everyday stress (& randoms)

Lately I’ve been trying to figure out how to strike a balance between my every day stressors, my grief, and my two living children. It’s not easy, and I’m really afraid that I’m doing a shitty job. There are days that I just literally cannot do anything except exist and I feel that is extremely hard. Then, there are days where I feel good- positive almost. It never fails that those days where the positivity starts to creep in always end in disaster. I will feel ok then something will happen in the afternoon that makes me derail and feel like shit. I can handle the fact that Kenley died; I’ve almost come to accept the fact in a way…but add in the every day crap and it just sends me over the edge.

I’m trying to figure out how to balance all of that. I know that I will never wake up and feel “normal” and I really don’t want to feel that way. I feel like normal is a relative word and I’m discovering what my “new” normal is every day.

I had a follow up MFM appointment on Thursday. They gave me a postpartum depression questionnaire thing to fill out. When my Dr came in she said ” So your depression scale was really high” (no shit) so we decided to add in an anti-anxiety medication on top of my anti-depressant. I know that I need this medication to get my shit under control. Then we talked about a few other things like when I would be able to get pregnant again if we decided to do so, testing to see if I have a blood clotting disorder that will require lifetime medication, and was given a full exam.

  • Not allowed to transfer an embryo for at least a year if we decide to have more children.
  • Went to the lab to have blood drawn
  • Full exams suck

The next day the doctor called and told me that my Protein S levels were in normal range which means that it was artificially lowered in pregnancy BY pregnancy…This means that Kenley did not die from my blood clotting disorder because I don’t technically have one. I am NOT ok with this answer, so I am seeking out a hematologist to discuss things further. It does not make sense that my levels were so extremely low during pregnancy and I took blood thinners and bam, Alden’s here alive and healthy and Kenley died. I’m just confused on it all so I will leave this open ended and post more about it when I know more/have more time.

Yesterday should have been a good friends Daughters 1st Birthday. She was taken too soon, just like all of our babies. I went to Starbucks and said my name was Meredith so they would write it on my cup, and I paid for the two cars behind me in honor of Meredith on her birthday. (Also- side note- had a cake pop for the first time…omfg. so good.)

My planner is full of names of babies who are gone too soon, and I hate it. It makes me so sad. These poor babies should be here with their parents, it’s just unfair.

Alden is nearly rolling from front to back already. It’s insane! She has almost done it three times now, and I give her a few days before she masters it. She’s such a good baby, I’m so thankful that she isn’t colicky like her brother because I would not be able to handle it.

I need to get my hair done, Landon needs a hair cut, and so does Shane. It’s insane. We all look homeless.

The paving company came last Monday to fill in the sides of our driveway with dirt, and no one told me they were coming. I was in my robe at 8am and my door bell rang. I thought it was UPS and didn’t answer it, then I hear the sounds of dump trucks backing up. When I looked outside there were tons of machines and men working. WTAF? Why didn’t anyone tell me they were coming????? I walked out and told them, hey sorry I didn’t move the truck, no one gave me a date or time for the work to start so you’re going to have to work around it. This week they should come to seal the drive way (per the man doing the work last week…) so we’ll see what happens. They didn’t tamp the dirt down, so when it rained yesterday the dirt ran into my yard. Shane took pics and sent them to the company because that shouldn’t happen, and quite frankly this company has been shit-tacular at best in doing the jobs the way they should.

I can’t wait until it’s all done, and we can not have to worry about them anymore. I will be hiring other people to seal the driveway in the following years.

When it’s all done, were buying Landon a basketball hoop for the driveway. Then, we will be getting mulch, and flowers for the front of the house. I can’t wait to get my daffodils planted around all the trees and get the house looking nice again for spring time. I’m pretty sure that Kenley’s tree is dead; it’s pretty “crisp” and hasn’t had any new buds this spring sooooo……I guess I’ll give it another year.

Yesterday, Kenley should have been 16 months old.

Ouch. My heart.


Alden woke up at 6 this morning to eat. I felt pretty good after feeding her, so I put her back to sleep (read: laid her down cus she was passed the heck out anyway), and I went to make coffee. I looked out the kitchen window and noticed it look so calm outside. I grabbed a cup of coffee and decided to walk out on the back deck, something that I never do in the mornings.

I walked outside. It was so calm, and so still. I couldn’t hear a car, I couldn’t hear anything other than birds quietly chirping as if they were just waking up. I stood there, warm coffee in hand thinking of Kenley; Of how quiet the morning was…of how quiet her birth was. It was a beautiful and heartbreaking moment as the sun slowly started to rise.

Then, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye.

It was a fox…

and it was walking across my back yard.

I cannot tell you if I have ever seen a fox in “nature” before, but for some reason this morning there was a beautiful one trotting across my back yard at 6:30 a.m.  It walked from the field, to my yard, to the side of my yard, then down our tree line back to the field. When it reached the fence of my yard, it stopped for 2-3 seconds and stared at me.

I burst into tears.

I’m not sure I’ve ever felt more at peace in my life…


two years. 

Today, two years ago, I found out I was expecting Kenley. 

After nearly three years of infertility struggles we were finally pregnant. 

Two years have passed. Two. 


My poor sweet girl. I wish I could have saved you. 

Infertility awareness week. 

I never in a million years thought this would be us. We actually struggled with secondary infertility. We had Landon with zero problems so when we learned of our issues it was a huge shock. 

Most days I blame myself for my infertility issues. What could I have done to change the outcome? If I didn’t have DOR would I have been able to conceive my sweet girl myself and been able to keep her? 

Maybe even both of them? It’s so hard to envision a scenario where I get to have both of my daughters alive and with me. 

Struggling with infertility was awful. We tried naturally for a year with no luck. We then did 5 rounds of clomid which resulted in an ectopic pregnancy on the first round. Clomid is the devil and to add a loss in there was just the cherry on top. 

Then we did 2 femara cycles with no luck. 

Then we did a tamoxifen cycle that was going to be an IUI but we got cancelled. I ended up pregnant and had a chemical pregnancy. 

I did another IUI cycle with my last dose of clomid for life (per my REs recommendations). It didn’t work. 

Then, I was able to talk my doctor into allowing me to use injectable meds and do an IUI. 

This worked. 

On April 26, 2015 I found out I was expecting Kenley. 

Two years have almost passed. Two. About the same amount of time we tried for her has passed. It’s insane. My grief brain does not comprehend time anymore. 

I miss her. I miss her so incredibly bad. 

Anyway, all this to say lend extra support and love to anyone struggling this week. Infertility is awful and if you’ve never been there,you don’t know how dark of a place it truly can be. 

Reach out. Talk about it. Break the silence. 


You shouldn’t be here. But, you are because your sister died. 

This is what I was thinking while I was feeding Alden at 3 am last night; I let my mind get the best of me. I don’t think that very often (I don’t allow myself to go there) but it’s true. Alden would not be here if Kenley had survived. This fact fills me with a lot of weird emotions; I feel guilty for even thinking it. 

Having a “Rainbow” sort of makes you feel like you’re choosing one child over the other.  I have to focus a lot of my attention on Alden, so sometimes I feel like I don’t properly focus on Kenley. I know she isn’t physically here, and doesn’t require physical attention, but she requires SO MUCH mental and emotional attention that it’s insane. She dominates my thoughts most days. It’s not as if I’m sad all the time, it just seems like she’s there with every breath I take. 

I walk into the store, and think about her. 

I wake up, I see her picture next to my bad and think about her. 

I put Alden on the changing pad on her dresser, I think of Kenley. 

She is in all things; she IS all things. 

Not being able to focus attention on Kenley some days really makes me feel guilty. It makes me feel like I’m being a bad parent to her. 

How do you parent a dead child???? There is no fucking book for this and so I’m winging it. And 99% of the time I’m pretty sure that I’m doing a terrible job at life. 

Adulting is the worst, throw in losing a child and it’s a recipe for emotional and mental disaster. 

I just need a break. 

always grief. 

Having a “rainbow baby” doesn’t take away the grief of losing a child, it preoccupies you with having a new life to care for, which puts your grief (and everything else in life) on the back burner. It also means that you are taken by “grief surprise” more often. Normal every day things seem to be super heavy when maybe they weren’t before, even while carrying your rainbow. 

Some days everything just feels like I am trying to complete a task with an extra 500lbs on my chest. Some days I wonder how I am still alive, and how I get up to face the day. Easter and the day before were those days for me recently. I knew that we were going to Shane’s grandma’s for Easter and while I love his family so incredibly much, I knew it would be hard. It will ALWAYS be hard from now on. To make matters worse, there is a child in the family who is a month and a half older than what Kenley should be. I see that child, I think of what I’m missing. You can surely understand why it’s hard? It’s not this child’s (or her parents) fault my daughter died, but it still stings more than there are words and I will never not be sad around them. That is my life now. 

Easter morning it was just me, Landon and Alden. Landon ran into our room saying “the Easter bunny came!” Then he excitedly ran out to get both his and Alden’s baskets. As I was putting them together the day before, it just hit me like a ton of bricks- there should be three, but there will always only be two. 

Even if we have more children, we’re always going to be down one child and that is so fucking cruel. I know we’re not the only family who deals with this, but that doesn’t bring me any comfort what so ever. 

Before anyone gives me crap about Landon’s basket and the math work book, he loves math! He asks for “plus” when we go to bed at night. The kid loves his math.

LOL at our creepy eggs. Thanks to Target for the pirate egg kit. Landon had fun…even if it was a day late. #parentingfail #doingthebestIcan

So needless to say, Easter was rough. I feel like such a bad mom, too. I didn’t buy Alden or Landon any cute little Easter specific outfit. (I also didn’t decorate eggs until today…) I’m kind of thinking that I just didn’t care enough, I’m just too sad to make an effort? I love my kids and I would love to dress them up all cute but this year was unexpectedly hard. I felt like the grief and sadness was fresh. Last year I was sad because Kenley should be have been here enjoying Easter, and this year I’m sad for that as well as feeling guilty that she isn’t here and Alden is. 

It’s just all so messed up. 

The thoughts in my brain are things that I can only share with a few select people. Loss mom’s, and maybe my mom or/and sister. They make no sense and they are dark and scary. 

Today I was cleaning up the nursery. It’s been a disaster, like the entire house, since Alden came. I am overcome with anxiety which makes cleaning up pretty much impossible until I have a good day (today was a decent day so I took advantage) I don’t know why, but I started taking the newborn diapers out of the diaper caddy that I placed there with hopes and dreams of diapering Kenley. It was so so hard.  I felt a heat rush over my body and down my chest.

 How is this my life? 

How am I deciding if I want to remove these or leave them there (probably forever) instead of just simply running out because they’ve all been used. It hurts. My eyes got hot because I knew I was going to start crying any second. 

How is this my life? 

In my before, they were just diapers, but now, unfortunately, they come with so much attached to them.



Guilt because I’m replacing them with her sisters. 

Parenting after a loss is all sorts of messy. You never know what a trigger is going to be ( although I knew these were a trigger…that’s why they’re still there…) I will never understand why this happened to our family, to my precious daughter who was wanted SO badly. I would give anything to have her laying here in front of me. No…she would probably be running around actually. Ugh. 

The realizations of what she should be doing sting so badly. This is also why Easter was so. fucking. hard. this year. The child I mentioned above was walking, and running, and talking. That should be Kenley…and it never will be. 

I guess I was feeling extra ambitious today (read: felt like torturing myself more then usual today) because I decided to put Alden in Kenley’s clothes again today. I chose a shirt that I picked for Kenley and fell in love with. It was in her diaper bag at the hospital when we found out she died. The leggings are the ones I had ordered just a few days before she died…they were in the mailbox the day we came home from the hospital. 

I love seeing her wear these but I cannot help but wonder what Kenley would have looked like in them…

I also put her in the outfit my sister bought for her. She wasn’t too happy with it, but she looked cute so here’s the best picture I could get. 

Not too pleased with all the picture taking

Alden is officially one month old! It’s flying by, and I can’t believe it. 

She loves to sleep, eat and poop. She is recognizing our specific voices, and trying to grab her toys. She’s also been holding her head up for a long time now! Still wobbly as heck but she does a good job trying. Also, she’s a grunting, stretching, farting rude girl 🙂


I feel like there are 10,000 things going on in my life that I want to just get out of my head so I will just make a random post…have fun trying to follow along! ha!

• Tomorrow, Alden is a month old! I can’t believe it’s been a month already! It feels like yesterday, but I guess thats’s what being sleep deprived can do to you. I would never sleep again if it means I get to keep her here with me forever. She is such a good baby. I can’t wait to see how well she cooperates for her month picture tomorrow…I’m guessing she will be asleep. She is such a lazy little nugget of goodness; I guess being a newborn is hard or something 🙂

• I am extremely tired today. I know that I have had a really busy few days, but I just don’t feel right today. Here’s hoping I can get some rest soon, and start to feel normal.

• Shane’s been working 6 day work weeks, and it’s really starting to piss me off. I think we will love the paycheck, obviously, but I would much rather have him here with us.

• My sister gave us a code for a free week of Hello Fresh. Our first box came on Tuesday night. I am in love with it! I didn’t want to like it; I didn’t wanna be one of those people but damnit! I made two of the 3 meals so far, and holy crap they’re delicious. We kept the subscription for next weeks delivery too. I hope that it’s good because it’s $60 for 3 meals for 2 people (which isn’t bad at all considering a dinner out is around $60). I can’t wait to see if we really enjoy it as much as we have this week.

• I had company the past few days! A sweet lady whom I’ve been friends with for nearly 3 years came to visit from New York. She made the 9.5 hour drive to visit me for two days. I feel like we just fell into a normalcy that you rarely have with people and I am so thankful for her friendship. I’ve been feeling pretty shitty lately even with all the good things happening in my life and having her visit really helped me. We did normal friend things- Bruch, Target and then later we went to the movies. We also helped Landon ride his bike, and colored easter eggs! It was just a really really good time.

• I have so much laundry to do that I should totally be doing that instead of sitting here writing about absolutely nothing of importance. Like, where in the hell did all this laundry come from? I am just blown away. I think that because I’ve been having Landon get in the shower by himself (meaning I don’t go into his room to look at his laundry situation often) it’s just gotten out of control. Andplusalso, Laundry is a trigger for me (and I have no idea why) so it’s rarely able to make it from wash to folding to being put away in a day. I used to love it. Maybe that’s why I just can’t handle it now? Who knows.

• I want to build a new house. We’ve talked about it a lot, but there is a lot that I have my eye on so I came home today and drove past it. I really really like it, but I’m sure nothing will come of it because it’s attached to 16 acres of farm land and I’m sure the owners don’t want to just sell the random 4 acres of half wooded land and road frontage. Who knows. I now know who owns it thanks to the auditors website so we’ll see what happens with that…

• Our smoke detectors are beeping. One random beep every minute or so. I’m assuming that means one has a bad battery but Shane’s not here and I have no clue how to locate which one it is, let alone change it. UGH.

• I really need a vacation. I don’t know where to, or how I would even take one now with having a Newborn, but I need something. I don’t know where to, or when, but I really just need to get away. I wonder how acceptable it would be for me to go stay in a hotel alone for a night haha!

• Alden has her one month check up on the 18th. I have my 6 week postpartum check up on the 27th. I can’t believe how much time is passing already. It is just insane.

• Landon has started showing a huge interest in reading, and I need to find out if his school has a summer reading list because I don’t want him to fall behind. Also, he’s showing an even bigger interest in Math (this terrifies me cus I HATEEEEEEE math and suck so bad at it). I hope that the 2nd grade math workbook the easter bunny is brining him will be enough to hold him over this summer 🙂

And finally, I’m asking for everyone who reads this to keep a sweet friend of mine in their thoughts. She is in the hospital, at 23w4d and is fighting to keep her beautiful daughter inside as long as possible. Please keep her and her family in your thoughts. Send her all the love and good vibes you can.

I guess I should go motivate myself to do something.


the after.

There are a lot of emotions that one can feel after something powerful happens in their life. You can feel sadness that the event is over, joy that it happened, or even excitement for what is to come. I knew that getting pregnant 7 months after Kenley died would be a very profound time in my life. I don’t think that I was able to clearly see how the outcome (read: my life with Alden in my arms) would shake out. I’m not saying that I thought things would be fine once she was here, because quite honestly there was a large amount of time during her pregnancy where I wasn’t sure she would ever come home. I assumed the worst would happen; I panicked every appointment, and dreaded the NST’s or getting bad news.

When we found out that I had the rare blood clotting disorder called Protein S Deficiency and would need to be on injectable blood thinners, I just assumed that the worst would happen again. It didn’t matter to me that the “problem” was discovered and hopefully a blood thinner would keep clots from forming again which would lead to a positive outcome. In a loss Mother’s brain all you hear is that there is an additional problem with your pregnancy. High Risk. More monitoring.  I am forever thankful my Doctor chose to run this testing on me because had I lost another child, I’m not sure I would have survived that.

Here in the after that is Alden’s life earth side, I’m finding that I feel a lot of random emotions at random times. I feel happiness when I thought for sure I would be stricken with sadness. And on the other hand I feel sadness when for sure I should be feeling joy. I think throwing the element of losing a child into the mix is what makes things so backward. Losing Kenley means I miss out on a lifetime of love, joy, happiness, and milestones. A lifetime. I will never see her smile for the first time, or witness her chewing on her hands when she’s hungry. I will never get to see these things, these early little milestones that I’m witnessing with Alden. It’s hard to dress my living child in clothes that I bought and envisioned my dead child wearing. I thought I would try to dress her in something of Kenley’s yesterday, and I just couldn’t. So I didn’t put any pressure on myself; if I have to pack all of Kenley’s clothes in a tote when Alden is too big for them, then so be it. I don’t need to put added grief and pressure on myself over clothing.

I had Postpartum Depression after I had Landon, and I was very worried about having it with Alden (and it being coupled with grief from losing K). So, I googled the signs and symptoms just to keep myself honest about how I’m feeling. I can honestly say I check off almost every box.

(Keeping with the spirit of honesty through my loss, pregnancy after loss, and now life & parenting after a loss, I will mark the ones that I am currently feeling/have felt in green. Being transparent is important. PPD sucks and I know that I’m not alone in my feelings.)

Symptoms of PPD can occur any time in the first year postpartum. These symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Guilt
  • A feeling of being overwhelmed
  • Sleep and eating disturbances 
  • Inability to be comforted
  • Exhaustion
  • Emptiness
  • Inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable
  • Social withdrawal
  • Low or no energy
  • Becoming easily frustrated
  • Feeling inadequate in taking care of the baby
  • Occasional or frequent anxiety

When I had it with Landon we had a lot going on; a newborn, Shane’s extremely stressful job, buying a house, moving across the state in one day and just adjusting to our new life so I wasn’t surprised when I started feeling sad when I should be happy and enjoying my exciting new life.

This time, after so much struggle and infertility, we ended up losing our beautiful girl. I knew that I would be sad after losing Kenley, and fully expected PPD to show it’s ugly face again, which it did. I’m pretty sure that it never actually left in some senses; this could also just be regular ol’ run of the mill depression now. I’ve been on medication since February 2016 and I’m pretty sure that I will always want to be on it as I feel like it really does help to take the edge off of my anxiety.

When Alden was born screaming, I knew my struggle wasn’t over. I knew that now, probably more than ever, I would be feeling a wide range of emotions and I was absolutely correct. Life has been filled with happiness, sadness, joy, grief, guilt, and in some ways even more secondary losses that I’m finally able to physically experience. Things as simple as getting Alden dressed, while she stares at me, I feel both joy and sadness while doing. I think that this feeling of both joy and sadness while doing the most mundane of things with your living child is one that only a loss mother can truly understand. A feeling that a women who was so close to having her child in her arms, then that child was stolen away taking all of her dreams and part of her soul with her, would understand to the fullest.

Alden has brought so much love and light to my life, and for that I am so happy. I know that she will be loved more than she can ever imagine, and that I will give her everything she could ever want and need as a human to thrive in this awful world. I know that someday I might be able to look at her and feel complete joy, but that day is very far off. The grief I feel for my daughter that didn’t get a chance at life is a grief that no one should ever have to feel. It’s the grief that you can feel in your bones, the one you can taste, the one that makes every part of you hurt. It’s the grief that makes every part of you wish that you had died right along side your child because that is the only way it would feel right.

I knew that bringing Alden home, safe and sound, wouldn’t be a fix for losing Kenley. Nothing will ever take away the pain of losing Kenley, and nothing will ever completely fill the hole I have in my heart where she should be. Losing a full term child is the worst thing that can happen to a person. I am 100% certain of that.

Navigating this life with one beautiful daughter in my arms, and one in my heart is turning out to be a lot harder than I expected.

3 weeks.

Alden is 3 weeks old!

Some (most) days I look at her and I still can’t believe that she is mine. I get to keep this beautiful child and give her all of the love in my heart which makes me SO happy. Sometimes I will look at her, and I swear she is staring back into my eyes just telling me how much she loves me without saying a word. I know that she knows how loved she is, but I hope that someday I can actually tell her how much she means to me; how she came into our lives and brought with her the light that I never thought I would see again.

She is a fantastic baby. She pretty much only cries when she is hungry and loves to be cuddled. I bought a Moby wrap and have been wearing her around the house trying to get used to it. I think I like it, but I kinda hate it because it hurts my back. Maybe I’m doing something wrong, but I dunno. I guess I’ll have to youtube some stuff and see if there are different ways to wear her or whatever. I just wanna have her with me 24/7. I want all the baby cuddles.

I’ve been trying to take her into her nursery more to change her diaper, or get her dressed. I don’t know that I was actively avoiding it, but I realize I was in a way intentionally not going in there. I hadn’t gotten the swing out yet, because it was the swing my mom bought for Kenley. I also am having a REALLY hard time putting Alden in any of the clothes that we bought for Kenley that are hanging in her closet. I don’t know…I’m not sure if I’ll ever put her in them. I can see myself just putting them in a tote in the basement forever. Shane said something along the lines of “wouldn’t it be better to let Alden wear them, than to let them just hang there?”… and I really really don’t know the answer to that question.

It just doesn’t feel right.

And if we’re being honest, my gut feelings are pretty much the way I’m guiding myself through this whole “after loss” life.

Tonight I was clipping off Alden’s sharp finger nails, just like I did with Landon when he was born, and I clipped her thumb skin. Cue ALL the tears- hers and mine. She must have yanked her finger away from me after I had the clippers set and well…it was awful. I couldn’t get it to stop bleeding, even after applying pressure for like 10 straight minutes.  I called my mother in law and thankfully she came over with baby band-aids and helped to calm me down. Poor sweet Alden, ugh. I know that these things happen, but seriously. I think that our life should be fucking CAKE and nothing bad should ever happen again, in any sense of the matter. We’ve all been through the ringer, life, and I would appreciate you kindly leaving us alone for a while 🙂


How is it 11 pm already?!

I need sleep.