A Letter to My Pregnant Self, Who Wished for ‘Happy and Healthy’ Babies
Dear Pregnant Self,
First off, let’s get something straight: you have absolutely no idea what’s about to go down. You’re sitting there, ginger ale in one hand, “Baby Wise” in the other, attempting to wrap your mind AKA gain control over this whole child-rearing thing. Spoiler alert: just like every other season of your life, things won’t quite turn out the way you imagine. They’ll be better, but completely different than what you are picturing.
If you have said it once, you have said it a thousand times:
“So do you think you are having boys or girls? Or one of each?”
“I don’t know” (insert surprised face, as if you have never thought about it). “But we don’t care, as long as they are happy and healthy.” (Smile, as if you had ever even thought about the possibility that either of those things would not be true.)
We have all said it. It slips off of our tongues as quickly as a “Good,” after a “How are you?” (Which, by the way, we always respond with good. Does the stranger passing on the street really have time to hear about all of our struggles or woes?)
“As long as they are happy and healthy.”
First off, let’s be real. That first part, the “we don’t care,” that’s a lie. You and Hugh have talked about it a lot and both of you would love a boy and a girl. You know, because every American family has a boy, a girl, and a white picket fence to boot. Secondly, what does “happy and healthy” even mean? You say it in such a robotic manner, but the truth is, what you mean by that is you want a “normal” baby, whatever normal means.
Kids are walking germ sponges. Everyone anticipates their little one to get sick a lot as a child, you know, to build their immune systems up (which by the way, this won’t apply to you either… but we will get there eventually). The saying is bizarre. It’s not like we want our children to pop out of the womb with the immune system of an adult, a layer of antibacterial solution seeping out of his or her pores at all times.
And, beyond that, happy? Can you imagine a little person who grows up with a jovial smile on their face at all times? Not only would this be creepy, it would be unrealistic. Furthermore, haven’t some of your biggest times of spiritual growth come from those “not so happy” times?
The thing, pregnant self, is this: the world is going to look at the two baby girls that you are about to have as two girls who don’t fall into the, “happy and healthy” statistic.
But you believe that God’s rigged this whole thing, and that in His eyes, your girls are going to be much, much more than happy and healthy. You believe that they are going to be two beautiful beings that shine His light to all that come in contact with them. You believe that they are going to teach you, and those around you, more about His love than any other person (outside of that good looking, patient husband of yours!) ever has.
It will be harder at times than you would have ever planned for, yet more amazing and purposeful than you could have ever dreamed. Not always happy and healthy, yet always immensely loved and desired.
You will keep saying this whole “happy and healthy” thing, even after the girls are born, for a couple months at least. And that’s okay. There’s grace there. The truth is, we all tend to say and do some pretty careless things until we have put on shoes that teach us otherwise. But trust me on this one: you will be thankful for those shoes. No matter what you think now, there will be a time where you would not have it any other way, for you will believe it is God’s best for your family.
Dear pregnant self: you, too, are so very loved. Hold on tight, for an adventure beyond anything you have ever imagined is right around the corner.
A somewhat wiser, absolutely sleepier, future you
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