I'm sorry I haven't written to you in so long. When I had a shingles scare a few days ago, I honestly didn't know how to write to you. How could I write to you when I may have inadvertently exposed you to extreme danger? What could I possibly say to you?
And worse yet, what if being exposed to shingles had harmed you? What if being exposed to shingles had stopped you from growing? Had killed you? What if you were just lying lifeless in my womb, and my body simply had not realized yet that I had miscarried or the hormones they have me on were preventing me from miscarrying?
How could I write to you when you may not even be alive still?
How could I face that possibility?
I was afraid to even write to you. To even allow myself to think of you as a living being inside of me; I was so afraid of finding out that I was wrong.
But after googling for many hours, talking to a couple medical professionals, and talking with my best friend's mom about when she first starting experiencing symptoms of shingles, I'm feeling much more calm about the whole thing.
In fact, my best friend's mom told me that when she found out she had shingles, she asked her doctor if I could be in any danger from having stayed in her house for a whole week so recently (since she already knew at that point that I was pregnant), and he said not to worry. It was highly unlikely that she had had shingles when I was staying there, so I should be in the clear.
Plus, it helps that I haven't been sick at all (besides pregnancy-stomachie stuff), so that has made me feel a lot better.
All in all, Baby, I'm feeling much more confident. At the moment, at least, I have no doubts that you are healthy and growing strong.
And in just over two days from now, your dad and I will finally get to experience the joy and excitement of a first prenatal appointment.
We never got to have that experience with Leila; I'm so excited to have that experience with you.
And, hopefully, we'll get to hear your heartbeat for the very first time!
I really hope we get to have an ultrasound; I know it's probably unlikely, but I can't help it. I just want to see your beautiful little baby body.
Maybe I can convince them to give me an ultrasound so that we can determine for sure the due date, since I'm 98% convinced that I'm at least one or two weeks farther along than my doctors think I am. I know two weeks doesn't seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things (and don't worry, Baby, I fully understand and acknowledge the fact that you are going to come when you are good and ready to come regardless of what day you are "scheduled" to arrive), but if I'm two weeks farther along than they think, then that's two weeks closer to the 14 week mark.
I've never made it to that mark before.
And the three-to-five weeks until we hit that 14 week mark can't go by fast enough.
The point, my precious Baby Birk, is that I cannot wait to get to "meet" you for the first time in just a couple days - even if we don't get to see you on an ultrasound.
I have to admit, though, I will be quite disappointed if we don't get to hear your heartbeat.
But, if I'm right, I'll be 9 weeks on Thursday at my appointment, and since I'm a rather svelte lass, I think there's a good chance that we should be able to hear it.
At least, I'm hoping so!
But moving on.
Today, Baby, I finished crocheting your very first baby hat. (One thing you'll learn about your momma is that I'm an avid crocheter).
Well, it may not ultimately end up being your hat.
You see, I found this great website with dozens and dozens of baby hat crochet patterns.
But quite a few of the hats are fairly gender specific.
So, at this point, I'm just going to start crocheting all of the hats that I think are cute, and, depending on what gender you end up being, we'll just save the rest of the hats that I've made for the siblings of the opposite gender that your dad and I hope to provide you with some day.
The hat I just finished making is pretty girly.
Your dad thought I should start with a girl's hat, because he's convinced you're a girl.
I'm not completely convinced of your gender either way, but I am leaning towards girl...if only because literally every couple we know who has had a baby in the past year has had a boy.
That being the case, we figure that the universe is due for a few girls to enter the scene.
The hat is adorable, though.
It's this beautiful ocean blue with a cute yellow flower on it.
The past few days have also led to some cravings.
My food desires have really changed quite a bit since you've started growing inside of me!
I normally have a very intense sweet tooth, but since you've been inside my tummy, I practically have no desire for anything sweet and un-nutritious.
Which I suppose is a good thing.
My cravings, unfortunately, are not consistent, though.
My first intense craving was for crackers, cheese, and pickles.
I deeply enjoyed two wonderful evenings with those crackers and cheese slices and pickles.
But now, just the thought of pickles and sharp cheddar cheese makes me want to gag.
Then, I started craving Kraft macaroni and cheese and french fries (which ended up being your dad's first food run to satisfy my cravings).
But your daddy, trying to get you the nutrients you need, got the whole wheat version of mac and cheese instead of the regular version, and it's just not the same.
Now, right this second, I really, really, really want some potato skins.
Since it's 10:39 pm EPT, it is quite unlikely that I will get any potato skins anytime soon.
On a completely unrelated note, our pregnancy with you is pretty much out there in the world.
We tried to keep it fairly quiet at first, only telling close family and friends, but that didn't really end up working out so well.
Somehow, the news seemed to leak out (even though we did try to tell people that we hadn't made our pregnancy "facebook official" quite yet).
At this point, pretty much everyone knows.
At first, I was nervous about this, and, quite frankly, if anything happens to you, there is a good chance that I will be kicking myself for being so cavalier in telling so many people.
But, ultimately, I feel like being open, honest, and up-front about this pregnancy is a tangible way for me to trust God with you and with this pregnancy.
I'm not in any way saying that to suggest that those who do not choose to tell people about their pregnancies right away are inferior or wrong or untrusting or anything else like that.
But this was the right decision for us.
This was the right decision for me.
This was the right decision for you and for this pregnancy.
It was my way of showing God that I trust him with you, with your life, with our family, with this pregnancy.
We still haven't made it "facebook official" yet.
Though I see no reason to hide you from those people who are close to me and who I come into contact with on a regular basis, I did not see any reason to tell random, distant friends from middle school about you. Just for the sake of boundaries, I suppose.
But we will probably make it "facebook official" on Thursday after our prenatal appointment, if only because people have begun to write congratulations and baby notes on our facebook pages, so it won't be long before it's completely out in the open, anyhow.
So, that's pretty much the updates on this side of my tummy, Baby. I'm sorry for so much information, but I just don't want to miss telling you a thing...and there have been quite a few "things" to tell you since the last time I wrote.
I promise I won't wait so long to write to you again...even on those days when I'm not feeling quite as confident.
I love you so very much, Baby, and so does your daddy.
We can't wait to get to know you a little more on Thursday!!!