A Father's Letter to his Beautiful Baby Boy
Our beautiful baby boy.
You came into this world and into our lives on September 25th, 2022. The rush of love and happiness of being parents was real. Though they didn’t come alone. The pain and sadness were right there next to all that love and happiness, which has never left. It holds us just as close to you now as the day we held you for the first time in the hospital.
Your mom and I were just finishing our journey in Australia, wondering what and where our next steps in life would take us. To stay in Australia? To go back home to Canada? But where in Canada? We didn’t know. The uncertainty made us quite the mess. But once we saw the two lines appear on the pregnancy test, we knew. You gave us certainty. You gave us purpose. You gave us direction. We were going home.
While our time together was short, it included some of the most cherished moments of my life. Holding your mom’s belly to feel you. Talk to you. Hear you. Each and every single kick confirmed my purpose for the rest of my life. To be your father. To be the best partner to your mother. To give you the best life I possibly could. To give you my all.
The first time we met you – I will never forget. We were in the ultrasound room. The sonographer holding the wand and gel, guiding them across your mom’s belly as my suspense grows. A sneak-peak here and there. We see your feet. We see your body. We see your hands. We hear your strong beating heart. And finally – we see your face. Your little face. The first time we see who you are. You have your mom’s lips. You have my feet and hands. That very first time we know you are our beautiful little baby boy. We were so excited to continue watching you grow.
Several weeks passed. We were looking forward to seeing you again! We went back to the ultrasound clinic. Waiting impatiently for the appointment. They finally call our names. They bring us to the clinic room. The routine wand and gel are prepared – anticipation growing the same. There you are! We see your feet. We see your body. We see your hands. Your heart still beating strong. And again – we see your face. Your little face. Everything seems normal, until they ask the doctor to come in. This was different. The doctor comes in – and that’s when everything changes.
They found something in your eyes. It’s cataracts – meaning your eyes have some white stuff that will make it hard for you to see. I didn’t believe it at first, but another ultrasound a few weeks later confirms it. You have cataracts. Your mom and I were so sad receiving this news. Your mom did all the research and found out that you would need a few surgeries shortly after you’re born to fix your eyes. We were sad that our little baby boy would have such a challenge at a young age. At that point, we already had to make some big decisions as your parents. We had to be your mom and dad. We had to learn the best ways to make sure you would be a healthy and happy boy – to protect you. We needed to find out how to help you. What kind of surgeries? Where should we do them? We also had to make sure that everything else was okay. That the cataracts didn’t mean you had something more serious.
Your mom was so strong. She knew what she had to do. She made sure we had all the right tests done. Mom wanted to make sure we had a very close look at your DNA. Those are the little, tiny instructions that make up your entire body! Pretty cool. We did this to make sure everything else was okay. It was very scary. They had to put a needle in your mom’s belly to get some of the fluid you were swimming in to check your body’s cells. Your mom was brave. They had to do two tests. We had to wait a few weeks before we found out the first test results. The first results came - they found nothing. All was good. But this meant we needed to do the second test. This was going to have more information for us to really make sure everything else was fine. We needed to wait a few more weeks before we had these results.
In the meantime, we were preparing our move back to Canada. Packing our boxes and luggage. Selling all the things we didn’t need. Saying goodbye to some of the best aunties and uncles you probably heard from within. Through all the busy moments, we made sure to still take some time to spend with you. On the couch. On the bed. Waiting for the bus. Brushing our teeth. I held your mom as tight and close as possible to get to you. To feel you. To talk to you. To tell you that everything is going to be okay. We’ll fix your eyes and do whatever we need to help you be a strong boy.
Boarding our flights. Mom and I decided to fly business class! It was very exciting! You and your mom had the most comfortable seat together. Can you believe it? You flew business class! I had to wait 33 years before doing that for the first time and you were only 25 weeks old! A lifetime of experiences already. You lived in two countries. Heard two different types of accents. Probably drank two different types of water. What a beautiful life. We are so proud of you.
We land. You meet your mom’s family for the very first time. You probably remember hearing them from the internet calls. Maybe a little muffled so hopefully they were a little clearer this time. We went to your mom’s family cabin on an island. Can you believe it? You were on a boat! Car. Plane. Boat. So many ways to go to different place and you already did them all! We are so proud of you!
As your mom and I slowly made ourselves comfortable in Vancouver, we started planning your life here. But we were also anxiously waiting for your next round of test results. We didn’t forget. Just three weeks later, we planned a call to get your results with the Australian medical team. Tuesday, September 20th was the day of the call. We will never forget that day, because that’s the day our whole lives changed.
Tuesday comes around. The call was supposed to be at night, but they called us earlier than expected. We weren’t sure why, but we saw it and answered anyway. We were expecting to hear the same news as before. “We didn’t find anything.” I was waiting for those words. Instead, we heard the opposite. “So, we found something.” I was hoping it was something that wasn’t anything too concerning – something like “So, we found a gene that was related to the cataracts, but it’s just cataracts.” Instead – they found out that you had a mutation of a gene that would make you very sick. After they told us, I was so confused at this point. Your mom and I rush to look it up. It was not good. The called ended shortly. Your mom and I started to cry – a lot. It was because your mom and I both knew what we needed to do. We needed to protect you. We needed to make sure you never knew what suffering was. Your mom and I will do that for you. You can just keep being a happy little boy. Our beautiful baby boy.
The next few days moved very fast. I still don’t really remember if it was a dream or if it was real. What I do remember is that on September 25th, you came into our world and gave us your love and joy. It was confirmed. You have your mom’s lips. You have my hands and feet. We were so happy to finally meet you and see your face – not just from a computer screen. We held you. We smelled you. We cuddled you. We kissed you. We loved you. We will always remember the day we spent with you.
Now that you’re not here - we’re back to where we were. No certainty. No purpose. No direction. But what we do have is a beautiful baby boy. You. And you came with some gifts. You made your mom a mother. You made me a father. Gifts we can never lose. Gifts that will allow us to remember and celebrate you every single day. The love and happiness of your life still walks with the pain and sadness of your loss. And that’s okay, because it means that you’re still with us in our hearts.
We miss you so very much, Lucas. Your mom and I will always love you.
Our beautiful baby boy.