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Memories of hope

September 5, 2008

We have two photos of Teddy that are different from all the others. They were taken by my husband when we thought that everything might be all right. Teddy was born via c-section at 9:40 pm, and later that night we were facing our first sad and serious discussion with a doctor who explained to us that he was (already) not doing very well. But we have these two pictures of our little guy, full of tubes but rosy and new.

I cry every time I look at them. Every time I look at them I remember my husband’s face when he returned from the resuscitation room. They were still sewing me up and I’d been lying there worried and nearly panicked about what was going on in the room next door. N came in, flushed under the hospital cap, but excited and a bit awed, like, I suppose, any new dad. And he kept saying, “He’s beautiful.” He told me how Teddy had responded to his voice, how he had opened his eyes when N called him by his prenatal name, how he had grasped his daddy’s finger. And I thought, through the morphine, “Maybe we will be all right.”

But we weren’t.

I can look at the pictures we took after we knew we wouldn’t get to keep Teddy, and I find them strangely comforting. I can look at them and think, “This was the most adorable nose the world has ever seen,” and remember how we held him before they removed the ventilator tube. But the two photos from when we still hoped, they are not comforting. It hurts even to think of them, though I think of them often; what we had, even though we only had it for a few minutes, was so bright, you see. So bright.

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