We got flowers! All the way from a friend in Japan! I feel like Jackson is loved around the world.
Who can top my husband's post on Jackson's birthday? I loved it. I loved that he posted when he did, because I was avoiding doing it. It's one of those instances when being part of a couple really helps out! Thanks, babe!
The day wasn't nearly as sad as it was last year, no doubt because of his brother's presence. It's still really hard to remember the day we delivered him. It was so shocking and painful, so essentially wrong. This year I was able not to think on that as much as on doing things that would make Jackson happy or proud. Now that I have made some distance from that important, even sacred day, here's a breakdown of what we did to honor him:
The balloon release! This was the saddest part of the day for me---letting go of the balloon and saying,"I love you," to my son made me feel that he's not here with me, that we must try to communicate with him, to reach out to him because he's living some place else. Tears welled up as I watched the pretty balloons with our personal messages float away.
My daughter made sure Trey got a message off too - it said, "Happy Birthday, Jackson! Love, Trey" I thought that was thoughtful of her.
My mom and step dad also released balloons from a park by their house, at the same time as we did; sunset. My mom saw, as they were releasing the balloons, a little boy playing on a slide who looked about the same size Jackson would be.
As Blue said, we made Jackson a cake... My fridge broke a few days before and so we lost all our eggs and butter. Of course, since it's my way to avoid planning for these birthday memorials, I didn't make sure I had all the ingredients necessary, nor did I bake the cake ahead of time so that I would have lots of time to decorate...so the cake was a bit of a mess! We used Smart Butter in the frosting and it ended up tasting like popcorn! Seriously. Good thing my kids are young enough not to notice flavor as much as color!
Some day Jackson will get an amazing cake worthy of a Cake Boss episode, but until I can feel good enough about losing him to plan ahead, he gets the sloppy popcorn flavored cakes!
Something that was really important to me; talking with Trey's doctor about his case and giving him research on repetitive cord "accidents." I really like Trey's doctor. He's a good blend of intellectual and caring. But even his high risk practice doesn't think cord accidents are repetitive or preventable.
I thought it would greatly honor Jackson if I gave the doctor an 80 page modern report on cord deaths and how to prevent them. The appointment was set for Jack's birthday, after all.
Our family gets there and instead of the man who saved Trey's life walking in, the NP that gave me a needless scare about Trey having anemia when I was 5 mths along did! The doctor wasn't even there that day. We were so disappointed. The NP spent my appt trying to get me to get an IUD on the spot (she loves to put them in, she said), showing me the little plastic model of inserting one... Another disappointment on his birthday.
But I managed to keep with my plan by giving the report to the doctor's wife, who was there working that day. I asked that she give it to him. That way, while I didn't get to speak to him, still he got the report on Jackson's birthday. It makes me feel so good to spread the word! I really think our history will go a long way in convincing professionals that cord problems may be genetic and can be monitored closely to save a healthy baby from a needless death.
We spent the money we would have spent on Jackson's birthday gift were he here on someone else: A friend who is having a hard time financially right now. It's neat because when Jackson died she was really attentive and thoughtful. She looked out for us. Now, he's looking out for her. A perfect circle.
I also called the hospital I delivered Jackson and Claire in and left a message for the infant loss bereavement coordinator. I told her about my idea to make pillows for families. I haven't heard back yet, but hopefully we will get that going soon.
Other service done on his birthday, making his life tangibly meaningful:
HOW could I forget to mention, when I first wrote this, that my amazing friend Heather has done service for the last three months in honor of Jackson. She has a new baby girl and has been pumping extra milk and storing it so that she can donate it to a Mother's Milk Bank and help preemie/sick babies live. Go girl! I am amazed at her selflessness and daily dedication to others. She is SUCH an example to me. Thank you Heather! And thank you for letting Jackson's life and even the pain surrounding it sink into your heart and change you. I will never forget you.
My good friend Jeni made and donated blankets to a hospital:
Website about donating small blankets to hospitals:
Jackson's aunt Laura and uncle Dallas in Tucson made cookies for a neighbor who lost a baby at 23wks and for a neighbor who's husband's in Afghanistan.
My friend Lisa in PA sent this email:
We shall be donating non-perishables to the following:
Trenton is a terribly poverty stricken/crime infested city. I cannot imagine what it is like to be a child there, let alone be hungry.
Here's to Jackson! Happy 2nd little dude! I love the new tradition :)
My friend Dawn bought breakfast/coffee for the person in line behind her at the Starbucks drive thru.
Another of Jackson's aunts, Natasha, gave up a particular type of gossiping! She decided to start making the world a better place with herself first. Beautiful.
Thank you to everyone who helped make Jackson's birthday meaningful. :)