A Love Letter

Dear Willie,
Tomorrow is your birthday, and I can’t believe it’s been two years since we looked at you for the first time, our hearts full of love and awe. You still inspire awe in us, sweet William. You always will. Because you might ask someday, and because by then I might not remember the details…. I’ve decided to tell you the story of how you came into this world, and just how glad we are that you did.

Two years ago today, we knew you’d be joining us soon but weren’t expecting you just yet. I knew that I’d probably not get much yard work done after you arrived, so on the evening of July 30, I went outside to pull weeds and straighten up the flower beds. It was a hot day, but other than being the size of a barn, I was in good spirits and feeling pretty spry. I worked for a little over an hour before heading inside. We ate a pleasant dinner and went to sleep.

I woke a little after midnight with my first contraction. I didn’t know it was that at the time, but I had my suspicions. I got up quietly, not wanting to wake your Dad until I knew for sure. I assumed that even if this new pain was a contraction, there would still be many hours ahead of us.  I couldn't sleep obviously, but there was no reason he couldn't.

I went to the family room and turned on the tv for some distraction. I picked up a newspaper and pen from the coffee table, and jotted down the time of each contraction in the margin of the front page.

By 2 am, the pains were much more intense and coming closer together. My hand writing had become a bit shaky and I was afraid I might be missing some of what needed to be written down. I went ahead and woke your Dad.

He was wide awake in a heartbeat, and ready to help. I was pacing at this point because walking seemed to be the only thing that made the contractions less painful. By 3, the pains were coming much more quickly and with more insistence. I decided we’d better go to the hospital just in case you were coming more quickly than we’d expected.

We got to the hospital and I assured your Dad that I was probably experiencing false labor and not to bother taking my overnight bag in. We were there just to be careful after all. I was convinced you weren’t going to be born until your due date which was still a few days away. “They’ll probably just send us home.” I assured him. We checked in. This process took forever. The orderly who wheeled me to my room said she’d just come on for her shift. She laughingly said she’d be home with her feet up by the time my baby was born. I glowered at her until she left.

As soon as we got into the room, I was struck with a particularly painful contraction and leaned against the bed. A nurse came in just then, and said she needed to check me out. I put on the hospital gown and she did her check.

She came up to my side and asked cautiously, “Honey, were you planning on taking some pain medication or getting an epidural?” I should have known this wasn’t going to go well when she called me honey, but I said, “Yes, both please.”

“Well”, she said, “The doctor will be here in a moment to say for sure, but I think it’s too late. You’re going to have that baby now.”

“Huh? What do you mean, NOW?” I asked. This was not part of the plan. Everyone had warned, no PROMISED me that there would be hours and hours of waiting and contractions and then there would be pain medicine and all would be good. I sucked in a deep breath, said a little prayer and concentrated on the fact that women have been giving birth without pain medication since the beginning of time. It would be fine, surely.

The doctor arrived. I’ll spare you the specific details, but rest assured that you were born quickly. “Is he okay?” I asked before they even handed you to me. I was told that you were a very healthy little boy. Just 4 hours and 15 minutes after that first contraction, I was able to hold your little squirming baby self in my arms. I loved you before I ever saw your face, but I fell in love with you at that moment. The pain was nothing more than memory.  Your eyes looked into mine, and though I’m sure all you saw was a blurry blob – the blurry blob said, “Hi William, I’m your Mommy.” Truth be told, the tears in my eyes made you a little bit blurry too.

I know that you think your Dad is a tough guy, and he is. He’s a manly man who would prefer discussing box scores or politics to feelings any day. But even he was visibly moved by the arrival of his son.

There aren’t words that can express how much love we felt for you from those very first moments. Every little thing about you was perfect and amazing. In a heartbeat our lives had changed. We were your parents.

As you grow into the man you will become, I want to promise you that we will always love you. We will always cherish you. There is nothing you can do that could change that. My own Mom used to say that to me, and I didn’t grasp what she meant until you were here. I’m sure there will be times that you do things I’m not thrilled about, but none of those things will change the fact that you are my sweet little boy.

I’ll love you forever, Sweet William. Happy Birthday to You.


  1. What a sweet darling! Happy birthday to your little man!! :o)

    P.S. Thanks for stopping by my blog and have a truly lovely weekend!

    In His Joy,

  2. What a wonderful piece of writing. Lucky 'little man', to have such a thoughtful mum. Have a fantastic day tomorrow. Sending Willie A Great Big Hug, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
    Z xx

  3. So Beautiful.....I'm glad you wrote it all down:)

  4. Don't you really love re-living that day? Even now, our kids will ask me to tell them about the day they were born. Guess you never out-grow that! :)



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