Hello my little peanut (you’re 35 weeks 4 days in there),
This afternoon you’re digging (what I imagine to be) a little hand/knee somewhere in my groin. It hurts. I’ve tried to walk you out of your position but you like it, it seems. You haven’t budged.
Friends who are moms say I’ll miss this. That this is the closest and safest you’ll ever be. We’re together 24/7. I know where you are 100% of the time. I know what you’re eating (as I’m eating it too).
You are me and I am you and we make a huge, waddling figure walking down Bishan Road. But there are times, frankly, that I just want this over with. I want to see you and hug you and hold you. That’s when the tough part begins.
Now we’re in the final stretch and you’re heavier than ever. I woke up twice last night, both times because my heart was pounding so fast, I could scarcely breathe. I don’t go out for lunch in the office anymore and (thankfully!) your lola (grandma) is here. She arrived last week and she’s been making us lunch: baked squid with chopped fruit for dessert, spicy Malaysian-style chicken curry, spinach omelette. I’m so, so thankful she’s here.
Your dad’s away for training. He’ll be back this Thursday and I’m whispering to you, hoping you’ll hang in there for just a little bit more. Your baby shower is this Saturday. You’re not even full term yet. Just hang in there my baby.
I have plenty of fears right now. Well, first off I hope you’ll be healthy and safely delivered to us. Last week, the first day after your dad left (and after he explicitly told you to behave!) I woke up to pee and saw drops of bright red blood on the toilet seat. That was the day of your lola’s birthday. For some reason I wasn’t too worried though. I was confident you were fine. Your birthday present to lola was a visit to the hospital maternity ward, where they put a heartbeat trace on you for two hours (I liked hearing the quick thump thump) and monitored if you were okay. You were. (See? Mommy’s always right.)
You make your presence felt in other ways. Like today, punching my groin from the inside. Lifting your little back (the bump feels hard, smooth and round) and making peaks and valleys of my stomach, stretching the already stretched skin (smooth stretchmarks make stripe patterns on the surface). I don’t mind, I like rubbing my hand over your back, gently pushing down sometimes, to see if you’d push back or move. Sometimes you do.
I fear I won’t be able to breastfeed you properly. Breast is best, they all say, but there’s no shortage of stories of women who can’t produce milk at all, or who, after they start working, suffer from dwindling supply or confused babies who suddenly decide they’d rather suck on a rubber nipple after all. I don’t know how you’ll turn out to be. I hope we can stick it out, you and me, at least until you’re six months. Maybe longer. Hopefully longer.
(There you go again! Stretching! I can’t blame you, I’m sure it’s all cramped in there what with me eating 2.5 slices of banana loaf and a full glass of milk. But… still. Your knees/elbows/feet/whatever that is do hurt, baby.)
I fear I won’t raise you kind, smart, or curious. I’ve read articles (your Ninang (aunt) likes sending Mommy all these child-raising links).
But it’s one thing knowing the theory and quite another to live it out, I’m sure. Hopefully Mommy will react mindfully, smartly. But there will be times that it will be tough.
I can’t promise I’ll be my best self when you’re crying just a bit too much and it’s been a long day, or if you’re mad at me for making you eat something awful like pan-fried Brussels sprouts when I just want you healthy.
I will try though.
With love, Mommy