I learned something this week.
Well, or perhaps I was just reminded of something. Maybe I needed to be reminded of it actually.
About a week and half ago or so I noticed something in my quiet moments around the house. Because of our schedule lately, quiet moments for me are often hard to come by and usually not until late at night when everyone else is asleep. But as few as they were that busy week, they were there. And out of the blue I felt a sadness during those times, like something was pulling me ever so gently...but it was pulling me and weighting me down with a glum feeling that I couldn't figure out and that I didn't like. I didn't have time to be down.
I knew it wasn't time for my period...isn't that what we typically look for? :) Well, surely there must be some reason for my moping around the house, I bet it's PMS. That's the first thing I questioned. Such an easy explanation although that didn't fit for me. Neither did being pregnant and newly pregnant hormones, unfortunately. So what could it be? Why amidst the busy fall activities that we were enjoying day after day was this down feeling creeping in to my schedule?
I didn't think much about it, because like I said, my quiet times have been rare and minimal so I just brushed the nagging sorrow aside and continued with my day-to-day activities and events. Planning, coordinating, remembering, shopping, cleaning, more planning, thinking, etc. All in a day's work for me.
Last weekend Alex was out of town for drill and it was just the boys and I. I had a million things on my to do list including working on things for Jacob's anniversary (and some other things which I will keep a secret for now), possibly blogging, and tackling every possible project needing done around the house. I'm always a tad over-ambitious when he's out of town. :)
On Saturday the boys and I joined some friends and I at our church for a Family Fall Festival and Trunk-or-Treat. The boys had a ball romping on the playground. All of the kids were hanging, running, chasing, climbing, sliding...and all in costume. A snow fairy, fireman, two cats, Snow White, a goth girl, a nanny, Darth Vader, a shark and tons of other characters frolicked for hours out there. We had a chili cook-off. The kids filled up their buckets and bags with candy. They made fall crafts. We sang with the new Pastor around a bonfire eating s'mores. We watched "The Nightmare Before Christmas." It was such an enjoyable evening.
And then came Sunday. It started out normal enough. I was planning dinner for when Alex would come home. Doing laundry. Called my dad.
But before I knew it, a friend of mine unintentionally hurt me. It wasn't a big thing but it hurt all the same. I know she didn't mean it and probably wasn't aware of how her words came across but it seemed to release a lot of the sadness that I had felt building throughout the past week. And the tears that had been building finally came.
That night my mom and I talked for two hours about every possible thing on my mind. Every worry, fret, frustration, you name it came out. I cried. I laughed with my mom. I was so grateful for her time and for doing what she always does best, making me feel better. Eventually I put myself and that strange Sunday to bed.
The first thought that popped into my head Monday morning when I woke up was there without any conscious thinking about the night before, without any wondering about what had sent my mood spiralling, it was just...there. I can't explain it any more than that. Almost as if the words just marched out right in front of me one by one...
Sunday was October 21. Two years ago on the 21st we found out the devastating news that Jacob more than likely had Trisomy 13 and would not survive to be born, let alone live much longer into the pregnancy.
That was it. It dawned on me that that was why I had been in such a sullen state...it had been building underneath the surface all week and had to come out on Sunday. Those feelings couldn't be kept in or quiet or stifled, they needed to come out. It didn't matter how busy I kept myself, how many times I smiled throughout the week at all of the good things in my life, the memories were still there. The heart knew. The heart knows. It always knows. The heart will always know.
I know this is nothing new but for me it's a beautiful thing to think about and to reflect on throughout my journey as a mother, and especially as a mother to my son in Heaven. It doesn't matter how long into my journey I will be, how much healing occurs, how well I move forward, how much I reach out to other baby loss moms...my love for my child will always be there. It doesn't go anywhere. It doesn't stop when your baby passes. It doesn't weaken and fade away over time. It stays. It remains. It's a part of me and always will be. Because Jacob is part of me. He is my child. He existed. He still exists, just not here with us on Earth.
And so my love exists for him...always.
I went into the month of October, "Jacob's Month", as you may remember me referring to it, with joy in my heart and with excitement in my steps as I looked forward to all of the beautiful opportunities we had to celebrate our precious baby. The HEAL Walk to Remember kicked off our month. I planned our local Face2Face Dayton (part of Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope) October 15th Event, I lit candles for and remembered babies of friends of mine and I looked forward to Jacob's actual day...a day all for him...today, the second anniversary of his death.
So yes, I knew all of this was coming. I knew there would be tears. There would be memories. There would be joy and so much love.
But I think to tell you the truth I hadn't been actively thinking of October 21 on or around that date. Does that make sense? But my heart did. It remembered how profound that date was and always will be in our lives. It was one of those dates which changed everything. Our plans for our third and final baby to add to our family were cruelly halted by the news of Jacob's fatal diagnosis. Everything stopped that day. How could I not feel an echo of what I felt two years ago? I had to. My heart just reminded me, that's all.
Funny thing. On Monday, I felt fine. The tugging sadness that I'd felt all week had disappeared. The challenging Sunday was now just a memory. It was back to normal life. I'd like to think that what happened was just a normal step along this journey. There will always be certain times where the emotions are more intense, where the memories are more fresh...such is the nature of grief, even when healing has occurred.
And do you know what? That is okay. It is okay to allow those times and to feel what you need to feel. I am so glad my heart gave me a gentle reminder to go back to that day when the doctor put his hand on to mine and said, "I'm sorry." Two words which altered everything that day and every moment since then. While I may not have revisited that day through remembering actively, I didn't need to. My heart knew. It remembered.
And so here I sit. It is now Jacob's Second Angelversary. Sometime today on October 25, 2010 and before 5:00 PM, my sweet little baby's heart stopped beating. He made it 13 weeks. I was 13 weeks exactly. I've said it before, but it brings me such comfort to know that he was with me then. That I knew exactly when he died.
We had faced so much anxiety, anguish, uncertainty and pain in the days from October 21 up to October 25. We carried a lot of fear in those days too...how would we handle not knowing our baby's future, what if my life would have been at risk for carrying him, what would happen if I miscarried later, or if he passed away later into the pregnancy, or if he lived to be born but only for a few moments...so much fear and pain in those days.
Almost the same as how my journey started with the doctor's "I'm sorry", came my OB's "Kim, I"m so sorry..." on October 25 but only after I verbalized what I saw first. I knew when I looked at the screen on the opposite side of the room amidst the silence that my baby was gone. My beloved little flicker had stopped...the little flicker that I loved to watch in Jacob was no longer beating and my baby was still, kind of stretched out as it he had just taken a nap.
Mommy knew. Mommy knew her sweet baby had gone home to Heaven and had opened his eyes in Jesus' arms.
So with that, I'll close for now. I'll be back to update more on Jacob's Angelversary later. Thank you all for being a part of my journey for the last two years. Your support means more to me and our family than you will ever know.
My dearest Jacob,
Mommy loves you so much! I miss you and wish so much that you were here with us. You would be 18 mos and 5 days. :) Oh, I can't even imagine how big you'd be! How you would laugh and squeal and cuddle with me.
It brings me so much comfort to know that you are alive and well and happy in Heaven. I know when we are reunited some day, I won't be able to stop hugging and kissing you. I hope you won't mind all of my love for you pouring out all at once!
Today makes two years since you left us and since you went home to Heaven. No matter how much time passes, I will never forget you. I will always be your Mommy and I am so honored and happy to be your Mommy. I will always remember you. I will always cherish you and the time I carried you. I will treasure your ultrasound pictures and your story. I will forever love you.
I love you sweetie. I always will.
We all hold you in our hearts, until we can hold you in person...forever...
Love Mommy, Daddy, Sammy and Benny
October 25, 2012
Love Mommy, Daddy, Sammy and Benny
October 25, 2012
(photo taken at HEAL Walk to Remember, October 6, 2012...we were the last family in the garden)