Mommy's heart for Baby Jacob

Friday, March 28, 2014

Lily Grace's Angelversary - One Year in Heaven

                 Special thank you to Ashley Flowers and Memories From Beautiful Miloh for this beautiful photo...

March 28, 2014.  One year ago today I was thrown for a loop.  And it was definitely way more of a loop than I thought I'd be trying to hold on to.

If you've been following me on my journey, "Six Days of Grace" this week (either here or on Facebook), you've seen that we've had two significant dates pass so far.  March 24, 2014 --one year since I took the test and found out that we had miraculously and beautifully conceived.  March 26, 2014 -- one year since I shared our joy with family and friends.

Since I'm a little behind in how I originally wanted to write all of this, let me back up a day...to March 27, 2013.  I had gone back to my OB for a second day of blood work.

When I left the doctor's office on the 26th, I remember feeling that awkward moment where you are pseudo pretending you are just another "normal" pregnant woman in the office, rather than one facing devastating news.  The initial appointment with my OB was a very basic one in which they confirmed the pregnancy via urine test and then were about to proceed to set all kinds of appointments for me to do additional testing and whatnot.  As the doctor and I walked out to the desk, I remember the nurse starting to do that but the doctor quietly saying, "Right now we are just going to schedule blood work for tomorrow and see where we go from there...", and her voice trailed off.  The nurse at the desk must have known what that meant, so of course didn't say another word.  I was never given that welcome bag either--you know those generic black diaper bags that are donated to the doctors and are full of coupons, samples and tons of reading material?   I fell outside of the cracks of the "norm" for a pregnant woman's first appointment.  While it didn't surprise me to see things altered, sometimes I just WISH they would treat you like any other pregnant woman, or at least give you that chance. What would I have done with that cheesy diaper bag full of ads I didn't need? Probably nothing. But you know, it would have been a nice confirmation of being pregnant.  A starting place. A reason again to hope.

The nurse scheduled me for follow-up blood work the next day, March 27.  My doctor hugged me and I went home to pray, to hope and to try not to worry.

Hope. That was a big sail guiding my boat this very week last year.  We were already blessed with a miracle, but we knew we were fighting increasing cramping and spotting.  All we had left was hope and I held on to it as long as possible.

On March 27, then, I returned for blood work.  Nothing significant happened at the office but oh, the good news phone call that came in later that afternoon!  Here was my Facebook post from last year:

(March 27, 2013) Oh my goodness!! Just got a teeny weeny bit of "good" news!! I could cry!! The nurse said my hcg is 8,841 and said that's really good. My progesterone is 7.1. One lab scores "normal" progesterone at a 12 and another at 8.2. So mine is low and will need to be supplemented BUT she said typically levels at 3 are the ones that are heading for a miscarriage. So, maybe, just maybe, this little baby is holding on! She said we should be able to see it in my uterus tomorrow if everything continues to go okay. Continuing to pray for my baby!!!! 

So, I went to bed that night STILL believing that things could be okay, maybe.  My hope was engaged in a huge battle with fear though.  The spotting was picking up. I just knew that wasn't right.  I remember wishing that it would just STOP!  That I could go for an entire day without any spotting but it was not the case.  It just wouldn't stop. But my numbers weren't too terrible.  So that's what kept me holding on.  Anything good that I could get my hands on.

March 28, 2013. One year ago today.  More blood work was scheduled as was an ultrasound.  I was told that we should be able to see the baby by this point. I was around 7 weeks pregnant.  Seven weeks. Somehow I had missed what, 3 weeks of pregnancy symptoms all because I was so afraid to believe that it was truly possible that we had experienced a miracle?  Amazing that I could be so dense.  Or so full of fear that I neglected to see a miracle that was happening.  Either way, sometimes I'm still frustrated that I didn't see what I had desperately been wanting for so long. Fear can be a horrid thing.

Our wait for my ultrasound was much different than it had been 3 year ago with Jacob.  Instead of being locked away in the doctor's back corner office while the boys watched Dora The Explorer over and over on the portable DVD player, and the funky clock on the desk counted every stinking minute in its crooked way (which drove me nuts), this time we sat in a crowded waiting room with several other expectant mothers.  Definitely no privacy for tears or personal conversations.  Drew Carey was hosting The Price is Right on TV and audience cheers and claps rang throughout the room.  Despite the clamor surrounding me, I tried hard to stay in my place of peace.  I felt God with me there during that chaos and felt calm, more calm than I had felt waiting to see Jacob. The boys chatted away as they played a game on Alex's phone, Alex read a magazine and I just sat there...waiting...sitting quietly with my thoughts and prayers.

At this point I had only one goal--to see my baby on the screen. I think I had already made peace with the fact that she was more than likely not doing well.  <I guess I should note here that in we felt like this little one could have been a girl, so we went with that and named her Lily Grace a few days later>.  Anyway, I just couldn't wait to see her. I needed to see my tiny little baby just once.  Even if her little heartbeat was no longer "flickering", I had to see her. I didn't want to waste any more time. I had only learned of her a few days ago and I wanted to celebrate my little miracle for however long I'd have her.

I don't remember if Alex and the boys came in to the room with me or not, but I remember the technician being a bit too matter of fact for me.  As I lay on the table and she began the exam, I focused on the screen mounted on the wall across from me.  It didn't take long for me to see the sac.  But as I continued to scan it for the "flicker" of the baby's heartbeat, I realized there was nothing there.  It was just a big, black, empty space.  Where a baby was to be...even if sleeping...there was nothing, absolutely nothing.

The technician continued her measurements and when I asked about where the baby was, she answered with something like, "Well, your dates could be off so in that case the fetal pole wouldn't be developed yet, blah, blah, blah."  I just remember her tone being very plain. To her I was just another uterus to measure. This way, that way...then the other way....I told her that we feared a miscarriage, that I'd already been cramping and bleeding and that the doctor was closely monitoring my numbers. The tech didn't respond to that but kept saying I could have been wrong with when my last period was.  I don't remember a kind tone, just all business.  The last time when we were checking on Jacob, my doctor was in the room with me and the technician so she was able to answer my question right there, "We can't see the heartbeat, can we?"  "No, Kim.  I'm sorry, we can't, " was what she had said. She was full of compassion as was the technician.  This time I was alone, checking off one doctor-driven box then another.  Each piece of the puzzle was being put together and I dreaded what the picture would be.  When my exam was finished I was dismissed back to the waiting room until the doctor called me back.

It was there that my OB threw out the possible diagnosis of "blighted ovum" to me.  Basically Lily Grace either didn't develop much at all, or only had started developing and then was reabsorbed.  I learned that she had passed away more than likely at 5 weeks, two weeks prior.

The doctor and I discussed options and timing and because Easter and Spring Break were only days away, I opted again for a D&C which was scheduled for the very next day.  As I had asked with Jacob, I remember asking this doctor, "Are you sure she's really gone? We aren't pre-empting anything right?"  I know, dumb question to ask. But that's me and always has been me. I'm one of those people who like to be extra, extra sure of things even if it's totally clear.  It just helps me to hear someone confirm it.  Well, when I asked that question, I don't know if the doctor thought she was helping or what but what she said next was just about the final crushing blow to my week. She said, "We don't even know that there ever was a baby..."  or something like that.

I couldn't believe what I heard.  How much more could I take this week?  A few moments prior she had been explaining a blighted ovum to me and how the tissue gets reabsorbed as soon as the body figures out something is wrong.  So for a woman in my situation, what possible good could there be to say that Lily Grace perhaps never even existed???  Way to twist the knife, doc.

So now not only was I receiving the worst news a mother can hear, that her baby had died, but here I was facing the fact that perhaps my baby never was.  I was not expecting this new crisis and really struggled with it.  I cried, I asked everyone what they thought, I fought to find footing in this newest struggle.  Did my baby exist? What was I grieving if she didn't?

As I prayed that week, I remember a verse popping into my head that just would not leave.  It was from Jeremiah 1:5, "Before I formed thee in the womb, I knew thee..."  The word "before" stood out.  Before, before, before...there had to be a before.  If Lily Grace had started developing and then stopped, or even if she was about to develop but didn't, it didn't mean she didn't exist.  It just meant that she died before we could see her because it was all so early and there just wasn't much to see then.  I was pregnant.  My body started preparing a sweet home for my little one.  Unfortunately things just went horribly, horribly wrong.  My poor sweet baby just couldn't grow as she needed to with what she had to use.  But God knew who she could have been before all of that even took place.  I cannot tell you how much this verse comforted me and it gave me the hope I needed so desperately.  I believe life begins at conception, so my precious daughter was there inside me for a short time, even if it was only for a very, very short time.

Am I sad that I didn't get to experience her tiny life more?  Of course.  Technically, by the time I found out I was pregnant, Lily Grace had already passed away. My poor body just hadn't caught the news yet and was continuing to produce Hcg, the pregnancy hormone.  Ironically my doctor called me that evening with the time of my D&C for Friday. At the same time she confirmed that those Hcg levels were finally dropping. The miscarriage was officially starting.

One year ago.

One year ago it was three days before Easter. It was three days before we were heading home for Spring Break.  It was the day we learned that not only had we lost our baby, but the way in which we lost her would create a new layer of grief to plow through and try to make sense of.

Before I close today, I'd like to end with a letter to my precious Lily...so much to say and sometimes the words just won't come, but I know she knows what is in my heart.

My Sweet Baby Girl,

How I wish I could have seen you a year ago...even once. Even if all I saw was a tiny blob of a baby, that would have been fine. I just wanted to see you so badly. I wanted to see you so I could say hello.  I wanted to see you so I could tell you I loved you.  I wanted to see you so I could say good-bye.

Instead you were already gone. There was nothing there in my tummy but black emptiness.  I had no clue I'd have to face something like that with you.  It just felt so unfair, Lily Grace.  I hadn't had time to celebrate you. I wish so much that I would have known about you right away so I could have started bonding with you sooner, loving you sooner.  By the time I did find out about you things had already gone very wrong.  You had already left us. But I know you left us for a much, much better place. While I never got to see you or hold you in my arms, I know whose arms you felt around you.  Our loving Savior, Jesus, holds you now and I rejoice in that fact.  While we can't be together here, I know someday we will be together in Heaven.

After you left us, my hope became like a tiny star way in the distance in the big black sky.  It's so far away, and it doesn't give off much light.  But I hold on to it. I cling to it.  I just have to wait to see you my pretty baby girl. I have to be patient and to wait. Someday we will all be together as a family of six.  You, Jacob, Benny, Sammy and Mommy and Daddy. What rejoicing that will be!  No more Trisomy, no more bad cells, no illness, no worries, no fears, no emptiness...just love and joy.

How I miss you my baby girl.  I've been so hard on myself simply because I haven't quite known how to grieve for you, I feel like I have to work harder to stay close to you, even though I know you are in a cozy spot within my heart.  You aren't going anywhere, I know that. It's just been a difficult journey this second time around and while things were very similar to losing Jacob, they were also very different.  I have worked hard to allow myself the space I need to feel how I need to when I need to.  After all, having to experience everything from joy to shock to worry to fear to sadness in six short days, was definitely a lot to process in such a short time. I know you understand all of that and you know nothing but the purest of love there is to know.  I am so grateful for that. I am so grateful for you, God's miracle gift that came to us when we least expected it.

Mommy loves you so much and always will...my Lily Grace. <3

Love, Mommy

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Six Days of Grace - Remembering Lily Grace on Her One Year Angelversary

I wish I could say that I've figured out how to grieve for my tiny daughter.  I wish I could say that I've felt a stronger connection to her in the past year.  I wish I could say that a year has made all the difference in healing from her loss.

But I can't.

In some ways I feel like not much has changed from last year.  I feel like I'm at the same point where I was when we lost our baby girl.  Am I a mess?  Am I lost and confused?  No, none of those things. I just don't feel how I wish I felt, if that makes sense.

Let me take you back to just one year ago...our fertility treatments had stopped.  Stopping wasn't planned or intentional, it just sort of happened.  I had a cyst one month, another month Alex was out of town, another month we didn't have the money for the IUI.  Eventually, enough time passed that we just never went back.  One of my doctors had pretty much given me the verbal "heave ho" anyway--his comments, "We've been pushing the envelope here for months..." summed up my lack of success in their eyes and it didn't seem like he wanted to spend any more time on me. I always felt like he felt I was a lost cause. I was too old, better to save his time and effort find solutions for women with a chance.  For the first month ever, the Femara hadn't worked.  My follicles just didn't grow.  I remember being so frustrated because every other month at least one or two had grown to the right size.  But not that month.  And then the next month, I had a cyst so they couldn't give me the Femara, obviously. So that was that.

For awhile, we were diligent in our own efforts at trying.  I'd anxiously await the smiley faced ovulation test each month and would be thrilled with the happy little face greeted me on the bathroom counter.  I mean, I was ovulating.  WHOO HOO!  Not bad for perimenopause woman.  I took every little success and celebrated it with thanks.

Well, last March 24, 2013 we had just returned home from my mom's house where we had been for the weekend.  Turns out a late blizzard had hit the area and we drove home under rather scary conditions.  Alex and the boys had gone to bed and for some reason, I walked straight into the bathroom and decided to test. Didn't give it a thought of any kind. Just did it.

This is what's weird.  No, I had not had a period and was technically late.  But I never once considered that I could be pregnant.  Not once.  I dismissed it.  Had I felt more tired?  Yes.  But I am up late a lot so figured that was the cause.  Boobs?  Ironically, yes they were a bit sore which I admit was strange but I figured I had pulled a muscle or that I laid on them funny.  Sounds silly to even say that but that's how quickly I dismissed the pregnancy symptoms I had been feeling.  I remember one of my friends even saying I could be pregnant and that I should test, but I laughed it off.  No, not me. This must be how menopause starts, right?   Your period stops.  That's what I thought.  Plain and simple.

That night after returning home in the snow though I had a sudden urge to test. I hadn't thought about it, hadn't been planning to, I just did.  And surprisingly I had a pregnancy test in the cupboard.  To this day I believe it was God's little urging that pushed me to pull that stick out that night.

And then it happened.  I hadn't even been looking at the test for awhile and when I glanced over, I about died.  Two pink lines. Two of the prettiest lines I never, ever thought I'd see again in person. Those two pink lines that for each of my previous pregnancies I had taken for granted.  Every woman who wants to have a baby does, only some had problems.  Talk about naive and stupid.  I didn't know much, never feared getting pregnant and never had a problem with it until now.  And now, here were those beautiful pink lines I had been longing to see once more. Sitting there as plain as day. No blurred lines, no question about fading, they were vibrant, pink and there.

I remember my heart pounding and I thought, "Okay, you don't need to have a heart attack over this. Calm down!"  I tried to resume breathing as I walked through the dark hallway to our bedroom.  Alex was still awake reading and I didn't have time to come up with a cutesy way of telling him so I just walked in and handed him the test.  I will never forget the smile on his face.  He was more shocked than I was!  Ever since we got  my initial test results back showing how abysmal my numbers were (AMH, FSH), he seriously had doubts that we would ever conceive again, let alone on our own.  I always said it was in God's hands, that anything was possible and that's where we left it. We went through the motions, we tried, but we went into it knowing the odds were stacked against us due to my age.

I almost missed it, being pregnant, that is.  I thank God that I didn't though.

You see, things weren't right. I knew that they weren't. I had some strange pain/ache and knew I didn't have that with either Sammy or Benny, even Jacob's pregnancy was uneventful.  So in my heart I think I already knew that things were going wrong with this miracle pregnancy so I was trying to prepare my heart as much as possible.

A miracle pregnancy.  I choose to see it as that. Was it "successful"? Well, it depends on how you define success. Did we conceive?  Yes. Did we do it on our own without any medical intervention?  Yes. Did we beat the odds we were given?  Yes.  Doctors had told us we had a less than 2% chance of ever conceiving on our own again.  And yet we did.  So, it was a miracle.  It came to us when we least expected it.  When we had all but given up hope that we just wouldn't walk this path of pregnancy ever again. But that night we found our footsteps on that sweet path of joy, anticipation and hope.

It's so said that that path didn't last long.  Our miracle was short-lived to say the least. Six days.  That's all we had.  I tested on Sunday, March 24, 2013. I went to the OB and had my pregnancy confirmed on March 26.  I had more blood work done on March 27 which came back strong and looking good.  But then it all crashed on March 28 when more blood work confirmed a drop in Hcg, the ultrasound showed an empty sac and that the miscarriage was starting.  And on March 29, the final day, we said good-bye to our tiny baby that we never even saw. I had a D&C on Good Friday.  Six horribly short days to celebrate, worry, hope and mourn.

I'm calling this week of celebration, remembrance and love for my Lily Grace, "Six Days of Grace:  Remembering Lily Grace on Her One-Year Angelversary".  Grace.  How much this means to me in so many ways...God's grace. I truly believe that He had a mighty hand in so much of what happened last year.  I wonder what would have happened had I never tested that snowy night.  The miscarriage would have ramped up surely and the pain would have increased. I would have either lost Lily at home, at my mom's for spring break or I would have ended up in the ER wondering what was going on.  And then there would have been no time to rejoice, to be excited, to dream, to hope...

I believe God wanted me to have those few days...just a few...so that I could be happy, so that I could acknowledge my tiny baby even if for a short time as alive.  I had always said that if we ever got pregnant again, I'd shout it from the rooftops. Well I did just that. I shouted it from the rooftops of Facebook, anyway, and that was close enough.  I wanted people to know that a miracle had happened. I wanted people to know that we were rejoicing in the tiny life that I was carrying, I wanted people to know how very, very much we loved that little baby...even though we feared the worst.

I can't tell you how much every one's support meant to me when we did make the announcement. I had so many friends tell me they were literally crying tears of joy for me...I knew so many people were praying too.  It's indescribable to say what that kind of love and support means and does for you during something like what we went through those six days.  I never knew I had so many people pulling for me. So many of my sweet baby loss friends had gone on to have successful "rainbow" pregnancies--a rainbow baby is that baby that comes after the "storm" of loss.. They know had their precious rainbow babies in their arms and wanted so much for me to have that joy too.

I thought I'd share what I wrote one year ago on March 26, 2013:

It is with great joy that I announce that I am a mommy to 4 children. Yes, you read that right.  Late Sunday night, I had the shock of a lifetime--I found out that I was pregnant. Most of you know that we lost our precious Jacob back in October 2010. We have been trying to conceive ever since then and even went through fertility treatments for a short time. Recently, we hadn't paid much attention to things and accepted that due to my 'perimenopause' state (heading towards menopause), our chances were not good. Doctors gave us a 1-2% chance of conceiving again on our own (w/o fertility). And yet, miraculously, we did. I always knew that anything was possible with God, and indeed we and He proved our doctors wrong. I almost passed out when I saw the two lines...my heart flip-flopped and I thought, "let's not have a heart attack now!". Alex was likewise shocked. The boys are beyond excited. I can only guess that I may be approaching 8 weeks at this point, but again, because our efforts and my tracking were rather haphazard, I cannot confirm exactly how far along I am. 

I went to the doctor this evening and while there were several good things, my heart is heavy because one thing stands out as potentially a sign of trouble. Just today I started spotting, not heavy and not "red" but the doctor saw it and said it was "enough to raise an eyebrow." She did confirm that some women spot/bleed and cramp throughout the entire pregnancy and all is just fine. The good things are that my cervix is still closed, there are no blood clots, my cervix is big (meaning it didn't stop growing early on) and it is more than likely not an ectopic pregnancy. I rejoice so much in the good news. 

I had blood work done and we will know tomorrow my pregnancy hormone and progesterone levels. These are just one piece of the puzzle. We go back TH morning for my ultrasound and more blood work. Each piece of the puzzle will show us what we are facing. It is possible the baby has passed already, may be soon on it's way to passing, or may be just fine. At this point the doctor wants confirm the viability of the pregnancy.

I always said that if I ever conceived again I would shout it from the rooftops. I would celebrate this miraculous little life with absolute joy and love. We have proved the doctors wrong. We have beat the odds we were given. We know this journey may be short as far as the amount of time our precious baby spends with us here on earth, but then again it may be long. It is in God's hands. 

So hear me now, I am shouting with joy, I AM PREGNANT!!! Please join with our family in joy and happiness that there is a tiny life being added to our family. I am a mommy who loves all 4 of her children deeply.

Oh, and on a light note...Benny told me earlier that I was "...looking a little fat.”

Four babies. Who would have thought that I'd have four children?  I don't think I ever would have considered it if you would have asked me years ago.  Of course I never would have thought that two of them would live in Heaven either.  

Like I said when I started this post, in many ways I still feel like I'm back where I was one year ago--bouncing around somewhere between joy and frustration trying to figure out how you grieve a baby like Lily Grace. I think that's truly what has weighed on me the most through this past year...I'll write more on that tomorrow.  

For now, let me just thank those of you who are reading this and sharing in my journey for the first time, as well as those of you who were here one year ago.  Grace.  God's gift when we don't deserve it.  I didn't deserve another pregnancy, my heart was full of doubt and fear even to the point that I had missed pregnancy symptoms for weeks, but yet one year ago I was blessed with the chance to know the joy of new motherhood again, even if for just a few days.  What a priceless gift.

Thank you for coming with me on this journey as I remember my baby girl...my sweet Lily Grace. <3


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Three years later on Jacob's Anniversary

It's funny how time seems to go so slow when we are waiting for something like a pregnancy test result or to open a Christmas present...but so fast when we are trying to savor every moment and to remember every tiny detail from a special time in our lives.

Three years ago tonight...October 24, 2010.  Was I asleep?  Knowing me and how my body operates, probably not yet.  Had I been crying?  Yes.  I know I definitely shed tears all weekend.  

It was the night before my originally scheduled and monthly OB visit.  We had just returned home from my mom's who lived about 3.5 hours north of us.  We had already been planning on going home that weekend in order to celebrate her birthday, but we had no idea that her birthday weekend would be overshadowed by the news of our baby's future.

Just three days prior to today we found out the news. We heard the kind of news that parents dread hearing. We received a fatal diagnosis for our sweet baby.

That week had certainly thrown me.  I remember calling my mom and telling her the news and she was in disbelief.  Ever supportive and upbeat, I remember my mom trying to reassure me that our baby would be fine. I think in all honesty too, she was shocked at the news. After all, everything was fine. Everything HAD been fine. That's so often the story that I hear from other baby loss parents. Everything was fine until that one day that their lives were changed forever.

So I had told my mom the news of her grandson's Trisomy 13 diagnosis and how the specialist that we had seen for my in-depth ultrasound didn't have much hope for our baby to survive much longer.  I remember debating whether or not we should go home for that weekend. We had planned a happy celebration for my mom and I knew my boys would love throwing Grandma a party.  I also knew that I had family who would be there who were also announcing their joyful news of pregnancy.  

I remember feeling like I was losing my footing that week.  It was just a time full of grayness and full of anxiety.  I called my family who was to attend and asked if under the circumstances, if they could celebrate my mom's birthday at a different time.  I just couldn't handle any sort of awkwardness that weekend and that being anything that came from me. I knew my mom could handle anything and didn't care about her birthday. She cared about us. But I told her we would still celebrate it for our boys. They needed as much normalcy as possible and especially since we had no clue what was coming next.  The family who was to originally come, I felt deserved time with my mom to celebrate their new joy and I didn't want anything to interfere with that. And since I had no clue from one day to the next how I would be feeling emotionally, I had to make that hard call.

I was right. The weekend was very emotional from the first step I took into my mom's house to the last.  I cried a lot. I moped a lot. I was as strong as I could be when my boys were around but when they weren't, there were a lot of deep discussions about everything possible that might happen with our baby--including if my life would be in danger and could I agree to abort if that was recommended?  After all, the specialist we had seen had actually encouraged that action on the VERY DAY we found out Jacob's diagnosis.  I barely could process what he was telling us, let alone know anything about Trisomy 13 and here was this doctor suggesting that it would be a "good thing" so that people would never know I had been pregnant...therefore I'd never have to explain and get upset????

We had many discussions like these throughout the weekend.  It was a very emotional time for us.  I remember asking Mom to pose for a picture with me right before we left for home so she could have a picture with her and her grand baby.  That photo said it all.  I didn't have any make up on and I looked a mess. My eyes looked weary from crying. I wore a peach maternity shirt with a sparkly silver design on the front. I tried my best to smile but couldn't.  I never wore that shirt again. That is definitely one detail that I do remember and have never forgotten.

Little did I know that the torture I had been enduring since learning of our sweet baby's diagnosis on October 21 would soon end only a short 4 days later on October 25.

October 24 was the last night I went to bed pregnant.  It was the last night I went to bed crying and praying for my baby to be okay and for that doctor to be wrong.  It was the last night I went to bed fretting over what the future would bring and how could I get through the next several months of uncertainty.  It was the last night I went to bed with my hand lying gently on my tummy with my baby still alive inside.

I sit here tonight thinking of that short, sudden and incredibly painful journey.  I wish I could remember every last detail of those days…what else did I wear that week, who else did I talk with, when did I cry…what did Sammy say? And Benny?  What were their faces like? What had Alex said?  Who had he called?  Unfortunately, time steals a lot of those details we want to cling to.  Could I get some of those details back? I’m sure I could. As a writer, I know that you can transport yourself back to a time with certain questions, “triggers” such as a physical reminder or even just relaxing and giving me time to remember.  But of course, busy me…I have a lot of my plate so some of those details may have to wait to be uncovered another day.

Why do I want to go back there you might be wondering?  Is it to relive the pain?  Oh no.  Not at all.  Not for one minute.  It’s simply because any details I have about my Baby Jacob helps me to feel close to him. It keeps him alive in my heart and in our lives as well.  Everyone has a story. Well, this is my son’s.  It is important to me to remember his story and to share it.  But mostly to love him…without a doubt to love him.  His story is all about love--his Mommy's love for him always.

Does that mean that I won’t cry if I see that photo of my mom and me again someday?  By the way, it’s kind of misplaced…I actually think it may be on a card that may be damaged. My luck, huh?   If I ever do get that picture pulled back up, sure, I may just cry upon seeing it. But that’s okay.  I would cry because I remember. I would cry for that woman who was facing such pain that night. I would cry because I love my baby.

Three years.  

In the last three years I’ve grown so much since losing my baby.  I’ve learned so much. I wouldn’t have changed a thing aside from keeping him here with me.  But I know he’s in a beautiful place right now and that brings me more joy than I can even explain.  He’s free from all pain and sorrow.  He knows only love, love and more love.  Some day, he will turn around and see his Mommy running towards him.  Actually maybe I'll be leaping!  Or dancing!  Or doing cartwheels which I always wanted to learn how to do but never could learn!!  Wouldn't that be something to see?  And he will giggle and smile and clap his hands as he sees his silly Mommy approaching.  And I'll feel like my heart could just burst out of me right then and there.  

Whatever happens, I know I will take in every beautiful detail of that moment and will treasure it forever.