Still: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Motherhood available for pre-order now!

To Our Second Child

To Our Second Child
February 12, 2016 4 minute read

To our beloved second child,

I’ve decided to start writing you letters. Another mama, the inspirational and sweet Jenica Parcell, did (and is still doing) this during her infertility journey and I just thought it was such a beautiful thing to do during this stressful, exciting, frustrating, happy (and all the other emotions) process. And now she’s pregnant with twins!

I had originally decided to title theses letters “To Reid’s Sibling” but I realize now that your life will always be compared to Reid’s, and if we’re not careful you may come to resent this. Maybe that’s what younger siblings have to learn to live with, but I can’t say for sure. You will be brought into this world by two eldest children, and I’m afraid we’ll be doubly at a loss when it comes to how to raise you. All of your firsts will be our firsts too – but they shouldn’t. You will by all appearances be an only child – but you aren’t. At the end of the day, whether the shadow you will grow up in is bigger than normal or not, it will be your greatest blessing because your magnificent big brother is the one who will cast it, and he is the reason you’re coming.

So I’m writing you these letters because we want you to know how hard we are working to bring you here, and we need you to know how very much we love you already. If there ever comes a day where you come to doubt this love, or you feel as if we love Reid more or wish he were here in your place, I hope that the words in these letters are enough.

emma hansen aaron vandenbrink

As I sit here in Reid’s nursery (it’s hard to believe that one day it will be yours) writing this it’s with the knowledge that our first round of fertility treatments failed – you are clearly just as stubborn as your big brother. Once my endocrinologist was able to get my postpartum thyroiditis under control on the synthroid we were given the go-ahead by my OB/GYN to start clomid on my following cycle. Well, that cycle just ended and the clomid didn’t do anything other than give me hot flashes and headaches. So once we knew that it didn’t help me ovulate we scratched that plan and started to put a new one in motion. This lead to us deciding to change OB/GYNs to someone who is more available and getting referred to a fertility clinic, all so that we can put together the team of doctors best suited to bring you into this world. So your father and I had our first visit with the reproductive endocrinologist at the clinic yesterday and it went really well even though I was a mess! The nurse taking my vitals said that my weight, measurements, and blood pressure were all great, the only thing that was a concern was my racing pulse. She took it twice, looked at me, and smiled, “But maybe that’s because you’re a little bit nervous?” I just laughed and replied, “I think probably more than a little bit.”

We’re on a new cycle now so we’ve jumped right into a new treatment plan, which involves us doing two things differently. First, we’ve decided to try a new drug so I started letrozole (femara) yesterday! We discovered last night that it makes your mama very sleepy. Second, we’ll be doing ultrasound monitoring. I have the first one on Thursday next week to check to see if my follicles are responding at all to the letrozole! Right now this is our plan of action for 2 cycles and that suits me just fine. I’ve learned a lot of things over this past year, one of the biggest being that the only thing we know for sure is that everything changes and all we really have is this moment. Yes, our dream for our future has you in it, but we’re also living our lives to the fullest as we journey towards this dream. We won’t let dreaming for our tomorrow stop us from enjoying, striving, and living today, but we will let it fuel us. It took me a very long time to figure out what that looked like in my life, but I think I finally have.

Baby, I imagine that you’ve been spending these past 10.5 months with Reid. So if he needs a little more time with you – a little more time to bond and a little more time to teach you the ropes – then that’s ok. We know that God has a plan for us and that you’ll be sent our way when it’s time. We hope that time comes soon, and we’ll continue to do everything we can from our end, but we won’t ever give up. We know that one way or another, one day, you’ll get here – oh, what a beautiful day that will be.


You Might Also Like