Sammy came to me recently while I was doing dishes and said, "Mommy, I know what it means when someone is blue. Widget has the 'bluey-blues' and she's blue because she's sad. And her friends tried to do funny stuff to make her laugh but she was still sad." Sammy, my 5-year old, loves 'Wow Wow Wubzy', a popular kids show on Nick Jr.
Knowing the episode he was talking about, I said, "Yes, poor Widget was sad. It's kind of like when Mommy is sad about Baby Jacob. It doesn't always work to do funny stuff when people are sad, sometimes we just have to take care of them." Sammy said, "That's right. That's why we do hearts. Yup, it's all about love!"
Sammy is my sweetheart. He is so tender-hearted, so perceptive. Our 'hearts' that he was referring to I mentioned in one of my earlier posts. It's the shape of a heart with our fingers that we do for each other. It could be at a completely random time, whenever he or I feel like sharing our love. I was so happy when Benny picked it up too. I made my last heart for Baby Jacob on October 26, the morning of my D&C.
I've thought a lot about Sammy and Benny over the last few weeks. Some of you may be wondering how the boys are doing. I thought I'd let you know.
When we first conceived, we didn't tell the boys right away. I knew they were preoccupied with being kids and playing and simply enjoying life. I had read that 9 months is a long time for a child to wait for a baby so thought we'd wait a bit before telling them. I had just bought a new book about babies to read to them. Finally, around week 7 or 8, we told them. Sammy was so excited! He wanted a baby sister AND a baby brother. Alex & I had to laugh and say, "Well, we'll see honey."
Benny was excited too. He said in his almost 3-year old voice, "Oh boy-a! Oh boy-a!" and clapped his hands just like you'd imagine him doing. Both boys talked about it from time to time, especially if I reminded them not to jump or push on mommy's tummy. Sammy would ask when he could see the baby. He kept asking if he could see the doctor take the baby out of mommy's tummy. Well, I thought that was going to be interesting. I had always just said that God puts the baby into a mommy's tummy when a mommy and a daddy love each other so much and want a baby to love. And I said that a doctor takes the baby out. I left it at that. Since I'd had 2 c-sections and more than likely would have a third, I couldn't bring myself to try to explain that procedure to Sammy. Not yet.
Whenever I felt sick or told Sammy & Benny I was taking a 'boo-boo pill' (actually my prenatal vitamin), Sammy was always concerned about the baby. "If you have a boo-boo tummy, does that mean the baby has a boo-boo tummy too, Mommy?" I always reassured him that our baby was fine.
On the day of my 12-week neucco-screen, the advanced ultrasound, Alex had taken the boys to lunch for the first part of my lengthy visit--the genetic counseling. I was so grateful that they got back just in time for my ultrasound. The boys were so excited to see the baby. Benny's attention wasn't held as long as Sammy's but you could see he was happy. Sammy wanted to know everything that he was seeing and why. Their chatter was so gay during that time when I got a foreboding sense that something was wrong.
After the doctor confirmed the news, that our precious baby had an 80% chance of not making it to term, I broke down. I shook. I couldn't have stopped crying if you would have paid me to.
I felt that we had to make a decision right then and there. Benny came up to me and put his hand on my arm. I was still on the table. "You crying, Mama?" Sammy noticed then too. I decided to tell the boys the truth. I said, "Mommy's crying because the baby is really sick, honey."
Sammy, ever learning to say the right things, said, "It'll be okay, Mommy. The baby will be okay." Again, I made a decision and said, "No, honey. No, he won't. The baby is very sick." I don't remember exactly what I said. I didn't use the word 'die', I think I just kept saying, "No, he won't get better." I know I said, "The baby is going home to Heaven to live with God."
The look on Sammy's face as well as the sweetness of his voice when he said, "Oh," was heartbreaking. I hated having to tell him the truth. Don't we all sometimes just wish that we could keep our children innocent and safe and happy forever? That they would never see the pain and hurting in the world? I just felt that with all of the emotion that would surely be surging out of us, he'd have to know the truth. I hoped that telling he and Benny might also help us to talk about it and hopefully understand it? I don't know.
My poor boys. They really did their best to understand. When we went home that Saturday to celebrate my mom's birthday, Sammy told my mom about the baby going home to Heaven. My mom had quietly said, "Yes, he will go live with God." Every moment hearing that was so difficult for me.
And then came that Monday, October 25. Alex had the boys playing with fall leaves in the yard behind our doctor's office. I was in the ultrasound room alone. My baby's heart had stopped. I waited at the car in the parking lot for Alex and the boys. As I spit out the news to Alex, Sammy heard part of it and through a hazed tear-filled vision, I told him, "The baby went bye-bye night night. He went home to live in Heaven. That's why Mommy's sad."
The morning of my D&C, October 26, we didn't tell the boys what was happening. We just told them they were going to play at a lady's house. I did ask the boys to pose with me for a picture in our kitchen. Sammy said they were giving the baby one final hug. This picture is posted on my blog. Boy boys held their hands on my stomach. It was another heart-wrenching moment as I knew this would be the only picture of my three boys together...all of the dreams and hopes were gone. All of Sammy's talk of the new baby and playing with him were gone. It was all gone.
Since then, the boys still bring it up from time to time. I'm glad. I think they understand. When we went to my mom's last week while my husband was out of town, Sammy made sure to tell my mom all about Baby Jacob going bye bye night night and living in Heaven now. He said that within 20 minutes of our arrival. Benny says occasionally, "Baby Jacob go bye bye."
One time Sammy and I talked about Baby Jacob in Heaven. I wrote this before, but in case you missed it, I asked him, "What do you think Baby Jacob is doing?" Sammy said, "Um, I think he's playing!" I replied, "Oh, I bet he is! I bet he's laughing right now!" Sammy said, "I hear him Mommy!" I'd like to think that maybe he did hear him. It was just so sweet of him to say that to me. It was such a happy moment for both of us.
And then another time I asked Sammy, "What song do you think the angels are singing to Baby Jacob?" Sammy said, "The one about Baby Jesus." I always sing 'Away in the Manger' to the boys and they love it. I would like to think that Baby Jacob loves listening to it too.
We were in Wal-mart the other day and browsed the Christmas section. The boys love Christmas as do my husband and I so we're the ones you see shopping those aisles before Thanksgiving. I was feeling sad listening to the Christmas music playing and wondering about what next Christmas would have been like with my baby. I started crying. Sammy saw me and asked why I looked 'a little sad'. I said, "Mommy is thinking of Baby Jacob. I miss him. I want to do a Christmas tree for him." Sammy seemed to get tears in his eyes too. He hugged me tightly and said, "I want to do a tree for Baby Jacob."
It's truly amazed me at how strong and how loving my Sammy is. He is my firstborn. I joke that he & I went through so much together that we're connected in a very special way. I had an emergency c-section and both he & I could have died, it was apparently that serious. Sammy 'turned colicky' at age 10 days. This lasted for MONTHS! One day I clocked his crying at 17 hours straight, I kid you not. Alex wore headphones on some of the really bad days. I cried. It was a really rough beginning. One night after taking Sammy to the hospital thinking something had to be wrong with him, the ER people laughed at us, something about being 'new parents.' Sammy had difficulty nursing. I had sore nipples constantly. Sorry if that was a little too graphic but it was the truth. I didn't give up on us though. Nursing won. We won. We are a mommy and a son, forever connected by love as am I with Benny and Jacob.
Sammy also asks when there will be a new baby in mommy's tummy. I tell him hopefully soon. That we have to pray to God about that. We prayed just the other day for a new baby. I hope that one day soon, I'll be able to tell him that God answered our prayer with another baby. I'll be a nervous wreck throughout the pregnancy but I know my boys will be there for Mommy. They'll keep me strong, smiling and enjoying every step of my journey.
Enjoy your journey, my friends. Keep your ears open for a child's wisdom. Even the simplest of their thoughts can touch you in ways you never thought possible. Remember what Sammy said, "Yup, it's all about love!" That pretty much sums it up for me.