To my soon-to-be-born son,
You weren’t supposed to be here. I never thought I would have a son.
We found out we were pregnant with our fourth baby early in 2017. At our 20-week ultrasound, the technician confirmed what we already suspected: She was a girl; our fourth girl! We were overjoyed! We knew girls! We had this!
But soon, after a very unexpected turn of events, we lost our sweet daughter, your big sister. She wouldn’t join our family in the way we planned, and we were heartbroken. Honestly, I assumed this was the awful, tragic way our story would end. Three beautiful, healthy little girls, and then a shocking, painful, cruel loss.
Except that wasn’t the end. We still longed for another baby to complete our family, and chose to go through IVF to avoid enduring another loss, which I didn’t think I’d survive. There were times along this grueling path I was sure it wouldn’t work; that I wouldn’t become pregnant. But, by some miracle, I did. And all of the sudden you were in our lives.
I remember feeling you move inside my belly for the first time. After living with an empty ache when life was ripped from my womb, knowing that you were growing and thriving there filled me with wonder and fear. I’ve worried about you more than any of your sisters. Every day. It’s been a long road to get where we are today; just weeks away from welcoming you, officially, into our big, crazy family.
It’s not just for your health that I’ve worried. The truth is, I am afraid to have a son. Up until now, I’ve only known girls.
While I lie awake at night, my back aching, my huge belly and your constant, energetic, stronger-by-the-day movements preventing me from finding one comfortable position, I ask myself questions like, “What if I don’t know what to do with a son?” and “What if I’m not a good mom to you?”
I hate to admit this, but I also fret that I won’t be able to find room in my heart for you after having experienced the life-altering grief of losing your sister. I wonder, “Will I be too sad to find the joy in your birth?”
Moms who have endured loss assure me I will take one look at you and realize you were meant to be. It’s hard to believe them, now, when I am yet to meet you. But I hope they’re right.
For now, all I can do is marvel over your sheer existence. Because not so long ago, I never thought I’d be here, preparing to give birth to a healthy baby, a boy no less! And despite all my misgivings and hesitations, I am so, so excited to have you change my life, which I know you will. All I ask is that you have a little patience with me. We will both be new at this whole mom/son thing.
So, what do you say? Can we do this together? Walk down this unpredictable road of life? It would be my honor to hold your little hand as we embark upon this amazing adventure I never in a million years dreamed would ever happen.
OK, that’s it for now. I love you already; that much I know.
P.S. Enough with the heartburn, already!
Photos: Flickr and Melissa Willets