Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mom to Jacoby Thomas Diehl
Stillborn August 31st, 2010

I’m Still With You
A Journey Through Loss
By Jacoby’s Mom

On August 31, 2010 at just about 3 a.m. I was dreaming. In my dream I was in a bathtub. I had been having vivid dreams the entire pregnancy that were almost annoying. This was no exception. I’m dreaming that I’m in the middle of a mall in a bath tub and passer-bys are admiring my tattoo on my lower back. I feel the water rushing in between my legs and suddenly I wake up to realize that it’s not a dream. My nightmare began.

I rushed into the bathroom turning on the light waking my husband, Jamie, up out of a dead sleep. I looked at the amount of water on my clothes in the blankets, and began to panic. The liquid was clear, odorless and I was hoping it was urine. But, I knew my water broke and I’m not nearly far enough along for my son to survive. I quickly jumped in the shower to rinse off, I’m going to the hospital. Jamie is disoriented. He smells it and touches it as he laid in the bed. Jamie says “there’s no way that you can be, it’s too soon” as I put on clean underwear with a pad. A few minutes later I looked at the pad and see a pink show to the color. I told Jamie I needed to go to the hospital he said okay call me when you get there, and I said “NO, I need you to go with me, if I’m going to lose our baby I can’t do this on my own, I need you” and so he got dressed.

We rushed off on the 8 mile drive in the middle of the night to the hospital for a trip that would forever change my life, our lives. JJ was sleeping and so we left him there, he’s almost 16 and old enough to take care of himself for a little while. On the way to the hospital I sent a text message to Lourdes telling her that I was on my way. I had to tell someone. Then I called the doctors on call service and notified them.  The whole way there with every deer we saw along the road side I prayed for our safety, I asked God to keep us safe, to keep my baby safe.

When we arrived at the hospital, Jamie dropped me off at the ER entrance and he parked the car.  The security guard was there waiting for me with a wheelchair and I told him I was 21 weeks and my water broke. Immediately the guard took me up to labor and delivery where they were waiting for me.  Apparently the on call service for my doctor’s office is located in the hospital. The on call service notified labor and delivery of my arrival.

It was approximately 3:20 and they put me on a fetal monitor and tried to locate Jacoby’s heartbeat.  They eventually did and they put on the contraction monitor as well which showed no activity. The nurses were obviously frantic not sure how to handle my situation and appeared to be very cautious and delicate about what they did or didn’t do and what they did or didn’t say. Jenny was the first nurse that I remember because I asked her about the NICU. What phase do I go to the NICU and she said 24 weeks. It was then that I realized that the situation was grim and had little hope.

For the next couple of hours I was lying flat on my back and they were running tests. Blood work, amniotic fluid, blood pressure, temp etc. They had spoken to my doctor and were following his orders to keep me flat and calm. I was thinking of my son, trying to remain calm so that he wouldn’t be under any distress. During this time I told the nurse to take the heart monitor off of me. I said it seems pointless to sit here and listen to my son’s heartbeat fade. I know that they can't send him to a NICU and I know that a ton of fluid came out of me, so there’s little chance that he’ll be viable. “Please just take it off” and she complied with my request.

Jamie was so strong and supportive. Of course we both had moments of weakness and we cried together. We shared our fears and we hugged each other. We were devastated we knew that all of our dreams were fading and we were helpless. As a parent you never relish in those moments when you are absolutely helpless and without any power. We talked and shared some more of our thoughts and expectations. I told him that I needed him to hold me together that I couldn’t do this on my own.

At around 6:30 a.m. – 7:00 a.m. the doctor came in and ordered an ultrasound. He told me that if there was enough amniotic fluid left Jacoby could survive with bed rest for the next three weeks and then I’d go to the NICU for delivery. What was this, but a glimpse of hope?

Of course, during the past three hours Jamie and I had cried and shared and processed. We talked as if there was no hope left and we just had to wait. We didn’t think there was a chance that Jacoby could survive. We saw how much fluid came out of me. It would be a miracle if there were any fluid left for him. But this was hope that was given to us. In our current circumstances, we took it. Who wouldn’t want the hope that their baby is going to live. We prayed and asked God for strength to endure the weeks ahead of us if this was he case, we knew it wouldn’t be easy.

I was told by the nurse that came in at 7 a.m. that I could order breakfast. She informed me of how to do so. As soon as she left the room I ordered food. I figured that I needed to eat it had been hours and if I was going to keep myself strong for my son I needed food. So ordered cereal, banana and coffee. Jamie fed me when it arrived.

I should say that through this whole ordeal that I am the most fortunate wife alive. My husband has shown such great compassion and patience. He’s loved me more to fill the void, he’s comforted me when he had his own grief, he’s been strong for me when I’m not strong enough. Jamie was and is the most amazing gift to me. I can honestly say when someone asks, “how did you survive that?”, that I survived because of Jamie.

So the doctor had informed us of the possibilities and we waited for the ultrasound. I was the first ultrasound of the day. The tech came in and looked, she found my bladder, full of fluid and then Jamie and I watched. We saw Jacoby on the screen but we didn’t see his heart. We didn’t see him moving. I could feel him moving or so I thought. It turns out that what I was now feeling was my uterus contracting. The ultrasound tech told us that the radiologist would read the results to the doctor and we’d have them very soon. So we waited some more. It was now just about 9 a.m. and we were scared, tired, anxious and waiting.

Shortly after nine the nurse called my room and said the phone was the doctor to please pick up. I answered to hear my doctors voice telling me what I would sum up that all my dreams were dead. My dream of having my son, a second child and everything that went with him was dead. My son Jacoby Thomas Diehl was going to die and there was nothing that Jamie or I could do about it. Apparently the ultrasound tech found a fading heart beat. They didn’t suspect that he would last much longer. There was no amniotic fluid left inside of me for him to survive. At this phase of the pregnancy the baby needs that fluid for his undeveloped lungs. The most painful heart wrenching thought of a parents life was now my reality, my son was going to die before me.

Dr. Reece said that Jacoby’s heart was failing and that I would have to deliver him. They were going to start the labor process. He said it could take days for my cervix to dilate and that they would hope for the best. Dr. Reece also said that I was already starting to develop a fever and that he was worried about my health and safety. He gave me instructions of how the nurse would implant the ¼ of a pill at my cervix every 4 hours until I delivered Jacoby. This began the long process of what will forever remain the saddest my horrifying day of my entire life.

The mental anguish I would endure over the next hours and days is one that I can barely begin to describe. The thought process you go through when lying in a hospital bed knowing that you are going to labor and deliver your child to simply say goodbye. How do you do that? I kept asking my self “how do I say goodbye when I never said hello”.

The nurse came in at 10 a.m. her name I don’t recall. Her face I can barely remember. The first dose of medicine was placed at the base of my cervix. This medicine would dilate my cervix and eventually cause the contractions that would allow me to deliver Jacoby into this world. At this point we know that his heart is fading and he won’t survive and chances are he’s not going to have a heartbeat when he’s delivered. Mentally we are trying to process this the best we can given the circumstances at hand.

The nurses seemed to think that I would take 3 doses of this pill and deliver. They said that it wouldn’t take days. This was contradictory to what Dr Reece had said. So we waited. Not knowing how long it would take or when I’d deliver. Cesarean was not offered, all they offered was pain meds and encouragement.

Jamie received a call from his brother stating that he was on his way. He wasn’t going to allow us to go through this alone. This was a great distraction, to have them there. I was stuck flat  on my back and wasn’t allowed to sit up. I was on clear liquids by now and I was miserable. Emotionally and physically miserable. Over the next several hours it was just a waiting game.

Around 11 a.m. I met Janet, a nurse that would be with me through-out the remainder of the day. My nurse from the morning was leaving because she had a class to attend. Janet introduced herself to me by name, the first nurse to actually do so. She was kind and compassionate. Janet would sit with me and talk to me. It was Janet that told us we would need to select a funeral home. The sound of those words, ‘funeral home’, were harsh. Not something you want to hear when you are in labor, and all you want to do is take home your bundle of joy. It was the harsh reality we were faced with and Jamie and I were very upset by it. I thought of my hairdresser Megan. She delivered a baby at 6 months gestation. I knew she would have gone through this so I sent her a text message and asked her for the name and number of a funeral home. Fitch Denney Funeral Home in Greendale Indiana, was her response. She later sent the phone number too.

Jamie and I decided that we needed to call the funeral home while we were calm and things were quiet. So we called and we made the arrangements verbally. We spoke with Kris, who instructed us to call back once everything had passed and he’ll work with the hospital.

Around noon Jamie’s brother, mom and brother’s girlfriend arrive. Jamie’s brother Joe, and his girlfriend Megan is 7 months pregnant live in Jamie’s hometown of Springfield Ohio which is roughly two hours away. This was difficult for me to see her, to know her baby is going to be okay and I’m going to have to say good bye to mine. Joe and Megan are not financially stable or emotionally stable for that matter to raise a child. Their relationship is not a ‘happy’ one like Jamie and I are. Their circumstances are totally different than ours. It would make more sense for God to take their baby, and so it was hard for me to see them there. Joe was kind and sweet. He was interested in how I was dealing with all of this. He asked a lot of questions which annoyed me. I tried to answer the best I could without showing him that I was annoyed. Just a simply question like “Why”. I was screaming inside, “don’t you think I want to know why too”. Megan was sweet and I could tell she was really concerned.

At this point I told them to go back to my house. Joe and Megan would take all of Jacoby’s things for their baby. I knew it would make it easier for me if I didn’t have to come home to all of his stuff. We had purchased diapers, wipes, tub, highchair, some clothes, bottles, a jolly jumper, wash clothes, booties, hats and gloves, shopping cart cover, and who knows what else. My memory is fading now of what I had for him. But what hasn’t faded is how I loved him. They didn’t want to take Jacoby’s stuff they argued with us and I said, “you want to help me this is how you are going to help me”. So they did, they went to our house and took all the stuff. I find comfort in knowing that they can use it. Little Joey will be born in November and I am sure that he will need all of those things.

At 2 p.m. the nurse came in again to place another dose of the medicine at my cervix. I am still not dilated. My uterus is contracting but it’s mild. I am flat on my back. Somewhere in between doses Jamie fed me clear liquids, popsicles and sprite or juice. I wasn’t hungry anyway, when I’m depressed I can’t seem to eat. I feel the sadness and I just keep asking myself over and over again why is this happening to me. I had taken care of myself and did everything I could to take care of my baby. I’d prayed God’s protection over my son and my pregnancy. I felt safe in knowing that God would keep us safe. And now everything that offered me reassurance before is gone, I’m supposed to look to God for comfort over the loss of the child he didn’t protect in my womb? It’s very surreal to lie in a bed and labor knowing that you’ll eventually say goodbye.

At 6 p.m. the nurse comes again with another dose and my cervix is very slightly dilated. Not much and contractions are just the same as they were an hour ago. I’m uncomfortable and my back is hurting from lying flat. Janet offers me a chance to turn. She’s so kind and concerned about my comfort. Janet often would sit and talk to me, sometimes it was about her daughter who was getting ready to miscarry and other time it was for her interest in how I built a company from the ground up. But always, it was her intention to take my mind off my grief for a moment or offer me comfort in knowing that I’m not alone. I imagine that she’s not enjoying this part of her job. I had told the nurses at several points through out the day, “I bet this isn’t something you enjoy coming to work for” I knew in my heart that a fetal demise patient was not something they wanted to care for. Several times it was said to me that I was the ‘best’ fetal demise patient they’ve ever cared for. The nurses were talking about me at the desk. My strength, my dignity, my patience and empathy for them. Little do they know that I just want to scream at the top of my lungs.

As I write this I want to scream at the top of my lungs and I haven’t yet.

Of course throughout the day I’m getting IV fluids so I needed to use the bed pan on and off. Jamie was such a gentleman about helping me. He would put the pan on and take it off. Even when I farted in his face, he didn’t get angry or refuse to help me. He made a joke and went on about his ‘duties’ as if he knew this was all he could do for me. Through out the entire day the one thing that was constant was his ever present support. Jamie was tender, compassionate and loving all day long. No matter how much I whined, cried, pouted, or repeated myself.

They also were giving me antibiotics for infection. The doctor was concerned because my temp was slightly rising and he wanted to be sure that my water didn’t break because of an infection. So the antibiotics were going in by IV as well.

Janet came in around 7:30 and asked me if I wanted to sit up. She put the bed into a birthing position and I was sitting high up on a throne. At least that’s how it felt. Kind of ironic, to feel so ‘low’ and be placed up high. Then just before 8 Jamie’s family came back to say good bye. When they did, the nurse came in with a paper for us to fill out. I was for Jacoby’s birth certificate. I was furious. I began to cry huge tears and I could not even see the paper. How could they do this to me, make me fill out a birth certificate for my child that is going to die. I was so anguished and horrified as I filled in the paper. It was just AWFUL. His family stood there speechless without any words to comfort me. What do you tell a mother of a dying baby after all?

Around 8 it was time for Janet to give my cervix more medicine. This time she said she could feel a piece of my son entering the vagina, she wasn’t sure if it was his hand or foot. My heart aches… to know that my child who should come head first is not because he is going to die. Janet also said that I was 3 cm and she placed the medicine at my cervix. This time is hurt so bad I wanted to kick and scream. Inside I felt like a toddler being held down for shots, I had to do this I kept telling myself. JJ needs me, Jamie needs me, I have to endure this, I have to go on. And all the while I feel like asking for something to end my life too. I can’t imagine leaving the hospital without my son.

So I’m flat on my back again. Dealing with intense labor pains and the contractions are coming about 5 mins apart. Then the contractions keep getting more intense and coming faster. Going through a wave of emotions and trying to stay calm. Breathing in and out. Jamie’s family says goodbye, they are heading home. Jamie said it was best because when it was time to deliver they wouldn’t be allowed to be in there. I don’t think he nor I were really prepared for what our son would look like. We did however know it would not be pleasant and so we wanted to avoid sharing that with anyone.

During this time Janet would come in and explain things to us. Piece by piece as it was her intention obviously not to overwhelm us with information. One thing she said was that she would not be allowed to pull on Jacoby that he would have to slide out on his own. She said that they were not allowed to help with the delivery. They offered me pain meds again and I refused. I didn’t want to loose my mind as a response to some side effect. I wanted to be mentally there for what I needed to do. Janet also explained that after Jacoby was born we could hold him. Someone had told us this earlier and we had said “no way” but by now I was thinking I didn’t want to have any regrets. I decided I wanted to hold my son and Jamie said he didn’t want to hold him and he didn’t want to see him. Janet also explained during this visit that she wouldn’t be able to help with the delivery of the placenta that I would have to deliver it on my own and they would not be able to pull it out.

After an hour Janet sat me back up on the throne and I was sitting there breathing through contractions one after another. Janet introduced a new nurse to me at around 10:30 her name is Brianne, but Janet calls her Brie. Things are moving quickly now and I’m not fully aware of what time it is. Just before Brie came Janet said I was dilated enough and more of Jacoby had entered the vaginal area for delivery. But I could not feel him.

Brie was just as nice as Janet. As Janet said goodbye I was laboring more intensely and couldn’t really thank her appropriately for how kind she had been to me. She was my nurse for 12 of my 21 hours of labor. She had formed a bond with me and I really felt close to Janet in some unique way. Brie, a sweet little blonde girl that doesn’t look like she could be a day over 15, greets me with no reservations. Right into the last moments of my labor. Brie asks if I want to get up and go to the bathroom. I was so excited! I hadn’t been up since 3 a.m. I needed to get out of that bed. My contractions were coming fast and in between breaths I say “yes”.

Brie began to prepare for Jacoby’s delivery. She introduced me to Emmy, a nice young lady that would assist her. They were preparing things in and out of my room. I was breathing and occasionally Brie would stop to talk or to encourage me to use a focal point. Time went quickly but at that moment it felt like an eternity from one contraction to another. I’ve spent the entire day dealing with my grief and sadness as well as the emotions that come with losing a loved one. Every minute was long. I have a concept of time only because of the HUGE clock that was on the wall beside my bed. My darling husband is by my side the entire time, coaching, napping, breathing, and trying to be strong when inside his eyes I can see he’s terrified for me. Brie did like everyone else had done all day long, she offered me pain meds. Several times. I refused. I explained to her that I did not want to lose control of myself. My family needed me and the baby needed me. I did not need to be in some psych ward because of medicine side effects. So I refused several times in between harsh contractions any type of pain meds offered.

Because she offered, I told Brie that I would go to the bathroom as soon as this contraction was done the window of opportunity was small and we had to prepare for it, so she did. She got everything ready for me to go to the restroom and when the contraction subsided I jumped up out of bed. WE hobbled over to the bathroom. It felt so good to stand again. You see, prior to being pregnant I suffered from chronic back pain. In 2003 I had torn a ligament in my lower back coloring my hair (go ahead and laugh). Well it never healed properly. So lying flat on my back for the medicine that they placed at my cervix was very hard for me to do let alone lie there for hours on end. Then they sat me up in the birthing bed and that was better for a while but the contractions were so strong and so fast, that my lower back was just aching. During my pregnancy with Jacoby I had no back pain at all. He took away all my chronic ailments. Which I know pregnancy can do for women. Anyway, back on track.

So I’m in the bathroom and Brie is with me. I haven’t urinated in three hours. I should have to go, earlier I was going every 2hours. I’ve been drinking and have an IV in. But I can’t. The pain is taking away my ability to urinate. All of the sudden I said to Brie, he’s coming. I feel the pressure and he is coming. Jacoby very quickly came out ½ way into Brie’s hands. She caught him. She encouraged me to try and push him out, she had him. But I couldn’t and my legs were weak. So I went back to the bed, with Brie holding Jacoby in between my legs. She was so concerned about respecting me and respecting my baby. Jamie was there, he now had gloves on he was going to help deliver his son. Emmy was there and she was going to help with Jacoby any way she could. But as soon as I sat back up in the bed, Jacoby came right out.

It was another hour before the placenta would deliver. Emmy and Brie asked if I wanted to see him. I had decided that I did, so they laid him on me. I could not believe my eyes. This was not the beautiful little baby I wanted to deliver full term. This was a 21 week gestation still born whom I’ve just labored for 20 hours only to say good bye. I didn’t cry. I was strong. I think in my mind I knew that my husband needed me to hold it together. Jamie didn’t want to see Jacoby and because of the way things happened, he was forced to look at him. I told him several times don’t look and he said, “I’ve seen much worse honey I’m okay”. After a few minutes I told them to take Jacoby away.

Emmy took Jacoby while Brie stayed with me. I knew that Emmy was going to dress him and take pictures. Earlier that day Janet had told me that they would do that. They told me I’d have the option of whether or not I wanted to develop the photos. Brie helped me to deliver the placenta. It was almost an hour before it came out. They couldn’t help me, which I knew. They had told me earlier in the day I’d have to deliver it all naturally without assistance.

Brie eventually confessed to me that she probably shouldn’t have put me on the toilet. She felt horrible and felt that she had been disrespectful in some way. I told her that I was so thankful. I could have sat in that bed for hours more and she really helped me. I needed to deliver him. I was in pain, I was tired, and I was grieving. What Brie did for me was better than pain medicine. The process was so prolonged all day long. As it turns out the umbilical cord was around Jacoby’s neck 3-4 times. Brie said this is what caused my water to break. The cord caused Jacoby stress, the stress caused my water to break, and it was my body’s response to helping my son. To helping me. I don’t know that I could have endured the pain of seeing him in the NICU struggling to breathe or survive. I don’t know, because I never thought I could endure the loss of a child.

Jacoby Thomas Diehl was born still on August 31, 2010 at 11:09 p.m. He was l lb and 1 ft. Jacoby went to heaven during delivery. We are not sure exactly when because at 9 a.m. we knew his heart was still beating but fading. Most people dream of touching and angel, Jamie and I have held an angel in our arms.

 I started this journal a few days after I came home from the hospital. Not sure exactly when. I finished the hour of his birth on day nine. Below are recaps from some days when I was trying to make sense of it all. I was very angry and going through all the normal phases of grief. In all of this I’ve had the most supportive loving husband who wants to fix this. Neither of us can do that. But I want him to know how I feel. I’ve refrained from sharing my deepest thoughts with him. I’m afraid, that he can’t handle just ‘listening’.

Day three we went to the funeral home. One thing they had told us we needed to do was prepare for our son’s remains. Jamie and I were extremely angry about this. We couldn’t believe that I had to go through this ordeal and then pay for a funeral or anything of that nature. We are driving to the funeral home. We stopped at the hospital to pick up the camera. The camera that we didn’t think we wanted.  We were glad to have it. We dropped it off to be developed. I knew I would look at the photos but at this point Jamie did not want to. He says to me on the way to the funeral home that he was now glad that we had to do this. He said in some way it has helped us to grieve and have closure, Jamie said he was happy we were going to the funeral home. I agreed. I was looking forward to having my son’s ashes at home. Jacoby belongs at home with us. So we went together and met Kris.

Kris was so nice and concerned about the things we were concerned about. WE talked for a while, wrote a check and on our way we went. On day nine we are still waiting for Jacoby to come home. But I am content with the hope of knowing he will be home.

Five days later, I want to find a way to get past this pain. I’m really tired of being sad and hurting all the time. How do I get past the pain? I want to honor my son and that means that I need to make good choices and be happy. I know that JJ doesn’t want to see me sad all the time and I can be certain Jacoby would feel the same way. The thought however still amazes me, “how did I go from being the mother of one son to being the mother of two sons, one living and one dead?” It all happened so fast. Ohh some of you might say that 21 hours of labor is not fast, but when 6 days ago I thought I had 19 more weeks of pregnancy, yes… it went fast. Having a hard time sleeping at night because my body is probably depressed. I don’t know how to ‘fix’ that either. I feel bad for Jamie. When he looks in my eyes all he sees is my pain. He often asks “are you okay” and I want to scream. Not at him, but I just want to scream! The crying is becoming less and less but I don’t think that means I feel better. I’m just tired of crying. I should write a letter to my son and tie it to a bunch of balloons and let it go into the sky. But I know that it would never reach him. If we thought we could reach heaven that way someone would have already built a machine to get us there for a visit.

Day seven,

Dear Jacoby,

Today it has been one week since I labored for you Jacoby, and I have to go to the doctor for a follow up. I’m not sleeping well and my bowels aren’t moving fully but they’re moving. I’m still in a bit of pain and the bleeding is light to moderate. I am terrified to go to the doctor’s office. It used to be a place that I associated with excitement and joy. I was so happy to have you in my belly and so excited that you were growing and everything was going well. Going to the doctor makes little sense to me because they couldn’t tell me I was going to loose you, how are they going to treat me after I’ve lost you? I’m so afraid that I’ll see a little baby in that office and flip out.

Babies are a blessing I should be excited to see that someone’s baby is born alive and well. But the thought of seeing one paralyzes me with fear. It actually makes me want to stay inside and live in a bubble. I miss you, this isn’t fair it isn’t normal you belong in my arms not in a box at a funeral home.

I love you.


Jamie says that I shouldn’t allow my mind to get the best of me. When he says that it makes me feel like he wants it to be over, the grief that is. I know that he’s tired of seeing me sad. But everyone keeps telling me it will take months and years to move on from this. I want to be a good wife but at the same time I have to allow myself time to grieve. I’m frustrated. I need a deadline. I need someone to tell me in a week or a month or two you will feel better this will all be behind you. I’m consumed with grief and my thoughts of my son run wild in my mind. I need it to be over.

Grieve… a word I never thought would enter my vocabulary and apply to me and my child. My son that I longed for and hoped for. My last chance to be a mother again. It’s all gone. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that there’s a huge part of me that wishes I was gone with Jacoby. It hurts so much to carry this sadness. But I know that wouldn’t be fair to Jamie or JJ. They love me too.

Tonight was peaceful. After a nap I was awake to watch TV and read a little. I watched some TV with Jamie and feel at peace. It’s been a week now since Jacoby died. It feels like the longest week of my life. I’m hoping the next couple of weeks go by quickly and with the passing time I am hoping that my sadness and grief subside. This is my prayer.

Today is September 9, 2010 and I have had two good days in a row. I’m expecting bad days to come but in the mean time I’m happy to do things that help me heal. I’m reading a book called “Empty Cradle Broken Heart” slowly. I’ve ordered jewelry to remember Jacoby, as if I could even forget. His footprints have left a mark on my heart. I’m going to do birth announcements. My son, JJ, almost 16, is talking to me about what has happened (finally). Today he asked me questions about the labor. I answered him without breaking down. Then I left it open for him to talk when he was ready and so today I asked him if he wanted a necklace to remember Jacoby and he said he wanted a tattoo (smile).

Each day will be a struggle and I will continue to type about things as they come to mind. I want to journal to get it out of my head, to record it to share and to record it for me. I’ve not gone back and ‘re- read’ the words on these pages. I will wait to do that. I have learned a lot from these past few days.

One thing I have learned is that there are 25000 other moms that go through what I went through each year. I learned that I can endure much more than I think I am capable of.

Jacoby has taught me that we don’t always get what we ask for but we get what we need. I needed to be the mother of more than one child. I needed his life to mean something. I wanted a baby. I asked God for a baby. I asked him to protect my unborn child. In an odd way he did. If Jacoby had been born with that cord around his neck for several months, there’s no telling what kind of medical problems he would have had. God took care of him. He didn’t allow Jacoby to suffer. I needed another child, God took care of me. I’m the mother of two children now. I have two boys. One lives at home with me and the other one lives in heaven with Jesus. I need for Jacoby’s life to mean something and to me it does.

Okay so I may never get to hear him laugh, hold him again, smell him, touch him and see him walk or run or grow. But I have him. He is here with me. No one can take that from me.

Today is day nine and I was talking with my pet photographer. I called Carolyn to tell her that I had finally gotten around to putting my testimonial on her website. I also wanted to tell her how much I loved the pictures she had taken in May of JJ, myself and the dogs. I told her that picture now had a new significance. I was pregnant in that photo and the memory of that session would remain with me. I look at that photo and I remember being happy. I was thrilled that I was pregnant again. I had never thought it would happen to me. I never thought I would conceive. Jamie and I just went without protection thinking we’d never have another child. In April when I came home from Florida I was ovulating and later found out that I got pregnant on my first day home. When these pet pictures were taken I was 6 -8 weeks pregnant. I knew I was pregnant and was frustrated because nothing in my closet fit.

In my conversation with Carolyn I realized something when I was talking with her. She said “maybe this is God’s way of keeping you from making an agonizing decision”. You see I had prayed God’s hedge of protection over my unborn child. I had asked Him to keep Jacoby safe. I had asked Him to keep me safe. I had asked for God’s will. When Jacoby was dying I was so angry with God that I was blind to see His will.

Jamie and I had already decided that we would not abort. We turned down all the testing they do for women and women my age that are pregnant. We didn’t want to know if anything was genetically wrong with Jacoby. I wouldn’t abort so that stuff wasn’t important. God knew this. He knows our hearts.

Carolyn said that it “sounds like God was protecting Jacoby”. How can you deliver a child that has had the cord around his neck for half the pregnancy? If you did, there’d be complications, right? After listening to her I realized that she was right. My baby was taken because God made a decision for us that we couldn’t make for ourselves. When Jacoby was born the cord was around his neck 3-4 times. If the doctors knew that information I would have never aborted. I couldn’t have. God knew that. He was protecting me and Jacoby. Protecting me and Jamie from making the agonizing decision that no parent should have to make. Protecting Jacoby from living a life that may not have been of a good quality and He protected Jacoby from suffering in a NICU.

I remember lying there when I had that glimmer of hope thinking to myself and I may have said it to Jamie, “I can’t imagine having a NICU baby or being on bed rest for weeks on end”. I remember being really terrified at the thought of either process. God knows my heart. He knew my fears and He knows my strengths. I have to believe that He did take care of us, but how could I? My grief and anger with Him blinded me from seeing His truth.

I was so angry with Him because I prayed His hedge of protection over my son. When I removed the anger from my heart, my eyes were unveiled to see His truth. He never left us. In the hospital He provided nurses. Janet was off that day, she didn’t have to be there. The hospital called her in to help me. She could relate to me because both her daughters had struggled with fertility and loss. During my labor her daughter was loosing a baby. He provided Janet to take care of me.

My doctor as it turns out is a Christian man who lives by those principals and raises his children by those principals. God provided me with a believer for a doctor. Someone that could understand my philosophical dilemma and heartache. He didn’t leave me he gave me Dr. Reece. Even when I went for my one week follow-up Dr. Reece told me “I want to know why your baby died and when I stand before God believe me I’ve got some questions for Him!” Dr. Reece shared with me how he’s seen drug addicted babies delivered and wondered why my baby died and this baby lived. The doctor also told me he agonizes over that same question with every still birth. His only answer thus far is that “sometimes we have to experience the worst to appreciate the best”.

Was Jacoby my worst? Was this experience what God had for me? Is JJ my best, my one perfect child?  I want to believe that had Jacoby survived he’d have been perfect too. But in reality God knows what’s best for us. At some point in my grief I have to accept the truth and that is God never left me. He did as I asked, God protected me and He protected Jacoby, my son.

God provided me with a husband that is amazing beyond description. Jamie has been by my side for the past nine days. He has comforted me in the midst of his own grief. He has loved me immeasurably. God never left me, he gave me Jamie. He feels like he doesn’t know how to help me but instinctly he does exactly what I need, he helps me. He holds me, hugs me, dries my tears, listens and doesn’t judge.  Jamie is all I need right now. I know JJ is here too but he’s in his own little world. Jamie is the air I breathe or the reason I keep breathing.

God never left Jacoby, instead of giving him a life of medical complications, He took Jacoby home. God didn’t allow Jacoby to suffer or allow me to have to watch him suffer. God never forgot about Jacoby or what he meant to me. God never left Jacoby without His protection, He honored my prayer.

I should thank Carolyn for helping me to see this but instead I’ll thank God for Carolyn. No parent should have to watch their child die, but I assure you that no parent wants to watch their child suffer to fill their selfish desire to keep them alive. I’m so thankful that my son is now an angel baby. Who knows if he’ll grow or change in heaven. Who knows what he’ll be like when I get there. Who knows, but one thing I know for sure is that Jacoby will be in heaven because God honors His promises.

So on this ninth night of being the mom of an angel I am thankful. I hope that the peace I feel tonight, the peace that surpasses understanding, remains with me. Because there will forever be tears in my eyes when I share Jacoby’s story.

Dear Jacoby,

I love you. Every morning I think of you and every night I wish you were with me. But I rejoice in knowing that you are in heaven where the streets are paved in gold. There will always be a hole in my heart that can only be filled by you. I look forward to the day when I will see you smile, watch you run and hear you laugh! Until then watch over us my angel baby and know that you are forever loved!

Missing you,


Today was just one day. Today was a good day!

Day ten, Jacoby’s ashes came home. I was so excited for the last two days when I thought he was coming on home on Wednesday. But then this morning when I got the call from the funeral home I realized that I was not happy about it. It took all my strength to keep myself calm, take a shower and get ready to go. I went to Jamie’s job picked him up and we went there to get our son and take him home. I felt good. I was happy to hold him in my hands.

When I got home and placed him on my dresser where I have everything else that belonged to him, I was okay. I had to take Deuce, our 18 month old Rottie to the vet for shots. I rushed off to the vet. On the way home I began to cry. The sadness hit me so hard. It was like a tornado. At first I wasn’t sure I could make it without pulling over. I took some deep breaths and dried my eyes.

When I got home I felt it again. Just sadness. Shortly after that Jamie came home. I told him, “No matter how much logical explanation I can find it doesn’t take the sadness away”. Jamie was so sweet.  He said “of course sweetheart it’s always going to hurt”. I’ve felt so sad all day. Emotionally drained and sad. On the verge of tears at any given moment.

Then Jamie tells me of our assignment possibilities. That both choices right now are deploying units and that the chances of him deploying are high. I broke down and sobbed. I told Jamie “I just lost my son I can’t handle the thought of loosing you, when you say deployment that’s what it means to me, it says death to me”. My heart aches. Am I always going to be so afraid of loosing my loved ones? Has this experience destroyed my trust in God to protect my family? Will it ever be repaired?

My wounds are so fresh right now, I keep telling myself that’s why I’m emotional. But then when I think about it, I can still remember 2005 and Iraq. Every day I didn’t know if I’d get that knock at the door. My mind runs wild. How can I bare the loss of my husband after I just brought home my son’s ashes. How can I loose the only thing that keeps me going? I see people that pray to their angel babies to keep their families safe. I have mixed emotions about that. At the same time I can’t help but think, “Jacoby please keep Daddy alive, healthy, safe, and in one piece with no injuries.”

If it’s one thing I’ve learned is to pray specifically. I asked God to keep my son safe and He did. But I was not specific enough. I should have asked God to keep my son, alive, healthy, safe from all harm, delivered full term without complications and to protect him from death. I think that would have been what He did right? He protected Jacoby from death by giving His son Jesus to die for us so that we may have eternal life. Ohh so what do I pray? How do I ask for God to keep Jamie as he is today? Alive and well….

I’m grief stricken today. I keep telling myself to allow the emotional wave to take over. I’m so sad. It’s day 10, five days from what should be the celebration of the greatest thing, JJ’s 16th birthday. I don’t want Jacoby’s death to overshadow JJ’s birthday. I’m trying so hard to move past my sadness but fear of losing Jamie and JJ keeps creeping in. I tell myself, scripture, God has not given me a spirit of fear. Trust in the Lord God with all thine heart. All things work for good for those that love the Lord. His promises He keeps. Tell all this to a grieving mother who’s husband could be sent off to war to also die. How do I find peace and comfort in the midst of uncertainty?

I still haven’t shared this journal with Jamie. I’m not sure that he would even want to read it. But I want him to read it. I hope to get to the point some day where I can share this with him and he will read it.  He will know my heart, my inner most thoughts that I’ve tried to burry so that he doesn’t have to worry about me. Jamie has been so supportive and loving. He’s been patient and kind. I feel that in a way this has strengthened our marriage even more. I am so glad that I have him. He is the reason I get out of bed every day and keep going when all I want to do is ‘quit’. I keep moving forward in my grief battle for him, because I know that he needs me as much as I need him.

It’s been a while since I’ve written. Today is September 17th that means it’s been 17 days since my son Jacoby died. Yesterday I went to the hospital to pick up his photo. I wasn’t going to go. It was a really rough day I had spent most of it crying screaming and talking to God. It felt so good to get it all out and actually say what was on my heart instead of just thinking it. I went to the store to get groceries and on my way I thought of my niece Mikaela. I really wished I could have had her hugs. But instead I have her memories that we made over the summer. Mikaela and Lily! We made memories. I was asking God to give me joy and on the radio the next song that came on was a Katy Perry song that Mikaela loves to sing.  I could imagine her sitting beside me and I can imagine her singing with me. It brought such great joy to my heart!!! She made me smile. I decided to go ahead and go to the hospital. I knew Jacoby’s photos were there and I wanted to get them. I couldn’t wait to see them. I’m so glad I went.

I had the strength to go there and I didn’t cry. I got to see Emy, the nurse that took care of Jacoby during delivery. She is the kind nurse that I will never forget. Emy encouraged me to hold my son. I’m so thankful to God for her. I will forever be grateful to Emy. God sent Emy to me. I learned yesterday that she’s a Christian who has a heart after God. Amazing stuff.

Today my first quilt was coming back from the quilters. So nice to get my quilt and see the finished product. I knew that I was going to meet with Karen the quilt lady so I got up this a.m. and made some banana bread. When I saw Emy yesterday she told me that Janet hadn’t been feeling well. I wanted to take a banana bread to Janet. I’m so grateful for the time I had with Janet. She was my nurse for the longest duration when I was in the hospital. God gave Janet to me. She didn’t have to be there that day she was called in and became my nurse!

My life will forever be changed because of my son Jacoby. I imagine now that he changed the lives of others as well. Maybe even the hearts of others. Today the thought crossed my mind, I now have a greater understanding of what “beauty from ashes” means.

Jacoby is now in heaven his remains are ashes. But when I look at that box I won’t remember ashes, I will remember his beauty. My son made an impact on my life and I want to remember him with Joy. I want to pay it forward and find a way to make an impact on the lives of others. I want Jacoby’s life to mean more than ashes. I already know it meant something to Janet, Emy, Dr Reece, Brie… and me.

Dear Jacoby,

If you were here with me I’d hug and kiss and snuggle with you. I look forward to the day in heaven when I get to do that. Until then son don’t worry about me. I’m going to be okay. I’ll be sad for a while but I already see the sadness being replaced with joy. I love you so much.

Sleep in heavenly peace.

Love mommy

Tomorrow I’m going to face my giants. And these days my giants are just little kids, strollers, babies, and pregnant women. I know that some day my giants will be other things but for now anything that reminds me of what I should have, don’t have and can’t have, those are my giants. Jamie and I are going to go see Tyler play football. I’ve wanted to go before Jacoby died. I need to go. It will be fun.

I struggle with wanting to know what the afterlife is. Wishing that I could understand where my son is, other than just believing he’s in heaven. I want to know where Jacoby is and what he’s doing. I want to know what it will be like when I get there? God take care of my son. Please keep him in heavenly peace for me.

Sep 20, 2010

My sweet baby boy Jacoby died three weeks ago. I knew that today would be hard. I would now be 24 weeks pregnant, the perfect gestation for them to send us to the NICU. But Jacoby died. He's been gone for three weeks and it feels like a millennium. I had two really rough days this past weekend crying alot.  Today however, was a good day. I read something on another blog where a mother spoke of losing her son Gabriel. She said something about a dream and basically the point was she heard Gabriel say to God, "When is my mom going to be happy again". In so many words. This permeated my soul.

If there are angels I don't want Jacoby to see me sad all the time and not understand why I'm sad. I want to laugh and be happy.

I just don't know how to do it, when such a huge piece of me has been taken from me. I don't know how to move forward. When everyone around me has, I feel like I'm stuck on Jacoby's birthday.

Sep 21, 2010

I want to encourage anyone that is reading this and hasn't lost their baby, but the doctors have said you will. I encourage you to hold your baby, love your baby, do whatever you can to capture a memory of your baby. Take photos of hands and feet and wedding rings. Whatever you can to remember your baby.

My nurse, EmyJo, encouraged me to hold my son. I was so emotionally detached when Jacoby was born that I didn't want to hold him. EmyJo knew I would regret not holding him. She pleaded with me to hold my son the most respectful way she could. I will forever be grateful to EmyJo for the memories she helped me to create of Jacoby. I only wish that Jamie had held him with me. I wish we had taken more photos and hadn’t been so afraid of what he looked like.

Today we had lunch and I can't begin to describe how much I feel indebted to her. Emy says "just doing my job". Would that be so? I don't think so. I believe that day God knew what I needed, knew that I needed to make memories with Jacoby and he put Emy on as my nurse. She dressed my son, took photos of him and encouraged me to hold him.

I will always be grateful to the nurses that took care of me the day Jacoby was born!

Sep 22, 2010

Today was a rough day. It felt like the first day of grief all over again. In retrospect, what happened was several events that were complicated by my lack of sleep.

I haven't been sleeping well and I've been trying to walk two or three miles each day to help offset the stress my body is under. I learned when my husband was in Iraq that the walking helped me to sleep. But most nights if I sleep for a three hour stretch that's. Good. I usually wake up with a song in my head "Thanks for my child" and the lyrics playing over and over again. But yet my baby is gone I tell myself. It's a horrible feeling.

This morning however, I was woken up by my son JJ who just recently turned 16. JJ has a baby gate that keeps the dogs out of his room. Normally we all step over the gate instead of taking it off every time we go in and out of the room. This morning JJ was getting up to get ready for school and jammed his left foot into the gate head on. When JJ tried to step on it he couldn't. So he came into my room frantic thinking it was broken and woke me up.

I immediately went into Mommy Mode and wanted to everything I could to help and protect my son. I rushed him to the ER where xrays determined that it's not broken. The doctor did however say that sometimes foot injuries show a break several days later. The doctor taped his foot and sent us on our way. However what happened while we were there was the start of a rough morning for me.

JJ who is also grieving used this time to start inquiring about Jacoby's death. My doctor warned me that teenagers internalize their grief and it may take him time to actually show it. Well in the past three weeks on two other occasions JJ had talked to me about Jacoby and the events that occurred. But this conversation was more detailed. He wanted to know why doctors won't save babies that are under 24 weeks gestation. JJ wanted to know why the doctors let a baby with a strong heartbeat die inside of me while I was in the hospital. JJ wanted to know and so do I. These are questions I've tried not to ask myself because it only complicates my grief. But I too have wanted to know why they think that my baby who had a heartbeat isn't worth a fighting chance. I answered him the best I could giving him 'matter of fact' answers and showing him that these answers mattered to me too In an effort to validate his grief. JJ also told me that he researched umbilical cords. He wanted to know more about how the cord was around Jacoby's neck and how that happened. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, I am also a 'researcher' and so is Jamie. I found a little chuckle in the fact that our son would feel it's necessary to research this. Of course I haven't had the courage to do so myself. JJ told me that it sounds like Jacoby's cord was normal in size and length for that age of gestation. Then after a while...

The nurse comes in to get him fitted for a boot for the sprained foot. She asks me the magical question: "How many children do you have?" this was the first time I've been asked that question since Jacoby died. I choked and said "I have two children one lives at home with me and the other lives in Heaven" She said ohh I'm so sorry. I said "That okay it's new to me, my baby died three weeks ago" The nurse said "I'm sorry to hear that, what's his name?" I said "Jacoby" she said "how did you come up with that name I like that it's unique and strong" I told her the story of how we arrived at Jacoby's name. She changed the subject and moved on.

I was glad JJ was there for that moment. It actually felt good to say it, "I have two children" such a bittersweet moment. Really hard question for me because I had a miscarriage 11 years ago, so really I have three children. But for some reason that baby stopped growing at 8 weeks. I was 12-14 weeks roughly when my body spontaneously aborted the baby. We knew this was going to happen for almost two weeks before it did. I never seem to count that child. In some way the miscarriage experience and healing process was so different for me. I still feel like I have two boys, JJ and Jacoby.

The day went on, as it progressed the morning got a little worse. Now the doctor wants me to make JJ to go to school. He's on crutches, in a boot, on pain meds and he has to go to school. The attendance policy is strict and with Jacoby's demise JJ is at his limit so without a doctors note to excuse him, I have to make him go to school. We got breakfast, filled the scripts and came home to take a shower.

JJ needed to get ready for school.

JJ is in the shower and I go to hand him a towel and I stepped on his foot. YIKES. He screamed at the top of his lungs. I felt horrible. I went and curled up on the couch to cry. I felt like such a failure as a mother. I couldn’t protect Jacoby and now JJ, I step on his already in pain foot. What kind of mother am I? At this very moment I feel so insecure about my ability to protect my son. I feel so helpless.

A few minutes later the phone rings. I don't recognize the number on the caller ID I answer it. It's a nurse from the OB's office. She's calling to confirm my 6 month checkup for tomorrow.

If today couldn't get any worse it just did. I told her choking on my tears that I didn't have an appt, it should have been canceled. She proceeded to argue with me telling me I did have an appointment and through my crying I uttered "no I don't, my baby died and that appointment should have been canceled"  She argued some more. I said "my baby died three weeks ago, my next appt is Oct 5 and that appt should have been canceled my baby is dead!" All she could say was a brief "I'm sorry so you won't be coming for this appointment then?" I mean come on, can we be any more ignorant? I said "it's pointless that's my 6 month check up and my baby is dead". She said "It says here it's for a follow up" I said "yes, for a prenatal followup" By this time I'm barely able to speak. I feel like I can't breathe.

I go outside and sit on the edge of the porch curled up gasping for air and crying but no sound will come out. I hurt so much.

I have to come inside pull myself together so I can drive JJ to school. Red swollen eyes and I'm taking him to school. On the 15 mile drive I struggle to hold back the tears the whole morning is overwhelming.

I feel like a little child inside of me is screaming 'I want my mommy' and I a so tired and so upset. I get JJ to school and on my way out of the school the tears come rushing out. I could water a field with the tears I've shed. I head home again on that 15 mile drive crying the entire time. Trying to keep myself somewhat calm so I can see the road. When I go home, I turned off the phones and curled up in bed.

I am going to allow myself to hide from my grief just for a little while. I slept for two hours. When I woke up...

I felt like the first day all over again. That first day after Jacoby died. That fog and funk that you walk around in, not sure if you should scream, break something, cry or just die. It's a horrible feeling and I had to experience it all over again.

Today was just one day but it was a horrible day!

I have hope today, hope for a good nights rest that is. It's the first time I've felt optimistic since Jacoby died.

I had a good day today! I called the doctor and he prescribed 14 days of ambien. I will take it soon and head to bed. I'm so excited I feel like I have a good nights rest to look forward to.

I have hated sleep because that's where the 'nightmare' began. I did spend several days thinking that it was all a dream. I had very vivid dreams during the pregnancy. It took a couple of days for me to really accept that it happened. I do feel like I've made great progress on this grief journey. I wanted to sleep on Jamie’s side of the bed. He doesn’t understand. My nightmare began in my bed, my son’s death began on my side of the bed. I hate that room, I hate that bed.

I'm sad Jacoby is gone but today I feel peaceful. I don't know why, but I believe in some way the really rough day I had yesterday was a release of some sort. I'll miss my son forever but some how I want to honor him and find a way to be happy for him.

I know that someone mentioned prozac in a comment on the share blog. I read that it's not good to take anything until several weeks into the grief because it can disrupt the grief process. Not sure how everyone else feels about this but I went through therapy years ago, 2.5 years of counseling, to learn tools to cope with disappointment. I feel stronger today than I did eight years ago when I came out of my 2.5 yrs of therapy. I chose to do it because I once suffered from a thing called "lack of emotional nourishment" and "fear of abandonment". I am so grateful today that I did go through that counseling because it's made me so much healthier emotionally. I honestly believe that it's has alot to do with how I endured in the hospital without loosing my mind. How I endure each day, each minute now.

Now back to Prozac... I take that for PMS. It's the same thing as Serafem. I take it for fourteen days out of the menstrual cycle. It helps with mood swings, irritability and other PMS symptoms. I did refill my prescription last week to prepare for my period to come. It's 3 weeks and 2 days since Jacoby died and my bleeding has stopped to a faint amount. I had cramps two days ago and thought a period would come but it hasn't. I think that I'm going to hold off on the prozac until I really need it. It's only a 10mg dose and it does make me 'happy'. Because of that I'm afraid it would mask the grief sadness that I need to experience to heal.

I’m facing grief head on as if it’s the enemy and I’m going to win.

Sep 25, 2010

I watched the movie Letters To God tonight and it got me to thinking. If I could write a letter to God what would it say?

All that kept going through my mind was "Why did you choose me to be the mother of a dead baby?"

I had such a sad day today, sad all day! I'm tired of crying. I want to know do all other mom's become cynical after their angels died? I find myself feeling as if happy endings don't exist. How can they when I can't even find happiness anymore?

I hope tomorrow is better. I'm so tired of feeling this way. I want to appreciate the life that I have but I feel like it's all a waste.

Obituary unpublished

Jacoby Thomas Diehl, the son of Jamie and Tracey Diehl and beloved brother of Jamie JD Diehl went home to be with Jesus on August 31st, 2010 at 11:09 p.m. Jacoby was a beautiful 21 week gestation baby boy delivered by his mother and father after 20 hours of labor due to a cord accident which caused his mother's water to break in her sleep, his heart failed during delivery due to the lack of amniotic fluid. Jacoby weighed 1 pound and measured 12 inches. Jacoby had his brother’s nose, his mother's feet and his father's eyes, mouth and hands. Jacoby Diehl was perfect in every way that matters and forever loved by his family.

Jamie and Tracey thought they were going to have a baby boy in January but instead God gave them an Angel in August. Jacoby's remains were handled by a local funeral home and are now at home with his mother and father meanwhile Jacoby's spirit has eternal life in Heaven. The memory of this little angel will live eternally in the heart of his family.

Please remember that Jacoby may have been stillborn and some will want to diminish his death. But to his parents and grandparents, Jacoby was still BORN! Their grief is immeasurable as is their love for Jacoby. The family continues to accept offers for prayer and donations may be made in memory of Jacoby Diehl to Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (NILMDTS) and March of Dimes.

(If he'd have had an obituary, this is what it would have read. I want the whole world to know we love him, our hearts are branded with his footprint)

Well yesterday in spite of everything I managed to make it through the day without feeling terribly sad and crying. UNTIL...

It was bed time and Jamie and I were talking and laughing. I was laughing so hard cracking up. All of the sudden out of nowhere, I began to cry. Trying to suck back the tears as best I could Jamie said "what's wrong? are you okay" I said "Yes I'm fine" he said "no you aren't you're getting ready to cry, why?" I said "I'm trying not to cry, it just came out of nowhere I..." Jamie said "what's wrong?" I said "I just realized I will never see him laugh" and I cried.

Jamie is so sweet, he touched my face, dried my tears, rubbed my hair and said "I know" Then I said "I'm sorry, I know this hurts you too" he just looked at me. His eyes said it all. They were full of pain. I wouldn’t make it through this without him. He’s done everything he can to help me along the way. He is the best husband I could ask for. I still haven’t shown this blog to him. I don’t think I’ve talked much about the blog at all.

And that was an emotional wave, I didn't cry for long. I just closed my eyes and tried to fall asleep all the while thinking of how special my husband is. He closed his eyes too. I looked at him and watched him lie there, all I could think about then was how much I imagined that Jacoby would resemble him as he got older. It brought me peace. Jacoby looked just like Jamie. Every time I see his little picture I smile it brings me such joy. It’s the only thing right now that is associated with Jacoby that will bring me joy.

I told Jamie that I wanted to know if Angels were real and if they were real I don't want our son to see me crying.

Today it's been 4 weeks, it's a new day. My facebook status says "Pain so raw it feels like yesterday, memories so ingrained it feels like forever" I hate this, I wish my son was still alive.

Dear Jacoby,

Our jewelry came yesterday. It brought a small piece of you to be with me, your birthstone. Well it should have been Garnet if you were born in January but instead it’s Peridot because you were born in August. I discovered that you would have been a Virgo, just like your big brother JJ. That tells me a lot about what your personality may have been like. You would have loved your big brother. JJ is sad that you are gone too. He’s just showing it differently. Daddy is sad and for the first time since that day I saw it in his eyes last night. We all love you baby, you took a piece of each of us with you when you left this world. I can only hope and pray that you’re in heaven. I told Jax this morning that when he goes to heaven he has to find you. He’s getting old and it would bring me great comfort to know you are there together. I miss you so much.  This doesn’t seem right to mommy, when I cry it’s because I’m sad that you aren’t here with me.

I love you, to eternity and back!


Everyone says I would have been such a good mom to Jacoby, how is that comforting? I love him and want him here with me, I know I’m a great mother to JJ, but I’ll never get that chance with Jacoby. It just seems so unfair to me. Drug addicts give birth and my son died? How is that even remotely right? It’s been four weeks today since my baby died and sometimes I’m in a fog, I can’t believe it and other times I’m in pain because I feel it, and then there’s those times where I’m at total peace that everything is as it should be. But I quickly remind myself if everything was as it should be, Jacoby would be in my womb.

October 3, 2010

Well now I understand what my fellow Share Angel Moms mean when they say that I should be kind to myself. I had a couple really good days and then all of the sudden got hit with a bad day, followed by a mediocre day, and another good day. Today I have had a good day.

Yesterday I realized something profound and it's probably why the bad days are so difficult for me. I was thinking that I don't really want to live without my son and I have accepted that I have to. I have Jamie and JJ who love me and JJ is a reason to live. I was happy before Jacoby died. So as I was thinking I thought, I just wish I could go back to where things were before he died. If I have to live without him I want to live happily. I hate feeling sad all and/or most of the time. I hate missing him ALL of the time. I can't have him here so can't I just have a happy life? is that too much to ask? It's not realistic is it?

Everyone keeps telling me to be patient I'll get there. But I want to be there now. I hate that I can't 'control' the sadness. I have always wanted to be 'in control' and this experience has made me feel so out of control of myself, my life, my emotions.

But, today was a good day. I'm looking forward to the birth of my brother in laws baby. Hopefully he'll be born within the next 35 days and I'm excited about that. I look forward to meeting him and celebrating the gift of life, life is truly a miracle. I am scared of how I’ll feel when I see him and hold him. There are parts of me that are angry. They get to have a baby and we don’t. We are more prepared for a child than they are. But then I remember that I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone and since I have to carry it, please don’t let anyone else I know loose a baby.

Oct 06, 2010

Well I'm sharing the yucky details of my first period because I really need to know if anyone else felt like this.

I started my yucky cycle two days ago. After Jacoby's labor I had bleed for a few days heavily and then spotted either blood or dried blood for the entire 5 weeks. So when my actual period started it was a surprise because I never had a break in some type of bleeding. Now I'm bleeding heavily. Last night the yucky wet feeling woke me up at least 3 times and I had to change my clothes. YUCK.

Has anyone else experienced this? It does seem a little slower this a.m.

Also, did anyone mentally just hate the blood? I know I did because it meant that he was gone. I'm finally getting past that. But for weeks it really made me angry that not only did I loose my baby but my body had to change too!

Today has been a good day aside for the normal menstrual cramping and bleeding. Emotionally I feel stronger and more at peace. I know I'm on that rollercoaster... so when the sadness comes, and it will, I'll allow myself to feel it.

Six weeks today

You should be alive, as the tears roll down my face, I tell myself he should be alive. I say it out loud, “you should be alive” as if he can hear me. But can he hear me? I have a strong husband who loves me and a son who loves me that is right here with me and yet I still feel so empty. I try to get through the day without crying. I may have even managed to get through a day or two. But inside I feel so empty. I’m shedding pounds and feeling good about my physical appearance but I can’t look at myself in the mirror. When I look at that girl that is reflected back at me,, I see my pain, my sadness, my life as if it has changed and I don’t want to face that. Its been 6 weeks and I should be celebrating your birth instead of trying to find ways to get through the pain of your death.

When will the sight of a newborn baby bring me joy again?

I saw a 7 week old today at the car wash and broke down into tears in public. Jacoby was born preterm of course and would have been 6 weeks on Tuesday, so the similarities are minor. But for some reason the sight of that healthy baby boy brought me to tears and thoughts of "it's so unfair".

I sat at the car wash surrounded by strangers waiting for my car to be done crying big tears that my glasses could not hide. I was thinking to myself, babies are a blessing, a miracle, a joy and when will the sight of a newborn bring me joy?

I just want things to be the way they were before Jacoby died. Why did everything have to change or feel like it has changed with his death?

Saturday October 9th

So excited and proud of myself! I faced a 'giant' today and I did it!

As many of you know my brother in law is expecting a baby, well his girlfriend Megan is. It will be my brother in law's first child. Megan is due to deliver on November 8th. I was excited for them before I conceived Jacoby. I was 10 weeks behind them in my pregnancy.

Today, Jamie and I, went to their house to help them with the last minute nursery stuff. I thought it would bring all kinds of emotions for me. When Jacoby died, they were kind enough to take all of the stuff that we had bought from the house at my request so when I came home I didn't have to look at it. I am happy to be able to help mentor them and take Megan to get the last few things she needed.

Seeing a 8+ month pregnant person and spending the day with her should have bothered me. Going baby shopping should have bothered me. Helping with the nursery should have bothered me. The whole day should have been 'hard' for me.

But some how, I managed to rationalize with myself. I was excited about this little baby before I knew I was pregnant. I was excited after I knew I was pregnant. I now realize how much of a miracle a healthy baby is and how a healthy pregnancy is a blessing. This is my nephew... and I'm happy to do what I can to welcome him into this world.

Some day I'll tell little Joey about his cousin Jacoby the Angel God gave to us. I want to be the one that tells Joey all about his cousin and how he changed our lives in so many ways. Today I kept my eyes focused on that goal. Focused on my love for my nephew.

Little Joey can't replace my son. I'm still nervous about what my emotions will be like when I go to the hospital to see him. I've offered my help to Megan and I'm sure that will be a challenge for me. But I can only hope that it will be like today, another day to focus on the miracle of life and what an amazing gift it is.

Today wasn't a bad day, I did it!! I faced a giant and I won!


Being part of this club of women who have lost their babies in spite of their very best efforts arms you with the knowledge that pregnancy can be a very scary thing that doesn't always end with a baby in your arms. All our naive views of the world and how life begins are stripped from us when the life of our unborn child(ren) are taken as well. I do not like having this knowledge I'd rather go back to being naive.

This morning I got a text message from my brother in law saying that Megan is in the hospital with a kidney infection. She has a fever and they've been there since last night and they are keeping her. Immediately my heart sank, "no not her too went through my mind". All the things I have heard from other angel baby mom's about the circumstances that surrounded their loss immediately went through my mind. Megan is 36 weeks along it's too soon and I want my nephew to be healthy. I shared with Jamie that a kidney infection could be a bad thing and that I didn't want to cause them to worry or induce fear that they may not possess.

Now as I sit and wait for the next four weeks of her pregnancy to pass, it's as if I have 'hope' and I am not part of this club that knows our reality may not be what we'd hoped for. When in fact I am part of 'This Club' the one where we know that babies are still born, they die and don't always live and sometimes they are born unhealthy no matter how uneventful the pregnancy was. This Club has taken away my optimism, my hope, my joy.

This Club that we are in sucks. I want to disenroll but the problem is that my ticket into the club wasn't by choice, my son died. I had a healthy pregnancy did everything right, and my son died. So as I sit here hoping that my nephew is going to be okay that he won't die too, I hate being part of the club that knows the word 'hope' translates into 'naive'. I hate knowing that he 'could' die too.

'Naive', something I no longer am


Well let's see. Megan is coming home from the hospital today. The infection is responding to the antibiotic and she's doing well. I'm relieved.

This friend I spoke about has apologized. Amazing how when you tell someone exactly what they're doing wrong how they can open their eyes. I'm still leery about her but we'll see what happens.

I slept last night for the first time without meds. I drank a cup of tea before bed time. I slept all night. Got my son off to school and went back to bed until well after 10 a.m. I had dreams but not nightmares.

Most of my dreams lately are of my great grandmother she lives in Heaven too. She died when my oldest son (wow that sounds weird to say that) ... when my oldest son JJ was 3 months old. I was very close to her and have incredible memories of her. My grandmother gave me my great grandmother's cross to wear and so I wear it with two tiny birthstone ring charms for my boys. I find it quite odd that I'm dreaming of her. But I'm not complaining. I'm happy because those are peaceful dreams. In these dreams I've aged, my whole family has aged and it's as if she's still alive. Well I guess she is, in Heaven.

I'm hoping to have more restful nights without meds because the doctor wants to wean me off the sleeping pills after my next appointment. In the mean time I'm going to try to wean myself off of them so that I know where I stand when I see him.

Friday of course we all know is October 15th. My husband, son and I are going to a candle light vigil. My brother in law and Megan are also coming. They've insisted on being there. I'm so touched by their support. I have heard that some families are not quite as supportive. My heart aches for those women.  Even though my family is all far away I have their support. My mom lives in NJ, my brother in VA, my sister in FL, my dad in NY and I am in Indiana. I have friends in CO, PA, FL, VA, NY, NJ, Canada and all have been supportive from a distance. Some more than others. I think that candles will light up all around the US for Jacoby and the other angel babies. I wonder if our light will shine in heaven?

Each day is a new day. I wish I could say I'm feeling more like my self but really I still feel forever changed. I can see progress in my grief path. I'm grateful for that. I think I’m in the anger phase.  Just when you think that you’ve got it all together and this grief thing is going smoothly something slaps you in the face.

We were planning to attend the candle light vigil where they will read Jacoby's name together as a family.  My husband informs me that the Army once again may have to come first and he might not be there. It's disrupted my sleep. It's upset me. but what is "it". Am I upset with the Army which has always been this way nothing new. Am I upset with the fact that he won't be at the vigil. Am I upset with Jacoby's death, because if he hadn't died in the first place we wouldn't be planning to attend a candle light vigil... yes... that's the IT. It's upset me. I feel tears at the bottom of my throat and nothing will come out.

I woke up twice last night, so I've slept for maybe 6 hours. I really hate feeling this way. I hate that this has happened to me. It's been only 6 weeks, and I am planning on going to a ceremony just so I can hear my son's name read out loud!

I miss my son, I want him back and I can't have him. Amazing how something so minor can be so upsetting I really wanted Jamie to be there. I need him. Deep inside of me I know I need him.

Friday October 15th national Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Well it's been a little more than 6 weeks since Jacoby became my angel. I never wanted to be the mom that asked her child to watch over the family and looked to him for strength. He's a child, he shouldn't bare that burden on earth or in heaven. But, today I found myself starting the day talking to him and asking him to help me get through the day. WOW, what a great way to start my day.

First I got the phone call from the library. They accepted the book I donated "Empty Cradle Broken Heart". I had taken it there yesterday and the young lady at the front desk said that she wasn't sure if the circulation clerk would accept it and that they would call me.

Second I made a donation to the hospital for two reasons. Part of this is something my husband and I wanted to do. We created necklaces with Kristi Sagrillo at Bugaboo Jewelry that I took to the hospital, here's the link

We gave them these necklaces with a letter in a frame to thank them. I also expressed to them that nurses are the first essential part of the mother's healing process because they are tasked with the job of helping us to make memories in a short amount of time. The other part of our donation to the hospital was gift bags with the following: Blanket, Small Teddy Bear, Copy of Empty Cradle Broken Heart. I encouraged them to read Chapter 5. In this book, chapter 5 talks about how to make a memory with your child. I wish I had this information when I was in labor. If I can spare another mother the regrets I have, then I'm going to. I had also made P&IL awareness ribbons by hand and pined them to each teddy bear hand.

Then I went shopping with Megan. I was looking for a sweater to wear tonight. Without knowing where or how, I was able to find the exact sweater I wanted.

After that I got he call that my husband was going to be home after all so he could go with us. I was extremely grateful for this!

We all headed out and were able to be there in plenty of time to relax before the ceremony. Which was nice since we weren't exactly sure of where it would actually be. But we found it!

First I listened to a lady speak about how still birth changed her life, her family, her marriage. It's been two years since her child died. I was happy to hear her story because it was the first mother my husband has heard speak other than me. I think it was important for him to see that my grief is 'normal' and there's nothing for him to worry about.

Then I heard another mom speak of an eptopic pregnancy. That too was sad.

Then they opened the mic up for mom's to speak. I'm really good at public speaking and often have a mouth full. Somehow tonight I was at a loss for words. I did stand there for a moment thinking "I am not going up there" and then it dawned on me "you'll regret it" and then I thought "this is my chance to honor my son". So I quickly walked up to the mic and in the midst of my tears I was able to say my name, Jacoby's name, how he died, when he died, and I don't know exactly what else I said, but I do recall saying "I want to honor my son, I can't imagine that our children want us to be unhappy, somehow we have to go on living, we have to be happy for them..... like the other lady said, it's not easy but we are not alone... I'm here tonight to honor him because I love him".... I think that's what I said and if it isn't it's what I wanted to say. When I got back to where my husband was standing, my legs were shaking. Public speaking has never made me nervous, but I was trembling. Trying to hold back the tears that had already started and keep myself together. He kissed me and said, 'you did very well, I'm proud of you'. Megan said, "I knew you'd go up there, or you'd regret it". She was so right.

Then they spoke some more. Afterwards, we all laughed and smiled. I spoke to a few women. One is named Nita, her child died of SUDs. OMG, that's all I can say. My heart aches for her. She has three children living at home.

It was time for us to go and as we are walking away, JJ tells me that he cried. Then eventually I find out  that everyone cried. Funny thing is that the only tears I noticed were my own. My tears feel like my heart is pouring out blood through tiny holes.

But you know, through the entire day I felt as if an angel was watching over me. Everything worked out perfect. And to end the day off my husband says to me, "I'm proud of you, you did very well today". and I told him "I love you, you are the air I breathe".

Without the support of my family, friends and you angel mom's I'd quit. I wouldn't fight this thing they call grief head on. I'd quit so that I could go home with Jacoby because that would be so much easier. But watching other women endure, seeing my husbands face, hugging JJ, feeling love from Megan and Joe.... I too endure.

Tonight I'm sad, but mostly because I think today was just a long day and I'm tired. Also, I wish Jacoby was
there to see us as we lit our candles for him. I will love him longer than there is sand on a beach, water in the oceans and more than there is stars in the sky or tears pouring from my heart. I never knew that loving something so much could hurt the way my love for him pierces my heart.

I don't want to be on this journey but since I am, I'm glad I am not alone.

October 16th.

Well today was a more difficult day than yesterday. Most everything today felt like a challenge. When will it stop hurting? When will I’ve cried my last tear? When will I see you again? Instead of why I find myself asking “When”. When did I smile last and really feel happy? When will my life make sense again? When will I think of you and feel happy instead of sad? When am I going to have the answers to my questions? When?

I’ve never cried so many tears, I mean huge tears. When I do cry it comes from somewhere deep in my soul, I ache. It’s so hard to describe, and I wish I didn’t know this kind of pain. This is the pain that only comes from losing a child, there’s only one person that could cause me so much pain other than the loss of a child and that would be the loss of my husband. I’m so full of fear. My grief has taken my hope from me. I no longer have the ability to pray and trust God. I find myself feeling like it won’t matter if I pray. The silent tears I’ve cried, ohh how many there are?

I’m trying, trying to ‘move on’ as they say. Just when I think I’m doing it, I feel this horrible sadness come over me. It’s almost paralyzing.

I want Jamie to know how I feel, I want to share it with him but I don’t know how. I don’t know if he can handle hearing what’s going through my mind. I don’t know if it’s right to dump this on him when he has his own grief. How? How did I get here? I don’t understand and I need to understand. I feel like I’m back in that fog that lifted yesterday. Ohh if only it would just go away. If only this didn’t happen to me.

If I don’t take the sleeping pill I have bad dreams. Usually in the dream something is taken from Jamie and I. And then I feel helpless. Often times in the dream I’m trying to call for help, dial 911 or something and I can’t find a phone or I get put on hold. How symbolic is that? I feel like my entire world has stopped, and I’m on hold. Last night I had a dream that someone stole Jamie’s car. In this dream he was frantic and I saw him and couldn’t get to him, I tried to call 911 and I felt this panic coming up in my throat. Eventually I was holding my breath and woke up feeling terrified. I gave this dream a lot of thought. I realize the reason I’m having it is because that’s how I feel about Jacoby’s death. So this afternoon when I finally had a moment to tell him, I told Jamie about my dream. He immediately asked, “so do you think you have that because Jacoby died, you have no control over that and couldn’t get any help to stop him from being taken from us”. Wow, how insightful he is. Jamie hit the nail on the head. That’s exactly why I had that dream and probably all the others. But how do I get them to stop?  How do I get my sense of control back? How do I feel like I did everything I could to help him. There was nothing I could do. This feeling of helplessness is horrible. I can’t get back what was taken from us. There’s nothing I can do to change it. But it has certainly changed me. Without my consent I’ve been changed. Who is this girl that looks back at me in the mirror?

I tried to keep myself busy with cooking thanksgiving dinner on Saturday. Megan is nice and easy to talk to. She is a good listener. But I think that it’s not the same as talking to a woman that knows where I’m at, has been there and shares my experience. Or even talking to Jamie. He shares my pain. He says that he can’t dwell on it because he can’t change it. But for me, well if JJ died I wouldn’t just pick up and move on. A child is a child. Jacoby was my son. He died. I cant’ just ‘move on’. I need to grieve him to be healthy. I’m just tired of this.

I was asked what phase of grief am I in. I don’t know.

I want to share this with my husband. I just don’t know how or if he even wants to read it. But I feel this desire to share with him how I’m feeling. I keep hoping the day will present itself when I can tell him I’m blogging and I want him to read it. I hope that when I do, he will want to read it, because rejecting the idea would make me feel rejected.

I need for Jamie to know all my thoughts and feelings even if he doesn’t agree with them. I already know he doesn’t agree with how I’m handling this. I know in my heart he wants me to just move and and I just don’t know how to do that any other way than how I am. I am moving on it’s just at my pace. I want to be well for him and for JJ. I need to feel more like myself again for me. But somehow I don’t think that is ever going to be possible. I’m changed. I’m redefined. I’m different.

I got this from another mom who lost her baby. I was seeking advice on how to share my heart with my husband and she said this:

the short version of what to do about your husband is this: You do know what to say and how to tell him. But spoken words are not working for you. Share your blog with him. Write letters to him. Put your feelings in writing. And tell him what you need, exactly what you need. Because he doesn't get it. At all. Men just don’t understand the pain a mother feels for her child.

This is a new dynamic for him. I can tell that you are a strong, independent woman who takes care of herself and everyone else. And this is the first time that you actually NEED someone to take care of YOU and you can't survive without them doing it. He doesn't know how to take care of you and he wants to fix it, because he doesn't want you hurting and he wants the old you back. Tell him point blank that the only way to fix it is to understand that you know he can't fix it. But if he is there when you cry to hold you, and is willing to "break plates" with you when you need to and laugh about the life you had/have/will have when you need it, that is the best way to get back the "you" you used to be. It may take years. It will take patience.

The other thing to remember is that he is going through this too. And he has feelings he doesn't know how to deal with and he knows he needs to be there for you and is probably afraid to approach those feelings himself because he feels the need to be strong for you. Let him break down and you be his crutch sometimes. If not, his feelings will get buried and he WILL expect you to just bury your feelings and "get over it" because he "did".

Remember why you got married in the first place: because he was your best friend. Trust him to be that. Give him everything, but understand that some days he won't be able to take your everything. Let him come to you in his own time, but just make sure that he knows you are there for him too. You will cry together. It can make you stronger, I promise! He is the only other person on Earth that understands what you are going through. He knows, even better than me, what you are feeling because he was there with you. And he will have August 31st to remember for the rest of his life.

Trust each other and love each other and respect each other and don't be afraid to say what  you need, but don't be hurt if they can't be that for you. You are both hurting, even if he doesn't realize it for himself. Mostly, just love him. If you are the safe place he can go to, he will be the rock you need.

Have a great time on your trip. And know that I thank God for meeting you. Reading your blog and hoping to support you gave me the courage to journal my experience for the first time. And last night, as I read what I had written to my husband, he held me and we both cried together. We hadn't done that in a long time.

And I know you will come out stronger for this like we did.

She is so right. He can’t fix it and he does. He wants to old me back just as much as I do. But that’s impossible. Something like this changes who a person is. Period. I want him to see that I’m normal.  That my response to the loss of our son is normal. That all mothers would feel the way I’m feeling. I want him to understand that the way I’m processing this is normal. It’s going to take time. I want him to continue to be gentle with me and tender and loving. I want him to understand that I may have bad days, bad moments, and that it’s okay for me to allow myself to go through those emotions. I want him to understand that in my eyes, I see Jacoby as I would see JJ. The duration of his life, the length of his life, has no baring on how long I’m going to grieve. Jamie seems to think that if I had known him for 20 years or 40 years that warrants an intense amount of grieving. But this is my child. I’m going to grieve for the loss of the child. It’s a different type of grief because of all of the unknowns, but I’m still going to grieve as if I had known him. I wish Jamie would log on to SHARE and read what other mom’s. Thousands of other moms have written and feel. He’d know then that I’m normal. In my heart I think he feels like I’m overdoing this grief thing. I think that he believes I should find a way to move past it because I never actually put Jacoby in a crib. I hate that. I labored for 20 hours to give birth to our child. He’s my child no matter how long he lived and I will carry him with me in my heart forever. That pain will never go away. I will just find a way to get used to the pain. I’m trying. I want him to see that I’m trying.

I want to get to the point where we can talk about Jacoby and it’s not some tear filled conversation. I want to bake cupcakes for his birthday and let balloons off as a family. I am a mother, and like any other mother I want to find a way to celebrate my child’s birth on the anniversary of his birth every year as we call it his birthday. But there’s a part of me that is afraid Jamie won’t want to. I need him to want to. I am afraid that he won’t want to do the things I want to do to remember our son. JJ already asked me if we could celebrate his birthday and I told him yes we will! He was happy with that answer. If we lived somewhere more permanent maybe I’ll plant a tree for him. Right now I just have to go day by day and try to look forward to the future.

Monday, October 18th

Yesterday I officially experienced the depression phase of grief. I realized that this morning. I googled the phases of grief . Shock, Denial, Bargaining, Guilt, Anger, Depression, Acceptance. Some of these come and go and some of them once you pass through them it’s like a graduation, you don’t have to go back. I know that I’m past the Shock, Denial, Bargaining and Guilt. I refuse to feel guilty when I know that I’m a good mother and nothing I could have done would change this. I’m not going to. Then there’s Anger, Depression and ultimate acceptance. I think that I’m coming and going through Anger and Depression.

In my knowledge Anger is just a form of emotional energy. If you look deep under Anger it always hides another emotion. If you fail to find the cause of your Anger then you haven’t really tackled that phase. I know that under my Anger with God, Anger with medicine, Anger with my body, Anger with my circumstances, Anger that I’ll never have more children ~ all lies my disappointment. I am disappointed with God, disappointed with medicine, disappointed with my body, disappointed that my son has died. All of my disappointment makes me sad. I’m learned that under anger there is always another emotion. So when I get angry I scream, I hurt, I feel like someone is ripping my heart out of me. Because I’m disappointed I don’t have my baby anymore. Jacoby is dead.

So I go in and out of the Anger Phase because I keep battling this feeling of great disappointment. I’ve always wanted more children. Now Jamie doesn’t want to go through this again. I’ll never have another baby of my own or even know if I could, because he’s determined to use a condom. He’s determined to use birth control. So I wonder how will I make it to acceptance. How can I accept that I’ll never have another child? Jacoby was so much more to me than just a baby, he was my chance at another child. He was my chance to nurture, raise, love, another child. JJ has outgrown that. He doesn’t need my cuddling, hugging, giggling, he’s a teenager. He may need me but not like I need to be needed. Jacoby needed me like I need to be needed. I’ll have no more Jacoby, no more babies. So will I ever leave the Anger phase? I don’t know how to just ‘accept’ that I’ll never have more children.

Before Jacoby I had been in a place where I thought ohh it could happen. I always had hope. I always had the hope that maybe some day I would get pregnant. We weren’t trying, but I had hope. Now I have no more hope. And inside, I feel like more than my hope for babies has been taken, my hope to see anything through my old eyes. My new eyes can’t see hope. So the Anger phase for me is disappointment. My disappointment phase is loss of hope. No pill, drug, words, time can heal that. How can I move to acceptance if I can’t move past disappointment? I know I’ve accepted that my son has died. But I have not accepted why this had to happen to me or that it actually did. I hate it. I feel like if I accepted that this happened tome that I’m saying it’s ‘ok’ that it did. This will never be okay for me. I feel the same way about moving ‘past” it. If I move past my grief then I’m saying it’s okay that it happened. Loosing my son, saying goodbye, will never be okay with me.

Yesterday I was depressed. I felt like a shell, and I was just here. It came over me all of the sudden. My shoulders felt heavy, my arms felt useless. I was emotionless. I just sat there. Trying to have dinner with Jamie and I couldn’t. I was there but my mind was in another place. Jamie asked me was I okay. I said, I’m the same. He asked me what the same meant. I think I said the same as I have been. I don’t know. What I wanted to say to him is all this stuff that I write on here. I want him to know where I’m coming from, how I feel, my deepest thoughts. I don’t know if he can handle it. I think he will want to try to fix it.

I took myself from the table to the bed. I turned on the TV. I don’t know what was on, I just turned it on so that they would know I wasn’t sleeping. I laid there. Staring into space. I kept thinking there’s this voice inside of me that wants Jamie to know how I feel. I want him to hear my words and not try to fix it. He can’t fix it. I refrain from telling him all my feelings because I think he wants me to get over it. I think he wants me to move on. I think that he wants me to act like Jacoby didn’t exist. But how can I? For every day since April I’ve lived for him. Everything I did to my body every choice I made, was for him. For five months straight everything was for my son who is dead. How do I tell my husband my pain? How do I show Jamie how I hurt without hurting him?

I’m reading “Still.” by Stephanie Cole. What a great book. She sums up all my thoughts, my pain, my story. Recently I wrote an email to Stephanie and this is what it said:

Time is a blur to me. I’ve lost the whole month of September, don’t know where it went. October moves on and I still don’t know where it is going. I just know that I’m still here. Amazing how the word “still” can have so much meaning. “still – born” “born – still” “time stands still” “I’m still here”. “Still grieving” I hate that word now, because I “still” have to live and my son is dead.

Even though her daughter died one week after her due date in her womb, her pain is the same as mine. Right down to where she sleeps. I hate my side of the bed. I hate that room. My son began to die there. I associate that bed side with my loss. I can’t get Jamie to switch. We can’t seem to move the furniture around. Every night when I lie down, that’s what I think of. I’m reading her book and I want Jamie to read it with me. But I don’t know how to ask for that.

In three days I am going to Florida. When I am gone I will be full of fear. I’m afraid. Of the unknowns. I used to pray to God to keep my family safe, to keep me safe. Now that seems pointless. I try to put on this façade for Jamie that says I’m okay. I’m trying to be okay. But sometimes, especially Tuesdays’, I’m suffocating with grief. My disappointment is drowning me. Like all other angel mom’s I’m different now. I’ve changed. This changed me. I’ll never be the same. The best thing would be for everyone around me to accept that I’m not going to be the same again. How do I expect them to accept that, it would be like losing me. They’ve lost me and I’ve lost Jacoby. How does this go away? How does this get better?

I laid in bed last night, feeling so heavy, so weighed down, so emotionless. My voice kept saying tell him and nothing would come out. I kept thinking “I want him to know” but I couldn’t say anything. When Jamie came into the bedroom I reached out to him. I wanted him beside me. I wanted him to read my mind. Hear my heart breaking. But nothing. I couldn’t say anything. He wanted to watch TV. It was nice to have him there but I was somewhere else. This whole experience has been so surreal.

Then, I picked up a book to read. It’s called “The Shack”. My doctor told me to read this story. It’s fiction and I began to read. Eventually the depression left me, and I was reading the book. Talking to Jamie about poker and reading the book. It was like the sun coming after a rain storm. It just lifted.

Today I have a lot on my plate. I should be working. But right now I just want to get my thoughts out of my head. I want to find a way to make sense of it all. I need to share it with Jamie and I still don’t know how. There’s that word again. “STILL”.

Joe and Megan were here for a visit. I was trying to be kind. Last week I knew that having them here for the weekend would be too much for me. But this weekend I felt compassionate. Joe could get locked up and Jamie needed time with his brother. I felt like the fact that they wanted to come to the memorial service was really special. I really appreciated that. So I set aside my fear that it would be too much for me and went to get them for a visit. They were here from Thursday until Sunday. Some of it went okay for me. But some of it didn’t. Saturday I hid in the bathroom and sat on the floor and cried for more than an hour. No one knew. I was upset. Not completely sure what was upsetting me but I think it had to do with emotional overload. I watched Megan rub her belly and thought that should be me. It makes me angry. I have to be honest. I’m angry that she has her baby and I don’t have mine. I’m disappointed that she has her baby and I don’t have mine. It hurts me so much. To sit there and see her rub her belly.  I can’t even bring myself to touch her belly. I realized that I used to love the sight of a pregnant woman before I had Jacoby. Now I hate them. I used to want to touch the belly of friends and family to feel the baby move. Now I don’t want to. It was hard for me having Megan and Joe around. It was too much for me. When I took them home on Sunday as I pulled away. I screamed and cried in the car like a mad woman. I had to release. The whole way through the city my eyes flooded with tears and I was crying so hard. Sometimes I couldn’t see the road. I didn’t care. I just cried and screamed “that should be me” I kept screaming as if God can hear me “why did you take my baby, it’s so unfair”. I was crying and thinking how I just want my son back. I just want my baby. Nothing is going to bring him back, and I know that. But I think it’s so unfair that they get a baby and I don’t. I look at their relationship and their lack of funds, lack of knowledge, lack of everything… and I think I am a better mother. Jamie is a better father. Why isn’t our baby alive. I can’t say that to Jamie because when I share things with him I feel like he’s trying to ‘rationalize’ or “fix’ or “justify”. I want him to know how I feel without the ‘judgment’ that comes with sharing these feelings. I hate the fact that their baby is live and our’s isn’t. point
blank. I don’t know that I’ll ever get past it. I try to put up a front.. I try to focus on the fact that he’s our nephew and I wouldn’t wish any harm to come to our nephew. I love my nieces and nephews. I want to love him the same. But right now… I am so angry. So disappointed. It was too much for me to be around them for all that time. I really think it’s what caused me to go into that deep state of depression yesterday afternoon. I went to sleep and didn’t want to get up. Only reason I got up was cause I knew Jamie needed me to cook.

I go on each day because I know that Jamie and JJ need me. Some how deep inside of me I want to find happiness again. I want to find it and keep it. I want it to stay. But I don’t know how to make it stay.  Jamie makes me laugh and he tries really hard. But sometimes I just wish he’d put his arms around me and let me cry. Cry until I can’t cry anymore and make me feel like it’s okay to cry. But instead when I’m sad and I see him, I pull myself out of the sadness and I try to pretend I’m okay because I don’t want to hurt him. I know that he needs to believe I’m okay. He needs to believe that I’m going to be okay. But for me…. I don’t think I’ll ever be the same. And you know what, that hurts so much. That thought alone brings to me to tears every time. I’ll never be the same.  I rationalize, well we are all supposed to grow, evolve, change on this journey of life. But for me, the fact that I’ll never be the same means that I’ll never be like I was when I had Jacoby in my womb. I was hopeful. I was naïve. I was happy. It was the happiest I’ve ever been. I’ll never get that back. I could get hope back over time. I could get happy back over time. And maybe someday JJ will make me a grandmother and I’ll get to experience a baby again. But for now, I’ll never get naive back and that destroyed part of me. It’s like a beautiful city after a storm. The city will still be beautiful but the landmark building that was once there is now gone. Yes they can rebuild but that landmark is gone forever. I’m the same way, this is worse than Rape. You heal but you are forever changed. I no longer feel like the word “baby’ will bring a smile to my face.  Instead it will bring sadness, Immediately I hear the word baby and I think of death. It’s not supposed to be that way. I am forever changed, my perception is forever changed, my heart is forever changed. I just want to go back to the way things were, I want to be the same and I will never be the same.

I can’t bare to make eye contact with myself. I look in the mirror and I see my own pain reflected at me. I begin to cry. I walk away.  I feel like this whole experience has become dramatic. But wait a minute… loosing a baby is extremely dramatic, it’s heart wrenching, it’s awful, no one should have to go through it. I’ve always felt that way. Only difference is now I know how those mother’s feel.

I love my husband. But now I love him more. I am afraid of losing him. I’m afraid that something would happen to him. I feel so out of control. I’ve never felt more out of control in my entire life. All my therapy and counseling could not have prepared me for how I feel. Jamie is the air I breathe. These days without him, I’d never make it out of bed. He’s the reason I keep going. Because I know we grieve differently and that his way of grieving is partly dependant on how I’m doing. I know that if he sees I’m okay he’s okay. If he sees me sad, it makes him sad. I try to hide my sadness most of the time. I only let him see a glimpse of how I’m really feeling most of the time. I try to laugh. Sometimes I succeed. He is so funny and can make a joke out of anything. I don’t think, no let me rephrase, I know that I couldn’t endure this journey without him.

October is almost over and I don’t know where it’s went. I’m getting ready to take a trip to see Lourdes and celebrate Sharon’s birthday. I am terrified of flying. I used to be afraid and I’d pray my way through it. Lately praying my way through anything doesn’t seem to yield the same comfort it used to. I used to pray and trust God. But I did that for Jacoby. I prayed and trusted that God had given me my hearts desire. I thought it certain that Jacoby was a gift from God. Now I don’t know what or how to think.  Yes Jacoby was a gift, but he didn’t keep him alive inside of me. He’s not in my arms. I’m without my son. So praying to keep me safe on this flight seems kind of senseless. I’ll be gone from the 21st to 26th and I’m sure I’ll miss Jamie and JJ. I will miss Jamie so much. I don’t know how to show him that missing him this time will be different for me. When I come back, October will be almost gone and I will not know where it went.

Time seems to be going by and my pain isn’t leaving with it. I know that I am better now than I was 6 weeks ago. Tomorrow marks 7 weeks since my son became an angel. 7 long weeks and I don’t know where the time has gone.

Seven weeks since Jacoby came into our lives.

I think we should have named him Tornado. Because that’s how he has turned our worlds upside down. Our little tornado. Everything has changed. I want to think of Jacoby and smile but now when I hear his name it warms my heart and when I think of him I’m sad.  Jamie and I had a long talk last night. The doctors visit yesterday was a mess. I just wish that my family would understand how hard it is for me to go to the doctors right now. I feel like they can’t do anything for me but it’s a necessary evil. I have to go. So I force myself to go. This was my family doctor and I had never met her before. She had a whole bunch of questions about Jacoby and how he died. She was angry that they didn’t do an amniotic infusion. She was mad that the doctor didn’t come to see me until after I was at the hospital for hours. She brought up all these questions that I’ve allowed myself to ignore because they aren’t going to bring my son back. It was hard for me to hear that and then come home. She wanted me to talk to Jamie and tell him how I’m feeling. I’ve wanted to talk to him and tell him how I feel.

I tried, but I ended up in an emotional fog and crying and not able to articulate any of my words clearly. I wanted to speak like I do when I’m writing. I wanted to give him clear concise words but instead I can’t even remember what I said. I remember some of what he said. It hurt. I don’t think he means to hurt me but the way he’s processing grief is different than it is for me. I think he feels like he’s loosing me.  I’m here. I’m right here. I just don’t’ know who I am anymore. I feel forever changed and I want to regroup, recharge, find purpose and move forward. I’m trying. I keep telling him I’m trying. I guess it’s not fast enough for him. Hell I don’t even think he’s faced his grief. I think his way of dealing with it is to burry it and mask it. But I’m not going to judge. I’m here. I’m still here.
I am reading the book Still. It’s a short read and the author Stephanie’s daughter was stillborn as well. I feel her words on those pages. I want Jamie to read the book. I want him to know that I’m normal. I think if he understands that I’m normal then he won’t worry so much about me. I think he worries about me.

We all live here but I feel like we are all in separate worlds. Jamie in his game room downstairs, JJ in his bedroom and I’m just fumbling along to stay afloat. I long for a time when we do things together routinely as a family. Maybe take a hike or a drive or a trip. Dog park as a family would be nice. This time here has been hard in general. Jamie comes on and all he wants to do is be home. He just wants to go into his cave and play games. He’ll watch TV with me and we cuddle. That’s great. But I long for us to be a family. I long for JJ to want to be around us instead of being in his room on his PC doing his own thing. Are all families like this I wonder? We’re all here but I feel so alone sometimes. Jamie’s response is that I need to find a hobby to occupy my time. No, my response is that I long for time that the three of us can make memories together. This has been bothering me for a long time. It started before Jacoby died. When I was pregnant with him I just thought well I’ll have someone to make memories with. Now that that’s gone it’s forced me to evaluate my feelings in a deeper level. What did Jacoby symbolize for me that I’m lacking? I’m lacking a deeper connection to my husband and son as a family. I want us to be a family but instead we just coexist. A family for me would be meals together, board games, hiking, taking drives together, talking to each other. And you know what, Jamie and JJ would probably tell you we are a family and that we do everything normal families do. They would probably minimize how I’m feeling with a joke. But Jacoby was my chance to do it all over again. I miss the little boy I used to have who cuddled with me and played with me. I want us to be a more active together kind of family. I would love nothing more than for us to take a camping trip together. Or take the dogs to the dog park together. Or go to a café and sip coffee and hot cocoa and talk. I don’t want a hobby I want my son and my husband to fill our time with memories.

Today it’s been 7 weeks since our son died. Seven of the longest weeks of my life. As long as I live Jacoby will live. As long as I live Jacoby will be remembered. As long as I live Jacoby will be loved.

Wednesday. October 20, 2010

Yesterday was 7 weeks and I made it through the day without a tear. I actually never felt too sad either. I guess I am getting better. I really believe that sharing my feelings with Jamie has helped me. I’ve decided to print off this journal and leave it for him to read while I’m gone.

Letter to Jamie:

(if you’ve gotten to this part Honey here’s what I want you to know). I need for you to know how I feel. I don’t want you to comment I don’t want you to fix it I don’t want you to feel the same way. You won’t agree with me because I’m a woman and you are a man. We balance each other out. I just NEED for you to know what my thoughts are and how I’m feeling. I need for you to know that I’m normal. I’m leaving this for you to read so that I can feel as though you know now. You keep asking me why am I having such a hard time with losing him when people get over losing people that they’ve known for thirty years. I can tell you why. A mother loves her child from conception. Her love is immeasurable. The love I have for JJ would cause me to grieve in this way. The love I have for Jacoby is why I shed so many tears. I don’t have to know him or live with him to love him or dream about him. I knew him in my womb, memories mean nothing when held in comparison to the womb. I love him and my heart hurts because he’s not here. In my heart there is a hole for you and a hole for JJ and there is now a hole for Jacoby. The difference is that with you two I get that hole filled. You two love me, live with me and are here to fill your ‘holes’. Jacoby is not here. That hole in my heart will always be there. Until I see him again. So for now I grieve because I am not used to that hole just yet. In time I will get used to that hole in my heart. I will get used to the emptiness I feel and I will get used to the pain. That’s when I’ll get through it. I will never get over it. Look at it this way. A man looses his leg in Iraq. He is devastated but he goes on. It’s as if a piece of him has died. This is how I feel. A piece of me died when I lost Jacoby. But the man get’s used to the leg being gone. He works through the physical recovery. I too worked through the physical recovery. Then he works through the emotional recovery. I am working through the emotional recovery.  At some point he gets used to his leg being gone and the emotional damage. It will never go away but he gets through it. I will never fill the hole in my heart with anyone but Jacoby. But I will get through it. I just need for you to know that I’m normal. What I am going through and how I am responding to our loss is normal. Every other mother that I’ve spoken to that has had a still born baby they’ve all dealt with it this way. It’s very emotional. I don’t expect you to agree with me or understand exactly how I feel. But I do need very much for you to know. I just need for you to know how I feel and that I’m normal.

Eventually that man would get used to the leg being gone, a prosthetic is built for him and he moves on. My prosthetic is what I’m trying to find. I’m trying to find something that can ‘repair’ my heart so that the hole doesn’t stop me from functioning. It’s going to take time. I will find a way to get used to my hole and keep going. But Jacoby will always be part of me. Part of us. I don’t want to act like he never lived. I can’t. Because to me he did live. I want to celebrate Christmas and birthdays and holidays remembering him as part of our family. It will be sad, weird, hard and even uncomfortable at first. But he’s our son and we need to honor him. I will find ways to honor him and those ways will bring me great comfort. Until then, I will muddle through this grief process the only way I know how. Giving myself one day at a time to handle. Trying to be the best wife and mother I can. I know you are still here and you need me. I get that. But what I don’t think that anyone gets is that I need me. I need to feel like me again. I don’t know if that will ever happen. I hate what has happened to us, to our son. I hate how it has destroyed so many of my hopes and dreams for our family. I don’t know how to make new hopes or dreams right now. I’m just stuck in a rut. I know that in time I’ll find ways to ‘plug’ that hole in my heart until I get to heaven and see our son again. I’ll find my prosthetic. In the mean time what I need from you is that man I’ve seen over the past seven weeks.

You have been so compassionate, tender, loving, caring, patient and kind to me. You’ve dried my tears, countless tears. You’ve held me. You’ve made me laugh. Taken me out to dinner. Cuddled with me when I didn’t want to be alone. You’ve shown me how much you love me and that’s what I need.

You have been my solid rock. You don’t have to be so solid anymore. I can handle it if you want to break down too. I know that you’ve carried my sadness in spite of your own. I know that you are hurting too. I know that you are afraid you’ll loose me too. I’m trying to make it so that doesn’t happen. I want to be there for you. WE can hurt together. I’m not so fragile anymore. And if you feel that you’re ‘okay” then that’s fine. I’ll accept that. Even though I think you’ve buried your pain and hid from your sadness.  I think that’s how you’ve coped instead of facing it and feeling it. But that’s you and I can accept that. I can respect that.

I love you Jamie. More than the air I breathe, more than our children. I can go on for you. I can’t go on without you.

Back to Blogging

Where has the time gone? Nine weeks since Jacoby died. I hate having to write that. "since Jacoby died". I want to type "9 weeks since Jacoby was born". I shouldn't have to say he died. Time has helped to heal. Nine weeks ago you could not have told me that I'd feel the way I do today in a few weeks. The grief initially and the pain that came with it was almost unbareable. But I'm still here and I'm finding my silver lining. I miss being pregnant. I miss my son. But in the midst of it all I can say I feel him with me and each day I see his purpose being fulfilled.

When I was pregnant with Jacoby I had decided that his nursery would be sea turtles. I went to Virginia a couple weeks before he died and didn't know he was going to die. My sister in law gave me a stuffed sea turtle. In the days following his death I clung to this sea turtle and now it sits beside his ashes. Jacoby was my little sea turtle.

Recently I purchased a sea turtle necklace for myself. Yesterday I wore this necklace and over four people complimented the necklace. I began to ponder. If I had a baby in my arms people would say "ohh what a beautiful baby". Instead, I get the compliments "Ohh what a beautiful necklace". I am compelled to share the story with them. "I had a baby that died and his nursery was going to be sea turtles". Their smile immediately turns upside down. Kind of like my world did the day Jacoby died nine weeks ago.

I didn't sleep well last night, I think it had something to do with missing my son. Because several times I woke up and my hand was rubbing my empty much smaller tummy. My eyes are empty, I cant seem to cry anymore tears (at least not now). My arms are empty, I don't have my baby to hold. But some how, my life is not empty. Jacoby has filled my heart, my broken heart, has been filled with love for my little sea turtle.

9 weeks ago he came into this world and it is forever changed from what I knew it to be.

Nov 03, 2010 07:08pm (EST)

I remember when I first started my journey on this path called grief, that someone said to me "waves" of emotion. I understood the analogy as something that meant it would come and go.  Now I understand, 9 weeks later, so much more.

Waves come crashing to the shore line. In the distance they look beautiful. They stir things up. They pull in the tide or pull out the tide. Waves come in different shapes and sizes. Much like grief, it comes in different amounts.

Today, out of nowhere, my waves came crashing in.

Everything looked calm as the day began. I went through the baby department at Target checking clearance for Megan. Met a lady that is pregnant (Stephanie) and due with a boy in January. I was drawn to her. We talked in the baby department for over an hour. Stephanie was the first person I met that when I said my baby died, she didn't frown. She continued to talk to me as if I was human and not crazy. As it turned out we had alot in common. I headed home feeling great that I was able to talk to a woman that is pregnant and her due date was 9 days before mine. I didn't hate her, I didnt feel ill toward her and I didn't cringe when I saw her. I felt that this was progress. I even exchanged phone numbers with her.

I wonder however if it was like a distant storm brewing out in the ocean. You can't see it, but it's there. I wonder if this experience is what caused me to be so upset this afternoon. I'll never know. I do know however that, my waves came crashing in with a vengence.

I stood in the living room allowing myself to experience every emotion. Verbalizing and screaming and crying. Until I couldn't cry anymore. I put ice on my face, fixed my makeup and picked up my son from the bus stop.

Later when Jamie got home from work, I ran emotionless into his arms. He is my lifeboat. Immediately he knew something was wrong with me. I am still amazed at how he can recognize my pain. I told him I was sad. He held me. I felt better.

Jamie shared with me how his blood pressure was elevated when he went to the doctor today. He said it's probably because of the pressure he's under. I asked him what was bothering him. Among the list was Jacoby. Why do I find comfort in knowing that my son's death bothers him too?

A dear friend pointed out to me today through email dialogue that as much as I think I've changed, Jamie is the one who has changed. She went about it in such a gentle way that I received this information and realized it was truth. He has changed. Not good or bad, but he has changed. How could he not change after all his son died too.

The waves are gone for now. Until the next storm I rest in knowing that I am not alone in my grief my sea turtle has a father who rests on the shores with me. He is our lifeboat.

Nov 05, 2010 03:10am (EST)

I want to know what other angel moms experienced on their birthday after their child died.

I know my birthday is important to my mother but to me today just means that I'm 38 and the mother of a dead baby. I can't find joy to celebrate, not this year.

I think the whole birthday thing is pointless now. Birthdays used to symbolize joy to me. The day JJ was born was his birthday and it redefined how I saw birthdays. Now the day Jacoby was born was his birthday and death day it also redefined how I see birthdays.

It's been nine weeks and four days since Jacoby died and I can't imagine celebrating my birthday without him here.

It’s been 10 weeks and I have to go for another follow up. I hate going there. I hate having to hear heartbeats through walls or see newborns. The waiting process in an OB’s office for the mom of a dead baby really sucks. It needs to change. This week has been eventful for me and for our family.

Nov 10, 2010 08:33pm (EST)

How can I be so happy about the birth of my nephew and miss my son so much all at the same time? I just miss Jacoby!

Megan had her baby, my nephew is perfect! I am so happy he's here and that everything went well for them. Mom and baby are doing fine after a very long induced labor. I held him and felt total joy for them.

I sit here, happy for them and so sad for myself.

On Monday Megan and Joe were going to have their baby. Megan was induced starting at Monday evening 9 p.m. they placed medicine at her cervix. She received petocin at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning. Joseph Robert Diehl was born at 12:07 a.m. Wednesday November 10th. I was glad he waited until Wednesday to come out because Jacoby died ten weeks ago Tuesday at 11:09 p.m.  I did not want to think of the two things on the same day does that make sense? Probably not to most. But to me it was a wish I had.  I was able to be there with Megan and coach her through 8 hours of hard labor before she asked for the epidural. I still was able to be there throughout the entire process. I don’t know how I did it or where the strength came from. The hardest part for me was listening to his heartbeat on the monitor. It would take me back to Jacoby’s heartbeat.  He was in my womb with a heartbeat for several hours after my water broke. I knew my water was gone and he would suffocate. It was horrible for me. I remember lying there and hearing that so hearing it again in the doctors office and/or the delivery with Megan was super hard for me.

I think I’ve come a long way in my grief walk. I’ve discovered that I’m probably in the anger phase and only have this and acceptance left to tackle. I’m still reading my books, blogging my story, communicating with other women who have similar experiences.  Through the entire process I’ve learned so much that I wish I did not know. The number of babies that die each day is horrible.  The number of mothers that have to say hello and goodbye each year is 20 times more than those that die from cancer. I’ve learned that a huge percentage of pregnancies end in death. I’m changed by this information.

I think in my grief walk I have anger and acceptance to conquer. In my anger is an underlying emotion, I call it disappointment. I'm disappointed that this happened to me and it's going to take time for me to process this disappointment.

It's been 10.5 weeks since Jacoby died and I still have moments of great sadness. I realized that I have to acknowledge that I feel sorry for myself. I am terribly sadened by what others go through. I have empathy for everyone else and little for myself. Acknowledging that I feel sorry for myself and that I'm sad is part of the healing process.

I had a hard time pulling myself away from little Joey. I want to tell him about his cousin Jacoby and I hope to be able to do that some day. But for now I'm just happy that he's here and his mommy can experience the love only a mother knows. Megan has been so good to me through my loss and I think now she looks at me and feels sad for me.

Being in the hospital around other babies, pregnant women, heartbeats and nursery cries... was NOT easy at all. But I did it. I faced another Giant. I coached Megan for 8 hours of her labor with every contraction guiding her and encouraging her. I still can't believe that I could do that (no one else stepped up to the plate) but I did it.

I did everything I could to make their experience about them and their joy and not about me and my loss. I never let them see me cry (only once) and I did everything I could to keep my focus on little Joey. I'm happy I was there for them and had that chance to be there for them in the way they were there for me with Jacoby.

I just wish when I left the hospital that my arms weren't empty.


Susan said...


I'm sooo sorry to hear about your son, Jacoby. Your story was so similar to mine; I was 20 weeks and the exact same thing happened to me.

My fiancee's niece (who's 18),had a baby just 9 weeks after I lost our son - altho, I am a little relieved that she had a girl because I don't know how I would feel otherwise; I don't know how you do it. It is just so you, I also let them have all my baby things.

Again, I'm sorry to hear about your son. It's sad that we have had to go through what we did.


drema pearson said...

Tracey,i wanted to just say how my heart aches for you.i am a mom to a angel that was born sleeping as well.i had a spleenic anursym that burst 6 weeks b4 my due date,it has been 27 yrs & my heart still hurts.if you want to read about my loss please go to or put in amanda wooten into the search bar & click on her pic.i wanted to tell you about a free memorial site if you are interested in one for your son.i think it will be of great help to you.go to i also have one for amanda there if you want to look.please leave your info on there if you do decide to make one for Jacoby.i will be thinking of you.drema wooten pearson

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