August 22, 2013. This is a day I was once looking forward to with great anticipation. Koen's due date was August 29th, and my planned cesarean was scheduled months in advance for August 22. This may not have been Koen's birthday, but by this day we should have held our healthy son in our arms.
Since Koen's death this day turned into one that I dreaded and feared. This makes it real. He should be here today and he is not. Koen won't be here tomorrow, next week, or next month. I will see him again, but not during this lifetime. I will walk through the rest of my time on earth with a piece of my heart missing. I cannot explain how you can feel love so deep for someone who I was only face to face with after their heart stopped beating, but that fierce mama love that I have for Hackett was already in existence for Koen. To not be able to physically pour that love on him makes my heart ache in a way it has never hurt before.
This day was far different than what I thought it would have held for me. It started early this morning when Hackett climbed into bed with us, after being awoken from a storm. A few months ago I made a "Koen Bear", an idea I had gotten from a friend who sent me this link: http://www.mollybears.com/. Molly Bears is an organization that exists to give comfort for those who have endured infant loss of any kind. You have this desire and longing to hold your baby again, but sadly cannot. The waiting list is long for Molly Bears, so I made my own. My Koen Bear is almost the exact length of Koen, who was 14 3/4 inches, and I filled him with weighted beans and fishing sinkers to make him Koen's exact weight, 2lbs 13 oz. Our Koen Bear has given us comfort. I sleep with him at night, so when Hackett snuggled up to me in the middle of the night in my sleepy daze I thought I am hugging both my boys. How heartbreaking that only one of them is breathing. I laid there listening to the rain, loving on my Hackett, and thinking about the storm that I have been residing in the last few months.
When Hackett woke up he was grumpy and tired. My patience was thin. Not the greatest start to the day, but we made it to the city police post so that I could be fingerprinted. Something that had to occur today to continue to complete all the necessary paperwork for me to begin teaching. Yesterday was my first day at work. An orientation for new teachers. The Superintendent drove us to all the buildings in the district, part of that route drove us right by the cemetery where Koen is laid to rest. I just stared out the window, in shock of the surrealness that was occurring. During some chatting with the other newly hired teachers, each was telling their story about how they got their job. I remained silent. How do I explain to people I am meeting for the first time what has transpired in the past few months. "Oh, I was going to interview, but decided not to because I wanted to spend every possible second with my baby. Then my baby died and I wasn't strong enough to move forward with the process, so they hired someone else. She quit, they called me, and I stepped out in faith 3 weeks ago." I don't think that would go over that great. I feel blind at times while I navigate my way through this journey of loss and grief.
By chance on this day I also needed to go to my OB/GYN for a follow up. That involved him taking cultures and sending me to the lab for yet another urine sample. They just keep testing, testing, testing my body. I am thankful, but it is taking its toll on me. My doctor discussed with me the realities in a very real manner today. The truth is that they, the doctors, only know so much. They don't know how E. coli found its way into my uterus, which is designed to be a protected sterile environment, and then penetrated my placenta and made its way to Koen. He was gently preparing me for the fact that we could face this same outcome again, even with them taking every precautionary measure. News that is necessary, but hard to hear. So hard to hear on this day.
Hackett has had a cough for a few days. I didn't like the sound of it so we headed into his doctor this afternoon. He has the beginnings of walking pneumonia ... of course he does today.
Tonight Kevin is at a work function, Hackett is getting a breathing treatment while watching TV, and I am writing this with tears streaming down my cheeks. Not what I had planned for this day ...
I am Jackie.