I felt you move this week. Just little flutters and gentle taps that I know will transform into more insistent jabs and kicks in the coming weeks. It has been one of the strangest things I have ever felt, and also one of my favorites.
Don’t worry; your name isn’t actually going to be Rosabelle. Your dad and I have not yet decided what your name will be. Your seven-year-old cousin Kaelyn is very pleased that you’re a girl, and Rosabelle is the name she wants for you. She has a friend at school named Rose and another named Isabelle, and thus: Rosabelle. That’s what we’re calling you until we decide what your actual name will be. Our conversations these days are peppered with name possibilities. Some are quickly discarded. Some we ponder for a few days, practice saying them out loud and with different middle names, and some strike a chord with us and make it onto the official possibilities list. It’s a lot of responsibility to know that you will carry whatever name we choose for your whole life.
We found out you are a girl just last week. Your dad had a feeling all along, but I was surprised. We’re both thrilled. It’s fun to be able to talk about our daughter and dream about who you will be.
You have changed me already. Not just physically, although those changes are becoming more visible to the world every day. I’ve never had such a clear understanding that my body is not my own. I believed that already, that I am not my own, that I’ve been bought at a price, that I belong to Christ as he belongs to me. It’s different to know that in my head and to have someone tapping me from the inside, changing my coffee consumption habits, the way I sleep. I think all the time about what is best for you.
It’s baffling to me that I can go about my life, going to work, shopping at Target, doing laundry, and all the time you’re growing inside of me. It seems like I should have to work harder for it. But that’s what God does. He makes something out of nothing. He takes emptiness and he brings new life, and he doesn’t need my help. He is the one who makes all things new, who takes a valley of dry bones and breathes life into them. I find myself frequently close to tears at the beauty of all of it. There has been one heart beating in my body for nearly thirty years; now there are two.
I’m constantly marveling at the idea that this happens all the time, has been happening all the time since the world began. I look around at all the mothers I know, these superheroes in everyday clothing, grocery shopping and wiping noses and doing their jobs, business as usual. These mothers who have brought life into the world when it did not exist before. These mothers who bring light to darkness, fostering and adopting, choosing to take on the responsibility and privilege of nurturing someone who needs them. It is a freaking miracle every time. I am filled with awe and gratitude that I get to be a part of it.