I’ve been going back and fourth with myself on whether this letter will ever come to light. You were kept private for a reason, so do I keep it that way or let you be known to all the people who would’ve loved you?
Writing this on a Sunday, I think back to just a week ago. When I left the hospital in tears, being held by your uncle because I was leaving without you. I left feeling empty and lost. So angry, confused and left with one question- why? For months prior I had sleepless nights over you. I was terrified that I wouldn’t be enough to nourish you and help you grow in those first few months of knowing you. I tried to stop myself from planning ahead, take each day as it comes and although most of those days were spent with my head in a bucket, I still found myself in great anticipation for you; for your first cry, your first smile and even my first sleepless night with you earth side (because you were already giving me enough sleepless nights). We had made it out of the most dreadfully anxious months of our life together and I was feeling really hopeful and excited for you. “This is the best stage of pregnancy!” Is something I heard or read about frequently in my stack of pregnancy books and one too many pregnancy apps. Though it’s not something I really got to experience.
Just like your mum so often does, you jumped the gun you silly boy. You were so wriggly and full of energy in all our ultrasounds that I tell myself you were just too eager to make your arrival. The week leading up had been a horrible one – I complained to your dad about the heat and how much I hated summer. I wished that it was winter already, which had become my favourite season for two reasons- firstly, I didn’t realise how much I had hated the heat until I was pregnant during summer, but mainly because you were going to be our little winter baby, Rain.
The week had been a hot and draining one but on Friday, with your arrival you brought mama the rain. If anything brings me comfort it’s believing that it was your way of showing us that you are still here, because you knew before we had decided that you would be named Rain Tūmanako. To hope for Rain. I had hoped and wished for you for so many years, not knowing if I will ever get you. That week I hoped for the rain and I got you.
Today is my birthday. A day I’ve been dreading since we lost you. All the plans I had made for my birthday were based around you but now that you’re gone I have no desire to celebrate. Every time the topic of my birthday was brought up all I could think about was how can I celebrate a life I’ve got to live when my little boy can’t? So today I’m celebrating you, because from the moment we saw those two pink lines you became my life.
My son, I pray everyday that you will come back to us. I dream of you and I wish that you never left. I grieve for you and for the life you didn’t get to have. I’m comforted by the immense love your family had for you in their short time of knowing you. I just wish you had a chance to enjoy it. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever appreciate Valentines Day as a day of love because on Friday all I felt was pain and heartache. But with the help of a dear friend I realised that Valentines Day – the day of love, is your day and always will be your day, because you were loved by so many and always will be. You will forever be my most treasured valentine and you will always be the greatest gift I could ever have asked for. I love you completely, always and forever. Thank you for proving to me that there is beauty and comfort in the rain. Not a lot of people see the rain the way I do, though I think they might appreciate it a little more now.
Introducing Rain Tūmanako Ngatai.