Isaac’s due date was September 10, 2016. I counted down the days, weeks and months until that date on a regular basis from the moment it was given to me at an initial ultrasound. Isaac was still the size of a chocolate chip. When people would ask me, though, about my due date, I would say, “September 10th, but he’s likely to be induced the week before.” I was on Lovenox, and to ensure that I would not have any blood thinners in my system when I gave birth our MFM recommended induction at 39 weeks.
Our OB went back and forth on whether or not he would follow that advice throughout my pregnancy, but at my last visit, he finally settled on induction at 39 weeks. That would have been today. I can’t help but think about what we would have been doing right now. In fact, I wrote to Isaac last night about how I dreamed it would be today. His nursery would have been perfect. His bassinet would have been set up next to our bed. We’d be nervous but terribly excited.
For the past week, I had been getting increasingly anxious about this day and the week that will follow. September 10th will always be the date I counted down to and remember most distinctly, but today is the first time I should have been meeting our baby boy. Instead, he sits in a painfully small red velvet bag on top of one of our dressers. He’s been gone 7 weeks today.
There are a lot of things I wish I had planned for today, but I really could not get my act together. I didn’t know how I would feel when I woke up today. I don’t know how I will feel when I wake up on September 10th. I wish I had planned the tree planting for one of these days, but I didn’t.
It’s hard not to reflect back on the whole journey now. It seems like just yesterday it was January 3rd and I was trying to wake my husband up to tell him I thought I’d had a positive pregnancy test. For some reason, the first half of this summer feels like a lifetime ago. I wish I could say that I am feeling hopeful about our future right now, but I admittedly feel defeated. I should have been introducing our son to the world, but instead I am wondering when, if ever, my husband and I will be able to bring a baby home with us. Our home feels especially empty today.
Happy could have been birthday, Isaac.
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,
July 31, 2016
Today we went home. Every second of it felt wrong. I know you are with me and Daddy always, but it still felt like saying goodbye. Bringing you home in a tiny box, containing an even tinier red velvet bag, felt so wrong. Traffic was brutal, I cried until I was sick, and both Mowgli and Cali ended up sick. Daddy held you in his lap the whole ride home. It’s not a ride in a car seat back from the hospital, but it is the best we will ever have.
This house feels like a prison of memories. Seeing the nursery returned to a guestroom brought me to my knees. Thank goodness your Daddy was there to catch me. I found the package of positive pregnancy tests I had saved. The so comforted me once, proving that you really existed. I couldn’t believe we could be so lucky and so I proved it to myself every single morning. I’ll never part with them – my concrete proof that this wasn’t just a terrible dream.
Daddy keeps trying to comfort me, saying there will be another baby. While I so want a baby, there will never be another Isaac Immel.
Unfortunately, I’ve become a bit obsessed over what happened to you. I know my body failed you, but I can’t help wondering if there was something else we missed. Maybe your toes, while perfect to me, might not have been normal? For all I know you were genetically perfect – I mean you were perfect and we love every millimeter of you. I just want to know why I am not laying here cuddling you. What did we miss? Could we have prevented it?
The doctor in New Hampshire said we would have results in a few months. I need answers now. The wondering is eating me alive.
Mommy’s are supposed to be strong and I promise I am trying. I will be better for you. I just need more time.
Your Grandpa almost finished your signed for me today. He sanded it down and hammered on a gorgeous copper border. It still needs varnish, but it came out better than I imagined. I am certainly going to make one for home. We also got a letter from Grandpa’s friends. They’re going to get us a pin oak for home too. I can’t wait. We want to have a physical place to feel close to you. We will put a bench under it and it will be lovely. This isn’t how it was supposed to be, but we will try to make the best of it.