Dear Baby

Hello Farmgirls! The baby hasn’t come yet. I am writing this on Tuesday as I have predicted that the baby will be arriving on Wednesday the 15th (or at least making an uncomfortable fuss). It is a full moon, and just two days from the due date. But who knows?

Nesting instincts took over for part of last week, leaving me with a freezer full of delicious home cooked food, clean baby clothes, clean car, contact list for baby’s arrival, and a packed bag for the birth center. Recently, I’ve shifted to feeling more contemplative. A result of this is a letter to our future little nugget. It seemed like a necessary thing for me to do, and I’d like to share it with you all!

Baby, You are in that belly. Come out whenever you’re ready!

Baby Wilder, I love you. I’ve been wanting to write something for you for several days, now. Where is my inspiration? I don’t know, pregnancy brain? I get inspired doing the most menial of things…driving home from Evan’s bus stop, looking for the perfect bunch of bananas, putting on boots to get to the outhouse. But then, it vanishes. I feel like there are such beautiful words stuck on the precipice of my mind–words that can explain this mysterious, exciting and terrifying journey that we are about to embark upon. I will try to tap into that spot…

Exploring the unknown is intriguing. I feel that I have excelled at exploring the unknown for the last 10 years or so. This hasn’t always been the case. I had my whole life planned out at one point (but I was 17, what did I know?). Then, everything changed. I became an escapist of sorts; I became one who delved into opportunities as they arose, often with little knowledge of what I was getting myself into. Carpe diem! Sure, I still had goals and desires, but I didn’t let those hinder chances of adventure. I chose my university without having visited it, although I had visited all of the others that I was accepted to. I worked in Korea after being recruited even though I had applied to jobs all over the United States in places that I knew and loved. I traveled solo for extended periods of time through foreign countries, all with rough itineraries and a base knowledge of the people and land, but nothing too in depth. Evan and I moved to Alaska because it seemed like a cool thing to do. I like to learn along the way. I like to dive in headfirst and come out with a deeper understanding of myself and the world. I think I’ve succeeded a bit in these endeavors. I’ve learned just as much from failed attempts as I have from surprise successes, and I’ve had to navigate through tough terrain (both literally and figuratively). I believe these experiences have been immensely beneficial in preparing me for pregnancy and becoming a mother.

There are parallels between this desire for the unknown and my experience with pregnancy. I really had very little idea of what I was doing. We just knew we were ready to dive in head first into the parenthood club. At each step of the way I’ve read, asked questions and researched what was going on. We’ve been excited, scared, happy and anxious. And we’re going to come out with a new family, new set of skills and new knowledge that will hopefully help friends and family in the future. You only get to become a new parent once, and I for one am so excited we’ve gone about it like we have–without too many expectations and with open hearts and minds.

My physical body has changed a lot during the last nine months…forty pounds heavier, boobs that I never, ever thought would be on my body, super thick hair, and clear skin (!). I haven’t attempted to tie my own shoes (or wear shoes that require tying) for over a month. Cutting toenails? It’s a chore. It seems rather evil that my nails grow ten times faster than usual but I can barely reach my feet and breath at the same time. My feet ache after standing for more than a couple of hours, and my hips get dreadfully sore while sleeping. The need to turn in bed wakes me up, as I need to consciously shift my body weight by using rafters above the bed (it’s a low ceiling in the loft). I have a diastasis recti. I think this is the only physical thing that I am truly unhappy about and worry that it will not improve after birth. I have back fat–back fat! It creates rolls when I am in the correct position. I waddle now and get breathless after a 1/2 mile walk. When I do find myself on my back, I get lightheaded from the weight of you and my uterus pressing against the vena cava. Sometimes, it feels like you are punching my bowels, other times the jabs are more near the kidneys. It’s such a visceral experience. I think you may be taking over in there; it’s hard to believe my other organs have much room (and they don’t, as evidenced by persistent indigestion and frequent urination).

My emotional and mental bodies have changed as well. I cry easily (over things sad and beautiful) and go through bouts of listlessness and distraction. I lack a personal motivation to do…well, anything really! All I want to do is talk about you and pregnancy and the feelings involved with bringing a new person into the world. I feel less intellectual and more out of touch. Listening to the news and attempting to be concerned with the same BS that has been going on forever (things that would normally get me riled up) just don’t do it for me at the moment. I could probably even listen to Rush Limbaugh and feel fairly apathetic. When I hear of impending environmental disasters and small farms going under and worldwide catastrophes, I have little to say. I have little to say because I think some of my critical thinking skills have been taken over by hormones. What has happened to me?! I have become a slave to pregnancy brain.

But,

You know what?

I love you.

And I would do this a million x infinity more times just for you.

I am a woman of few expectations. One of my expectations is that things will generally not go as expected. This has saved me from a lot of anxiety and stress over the years, and it has also blessed me with pleasant surprises when things go as planned. So, for you, I also have few expectations. I do, however, have hopes and dreams…

I hope that you will never shy away from that which piques your curiosity and that you will laugh in the face of nay-sayers who will inevitably pop up in your life. I hope that you will cultivate your individuality while maintaining links with others that you can barely live without. When facing adversity, I hope you take a moment to analyze the situation before making any impulsive decisions or actions. I hope you define success for yourself. I hope you question that which is deemed “normal” by society.

I dream of you traveling far and wide to build upon your repertoire of experiences and to discover some of the deeper aspects of yourself, of humanity and of the natural world. I dream of you loving fully and unabashedly those who you consider friends, lovers and partners. I dream of you sharing your experiences with those who can learn from them (but not in a boastful way). I dream of you having your own children some day and looking back on your upbringing as lovely and something you’d like to replicate.

Most of all, I dream and hope (and expect!) that you will be happy most of the time, feel loved all of the time and know that life is what you make of it.

We love you so much already, and we don’t even know you. You are our special little one, our newest adventure, our pride and joy, a beautiful creation of love and the beginning of the rest of our lives.

We are excited to meet you, little Baby Wilder. Whenever you’re ready, we are here with stories to tell, songs to sing, and a lot of love to give.

Love,

Your Mama

Leave a comment 13 Comments

  1. Becky Bartlett says:

    What a blessing to leave for your baby. You and Evan are so adventurous and now will have a new person to open the world with. Watching a child explore their world is truly a blessing. Love you guys!
    Becky

  2. Mary Fenske says:

    Alex,
    What a soulful and lovely letter to your child. I wish you the best of luck as you embark on this new journey and look forward to hearing of your parenting experiences.

  3. Kay Ruh says:

    Wow, your letter brought tears to my eyes. We have always known that this baby is very lucky to be born to you and Evan, and are thrilled for you both and all of us!! You are the ones that should be having babies. We anxiously await news of Baby Wilder’s arrival.
    Love to you both,
    Kay and Bill

  4. MaryJane says:

    Baby Wilder, we await your arrival. Your mama has already prepared a keepsake for you-a letter you’ll cherish some day, some place. Welcome to planet earth, dear little one. You’ve chosen your parents well.

  5. jenna klink says:

    alex, this is beautiful! you are such a great writer. the fact that you "do this a million x infinity more times just for you." proves that you are going to be the. most. amazing. mother! pregnancy is not easy–at least not always! is the babe’s name wilder or is that a nickname? if you’re bored at all before the babe calls give me a call, if not…tap into that awesome woman power you have while birthing this beauty, stay present, do not worry about what time it is or how far along you are, and remember it will not last forever–the more you give in to the contractions and work with the babe, the quicker the babe will be here! love you SO much woman!

  6. Adrienne says:

    Amen, Alex.

  7. Debbie says:

    Dear Alex,
    This is beautiful. You are beautiful and yes, you are about to embark on THE greatest adventure of your lives… But you already know that! We are living parallel lives right now, sort of. As you await the arrival of Baby Wilder I am celebrating our first born turning 18. I too am writing a letter… Much love, many blessings.
    You have all you need to be a mama! A good heart, and an able body! Both will get a work out beyond what you can ever imagine but it’s the best all human workout I know of.
    Deb, ( beach farmgirl ) can’t wait to see the little fella!

  8. Janie says:

    I recall the feelings and thought of wonder I had as I waited for my first childs birth 34 years ago tomorrow. She has been my greatest gift and biggest blessing. My wish for you is one of love and joy as you embark on the incredible wonder of motherhood.
    Remember to write down details of babys birth soon afterward so you dont forget. In my experience, time fades some of those precious memories and my children have relished the telling of their journey. Blessings!

  9. Jenny Holm says:

    Alex, I’m so thrilled for you and Evan and the little boy you are about to bring into the world. This letter is beautiful and inspiring not just for your baby, but for everyone who reads it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us all on the eve of this incredible journey you are about to embark on. Bon voyage! My heart is with you!————————————————————————————————Thanks, Jenny! We actually don’t know if it’s going to be a boy or a girl! Wilder is the last name the babe will have. It’s a combo of our last names and we’ll change ours when we get married. The baby is still holding strong and hasn’t shown signs of imminent arrival, yet!

  10. Charlene says:

    Alex,I just want to tell how much I look forward to you blogs. and sharing your life adventures. You and Evan are going to be terrific parents. Can’t wait to meet baby Wilder…

  11. Joan says:

    God Bless y’all!!!

  12. Joy Pascarella says:

    That was beautiful! You’re taking the time to feel and think things through. You two will make wonderful parents. God bless you!

  13. Stephanie says:

    What a beautiful photo and blog! Will be looking for pictures after the big arrival. Thanks for letting us share this wonderful time along with you!

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