It turns out that my husband wasn't able to go to the appointment either since I ended up in labor that day.
It was a very, very emotional day. I asked my mom to go ahead with the appointment but was so worried about Jacob all day. Would he be nervous being at the clinic with just my mom? Would something be said in front of him that would make him scared? It turned out to be a good day with Grandma for him but knowing that your mom was hearing palliative care information about your sweet boy while you are in labor is a thing you just don't ever forget.
I'm sure that when my mom posted on her Facebook wall that morning that I had been rushed to the hospital by ambulance due to bleeding heavily that many people thought it was an April Fool's Joke. I wish it had been. The doctor never figured out what caused the bleeding but the OR was on stand-by when I arrived because the first thought was placenta abruptio, which was my thought in the shower and struck a chord of fear in me that I've only felt a few times in my life; hearing about the death of my dad and a couple times throughout Jacob's illness.
Thankfully, little Amy was born perfectly healthy later that day after a couple more slight scares (her heart rate dipping several times, talk of a c-section).
My husband brought all the kids to the hospital that night to see Amy and all I can remember is as they walked around the corner of the curtains seeing Jacob's face light up with joy at the sight of his little sister. My eyes didn't move from his face - his beautiful little face...because I knew that he has just been at an appointment that was focused on making him comfortable in the months to come. I knew that in one week's time I would be at another appointment getting his hospice set up.
That is why Amy's birthdays have been fraught with emotions each year. We are so, so blessed with her in our lives, but the memories of the day of her birth are to this day very anxiety-inducing for me. Heart-breaking.
Last year on Facebook my post was:
We all went out to eat at Dairy Queen tonight for Amy's birthday. I was feeling sad, thinking that Jacob should have been there and that it isn't the same as a "family" without him. As we were eating I noticed that a teen girl sitting behind us was wearing a Dance Marathon t-shirt (the charity at the U of I Hospital which was a huge part of Jacob's cancer journey. Then as we are pulling out of the parking lot I see a big truck with the word "Jacob's Trucking". Ben still was rolling his eyes at me so I said, "It's so obvious. I bet if you looked outside you would have seen a hummingbird!" He replies, "Like the hummingbird tattoo that the lady sitting by the door had?"
I know Jacob is with us today. And always.
Certain days in this journey are just extremely hard, as I'm sure they will always be. It's just the way it is.