My love,

One year. One year of you. One year of us. 

And what a year it has been. Memories of carrying you are still fresh. I can still remember how heavy my body was and how abused my organs felt with you dancing around inside me.

My dear rainbow baby, it was a terrifying journey bringing you into this world. Having had 2 miscarriages before you, I was always, always scared of losing you. The anxiety, fear and stress of the circumstances we were in kept me from fully enjoying my pregnancy.

I still remember the day very clearly. After 27 hours of labor, you were finally put on my chest, all slimy and bloody and squirmy. When they took you away to do tests, I kept on asking “Is she crying? Is she crying? Why isn’t she crying? Why don’t I hear anything?”. It was only when I heard your very first cry that I finally was able to breathe a huge sigh of relief. 

The first 6 months of your life was hell for me. You were an easy baby, you hardly ever cried, always smiling, always trying to talk to me. And you started sleeping through the night, 12 hours straight, at 2 months old. But I wasn’t “right”. Thank you for allowing me to navigate through postpartum depression and a season of brokenness, thank you for your patience as I learned to be your mom. 

The moment you were born, I could already see that you were small (well not that small considering you were 7lbs) but mighty. You would stare and your gaze would follow us, like you knew what was going on. In fact, your very first picture, merely a few seconds after you were born, was with you staring straight at the camera with eyes wide open and sticking your tongue out at Daddy. Your intent gaze held the force you possess to this day.

My love, you are transitioning through toddlerhood and I am amazed at how quickly you are growing and learning new skills literally overnight. I can already see bits of myself in you. You are cautious yet feisty, always making sure your hands have something to hold on to before taking a small step, yet not hesitating to do a death drop whenever you know I am nearby (which never fails to give me mini heart attacks). You are very sweet and strong willed,  determined to get what you want – a toy, food or even just tissue paper.  Diaper changes have become the perfect time for you to show your dislike of not being able to do what you want – kicking, flipping, resisting. You have a fire inside you and I never want it to go away. Even if it means we’re going to butt heads in the future. I will always encourage you to let your light shine. You are Zia after all and your name means light. 

It has really been a hard year. I’ve never cried so many times in my life. But there have also been incredible highs. I am so sorry for not giving you my best self every day. But I did give you all of me, and then some. But the greatest blessings come from the hardest breakings. And you are our greatest blessing. 

Thank you for showing me how to love through fear and in spite of fear. Thank you for teaching me about a love that was bigger than myself – a completely selfless, all-consuming kind of love. Thank you for changing my worldview. Becoming your mother has changed me in a hundred other ways, most of which I’d like to think are for the better. Nothing else in my life has resulted in such a complete and utter transformation.

Happy birthday my beloved rainbow baby. Learning to love you has not come without its own anxieties. Your name fits you perfectly. You are our light and our gift from God. You my love, are a promise that after each storm comes a rainbow.

Love you always,