Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Recap

1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
Got pregnant, gave birth and buried my child. Got pregnant 2 more times, lost
both of those babies.

2. Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year? 
I don't remember what they were. Probably to not procrastinate as much. I still
procrastinate. Or it might be the grief that makes it hard to get things done.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
A few people at work, but I'm not that close to them. One of them had a baby
3 weeks before Jacob's due date. And of course a whole bunch of my new friends
that I have met since losing Jacob and have become close to.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My baby boy and two more babies lost through miscarriage.

5. What countries/states did you visit?
We went to Manhattan.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
A living baby.

7. What dates/events from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I think it is pretty obvious. They all involve my babies.
January 29/30 - When I started suspecting I was pregnant
February 7 - The day I found out I was pregnant with Jacob
April 9 - my first ultrasound with Jacob
May 3 - Heard Jacob's heartbeat with the doppler at my OB's office for
the first and last time.
May 11 - my birthday and the day I had some bleeding
May 12 - Went to the hospital because of bleeding, had ultrasound in the
ER and everything looked OK except a small sub-chorionic hemorrhage
May 13 - Had an ultrasound/anatomy at 17.5 weeks because of the bleeding.
Saw my little boy moving all around. Found out there was something wrong
with his foot.
May 17 - My second anatomy scan. Saw Jacob moving around everywhere.
Found out that there was something wrong with his hands in addition to his
foot and was really upset, little did I know what was to come. Referred to
Mount Sinai (appointment was June 7th...we didn't go as Jacob died before then).
May 31 - my 5 month prenatal appointment where I found out that Jacob died
June 1 - Gave birth to my little boy
June 18 - Buried our sweet boy's ashes in the memorial garden next to the
church we were married in.
July 13 - 6 week post-partum appointment
August 20 - Had unexpected bleeding and discovered I was pregnant. A week of
uncertaintly followed as we waited to find out if my hcg level was rising or falling
(it was falling)
August 31 - Got possession of our new house.
October 14 - Found out I was pregnant again, on Jacob's due date.
November 8 - First ultrasound at 7.5 weeks. No baby could be seen. We hoped
it was because my uterus was tilted.
November 17 - second ultrasound, again no baby found
November 26 and 27 - After waiting a week to miscarry, decided to take
misprostal. Started on the evening of November 26th and finished the major
stuff the evening of November 27th. Little Cub officially miscarried at 10 weeks,
but most likely died shortly  after conception.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Staying sane, staying alive.

9. What was your biggest failure?
The first thing that came to mind was letting my babies die, but I know it wasn't
really my fault, that I did everything I could, etc.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Do depression and grief count? I did have the flu and 6 weeks of morning (all day)

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A new house, I guess. We bought the house because we thought we would have
a baby  to raise in it. We are still glad we did it, but one of those rooms should
be a nursery and it isn't.

The other top things would be things to remember Jacob by, like the teddy bear.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
All of my family and friends who stepped up and let me know that I'm not alone.
Those who didn't stop talking to us because they didn't know what to say
after Jacob died.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Someone at work and the people who said they would be there for us, that
they would keep calling etc and didn't.

14. Where did most of your money go?
The new house.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Having a baby. We got excited about that twice this year. I would say 3 times,
but we didn't know I was pregnant with August until I was already losing August.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
Wavin' Flag by K'naan. In my first trimester, I heard this song when we were
driving around  on the weekends. I was emotional and it made me cry
everytime because it made me think of the starving, opressed children in the
world. I haven't been able to listen to the song since  Jacob died because it
reminds me of being in that happy place when I was still pregnant.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: 
a) happier or sadder? Sadder.
b) fatter or thinner? Thinner, I think, although I feel a little thicker around
the middle. Lately people have been telling me that I really need to gain weight.
I don't really see it though.
c) richer or poorer? About the same.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Rested my hand on my belly when I was pregnant. I know I did it alot, but I
think I could have done it more. I also wish that I had looked at Jacob's body
more and lay him on my chest. So many more things I wish I had done with him,
or done them for longer.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
I could say grieving, but that wouldn't be totally true. I guess it would have
been nice to be sad a little less, but part of me still wants to be sad. I guess
I wish that I'd done less of feeling guilty for not saving him. There was no way
I could have saved him so I wish that I felt less guilty about failing him and
letting people down.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my family and with Jacob on my mind constantly. Ted and I went to
the garden where his ashes are buried in the afternoon and planted a rose
where his ashes are.

21. Which blogspot people did you meet this year?
In real life, I met Elaine, Blaine's mom.
Just over the internet, so many baby loss Mom's and I am so grateful to
have met them.  I have talked on the phone to a few of them.

22. Did you fall in love in 2010?
I did, with Jacob. And with my husband all over again. I will never understand
how he managed to be so strong for me when he lost his baby too.

23. How many one-night stands?

24. What was your favourite TV program?
Hard to say because I haven't watched much TV since losing Jacob. The olympics stood out to me this year because I love watching them in general and I watched them when I was pretty nauseous, so they remind me of Jacob. Some shows I've watched this year are Dexter, Glee, Grey's Anatomy, MI5 and Alias. I don't know when anything is on TV though, so I only watch it if I happen to notice it when it starts. I always used to know when my favourite shows were on. 

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I am pretty close to hating one person. Maybe I do hate that person.

26. What was the best book you read?
"An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination" by Elizabeth McCracken....
about losing a baby of course.  I also read "Empty Cradle, Broken Heart"
a week after losing Jacob and it made me feel less crazy.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Baby loss songs. I don't listen to them very often though because they put
me in a downward spiral.

28. What did you want and get?
I wanted to get pregnant and I did. But by wanting to get pregnant, I wanted
to take that baby home with me and I didn't get that. Then I wanted to get
pregnant again, and I did, but that also didn't have a happy ending.

29. What did you want and not get?
I wanted, I want, Jacob in my arms. Since that didn't work out, I would like to
still be pregnant with Cub.

30. What was your favourite film of this year?
No idea. I remember going to see Inception in the summer, but I could barely
concentrate on anything for 5 minutes at a time, much less 2.5 hours. I also
saw Avatar before Jacob died, but I wouldn't call either film one of my favorites.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 35 . I went to work, Jessie took me out for lunch and gave me
some maternity tops and then Ted took me to East Side Mario's for dinner.
I started bleeding there, so I spend the rest of the night full of anxiety and fear.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I think the answer is pretty obvious. I would have felt immeasurably more
satisfied if Jacob had lived.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
Pretty much the same as it has always been, with some maternity pants
thrown in there and then taken out again. There were times when I
couldn't figure out what to wear because it was just too big of a decision,
so Ted had to pick out clothes for me.

34. What kept you sane?
Ted, my babyloss Mom friends, my family and the need to keep Jacob's
memory alive and do something good in his name.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
No one.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
I didn't pay much attention to politics.

37. Who did you miss?
Jacob, Cub and August.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010:
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I found out just how true
that is this year.  

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Day

I don't really know where to begin here. Christmas day wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, although we had plenty of sad times. I thought I would have to disappear several times during the day to cry in my room and that I would end up taking one of my anti-anxiety pills that my OB gave me during the miscarriage, but I didn't do any of those things. I think alot of it had to do with the gifts that my family gave us the night before for Jacob and a call in the morning from a dear friend.

We brought the bears downstairs with us Christmas morning (I slept with one of them, and Jacob's blanket that I always sleep with, the night before), but I didn't hold either of them while the gifts were being opened. It was just too much and would have made me too sad. But I wanted them in the room and they were.

Opening the gifts wasn't too bad, but watching Ben run around the room, delivering the gifts to the person we told him too, made me sad since we will never see Jacob do that. Several times I looked around the room at everyone and imagine how it would be if Jacob was in our arms and being passed around from person to person. That is what I imagined last Christmas. That is what we came close to having this Christmas.

On Christmas Eve, Laurie wore a wrap sweater and was always careful to wrap it around her belly whenever Ted and I were around. On Christmas morning, she was wearing a loose shirt. I could still see her belly, but it wasn't under a tight shirt, which helped. It did hurt the few times I saw her resting her arms over her belly and when she mentioned how tired she was and how she had heartburn. I was in the kitchen at some point and Ted said that Laurie and Mom were on the couch together and started talking about what next Christmas will be like when her baby boy is here and it hurt Ted to hear it. I haven't asked any more details about the conversation because I don't really want to know. Andy also gave Laurie a few gifts and said that she could use them with "the boys", which also made my heart lurch.

We did our family pictures, with Jacob's bears in the picture.

After the first round was taken, Laurie suggested that someone else hold a bear and Mom held one. I liked that idea.

Jessie and Dave and Laurie, Andy and Ben left in the early afternoon to go to the in-laws. Ted and I decided that was a good time to go to the garden to plant the rose we bought. That was definitely the hardest part of the day. We arrived at the garden and as we got close to the spot where Jacob's ashes are buried, Ted said "Hi Jake Jake". It was the first time I have heard him call Jacob by a nickname and the tears came. Ted always talks out loud to Jacob when we visit, but I always talk to him in my head, unless I am alone. Ted told him how much we love him and miss him and wish that he was here. I said all the same things. We stood there hugging for awhile and then decided to plant the flower.

The last time I was in this spot was when
we were putting his ashes in the ground

As Ted was setting up the tripod for us to take a family picture, he took this picture as I was talking to my baby boy and crying.

Our family picture. It should have looked so different.

When we left the garden and got in the car, Ted opened up and said what a huge loss we have suffered. I have always felt bad leaving Jacob when I leave the garden, as if I am abandoning him. Ted brought it up this time, saying how much he hates doing it, that he feels like we are leaving him all alone in the cold. All we wanted to do was to protect him forever and we couldn't do that. I was crying a little and we talked about how happy we were last Spring. Everything was working out and falling into place in our life and the absolute best thing was that we were expecting a baby. We had the everyday worries and concerns of everyday life, but we were so incredibly happy and it was all because of the little life we had created and were working hard to do everything right for. Ted had to take over the cooking because I was too nauseous to even attempt it and he always made sure I ate well, even though I threw it up for a good 6 weeks or so. And then when we saw him for the first time and then I felt him move for the first time. I had never been so happy. We couldn't wait for the time when Ted would be able to feel him move too. We were so close to that time when we lost him.

We got back to the house and before we knew it, it was time for dinner. Lindsay's friend Sana came over and as we were sitting around the table, I told her what my family had gotten for us in memory of Jacob. I broke down when telling her what the inscription in the books said and I couldn't continue. I said sorry that I couldn't talk. Sana rubbed my back and my Dad said that they would be more worried if I wasn't crying.

I don't know how I got so lucky to have such a great husband, a wonderful family, and wonderful friends.

After everyone left and we cleaned up, I went to lie on the couch with Ted. We talked about how love can hurt and not only did his son die, but a he has watched a piece of his wife die too. He said that he can never understand the bond that I had, that I have, with Jacob and I can never understand what it has been like for him, to lose your son and a piece of your wife.

The bear

Here is the bear with the sweater that I made for him.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Eve and an unexpected surprise

Right after losing Jacob, I was given the phone number of a woman at my church who had lost her baby 6 years ago. I called her 5 days later and we talked a few times, for several hours each time. She was a big help to me in the beginning, listened to me cry, listened to my fears and answered alot of questions. She said a few things that have always stuck out to me. Many were good and helped me heal, but one of them has haunted me a little. She said that at Christmas, I will probably be the only one who remembers Jacob.

I'm happy to say that that wasn't the case. 

On Christmas Eve day, my sister Laurie told me that they had a surprise for us that night. I figured that it had something to do with Jacob, but didn't know what. I suspected it might be a Teddy Bear.

On Christmas Eve night, my sister Jessie called Ted and I into my kitchen, clearly to get us out of the living room. When we came back in, this is what we saw.

As Ted and I stood in front of the chair, with my family gathered around, I cried and cried. The minute I saw it, the tears came. Tears that I couldn't control at all, tears that made it so that I couldn't even speak. I was shaking and crying and was so grateful. I didn't even see Ted's reaction because he was standing behind me, taking it in too. 

Each of these items is so special and involved so much thought. 

The bear:

The outfit the bear is dressed in is one that my Mom bought for Jacob before he was born. I didn't even know about it until now. There was a bow around the bear's neck that had Jacob written on it. The bear is the perfect colour. We wanted one that was somewhere between white and black, since I am white and Ted is black.  I slept with the bear on Christmas Eve. 

The books:

"Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch

Just the title had me in tears. Then I opened the book and saw this:

It says: Dedicated to Jacob, the nephew/grandson/cousin we never got to know, but will never forget. 
It is signed by Andy, Laurie and Ben; Lindsay and Brian; Jessie and Dave; and Nana and Grandpa. 
Lindsay told me she looked up Robert Munsch and discovered that he wrote the book in memory of his 2 stillborn babies, born in 1979 and 1980.

The Butterfly Book:

They know that butterflies remind me of Jacob. The inscription in this book says:

To Dear Jacob Evan on your 1st Christmas. Love Nana and Grandpa

The box:

Lindsay found the pictures of Jacob's name that other baby loss Mom's have done, printed out some and put them in this box. She chose one of her favourites for the front of the box. Engraved on the front is June 1, 2010. 

The stocking:

This touched me alot. Now Jacob had a stocking to put with everyone else's. On Christmas Day, I discovered Laurie (my pregnant sister) sleeping on the couch with the stocking.

Inside the stocking was this key chain:

After we looked through everything and I composed myself a little, Ted and I hugged everyone in the room. I spent the rest of the night sitting on the chair with the items, holding the bear and occassionally opening the books and re-reading the inscriptions. I couldn't do that much though, because I started crying again every time I did.

Jessie also gave me this ornament for Jacob a few weeks ago. When it isn't on the tree, it is hanging in our bedroom.

I found out the next day that the whole thing was Lindsay's idea and everyone did some part of it. As Lindsay left last night, I thanked her for saving Christmas. We still had alot of hard times on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but without knowing that everyone was thinking about Jacob and all of the thoughtfulness they put into this gift, it would have been alot worse. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

First Christmas in Heaven

My First Christmas in Heaven
Author Unknown

I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below,
with tiny lights like heaven’s stars, reflecting on the snow.

The sight is so spectacular.
Please wipe away that tear, for I am spending Christmas with Jesus this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear,
but the sounds of the music can’t compare with the Christmas choir up here.

I have no words to tell you, the joy their voices bring,
for it is beyond description to hear the angels sing.

I know how much you miss me. I see the pain in your heart,
but I am not so far away. We really aren’t apart.

So be happy for me dear one. You know I hold you dear,
and be glad I’m spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I send you each a special gift from my heavenly home above;
I send you each a memory of my undying love.

After all, “love” is the gift, more precious than pure gold.
It was always most important in the stories Jesus told.

Please love and keep each other, as my father said to do,
for I can count the blessings or love he has for you.

So have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear,
remember I’m spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year

Dear Jacob,

We miss you so much. I hope that you are enjoying your Christmas and that you can see all of the lights down here. I hope that Christmas is wonderful in Heaven and that you always feel surrounded by love. We love you just as much as we would have if you were here in our arms and we will always be sad that you were called away so soon. Last Christmas, we were so sure that we would have our baby in our arms by this Christmas. Then we found out about you in January and it seemed like our hopes for that would come true. You will always be included in our everyday lives and in all of the special events and holidays. We have alot of ornaments on the tree just for you. I hope you like the bear we got to include in our family pictures. Your Dad and I get really sad everytime we look at it and even sadder when we hold it.

We wish more than anything that we were holding you.

I hope you were there to welcome August and Cub when they joined you. You have so much company up there. It is beartbreaking to see all of the babies that are up there with you, and all of the pain that their families are going through. Please help all of those families to feel their babies close and to feel some peace.

Please help you Dad and I to feel you close. We thinking about you constantly and miss you every second.

We love you so much,


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Always with me

I finally did it. I love it, it is exactly how I have pictured it since June. The last few days the desire to get a tattoo has gotten even stronger and today I knew that I had to do it before Christmas. We took a chance and went to the tattoo place to see if it could be done today and they had a few cancellations.  It was worth the pain (and it sure did hurt). I got it on my left ankle because it was Jacob's left leg that was affected by the amniotic bands. 

I feel like the open wound that I have been walking around with has healed just a tiny bit, for today anyway. The big gaping hole that Jacob left has gotten a tiny bit smaller.  I had no idea that getting a tattoo would make me feel that way.

After getting the tattoo, we went downtown to the garden to visit. I starting crying as soon as I walked in the garden, talking to Jacob in my head and telling what I did today, just because of him and just for him. Looking at the spot where he is just looks so empty, especially since there aren't any flowers there now and there aren't any leaves on the tree.

As Ted and I walked away, Ted said how hard it is to go there, how hard the whole situation is. It sure is.....

Then we went to work on the original mission of the day, to find a bear to represent Jacob in our family pictures. We really wanted to get the bear before Christmas. I am going to knit a sweater for the bear (maybe it is a bit ambitious considering how busy the week is going to be) with a "J" on the chest. We went to 10 stores before we found it. There were some that were close, but they weren't perfect. We both loved this one as soon as we saw it. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A sign

I have been longing to feel Jacob’s presence. I have read other Mom’s blogs and they talk about how they feel their baby close and I have been longing for the same thing. Once in a while I would feel a different feeling in my chest. I can’t really describe it, but it was different and would last for only a few seconds. I wondered if that was the feeling that I should somehow know was Jacob telling me he is near me.

I went to my Mom’s house last night and on the way there and back, I talked to Jacob about this. Especially on the way back. I apologized to him in case he has been with me and I haven’t sensed it. What kind of mother does that? I cried a little and told him how much I miss him, how much I love him…the things I usually say to him. I asked him if he could send me a sign so that I would know that he is with us.

I got home and talked to Ted for a few minutes. I haven’t talked to him about my latest struggle to feel Jacob near. As we were talking, Ted started rubbing his tattoo of Jacob’s name and said that all the letters were raised, as were the little feet. I came over and felt it and sure enough they were raised enough that I could trace the writing with my fingers with my eyes closed. I told Ted about longing to feel Jacob near, holding back the tears as I did. Ted said his tattoo does that sometimes, for no reason he can think of. He isn’t cold or anything like that. I think it is from our boy.

I went upstairs and got in the shower and cried so hard I could barely breathe. I felt like my heart was breaking all over again. My wound is wide open. I just miss my boy so much. But I am so thankful he sent me the sign I have been looking for.

I felt bad for crying. This happened to make me happy, and I was so sad. But happy too. But sad that I need signs to feel him near, instead of just picking him up and cuddling him.

Friday, December 10, 2010

My sister's baby....

is fine. She is having a boy.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Trying to be brave

Last night I went to Laurie’s house to help wash Mom’s hair. I told myself just to suck it up and not let the size of Laurie’s belly bother me. I don’t want the difficulty I have seeing it start to affect our relationship. So I kept telling myself to be brave and to be strong. I got there and she was wearing a top that didn’t hide anything, but I was OK with that. I even talked to her about her anatomy scan today, without saying anything about all of the fears I have for her, particularly right now. She is 19.5 weeks. We think that Jacob died at 19.5 weeks. I haven’t asked her about movement because I just can’t. I know that she must be feeling the baby move by now, but I’m not anywhere close to being strong enough to hear about it.

We talked about the ultrasound. She is going alone, 1.5 hours north of Toronto because that is where she had her anatomy scan with Ben and they will give you a video there. I’m scared that she will be alone if she gets bad news. She has a friend in Barrie who works nearby and I’m sure her friend will go there if the baby is gone. But it would take the rest of us at least 2 hours to get there (I’d have to go to Oakville, get the car and then drive up…or maybe I’d just rent a car in Toronto and go…that would save a lot of time). She talked about her fears and I said that everything is probably fine, that 97% are totally fine and there is such a slim chance of her finding out something really bad (we never actually said it, but I meant that there is a slim chance of her finding out the baby is dead).

She told me that she told one of her coworkers last week that I lost another baby and her coworker was nice and said nice things. She saw this person again on Monday and she told Laurie that she has a really good feeling for me, like things will work out and I will have a baby. When Laurie was talking about going to Barrie for the ultrasound, I said that maybe I would go there too if I’m am ever lucky enough to need another anatomy scan. She said “not if, when”.

We washed Mom’s hair and normally I would have left right after because I am scared of seeing her belly too much. But I kept telling myself to be brave, so we sat on the couch for awhile talking. Then Ben climbed up beside her and pulled her top up and I saw her bare belly and I couldn’t hold it together anymore. The beautiful bump. I miss it so much.

I sat on the couch for about a minute as the tears came to my eyes and then calmly got up and went to the bathroom where I cried and cried. I kept trying to make myself stop because I didn’t want them to see me with my eyes all red. I don’t want her to be self-conscious around me. I stayed there for a few minutes and finally collected myself enough. I knew my eyes were still red, so I stood in the kitchen with the light out (the kitchen has 2 entrances, one of which goes into the living room where Mom and Laurie were sitting). Laurie suddenly asked where I was and then walked quickly to the bathroom calling my name. I called out and said that I’m in the kitchen. She walked in, took one look at me and asked if I was crying. I just nodded and started all over again. She came up behind me and hugged me, but I could feel her belly against my back, which just made me cry more.

Then she said the magic thing.

She said that she thinks about Jacob all the time, that just because they don’t say anything, doesn’t mean that they don’t think about him. I started crying harder because that means so much to me. She said that she just doesn’t talk about him out loud because she is scared to since she is pregnant. I totally understand that and told her that I did. I said a few times that it means so much to me to know that she still thinks about him. I wanted to turn around and hug her face to face, but I couldn’t stand having her baby belly pressing against my baby-less belly. Mom started asking what triggered me, but I didn’t want to say. She asked if it was talking about the ultrasound and I said no. She asked if it was something else and I said no. She got the hint then that I didn’t want to say and stopped asking. After Laurie and I stood there for a few minutes, she told me something funny and the spell was broken.

I played with Ben a little bit, running around the house holding him while Laurie chased us and then found us when we hid. It was hard to keep crying with a laughing 2 year old in my arms who had kissed my face several times earlier that night. When Andy got home from his run, I said that someone is at the door and Ben immediately shouted out “Ted” and ran to look. It was so cute. Mom told me that every time someone came in last Sunday, he would ask if it was me.

I told Laurie to call me after her ultrasound tomorrow and she seemed surprised and happy. I do want to know, I want to know a happy ending. I love her and I love this baby and I don’t want anything bad to happen to them. But I am supposed to have a baby that is 6 months older than this one. Then I was supposed to have one that is 2 months younger. I can’t help but be sad. I should have been having my 12 week ultrasound this week or next week.

I got home and had a shower. Allison called and it was so nice to talk to her. When we got off the phone, I sat on the couch and told Ted what happened at Laurie's and that Allison said that she and her family always think about Jacob too. I started crying and he got up and we stood in the living room hugging for awhile. Then he told me that he always thinks about Jacob too. Sometimes he feels really lonely and imagines the little boy that should be watching the basketball game with him and following him around asking him questions, thinking that his Dad knows everything and is the greatest guy in the world. It broke my heart.

A bit later I said that I didn’t know that he thinks about Jacob so much and he said that he isn't as vocal as I am and that he has to be strong for me. I told him that he can talk about him anytime, that it won't make me feel worse, etc. But I know that he doesn't really want to talk about it all the time.

While I focus on his loss and my whole life revolves around losing Jacob, he thinks about him and then moves onto something else and always comes back to think about him some more. It doesn’t define him the way it defines me. He can compartmentalize losing Jacob. I can’t.

This morning I was talking to my Mom. She said “Laurie couldn’t feel the baby move so she lay down on the couch and”. I cut her off and told her that I really can’t talk about this. My eyes filled with tears and I couldn’t say anything for a minute or two and I have been crying ever since. I know she felt the baby move or Mom would have been more worried. Now all I can think about is how much I miss feeling Jacob move, how much I loved those moments and all of the movement I missed out on because he left too soon. How I miss those little kicks and nudges.

How I miss my baby.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Today was a hard day

Today was a really tough one. I'm not entirely sure why, aside from the obvious, but I don't know why today.  It seems like so long since we lost Cub, but it was still pretty recent. Tomorrow will be a month since my first ultrasound, when we got the first inkling that something was wrong. It has only been 1.5 weeks since I miscarried. I guess it makes sense that I was so sad today. It is a Tuesday too, but I didn't even think about that until tonight. Tuesdays used to hold such power over me.

I really miss being pregnant. My belly was starting to change shape with Cub, my pants were fitting differently. I really noticed it on the train on the way home tonight. I would have been 12 weeks on Thursday. Imagine that. I remember being 12 weeks with Jacob. I had my first ultrasound at 13 weeks and stared in amazement at the baby on the screen. My baby, my dream come true. I wanted that so desperately with Cub too.

I didn't wake up particularly sad this morning. I did have a dream with other pregnant women in it and I was sitting there, not pregnant but hoping I would be someday.

I got to work and the sadness swept over my body and took over my soul. I was always on the verge of tears, except for when I was actually crying. It was one of those things where I'd be sitting at my desk, having trouble getting anything done, and suddenly I'd be crying. I cried more than I didn't. My eyes would fill with tears instantly, my chest would heave and a few times I thought I might throw up from the pain.

Twice someone came up behind me and I had to turn around and talk to them, hoping that my eyes didn't look wet, that they couldn't tell that I had just made myself stop when they came over.

As always, I looked at Jacob's ultrasound picture. I just stared and stared and told him how beautiful he is and burst into tears again.

My sister came by to drop a key off. Then she did something that I will always remember. She pulled a Christmas ornament out of the bag she was carrying and gave it to me. Here it is:

I almost starting crying as soon as I saw it. I hugged Jessie and told her how much it means to me that she thought of Jacob. I kept wondering if anyone would and she really made my day by getting me this. She said she had been asking Mom if we were definitely putting up a tree. I've been having a lot of trouble doing that, but now that I have this ornament, I feel more like doing it.

When she left, I went to Ted's desk and showed him. He was really touched. We opened the box and noticed that it came with some stickers. There is the typical "My 1st Christmas" and "My 2nd Christmas" stickers. Then I saw one that says "Our Little Angel". Perfect.

Then I went to my friend Julie's desk and showed her. She hugged the box to her chest, which I thought was so sweet.

Once we got home tonight, I took the ornament out of the box and put the "Our Little Angel" sticker on the back of the star.

I also came home to a nice message from Carrie, who called after seeing my post on my other blog. Thank you Carrie, your call means alot to me.

I also went on the babycenter website today and had a message from another angel Mom. She sent it to a few of us and said that we have helped her, whether we know it or not, and she wants to do something for us. She is going to make us a beautiful dragonfly, maybe even one for each baby, and write each baby's name on it. We can hang it on the Christmas tree and/or hang it in a window. I'll do both.

I also had a wonderfully long email from my best friend.

I don't know how I would get through these times without my friends.

I'm not as bad tonight. In fact, I haven't cried at all tonight. Today I just couldn't wait to get home, collapse on the floor and sob. Maybe it is still to come.

I wish I could have put the "My 1st Christmas" sticker on that ornament.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Your Dad's birthday

Dear Jacob,

Yesterday was your Dad's birthday. We thought you would be here, in our arms, for his birthday and for Christmas. Last December was our second month of trying to conceive and I was convinced, as we sat around the tree last Christmas morning, that I would be holding a baby in my arms by this Christmas, or at least be almost ready to give birth.

Your Dad hadn't said anything about how he felt about you not being there on his birthday. But then, as we were driving away from the house, he asked if we should drive by the garden. He was thinking of you. I know he thinks about you alot more than he talks about you.
I tried to be strong for your Dad yesterday and not let him see that I was sad or cry in front of him. I have been doing so much of that lately and I wanted him to have one day of not worrying about me. I got up yesterday morning and put a stew in the crockpot and then made him bacon and eggs for breakfast. And I felt so sad. You should have been in a little seat in the kitchen while I worked. I looked out the kitchen window and saw 3 birds fly by. Could they have been sent from you, August and Cub? I read into things, but when I see something like that, I like to think it is a sign.

When I went grocery shopping Saturday night to get the ingredients for the stew, I stared at the shopping basket and imagined you in your car seat in the basket as I pushed it around. I don't know why I torture myself with these thoughts, but they just come to me and I don't do anything to stop thinking about them. I just want to wallow in the pain sometimes. Most of the time. All of the time.

I talked to Allison on Saturday and was almost inspired enough to put up the Christmas tree, if only because the cats like it. I haven't done it yet though. I just can't seem to do it, all because you aren't here. I feel anxious just thinking about it. I probably would have been more inspired to do it if Cub was still here, if we had seen a nice strong heartbeat on November 8th instead of a dark, empty space.

We went to a mall yesterday, which was scary for me. I am scared to see pregnant women and I'm scared to see newborn baby boys (both of which I saw). We were walking in a department store and I saw one of those rugs that has roads and buildings on it, for little boys and girls to run their toy cars around on. I always thought they were neat and said to your Dad that we have to get one of those when we have a baby. I realized what I was saying as I said it. Your Dad got really happy and put his arm around me. Turns out that is the first time I have spoken about the future that actually included a living child. I always used to talk like that before you died, but of course losing you changed everything.
Missing you and loving you more than you can ever imagine. I wish I could have bought that rug for you.



Sunday, December 5, 2010

Seeing the strength of others further along in the grief journey

“Deep grief sometimes is almost like a specific location, a coordinate on a map of time. When you are standing in that forest of sorrow, you cannot imagine that you could ever find your way to a better place. But if someone can assure you that they themselves have stood in that same place, and now have moved on, sometimes this will bring hope.”

~Elizabeth Gilbert~

I found this quote on Jennifer's blog, whose writing always inspires me. This quote sums up so well how much hope other BLM's who are a few weeks, months or years ahead of me in their grief have helped me to see that life does carry on and that I won't always feel as terrible as I have since losing Jacob and as I do right now. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

6 months

Dear Jacob,

Today is 6 months since you were born and I held you in my arms. I don't understand how it is even possible. This anniversary is harder than the last 2. Six months seems so permanent somehow. In only 6 months from now, it will be a whole year since I held you. I don't even want to think about it. I hate that everyday is a day further away from you. 

6 months...26 weeks....180 days...4,382 hours (I took that from Carrie's blog, who is also facing a 6 month anniversary today). 

That is 180 mornings of waking up and facing the emptiness that you have left. That is 180 nights of going to bed and wishing that you were still here, looking at the ultrasound picture on my bedside table, saying goodnight to a picture instead of to the baby sleeping peacefully in my arms. 180 mornings and nights of you being my first thought when I wake up and my last thought when I go to sleep. 4,382 hours of thinking about you. But I've been thinking about you since the minute I found out I was pregnant. Those were happy, hopeful, excited thoughts. Now they are all about losing you and worrying about you....are you happy, were you in pain when you died, did you die as I was walking around and you were being rocked in my belly or was I sleeping? I have a million questions that will never be answered. 

I've had alot of trouble facing this anniversary Jacob. You should be a month and a half old. I think of what I should be doing with you all the time. I think of your chubby little arms and legs that should be waving around, of how your Dad and I would be watching you all the time for your first smile, your first laugh....all the of the firsts that we will never get to see. 

Yesterday I was in a grocery store at lunch and started crying. It wasn't a sobbing cry, but it would have been if I hadn't been in public. I stood in the bakery section and I couldn't move. I forced myself too, but every step took so much effort and I didn't know where to go and what to do with myself. I needed to get something to eat, but I couldn't decide what. It was a decision that was just too hard. I wandered to a different section and stood there, staring at the shelves but not seeing anything. Seeing the people moving around me, but they were just blurs. I felt paralyzed with grief. I've felt that way before, but it hadn't been this bad in awhile. 

Today was a busy one, but I thought of you constantly. I cried when I first got to work. I had a few nice little surprises though. First was all the nice emails I got, the nice wall posts on facebook and knowing that others cared, others who know what I am going through. 

Now this doesn't seem like much, but I have been stressed out about Christmas shopping. I didn't know what to get people and I hate being in public because I see too many pregnant women and babies. I was looking through a paper and saw a special at The Bay for 2 good quality frying pans for 70% off. I went there and got one for each of my sisters, my parents, Ted's Mom and sister and your Dad and I. It seems trivial to write about shopping here, but getting those pans lifted a huge weight off my shoulders.

Then some people who were supposed to stay for lunch at work, and for whom a catered lunch had been ordered, didn't stay. The person who ordered the lunch came to my department and told us all that we could go and eat it. Six of us, all women, went down and had a good lunch and a nice talk. I daydreamed through most of it, but it was nice to not have to go out, encounter any triggers and have to make any decisions.

I really wanted to spent the night doing things for you, but your Grandma was moving to Aunty Laurie's tonight, so I went there to help. I lit a candle for you before leaving the house, but it extinguished within seconds...just as you died way, way too soon. I cried the whole time I was driving to your Grandma's and even screamed a few times. I've done lots of silent screams since you died, but I haven't screamed out loud, unless it was in a pillow. Then I drove by your garden on the way. At first I just drove by and said that I love you. I drove about 5 minutes away and knew I needed to spend more time there, so I turned around, parked and stayed there awhile. I had a nice talk with you...crying the whole time of course. Just telling you I love you, asking if you have forgiven me, telling you how sorry I am and above all, how much I love you and miss you. 

Then I got to your Grandma's house, visited with Bill and Annemarie who had brought over dinner, and started the move. I dropped off Bill and Annemarie on the way to Laurie's. Since they live near the hospital, I decided to torture myself and drive by the maternity ward. I was going to turn in, but I saw that there was already a car in the pick up area and the guy was getting some stuff out of the trunk. I just couldn't take the risk of seeing anyone come out with a baby, so I drove by. 

None of your aunts or your Grandma said anything to be about this being your 6 month anniversary. Your Grandma might not know what the date is since she hasn't been going out because of her broken ankle, and maybe your aunts just don't know what to say. Or maybe none of them realize the significance of today. Will they think about you at Christmas? Just know that I will be thinking about you constantly that day. But I do that everyday anyway. It will kill me if no one says anything about you though.

I miss you so much. I feel like my eyes looked particularly sad today. When Mel got to work, she immediately asked if I was OK, so I guess I looked as bad as I felt. I'm glad of that. 

I don't know how to end this. I could write forever about what you mean to me, about how much you have changed my life, of how proud I am of you, of how happy I am to be your Mom. I just wish that you were in my arms. You will always, always be in my heart. 

I love you so, so much.