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?
21 hours ago