I decided to write you this letter so that you will know (and I will never forget) just exactly what our life was like while we waited for your arrival. You have been in your mother’s womb for about 27 weeks now, but I have only known that you were there for a little over a week. This past week has been a whirlwind of emotions for me, but mostly pure, unparalleled, heart felt love for you. Eliza, from the very moment I found out that you existed, I have been overcome with a love that is only comparable to the love I have for your mother (by the way, she is the most amazing person in the world, as I am sure you will agree). There are so many things that I want to tell you already, so I will try to start at the beginning to catch you up to speed.
First of all, YOU ARE A MIRACLE! Before you dismiss that statement as just being a proud father doting on his child, let me clarify. You are a true hand of God, against all odds, prayer answering miracle! You see, your mother and I were told by every doctor we met with (including 3 fertility “experts”) that we would never be able to have you. We were told that you were an impossibility and that we should consider an alternate method if we ever wanted to have a child of our own. I sat many nights holding your mother as she cried knowing that she couldn’t have the one thing that she wanted more than anything else in this world….you. We had prepared to live our life together without you ever being a part of it. It was not easy to accept the reality we were faced with, but there was nothing that we could do about it (or so we thought).
Let me tell you about the day that the impossible happened and what it was like for us. Your mother had gone for a check up by her doctor. She had been experiencing some unusual pains in her abdomen and thought she might have some problems with her ovaries and feared the worst, so she decided to get it checked out. I was very concerned about what might be wrong with her this time as it seemed every time she visited a doctor we received bad news. I got a phone call at work from her. With a cracking voice, filled with tears, she asked me to come to the doctor’s office. My heart sank knowing that this could not be good. I was scared to ask her what was wrong, but I did and prepared myself for the surely awful news that she was going to give me. As it turns out, It wasn’t bad news at all. It was the greatest news I had ever heard! She fought back the tears and said “Apparently, we are having a baby”! I almost dropped the phone as I asked her to repeat herself to make sure that I didn’t misunderstand what she was telling me and she said it again. My heart soared as my mind struggled to grasp how this had happened. I vaguely remember the drive to the clinic but I am sure it didn’t take long. I had so many questions running through my mind that I am surprised that I even made it there. How?? When?? Are they sure?? Was that even my wife, or did someone mistakenly dial my number?? When I walked (I think I walked….I may have ran) into the room where your mother was, I hugged her for what seemed to be an awkwardly long amount of time for the nursing staff. We didn’t say much as we cried on each other’s shoulder so filled with joy and disbelief. When we broke our embrace, she asked me if I wanted to know what were having and of course I did. She held up the ultrasound picture and said “It’s a girl”. At that moment, I instantly fell in love with you. I had not only found out that I was going to be a daddy, but you were a girl AND you had been in there for 27 WEEKS!!! It was almost too much to handle. I felt like I was walking on a cloud as nurses and workers from the clinic congratulated us and shared some tears. My mind was racing with such an array of thoughts. We wondered how we would tell everyone about you knowing how excited everyone would be. So many people had been praying that this day would come and here it was! Your mom and I giggled as we discussed the possible ways to introduce you to the world (Mac and Minnie were surely going to be a part of this). We just had one more person to see before we could leave and start spreading the news. One of the doctors saw something on the ultrasound that didn’t look right so we needed to get a second opinion. We made our way downstairs to the other doctor and were greeted by everyone we passed with congratulatory hugs and tears. They took us in the room for another ultrasound and I was so excited to see you because I had missed the first one. I smiled uncontrollably as you appeared on the screen and I even laughed out loud as you jerked your arm away and tried to cover your face. This was truly the happiest I had ever been in my entire life (to that point). What came next felt like I had been hit in the gut by a semi truck. The doctor told us that you had a severe case of Spina Bifida and began to tell us all the things that would be wrong with you. She began by saying that you would never be able to walk. She said that you would not have control of your bladder or bowels. She said that could be born fully retarded. She kept talking but I couldn’t hear her as I went numb. My mind was screaming at her to shut up, and stop telling us all of these horrible things. I strained to hear anything positive but it just didn’t come. I had no idea what Spina Bifida was before that day so the only knowledge I had about it was coming from this doctor that was suggesting that we have an abortion to terminate you. Again, my mind raced with questions. Why had this happened?? What do we do?? How can I ever breathe again?? I drove your mom home from the clinic as we both rode in silence trying to process what had just happened. I had no idea what to do, but I knew one thing for certain…I loved you more than anything I had ever known and there was no way I could allow anything to harm you. The decision was made that day to bring you into this world and do whatever it took to care for you and show you a lifetime of love and happiness.
Since that day, I have read countless articles and testimonials about kids with Spina Bifida and I know that we are making the right choice for you. Eliza, I still don’t know what to expect when you get here and I am quite sure that no one does. I pray daily that you will be strong and tough. I pray that you will surpass everyone’s expectations, including my own (you have your work cut out for you on that because I expect that you will be the greatest person to ever live). I want you to know that no matter what obstacles you are faced with, I will be by your side to help you through. Please don’t ever think that you are anything less than perfect, because you were made by God and his work is always perfect. I will leave you with one promise. We will get through this together.