The following letter was written to my daughter, Angela, five days before she was born. Happy birthday, baby.

Sept. 18
Dear Angie,
The day is coming, isn’t it? I’ve been feeling a lot of sensations over the past few days. Besides feeling you wiggle, I’ve felt my abdomen tightening and my pelvis aching. I don’t know exactly what any of it means, but I can only assume that my body is getting ready to let you out.
When the day comes, try not to be scared. It will probably hurt you, and it will hurt me too, but trust that everything will happen just as it is supposed to. I’ll do my best to make it all go as smoothly as possible for you and maybe you could do the same for me. It won’t be easy. But it will be wonderful. I promise. I’ll be here on the other side to hold you as soon as you get here.
Your new mama.