Dear hungry, naughty tiny tornado of ours,
We did it. We survived your first year—the three of us, together.
I never thought I’d fall in love with a stranger. Then you arrived. We knew this past year would not be easy for your dad and me, but I wanted to tell you that it was all worth it. All the IVF path, the pain, the struggles; all the tears, the doubts, the nightmares; all the saggy breasts, the stretch marks, the scar and the loose skin in my abdomen. It’s all worth it.
Being your mother has been so far the most lonely experience of my life; yet, I was never alone, since the day you gripped yourself into me as a 5-day embryo Frosty. I will always remember the first time I felt you moving.
During the last past year, I understand what it means feeling sad and hopeless. I’ve never been so desperate in my life, but also so full of love.
We couldn’t ask for a better baby: you started sleeping through the night at two months old; you always have a smile on your face; you like music and playing independently; you enjoy eating and the company of the few people you met.
We are surviving a once-in-a-generation pandemic; I wish I could have given you a better year, surrounded by the love of your extended family. I wish you could know what a dog looks like. I wish you had more little friends to hang out with. I am sorry I couldn’t travel with you, go to the park or eat out more often; or go to the pool, a museum, or to the beach. I promise you there are so many adventures waiting for us in the future.
Despite what you didn’t have, I hope you could feel all my efforts to make you feel safe, cared for, and loved. I hope you felt reassured and comforted in my arms when you were teething and exhausted by it, when you got a cold and couldn’t breathe, and all you wanted to do was to rest. I hope the smell of my skin and my slow heartbeat helped you feel better. I didn’t mind sleeping next to your cot on the floor, holding your hand, when you need it. Our carpet is soft.
I am sorry I lose my temper so often with you. I try to be the best version of myself every day, for you and your father. Even when I shout at you, you need to know that your father and I love you, unconditionally. Whatever mischief you do, the caccabombs, the whining—you’re our priority, and your feelings come first. They will always do.
Thank you for teaching me something every day: resilience, consistency, patience. Thank you for awakening my inner child, with all the nursery rhymes and the peekaboo games. Thank you for reminding me to be grateful.
Vinnie, you truly are the best baby a mother could ever dream. I feel lucky to have you in my life.
I am so excited to spend another year with you, and then another one, and then another one.