I could give birth to you any day now, and little by little I feel more prepared for this to happen.
The house gets cleaner every hour. I’m relishing in Lorelei’s sweet snuggles, knowing that soon she won’t be the only little girl who needs my arms around her. I find myself bringing my collection of crystals to the forefront of my entertainment center and nightstand, because their beauty calms me and reminds me that nature and its processes are purposeful. Your blankets are wrapped around me as I sleep in hopes of filling them with my presence, so that when you're wrapped in them after birth you still know I’m with you in every way I possibly can be. Your tiny clothes are washed and folded (many thanks to your grandmother and a friend for helping me achieve this during a time of barely manageable pain and stress). The cradle is made. New plants have replaced those that died as a result of the never-ending California heat (many thanks to your dad, who turned the soil and planted aloe and succulents in the box that was too high for me to reach or climb to in my current physical state).
All of this, and more, has been done for you, Isla. Your impending arrival has completely taken over my day-to-day life. I want things to be perfect for you and our family when we come home from the hospital, not only because that’s what my nesting urge is telling me I want, but because there is something about you that has taken hold of me even though we haven’t truly met each other yet.
I know that the moment I look into your tiny eyes, I will know. I will know what it was that drove me to near insanity as your due date came closer and closer. I will know what it was that made me connect with your sister on an entirely new level, one that will connect the three of us as women, sisters, and daughters in ways I never knew possible. I will know what it was that made my heart and body feel as though they couldn’t possibly do what was being asked of them. You are a force. You are more than just a sweet soon-to-be newborn baby; you are the physical creation of your father and I; the image of our love, capable of being held and witnessed. You are one with your sister, as both of you came from my womb and have felt my love and anxiety from deep within me, and both of you will know what it is to be parented by your father and me. You are a blessing, and a gift.
We hope we teach you love, understanding and grace. We hope your days are filled with fun and peace; with inspiration and imagination; with silliness and contentment. We hope you arrive in this world safely, and that you feel comforted in our arms after the journey that is labor and birth. We hope you feel as nourished by my breast as you did by my entire body for the past nine months. We hope you and your sister are everything to each other, and that you never feel alone.
And yet, despite the excitement that has fully taken over my body and mind at this point, I still feel worried. I am a bit worried to lose sleep again, as I know what it does to me emotionally. I am a bit worried to lose control of the cleanliness of my home again, as I know what that does to my controlling nature. I am a bit worried to be needed by two little people at the same time, as I can only imagine what that will do to my desire to please everyone that needs something from me, and to care for my babies at all costs. But I trust that wisdom comes with age and experience, and that we as a family will work together to maintain each other’s well being during the challenging times, such as the days where all of us are hungry at the same time yet we all require different forms of sustenance, or the nights where we all have trouble sleeping. And I trust that the good will always outweigh the seemingly bad.
Plus, your grandparents live just a few blocks away, and your grandmother has been the best example of what a mother should be. I know that I have her support both physically and emotionally, and because of that I know I too am capable of being a mother of two.
Please come soon, Baby Isla. We both know there’s not much room left in my little belly nest, and I want you to see how wonderful life in the light is. I want you to know how it feels to be comforted by your father’s arms, and to be kissed by your sister’s soft little lips. But most importantly, I want you to see that you are loved by more than just me, the woman who carried you in her womb for months on end, the woman whose heartbeat lulled you to sleep, and whose love of ice cold water woke you up a few times a day. There are so many people who can’t wait to meet you. You are special, you are loved, and you are wanted.
So, so wanted.