To Our Child, Whoever You Are

To our unborn child, whoever you are:

It feels strange to be doing this, writing a letter to the thing jumping around like popcorn popping in my belly, but you have hijacked my thoughts today. Tomorrow we will get to see you again, thanks to the fuzzy black and white magic of ultrasound, and as the hours tick closer and closer to that moment, I cannot think of much but you.

The first time we saw you, you were little more than a tiny seed whose heartbeat was so faint it could barely be picked up by the ultrasound machine.  The next time, you waved your tiny little arm at us.  And the last time we saw you, you were doing upside down aerobics, an honest-to-goodness bouncing off the ceiling type aerobic routine.

Tomorrow we'll see you again, and this time we will look at the chambers of your heart and watch the blood flow into your little organs.  Right now both my heart and yours beat within my body, and though my heart aches to know that yours is strong and healthy, right now you are as much a mystery to me, as much out of the reach of my hands, as I am to you.  Tomorrow we will take a look at that heart, at your finger and toes, at all the pieces of how you are put together. 

I have spent so many days afraid that these glimpses will be all we ever see of you. Every time we've  seen you, I've cried out of relief and joy that you were still alive and moving and growing.  Still with me, still with us.  On many of the long, anxious days since I learned you were growing inside me, I have simply prayed, "Let this child live.  Lord, let me meet this child."

You hear people say, "I don't care what we're having as long as it's healthy."  But that's more than just something you say when you've experienced loss.  It's more than just something you say when you've had a surprise diagnosis at your child's birth, when you've spent long hours on the inside of the NICU and met pediatric specialists and watched the monitors, willing your child's stats to go up.  The hope is not entirely gone after that, but yes, much of the innocence is sucked out of the process once you've been to the other side of "as long as it's healthy."

Tonight I pray hard for the best, wondering if we will get to meet you and who you will be if we do. Soon the doctor will measure your limbs and map the arc of your spine and look into the chambers of your heart.  And I pray, I do, that you pass every one of their tests with flying colors.

But, if you don't, if we find ourselves one more time on the wrong side of "as long as it's healthy," then let me tell you, little one, you are in the right place.  We will walk with you in that path, or we will carry you as the case may be; we will hold you in love or in grief and we will love you for who you are, whatever and whoever that is.  If you don't pass their tests, we will hold each other and cry, and then we will stand together for you, whatever you need, whatever may come. 

I'm not done praying for the best outcome for you, and I suppose I never will be.  But I'm trying to remember, trying to learn and relearn, that I am not the author of your outcome, or of mine, and the one who is has us both wrapped up in a plan that maybe neither of us will ever understand.  I'm trying to remember that even though I don't know the plan, I trust the one who wrote it.  And I believe He gave us to each other for a reason.

So, you dance like popcorn in my belly, and I'll try to get some sleep tonight.  And tomorrow, I'll see you again and know one more small slice of our story, the chapter that began with you and will end wherever it ends, though neither of us can see it from here.


*Update: Everything went well, baby looks very healthy, and it's a girl! 


  1. This is beautiful, Liz, and profound in the ways of experience and suffering. I hope things go well, today.

  2. Hi BABY! Nice to see you!
    Good luck to you and the wee one Liz. Hoping that you get to hear, "Little one is completely healthy and perfect!"
    When I had my littlest back in August 2012, I endured what is called an "isoimmunized" pregnancy due to Anti-D antibodies. (Google that if you want to make your brain hurt.) It was one of the hardest things I have ever endured...the testing, the worrying, the incredibly complicated delivery and then a week-long NICU stay. It gave me a new appreciation for "As long as its healthy" which is something I always used to say and did mean, but after that experience I feel like I "get" it now.

  3. Thank you so much! Everything went great!

  4. It sure does change your perspective, doesn't it! We were thrilled to hear that baby looks healthy, everything is right on target, and it's a girl!


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