Saturday, July 9, 2011

6 Months since he was declared

Thanks to everyone for the kind words over this month, hoping this was the month for us. It's not, I'm not pregnant, and the process begins again. It's okay though, one month closer, I have to figure, right?

Today marks 6 months since Jack was declared. It seems so long, and so quickly all at the same time.

A year ago, I was starting to be more open with people that we were "expecting"... Well, ladies, this is certainly not what I expected I would be doing.

To look back, it seems so crazy to me that a year ago I thought things would be so different. And they are, but not at all in the way I imagined.

I remember looking forward to this summer when I still had things to look forward to. I enjoyed thinking about taking Jack for his first swim at my in-law's house. To those chubby baby legs poking out of shorts, to summer days spent walking with our stroller, and to seeing my husband carry our baby around. I looked forward to sleepless nights where it was just the two of us, to seeing his smile and giggle and roll over. Waking up to his own baby toots (okay, so we did get to experience this together). So proud of his accomplishments we all would have been, but we never really got to accomplish anything together.

I still can't wrap my head around why this happened to us. Of all people. Why us? I know people who are impossibly fertile and have never "wanted" for anything. That was us, and now we'll spend the rest of our lives wanting. But the others? They are able to carry on with their lives, turning their faces away from the pain we are forced to live day in and day out. Not that I want it for other people, but why us?

Six long months since Jack's evaluation which would confirm what we already knew- he was brain dead. It's a whole legal process, confirming brain death, requiring not one doctor, but two, to confirm the findings. And it had to happen twice, 24 hours apart. We authorized this so we could begin the process of finding organ recipients. It also started our countdown to the last time we would hold him, the last time we would see him, touch him, smell him.

We (Scott, both sets of our parents, and my BIL and SIL) sat in the room they save for parents just like us, who's lives were forever changed. I remember looking at the digital radio clock, wondering what time it would be when he was officially gone. It would be 6:37 pm on January 9, 2011. Exactly 8 days and 5 minutes since he came screaming into our lives, he was officially gone. Our neonatologist was so fantastic, and always referred to Jack by his name, and never "the baby" as others later referred to him. He told us Jack had indeed failed every test and there was no sign of brain activity. Somehow, this was good news. Because if he had any brain activity at all, it didn't mean he would live, it just meant there would be no organ donation and then we'd have nothing left. Nothing to cling to. Nothing. No evidence that his little life mattered to anyone other than us.

I struggle with this every month. Whether to celebrate his monthly "birth" day, whether to start bawling on the date which reflects when he was declared, or the date we last held him. It tends to be the "birth" and the "last time we held him" which are the hardest. They are the most clearly defined, as the days between his declaration and the time we last held him seemed to have moved at the speed of sound. We slept a lot at SickKids. I'd just had a c-section, hadn't slept in a week, and was emotionally vacant after being told our beloved son wasn't going to live. We took turns in Jack's room, never wanting him to be alone. But he was, as Scott and I tried to comfort one another, our parents and our siblings.

I don't think I've shared this part of our story before, but in the afternoon of January 10th, while we awaited news on organ recipients for the next morning's surgery, Scott and I slept fitfully on the pulldown bed. I awoke at one point to see Scott started freaking out. He was rummaging through the pillows (which were actually just pillow cases stuffed with whatever soft clothing we could locate, since there weren't any pillows in the room) with such panic on his face. I just *knew* he was still sleeping, so I gently asked him what he was doing. "I'm looking for Jack! Where did we put him? Where is he? I can't find him!".

I softly told him he knew exactly where Jack was, and why he was there. Scott slowly seemed to wake up as he told me he did know where he was, and he didn't like it.  Careful not to touch him and wake him up, I told Scott to lay his head down and close his eyes. He did as he was told, and when he awoke again a hour or so later, he had no recollection of the entire event.

Heartbreaking doesn't even begin to describe.

I just miss him, want a do-over, want him back. I want to be like all the other mommas I've known in real life since we lost Jack. Jack's the only one who didn't make it. I don't get it. Why did this have to happen to our gorgeous little man?


Becky said...

I wish Jack could be with you too. 6 months without our babies, just isn't fair!

That sucks that your not pregnant, I'm sorry:(

Brooke said...

Oh, mercy LJ. That story of your husband just breaks my heart all over again.

It shouldn't happen to anyone, but this especially shouldn't have happened to you and your Jack. I'm so sorry.

Kelly said...

So heartbreaking. Everything about it just plain sucks. Much love to you always LJ. (((hugs)))

Molly said...

Oh geez.... more tears but now they r for u. This sucks. I'm so sorry it happened to u.

Darcey said...

I am so sorry you have these painful memories. Thinking of you!

Dana said...

I wish he was with you too. I wish all your memories of his life were wonderful. I'm so sorry this happened to you.

B. Wilson said...

Words like "declared" make me ill now. Really.

Watching our husbands go through this and that dream... my God. It's beyond heartbreaking. That already happened and it can get worse? Yep. Yep, it can. So terrible.

About the dates being a struggle and not knowing which is more painful, I've thought about that. For those of you who (like Ellie's mama) had to watch your babies die, I'm just not sure what would be worse and there's really no point comparing. They're obviously all bad. But it's a matter of when the emotions are triggered.

Basically no month is the same for me. Every part of the month ties me to someone we know that lost a baby. :(

Sorry friend.

Angela said...

That story at the end about your husband just breaks my heart. I am so sorry Jack is not here with you.

Caroline said...

Learning more about what you went through is so heartbreaking. Sometimes I find myself almost jealous that you gave birth to a living baby and have pictures of him alive (inappropriate of me? Possibly), and then other times, I can't believe the level of heartache you had to endure and can't imagine going through it - like it's easier to have a baby be stillborn. It goes back and forth and just shows (me at least) that there is no "easier" way through all this. It's all horrible and terrible and proves that no baby should ever die - regardless of the timing. I hate this for you. I hate it for me. For all of us. Mostly, I hate it for Jack, and Cale, and all those other babies who should be here.

Tiffany said...

I'm so sorry. It isn't fair. This most brings me to tears. It's so wrong. I'm so so sorry.

Angie said...

I don't know why it happened to you, to your Jack. I wish I could give you and answer that would put your heart at ease, but I can't. I don't know why it happened to any of us. I'm sorry Jack is gone, I'm sorry all of them are gone. xo

little vitu's mom said...

Your post has stirred a lot inside me. My baby was was 'declared' ...sometime on nov 29th. I don't know the exact time. I had woken up believing everything is well that day as his previous day was very good. But by evening we were driving home with our baby who wasn't breathing anymore. The doctor would only speak to men, my husband was in Dubai that day, so my father took the news and came to my room to break the news to me. I know how difficult it must have been for him and he was crying. The hospital room where I was took that news, the dress I wore...everything is still so shockingly clear in my mind.

I too think everyday why am I made to go through this. And all those people who can turn their faces from our grief and live ...and we go through this pain everyday. It's not fair at all.

Sorry about negative bfp. Thinking of you and your Jack.

Becky Baker said...

I'm so sorry for your loss!
I wish I could grant us all a do over, it's just so unfair!!

lissasue3 said...

<3 ((hugs))

Rhiannon said...

I am so sorry that this happened to your family, too. Sorry that it has to happen to any of us. I wish we could all have a "do-over".

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