We've been in this thing together for 30 weeks now and you're just now getting a letter. Welcome to third child-dom, my littlest love. It doesn't mean I cherish you one ounce less than your brother and sister. It's just that I never get a chance to sit down and pen a letter to you - or even sit down in general. Until now.
You're growing like a weed, and I adore the feeling of your rumblings and kicks and hiccups all day long. Our doctor has been quick to warn us that because of the anterior placement of the placenta during this pregnancy, I may not feel quite as much movement - and not to worry if that's the case. But just the opposite has been true. I think you've been our most active baby yet, and your Daddy and your brother love to watch you roll and tumble under my skin.
You've been my constant companion at the hospital and the center of many conversations with patients. The other night at work was an especially heavy one as one of my patients neared the end of his life. The medical team and the patient's family were in agreement that he should be transitioned to "comfort care" and his tube feedings (his only source of nutrition as he wasn't alert enough to eat by mouth) would stop. It fell on me - his nurse - to actually stop those feedings.
My legs felt heavier than lead as I walked to his room to stop the feedings and remove his IV. As I entered the room, I rested my hand on his smooth, bald head and whispered the words of Numbers 6:24-26:
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
He continued to sleep peacefully as I reached up to turn off the feeding pump. As soon as I did, you did a giant leap in my belly. It was one of your biggest movement yet, and was such a stunning reminder of life in the midst of impending death. You brought tears in my eyes with the realization that that's what we all, as believers, are called to be: a stunning reminder of life - of joy, hope, resurrection, and our incredibly bright future - in the midst of a dying world. I pray you continue to do just that, little one. Continue to remind us all of Jesus, the only true Source of life in this passing world.
I'll admit that there's a piece of me that's anxious about what life will look like as a family of five. Will we be able to handle the sleepless months, the noise, the mess? But then I remember what a gift you are: hoped for, dreamed about, prayed for, deeply desired. I know the instant you're out, I'll never be able to imagine our family without you in it. If you come along the same timeline that your siblings did, we've got less than 9 weeks with you on the inside. I can hardly wait to see your face.
I love you, little rainbow baby,