I'm sorry, baby girl. You've got impossibly high expectations to live up to, and we're scared as hell about you.
You'll never know your brother. But his legend will forever cloud how people think of you, what they expect from you. He was so happy! He slept through the night within a month! He inspired people! Yet your mom and I won't be able to look at you without a little bit of fear creeping in that what happened to him might one day befall you as well.
It's irrational; we know that. But we lived the nightmare, and there's a spot way back in our minds that says it's a mistake to have another child at all. What if our genes are destined to fail you? What if the dragon that took him comes for you too?
You've already managed to be grounded before you're born. By flipping around in mom's belly, you had the doctors thinking C-section one week, natural birth the next, then back to the C-section again. Had it just been a C-section from the get-go, you might have come early enough that mom could've come with me to Orlando in March for the Extra Life United gaming tournament and conference. Mom likes the idea of a vacation, but the doctors don't like the chance of blood clots so they won't let her go so soon after you're born.
It's not fair. You shouldn't be saddled with any of this. But on the other hand we are going to love you just as much as we loved Dominic; we know how precious you are, how we will cherish every moment, no matter how tired we get or what problems may come.
A lot of people are excited to meet you. There was a baby shower the other week and your closet is now full of clothes. Mom cut down her hours at work, and is now on maternity leave. I swear I'm going to install the car seat tomorrow (or maybe the next day).
Mom was talking to a friend yesterday and lamented how you're already causing her issues. They joked how funny it was for a parent to be scolding their unborn child. It also reminds me how stressed out we really are about you, even if we don't say it. Everyone expects us to be so excited about you - and we are - but that's just one side of the coin. It's just not that simple after what we went through. It never will be.
I watch videos of him and it feels like eons ago: It wasn't even two years. It's like looking through a foggy mirror at someone else's life. I had hair! We raised how much money? Is it wrong that I miss so many of the staff at the hospital?
You can never completely move on, and now we're on the precipice of another huge change. I'm looking forward to it - I guess I'm hoping you're going to reach out and drag me forward. It's an unreasonable expectation, but I'm counting on it nonetheless.
It's 4 a.m. and I can't sleep. It's not your fault. I mean, it will be some other time I'm up at 4 a.m., no doubt about it. But for now I'm a mixture of anxiety and sadness and hope and fear and love.
We can deal with whatever's ahead because we got through what happened in the past. That doesn't mean it'll feel like a cakewalk, however, and you're still totally grounded.