Friday, May 1, 2009

A Letter for Ethan

Dear Ethan,

I can't believe that 2 years have already gone by. I have to admit, when I first found out I was pregnant, not only was I surprised, but I was scared. I didn't have enough faith in myself to believe I could raise another child. I was quickly humbled when I realized that both you and the Lord had enough faith in me to send me this great blessing.

I went to bed last night thinking back to when I went into labor. I remember the excitement, the anticipation. I stayed up all night enduring labor pains and anxiously waited for your arrival. I didn't want an epidural or pain medications, and because of this you came on your own schedule and didn't want to wait for the doctor to come. Luckily my nurse was very competent and did a good job in helping me deliver you. When they finally handed you to me, all I could do was cry. I remember being so excited to see you and to finally meet the little guy who came, against the odds, to join our family. You looked so healthy and strong. I instantly realized how blessed I had just become. We had no idea that anything was wrong.

When I woke up this morning, I took a few minutes to just watch you sleep. I was thinking, "in just a few minutes you will have been born". It's hard for me to put my feelings about your birth day into words. It was quite simply one of the most blessed and devastating days of my life. My heart was both lifted and broken on that day.

It was not long after you were born, you and I were finally alone in my room. I was very tired and so we took a nap together with you lying on my chest. It may sound silly, but that nap has haunted me. I cried about it for months. You see, after we got news of your diagnosis, things happened so fast. You were intubated, and then life flighted to PCMC.

We were never alone after that. There were always people around. I couldn't comfort you. I couldn't hold you anymore and I didn't know if I would ever get to hold you again. My heart ached to wonder if you even knew that I was your mother. I couldn't stand that I threw away the only moment of "normal" that we would ever share together. I sat at your bedside and wished over and over again, that I didn't take that nap. I wished I had taken the time to just hold you. To feel your warmth. To smell you. To memorize your small features. To etch your soul into mine. To simply appreciate and love everything that you were. I felt that I had wasted precious time that I would never get back.

As hard as it was, it was a lesson I needed to learn. Ever since then, I've tried to live without regrets. You've taught me to live in the moment and to appreciate all of those little things that sometimes go unnoticed.

At the time, my mommy heart was shattered. I wasn't sure if I would ever get the chance to raise you. I felt so cheated. I didn't understand why God didn't just leave well enough alone. Why didn't He just let me be happy with my other 3 children. Why would He go out of his way to send you to me only to take you away? It seemed so cruel.

Since then, I've come to a conclusion. He didn't take you away, because I think, God knows how much I need you. He knows I am too weak to do this without you. He knows that you have too much to teach me, and that takes time. So far, He has blessed our family with 2 wonderful and amazing years with you. He has blessed you with good heath, a strong spirit, a wonderful medical team, and a family who loves you and would do anything in our power to make you happy and healthy.

Although I will be forever grateful for the time we've had, I have to admit, it still scares me when I think about how long we might really have. Please don't misunderstand, I KNOW that families are forever. I KNOW that you will always be mine. But that's not enough. Not yet. I need to see you grow, to ride a bike, and learn to read. I need to hold you on your birthdays, your good days, and your bad days. I want to comfort you when a girl first breaks your already broken heart. I want to see your school programs and see you play with your friends. I need to kiss your skinned knees. I want to teach you to drive and to see you graduate.

I guess what it comes down to is, I want to be your mother for a very long time.

Ethan, you continue to make me a better person. I needed you when I didn't even know it. I am grateful everyday that the Lord sent you to me. My broken mommy heart heals everyday with the joy that you bring to it.

I hope you will always know, and feel, how very deeply you are loved. One cannot measure the amount of pure joy you bring into my life.

On your birthday, my humble and simple prayer, is that we are able to celebrate many, many, many more........together.

Happy birthday baby!

Love,
Mom

13 comments:

Ty and Ber said...

Thanks for sharing that! A tear jerker! What an amazing letter for him to have.

It seriously makes one truely think about the time that we spend with our kids. Are we making the most of it? Whether our kids are healthy or not we don't know how long they will be with us.

Happy Birthday Ethan! Wishing you the best today and for the years to come!!!!

buddens said...

Wow, Allison! You had me in tears! What a sweet letter to a sweet little guy. Just as you are lucky to have him, he is lucky to have you. Happy Birthday Ethan!

Melissa said...

What a lovely letter. Ethan is so lucky to have you for a mom! Happy Birthday!
Melissa - IHH

Christina said...

What a sweet letter for your amazing son. Happy Birthday Ethan!

Hugs & Prayers,
Christina
Jacob's Momma

Mike and Rebecca said...

What a beautiful letter...thanks for sharing it with us...Happy Birthday Ethan with many more to come!

Hugs,
Mike
IHH

Fowers Family said...

That was a very powerful letter, I love and miss you. We are Going on vacation this week, so in the next few weeks we can meet. I will be gone on your birthday so happy early birthday! Love, Jody

The Gatherum Family said...

What a lucky little boy to have such a great mom and family. I too will always remember that day. Hope Ethan had a very hapy birthday and has many, many more to come! Thanks for today, it was so nice!
Love,
Adrian

~Rachel said...

What a beautiful letter to an amazing little guy. The girls and I had Ethan on our minds all day yesterday. We talked about how he has blessed many lives and is so strong. We too are praying he will have many, many, many more birthdays. We are so excited to see you all in a couple of weeks.

carolyn q said...

I am so overwhelmed by the beauty of your letter. What an amazing journey and blessing it is to have a CHD child.
Ethan is remarkable and extremely lucky to have such amazing parents.
Though I posted B-day wishes on the IHH Forum the actual day of his Birthday. . .Happy Birthday Ethan! I can't wait to see what amazing and wonderful things you will achieve this next year.
(HUGS)

Lisa Marie Trent said...

Thank you for your comment. I hope Ethan is doing well, and that the Fontan is a SMOOTH SMOOTH process for you guys! I'll keep updated on you blog and keep him in our prayers~

Lisa (Jack's MOM)

Zaltana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zaltana said...

So I am bawling now! Allison - you are such a great person and a wonderful mommy!!
Thank you for this post!

Happy birthday Ethan!!! We love you too!!

~Newbolds~

Jenn said...

Allison, what an amazing letter. You amaze me with your ability to word things so well. We are all so lucky to have such wonderful children in our lives, who I think, have helped make us all be better people! Hes such an amazing little guy!! Happy Birthday Ethan!! We love you!!