Wow, it's been four years since our son Jacob was born and lost.
I can't tell you how much I still miss him. Given his diagnosis, we knew he wouldn't make it, so I don't generally look at four-year-old boys and think "Wow, that could have been..."
Instead, I just get sad as this day approaches, knowing full well that only a very few people will remember this day without a reminder. I get a lump in my throat even as I type this, as I think of how far we thought we had come in those days in June 2006, and how far we crashed when we got his diagnosis of Trisomy 18.
Like any traumatic experience I suspect, it's easy to "go back" and relive those feelings and that bittersweet day as we held our son, and said goodbye to him and handed him over to the nurses to send his little body to the funeral home.
I've dreamt of Jacob a few times in recent days and weeks. I still see him as an adult, perfect and tall, curly hair and looking like something between his daddy and my youngest brother. He assures me he's fine.
I know that those dreams are likely just my brain trying to tell me it's ok and to comfort a grieving mother's soul. But it doesn't change what I lost, and tears still stream down my cheeks when I think about him for too long or hear a song that reminds me of those days.
And yet, there is progress. I can't help but revel in motherhood to my living child, and enjoy her as much as humanly possible. Time does heal wounds, and I must let it, even when I feel that letting myself heal will dull me to the pain that put me so close to our son and the time I had with him before he was born -- and after.
No, life is about moving forward. I can look back wistfully and remember bittersweet times because it is part of what formed me into who I am today. My experiences in all the medical issues surrounding our infertility and loss is what's going to make me a good nurse, and help me help others with kindness and compassion.
But I try not to look back for too long on any given day, because forward is where my future is.
We miss you, our darling son Jacob. You changed our lives forever and still love you with all our hearts.
-- Your Mama