Dear Nicholas #1

6 weeks old

Dear Nicholas,

The fog is clearing and I can finally put some thoughts together to remember this amazing time in our lives.

Tomorrow you will be 6 weeks old.

These six weeks have flown by, and in some ways are just a blur.  But I also feel that sense of completeness, like you were a piece of my heart I never new I was missing until I held you the day you were born.  That day was wonderful, giving birth to you was a beautiful, simple process that went so much faster than I expected.  Your dad and I truly experienced it together, he took care of me so perfectly the whole day.

You wouldn’t come out!  So on April 8, 2016, I was induced.  I joked that we had to evict you, you were so cozy in there!  But when you came out you were perfect, your little gaze latched on to us and you snuggled  on my chest.  Your dad and I didn’t cry much, I think we were more in disbelief that you were real, and here, and just so perfect.  It was an amazing moment to share, just the three of us.

Everyone loves you so much.  Our family- your family- finds you just as amazing as we do. You stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Havlik while your dad and I went to a movie with our friends Phil and Stacy last week.  It was a real date night for us, we saw the new Captain America movie (Maybe someday you can take over the comic book movie going duties for me!) and you stayed with Grandma and Grandpa.  It was the longest I have been away from you yet.  I wasn’t worried about you, I was more just wondering.   What were you doing, what did you think when you woke up and saw new faces taking care of you?  Turns out you really didn’t care! You were great for them and they loved having you. You are a very lucky boy with all the grandparents you are blessed with.

We are figuring you out, slowly…truth is sometimes your dad and I have no clue what to do with you!  You might be crying, and we just aren’t sure how to help you.  I guess that’s going to happen a lot as we learn to be parents!

You’re starting to make your ‘I’m going to wake up’ squeaks and grunts so I’m going to go check on you. I love listening to those crazy sounds!  And then when you open your eyes and realize there’s something to look at…your face lights up and melts my heart.

I love you, my sweet boy.


your mom


Dear Baby #7

40 Weeks

Dear baby,

Well, now we are just waiting!  Your due date was April 2, which was Saturday, today is Monday, and you are still comfortably rolling around inside my belly!  I still feel pretty good, being pregnant has been a great experience and I’m not terribly uncomfortable yet.  It is hard to bend down because my belly is getting so big, and a few times I have asked your dad to tie my shoes for me!  I walk a little slower now, too, because I’m carrying around a watermelon sized baby with me! We have everything ready at home for you, all the laundry is done, you have lots of places to sleep, and we are as prepared as I think we can be.  Now we just need YOU.


I really have enjoyed being pregnant.  I like feeling you with me as I go about my day, resting my hands on my belly and feeling your little bottom pressing out.  Sometimes it’s a lot of pressure!  You are kicking around right now as I write this, and you seem very happy in your little world in there!

Your dad and I have so many hopes and dreams for you, and now that your birth is right around the corner we’ve been talking even more about how we are going to raise you.  Often the conversation includes expression of self doubt from each of us, we just aren’t sure we know what we’ve gotten ourselves into!  But the bottom line is we are so excited to be clueless together, that being this little team- being a family- will be the most amazing adventure we’ve ever been on. We don’t know what we’re doing, but we will figure it out together.  Soon you will be part of that ‘together’.

I’ve been pretty emotional lately, it seems like I cry at the drop of a hat.  Friday I was in Trader Joe’s and a nice young many gave me flowers and said congratulations, and it was all I could do to hold it together as I finished shopping!  I got in the car and as I drove home a popular song came on the radio, and it sealed the deal, I sobbed all the way home.  It’s called Humble and Kind by Tim McGraw.  It pretty well sums up everything your dad and I hope for you as you grow.  We will have many challenges as we decide how to parent you, but the bottom line is we just want you to grow into a kind, thoughtful, hard-working man.

These are the lyrics.  Someday I bet we will sing Tim McGraw songs together, and who knows, maybe this will be one of them.

We love you so much, and we can’t wait to meet you.

You know there’s a light that glows by the front door
Don’t forget the key’s under the mat
Childhood stars shine, always stay humble and kind
Go to church ’cause your momma says to
Visit grandpa every chance that you can
It won’t be wasted time
Always stay humble and kind

Hold the door, say please, say thank you
Don’t steal, don’t cheat, and don’t lie
I know you got mountains to climb but
Always stay humble and kind
When the dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride but
Always stay humble and kind

Don’t expect a free ride from no one
Don’t hold a grudge or a chip and here’s why
Bitterness keeps you from flyin’
Always stay humble and kind
Know the difference between sleeping with someone
And sleeping with someone you love
“I love you” ain’t no pick up line so
Always stay humble and kind

Hold the door, say please, say thank you
Don’t steal, don’t cheat, and don’t lie
I know you got mountains to climb but
Always stay humble and kind
When those dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride but
Always stay humble and kind

When it’s hot, eat a root beer popsicle
Shut off the AC and roll the windows down
Let that summer sun shine
Always stay humble and kind
Don’t take for granted the love this life gives you
When you get where you’re goin
Don’t forget turn back around
And help the next one in line
Always stay humble and kind


Your mom

Dear Baby #5

36 Weeks

Dear baby,

3 weeks and 3 days until your due date!  Right now I am always thinking about when you will come.  Will it be before April 2? A few days later?  Will you be born in March, perhaps?  For the rest of my life I will think of that day a little differently because it will be your birthday.  I am excited for that day, but I am also getting a little anxious, too.

We had our shower about a few weeks ago.  Our dear friend Jen and your Aunt Kate hosted it for us.  It was the perfect day and all of the people who will love you so much were there.  You are going to be so special to so many people, friends and family near and far.

We go to the doctor once a week now.  They do an ultrasound to check and make sure you have enough fluid, and then they hook me up to the monitor for 20 minutes to see how much you’re moving around.  They are checking to see if you are ‘reactive’ and boy you are!  You have been so cooperative so far, wiggling around as if to say, I’m here and I’m happy!  This week when we went you had the hiccups, so we watched my belly twitch every few seconds as the hiccup shook your little body.  I’ve felt hiccups a couple other times, too.  I wonder what your little brain is thinking when that happens?  It seems to make you twitch and kick a lot, so maybe you don’t like it and want it to stop.  Or maybe you like the sensation of being jostled around in there.  I guess I’ll never know!

I feel you wiggling around in my belly all the time now.  I always want to remember the feeling of your little bottom pressing out on my belly as if you want to crack me open like an egg and crawl out!  Or during Pure Barre, after lots of ab work, your little feet are pressed up against my ribs and I can’t bend at all.  I love putting your dad’s hand on my belly, watching him smile in amusement as you press out as if to say hello.  He says it’s a little creepy- cool, but creepy- to feel you moving inside me.  He doesn’t want to squeeze me too tight when he hugs me so he doesn’t squish you.

I can’t believe it’s getting to be the end of this time we have had together.  I actually have loved carrying you around in my belly and feeling you grow.  I didn’t think I would enjoy pregnancy so much, but I have.  This has been such a wonderful experience, I can’t imagine how wonderful it will be when we finally meet you.

I hope I can continue to do this as you get older, so we remember the special moments of the life we are building as a family.  We love you already, our baby boy.  Your dad and I can’t wait to hold you and tell you that in person.


Your mom

You will be so tired, they say

You will be so tired, they say.  Sleepless nights for months, they reminisce.

You will be tired like you’ve never been tired before, they warn.

I listen, I nod, I smile.  They mean well, they want to share their experiences, relive those precious moments of their pregnancies with me as I experience mine.  It’s a sweet gesture and it’s one part of pregnancy I am enjoying more than I thought I would.  I have always watched that bonding occur between mothers as an outsider, and now I enjoy being part of the celebration in a whole new way.

But in the back of my mind I can’t help but think of other sleepless nights.   Of days I fell asleep at my desk at work from sheer exhaustion.  Of lying in bed with my hand on my husband’s chest all night so I could be sure he was still breathing. Of sleeping on the floor next to him when he could no longer get up the stairs.  Of sleeping whenever he slept, waking to his murmurs, rubbing his back and holding him as he fell back asleep.

It’s a strange parallel, the last few months of life and the first few.

The summer of 2011 comes to me in flashbacks, vivid and strong, sometimes attacking at inconvenient times.  It’s been happening a lot these past few months, as I anticipate the birth of my child.  I suppose I am comparing this life changing event to the other most significant event in my life, the one that changed everything forever, as I know my son’s arrival will.

During the darkest time I wrote this in our Caring Bridge journal:

You know, I’m almost 32 years old.  I spend my days taking care of someone I love so much it hurts.  I feed him watermelon and bits of popsicle.  I tell him the nutrition shake is chocolate milk so he’ll take a few sips. I wake up every few hours each night to rub his back and soothe him back to sleep. I’m trying to rest whenever he does, because I’m just so tired.  I have a hard time leaving him with anyone because I just don’t think they will take care of him the way I would.  I always thought I would be doing all these things as I cared for our child, not for my husband.   

I will be caring for our child in a similar way, but I have to keep telling myself it will just be similar.  Not the same.  This is the beginning of a life. I have Jeff beside me and we will watch him grow together.  God has our boy in His hand, and knows the days He has planned for him.  This experience will change and evolve as he grows and I have to remind myself that this time it’s not the end of something beautiful, it’s just the beginning.

Ask me in a few months if I feel this way still…but right now, I can’t wait for that exhaustion.  It was so worth it to be present for every moment while Jason was dying, and it will be worth it again to be there for my son as he grows.  I can’t wait for the lessons I will learn from him.  If death taught me so much about life, imagine what I have to learn from being a mother?

For now, I will smile when they say it.  You will be so tired.  Yes, I will.  I will be so tired, and I will be so grateful.  I will listen to him breathe, I will soothe him back to sleep in the middle of the night.  I will rest whenever he does, and I will have a hard time leaving him because no one will ever care for him like I will.  This time though, Jeff and I will do these things together.  We will do this for the child we will cherish, the child we are so thankful for.  This time it will not be the end of a beautiful, well lived life, but just the beginning.


I didn’t pray for a baby.

A few months after Jason died, I stopped praying for things to happen.  For life to go a certain way. Part of it was a little bit of lost hope.  Most of it was a sense of surrender to the larger idea that my life is not mine to control.  It’s mine to care for, and enjoy, and puzzle through.  But my plans and God’s plans may be different.

Around that time I started praying that line, in The Lord’s Prayer, Thy Will Be Done.  That’s what became my constant prayer.

I’ll be honest and admit that sometimes I came from a unique angle with this prayer.  I remember sitting on an airplane about 6 weeks after Jason’s death, praying that if it was God’s will for the plane to crash and for me to go to heaven that He would let that happen.  I can’t explain what that felt like, but it wasn’t hopelessness that drove that prayer, it was that sense of complete surrender.  Do what you will, Lord, it’s not my life, it’s yours.

He did His will that day, and the plane didn’t crash.  Instead, He placed in my path relationships that helped me rebuild and refocus my life. He continuously opened doors over the next few months to remind me- Amy, you are alive for a reason.  Your heart is still beating so go out and be a blessing to others.  

About a year later I decided I was ready to see what the dating world might hold in store for me.  I prayed again, Lord, Thy will be done.  If You have someone out there who would make the right partner for me, who I can bless with my love and will be a blessing to me, I am open and ready for what you have in store.  If not, and I am meant to be Amy on her own for many more years, I will live that life to the fullest, too.  Thy will be done.

And then I met Jeff.

We fell in love.  We built a life together.  We got married and promised to love each other forever.  We decided to see if a family might be in our future.  And that’s when I realized, I wasn’t praying for a baby.  Again, I was praying for His plan, whatever it might be.

Now I find myself praying that same prayer for my son.  I pray that he will be driven by God’s will for his life.  That he will have a relationship with the Lord so he can be open to where he might be led.

It’s hard to explain, but I feel good when I pray Thy Will Be Done.  I feel comforted, reminded that I am held close by a great and loving God even in my most hopeless moments.

And now, when I am living so completely filled with hope and happiness, I just thank God for where His will has led me.  I am so glad I chose to surrender my life to His will during the darkest time of my life.  And I will continue to pray, Thy Will Be Done.

Dear Baby #4

31 Weeks

Dear Baby,

I want to tell you a little bit about your dad.

He can be a quiet one, your dad.  I wonder if you’ll have that characteristic, too.  He’s sweet, and kind, and I can’t wait to see him bonding with you.

When we first met I didn’t know if there was going to be a romantic attachment for us…I just knew I enjoyed being with him.  I liked him, I wanted to be his friend. We had such an easy time talking together.  We laughed and we shared about our lives for hours.  He intrigued me and made me feel comfortable at the same time.

Your dad is organized and pays attention to details.  He is great at his job because of those characteristics.  He takes pride in what he does, and I love that so much about him.

He’s a family man.  He loves his parents, his brothers, and his extended family, and he has a sweet openness about him whenever we are with them.

Your dad doesn’t open up for everyone.  We’re both kind of like that now…we are a little more picky about who we invite into to share in our lives.  The friends we have are closely held.  It’s been great to watch your dad develop relationships with the friends I hold dear.

He loves his dog.  I always tease him- if he loves you and me only half as much as he loves Bella I will be incredibly happy for the rest of my life.  He’s so sweet with her, and it gives me a glimpse into the kind of dad he is going to be for you.

He also loves Batman.  And Superman, and Star Wars, and Seinfeld.  I have a feeling as  you grow you will love some of these things, too.  I can’t wait to see the two of you enjoying superhero and Star Wars toys together.

His nickname when he was a little boy was ‘Mr. Clean’.  He didn’t like being messy, and there’s 935982_10201592156622466_2138073858_na cute picture of him covered in mud that inspired that name.  On our third or fourth date I had the great idea to carve pumpkins together, because it was just before Halloween.  He agreed, and that’s when I got a glimpse into his Mr. Clean persona.  We have carved pumpkins every year since then, but now I’m the one who scoops out the slimy stuff while he does the neat and clean carving. 😉

I love his sense of adventure, probably because it’s the same one I have. We want to seize every opportunity we have in this life, say yes whenever we can.  In o10171214_10202730549281571_453144535_nur 3 1/2 years together so far, we have done a great job of living that belief.  We traveled to Boston and Nantucket, Paris, and all around Greece on our honeymoon.  We are looking forward to taking you with us as we explore this country some more soon.

He also loves to be at home, too.  We share a love of quiet nights on the couch, watching tv, with all of our animals.

He’s so good at loving me.  He makes me feel like a treasure, which is one thing I hoped for when I thought about getting married again. He makes me laugh, he laughs with me and at me when I need it.  He is my true teammate, and definitely my best friend.  I am so grateful for the way he takes care of me.  He is a blessing from heaven, I am sure of that.  11891488_10206411976514951_7441635112935823525_o

That’s your dad. ❤

Dear Baby #3

27 Weeks

Dear baby,

You are a little jumping bean inside me now!  I can feel you moving around all the time.  I can even see my belly move with your kicks and pokes, especially after I eat.

Your dad painted your room this past weekend.  It was fun to watch him do his part to make you a place in our home.  He can’t feel you every moment like I do, and it’s nice to see him get excited about the things he can do to bond with you before you come.

I like to put his hand on my belly when you’re wiggling around so he can feel the little kicks…he doesn’t like me to push too hard because he’s afraid of squishing you.  He put his ear to my belly yesterday, trying to hear your heartbeat.  No luck there but you did kick him a few times!  It’s cute and fun for us to have these moments together.

We just had Christmas and New Year’s and now I am back to work until you come.  It’s getting more and more real now that the holidays are over, we are calling this time between Christmas and Spring Break the march toward the baby…next year the holidays will be so different!

You’re not making me crave anything fun, just citrus fruit and milk on occasion.  This makes me think you are going to be a healthy eater like your dad.  I still feel pretty good, sometimes my back hurts and I definitely have some raging heartburn at night.  It’s harder and harder for me to bend over or get off the couch because you are growing!  But overall I’ve enjoyed being pregnant, I love feeling your movements and I find myself just setting my hands on my belly often.

I just want you to know that I love my life and you are coming into the world at such a happy time for me and your dad.  We love you, we love each other, and we love the family we are building.  We appreciate how blessed we are each and every moment.

We are just so happy.


Your mom