Agust 5, 2016
Your Daddy went back to work today. I missed him so much even though it was not a whole day. I did OKAY. I woke up, I took care of Mowgli and I even took my medicine. TI took me 4 hours, but I eventually ate my breakfast (and lunch). I didn’t feel like doing anything, so I watched TV. I never realized how many TV episodes have pregnancy, birth or baby loss in them. One episode featured the birth of twins. I thought I was fine. I thought that if I could watch, I’d get closer to being able to go places. When the babies gave their first cries, I totally lost it. I knew I was missing out on cuddling you, nurturing and loving you. I didn’t realize how much it hurt that you were silent and still when you were born nearly 3 weeks ago. I guess it didn’t hit me because I was so out of it that night. I don’t even remember what it felt like to push. I just remember how you felt coming out (it was nothing compared to the contractions, though). We were robbed of that happy moment when the baby finally comes out and cries. At least it was peaceful, I suppose.
Your grandpa reached out to CHOP to help us find the best medical care for the future. We ended up speaking to one of their doctors. She was nice as can be. She can’t treat me, but she can help get us the right team. She already had someone in mind for us to contact. She basically confirmed my suspicion that you and I didn’t have sufficient medical care. I am so sorry I did not realize it sooner. She did, however, put some hope back in Daddy’s and my life. She said we CAN try again. She also suggested that trying could commence at 4 months instead of the 6-12 months we heard previously. It would still be risky. Now that I have had HELLP Syndrome, there is a 1 in 4 chance it will happen again and it would likely happen earlier. BUT if it happens, they would catch it sooner. Things didn’t have to end that way and, hopefully, they never will again. Mommy couldn’t bear it.
I am so broken over losing you, but now I have a spot of hope on the distant horizon. I have to get healthy, to eat well and to exercise. It’s what I know you would want and what must happen for the sake of your future sibling. I will still count the days and weeks from your birth, still count down the days until your due date, until we could have taken you home. But now I can also count the days until we can try again. To be fair, “trying again” seems wrong. We succeeded, the first time. We made a wonderfully beautiful miracle named Isaac. Nothing can ever change that.
Love you to pieces,
August 4, 2016
Daddy gave me a pleasant surprise this morning. I remember being cuddled by Daddy in the middle of the night. It amazes me the myriad of ways you have changed me. For years, I have despised cuddling, but now? Now, I need that closeness. Anyway, even in my state of semi-consciousness, I was panicked about daddy returning to work. This morning, I woke up and rolled over, crushed that I didn’t have your Daddy to ease the wave of sadness I now wake to every morning. So I grabbed my phone and sent him a panicky face. As it happens, your intuitive Daddy knew I wasn’t ready to be alone yet. He had woken up and decided he needed to stay home. I was so epically relieved. This does, however, mean he will be gone tomorrow.
The good news is that we did check some stuff off the to-do list. We got Mowgli’s medicine, grabbed my mini cooper’s title, got some groceries, and even stopped to get some more embroidery floss to practice with. Afterward, we stopped by the house I grew up in. I didn’t make the connection until now, but I grew up on East Grand Oak Lane, a street named for its big strong oak trees. Now, we’re planting oak trees for you. Fitting, I suppose. It was nice to show Daddy where I grew up. We even r grabbed Pepper Mill cheesesteaks on the way home.
This afternoon, I practiced my embroidery. You won’t be shocked that I am using your name for practice. I told you I would write your name everywhere, and I plan to follow through. I am waiting for nicer fabric to arrive for some more practice.
I have faced some harsh realizations today. So far, since losing you three weeks (not sure how that’s possible(, I’ve had this weird sense of waiting. It’s like I have the flu. If I rest, hydrate and wait, eventually I’ll wake up feeling better. With time, you forget exactly how terrible the flu felt and life returns to normal. That’s not going to happen this time. No amount of time can fix this. No amount of sleep and soup can fix you being gone. Even a smudge on the wall from Daddy smushing a scary bug hurts me now. I was laying right here nearly 7 months pregnant, and your daddy saved the day by getting rid of a scary bug on the ceiling. Just seeing that smudge hurts me so badly because it reminds me that I was pregnant with you. I miss you so much, and nothing can “fix” that. I just want you back with every fiber of my being. I wanted to give you the world and I never got that chance.
Love you dearly,
August 3, 2016
I still can’t believe that it’s August. I keep finding myself mentally arranging furniture to make room for your bouncer or other accessories. Then I remember you’re in another place where you don’t need a bouncer. I hope it’s a better place, baby boy. I miss you dearly. Your magic butterflies and goldfinches were still here today. I think all things happy and whimsical will belong to you in my mind. Beautiful birds, butterflies, and even rainbows will belong to you. Although, you will have to share rainbows with your great Bup Bup Sandy.
I’m writing to you with my new Isaac pen. Your daddy and I each have one and will forever think of our love for you when we use them. They are beautiful and have your name engraved on them. I also love how it writes (never underestimate the impact of a great pen).
Daddy had some appointments today and I was alone at the house. I struggled with his absence. I am terrified about being here alone tomorrow when he goes back to work. I even forget to eat when he isn’t here. I panic. I find myself doing dangerous research about what happened to us and what it means for giving you siblings. I get myself worked up and we won’t have any answers until we start going to doctors again at the six-week mark.
I swear I do not want to replace you. I never could and I never would. However, I do need hope. I do need to fill my days looking to the future. I just don’t know what I will do if the doctor says that this hopeful future simply cannot be. This ordeal could have taken both of us. I’d trade myself for you in a heartbeat. I just need this future that involves your baby sibling in our lives.
I sought help today. Your grandma insisted on it. It was a very hard phone call to make. It only took five tries, but now I am going to see a bereavement next Tuesday. I told her our story. I know from past experience that talking helps. Unfortunately, talking can be the hardest thing to do. I have a lot of processing to do still. I hope this helps. I’ll never get over this – never get over you. I do need to find some way forward. However we get “forward” we will do it together.
I love you very very much, even more than I love myself.
August 2, 2016
Today Daddy and I went through the boxes that came while we were in New Hampshire. Lots of great things came for you from people who loved you. There was so much to love in such a tiny package. We tucked some away for another day, but other things I had picked for your room we decided to keep out as reminders of you. We kept and adorable bright textile from Australia. We kept a mini globe that says “Adventure Awaits”. I hope you are on a fantastic and dreamy adventure somewhere.
I missed you so much today. Hardly a second went by that I didn’t think of you. Today’s fixation was your smile. I think I can imagine what it would have looked like. Gosh – you were cute. I would do anything to make you smile. I would also do anything to hold you again one last time. I also wish beyond anything that I had known our time together was about to end so abruptly. I wish I could have said goodbye, or known that I needed to memorize the way your kung fu kicks felt in my belly.
Today we saw one of those things that is as close to magic as we will ever get. It started with your Daddy convincing me to go outside with Mowgli. Then I saw a big yellow butterfly. No big deal – right? But then I realized that the entire bush below was covered in perfect yellow butterflies. I don’t know why they were there, and they were gone a few hours later, but they were so perfect in that moment. I called your Daddy out to show him and he found a way to top the butterflies. The trees next to our house were filled with tiny gorgeous goldfinches. I’ve never seen anything like it – there were tiny yellow creatures flying all around us. It had to be you.
Until that moment I felt so lost today. Even eating felt like a chore. It scares me. Your Daddy has a haircut and an interview tomorrow, and I wish I could say that I will be OK tomorrow. I just haven’t felt up to the chores of daily life. Daddy wants your Grandma Cindy and Aunt EB to come up and keep me company and take care of me. I don’t want them to see me so broken. I don’t enjoy not wanting to get out of bed and not wanting to do anything. I am embarrassed enough that your Daddy has to see me so destroyed and pathetic. Anyways, Mommy could use an extra dose of strength from you tomorrow, baby boy. I know that’s a bit backward. The Mommy is supposed to be the strong one. I promise I will be your strong Mommy again.
Love you forever,
August 1, 2016
Grief is a funny beast. One second I feel like I see a path forward or I pause and I think I can enjoy things, the next I fall totally to pieces. I miss you, I obsess over you and I feel like my heart and soul have been torn out. Being back in Pennsylvania feels like torture. Your Daddy continues to be a champion, my hero and my rock. I know how lucky I am to have him. He keeps reminding me that we are a family. It just feels so broken right now. I have told you before, but i will tell you again – I will someday fill this journal with happy stories. I will tell you about your Daddy, your grandparents, your aunts, and uncles. I’ll tell you about fun things we do. Someday, I’ll tell you about your little brothers or sisters. For now, I will vent. I keep feeling guilty about it, but I’ve promised to always be honest with you. To be honest, things are still too raw to write letters with any joy.
We took Mowgli to get some much-needed grooming today. We dropped him off and went to the grocery store. Your mommy stinks at grocery shopping. We did get some good frozen ingredients. We bought a freezer to fill with meals in preparation for your arrival. I had always wanted an extra freezer. I said I would fill it with meals for rainy days. I do wish I had filled it sooner. The days sure feel rainy right now. I will fill it eventually.
After the store, we picked up Mowgli. He is fluffy and adorable. As I write this, he is rolling around in our bed like a big goober.
We received some news about you today. You were a beautiful, perfectly normal baby. In my sadness and anxiety, I had convinced myself that something was wrong with you – that perhaps I thought you were perfect just because you were my son. I can see how someone might get blinded by love. The doctors, however, agreed that you were perfectly normal. There were not infections, not a hair out of place on your adorable head. In part, I am relieved. Yet the guilt – however unfounded – is overwhelming. But for my body’s failure, you would have been okay. I’ve never wanted to change something so badly in all my life. In fact, I can’t remember wanting something so badly in life that I could not obtain with some amount of effort. Maybe with things I wanted previously I did not put in the effort, but I always could have. Losing Bup Bup was similar, but despite how much I loved him, it is nothing compared to this. There is nothing I can do to bring you back.
I hope, at least, that I can be a person, a mother, you would be proud of.
I love you,