“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” ~Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter
Today I had my ultrasound. Today I found out you are a girl! I don’t want to forget a single moment of this, so I decided to write you a letter. To begin with, I want you to know that although this is not a traditional pregnancy where a father and mother are celebrating together, I am not alone in my celebration of you. There is always someone willing to go with me to appointments and there is always someone there to help me when I need it.
Today, on the day when I feel like I first met you, your Aunt Courtney was there with me. You need to know who she is to me. Courtney was a good friend in High School. We both went to college and went our separate ways. Then, my father died. It was the worst thing that ever happened in my life. I loved him so much and was not ready to lose him. After not seeing her for more than a decade, Courtney came to the funeral. A friend like that is a true friend. When things are really hard in your life, your real friends will be the ones who are there for you and with you. This is something I learned as an adult, but I want you to know that now. Also, if you think you’ve lost a friend because your lives go in different directions, they will come back at just the right time. Courtney came back when I lost my dad and has been at my side throughout my pregnancy. I pray you find a friend like her.
Courtney filmed much of the ultrasound, so I will be sure you see that video someday. Seeing you was breathtaking. By the time you read this letter, you will know me well enough to know that I talk a lot. Apparently, God has sent the cure because you make me speechless. I thought I would be crying through the whole thing, but I could barely breathe or blink. Your little toes and feet and legs and hands are all so perfect and inside me right now. I cannot believe you are in there moving around and stretching out and becoming this amazing person. At one point, you pressed your face against the ultrasound and peeked at us. I saw your little nose and eyelids and mouth. That is when the tears welled up. It was like you were saying, “here I am, mommy. I can’t wait to meet you!” I’m going to be totally corny and just tell you that you had me at hello. I am so in love with you right now that I can’t even stand myself.
The rest of the day I felt like I was high. I know you need more time to grow, but I don’t even want to wait for the next five months. I am not sure how I am going to contain myself or focus on anything important. I want to write this now because I know there will come a time in about 15 or 16 years when you think I hate you and want to ruin your life. I know, because I have been there with my own mother (It will be this one little phase and we will get through it and be crazy about each other again). The fact is that I cannot think of one thing on this entire planet that could ever make me not love you. I cannot think of one person who I love as much as I love you. I can’t even explain the feelings that I am feeling right now except to say that I feel whole and complete for the first time in a long time. This letter will be ongoing and I will add many other letters to it. I want to start writing down the things I want to teach you about life.
For now, however, I want to promise you that I will always always love you. You will mess up and make mistakes and I will still love you. You will hurt my feelings, but I will still love you. You will make decisions about your life that I don’t agree with, but I will still love you. You came into my life when I least expected it and you filled an empty space. Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for knowing when I needed you and coming at just the right moment. I love you.
“And I thank you for choosing me
To come through unto life to be
A beautiful reflection of his grace
For I know that a gift so great
Is only one God could create”
~Lauryn Hill, To Zion