Saturday, May 21, 2016


Will coolly leaned against a counter, legs crossed, arms folded.  His gentle smile never faded as he waited patiently to hear the news. 

Meanwhile, my Dad, step-dad and father-in-law frantically huddled around the doctor’s tiny screen; counting ribs and looking for ANYTHING resembling a phallus.

You could hear a pin drop.

HE is doing great!” the doctor said deliberately.

The room erupted. 
Women cried.  
Men beamed. 
My father quietly sobbed as he texted everyone he knew that he’d finally have his boy---his namesake. 

At the celebratory lunch there was bourbon and tales of childhood mischief.  The men grappled for the check, each wanting to pay for this special meal – this MANLY meal.

It was an amazing day.  One I will never forget.

The next day however was somewhat different.

I awoke at 4AM realizing I knew nothing about baby boys.  In the dark silence, I desperately Googled everything I could find on circumcision and changing male diapers. 

“Wait… double diapering?  Ice packs?   

Oh okay.  So, we just have to put a little Vaseline on it for a week. 

Of course – you have to point the penis DOWN!   Will, did you know that?”

I turned to my sleeping husband, his drool glistening in the soft laptop light.

“…Should we discuss this later?”

By six I had moved on to the nursery.  It was decided – the theme would be safari chic.  My wish list quickly filled with elephants and giraffes.  Inspiration photos were saved and emailed.  My breathing finally slowed – I was wrapping my head around this.

But somewhere around 7:30 – I got a bit sad.  It slowly set it in that for the time being I’d have to shelve all the hopes and dreams I had for my little Ella; that sweet little girl I already knew how to diaper.  The one I could count on to be my best friend forever.  The one I already had some idea how to raise.

The irony is none of these feelings detract from my excitement about raising this little prince.  Bringing up Bobby will be an adventure and one I still very much look forward to.  But that achy, guilty question persists:  am I a bad person for mourning the loss of my Ella?  Will anyone understand what I’m going through, or will people assume I’m taking this incredible miracle for granted?

At first I thought I’d suffer with this alone – how could I ever cop to having these thoughts?  But soon I learned many of my close friends and family had gone through similar moments in their pregnancies.  Many gave amazing advice and slowly, I began to forgive my own fears.  And the truth is when I dream about the day I finally get to hold my precious son, none of those fears are present.   

Maybe someday I’ll have the opportunity to meet Ella. 

Maybe I won’t. 

But either way, what an amazing little man my Bobby is going to be!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Dear Baby,

How do I start a letter to the best person I’ve never met? 

I guess I could introduce myself.  Hi Baby, I’m Mommy!

You’re probably wondering why I’m reaching out.  Well – tomorrow is the day your Daddy and I learn a little bit more about you. 

Don’t get me wrong – we know a smidge already.  We’ve seen your picture and heard your heartbeat.  We know you sleep while we’re driving and swim while we’re resting.  If this heartburn is any indication, we know you’re growing a rather thick mop of hair.  And we know you hate Mediterranean Mint Gelato.  Oh boy, do we!

But until tomorrow, we won’t know what to call you.

You see, we’re taking a very special picture of you tomorrow and this picture will tell us whether you’re a girl Baby or a boy Baby.

If you’re a girl Baby (and Mommy has her way) you’ll be named for two remarkable women:  The First Lady of Song and the Patron Saint of Music.  You already have a sense for what these ladies have done for the world.  After all, you’ve been singing and dancing with me for over four months now!

You might be like Daddy and enjoy creating smart, silly songs that make people laugh.  You might be like Mommy and love performing The Great American Song Book in front of lots of people.  Either way, I promise your life will be filled with harmony and joy.

If you’re a boy Baby you’ll be named for two wonderful men:  Your Grandpa Robert and your Great Uncle Bob.  You might already have an idea of how important these men are.  Your Grandpa Robert taught Mommy about responsibility and American History.  Your Great Uncle Bob taught Daddy humor and self-discipline. 

If you’re born with even a percentage of the hilarity and integrity of the Roberts before you, you’ll be one amazing little boy.

We’ll have to wait roughly four months and twenty-two days to know if you have Daddy’s eyes or Mommy’s hair.  But in the meantime, at least we’ll know whether to sing “Isn’t she Lovely?” or “Sleep Little Dream Prince” to calm your evening kicks.

No matter what though, Baby please know that you are so, so loved; not just by Daddy and I, but your incredible grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins too!

Until tomorrow, Baby.

-          Your Mommy

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


My belly has outed me to the general public.  Perfect strangers now suddenly feel comfortable engaging me in pregnancy chit-chat; and I’ll let you in on a little secret:  I LOVE it!

People now know I’m cradling this precious life inside me and their recognition makes me feel special and understood; respected even.  There’s just one little thing.  The following conversation occurs at least four times a day:

STRANGER:  So do you know boy or girl yet?
ME:  We find out next week!
STRANGER:  Oh, you should wait. 

Um, I’m sorry… have we met? 

Right…stupid question – you’re a stranger.

Well, if you DID know me you’d know how ridiculous you sound right now.

I literally choreographed my last dinner party. 

I pre-decorated my home two months before I even moved in. 

I once drew a to-scale blueprint of my cubicle to decide how best to arrange my desk, okay? 

Wait to find out the sex of my baby?  Are you crazy?! 

There’s a registry to assemble.  There’s a room to adorn.  I’m facing the biggest change of my entire life and you’re asking me not to prepare.  In short, you’re a loony tune.

That said, I completely respect couples who wait.  I truly admire their patience and spontaneity.  I just can’t do it.  For me this isn’t about wanting to know…it’s about needing to. 

I am someone who craves order and there’s nothing more disorderly than a newborn.  That’s why I feel the intense compulsion to line everything else up before this messy little miracle arrives.       

So come next Wednesday, I’ll be busy choosing a gender-specific inspiration room and adding the appropriately colored bedding to my registry.  As for you strangers, you all can leave your judgement at my masterfully coordinated door.

No – not that door… 

THAT door!

*Sigh* --- here, I’ll show you.