I cannot believe that in just a few short months, I'm going to have a SON! I hope someday you will understand the extreme surprise and excitement I felt when they told me that it was YOU about to be born.
I grew up in a family of girls, and you will learn after your arrival that most of your family playmates will also be little girls. Because of that, I have never known much about boys. I hope you will be patient with me as I learn the ins and outs of motherhood for a little boy. I promise you that I will do all I can to learn as quickly as possible to make your childhood one that you can look back on with fondness.
When I first discovered that I was carrying you, my first instinct (due to our large family history) was that you would be a little girl. Daddy and I dreamed of a little boy, and occasionally doubted our original instincts. We hoped that if our firstborn was a little girl, that God would bless with a little boy someday. It wasn't until you and I went through a wild ride of health problems in our first few weeks together that I became convinced you were a sweet boy.
I'm sure you will hear the story of my pregnancy with you many times in your life, but you and I have already began adventures that have demanded us to be strong and brave. Before you had been growing for 12 weeks, the doctors discovered a fluid on my heart that was threatening my life and consequently, yours. I was determined to fight through whatever I had to in order to be healthy enough to keep you safe and growing. However, you also had to be willing to go through it with me. I thank God in every single prayer that you were willing to do so.
You and I have been through more medications than I ever wanted to take while pregnant, more tests, and even a surgery. Coming home from the hospital knowing you were still growing reassured me that you were one STRONG baby. That strength convinced me that it was you and not a little girl.
Daddy and I had chosen your name well before we ever knew that I was pregnant. We selected your first name because it was one we both liked, and your middle name comes from your great-great-grandfather. I wish you could have met my sweet Pa. He was very special in our family, and a man that has inspired your Granny with so much of the wisdom she carries today. It is only right that you carry on a name that is so special to everyone on your Mommy's side of the family. Your last name, Orlando, represents your Italian heritage, and the core strength of your Daddy's family. We knew of your name well before we ever knew of you, and the months to come showed us that your name was meant to be.
Daddy and I discussed your first name just a few days before we discovered that you were a baby boy. We looked at other options, and then decided to look up the meaning of the original name that we had selected. Amazingly, your first AND middle name mean strength. A strength that you have needed to fight your way into this world, and a strength that I pray you will continue to carry with you as you grow up into the wonderful man I know you will become. I believe that it was no accident that God brought us to you, Ethan Bryant Orlando. God moved your Daddy and I to your name long ago because he knew you would need your strength, and I would also need your strength as we work to bring you into this world.
We love you so much Ethan, and we cannot wait to meet you this summer.