One year ago

I remember it so clearly because as it was happening, I remember thinking, "I have to commit this to memory...every little I never, ever forget how happy I feel today and how happy I'm going to be for a lifetime."

It was a day fit to celebrate birth because we were already celebrating mine. My birthday is April 26th, so a year ago today, on my 26th birthday, Ayden decided it was time to begin his arrival into this world. I woke up for the usual potty break in the middle of the night. It was 3:30 am. I noticed that I was feeling a lot of pressure but didn't think much of it. I got up, went to the restroom, went back to bed and told Jeremy that I thought we might be getting close. We were only a week away from my due date, so we were prepared for it to happen at any moment, but we were just so thrilled that Ayden had chosen my birthday to be the day he got things going.

We didn't sleep much from about 3:30 throughout the rest of that day. I spent the day with a stopwatch around my neck, timing every single contraction as they continued to come steadily and gradually increasing in frequency. We went into see one of my midwives to see how much progress I had made. As of 11:30am, I had reached 2.5...almost 3...centimeters. We were told that when I was huffing and puffing....that was when I would know to come in. All day....waiting for huffing and puffing. We went on a walk, had a birthday party, spent time with family, and finally....around 9pm....the contractions started coming stronger and quicker. As we graciously rushed our last guest out of our house, I retreated to the bedroom to lie down and try to rest. That didnt' last long. Something said, "take a shower." If you know me, you know I absolutely detest taking a shower unless I have to. It's never voluntary. I take one every day just because I have to.....definitely not because I want to. Being a woman is just too much trouble. Anyway, I took a shower....and the warm water must have triggered the labor because I could barely stand up. I had reached the huffing and puffing stage. I knew I couldn't let my water break away from the hospital. I had tested positive for the Group B Strep mess and would need antibiotics during my labor. It is discouraged to be without these antibiotics when the water breaks. So, I call the hospital again, and my midwife tells me to come in. WOO! We were still holding out hope that he would join us before midnight and I would have the absolute BEST birthday gift ever!

Alas, it was 11:30 once we got into triage, and I was only 4cm. No birthday baby for me, but I was happy for him that he would have his own birthday. So, we played the waiting game. They got my antibiotics started and a little pain medication so I could try to sleep and rest, since I had been awake for 21 hours. Everyone seemed to think we were in for a long, uneventful night, so I took them up on the offer and rested as much as possible. He had decided to take his time, and I was definitely okay with that.

(To be continued......)

A year later (today):

Typing all of that was so easy. I remember it so vividly and it continues to be the happiest day of my life (well, that day and the next...which you'll read about tomorrow). I wish the rest of the story, the one I'm about to type, were so easy to write about.

Today has been hard. I think that had I not gone to work today, it would have been even harder. I woke up today wishing I didn't have a birthday anymore. Because, if I didn't have a birthday, I wouldn't have to be reminded of how painful it will be to remember today and tomorrow for the rest of my life. However, I faced the day and all of the birthday wishes, and I did my best to remain realistic. I knew that everyone wanted to celebrate with me, to make me smile, to say something that would make today a little easier. I appreciated that, although I knew their attempts would only numb the pain. So many times today I found myself wishing we could have that day back, just for a second. To feel him moving around inside of feel him alive again...just one more feel that innocent, hopeful excitement, knowing that at any moment we were going to meet our Ayden, our sweet, sweet boy. I'll never, ever forget how I felt that day.

Today, I turned 27 and had to face my birthday without my son. I should be sharing it with him, anticipating the even bigger celebration that would be coming tomorrow for his 1st birthday. I should have a party planned (it would have either been a Curious George party or a Penguins of Madagascar party - he was mesmerized by both when they came on tv. He would snuggle up to his Curious George toy and give him "kisses"), a cake decorated, tons of presents waiting for him.....but I'm now faced with the mindset of just "getting through the day."

My goal for tomorrow is to try to focus on the happy memories - on everything we love about the time we had with Ayden. I want our friends and family to recall their happiest, favorite memories of Ayden. We'll all be sad and we'll miss him terribly, but tomorrow shouldn't be a repeat of the day we said goodbye. It should be focused on the day we said hello to a beautiful, sweet baby boy who captured our hearts from his first breath. We should be focused on the blessing he is, was, has been, and will continue to be in our lives.

Tomorrow, at 5:30, we will be releasing balloons in celebration of Ayden's birthday. We aren't doing anything elaborate - just gathering with family and close friends, saying a few words, sharing some memories, and sending our love to Ayden. Please join us if you can.

And check in tomorrow for a recap of a year ago, April 27th. The happiest day of our lives.



  1. I've been thinking of and praying for you & Jeremy and your family all day today, Lindsay, and will continue to do so tomorrow. Please know that, although I cannot be there with you tomorrow to celebrate the day of Ayden's birth and release balloons, you guys will be in my thoughts and prayers. Love and miss you!

    Amanda Murray

  2. What a beautiful post, and Happy Birthday to you. It is so nice to see you looking and talking about the best day and not dweling on the pain, even though I know you are hurting and longing deep inside. I hope tomorrow is beautiful and Ayden enjoys his balloons.

  3. my heart aches for you. it really does. i will think of you guys alllll day tomorrow without a doubt. (Meaghan)

  4. Happy Birthday Lindsay. What a beautiful tribute to your precious Ayden.

  5. April 27th will always be Ayden's celebration day, a day just for him. Happy Birthday wishes to sweet Ayden.

  6. HAPPY BIRTHDAY AYDEN! WE LOVE AND MISS YOU VERY MUCH. Although i never got to meet him, i knew everything about him, my favorite moments were when linds would put up a new video of his giggle, or them "talking". i absolutely loved it. i still look at the videos and think of him, and my very strong friends. Happy birthday!
    As promised,
    Happy birthday to you!
    Happy birthday to you!
    Happy Birthday to Aydennnnnnnn!
    Happy Birthday to you!
    We love you!

  7. Happy Birthday Ayden Brooks Jones! I hope your Mummy and Daddy enjoy precious memories of your sweet life today. I will be releasing a balloon for you here in England and sending a photo later. Thinking of you often xx

  8. Thank you for sharing. Nate and I love you both and are praying for you today. I will be thinking of you and Ayden all day!

  9. Happy Birthday Lindsay! Even though it's your birthday I know it's still a tough time for y'all right now. Remember, Grayson moved to Heaven the night of my birthday, so we both have tough birthdays...I know what you're going through.The three of you are consuming my every thought at this time.
    I love y'all with all my heart - Kelley

  10. I LOVE that video, thanks for sharing. What a beautiful mother and baby Ayden!

    The two of you are amazing parents and I know sweet little Ayden is proud to call y'all mom and dad.

    Today is all about that sweet little guy and how y'all were blessed a year ago!

    I love you Ayden, Happy Birthday! Kelley, Grayson's mom

  11. Happy Belated Birthday and a Happy Birthday to Ayden. I'm praying for your family today.

  12. Happy 1st Birthday to your beautiful Ayden! I have been thinking about all of you today. I hope it has been as good as possible and a day of celebration. I know there is heartache, but please know that he is with God today and always and that he is having the best birthday party any of us here on earth can possibly imagine!!

    Thinking of you and praying for you always!
    Brie Voelp

  13. I just wanted to say that Ayden is in all of our hearts and I thank you for sharing your story with us. I pray for you and your family's peace every day. Happy Birthday to Ayden.

  14. Oh, and Happy Birthday to you, too! I am so sorry I forgot to mention that in my earlier comment...silly me :( I hope you had a wonderful day yesterday, even though I know it was hard!

    God Bless!

  15. Thinking about you guys today (27th blog wouldn't let me post a comment), released a balloon to heaven for Ayden today. Thank you for continuing to share your story with others. You inspire me to be a better Christian!

  16. I too faced my 27th birthday without my daughter. It sucked.

    Here's to it being easier next time. ((hugs))