Dear Henry,

going into Week 31

Dear Henry,

We have a little over two months to go, and like I say all the time, everything in our little world is changing so quickly. Every single day I find myself daydreaming about you, looking at baby stuff, and trying to picture what life is going to be like. It's hard to imagine it all once you're here, but I am certain that it is going to improve in ways I couldn't begin to dream of. The love we feel for you, without really meeting you is so strong that I can't even begin to fathom how it will feel to hold you in my arms for the first time, and have you look up at me with your beautiful baby eyes there in the birthing room. I constantly look through all of the tiny little clothes we've accumulated over the past year, I look at the books we've saved for you, at all of your ultrasound photos, and it still blows my mind to know that the reason for all of these things will soon be here.

In the past week you have been moving so much than ever. Before I could definitely feel you in there, I could feel little flicks and flips, but now as you push out against my stomach, I can almost make out your little hands, and feet (and elbows and knees too!). I can kind of push back gently or rub my belly where you are and you respond by pushing back or moving away. It's the most amazing thing, and completely surreal. We are getting a 3d ultrasound in the next couple of weeks and both your Dad and I are so incredibly excited to see you. I've been watching your ultrasound video I made for you a lot lately and it's hard to believe that it was taken almost three months ago. You've grown so, so much since then and it's going to be wonderful to have another peek at you growing inside my belly.

(readers/friends, here's the video again just in case you missed it the first time)

Henry's ultrasound, 19 weeks from Danielle Hampton on Vimeo.

Yesterday my dear friend Erin, who I'd been sharing this pregnancy with, and who was due exactly two months before me, had her baby boy. His name is Kyler Thomas, and you two will definitely be friends! Erin and I have been close friends since college at NAU when we lived in the same dorm, and we've been through everything in life together over the past ten years- from Pi Phi and NAU, to boyfriends and breakups, engagements and marriages, to crazy weekends and girls' trips all over the place. It's so neat that we both became pregnant around the same time with little boys and over the past many months we've constantly laughed at how shocked our 18-year old selves would have been if we could have taken a glimpse into the future. I imagine how we would have reacted at that young age, living in the Sechrist dorms as freshmen in college, not a care in the world- if only we could have known that 10 years later we'd be pregnant with you and Kyler at the same time! Seriously amazing. You guys are going to have a great time growing up together, and I'm so excited for all to come.

Here's a photo of the two of us, me 5 months pregnant and Auntie Erin 7 months. We have so many photos of us, from 2000 and beyond, and it's going to be so fun taking photos of you and baby K together.

one of my oldest and dearest friends Erin and me

When Erin sent us the photo of her new son, it kind of hit your Dad and me- WE are going to have that, we are going to be going through that...we are going to be holding YOU sooner than soon. To put ourselves in those shoes was a really strange realization, because although we know you're in there growing and growing, seeing little Kyler kind of shocked us for a moment and we got more excited than ever.

In these next couple of months I'm looking forward to that excitement building and building. Time has flown by so fast and I can't even imagine how quickly these short little weeks will go by. I want to cherish all of this, because like your Dad reminded me this weekend, it will never be this way again. I'm working hard on getting everything together for you; I'm making you a special book filled with all the wonderful people in your life so you can learn everyone's faces and names. I'm sewing curtains for your room and making you some bibs. Once we are in the new house at the beginning of next month we will be painting up your new room, putting together furniture, and getting everything ready for your homecoming. We can't wait for you to be here. You already bring so much sunshine into our lives, that I can't even imagine what it will be like when you finally arrive, like a bright, bright sun rising on a brand new day.

I love you always,
Your Mom