I wrote this post in December 2016, before I decided to start this blog in earnest. I’m sharing it now as part of my journey.
So much good has happened lately. In no particular order:
- I stood up for Jacob and his angel baby friends and testified in the Ohio House Finance Committee on an infant mortality bill that, thanks to Erik, and our State Representative, also contains some language requiring the Ohio Department of Health to learn about stillbirths and produce educational materials where appropriate. And I heard from many people that my words impacted them, which made me feel so good.
- I heard from a friend that my sharing of Jacob’s story helped her in some way.
- Despite generally feeling gloomy about the constant and inescapable reminders that seasons are changing and holidays are coming the without Jacob here, I felt a glimmer of winter/holiday cheer enjoying some cozy fireside time with Erik and watching Maggie (our dog) play in our first snowfall of the season.
- We received word that the stone marking Jacob’s grave will likely be carved by the end of the year.
- I had some great conversations with great friends, about missing Jacob and about happier topics.
- I found the receipt from the shirt I bought Erik to tell him we were having a boy, which allowed me to know the day we got that wonderful news (I have been trying to journal about my pregnancy with Jacob and have been sad that I didn’t record milestone dates like that, so this is one I’m happy to now be able to record for our memory).
- We received Jacob Bear (made by the wonderful nonprofit Molly Bears – link in Resources tab) and are so happy he is in our arms in time for Christmas.
- We attended church for the second time since Jacob was born and it felt good.
- I started getting my bearings in my new volunteer position at Legal Aid and felt good about helping people who really need it.
As each of these happenings unfolded, I was struck by how invigorating it was to feel like so much GOOD had happened lately. Now of course, you can read that list and see that underlying all that good is tragedy. We would trade it all if we could to have Jacob, and it’s striking to think that if a few months ago someone showed me this list and said “this is what will make you feel good 5 months from now” I would be devastated and confused. What could happen that would be so bad to make all that seem good?
I am devastated and confused. Even between all of this good, there are many down moments. Mostly these are moments of wishing I could know what life would be like with the almost five month old son I should have. Sometimes they’re moments of pure exhaustion. Often they’re moments of recognition of the changes I see in myself and the loss of the person I was before losing Jacob, or of frustration that I don’t have the energy to do all I think I should do. I’m confused about how I keep going, putting one foot in front of the other. I’m confused about how I manage to do what I do, even though it’s not as much as I wish I could do. I’m confused about how life, including my own, goes on without my baby boy here. I’m confused about how there can be so much GOOD in the midst of so much sorrow.
But in the end there is good, and there is sorrow, and there is exhaustion, and there is stress, and then there is good again. And the fact that today I can feel that good so profoundly, in my heart and down to my core, is the best thing of all, because that in and of itself is incredible progress.