Mommy Wants Vodka

…Or A Mail-Order Bride

And Now You Are Five


Dear Alexander Joseph,

When I got pregnant with your brother, I don’t know that one person (besides your Aunt Ashley) said, “Congratulations.” Certainly it was a tumultuous time: I was twenty (not quite ready to be a parent but not so young that it was scandalous) , Ben’s father was less than kind to me, I was in college, and my life was, well, adrift. When I was 8 months pregnant, I waddled home, proverbial tail between my legs, to my parents who accepted my delicate condition. I find it hard to believe that anything that packs sixty pounds directly onto my ass  is “delicate,” but alas, I digress.

While it was incredibly kind of your grandparents to take me in, it came with some fairly long, painful strings attached.

When your brother was born, I spent the better part of four years trying to make it right. The end goal was to have another baby the easy/ier way. A way that didn’t involve being undermined my parents. A way that didn’t involve being treated like I was, very possibly, the stupidest person on the planet. A way that allowed me to feel like I was, in fact, a parent.

Your brother, well, he’s different. He’s on the autistic spectrum somewhere, and as a baby, he wanted nothing to do with me. I was turning my life into something that could make him proud, and he’d barely allow me to hold him. It didn’t change much as he grew – he was aloof, distant, heartbreaking. They have therapies available for autistic children, but none for the parents; parents who crave such things as a display of love in a way that’s easily understood. It’s never been that your brother didn’t love me, it’s simply that he shows it in a much more different way.

Finally, after graduating nursing school, getting married and moving your brother, father and I into a real house with our name on it, it was time for me to finally try for my next goal: another baby. All of that time I spent in school, working full-time, running my ass around to get graduated, all I wanted was to have another baby.

Month after month we tried and tried. Month after month, my heart broke into a zillion tiny pieces as I stared at that pee-stick, willing it to show me something – an evaporation line, anything. And month after month, I wept as the lily white stick stared back at me, mocking me. Pregnant bellies began to make me furious as I looked into fertility treatments. I was beyond confused – I’d gotten pregnant with Ben while on the pill and barely having The Sex – certainly this was bound to be easier.

Eventually, one Friday night, I took a pregnancy test while drinking a tall vodka/Diet and chain-smoking cigarettes (not at the same time, I’m not that coordinated). I was hoping to get the disappointment out of the way so I could enjoy the rest of my weekend (read: cry like a weenie).

When the digital test I’d just bathed in my urine popped up a “PREGNANT,” I actually said to aloud, “No fucking way.” I brought it down to show your father, who had been waiting for me to return in hysterics, and we both stared at it, bewildered. We’d finally done it.

The very next day, your father drove to the hardware store and painted your bedroom a nice soft yellow – niftily covering the barfy pink walls. He was so very proud to be having a baby.

It was the next week when the panic began. I’d somehow managed to get everything in my life right: I had a five-year old who was happy and healthy, I had a husband who treated me with respect, I had my very own house, a degree – with honors – and a life. It seemed too good to be true.

So when I began to spot fairly heavily around week 7, I just knew that my luck had run out. I couldn’t be so lucky; I just couldn’t – hadn’t I learned that by now?

It was a subchorionic haematoma, the US tech said, my head turned away from the US screen as I awaited her words. Look, she said, as I saw the flickering of that strong heart on the screen, that’s your baby.

And it was.

On March 30, 2007, after months spent miserably on the couch (prepartum depression is an ASSHOLE), I was admitted to the hospital to have you. All I wanted, I confessed tearfully to your father, was a baby who loved me. And after a whopping three pushes, there you were. You opened your mouth and began to scream. I don’t think you stopped without a boob in your mouth for a solid year after that.

I couldn’t have been happier.

You showed me what unconditional love felt like. It was the first time I’d experienced that type of love, and it made me whole in ways I didn’t know were broken.

So to you, my second son, the one who has made me whole, I wish you the very happiest of happy birthdays.



32 Comments to

“And Now You Are Five”

  1. On March 30th, 2012 at 11:17 am Ewokmama Says:

    Happy birthday, Al! Yay!!

  2. On March 30th, 2012 at 11:23 am HMM Says:

    Happy Birthday Alexander! I love your honesty. This post made me so happy and so sad all at once. Congrats on your 5th anniversary of unconditional love.

  3. On March 30th, 2012 at 11:24 am Caro Says:

    What a beautiful, moving story and what a wonderful, beautiful child. I want to sit and cry the ugly tears, but I have to save those for this afternoon when we bury my grandmother.

    Becky, I can totally relate to having a baby/your parents think you are an idiot. I am STILL stuck there. I love my parents for taking me in and helping in so many way so my Kiddo can have a wonderful life, but they still say/do so many things that undermine my authority and feelings of being in control.

    I’m so glad you got to have that baby that loves you unconditionally. Give that baby a big kiss from me!

  4. On March 30th, 2012 at 11:29 am Julie Anne Rhodes Says:

    OMG, that was the most moving, loving, incredibly beautiful post I’ve read in a very long time – anywhere! Nothing like mama love. Happy birthday to your gorgeous son.

  5. On March 30th, 2012 at 11:48 am Dana Says:

    Happy Birthday ALEX!!

  6. On March 30th, 2012 at 11:49 am electriclady Says:

    Dammit, you made me get teary at my desk. Happy birthday Alex!

  7. On March 30th, 2012 at 12:02 pm Rich Says:

    Happy birthday Alex!

  8. On March 30th, 2012 at 12:10 pm Ami Says:

    Happy Birthday Alex!!

    Becky – you’re a jerk for making me cry.

    I love you both!!

  9. On March 30th, 2012 at 12:16 pm leigh Says:

    that is so lovely.

    happiest of birthday little man.

  10. On March 30th, 2012 at 12:19 pm Dora Says:

    “You showed me what unconditional love felt like. It was the first time I’d experienced that type of love, and it made me whole in ways I didn’t know were broken.”

    Oh, YES! I know this. Happy birthday, Alex! You darling butterfly!

  11. On March 30th, 2012 at 12:38 pm No Good Says:

    And now I know why I’m seeing orchids everywhere today. Happy Birthday Alex!

  12. On March 30th, 2012 at 12:50 pm PBP Designs Says:

    Happy Happy Birthday to my fellow orchid lover!


  13. On March 30th, 2012 at 1:21 pm leanne Says:

    Happy Birthday, Alex!!!

  14. On March 30th, 2012 at 1:27 pm Kat Says:

    Happy Birthday, Alex! You are SO loved!!

  15. On March 30th, 2012 at 2:02 pm Fearless Fibro Warrior Says:

    That was so sweet and heartfelt—and you sound like an amazing mom-EVERY time.

  16. On March 30th, 2012 at 2:20 pm Brooke Says:

    Happy Birthday Alex!

    Now stop growing, immediately. 😉

  17. On March 30th, 2012 at 2:29 pm Kristin (MamaKK922) Says:

    LOVE! Happy Happy Birthday Alex!

  18. On March 30th, 2012 at 2:45 pm leah Says:

    I just googled “blog..mommy” and this came up. WOW….!!
    Moms give so much to their needs and it’s so nice to get back in our love language.

  19. On March 30th, 2012 at 2:57 pm Mrs. One Day Says:

    Those photos are adorable! Happy Birthday Alex!!

  20. On March 30th, 2012 at 3:16 pm Terri E Says:

    Happy Birthday to Alex!

    Monday, April 2nd, my own lil princess full of sunshine miracle child will be 8! I still cant believe she’s here, I still fight my PTSD from her near death (both of us) birth, but she thrives and thrives now….and like my two older daughters (23 &24) say, “we became the family we were supposed to be” the day she arrived.

  21. On March 30th, 2012 at 3:25 pm Abi Says:

    Today is my birthday too! I’m glad I share it with such an adorable child.

  22. On March 30th, 2012 at 3:47 pm Mayor Gia Says:

    Awww, great letter. Great pictures. Great everything.

  23. On March 30th, 2012 at 4:17 pm Grace Says:

    Happy Birthday to the sweetest little Butterfly Boy!

  24. On March 30th, 2012 at 5:29 pm chrisinphx Says:

    Happy Birthday Big Guy!!

  25. On March 30th, 2012 at 8:22 pm Kristin Says:

    Happy Birthday, Alex! What a wonderful letter you wrote to him, Becky.

  26. On March 30th, 2012 at 8:39 pm Cindy DuBois Says:

    That is one of the most beautiful little boys I have ever seen and I’m old enough to have seen many. I admire you so much for being such a source of light and love. You have slayed many dragons and climbed many mountains in your young life. Here’s a toast to Alex’s amazing mother.

    My next door neighbor’s little boy is named Alex. He’ll be three in a couple of weeks. I’m his stand in grandma/Auntie Mame. We just got back from the dog park. He loves the dogs, the park, the pond, the mud everything . . . My Alex sends your Alex a big “Happy Birthday.”

  27. On March 31st, 2012 at 11:29 am Fran Says:

    tears flowing at your beautiful tribute to your sweet Alex. Happy Birthday to him and Happy Birthing Day to you dear Aunt Becky xoxoxo

  28. On March 31st, 2012 at 4:42 pm Deb Says:

    Happy late Birthday to Alex! The son who made me whole after 7 heartbreaking miscarriages turns 1 today. And I agree prepartum depression is a bitch, been there too. It is fitting that they were born at the beginning of spring – a time for rebirth and renewal.

  29. On March 31st, 2012 at 4:45 pm JR Reed Says:

    Becky, you fuckin rock. That’s all. Happy birthday Alex…..

  30. On March 31st, 2012 at 4:54 pm Di Says:


  31. On March 31st, 2012 at 6:40 pm Marta Says:

    Aw! Happy Belated Birthday! I hope it was a good one!

  32. On April 1st, 2012 at 9:19 pm JenniferB Says:

    Happy Birthday to Alex, the most beautiful butterfly ever!!!!!! Enjoy every minute Aunt Becky!

Email will not be published

Website example

Your Comment:

My site was nominated for Best Humor Blog!
My site was nominated for Hottest Mommy Blogger!
Back By Popular Demand...