This week, I'm writing to my five children: my toddler Grayson, my three miscarriages, and the little girl nestled in my belly. The one year anniversary of our first miscarriage is the day after Valentine's Day, and while I'm remembering all the terrible things we've gone through in the past year, I also want to celebrate my love for my children.
Before I say anything else, I want to say this: I am so, so proud of you.
The past year has been very hard for all of us, and I know you're too young to understand any of it. Your parents have been preoccupied with trying to make you a sibling. On the days when I've been too sad to focus on much of anything, or too sick to do anything but hold you, or too tired from being pregnant (yet again) that we can't go somewhere fun, you handle it with a grace beyond your two and a half years. I've had to take you to many doctor's visits with just the two of us, and you've just sat back and watched with such patience. When I say, I need to sit on the couch for a moment, you say, okay, here's a toy we can play sitting down. You love when we go outside or to the mall, but you don't complain when we don't.
I know I'm not always the best mama for you, but I also know these moments are so temporary. I'm so very proud of how you've handled everything. There are moments from the past year I'll never forget. When I came home from my D&C, you plopped yourself into my lap and seemed so concerned about the hospital bracelet on my right wrist and the IV bandage on my left. I love holding your hand as we ride the escalator up and down, and I get tickled every time you stop to dance to music coming out of a store.
Today, you ran over to me, wrapped your arms around my waist, kissed my belly, and said, "Baby!" I can't wait to see you as a big brother. You've been so gentle with my belly, and I rarely have to remind you. I know your patience will translate well, and you'll be able to deal with your sister not being able to run around with you for a while.
A year ago today, you bent down to pick up your sippy and split open your eyelid on the coffee table. We spent all of Valentine's Day evening at the emergency room, wondering if we'd have to put you to sleep to stitch up your cut. Luckily, we didn't, but you still sport the scar. Last night, we heard a large bang and then the sounds of you crying. You had somehow fallen out of your crib for the first time, and we were so relieved you weren't hurt! We immediately changed your crib to a toddler bed, and you've dealt with the transition as well as we could have hoped. When you're ready to come out of your room in the morning or after a nap, you knock politely on your door. It's so cute and so very you.
I know we're still dealing with your speech delay. It pains me because I often feel like I failed you somewhere. You did so well with your therapy last year, and I hope we can start some more in a few months. You're trying so hard to talk nowadays, and you say new words all the time. Sometimes I can really tell it's difficult for you, that you have to stop and think about it. You're so smart and obsessed with the alphabet and with counting, so I can't wait to see what your little brain will come up with once you can express your thoughts more often.
The past year has been a very difficult one, and through it all, you've been my constant, my rock. I love to hold you close and breathe in the smell of your hair, the smell that's always been yours. You've helped me get through our losses more than you'll ever know, and I often wonder if I could've done it without seeing your smiling face every day. Having you depend on me certainly helped me focus on daily life and kept me going.
When you're older and can understand, I'd like to say thank you for being my child. It might seem weird to say that - I mean, it's not like you have much of a choice. Of course you have your tantrum moments, and there are times when I want to throw my hands in the air and walk away; you are two after all. I hate having to put you in time out, and I'm as miserable about it as you look. Some days we're both ready for Daddy to come home so we can take a break!
However, when you call "Mama" from the other room, and I'm the one who gets to answer, I really feel as though I'm the luckiest woman in the world.
You'll always be my cuddlebug, my babycake. Even when you're too big to fit in my lap.
Love you bunches and always,