My Precious Ellie Grace,
Today is your Birth Day. Happy Birthday, dear one! We have so anticipated the arrival of today and yet, it is surreal that we will meet you face to face. Even though we will meet you for the first time today, I feel as though I know you so well. You have been a part of our family since we first learned about you back in December. I remember well the second I realized I was truly pregnant. I remember the great joy in our hotel room early that morning as I shared the news with Daddy. Then, we woke up your big brother, who was having surgery that morning, to tell him the great news. We cuddled in our bed for the first time as a family of 4. Will declared that morning that you were going to be a girl and your name should be "Caroline Ellie Ellie Grace." He still calls you that. I hope for your rehearsal dinner someday when he makes a toast to his baby sister, Caroline Ellie Ellie Grace.
Though you instantly fit into our family, sweet Ells, you also instantly made it clear that you have your own identity. Though you often made your Mommy sick, I have to admit I was always so relieved as I took it as sign that you were strong. Secretly, I began to wonder if perhaps you were going to be a girl - I was only sick once with your brother.
I remember the first time I heard your heartbeat. Oh, how I love that galloping sound. Your big brother grew quite adept at locating your heart beat with our home doppler as well. We love listening to you, Ellie. I have heard your heartbeat now for countless hours. I have seen your face and your body more times than I can count. I have watched you try to nurse inside my womb. I have felt you move. I have watched you hiccup. I have watched your hair flowing inside me.
And yet, I have never grown weary of watching you and listening to you. It is amazing every single time.
Ellie, you became Daddy's girl the moment we opened the envelope and learned you were, in fact, a girl. He has such dreams for you, Sweet Ells.
I long to watch you two develop your own relationship. He wants to protect you and to be your hero.
Have I told you how very loved you are?
Ellie, your big brother also has big plans for you. I hope you were paying attention on the days he has tried to teach you baseball and all about pirates. He expects you to come out swinging swords and bats!
He longs to be your superhero and fight your battles and rescue Princess Caroline Ellie Ellie Grace.
He prays for you and is willing to share his gigi with you.
He loves you dearly and has never met you.
He is full of kisses and hugs and zerberts for you. I can't wait for him to give you those in person - today.
He loves to cuddle, Ellie. Will you also be a cuddler? I pray so.
Not even born yet and you have taught us so much about our Father. You have sent me to my knees and forced me to read Scripture in a new light.
As I read Zephaniah 3:17 over you, I imagine God tonight, rocking you for the last time in my womb, gently stroking your hair and doing His last minute final touches while He prepares you to enter our arms.
Ellie, He takes such great delight in you, His creation. I imagine Him singing your lullaby to you one last time tonight.
Do you realize how precious you are to Him, Ellie Grace?
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
In many ways, my faith is stronger for carrying you, Ellie. Thank you.
I have such mixed feelings today, my precious one. I am excited to meet you. Your pink dresses and hair clips and jewelry are packed. I so want to feed you and hold you and kiss you.
I want to celebrate you.
And, yet, I am sad.
I have loved carrying you under my heart.
I love having you all to myself all the time. I love knowing your every movement - your somersaults and stretches. I laugh at your frequent hiccup bouts. I love the line you give me on my tummy. I love the way I feel about my body when I am carrying you.
I will so miss having you with me all the time. I will miss talking to you as Ellie in my Belly. I will miss feeling you and rubbing you and not knowing exactly what I am rubbing!
I will miss carrying you.
Ells, when doctors suggested that I spend time with you while I could, I made a list. I determined the things I wanted to do with you, my daughter, while I had an opportunity.
I read to you.
I played music for you (your preferences made me giggle.)
I took you to see Little House on the Prairie - the musical
We took you to the ocean.
I took you on a boat.
We jumped waves together and hunted crabs.
I swam with you.
I taught you some of our favorite recipes.
I taught you how to fold a towel.
I purposefully laughed a lot - loudly - so that you would not just think I cried all the time.
I took you to the movies.
I took you to the zoo.
I took you on airplanes.
I made up lots of nicknames for you.
I introduced you to friends in my friends' bellies.
I danced with you and your big brother and your daddy.
I sang to you.
I watched Cinderella with you - just us girls.
We had family watergun fights together - being in the belly did not exempt you from being fired upon!
Your brother taught you baseball.
He played pirates with you in my belly - you were the first mate and sometimes the co-captain.
We've played board games and you even had a turn (your brother played for both himself and you)
We've been very busy...
But I realized recently that I couldn't do it all, my Ellie girl. I couldn't accomplish every goal and dream I had for my daughter with her still in the womb.
There are too many things I long to do with you.
And I don't want to rush through life - not enjoying each day and even the seemingly mundane.
I want to enjoy you.
I need you here - with me, for a lifetime.
And even then, I'm not sure it will ever be enough.
We have a lot to do together, sweet Ellie.
Today, Eleanor Grace, you will be born.
I will no longer carry you under my heart.
Today, I welcome you to my arms.
I am forever grateful for the time I have had you inside.
You have taught me, blessed me, and changed me.
I need you for a lifetime, sweet Ellie Grace.
I am honored to be your Mommy.
I can't wait to meet you!
Happy Birth Day,
I love you,