what i have learned in the 10 years since Jake died

August 31, 2015 at 9:44 pm | Posted in Death, Grief, Jake, life after loss, Love, why I write | 11 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Dear Jake,
Another August has come and gone – the 10th August since you left this world.  I honestly was not sure that I would make it – 10 years seems like an eternity at times but I still find it so hard to believe that it has been that long since your dad and I last held you.

The first thing that I learned is that I will make it through the days, months and years without you.  I do not like it and it is excruciatingly hard.  But, your dad and I were not given a choice.  We are still alive.

I started writing this blog when you were gone for 5 years.  Five years also seemed impossible.  You would have started kindergarten and your brother Sawyer had died so unexpectedly 8 months earlier.   A therapist and a few friends suggested I try writing.  I thought why not – maybe I can help myself and possibly help others.

I think I had visions that one day I would change the name of the blog to something other than a mourning mom.  It turns out 5 years later I am still a mourning mom.  I have not found a cure for hydrops or premature birth.  In fact, we still do not even know what caused Sawyer’s death.  I have not started a non-profit or a race.  And, I still have days when I cannot stop crying because I miss you and your brother so much.

I wanted to write what I have learned in these 10 years living in this world without you.  I thought I could write one post to sum it all up but it is not quite that easy.  So, this my sweet Jake will just be part 1.   I will write to hopefully help others through their own journey.  And, even if I cannot help others I know that in another 5 years I will look back on these posts to help myself figure out how to survive the 10 year deathiversary of your baby brother.

August 26, 2015 at 11:44 pm | Posted in Anniversaries, Grief, Jake | 3 Comments
Tags: , , , ,

“When you come to the edge of all the light you know and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things will happen: there will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.”   – author unknown (borrowed from the walk to remember program)

Birthday Benches

August 20, 2015 at 11:36 pm | Posted in Grief, hydrops, Jake, life after loss, Love, NICU | 9 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Jake never left the hospital.  His short life was spent entirely in the NICU.  The only other places Evan and I went with him were the consult room and a small outdoor balcony off of the NICU.

The three of us

While helping with the special project of updating the consult room I heard that the balcony might need some new benches.  It seemed to make sense to me that for Jake’s 10th birthday we should get the benches for the balcony.  So that is what we did.  We miss you Jake.

quote - roses - Lincoln

should you switch ob/gyns after your baby dies?

October 20, 2014 at 10:18 pm | Posted in Jake, life after loss, Sawyer | 4 Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,

After Jake died we did switch ob/gyns but not initially.  Evan and I decided that so few people knew Jake and our ob/gyn at the time was one of those few.  It also seemed daunting to start all over with a new doctor.  We saw her throughout the pregnancy with the twins however, we switched right after.  I will explain that story in another post.

I still go to the ob/gyn group that we saw during my pregnancy with Sawyer.  I love the doctor who delivered Sawyer but I decided to switch doctors within the group for my annual check ups.  Just like after Jake died it seemed like starting over with a new doctor was too daunting.  By staying in the practice I have not had to start over from the beginning with all the forms.

I (most likely along with a majority of the female population) do not love going for my annual check ups.  I wonder if the waiting room is so upsetting for everyone.  How does it feel to look at all the happy baby pictures on the walls when you have not buried 2 babies?  I do not think that there ob/gyns who specialize in bereaved mothers but maybe they are out there.   Would you switch ob/gyns if your baby died?

The Happy and The Sad

August 26, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, life after loss, Love | 10 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The happy and the sad are so closely entwined during the month of August that I have whiplash.  Jake’s birthday, my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary!!, more yahrzeits, more birthdays and tomorrow will be Jake’s death day.  I know there are only so many days in a year so birthdays and anniversaries have to overlap at times but August for me has overwhelming extremes.

At 6:14 am tomorrow, it will be 9 years since we last held Jake.  The day after will be the anniversary of his funeral.  And all the days after that will continue to be bittersweet but maybe one day we will hold sweet Jake again.

Family Picture - August 27, 2005

Family Picture – August 27, 2005

 

Comment for a Cause

August 10, 2014 at 11:58 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, life lessons, Love | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Jake’s 9th birthday would/should have been later this week.  I am not sure that we will ever know why Jake left us so soon but I do know that Evan and I would have done anything we could have to prevent it from happening.

Unlike Jake, every twenty seconds, a child dies from a vaccine-preventable disease. Every twenty seconds, more parents are living in a world without their child/children. I do not want any parent to lose a child to a preventable disease because they did not have access to a medication.

Heather Spohr has partnered with Shot@Life, a campaign of the United Nations Foundation, to help provide life-saving vaccines where they are most needed. For every comment on Heather Spohr’s Post “A Chance For Health” or social share post received during the month of August, Walgreens will donate a vaccine to a child in need around the world. 

Every child deserves the opportunity to have happy and healthy firsts.  For Jake’s 9th birthday please consider clicking on this link and commenting on Heather’s post .  Every comment gives another vaccine to a child who needs and wants one.

 

i cannot believe i am writing about this again. . .

June 30, 2014 at 10:50 pm | Posted in after death?, Cemetery, Grief, Jake, life after loss, Sawyer | 6 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Back in November the very kind cemetery people replaced Jake and Sawyer’s headstones. Jake’s headstone has now been replaced 4 times and Sawyer’s has been replaced 3 times.  All seemed fine with the new ones. . .until a few weeks ago.

It has been raining a lot here in Atlanta so I thought maybe there were just water stains on the nameplates.  I finally asked Evan what he thought about the stains.  He said he would call the cemetery people.  They went to check and the coating/finish is peeling off the nameplates.  I am not sure how to feel about this – it sort of seems like a cruel joke.  Should I cry?  Should I laugh?  Could the nameplates really need to be replaced again?  Or, maybe Jake and Sawyer are just playing tricks or trying to give us something to worry about.

The very kind people at the cemetery are looking into it and will let us know.  I will keep reminding myself that nothing is hurting Jake or Sawyer.  There is no urgency to get this fixed.  It might not be according to my plan but the world will keep spinning.

“I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade… And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.” Ron White

 


The End of the School Year & Everything in Between

May 20, 2014 at 10:00 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, life lessons, normal?, Sawyer, twins | 4 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

This Friday is the last day of school for the twins!  It does not seem that long ago that they started 1st grade.  I try to enjoy the moments with the twins.  Moments I know that I will never have with Jake or Sawyer.  The Mother’s Day teas, the musical performances, the recitals, field days and the end of school year parties.  However, I find myself in a panic this time of year.  There is so much happening – all at the exact same time.

“Did I forget to dress them in the right color for their musical?”

“Did we remember to bring in the teacher appreciation card?”

“Did we make the teacher appreciation card?”

“How did we forget her glasses again this morning?”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

I feel guilty about not enjoying ever single moment (all the ones that I will miss with Jake and Sawyer).  I want the twins to be healthy, happy and grow up.

This week I looked around at some of the other parents – I saw the dazed looks on their faces.  They are all in this end of the school year craziness too.  I am not sure they are enjoying all of this end of the school year madness either.  I want to appreciate all the moments I have with the twins.   I think I will  have to expand my definition of appreciation to include the happy, the sad, the chaotic and everything in between.

quote - keep-calm-school-is-almost-over

 

 

 

Dear Mother’s Day Angels

May 12, 2014 at 9:24 pm | Posted in Jake, life lessons, Love, Sawyer | 7 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Dear Jake and Sawyer,
There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of you both, but some days are harder than others.  Mother’s Day is one of those days.  Logically it is just another day.  You are both gone every. single. day.  It is not like the first days, weeks and months after you died when the tears so often streamed down my face without me even realizing.  Now most of the time my tears are tucked farther away.   The sadness and the joy of loving you both is a part of me.

I know I am not alone.  There are so many other mothers in this club with me.  There are motherless mothers, motherless fathers and those who have just lost.  Death is part of life.  And no matter how hard some days can be life goes on.

I like to believe that you both send things my way to make certain days (like Mother’s Day) easier for me.  I wanted to thank you both for quite a few of those things this year.

  • Thank you for your amazing brother and sister.  They make me so very happy, except when they don’t (see 2nd bullet).
  • Thank you especially for helping us find your sister when she ran away the first and SECOND time yesterday.  One time she really had to go to the bathroom and the other time she thought she was being funny.  Neither your dad or I laughed AT ALL.
  • Thank you for making me smile when your dad and I were given a “gift bag” when we visited you at the cemetery.  I guess they had the Mother’s Day cookout last year so the cemetery marketing people this year opted for gift bags. . .

gift bag

  • Thank you for showing me hope on days that are especially hard to find it.  I found another “hope” telephone pole on my running route yesterday!

Hope

 

Hoping for Healthier Babies

April 28, 2014 at 8:28 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, life lessons, Sawyer | 5 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thank you to all of our friends and family for supporting Jake’s Journey and Sawyer’s Strides in the 2014 March of Dimes “March for Babies!”   We appreciate you all so much.  Special thanks to our super talented sister-in-law for designing a new logo for the t-shirts.

Jake and Sawyer‘s deaths were due to circumstances beyond our control. I cannot describe in words how horribly helpless it feels as a parent to watch your child die and not be able to do a thing to prevent it.   The March of Dimes gives us a chance to do something to hopefully prevent another child from dying.  Maybe, just maybe, another family will be spared from having to try to figure out how to live in this world without their child/children.

Evan was the chairperson of the North Atlanta walk this year.   As the twins explained “their daddy got to the park early to put out the chairs!”  Although he did not actually put out any chairs, we are so proud of him for all he did and continues to do in the fight for healthier babies.

Thank you again for supporting our team this year and in past years.   We are grateful for your amazing kindness and generosity – we could not make it through this journey alone.

« Previous PageNext Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.