I know I owe you Part 2 of There is no crying in hockey, but today is about my son.
Fifteen years ago today, I gave birth to our first son, Jacob Christopher. After 8 and half hours of hard, painful induced labor, he was born at 6:29pm. He was perfectly formed but so tiny. So very tiny. Or so they tell me. He was a stillborn. Fifteen years ago the doctors and nurses were not the best at knowing how to handle situations like these. They discouraged me from holding him or even looking at him. They made comments that discouraged me from having anything to do with him. I was crying, in pain, on drugs and hurting emotionally more than I ever thought possible. I had no idea what to do, so I listened to them. I was so wrong. Well, actually THEY were so wrong to not encourage me to spend time with my son.
I was almost 7 months into my pregnancy. I knew this baby. My son was life inside me. I knew when he was awake. I knew he kicked like crazy when I ate too much sugar. I knew that he liked to kick me when I was trying to sleep. I knew him before he was born. All i wanted that day was to be with him. I wanted to hold him, to tell him I love him, to have a picture of him. But none of that happened. And even today that hurts. (If you want more of the story, you can read it here on my blog from 2 years ago.)
It is hard to comprehend that I would have a 15 year old son had things not gone so horribly wrong. Somehow we got through it. At the time, I didn’t think I would. I thought I would spend everyday for the rest of my life crying and wanting to die. It took time. One moment at a time turned into one day at a time which turned into thinking of him but realizing that I can in fact live through it.
There are so many women who have suffered through having a stillborn child. It is an agony I would never wish on anyone. For those of you who have been through it, I am so sorry. I wish I could hug you and love you and just be your friend to help you through it.
Today I am sad. Partially because I am thinking of Jacob. Partially because I am overwhelmed with my personal life in general. So much going on to overwhelm me. Partially because yesterday was 15 months since my Mom died. I am not a big fan of death. (Who is?) I suppose one thing that will help me through this day is thinking that maybe Mom and Jacob are together. Maybe his grandmother is giving him the loves and hugs that I so badly wish I could give him. And maybe, just maybe, he knows how much I love him and wish that he was with us.
[Edit: For me, it has been 15 years. I have had 15 years to get through this. I recently was send a link to a blog by a woman who just had a stillborn a bit over a month ago. Her first child. A girl. She is still in so much pain. She could use your support. Warning to those who may be too sensitive to this: She does have pictures of her baby on her page. Just in case that would bother you, I wanted you to know. But more than that, maybe a word of support would help her now. I know how lonely it is and how much the simple phrase, “I am so sorry!” can make things. No advice. No reasons. Just an “I’m sorry.” If you want to go over there, please visit her at Vegetarian Mom.]