To our little peanut.
I’m writing this to you on November 10th, 2014. Today you are 1 month old. I can’t quite believe how quickly the last month has gone by and how much you have grown. You have brought your daddy and me more happiness than we could have ever imagined. You are the love of our lives and neither of us can get enough of you. I wrote the below for you today, to read when you are bigger – it’s the journey your daddy and I had while you were growing big & strong for 9 months. I want to remember it forever, and I want you to know it all too.
I will never forget the day I found out I was pregnant with you. February 11, 2014. It was the day your daddy and I landed back in Bangalore after spending the previous week in the US. We spent time with your grandma & grandpa, your aunt and your 3 uncles. You went to Connecticut, Utah, Florida and New York on that trip. You were on 7 planes in 10 days. We got back to Bangalore and I was working from home. Daddy went to work. I took a pregnancy test that day and, for the first time, it came back positive. We wanted you for such a long time, but we didn’t have an easy time conceiving you. Because if this, I didn’t believe the big + sign on the pregnancy test, so I took a second one. Same thing. Still not completely confident, I took a third test a couple hours later, just to make sure. Positive again. I was finally convinced that you were in there.
I was so excited to tell your daddy when he got home. I wrapped up two books that I got for him – “A Bloke’s Guide to Pregnancy” and “Top Tips for Surviving Pregnancy”, stuck the 3 positive pregnancy tests in a zip-lock bag and made him a card that said “You + Me + Baby Makes Three”. When Daddy got home, I gave them to him and his face was priceless – perfect combination of shocked, excited, apprehensive, happy and cautiously optimistic. A couple days later, we went to the doctor for a blood test – just to be sure. Positive. It was real, and you were there. I cried, joyful tears though, so happy that you were there and so happy to share that moment with your daddy. We then got an ultrasound done – I was just over 5 weeks pregnant with you so you weren’t big enough for us to see very much yet, but we saw your heartbeat, and at that moment, we were forever changed. This was the beginning of you, and what has easily become our favorite journey together thus far.
The next 2 months were mentally tough because we knew how fragile you were. We did everything possible to make sure you had the safest environment to grow in. I cut out everything and anything that could hurt you. Daddy and I did lots of things together but cut down on social interactions with everyone else so we could keep you a secret while you grew and developed to the “safe zone”. You didn’t make me feel nauseous or sick, so everyday I prayed for you that you were still strong and still growing. Every time we had an ultrasound, our nerves were only calmed by that sound of your heartbeat and doctor reassurance that you were growing and getting stronger everyday.
We felt better after making it through the first 12 weeks and were looking forward to telling everyone about you. We ordered Easter Eggs for your grandparents, aunts, uncles and great-grandma and told them all about you on Easter Sunday. They were so happy and excited, and we heard screams of joy and excitement followed by questions of concern for how your parents were feeling and how you were doing. Over the next 5 months, lots of people took an interest in you. Your grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and family friends all wanted to know how you were doing, if you were moving a lot, if you were making me crave anything or if you were making me sleepy. I read all about how you were growing everyday. Daddy read about you too, in the funny book that I gave him. Together, we prepared everything we could for you and prayed everyday that you were still growing, still getting stronger and would come out healthy, safe and happy.
I started to feel you move just under the halfway point – your kicks and punches got stronger and stronger over time. I called you my little ninja! Daddy was able to feel them too and the first time he did, he had the biggest smile. I took videos of my belly while you were dancing in there and sent them to your grandparents, aunt and uncles so they could see you moving too. Feeling you move was the most amazing feeling, and I miss it everyday. You were safe in there, protected as long as I made good decisions. You and I developed a special bond – I knew when your most active time was (usually just when I was going to sleep!) and I spent lots of time talking to you. I wrote about you every week and took a picture of my growing belly to share with my blog readers. Because we didn’t know if you were a boy or a girl, lots of people tried to predict it. They would look at my belly shape, analyze my desire for sweets and ice cream and make conclusions based on the fact that you didn’t give me any morning sickness. Your daddy and I were convinced you were a boy for the longest time, probably because most other people thought you were too. Occasionally I would think you were a girl (girls like sweets lots more than boys, and I suddenly loved dessert!) But when it came down to it, neither your daddy or I had a preference on boy versus girl – we were just so happy to have you there and so happy to become your mommy and daddy one day.
Both your mommy and daddy work at Goldman Sachs, and we currently live in India (pretty cool birth story for you to tell people one day!). We travel to and from work together, and I went to the office everyday until October 7th. You were due October 22nd, and I planned on working the last 2 weeks from home. Well, I made it 2 days. I woke up on the morning of October 9th and I remember telling your daddy that something felt a bit strange and you felt very heavy. We went to the gym, and I walked on the treadmill for just under an hour. We came back to the house, daddy went to work (and had a very busy, very long day!) and I worked from home. Daddy got home just before midnight and we went straight to sleep. At 1:30am on October 10th, I woke up with lower back pain. I didn’t think much of it until I realized that pain was coming at consistent intervals and getting stronger each time. I woke daddy up and we stayed up until 4am, talking and reading about early labor signs. We decided to play it safe and your daddy drove us to the Cloud Nine hospital closest to our house at 4:30am. We were lucky with the time of day – there was no traffic on the roads. For that, I will be forever thankful!
When we got to the hospital, the doctors confirmed it was the start of labor. My water broke a few minutes later and that was the start of the next 9 hours before you came into the world. Driving in India isn’t easy, so we called Narayan – our driver. He came to pick us up and brought us to the hospital that is further away where our doctor works. The next several hours passed by – some more painfully than others. I ended up getting an epidural with you because those painful points were getting unbearable and I didn’t want to remember labor as an awful experience. It’s one that brought you to me, so I wanted to remember it as happily as possible. Your daddy was absolutely amazing through it all. He let me squeeze his hand (very, very tightly), helped me to breathe through the pain, made me laugh, got me water and juice as often as I wanted it and helped to distract me from any nervousness I had as much as possible. We experienced those hours together, and I will be forever thankful that he was there with me – you’ll realize one day how amazing your daddy is, and it will be a lot sooner than you think.
Just after 1:30pm, it was time to push and get you out, and at 2:08pm on Friday, October 10th, you said hello to the world. The doctors immediately put you on my belly, you let out a cry, and my first question was “is it a boy or a girl?” Daddy confirmed that we had a gorgeous baby girl. Looking at you for the first time, knowing that you were the one who had been kicking me and doing somersaults for months, was the most incredible moment of our lives together so far. We made you; 10 fingers, 10 toes, a little button nose. Those kicking arms and legs and a head of dark hair. 7 pounds and 3 ounces of perfection. We’d never felt so blessed in our lives. We stared at you for hours. We marvelled at every movement and every sound. We analyzed which parts of you look like mommy and which look like daddy. We had 3 days in the hospital as a family, spending time discovering you and helping you to adjust to your new & unfamiliar surroundings. You came 12 days early, something I thought you may do. I’m thankful that you came early – we got 12 extra days of looking at and caring for you and of being your mommy and daddy in this world.
We brought you home on Monday afternoon. Daddy and I each had a glass of champagne, toasting to you and the beautiful little angel that you are. We spent the next week together, just us, as a family of three before daddy had to go back to work and before your grandparents came to visit. I’ll treasure that time together forever. When I look at you, I still cannot believe that you are mine – we’ve been so blessed.
We continue to learn about you everyday and it’s hard to think that you are already 1 month old. Time is going too fast. Before we are ready, you will grow up and will no longer be a baby. You will start to do things on your own and will amaze us everyday, as you already do. This world is a big, scary place and we will do everything to protect you, but we want you to also see how amazing it is and we want you to experience everything wonderful that it has to offer you. Make sure to dream big, peanut. Aspire to achieve great things. Be whoever you want to be, and for as long as we are in this world with you, we will support you and encourage you. You are our little peanut, our little angel-cake, our little Molly Grayson Caroline Stent. We love you with all of our hearts and will be forever grateful that you came into our lives.
Lots and lots of love, xoxo