Baby O - 2.0


One day something amazing happened. It started with Dinah asking when “Baby O” would be born. She knew “B-day” was close. When I replied, “Soon,” tears welled in her eyes. Although she was excited, she did not want to say good-bye to “Baby O” or Speak LIFE. In that moment, I realized Speak LIFE had taken on a life of its own—in my daughter’s heart. I am humbled to be the Momma who lived Dinah’s journey and grateful I was able to write about it! Next week “Baby O” begins a new journey: one as a big sister. Come along with us!



I am six. Six weeks old. You might not have noticed me yet— Hey, what about me? Ahhh!! Who is that? Me. Is that you, Mom? No, silly. It’s me. I’m right next to you. You scared me! That’s what siblings are for. Do you think Mom knows? Knows what? That there are two of us? I don’t know. You didn’t. How big are we this week, anyway? Um, as big as grains of rice. So probably not. Boy, is she going to be surprised. What else is happening this week? Well, our hearts have regular rhythms and next week we’ll be 10,000 times bigger than when we were conceived. Shhh! Why? I need more naps!



We are seven. We are seven. Seven weeks old. Do you feel 10,000 times bigger than when we were conceived? I don’t know, do you? Something feels different. Maybe because your hands and legs are starting to grow. What? I know things­­ too. Oh really? Like that our optic cups and nasal pits are forming? Or that our brains are dividing into five separate vesicles. Into what? Wait, have you been reading a dictionary? Of course not, I don’t have eyes yet, silly. Okay, okay—just get to the point and tell them how big we are. We’re as big as cucumber seeds. Was that so hard?



We are eight. Eight weeks old. Why do you always do that? What? Start talking before me? Fine, you say it then. But now they already know how old we are. Wait. Who’s “they?” I don’t know. You’re the one who started it. Well, I felt like someone was listening… and they needed to know. Yeah. I know what you mean. Can I tell them? Tell them what? How big we are? Okay. Yay! We are as big as something small, oval and dark… can you guess what? Spit it out, will you? Ha! That’s funny. Did you just tell your first joke? Will you tell them already? Oh, alright. Watermelon seeds!


Week | 58
Speak LIFE | We are nine.

I am three. Three years old. I am an expert at laundry. I can rearrange a basket of folded, clean clothes in less than thirty seconds. I love to look for bunnies in the yard with Dad when he gets home from work. After a thunderstorm, Momma takes me outside so I can jump in ALL the mud puddles. I like to hum all day long. Anytime I hear music: I dance. I have so many things to occupy me but what I could really use is a playmate! Yoo-hoo! Mom! Dad! I want to be a big sister!



We are nine. Nine weeks old. Will you stop playing the drums so loud? How can I play the drums? My elbows aren’t even formed yet! Well—it isn’t me! Shh. There, hear that? Um—yeah. If it isn’t you then who is it? Both of us, silly. What do you mean? Oh, wait. You mean that drumming is our heartbeats? Yep. Wow. Nice rhythm, huh? Uh-huh. Hey, how big are we this week? As big as almonds. Are you calling me a nut? Well, if I am then we’re both nuts. I guess that’s okay then.

​ -a.m.opdahl


We are ten. Ten weeks old. See? Now stop saying I didn’t give you a turn. Well, it’s about time you let me go first. Hey, is your forehead bulging like mine? You’re changing the subject. How about your ears and chin? Are they fully developed? You’re still changing the subject. What about your arms and legs? Can you rotate them? You’re still not talking about how you don’t let me talk first. Did you know we’re as big as grapes this week? Wait—now you want to talk about snacks? Yes. Well, now you’re talking! ​



We are eleven. Eleven weeks old. I can open and close my hands. Oh, yeah? Well, I can kick my arms and legs.  I know. What you can do I can do too. Oh yeah. How about this? Can you do this? Do what? This. Did you forget our eyelids are still fused? Oh, right. I guess I’ll show you later. What else is going on this week? Our major structures are present and developing. Blah, blah, blah… boring… and we’re as big as…? Fine. Strawberries. Yum! Think about strawberries. It worked last week when we got Mom to eat grapes.



I am three. I am three. Three years old. The thunderstorm scared me but afterward the sun came out. Then you put my rainboots on me, Momma. I. Am. Soooo muddy and happy. How many puddles did I find? Oh, Momma! Look at all the robins. They’re hopping everywhere. They like it when the thunderstorm is over too. Oh, here Momma. I have things in my hand for you. Do you want a sunny, yellow dandelion or a soft, wiggly stick? The robins seem to like the wiggly sticks. I have to go! I see another puddle! Psst. I want to be a big sister!



We are twelve. Twelve weeks old. What was that? What? A slurping sound. What are you doing? I’m practicing nursing. Uh—maybe you should focus on growing your cartilage instead. That would be quieter. Yeah, but not as interesting. Hey, what should we get Mom to crave today? How about an avocado? Nah, that’s boring. We need something crazy. What do you suggest? I don’t know. I guess an avocado does sound good. You think any food sounds good. Yeah, so? How about guacamole? Yum! Perfect! Because we’re about as big as avocado pits this week!