Friday, March 21, 2014

Flashbacks


It’s funny how the human mind works.  I was driving down the road, thinking about the dinner we were having that night.  Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes.. biscuits… white gravy… good stuff.  When all the sudden I remembered a time when myself and my now ex-husband, Jacob’s Father, were dating, and I was cooking him the same dinner. I had been turning the meat in the hot oil, and took my slotted spoon out… and for whatever reason… turned it up toward the sky pretty fast, and flung super-hot, fresh out of the fryer, chicken fried steak breading on his bare chest.  I can’t imagine how bad that hurt.  But, for whatever reason, the other day it made me laugh. Hysterically (yes, I know I’m mean, and this has been over 6 years ago, BTW J)… then I began thinking about how things had changed between us, and then my thoughts turned to Jacob.  In an instant, my sneaky little nemesis – Grief was back.

My mind began racing to the brief time I was on bed rest at home… guilt set in and of course the what-if’s.  What if when my company was at my house, I had agreed to let our company drive to pick up the pizza from the Pizza place… or send my husband who should’ve been willing to do it… instead of sending me.

What if instead of spending the better part of that day outside in my garage watching my husband work on some random project, I had spent it inside lying down… instead of giving in to  his insistence to be out there with him?  Is it my fault that my water broke? Did I do too much?

I know I can’t reverse time, and I couldn’t possibly have changed God’s will.  It’s hard not to go back and look from time to time at what I could’ve done to prevent my baby boy leaving for his Heavenly home so soon.  Before I even got to meet him on earth. 

25 months later, and I still miss my baby boy. I still have moments of grief, even though they are much fewer and farther between.   I still wish I had all three of my babies with me on Earth, instead of just two.  A little piece of my heart hurts each time I muster up the courage to tell people I have two kids, instead of three, because it’s so hard having to explain about Jacob.  I did tell some random man about him in the checkout line at Wal-Mart though… he was talking about Preemies… I said my son was born at 23 weeks.  He asked if that was the 7 year old I had.  I told him no.  He said “oh, he didn’t make it”? I explained that he did not.  And amazingly, he wasn’t afraid to talk to me anymore, he just said, oh I’m sorry… and kept up the conversation. It was a nice to tell others about my sweet baby boy.

Love you Jacob Austin, forever and always.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

    
The two year mark is creeping closer and closer to reality. Up until today, I've really been fine. Now, it's like two years is really sinking in. I haven't seen Jacob in two years! Today, I called a florist to price a headstone saddle,specially made for Jacob's birthday. The gentleman on the phone politely reminded me that this is the week before Valentine's day and that they were really busy. His tone softened when I told him it was my son's birthday and the size of the saddle I wanted was 12 inches or less.

I couldn't help but instantly think back to February 13,2012 when I had to take the trip to the florist to select floral arrangements for Jacob's casket, and the sprays that would stand alone beside it. That along with many others were the most moments of my life. I remember the first florist I visited telling me they were unwilling to use the flowers I wanted because of their shelf life. They were suggesting flowers that were ugly and old. I just wanted something beautiful for him, and special... not their ugly Valentine's leftovers. Today, again I am searching for the perfect Flowers, but for this time, his birthday. Flowers are one of the only things I can do. I choose to leave something beautiful that everyone who passes by the small country cemetery where he's buried will know how much he is loved. I will go tonight to pick out the flowers for the arrangement, and take them to the florist tomorrow, so that my dream for his new arrangement may come to life.

I'm thinking I will call and order an arrangement of flowers for the hospital's L&D ward as well for his birthday and a tribute to a sweet boy who would have been a great addition to our family.

My heart aches today, and I've been on the verge of tears. I miss my middle child, Payton's little brother and Avery's big brother. <3

Mommy Loves you ALWAYS Jakey!!!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Has it really been TWO whole years?



Two years has passed since the morning I woke up, and sat down on my couch to find I was leaking fluid. Two years has passed since I told my company that I needed to go the emergency room and they drove me the 50 miles…

Two years sometimes still feels like yesterday. I still remember the littlest of details as if this happened yesterday...

I can remember laying there in that triage room while the nurses came in and told me that what I feared most, The fluid leaking  was amniotic fluid.  I remember being blind- sided by the on call doctor coming in, and asking me which hospital I wanted to be transported to, so that I could deliver Jacob early, since they were a Catholic hospital and wouldn’t induce labor.  I remember being terrified and extremely upset. I was all alone and my husband at the time was stuck on location in an oil field… I remember the nurse telling me that they didn’t know sometimes things like that happened…but they did and they were sorry.

I remember telling her that I didn’t want to be induced. My son was fine, he was moving and happy.  She replied, that although he may seem fine, he’s not. Then, the nurses on duty, so kindly brought me an application for Texas Birth Certificate, which broke my heart even more, when I got to the last page and read where it said “Congratulations on your newest Texan”.  I had no idea whether he’d live to even receive a birth certificate. 

The Lord answered my prayers and the on call doctor came in and told me that they’d admit me if I liked, so that they could watch me for signs of infection and that I could attempt to stay pregnant until 24 weeks, the age of viability in Texas.

I remember being moved from Triage into my room on the section of the maternity ward where they kept the C-Section patients, being hooked up to the heartbeat monitor for a few minutes, and just listening… worrying… only to have someone come in soon after, turn it off, and tell me that they wouldn’t be monitoring Jacob’s heart rate because he was too young.  I wanted to know why. He may not have been 24 weeks, but he was my baby none the less..

I remember those long long agonizing days of strict bed rest, not being able to get up out of bed… the emotional abuse from my ex-husband and the times I spent in prayerful tears for my strength, and for Jacob.

I remember being prepped for the flight that would carry Jacob and I to the hospital where he’d be delivered three days later. 

I remember seeing my sweet baby boy on an ultrasound alive and practicing breathing, thinking things were good. Little did I know it was the last time I’d see him alive this side of Heaven.

I remember meeting my tiny boy – all 1 pound and 2.5ounces of him on February 10,2012 at 10:26pm. I remember breathing in his sweet smell, knowing soon I would no longer have that chance.

I remember my heart aching beyond belief for the son I couldn’t bring home. I still know a deep ache in my heart for my sweet two year old in Heaven.

I remember all these things…. Most of all I remember January 22, 2012 – it was the start to this never ending journey through grief and infant loss.  The entrance to a path I had no choice in being on… but somehow am grateful I have been put in this path.

My experiences have helped me grow as a Christian.  They have helped me grow as a mommy. And they have helped me grow as a person.

I Love You Jacob Austin .  You are still my world.  Mommy still remembers you and the time we spent together! <3

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Happiness through the tears


23 months ago I received the worst news of my life. My sweet precious baby boy whom I adored and loved so much for 23 weeks and 5 days, passed away, and I would become the parent of a stillborn. The next day my son, Jacob Austin, was born still.  He was born into a silent room, filled with the tears of his family members who were still anxiously awaiting his arrival.  He was born into a room full of love. 

Over the course of the next three days, my family and I loved him, snuggled with him and then I was discharged from the hospital.  Without him.  My world felt as if it was ending.  A part of me had died when he did.  Happiness was a goal I thought I would never attain again. Frankly, I had no desire to be happy again. My world had ended. My son, who was expecting to be a big brother wasn’t going to be a big brother to a baby boy on earth, but one in Heaven.  I wasn’t the mother to two kids on earth, but one on Earth and one in Heaven.   The week after I came home from my three week, 21 day hospital stay, was the worst ever.  The weeks following were almost as horrible, and heartbreaking.   Each day, each week that passed was another milestone I knew I was missing.  Unbeknownst to me though, the Lord was working in my life.  He was healing my heart and teaching me that even though a part of my passed away the day Jacob did, he had given me many things to be happy about, many things to smile for.

            It was through grieving the loss of Jacob, that I learned how to truly be grateful and happy for the things I do have in my life.  I learned that to be happy you must be truly happy for those around you.  I became much more thankful for my family, and close friends who stuck by my side.  They provided the support I needed as well as small things to make me smile when I needed it.  Smiling while grief was so new to me, felt so wrong.  I had no desire to smile, or to be happy. My heart was broken into 10 million pieces and it would never be fixed again.  I forced myself a little bit at a time to do things I was no longer comfortable with.  I forced myself to go shopping at the grocery store and in the mall where I knew I might encounter babies and pregnant women.  I forced myself to attend baseball games where my son was playing, although I knew there was a risk of pregnant women, babies and small children who may remind me of my loss.  However, I knew that among all of these things that could go wrong, no one would judge me for stopping in the middle of my joy and crying or expressing sadness if I needed to.  And, I did, stop many times and shed tears at the baseball field, when a unknowing mother parked her stroller and baby next to me… each time I’d see a new mommy carrying her newborn through the grocery store… when I went to the zoo and saw families pushing their babies around…knowing I’d never do that with Jacob.  All of these things helped me heal.

When on these outings, I would look for reasons to smile, even through those tears.  I began noticing the beautiful sunsets at the baseball field where my son was playing.  I wanted to watch when my son said he was going to send a ball to Jacob in Heaven.  I wanted to find some small something to put at Jake’s graveside that would let others know how much he was loved.  I found several little pinwheels, and a mosaic ladybug to rest on his headstone.  Knowing that passersby would know who Jacob was and that he had a family that loved him and missed him, brought me joy.  These things made smile. 

When these things weren’t enough, I brought out my memory box provided to me from the hospital, and gazed at the few precious pictures I have of my boy, traced his footprints with my fingers and listened to music that I picked especially for him for his funeral.  All of these things brought me joy, through many tears. 

As more time progressed, I found joy in helping others.  I began reaching out to other mothers and families who had similar stories, who experienced the unthinkable.  I began blogging as a way to document my journey through grief in order to raise awareness to Stillbirth, but also to give other mommies and daddies a sense of hope, that grief does change. In March 2012, I began the Facebook page for Parents of Stillborns as well as a Pinterest page for grieving families.  Each time I add to these pages, I smile through my sadness and sometimes tears, knowing that at that particular moment, there is a family that needs me, there is someone who is in the shoes I was in two years ago.  It is my goal to do everything I can to help.  If you need anything from me, or ever just want to talk, please don’t hesitate to email me at Jessica.Stillloved@yahoo.com.  Look up my support page on Facebook at Http://www. Facebook.com/stillloved , our Pinterest is http://www.Pinterest.com/angelmommies.  These links are also available on the left side of this blog, under helpful links.
Even if it's something small, I encourage you to find something that helps you to smile today.  Your baby would want you to smile and be happy. After all they were always happy with you. You're all they ever knew. 
 
Have a great week!  Let me know on Facebook,or in the comments here what you've found brings you joy again.  Big Big Hugs to you all!
 

 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Our Rainbow after the storm has arrived

Hello to all of my sweet readers.  It feels as if it's been forever since I've written a word.  I've been so busy!  My precious rainbow baby Avery Grace arrived July 25th.  She was 5 pounds, 2.6 oz and 18 1/2 healthy inches long. 

     Friday, the 25th, started out like any other day.  I woke up, made breakfast for Payton and I, then began cleaning our house.  I cleaned every single surface in the kitchen.  I did the dishes, mopped the floors and cleaned the counters high and low.  Then I moved on to the living room, picking up toys and such... vacuuming.  I stopped to rest briefly, then continued on through the house making up beds and other random things.  About 2:30 in the afternoon I sat down on the couch and noticed I had a really big contraction... I thought I had over-done it and decided it'd be best to lie down.  I went and lied down and timed contractions.  I had two that were 4 minutes apart, then I felt a trickle.  My mother was there and I said to her, I think my water just broke.  I sat up and had a huge gush - Avery was on her way. I was 37 weeks 5 days.  I couldn't believe she was coming.  Adrenaline took hold of the other members of the house and everyone began rushing around getting things ready for me to go the hospital. 

     About 3pm we arrived at the hospital, I was triaged.  I was at 2-3cm.  I was moved to Labor and Delivery room where I was told to lay almost completely on my stomach on my left side, as it aids in labor.  After 5 tries, the nurses got an IV started for antibiotics since I'd just been tested the day before for Group B Strep and they weren't sure if I had it or not.  An hour or so later I was checked and was still at a 3, maybe 4.  About 8 I got really uncomfortable and asked for an epidural.  The anesthesiologist was having trouble with his lines and the process took about 15-20 minutes to complete.  Before he started the IV I was checked again and was about a 5.  After the line had been placed, and I was able to lie down again, I felt extreme pressure, had the nurse check me, and I was complete.  Complete panic set in. 
    
      The nurse was running around my room telling my mother to press the nurse call button on my bed, on the remote, and to also run out the door and holler for someone to come help her.  She had my mother hand her gloves to put on, and she told me to push once. When she did, Avery was there.  The doctor had no time to make it before Avery was delivered.  Avery was welcomed to the world at 9:43pm to the surprise of the hospital staff.  My nurse said that Avery was the first unassisted delivery she'd ever done. 

Luckily she and I were fine and after a couple of minutes waiting on the doctor to finish things up, I got to hold my precious baby girl.  I got to hold a sweet living baby that I'd been longing 18 months for.  It was priceless.  I could only stare at her and think how unbelievably happy I was to have her with me safe and sound. <3  I was and still am extremely blessed.

 Payton, Jacob and Avery's big brother is absolutely 250% in love with this precious girl.  Avery has brought joy back to my life, like I haven't had in such a long time.  I have gladly taken the sleepless nights alone with her.  I rejoice in every single moment I spend with her.  I am happy to hear her wake up and cry.  I grin ear to ear every single time this baby girl smiles at me, and love hearing this sweet baby laugh in her sleep.  Really, she does it a lot. :) I Love It!  This baby girl has my heart.  Thank you all so much for the prayers for a safe pregnancy and delivery.  I know so many mommies are denied that, and I am so very thankful that everything went so smoothly.  Oh how I wish Jacob could've met his baby sister here on earth.  I know he'd be in love just as much as we are.

Monday, May 6, 2013

This stings a little...

Today a good friend of mine from high school is scheduled to be induced with her second baby.  As I was praying for her this morning , her sweet son and her staff at the hospital... I broke down in tears.  It's so hard to watch people do something so normal, when I have been a part of the 1 in 4 who had something terrible happen.  I've experienced stillbirth.  This is the first person who has given birth that I haven't hidden from my Facebook newsfeed... it hasn't been painful to watch her pregnancy... so now, for it to sting surprises me.  I can't help but think what a blessing babies are... and how grateful I am for my children.  Yes, life in the year since Jacob's death has been difficult and hard to bear at times... but I have learned more about myself and my relationship with the Lord than ever before.    I will push through the tears today and thoughts of the bittersweet time I had with my youngest son today...knowing that one day I will see him again.  I will hug his brother tight and love his baby sister even more for him today... I miss you baby boy! <3

 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tears

Tears are common in grief, especially in the early days,weeks and months following loss. For me the further I move away from loss, less and less tears fall. I have become used to the sadness and pain of losing Jacob and live with it daily.  So yesterday, driving down the road with Jake's big brother Payton to his t-ball game I really wasn't suspecting tears.  My son and my niece were being kids, pestering each other with their feet and toys and funny names... then it all stopped and they were quiet. We were listening to the radio when Payton out of the blue says to me, "momma, I wish Jacob was here." "He would have so much fun playing with me and Avery."  Avery is their little sister (my rainbow, due in August).  I was so sad, I got teary eyed.  If only he knew how much I wish every single day that my sweet Jacob was here with us too. I would love for the boys to be able to play together and protect their baby sister.    I look forward to getting to know my sweet rainbow and teaching her all about her big brother in Heaven. I know he must love her just the same as we do... more than anything. <3

I miss you Jacob Austin! Love you forever!
You'll always be my baby!




This is Payton and Jacob's little sister Avery Grace. <3 I had a dream that is what I named her... it turns out Avery means "from the Heavens"... I love it and can't wait to meet my sweet rainbow!