five sleeping babies

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Saturday Charlie came into our room while I was in there, and wandered over to my bedside table and this conversation happened:

Charlie: Mom Mom? What is in that circle box?

Me: Two little hearts.

Charlie: Why, Mom Mom?

Me: Because they are for two babies.

Charlie: What two babies?

Me: Two babies that were in my tummy, but died.

Charlie: What were theirs names?

Me: They didn’t have names. They died before we knew if they were boys or girls. They were very tiny in my tummy when they died.

Charlie: Well….they are somewhere.

Me: Yup. They are. Maybe in heaven with Papa?

Charlie: Yeah. Mom, Mom? Why do you have three pictures of Alice?

Me: Those are not all Alice. That one is. But that one right there is Eddie, and that one there is you.

Charlie: We are alls sleepin’.

Me: Yup. All five babies. Sleeping.

Charlie: I like babies, Mom Mom.

Me: Yup. Me too.


Sometimes the most important conversations happen when you least expect them to. Cortney and I have always made it a policy to always answer our children’s questions in the most age-appropriate, honest way possible. When we brought up this conversation with Eddie, he first reacted in a way that was almost a little funny to me.


He is a little dramatic.

But when I explained to him that he was the first to be born, and that he is a miracle, and that once he was born, we knew what we had to do to have healthy babies–his brother and sister–he was happy again.

Being oldest is important to him.

As it should be.

‘Twas The Night Before Alice

Dear boys,

Tomorrow is the day. Our world will change and our family will be complete. Tomorrow is Alice’s birthday!

I know we are all excited and even a little nervous. We think we know what to expect and we have planned as much as we can, but we also know in our hearts that there are no guarantees. Things could go awry quickly. There is no reason to expect it, but we just don’t know.  So we go into tomorrow with excitement and hope for a healthy baby and mommy.

But there is more, right? We can only guess at how our life will be different. We don’t know. Will Alice be a happy, content baby or will she have colic like Eddie did? Will she be easy to take out of the house, or will she be needy and fussy? We will find out soon!

I have a lot of emotions tonight as I write this. I look around me and see our life. There are Charlie’s trucks and Eddie’s backpack. I see Daddy’s french press and the tablet charging. Our life is nice and routine. We know how to be a family of four: Mommy, Daddy, Eddie, Charlie. Tomorrow it all changes.

How can life be so normal and yet on the verge of such change?

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Boys, I want you to know how thankful I am for all three of you. I know I’ve complained a LOT during this pregnancy, but you have all been so unbelievably helpful and supportive.


You are my number one. You made me a mom almost six years ago. You have been by my side helping and loving on me through this whole thing.

Many times you have said, “no mom! I will get that. I don’t want you to bend too much!” or “I just want to be helpful so you’re not so tired.”  I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to just grab you and squeeze you. How did I get so darn lucky to have a boy so sensitive and giving and kind?

When I have broke down in tears because I feel like a failure of a mom, you have put your hand on my arm and said, “you’re not THAT bad, mom,” and made me laugh. You seemed to always know when I needed a good snuggle, and you never complained that I fell asleep on the weekends during Charlie’s nap leaving you to watch Netflix and play Legos by yourself.

You are a wonderful big brother to Charlie, and I just know you will be everything to Alice too. You already love her so much!  You tell EVERYONE you see that your “very own baby sister will be borned on March 6!”  You told everyone in front of church on Sunday, you’ve told all your Zkids teachers and Mr. F, and you’ve told all your friends. You’ve even told people who you don’t really know!

In the past weeks our conversations about her have increased. You have wondered about her voice and her eyes. You have asked what her laugh will sound like. Eddie, you are amazing.  When I was sick, you worried about your sister being sick too, and admitted that you were afraid she might die in my tummy. That night we prayed together and you asked Jesus to keep your sister and mom safe. I can’t tell you how full you  make my heart, my Eddie Bear.

I promise to still make time for Mommy & Eddie time because our conversations mean so much to me. You made me a mommy and I will never ever take that for granted.

Eddie, you were born to be a Big Brother

Eddie, you were born to be a Big Brother


Oh my sweet little Charlie Bird. You fill my life with exasperation and laughter. You rage fiercely and love even stronger. At a week shy of turning three, you don’t fully understand what is about to happen to our house. Not as much as Eddie understands, anyway. You once told me you don’t like babies because “they get on you.”

However you get very excited to tell people about “Baby Alice!” and how she is coming. You pat my belly and kiss it and say your sister is in there. You have finally given up the nursery as not your room anymore, but that of Baby Alice.

Each time someone gifts us a tiny pink something or other you hug it and say “aw cute!”

Losing the baby status is going to be hard for you, Mr. Charlie Bird. Your love of being small and cute is pretty evident. You use that cuteness whenever you get a chance–although it works better with every other person (your dad included) than it does with me because I’m totally on to you, son.

You are going to love your sister, but also insist we put her down. You will want to give her kisses and then ignore her for your loud trucks. You will make her pretend food and then get angry that she is taking attention off of you. Maybe my predictions will be wrong, but I know you pretty well, my little boy.

But you are quite the lovey bug too. I know once she gets older, you will love on her like you do with Eddie and Dad Dad and me. Floppy newborn will probably not interest you much, but when you first make her laugh, your relationship will change forever. Your love languages are laughter and touch, which makes me think I will have to play defense against your tight hugs and sloppy kisses. But guess what? She will love them. Eddie might be her protector, but you will be her laughter.

Charlie I promise that you will not get shoved to the side. We will make time for Boy Time and Mommy & Charlie time. I will still cuddle with you in the chair before bed and read you stories when you ask.

That smile and that skrunchy nose. Oh Charlie.

That smile and that skrunchy nose. Oh Charlie.


Oh my sweet husband. I don’t know if I have the right words to even begin to tell you how much your love and support has meant to me. Not that this is different than any other area of our relationship, but more times than not I have been reminded how lucky I am to have a partner who is truly my partner. Someone who doesn’t keep score or hold on to hard feelings, but someone who gives everything he is to our team.

You have put up with my complainy, sucks at pregnancy self THREE times and you still love me and want to hug and kiss me every day. That is not too shabby. And I will say to you, WE ARE DONE! As of tomorrow, this is it. No more Pregnant Kate. You get your wife back. You know, sort of. After all that postpartum stuff, that is. But yay! End in sight!

I have spent the past nine months thanking you and apologizing to you over and over. You have picked up so much slack it’s like I wasn’t even here a bunch of the time. I know this burden has weighted on you, but you never say to me, “it’s too much. I just can’t.” Instead, you look at me and say, “it’s what we do. We are a team. You grow the kids. That’s your part.” In fact, just today you thanked me! I asked why and you said, “for growing the humans.”  And I laughed.

That is how we have always gotten through all of this hard stuff: laughter. It must be why our kids have such hilarious senses of humor as well. In all things we find the funny. That is a true gift.

My favorite thing is that through this pregnancy, I have come to re-realize that you are indeed my very best friend in the whole world. I would never want to go through life with anyone other than you.

I hope you know how appreciative I am of everything you do for me and the boys and for Alice. You are going to be the most amazing Dad of a Little Girl. I am sure of it.  You already deal with me and my crazy, what’s one more lady in the house, right?

I promise you that I will keep laughing with you (even when the postpartum hormone rush makes me cry at things like shoes on the wrong feet). I promise to go on dates with you SOON. And I promise to pat your cute butt at inappropriate times, per usual.

Let the weirdness march on!

Let the weirdness march on!

Boys, I am both terrified and thrilled that we are adding a new human to our house of crazy. Sluiter Nation will be more complete when we bring home that pink little bundle.

Just make sure not to run her over with a Tonka truck and I think we will be good.

I love you all so much. Thank you for being the best dudes a lady could ask for.

Now…on to a new adventure!! On to Wonderland with our Alice!


Packing for the Hospital

I’m days away from having my third baby (ON FRIDAY!  WOOT!), and I decided it was probably time I start thinking about packing for the hospital.

Eddie was the only baby I actually went into labor with (if you don’t count my early labor with Alice), so he was the only one I packed a bag for and then just waited. He was also the only one who I packed an actual suitcase for…AND the diaper bag. I laugh every time I think about it.

Seriously? New mom much?

Seriously? New mom much?

I packed a million things, you guys. In my defense, the internet told me to. Really! If you go to BabyCenter or google what to pack for your hospital stay, you get these LISTS! ALL OF THE LISTS! WITH ALL OF THE THINGS ON THEM!

Whenever I look at this picture I roll my eyes because WHERE DID I THINK I WAS GOING? I had no reason to think I would have a C-section at the time, so this was all for one, maybe two, nights? Plus I think I packed 10 different outfits for Eddie. In the end, I didn’t put him in “real clothes” until we were leaving.

And then even WITH a C-section and staying three nights, I didn’t read a book!  I didn’t do a million clothing changes. In fact, I just sat in my gown until the last day because I couldn’t wear it home.

Charlie was a planned repeat C-section. I packed my bag the weekend before (my C-section was on a Tuesday). The bag (just one) that I packed was a Thirty-One Utility Tote. Not even the giant one, but the medium one. I knew I would be there for three nights, but would probably stay in my gown until after the first night because of the IVs and the catheter.  I packed a LOT smarter the second time around.

And this time around, I’m even smarter. Less is more, in my opinion. I mean, the hospital really has almost everything I need.  This is my list:

  • two pairs of comfy jammy pants (one to wear in the hospital, one to go home in)
  • two comfy jammy tops (see above)
  • fuzzy socks
  • a bra and a pair of granny undies (because C-section incision)
  • breast pads
  • shampoo and conditioner in small, travel-size bottles
  • my own soap (otherwise you have to use hand soap. not cool) and face wash and deodorant
  • a brush and a pony tail holder
  • a little bag with lip balm, my meds, and my reading glasses
  • a jammy for Alice
  • my cord blood collection kit
  • a blanket to tuck around Alice because it will be cold when we go home
  • my phone & charger and maybe my Chromebook.
  • my own pillow

That’s it.

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

I have really simplified since my mega-suitcase fiasco from six years ago. I feel like the simplifying isn’t just with hospital bag-packing either. As far as most outings with kids/babies go, I don’t go as overboard as I did with Eddie. Instead of packing the car with every single piece of baby gear we may possibly need, I usually just throw my Moby in the back and shove some diapers, wipes, and bottles in the diaper bag.

How about you? Were you an over-packer when it came to your hospital stay(s) or a “simple” packer?


Don’t forget about the March Book Shower!

The FINAL Final Countdown

This weekend I passed the 36-week mark in my last pregnancy.  We took my final pregnancy “week” photo…ever.

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Like I said before, pregnancy is hard for me. Oh, there are people for whom it is much, MUCH harder, I know. But it is still not my favorite state of being.

But this is not about that.

This is about the fact that in less than three weeks I will be done with child-bearing. People ask, “are you SURE you don’t want more kids?”

No. I am not sure. But I am POSITIVE that I don’t want anymore of them to grow in my body. And my body most definitely agrees with me. I have officially been in the phase of “child-bearing” for seven years. I’ve had five pregnancies, two babies, and God-willing one more in a few weeks. It is enough.

Even though I am more than ready to be done being pregnant forever, of course there is still the little twinge in my heart with those words “last” and “final”. I’m very aware every time she rolls or kicks that these are the last baby movements my body will feel. It’s the last time I will share my body.

I can honestly say that it has been a miracle and an honor to share my body with all three of my children–to use myself to grow them and feed them and love them. And at the exact same time, it has been a rough ride. It’s an odd thing to hold such contradictory feelings at the same exact time.

Being a parent does that to you though. I know it’s happened before having children, but all feelings and emotions are magnified when you bring small humans into the world. The line between love and loathing becomes extremely blurred. I love and loathe this thing called pregnancy. I have never loved anyone so hard as I have loved my children (and my husband since we’ve had children). I have also never felt such exasperation, defeat, guilt, and rage than I have since having children.

I have never wanted to quit as much as I have being a mother.

I have also never wanted to fight for someone else or myself as much as I have being a mother.

I have never laughed or cried as hard as I have since my kids came into this world.

I have never appreciated and hated the small things in this world…like a small hand in mine or crumbs in my favorite chair…so much as I have since children moved into this house.

My heart now knows what it feels like to be filled and broken at the same exact time.

Alice is scheduled to come into the world via Csection on the morning of Friday, March 6 thus ending my child-bearing years.

We are all excited, nervous, and ready and not ready at all.

Just as you would expect.


The last “bump” pic from each baby.


Everything is Fine

“Every pregnancy is different.”

I have heard that over and over this time around and it still never ceases to amaze me how true that is. I know there are a lot of factors that go into it: my age, the way the baby is positioned, maybe even the sex of the baby among many other things.

My pregnancies with the boys were similar, but still not exactly the same. Eddie was a fairly “uneventful” pregnancy compared to his brother and sister.  With Charlie I had partial placenta previa and had to really be careful at work or risk being put on bed rest.

My body really seems to hate being pregnant.

I mean, first of all, it won’t stay pregnant without medical intervention.  Once pregnant, it protests almost the entire time. And it has gotten worse each pregnancy.

It’s not much of a secret that this time around has been incredibly tough on my physically (and subsequently mentally as well). Part of me feels terrible and guilty complaining. So many of my friends have had such a hard time getting pregnant (or can’t get pregnant at all) and would love my problems. But they are still my problems, and I have to give myself permission to not love puking and reflux and pain everywhere. It’s really ok to not love that stuff.

And then yesterday I started to have contractions.

Actually, looking back, it might have been Sunday. I started feeling a little crampy and uncomfortable.  I took a giant nap, but then Sunday night I had an awful night sleep. Not because I wasn’t tired, but because I thought maybe I had gas pains.  Monday it was worse.

By the time my final hour of school came around (thankfully my planning period), I had trouble walking because it was so bad. Rather than pick up Eddie, I let Cortney know I needed to go straight home.

When he got home, he found me in bed. Because I am 35.5 weeks pregnant, we decided just to go in to the hospital and get it checked out.  Thankfully my mom was available to come over and sit with the boys (she ended up also getting them to bed, scrubbing my stove top, and emptying my dishwasher which made me cry because I was exhausted and emotional).

Urgent care sent me directly to the ER who sent me directly upstairs to the birthing floor. I kept saying, “oh we are not staying. This is not me going into labor.”  The nurses later told me that they put me in Room 1, the room that is sort of reserved for people they are sure are not staying.  Phew.

I got all hooked up to the baby monitor thingys. Alice was doing great and moving around. I was having contractions.



By a stroke of grace, my very own OB happened to be there because he was about to deliver a baby.  Not MY baby, thank goodness.

He checked everything and “everything” was not ready to have a baby, thank goodness. So he decided to give me a shot to stop the contractions, test for a UTI, and wait to see what happened.

What happened was a bunch of boring waiting, jitters from the shot, and feeling sorry for myself.

Eventually I was released to go home, given some pain meds that would help me sleep, and a bunch of info sheets about what to watch for in pre-term labor.

Everything is fine.

But I couldn’t help thinking of that phrase “every pregnancy is different” as I fell asleep last night.  I know you’re not supposed to wish time away. I know I’m supposed to cherish these last few weeks…especially because it’s my last, but I can’t help but want March 6 to get here and have everything just be fine.

Everything will be just fine.

Musing at 34 weeks, 3 days pregnant

I feel like a large, useless blob.

I know, I know. I’m not “useless”. I’m growing a human. I KNOW.

As a self-proclaimed mega fan of being lazy, I really suck at it when it’s thrust upon me. Under normal circumstances, I will gladly and enthusiastically take a day to sit on my butt with a cup of tea and a book and a nap. However at this sage in my pregnancy I want to do all the things and I can’t.

For me, pregnancy brings a whole bag of emotions the largest and most pronounced being guilt.

The thoughts come fast and in no particular order. It usually starts because I am sitting on the couch looking around at all the things I want done: dusting, vacuuming, walls washed, lamp shades cleaned, leather furniture cleaned, floors scrubbed…is that a fruit loop? When did we last have fruit loops in this house? Aw geez.

I can’t do much.

For one, I have something wrong with one of my knees. They can’t really do anything about it until after pregnancy, so we are just sort of babying it until then, half-hoping it’s just loose ligaments that will feel better after baby is born. But because of it, I am not just a waddling pregnant lady, I am sort of a limping one too. I’ve been told to give up stairs as much as possible.

That combined with the largeness of my belly (I’m measuring 2 weeks ahead), makes sitting on the floor an impossibility as well.  Ok, getting UP from the floor is the impossible part. Also not Ok anymore is being on my hands and knees to help look for a small toy or to scrub floors the way I want them scrubbed.

Saturday while Cortney was out getting groceries, I thought I would show him some appreciation for all the work he has put in to make our house run smoothly while I am entering the “Useless” phase of pregnancy by baking him the chocolate chip cookies he’s been craving. I figured cleaning up some of the kitchen while at it was no big deal. Then I got it in my head that picking up my 31-pound almost 3-year old and dancing around the kitchen to the Beatles was Ok.

It was so not Ok that I got crampy and awful feeling for the rest of the day.

I spend a lot of time saying “I can’t, I’m sorry boys.”

I see the stuff I want to clean and scrub–partly because I am feeling all nesting-ish, but because normally I would do those things on the weekends. And even though he says to do it, I don’t want to add those things to Cortney’s already long To Do list.

I feel guilty not doing “my share” even though logically I know that by growing a baby, I am doing “my share” right now.

And then I start to hate pregnancy.

So there’s more guilt there. As far as nature is concerned, my children should not be possible. I needed medical intervention to keep them alive in my belly AND to keep them (and me) alive through the birthing process. The fact that we have two healthy boys and a little girl on the way is nothing short of a miracle.

How can I hate that? Why can’t I just sit back, enjoy it, and glow like I should?

So I am a ball of emotions. Those emotions make me cry. I’m ready to be done being pregnant…which also makes me feel guilt, by the way.

I want to clean my house and have a baby.

But of course it’s not ever that simple.

The Home Stretch


I just fell over laughing at this comparison.

First, I apparently gave up with Eddie and Charlie by this point. Was I living in jammies or what? I mean, I look homeless in the Eddie shot.

Secondly each tummy is progressively bigger…like it’s giving up a little with each pregnancy. It’s all “look how cute and small I still am” with Eddie and now with Alice it’s all “ugg. dude. get it OVER with already.”

It’s also funny to me that I have a helper in the Charlie photo because look:

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Yup, Charlie was all sorts of excited to help me out with the Alice picture!

So I’m officially in the 8th month of my last pregnancy. Suddenly all the “Alice Will Be Here Soon” things are starting to happen: My sub for the rest of the school year has been hired. My 12 weeks off has been approved and put in the system. I have done a load of baby laundry. We have a lot of the infant stuff located. We even have some diapers and a stockpile of formula.

We need to put the car seat bases into our vehicles which may be a bit of a puzzling challenge with the other two 5-point harness seats in there already, but we will make it work.

We need to dust off the swing and the bounce seat.

I have a colleague who is generously giving us their rock n play for Alice to use, and we probably should get some more baby pants and socks and hats.

We need to find the bottles and wash them.

We should probably get serious about organizing what the heck we are doing with school pick up and such while I am still healing from surgery. I thought about making some freezer meals, but we all know I don’t have time for that. I will just accept whatever comes our way and ask Cortney to pick me up a taco the other times.

I am starting to feel the need to reduce everything extraneous from our schedule and prepare to hunker down in the baby daze. I am excited to have that small bundle in my arms rather than kicking my butt…from the inside.  I want all the things in my house clean, but I also want all the naps to be mine.

And there is that wee small part of me that realizes that this is the beginning of the end.

No more pregnancies after this. 98% of me says THANK GOODNESS! That tiny 2% of me is like “aw”.

We are in that home stretch of reaching brand new territory.  Only one more monthly photo to go before show time!

Blissfully Ignorant

“I think I’m afraid of her already,” I told my therapist.

“What do you mean by ‘afraid’?”

“I don’t even know, I’m not sure ‘afraid’ is the right word at all. But I feel something foreboding. Something that is like fear.”

I’d been trying to find a word to name the feeling that keeps coming up whenever people ask me if I am just so excited to have a daughter. I mean, I don’t want to say “no” because that’s not true.  But “excited” seems not right either. Or maybe it is.

I do get excited as I sort onsies by size and decide which of the boys’ jammies (the ones that don’t say “mommy’s little man”) Alice will be able to wear. Each pair of shoes or dress that someone gifts her makes me smile in a way I never did over all those little man clothes I so love.  It’s almost a smooshy, ridiculous smile. The kind you get when you’re twelve and you fall hard for that one boy in class you will never talk to…a dreamy smile.

Imagining headbands and white mary janes makes me turn all goofy in a way I never have before. So I guess I can’t say I’m NOT excited, because those seem like pretty clear indications of excitement on my part.

But there is something else pulling at me.

Something unsure.

“You know what I think it is,” I tell my therapist, “it’s that I remember too much.” I was pretty pleased with myself for this breakthrough, but it was clear she didn’t get what I was talking about, but it was becoming clearer in my mind.

I remember way too much of my childhood…of what was rough as a girl growing up. I remember how tough middle school was. I remember the choices in front of me in high school and college. I know what adolescent icky feels like for a girl. I remember all the uncomfortable firsts that felt not just “uncomfortable” but horrible.

With the boys, I don’t have these memories. I was never a little boy, or an adolescent boy, or a teenage boy, or a college boy.  I knew many of these boys. I married one, but I was blissfully ignorant to their first-person experiences. I didn’t have to go through it, so as a mom, I could be the facts and support when my boys went through it, but I would never be “re-living” it.

I have never had a desire to have a daughter until I knew there was one in my tummy. The thought of re-living my girlhood is the last thing I ever want to do. In fact, I hate that I can remember so much of those painfully lonely and embarrassed moments so vividly.

It had nothing to do with my upbringing either. My parents were wonderful and loving. No, it had everything to do with just “girl stuff”.

Girl stuff that I has, up until very recently, been shoved to the back regions of my memory never to be brought out unless a Boys II Men song comes on and inadvertently triggers it.

Now I will go through all those stages again via my daughter, and just like the first time, I won’t be able to “fix” any of the loneliness that goes with it. I won’t be able to prevent the embarrassment over non-embarrassing things. I won’t be able to stop that boy (or girl) who Alice likes so much from saying that mean thing that she never forgets.

So I guess I’m not afraid of Alice. I’m afraid for her.

I am sitting here, feeling her turn and kick and hiccup, and I can’t do a damn thing about what is coming down the road that “happens to us all” and I hate that.

The best I can do is love her.

I hope that is enough.

I hope that love with be what leads me to the right words when she feels ugly or ashamed or lonely. I hope that love closes my mouth when necessary and opens my ears and arms.

I hope the good outweighs the scary.

Growing a Sluiter

Because my blog went wonky for a few months, I haven’t been putting many pictures up. BUT that is FIXED! So I can finally share some bump photos.

I had my 28ish week OB appointment yesterday along with my glucose test (which I passed!  Woot!), and I am measuring at 30 weeks.  That is exactly how I was with both boys. I was was always measuring 2 weeks ahead by this time.

Check out all three pregnancies…


So here we are at 20 weeks.


I would say that my level of caring what I looked like took the biggest dip with my Charlie pregnancy. Either that or I was just gross that pregnancy.

and 24-25 weeks depending on when I remembered to take the picture.

and 24-25 weeks depending on when I remembered to take the picture.

I don’t look as bad in that picture with Charlie. But I hated my hair. Never make a decision to chop off all your hair when you are pregnant.

and this is where I am with Alice now...the 28th week.

and this is where I am with Alice now…the 28th week.

These pictures crack me up because I can’t stop looking at how young and dumb I was when I was pregnant with Eddie. I had no idea what was coming. I know that sounds cliche, but I just didn’t.  And with Charlie I was already tired thinking about what he could be like as a newborn (Eddie was a colicky mess).

This time, as my OB says, I am a veteran. I know both the difficult and the easy things that could lie ahead. Because everything is looking great and exactly how I carried and measured with the first two, my OB has even spaced out my visits for me so that I don’t have to come in so often just to be measured. That means I only have maybe 5 more OB visits and then the C-section on March 6.

For those keeping track, that means I only have 10 more weeks left. Ten weeks from today will be my last day of teaching for this school year.

And then Alice will be here.

Our family will be complete.

twenty-eight weeks, eleven to go

Dear Alice,

If everything goes ok and you and I both stay nice and healthy, we have eleven more weeks of you on the inside. At this time (9:04am) in eleven weeks, you will probably be here. Your brothers may already have met you.

Baby girl clothes have been showing up from friends who have older girls. Really cute hand-me-downs, and even a few new things have arrived in the mail. As I hold them I have all these mixed feelings. I’ll be honest with you, Alice. I am scared to be a “Girl Mom”.  It might be silly, but I feel like I don’t know how. All these dresses and cutesy things…they are so foreign to me. Tiny mary jane-style shoes and flowery shirts are a far cry from little man khakis and cardigan sweaters. I’m used to converse and bow ties. I’m used to dressing up tiny little men. I’m used to boys.

You are a little scary to me.

Daddy keeps reminding me that you are not going to be born an 8-year old with an opinion. That you will be a small cuddly baby who will need me to feed you, and change you, and cuddle you. That I know how to do all of those things very, very well. He is right, and I am very VERY much looking forward to those first couple months when it’s just you and me and time to be together.

But as I rock Charlie before bed, I look around the nursery. I imagine your name on the wall instead of his, your clothes hanging in the closet instead of his sweaters, your shoes lined up instead of his, the trucks put downstairs to make way for whatever you love. And it’s weird.

When I was pregnant with Charlie, the only things I put away from the nursery were things that said “Eddie” on them. Now I am also gathering up “boy stuff” to put in the “boy room” downstairs. I want a clean slate for you. It’s very possible you will also be in love with trains and trucks, and that is great! We have lots! But maybe you will love baby dolls and My Little Ponies, and I want the room to be ready for that too.

So it’s strange.

I’ve had two babies before you, but it’s feels like I am starting over from scratch. I feel that sense of not knowing what to expect all over again. In fact, I have been so nervous about it, I have refused to let go of the boy clothes I have in storage that Charlie has grown out of simply because…well…what if you’re NOT a girl?

I mean, I SAW the ultrasound. I know there are no boy bits. I know that. But something in my head just can’t wrap itself around a GIRL.

I want you to be here. I want you to be real. I want a daughter.

But I am afraid.

I hope it’s Ok to admit that to you.

Eleven more weeks and you will be on the outside, but still in my arms.

I’m very excited, Alice. Despite the nerves.

I promise.

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