To my new baby girl, the day before you are born

I will hold you tomorrow. See your face. Touch the the tiny feet and fists that I have felt inside of me for months now. My heart is so full right now that any drop of extra emotion makes it overflow right down my cheeks (in other words, I cry at the drop of a hat). Your daddy took me on a a date night last night. We watched a silly movie, full of fast cars and explosions, but it had a touching ending that left me bawling like a baby. I can’t wait to hear you cry. Oh how I’ve prayed for you little one. Prayed for your lungs to be healthy, your body to be infection free. All of the things I took for granted before your sister was born, the worries that I didn’t even know I should be having the first time. Now I know. But I refuse to dwell on the worst that could happen. I’m focused instead on trusting that all will go well. And if it doesn’t? Well, I know what that’s like too, and what matters is that God will be here no matter what, to carry us through. He is the anchor for my soul, and my deepest wish and most important prayer is that you will learn to trust him too.

Every time I open the closet door in your nursery, inhale that intoxicating scent of freshly washed baby clothes, baby powder, and lotion, my heart beats a little quicker. I finally opened the packages of diapers to stock your changing table, marveling at their tiny size and remembering how many you will go through at first. The wipe box is full, burp cloths washed and folded, bottles sterilized and stacked in the corner (because although I hope you will latch easily and nursing will be a breeze this time, I want to be prepared if it isn’t). Your bed is set up in our room, close to our bed in anticipation of night feedings and cuddles. Your daddy brought the swing down from the attic. It’s assembled and clean and just waiting for you to snuggle into. Yesterday I practiced tying your wrap around me, learned how to tuck you inside safe and snug. I didn’t have one for your big sister, didn’t need it, but I’ve been told by many second time moms this time around I will use it. I trust them. They are a gift to me, this tribe of mamas the Lord has placed me into. An extension of the family that you will be born into. You will know them too, play with their kids, snuggle into their arms when mine are busy. They will teach you too, how to share, to love, to give, to act. What Jesus looks like here on earth.

Your big sister is just as excited to meet you as your daddy and I. She talks about you and for you all the time. She impatiently waits for the chance to give you the elephant she picked out and made for you at Build-a-Bear. She likes to list all the things she will teach you. Of course right now you are just an idea, an imaginary friend like her many stuffed animals and characters. The reality will be different. My prayer for both of you is that you will treasure each other as the life-long friends you were made to be. Oh I know you will fight, tease, bicker. Hurt each other (intentionally and unknowingly). But I pray in the end your relationship with one another will be close and strong, that you will always be there for each other the way only sisters can. I’m excited to watch you grow together.

There are so many things I am wondering. Will you have brown eyes like mine, or hazel, or blue? Will you fit into the newborn outfit I packed for you? (The ultrasound says you will be small…but how small?) Will you fall asleep easily or fight the drowsiness? Will you be spirited and feisty, calm and laid back, fearless and adventurous? Will you prefer your mamas arms or are you going to be a daddy’s girl? And the big, important questions. Will you learn to love God with all your heart? Will you choose to serve Him? I know you will make mistakes, but will you avoid those devastating, life-altering choices? What experiences with shape you? There is so much I want you to know, to learn, to do. I will do my best to guide and teach you, by word and example. I will fail. But I will always try to be honest with you about my mistakes, to ask forgiveness and learn from them. I will try to let go of my own wishes and wants and accept God’s plan for your life, which I know is so much better than I could possible dream.

Tomorrow some of my questions will be answered. A new journey begun. Your daddy and I have talked and planned, dreamed of what it will be like for those first few moments we will spend together, just the three of us. We can hardly wait to show you how much we love you.

Photos by Christy Hendrick

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