Caitlin and I could not be any more different as people, but as sisters we have always gotten along pretty well (except for one unfortunate high school incident involving a stolen sweater and a glass of orange juice). She was studying abroad in Australia when my whole birth-drama went down, but she was one of the biggest cheerleaders for all three of us on from afar.
Anywho, she sent me this letter today and said I could share it here. Get your hankies ready.
A and G (and yo mama):
I am 22 weeks pregnant with your cousin! WOO HOO! This is important for SO many reasons. I am almost to my final trimester. I feel great, I can feel little Cooper kick and kick and kick (it is so weird and SO comforting), and it is also strangely a very personal milestone. A bit over a year and a half ago your mama was in the exact same place I am now (with you two in her belly) when she went into labor.
Now, it may seem like a strange thing to consider a milestone. Let me explain one thing that will hopefully take you years and years to understand (and G you might never quite get it): pregnant women are crazy, hormonal, emotional, crazy, insane, irrational, crazy versions of normal people. That also said, this puts my understanding of what your mama went through into a whole new perspective.
Let me just say, at this very moment I do not have a crib. I haven’t had a shower. There are maybe three onsies and a few bits and bobs that I have purchased for Coop to wear, and most of that has come from friends or Mimi. Most of my baby stuff is actually hand me downs from you two… My point is, at this time in the pregnancy it is absolutely unfathomable to have a baby on its way in a matter of weeks. It is just far too early!!
So, basically, you should be pretty proud of your mama, if not for anything but keeping it together. The early labor part was just the initial scary uphill climb of the craziest of crazy rollercoasters that not even any of us moms can understand. You should also realize that when she freaks out about everything from your first skinned knee to your first date it is because she knows what it is like to not have those three months of comfort with you right there where you are supposed to be in her belly. Being able to keep your baby (no matter how old) right where you want them is a fight that we ALL will go through, and with her it is going to be even more intense. She has the right (perhaps even more than the rest of us do) to be the crazy, insane, emotional mom that we all will be at one time or another.
I consider this a milestone not only because of your mama, but also because of you two. Although you wouldn’t remember a lick of it, you two kicked some major ass in life before you were even three months old. You beat the odds and you came out of that three month NICU stay little champs. I was absolutely blown away when I first saw you (it was just after you came out of the hospital and I was lucky enough to be unemployed and sporadically staying on your mama’s couch- so we got to spend so much time together!) You two were so perfect! CUTE! And smart! I am so grateful for those few months I had with you guys. Basically, in my deranged pregnancy brain if your mama and you two made it with a traumatic labor at 22 weeks, then Coop will hopefully be okay too. You two give all little preemie and non-preemie babies so much hope!
I can’t wait for you guys to meet Coop, and I can’t wait to watch you grow and learn and be old enough to tell all the crazy stories about your mama that you would never believe. You have made my life so much bigger and I am so appreciative for this milestone and for all the milestones we will share in the future! I love you all so much.
Love and smooches,
Xx Cray aunt Cait
I know. I KNOW. I love her, too.
(And also, any stories she tells about me are lies, flasehoods, and embellishments. My teenage years were full of calm, rational, smart decisions. That's my story and I'm stickin to it.)