Friday, August 19, 2011

Long overdue

I can't believe I haven't posted since valentine's day. I was 36 weeks pregnant with Noah. It was my "critical week" as the books call it. The week in which I lost Jacob. According to the books, things were supposed to get easier for me once I passed that week. I think getting past that week was certainly a milestone, but nothing was easy until that baby boy was in my arms.

38 weeks on the day I delivered my sweet Noah Boy. I'm so grateful my doctor (and my cervix) didn't make me wait another minute. After an induction and a very short labor and delivery, Noah was born February 28th @ 2:08pm. He was 6lbs 3oz 18 1/4 inches tall. The feeling was indescribable. Relief is an understatement. I never cried when Ava was born but I was sobbing when Noah arrived. I grabbed him immediately. Nothing felt better than that warm little body.

It was so hard at first. Those first few weeks being postpardum. I would hold Noah and think this is what it would have been like. He looked exactly like Jacob and Ava when he was born. All of my babies looked so much alike. But as time has gone on, Noah has changed and developed his own little personality. He is very much Noah.

We had Paula Lovelace take pictures of Noah right after he was born. What a blessing! Paula volunteers for Now I lay me Down to Sleep, a non-profit organization of photographers who take pictures for families who aren't fortunate enough to take their babies home from the hospital. She is the only volunteer in Wichita Falls. Thank God for special people like Paula. The pictures of Jacob are all I have of him. It was only fitting to have Paula capture that special moment for us.

So here I am 6 months later! Well, almost 6 months later. Noah will be 6 months old in about 10 days. I can't even believe it. We've adjusted just like any other family would with more than one baby. It was difficult at first, but I'm getting the hang of having more than one. I get the constant comments, "its different with your second" or "that second baby...." Always rolling my eyes with the thought that Noah is actually my third. The comments especially chap me when they come from family. But I understand. They mean 2 kids at home.

Noah has brought so much joy to our lives. He is such a happy baby! He is always smiling and he LOVES his momma. He has sure soothed his momma's broken heart. I can't help but think Jacob had a hand in his brother. I often wonder if Jacob would have been white like Noah. If he would have had those blue eyes. I don't think so. Jacob was born with a full head of black hair. I think he would have had dark features like Ava. I think he would have favored Yoshi.

It melts my heart to see Ava adoring her little brother. She wakes up in the morning and the first thing she wants is her Noah Boy. She says, "She's smiling at me!" I've told her 100 times HE is a HE! lol. Its precious. She loves her brother. She also knows that she has a baby brother in heaven. We talk about Jacob all the time. She says he is in heaven with Jesus. Then she wants to read her book about Jesus. I love it. I love that she knows he is with our heavenly Father and that he loves her.

Monday, February 14, 2011

36 weeks

Today marks 36 weeks in my pregnancy. Maybe that's why I can't sleep. Maybe I can't sleep because I get to check on Noah in 4 hours. I remember not sleeping at the end of my pregnancy with Ava but it was different. I was so uncomfortable and I had serious indigestion so I had to sleep in the recliner. With Noah, I haven't had the indigestion or discomfort so much as the anxiety. I know he's fine. He's rolling around in there, kicking the heck out of my side. Part of me just can't get past the fact that he could be perfectly fine one minute and gone the next. If I don't feel him move at any length of time I am poking and proding at him. I've probably gained 10lbs from lemonade alone because he goes crazy after i have lemonade.

This week is just another trigger. Jacob died at 36 weeks. It was at this point last year my little boy passed away and my whole world was turned upside down. I never imagined something like that would happen. I've been thinking so much lately about what it will be like to give birth again after our last experience. I am sure that my anxiety will be through the roof. But what will it be like when he's born? It makes me cry even thinking about holding a warm, screaming baby. It makes me cry to think about taking him home. I haven't been to the hospital since Jacob died. Going there is going to be a huge trigger. I wish I could deliver him in the old hospital, the one Ava was born in. It was a dump but I had a much better experience there.

Anytime some one tells me they are 36 weeks pregnant it makes my heart hurt. When I hear about a baby being born at 36 weeks it makes me sad. Just a month ago, my sweet nephew was born at 36 weeks. He was perfect, thank God, and went home right away. If things had only been different for Jacob, he would have gone home too.

I've just got to make it past this week. I survived Jacob's last birthday, now I've got this "critical week" then hopefully I've only got a few weeks until Noah arrives. I am starting to feel impatient, but after all of this I think I can handle a few more weeks.

Friday, February 4, 2011

A First Birthday in Heaven

It blows my mind to think a year has past. Tuesday, February 8 will be Jacob's first birthday. When I think about what I was doing last year at the time, it just breaks my heart. I was excited about my baby boy coming home soon. I had just finished his room and I was 9 months pregnant. I'd even started having some contractions on Sunday so I washed his clothes and went and bought him diapers. Little did I know, I was going into labor because something was wrong. We had friends over on Super Bowl Sunday and watched the game. I had no idea that would be my last night with Jacob. I had no idea what would come of my appointment the next morning.

Last week the doctor gave me my medical records to take home. I'm at that point in my pregnancy with Noah where I have to take them to every appointment in case I have to go L&D at some point. I've never read them before. It was sad to read "2 births, 1 living child" Under see additional it reads "Fetal demise 36 weeks, Severe Oligohydramnios, Chorioamnioitis- autopsy?" That just means I had nearly no fluid left and Jacob had an infection. The question mark indicates that the doctor isn't really sure about the autopsy results. According to the autopsy, Jacob died of infection. I was never sick, and my water never broke. We just honestly don't know what happened. There were some things in the autopsy report that just really didn't add up so I have little faith in it anyway. I came to terms with that fact that I'll never know a long time ago, but seeing this all printed on paper just hurt. It hurts because we will never know and it will always be there. He's never going to be here. Knowing why won't bring him back.

Today after exhausting every video I had, I got out Ava's video of when she was born. Yoshi made this awesome dvd of Ava in the hospital getting cleaned up, having her first bath, and taking her home. Ava got a real kick out of it. We must have watched it 8 times. Everytime it finished, she'd say, "One more time!" I haven't watched this video in a very long time. It made me cry. Its crazy, I never cried when Ava was born. I was overjoyed, but I was also overwhelmed. I didn't realize what a wonderful experience and gift I had until my last experience in the hospital. I remember whenever I was delivering Jacob there was only 1 nurse. There were no nurses there to take care of the baby. In Ava's video, you can hear my doctor and I in the background cutting up and visiting. I was totally clueless. I had no idea that things could have been so different. I was never worried about Ava. She couldn't keep her temperature up so she had to spend the first night in the nursery. I actually had to set my alarm to get up and feed her! Now, I wouldn't be able to sleep knowing my baby was not right next to me. The most painful part came at the end of the video. I was being wheeled out with Ava in her carseat. The smile on my face is 10 miles wide. I was so happy to take her home. Yoshi and I were so clueless. With Jacob, I left the hospital with a box. The nurses were kind to put the things he had worn and his pictures in a box. I didn't want to be wheeled out, so I carefully walked out of the hospital with a freaking box of what few momentos I have for my son.

The video hurt to watch but it also made me very excited. I can not wait to have that experience back again. I really feel hopeful that we will have a wonderful experience again here in just a few weeks. I know that I will be overcome with emotions this time. I haven't even walked into the hospital since Jacob died so just riding up the elevator might overwhelm me. Walking up the the 4th floor will be tough. Everything is going to be overwhelming. When I think about it my heart drops.

Our family will do something special for Jacob's birthday. I made a beautiful album of his things and his pictures. I got it in the mail recently so we'll spend time looking through it and showing Ava. Ava loves to look at Jacob's book. Yesterday she told me that "Ava loves Noah." Then she said, "Ava loves Jacob" I told her that her brothers loved her too. I'm going to make a cake so we can sing happy birthday and let Ava blow out a candle. I just want her to feel a part of the celebration and know what we are doing. I plan to get a few balloons so we can all write him a message and release them. I don't want to do anything big because I don't want to feel any disappointment, other than the disappointment of course of not celebrating with him.

I was talking with my dear friend last night who lost her daughter almost a year ago also. We've gone through this journey together. She said that she feels good about where she is a year later. I can honestly agree with her. When this first happened, I thought time would never pass. I couldn't imagine being a year out from my loss and I wondered where I would be. There were times when I thought the pain would never let up. I still miss him and think about him every day, but I can look at his album and talk about him and keep it together. She and I agreed that the worst part of it is behind us. We both have something so wonderful ahead of us also. I know that Noah will never replace Jacob and he is not Jacob, but he will bring us so much hope and happiness. His sister already gives us all the joy we have now. He's just going to double our happiness and help us to heal from all of this.

In all, I am looking forward to Jacob's birthday. It will be a sad reminder and I'm sure I'll look at the clock all day and think where I was at this time etc. But I am looking forward to celebrating his birth and I am looking forward to putting this awful year behind me. I never ever want to nor will I forget what happened, but when I think about Jacob, I don't want to feel sad. I want to feel love. I will never "move on" but I am ready to move forward and have some kind of normal life again.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

What to do?

I've been feeling the need to get ready for Noah. But what do I do? Jacob died in my 9th month of pregnancy so I have an entire nursery decked out for a little boy. I never took the nursery down from Jacob. I just couldn't do it, then I got pregnant 4 months later. So I figured there was no sense in taking anything out because we weren't using the room anyways. I went through the closet and arranged the clothes and sorted toys. I took Jacob's personal things out like all the momentos from his funeral and personalized blankets. I took the things I made just for him and put them in a box to keep in our room. It was a difficult chore but I was finally ready for it, as ready as any mother can be, I guess. Jacob will be passing down most of his close and his nursery bedding to his little brother. I felt a little uneasy about it at first, but if we'd had another girl, she wouldn't have gotten all of ava's baby clothes and bedding also. It might be harder if Jacob had every set foot in his room, but he never even slept in his bed. We've even started calling the room "Noah's room." We always called it "Jacob's room." To make it feel like Noah's room, I made some cute letters to hang above the crib. That makes it feel like Noah's room. It feels wierd sometimes and I feel guilty. Like I'm doing out with the old, in with the new. But I've got to get ready for this baby. I haven't done a single thing until now for fear of jinxing it. This is a rediculous thought, as if preparing for a baby will make him die. God forbid I lose Noah too, I think I would want momentos from him. He deserves a room and special things. His brother and sister got them.

So, here are the letters I made for Noah:

Also, I figure I better get my scrapbooks up to date before Noah gets here because Lord knows, I won't have time with a new baby. I finished Jacob's album. Its beautiful. I put pictures from the hospital, his room, the funeral, scripture, poems and anything else I could possibly think of. Here is one page from his album:

And of course I had to get caught up on my sweet pea's album. I officially finished her 2nd year album and I am already up to Christmas 2010! I've never been this caught up before. Here is a page from miss Ava Claire's album: