. (Well, slept and vomited.)

When I was pregnant with Simon, Maddie was a toddler, and I thought I was super busy with her, taking long walks (and long naps) together, taking a once-a-week Music Together class, going to library story times, vomiting again...

Cecily, the word "exhausted" holds an entirely new meaning this time. So does the word "busy." Today I worked in your sister's preschool classroom (she goes to a co-op, and we love it there. Simon will go there, too, and eventually you will, but please don't rush it), and my brain basically stopped functioning by the end of the morning. But it didn't really, because Tuesdays are our long days, so we visited with our good friends (the Sosbys: you're going to love them) for the afternoon and then headed to Maddie's ballet class. Then there was dinner to make, and kiddos to wrangle, and finally, finally bedtime.

But even with all of the craziness--and it does get pretty crazy--I think about you all the time! When people say, "she'll be here before you know it," I get so excited, because I know it's true. This pregnancy is flying a lot faster than my other two, and it occurred to me a week ago (when Dr. Austin handed me the nasty, nasty fluid I'm going to need to drink before I take the gestational diabetes blood test) that I'm almost in the third trimester. That's nuts! Didn't I just take that pregnancy test five minutes ago?! (It sure seems like it!)

Here's what you and I look like right now, at 24 weeks. Your big sister took this photo! Pretty good, isn't it?

Here's you with your brother. He still calls you "Baby Sisser Sesame Street." 

We can't wait to meet you, little miss! Your dad says hi (we're watching The Office on the couch), and he agrees.

Your Mama

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Happy Second Birthday, Simon!

Dear Simon,

When you wake up in the morning (ideally not before the sun is up, please?), you will be two years old. That's TWICE the age you were a year ago. That will never be true again in your whole life, and you probably don't even appreciate it. It's not that you don't appreciate things. You appreciate chocolate. You appreciate balloons. And judging by the number of times you've squeezed his paw and made him say things over and over and over again, you really appreciate your new stuffed Daniel Tiger. But the trivia of birthday mathematics is still a little lost on you, I'm afraid.

It blows my mind how much you've grown and changed in the past year. A year ago you were barely walking, and now you're pretty much running this place.

You are still so amazing and methodical in the way you discover the world around you. We have magnetic alphabet letters on the refrigerator, and for awhile, you would bring us one (for example, 'D') and say a letter. Any letter. Maybe 'Q'. And we'd laugh and think, "Oh, it's so cute. He thinks it's a Q." and tell you, "D." But no, you didn't think it was a Q. You just knew that Q was something people said when they talked about these things, and you needed to put the pieces together. For maybe a few weeks you did that, and we thought it was adorable. "No, that's not an F, that's an M." Then, one morning, I was standing with you by the fridge, and you started pointing at letters and shouting them out at the top of your lungs. And you were right about all of them. Any letter I pointed to, you knew. You had been quietly figuring them out for days by trial and error and now you knew the whole alphabet. You were so proud of yourself and I'll never forget my amazement.

You're pretty mercurial, though. Sometimes you'll play with cars or trains in the basement by yourself for literally hours. If we try to play with you or talk to you, you'll put up with us, but it's pretty obvious we're intruding on whatever world you were in. Other times, you will accept nothing less than the undivided attention of both mom and myself and anybody else who happens to be around. You are quick to anger and slow to heal, which unfortunately means I think you got the worst traits of your mother (slow to anger, slow to heal) and myself (quick to anger, quick to heal).

On the other hand, when you are happy, man are you happy. In your happiest times, you're happier than I could ever imagine another person being. The other day, your mom was trying to record a video of you saying something. I don't actually remember what it was, just that you would not cooperate, and instead you kept just babbling nonsense in the video. Then you made her play it back for you and laughed hysterically at your own nonsense. Over and over and over again. You thought you were the funniest thing on earth, and I think you probably were, because we couldn't help but laugh with you, so infectious was your joy.

You're getting better at talking. You have a lot of words, and you can generally communicate pretty well, but you don't like to perform them when asked. In fact, you seem to delight in confounding our attempts. The last time you were at the doctor, she asked if you were talking, and we said yes, quite a bit, but the only word you would say for her was 'pee pee' while grabbing your...well, you get the picture. Your favorite method of delivering words is shouting them as loudly as you can, which can be a little alarming. You also seem to delight in intentionally misusing words. For example, lately you've been calling your mom 'Little Dada,' which drives her insane, but the more she says 'Mama' (which of course, you can and have said many, many times), the more you grin and insist on 'Little Dada'. I would be lying if I said I didn't find this absolutely hilarious every time.

Your favorite food is pizza. Your favorite book is...hmm, that's a tough one. You like a lot of books, but lately the one you SAY the most is "The Digging-Est Dog". You call it "Digginestdog," which you say over and over and over again and I think your mom is tired of reading it and probably hid it because I haven't seen it in awhile. Also, it's a little bit dark, because the other dogs demand that the boy drown the Digging-est Dog in the well. It was published in the 60s, which I guess that was an appropriate thing to have dogs demand in children's books. You love Thomas the train and Sesame Street. I wish I could just sit here and list everything you like, because each time I think of one it makes me smile.

My relationship with you is so unlike my relationship with Maddie. Sometimes I see so much of myself in you, and other times you're an enigma. I'm excited for you to get older so you can maybe explain some of your thoughts to me, but I also don't want you to grow up too fast. You will always be my only son, and I will always love you with all my heart.

Happy birthday, Simon!


Dada (the big one)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Dear Cecily Marie

Dear Cecily Marie,

I was just commenting to your mom the other day how strange it seemed that there's a person (you!) who already exists, and who will feature prominently in the story of my life and in every major memory I have from this point on, but that I don't even know you. I don't know what you look like or what things you like. I don't know what makes you laugh or what you're afraid of. I'll learn all of these things of course, but right now you're a bit of a mystery.

So let's talk about the things we (probably) do know!

  1. You are (most likely) a girl.

    We can't be sure, of course, because these things are tricky, but the ultrasound tech seemed pretty sure. Sure enough to make a pronouncement, and that's good enough for us. I guess it's still possible you turn out to be a boy. In that case, I'm sorry for our mistake, but I'll probably just go back and edit this so you never even know we were wrong! Hah!

  2. Your name is (probably) Cecily Marie.

    Your mom and I have loved this name for a long time. As usual, we've been way more certain about a name for a girl-you than a name for a boy-you. I don't know why that is, but it seems like we always come to a consensus on a girl's name first. Well, provided item #1 above remains true, then your name is Cecily Marie, so we'll run with that for now, okay? I hope you like it. You can always choose to go by a hip nickname like 'Snake' if you don't. Your mom said that wasn't an appropriate name for a child.

  3. You have Clinodactyly.

    That means your pinky finger is bent inward. We know this because it showed up in your ultrasound yesterday. This wouldn't really be a big deal, except that it is what's known as a 'soft marker' for certain genetic conditions and is thus worth mentioning, though we're not particularly worried. Your mom and I, as well as your Granny Jill and your siblings seem to have this trait to some extent as well, and it's autosomal dominant, so it's not unlikely you would have it. It's just that it only shows up in something like 4% of births absent one of those previously mentioned genetic conditions, so we're all very special, and that's one way you're like us already! Sorry if you get mom's club thumb, though.

  4. You will (probably) be born in June!

    By most calculations, your mom was 20 weeks pregnant yesterday, making your due date May 31, but you were still measuring around 18 weeks, 6 days. This isn't that strange, because you were also measuring small at your previous ultrasound, so it's very likely our timing is just off and you're a June baby. We'll know better in 8 weeks or so. Your mom is very excited about this, because she really likes pearls.

  5. You are loved.

    Oh, Cecily, how you are loved. Your mom and I love you, of course. Your sister Madeline is very, very excited to be getting a sister, even if it means she has to share a room. She knew you were a sister all along and wouldn't accept any other possibility. I guess she showed us. Your brother Simon is less sure about this whole thing, but he'll get on board. He's been walking around saying "Baby Sisser Sesame Street", because I guess he thinks that's your name. He really likes Sesame Street, so I guess that's his idea of a compliment. Your Memere and your Ooompa and your Granny Jill love you. Your aunts and uncles love you. You are loved like you wouldn't believe and we can't wait to meet you.
So I guess, in the end, it's really just the pinky and the love thing we're absolutely sure of, but man are we sure about that love thing, so that makes up for all of the other uncertainties.



Saturday, December 26, 2015


Dear Baby,

Merry Christmas! You aren't here to actually enjoy it this year (though I got a few decent flutters and thuds from you yesterday, which I interpreted to mean that you were enjoying yourself in my uterus), but you did receive some sweet gifts, and I'll tuck them away for you till May or June. :) Your dad and I bought you a teddy bear that we'll use to photo-record your growth, the way we did with your sister and brother. We also got you a Dumbo, because it's awfully cute. You have a cool plush fish bowl with all kinds of crinkly-plush fish from your Great Aunt Sue, and an outfit from your Aunt Jill, Uncle Luke, and Grayson. Your Memere (my mom) got you a neat plush folding elephant activity mat, and Granny Jill (your dad's mom) got you a great big collection of children's books. You're 18 months gestated, and already very loved.

I'm making a rug for you, but I'm trying to work a little more slowly on it, because we're going to find out whether you're a girl or a boy on January 12th, and if you're a girl, I'll work a little bit of pink fabric into it. For now, it's blue, yellow, white, and gray. What are you, baby?! I can't bear the suspense! Maddie is certain you're a girl, and when I asked Simon, he said, "Baby Sisser." But then he quickly changed his answer to "Baby Brudder," so really, not helpful, Simon.

I'm still taking Zofran, and still throwing up occasionally. (Again with the car vomit. This time I wasn't even in traffic - I had to continue driving while I threw up into a bag of donuts. Not awesome, baby. It was not an awesome time for me.) I'm feeling more movement from you, which is reassuring. I can't wait to see your little face on the 12th! I think I've had the fewest ultrasounds with you, and it's crazy-making! I want to know how you're doing in there all the time!

I haven't been taking bump pictures, but I'll start when I'm about 20 weeks. Your baby book arrived a few days ago, so I'll start filling out what I can (family tree stuff, pregnancy memories), and will look forward to getting your little footprints stamped inside in about five months!

We love you, baby.
Your Mama