Monday, February 26, 2007

Are you done?

We started dating when we were 17. I clearly remember sitting at a table for two at the Barkley resturaunt when we decided how many kids we would have. He said, "I'm having 8 kids." Because I was in-love and 17 I said "that sounds like a good number."

After we had our daughter we decided to have 5 kids, then after we had our son the number changed to 4. When we got pregnant with the twins it was perfect. Although it wasn't planned we were very excited - we would be having 4 children, like planned, all before I turned 30.

But now that we have lost them I feel a big empty hole in my heart. My arms ache. I couldn't get pregnant fast enough after we lost them. And I have spent the last 7 months secretly hoping to get pregnant again. I now want a dozen children! Not realistically, but in my heart. I feel like if I have enough kids they will fill that hole. I know its not rational. I know we can't possibly afford that many children, not to mention that I would be too old to have that many kids. But I can't imagine 'being done.'

The twins death has thrown a monkey wrench into our plans. That wrench is SO big that I can't even begin to make an alternate plan. Maybe we will have 8 kids, if you count the twins.

Hi. My name is Leslie and I have a secret.

Sunday my daughter had her first birthday party to attend. It wasn't the first birthday party she has attended, but for once she was invited, not the family. We were at the party of a little girl in her preschool class and the little girl's twin sister. It was crazy on a Sunday at noon. There were 300 people there and at least 5 different parties. Amid all the buzzing, squealing, and laughter I was choking back tears. They stung my eyes and I had a lump in my throat.

I followed my daughter from arcade game to arcade game, walking with a jingle of the tokens in her cup. Keeping an eye out to make sure she didn't get lost and hoping to find a familiar face, for me or for her. We don't know the preschool families very well. The moms just nod and smile at pick-up time and quite frankly all that I remember of her preschool class is that they are all short.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Lessons in Life

Contributed by Amy Rocka in loving memory of
Clark Daniel and Jake Matthew Rocka 5/28/06 (21 weeks)

I've learned that you can keep going long after you think you can't.
I've learned that learning to forgive takes a lot of practice.
I've learned that friends can become strangers, and strangers can become friends.
I've learned that ignorance isn't an excuse for the lack of compassion.
I've learned that some people will never, ever - "get it".
I've learned that the community of sorrow is the strongest of all.
I've learned that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.
I've learned that your life can be changed in a matter of minutes.
I've learned that the people you care most about in life are taken from you too soon.
I've learned that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
I've learned that love isn't measured by the amount of time you have with someone.
I've learned that some sorrow is so deep that it has no words. But so is love.


My blog tends to be a political-free arena. I have my beliefs. I stand by them, but no one is going to change my opinion nor do I want to try and change someone else's opinion. I am content with letting people be wrong. :-)

But Pelosi has been making the news as the first female speaker of the house. Diane Sawyer has been doing a follow-up and interviewing the women of the senate. It has been an interesting series of interviews. The views these women have are unique to senators, yet at the same time are the same concerns and thoughts many women in many different jobs have. One woman spoke of preparing for a speech while making her child a peanut butter sandwhich for school. How many millions of women across America prepare for work while making their child's school lunch?

Travel Tips

I wouldn't say we are expert travelers. But we have done it a few times; to Wisconsin, Oregon in the summer and at Christmas countless times, Arizona, Carlsbad, and Las Vegas. Our preference is definitely by car. We are able to set our own schedule, change the schedule when necessary, and take all the stuff we want. We pack snacks and toys and are able to stop whenever the children need to stretch or the baby needs to eat. Its great.

A Christmas Letter

Contributed by Pat McDougle

Hello my family and friends,

This time of year is extremely difficult for those of us who have lost our children. It is also difficult for our families for they are not sure how to treat us. Some want us to return to who we once were. That is never going to happen, so I pray those reading this will understand that our lives will never be as they once were. I also pray that those of you whom have not suffered a major loss of a child, know the best way to support us is to allow us our time and feelings. There are no rules for grief, or grieving, nor are there any rules for this. Each of us handles it in our own way. After 8 years for my loss, I have come to know that educating the families is harder then helping those who have lost the child or children. I have also come to know that our children would not really want us to become the way we are, but once again, we are all learning as we go along. My Gift this year is to help those of you have a family member who has lost a child or children. After the loss of the boys, Yes I buried both of my boys 7 months apart. After this happened, I soon found out how blessed I was to have a family who not only allowed me my grief, but also my feelings of despair, anger, hurt, and most of all my feelings of not really knowing what to do next. I found through all of them I healed sooner then some and not as soon as others.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Dear Abby

This was written in response to a Dear Abby letter in which Abby suggested the coworker speak to a supervisor about a lady who chose to display a picture of her deceased child on her desk. Abby mentions that it is inappropriate to have such pictures displayed at work.

Dear Abby,

I was almost speechless to see your reply to "Appalled" on February 5, 2007. My first thought was not how sad it was that this woman had a picture of her deceased child on her desk but how truly infuriating the woman writing to you was. I was hoping for a nice reply from you educating the woman on infant loss and instead I felt slapped in the face by a reply that I know your mother, the original Abby, would never have written.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Like Yesterday

Why do babies die? I don't know. I wish I did. I know what gifts my sons have given me. But I wish that others didn't have to have the same kind of pain. I belong to so many groups that it seems I meet a new loss mom at least once a month. It devestates me each time. I go back to laying on the table and hearing those words, "I'm so sorry." I remember not really understanding until my husband squeezed my hand too tight, then I realized. I remember looking at their tiny bodies after they were delivered. Realizing that they were perfectly formed, little tiny wrinkles on their toes. I remember leaving the hospital empty handed - no flowers, no baby, just sadness. I felt like everyone was looking at me like I was weird.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Act

By: Leslie Jacob

I never considered myself a performer,
to be skilled in the art of drama.
To be able to transform into a role
everyone wants to see.

I know the lines of the role I now play.
The “correct” response to
all the conversations thrown my way.

Others want to see that I’m OK.
That I am back to my normal
That my life has gone on
So theirs can too.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Date Night

Last night I had a date. Don't start thinking of candle-lit dinners, wearing slightly uncomfortable, but really good looking clothes. There were no flowers, kisses good night or even snuggling in a dark theater. In fact, I was alone. Again you are thinking about a long soak in a tub. The night off so I can read, sleep, or put some overdue time into my hobbies. NOPE.

My date lasted about 12 miles and 30 minutes. I was grubby after cleaning the house, making dinner, and putting the kids in bed. I wore wrinkled clothes that are either a half-size too big or a half-size too small. I didn't wash the car or do any of the classic pre-date stuff. It was fantastic.

I got into the car with my 8 Bose speakers and NO children. This doesn't happen often. The freeways were clear since it was after 9 pm. I found my favorite country CD and turned up the volume. WAY UP! I finally set the cruise control because my speed was keeping up with the loud music. I sang loudly, but the volume was so high that I couldn't even hear myself.

It isn't often that I am without the children. And that 30 minutes stint of singing in the car and driving down the dark road was enough to refresh me for the next day. I had a date with myself!

An Angel Never Dies

Don’t let them say I wasn’t born,
That something stopped my heart.
I felt each tender squeeze you gave,
I loved you from the start.