Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I feel like I have jumped through a few hurdles lately. Most people wouldn’t even consider them a hurdle, but I do.

East Side Mario’s

The first was eating at East Side Mario’s again. East Side’s is one of my favorite restaurants, so Ted took me there on my birthday on May 11th, when I was 17.5 weeks pregnant. On the drive there, I felt some lower back pain, much like the lower back pain I get during AF. I was a little worried in the car since I hadn’t had that kind of pain at all in the pregnancy. We were seated and we ordered and then I went to the bathroom. I was horrified to see some blood. It wasn’t bright red and it wasn’t very much, but I was so scared. I went to wash my hands and I felt more come out. This time it was bright red, but it still wasn’t very much. My heart was pounding and I felt like throwing up, but I went back to our table and tried to act normal. I didn’t say anything to Ted because I didn’t want to ruin the evening for him. But I sat there in fear. Now I know I should have just told him. Our food arrived and I didn’t really enjoy the meal, obviously, and I couldn’t wait to leave. As we walked to the car, I told him that I had some bleeding. He wasn’t very worried because his ex-wife had some bleeding with their daughter and everything was fine. I didn’t have anymore bleeding like that for the rest of the night. We had talked about going to a hospital, but for some reason we decided not too since I was having no cramping and the back pain had stopped.

The next day, I did have more bleeding (no bright red blood) and I went to the hospital that night. They put us in a private room in the ER to wait (I just figured that was the only room they had at the time, now I think they put us there in case our baby was dead) and we waited. My pulse was really fast and they were worried about that. When I said that I was just anxious, the nurses all said they understood and looked sympathetic. A doctor came in and did an ultrasound. As soon as he started checking his watch and watching the screen, I felt relief wash over me. The baby still had a heartbeat. I asked where the placenta was, but he said he couldn’t tell. He couldn’t see anything wrong and sent us home. He said to come back for a full ultrasound the next day. He also said that if something was going wrong, there wasn’t a lot they could do about it because I was only 17 weeks. I had a full ultrasound the next day, which is when we found out I was having a boy and that there was a problem with his foot. Anyway, I’ll get into all the details of those scary moments another time. I really just intended to write about why East Side Mario’s is a scary place for me now.

It was my sister’s birthday on Sept 25th, so my 3 sister’s, my Mom and nephew and I all went to East Side’s last night (a different location from the one where the bleeding happened). I have been wanting to go there just to break the spell of the bad memory, but Ted and I hadn’t gone yet. Jessie wanted to go there and I was glad that it would happen, and that it wouldn’t be just Ted and I going together, which would have been too much like May 11th. I was nervous coming home from work, all this anxiety just about going to a restaurant. It wasn’t too bad there. We were sitting near, but not at, a booth and I kept staring at the booth having flashbacks to May 11th and the fear (we were sitting in a booth that day). I tried to pay attention to the conversation around me, and I was successful for the most part, but I kept looking back at the booth and having flashbacks. I didn’t explain any of this to anyone who was at the dinner. They are used to me staring vacantly ahead into space now anyway.

The Book

I started reading the book “Any Known Blood” by Lawrence Hill a few days before I found out that Jacob had died and I was reading it in the waiting room as I waited for my appointment the morning my OB couldn’t find his heartbeat. The main character referred to the baby boy that had died in his wife’s womb near the beginning of the book. I hated reading things like that when pregnant, but it was just a quick reference to it and Ted said that he only mentions it 2 or 3 times in the book. As I was waiting for my appointment, there was another reference to it.

               Yes, yes, being a mother, being a parent – maybe that would have
               saved me from self-obsession. I had come close. I loved that little boy
               who had died in Ellen’s womb. Loved him and loved her.

This was on page 49. I grimaced when I read that and quickly read on, I didn’t want that to be the last thing I read before being called in. I got to page 52 and was called in. And you all know the rest. The 3 scariest minutes of my life when she was trying to find his heartbeat but couldn’t. As she turned off the air conditioner so that she could hear better. As I stared at the ceiling, then stared at her face, then back to the ceiling. Willing her to find it, praying that she would find it. The split seconds when she did find a pulse, but it was mine. Then the words that are burned into my memory “I can’t find it”.

I clutched the book as I walked over to the hospital, as I waited for the ultrasound, as I called Ted and my parents and told them there was a problem. I saw it lying on the window sill while I waited for my family to arrive, as I lay there in labour.

I have been scared to pick up the book and start reading it again. I wonder if I don’t want to finish the book because it is one more thing from Jacob’s time that will be finished.

I decided that it is finally time to read the book again. Mostly because I want to jump over the hurdle (but I don’t want to do it when I am pregnant – it’s silly, but I don’t want to be reading the book that I was reading when I found out that Jacob died when I am pregnant again…just to be “safe”).

I grabbed the book this morning and started reading it on the train. I re-read the part about the baby that died and then I moved on. But I did grab another bookmark too. The bookmark that I was using on May 31st will forever stay on page 52. It just seems wrong to move it.

The Drive By

This one isn’t really a hurdle as I’ve been in the area before, but it is worth writing about. After dropping my sisters off at the GO train last night, I decided to drive by the hospital. The streets were empty, it was dark and raining lightly. I went by my OB’s office, which is across the road from the hospital. As I went by the corner where I was waiting for the light to change on May 31st, calling Ted to tell him there was a problem but also reassuring him that everything was probably OK (I didn't really believe that everything was OK, but I wanted to), I could see the other people that were on the street that day. There was one car in the intersection and a couple crossing the road. As I drove by the sidewalk I walked on to get to the maternity entrance, I could see the two hospital workers that had been standing outside that day smoking. I drove into the parking lot and stopped in front of the entrance to L&D and maternity. There was no one around inside or outside. But I saw the devastated, broken girl in the blouse and the skirt standing inside by the door, tears streaming down her face as she talked to her husband on the phone and they tried to reassure each other that everything was fine. I saw the two older ladies and the man sitting in the chairs waiting for news on the baby that was just being delivered, I saw the baby’s Dad come and say that it was a boy and they all hugged, I saw the people coming in and staring at me as they did, wondering why I was crying. I saw the girl standing by the driveway with her family around her, with empty arms and an empty belly, as she waited to be picked up to go home, heartbroken.

Then I drove home to my husband and my life as it is now.

Monday, September 27, 2010

This weekend

Yesterday was a surprisingly good day…probably the best day I’ve had since losing Jacob. I don’t know what it was. I still missed him and thought about him a lot, but there were moments, albeit very brief ones, when I felt like my old self, moments I never thought I would have again.

Nothing special even happened yesterday. We got up, went to church, I got some blankets to put in the box I’m going to donate to the hospital where Jacob was born (and bring there on his due date), we got some groceries and went home and did some unpacking. I got a few RSVPs for my Mom’s party next Sunday, Ted put together the bookshelves and I started putting my books on them. Mom called and wanted to me to go to some open houses with her. We were looking around a house and I was genuinely interested, not just pretending to be. Is this my old self coming out? And I did something when I was out with Ted. I can’t remember what it was. I made a joke out of something or other. Right after I did, it struck me that I haven’t done that since May 30th. What was really amazing was that it just came naturally.

Of course, last night I got into bed and was lying there and suddenly the sadness was everywhere again. Ted walked in the room and saw it right away. He got into bed, we hugged and I started crying and crying. He said that he was sad too and I said that it is almost 4 months. How is it possible that it is almost 4 months? On Saturday, Ted was in the backyard doing yard work. I was watching him out the kitchen window while I did dishes and I started imagining what it would have been like to watch Ted and Jacob doing that work together. A little boy and his Dad. A moment we will never have with Jacob. One of millions of moments we will never have.

There was a white butterfly that kept flying around and once it got really close to Ted. I finally grabbed the camera to go and get a picture of it, but it left by the time I got out there. We were driving around later that day and I mentioned something about the pregnancy, some little moment that made me smile. Sometimes we can talk about it that way now. It can make us smile to remember something about it, to remember how happy we were then. Then Ted said that he suddenly got really sad and he wonders what Jacob would have looked like. I said that he would have looked like Ted, but with my cheekbones. We were silent after that for awhile.

I have been missing my baby belly a lot lately. On Saturday I was sitting eating dinner and suddenly the absence of that weight was overwhelming. Later on I bent over, and the absence of that weight struck me again. This happened all the time in the early days, but it hasn’t happened in a month or so. I still rub my belly, as I always have since finding out I was pregnant and then losing Jacob, but I don’t think about the feeling of the weight as much. Also, for the first time in a month or so, I looked down and saw the way my shirt was resting on my belly, so different from how it did when I was pregnant. In the first 2 months after he was born, I looked at that all the time. Almost every time I moved, I was very aware of how my shirt was fitting differently and I hated it.

Ben made me happy again. He and Laurie came over on Saturday night and we played and had fun as usual. Laurie told me that the other day Ben’s Dad Andy was saying words to Ben to see what he would respond with. When Andy said “Aunt” Ben said “Dana”. Ben has 5 aunts, so I was pretty happy that I was the first one he thought of. It has been my goal since the day I found out Laurie was pregnant with him to be his favorite aunt. Looks like I’m succeeding.

I just found out that the woman at work who was pregnant at the same time as me, and was 2 weeks ahead, had her baby last night. The baby is alive, which I am very happy about. I am also very happy that she had a girl and not a boy. My wonderful husband called me as soon as he found out so that he would be the one to tell me and to make sure that I’m OK. I did get choked up, but it has passed (for now anyway). Ted also got me a card today. It has pictures of butterflies on it and a nice note from him. He wrote "Jacob" beside one butterfly and "August" beside the other one. August is what we are calling the baby that we lost in August. I talked to Ted about naming that baby awhile ago and he said it was too painful to talk about at the time. Today he called out of the blue and said that we never named that baby. So I told him that I had been calling the baby Scout, but he didn't like it that much. So then I said that I had come across another baby loss Mom who named her babies after the month they were born. So August it is for now. I'm not totally satisfied with that name though, so it might change again.

Blog Award

I was nominated for One Lovely Blog award by 4 wonderful women, Elaine at Waves over Stones, Annette at Valentina in the Sky, Alissa at KK Butterfly Wings and Rhiannon at For the Love of Harper. I am so grateful to be nominated for this award, so grateful that people thought of Jacob and I and my blog when doing nominations. I am so honoured that others read my blog, take the time to comment and just to know that I’m not alone and that I can share my struggles with others who really understand. To everyone who reads this blog, I am so grateful for you!

Of the blogs that I have nominated, I have been reading some for awhile and some of them were discovered recently. I am grateful that I have found all of them, and all of the others that I follow. I wish I could have nominated 20 blogs instead of 10.

Here are the rules:

1. Accept the award and post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his/her blog link.

2. Pay it forward to 10 other bloggers that you have newly discovered.

3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they have been chosen.

To the four ladies who nominated me, I would have nominated you too. I love your blogs. They have all helped me immeasurably, as have the comments that you have left on my blog.

Here are my nominees

1. Allison at Remembering Drew

2. Violet at Searching for Ladybugs

3. Jennifer at Searching for a Safe Harbour

4. Emily at Aidan, Baby of Mine

5. Carrie at Caleb and Lucas, Angel Twins

6. Danae at Our Journey To Bailey and Beyond

7. Jessica at Too Beautiful for Earth

8. Car at Hello Goodbye

9. Julie at My Sweet Kenny

10. Angela at Little Bird

Friday, September 24, 2010


I know this doesn’t make sense, that it is silly to even think this way, but I just have trouble understanding how people could have been going on with their everyday lives on May 31st and June 1st.

I found out that Jacob died on May 31st. As I walked out of the OB’s office that morning (after she couldn’t find his heartbeat) to walk to the hospital to have it confirmed by ultrasound, I saw people standing around, driving by, walking around the hospital. It seemed surreal. How could they be acting normal when my world was falling apart?

I take the GO train now to get to work everyday. For the past few nights on the way home, as the train gets near the hospital and I can see a bit of it, I look at everyone sitting on the train reading or working on their laptops. They were likely doing the same thing on May 31st at the time same, as I lay in the hospital bed having contractions and trying to hold it together, as I rested my hand on my belly, trying to soak up every second that I had left with my baby.

Yesterday I read an article in a magazine and it began with “It’s June 1st at 8:30am and I am…..”. On June 1st at that time, I was in a lot of pain, physically and emotionally, knowing that my baby would be born soon, that I would have to say goodbye to him soon. The author of the article was at a private school near Lakefield, just going about his day.

I know someone has just been told that their baby has died, they are just giving birth to their dead baby, or they are cradling their child’s body in their arms, saying their goodbyes. Yet here I am, at home, just going about my day. Just as they were when I lost my Jacob.

It seems funny that the world doesn’t stop when tragedy strikes. But then tragedy strikes everyday, every hour, every minute.

I have also been struggling with the fact that I have so much. I have a wonderful husband, a wonderful family, wonderful friends (many of whom I met after losing Jacob), my health, a good job and a house. I have people who love me and care about what happens to me, who care about my happiness. I have more than a lot of people in the world do.

Yet the one thing I focus the most on is my lost son and the empty space that he has left. I feel like I should focus on what I do have more than on what I don’t have (and I am grateful every single day for everything I have). I was talking to my husband last night about this and about how I have trouble reconciling the two. He pointed out that if we were poor, if we didn’t have the wonderful people in our lives that we do, we would still be sad about Jacob and it wouldn’t be helping the poorer people of the world anyway. At least this way, we can help them. We can donate our money and our time. So that struggle may be resolved now.

But I will always struggle in living life without my son. Maybe the struggle won’t be as hard in a year as it is now, but it will still be a struggle.

I would have been 37 weeks pregnant yesterday. I got my weekly development update from bcc and read it and stared and stared at the picture of the baby, of what Jacob should look like now.

On a more cheerful note, I haven't cried yet today. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I don’t feel good today. I don’t feel good any day, but I just feel so down right now. I feel down and hopeless and vacant. I feel like a shell.

I have so many wonderful people in my life, so many people who care and I am very grateful for that. But nothing will ever bring my babies back. My babies will always be dead. Nothing will change that. It is hard enough losing Jacob, but now knowing that I’ve lost another baby…it is just too much sometimes.

I can't wrap my head around it. They are never coming back.

I feel guilty that I think about Jacob more than I think about Angel#2. That baby deserves attention too, but I knew Jacob so much better. I kissed him, I rocked him, I felt him kick, I saw him moving. I didn't even know I was pregnant with #2 until he/she was gone.

If I’m lucky enough to get pregnant again, I think that baby will die too. I don’t have a good track record when it comes to keeping babies alive, so how can I ever trust that my body will do it. I know I should be more optimistic, but I don’t have the strength right now.

So that is how I am feeling at this moment in time. I’m also feeling guilty for feeling this way. I know other people have been through more than I have, but that doesn’t take my pain away.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Conference, a tree and a visit from a baby

Last Thursday I went to a course away from the office. I managed to pay attention to the trainer for a whole hour out of the 6 hour course. I still thought about Jacob and imagined others at the table asking if I have any kids during that hour, but I knew what was going on and was able to concentrate on it. Then my ability to concentrate left and I spent the rest of the day in my dream world while I kept removing all of my hair that was falling out off the desk.

I think this is the first hour in 3.5 months that I have concentrated on anything that was kind of boring for so long. Actually, since I concentrated on anything for so long that didn’t directly have to do with baby loss.

AF started on Thursday. I’m hoping that I’m pregnant next month at this time. Maybe I’ll even know before Jacob’s due date, but with the timing, that would be very lucky.

I was so obsessed with being pregnant before his due date up until a few weeks ago. I guess the miscarriage with angel #2 (name to be decided) has increased the hopelessness. Now it seems like a pipe dream. I thought I wouldn’t be able to survive to this point without being pregnant already, without having that hope.

September seemed so far away last June. I’m amazed I’m still alive sometimes. I couldn’t even imagine making it this far right after he was born.

I got a letter from the funeral home that we worked with for Jacob’s cremation. In addition to being really nice to us and not charging us anything for their services, the letter we got said that they are planting a tree in Jacob’s memory! I was reading this on Front St. in Toronto, a very busy street, and I started crying right there. I met up with Ted at the GO Train and showed him the card the funeral home sent. I could tell that it really touched him, I thought he might even cry but he didn’t.

Yesterday a coworker, who I barely know, brought in her 9 month old baby boy. She knows people I work with, so she brought him up and everyone stood around looking at him and trying to make him laugh. Once upon a time I would have been one of those people. I decided that I would make an appearance. They were in the hall right outside my cubicle and I had to get up and walk by a few times, so I didn't want to look antisocial. I'm pretty sure that the baby's Mom has no idea that my baby boy died. She might not even know that I was pregnant. Anyway, I stood there for about 30 seconds and couldn't take it anymore. I wasn't crying yet. I had to stay at my desk because I needed to print something and then leave for an event I was organizing. As I was waiting for the document to open, he started laughing. An adorable, infectious baby laugh. I took out Jacob's ultrasound picture and started crying. I told Jacob how sorry I am that he will never get to laugh like that, that he will never get the chance to be admired by so many people who will all exclaim over how cute he is and ask to hold him.

As I was sitting at my desk crying, no one who was looking at the baby could see me. My co-worker Jen, who is such a nice person and has been amazing since Jacob died, came over, put her hand on my shoulder and quietly asked if I was OK. I said I was, but she saw the tears in my eyes and the ultrasound picture in front of me. She said she was sorry and left. I was so touched. I wondered if any of the people there who know what happened, which was most of them, were wondering if it was hard for me to see Evan (which, coincidentally, is the name we called Jacob before he was born. We almost named him Evan, but Jacob had always been a front runner too and he seemed like a Jacob).

Anyway, I love Jen for doing that and I love that the funeral home is planting a tree in Jacob's memory.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Happy Anniversary

Today is our 1st wedding anniversary. We had a wonderful wedding and we almost had a wonderful first year. I am so grateful that Ted is my husband, that I married someone that I really love and want to spend the rest of my life with. Ted and I have known each other for 10 years and I remember the first time I saw him. I liked him long before we started dating (and he liked me long before too). We dated for 3 years before getting married, but we had already known each other for so long that it feels like we have been together forever. I can't imagine life without him.

We have experienced so much this year. We got married, went to Greece, France and Monaco, we got pregnant and excitedly watched our baby grow and fell more in love with him everyday, we bought a house and went through a lot of stress to sell the condo, but eventually we did. I started a new job just over a year ago and he started a new job a few months ago. We found out there might be something wrong with our baby. Then our baby died. I called Ted and told him over the phone that Jacob had died and he had to wait over an hour before he could get to me and find out exactly what was going on. We went through 18 hours of labour together, then we held our baby as long as we could. We decided what to do with our baby's body and now we visit him in a Memorial Garden. Instead of rubbing my big belly and going to prenatal appointments, we walk with the heavy burden and sadness of a child's death looming over us.  Then I started bleeding and we found out that I might be pregnant. Then we found out that I had had a miscarriage. Then I found a lump in my breast (within days of the miscarriage - so far the lump looks to be a cyst). Then we moved and have started life in a house that is really nice, but was bought at this time because our baby was on his way. I met some wonderful new friends and have discovered from my old group of friends who are the true friends. Ted was by my side through everything.

Today isn't the way I expected it to be. I should be 36 weeks pregnant, not trying to get pregnant for the third time.  I am still grateful for everything that we have (and of course very sad for the babies that we don't have). Ted has been my rock. He always has been, but especially in the past 3.5 months. He has been so patient with me spending so much time on the internet, knowing that it was the only thing keeping me sane in the early days and it is often the only thing that brings me some peace now. I have also spent hours on the phone with other BLM's, another thing that keeps me sane and brings me some peace. Even though Ted has felt lonely at times, he didn't say anything because he knew/knows it is helping me to heal.

Ted has been right there with me. He has felt his own devastation and has been strong for me. He has made me leave the house when all I wanted to do was hibernate inside and hide from the world. He has made me eat when I didn't want to eat, he has chosen my clothes for me when I couldn't figure out what to wear and ended up sobbing because of it. He has hugged me as I have sobbed and felt like I was just going to rip open from the pain. He checks on me everyday at work, several times a day. He has answered the question "how is she" too many times to count and didn't mind that people weren't asking how he was too.

He has watched the woman he married change and has worried that she will never return. He has worried alot about that.

Today we are going to the CN Tower for lunch to celebrate our anniversary. I am determined to be happy today (as much as I can be). I'm determined not to dwell on losing my babies today. Ted deserves to have me present today, to just celebrate what we do have. I don't feel too badly today yet either. Yesterday was a pretty good day. We had Ben for the day and it is hard to feel the crushing pain when there is a little 2 year old looking up at you and smiling, holding on to you when he is scared of something (in this case, a guy dressed as a dog at a fall fair), go past the garden where Jacob is buried and wave and say "Hi Jacob", totally umprompted, smile with excitement when he sees horses, put his head on your shoulder when he is tired and cry when it is time to leave because he is having so much fun.

Here is to hoping for another good day today and a great life with my wonderful husband.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Flashbacks and other things

My hCG level is now zero. The nurse at my OB’s office called first thing this morning. At least I don’t have to do anymore bloodwork. My hair is also falling out. It stopped falling out shortly after I got pregnant with Jacob and I may have lost a strand or two here and there over the summer, but nothing like this. Now I just look at my shirt and there are several strands lying on it. And my milk has almost dried up.
Although I know all of these things have to happen, I hate that they are. They are more physical signs that Jacob and angel #2 are gone.

I was afraid to ask the nurse about when we can try again, but I did. She said to wait one normal period, which I think might be coming soon. I also asked how long it would take for my milk to dry up and she had no idea. She suggested that I call the breastfeeding clinic at the hospital, but at least she acknowledged that I might not want to do that. In some ways I want to, just so that I can tell someone Jacob’s story as I’m asking the question. Just so that one more person knows about his life.

I’ve been having more flashbacks lately. Last night I was lying in bed, remembering how on a Monday 3.5 months ago, I was lying in a hospital bed in labour with my baby. Today, being a Tuesday, is a little tougher than usual. But then I’ve had a lot of hard days lately, so I can’t really say that it was worse than Sunday. I’ve decided to light a candle for Jacob every Tuesday. I don’t know why I didn’t think of doing it sooner. Last night, Ted and I were on the couch watching TV and I just burst into tears and couldn’t stop. It was like the early days. We would be sitting there together, he’d have his arm around me and I’d sit there sobbing.

Yesterday on the way to work, Ted told me that he’d had a flashback the night before to the moment when I called and told him on the phone that Jacob had died. He said the same feeling he had at that moment washed over him and he felt so incredibly sad all over again. I just held his hand and tried to hide my tears from him as I knew he would stop talking if he saw me crying.

I’m not only having flashbacks to “the” 2 days. I’m also having flashbacks to when I was pregnant and how happy I was. I see someone at work and I remember the day I told them. I see a pickle and I remember the day I threw one up and the terrible heartburn I had for 4 hours afterwards. I see the couch I lay on every night for almost 2 months because I just felt too sick to sit on it. I’m wearing my Spring/Fall coat now. I wore it while pregnant, watching and feeling it get tighter and tighter until I couldn’t do it up anymore. Now I’m wearing it again and there is plenty of room in the belly area. It goes on and on and on. Sometimes the memories make me smile. Sometimes they make me cry. Sometimes I smile and cry at the same time. The other day I found a piece of paper that I wrote down the times that I felt Jacob kick. Of course, it was the day before I found out that he had died, so he wasn’t him kicking at all. But I look at the handwriting and think of how happy I was that day. How I wish I could go back in time.

I saw a picture of a 9 week old baby that was miscarried a few days ago on the BCC. It convinced me that the little clear ball I held on the day of my miscarriage on August 20th was my second baby. At least I got to hold him/her. I just wish I could have taken that little one home and buried him/her. I can’t beat myself up about it. What’s done is done. I didn’t even know it was a miscarriage at the time. It crossed my mind, but I didn’t know that I might possibly have been pregnant until 5 days later.

Jacob, we miss you and love you more than we can ever possibly tell you. We miss your baby brother or sister too. I hope you are taking care of the little one. It seems funny to refer to someone as smaller than you. I realized the other day that you are almost definitely the youngest person buried in the Memorial Garden. I’m so sorry that you died so young.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I went to church yesterday to do the nursery. I wasn't so much worried about being with the kids, I was afraid that pregnant women would be dropping the kids off. I was right to be afraid. At least 3 pregnant women came in and there was one I wasn't sure about.

I felt the tears coming the second I saw the first one. While she was signing her daughter in, I was crying behind her. Just a little, just enough that I could stop as soon as she turned around and I plastered a smile on my face. My Mom asked her when she was due and she said in late January, early February so she is about the same number of weeks pregnant that I was. I could barely stop myself from staring at her belly. The jealousy and the sadness was terrible. The other woman I was doing the nursery with, Zelda, didn't know that I lost Jacob so I was trying to act normal for her too. Then another pregnant Mom came in. She already has 3 living kids and another one on the way. I don't want anything to happen to her baby, but I just want mine back. I can't even produce one living child. She has produced 3 so far and likely will produce 4. The pregnant women were telling me a little about the girls they were leaving, so I had to talk to them. I've seen so many pregnant women over the last 3 months, but the only one I've had to talk to is my sister, and she isn't showing yet. It was hard to carry on a normal conversation with them.

Once they left, I was sad but immersed myself in the kids. One little girl, Lizzy, was sad so I carried her around most of the time.

Zelda knows my sister from working in the nursery together before and their kids get along well. So Zelda started asking the usual get-to-know you questions. Where do I work, where do I live, how long have I been going to the church, do I have any kids. This is the first time anyone came straight out and asked if I have any kids since Jacob died. I said that I have a son but he passed away. She looked a little shocked and said that she was sorry and how sad it was. So I continued and said that he died a few months before he was due, that I found out at a regular prenatal appointment when my OB couldn't find his heartbeat and that I gave birth to him. She seemed shocked that I gave birth to him. I wish I'd told her I was in labour for 18 hours. I said that he is buried in the garden at the church and she was very sympathetic and said how much has happened since I got married less than a year ago. I said that it has been a pretty bad summer. The kids kept interrupting us, but she kept bringing Jacob up and I love her for it. She asked if I was alone when I found out and she asked if we had already picked out a name. I told her his name is Jacob. It felt good.

On Thursday night, I didn't mention Jacob to someone who made a reference to me having kids. I went with my Dad to pick up his new, used van at a car dealership. When my Dad was out of earshot, the car salesman asked me if he has any grandkids. I said that he has a grandson (meaning Ben, mentioning Jacob was on the tip of my tongue). He asked if Ben was ours (Ted was there) and I said that he is my sister's. The salesman then said that Ted and I must be thinking of starting soon and I said that we were. I didn't mention Jacob. I felt terrible after, but it just didn't seem like there would be enough time to tell Jacob's story the way I want it told and I didn't think the guy cared anyway. After, I went over and over the conversation with the guy in my head, thinking of how I could have told him but I didn't. I kept apologizing to Jacob that night.  I lay in bed, looked at Jacob's ultrasound picture, and told him how sorry I am. I feel like I have redeemed myself a little by telling Zelda so much.

Then the parents came back to pick up their kids. When Lizzy's Dad came to get her, I put her down to walk to him and she walked halfway, then turned and looked at me and then turned around and walked to him. It was cute. But then the pregnant women came. They stood around talking for awhile. I felt like I couldn't breathe. A new one came in. She is about 3-3.5 months pregnant. There was no reason for her to be there, she didn't have a kid in the nursery. But Zelda, Lizzy's Dad and this woman stood around talking with each other. I had just given Lizzy to her Dad, so I felt rude to walk away. The talk turned to pregnancy of course and this mystery woman pointed to her small bump and they all laughed. I wanted to throw up. They all looked so happy, so sure that this baby, and Lizzy's sibling who is expected in a few months, will make it. That their lives will be all sunshine and happiness. I smiled, but my eyes had a vacant stare. I think Zelda may have noticed, I saw her glance my way once.

Last Sunday (Sept 5), no one in my family went to church, but my Mom's friend Carole did. Thank goodness she did because Jacob's name was in the bulletin. Shortly after Jacob died and we decided to bury his ashes in the Memorial Garden beside the church, my Mom called and asked how much it cost. They said most people pay $100. My Mom gave $150. Because of that extra $50, they are treating it as a donation to the upkeep of the garden and, as a result, the donation was mentioned in the program. Carole got 2 extra bulletin's to give to me. When she was in church, she was sitting with a friend who said to Carole how sad it is. I love the fact that alot of people saw the bulletin and thought about him, even if just for a second.

I emailed the church secretary, Shirley, during the week and asked if I could get some more copies of the bulletin. She was so nice. She emailed back and said this:

It really warmed my heart to see you and Ted (and your sister) blowing bubbles with Jacob in the Garden after Katherine's wedding. I say "Hi" to him when I pass through the Garden too.

I started crying when I read that she says Hi to Jacob when she passes through the garden. I was at work when I read it and burst out crying at my desk.

So yesterday I went to the church office after all the kids left the nursery and saw Shirley and Rev. Mike there (the same minister who came to the hospital 3 times in 2 days when I was there). I got the envelope with the programs and told them how nice it was to see his name there and then I started crying! I was still feeling very fragile from all the pregnant women. It is so weird for me to cry in front of other people. I never did it before Jacob died. Now I did it and I wasn't embarrassed or anything. Shirley grabbed me and hugged me and I started crying more. She kept saying that it is so hard and so sad. When she stopped hugging me, Mike grabbed my hand and squeezed it. Shirley said they always think of Jacob everytime they're in the garden. I did apologize for crying and said that I was in the nursery that morning and there were so many pregnant women. I started crying again and she hugged me again. I really needed those hugs. I collected myself after a minute or 2 and left. I went to the coffee room, where there were still people walking around. I was standing by the door, thinking that I should leave because I could feel the tears coming again. Mike's wife Yvonne happened to look my way and caught my eye. She mouthed "Are you OK?" from across the room and I shrugged my shoulders and turned to the wall to start crying again. She came over and hugged me. Both Shirley and Yvonne's hugs were really tight bear hugs, not limp ones. They helped so much. Then we stopped hugging and she kept holding my hand. I said how I had been in the nursery and saw so many pregnant women and that Jacob's due date is getting closer and I think that's why I'm having such a hard day. After awhile, I went into the Narthex for the service. I sat alone since Mom is in the choir and I actually sat in the pew crying (not obviously, but anyone who knows me would have known at a glance - I think anyway. Maybe it was totally obvious). I started to think I should leave, but then the service started. We sang the first hymn, but I was crying so hard by this point that I couldn't see the words and I had to stop. I looked up and I'm pretty sure Mike was looking at me from the front. I kept taking deep breaths and started to plan my escape (I hate getting up and walking out in the middle of church). Mike welcomed everyone back and said that he hoped that everyone had a nice summer. Then he said that he knows that there are people sitting in the congregation who had some bad things happen to them over the summer and that those people are in everyone's thoughts etc. I know I'm not the only one at church who had a bad thing happen to them over the summer, but he looked at me when he said it.

After church, I was in the coffee room again and Amanda's Mom asked how I was (Amanda is the first babyloss Mom that I talked to 6 days after finding out that Jacob died. Mike put us in contact with each other - she was great for the few times I talked to her, but I haven't heard from her in 2 months). I'm tired of always saying fine. If it is someone who knows about what happened or who knows about babyloss or who I think might actually really care, I answer truthfully. Since her daughter lost a baby, I said that it has been a bad day, and she said "well, there is a reason and it will be worth it". Excuse me? How can my son dying be worth it? I don't care how you look at it. Nothing will make my son dying "worth it". If I ever do get a rainbow baby, and even if that baby actually lives, nothing will be "worth" Jacob dying. Nothing will be "worth" the pain I've been in since the day I found out he was dead . I just smiled and walked away. I went to the garden three times yesterday while I was at church. Sobbing twice. The third time, after the second service, Mom and Carole came out and we all stood there talking for awhile.  It's nice not to be the only one who visited him yesterday. It's nice to know that others think of him when they pass through the garden. It's nice to know that others haven't forgotten about him. But I will always feel like a huge part of me is missing.

I know this is long. Thanks for reading the whole thing.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I feel like I have reached a plateau. I don't think that I will ever feel better than I do now, and I am not very good right now. I've probably had, at the very most, a few hours of feeling truly at peace since June 1, 2010. Those moments came when my husband would unexpectedly make me laugh, when talking to other babyloss Mom's on the phone, spending time with my nephew and that time we found our cat when we thought that we never would (he had been missing for 18 hours).

That's it. A few hours of peace in over 3 months. I don't know how I can keep going on at this rate. There are times when I don't feel completely churned up inside and like I just want to throw up or hurt physically somehow to take the emotional pain away. I just feel like that most of the time. I know that I probably will feel better. I know that I never thought that I would feel as "good" as I do now right after Jacob was born. I thought I would walk around in total devastation forever (which I do, I just deal with it better). I thought that I would never smile again and mean it. But I have. I still felt sad while smiling though.

We drove to the cottage last night and I just sat in the van crying most of the way there (it is 3.5 hours away). I should be 35 weeks pregnant right now. I wouldn't have gone to the cottage this weekend if that had still been the case. I shouldn't be waiting for the results of my latest hCG blood test to see if I have passed everything from my miscarriage in August. I should be uncomfortable. I should be starving all the time. I should be enjoying feeling Jacob kick all the time and excitedly telling others that he is kicking so that they can feel it too.

I shouldn't know nurses on the L & D floor at the hospital yet. I shouldn't know what labour pains feel like yet. I shouldn't know the heart stopping moment of hearing the words "I can't find his heartbeat".  I shouldn't be having flashbacks to those 2 days. Those 2 days should have just been regular days. I should be packing my hospital bag and choosing the outfit that I would bring Jacob home in. 

I shouldn't be trying to get pregnant again yet. I should be planning my maternity leave, which would have started at the end of September. I should be training the person who would be covering my responsibilities at work for the next year. I should be wearing maternity clothes.

At the cottage today, a chipmunk crawled up my leg for a peanut when I was sitting on the deck. It was so cute, but I was judging whether Jacob weighed more than the chipmunk when he was born (he did).

Tomorrow I am covering the nursery at church. Half of me is scared to do it and half of me is happy to do it. My sister originally volunteered, but she is pregnant and the nausea just started last week and she feels too sick. So I said I would do it for her. I said I couldn't at first (and my Mom would) because I was worried it would upset me too much. I'm still worried about that. But it might be nice to hold a baby. It won't be nice to think of what should have been. I fully expect to cry tomorrow as I hold the babies. I'll just have to try and stop it before the parents come back to pick up their babies. Lucky parents.

I'm just sad. I just miss my baby.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Another astonishing thing from Ben

On Friday afternoon (Sept 2), I was standing on Laurie's driveway with her. She was holding Ben, who turned 2 in June, and she said to Ben "See Dana's necklace?" Ben put his finger on my necklace and said "Baby in there".

This is the necklace that I got after Jacob died. It is heart shaped and has his name engraved on one side and baby footprints engraved on the other.

Laurie and I stared at each other in astonishment and I felt so close to Jacob in that moment. I love it when things like that happen.

I've been feeling really down today. It has been a rough, rough day.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Feeling down

Dear Jacob,

I'm just feeling sad today. I miss you beyond words. I keep seeing things that remind me of my pregnancy with you. We were in a Shopper's Drug Mart today and I saw the area where you can test your blood pressure. I used to stop by and do that when I was pregnant with you every few weeks.

Today I should have gone to Dr. A for my 35 week check up. Instead I was in her office picking up another requisition for blood work because of the miscarriage. At least there were no pregnant women in there for once. Because we were at her office, we drove near the hospital where you were born. I saw the corner where I was standing after Dr. A couldn't find your heartbeat and I was waiting for the light to change so I could get to the hospital for an ultrasound. It was the longest walk of my life, even though it only lasted about a minute. That corner is where I called your Dad from and told him that Dr. A couldn't find your heartbeat, but I kept trying to reassure him and me that you were probably just hiding, even though I knew you were too big to do that.

Today was the first day of school.  I spent some time watching the kids arrive at the school across the road. Many of them came with both their parents, who took turns taking pictures with their kids. I was particularly fascinated with a family with 2 little boys. We will never do that with you.

Little did they know a woman with a broken heart was watching them from her window.

Yesterday I found my maternity clothes. I sorted through them to give Laurie's clothes back to her. I also saw the clothes that I wore when I was pregnant with you. I buried my face in the part of the clothes where my belly was and cried. I gave Laurie's clothes back to her (I just can't give her the ones that were meant for me to wear with you, that I either bought or that were gifts). I told her which ones of hers I wore (most of them were still too big) in case she doesn't want to wear them during her current pregnancy. I did try them all on, but you were still alive when I did that. There was one pink blouse that I was going to start wearing the very week you were born. It was painful seeing it, and seeing the jeans and the pants that I had already started wearing.  This grey blouse almost fit. This picture was taken on May 9th, Mother's Day....about 2 weeks before you died. I was so excited that I would be able to start wearing it soon. Your Aunty Lindsay gave it to me for my birthday and your Aunty Jessie put french braids in my hair.

I can't believe the size of my belly in that picture.

I also found the maternity books that Laurie loaned to me. When I was still pregnant, I would mark the applicable month with a bookmark and read it all the time. Now all of the bookmarks were in the babyloss sections. What to Expect When You're Expecting actually has a couple of pages of fairly good information. Of course, I didn't even look at those pages before you died. I was sure to take all of those bookmarks out before giving the books back to her.

I was eating dinner tonight, a nice dinner your Dad made, and I was suddenly overcome with dread of your due date. I am just dreading it.  Your Dad got up from the table to do something and I started crying.

We went to bed early last night because the TV in the bedroom is hooked up, but the TV in the living room isn't and we were too tired to do it. Your Dad was in bed about an hour before me. I kept stalling and then I realized that I was stalling because I can't just lie in bed because thoughts of you consume me. I always think of you, but when I am just doing nothing, I feel like I am going to die from the pain.

Your Dad told me today that he was really sad. He just felt really down. He said that the recent miscarriage made all the pain of losing you come back again. He was walking around looking like I usually do, like I still do, we are just used to seeing me that way. He thought that after losing you, we would get pregnant again and everything would be fine. Oftentimes when we do something, it doesn't work out the first time, but the second time always does. He thought it would be the same with our future children. Losing a second baby has made him feel more hopeless, as well as sad about angel #2.

The funny thing is, I didn't really know what to say to him when he said how sad he was. I should know this. I guess I've said everything to him before when he told me he was sad, but I felt so helpless that I couldn't say anything to make him feel better. Then I started saying that the next one will work, that soon we will have a baby and he said it makes him feel better when I say things like that.

Your Dad walked up to me in the Shopper's and said that we should get a doppler next time I'm pregnant. I've been planning on doing that all along, I guess I never told him that though. I think I'll have to limit myself to listening to the baby's heartbeat in the morning and once at night or I'll be carrying that thing around, checking every chance I get.

I love you. I miss you. I'll never be whole without you.


Sunday, September 5, 2010


I feel like I'm just not as with it since I lost Jacob. I can't concentrate on conversations unless they are about Jacob or babyloss. I can talk about other subjects with babyloss Moms and concentrate then, but not if it is with someone who hasn't lost a baby. I follow the conversation for a minute or two and then I am daydreaming again.

I have also done something twice now that I've never done before. I'll be driving and pull up somewhere to park and I'll just turn the car off without putting it in park. Good thing the car doesn't let me take out the key, which makes me look around to figure out what is wrong. This only started happening last week. I really have to make myself pay more attention. I've also caught myself sitting at a red light when I want to turn right. In Ontario, you can turn right at a red light but I find myself waiting for the light to turn green. Not a huge thing, but it annoys the drivers behind me.

I also have about 5 things going at once. When I was packing up everything at the condo, I would start a box of something. Then I'd think of something else and go and start another box, then I'd think of another thing and start another box. Not very efficient. I do the same thing with unpacking.

I also have such a hard time making decisions, even simple ones.  Where should a box go? I have no idea. When I'm doing laundry, should I wash lights or darks first. I need to think about it for a minute. What do I want for lunch? No clue. What should I wear today? Give me awhile to figure it out or just pick something for me, that would be easier.

When will I start thinking like a normal person again? 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

3 months

Dear Jacob,

I miss you. Every second of every day. I go to sleep thinking about you and I wake up thinking about you. I think about you all day long. I still sleep with the blanket that you were wrapped in at the hospital. It makes me feel closer to you and I can't imagine sleeping without it now.

I can't believe it has been 3 months since I had you in my belly, since I held you in my arms and since I kissed you. Because of you, this has been the best and the worst year of my life. You made my dreams come true. Then they were destroyed because we lost you. Everyday since I found out you died has been so difficult.  It is difficult to find the joy in the things that I used to. Sure, I smile and laugh more than I did a few weeks ago, but there is always sadness attached to them. I know others think that I am back to normal, but I am faking it. It isn't as hard to do as it once was, but I am still doing it.

I just don't feel like I can express how much I love and miss you in this letter. I will never be able to show you how much.

I woke up really sad today, baby. It was about 4am and I started crying right away.  A pretty big cry, like the ones shortly after you were born. I kept looking at the time, thinking about what was happening 3 months ago today at that time. Your Dad and I hugged for a while and your Dad said that he pictures you as a 9 or 10 month old. He doesn't like to look at the pictures that were taken of you after you were born because it is just too painful for him to see the pictures of his dead son.
I lay in bed for about 2 hours, then finally gave up trying to fall asleep and went on the internet. I go there alot. The women I have met have really helped me through losing you. I watched the video for the song "I Will Carry You". One of Ben's dolls, which is about the size of a newborn, was lying nearby and I found myself holding the doll like I would a newborn as I listened to the song and sobbed. The words to the song have been running through my head all day.

We left for the new house at 7:30am because the cable guy was supposed to come anywhere between 8am-5pm. On the drive there, the tears kept coming. Moving into this house is just so different than it was supposed to be.

Thank you for sending me some signs today. I just loved them and 2 of them were signs I've never had before. The first was the nice white butterfly that kept fluttering around me in the backyard as I was looking at the pond. It came so close I thought it might land on me, but it didn't. I've seen that butterfly around the backyard all day today, or at least a white one is always there.

I lit at candle for you at 8:59am. I wanted to get it going for 9am, the time you were born. Just as the clock changed to 9am, the candle just extinguished. I tried lighting it again later, but it just wouldn't light. Then I went to the car to go to the store and a really big and beautiful monarch butterfly flew around me. I just stood staring at it as it soared around the car. I've seen alot of butterflies since losing you, but none of them flew as high as this one. I watched this one as it flew to the top of the trees until I couldn't see it anymore. I haven't seen a monarch for about 2 weeks.

Then I went to Aunty Laurie's house to pick up some stuff. Ben was watching Toy Story while I was in the basement and I thought I heard him calling my name. I came up calling to him and Laurie said that he was actually calling your name. She had asked him what the name of a character in the movie was and he suddenly started calling "Jacob" several times really loudly. We haven't mentioned your name to him in awhile so although he has said it before, nothing prompted him to do it today, except you maybe. I've been babysitting him all afternoon and he asked where you were once. Being with Ben all afternoon made it hard to feel as sad as I would have if he hadn't been there. We sang songs together, played hide and seek, danced in the living room and jumped on the trampoline. I also got lots of hugs and kisses from him.

All of those signs, your Dad, all of the women who have left me notes today and Ben have made the day much easier.
We went to the garden where your ashes are buried tonight. I talked to you awhile and then went home.

I hope you are happy up in Heaven baby. I know that you must be. You have so many friends up there and now you have your brother or sister.

I love you baby.