Friday, September 6, 2013

Jack Packs & More

JACK PACKS: I have assembled a large packet of information and ideas for pregnant mothers who will deliver a baby that has a life limiting diagnosis. The purpose of the Jack Pack is to pass on these ideas so that mommas can make the most of their special moments and have memories forever. Often the shock and grief and hope of the situation fogs the experience and I think the worst thing would be to look back and wish you would've known to do this or that. I figured that I already did the footwork so perhaps I should share the information. Jack Packs will be placed in areas where pregnant woman are most often as well as places where pregnant woman may go for support. Please tell me if you know of someone who could use a packet. Here is what they include: 1. Memory making ideas for pregnancy 2. Memory making ideas for the hospital delivery and birth 3. Hospital Bag Idea List 4. Recommended Connections 5. Funeral/Memorial Planning 6. Memory making ideas for later 7. Our Story (briefly) 8. Example Birth Plan 9. Grief book list for adults and children 10. “On the Night You Were Born” (a special book from us to you) LABEL MAKER: I've been having lots of 'nesting' lately. Perhaps it is because I finally have some energy back or maybe just that I have spent a lot of time at home this month. I have major urges to clear everything out, have a sale, and stick labels all around. We are coming up on the one year mark being in what I hope is our forever home and I am wanting to finish up the areas like the library, storage room, craft room, and garage that have yet to be set up. These tasks are difficult with my limited energy, but even more difficult with my special toddler helpers. Speaking of... MY BABES: Little Miss seems to be adjusting to preschool well and while Bubby misses her I can tell he enjoys his mommy time. Ever since Jack was born my one year old has seemed a bit more mommy attached and wanting to cuddle more. I cuddle and rock him more than I used to for sure. Often I cry while rocking him wishing I could rock Jack too, but am quickly brought back to smiles when Bubs sits up, smacks me, and demands "sing mommy!" Oh these kids... They keep me going that's for sure. My daughter has been naming her baby doll 'Jack' lately. She says that her doll died but then that he got to come back from the sky. She has different ways on different days of coping with her grief. Whatever she needs we are here to help her. It doesn't bother me for her to talk like that. She also enjoys looking at Jack's things and reading child grief or heaven books together. Her teachers at school said they wouldn't know she's had any home issues and say she is adjusting well. So that's a huge blessing. ME? How am I? Oh I don't know... Depends in the day. The moment. On a good day I feel blessed for the moments and experiences I was granted with my son and get excited about helping others in Jack's memory. Im able to move about my day's tasks and go in public and speak openly. On a bad day I feel alone and empty and extremely anxious to talk to anyone or go in public. My arms and belly feel like they're trying to grasp into something and there's nothing there to hold. My heart physically hurts inside my chest and I have trouble breathing. On those days public is not an option and I avoid it at all costs so that the store doesn't close in on me. I find I can easily encourage other angel mommies for the most part, but then will have moments where my vulnerability sneaks through. I have started a grief group for parents. I get to go with a dear friend whose son also passed from trisomy 13 and I like being with her because she makes me feel safe. Also in the group is a woman who is probably in her mid eighties. Watching her cry when she speaks of the child she lost like fifty years ago scares me. She has had to Iive with a lot of regret though so Im sure that has drastically slowed her grief process. So Im hoping my 'no regrets' approach will allow my next fifty years to be a bit kinder on me. JACK: Jack has been gone from our world for seven weeks. I miss his sweet smell and his hair and his soft hand. I used to rub his fingers back and forth across my lips while I spoke to him. I have a plaster mold of his hand now and sometimes need to feel his fingers again. He had so many fussy times, but would often quiet right down when he would lay right on my chest. I want my seven week old baby back. I bought a bassinet for him. I had a cradle with my first two kids and then quickly moved them into their room after the first few weeks. But since my one year old is still in the crib I planned to have Jack stay extendedly in our room. I had also bought a carrying basket for him so I could take him out in the yard while the kids played and he would be up Off the grass. We had friends over tonight. I wish I could've taken him outside with us in his basket. Instead it is in the basement with his bassinet and all the tubs of little boy clothes of his older brothers that Id hoped he could wear. Oh gosh, I just miss him. I have a secret... You may think Im crazy, but Ive yet to worry about that so here goes... Many people think butterflies represent the loved ones we've lost - i think I agree - in some way - spirit or thought or something - well when we walk out in the yard with our kids a butterfly always joins us on our walk down to the lake. Always. It makes me smile. It makes me feel like baby jack is out playing with us. Our sweet family of five.


  1. I just want you to know that you are one of the many people in my network of friends who I cherish reading about and seeing all the wonderful things you are doing. I completely understand the hard days and they come so unexpected like a ton of bricks. But the courage and strength you display are so encouraging to me....I just wanted you to know that.

  2. So sweet, your end made me smile! Thinking and praying still :)