Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Week 22 Letter: The people you won't get to meet

My dearest little one,

Hello there, precious. Did you know that every day I spend with you is such a blessing? I grow more and more thankful for your presence in our lives with every day. I already can't imagine life without you. I am so very thankful for you.

However, life is not always so wonderful. This week and next week, my letters to you will be a little less than peppy. But while they are sad, they are also filled with such love. And with important information that I so desperately want you to know.

When you arrive here, to join our lives and fill it with love, there will be some people that will not be here to meet you. The most unfortunate part of this life is that eventually, it must end. We don't know when, and rarely know how. Loss is the worst thing we can feel as people, and while it gets easier, there is no way to prepare for a sudden loss of a loved one. So I want you to know of those who came before you, and who you will be unable to meet.

My Grandpa Trefney was an excellent Grandpa. I was the apple of his eye from day one, as my family had suffered the pain of infant loss previous to my birth. He was caring and thoughtful. Even though we had different interests, he was always involved in the lives of his grandchildren. Your Great Grandpa loved sailing, and the water, and your Auntie Chelsey carries on that aspect of his spirit. I have a particularly wonderful memory of your Great Grandpa. When I was growing into a teenager, he wrote me a heartfelt letter about how proud he was of me, and the lovely woman I was turning in to. It was so meaningful. Your Great Grandpa is dearly missed, but always loved.

My Uncle Don died suddenly in 2009. His loss was the type that you are never ready for--one day, he was here and healthy, the next day, he was gone. It was particularly devestating to his wonderful family--Aunt Mary and 4 children, as well as to the rest of us. Uncle Don was the youngest of his brothers, so his loss seemed to make no sense. But you will find, dearest, that loss seldom does. One of my most treasured memories of Uncle Don, I will one day get to show you. He is dancing, joyously dancing, throughout our wedding video. That's the kind of guy he was--full of love and joy and action. He was so loved, and still missed every moment.

You have already met Papa, albeit briefly. He was the smiling, happy man, fresh with new angel wings, who rocked you and kissed you before he sent you on to my tummy. I am absolutely confident of this. He wasn't in heaven long before you had to leave it. Papa was another sudden loss. In fact, I was fully expecting to hug him tightly when I came home for Thanksgiving. But we lost him suddenly just days after my birthday. Your Papa was a vibrant, opinionated man. He loved sports, just like Mommy and Daddy. He loved his family with all he had. His loss is still so raw that it remains difficult to process. He should have been here to meet you. But instead, you met him in heaven, will have to do.

On Daddy's side, you won't get to meet your Great Grandpas, either. Also, one Great Grandma. I am going to have daddy write some things to tell you, as I was unfortunately unable to meet any of them. But I know that they were all loved as well, and that we all wish you could know them, too. But know, without a doubt, that they love you and will watch you grow from their perch in heaven.

LPG, even though we miss each of these people desperately, our lives are still richer for having known them. They filled our lives with happiness and joy and love. We are not guaranteed any amount of time on this earth, so it is important that we make every moment worthwhile. We must never take any moment for granted, and we must love with all we have at all times. Your Daddy and I promise to never take you for granted, and express our true love for you every day. I wish there was a way to keep us together forever. But we will make the most of every moment we have, from now, until forever.

We love you, LPG, and so does your entire family.

March Madness Love,
Your Mommy

(Also, Daddy's birthday is Thursday--I'm sure he'd love a really good KICK from you!)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Holy cow 22 weeks!

You get 2 pictures today! Chris wanted to be "that guy" but then my flash decided to go off and ruin it lol.

Total weight gain: Sigh. I didn't even weigh myself this morning. I am guessing around 179. I have been taking good walks and eating better, but I think it's inevitable at this point. I'm not upset that I'M gaining weight, I just want to make sure I am healthy enough for her.
Maternity clothes? Yes, although my outfit today is pre-pregnancy (pants and shirt)
Sleep: Perfection
Best moment this week: Auntie Susan telling LPG that she is one of the first people she will meet :*)
Gender: Girl.
Craving: No cravings.
Movement: Still tons! We are thinking maybe she will be a gymnast with all of her flips!
Labor Signs: No.
Belly Button in or out? oh we are getting dangerously close to out. Yes we are.
What I miss: Being able to do all my chores and shopping without feeling woozily.
What I am looking forward to: Still midwife appointment, which is next week!
Milestones: Um...still no stretch marks...does that count?

Monday, March 21, 2011

21 weeks!

Total weight gain: EEP! I was not happy to see 177 this morning! But I also feel really large...sigh. Need to walk more
Maternity clothes? Yeppers
Sleep: Sleep is ok, when she stops kicking me enough to let me fall asleep!
Best moment this week: Chris feeling his baby girl kick him
Gender: Girl.
Craving: Nothing really, but I have been eating a LOT of baked potatoes with sour cream. It's not really a OMG HAVE TO HAVE IT NOW thing, but I am enjoying them.
Movement: LOTS of it! She is active!
Labor Signs: No.
Belly Button in or out? In.
What I miss: Have to go back to skin. I told Chris we should find a name that means: "Ruin's Mommy's Skin."
What I am looking forward to: Still midwife appointment.
Milestones: Chris feeling her kick, basically settling on a name.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

20 week letter--Momma's life

Dearest LPG,

Hello my little thumper! I am so happy to be increasingly aware of your presence. I can't wait until Daddy can feel you, too, but for now, I am SO happy to be able to feel your kicks and rolls.

I wanted to give you a little background as to who I am. You know, since you will spend the rest of your life stuck with me, anyway :) So I should properly introduce myself and tell you a little bit about myself when I was younger.

I was born on November 16th, 1984. Your Granny will never forget it, as I was 2 entire weeks late (due on Halloween!). I was the first baby to my family, just like you will be. Your Granny and Grandpa were so happy to have me, and I like to think I was a pretty good baby. I was active, but I was smart, and generally helpful.

Granny likes to tell me stories of how eager I was to read and learn. I had many of my books memorized at a young age. I also liked to be helpful, and was especially helpful while Granny was on bedrest during her pregnancy with your Aunt Chelsey. Basically, I loved to learn however I could.

The most tramatic event I suffered was breaking my leg when I was 2 and a half. Thankfully, I don't remember it! But I know I wore a full leg cast for a long time! Granny even still has it! Unfortunately, it had long-lasting impacts on my life, but that's ok, as that's just a part of life.

I started kindergarten at a younger age than most students. It was a blessing and a curse--I was ready for it academically, but not so much socially. After a rough start, I figured things out and by 2nd grade, was being tested for the gifted school. Unlike your daddy, I wasn't accepted, but I was generally regarded for my intelligence throughout school. Growing up, I was a pretty big tomboy. I liked to play with my cousins, get dirty, and watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But my primary love? It was for reading. I LOVED to read and couldn't get enough of books. So I spent a lot of my time with my nose in a book. I also enjoyed writing, and was doing it from an early age. I had little books published, and also wrote for our elementary school's newsletter. Overall, I was happy and fun-loving, even if I wasn't the most popular or the prettiest girl.

Middle school and high school were a challenge for me, as they are for many young adults. I was trying to figure out who I was and how I fit into the social schemes at school. It wasn't for many years that I realized how pointless this quest was. I wish I would have been happier with who I was. Regardless, I was involved in a lot of things. I played cello in the orchestra, sang in choir, was the editor of my high school newspaper, helped open and run a writing center, and took a lot of challenging classes. I had some wonderful friends, more than enough, but was by no means well known. As I was nearing graduation, I really wanted to attend U of M, but I turned in my application on the deadline duedate! So I was waitlisted originally, and thought I would go to Michigan State instead. But then, U of M accepted me and there was nowhere else I would rather be!

In college, I feel that my personality really began to flourish. I finally began to love myself and who I was, flaws and all. This took some hard lessons, but that's ok, it was worth it. I had a job at a coffee house, and at the Housing office at U of M. I was involved in an improv comedy group that was so wonderful, even if I wasn't incredibly funny. But the most important part, aside from my world class education, was meeting your Daddy. He forever changed my life, and gave me the direction I needed. I am so endlessly thankful for him, and for the universe for guiding us to one another. I couldn't imagine my life without him.

Who is your mommy today? Well, she is a lot of things. She is a wife, a daughter, a sister, a sister-in-law, a best friend, a godmother, an aunt, a devoted English teacher, a mommy to the best animals ever, and a fiercely passionate person. Sometimes, I talk a little too much when I should keep my mouth shut. Sometimes, I get a little to into causes that I can't change. Sometimes, I'm just annoying :) But I do everything I do with my whole heart. I stand up for what I believe in and I'm not afraid to let my voice be heard. I also adore sports, playing online, the internet, and enjoying my wonderful life in California. I like to think I am pretty relaxed, but I am still not a social butterfly. I only have a few close friends, and I like it that way :) I am dedicated to getting everything prepared for your arrival, and can't wait to start setting up your room. Mommy likes to DO things at home, and have little projects to complete. I hope this will mean that I can always keep you busy and occupied.

But who I am most of all, my dearest LPG, is your mother. I promise to give all of who I am to you. I want to ensure your happiness at all times, and try to protect you from going through negative experiences. However, I also acknolwedge that these experiences are what teach you about life, so I promise to always help you find a method in the madness, even when life doesn't seem to make sense. While I am a lot of things, and while those things won't change, I am first and foremost, ALL YOURS.

I love you, LPG. Hopefully, this has given you a little insight to who I was, who I am, and who I will be forever.
Your Momma

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

20 weeks! HALFWAY!

Total weight gain: I am up to 174. Which means 1 lb away from starting weight. Maternity clothes? Yeppers
Sleep: Doing ok. Waking up a lot to pee
Best moment this week: Getting to see our perfect little girl again, and her gigantic head
Gender: Girl.
Craving: Nothing really
Movement: Thumpthumpthump. And a few rolls here and there
Labor Signs: No.
Belly Button in or out? In.
What I miss: I wouldn't mind a Guinness on Thursday, but I am completely fine without it :)
What I am looking forward to: First appointment with a MIDWIFE in April. So happy I decided to ditch the OB. It just wasn't for me.
Milestones: Getting the name choices down to 3!!!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Week 19 letter

My dearest LPG,

Hello there little girl. I hope you are having a ball inside my stomach. It sure feels like it--I am constantly feeling your little thumps now, and every now and then, what I assume is a roll or a belly flop. It is magical. Your daddy is eagerly awaiting for the day when he can feel you from the outside. I know it will be here soon. While we are sad that we didn't get to see your pretty face on the day we were supposed to (Monday), we look forward to seeing you tomorrow. We are excited to know that your heart and precious organs are all perfect and working in harmony.

I decided to make this week a little silly, because, let's face it, Mommy and Daddy are quite silly. I wanted to tell you about a hugely important aspect of our lives, and that is sports.

You see, one of the intense passions that we hope to share with you is a love of athletics. Neither of us are really athletic, although we will encourage you to try to be, should you be interested. But what we do love is the uniting aspect of sports. It brings so much into our lives.

We dubbed you Little Point Guard when you were first conceived because Daddy's primary love is for basketball. He is a coach, and always will be. By the time you are old enough to read this, we are hoping that coaching basketball will be Daddy's number one job. But we will have to see how that works out :) Mommy, however, loves hockey, and grew up with an intense love for it, thanks to Grandpa. We also share a huge love of football and baseball.

One thing to note, dearest, is that you will be born in California. But mommy and daddy do not root for many California teams. Instead, we worship the teams from where we grew up: Detroit. You may choose to root for whomever you please, of course. Mommy and Daddy love the Detroit Red Wings, Pistons, Tigers, and Lions. We of course love the U of M Wolverines, and even appreciate the MSU Spartans. Daddy loves the Green Bay Packers, too. When it comes to college basketball, your daddy likes too many teams to list, but the primary ones behind U of M and MSU are the Texas Longhorns.

I know it seems silly that I would take a valuable week of letters to you to talk about something as seemingly pointless as sports. Because even if you do not like sports, we will still love you and cherish you deeply. But, since you're stuck with us your whole life, you might as well be briefed in who we are. You will be hard pressed to go a week in our house without some kind of athletic contest on the TV.

While sports ARE just a game, they can also serve as a unifying symbol for people and for cities. New Orleans, for instance, won a Superbowl not long after a devestating hurricane struck their coastline. The excitement and joy brought about by their victory united their city, reminded them of who they were and that they WOULD overcome this. In 1980, the US men's hockey team won a shocking game, an upset over the favored Russian Team. In a time of turmoil between the two nations, the victory's weight in the United States was enormous. We reveled in the victory, and savored its meaning, as it meant MORE than just a championship. In 1998, the Red Wings won a repeat Stanley Cup, after their first victory in 42 years in 1997. However, the summer after the 1997 victory, 3 players were injured in a terrible accident; 2 devestatingly so. The victory in 1998 showcased one of those players, in a wheelchair on the ice, holding the Stanley Cup in his lap and proudly showcasing the number 2. Mommy was in the 8th grade then, and these victories were of particular importance to her. They taught her about the power of a team--how they can come together and support those who need it for whatever reason. The victory showed how intense committment to a goal can be achieved. And the victory, with the injured player embraced on the ice, reminded her to NEVER give up on what she knew in her heart to be possible. All of these lessons come from sports, LPG, which is why they are so much a part of us, and hopefully, a part of you.

Tomorrow, when I see your beautiful face and long legs kicking away, I certainly won't be thinking about what sport you will play, or what team you will be on. YOU are our primary goal, and our number one source of happiness. But, we wouldn't be your Mommy and Daddy, Alyssa and Chris, without sports in our lives. So I'm glad that at the very least, I could share that part of us with you.

See you tomorrow, little one.

Your Mommy

Monday, March 7, 2011

19 weeks!

Total weight gain: My home scale says 2.5 lbs. I'm sure my dr scale will say something different, but that scale is dumb.
Maternity clothes? Yeppers
Sleep: Dong better! I even slept last night!
Best moment this week: Getting our rocker recliner for the Nursery! YAY!
Gender: Girl. 95% sure.
Craving: cole slaw last night. Chris was a great husband and went and got me some.
Movement: Lots of tickles. A few pronounced thumps here and there, too.
Labor Signs: No.
Belly Button in or out? In.
What I miss: My skin :P
What I am looking forward to: Anatomy scan today!!! I am so happy to see her again!
Milestones: The nursery is finally completely cleared out and ready for "envisioning"

Friday, March 4, 2011

Week 18 letter

My dearest little girl,

You are making your presence known this afternoon, and have been tickling me non-stop throughout the entire day. I love it, but it makes it hard to focus when I am trying to lecture my AP class! But no matter. I love knowing you are active and awake, and trying to tell me, "Hiiiiiiii Momma!" It's rather delightful.

When we first found out that you were a little girl, I was a little nervous. Your momma doesn't always feel like she lives up to the qualities required of her gender. I'm a tomboy--I love sports. I have a loud mouth, I stand up for what I believe in, I am fiercely honest and never backstabbing. I don't like fluff or ruffles or glitter or covering myself in pink. I like dresses and doing my hair and makeup, but it's never my first priority. Your daddy has impacted that greatly--he has made me feel so beautiful just as I am. I am thankful for that, but it has caused me to neglect a lot of my "lady" responsbilities that society expects. So, I was apprehensive that I wouldn't raise you to be the right kind of girl.

But I'm so thankful to have some amazing friends in my life. They calmed me down with ease, and reminded me of who I will actually raise. Or, who I hope to, anyway. And I hope I raise you to be a lot like me.

Daughter, I hope I raise you to be honest, courageous, opinionated, proud and confident.

Honesty is such an important value, especially in our twisted and convoluted world. Sometimes, being honest can make things difficult. It may make people upset with you, but there is no better way to be than honest. Lying is a waste of time. Life is to short but to be anything but entirely honest. I have always prided myself on speaking my mind, regardless of what others may think. It isn't always easy, but it is always, always worth it.

Life is a scary ride, and it's important to be courageous. Fear is natural, and sometimes, it's consuming. But I want to raise you to have courage--to face your fears head on and tackle them. Take risks, take a chance, follow your dreams. Your daddy and I will always encourage you to follow your heart and not be afraid. Failure happens, but it builds character. The most courageous thing I ever did was follow your Daddy to California, and it was the best decision I ever made.

Sometimes, I can be overly opinionated. Some people see that as a negative. I see it as positive, because it makes me passionate. Daughter, the things I care about? They stir me to my soul. They are not just conversation pieces or blips on my radar. I care. I am moved to action. And I don't hesitate to share my views with others. I want you to be the same way, precious one. Too many women believe that they should be mute, that they should be proper. A good portion of history took great care to make us believe this. But I want you to be proud of your opinions, and stand by them. And stand FOR them by contributing to their causes.

If there is one thing I want most for you, it is to be proud of who you are. And that is hard to accomplish. Our society creates ideals for little girls and young women that are impossible to achieve. They set the standards for beauty and intelligence so high, that many girls go crazy trying to reach them. There was a time where I too was convinced that I wasn't good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, funny enough to ever find the life I deserved. It wasn't until I went to college that I was able to change that outlook. But little one, your Daddy and I will take great care to remind you that who you are, Just AS you are, is perfect. And deserving of pride. One day, you will find someone special who will make you more aware of that, just by loving you. Until then, Daddy and I will give you that love, and ensure that you are always proud of who you are. We will accept you just as you are, so please, BE that person.

Finally, daughter, I hope I inspire you to have confidence. I didn't. For a good portion of my life. Daddy and I joke that now, I make up for that by having a little bit toooooo much. But I wish I would have gained it years ago. I was always something special, because every person is something special. Having too much confidence can be dangerous--you want to remember to be humble and thank those who have helped you reach your goals. But you should feel that you are deserving of confidence. That you can achieve and do anything your perfect heart desires. We will be your biggest cheerleaders, all day, every day, 24/7.

I of course want other things for you, to be loving, understanding, empathetic, cultivate a love for learning, and countless other things. But these traits? When I talked to my friends about what kind of little girl I would raise, this is what they said. Because this is how they see me. And I am blessed and honored to have friends who will share their hearts with me, and remind me of who I am. And that who I am will instill itself in you. I hope you get those good qualities, and very few of my bad; and dearest, there are bad qualities in me. But I promise I will work tirelessly to give you my best at all times. You deserve nothing less.

We love you, little girl, and we can't wait to see you again on Monday.

Love always,
Your Momma