Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Year of Jack

A year ago today, at 25-ish weeks pregnant, I finally "outed" myself to the general population of Facebook. People at work (obviously) had known for a while, as had most of my in-real-life friends. But ex-boyfriends and "frienemies" of Facebook, they did not.

Warm congratulations flowed in of the coming hours and days, and I relished in them. I remember feeling such a sense of excitement that my news was finally universal. I had waited until after Jack was"viable" before spilling the beans, because how awful is it to have to "undo" all of that. HA <- That is the universe laughing at my misfortune.

Sometimes I think of where I was this very moment in time a year ago. I had ordered our stroller because it was on sale and I was soo excited. I had begun to register for thoroughly reviewed baby items. I had watched all of National Geographic's In the Womb videos to see how development had been progressing. I was looking forward to another few months of work, then being home with my baby for a year. It was to be the year of Jack- of baby massage, stroller days, and showing him off to friends and family. We would nurse, we would play, we would be raising a strong, independent little guy. I would make organic baby food,  change his biodegradable diapers, and wear him in my Moby. I would enjoy the shit out of him.

Instead, in the months which followed Jack, I have mourned him. I have mourned the very existence he should have had. The one we all should have had, as a family.  I've thought about the differences between a year ago, and now and they are astonishing. I'm angrier. I'm (more) emotional. I have more empathy, but less sympathy. I don't pity anyone. I have little time for grown men who are angry with the cards they've been dealt, when the cards- they really ain't that bad- not from where I'm standing.

I've watched my husband long for the son he had and then didn't. Of repeatedly telling me he wishes Jack was here. That he misses him. Of telling me he wants a baby right now.

2011 has been the year of Jack. Of birthing him. Of loving him. Of having to say goodbye. Of missing him. Of grieving him. Of grieving motherhood and fatherhood.  It's been a year of learning who I truly want to be, and what I have to do to get what I want. I am resilient- I wish I never had to know this about myself, but it's true. I am an eternal optimist, to the point where I annoy the shit out of even myself. The world is not all good, and there are a ton of bad people inhabiting it- all of whom seemingly get to keep their babies. But life? It has to get better. It just has to.

What should have been the greatest year of my life has been challenging. It's been a lesson in loving and letting go. Of letting go of my son for the last time, of letting go of the "plan", or letting go of how I thought all of this would go.


It's a struggle every single day. The guy in the desk next to mine has two older sons from his first marriage and 2 little girls (22 months and maybe 6 months?). I hear him on the phone at least once a day telling the older of the two how much "daddy loves you. Daddy misses you". Every time he says this, my heart hurts. I wish I could just could just call up Jack and whisper these things to him... 

I really wish.

14 comments:

Kelly said...

:( So much yes. Love you.

lissasue3 said...

So well written. You made me want to laugh and cry.

I hate the cards we've been dealt.

Youngins said...

I just got done bawling my eyes our as I drove away from Costco, first thinking to myself, "how come every baby is in here and none are as cute as mine hahaha", and second "this was going to be the best year of my life" wow how it can change so fast! This really is a lesson of letting go of our expectaions and loving what we do have! Thanks for this message, and i'm sure Jack does here you wispering to him! Sending you love!

Darcey said...

There is nothing worse than that ache it is relentless...so sorry you have missed out on so many things with your sweet Jack, but I hope you get to experience them 2,3,4 times over in the years to come.

Caroline said...

I too watched the "In the Womb" series - loved em! Have you ever watched the dog one? For some reason, probably that sick/twisted let me make myself more miserable kind of reason, I re-watched "In the Womb" (human not dog) just a week or two after losing Cale. But it actually made me feel better. I think they do such a good job portraying what a friggin miracle pregnancy is to begin with - just how there are just a bunch of cells, that join up, and then wamb! a beating heart. Crazy. Just reminded me that while losing Cale was terrible, terrible luck, having him, even for those short nine months, well that really was an amazing thing and despite feeling like a failure for losing him, it made me feel accomplished for creating him in the first place.

Tiffany said...

I really wish too. I wish you, for me, and for all of us. It isn't fair how our dreams got ripped out from underneath us and were replaced with a totally shitty reality. Thinking of you girl!

fireworksandrainbows said...

hugs and tears xo

Me too...I'd like to call Xavier up and whisper sweet silly things in his ear, let him know that I miss him and that I love him.

Thinking of you and Jack

Renel said...

Ah Man! All that anticipation, And then...and then... to live without them! Devastation! Really? Does this happen? I had no idea this could happen. I mean is shouldn't!

"It's been a lesson in loving and letting go." your words...that picture...

The man telling his children how much he loves and misses them while painful, well I am so glad that he loves and misses his children. Its the jerks that don't love their children enough that really get to me.

I wish Jack was here with you. I really do. I wish I wish I wish. I wish we had more power to make wishes come true.

Natasha said...

I also hate the moments that I know my hubby is missing out on....it's just so wrong. It's so hard to let go of the plans we had for our lives.

I wish Jack was here.....sending you lots of love....xoxo

JoyAndSorrow said...

I love this post and this photo. I am already having One of Those Days. Crying my eyes out. So I cry for little Jack as well as my Elias, and all our sons and daughters gone too soon in DBL. It's just so freaking unfair. Like you, I feel it's got to get better...It's GOT to. And like you, I wonder why it always seems that the most loving and deserving people are the ones who lose.

LookItsJessica said...

"I have little time for grown men who are angry with the cards they've been dealt, when the cards- they really ain't that bad- not from where I'm standing."

God, so true. I know a few of them and I think "you're a big effing baby and if you've had to deal with a fraction of the pain we have, you'd probably explode"

I think life has to get better too, and I think it will. For all of us. I hope we can look at these blogs in 1-2 years and they can serve as a memorial of our babies but also show how life can and does get better (with 2nd/3rd babies and such)

Brooke said...

Oh, LJ, I love this post. It makes my heart ache. Jack is so loved.

Becky said...

2011 started out with so much hope and happiness and all of it just like that changed in an instant. Not quite what any of us imagined our 2011 would turn out to be like:(
I so wish Jack was here with you both.

Mandy Hitchcock said...

Oh, how much I wish that such a phone existed. So, so sorry Laura Jane.

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