It’s Time to be Born!

This is my last night inside you, Mommy. I’m excited about tomorrow. How about you? Tomorrow I finally get to meet you and Daddy! And my grandparents! I’m so excited! I wonder if I’ll be able to sleep?! I may toss and turn all night, and keep you awake, too!

But can I tell you something, Mommy? As excited as I am about tomorrow, I’m a little scared as well. And nervous. I’ve been inside you all this time, where it’s warm and safe. I haven’t had to do anything except grow until I’m big enough to come out and live in my new room in my new house. With my wonderful parents!

I’ve heard you and Daddy talking about how excited you are, and how ready you are for me to make my appearance. I’ve heard you and Daddy talking about all the things you’ve done to my room, and I’ve heard my grandparents telling you how pretty it looks! I’m sure it does, and I’m sure I’ll love it.

But it’s going to be so different when I’m living in my room, and sleeping in a bed, rather than here inside of you, Mommy. I’m just nervous. You know it’s always a bit scary doing something this important for the very first…and only…time. I’m glad you’re going to be there with me, because I know you’ll make sure I’m okay.

But I bet you’re nervous, too. You’ve never had a baby before. So we’re both in the same situation. Excited. Nervous. And a bit scared.

I’ve been wondering how I’ll feel when I take my first breath outside of you. I wonder what air tastes like. And smells like. I wonder what it’s going to feel like to breathe that air into my little lungs for the very first time!

And I wonder how you’ll smell. My angel told me that newborn babies, which will be me, can tell their mommy by the scent of their skin. That’s going to be another new experience, too, because my little nose hasn’t had the chance to smell anything yet. But she said since I’ve been inside you all this time my nose will immediately know who you are!

I wonder what your voice will sound like. Yes, I’ve been hearing talk, but your voices are muffled because I’m inside of you. Tomorrow I’ll hear you as you really sound…with nothing to block the sound of your voice. I can’t wait! Will you sing me a lullaby? Your grandmother did that for my grandmother as well as for you. I know your singing will be beautiful. At least I’ll think so!

I’m really wondering how I’ll feel when I look at you and Daddy for the first time. I’ve heard your voices a lot, but I’ve never seen your faces. You’ve not seen mine, either. I’m sure the ultrasounds are wonderful, but they really can’t show what I truly look like.

It’s going to be such a wonderful moment when we look into each others’ faces for the first time. I won’t remember it, unfortunately, but you will. I won’t get to know that feeling until I have my own baby a long time from now. I know we’ll love each other immediately. Because I already love you!

And I wonder how I’ll feel when I’m in your arms for the very first time…feel your hands on my skin, your fingers wrapping around my tiny arms, holding me close, never wanting to lose the magic of that special moment. I’ll wrap my tiny hand around your finger, and we’ll be inseparable….Mommy and baby. You and me.

Yes, tomorrow is going to be an exciting day! For me, and you, and Daddy. There’ll never be another like it. Your very first baby is entering the world.

And nothing will ever be the same again.

Good night, Mommy. I love you, and I’ll be in your arms tomorrow!!

XOXOXOXOXO

Is My Room Ready?

I’ve been hearing you and Daddy talking about my bedroom. It’s time to get everything ready, you know! I’m sure it’s going to be extra special. Just please make sure I have a really soft bed, because it’s been really comfy inside of you for all this time, and it’s going to take a while to get used to being out in the world.

Did you know before God placed me inside of you, He’d given me a really nice bed to sleep in made of soft, puffy white clouds. It was amazing! I got to float in the sky with the other unborn babies in a big heavenly nursery and be taken care of by a lot of special angels. They sang to us, and loved us, and a little while before it was time for us to go live inside our mommies, they took each of us to live for just a little while with one of our special family members who was already in heaven. That family member was entrusted to prepare us for our exciting new life with our new parents, and tell us stories about our family God had selected for us.

I had the absolute very best family member to go to…your grandmother! She was so happy and excited when my angel brought me to her! She knew exactly who I was!!! She even knew my name! My angel placed me in her arms and flew away, promising to come back for me soon. Your grandmother had a lot to tell me, and I think I remember it all, but right now, let’s talk about my bedroom, because I’m going to be spending a lot of time in there the first few months after I’m born!

2016-04-18 05.52.06I know you’ve been working on it. I’ve heard you talking about my crib, and blankets and sheets and stuffed animals, and the colors…you picked out teal blue and purple and white. Where’s the pink? Oh I’m sure it’ll be pretty, but please don’t forget I have to have some pink in there! I know you had a friend do some special painting in there, and I can’t wait to see it!

I heard you talking to Daddy while he was putting my crib together, and when he was painting my room. I know he’s excited, too. I can hear it in his voice when he talks about me. I want to meet you both as much as you want to meet me!

I also heard you talking about curtains with sparkly rhinestones in them! Fit for a princess, I think you said. I’m going to be your little princess! That sounds so wonderful!!! I can’t wait to see my room! I hope you have a comfy rocking chair in there to cuddle in at night while you feed me. You know I’m going to be up and down a lot when I first come home, so we’ll have a lot of special time together, Mommy, you and me, and Daddy and me, too. I’m sorry I’ll be waking you up a lot, but I’m just going to want to be with you as much as I can.

I need a night light, too. I know it’s dark here inside you right now, but I hear your heartbeat all the time, and it keeps me from being scared of the dark. When I’m born I won’t have that. I heard you and Daddy talking about an elephant that lights up, and that sounds cute! I can’t wait to see it!

2016-04-17 15.11.41I’ll need some stuffed toys, too…plush teddy bears and doggies and little lambs, and a few of those koala bears my grandmother used to collect. I’m sure she’ll be happy to give them to me!

Then as I get older I’ll be playing in my room a lot, so I hope you’ve put something in there for my toys. I know I don’t have many yet, but I’m sure you and my grandparents will make sure I have lots of them!

And I heard you and Daddy talking about putting my name on my wall, too. How fun!!! Your grandmother would love that! I can’t wait to see it!

All this thinking about my new bed in my new room has made me really sleepy. I can’t wait to sleep in my new bed, but for now I’m just cuddling up inside of you. That’s comfy, too.

Good night, Mommy. I love you! And I’ll see you soon!!

XOXOXOXOXO

A Party Just for Us!

Wasn’t today just the most fun day??? My grandmother and your friends really gave us a wonderful baby shower. Yes, us! You wouldn’t have had the party if it weren’t for me. I’m not bragging or anything, but it was my first real party, and it was great! At least it sure sounded like it! I can’t wait to see the pictures!

The food was sure good, and I’m so glad you were able to eat today. I’m sorry I’m still making you sick all the time, but I can’t help it, so please don’t be upset with me. But we did get to enjoy some of the yummy stuff. The shrimp was delicious, even though I only got a little taste. I know I’m going to enjoy that when I’m older. The sandwiches were good, and the chips, and of course you loved the gummy worms, although I’m not that crazy about them.

2016-04-02 11.56.41Now the cupcakes….oh my, they were delicious!!! I needed more of those! I heard my grandmother giving you some to take home, and I know I’ll get more!! I think I’m going to like dessert as much as you do!!

I heard all the excitement when you started playing games. Everybody was talking at once, but I heard a lot of what was going on. Your friend was asking you questions about what my daddy had said about me, and you got almost all of them right! You and Daddy know each other really well, don’t you?! I know he’s got to be special, because he’s my very own Daddy, and you love each other so much, God is blessing you with me! He chose me just for you two, you know!

2016-04-02 14.45.59There was another game I remember when everyone was trying to guess how big your tummy is…..with me in here! I’m the size of a coconut right now, so I’m getting bigger, and so are you. When your friend was measuring you I wasn’t sure whether to see how little I could make myself, or stretch out to make your tummy HUGE!! Your friend tickled me when she was touching your tummy, and I couldn’t stay still! That was fun!

I heard you talking about how many presents there were piled up for you to open! You were so surprised about how many there were. Your friends must really love us to give you so many great gifts! I heard you talking about the clothes, and sheets, and blankets, and toys….and hair bows…there was so much you couldn’t get it all home in one trip!!!

I liked the poem your friend read to you when you opened her gifts. And so did her baby that’s inside of her tummy. He and I will be really good friends, you know.

There was also a special gift for you, and a very special card. Your grandmother had your mother give me the silver comb and brush set that she’d given you when you were born, a baby blanket she’d made for you, as well as a couple of books she’d given you. And she had your mother write this card from her:

“My precious granddaughter, I may not be here today with you physically, but I am always with you in spirit. I have been watching over you, and also watching over your precious daughter Rachel. She’s beautiful, and I cannot wait for you to meet her. I know you will be a wonderful mom, and Chris will be a great dad. The gifts in this bag I gave to you when you were born, and now I’m passing them on to my great granddaughter. Be sure to tell her about me. I love you so much, and I am so proud of you. You have exciting days ahead of you! Love, Grandmom”

I know you were about to cry when you started reading it, Mommy, but it’s ok. Your grandmother will always love you, and she’s so excited for us!

2016-04-02 16.14.35

I wish I could’ve watched Daddy when my grandmother’s friend was giving him all that funny stuff in that tool box to use when he was changing my diapers. I really need to see those pictures! I’m sure he’ll do a good job, though. He’s going to be a good Daddy…the best!I’m falling asleep now. It’s been so much fun today! Not much longer, Mommy, before we see each other’s faces. That will be the best moment ever!!

I love you!

XOXOXOXOXO

Did You See How Big I Am?

How’d you like my pictures today?? You could really see what I look like now, can’t you!? I’m so excited, because it’s getting closer to the big day! Well, I know it’s four more months, but still…

I’m the size of a mango now. You probably don’t like mangos, but they sound really good. And my legs and feet and toes are all formed, and so are my arms and hands and fingers! I know you saw me waving at you, didn’t you! The ultrasound tech took a lot of good pictures, and I was smiling at you as hard as I could. And that wand tickled me again, and I started giggling!

I hope my hair looked ok…I have some now, and I hope it’s curling like yours! I can’t really tell. Your grandmother said she tried to get your hair to curl, but it wouldn’t until you were older. So she put bows and headbands on you whenever she could. I know you don’t like them, because I’ve heard you telling your friends, but my grandmother thinks they’re cute! And I want some! Please?

Ultrasound And you’ve finally started to feel me moving around. I know you didn’t know what it was at first, but that was me! I sometimes have trouble getting comfortable as I’m growing, so I have to move around a lot. I’m sorry if it hurts, but I can’t help it right now.

What did Daddy say when he felt me kicking you? I could hear the amazement in his voice when he felt me the first time, but I’m not sure what he said. My doggie brothers were making too much noise.

I hope you save all the pictures of me that you have so far. I want to see them, too. Your grandmother said I’m just as beautiful as you and your mother are. Of course I think she’s supposed to say that…

Are you getting more excited now, Mommy? I sure am! I want to come out and meet you and snuggle with you and Daddy, but I know it’s not time yet. Waiting is so hard, isn’t it???

What do you think you’ll say when you see me the first time? What will Daddy do? I wonder how I’ll feel? I’ll probably be a little scared, because after all, I’ll have been inside you for nine months, where it’s all warm and soft, except when I’m laying on your backbone, and that’s not very comfortable. I’ll be counting on you and Daddy to protect me, and love me, and I know you will. I know you’ll teach me all I need to know about the world, and so will my grandparents.

I get so excited thinking about it, I just want to jump up and down again….

Sorry, I know it’s late and you’re trying to sleep, but I just couldn’t help myself! Maybe I’ll go to sleep now, too, because it’s been another exciting day in the womb, and posing for all those pictures was hard work!

Good night, Mommy. I love you!

XOXOXOXOXO

Telling the World

We sure had a good time today, didn’t we? I heard Grandmom ask you so many times when you were actually going to tell everyone about me, and so finally you did! I know it must have been really tough not to tell people until you had your announcement planned just right, but I’ve been wanting you to announce me since I came to be inside of you!Three dogs

And I’m glad you got my doggie brothers involved in the whole thing, taking their pictures and letting THEM make the announcement. I heard all of the commotion when you were trying to get them to cooperate with the lady taking the pictures! They sound like they’re going to be such fun to be around, and I’m sure when I’m a little bigger, we’ll all have a wonderful time together.

Drake with signEspecially that Drake puppy! You kept telling him what to do all the time, and it didn’t sound like he was cooperating too well. I bet he’s really going to be a lot of fun! And please don’t let him steal my socks!

I heard you talking about all the people congratulating you because of me. It’s so exciting, isn’t it! Your grandmother told me everyone would be so excited for you and Daddy! Just like all her friends were when she told them you were coming into the world. I heard you reading some of the congratulations messages, and it sounds like you have some really great friends! I can’t wait to meet them all! Do you think they’ll like me? Will they babysit for me?

I can’t wait to meet you, Mommy! And Daddy, too! I mean, I’m already here, sort of, even though I’m only about the size of a lime. And you’ve already heard my heartbeat. Wasn’t that a great moment? I’ve been hearing yours all along, and now you’ve heard mine. They beat together, you know, yours and mine. Isn’t that amazing how God designed us? And everything you eat or drink, I get to taste as well. I particularly like ice cream, and milkshakes, just like you do, so please keep giving me those. They’re yummy!

Some of the people are already asking you if you think I’m a boy or a girl! I wanted to scream out, “I’m Rachel, and I’m a girl!” But of course, I can’t talk yet, and no one could hear me either, if I did. But your grandmother also told me that YOUR mom already knows, just because…. I know your mother, my grandmother, is a very special person, and she’s going to be a big part of my life, just like her mother was such a big part of yours!

You’re already showing that little bump in your belly where I’m growing. And you’ve already had to get some new clothes because of me, but I think you’re enjoying that part as well. I know how much you like to shop, and I also know as soon as you find out I’m a girl, you’re probably going to have a great time buying things for me. And I’m sure I’ll love them all!

It’s been an exciting day, and I’m yawning, so I’m going to say good night now, and I imagine you are, too. I know I’m making you tired, and we both need our sleep right now.

Good night, Mommy! I love you! I’ll talk to you later!

XOXOXOXOXO

Another Rachel…

I didn’t really think I could be this excited. But I am. And I can’t help it.

A few weeks ago a friend commented on my blog post about the empty chair at the Thanksgiving table, that next year that empty chair will be filled with a part of my mother. How prophetically true that statement was, because, even though I’ve known in my heart almost from the day we found out about Ashley and Chris expecting a baby that it would be a girl, it was confirmed ten days ago.

Ashley had asked the doctors’ office to call me to tell me the sex, because she and Chris wanted to be together to find out in some kind of gender reveal event. I very seldom ever answer my cell phone if I don’t know who is calling, and when the call came in, I almost let it go into voice mail. But I thought it was a call from a doctor’s office to confirm an appointment, so I answered. It was a doctor’s office, but not the one I thought. I remember her telling me she had Ashley’s results and was I ready to get them?

Oh my gosh, she was calling two days early! Was I ready…I’d been ready since we found out there was a grandbaby coming! I held my breath…..and then I heard her say the chromosomes came out X…and X, which meant a girl! The stork is bringing us a girl! And this ornament is now proudly hanging on our Christmas tree!2015-12-06 11.08.55

I cannot even begin to express how I felt. I remembered how I felt when I found out Ben and I were going to have a little girl, and I was so excited to tell the world! I called Ben first, of course, and told him, and then I called my mother, who was almost more overjoyed than I was, if that was possible! Another little girl in her life to make clothes for, and buy little ruffled dresses for (which of course Ashley really didn’t want to wear, and let us know as soon as she could express herself)! A little girl she could play school with, and teach to cook…my mother was over the top excited, especially since she’d waited so long for her only child to have her own child! She was so excited, and since her friends knew how much this grandchild meant to her, they even gave her a surprise grandmother’s shower!

Since Chris was out of town on a tugboat in the Chesapeake Bay, we had to wait until he came back to do the reveal. I have to say this has been the hardest secret to keep that I’ve ever been entrusted with. Because I couldn’t tell anyone except my friend who made their wedding cake, since she was making a gender reveal cake for them, and of course the salesperson at the party store who put together the gender reveal balloon. But that really doesn’t count, because I couldn’t tell my husband, or my best friends, or even Chris’ mom who is also becoming a grandmother at the same time I am!

(Chris did tell me I could tell my cats, so all three of them knew as well, but since they’re cats and it doesn’t directly affect them, well, they really didn’t seem to care all that much!)

For the last ten days, everywhere I’ve gone I’ve seen people with babies. They seem to be everywhere. They also seem to be all girl babies, even though I know that’s not true. And I just keep thinking…oh my gosh, we are going to have one of those! Even shopping last Saturday for a few little gifts for the gender reveal, it hit me as I stood in line behind this lady buying a pile of fancy little girl clothes…Ashley and I are going to be doing that soon! I wanted to buy a little Christmas outfit so badly for her for next year, but I have no idea what size she’ll be by then…. With my luck it wouldn’t fit!

Now that I know what we’re having, it’s more real. I can call her by her name, instead of saying “the baby”. It’s so much easier to think of her now as a real little person. And yes, I would be thrilled whether we were getting a boy or a girl.

But there’s a very special reason I’m doubly excited about having a granddaughter.

Because Ashley and Chris are naming her Rachel, after my mother. AshBouquet Charmley and my mom always had a very special bond; perhaps it was because she was the long-awaited and ONLY granddaughter; perhaps it was because of how much my mother loved children. Or maybe it was because when your only child has a child of her own, it’s a feeling that nothing else can compare to. Ben and I gave Ashley my mother’s name as her middle name, and now the legacy of Rachel is being carried on for another generation. My mother would be so excited….but then again, she and my dad already know all about her….

To my friend who made that statement about the empty chair being filled with a part of my mother next year, you were totally right! In a way you didn’t even imagine!

And we all cannot wait until we meet little Rachel in May! We love her already!

A Letter to our Daughter and Son-in-Law

Our daughter and her husband are having a baby! We’ve known for several weeks and have been wanting to share their news with the world. And now we finally can!

I actually wrote this several weeks ago, and have patiently (well not really patiently) waited until I was given permission to make the news public.

To Ashley and Chris:

You’re having a baby! There are a million thoughts going through your minds right now. Joy, excitement, wonder…and let’s face it, I’m sure just a little bit of fear. Especially with your first one.

There’s so much to think about. Now that you’ve told your family, how are you going to tell your friends? What will he/she look like? How are you going to decorate the nursery? How is your life going to change? And how in the world can you possibly get everything ready before he/she gets here?

But there’s something else you need to think about…the wonder of actually having created a new life; a new person. There’s actually a very tiny living being inside of a mother-to-be. And for nine months, Mom will be carrying that other person inside of her, nourishing him/her, and looking forward to the day when that little person actually arrives and is placed in your arms. Leaving the safety of Mom’s body and entering a whole new world. There’s nothing like it!

The wonder of all of this struck me one morning driving to work as the Lord gave me this verse and asked me to write this for you.

Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” (NIV)

The Lord already knows this baby. He knew this baby before he/she was even conceived. He knows if it’s a boy or a girl, his/her name, what he/she will look like, what his/her personality will be. He knows the struggles as well as the triumphs he/she will face in life. He knows what career he/she will have, and where he/she will live. He even already knows who your baby will marry and how many children he/she will have one day.

Imagine the enormity of all of that. The wonder of the Lord is amazing. Here you are, just discovering you’re going to be parents, and the Lord already knows all about this little being who’s only the size of a lime right now. He knows his/her total future. He has plans for him/her. And He will make sure those plans are fulfilled, even if he/she gets off track. And He personally selected YOU to be his/her parents. How totally amazing is that?

Most likely you haven’t thought of all of this; at least not yet. There’s too many other thoughts going through your heads.
But the Lord is amazing, and He has gifted you two with a wondrous and precious gift…a gift He created just for you.

Dad and I cannot wait to meet our first grandchild! We love you all!