My dearest, Ezra,
On a cold November night, after returning home from work, I found out that you’d be on your way. I was so excited. That was when we started to dream about who you’d be, what you’d look like, and the very first time we’d hear you cry.
All of my hopes and dreams hung on the arrival of one day: Thursday, July 9, 2020. Through all of the anxiety and fear that this year has provided, you were the bright light at the end of a very long tunnel. If I could get us all safely to that day, I felt like everything would be okay.
Today, we would’ve gone to the hospital very early, and you’d have been born just after 7AM via a repeat C-section. I was going to have something I never got with your sister: lucidity in your first hours of life. I would hold you close, and we’d head up to the eighth floor for two days of recovery.
I had it all planned out in my head. I tried so hard to do everything right. I was so careful to avoid getting sick. I did kick counts every night, and felt so much joy and hope every time I felt you move. Never could I have imagined that it wouldn’t be enough…that I couldn’t do anything to protect you.
I’m so sorry, my sweet boy. I can’t say it enough. Everyone constantly tells me that none of this was my doing. Regardless of what anyone says, I will never be able to convince myself that I didn’t miss something. Maybe I could’ve done something to save you if I had just been more astute. I failed you. My body failed you.
June 1st was never meant to be your birthday. If you’d ended up in the NICU, I could’ve managed that. Instead, I am, more often than not, at a loss for words. Your date of birth and date of death are the same day…engraved so permanently on your headstone. There are no answers to any of my questions, and the word “stillbirth” still haunts me.
Eight hours holding you will never be enough. We took 64 photographs of you that day. There are also a few photos and videos of me while I was pregnant, and your ultrasound images. These, and the memories I have of your short life, will have to be enough to last us a whole lifetime. I know it’s so much more than a lot of people get under similar circumstances, but I long for more — for the future that I envisioned long before you ever existed. I waited so long for you and your sister, and all of the hopes and dreams I had for you died with you.
I am so sorry we aren’t meeting each other today. If there was anything I could do to fix everything, I would do it. I would gladly trade you places.
I keep waiting to wake from this terrible dream. Every morning, the first thing I do is place my hand on my abdomen with the hope that you’ll still be there. And, nearly every morning, the emptiness I feel is just as immense as it was the moment you were born. I wait for a time machine, a wormhole, or a magic portal that could transport me back to a time when I could have done something to save you. Alas, no such magic exists, and I have to force myself to pick up the pieces of my broken heart and move forward.
Nobody can tell me why you couldn’t stay with us, and I don’t know what to believe, anymore. A huge part of me wants so badly to believe in a higher power, and a heaven where I will eventually meet you again. But, there are no guarantees in this life, as the last five weeks have so cruelly demonstrated, and no certainty in what happens to any of us when we leave this mortal coil. Wherever you are, I hope there is no pain, that you are happy, and that you can feel the immeasurable amount of love we have for you.
I will always be your mother. I will always be so proud of you, and the love I feel for you will never fade. Every day of my life, from this day forward, you will linger in my thoughts, and you will hold a special place in my heart.