Jacob was born on Friday night. My family and I loved him and snuggled with him until about 12:30 am. Then I had to release him to the care of the nurses for the night and be separated from him for the first time ever. I was taken to another floor of the hospital and he stayed. I was still restricted to my bed, this time due to the excessive amount of meds I needed in my epidural to keep me comfortable. I was told that for the first three hours, I would be woken every hour to have my vitals checked... then I would be checked once a shift. After the nurse checked my vitals the first time .. my family and I opened the box the nurses had prepared for me upstairs and placed on my bed before sending me downstairs. In it were photos the nurses had taken of my precious tiny Angel Jake, a tape measure, the nursery arm bands Jake & I never wore, a poem and perhaps what has helped the most a tiny stuffed lamb the receiving blanket Jake had been placed in after he was born & the hat that matched his sleeper that his Mimi & papa had placed on his head, so lovingly while they dressed him. After crying over all the memories I would have of my angel, my parents left for their hotel room and I was left alone.
I laid in my bed and bawled & prayed and tried to sleep. I found myself waking up in the middle of the night and just crying uncontrollably. I found a small amount of comfort in holding the lamb the nurses had placed in my box. I placed Jake's hat on its head and wrapped it in his blanket... it smelled like him and helped me feel close to him. Around 5am I gave up all hope of sleep after the lab came to draw blood and I had done more crying. The planner side of me then came out and I began planning Jake's funeral. I searched the internet for the perfect music for his funeral. I chose Godspeed by the Dixie Chicks... which actually was my mother's song to Payton. (We borrowed it for Jake), Heaven Song by Phil Wickham... it seemed fitting I know Jake is running all over the green pastures in Heaven :), and Safe and Sound by Matthew West. My baby boy may not be here with me but he is safe and sound with the Lord. I sought the perfect floral arrangements for his tiny casket and wasn't satisfied with what I found. My baby boy was more special than the generic infant casket sprays. I decided I was going to buy special ribbon to weave into his flowers that had a boy print and looked "babyish". I even began searching for the dress I would wear to my tiny sons funeral. Every single decision made this more and more real... I couldn't believe I was having to do any of these things.
I attempted to sleep and waited for what I thought was a more suitable time for me to call my nurse and have them bring me my angel. As I sat and waited the grueling hours i thought.. I'd never be able to rock my baby boy, experience his tiny fingers wrapping around my finger.. see his tiny lips curl in a smile or even hear him cry. I turned to music.. I turned on KLOVE and tried to relax. I unplugged my IV pole and slowly took myself across the room to the closest thing I had to a rocking chair and sat and waited. I thought I was ready to see my baby again but, Once the nurse admin. Lady finally got to my room and began asking me if I knew he was tiny and if I'd already seen him, I started to waiver. I kept telling her I had and I was fine. She just stood there staring at me, almost as if she was trying to protect me. She then took the blanket off the top of the bassinet and got out my angel, whom they had wrapped in a towel inside a blanket. This seemed so overly harsh and sterile. I began to sob and so did the nurse... after a little while she left me. All alone with Jacob and my thoughts I sat in the chair, afraid to move too quick, afraid that I would somehow hurt him. I could only concentrate on trying not to move to fast to enjoy the last little bit of time with my angel boy. I was so afraid I would somehow hurt him that I layed him Back in his bassinet... then set the bassinet on my bed. My heart was breaking in two knowing that I'd be released from the hospital the next day and I would never be able to see my baby on earth again. The funeral home was traveling from our hometown to Houston to pick him up that morning. My family came back to visit me and together we kissed Jake, said our goodbyes and I Love You's and sent his tiny body back with the nurse who had brought him to me.
The next afternoon around 1 pm I was released from the hospital and had to go home with my new reality. The reality that instead of leaving the hospital with the sweet baby that had lived happily inside me for 24 weeks, I would leave with a box and a broken heart. I tried to be strong since I had a little boy to take care of, whom I hadn't seen in three weeks. A little boy who didn't understand he'd never meet his baby brother, they'd never run and play together in the yard. I was faced with with many questions from my five year old and there were not many answers for him...
I'll continue my blog as I journey through grief and losing a child, by far the hardest ongoing event in my life to this date.