Sunday, November 18, 2012

2012 Holiday Gift Exchange - sign up sheet available

The 3rd Holiday Gift Exchange sign-up sheet is available for Mom's, Dad's and siblings of lost babies.

The upcoming holiday season is supposed to be ‘the most wonderful time of the year.’ But we all know, it’s these ‘special’ times that can really hurt the most. For many of us, the holidays are an incredibly bittersweet time, and a painful reminder of the little one(s) who should be there to celebrate them with us.

We hope this gift exchange will help brighten up the holidays for those of us missing our babies. Participants in the exchange will be matched with another Mom or Dad or sibling and can buy or hand-make their partner something in honor of their baby – an ornament, a special candle, anything! Participating is not only a great way to honor and include your child(ren) this holiday season, but a chance to connect with someone you may not have ‘met’ before.
Here are the details of the exchange:
1)  Sign-up at
2) Sign-up is open until November 28, 2012.
3) You don’t have to celebrate Christmas or any other holiday to participate.
4) To help with gift ideas, we ask you to tell us what reminds you of your baby(ies).
5) We are asking that you don’t spend more than $20.00 (U.S. dollars) so that no one feels obligated
to spend a lot of money.
6) We will email you your partners’ information by December 1, 2012.
7) Please have your gift mailed by December 10, 2012.
8) If for some reason your cannot fulfill your obligation, please let Dana know right away, so we
can make sure your partner receives a gift.
9) Your address will only be shared with the Gift Exchange Coordinator and the person you will be
matched with.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Jacob's due date...again

This is our third year of Jacob's due date without him in our arms. It does get easier every year, but it is never easy. I wish that I spent every September and October thinking about and planning Jacob's birthday parties. Instead I have felt a heaviness now and then since October hit and didn't realize at first why. Then I did. Emily brings me so much joy and happiness, just so much. But he is still missing. I still think of him every day, really every hour.

About a week and a half ago, Ted saw some pictures of a boy on Facebook, the godson of one of his high school friends. One picture was taken at his christening and the others at his 1st birthday party and he looks so much like Emily. Someone at work looked at them and had to confirm that he wasn't, in fact, her. Ted thought of Jacob right away and wondered if that is how he would look. He came home and showed the pictures to me, worried about making me sad. They did make me sad, and still do, but I like to have an idea. Of course, Jacob might have looked nothing like this boy, but he may also have looked a lot like him.

Emily making the same face as the boy in the picture below. 

Last Tuesday, I was in line at the dollar store. Emily was in the stroller. I was holding my wallet and glanced down and saw Jacob's ultrasound picture, that I have carried in my wallet since shortly after he died. I was just mesmerized by it. He looked so old in it, so mature, even though I had that ultrasound when I was 19 weeks pregnant. I kept looking from the ultrasound picture to Emily, looking for similarities, I could barely tear my eyes away from it, but then the sadness started to get overwhelming so I forced myself too.

Emily and I went to church today and went to the garden before and after church. I dressed her in her Little Sister onesie. I didn't get overly emotional, just told him how much we love and miss him and couldn't believe that I was standing there holding my baby, finally, as I spoke to my other one. 

There are just a few flowers left in the garden. These ones caught my eye as there were 5 of them, one for each baby we have had to say goodbye to. There was a 6th that hadn't fully bloomed yet. I can read into that so much. The babies we've lost were here for as long as they were meant to be. Emily hasn't been here for her allotted time yet. I hope that time doesn't come until she is an old lady, telling stories to her grandkids about their great-grandmother. 

The flower in the back is part of another grouping. 
It has been 2 years today since I found out I was pregnant with Cub, not knowing, of course, that I would miscarry a month and a half later. 

October 14th is a very bittersweet day. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Now that I have a living baby, it's even harder to find a balance to living life and enjoying it, while still being sad for Jacob. I don't write here as much and I feel bad about that, but Jacob is mentioned in most of my posts over on my other blog. Our life, usually, is more happiness than sadness now, which is great. Living life in that really dark place isn't any way to live and he wouldn't want us to. But that being said, the sadness is just right there, right under the surface. I don't always know that it is, but a song comes on the radio or a smell or something brings me back to him and the happiness and pain that he brought to our lives.

I get asked almost every day if this is my first, and I almost always say yes and I hate that I do. It is usually strangers in a mall, a grocery store, or a Mom's group that asks and it just feels too hard to say no, that my first died before he was born. Today I was happy, spending the day with my girl. Constantly being grateful for her. Then, after Ted got home and was holding her, I had a shower and was dressing in our room and looked at the ultrasound picture of Jacob and of Emily that we have on our dresser. And it hit me all over again. She is here and he is not and I am so sad that he isn't but I am so grateful that she is. I'm so sad for everything that we have missed with him, that we will never really know what he would have looked like, what his mannerisms and personality would have been like.

I still talk to him sometimes, but not nearly as much as I used to. I walked by his name carved in the sidewalk today and said hi to him, as I always do when I walk by there.

I'm just missing him a lot right now.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Jacob's little sister

Jacob's little sister is here. She is alive and healthy, born on August 15th at 11:31pm.

What an amazing sight. Bringing our baby
home from the hospital. 
I can never put into words how grateful I am for her. She has brought us so much happiness, happiness that we weren't sure we would ever feel again. I never get tired of looking at her, of getting up in the middle of the night with her, of taking care of her.

She has also shown us just what we have missed with Jacob and the babies I miscarried. About 12 hours after she was born, I looked at her as Ted was holding her and suddenly saw him. Even though he was born at 21 weeks, I could see similarities and now I have an even better idea of what he would have looked like.

We have been home since August 17th. I have been very emotional since she was born. I can sgo from being fine to sobbing in about 2 seconds.  I know that a lot of that is hormones and it was particularly bad around the third day after she was born, when my milk came in. I just cried and cried for Jacob and ached for him so badly. A lot of people have said that he played a big role in bringing Emily to us and I love that thought. I love that in my last belly pictures taken the day before she was born at 39 weeks, there were orbs in several of them and there haven't been in any other belly pictures taken throughout the pregnancy.

Delivering Emily was beautiful but scary. Her heart rate started to drop in the last 20-30 minutes before she was born and I could sense the worry in the room, especially once I was given oxygen because the baby needed it. I had good medical care, but I like to think that I had more than that too. That Jacob was in the room, which was just a few rooms down from the one that he was born in.

It has come out over the past few months that mother's always have the fetal cells of all of the babies that they have carried, so I would have passed some of those to Emily when I was pregnant. So she truly has a bit of Jacob in her too and I will always have all of my babies with me. That is comforting.

I want her to grow up knowing that she has a much loved and missed older brother, but not to live in his shadow. I would love it if she tells people that she has a brother that died when she is asked if she has any siblings, but I don't want to tell her to do that.

I want him to know that he has not, and never will be, replaced. That we love him and miss him just as much as we always have and that that will never change.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

I still look for him

It had been 25.5 months since Jacob was born. I do well most of the time. I think about him everyday, many times, and I never pass up an opportunity to talk about him, but I don't cry nearly as often as I used to. I go in the room that will be Emily's and still think that it would have been Jacob's first. We would probably be moving him to another room around now, since his room is the closest to ours and we would want the new baby there. Or maybe we would wait until she is a few months old.

We planned to have two kids and this is a very close age difference to what we had talked about. We could, we should, have Jacob and Emily physically in this house. Not one spiritually and one physically. I will always wish that they were both here and I could take care of them both the same way. I just want all of my babies in my arms.

I was up early this morning and watched Army Wives on Netflix. Two of the characters lose an 18 year old child and watching them deal with the grief had me on the couch sobbing. I had so many of the same reactions and it brought me back to the first year without him....acting normal but faking it. Going to the garden where he is buried and feeling like my heart was being ripped out all over again because my baby is buried there and I had to leave him, feeling like I failed him even though I know I didn't cause and couldn't have stopped what happened.

 I didn't get to see Jacob grow up. How I wish I did. Beyond the time we had with him, everything is in my imagination.....his personality, his face, the feel of his hugs. I miss the time we had with him and the time we didn't have. I still look for him. I look for him in my dreams, in the house, at the playground, at the grocery store.....everywhere. I look at other little boys and wonder how he would have been like them and how he would have been different. I know I do this, but I'm not always conscious of doing it. I know I will look for him in his sister, but I never want her to fell overshadowed by her big brother. I will be watching for some kind of connection between them. I miss him. I wish I knew more about him. What I would have given for more time with him.......

Monday, June 18, 2012

Buried 2 years ago today

I was at work today and suddenly it hit me that today is the 18th. Two years ago today we had Jacob's memorial service and buried his ashes. I went back and read the post I wrote the day after the service and it brought me back to that dark place where I couldn't imagine ever being happy again. I just finished reading the post I wrote on June 18th last year. I'm so glad I did all that writing. It helped me so much at the time and it is good now to go back and read, to see how far I've come and even to relive the pain of those days.

I am still sad that he isn't in our arms, I still think of him everyday and say his name out loud most days, even if just to myself. But I am also happier than I have been in a long time.

I went to a park yesterday with my parents, sisters and nephew Danny. I was sitting on a lawn chair with a box of donuts on my lap. My sister Lindsay said that there was a butterfly on me. I looked down and it was sitting on the box of donuts. She asked someone to take a picture and just as Laurie was ready to take it, I moved my arm slightly and it flew away and I was so upset with myself for moving. Before the butterfly flew away, I thanked Jacob for sending it. It's the first time that a butterfly has ever done that. It was dark brown and I wondered if it was really a moth, but I looked it up and it had all the characteristics of a butterfly. Whatever it was, I loved it and I loved that my sisters recognized the significance of it to me. 

I found out last week that a baby was stillborn at the hospital where Jacob was born. That baby and family have been on my mind so much since I found out. I was even close to L&D that morning and now I think of how they were going through so much and I was steps away and had no idea. My contact information was given to the family. I hope that they call. I hope I can help in some small way.

I went to see a choir since last week and they sang a song I've heard many times, but this time it meant something entirely different to me. I still see him everywhere.

I'll Be Seeing You

I'll be seeing you
In all the old familiar places
That this heart of mine embraces
All day through

In that small cafe,
The park across the way
The children's carousel,
The chestnut trees, the wishing well

I'll be seeing you
In every lovely summer's day
In everything that's light and gay
I'll always think of you that way

I'll find you in the mornin' sun
And when the night is new
I'll be looking at the moon
But I'll be seeing you.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Jacob's Second Birthday

I found the anticipation and weeks leading up to Jacob's second birthday weren't as hard as they were last year. Not even close. But for most of May, I cried much more easily than usual. It would often be over something silly that would usually barely warrant a second thought from me. I would start and it would quickly turn to crying for Jacob, for losing him, for losing what should have been. For the little 1.5 year old who should have been running around the house. For how tired I should have been, taking care of him while pregnant with his sister. 

We found out that he died on May 31, 2010. I've often debated about which day was the worst day of my life - May 31 or June 1, 2010. My world came crashing down on May 31 when I found out he died. Then, on June 1, we saw him for the first and last time in person. I'm still not sure which day was worse. Maybe they are just equal in their level of "worst days". 

This year I found May 31st a little harder than June 1. We both woke up at 4am on May 31st and couldn't fall asleep again. We lay in bed for a while trying and the tears came to my eyes every few minutes. We were going to go to Montreal this weekend as Ted's friend is getting married. He asked if I would be disappointed if we don't go, but I was actually relieved. We know it should be safe, that there are no warning signs of anything alarming with this pregnancy, but we've just known so much loss that we are scared to take any chances. 

We got up for about an hour, then Ted went back to bed. I lay on the couch missing Jacob so much and started crying. From 7am-8:15am I had the biggest cry I've had in months. It was full out sobbing, just like the early days. I apologized to him for failing him and told him how sorry I am. I kept staring at the clock, thinking of how 2 years ago at that time, I just had no idea what was about to happen. I read through my first blog entry and relived it all and cried and cried and cried. 

Eventually the tears dried up, but I was exhausted from the grief. My appointment on May 31, 2010 was at 9:15am but I wasn't called in until about 9:35am, then waited some more. I don't know what time it was when she couldn't find his heartbeat, somewhere around 10am. Watching the clock made it worse, but I kept doing it. 

I was kind of glad for the big cry. Having cries like that make me feel closer to him. I like knowing that the grief can be just as strong as it was in the early days, but I am also glad that I don't feel like that all the time anymore. Being pregnant with Emily is definitely making things easier these days. 

I felt a bit better as the day went on. My sister Jessie sent me an email, saying that she is thinking of us and can't believe that it has been 2 years, that it feels like yesterday. I loved getting that. My sister Laurie also emailed to see how we are. 

The weather was beautiful. We went to the garden and I felt like crying right away. There were flowers on the branches of the tree that hang over where he is buried, so I picked one and Ted put it on Jacob's spot. 

I talked to some friends on the phone, then spent the evening watching my belly move around, which I never get tired of. 

I slept with Jacob's blanket that night. It is always under my pillow, but I haven't slept holding it for about 6 months now. I needed it then though and it felt so good to sleep with it again. 

I woke up and lay in bed thinking about Jacob, then got up and finished the box for the hospital. Ted was on the couch and told me that it's just so hard and he doesn't want to face it. I hurt so much for Ted, he misses Jacob so much too. 

Pictures of this year's box: 

I included the same items and letters that I did
last year. 

I made cupcakes on May 31st and on June 1st we put 2 candles in one of them and took some pictures. I'd asked Ted the day before if he wanted to do that, but he said that it would be so hard and he didn't feel up to it. I started doing it and he joined in and took over, which I knew he would. 

The bear was given to us at the hospital and lay
beside Jacob in some pictures. The ribbon around
the bears neck touched him. It is one of my
most valuable possessions. The feather is from
my friend Jackie. 

As Ted was taking these pictures, I sang Happy Birthday to Jacob silently, then added a verse to the same tune about how much we miss him. 

He was born at 9am. I lit a candle just before 9am, then we sat on the couch together and I cried. After a few minutes, we just needed to go and get out, so we left for the hospital. It was pouring rain, which was fitting for our mood. We parked a few blocks from the hospital so that we didn't have to pay for parking and walked over. Two nurses were in the hall of the L&D floor. One of them said hi, so I went to her and explained what the box was for and why we were donating it. She said thank you, that it was nice to receive, then talked about when this baby is due and whether or not I would be having her at that hospital. It was a short, but pleasant conversation. I asked if the two nurses I had when Jacob was born, who were so nice, were there, but neither of them were working that day. The room to the door where Jacob was born was closed, so we didn't go to it this year. 

We went out for breakfast  and Emily kicked me through most of it, which I loved. I so wanted to be pregnant last year on Jacob's birthday and this year I was and it was wonderful. 

We went to the garden after and blew bubbles in the rain. It's something we can do for our boy, and a downpour wasn't going to stop us. 

After the bubbles, we stood for awhile, hugging each other. I always talk to Jacob in my head there. I told him how much we love and miss him. 

We stopped by Coronation Park on the way home, which is right on Lake Ontario. The waves were huge and we sat in the car for awhile watching them. Ted suggested that this become another tradition we always do on his birthday. I think it's a great idea. In bad weather, we can sit in the car. In nice weather, we'll bring lawn chairs, watch the waves and the birds and think of our boy. 

We went home and it felt so good to be out of our soaking wet shoes and socks. A gift was waiting in the mailbox from Allison, who never forgets any dates and I don't know what I would do without her. 

This blanket and hat would have been the perfect size for Jacob and the little angel is so cute. 

We have had so many bunnies in our backyard this year. We are always calling to each other and saying to look out the window. It seems that some baby bunnies were born behind our pond and come out everyday to eat. Some of them are so small that they could fit in the palm of my hand. 

We got a picture of one on May 30th. The bunny looks bigger here, but that's just because I zoomed way in with the camera. It is really about the length of my hand. They remind me of Jacob, so seeing them so often makes me happy (the blanket that Jacob was wrapped in and that I've slept with lately has Peter Rabbit on it). 

We went to Home Depot after awhile. It seemed like such a mundane thing to do on such a significant day, but neither of us wanted to stay home very much. 

I got to talk to some of my very, very good friends again. I got so many comments on my Facebook wall for Jacob's birthday. Every one of them was and is so appreciated. It feels so good to know that others remember my baby too. Three people sent me pictures. I love them all. 

From Allison. How much more perfect could
this picture be. A bunny and a butterfly. 
From Jennifer. I just love it. I'm so touched that she
went to the trouble of doing this for Jacob. 

From Betsy. A candle lit for Jacob and one for her Baby Bee
and one for all the other babies. 
Several people told me that they were lighting candles for him in their homes. Sometimes I'm still amazed and overwhelmed at all of the wonderful friends I've made since he died. It means so much that they did something for him. 

I also got some phone calls from friends, which were so appreciated. 

Jackie posted this video on my Facebook wall, along with an incredibly sweet message. I love this song and video. I see Jacob and Oscar (Jackie's son) and so many other babies while watching it. There are so many lyrics in this song and images in this video that are so meaningful and bring tears to my eyes.
I hear messages of happiness, friendship and sadness and hope throughout it. They are kind of the themes of his life. He has brought us so much. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Right where I am now - 1 year, 11 months, 3 weeks and 4 days

I am writing this as part of Angie at Still Life With Circles project, which is in it's second year now.

It has been almost 2 years since Jacob died and then was born. It's hard to believe that so much time has passed. I can't even put into words how hard it is to believe, how hard it was in the early days to believe that we would ever make it this far and would ever be this happy again. But we are happy, most of the time. That happiness always has a longing to it, of varying degrees.

The bigs days like Mother's Day, my birthday, Easter, etc don't have the same stabbing pain as they did last year, but I still have an ache. I am still aware that he is missing from the group and so are the babies I miscarried after him. Having lost 5 babies, it's hard to keep track of how old each one should be for each occasion, but I always know for him. Had he been born in October 2010 like he should have been, he would be 19 months old now. I saw a woman a few weeks ago pushing a stroller with about a 1.5 year old boy in it and she was pregnant, just about as big as me. The tears came to my eyes and I quickly walked passed. That should have been me. That could have been me.

I would have been back to work for 7 months. I might very well be pregnant right now too, in that alternate universe. Looking forward to seeing my two babies interact, knowing that once this baby was born, we likely wouldn't have anymore. I always wanted my kids to have siblings that they could grow up with, but that likely isn't going to happen. Emily is going to be raised as an only child I think, even though she has a sister who is 22 years older than she is, a brother who we got to hold but not keep, and 4 other siblings in heaven. An "only" child with so many siblings.

Most of our days are happy. We relish every kick and movement that we get from this baby, our little girl. There is not a second that goes by that I take for granted. I plan for the future, but I always wonder if I will still be pregnant in a day, a week, a month as I should be. I wonder if all the plans I'm making for my maternity leave will really work out the way they should, give or take a few days or weeks.

Jacob's second birthday is approaching fast. It isn't coming with the same dread and heaviness and sadness that it did last year, but all of those feelings are still there and are coming to the surface more as each day approaches. We will do almost the same things we did for his first birthday. Light a candle, have cupcakes, donate a box to the hospital for another babyloss family and blow bubbles in the garden where he is buried. This time we get to do it with his sister, hopefully, who has brought us happiness and joy we didn't think we would find again.

I asked Ted today how he thought we would be emotionally if I wasn't pregnant right now. I know that we wouldn't have anywhere near the happiness that we have at the moment, but would we be as down as we were last year. We both think we would be, but that would be complicated by the fact that we still weren't pregnant or had lost again. That we would be more hopeless, that we would have an even harder time seeing pregnant women and babies. For some reason, it still bothers me to see pregnant women a little, I still get that little lurch of jealousy and longing and then tell myself how ridiculous that is because I am pregnant too. I have a big belly, I have a baby I feel move a ton everyday. I don't know if I feel jealous out of habit or out of fear or what. I wonder if other women that I walk by everyday see me and feel bad because they have recently had a loss and have no idea of what I have been through.

I still sleep with Jacob's blanket under my pillow. I think of him every day, many times. I still love to talk about him, but have been faced with the awkward question of "is this your first" many times over the past few months. From store clerks, to waiters to people who just see me in a store and start talking to me because I'm pregnant. Most of the time I say yes, then in my head I say "the first to make it this far" or I apologize to Jacob, August, Cub, Madeline and Emma. A few times I've said no. One woman asked what my other child is and I said a boy and she said "the million dollar family". I didn't bother telling her that that isn't quite the case, that that boy died. Other times I've said that my first passed away and awkwardness ensues and I feel bad for making the other person feel bad. It's easier for them if I say yes, but it isn't necessarily easier for me. I do it anyway and then feel like I've betrayed my other children.

What will I say when Emily is old enough to understand. I don't want her overshadowed by her siblings that are no longer here, but I also want to acknowledge them. I guess I'll figure it out as I got along.

This life of balancing joy and grief continues and that is just the way it is going to be. I don't want the grief to go away anyway, as it is another tie to my lost babies. But it is so good to feel good again. I am a changed person, but changed for the better. I am a mix of happiness and sadness, of longing and hope.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

23 months

Just one more month and it will have be 2 whole years since we held Jacob in our arms. Today I read over some of my earliest blog posts, describing the day I found out he had died and the day he was born, and some I wrote in the 2 months after he was born. I am so glad I wrote in the blog. It helped me then and it still helps me now. I also spent some time today staring at his ultrasound picture, which has been on my desk since I got back to work after he was born. He was so beautiful, so perfect in that picture. Moving all over. I only got that picture because he was hiding his hand throughout the scan so I had to get up, walked around for awhile, then come back. Had he not been hiding his hand that day, I never would have had such a great picture of him.

I don't know what his second birthday will be like yet. I'm not approaching it with the same dread, the same heaviness, that I did his first. But it still hurts and there is still time for it to get worse and I know it will. I still think about him all the time. I still talk to him and I still write his name on the shower door every day when I have a shower.

A few weeks ago, my Mom told me that she bought a quilt from her friend Bev for Jacob when I was pregnant with him. After he died, she just kept it for the next baby, I guess. I told her that I would really like to have it now and she gave it to me a week ago.

It has a Noah's Ark theme.

I turned it over and the back of the blanket couldn't be more perfect.....rainbow.

This blanket will be in Jacob's little sister's room and eventually she will sleep under it. It seems surreal that that might happen one day, but there is a very good chance that it will. 

My Mom gave this to me when I met her, Laurie, Ben and Danny at the mall. We were at a restaurant and after eating, Laurie left the table for a minute. I asked Ben what he did with his friend Drake when they got together a week or so before. He told me the things they did, then said that he had a balloon but it went into the sky to Jacob. My Mom and I sat across from him with our mouths hanging open and looked at each other astonished. Ben said it like it was just the way it is. I don't even understand if and how he really understands who Jacob is. We've explained that Jacob is his cousin and Jacob would have played with him a lot if he hadn't gone to Heaven. From the beginning, Ben has never shown any confusion and he has never even seen Jacob, not even a picture of him. 

Anyway, Laurie got back to the table and I told her what Ben said, trying not to cry as I did. She said that when the balloon got away, Ben was upset so Laurie told him that it was ok, that the balloon was going into the sky to Jacob and Jacob would love playing with it. Ben calmed down right away and was fine with it. A few days later, he had another balloon, which also got away. This time, right away, Ben said that the balloon is going to Jacob to play with. 

About a week ago, my Mom asked if Jacob's cheeks were as chubby as Boh's cheeks look. I said they weren't, but thanked her for bringing Jacob up so easily. There is no awkwardness when his name is said and it doesn't seem like anyone in my family is afraid to bring him up for fear of upsetting me. I love that they do, I love that my Mom asked that question, I love that Laurie talks about Jacob to Ben and Danny. I love that he is always included. I miss him terribly, but I'm so grateful to have had him. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Incredible post from Glow in the Woods - Magic

Mrs. Spit, Gabriel's Mom, wrote this amazing post over at Glow in the Woods -
I've copied and pasted it below, just in case anyone has trouble going over to the original. And because it's something that I know I will want to read time and time again.

I am sitting on my front porch with a cup of coffee, watching the sun set on the brick building in front of me. The sun behind me, and the world is a beautiful place, filled with red and yellow and gold. My chair is comfortable, my coffee is good. The dogs are sniffling around the front yard. I can hear the sounds of children, in those last few moments before the call to come in for the night will go around the neighbourhood. It was a busy week of travel and meetings, it was a busy Saturday of errands and household things, and I have this brief time – with nothing but to sit and enjoy, watch the changing of the light.

They call this the magic hour.

What is grief, but a form of magic, I ask you? What is the terror and the pain and the horror that I found myself in four years ago, but a form of magic, a spell, an incantation that was thrown over me? It is easy to imagine the vile and loathsome creature that took my son away from me – it is easy to think of a cave, a foul smell and the guttural words of a spell. That seems as good and as reasonable an explanation of any about why tragedy struck me, struck mine, struck you and struck yours.

Magic, all around us. Old order magic with no waiving of hands, muttering of incantations. Magic, hiding in plain view. Magic that is good and magic that is so terribly evil it is impossible to behold. Magic held into balance, just barely.

And it seems a reasonable explanation that the magic of that spell would slowly wear off, that I would be able to find my way in the world. I look the same as I did back then, more or less, I walk and talk but I am utterly changed. See? Magic.

I believe in goodness and mercy, all the days of my life, in spite of what happened. Perhaps I believe more strongly now. See? Magic.

And on my front porch, watching the liquid line of gold fall towards the ground, I can be captivated by sudden and ephemeral beauty. See? Magic.

Grief then a form of magic. It seems appropriate to think that – the best explanation. So much of our world seems fragile, improbable. The quickness of the life and death, the peace of a Saturday night sunset. The curve of my son’s ear, the way his finger was crooked just like mine. See? Magic.

And this. The world I live in now. This wholeness and this peace that I find has come over me. My contentedness and my delight in beauty. I wouldn’t have believed it possible. See? Magic.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


We had a good day today. A really good day. I've written more about it on my other blog.

I am 20 weeks and 3 days pregnant with my rainbow baby. That makes tonight the eve of the day we found out that Jacob had died. It hit me full force when I was standing in the garden tonight before going to church. I was telling Jacob that this baby will never replace him, that we love them equally. I stared at the spot where he is buried and I suddenly had a flashback to being at Dr. A's office and her not being able to find his heartbeat and the sinking feeling I had the longer she tried, then the feeling when she stopped. It was terrible.

I got home, told Ted what happened there and his face fell and I knew he was feeling the same pain.

I got in the shower and had a flashback to him being born and Dr. A passing him to me. For a few minutes, the pain was as bad as it was that day.

As I was writing this, I started talking to Ted about it again and the tears came, streaming down my face and if I had let it happen, I would have been sobbing. We ended up standing in the living room hugging for a few minutes.

As painful as it was reliving those times and feeling the pain again, I was glad to. I'm glad I still feel it so deeply. 

I have we survived losing him?


Sunday, April 1, 2012

22 months

I don't have much to say that I haven't said before, but I couldn't let a monthly anniversary pass without writing something.

We drove by the garden last night after going to a movie and parked across the road from it. There were lights all around it and it always makes us feel better that it isn't dark in there at night.

We sat for awhile and I felt the sadness getting stronger and stronger and told Ted that I wanted to leave, that I was getting really sad and he said he was too.

I am at about the same stage in my current pregnancy that I was when Jacob died, although I didn't know he had died for another week. It's a scary week for me, I feel reassured with every kick that I feel from this baby, but then worry when I haven't felt anything for an hour or longer. I didn't need anything to magnify what a loss it was to lose Jacob, but it certainly feels more acute right now than it has in a little while.

It doesn't really matter how much time passes. Our boy isn't in our arms and that will always hurt.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Re-post from Small Bird Studios - When you lose a baby

Wonderful piece by Fran over at small bird studios.  If you have not read this, please do.  It is amazing!

When you lose a baby...
You don’t know what to expect.
People surround you. For a couple of weeks. Making sure you are not going to kill yourself, refuse to get out of bed, or start rocking a baby doll like the crazy lady they heard about from a friend.
You get lots of sympathy cards, clearly written and designed to be sent to console a daughter losing her father. Not the other way around.
You get free baby formula in the mail. For months and months and months.
And free baby magazines. And free baby coupons.
You secretly envy every pregnant woman. But not without a tinge of guilt, because you know all too well that she might be one in four- expecting her rainbow child.
It seems like the whole world is expecting a baby.
You have baby stuff around your home. Because you never imagined you wouldn’t need it.
You feel jarred. In the grocery store. At a birthday party. At the dinner table. At Christmas. Driving.
The baby you never knew, but lost changes every part of your life. Every. single. part.
You see baby clothes and it brings tears to your eyes.
You get sick and tired of crying. You never knew it was possible to cry this much.
You find yourself angry at God. Angry at yourself. Just angry.
You sware you can feel them kick but they’re gone. They call them phantom kicks. I call them painful, all kinds of painful. But sweet too.
You know, or you have a strong feeling of knowing what your child would have looked like, and been like. You see a child in the store, or on the street. Their hair color, dimples, smile, their personality and suddenly you are reminded of your child. You miss your child even more, if that’s even possible.
Your Babies R’ Us Registry is still active. There is no delete button on their site. The babies r’ us people don’t make a dime on people like us. Why bother right? You have to call them, plead with them to remove your freaking’ registry, because there will be no baby shower. There is an awkward silence. There is sadness. There will be no baby.
You get hospital bills about 3-4 months after you buried your child. You have to pay for the baby you delivered but didn’t bring home.
You find that moment of happiness in life for the first time, but the guilt swallows it up almost immediately.
You remember the size of the casket. The size of the plot. The face of the funeral director. The expression of those that attended the funeral. The feeling of raw pain, like your chest has literally been ripped open.
Somehow you convince yourself that you deserve happiness. Because you really do. But in the happiest, purest moment, there is still that hole that only they were meant to fill.
People compare your pain to their own pain. The loss of their grandmother, husband, their failed marriage, rebellious teenagers. Somehow this comparing leaves you stranded. If they can compare their pain of a situation to the loss of your BABY, they will likely never get it. Babies are not supposed to die. End of story.
You lost a dream. And it almost feels like you imagined their entire existence up. Their name becomes a distant memory on the lips of others.
There is awkwardness when you talk about your child in a crowd. No one knows whether to cry, walk away or pretend you never brought him or her up.
You lose friends. You find new ones.
You can’t believe that women have actually survived this and you never knew about it. Not really, anyway.
You would do anything for another minute with your child.
You cry when others bring up your child, not so much because it hurts but more so because it such a precious and rare gift.
You long for the rewind button, even after many many instances of acceptance.
You want to know what went wrong, and why…
You find a new appreciation for moments in life that make you laugh… you laugh harder and love stronger.
You know that you can die bitter, or die thankful. There is no in between.
You never ever, EVER get over your child. The one you hoped for, prayed for, carried and loved for the weeks and months they were with you.
You learn to live with the pain.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

21 months

The other day at work, Ted was listening to music and the Irie version of Tears in Heaven (he calls it Jacob's song) came on. He thought he would be ok listening to it, but tears filled his eyes quickly. He told me about it that night and we talked about how it just never goes away. We can go along through the days feeling ok. Thinking about him and missing him, but doing ok. Then something like a song or a smell or just seeing something in a certain way brings us back and the pain is fresh again.

21 months is such a long time and it's still hard to believe that it's been so long since we held our baby boy.

I've been by the garden three times in the past week. I talk to him and sometimes I just sit there and listen to the sounds of the birds and the people and the traffic and the wind and think that this is what his body is surrounded by all the time. I know that he isn't really there, but it's the last place that we held him, even if it was his ashes.

I had a hard time sleeping a few nights ago and moved to the couch so I wouldn't keep Ted awake. I ended up crying over something silly and it quickly turned to crying for Jacob, missing him and thinking of what life would be like if he had lived. It brought me back to the days and nights of crying in the early days, of feeling just horrible emotionally all the time.

Today,, 21 months after Jacob was born, we went to my OB's office for our second appointment with her for this pregnancy. As we sat waiting to see her, I thought of what was happening 21 months ago at the same time. Jacob has just been born and we were holding him, loving him and memorizing him because we knew we wouldn't get to keep him for very long. She stood at the counter for awhile writing a note and I stared at her face, thinking back. Tonight we stopped by the garden and stood silently for a few minutes, both of us talking to Jacob in our heads. Ted said how it is just so sad.

We miss him.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

This and that

Last week Laurie called me because she wanted to tell me what Ben did. They were playing a game where Ben would "write" down messages on a piece of paper and show them to Laurie. Laurie asked who they were to/from and he would say "Mom, Dad and Danny" most of the time. Then they went through the routine again and she asked him the same question and he said "Mom, Dad, Danny and Jacob". Oh, it made me smile. She said that she hasn't talked about Jacob in awhile to Ben, or near Ben and asked if I did. I haven't spoken about Jacob to Ben in a few months. Neither has Ben. And yet Jacob popped into Ben's thoughts. I'm getting emotional just writing this out. Ben was almost 2 when Jacob was born and he never saw him, other than a few of Jacob's pictures (and I think he has only seen his ultrasound pictures), yet Ben somehow understands that Jacob is someone close to him. I've told him Jacob is his cousin, but Ben, who is 3.5 now, was 2 when we talked about Jacob and his relationship to Ben the most. I love it.

Ted and I went to a Raptor's game on Sunday and we had a good time. And I didn't fake having a good time, which is such a nice feeling. I look back to where I was a year ago and can't believe the difference in me. It definitely helps that I'm pregnant with Boh, but still.

At the game, we saw lots of families. A few rows behind us, there was a white Mom, a black Dad and 2 little boys, about 2 and 4 years old. I looked at those boys from time to time and thought of Jacob. He would be 16 months old right now. If he had lived, and assuming that Boh lives,Ted and I could have had 2 kids we would have taken to a game in a few years, like them.

During some downtime in the game, a bunch of approximately 10 year olds came on the court and danced. There was a boy, probably with one white and one black parent, who was really good. Ted and I watched him in particular and Ted said "There's Jacob". He does that sometimes when we see boys that Jacob might have looked like. I like it when he does it. This time my eyes filled with tears, which I managed to hide from Ted because I don't want him to stop doing it.

We will never stop wondering what could have been.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

20 months

I saw this poem on a friends blog today and it describes how I feel really well. 20 months without him, only 4 months short of 2 whole years. It's still hard to believe sometimes. I think about him every day. Every day I see or hear something that reminds me of him.

I heard your voice in the wind today
and I turned to see your face;
The warmth of the wind caressed me
as I stood silently in place.

I felt your touch in the sun today
as its warmth filled the sky;
I closed my eyes for your embrace
and my spirit soared high.

I saw your eyes in the window pane
as I watched the falling rain;
It seemed as each raindrop fell
it quietly said your name.

I held you close in my heart today
it made me feel complete;
You may have died…but you are not gone
you will always be a part of me.

As long as the sun shines…
the wind blows…
the rain falls…
You will live on inside of me forever
for that is all my heart knows.


I love you baby boy. I'm always missing you. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

19 months

Well, it has now been 19 months since we held Jacob in our arms. It's still hard to understand/believe that it has been so long, but the pain isn't as overwhelming and consuming. He is still missing from our everyday lives and family get togethers, but I know that my family remembers him too and that means a lot.

Last night was New Year's Eve. It wasn't nearly as hard as it was last year, when we were leaving the year that Jacob was conceived and born, his year. But we are getting closer and closer to his second birthday and that is scary.

I re-read my post from January 1, 2010. I knew that New Year's Eve 2010 was really painful, but I forgot just how bad it was and how much I cried. That I carried his bear around and cried over and over again. It was only 7 months since Jacob was born too, so that made it a lot harder. I'm so glad that I started this blog and can look back and see how far I have come.

I got an email from a Grandmother of twin boys that were born in November 2011. She said that she found my blog on Christmas day and that it helped her. And her telling me that helped me. It's so touching that she misses her grandbabies so much. Hard for her, I know, but at least her daughter knows that someone else realizes just how big of a loss they are and how important they are.

I also received a really nice gift from Jennifer, Kai's Mom. Last year, she sent me an ornament for the babies I lost in 2010 - Jacob, August and Cub. This year she sent this year is a similar ornament for Madeline and Emma, the babies I lost in 2011.

She sent the rose for Mother's Day 2011, as a symbol of hope.
The back of Madeline and Emma's ornament has "Loved and Missed Forever
08/30/11" written on each heart. Thank you Jennifer. These items will
always have a special place in my house. 

Elaine also sent me an ornaments for my babies. The creativity of these women is inspiring and their caring touches me more than I can say.

Jacob - we love and miss you always. The passing of time takes you farther away from when we were last able to touch you, but it also brings us closer to you. And there are times when I feel you near. Like when I had to light the candle last night several times before it finally stayed lit. I still talk to you, although not as much as I used to. But you are always on my mind, your ultrasound picture is still up on my desk and you are a constant presence in our lives. You would be 14.5 months old. Imagine that.