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.