March 10, 2010

A letter to Ianto

I've written this for a humour site I frequent - they have a weekly "Question of the Week" and this week's topic is "Letters they'll never read"... I thought I'd join in with a short letter to Ianto.

To my darling beautiful son,

It's been a week and a half since I gave birth to you, and I just want you to know just how proud I am of you. How much I love you. How perfect you are.

You have your dad's face, you know that? You should know, I told you a million times, I'm sure. But my nose. You were always going to have my nose - there's no way you were getting out of it. It's a good nose. Your perfect little arms and legs, all long and gangly, they're your dad's. Your feet, your hands... Perfect.

I cherish every moment of my pregnancy, every little kick I felt. Even the times you would scare me by not kicking for a while, then trying to karate-chop your way out of me when I got too worried. I even cherish the heartburn you were responsible for!

You're so loved, little one. I spent the whole two days we were in hospital after you were born stroking your little face, amazed by your soft skin. Your dad had a lot of cuddles when I could bring myself to give you up.

I'm not sure I'll ever understand why your heart stopped beating while you were inside of me. Even if all the tests they did on the two of us show a medical reason, I'll never know why I was fated to be the mummy of a stillborn child. I'll never know why I had to plan a funeral for my baby when I was meant to still be pregnant.

I'm happy I was able to give you life inside me, that you seem to have died happy. At 32 weeks, you would have discovered dreams recently. I hope they were nice, baby boy. Did you dream about me like I did you? Could you hear me planning for your birth? Are you as proud of me as I am of you?

I'm glad we were allowed that time with you - I never knew that I would be allowed to keep you in the room with me after you were born. I'm glad we got a lot of photos of you. Do you know that the photographer that came and took your photo is putting some up for selection in an exhibition especially for pictures of sick or stillborn children? Your dad and I are so incredibly proud of that fact - even someone who sees a lot of children all the time knows how beautiful you are!

I was so scared every time someone would come into the room, thinking they were coming to take you away from me. Having to walk away from that hospital room was the hardest part of my life up to that point - it's now been succeeded by having to place the lid on your coffin.

I can still see your little face when I close my eyes. I hope those images never fade away. I hope I never forget the feeling of your sweet soft skin under my fingertips. I hope I continue to smell your scent in quiet moments. I know I'll never forget you.

It's been a week and a half since I gave birth to you, and I'm sure you know how proud I am of you. How much I love you. How perfect you are, even in death.

Love always,
Your mummy.

6 comments:

  1. That may be the first time I've been able to refer to Ianto as "stillborn" - until now, I've used euphemisms like "born still" or "born sleeping" etc... I'm not sure I'm okay with being able to say that word just yet :(

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  2. What a sweet letter to your sweet little Ianto. I am crying reading it.

    Hugs to you xoxo

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  3. This is so beautiful Tenielle. My tears just kept falling as I read it. Xoxoxo Christy

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  4. Just an update - this letter ended up winning second "prize" :)

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  5. Beautifully written Tenielle thank you for sharing Ianto's story.My candles burned brightly tonight for all of us.

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  6. Wow, I wrote and posted this a year before Amelia was born...

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Thank you for reading!