Dear Tessa: My mover

Dear Tessa,

I don’t know if it’s my ninth month of pregnancy catching up with me or if trying to keep up with you these days is really just that demanding, but either way you have me exhausted  (which I guess I can use as an excuse for this late letter post that should have happened last month).  Even though you are not walking just yet, you have really blossomed in gross motor development over the last month or better.  Little lady, you are pulling yourself up to things and cruising pretty good around the furniture–all independently!  And every single time you successfully complete one of your stunts not only do you stop and take time to cheer for yourself, but you make sure whoever else is in the room best be giving you a standing “o” for your performance.  Rock on girlfriend.

birds nest

Unfortunately not all of your excitement lately has been, well, “exciting.”  Recently, your daddy and I discovered that you were beginning to bruise easily…way too easily.  So we requested to have some blood work done just to make sure everything was fine.  What first came back shook us to the core.  Your first result came back and we were told around 4 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon that we needed to go to the Children’s Hospital right away for additional testing to rule out the possibility of the “L” word or worse.  Well that’s what your dad and I call it because I can hardly say it–Leukemia.  I knew not what fear was until that word was mentioned.  It was a fear so real that it made me physically ill.  Knowing that this would not be uncommon, it paralyzed us.  On what had to have been one of the longest rides to Madison in our lives, we spent a large portion of the ride collapsed in the unknown while hopelessly maintaining optimism.

Your white blood cell count had climbed back into normal range, but your platelet count dropped.  Overall, this was news we could be pleased with.  Instead of checking in at the Children’s Hospital, we were able to go home.  Blood was drawn four times within the next week.  Your platelets kept dropping.  The hematologist told us she believed this would go away on it’s own.  We were told this was a case of Acute ITP and that your numbers would (hopefully) return to normal soon.  One last draw before you would have started an IV treatment and your platelets were climbing again!  Relief of the highest kind, I can assure you!  Now we are monitoring you.  You dipped slightly again last week so we have to wait and see what will be next, but I know it will phase you little.  You are far too busy to be slowed down right now.  Remember?

We just keep reminding ourselves that no matter what happens with all of your blood work that this too shall pass.  

march collage

As your mama, let me just take a moment to apologize for the last couple of weeks.  I have been wrapped up so much in accomplishing minuscule tasks at home and with work in preparation for your little sister, oftentimes forgetting to spend that extra five minutes or so with you.  I have also spent far too much time complaining about things that hardly warrant reasons for such grievances.  And the only excuse is that I am just tired and cranky.  But then you scoot over to me, pull yourself up and giggle hysterically and everything feels fine again.  Maybe I don’t listen to your dad enough when he tells me to slow down, but you seem to catch my attention just when I need it most.

By the time I write you your next letter, you will be a big sister.  I wish I could tell you when that would be.  I know undoubtedly that you will be a wondrous sister.

You won’t be my baby for much longer, but you will always be my first.

Love, Mom

37 weeks

To my girlfriends and mamas in waiting…

As I draw near the end of my pregnancy, I find myself thinking a lot about my dear girlfriends.  Some are expecting, some are trying, some may not ever have children, but right now to me they are all mamas in waiting.  And all I can think to do is tell them a few things that are likely headed their way in the weeks, months, and years to come.

Congratulations ladies!  You’re prepping to become a mom–a title that will take some time to get used to, especially when you say things like, “Do you want mommy?”, or “Mommy’s tired!”, or when you are called “Mama” for the first time.  Which leads me to jump the track for a second…if you are reading this and thinking “momma or mama?”  Who cares.  Seriously.

Where was I?  Oh yes, I was about the get sentimental.  I lost that now.  While having a baby is truly a blessing, I want you to know that there will come a time where you will be staring at that baby months after they are born, and it will be in the middle of the night after a scream-a-thon and it will hit you.  Everything you knew about your life prior to this baby will seem to have disappeared.  It may or may not return down the road, but there will be a time when it’s gone.  If someone tells you differently, I promise you they are lying.  Trust me.

You will soon trade sixty minutes for getting ready for twenty, and you will be a pro at it.  You’ll trade cute and snug comfy clothes at home for sweat pants and 99% cotton t-shirts…that’s right, your old high school basketball t-shirt or your partner’s XL pit-stained shirts and you won’t care.  You’ll trade long nights out downtown for some long nights crib-side, and when your nights out happen, you will recover slowly and more painfully than you have ever remembered.  Here are a few others:

  1. Lunch dates for afternoon naps 
  2. An empty tub/shower for a tub full of baby shampoo and water spraying animals
  3. Grey’s Anatomy for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
  4. Laundry day for laundry week
  5. An hour of privacy for a trip alone to the bathroom
  6. Cute designer handbag for an over-sized diaper bag full of every essential your baby will need for an end-of-the-world apocalypse, plus your wallet, sunglasses, tampons, cell phone and tylenol…and you will rock it like it’s a Coach.

You will find yourself leaving your little one to play alone because you will be too tired.  It happens.  What you do with that time is your choice, but you will get creative.  Your living room will be taken over by more toys than decorative Pier 1 pieces.  You’ll buy more AA, AAA, D and C batteries than you ever anticipated because every freaking toy around requires four of every different kind.  There will be times when you think you still “got it”  and sadly you’ll secretly question “I’m still pretty cool, I think?”  Like when you are alone in your car driving to the grocery store like it’s a vacation and you are rocking out to 90’s on 9 on XM.  Impressed that you still remember the lyrics to that Dr. Dre song, at the same time you’ll want to call him out for being inappropriate.  Sigh.

But I also promise that it will be okay.  Just put down that parenting book that has taken you five months to get half way through because in the end, you will use next to none of it.  You will rely on your own instincts and phone calls to your mother.  You’ll call your doctor way too many times.  You’ll overreact, but you will certainly adapt.   And yet these changes won’t end you.  You’ll laugh at it all because when you really think about how much you have changed, it will be funny.

So hang in there love.  Don’t take yourself so seriously.  And remember when you need or even get a wine break and you have no clean glasses:  Anything that is concave is capable of holding that Pinot!