Saturday, October 1, 2011

16 months

What is life like 16 months after you deliver a sleeping baby?

I no longer wake up every morning and think that maybe it was a bad dream. It is my reality and I know it won't change.

I no longer cry everyday. I do feel sad everyday.

As I lie in bed before going to sleep, I always think about Jacob and miss him so, so much. I stare at the wall and think of what should be. I hold his blanket, go to sleep, wake up and start a new day.

I look at Jacob's ultrasound picture at least once a day. I still talk to him in my head. I still write his name (and August, Cub and the Twins) on the shower door every time I have a shower. I have 2 pictures of Jacob in my bedside table that I look at almost every day.

I am better at protecting myself now. I don't keep in close contact with friends who are pregnant.  I want to, I am happy for them, but it makes me even sadder for us. When a fellow babyloss Mom wanted to meet me with her 3 month old baby (Cub would be 3 months old now, I said that I would love to meet, but I have to wait until I am in a better place to spend time with the baby and see her mothering the baby). She said she would leave the baby at home. Even last month, I wouldn't have said that, I would have gone and felt terrible for hours after. My Mom wanted me to join a choir with her that will sing Christmas carols at different places in December. I'm not exactly looking forward to Christmas. I'm not dreading it as much as I was last year, but I'm not looking forward to it. I had to say no to her more than once about the choir. I used to love Christmas carols, but I don't listen to them anymore and I certainly don't want to start singing them now. Normally I would have given in to make her happy, but I stayed strong and said no, even though I knew I was disappointing her. But I did was is best for me.

Jacob has made me stronger in many ways.

Pregnant women still bother me. I don't get tears in my eyes as soon as I see them, but I still hate to see them. If I'm not feeling particularly terrible before I see them, I feel very sad after I do. But I can't stop staring at them either.

Days have highs and lows. Everything reminds me of him and of what could have been.  I should be spending my days with Laurie, my nephews and my Mom. All hanging around, watching our kids. We would have been thinking about trying to get pregnant again. Jacob would have been pulling himself up by now, maybe even walking. Ted and I spent some time at Laurie's today. We had a good time. Jacob was missing, as always, as were August, Cub and the Twins. Ben was fun and we had fun playing games and I held Danny a lot. Ted later told me that it was really hard for him to see me with the baby, that I looked so good and so natural holding him and interacting with him and it made him really sad. He has felt really down every since.

Ben thought that it would be great for us to lie down
on the living room table together to watch a movie. 

We are in a much better place than we were in last year. Our anniversary this year was much better. I didn't have to fake my way through it like I did last year. Last year at this time, I was still consumed by Jacob's loss, by how pregnant I should have been, and still trying to figure out how I could have failed him. Now I know, really know, that I couldn't do anything to save him and that I didn't do anything wrong. But I still go over things I did when pregnant and wonder if that was the turning point. Things like shifting a full container across the floor, like lifting up my nephew. Did doing those things cause the amniotic bands? I suppose I will always wonder. But even then, all of the research that has been done has not determined a cause.

Small things are coming back to me about Jacob's birth lately, like the fact that the first attempt at an IV didn't work and they had to try again. I had forgotten about that until I saw a picture with a bandaid on my arm while I was holding him.

Every month makes a difference really. Sometimes it's hard to know exactly what that difference is, since my grief for Jacob has been complicated by 3 subsequent losses. But when I'm feeling really bad, it's always because he is missing. August, Cub and the Twins were very wanted and very loved, but I knew Jacob the most and I can't stop from thinking, at least once a day, how old he should be. What he should be doing. What life would be like taking care of him full-time, of getting ready to go back to work next month. I hate that I don't know what it is like to stay up at night with a baby, to have the amazing moments after birth of seeing your baby for the first time. Of feeling the baby's warmth on your skin, or nursing, of feeling so much joy that it is indescribable. Of feeling some peace again. From what I've read from other babyloss Mom's who have had a baby after a loss, some peace comes with that baby. And joy.

Last night, Ted said that we have been really scarred by all of our losses. We have. It impacts us in every way possible. Even in ways that we could never have guessed. We don't feel like normal people anymore. We never will again. I don't want to.


LauraJane said...

I can't see how any of us can ever feel "normal" again. To me, for not at least, it seems like this shit doesn't happen to "normal" people, and that "normal people" don't have gaping holes in their hearts.

fireworksandrainbows said...

or have to imagine holding their baby, one year old or toddler...that shit is NOT normal.

Every day has turn into milestones, every pregnant belly is the one I don't have.

Every car seat and stroller...NOT my baby.

It is difficult living in this negative state of waiting and wanting and also MISSING my boy so much it is stifling.

There has to be an end to this anguish, and like you wrote, I believe it is the baby we are so desperately wanting to bandage a damaged heart.


cullensblessings said...

I was talking to my best friend tonight about how different our lives are post loss.. we don't have that naive joy about pregnancy anymore..that blissful unawareness. If only...

Drew's Parents said...

What a beautiful post, Dana. <3 I don't think most anyone who has experienced loss can possibly be the same as they once were. Every loss that you have experienced has taken away a reality that you and Ted so desperately want to share. Seeing pictures of you with Jacob and with your are a mother through and through. A beautiful mother to five precious angels. Happy angelversary sweet Jacob. Your mommy, daddy, and their family and friends are remembering you. We know you are taking good care of your little siblings and are watching over your family with great love.
My heart is with you always, Dana!

Jennifer said...

This post resonated with me in so many ways. How true it is that we are no longer 'normal' people with our loss. But I love how you wrote, "You don't want to." Because there is acceptance in those words, they acknowledge the fact that your babies will always be a part of your life forever, that you will always be their mother.

Along with our beloved Kai, Dave and I will remember Jacob and other BLM babies in our support group's Service of Remembrance today. Happy angelversary Jacob!

Violet1122 said...

It's all so unfair Dana. It seems pathetic to say that over and over - but I can't escape from the injustice of it all.


But I totally get what you mean when you wrote that you don't want to get over it. Regardless of whether it is fair or not - those are OUR babies. We will always miss them.

((Big Hugs))

Becky said...

I haven't felt normal in a long time either and not sure if I ever will again.
Thinking of you always Dana...