October 18, 2009

To Ethan (12 months)

Dear Ethan,

Happy Birthday, my handsome boy! In a couple days, you will be officially ONE YEAR OLD! Just another 18 years to go, you can buy vodka all by yourself! 

I've been thinking what to tell you on your birthday. Not that you haven't had any developments this month - you've learned to identify fat ladies to point at in grocery store, to fart like a trooper, to bite like a mouse......just name a few, but I really want to let you know how badly I wanted to have you.

The desire of having you was the only reason your father and I got married. We had been living together way too long to even consider marriage. If it's not too hard to find a wedding dress for pregnant woman, we'd definitely start trying right after we decided to wed. The joy I felt when I found I was pregnant two months after the wedding was unmeasured by anything. I would say my very first ultrasound image that I had received from the radiologist was the most extraordinary art in the planet. Now, I am talking about abstract art, of which only drunk people could tell you exactly what they see. I was too thrilled to keep it inside myself. I told EVERYONE! Yes, probably every single human beings in the world.

I was not surprised about my being fertile. I eat well, quit smoking few years back (Yes, I did smoke. But I would've not even started if I realized how hurtful it is to my body), exercise regularly, barely get sick......I saw no reason why I couldn't conceive. Everything just went as expected until 4 weeks later when I started bleeding. I went through a-million-year long weekend trying to tell myself that things would be fine, though Google kept showing me tons of evidences of miscarriage. Finally the sonogram confirmed it. Devastatingly torn, I was hiding myself being face-washed by tears. Tons of compassionate and encouraging messages came by, but nothing could help, nothing could undo what happened. It took me a lot of ways to get over it, to think about something else, but that was purely impossible. There was a day, an afternoon, a moment that struck me so hard, completely out of the blue, that my first baby should have been starting babbling that very day. I should have been pushing her stroller jogging around the park......

Then it came the second pregnancy after almost a year. If being pregnant two months after wedding is some kind of fertility assurance, I can prove it WRONG. Every time when I felt like I was going to start my period again, I sighed knowing that another month of grueling sex had started. That year, if your dad would ever tell you, is one of the most fantastic years he has ever had in his life. The amount of sex we had was way too much for any normal couples.

This time, we decided not to tell anyone until the first trimester genetic screening was done. Breaking more hearts doesn't help heal ours. We passed the first four terrifying weeks, we made the screening too. Just the result came back abnormal, meaning the baby would have a 99% chance of having genetic problems. I was sent to take a 100% accurate amniotic fluid test which took another trillion-year-long two weeks to come up with the result.

I knew something was wrong. I just needed some kind of science proof. But I was still hopeful. I wanted to have a baby badly. I tried to explain it away. Maybe I did have that 1% chance. Maybe? Something? Anything? I would believe into anything, please, I just want to have this baby.

Then bad news came one December evening from my doctor telling me my baby was confirmed to have serious genetic problems if she's born. Just days before my scheduled pregnancy termination surgery, the fetus passed from my body naturally. It was awful, but I was glad that it happened this way instead of having an invasive medical procedure. Ironically, it occurred on a Boxing Day as if I was given a gift of truth "when it's not supposed to be yours, it's not!".

When I thought I had a perfect life, these tragic spots ruined it. I would never forget that Christmas. That's my "emptiest" Christmas! The family was told that we were going away for a vacation. Yes, we did a "home getaway" from faking Christmas happiness, from going to baby shower, from pretending nothing happened. I was trying not to let my mind go there, but lots of "what if" burst out. What if I am unable to carry a full term baby? What if the genetic issue is from either one of us that we cannot have a normal baby naturally? What if we have to adopt when I long for the labor experience as a real mom? What if I can't love the adopted child as much as my own child? After another I-don't-even-remember-how-freaking-long days, blood test report came back confirming that neither of us have any kind of genetic diseases. This case was just a random thing which could happen to any completely healthy couples.

Ethan, you have a mom whose brain can come up with countless impossibly negative thoughts, where only your father can refrain the situation from getting worse. Sometimes I think he's the only reason I'm still here out of any psychiatric facilities. The last time I saw him weep was when we were at the airport, and he needed to move back to Vancouver a year before my immigration was done. This incident was the second time. During this difficult time, when I had no one to talk to, he, as heart broken as I was, was the only one who tried to calm me down in every tear-filled rampage where I threw out tons of gloomy nonsenses. Your father has no sweet mouth nor handsome face, it's his genuine care for me that made me decide to marry him.

My recovery went perfectly well that I was pregnant again after two months. Not feeling as excited as my previous pregnancies, I was haunted by the demon of fear for quite some time......until I felt your feisty kicks, until I saw you perform somersault in my tummy via ultrasound, until I truly believed we would be seeing each other very soon. As weeks slipped by, your father and I had inched closer to the moment we would hold you in our arms for the first time, the gratitude we felt about being the parent had grown so huge that completely concealed what we both had suffered in the past. The devastation I'd gone through before just confirmed to me how ready I was to have you. It also reinforced just how much of a miracle you are, how many things could have gone wrong, but didn't.

Here you are now, Ethan, a year after you were laid on my chest while I smelled your first scent. Those first few months with you was the toughest months of my life. Not that you were bad in any way, just I was not as confident as I thought I would be. I wasn't prepared for what you would do to my capacity of love and worry. During that time, I felt like my soul was shattered and flew away.

But you've changed me. Look at what a ride it has been between us. I've managed to last 12 months. I am a super mom now! And you've made it too. You've become a totally different little boy from the first day we brought you home. Your personality only gets more adorable every single minute. Ethan, I have to say, to know you is to love you, to be deeply in love with you. My life was not even a life before you came along.

I talked to your father about this post before I published it, just to make sure we were both comfortable with that. Then we realized that we will never forget what we have encountered, but now we have you here, nothing matters more than that.

Love,
Mommy

25 comments:

KennyT said...

Happy birthday to Ethan!

Stefanie said...

... what a beautiful, painful, gutwrenching and in the end unbelievably amazing life story you shared... thank you for letting me share that with you...

congratulations on Ethan...and many more years of happiness with that beautiful baby boy of yours.

Keturah said...

Although I know the story already, reading it breaks my heart. You guys have the happy ending you deserve =)

Ethan: Love you and happy bday, next year Guu Guu will buy you an escalade ;) haha!

EcoMeg said...

Oh happy birthday sweet baby!!

Fresh Local and Best said...

Happy birthday to Ethan! Lululu, I had no idea you've endured such challenges. Ethan is truly a gift, and beautiful, healthy and rambunctious gift!

Veronica Lee said...

Happy Birthday to handsome Ethan!!


((hugs))

Josephine said...

Happy Happy Happy birthday to you, Ethan!

Lululu, you're truly a super mom!!! So happy for you. Ethan must be very proud of having you as mother.

Such a beautiful, loving family. May lots of blessings filling your family. :D

My Little Space said...

You're right! In another 18 years he can buy his own volka and get drunk...he he! Nevertheless, at least he is healthy. So, don't worry and be happy.

Anna said...

Wow what a beautiful letter to Ethan, Happy Birthday Ethan. He is adorable.

LZ @ My Messy Paradise said...

Gorgeous! Happy Birthday, Ethan!
That means you just had an anniversary, too...Congrats!

Chow and Chatter said...

oh wow what a lovely post I am in tears he is gorgeous and the cake is amazing congrats sweet lululu and happy Birthday Ethan love Rebecca

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

I am so happy for you that you were able to have your beautiful baby after going through so much heartache.

janet said...

Happy birthday to Ethan!
And I'm so happy that your heartache turned into so much love and happiness!

Fresh Local and Best said...

I still can't get over how cute Ethan is! You're so lucky!

koralee said...

Oh my goodness...your sweet son Ethan is adorable!!!! Your story is amazing...you deserve all the happness ever after! xo

mopiko612 said...

lululu

we moms are super!

Olive said...

..you went through so much but I'm glad you have Ethan now and when he's old enough to understand, he will realize how truly special he is..,

Thank you for sharing your story..

Happy, Happy (Belated) Birthday to Ethan! :)

Lynnylu said...

Ethan is precious! You've gone through quite a traumatic time. I'm happy for you and your family.

2 Toddlers and Me said...

I hope he had a wonderful birthday. You deserve it after all you've been through. I had one miscarriage and it affected me tremendously. Everything worked out for me too, and we've had many happy birthdays since. You're just about in the fun toddler years where they say the funniest things and make you laugh every day. You have much to look forward too.

Deepa G Joshi said...

You have a very beautiful baby..Cant wait to have one :).

Hope you had a blast on your birthday Ethan, with that cute monkey cake:)God bless!!

Deepa G Joshi said...

Lu,
you are an amazing mom and I am sure a wonderful person. I cried when I read it. Great to have a person in your life who supported you and acted as a strong pillar while you needed him the most. I shared this with my husband and he too feels the same.

Wish all the three of you very best!!

StupidHollyWolly said...

Thank you for sharing your story, lululu! Both of you deserve a happy and healthy boy like Ethan, after going through so much!

Paula - bell'alimento said...

What an amazing & touching love letter to your sweet Ethan! Happy Birthday little man. Lulu you are truly blessed : )

petite nyonya said...

An inspirational story & very glad that you're a supermom to wonderful Ethan now.

mabel said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Lucy

http://maternitymotherhood.net