July 21, 2016
A week ago today I felt you wiggle around inside me for the last time. Of course I woke up bright and early wishing for a do-over where I realized you were trying to tell me something was wrong. It seems so obvious in retrospect. While part of me realizes I am not a doctor and that I could not have known, another can’t believe that of all the people in the world, your overly cautious mother missed such a major problem. No matter whose fault it is, or even if it’s no one’s fault, I am so terribly sorry.
Physically, mommy is starting to feel better. I find myself missing the pain that made me feel closer to you (you perfect little munchkin). I know that’s weird, but I don’t care. I will never be over losing you and signs of life returning to a new normal terrify me. I know you would want me to be happy, so I promise to try.
Your G.G. (great grandma) and Great Aunt Sisa arrived last night. It was relieving to tell your birth story (traumatic as it was for us) to someone who loved you so much and was not here for it. Lisa made salmon pasta for us. Isaac, some day you were going to love that stuff as much as Mommy and Daddy. I wasn’t quite ready for a post-dinner boat ride. My last ride was with you and I just wasn’t ready to go without you. I’ll never be “ready” but I may try tomorrow.
Speaking of boats, my parents and I talked about naming the forthcoming boat for you again. It’s so great. It’s going to be the nicest wooden boat on Squam Lake. You’re going to love it.
Love forever and always,
July 20, 2016
Mommy and Daddy ventured out into the world today. Admittedly it was a forced march. It turns out Mommy still has high blood pressure. I know I was very sick when you were born, but I suspect some of the pressure comes from missing you so badly.
Watching things start to return to normal is wildly upsetting. I know everyone is hurting in your absence, but people are adjusting a bit already. I am not and selfishly wish the whole world could freeze. I love you so much that I actually want to be tortured by losing you. I AM tortured by losing you.
Daddy and I had to go to the funeral home today. We were so close to you physically and it was torture not to be able to see you one last time. I would do anything to hold you for another minute. It is a small comfort that you are wearing Mommy and Daddy’s Thailand bracelets. They are fancy – in fact, many would be inclined to throw them away. However, those bracelets are a distinct sentimental piece of your parents. WE got those bracelets on our honeymoon to Thailand just over two years ago. Mommy had gotten every bad piece of luck available at this famous temple. Finally, a monk gave us each a bracelet for luck and hit us with a wet stick to seal the deal (this was a part of the prayer). I know these bracelets worked. Before the bracelets, my fortune there said that I would not get pregnant, but low and behold we conceived you! It just seemed fitting that you should take these pieces of your parents that gave us the blessing of knowing you.
We would have loved to take you back to Thailand. Maybe we can find a way once you’re returned to us. They love babies there. We will certainly find ways to take you everywhere we go.
Mommy’s mom and sister got Mommy an urn necklace in which I can wear a piece of you all the time. It was very sweet. I am also looking at some rings to remember your overly warm birth month! Other people are doing very generous things in your honor. The room I gave birth to you in is being dedicated to you. “The Isaac Immel Delivery Suite” would have a nice ring to it. Further, gifts have flooded into the hospital from people who loved you and us. Generosity knows no bounds. Finally, Grandpa proposed naming his new wooden boat “I.I.” It is a perfect play on aye aye…so much generosity out of love for you. So I guess today did have some high points. Thanks for helping me realize that. On that note, Mommy has to sign off. Mourning you has exhausted me to my core. So know that if I was there with you, I’d sing you a lullaby and tuck you in cozily beside me. But you aren’t here, so “Goodnight and I love you” have to suffice.
Love you forever,
July 19, 2016
Your Aunt Izzy got me this journal so that I can write to you while we wait for yours to arrive in the mail. Losing you has woken up some dormant part of her that has been missing while she has been sick. It may not last, but listening to her sing has been nice these last days. I’m sure she would have sung to you all the time and you would have loved it.
Today was hard (not shocking). It felt like all of my motivation just disappeared. I know it will pass and that you wouldn’t want me to feel this way.
I think we are going to plant oak trees for you. They’re big and strong and live on for so long -just like our memories of you. I hope you love them. Speaking of your taste – your daddy informed me that your favorite color would be red. Your daddy loves red. I sometimes wonder if he loved red before he joined the NC State Wolfpack. I do know that you were going to be the cutest, sweetest wolfpack fan there ever was. You are Mommy and Daddy’s cutest, sweetest everything. We love you.
July 18, 2016
Well, baby boy, today was day two. If at all possible, I missed you even more than yesterday. I was admittedly angry this afternoon at the realization time was still passing in your absence. There were a few times when I felt my body screaming to be close to you, to nourish you and cuddle. I spent hours remembering your adorable face, your soft skin and you precious hands and feet. Your daddy remains endlessly proud of how big you tiny baby feet were. We talked about who you look like. You have my tiny mouth and puffy eyes, your daddy’s brow bone and perfect nose. It blows my mind that we made you.
Your Aunt Isabel helped order a beautiful journal with your name on it today. You and I are going to talk. As you have likely picked up on, I am chatty – watch out.
On another note, you need to know how much I love your daddy. Losing you collapsed his world, but he has been so strong when I have been a mess. Don’t get me wrong – I have always known I loved your dad, but the last four days have really illuminated how deep that love really runs and what a great man he is. If you had turned out even a bit like him, you would have been set. We are lucky to be so loved by him.
We are going to plant some trees for you. I can’t decide what kind you would like. Whatever we pick, we will have one here in New Hampshire and one back in Pennsylvania to let us feel slightly closer to you. I hope you love it. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a laughter tree. Your name means “he will laugh” and I had somehow forgotten that until now. It seems extra fitting now, since while pregnant with you people were always commenting on how when I laughed, you and my whole belly would heartily join in.
I won’t say my pregnancy with you was a blast, but gosh we did have our moments and it was all so easily worth it just to see you come into this world.
Always remember, despite your parents’ endless grief, that you were worth it. You are, after all, perfect.
Love you forever,
July 17, 2016
Today was my first day in the big bad world without you. I know that’s sort of a backwards thing for a mom to say to her son, but over the last 7.5 months, I became so devoted and attached to your presence that it’s really how I feel. I missed you every second of every minute of the day. I know that I will at least subconsciously do so for the rest of my days. You, Isaac, will always be my first born. I never realized the significance of that until July 16, 2016 (your birthday). There aren’t really words that express what that means, but its import is limitless.
I was admittedly heartbroken today but had so many conflicted moments of joy as I watched the impact of one beautiful little boy, who never even got to take a breath of air, irrevocably changing the lives of what seems like hundreds of people. Even the amazing nurses of Speare Hospital hailed the story of your unexpected birth, despite being trained to withstand stories like our own. Your daddy’s parents and siblings along with your baby cousin came together in Hilton Head to laugh and cry. Your dad and I returned to Squam Lake and watched your impact on my own siblings and parents. Your grandma, Jane, cooked for the first time in what must be 5 years. She made an old favorite of mine, kugel and flank steak. You should know, this little action was a HUGE gesture. It just isn’t something she does, despite loving us very much. But, today wasn’t just another day, and I want you to know how deeply this messed up world felt it.
Even your puppy brother, Mowgli, knew something was different when we returned home. In fact, he has been (second only to your father) the most confused by your absence from my belly. You see, he only ever knew us as one. When we picked him up in January, I was already carrying you under my heart. He doesn’t understand mommy without Isaac. To be fair, neither do I anymore.
I think it is going to take me a good bit of time to figure out who this new person is. I should clarify. There will never be a me without you for the rest of my time, but I don’t get to physically carry you with me everywhere anymore. That was hard today. That will be hard tomorrow. It will be hard forever. I have to think that there must be a reason for all of this. You will never be president and I will never get to kiss your bumps and bruises away, but you also will never be heartbroken or disappointed by this crazy world of ours. A small consolation I suppose. Perhaps it should be a bigger one – only time will tell.
Anyhow, I love you to the stars and back. You will always be my perfect first born baby.