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.