Little man is sick. He has had a fever for several days and now he has some sort of rash. I got six hours of sleep last night, and then rocked a squirmy, angry, sick toddler for two hours this morning while we tried to get some more sleep. I haven't showered, and I think I probably stink. L is napping now, and I tried to nap, too, but between the giant cup of coffee I had this morning and constantly thinking that I hear the cry of a sick little boy who needs me, I can't fall asleep. So instead, I am writing this letter to myself, pre-baby. Please give me grace on any typos.
Dear Not-Yet-a-Mommy Bethany,
You need to know a few things. First of all - having a baby is going to be hard. Really, really hard. You are going to be tired. Scratch that. You are going to be exhausted. Plan on nine months of never once completing a full sleep cycle. Seriously.
There will be days that you wish you could run away from home. Go ahead and cry to Dan and your mom and your friends. You will quickly find out that they've all had days like that, and they don't think you're a bad person for feeling that way. They will make you laugh and tell you it gets better, and they'll be right.
You are going to learn a lot of things about yourself, and a lot of them are things you don't want to know. You are much less patient than you think you are, and a lot more selfish. You know how you're kind of a mess when you get panicked? That gets much worse when you become a mom, so you'll need to work on that. (When you are in Home Depot during a tornado and the employees rush everyone to the back of the store, do not stop pushing the stroller and try desperately to get Baby L out of it. Let Dan calmly push the stroller to the employee break room, and then you can hold your baby. You'll all be fine. I promise.)
But there's one thing I can't prepare you for, and that's how madly in love you're going to be with your child. You'll get your first small glimpse of that when you're pregnant and substitute teaching a gym class and you get hit in the face with a basketball. And your first thought, before "is my nose broken?" and even "wow that hurts!" will be, "thank God it didn't hit my stomach!" It won't be until hours later that it will suddenly hit you how strange it was that the first thing you felt when a basketball hit you in the face was thankfulness.
And when they hand your son to you for the first time after a long labor and an unplanned c-section, you will tell him that he was worth it.
And all of the bad stuff that I talked about before? He's worth that, too. So don't be scared. You are going to have bad days, but your son will be worth all of that and then some.
Now go take a nap; you don't have many more chances for that, so do it while you still can.