Happy 6th Birthday, Jax

Jax turns 6 today. We’re celebrating the same way we did last year. And the year before, his last birthday he shared with us. When he turned 4, my wife and I took him to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles to check out its fantastic dinosaur exhibit. The prehistoric lizards fascinated him. He knew all of their names. And I’m not just talking about the basic four or five. He knew the nerdy shit that no 4-year-old should know. Or would want to know. Or cared. So we took him there, because we knew he’d love it. And he did. And we left the twins with my mother-in-law, because we knew he’d feel loved, having us all to himself. And he did.

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Jax also dug trains. After the museum we met our family at Ruby’s Diner in Orange. We sat on the back patio to watch the metro and freight trains roll by. He loved that, too.

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So last year, as we celebrated his fifth birthday without him, we took the twins back to the museum. I held back tears as we shuffled the twins through exhibits. And I shed tears as our family sang happy birthday to him in the middle of Red Lobster, perhaps his favorite restaurant at the time of his death. After he completed his first year of preschool, he chose Red Lobster as the restaurant to celebrate.

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Now he’s six. And it breaks my heart to say, but I don’t know what he’d be in to. Would it still be dinosaurs? I know he’d be in to super heroes still. It’d better be baseball. But what else? Would it be something I can’t even fathom?  So again, we decided to return to the dinosaurs. To relive one of his happiest days without him. And to spend this very sad day with our family, eating at his favorite place, and crying together.

I may have posted this before, but I’m doing it again. It’s the first post from my first blog. It illustrates Jax’s arrival was to us.

Sixteen weeks of joy, bliss and walking on cotton candy clouds crashed to a screeching halt. The Boobs called me at work after a check up with the obgyn. He couldn’t find a heart beat. He sent her to the hospital for an ultrasound which confirmed there wasn’t a heart beat. Our baby died. A couple of days later The Boobs underwent a D&C at a Los Angeles clinic. We elected for the sex to be determined and tests run to determine cause of death. It was a girl, but no dice on the cause of death. The clinic was kind enough to send us home with footprints of the fetus the doctor extracted while performing the procedure.

We cried a lot over the next few weeks. I mean, a whole lot. It was the summer, and I eventually ramped up by social calendar to get my mind off of things. The Boobs, however, dealt differently. There were nights where I’d find her crying on the floor of the bathroom. Our souls ached.

Eventually the fertility doc allowed us to start trying again. This process was like ripping open a healing wound, peeing inside of it and then punching it for good measure. Month after month our hopes of another pregnancy were dashed by an early period, too many produced eggs at once or cysts cock-blocking our chance for conception.

On my birthday, over one year from the time that our lost baby girl was conceived and one final attempt before in vitro would be thrust upon us, the goodoo magic worked again.Throughout the pregnancy our joy, bliss and sugar-plum thoughts were tempered by fear of losing another child. If it happened again, could we ever recover?

Nine months later, after 26 hours of labor, The Boobs popped out a healthy, beautiful…

“Holy crap it’s a boy,” I exclaimed a mere 1.2 seconds after the doctor tugged the little sucker out of my wife. We decided to be surprised on the sex of the baby. The Boobs, a nurse, said that for some reason, infertility leads to a girl more often than a boy. Being an odds guy, I was fully expecting a little chica. But it was a boy. There’s something hypermasculine about having your first-born be a boy. Maybe I’ve watched too many mafia movies.

Happy Birthday, Jax. My love for you knows no limits. My heart aches beyond comprehension. And my soul longs to be with you again.

Love you,

Dad

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Jax turns 1.

Jax turns 1.

For his second birthday, we themed it Jax Bowl. That's why I'm wearing the referee shirt. My dad and my grandpa. Four generations.

For his second birthday, we themed it Jax Bowl. That’s why I’m wearing the referee shirt. My dad and my grandpa. Four generations.

Jax's third birthday.

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20 thoughts on “Happy 6th Birthday, Jax

  1. so glad that you are back Seth. It is so very sweet for you guys to remember him by having that tradition. I know he will be with you, telling you all about the dinosours. I love you!

  2. He would definitely be into baseball in a huge way because of his wonderful dad. And, it’s in our blood. Love you bunches.

  3. You are truly one of the best Dad’s that I know and it inspires me with your amazing words and love to be more like you. Cheers to Jax’s! Happy Birthday little man!

  4. Happy birthday little man! Although there is immeasurable heartbreak here, there is also so much love you left behind. Celebrate with angels!

  5. Heart strings pulled, heart aching but happy to have you remembering and Happy Jax memories…missed hearing from you…Happy Birthday angel!

  6. your blogs break my withered up old heart just a little more Seth. honouring Jax’s birthday each year is a beautiful thing to do & I believe that he is aware of it and always with you in some fashion – who knows maybe he and Zak have bumped into each other wherever they are – my soul also longs to be with my son again & I struggle sometimes to be present for my surviving children. But I sit here on the other side of the world thinking of you and ‘Boobs’ today, sending you love and once again admiring your bravery for putting this out there for me and others to read.

  7. Today is my grandson Alex’s first birthday and I am sitting here balling my heart out for you guys pain. I have followed Jax’s story through Kristen and your posts. I am involved in trauma intervention and I would so love to pass this on to the whole world. My prayer for you and your wife is that you will stay strong because I know you are wonderful parents and your little ones need 100% of you. You are in my prayers and my heart.

  8. Thanks for sharing, and a happy birthday to Jax. I have found immense strength in the wake of my loss through reading about yours. Many thanks again.

  9. Happy Birthday to your little boy Jax!! I’ve told you before and I’ll say it again, I admire both you and Kris for your strength. I’m glad to see this post from you as I know it’s been awhile. Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories of Jax with us!

  10. I’ve been thinking about you. Last week I went to take my garbage outside. I always look up at night to search for the moon. But on that night a bright shining star caught my eye and my heart said JAX. Out of the blue. I hadn’t even crossed paths with you that week (FB, etc..). I had wanted to go inside and message you, but my own Littles were being needy =) Thank you for sharing the pics and Happy Birthday Jax!

  11. Seth,
    So glad you are writing again. I know how hard the birthdays are, they suck! Thank you for sharing. Thank you for posting Jax’s beautiful photos. I love the number 4 on his shirt and how proud he looks.

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