Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

This was our second Christmas without Jacob, August and Cub and our first without Madeline and Emma. I should have been 28 weeks pregnant on Christmas Day this year.

This Christmas was easier than last Christmas, although we didn't put up any decorations in our house this year and I didn't listen to any Christmas music (except in the malls when I didn't have a choice). We did receive some cards from friends and babyloss Mom's, which we put up. I have to make a special mention of a card from my sister Jessie since she addressed it to Dana, Ted and Jacob.

We just had trouble finding any joy last year, except for when Jacob was mentioned. This year we still missed him and our other babies and we weren't really excited for Christmas, but we weren't dreading it as much. Every minute of it wasn't extremely painful this year. And a few really nice things happened that made Christmas a lot better.

We still thought of and remembered them all the time. When my 2 nephews were playing on the floor, I thought of the other babies that should be down there too. When my sister was opening the gifts for Danny, I imagined the sort of gifts we would have been receiving if any one of our lost babies was alive...clothes and toys and cute things for them.

At Christmas last year, we felt sure that by next Christmas, we would either have a baby in our arms or I would be due very soon with a baby. In the days leading up to this Christmas, we decided that we won't talk like that anymore.

We went to Laurie's on Christmas Eve for dinner. We brought all our gifts and stocking stuffers over since we would be back there the next morning to open gifts. Soon after eating, everyone left for church. We didn't want to go as they were all going to the family service and we didn't need to see all the babies and toddlers there. The assistant minister is also pregnant and my Mom says that she talks about her pregnancy a lot when giving a sermon. We went home and I made a pie and knit for awhile. When everyone got back to Laurie's, we went back too. Lindsay sat on the floor with Ben putting things in the stockings (Ben doesn't realize that that is Santa's job yet). There was a stocking for each person there, but there should have been another stocking getting filled up. Laurie mentioned fixing some of them up, then looked at me and said that she would make a new one for next year too. Hopefully we will have a baby in our arms (so much for not thinking that way anymore) to use it.

A few pictures of Christmas Eve:

So hard to get a good picture of them together. 

Couldn't resist getting a picture of this when Danny grabbed
the bag and started playing with it. Laurie knew right
away why I wanted this picture. 

After that was done, someone put on the movie Up. Within seconds I started remembering the first time we watched that movie. I was almost 3 months pregnant with Jacob. Lindsay had come over for a movie night. I had been really nauseous, but that night was the first time in months that I had been able to sit on the couch instead of having to lie down on it all evening. It was a huge step and I started feeling better from that day on. About 10-15 minutes into the movie, the main character is married and they are getting a nursery ready. But then things go wrong. They don't specify whether they lost a baby or whether they can't get pregnant, but there is a scene with the husband and wife in the doctor's office crying and then a scene of the wife sitting in the backyard, staring off into the distance. I don't know why they would have been painted and furnishing a nursery if she hadn't been pregnant, but she didn't look it. I just assume that she lost a baby. I hadn't really remembered that scene and Ted and I just looked at each other and decided that we would leave soon. I just didn't want to watch the whole movie. I was talking to my Mom today and she told me that when that scene came on, she was worried about us and that my brother-in-law Brian later told her that he couldn't even look at us during and immediately after watching that scene. I love that they both felt that way.

We came home and Jessie and Dave came over a bit later, as they were sleeping over. Ted and Dave sat up playing video games while Jessie and I talked in the kitchen. Eventually we moved to the living room too, where I fell asleep.

I cried twice that night. Once, when the pie was baking and I listened to Sarah McLachlan's Song for  Winter's Night and looked at Jacob's pictures. The second was after we got back from Laurie's for the night. Ted was in the shower. I sat at the kitchen table in the dark and just cried.

Christmas morning we went over to Laurie and Andy's before Ben woke up. While things were quiet, I looks some pictures of Jacob's bears and the tree.

Jacob's bears. I knit a new sweater for the bear that Ted
and I bought last year.
Also had to get a picture of Jacob's stocking with the others.
There was nothing in it, but I liked to see it there.

We opened our stockings, made breakfast, then started opening gifts. Mom wasn't feeling well and needed to go home and rest, so we did our family picture before she left.

With the bears for Jacob, of course. 

Laurie had made a gift for everyone, but the store she ordered it from didn't have them ready in time. She made us each a book of photos with us and her kids. It was a lot of work and she was so disappointed and they weren't ready in time. Before Ted and I left for the garden around 1pm, she showed Ted and I what our book looked like online. The pictures were great and we love it. But then we got to the last 2 pages. There was a picture of Jacob's name from last winter, written on the hat of a snowman. On the next page was a note. It basically said that we all wish that Jacob was included in these pictures and that he was here with us this Christmas. That he will always be missing and we will always miss him. Of course I started crying right away and gave her a huge hug and told her how much that meant to me. She said that of course she had to include him somehow.

We went home and got the rose that I bought the day before. We parked in front of the garden and I noticed that there were already 2 bouquet's of flowers there. One of them wasn't very close to where Jacob is buried, but one of them was and I said to Ted that I wondered it could be for him. That maybe my family put it there the night before when the went to church, or maybe my friend Jackie brought them. But it is about a 45 minute round trip to the garden from Jackie's house.

So we walked up and I saw that the flowers were daisies (the flower for Jackie's son Oscar). We pulled them out and saw this on them.

Tears came to my eyes and I was just so grateful. We love it. Then we put our rose in the garden, talked to Jacob and hugged each other for a long time, wondering how it's possible that this is where we visit our son on Christmas Day.

We went back to Laurie's and told everyone about the flowers that were left there for Jacob. It just made us so happy.

After another hour or so, Lindsay, Brian, Ted and I went to our house to get dinner ready. Ted did most of the work. Lindsay's friend Sana came over, as she has for the last few Christmases. Dad came over before dinner, but Mom didn't feel well enough to eat so she stayed home.  It was a nice time. I was very aware of the high chair that was missing, it wasn't totally overwhelming.

After dinner, we watched a few episodes of Modern Family, a show that we all love. It was around 9:30 when everyone left.

It was a good Christmas, but people were missing. They will always be missing. We can still enjoy ourselves sometimes, but they will always be missing and we will always be aware of that.

Just a few more pictures from this Christmas. Jennifer, Angel's Mom, took two pictures of Jacob's name in Jamaica, one on Christmas Eve and one on Christmas Day. Thank you Jennifer. I love them.

I also received two very nice gifts from Allison. 

One for each baby


LauraJane said...

That scene in "UP" made me cry the very first time I saw it (I think before I was ever even pregnant?). Heart breaking.

I'm glad you were surrounded with people who love you both over the holidays.

cullensblessings said...

These are such beautiful pictures.. and I am so touched by the book you received. I know this Christmas was not what it should have been.. but I an glad that you found these little moments of beauty amongst your heartache. Love and light...

Elaine said...

I have been thinking about you and Ted so much these past few days. I am so glad you have such a supportive, loving family around you.

Maggie said...

I remember watching Up while I was pregnant with Alexandra. I cried so much during that movie and haven't seen it since. I'm glad you have such a loving family around you. Been thinking of you a lot these past few days. xoxo

The Wellman's said...

I've never seen that movie before now i don't know if I want to. I never thought they'd do a scene like that in a child's movie I guess.

I love the thought of that book and am so happy your family includes Jacob like that, he will always be with you, but we all know those words don't mean much when he isn't in your arms :( Sending so many hugs your way.

I know the 1st is coming up quick. The first of Jan. is when Drew had his accident and lost his leg so it's a pretty emotional day in this house too (we always spend it with his parents) they weren't able to have babies so adopted two then 14 years later here she was pregnant with Drew.....they almost lost him that night so it's a pretty emotional day all around. I'll be thinking of you all and as always light my candle.

Rhiannon said...

I am glad that you were surrounded by love and support over the holidays. Thinking of you, Ted and your sweet angels often! <3

Hannah Rose said...