Little baby, we are both so excited to meet you, but your daddy wants to know you already. He coats his hands in Tummy Butter every night, rubs it into my belly, never can keep from saying, “Wow” - more to himself than to me. He says he wishes he could carry you, wishes he could feel you growing, and wants you to know how much he loves you, too. He talks to you, bends his lips down low to my stomach and asks you to give me a break, (the nausea is killing me), then kisses you... and me, too, I guess... who am I kidding?... he kisses you every night.
Your daddy is already taking care of you. He makes me fruit shakes every morning before he goes to work, shakes that I just can't stomach, but he pleads with me, “Just a couple of sips. For the baby.” He makes me toast when I need it, buys me ginger ale, lets me eat Papa John's and Pizza Hut even though he has put his foot down at McDonald's. He brings a bottle of water to the bathroom when I'm bent over the toilet and tries not to freak out when I cry for no reason – asked me yesterday if it was the hormones or the Golden Girls rerun I was watching. Your daddy makes me laugh, and makes me feel better. He can't wait til I get my energy back so that we can walk on the treadmill together at the gym... to make you strong.
Your daddy goes to every doctor's appointment with me, asks questions, puts his head right up to the monitor so that I can't see a thing. He had his iPhone out at the last visit, snapped a picture of the first sonogram image, the one where you were only .24 centimeters long, and emailed it to all of his guy friends and our families before the doctor had even left the room. He loved, loved, loved hearing your heartbeat – so fast, crazy fast – and held my hand tightly on the way home. He asked me, “Did you hear the doctor say that our child has the strongest heartbeat he's ever heard?” Hmmm... Somehow I missed that, but he just smiled and assured me it was so. Your daddy is already so proud.
Now your daddy is not perfect. He doesn't put things back where they go (I find spatulas in colanders and pot lids stacked on top of our plates). He leaves his underwear on the bathroom floor and I'm always finding his white t-shirts stuffed in our couch cushions. He gets too mad at the television during Kentucky games and is not a friend to drivers who honk at him. He's even expressed a strong resistance to changing your future diapers.
And your daddy wants to name you something I just can't allow. Of course, I want to name you something really charming that he just won't agree to. We laugh, go over the list he's started on his phone, say the names over and over, letting them roll off of our tongues. As we get to know you better, the perfect name will come. A family name maybe, a Bible name, or something we invent – we can't wait to start using your name – your daddy so eager to whisper it into my popped out little gut.
I tell you every day that I love you, but your daddy loves you, too. And he loves your momma so much. He strokes my hair when I can't sleep, lets me munch from a box of cereal by the bed at all hours of the night, and tells me every day that this is the most beautiful I've ever looked to him... even though I've never felt more tired, sick, pale, and pudgy. But he takes my picture once a week, wants to make a flip book later, and I find his eyes on me constantly. I don't want to embarrass you, little baby, but your daddy's eyes are glazed over and he is head over heels for us both.
Your daddy is so full of love. I can't wait to place you in his arms. I hope you have his blue eyes and his dimples and his soft blond hair. I hope you have his full bodied laugh and his hungry ambition. And I hope you are just as true.