Mommy's heart for Baby Jacob

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.


  1. thinking of you today, and always.
    remembering sweet Jacob Alexander.

  2. Hi there. My name is Cameron and I have a quick question about your blog and I was wondering if you could email me at your earliest convenience. Thank you so much. :-)