A letter to our unborn child

We await your arrival with expectation, nervousness and excitement. We long to see your face, eyes, ears, nose, fingers and toes. We imagine you have long legs, like us, and that you have hair like we both did when we were born. What will be your personality? ‘Do you know what you’re having?’ we often get asked. Will you be a boy or girl? How will you smile, laugh and chuckle?

Where has the last nine months gone? I exercised a lot in your first six months as you grew inside of me – I felt strong. I cycled until the air quality in Canberra got too much because of the bushfires in December. I’d try to go to pilates a couple of times a week and do water exercise. But now my body is feeling tired and ready for you to come. I sleep a lot and at night my hands go numb and I drool salvia on my pillow. These are things I did not expect. My teeth ache and I have reflux.

I feel you move within my body. I glance down to see my stomach move and contort as you readjust your arm, foot, hand or shoulder. I am not really sure what limb it is. You have had hiccups many times in the last little while. At times I feel you pressed so close to my skin that my stomach is tight and firm.

When will you come? What will it be like to give birth to you? I will be calm whatever happens. I will listen to my body and we will work together. You are precious to me.

My heart and mind is focused on those first few weeks when we’ll cradle you in our arms, comfort you when you cry, answer your hunger cues and gaze into your eyes. We are becoming parents and on a journey of loving and nurturing you in the weeks, months and years ahead.

We pray for guidance and wisdom in all these things. As the weeks turn into months and the months into years, we hope we can teach you what it means to be grateful, to care for your neighbour and to be courageous.

You are loved by your parents and so many people have shown your parents love and gifted us with beautiful things. I hope we can raise you to be grateful.

You are privileged with opportunity and this was not something you earned. I hope we can raise you to use your opportunity for others.

You have a future and we hope to raise you to pursue your passions and interests. I hope we can affirm and encourage those gifts within you and to recognise the path set before you.

You are precious and we know in all these things we must show you what these things mean.

But for now, little one, come and show your face to the world.

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