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.