Sunday, October 31, 2010

Working on acceptance

I feel like I may have settled into a routine. It has only been a few days, so I'm probably jumping to conclusions by saying that, but still.

My days haven't been so bad, but my nights aren't so great. I think about Jacob during the day, of course, but I don't get to the point of tears. I can act normal and even feel normal, which is pretty amazing. I can have conversations about things that a few months ago I couldn't have done and I can pay attention long enough to follow what is going on when others are talking, in meetings at work, and in movies and TV shows. When I realize that I have been feeling mostly normal, I'm shocked. Sometimes I feel removed from everything that happened, like it happened to someone else that I know very well, but I think about what happened without all of the emotions that usually accompany thoughts of Jacob. It is hard to believe that something so tragic, so life-changing, happened to us.

Things get harder at night, after we have made dinner and settled in for the night. I sit or lay on the couch and it all feels wrong. Millions of thoughts run through my mind but they all center around trying to figure out how Jacob can be gone, just like that.....how was he safe and alive and healthy in my belly and then he just died? Did it happen slowly or was it quick? What exactly was I doing when his heart beat for the last time? How can I just be going through my days and nights and when my baby, my son, is dead and his ashes are in a garden that gets really dark at night? I don't like how dark it gets there and it looks so lonely there at night. Soon it will be covered in snow and cold all the time. How can he not be here, being kept warm by me? How is it that I'm going to work and not taking care of him full-time? How is it that I am sleeping through the night and watching a movie and never being interrupted to nurse him or rock him or change his diaper?

I've been thinking these things for months, but those thoughts were always mixed in with so many others and with uncontrollable crying. Now the crying is more controlled. When I lay on the couch or in bed and think these things, I always get tears in my eyes. If I'm in bed with the blanket that he was wrapped in, I imagine him wrapped in the blanket now, safely beside me and smelling his sweet baby smell.

Today we did more unpacking and I picked up a Teddy Bear that Ted got me a few years ago. I absentmindedly picked it up, held it like a baby and started patting its back. When I realized what I was doing, I froze and started to cry. That is exactly how I would have held Jacob and he would have been about the same size. If things were different, I would have been standing in the basement holding him instead of that bear. It just seems so unfair.

The funny thing about my crying spurts lately is that I can turn them off. I don't want Ted to see me crying every time I do it, so I can turn it off if he walks in the room. He still sees me and I have cried with my head on his chest in bed twice in the past week, but I don't want him worrying about me all the time.

I wonder if I am working on acceptance now. Now that he should actually be in my arms and not in my belly, I just have to accept that he never will be in my arms again. I have no choice but to accept it. I seem to be fighting it and I don't want to accept it, but I have to. His absence is everywhere.

My brother-in-law's sister (who lives in Ireland) had her baby 2 days ago. She had a boy, of course. This baby is half-white, half-black too. My sister told me yesterday so that I wouldn't find out on Facebook, which I appreciated. My first thought was "thank God the baby is OK and she is OK". Then I started thinking of all the pictures that I'll be seeing of the baby who is exactly 2 weeks younger than Jacob should have been. Louise has been great since Jacob died, sending me nice messages on Facebook and never mentioning her pregnancy. I think I'll send her some pants that I knit for the baby and a card, but I will have to get someone else to buy the card. It would be just torture looking at all the 'congratulations on your new baby' cards.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Feeling down

I'm not sure what it is lately, but I just feel a little more down. I had been slowly improving for the most part, but I can't shake the heaviness.

Things have been going pretty well lately, situations that could have been worse have turned out well. My coworker, who has been a big support at work and who I feel the closest to in my department, announced that she is leaving and I was a bit sad about it. But then one of my friends at work, who has also been great, got her job. So that worked out well, especially since I sit right beside her. There were several candidates for the job that would have been worse to work with. I thought about applying for the job, since I am already the back-up person for it and I already know several large parts of it, but I decided that I don't need more change right now. I've had more than enough lately. I'm still not back to my old, pre-losing baby level of productivity either. I still don't concentrate very well so I know learning all parts of the job right now and training someone on my current job would have been a bit too much.

Yesterday morning in the elevator at work, someone told her friend that she is having a really bad day because she lost her necklace that morning in the bathroom. I wanted to tell them that a bad day is finding out that your baby has died. I was so tempted, but I held back of course. I know the necklace might have great sentimental value to her and it is too bad that it is gone, but it could be so much worse.
Pregnant women are also bothering me alot more lately. I don't know why. It was horrible to see them right after Jacob was born. It was hard seeing them until recently. Then it just seemed to stop bothering me (looking back, it only stopped for a day or two, but it was liberating). What bothers me the most is seeing women who are about 5 months pregnant. I look at their bellies and compare what mine was...was I bigger, was I smaller, was I the same? When I am with Ted, I always ask him how my belly compared. I stare and stare at the women, envying them, hoping that their babies don't die. Wishing that mine hadn't.

My sister is 13 weeks pregnant, but she showed alot with her first and she is showing alot with her second. As a result, she already looks 5 months pregnant and I am finding it really hard to look at her belly. I alternate between staring at it and trying to look everywhere but at her belly.

I was at Home Depot on Sunday and saw several pregnant women. I find myself feeling mad at them  sometimes. Actually angry that they go out in public and hurt people like me. As if they are doing it on purpose. I know it is totally unreasonable, but it is still there. One woman was about 7-8 months pregnant and the sales person was asking her if it was her first baby. She said yes and looked so happy. My first thought when I heard the question was how I will answer when I am asked that question. And I wondered if it was really her first or did she lose one before and decide that it was just easier to say yes. I think I need to quit going out in public. If only that was an option.

I've started to listen to babyloss songs more now. I avoided them like the plague most of the summer as they always put me in a downward spiral. Now I can listen to them without crying some of the time. I sing along and I feel like I am singing to Jacob. I will wake up in the middle of the night and have the words in my head. My favorites right now are "Still" by Gerrit Hofsink and "I Will Carry You" by Selah. Maybe I shouldn't be listening to them so much. Maybe this is why I feel down. Maybe I just feel down because my baby is dead and I want him back. As Ted and I were driving on Sunday, I caught myself looking in the back seat to check on the baby. The baby that has been dead for almost 5 months. It's funny the tricks that the mind can play on you.

I also woke up yesterday and thought that I shouldn't be getting out of bed to go to work. I should have been up half the night with a newborn. I wonder if this type of thinking ever goes away. In a few years from now, will I think of the things we would have been doing if Jacob was alive? I think so. I can't imagine it ever going away. I don't want it to.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The other work baby

When I was pregnant with Jacob, there was a woman at work, Nicole, who was also pregnant. She was about 2-3 weeks ahead of me. After Jacob died, I avoided her. I never went to the area where she works, even though I used to work there and still have lots of friends there. I would only go if I knew she wasn't in that day. Everyday when I went out for lunch, I worried about seeing her as she works on the first floor and I had to walk by 2 doors that she could come out of from her work area. I did see her a few times in passing and it was hard...really hard.

She had her baby girl jsut over 3 weeks ago. I went out for lunch today and Ted found me in Indigo (a book store). He said that Nicole had just brought her baby in and he had been going to all of my usual places trying to find me so that I wouldn't walk back in the building and see them. I love him for doing that, it just makes me appreciate him even more. It would have been so hard to see that baby, who is only 2 weeks older than Jacob should be. I asked how Ted felt about seeing her and he said that it surprisingly didn't bother him. He didn't think about what we should have, he thought about what we hopefully will have in the future and how happy he is that we will (I wish I had his positive thinking and optimism).

We took our time going back to work and we went in the back door. I held my head down the whole time. I could feel all of the turmoil coming back up - how much I miss Jacob, saying sorry to him for all the things he won't get to do, thinking of how I should have been bringing him into work in November for everyone to see, wondering if this turmoil will always be a part of my life. I know it will. How can it not be when I will never hold my firstborn in my arms again?


About 30 minutes after I wrote the above, I had to go out for something. I figured I was pretty safe since Nicole would be on the 1st floor. As the doors opened on the 5th floor, I saw her standing in the elevator. There were other people getting on, so I didn't see her baby. We made eye contact and I just turned around immediately and walked away, the tears coming to my eyes before I could even take a step. She looked so happy. I stood there trying not to start sobbing.

I waited until I heard the elevator get to the first floor, then waited for another one to come. I glanced over the railing into the atrium and right at the moment, Nicole walked through the atrium, pushing her baby in the stroller.  The horrible feeling came over me again. Of course, then the CEO came out of his office and started talking me to. I could barely stop from crying.

I got down to the 1st floor, met my 2 colleagues/friends and we ran our errand. I told them what happened and they asked if I was OK. Brenda said that she was there to give me moral support if I need it. I said that I did. We got back to work, going in the back way this time, and they went ahead of me to make sure that the coast was clear, which it was. Back at my desk, I grabbed Jacob's ultrasound picture, my little mirror (so that I could make sure I looked decent before going back to my desk) and some kleenex. I went to my crying room and had a good cry.

Once I got back to my desk, Ted called and said not to come down to the atrium for a function that is starting at 3:30 until he calls me. I told him what had happened and I started crying at my desk. He could tell right away that I was, even though I was trying to hold it back so those nearby me wouldn't hear. He came up, we went to my crying room and hugged for awhile. He kept saying that it isn't that bad, that that baby is older than Jacob, that we will have another baby etc. But you know what. It is that bad. I still don't have my baby boy. I never will.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Due Date

Thank you so much to everyone who sent me a card, a note, an email and who commented on my last blog post. Thank you so much for reading Jacob's story. I know it was long. It means so much that you took the time to read about his life and I treasure each and every one of your comments.

Jacob's due date wasn't as bad as I thought it would it be. I had my moments and I talked to him alot, but I thought it would be alot worse.

I worked on his due date blog post for several hours the night before. I think staying busy helped alot. It also helped that I received so many cards from people (including one from someone that I don't know from Belgium), my sister dropped by with cards from her and my Mom and Dad, my other sister sent me an ecard and my other sister sent a nice text message. It meant alot that they remembered.

I went to bed around 11:30pm on Oct 13th and I just started crying and couldn't stop. It was like one of the cries from the early days, but it still wasn't as bad as one of those. It was close though, it was really close. The only difference was that I didn't have trouble breathing while crying. I cried for an hour and a half, most of that time lying in bed with my head on Ted's chest. Ted said that his heart was breaking for me. I realized after awhile that his shirt was getting pretty wet from my tears. Then I realized that I was starving and got some Rice Krispies, watched Friends and finally fell asleep.

We decided to go to Montreal to get away for a few days. For a few months, I had planned on making and bringing a memory box to the hospital where he was born on his due date for the next family to join the club, but about a week before his due date, I decided that I would just be torturing myself to be on the L&D floor on the day that I should have been there giving birth. I'll bring it by at the end of October, beginning of November. I had also thought about getting a tattoo with Jacob's name on his due date, but I wanted to make sure that I wasn't pregnant so I decided I had to wait a bit longer until I knew for sure either way. I didn't know if my cycle would be mixed up from the miscarriage in August.

My tooth had been hurting for a few days and I kept putting off calling the dentist because I was hoping it would stop, and I was scared to go in case I was pregnant. Well, on Thursday morning I decided that I just had to call. It wasn't going away...sometimes the whole left side of my head hurt because of the tooth. So I called that morning and my dentist answered. I explained everything and he said that I could come in at noon. We decided that we would still go to Montreal after the dentist, so I posted my last blog post and quickly packed. We stopped in quickly at the garden. I felt really bad that we couldn't spend more time there, but at least we went. I ran in and told Jacob how much we love him and miss him.

I ended up getting a root canal. I hadn't seen my dentist since 3 weeks before Jacob died. Ted went in the day after he was born for a root canal and told the dentist then that our baby had died and he said the dentist just looked so sad. He had to sit back on his stool and take a few minutes before he could start Ted's root canal. I love him for doing that. He didn't say anything to me about Jacob when I was there, but his demeanor was different and that was good enough for me.

We drove to Montreal after. By this time, I didn't feel the need to get away anymore, but we had told Ted's Mom that we were coming and I knew she would be disappointed if we didn't go. We got there around 8pm and just stayed at his Mom's house and visited that night.

The next morning, we decided to go to Magog, in the Eastern Townships of Quebec and Ted's Mom came with us. Ted's friend Paul, his wife and their kids live there. It is so beautiful there and we really wanted to see all the trees and the changing colours of the leaves. Unfortunately it rained the whole time. Paul and Sheila had a baby girl on May 9th and named her Clara. Paul emailed us over the summer and invited us to stay with them for awhile and said that he had been thinking about us alot, which was really nice. I don't think he realized how hard it would be for me/us to stay there with a little baby when ours had just died so we just said that we were busy with trying to sell the condo. Also, Paul is black and Sheila is white, so not only would there be a baby there, there would be a baby with the same combination of parents that Jacob has.

We got to their house and saw Clara and she is just beautiful. It wasn't hard to see her, maybe because she is a girl, maybe because she is 5 months old and Jacob would have been a newborn now. Two things were hard: thinking about the other babies I know that should be 5 months old now and when I asked Sheila about her labour and no one asked about mine. If I had been sitting there with a baby in my arms, I'm pretty sure we would have compared our labours down to the last detail. I brought up mine twice when we were talking about hers, but no one asked me any questions and I couldn't tell if I was making them uncomfortable, so I dropped it. It made me sad. I spent 18 hours in labour, I delivered a baby and not a thing was asked about it. I guess that is just a part of life now, until I have a living baby.

I have an announcement, but I am worried about this being a trigger so I'm not actually going to say what it is here. It has been a trigger for me in the past when I read it on others' blogs. You can probably guess what it is. If you want to know, you can check my new blog. I won't mention this again here, so it will still be a trigger-free place for my baby loss Mom friends to read, I hope.

Last Sunday, I saw a white butterfly in our backyard for the first time in a few weeks. Then we went for a walk, and there was a rabbit in our backyard when we got back, but he hopped away before I could take a picture. Then, when we came home again later on after going out again, there were 2 dragonflies playing near our front porch.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Your story

Dear Jacob,

Today is the day that I started looking forward to at the beginning of February. Since May 31st, it has been the day that I have been dreading. Today is your due date.

Today I want to tell the story of your life on earth. This won’t cover everything, like all the tiny little details that were special to me. I remember a lot, but those details continuously come back to me and I’m sure there are still more to come.

I wanted you for so long Jacob, even before you were conceived. When I found out that I was pregnant I was so happy. Happier than I had ever been. I always wanted to be a Mom and I couldn’t believe that it was finally going to happen. I loved every moment that we had together. From the day I got the positive pregnancy test, to the day that I held you for the last time. I like to think that we still have moments together and I cherish those too. You are a part of me.

I had an ultrasound at the beginning of January to check my follicles and there were several in each ovary. As I looked at them, I thought that it would be so neat if one of those follicles became my baby….that I would have seen the egg that would make my baby before it was even fertilized and as it turns out, I likely did.

We went to Montreal the last weekend in January and I noticed a lump in my throat. I didn’t feel nauseous really, but I wondered if I could be pregnant because of that lump. Then I was sitting at my desk one day with a banana on it and it smelled terrible. I had to move the banana to my overhead cabinet and even then it was disgusting. Then I realized that I was producing a little bit of milk. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t wait to take a pregnancy test, but I didn’t want to take it too early because I might get a negative result even if I was pregnant. I waited until a day before I expected my period and I got a very faint positive. I was excited, but was scared to be too excited in case it was wrong. I attended a course that day and I wondered the whole day if I could really be pregnant. I saw a woman in the course who was about 7 months pregnant and I imagined how that could be me in just a few months. I remember walking to the hotel where the course was and the person in front of me started smoking. I held my breath and got in front of them so that I wouldn’t be breathing in the smoke, just in case.

I took another pregnancy test the next day and it was positive again and the lines were clearer this time. I was so, so happy.  I walked into bedroom that morning when your Dad was still in bed and said that I’m pregnant. Oh, the joy we felt. I went to the course again that day and sat there enjoying my little secret the whole time. I did three more pregnancy tests after that and they were all positive.






That night I called everyone to tell them that you were on your way. I called your Grandma first and your Aunty Laurie was there so I said to put me on speaker phone. I said I was pregnant and Laurie screamed. I loved her reaction. Your Grandma was really happy and I'm sure she started thinking about everything she would knit for you. Then I called your Aunty Jessie and told her. She was so excited. I just knew she would go out in the next few days and get something for you, like she did for Ben. She did and got some cute little socks from Old Navy. 




Then I called your Aunty  Lindsay. She asked how I was and I said “pregnant”! She told your Uncle Brian and we all were so happy. Your Grandpa was in Florida, so my Mom and Laurie called him and he called me and was really excited. Your dad called and told his Mom and sisters, who were all excited. We decided not to tell anyone else until I was 12 weeks.
On February 14th, I got the flu. I had been avoiding your grandparents and your aunts for a few weeks because they had all had it. I threw up that Sunday night and Monday all the time, but then it started to subside and I just had no energy. The Olympics had started so that at least entertained me most of the day. I called the MotherRisk hotline at Sick Kids to see if the flu could be hurting you, but they said that it wouldn’t as long as I wasn’t getting dehydrated and my fever didn’t go over 101 – I don’t think it did. They also said the standard 2-3 out of 100 babies does have a birth defect. Of course, I worried about that a little, but I didn’t really think that you would be one of those babies.

I started feeling better and went back to work, but within a few days the all-day nausea started and that lasted from week 6 until week 12. I felt sick all day long and could barely function at work. At night I would lie on the couch while your Dad made dinner and cleaned up afterwards. Being in the car was hard because I felt even sicker then. The only time I didn't feel sick was in the middle of the night when I woke up hungry. I would stand at the living room window or the den doors and look onto the street while eating and rubbing my belly. Then I would wake up in the morning and start feeling nauseous again and it got worse and worse as the day went on. I had my emergency throw-up bags everywhere I went and I used them a lot at night. I had them tucked in the side of the couch, in my nightside table, in my purse, at work and in every coat pocket. I’m still finding those bags now.  There were times when your Dad and I were eating dinner and I would have to run to the bathroom in the middle of it to throw up, barely making it in time. I threw up in the shower a few times. Once I ate a pickle and threw it up right away. The heartburn from that lasted for hours and I haven’t had a pickle since.  Then I discovered that if I sucked on a candy, I didn't feel as sick. My top choice was Werther’s because they seemed to have the fewest ingredients and the most natural ones. One day, your Dad and I were at Costco and I just craved some juice so I got apple juice and I felt so much better after my first sip. From that time on, I always had apple juice with me.

I have always felt cold. Even when I am in a warm house, my hands will be cold. You made me warm baby. I was so hot, that I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt to bed in the middle of winter and I would even kick off the covers sometimes. Your Dad was amazed. He would have long pants and long sleeves on, and I would have shorts and a t-shirt. We couldn’t cuddle in bed anymore because I was just so hot and making your Dad too hot. I could never wear my coat on the subway because I was so warm and I felt even more nauseous the warmer I felt. I always had to take my coat off before sitting down and I  couldn’t read on the way to or from work because I was just felt too sick. I couldn’t drink water because it made me nauseous and I worried that I wasn't taking in enough fluid.

I remember the first time that I started to feel better. Your Aunty Lindsay came over to watch a movie. She brought some snacks and a bag of Werther’s, which I thought was really sweet of her. I was still lying down on the couch all night because the nausea was worse if I sat up. A little while into the movie (we were watching Up), I just felt like I could sit up and I watched most of it sitting on the couch. It was a huge accomplishment for me.

As sick as I felt, I was so glad that you were with me. I would have done anything for you. I loved that my pregnancy symptoms were so strong because it was a constant reminder that you were inside of me, growing strong. I couldn’t wait to meet you. I couldn’t wait to feel you kick.

My belly grew slowly at first and I loved watching it grow. I could see a long bump on my lower abdomen developing and I was so excited that I was started to show. I still have that bump. Then my belly started getting bigger everyday. I would come to work and Sheila would say that I was bigger than yesterday and I loved it. I loved it when my regular clothes got too small. I loved using an elastic to do up the button on my pants. I loved having a belly that I wasn’t trying to suck in, but was proudly walking around with. I rested my hand on my belly all the time. I was, and I am, so in love with you.

April 3, 2010 - 12 weeks
May 9, 2010 - 17.5 weeks
May 18, 2010 - 18.5 weeks
May 24, 2010 - 19.5 weeks
May 29, 2010 - 20 weeks. I wore this top
3 days later when I held you for the last time.

I went for my first appointment with my OB on April 1, 2010 when I was 12 weeks pregnant and I was so excited. Your Dad took some pictures of me sitting on the examing bed that day. Little did I know that 3.5 months later, I’d be sitting on the same bed waiting for the results of your autopsy. She said that you were her first October baby. She tried to find your heartbeat with the Doppler, but told us that it was early and not to worry if she couldn’t find it. Well, she couldn’t find it. I didn’t worry because she had said not to, but I was disappointed.



I had an ultrasound scheduled for April 8th, but they called the night before and had to reschedule for the next day because the ultrasound tech was sick. It seemed like forever to wait another day to see you. But on April 9th I did and it was just amazing. You were moving all over the place….stretching your neck, stretching your legsmoving your hands up and down and I’m pretty sure I saw you open your mouth. You were in a good position and the tech was able to get some good pictures of you. I just stared at the screen in amazement that you were actually there in my belly…my little dream come true. After he finished, he said that he had a few minutes before his next patient and he let me look at you some more. I was completely happy in that moment.

I went back to work, staring at the 2 ultrasound pictures I got that day. I went to the lunch room and called your Dad to come there. I showed him the pictures and we hugged and marveled over you. Then we called Phil to come. She didn’t know I was pregnant so I just showed her the pictures and she was so happy, giving us each a huge hug.

The next Monday I told my boss, Peter, that I was pregnant. I was nervous about it because I had only been in the department for 8 months and I felt bad that they were going to have to find someone to replace me while I was on maternity leave. I closed the door to his office and the look on his face told me that he thought I was going to quit, so I quickly told him that I wasn’t quitting. Once I sat down, I told him that I was pregnant and he got the biggest smile on his face. He said how wonderful it is to have children and never to let anyone tell me otherwise. He showed me a picture of his 2 kids and said again how great it is. We had a nice talk and then I went to tell the rest of the department. Sheila, the person I called from the hospital when we found out that you had died, was really excited and came over a few times with tips on what she did to handle the nausea. Cate and I talked about a nickname for you and she decided that she would call you Sunny. The news quickly spread around the office and I received several emails and calls with people saying congratulations.

Every night when I got into bed, I would lie on my back for a minute or two and look at the bump that was getting bigger and bigger. I would place one of my hands on you and tell you how much I love you. I did the same thing every morning. You just loved to be on my left side. The bump was always just a little bit higher on the left. On Mother’s Day, I lay down on a bed at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and got your Grandma and your Aunts to come up and see my belly and how you were on the left.

I started feeling flutters shortly before 16 weeks. When I felt that first little butterfly flutter….well, I can’t even describe how happy it made me. Then I started feeling you kick more often. You usually kicked on my left side and it was usually around noon. I would sit at my desk all day just waiting for it. I would also feel you in the early evening. I couldn’t wait until the kicks were more regular and your Dad could feel them too.

I went for the 4 month appointment on May 3rd. I heard your heartbeat that day, for the first and last time. Dr. A found it right away and it was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. I could have sat there for ages listening to it. I left the appointment that day so happy. Your little heart was so strong and I was so proud of you.

On May 7th, Dr. A called and left a message at work, apologizing that she didn’t get a hold on me in person, but she had to catch a plane. She said that the IPS screening came back with an increased risk of a neural tube defect, a 1:287 chance. Your risk of down’s syndrome and other disorders were slim. She said that she felt that everything was fine, and she was really sorry to leave that information on voicemail. She wanted me to have the 20 week anatomy scan early because of this result and said to call back and speak the nurse, Jan. I called and left a message and Jan called me right back. She confirmed that the likelihood of a neural tube defect was small, but they wanted me to go and get the ultrasound on May 17th instead of May 26th and they had already made the appointment for me at the prenatal clinic at the hospital. All of this made me nervous, but I managed to convince myself not to worry too much. I had been taking folic acid for almost a year before I even got pregnant. I’m glad I went on May17th. If I had waited for the ultrasound until May 26th, you were likely already dead and I never would have seen you alive again after May 13th and I wouldn’t have that amazing profile picture.

Mother’s day was May 9th and we all went to church with Mom. I got a rose that day because I was pregnant and I felt special. After the service, we were in the coffee room and Rev. Mike came over and said hi and I told him I was pregnant. Some of those moments are surreal now. Less than a month later, he would be visiting me in the hospital and seeing your little body carried out of my room.

May 11th was my birthday. Your Dad took me to East Side Mario’s for dinner, one of my favorite restaurants. Everything was fine until I started having back pain on the way there, the same kind of pain I get when I get AF. We sat down and ordered and I went to the bathroom. To my horror, there was some brown blood. Oh, I was scared. But the back pain had stopped and I knew that sometimes women have a bit of bleeding during pregnancy. But then, as I was washing my hands, I felt more come out. I went in to check and it was bright red. Not a lot, but it was scary. I didn’t have any bright red blood after that. Deep down I knew that if there was something wrong, nothing could be done. I went back out and ate dinner with your Dad. I was scared the whole time and didn’t enjoy it much, but I felt bad telling him that we had to leave when he was so happy to bring me to my favorite restaurant.

As we talked to the car, I told him that I was bleeding. He said that Keisha’s Mom bled when she was pregnant and everything was fine. I guess I was in denial. I don’t know why I didn’t just run off to the hospital then. I certainly would now. But we went home and I tossed and turned all night. I was still having brown spotting and couldn’t stand it anymore, so we went to the hospital the next day. My pulse was really high, which worried the nurses and the doctor. I explained that I was just really anxious and they all said that they understood. We were only at the hospital for 2 hours, most of that time we were in a little room with a door. I was glad at the time, because I was away from all the people who were coughing. Now I wonder if they put us in that room in case the news was bad. The doctor came in and did an ultrasound with the ER ultrasound machine, which isn’t as high tech as the ones in the diagnostic imaging department. As soon as I saw him looking at his watch and looking at the screen, I had a huge sigh of relief. You were alive. I hadn’t realized until that point that you might actually have been dead inside of me, I had just been worried that I might be miscarrying. He turned the screen so that we could see you and you were moving all around and the doctor said that you were really active (and I was so proud). He did see a small sub-chorionic hemmorhage and he said that in the worse case, the tear between the placenta and the uterine wall will get bigger, it will detach and nothing can be done. He ordered a regular ultrasound and said to come back the next day for it.

On May 13th, I went to the hospital again, without your Dad this time. The ultrasound tech was nice, but I couldn’t see the screen while she did the exam. I noticed that she spent a lot of time in one place, and from past experience with having ultrasounds, I knew she must have found something. We talked a little and I asked her if she could see if you were a boy or a girl. She said she thought you were a boy and your life flashed before my eyes. My little boy. 

One of the first thoughts that came to my mind was that I wanted to be good friends with your wife and we would all see each other often. I got to watch you for about 2 minutes dancing around on the screen. She pointed out your body parts and showed me why she thought you were a boy (and it looked pretty clear to me). You were very active, of course…you always were. You were moving all around, flipping from your back to your side, opening and closing your mouth and moving your arms and legs around. One time, your legs were curled up against your belly and you straightened them out completely. She left me in the room while she went to see if the pictures were good enough. Your picture was left on the screen and I just stared and stared at you. She came back and said that everything was fine and I should go back to the ER and wait for the results.

I sat there, getting text messages from your Dad, and your Aunty Laurie and my friend Jen from work, all asking if everything was OK. I waited in the ER for at least 2 hours (they said it would be really quick since I was just waiting for test results). I talked to your Dad and asked if he wanted to know if you were a boy or a girl. He said yes, of course, and I said that you are a boy! We laughed and were just in awe of you. I finally went up and asked a question and they were surprised that I was still there. The computer said that I was in the Red zone, but my file was in the green zone. That finally got sorted out and I went to the green zone, and a doctor came in and saw me quickly. I had been worried that they had kept me waiting because it was bad news and they were putting off telling me. He said that all of your major organs looked fine, but there seemed to be some issue with your limbs and he gave an example of “something as simple as club feet or as complex as missing a few toes”, but they couldn’t tell exactly what it was because it was a little early (I was 18 weeks). Neither one bothered me much. I just worried about the pain you would have when you are born when your club foot was corrected. He asked if I had the IPS screening and when I said that I had and that it had come back as an increased risk for a neural tube defect, he said that these results support that. He said that I should be referred to a high risk OB and he could do it or my regular OB could do it when she got back from vacation. I really wish that I had asked him more questions. It looked like there was a whole page written from the ultrasound report, but he only mentioned the limb issue. I walked out of there a little shaky. The guy in the bed next to me stared at me as I left, having heard the whole thing of course.

I got outside the hospital and called your Dad right away. I started crying then because you would be born with some issues, but I knew we could overcome them. Part of me was scared that things were worse, but part of me just thought that we could deal with anything. Then I called Mom and told her, then I called Laurie and she said that she would love your little feet no matter what. I tried not to worry about the results until I had another ultrasound and we could get more answers, but it was always in the back of my mind.

The next ultrasound was on May 17th at the prenatal clinic. Your Dad came with me for this one. I got to watch the whole ultrasound this time. You moved around so much that it was hard for the tech (Angie) to get a good picture of you and to take the measurements she needed to take. Dr. M came in and read the scan and said that your spine was fine (my relief was enormous). They also saw a small pool between the placenta and the uterine wall, but weren’t concerned about it. They called your Dad in towards the end so that he could see you too. Your Dad was standing behind Angie and took a little video of the ultrasound, even though he wasn’t supposed to. It is the only video we have of you alive. At the time, I thought your Dad wasn’t really looking at the screen enough and I didn’t want him to miss seeing you, but I am so grateful for that video now.

video


He only got to look at you for 2-3 minutes before Angie said she had to move on to the next patient, but she wanted me to come back when Dr. M was out of surgery so that he could look again. They said that there was a problem with your left foot, which I was expecting them to say.  She also couldn’t get a good look at your left hand and said that you were clenching it and she couldn’t see all your digits. When we went back in and they looked at your hand again, you were hiding it under your head. Finding out that there might be something wrong with your hand made me really sad, but I was still so grateful that your spine and your brain looked fine. I asked if they thought there could be a chromosomal defect and they said there were no other indications of that. Dr. M said that I should go to Mount Sinai for a higher-level ultrasound and that he could make the referral or I could wait for Dr. A to get back to do it. I asked him to do it. The sooner I got in, the better. Angie also told him that I had already waited a week since finding out that there might be a problem from the IPS results…she seemed concerned that I would have to wait even longer, which was nice of her. We asked Angie before leaving the room if you were a boy or girl and she said a boy (we wanted to see if she said the same thing as the tech at the other hospital).

We walked out of the hospital and I could barely hold it together long enough to get outside before I started crying. Your Dad was great….hugging me and telling me it was OK and that we could deal with whatever the problem was. I just couldn’t stop crying and said how unfair it is that our innocent little baby has to have a problem and go through pain and surgery when he is born. I cried all the way to the car. Your Dad had his arm around me and I just cried and cried for your little hand and said how unfair it was to you. Little did I know what was to come. We got to the car and I called and told my Mom and Dad and Laurie and I just cried through all the calls, but kept telling them that the news wasn’t that bad.  Eventually I started to feel better. I mean, we didn’t even know for sure that there was something wrong with your hand. Your Dad was so strong the whole time, but did say that he was worried and that I was right and it wasn’t fair.

Once I got home, I emailed your Aunty Jessie and told her what happened and she replied and was reassuring, saying that it doesn’t matter, that she already loves you.

A few days later, I got a message that my appointment at Mt Sinai hospital was on June 7. I seemed like so far away. Dr. A was back from vacation, so I called her office and was transferred to her right away. I told her everything that had happened and said that I knew that club feet could be a sign of a chromosomal disorder, but Dr. A said that it is almost always bilateral and you only had one foot affected and that she has never seen a neural tube defect show in the limbs. She said that whatever the problem is, it can likely be fixed at the Hospital for Sick Children and she would support me through whatever comes.

On May 23rd, I wrote this in my journal “the baby wasn’t giving me a lot of kicks for a few days, just one or two, but I can feel a slight shifting movement sometimes and the the area I feel the shifting is hard. I felt a lot more kicks yesterday, which I just love.” Were you already dead when I wrote that? I had phantom kicks for weeks after you were born, so maybe it wasn't you kicking me at all on the 22nd. That shifting movement and the hardness in my belly started happening more and more, and my first few hours of labour felt exactly the same, just alot more often. Were they painless contractions all along?
On May 24th, we went to the Music Gardens where we did our wedding pictures (the picture above of me by the pole is from that day). Your Dad took a bunch of pictures of you and I. I loved how my belly felt that day. I was getting bigger and bigger. Then we walked down by the lake and your Dad took this video, which I have watched many times. I can't take my eyes off my belly.  

video

On May 31st, a Monday, I had my 5 month appointment with Dr. A. Your Dad offered to come to the appointment with me, but I told him not to take the day off for a routine appointment. He should take it off for the Mt. Sinai appointment. That morning, I got dressed, took a few pictures of myself since I wanted more pictures of my belly, and drove to Dr. A’s office.


Jan weighed me and said that I’d only gained a pound and how good that was. I was proud of myself for that. I sat in the waiting room, watching the other women and reading “Any Known Blood”. I read a reference to the characters baby boy who was still born and quickly read a few more pages so that it wouldn’t be the last thing I read before closing the book. I was eventually called into the examining room that I hadn’t been in before. The window a/c unit was on and I was getting really cold. I was just going to turn it off when Dr. A came in. I asked her about some DHA vitamins and she said she wouldn’t take them and I said that I didn’t even take Tylenol because if anything bad happened, I wanted to know that I did everything I possibly could. She said that Tylenol was fine, that they would give it to you if you were born early. She asked if I had felt any movement that day and I said I felt something not to long ago and explained the shifting/hardening feeling to her. I lay down on the table and she felt my belly and said that I was measuring more like 19 weeks, which I thought was odd because I knew that I was just a few days shy of 21 weeks. And then it happened. She tried to find your heartbeat for 3 long minutes but couldn’t. She kept moving the Doppler around, taking my pulse when she found something and was trying to determine if it was my heartbeat or yours. I knew it was mine, it was too slow to be you. Sometimes she would shut her eyes and eventually she turned off the air conditioner. I kept staring at her face, then staring at the ceiling, then staring at her again, willing her to find your heartbeat. If anyone asks me about the worst 5 seconds of my life, it was when she stopped looking and said “I can’t find it”. I knew. I didn’t want to believe it, but I knew. She said she can usually find the heartbreat right away at this stage and said how she found it right away at my last appointment a month ago. She said I needed an ultrasound right away.

She went to her office to call the hospital for an emergency ultrasound in the prenatal clinic and I started crying in the exam room. She came back and said they could see me right away. She was really nice, making sure I was OK to walk over there. She said I should call my husband….I just thought about how it would take your Dad at least an hour to get there, so I said that and said I’d call my Mom. I asked if I could leave my car in the parking lot and she said of course and that she wouldn’t want me driving anyway and that she would go and talk to someone if there were any problems. It was like I had suddenly gone into automatic pilot mode…asking about the car, putting one foot in front of the other.

I walked over to the hospital so fast. I called your Dad on the way over and starting crying again. I told him that everything was probably fine, that I had to have an ultrasound because she couldn’t find your heartbeat, but you could just be hiding. As much as I knew that you were gone, that you were too big to be hiding, I wasn’t ready to give up on you yet. Once I got to the hospital, I checked in and they sent me to the waiting room, which was right between the maternity floor and Labour & Delivery and near the breastfeeding clinic. They knew why I was there. Why did they send me to a place where I would see lots of babies and pregnant women? I had to wait about 20 minutes, which felt like hours. I couldn’t stay in the waiting room once a pregnant woman and another couple with a newborn came in there so I stood in the hall, crying the whole time. I watched a couple getting ready to leave the hospital, taking pictures with their baby, I saw a man come out of L&D and tell his waiting family that it was a boy, I saw parents going to the breastfeeding clinic. I talked to your Dad some more, and to my Dad. I wondered how everyone could be walking around acting normal when my baby was probably dead. Everyone looked at me as they walked by since I wasn't trying to hide my tears at all. I couldn't.

The ultrasound tech, the same one I had for the ultrasound on May 17th, apologized for the wait, but I had to wait another few minutes in the ultrasound room while she got paperwork done. I just needed confirmation and I wanted to know right away. She finally started and I could see there was no movement and your heart wasn't beating. My heart broke. You were all curled up. I kept staring at your heart, willing it to beat, I stared at your limbs, willing them to move.  Angie took some measurements and said she didn't see any movement or heartbeat and was sorry and was bringing the scan to a radiologist. While she was gone, I called your Dad and said that it wasn’t good and he said that he was on his way. I didn’t know until hours later that he didn’t know that you had died until he got to the hospital. I called my Dad and he said he was coming. I was taken to L&D and brought into a room and called my Mom’s cell phone. She answered right away, which was a bit of a miracle. After calling her, I sat on the bed facing the wall and started crying again. A few minutes later, a wonderful nurse named Patrice came in, sat on the bed beside me and gave me a big hug. It was just what I needed. She said that she had had losses too.

My Mom got there first, while my Dad went to get your Dad at the subway. Dr. A came over after a while and said that you had died about a week ago, that you measured fine at your 18 week ultrasound but now you were measuring at 17.5 weeks because your bones had started to overlap.  She explained the pills that they would insert to start labour and said that I could go home and think about it, but I said I didn’t want to go home, that I couldn’t knowing that you were dead. I didn’t want to start them until your Dad arrived at the hospital and I also asked for another ultrasound because I just had to see you again one more time, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t have any regrets in the future. She came back about 2-3 hours later and did the ultrasound and it really helped to see you again and have the signs explained. She also said then that she has never not found a heartbeat at this stage in pregnancy and have it turn out fine (I was glad she didn't tell me that at the office before). She said that you dying was completely unexpected and she didn’t see it coming at all.

Patrice also came in with the radiology report and let us read it, which pointed out the signs and said there was "fetal demise". She explained any terms we didn't know. I thought it was really nice of her to show us that. She said someone showed her once and it really helped her.

They started inserting the pills every 4 hours, so I started them on May 31 at 3pm and had them until June 1 at 7am. At first it just caused contractions, but they weren't very painful until later in the night. I am so glad that your Dad, Grandma, Grandpa and Aunts were there. It made the day go faster and made it easier not to focus on the terrible thing that was happening. Rev Mike found out what was happening and came once on May 31st and twice on June 1st  and he had some words that really helped I wish I could remember them all, but he did say that you might not have been whole here, but you are whole in heaven and not in any pain. We decided that we would name you Jacob. It was between Evan and Jacob, but Jacob was just the right name for you.

Everyone but your Dad left around 8:30 on Monday night and the evening was long and sad. I kept crying. I was tired, but couldn't sleep. I was offered a relaxant to help, which did a little and I slept for an hour or so during the night. Your Dad told me the next day that he went in the bathroom at 2am and broke down in there so that I could sleep.

The cramping got worse and worse over the night, but at first I wasn't anxious to have it finished because I wanted to keep you with me and hated the thought that you wouldn't be in me anymore. Once the pain got horrendous, I wanted it to be over. I just wanted to hold you. I kept my hand on my belly almost constantly from the moment I lay down in the hospital bed until you were born. I couldn’t miss a moment. 

Right before you were born,  Dr. A discovered that you were breech and said that can sometimes cause complications, but it didn’t. You were born at 9am, after only 2 pushes. As soon as you came out, Dr. A said that you had bands, which right away made me think of amniotic band syndrome and you did have that, which ended up explaining the problem with your foot and your hand. She asked if I wanted to hold you and I said yes. The moment you were handed to me was amazing. You were wrapped in a little blue towel and just your face was showing. I still had to push out the placenta, so I was still lying on my back, but I was just trying to memorize your face. I couldn’t believe I was holding you. You were so light.

Both of your eyes were open when you came out, but with time, your right eye closed. Your left eye stayed open the whole time we had you and it was such a gift. I didn’t expect them to be open at all, but I feel like I got to know you even better because I got to see your eyes. Your right leg was muscular and your right foot was flexed, as if you had just kicked a soccer ball. You had muscular arms and big lips. I knew you would have big lips from your ultrasound picture. Your eyebrows were even starting to grow, but you didn’t have any hair on your head. We spent about 3.5 hours with you, just holding you, kissing you, rocking you, giving you 2 baths, loving you. I never wanted to let you go.

Your belly was so smooth. I kissed you a lot, I touched every part of you, but I wish I had spent more time holding your hands,  kissing your cheeks, touching your back and rocking you. I wish I had a video of me rocking you. It was so sad to see your Dad holding you, his little son, the baby that he wanted so badly…just as badly as I did. Your Grandma and Jessie arrived first and they held you and cried. I will be forever grateful that we had 2 cameras there. Ted and Jessie took lots of pictures. Laurie arrived and I handed you to her and she cried and cried and said that she loves you, that we all love you. It made me burst into tears again. Your Grandma had knit a beautiful blue and white blanket for you, but I was scared that the wool would stick to your delicate skin, so I never put you directly on it. I wish I had. Laurie brought in a Peter Rabbit receiving blanket, which we wrapped you in after a bath. She brought that one in because she thought you could have adventures with Peter Rabbit. I still have that blanket, I still sleep with it every night. There is a stain on the blanket from your body. I often hold it against my face when I’m feeling really badly.

The blanket your Grandma made for you







In your Peter Rabbit blanket


You were getting colder and colder as time when on. I could feel the coldness on my lips when I kissed you and on my fingers when I touched you. The whole time I held you, I said over and over again in my head how much I love you, want you and miss you, and that I would never forget you. Your Grandpa arrived and sat in the rocking chair with you for awhile.

I wanted to hold you every way that I could think of. I held you in the crook of my arm like I would have held you all the time if you had lived. A picture taken when I was doing that is one of my favorites. I wanted you hold you with your head on my shoulder, but you were just too small.



The time we had with you flew by. After 3.5 hours, we could see how your little body was deteriorating. Your Aunty Lindsay was flying in from New York to come and see you that night and I wanted you to look as good as possible for her. My nurse, Sylvia, said that we could put you in their fridge until we came back that night. We wrapped you in the Peter Rabbit blanket, put the little Teddy Bear with you, and they took you away. It was terrible, but I knew I would see you again.

I was discharged about an hour later and went home, showered, went online and joined a support group. I also got an email reminding me that the prenatal classes we had signed up for started that night. I emailed back and said that you died and we wouldn't be attending. I never received a reply. 

I couldn’t wait to get back to the hospital to see you again. Once Lindsay arrived, we went straight there and were taken into a room. They brought you back to me and you looked so different, but I just loved you more and more. The nurses had taken you out of the Peter Rabbit blanket and wrapped you in a little blue blanket on an incontinence pad, but they did it nicely and it looked like you were on a cloud. The teddy bear was in the box with you, as were the hospital bands we never got to wear and a card with your footprints. I was worried that your aunties and grandparents might want to remember you at your best, so Laurie went out and told them that you didn’t look as good as you did before. Everyone still wanted to see you though, which made me happy. I handed you to Aunty Lindsay and she cradled you in her arms.

Everyone wanted to hold you again, so we passed you around. You came back to me and I kept saying to you in my head that I love you, that I want you and how much I miss you. After a few minutes, Jessie asked if I wanted some time alone, which I did. Your Dad told you how much we love you and miss you and I said it too. Then he left me alone with you. Just you and I. I kissed you, told you how much I love you and miss you and want you and I apologized to you that I couldn’t save you. I cried and cried. It was my last moments with you and I just couldn’t believe it. Everyone came back about 5-10 minutes later. I wanted to hold you forever, but I was worried about your body deteriorating too much for the autopsy and I knew I would have to give you back eventually. Laurie asked if I wanted to bring you out or if I wanted the nurse to come and get you. I said I wanted the nurse to come, so she went to get her.

It was the hardest thing I have ever done…handing you away never to hold you again. My heart was breaking into even smaller pieces and I hated that I had to do it. I didn't think that my heart  could break anymore than it already had, but it did. The nurse asked if I was sure and I either nodded or choked out a yes. She asked if I wanted the Teddy Bear and I said that I did, after saying that they probably wouldn’t leave it with you. I’m so glad I have it.

Your Dad took these pictures a few days after you were born. Our friends brought over these flowers.
That is the Teddy Bear that the hospital gave us and that stayed with you for hours.
That card is the one that the nurses took your hand and footprints on.
Wrapped around the Teddy Bear is the hospital band that you should have worn.

I had been wondering about the Peter Rabbit blanket, but somebody, Laurie I think, asked about it and they said they have it, but that it is soiled. I didn’t care, I had to have it. The nurse stood there with you for awhile, just holding you in front of me. I couldn't take my eyes off you. I could barely stand it. I'm surprised I lived through that moment. Jessie later told me that she was screaming at the nurse in her head to either leave or give you back to me.

Now my life is about just trying to live without you physically here. I miss you every second of every day. I miss our present, I miss our future, and I miss the months of pregnancy that I didn’t have with you.

There are so many more details of your life here that I haven’t written about. The day to day moments of joy, the euphoria I felt every time I felt your little kick.

You brought us so much joy Jacob, so much. I will be forever grateful that you entered our lives. I will be forever grateful that I was chosen to carry you. I will always remember you and I will always make sure that others remember you too. Your brothers, sisters and cousins will grow up knowing that you were alive, that you are a part of our family. I’ve had you added to the family tree so that future generations will see your name and date of birth and death and wonder about that little baby.

You have taught me so much and you have made such a difference in the short time that you were here. I wouldn’t trade my time with you for anything. I only wish that I had more time with you.

As I walk around, I see things like flowers and squirrels and clouds and the sun and I think of you. I think of all of the things we would have done together. I think of all the fun we would have had, all of the meal times and story times and bath times and play times. When the whole family is together, you are missing. You will always be missing baby. I will never be complete again.

Your story hasn't ended, sweet boy. It will never end.

I love you,

Mom

Friday, October 8, 2010

Prisoner

Last Saturday Ted and I were driving to Whitby for my friend's birthday dinner. I was feeling down in the car, but not horrible. Ted started saying how hard it is to see me sad all the time and that it is good to remember Jacob and love him, but I can’t let myself be a prisoner to losing him. I’ve never thought of it that way before, but I really do feel like a prisoner to it.


My days and nights are easier than they used to be – I no longer wake up crying and go to sleep crying (although I have been crying the past several days when I get into bed). I don’t spontaneously burst into tears during the day (most days) and a laugh doesn’t usually turn into a cry anymore in a split second. I still cry, but I usually have warning that it is coming on and I can even go for 2-3 days without a major cry, which is a huge accomplishment. My eyes will fill with tears at least once a day, but it often stops there (I make it stop since I am at work or out in public).

But the weight of losing Jacob and then August is always with me. Even when I am talking to someone and smiling and joking, it is still there. I was cleaning up after my Mom’s party on Sunday, wondering if anyone noticed the ultrasound picture of Jacob we have framed on my nightside table when they were taking a tour of our house, or if they look at me and think of what we have been through. Later on, Ted said that I look sad all the time (when I’m not consciously faking looking normal), that people don’t look at me and see a happy girl anymore, they just see a sad one. It makes me sad that that is what he is living with and that is what others see, but it also satisfies me. I want people to look at me and know that I’m not over losing my babies, that I never will be and that 4 months is just too soon to be "normal" again.  I am still trying to figure out my "new normal".

I really am a prisoner, serving a sentence that I don’t deserve to serve (who does?), in a jail that I don’t want to be in, but that I also don’t want to leave as it seems to take me further from my babies when I do leave it. Even when a laugh or a smile is really meant, not faked, it is always temporary. But it feels good that I don’t have to fake everything anymore. It feels good when I’m not filled with turmoil and I don’t feel like I’m drowning. I lived in that place for a long time and I’m glad it’s not my constant companion anymore.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I heard on the radio the other day.....

I was listening to the CBC the other day and the radio guy said that he would rather die then be heartbroken. He explained that when you die, you don't feel the emotional pain. When you are heartbroken, it never goes away.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The garden

Ted and I went to the garden on Friday night to spend some time with our boy. We stood there and hugged each other and were silent for awhile, both of us lost in our own thoughts. I always stare and stare at the place where Jacob’s ashes are buried. There is no gravestone or marker, but I know exactly where he is. Ted eventually said that he can’t believe that it has been 4 months and I said how the future that we dreamed about, that we were so close to having, is buried in that garden and it is so hard to believe. I wish I could see the garden as the place where Ted and I did a lot of our wedding pictures just over a year ago, but I only see it as my baby’s resting place.

No one in my family remembered that October 1st was 4 months, or at least they didn’t say anything to me about it. I was talking to Laurie on the phone the night before and made some reference to it and then she realized it (and felt bad that she hadn’t thought of it on her own). Laurie and Ben were supposed to meet us at the garden on Friday night, but Ben was sleeping and they didn’t make it there before we left. Laurie and Ben left Mom and Dad’s and Laurie decided to drive by the garden on the way home, which made me happy. At least she was doing something. As they drove by, Ben got upset and wanted to go into the garden, so they parked and went in. Ben got there and said “Jacob come out, big hug”.

I’ve wondered how much Ben really understands about Jacob and who he is. Does he realize that Jacob is a person, not just some abstract idea that we talk about a lot, especially when we are in the garden? Ben saying “Jacob come out, big hug” proves to me that he does understand, which kind of amazes me since Ben only turned 2 in June….10 days after Jacob was born. I know they are connected. I believe that kids are a lot closer to Heaven than we are and can see things that we can’t see. When Ben is playing with his cars on the floor and talking away to himself, I wonder if Jacob is there with him and it is actually Jacob that Ben is talking to. I like to think that is the case. Ben almost got hurt on June 13th, but an object moved just in time and that saved him from a potentially serious injury. I wasn’t there at the time, but Laurie later told me that she started thanking Jacob over and over again for saving Ben. Maybe that is one of the things that Jacob was meant to do, that was one of the purposes of his life. There must be a purpose. I believe that he is watching over Ben and any other cousins and brothers and sisters he will eventually have, and he has given me strength I didn’t know I had. He has helped get me in touch with other baby loss Mom’s who have helped me and who I have helped.

He made me a Mom. He will forever be the baby who made my dream come true of being a Mom, even though I didn’t get to keep him.