When you were 4 weeks (in utero), I took a test and it was negative. Your Daddy was underway, and I cried all alone. Two days later I took another test and found out you were really there after all! Somewhere at sea, your Daddy found out when he called and celebrated from afar.
When you were 9 weeks, we flew to Oahu to visit Daddy while his ship was in port there! We swam to waterfalls, hiked through lush landscapes, snorkeled with sea turtles, stuffed ourselves with shrimp truck delights, and kayaked through aqua waters.
When you were 11 weeks, I stopped guzzling ginger ale night and day because the nausea days were finally over. My appetite came back with a vengeance and I craved fish tacos, Greek salads, chai lattes, and fruit-infused water all the time.
When you were 13 weeks, we got to see Alleah who was visiting San Diego to scope out wedding locales. We watched your brother run around Seaport Village and stare in wonder at all the things he saw there.
When you were 15 weeks, your Daddy finally came home from RIMPAC and we adventured up to Big Bear for the weekend with some of our favorite people: The Vasquez family! Your big brother and his best friend Jack had a blast playing in the lake.
When you were 17 weeks, we took your big brother Kai to Disneyland for the first time! I think we might have had even more fun than he did…
When you were 19 weeks, there was a sweltering heat wave and we spent all day sitting in front of fans and took your brother to swim in his Great Uncle Jack’s pool. We also met up with Amy a lot for chai lattes, and because she was only 4 weeks behind me in her pregnancy, her and I would dream out loud about our babies and encourage each other in so many ways.
When you were 20 weeks, I was surprised to find out you were a boy! Since I had been so sick, I was convinced you were a girl. We tossed our girls names out the window and (playfully?) argued over names for weeks before finally settling on Rafe Ryan. And yes, we got the name from Pearl Harbor. You could do worse as far as fictional character namesakes go… ;)
When you were 24 weeks, we took your big brother Kai trick or treating. He loves Mickey Mouse, so I was Minnie and your Daddy dressed up as Walt Disney to Kai’s Mickey Mouse. By the end of the night, my swollen pregnant feet were telling me that heels were a bad idea, but it was worth it to see your brother have so much fun.
When you were 29 weeks, we threw a “Little Prince” themed baby shower for you. I’ve always loved that book, and the French food your Nana bought/made was delicious. I got to laugh with a lot of friends that I don’t often see anymore, and my heart was so full and blessed at the end of it all.
When you were 31 weeks, “we” saw the Nutcracker ballet at Spreckels Theater with Nana. That was probably the first and last time I’ll ever be able to get one of my sons to go with me to the ballet, I’m sure ;)
When you were 32 weeks, we had our first Christmas together as a family of three. Your Daddy had been gone for Kai’s first Christmas, so we soaked up every moment of the holidays together. A few days later, your big brother turned two.
When you were 34 weeks, we found out Daddy’s ship would be going underway during the week of your due date, and most of the following month. It was so hard not to be angry, but thankfully, in the end, the CO of Daddy’s ship took pity on us and let Daddy stay behind to be here for the birth. We were immeasurably grateful.
When you were 40 weeks, I spent a lot of time praying you would come soon. Fluid levels were getting lower, and so were the chances of a VBAC. Your Daddy and I distracted ourselves by soaking up time with your big brother, reading books to him on the couch and going to bed early.
Just before 42 weeks, you decided you were finally ready to meet us. After a grueling 44 hour (but oh-so-worth-it!!) VBAC, all 10lbs 2oz of you were in my arms. I’d never been so tired, and I’d never been so happy. ***Military Wives: If you are ever stationed in San Diego and want to do a VBAC, I HIGHLY recommend switching to Tricare Standard and seeing Dr. Cobb in Poway for your care. He’s incredible!
You are two months old now. It is no exaggeration to say you are the happiest baby I’ve ever met. We are flooded with joy at your nearly constant smiles, and our hearts ache with gratitude that you are so healthy and free from the struggles your brother has endured. Even your middle of the nights feeds are punctuated with smiles, making it impossible to regret the loss of sleep. At two months you are 13lbs of pure sweetness, and while I wish I could stop time and keep you this small and squishy forever, I am beyond excited to watch you grow into a boy-child and then a man. The best is yet to come, and I plan on reveling in every gorgeous, exhausting, exhilarating moment of it.
I love you, Rafe Ryan.