Monday, November 1, 2010
Wow. Another really tough day. It's been one week since our sweet baby has left us. I can't believe it was just a few short days before that when we found out the horrible news. I'll never be able to say time stood still, it went so fast. Too fast. Way too fast.
I felt short-tempered this morning. Cranky. Edgy. I was trying to finish packing and it was going slow as usual. Alex was going out of town for the week and asked if we'd like to go to my mom's. I thought it was a good idea. I didn't like him leaving, but knew he had to so was grateful that we had the opportunity to go to my mom's. I'm still not supposed to lift Benny so I knew Mom would be able to help with that, when needed. I also knew that the boys would love being there with her, my step dad and my grandma. They love it there. And of course, I knew Mom & I could talk and cry whenever we needed to.
I pushed through the drudgery of packing. Finding the boys' socks. Chucking them in the suitcase, I decided I'd match them later. Their Pillow pets--can't forget those. Their 'cuddly guys' --for Benny that meant Bob the Builder and Elmo. For Sammy that meant his sockadiles, snake, bear-bears, oh the list went on and on. Sippy cups. Cars. More cars. My baby stuff to show mom. Coats.
I wonder if life sometimes has a way of lining things up. I was already in a teary state today and found more things to keep bringing on the emotion. I got the mail and found 4 beautiful sympathy cards sent from family and friends. Each one made me cry. I was so touched by how much people care about us in this time of need. The In the Company of Angels book we had just ordered last Wednesday was here too. Every page was so beautiful. I can't wait to fill it out, despite knowing how sad it will be to do so.
And then, the time came. I had gotten out of the shower and barely gotten dressed when I heard Alex get home. I slowly walked to the dining room where he was greeting the boys, taking off his coat and petting tail-wagging dogs at his feet. I stood in the doorway. He and I didn't even have to say anything. He reached into his green bag and pulled out a small item and brought it over to me.
It was our son. Alex handed me our son. The remains of our precious Baby Jacob were in a small cream ceramic box with the letters, "B", "A", "B" and "Y" on each side in pastel colors. When we thought we were picking him up on Friday at the funeral home and found out we weren't, we changed our urn request. They had offered the baby blue square before knowing of Jacob's small size. I picked this little box from the few they had to offer. I knew it would be just the right size to hold my precious treasure.
We had both been nervous anticipating dealing with the funeral home today. They communicated terribly. They never expressed condolences. It was all business and poor business at that. We feared they wouldn't have our baby ready today but there he was. Alex said the man he dealt today with was very sympathetic and even asked how I was doing.
I sobbed so hard while I held my Jacob. This wasn't how it was supposed to be. I was supposed to be holding a sweet little newborn baby in the spring, not the tiny remains of my son's short life in the fall. I sobbed again as I asked Alex, "Is he in there? He really is?" We both cried as I held my son so tightly. Alex's eyes looked a bit swollen. I shook the box and heard faint little 'clinks'. At least that's the closest sound I can describe it as. My son.
As awful as a time as this was, it was also a brought a bit of peace to me. Even though these were just my son's earthly remains, they were him nonetheless.
For those of you who may find the following offensive or too 'graphic', I apologize. I feel as though I have to describe the rest of what Alex handed me. I looked over a small certificate which stated that the crematory had cremated the remains of our son. His name was typed clearly in caps on the envelope. I looked over the form. One line said, "Remains identified by:" and then the word, "Ankle", was checked.
I almost felt sick at reading this. Had they really managed to salvage one of my tiny baby's feet during the surgery? Had they really kept it whole and then labeled it with our name? As sick as I was to read this, it made me cry with tears of joy. My son existed. He wasn't just some 'tissue in a jar' as our doctor had said in haste at one point. He was a human being. A tiny little baby with tiny little feet and hands--those very feet and hands I had seen moving just a week and a half ago.
I thought back to my decision to not wait out the full miscarriage--if that's what you call it at this point. I just wished I could have seen my baby and held him. I could have tried to wait for things to happen on their own. Who knows if my body would have recognized Jacob's passing. I know things could have gotten more dangerous for me since I was so far along. Having two prior c-sections would mean that I couldn't necessarily try for a VBAC without risks associated with that. But, maybe I could have seen him. Maybe things would have been okay, I don't know. All I have to remember him by are fuzzy ultrasound photos. It's hard to say goodbye to those images of him even though the pain of having him naturally if it would have happened that way would have been unbearable too.
My son is home. His earthly remains are home with his mommy and daddy. What's more important though is that he is Home with our Heavenly Father. I try to remind myself of this daily. I try to imagine him cooing as the angels sing to him. I imagine him grabbing my grandpa's white beard while my grandpa laughs and holds him close.
It's brought a bit of closure to me, I guess, having this part of the journey come to it's end. I know there's lots more to go yet. I hope to have Alex & I have a small memorial for him--just the two of us sometime in the next few weeks. I think it will do both he and I a lot of good.
My son is home. May that bring you the same peace it's brought me--especially if you've lost a child. I bet our precious babies are playing together in Heaven's nursery. I smile at that and I hope you can too.