Dear Holly: Mommy is Feeling Miserable Right about Now

38 weeks.

Dear Holly,

Dear Holly: Mommy is Feeling Miserable Right about Now

With your due date being just 2 weeks from today, I get asked by other people on a daily basis how Mommy is feeling.

I always answer honestly and directly:

“She is feeling miserable; as I suspect most women do when they are 8 and a half months pregnant. She can only sleep for a few hours at a time, she’s getting contractions, and she either feels too hungry or too full.”

As much as I hate to see Mommy in discomfort, I have assurance in knowing these are all good signs that you are healthy and growing inside her tummy.

I’ve asked her if she would prefer you be born a few weeks early, but she reminded me that’s not ideal because Grandma (her Mommy) doesn’t fly in from California until the 16th, which is 5 days before your due date in 2 weeks

So if you were to be born early, it would be nice if at least Grandma is here to help. Granted, Nonna and Papa are on call and can be here within about 3 hours too.

I feel that mentally, both Mommy and I are ready for your arrival. I personally am not nervous or anxious about it.

This isn’t our first time to have a baby, so we’re better prepared this time around.

I’m at my worst when I don’t know what I’m doing. But when I am trained on it, no matter how challenging the situation, I can live in confidence knowing I have authority on the subject.

With your arrival, I will not feel like a bumbling idiot trying to figure out what to do. I feel I will be able to appreciate the whole experience that much more.

Obviously, you’re a girl, so there will be new material for me to learn. But as for the basics, I doubt I’ll be in major culture shock.



Dear Holly: The Socks We Bought You Back in December 2007

37 weeks.

Dear Holly: The Socks We Bought You Back in December 2007

Dear Holly,

It truly was back in 2007 that Mommy and I first perceived the concept of you in our minds, when we bought you your first pair of socks.

Mommy and I were dating at the time, but it was just a couple of weeks before I proposed. We drove from Tennessee to Pennsylvania, where one of Mommy’s sister’s family lives.

Dear Holly: The Socks We Bought You Back in December 2007

While on that trip, Mommy saw a pair of girly baby socks and wanted to buy them “for when we have a little girl one day.” I encouraged her to buy the socks, assuming there was a good chance there really would be a little girl in our future at some point.

Granted, many years would pass from that day in December 2007 until the Spring of 2016, when you will be born. And during several of those years, Mommy and I thought we might just have one child.

Dear Holly: The Socks We Bought You Back in December 2007

But in the end, fate worked itself out. We followed Dave Ramsey, got out of debt, saved up a down payment on a new house, bought a new house, and suddenly… we were both thinking the same thing:

It’s time to have another baby!

And now you’re almost here. These socks are now waiting for you in your drawer.

Dear Holly: The Socks We Bought You Back in December 2007

This past weekend Mommy and I visited your bedroom while your brother Jack was taking a nap in his bedroom. I guess we wanted to imagine how that former guest room will never be the same.

Instead of a guest room, it will be a little girl named Holly’s room. It’s funny how full your room already is, and you’re not even here yet.

Dear Holly: The Socks We Bought You Back in December 2007

That means that a lot of people are anticipating your arrival, not just me and Mommy and your brother Jack.

I took some pictures of Mommy with our new camera. I love that “coming soon” sticker that she stuck on her tummy.

That’s you inside!



Dear Holly: The Socks We Bought You Back in December 2007

Dear Jack: Easter 2016 at The Shell House

5 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack: Easter 2016 at The Shell House

Dear Jack,

This makes our first Easter as a family where we didn’t travel to Nonna and Papa’s house in Alabama to celebrate. With Mommy being 8 months pregnant, she isn’t currently able to be in the car for that long of a trip.

Dear Jack: Easter 2016 at The Shell House

I never thought of it until this weekend, but this also made the first Easter for our family where I was responsible for hiding the eggs. So I obviously had fun hiding them in our backyard.

When you discovered your Easter basket, you immediately thanked and hugged Mommy and me.

I responded, “But what about the Easter Bunny?”

You instantly replied, “No, it was you and Mommy.”

I didn’t argue with you. Smart kid you are.

Mommy is such a good gift-giver. She found a very appropriate book for you: I’m a Big Brother.

Plus she got you another owl to match the one you got for Christmas. And she found some dinosaur eggs that dissolve in water and leave behind a dinosaur toy.

I know it sounds random, but she even got you a “bath bomb” for bath time. You love that kind of stuff these days!

Not to mention, there were one dollar bills in some of the eggs, plus a five dollar bill in the golden egg. So thanks to Grandma’s $2 bill she sent in the mail, you are now $14 richer.

As far as candy, we did get you some of the traditional stuff, but you were just as excited about the Annie’s Homegrown snacks in your basket too.

Another first for this Easter, this made the first time, as a kid, you’ve ever gone to the main church service with us; at The Church at Station Hill. You love your Pre-K class that takes place while Mommy and I are in the main auditorium, but today, all the kids remained with their parents.

I’m pretty sure you thought it was neat. The story was fresh on your mind as I read the Easter story to you from your children’s Bible yesterday before your nap.

If nothing else, you got to work on an activity sheet where you had to help Mary through a maze to find the empty tomb of Jesus.

What a great Easter day for our family. And imagine, by next Easter, you’ll have a nearly one year-old baby sister!



Dear Jack: Easter 2016 at The Shell House

Dear Holly: You’re Going to Be a Small Baby; in the 23rd Percentile

36 weeks.

Dear Holly: You’re Going to Be a Small Baby; in the 23rd Percentile

Dear Holly,

This week Mommy and I went to Vanderbilt for another sonogram appointment. We just wanted the assurance of knowing you’re still doing okay in the there. I’ll cut to the chase:

You are. Thank God.

We were informed that everything is great; your heartbeat, your fluids, and your movement. There is no reason for concern. You are simply going to be a small baby.

You currently weigh 5 pounds, 9 ounces; with just about 4 weeks left before you’re born. They told us that if you were in the 10th percentile or lower, then it might be an issue; but instead, you’re in the 23rd.

Knowing that you “have been measuring a couple of weeks behind” for a while now had caused us to worry that something was wrong. It’s good to have some relief on that.

This is the opposite of what we experienced with your brother Jack. It seemed he was always in the 90th percentile. He was a big baby with a big head, which made his birth very difficult for Mommy. Granted, that doesn’t mean he’s a big boy now; he’s average.

They told us this week that in addition to being a small baby, you “don’t have a big head.” I’m happy because that hopefully means an easier labor for Mommy when you are being born.

If I haven’t said it already, Mommy is ready for you to come out. And I’m ready too.

This is the “misery” part of the pregnancy where Mommy just can’t get comfortable to stay asleep or even just sit comfortably. I think it’s funny that her favorite t-shirt to wear at night is the Wonder Woman nighty I got her for Christmas.

Plus, it will be nice having you outside of the womb so we can see for ourselves that you really are doing just fine in there, just like the doctors say.

We’re now less than a month away from your due date. I keep reminding myself that when you’re finally born… we’ll actually have a little baby girl!

I know that part seems kind of obvious, but it’s how my mind works right now.



Dear Holly: You’ll Be Born in about One Month, Maybe on Earth Day!

35 weeks.

Dear Holly: You’ll Be Born in about One Month, Maybe on Earth Day!

Dear Holly,

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, when people celebrate a strange tradition in which Americans pretend to be more Irish than they actually are; in a loose effort to honor a Christian bishop and missionary in Ireland, who was actually born in England and who was actually of Italian descent… not Irish.

With Mommy and me both being ¼ Italian, that makes you and your brother ¼ Italian as well. But because people celebrate where St. Patrick lived as a missionary, instead of celebrating his actually ethnic descent, we celebrate Irish stereotypes today instead of Italian ones.

That explains why your brother and I are showing off our green attire in this picture.

With today being March 17th, and your due date being April 21st, we’re only about a month away from your arrival!

(You are now the size of a honeydew melon and that fact is becoming very obvious; as I look at Mommy’s tummy.)

Obviously, my 35th birthday is on April 20th; which is when I want you to be born. I want to share my birthday with you.

However, the full moon in April in 2 days later on the 22nd, which also happens to be Earth Day. There’s a theory that more babies are born near the date of the full moon because of the stronger gravitational pull; like the way the moon affects the ocean tides every night.

So in my mind, there’s a decent chance you’ll be born on April 22nd. I suppose that would be a pretty cool birthday to have, if you can’t share mine on April 20th.

Mommy predicts you’ll be born on April 24th, because of her work schedule.

As far as Mommy’s pregnancy, she’s getting to the point where it seems there’s no comfortable way for her to sleep. I’m sure that only gives her that much more motivation to look forward to you getting out of there.

A month is not a very long time. It’s just a matter of weeks before we see you.