I remember falling in “love” for the first time in 6th grade. I thought that was it; I would love this person for the rest of my life! He was the one who made me happy (whatever that was in 6th grade- pretty sure it was holding my hand haha), and made me laugh. I remember the feeling of complete happiness I felt when I would get to school and sit next to him in class; how happy I was to go home and talk to him on the phone after school. Such a strong feeling for 6th grade. Oh 6th grade self, if you only knew.
As time went on, I realized that the 6th grade love wasn’t going to last, and I “loved” other people. When I met Shane my senior year in High School, it was so different. I loved him so incredibly much, and felt so strongly about him. He made me laugh, smile, loved the same music as I did, and we just had a lot in common. He was the one; I knew it. I fell hard for Shane. I withdrew from college, and moved to Columbus to be closer to him after we had only known each other for 4 months.
Six years, and a lot of moving around later, we were engaged. I never doubted that I wanted to spend forever with Shane, not one time. I still don’t. 12 years later we still love each other like we did the first day we met, just differently. He’s going to be such an amazing dad to Landon as he grows up, and to our future living children. He was an amazing father to Kenley – He still is, and always will be. I know how much he loves her, and it warms my heart.
When I found out I was pregnant with Landon, I was so happy. I thought I didn’t want children, until I met Shane’s family and saw how they got along so well. I knew I wanted that. When I had Landon, I felt a love so strong that it’s impossible to describe. It was a different type of love. I was so concerned with how I was going to love a child more than I loved Shane. When Landon was born, I realized it wasn’t more or less that I loved him, it was differently. I loved Landon so much differently than I loved Shane.
When we found out we were pregnant with our second baby (first miscarriage), we were so happy. I felt that surge of love again. I knew I had a lot of feelings about a new baby. I was nervous, and scared. How would I love this baby as much as I loved Landon? How do you split your love between two children? We eventually miscarried this baby, and we were heart broken. That was a new level of pain that I had hoped to never experience in the first place, let alone 2 more times. We lost another baby to a chemical pregnancy. Another knife in my heart.
When we got pregnant with Kenley, it was different. Things progressed well. She had a normal heartbeat, and all her ultrasounds were normal. There was no reason for us to be concerned past my loss milestone dates. When we found out she was perfect genetically speaking, we were thrilled. We knew she was it. She was our Rainbow. I was worried again about giving her as much love as Landon. How was it possible? I came to peace with that fear, and I knew that I would once again love them differently, but just as fiercely as the other. When I found out Kenley died, I cannot describe the pain I felt. It will forever be the worst thing that happened to me. When I held her lifeless body, I was so in love. She is my daughter and she would never know pain from the outside world. I loved her so incredibly much. I will love her forever with the same intensity as the first time I saw her beautiful face.
Now I can say that I love them both the same, but differently. I love Landon as my living child, and Kenley as the child who lives in my heart (along with her 2 siblings). I will never get to physically mother Kenley like I get to with Landon, but that doesn’t change the fact that I love her just as intensely. I am forced to love her in unconventional ways, which isn’t fair what so ever. I will always love her differently, and that makes me very sad. I wish she was here to let me love her in the traditional sense. I want to kiss her sweet face, and tell her how much I love her while rocking her to sleep at night. I want to tickle her belly and hear her laugh. I want the sloppy open mouth kisses from her. I will forever long for her to be here in my arms.
I’m so thankful that I know this love, though. True Love.
I love my children with every fiber of my being. All four of them.