I know I was talking yesterday about how things were when we first realized Robert was coming into our lives. I wrote a letter to the baby, or to the idea of the baby, on the night of August 16. I went to look at it today, and realized that both the file and the backup had been corrupted! I was really sad, but when I opened the file in Wordpad I was able to find a raw-text, barely readable version still left. It's sad how ephemeral things like that can be, isn't it? The only way to preserve anything digitally, I guess, is to have enough backups that they can't all be lost. In the spirit of that, and of sharing with you all, here's the retyped version of the letter I wrote:
Hello, for the very first time. I won't know for sure until tomorrow if this hello is premature, but at this point the evidence is suggestive that you and I have been hanging out for awhile, with me all unawares. You're very sneaky! If I'm wrong, and you have decided not to show up yet, then that's okay. We will meet another time. But I feel flutters inside me and I know they can't all be the butterflies of waiting for the doctor tomorrow. I've already taken two pregnancy tests, and you're certainly indicating your existence there! Way to not be shy. That's important, especially in a family with two very distractible parents. I am sure you will never have much of a problem getting our attention.
I feel a lot of different ways right now, knowing you're here. It explains all the moodiness and funny feelings I've had this summer. It explains the time at the Honda dealership where I nearly passed out and threw up in the poor dealer's trash can! But you never made me sick for very long, and that's why I never noticed, I guess. I owe you for that one. I hate puking. Your dad and I didn't see this coming, but it wasn't because we didn't want you. When I was in college, my doctor told me I wouldn't have children without medical assistance. That can get really expensive, and be so heartbreaking. I didn't know if I would ever be ready to walk that road, even though I wanted kids. We thought that maybe when we were older, when he was finished with school, when the economy turned around and I had a job with insurance. I didn't see the signs, because I just never thought to look.
Maybe the timing isn't so good for us right now, but if you're here, it's a miracle, and that's not something to be disregarded or wasted or ever, ever regretted. You were created in love, and will be born in love, and raised in an extended family full of love and support and laughter and prayers. I don't know where the money's going to come from, but we will figure it out. Everyone is going to be thrilled to have you. Allie and Kirsten have been bugging me to introduce you to them for nearly five years now, and they will be very excited. We haven't said anything to anyone yet, because I just took the test this morning, after you squirmed all night and kept me up. Then I took the other one this afternoon, because it was so hard to believe. If we're lucky, maybe we'll see your picture tomorrow at the clinic, and we can share you with everyone.
Right now, the whole thing feels huge inside my head, and it's hard for me to wrap my mind around. I look at the baby development websites, and it's like my thought process just flips off, and I can only stare and wonder. I feel bad that I didn't see earlier, that I didn't start taking the vitamins weeks ago, and that I ate all that ramen. Sorry about that, baby, it was delicious, and my will is weak! At least I don't smoke or drink, and my iced tea habit is apparently much better than coffee or soda. I promise I will do better by you from now on. I'm sure that later on we will place many expectations on your likely-oversized head (hey, it runs in the family!), but for now, all I want is for you to be healthy and whole and okay.
Maybe we only just found out about you, but we love you already, and we're going to do our very best for you. I hope you can ignore or forgive the lapses and mistakes along the way, and that we can give you the sort of life that you deserve. I'm so sorry that we aren't bringing you into a better world, and that the place and time we live in is so messed up in so many ways. I'm sure your dad will teach you that every time and place is messed up in its own way, but if I could make you a perfect world, I would in a heartbeat. But it'll be okay, I promise. Let's both get some sleep now, and hopefully I will see you in the morning.
Love, for the very first time,