Yesterday, Tobin turned one and he had an amazing day. He may not understand what a birthday is yet, but food is his love language and lucky for him, I speak food fluently. When he wasn't eating he was showered with more toys than he knew what to do with. My sweet friend was emptying her basement and we were the lucky recipients of so many big boy toys. And they all arrived on his birthday. Not every moment can be fun, as you can see. Waiting to unwrap your gift is painful. Eating so much cake that it keeps you up at night ... also painful.
Memories, for me, can also painful. I think most people reflect on the birth, and events surrounding it, on their kids birthdays. We do it every year with Hackett, it stirs up happy memories and joy. Yesterday, as I did that silently in my head, I felt in awe of of Tobin's life, such gratitude, but also sorrow. I remained positive when pregnant with Tobin, I had no other choice. I tried to reside in hope, but I wasn't there all the time. My mind would drift into the darkness. I envisioned Tobin's funeral. Planning it. Preparing for it. It all happened so fast with Koen, and if I had to do it again, I wanted to ensure I would not live with regrets. Our road was not easy and it was difficult for me to understand. I trusted that Jesus would continue to hold me through whatever circumstance may come, my faith in that never wavered, but I know that prayers don't offer a gaurentee for our plans. God has his own, even if we don't understand it. On the day of Tobin's birth I was afraid. So very afraid. As they brought me to my room, the very room where I delivered Koen's lifeless body. The only room I ever spent time with him. It was too much for me to bear and we asked to be moved. I couldn't stop crying through all the pre-op, so many emotions swirling. I remember asking multiple times "he's breathing?" right after Tobin's delivery. The reassurance of "yes" was the best memory of the day for me, even as I laid on the operating table, separated from him, Tobin was alive. We had made it.
I had a moment yesterday, where I struggled, unable to keep my patience. I was upset for being snappy on such a happy day. But the emotional overload can be so great at times, and often I don't even realize it until after. Koen won't celebrate a birthday. No cake. No gifts. He won't grow older. Life continues to move on without him. Had he remained in this world, Tobin would have never been. I don't think I will ever be able to fully wrap my head around that. I miss Koen, miss the life he would have lived, the time we would have spent together. But I cannot imagine our lives without our Big T. His personality is larger than life and I adore him. He has my heart. He's healthly. He's happy. He's here, and I cannot believe it's been one year.
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I am Jackie.