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Me and my boy

February 23, 2009

meandteddy1

I’ve been conflicted for a while about sharing pictures of Teddy.  For the last several days, however, I’ve been wanting to put this out there.  This is us, me and my boy.  I’m afraid he may have ended up with my father’s ears, but he looked quite a lot like me otherwise.  He didn’t get a bath until after he died (they didn’t want to stimulate him too much early on), so his hair looks curly when in fact it wasn’t.  And he has a bruise on his head from those few pushes I got in before the c-section, and a few red marks on his face and chest from where various monitoring and ventilation things were stuck to him in the NICU.  He’s still the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

We knew we had to let him go when this picture was taken, knew we just had a few hours to spend with him.  They set aside a small room off the main NICU floor for us and moved Teddy to a portable ventilator so that we could hold him and talk to him for a while before taking him to the garden to remove the ventilator tube and say goodbye.  N’s sister took this photo in that room.  The darkness around the edges is because the shutter on our camera didn’t open completely, an unintended visual effect.

I  didn’t know my face could look like that until I saw this photo.  It’s familiar to me now, that expression.  I’m guessing it’s familiar to several of you, too.  I wish it weren’t.

I wonder if I am posting a picture here, finally, because my nephew is due in a few weeks and I’m already worrying that family will sort of forget all about Teddy in light of a new (and hopefully, hopefully) healthy baby boy.  It’s still very hard to think that so much of the world goes on so easily and well without my little guy in it.  But maybe I’ve just come to a place where I want to and can share a bit more of him.

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12 comments

  1. Aw. He is precious.

    And, yes, I recognize *that look*.

    I am glad you shared his photo with us.

    And I am intrigued, you were able to take him outside, for him to *be outside*? That sounds nice, a small consolation, but nice.


    • It was important to us that he get to be outside at least once, and there was a children’s garden in the hospital where Teddy was born that was very special to us. I’ll always be grateful to the doctors and nurse who helped us all move outside (me in my wheelchair with my IV & Teddy with his respirator) to say goodbye.


  2. He is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing.


  3. He’s beautiful. And the love you have for him just radiates from the photo. Thank you for sharing this image of your precious boy.


  4. Oh Erica. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. It is one of the most beautiful photos I have ever seen, and Teddy is perfect, and he does look like you. Your love for each other just oozes out of the image. I love that you also took your little guy outside to breathe his last breaths. I couldn’t have imagined it any other way, when breath was such a challenge for our little ones.


  5. Wow.

    He’s so beautiful, and so are you.

    I’m so, so sorry.


  6. I am the father of twin girls and the last couple of nights were what I used to consider rough. The girls were up a lot and so today I was tired and cranky. And then I stumbled upon your picture and read your post and got quite a reality check. I am now ashamed of myself and my self centered in gratitude and I can’t wait to get home and hold and kiss my little wonders. You mentioned that you worry that the birth of your healthy nephew, may cause your family to forget about Teddy. I sincerely hope that isn’t the case, but know that though I’ve never met you, I don’t believe I will forget you, Teddy or the lesson I learned today. Thank you for the post and may God bless you and your family.


  7. Beautiful, just beautiful. Teddy looks so much like his mommy. What precious moments and such a wonderful thing to have them captured in photos. I am so sorry you have to handle your nephew’s safe arrival (like you say hopefully) and the feeling that he is taking Teddy’s rightful place. I know and understand. It’s almost too much to ask of a person. You will clearly keep his memory alive – and I sincerely hope your friends and family do as well.


  8. What a beautiful picture. As soon as I saw it I had tears.


  9. I also lost a son, through very different circumstances – but I never got to see him or hold him after he left us.
    This picture is just beautiful – I am very glad that you posted it – for you!!! Teddy looks so peaceful and relaxed in his mother’s arms. I’m so sorry that all you have now are memories, but these photos will help keep the image of his face in your heart.


  10. So brave of you to show these photos. What a beautiful boy! No one could have prepared me for how much I treasure my photos a year out.
    It was so hard when that first “other person’s” baby was born in our life. I don’t know if this is why you posted these now, but my own photos and experience of OUR baby did help me get some distance from feeling terrible about THEIR baby. Not always, and not completely, but it did make a difference.
    My thoughts are with you. And what a beautiful way to remember your handsome, handsome boy.


  11. Wow, Erica, just wow. I’m so late to this because I’ve been away, but I just couldn’t not stop by and say something. I have been very open with sharing Hope but I can appreciate it is very hard for some. I’m so glad you finally shared Teddy with us. What a little treasure he is. And that look. That look is so familiar to me, too.
    Thanks again for sharing. I feel honoured to have now met your Teddy.



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