Beautiful boy

September 14, 2008

I’ve wondered since, if other parents saw us crying at his ventilator and thought we were wimps. There were so many very tiny babies in the NICU that our baby boy seemed bigger than he was. He was so beautiful, our little Teddy, our Theodore Isaac. Almost six pounds, with tiny, pink, perfect fingers and toes, round and rosy cheeks, the world’s most adorable nose. We don’t know what color his hair would have been, but the infant fuzz on his perfect head was light reddish brown. I remember staring at his little face so hard, trying to memorize the shape of his barely existent eyebrows, the softness of his cheek, the scattering of little white spots across his wee nose, the exact shape of his shell-like ears, the way a few delicate eyelashes (just a few) lay against his cheek. We were in awe of him, of how amazing he was; I can see the wonder in our faces in some of the photographs we took on our last day with Teddy, even though our hearts were breaking.

I know that we were biased, and even genetically programmed to think that he was the most beautiful baby in the world, but it wasn’t just us – every nurse who knew him, his doctors, every one of our family members who met him, told us how beautiful he was. For some reason that meant a lot to me, that the people who were caring for him saw him as precious and miraculous even though he was in such critical condition.

It’s still a comfort to me, that Teddy was loved and marveled at by everyone who knew him, but now it hurts me a little, his beauty. Just looking at him, you couldn’t have told that he was fighting so hard for his few hours of life, and it’s sometimes difficult to accept that a baby so perfect in so many ways had to leave us so soon. When he was moved to a different ventilator and wrapped in a blanket so that we could hold him, he felt so right in my arms. Even the weight of him, slight as it was, was beautiful.

I miss you, beautiful boy.


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