Jaeger sent a message out to the family in a group text earlier this week. “We got us a thumb sucker!” It said.
My oldest son’s words were accompanied by an ultrasound photo. Apparently he and Camping Girl had been to the doctor that morning. I myself had never had an ultrasound back in the day. I had uneventful pregnancies, and at that time, if all was well, then no ultrasound. The gender of each of my own children was unknown to Jack and I until the moment each made their entrance into the world.
I marveled at the picture Jaeger had shared. Ultrasound photos have come such a long way! I could clearly make out the shape of our granddaughter’s tiny little head and the curve of her back. She held her arm at an upward angle, her hand splayed open and four delicate little fingers pointed straight towards her nose. Her thumb, as Jaeger had said, was presumably in her little bitty mouth. I felt tears of joy spring to my eyes.
She’s not even here yet and already I am so in love with this baby girl. My granddaughter. My granddaughter! My oldest son is going to be a daddy and he is absolutely giddy. He and Camping Girl are going to be such amazing parents. As for me, I’m already buying adorable baby girl clothes. I can’t help myself! Jaeger will balance out the wardrobe some. He’s already got a camouflage outfit and a matching pair of Crocs for baby girl.
Staring at the photo, I was filled with emotions. Particularly after a year that’s been so dark, she is a bright and shining star making her way into our world. I cannot wait to meet her, to hold her, to kiss her sweet cheeks, to tell her how much she is loved.
I remember having my own babies, the anxious anticipation, the sometimes panicky sense that we didn’t know what we were doing, and wondering who in their right mind decided we’d make good parents. (Although, I’m glad Someone did. Being a mom has been one of my life’s greatest joys.) I remember one particular evening shortly after Jaeger was born. Jack had gone back to work – on the night shift – for the first time since Jaeger’s birth. I was alone for the first time with my newborn, sitting in my living room and holding him in my arms, thinking how perfect he was and feeling my heart about to burst with the love I had for him. I can still picture the fuzzy yellow sleeper he was wearing (because of course, we hadn’t known ahead of time whether we should buy blue sleepers or pink ones.) I started crying as I sat cradling my baby. I was thinking about how difficult this world can be and I was feeling guilty for bringing him into it. Of course, I later realized I was probably suffering a small bit of postpartum depression. For Jaeger, the world and life have turned out to be a pretty good adventure so far. As for Jack and I, we managed to navigate parenting fairly successfully. Everyone made it out of childhood alive!
While I stared at my granddaughter in the ultrasound photo, I had some of those same feelings of dread that I’d experienced when her daddy was a newborn. This world! It’s going downhill so quickly! How can I not worry about all that this precious child faces once she arrives here?
But then I thought about how my parents must have had those same fears, just as my grandparents must have, and all of the generations before them. And yet somehow in spite of it all, tiny humans keep arriving here. We do our best to protect them, and the world just keeps on turning. In spite of life’s inevitable difficulties, hurts and fear, we continue to find joy, create beauty, and experience love. And if, like the song says, all you need is love – then our precious girl is going to be just fine. Because I have no doubt whatsoever that she will be loved beyond imagination.