July 11, 2014

Life goes on

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I am humbled by the amount of friends, family, and complete strangers that have dropped in to read about Jackson and our story with him.  I can't thank you enough for giving us the time!  I write this blog more for myself, and him, than anyone else.  It helps me process what has happened to us, and it helps me heal.  But it's nice to know that others care about us and want to know about him, even though his life was so short.  So I really appreciate you stopping by, it means so much to me!!!

There is more to his story, two more parts in fact, of the whole birth process, but it's so hard for me to get the courage to write about the rest.  The first part was the easiest part.  I'm just not ready to write about the other parts.  Not just yet.

Life has been propelling forward, in this life after loss.  Tomorrow, July 12th, marks exactly one month since Jackson's birth day.  Today, marks one month since his death.

Isn't that strange?  Jackson died before he was born.  His date of death preceeds his date of birth.  It's not supposed to be like that!  But it is, and that is life.

I honestly can't believe that I have lived through a whole month since then?!  Not that I was planning on dying, but again...it's amazing to me that loss and a broken heart can't kill you instantly.  I feel strong in some ways, and so very weak in other ways.

I'm not even sure what I have done in the past month?  I know there have been some days where I couldn't get out of bed, but not as many as I thought there would be.  I've read some books, 12 to be honest.  Reading has helped me lose myself in other worlds and forget about mine for a while, it's like sleeping.  I get to be somewhere else, just for a little bit.  I've started taking care of the house again, cleaning and cooking and organizing.  It feels ok...maybe even good...to be an active part of my life again.  I've started seeing friends again, and going out to be in public.  I'm still working on talking on the phone...why is that so hard for me?

My life seems to have been dissected by Jackson's birth and death.  I find myself saying things like "pre baby" or "post baby".  I'm having a hard time remembering details of life before, or when we talk about something that has happened in the past, it's hard for me to place if it was pre or post.  Time means something completely different to me now.  I am different now.

Some people will go their whole lives without one of these tragic events happening to them.  Their lives go on a normal course, births and deaths, all happening at time that they should.  There are no epic game changers that they have to live through.  It makes me wonder, why us?  Why do we have to go through this terrible thing?  What is the purpose of it all?  It is because we need to be shaken?  It is because we are supposed to share with the world?  It is because I am supposed to help others get through this later?  I am determined to find something to DO with it all, because I can't go back to my old and naive life.  I am just not the same person.  As I thought, some things are settling back into place, but there is this whole new part of me - this hole where my baby should be - that I have to live around.  I'm not sure I'll ever get used to it!  What should I do with it?  About it?

This has to be lived through.  It won't magically go away.  So I'm still moving through it, one hour, one day, sometimes one minute, at a time.  And time has been passing, faster than I thought it would. There goes the world again, moving on when I feel that I can't.  But I do, I look back and see that I am moving forward.

We have to plan a memorial of some sort.  We didn't want to host a "funeral", with a body and a casket, or anything like that.   We decided that we would do something special for him, but not something that was overly sad and depressing.  Baby funerals are overly sad and depressing.  I want it to be a celebration, of his life and his love and his impact on our world.  Originally I wanted to do the sky lanterns, and we may still do that, but there are a lot of risks with that, as much as I love them (hello, Tangled?!?)  We may do a balloon release, that could be sweet and definitely safer.  I thought about buying part of the moon and naming it after him, or naming a star...there are so many ways to honor and love him, and as my mind settles on things I'm sure we will figure out the best way.  I'm open to ideas, if you have something.

I wish I didn't have to deal with it at all, honestly, but I know that I should.  Jackson, and his sister for that matter, deserve to be remembered.

I'm looking forward to being at the beach.  Our family vacations usually consist of Disney.  Busy vacations with tons of plans and schedules and things to do.  This year, because I was pregnant, we decided we probably shouldn't do a crazy trip like that.  So we choose the Outer Banks.  It's been 10 years since either of us have been, and I am happy to go back.  My parents are coming too, and Ashley is bringing her little sister (half-sister) as well.

Everyone is excited.  I am trying to get to that point.  There was a whole list of things that I couldn't do on the trip before, like jet ski or ride a bike or drink...all things I can do now. I'd rather have my baby with me, but I'll look for the silver linings when I have to.

We've rented a little house in Nags Head, about a block away from the beach, and we are close by the club house with a huge pool and a bar.  We seem to be right in the middle of fun stuff like mini golf and restaurants and shopping.  It should be a really good time - good for my soul!  I need things that are good for my soul, and I am looking forward to spending some alone time with God on the beach every morning.  I think He may help me figure this whole mess of a life out;)

I wanted to share a few resources that have helped me immensely in this past month.  If you are interested in reading more stories like mine, or need the help yourself because your life has taken this terrible turn, these are great places to start.  Reading about other women who have been through this, lived through it, have had rainbows babies and are actually doing well and are happy - it all has been so, so good for me.  There's that hope again.  And you know I refuse to lose hope!!  So here you go, find some hope:

Still Standing Online Magazine

Reconceiving Loss

Still Birthday

Return to Zero

Within these links you'll find more moms, more blogs, about life after a stillbirth.  These women are strong and incredible and honest.  They have helped me so much!

Thanks for hanging in there with me.  We still appreciate the prayers and love and good thoughts, because we still need them so much!

Oh and a few friends have asked if they can share my blogs, or our stories, with friends or Facebook or email, and my answer is of course!  Share and talk!  There is a huge silence around this topic, because no one wants to hear it or think about it, but it helps those of us who have lost a baby find each other, and it helps us heal.  It helps moms who know they will have to say goodbye learn they are not alone.  So please, by all means, share as you wish!

Love :)