Right now, I’m 39 weeks pregnant – your birthday is just days away. Your room is ready. Your clothes are washed. All of the last minute preparations are being made. We are counting the seconds to your arrival. I can’t wait to meet you, the little bruiser who has been kicking me in the ribs for so many months. The precious boy I finally get to keep.
I can’t promise that I won’t cry when we first meet. I also can’t promise that I won’t be looking for features that you may share with your older brother Andy. The truth is, I know I will. But, I can promise you this, William McLean Butler – I always will see you for who you are. I haven’t laid eyes on you yet, but I already know you by heart.
I am not the perfect mom – I am far too broken – but you are my perfect child. You see, I believe that the angels in heaven heard my prayers for healing and peace, and they sent you to us in response. I believe you were destined to be our son – our “determined protector.” You are not a replacement for your brother, but you are the completion of our family.
Already, you have changed our lives for the better.
I will do my best to live in the moment with you and your big sister Lucy. I will celebrate the every day. Even if that means trying my hardest not to freak out when you want to play in the mud or with bugs. I will cheer for you as you reach each milestone, no matter how small. I will be your biggest champion.
I will do whatever it takes to make your dreams come true, son – even before taking your first breath, you have realized mine.
For a long time, I didn’t know if I was strong enough to have another baby. I was – and still am – devastated by the loss of your brother. Your daddy and I had so many dreams for him, which were cruelly shattered. But, then Lucy was born, and, with her, came new dreams, new joy, and new experiences. Still, I didn’t know if my broken heart had the capacity to love more.
And, then I learned I was pregnant with you. At first I was so very scared – what if something horrible happened to you too? What if I couldn’t stop comparing you to the brother we lost before you? What if you didn’t live up to some arbitrary standard set by your sister? The “what ifs” haunted me. But, then I heard your strong and steady heart beat for the first time and discovered how wrong I was to be afraid – you are everything I didn’t know I needed and more.
Will, how I love you already. In fact, the love I feel for you takes my breath away. I love you without limit or condition. And, I have held on to this love for the past 39 weeks, like an anchor in a swirling sea. You helped me persevere through the tumultuous months of testing and waiting. Now, the wait is almost over.
Very soon, I will be holding you in my arms. And, I will never let you go.
I hope that someday you will read this and know how very much you mean to me. How much you were wanted. How you have helped to heal our broken hearts. How completely you are loved.
Love always and forever,