You have been called a great many things in the short time you have been earth-side. Nugget. Butt Butt. Ellie. Ellie Belly. Ells Bells. Chickadee. Ella. Ella Bella Mozzarella. But my favourite name of all is My Little Love. You are, after all, a product of true love, you are so dearly loved and by so many, and you absolutely radiate love from every inch of your delicious little body.
We tried for years to get pregnant, wishing and praying for lines on tests and blips on screens. But you never came to us when we wanted you to, My Little Love. Oh we wanted you, and we wanted you straight away, and with a snap of our fingers. I am glad that you made us wait, My Little Love, that you made us test the strength of ourselves and our marriage. You even tested a few friendships of ours. But while you, My Little Love, were making your way to us through the universe, you must have been telling yourself “not yet, not yet”.
It was trial and error from day one. We tried every old wives tale and every trick in the book. This angle. That angle. This food. That drink. This pillow. That time of day. We took all the unprecedented advice with a pinch of salt, knowing, My Little Love, that you would be here when you, and we, were ready. Every heartache from each failed attempt got squished down inside of me until it consumed my every waking moment. By the time our final round of IUI came about after 1200+ days of trying, My Little Love, I was nothing but grief and sadness with only a faint flicker of hope, hidden deep in the shadows of my almost empty soul.
And then, after years of pills, injections, emotionless ritualistic love making, and not one single positive test, you existed, My Little Love. On March 13 2019 you existed in the form of two blue lines. On March 14 you were two pink lines. March 21, a small quivering pixel on a screen. A loud, rhythmic thud through a speaker. Later that summer we saw your form take shape, and by August we knew you had my nose. Come October we could see you in your entirety, albeit on a screen. You had come to us just as we wanted to give up, My Little Love. You arrived when careers were secure and savings were flush, when houses were homes, dogs were tamed, and lives calm. In 2019 you did away with the darkness in my soul and filled it with joy and relief and hope.
I can’t bring myself to write about the agony of my pregnancy and the trauma of your birth, My Little Love. You tested me, and your Daddy, so much. We had wished you into existence but I hated how much I had to still go through to hold you in my arms. These stories, My Little Love, will be spared for now, and shared much later.
You arrived in November, surrounded by light and swaddled in the love of an army of people, My Little Love. From nurses to neighbours, everyone was so happy to hear of your birth! You tore through me at such speed, and announced your arrival with such glorious wails, we barely had time to catch our breath. You wiggled and snorted your way up my chest and rested under my chin, and through the hot wet tears of relief we drank in your every motion and movement, My Little Love. Your trembling hands and still curled up legs and that most perfect of faces. Oh My Little Love, how we adored you. You were, and still are, my most perfect of blessings. You remain my greatest achievement, My Little Love.
Nestled among the feelings of relief and love that day, I acknowledged a fleeting emotion akin to grief. My infertility journey had defined me for nearly half a decade, My Little Love. Even when I was pregnant it was often all people would discuss with me. I had known nothing but failure for so long that to hold you, My Little Love, felt like losing a huge part of myself. In exchange for this grief, I gained you. I am thankful for you and your timing, My Little Love, I truly am.
My Little Love, if you are my world, I must be your moon: I orbit around you in awe of the spectacular wonderful things you achieve, while you marvel at me, your Mama.