I call you "my joy" because that is what you already are to me. From the moment I knew that you were finally coming into our lives, joy is all I have felt when I think of you. It took us much longer to conceieve you than it did to conceive your older brother and so I think, maybe, I am already grateful for you because we had to fight for you more. Perhaps it is the idea that maybe we wouldn't have you that makes the knowledge that you are coming that much sweeter.
It is important for me to tell you that although you may be coming after your brother, you are no afterthought. You have been in my heart since the beginning. I never thought of when I would have a child; I only thought of when I would have children. Before we became pregnant with you, we were ready for you. We looked at our life and as full and as wonderful as it is with your brother, whom we love with all of our hearts, we saw the spaces that could only be filled by you. We bought this house and the second we saw your bedroom, I could only imagine you in it. I would walk down the hallways after putting your brother to bed and I would hear the future echo of you two giggling together. I would push him on the swings and I would look at the swing next to him and know where you were meant to be. You were always a member of our family, even though we didn't know you, yet.
I want you to know that I love being a mother with all of my heart, but I am not perfect at it. I cannot even say that I am great at it, but I do try to get a little better every day. You do inherit a much better mother than your brother first met because he has already taught me so much. I know and expect to learn even more from you and I want you to know that I am open to the lessons you want to teach me. I am just grateful for the oppurtunity to know you, love you, and to watch you blossom into whomever you are meant to be and I apologize in advance for the mistakes I will make with you. I am not always the mama I want to be, but I can promise you that even when I am at my worst, I will still love you. When you are at your worst, I can also promise you that I will remember my own mistakes and be kind and as gentle as I can be. We will learn to forgive, both ourselves, and each other, just as your brother and I are learning right now. I cannot promise that you will always like me or even love me; I'm not sure I always like me, but I can promise that I will always love and like you.
I want you to also know that your brother is an amazing person and he will teach you a lot. He has his faults and he can be a little temperamental (I think you'll find that he gets that from me. .. sorry!), but he also has a capacity to love that will only be fully realized when he finally meets you. He already thinks about you and asks when you are coming. He makes plans for you because, I'm afraid, he is a bit of a strong leader, but don't feel you have to follow his lead. He only does it because it is who he is and he will learn who you are by the way in which you tell him what you need. You will have rough patches here and there, but, growing up, I loved my brothers and you will love yours', too. By the time I was fourteen, I already knew that one of the best days of my life was the day I became a big sister and I'm sure your brother will feel the same about you. I have loved getting to know your brother all of his three years and I know that you will love him, too. As for your father, well, you sort of hit the jackpot there. From the very moment your brother was born, your father has been devoted to this family and I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone more excited than he is at the prospect of meeting you. He already loves you and dreams about you. He can't wait to hold and kiss you. (He's definitely the more fun one!)
I will close by letting you know that although we are anxious to meet you, we want you to wait until you are completely ready to be born. Your birthday is a secret for you to whisper to us when you are ready. I think I've found a doula and a midwife who will help us usher you into this world in the gentlest way possible. I look forward to showing the world what we can do together. I will know heaven when I can push you out and hold you in my arms. Until then, I am doing my best to prepare our lives for the miracle of you. Take care, little one.
All my love,