A letter to my unborn son.
I got the confirmation today that your birthday is scheduled to be March 29th. I am beyond excited to see your cute little face. I feel like I've been waiting my whole life to meet you. You are not the first human to occupy my womb, but you will hopefully be the last. You don't know this yet, but you have two older sisters who are also very excited to meet you. I'm sure you've heard them talking nonstop since your ears started working. You are actually due to be born the day after your younger sister's birthday. She told me that if I got to pick your birthday, she wanted to share her birthday with you. You're too big though, so we have to get you into this world a few weeks early.
You are a lot of things already. Our first son, the first grandson in the family, a little brother, and a double rainbow baby are a few of those things. Your dad and I had been trying to get pregnant for almost 9 months before you happened. I got a positive result on the test in February of 2020, but lost the baby at 7 weeks. Then in July, I got another positive test result. This baby only made it to 5 weeks. To say I was heartbroken is an understatement. I knew the pain of child loss long before this time, but it never gets any easier. Your oldest sibling would be 9 this year. They were due the same day as your oldest sister. Your dad likes to joke that I can only have April babies. I honestly wasn't expecting you to enter our lives when you did. I didn't think it was possible to get pregnant right after a miscarriage, but I was wrong. It's been a long, painful journey. I spent the first three months in a state of total panic. I'd cry every time I felt a slight cramp and hold my breath every time I used the bathroom, worried that I'd see that heartbreaking red again. When we made it to the safe zone of 12 weeks, I felt the weight of the world come off my shoulders. We weren't out of the woods, but I could see a break in the trees. Even now there's still a chance that something will go wrong. That's life though. You never know how much sand is left in your hourglass. All we can do is hope that everything works out and you live a long, healthy, happy life.
I remember the day we went in to get your gender checked. I told the ultrasound tech to keep it a surprise. She asked if we were hoping for anything specific, and I told her that we've got two girls already and we really wanted a boy this time. I'm honestly not sure how she didn't give away the good news. We decided to do a gender reveal since we didn't do one for either of your sisters. Your grandma made this really cute board with paint-filled balloons and hearts all over it. We managed to pop all but the last one without getting any color out. Your dad blew the last dart and blue paint flooded into the white. I actually screamed upon realizing what I was looking at. I love your sisters to death, but with me, them, and our cat Alice, the feminine energy in this house is suffocating your poor dad. We need another boy in here to even it out.
We decided on your name pretty quickly. It isn't actually Nigel. It's Xerxes, which is the name I always said I'd give my first son. It matches up with your oldest sister, Ramses. Her middle name was given to her in honor of one of your uncles. Arienne doesn't have an Egyptian name, but she does have two middle names. One is German and one is Russian. You have three. James, after my beloved grandpa who passed on in 2009, Jordan, after your dad's best friend who was taken from this earth in 2018, and Vegard, which is a Scandinavian name your dad came across that he really likes. It's a long name, but one I hope you'll appreciate when you're older. I've been making the joke that you have to be our last baby because I can't come up with any other names to give a child of either sex. I've used them all on the three of you. Had you been a girl, your name would have been Lysandra, but we never figured out a middle name. We've been calling you Nigel this whole time as a joke. I even bought you a Wild Thornberries onesie to wear home from the hospital to keep that joke running. I'm sure your dad and I will watch that show with you when you're old enough to appreciate it.
You've been the easiest pregnancy of them all. My morning sickness went away pretty early, the back pain didn't come on until later, and the insomnia only recently started to plague me. Some days I don't even think that I'm pregnant, which has been kind of nice considering how utterly miserable I was while carrying your sisters. Your hard kicks and weird hand swooshes have been a sweet reminder that I am actually carrying a child though. You'll have a soccer player's legs at birth, I swear. I've often wondered who you'll look more like. Ramses looks a lot like your dad, but with lighter brown hair and brown eyes. She looks more like my mom than anyone. Arienne is my clone, with light brown hair and blue eyes. If she had a weird red streak along her hairline, she'd look just like me. I think you'll be a carbon copy of your dad. I'm hoping you get his green eyes as well. Maybe you'll get my weird blue-green eyes though so people will be able to tell by looking at you that I'm your mom. Genetics are weird, my son. Your dad's brother looks like he's adopted, but he's not.
I've wondered if you'll sleep through the night immediately like Ramses, or be a constantly awake pain in the butt like Arienne. What will your first word be? Will you get your dad's weird flexible rubber band joints, or my stiff as boards ones? What foods will you like? Will you be a chatterbox, or a quiet kid? There is so much I'm excited to learn about you.
For a while, I questioned whether or not bringing another child into this world was a good decision. The way things are now is scary. Thankfully you made that choice for me. You were technically planned, but we were unsure if we were going to keep trying for a baby. It was kind of a "screw it, if it happens then so be it" kind of situation. I'll do my best to protect you from the evils of this world. Hopefully we will be able to instill good values into you so you can grow up to be a splash of light on this otherwise dismal planet.
Above all, I want you to know that you should always be yourself, no matter what others have to say. It is better to be hated for who you are than loved for what you're not.
Nature should be cherished. Animals should be shown love.
Question everything. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but I guarantee that cat had more fun in its life than the one who didn't explore.
Let your experiences dictate how you view the world. Personal experience is a better teacher than anything.
So many people lie in this world. Honesty is the best policy.
Always trust your gut.
Never judge a book by its cover or a person by their appearance. Some of the nicest people you'll meet are strange or freaky looking. Some of the worst monsters look the most human.
Treat others how you want to be treated, and how they treat you. Kindness goes a long way, but never let people take advantage of you.
Sticks and stones can break your bones. Words might hurt your feelings. It's best to let any and all wounds heal rather than let them ruin your life.
Do no harm but take no shit.
I'm not the perfect mother. No one is. I know that. I've made some very poor choices in my life. All I can say is that I'm doing my best now. That's all any of us can do. My job is to screw you up just enough to give you a goofy sense of humor, but raise you right so that you become a good person. You come from two long lines of black sheep. I'm sure you'll fit right in. I can't wait to meet you. Hopefully you're an easy delivery.
I love you, Nigel