It's surreal to think that as I write each week's post, I know that it very well could be the last one I write before little Violetta is born. 227 days ago, I learned that I was up for the
biggest promotion of my life: from Husband to Father. Any day now, I could get the call/text from Momma that it's time to go to the hospital and make the big promotion official! This Daddy-to-be can't wait to start his new job!
It's an odd feeling knowing that literally at any moment, your life is about to change beyond anything you can imagine. Obviously, I know we're having a baby - that much is definitely certain. And from the books we've read, classes we've attended, and parents we've talked to - I have an idea of the new skills I'll learn and what to expect. But I can't comprehend the upcoming joy in store for our lives.
In some ways, I feel like a little kid again on Christmas morning: I've opened all my presents except that last one in the corner. Amongst the wrapping paper strewn chaos, scores of toys for my brother, sister and me, and a heavily coffee-caffeinated yet still half asleep Mom and Dad*, there is something special about that lone present that reads simply "To: Todd, From: Santa". I have an idea of what's inside - it's the one gift on my list that I wanted most of all. I'm so excited to open it, and when my Dad hands it to me to open next, my hands tremble with excitement as I reach out to grasp the corner of the beautifully wrapped package. That moment right before you open it. That's how I feel every time I look at Momma and her "no seriously, how does she fit in there?!" belly.
*As a child, I would wake up the entire house at 5am Christmas morning. As I got older and entered high school, I'd let them "sleep in" until it was probably closer to 6am. I totally deserve what will happen in 3-4 years; I accept and expect that I'll have the same "it's what
time in the morning" look on my face when Violetta climbs into bed and
gently whispers in my ear that "Santa was here - why are you still in bed?! Santa was here! In this
house! Come see!!!"
This past week, we had maternity / pre-baby pictures taken from Colleen
, the same artist who created the watercolor dancers for Violetta's room. Portland is known for many things, one of them is its International Rose Test Gardens
. We had our pictures taken amongst 7,000 rose plants ranging in about as many colors as Violetta's little clothes.
The last few weekends have been incredibly busy: all of Violetta's clothes are washed and neatly folded, our hospital bags are packed, and there's a freezer full of home cooked meals. So this weekend we took it easy: slept in late, lounged around the house and took care of a few, little chores. We had so much fun with the Rose Garden photo shoot and last weekend's late night Mt Hood
nighttime star gazing, we wanted to do another photo shoot - although a bit closer to home. After our weekly "weekend date night dinner" we stopped on the east waterfront near the Burnside Bridge to take a few pictures before heading home.
We've entered 7th inning stretch territory (horrible pun intended), and little V is getting ready for an orchestrated change of epic proportions. These past 9 months, Violetta has been breathing no air whatsoever. Her heart is pumping and the pulmonary vessels are in place - but her circulating blood bypasses her lungs altogether. When she takes her first breath, the blood pressure in her lungs starts to drop immediately and blood begins to flow into her lungs. At the same time, the shunts in her heart through which the fetal blood has been flowing start to close. Her circulatory system almost immediately matches that of an adult. The respiratory control center in her brain signals the diaphragm muscles to contract, her rib cage expands, and her lungs fill like sails in a gale-like storm! All of these changes are precisely coordinated without any conscience effort. My little angel continues to blow my mind with what she is capable of - and she's not even born yet!
We've entered week 38, and my Baby Momma is ready to sleep on her back and see her toes again! Any day now, and that little bundle of joy will be in Momma's arms!
(We'll have the picture up tomorrow.)