Sunday, January 14, 2018

10 Years ago.  Just the same as now, I couldn't sleep.  So much was flying about in my head.  I was a bit anxious as I had never had an induction before plus this was a high risk pregnancy.  I did not enjoy knowing when I was going to have a baby.  I had this pressure of wanting to deliver during regular business hours so my son's doctors wouldn't be burdened with after hour calls and I wouldn't get on-call physicians.  Due to his condition, I was also anticipating a blue quiet baby which I was told would be fine but when you are used to delivering those that are pink and loud, that was a bit concerning.  His heart worked fine inside my body, but once out, we were not sure what would happen.  We woke very early and headed to the hospital.  After a very long wait, they got me all hooked up on monitors and began the induction process.  Lots of time had gone by and I remember being concerned about the time.  Not too long after drugs entered my body, my son's heart rate plummeted.  He rallied, but with every minor contraction the followed, his heart slowed.  Business hours passed.  They called in the on-call physicians who broke the news that I would have to have a cesarean.  I bawled.  As my husband suited up and they rolled me away and they counted all the instruments in the room and they poked my back repeatedly, I bawled.  The process was so mechanical.  I had to interrupt their normal activity as anesthesia and my right side do not agree but once I fought the eager robotics of hungry students, I was numb, my husband was brought in.  Within moments, my son was pulled from my womb and he cried out.  Jason went to him.  From behind a blue curtain, all I kept asking was, "Is he blue?"  He had his crew of doctors and nurses, none of whom we knew, and I was being put back together.  Then from behind the curtain, Jason walked him over to me cradled in his arms, a scene that would hold so much more meaning 137 days later than my heart could even have known in that moment.  I saw him.  I did not hold him.  The restriction of the surgery was torture, but to tell the truth, I was very nervous and kept telling Jason, "He's turning blue!" and wanted someone to be with him.  But he was there, and he was pink (the reflection of the blue curtain kept throwing me of) and he was perfect, and he was tiny, but, guys, he was so perfect and sweet, and that moment I got to lay eyes on my sweet boy for the first time, will forever bring tears to my eyes and lack of words to my mouth. 

I can keep going with the details of the recovery room, the visitors that came in, the news from the doctors, how I refused to go to a floor where a nursery was because i did not want to be where all these mothers had their babies but mine was fighting for his next heart beat in the NICU.  There is so much I can dig out of the recesses of my heart an memory of this day 10 years ago, and the 137 that followed....

There are certain things I just do not forget.  Ten years later, I can, in an instant, go back to a time and place and think the same things and feel the same feelings.  As I recall this snippet of Jacob's birth story, my mind races with so many thoughts and feelings that had this been a vlog, it would be even messier than it is! 

But if you happen to have read this blog that started 10 years ago, you know the ending of Jacob's life on earth.  And it is hard to know both the beginning and the ending sometimes.  As with any life, there are all the different kinds of moments....good, bad, tough, long, short, hard, terrible, dreamy, fantastic, difficult, hilarious.  When someone is no longer here on earth, it can be hard not to taint the good days with the bad ones.  May 31st was the most difficult day of my life.  I can and do visit that nightmare of a day and the difficult ones that followed after just as clearly and strongly as I can the day I first met him.  As times goes by, loss in general doesn't get any easier.  It may appear as though it does, but those who have had great loss know that truly it does not get any easier.  I was recalling some of Jacob's days with a friend a few weeks ago and she put to words something that I find difficult to verbalize.  I am not good with verbatim and she took it from another friend but she said something like this...."People say that it [loss] gets easier over time, but it never.gets.easier.  Through Christ, you find ways to cope with your loss."  For me, the reason it doesn't get any easier is because I can still feel it no matter how much time goes by.  I can think of sitting on the couch, breathing in my sweet baby tucked under my chin on the left side and feel it ever so real.  In the same real way, I can think and feel the last moments I carried my son's body from my home, stood in the driveway, and said goodbye.  But each memory does something in building my relationship with Christ.  That snuggly one makes me so thankful for moments with my boys that however precious these boys here on earth are to me, I am precious to God the Father.  And that horrific one makes me thankful for the arms here on earth He gave me to collapse into and anticipation and hope for the promise of the day when He will wipe away every tear!  Loss has been a tool of God in my life to see Him more clearly. 

My loss has complicated the celebration of the gift, but it has not robbed me of it.

It is hard to find a way to celebrate.  The truth is there is no 10 year old boy here to throw a birthday party.  This is where the 10 years-older me struggles.....what do we do? how do we celebrate? what do the boys want to do? do I answer the phone? what do I say? do we bring it up as a family? do i bake something? do I see people? do I stay away from people? 


The first time we came around to Jacob's birthday, I struggled to find a way to celebrate my son's first birthday.......Jason comforted me when he prayed for our evening meal and said ([again, verbatim is not my forte]...something like....) today we celebrate the day God gave us Jacob and began a good work in him.  And regardless of the story that unfolded, this day is a day that will forever be celebrated in my heart with praise and thankfulness to Jesus Christ.  However awkward we make it appear, my heart is so very thankful for my sweet sweet Jacob Ryan. 

Happy Birthday sweet sweet boy! 

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