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Letters to a Young Fetus

Dear Lima Bean,

I know that you are really only 13 weeks old and that most of your intestines are still probably hanging out in your umbilical cord, but now that your eyes have moved to the front of your head and you are able to move and grow eyebrows and pee, I think it is time to start setting some rules and teaching you responsibility.

First of all, do not start sucking your thumb. I know it will be very tempting in that your thumb is right there and your arms are finally long enough to get it into your mouth and honestly, there isn't a whole lot going on in my uterus as far as entertainment goes, but just trust me on this one. I sucked my thumb until I was 16 and only gave it up when I started smoking. Take my word for it, don't even start. (We'll talk about the smoking later, but if you do take it up you will be required to bum smokes to me and your father.)

Second, we will be having your picture taken in a couple of weeks and this is not the time to be shy. Don't cross your legs. I am going to be changing your diapers for years to come, so there isn't anything there that I'm not going to be well acquainted with. You will have plenty of opportunities to keep secrets from us, especially once you hit the teenage years, don't start with this one.

And finally, we are going to see the nice doctor tomorrow and have the triple screen test. Don't worry, they test me, not you. All you have to do is, well, whatever it is that you do all day. Now, I will still love you with all my heart even if you turn out to have gills or a great big melonhead (like me) or even if you are a Republican. I know this test has an incredibly high false positive rate, so even if it is positive there's a 95% chance it doesn't mean anything, but I'm not sleeping as it is so I'm going to have to be very strict. If you don't pass, you are totally grounded for 25 weeks.

(Just for fun, if you ever read this letter and can tell me what the title references, I will either give you a cookie or let you borrow the car, depending on which will thrill you more when it happens.)


Comments (30)

i love that you call the little sproud lima bean. it makes me smile every time I log onto your website!


Now, I will still love you with all my heart even if you turn out to have gills or a great big melonhead (like me) or even if you are a Republican.

Now THAT is unconditional love, mainly regarding the last part.

I was really puzzled by that test. What do they do if it really is positive?

Ha! I have a sonogram picture of my oldest sucking her thumb. I thought it was so cute at the time. Are you getting one of those cool color sonograms?

Also, there may be a brief time where you won't love a melon head (like during delivery) but once it's over the love will return.

I sucked my thumb til I was seven. The Girl quit sucking her thumb on her own at around 2 1/2. At first, I didn't want her to suck her thumb, but then I realized, I'd never have to go stick a binky in her mouth at 2 a.m. and was all for it.

Oh, and you're young enough that you really shouldn't worry too much about high positives on the triple screen.

Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet, but shhhhhh... don't tell Lima Bean yet!

Do I get something?

Jon in Michigan: I think it's the Alpha Fetal Protein test which can indicate whether there is spina bifida or Down's Syndrome.

All it means is that they will do further tests later (if you want), and for some women, it means they will consider... other options (which Beth is not considering,neither did I, so let's just not go there).

The chances of a positive test results are soooooooooo low, particularly for a mom as young as Beth.

one word: paci.

get the baby addicted to the pacifier, and you will not have a thumbsucker.
and just remember: the pacifier can be taken away, the thumb can't. :)

those are my words of wisdom for the day.

don't panic too much about the test. dave's mom had one done and it came back positive for downe's syndrome, but then it turned out to be a false positive. and she was freaked. like everyone else said, false positives are much more likely than positive positives! wishing you the best! you gonna post pics of the ultrasound when you get 'em?

Yup like Ali said, pacifiers. :) Plus, somehow the more a baby sucks the better it is for brain development or so I read during my years of devouring all there was to devour about babies/ kids and brain development. Something about stimulating the senses. :)

Wow..even if lima bean is a republican or has a big head. What a mom.

All I can say is M&M's. Eat a bag on the way to the ultrasound. A small bag will do but if you decide to go for the big one - I won't tell. The sugar in the M&M's will make sure the lima bean wakes up and does a little jig. This way you have a better chance of seeing the identifying parts. (Just a little tip from a mom of 4.)

I'm all for the paci! All 3 of my girls have had one. My thought was always that I can throw a paci in the trash but I'm not real big on the idea of cutting off a thumb! My littlest didn't want a paci and I kept working on it until she took it. :)

No thumbsuckers at my house!

Ooh. Since you sucked until 16, I don't feel so bad about sucking my finger until I was, gosh, maybe 12? Here's to hoping that your kid doesn't have an oral fixation!

Thanks for sharing. I love it when a child is loved. And you've started at the right time.


Two of my friends each called their fetuses Peanut. I like Lima Bean too. That's adorable.

LilZ is a thumbsucker. And it made my life SOOOOO easy. Hehe. See? I'm a LAZY parent...thumbsuckers are great for lazy parents!!

neither of my kids were/are thumb suckers but the older one is a nail biter.

Just remember...the triple screen is not a diagnostic test. It only tests whether you have a higher chance of any child you might have being a republican. :) It isn't actually a postive/negative test.

I loved your letter to your young fetus. You are obviously going to ROCK as a mommy.


:-D So much fun!

Awww, she signed it 'Mom'.

That is soooo fun, isn't it?
(Until it is spoken as 'Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom! Mom! Mom!!! Mom!!!!!' and accompanied by your shirt being tugged on like crazy).

Was that the first time you ever got to write "Love, Mom"?????
Did it feel way cool?!

I'm not trying to be an ass. Really. But I always thought they waited until you were in the 15-18 week pregnant range for the triple screen, so the results were more accurate.

I used to draw these on patients, but that was >10 years ago, so things may have changed!

Look at you....already a great mom. I am impressed!

She is 15 weeks. Her baby, though, is only 13 weeks.

I skipped my tripple screen this time (3rd baby.) What is the point? I wouldn't do anything about it anyways... I could tell my doctor was discouraging me from it.

I sucked my thumb for ages. Even when I wanted to stop, I couldn't. So eventually, when I was around 10 or so, my father had this cast made that fit over my arm and thumb, which was so big that my thumb couldn't fit in my mouth anymore. And that pretty much solved it.

Even now, 14 years later, my left thumb is slightly less fleshy than my right thumb, and I have to wonder what the thumb-sucking had to do with it.

i too sucked my thumb for along time. i gave it up cold turkey when i was 13 and i developed a giant crush on my older brother's friend. i wanted to be able to truly deny that i sucked my thumb if my brother were to ever bring it up in front of him to tease me. i imagine at that point my mom was longing for the days when i sucked my thumb instead of chasing after dumb boys:)

letters to leo? or cleo?

"or even if you are a Republican" hahahaha :))

I never did the whole thumb sucking thing. I was a finger sucker. Specifically my index finger, and I can't remember which hand it was on. But i had a favorite blankie, but my mom threw it out. Or rather, I thought she did. I found it in a box when I waslooking for something for her once. ahah. she was pissed that I found it.

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