Monday, January 30, 2012

To Whom it May Concern

Dear Second Pierce Child Who Refuses to Be Conceived,

I get it. You won't be rushed. Unlike your older sister, you aren't in any huge hurry to meet me and Shawn. So be it. We will (continue to) wait.

But just in case you're wondering about things around here, let me tell you, it's good. It's all good.

We aren't novices anymore, not like we were in 2008 when Violet came along. We get babies now. At least we did. Not trying to pressure you or anything, but we might actually be a bit rusty if you don't come pretty soon. I promise I'll remember enough that I won't fret over some imaginary baby schedule or worry about following advice from an article in Parents magazine, but I'd still like it if you'd try to get here soon. I don't think your Daddy has changed a diaper in over a year, so expect a brief re-acclimation period there.

Did I mention I'm only working part-time? That's a perk Violet didn't get until she turned 1, but you could have it from the get-go. And I think we can get the same awesome babysitter for you that we've had for your sister all these years. You'll call her Grammy and she'll be WILD for you!

We honestly don't have a preference on your gender. Penis? Vagina? Don't let that decision hold you up. Bring it. I think your sister would like you to be a girl, but that's only because all of her baby dolls are girls and she doesn't have a boy name picked out. If you're a girl, she'd like to name you Lucy. Should you decide you'd like a penis, we'll love you just the same. And Daddy would be excited to tip the gender balance of the house back in his direction.

Now, I cannot promise you much in the way of material things. We have a nice, comfortable, cleanish house. You'll get a room in the house when you're ready for it. You'll always have clothes and toys and a bike and I know that because I know your grandparents. You'll get fed regularly; nursed for as long as we both care to and a pretty good mix of healthy and yummy vittles after that. No, you can't drink soda.

Your Dad has really come into his own in the last 3+ years. He is relishing being the daddy and I know he will scoop you up and never look back. We promised to stay together forever and I can tell you neither of us has changed our minds about that nor will we. So that's one thing you won't have to worry about.

Will we embarrass you? For sure. Your Daddy probably won't make you cringe as much as I will, but I'm sure from time to time we'll both have you rolling your eyes. We already love your as-yet unmapped chromosomes so very much that we can cry just from longing for you. So, yeah. Get ready for it.

You have no idea about the host of people who are over here for you when you come. I already mentioned your grandparents--you'll have 3 waiting when you get here. There is also a whole host of aunts and uncles, a slew of cousins (such fun for you!), and more friends than you can count! And I know I keep talking about Violet, but, that's because she is quite possible going to be your biggest fan. Unlike you, she was quite eager to join our family and she's eager to get you here, too. I can't say for sure, but I think she'd even be willing to give up her coveted spot sleeping between me and your Dad for you when you get here. Don't hold me to that, however. I do know that you'll love her to pieces. If you manage to learn from her even a fraction of all the amazing things she has taught me, you'll be the envy of the playground.

Speaking of playgrounds, we go to them quite often. Picnics, too. And we like to swim and bike, camp and cook. We'll take you to the drive-in and dance with you in the kitchen. If you're into art, I'll make sure you always have plenty of paints and a blank canvas. Trips to the library, walks through the neighborhood, feeding the ducks, museum visits galore, classes and snow angels; we'll see to it you get to do all of that.

Daddy and I are doing what we need to be doing to bring you here. If it's the coffee you don't like, just say the word and I'll nix it. But I'll give you a really crappy middle name. Just kidding, of course. If being a twinkle in Daddy's eye is really so hard to give up, maybe it would help you to know that he's going to be taking well over 100,000 photos of you before you turn 3. Not so different from being a twinkle, really. Except unlike being just a twinkle, you'll get to experience real hugs from the 3 other Pierces currently waiting on you. You just can't get that as a twinkle.

So at the risk of going completely Mommy on you:

Get over here right this instant. And I mean it.


Your Terribly Impatient Future Mommy

Giving Due Credit: Stole the lovely idea to write to a pre-baby from this blog: It worked for her.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Relief from Worry

I had an ultrasound on Monday. That's the second one in two months, if you're counting. And it was the second decidedly un-fun ultrasound of my life. During my routine annual exam two weeks ago my doctor felt an abnormality while she was palpating my abdomen. She pressed down twice on my right side under my rib cage. "Hmmm, that's funny. I can feel your liver." She guided my hand to the area, had me breath in and let me feel it too.

To save space, I will just tell you that most people's livers are completely contained by the ribcage and only occasionally can a normal liver be felt under the costal margin (below the ribs). My liver function blood tests came back normal, but to be sure, I was ordered to have an ultrasound to rule out "tumors." Not my phrasing but the doctor's.

I won't rehash the entirety of my thought process from the last two weeks, but I can tell you I have picked out the one of my friends that I'd like Shawn to marry when he's ready to take another wife. She's adorable, likes country music, and most importantly would be a wonderful step-mother to Violet. I know she would love her as if she were her own and never make Violet feel like a step child even if she and Shawn went on to have more children together.

So, yeah. I've been pretty worried.

I love my fucking life.

Just as it is.

Violet's hair is getting so long.

She's never had a school picture taken.

Seeing the mall makes her excited.

Stories about the day she was born are some of her favorites.

She just dropped her first f-bomb. ("Come on fuckers!" as we waited in the car at preschool drop off line at her Catholic school. Eek.)

She likes Indian food. All of the people she draws are smiling. She is delightfully literal but starting to pick up on sarcasm. She calls hummus "thomas." There is a girl in her class who Violet is convinced is named Elf. When someone is sick she brings them a glass of water. She regularly tells me, "I love Daddy."

Having a shadow, a hint, an outside chance that something would come between me and being this kid's Mommy for a long, long, time is unacceptable.

My liver is not going to be that something. The ultrasound tech told me I have the most beautiful anatomy she's seen in a long time and the doctor confirmed her findings. All those parts seem to be in acceptable working order, thank heavens.

This whole thing has really reminded me that nothing is permanent. Even the things that should be givens, should be exempt from life's shitty rules, sometimes are not. Parents lose children. Kids lose parents. We are all working under the assumption that it won't be us, and that's probably for the best. But every now and then, it is worth it take a second and squeeze a bit tighter to that little hand, just because.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

If You're Happy and You Know It

The first week of January has been, much to my surprise, wonderful. Not tolerable, not manageable, not even just okay; it has truly been a great week. Shocker.

In December, I started a new job working for a small non-profit that provides support groups for young people experiencing grief. This was my third week and I am starting to get over my newbie jitters and see how much I am really going to enjoy being involved with this organization. The mission is so important and the kids in the program are receiving a service that just isn't available anywhere else in our area. We serve kids from the age of 3 all the way through young adults and it seems that being with other kids who have lost a loved one is the best therapy for them. I am working part-time as the Volunteer Coordinator and so far I really feel that I made a great decision when I changed jobs.

I am not the only one who has made a change in 2012. On January 4th, Violet had her very first ever day of preschool. We visited several schools in December looking for the right one. In the end, both Violet and Shawn and I decided that we'd send her to the same school where both of her cousins already attend. It's a parochial school and is the parish where Violet was baptized. Though we aren't what you'd call active parishioners, we do feel connected to the community there and I think the grade school is one of the best choices in our area. Nonetheless, I was nervous.

Starting on New Years Day, Violet started abiding by her first real bedtime. Since preschool begins at 8am, we didn't want her to be a little basket case when her first 7am wake up call rolled around. I am amazed at how easily our night owl transitioned to a more reasonable bedtime. The night before her first morning of school, she fell asleep around 8:30. I was the one who tossed and turned. I kept dreaming that I had left her in a crowd by herself. No Freudian interpretation needed on that one.

Though Violet did have some jitters on that first morning as we walked in, she was braver than I ever would have imagined. She complained a few times that her tummy hurt--nerves no doubt--and I did stay with her for about 30 minutes while she warmed up to her new classroom. But by about 8:35, she was reluctantly coloring at a table and I sneaked out unnoticed. When Grammy and I picked her up at 12:30, she was all smiles. Her teacher said she did wonderfully and Day Two was even smoother.

The weather this past week has also been unseasonably warm and sunny. We've gotten to take Violet on several wagon rides and have spent more than our share of time outdoors for any Hoosiers in January. Cold, gray, days are usually all that Indiana has to offer those of us suffering from a holiday hangover but this year she actually managed to cheer us up with some blue skies and 50's. I know it won't last, but I am going to take it for now.