my grief.

Recently I posted a photo on IG that said I was “the kind of tired that sleep can’t fix”. A lot of people would just read this photo as myself being tired from having a newborn. Sure, I can understand that, but the caption I wrote said so much more, and I feel like this really goes to show you that people try to understand, but they are completely unable.

I received comments like, “You’re just tired from having a newborn”, “Have you tried talking to someone?”, or my personal favorite…” Diet and Exercise help grief so much!”….

I appreciate all of the support that I get, because quite honestly it’s overwheming and I know these people don’t HAVE to support me but they do. I know these people mean well (or at least I think they do) but, I just literally can’t with the responses. So, let me break down my latest IG post in a little more detail to try and help people better understand.

I’m Tired. I’m physically tired. I’m emotionally tired. I’m mentally tired. I’m ALLLLLL kinds of tired. My body hurts. My brain hurts. My eyes constantly burn from either tears, lack of sleep, or both. No amount of sleeping is going to change the fact that my daughter is dead.

I have tried talking to someone, yes. Talking to a therapist about what you’ve gone through undoubtedly helps, sure. Shane and I saw one for 8 months after Kenley died. You know what though? She can’t relate to the way I feel, either. She has not been here. “Here” is such an awful place, and I truly believe as a therapist that this “situation” would be a hard thing to deal with. Our therapist was never able to offer us  “ah-ha” type of advice; there was never a time where I felt that she truly helped me figure out anything.

Diet and exercise will help grief. Oh? Most days I forget to eat a meal, or literally have no appetite. Yesterday I forgot to eat dinner, so from 11:30am until 8:00am today I didn’t eat anything. Or sometimes I feel like eating everything in my face. I drink way too much coffee these days, and not enough water. Worrying about diet and exercise is the last thing on my mind. Somedays it’s a battle to get out of bed. Maybe once I can tackle that better, I’ll start to jump back on a diet, or start walking and taking hikes again but for now, no. For now, I’m going to focus on getting my feet on the floor in the morning while the darkness inside is begging me to just lay back down and not get up.

I’m not sure how to make someone understand the pain that a mother who lost a full term child feels. Most the time I feel like a broken record. I’m still sad. I’m still angry. I’m still depressed and anxious and emotional and broken and feel hopeless most days. Having Alden did NOT take those things away, and sometimes I think that it actually made them worse. She is here, and Kenley is not. I see a picture of Landon with Alden, and I see the space where Kenley should be.

A space where my middle child should, but never will be.

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This is another thing that often comes up. “You have Landon and Alden, you need to be strong for them! You are so lucky!”.

For real? Of course I need to be strong for them, and I am. I wake up every day don’t I? I cannot tell you how easy it would be for me to crawl into bed and not get out again. Grief is awful. Coupled with depression, and anxiety it’s a nightmare. Just because I have them, does not make the hole in my heart any smaller. It honestly exacerbates her loss.

I had Landon and watched him grow into this amazing 6 year old boy. I watched him get his first tooth, eat mushy food, use a sippy cup, take his first steps, talk, laugh, coo, and now he gets in the shower by himself. I’ve watched him every step of the way. I was fully prepared to watch Kenley do those things, and never for ONE SECOND doubted that I would get to be able to. Until she died. As a parent, I grieved her death, and her role in our family of little sister. I wouldn’t be able to watch her do those things. Now, with Alden here, she is smiling and cooing.

Yes, I LOVE watching her, and it fills my heart with so much joy. But, there is always a sadness. She is not Kenley. I know that there a lot of Loss Moms who might feel this way too, but feel guilty saying it. I do too. I feel guilty that sometimes I hold my newborn daughter and can’t help but think about my dead daughter. I can’t help it. Some times I walk past her Nursery and glance in wishing I could see Kenley’s colors instead. As I write these things, I feel guilt, but I know that I’m not alone in my feelings and I know they are valid.

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Sometimes you don’t need to say anything.

Sometimes all I need is a hug.

Sometimes I just need a text saying you miss Kenley; say her name.

I don’t need your grieving advice, because this is my timeline.

This is my grief. 

last.Β 

Tomorrow is Landon’s last day of Kindergarten. I cannot even wrap my head around this (for so many reasons). 

He started the school year and I viewed him as my little baby boy, but something changed over the year. He grew into this little dude who can read (extremely well at that), and who loves math problems. He loves to write, and spell, and draw funny pictures. He loves to work on the computer doing math that he does at school. 

He came home today with an award: 

 

I know it doesn’t look like much, but it made me so proud. He came home and said only he and another girl got it. This girl (earlier in the year) Landon claimed was “the best reader that gets to choose her own books! She’s THE best mom!”…and look at him getting a reading award right along side of her πŸ™‚ THAT made me happy; made my heart swell with pride. 

I think part of how I view him differently now is because he is a big brother to a living sister. He is a brother to Kenley, sure, but to see him with Alden just makes my heart explode. He loves her SO much. He is so protective of her, he gets frustrated at her, he makes her smile. 

I’m so proud of him for the little man he is becoming. 

I am so thankful to be his mother. 

randoms.Β 

My autocorrect try’s to replace “randoms” with “ransoms” EVERY. TIME.  What is happening, Apple?! That seems a little serious…

Anyway, random time. 

– I met another loss Mom today. It’s the first time since Kenley died that I’ve met up with a Late Term Loss Momma. I had Landon and Alden with me so it wasn’t a very “relaxing” meet up because I would have much rather sat there talking about our sweet girls instead of telling Landon to stop putting paper into the coin slot of a gumball machine….

Alison is amazing and I love her so much. I’m so thankful she’s in my life and I cannot wait to meet her little baby S! A, if you’re reading this- THANK YOU. I needed today πŸ™‚

– Alden was a dream today. She was so good and didn’t fuss once while we were talking over coffee….but she was also awake the entire time…and awake for another 2ish hours after that. She didn’t have her morning nap so she lost her shit in the car. Poor Landon! I thought he was going to throw something because she wouldn’t stop crying.  When we got home she kept crying…I finally got her to sleep and she slept from 5-8:30 pm. I’m hoping she sleeps ok for me tonight because we went to bed around 10:30 and she fell right to sleep. 

– I have an appointment with a new PCP on Thursday. I need to establish myself as a patient so I can get my medicine refilled. My MFM can’t be my PCP so I need to find someone to at least help with that situation. Also, I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to have one. 

– Landon only has FOUR days left of Kindergarten! 4!!! I can’t believe it. I swear it’s flying. Also, odd, but he asked my friend alison today if she visited us at the hospital when he was born and I just stared laughing. It’s so weird because I had a friend that I worked with at the time come to visit him and Alison looks JUST LIKE HER. I lost my mind! Sometimes Landon says things that freak me out beyond measure- this is one of them. There is NO WAY he can remember that right?! Lol

– tball is going well. Landon’s enjoying it and he does such a great job. I hope baseball is something he sticks with because I really enjoy watching him play. 

– I need to make a to do list in order to complete some serious tasks this summer. Especislly if we’re ever going to seriously consider selling this house and building. 

– My grief is kind of overflowing my cup lately so to speak. I’m not sure if this is just how it’s going to be now, or if I’m just going through a weird patch again. Nothing sounds enjoyable, music doesn’t make me happy, I feel overwhelmed and anxious pretty much 24/7. I’m not sure what’s happening. My love and grief for Kenley is making me feel extra sad and lost. I am having a hard time believing this is my life again. It’s like some days the fog lifts every so slightly and I can see light so I start to emerge, but then it inevitably starts to get foggy again and I lose the light. 

Always. It will ALWAYS get foggy. 

My brain just turns to mush anymore when I think about my life without her; I cannot think about it without choking up at the very least. I’m so thankful to have so many people love her because I feel like that’s the only way her memory is kept alive. 

I need to do something in her name again soon. Maybe I need to focus my attention on that to help with the anxiety. I have a few ideas but I’m not too sure what direction I want to go- 

β€’ donate books to the NICU 

β€’ donate scrapbooks for the NICU team to use for the babies first few milestones that they cannot experience outside the NICU. 

β€’ a catered lunch for the nurses who took care of us when we had Kenley

β€’ care package donation 

β€’ sleepers to donate for other stillborn babies 

β€’ contact the department to see if there is someone I can work with to decide what is needed most for their hospital group

It all sounds so trivial in comparison to losing her. I hate that I have to keep her memory alive when I should be keeping her alive instead. Some days I think that’s what hits the hardest: I couldn’t even keep my baby alive so why should I be allowed to be here and enjoy this life when she’s the innocent one who suffered. 

Oh Grief, you fickle bitch. 

month 2.

Alden is officially 2 months old (as of Monday!) She had her 2 month check up on Wednesday. 

She now weighs 13.2 lbs, and is 23.5 inches long! 90% for height and weight…just like Landon always was (and still is). 

She’s starting to smile more. I laid with her in bed today talking with her and she looked at me and smiled a bunch! It melts my heart. 

She’s doing this funny thing where instead of trying to coo and talk, she coughs loudly and quickly. It’s SO cute. It’s here discovering her voice and I love it. I had a fun day of picture taking today trying to get her on camera! I managed to get a few, but realize that I don’t have my phone on me when I’m with her most the time. I’m trying to enjoy little moments with her. 

She had to get 3 (!!!!!) shots at her appointment. It. Was. Awful.  Oh my god. I didn’t think I would be the mom who cried, but I was. I don’t remember Landon’s shots so I don’t remember if I cried or not. 

Seeing her get stabbed and then screaming out of sheer pain was SOOOOOO awful for me! I just lost it. 


Today I was driving home (alone) from the grocery store, when I turned on my road and almost hit a deer. I turned and there stood a doe not 50 feet in front of me , right in the middle of the rode staring me down. 

I know some people don’t believe in signs or things like that, but I like to believe in them. She stood there for a few seconds looking at me, then slowly walked off into the woods. I pulled up to where she was and watched her walk away. 

Sure, Maybe these things aren’t signs from my girl, but ways that my heart chooses to heal its self when it’s feeling the worst. 

Either way…

unfixable.Β 

Some days the reality hits a lot harder. 

I will live on this earth without you. 

Forever. 

Never again will I kiss your face. 

Or hold your body in my arms. 

Some days it stings more than normal. 

I won’t get to watch you crawl, or walk. 

I can’t watch you ride a bike. 

I’ll never braid your hair. 

I’ll never help you mend a broken heart. 

I can never watch you get married. 

The secondary losses are infinate. 

I miss you. I love you. 

I don’t understand how a Mother goes on without one of her children; that life is obviously cruel and unfair.

Isolating and torturous. 

Dark and lonely. 

I want you here, baby girl. 

So badly. 

I’m just so tired. 

bikes.

Shane’s been on vacation since last Thursday, and it has been so nice having him home. He’s helped a lot with the kids, and with the house. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again- I love having him here, and I wish he was off every day! Β We finally watched Making a Murderer; we were obsessed. We had t-ball on Saturday morning and then my mother in law took both kids for the evening. She kept them overnight, and we went out on a date.

We went to the movies and saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2, then got 5 guys and came home to binge watch Making a Murderer. When we got home, we didn’t move until we were finished with the show…5 episodes.

We spent Mother’s day at my in laws which was nice and relaxing. I’m pretty happy I didn’t have to go to a big get together or something because this holiday isn’t very fun. It just…I don’t know. It hurts. I’m a mother, and I don’t have all of my children here. I’m a mother and one of my children is dead because I didn’t understand her pattern of movement well enough to realize she stopped moving. That, doesn’t make you feel like a good mother, I’ll tell you what.

Today, we went to breakfast and then to Lowes to buy shelving for our garage. We cleaned the garage today and ended up setting some things by the end of the road for free in hopes that people would stop to take them.

We sat our some golf clubs, a dog cage, and 2 small tricycles.

Eventually someone stopped to get the clubs, then later someone stopped for the bikes. She walked up to the garage where we were still cleaning things out, and asked if the bikes were for sale. I told her she could just have them for free, and it would help us out. She asked if the cage was free too, and I said yes. She said thank you and that her almost 2 year old grandson would love the bikes.

Almost 2…

After she left, I started to cry.

It hit me kinda unexpectedly, because I had been fine all day about getting rid of them. I just realized that those bikes should be in use. They should be being used by my 16 month old baby girl, BUT instead I gave them to some random person who stopped to pick them up.

I hope her grandson loves them. I enjoyed watching Landon use them all of his life and it is just another small minuscule thing that breaks my heart into millions of pieces all over again…

I think sometimes I am in denial at how fucked up my reality is.

 

mother.Β 

I miss you, sweet K. This is my second Mother’s Day without you…I don’t know how a parent is supposed to go on without their child everyday- especially holidays like this- and feel ok. 

I’m trying. 

I’m really really trying. 

Some days I fail…actually most days. 

But, I am trying. 

hole.Β 

Lately I feel like I have a physical hole in my heart. I am missing Kenley so badly; it’s less raw but seems more intense. 

I have great days followed by really really awful days. In the beginning it was all raw; my grief just controlled my every thought. Now, it’s different. I can have normal days, and even enjoy normal things, but after that happens I wake up the next day feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck. Kind of like a “grief hangover” for lack of better term. I could lay in bed all day, cry all day, literally watch the minutes tick away on the clock and not give a shit about anything. Those are my bad days. 

I’m sure this is just another “phase” of grief, but it pisses me off to think of it that way. 

There are not multiple “phases” of grief- there is only one

Life. 

There is a lifetime of grief and that is the only phase. 

Maybe that is why the grief hits so hard? Because I know that there is no escaping it. Sure it will change, and it will become easier to carry- Hell, it’s already less challenging to carry it- but, it’s always going to be there. 

Tonight as I was feeding Alden, I realized I was holding her the exact same way I held Kenley in the hospital. I looked at her and I was hit with an enormous wave of PTSD. I felt like I was back in the OR feeling sick, and unable to cough from the spinal. I remember being given a medicine to calm me down, which also made me so nauseous, but I was unable to actually throw up because my spinal made it impossible. 

I remember the silence. 

So. Much. Silence. 

I remember how she felt in my arms. I remember feeling like I wanted to die; like I could care less about breathing. 

Maybe that’s why the bad days scare me so much?

 The bad days make me feel exactly how I felt when the Nurse handed me Kenley’s lifeless body and I finally held my daughter. 

The bad days are so bad, but I’m so glad the good days are here, too. 

randoms.

β€’ Last night Alden ate at 11, and slept until 4:30 without waking up. Normal parent = Happy! Sleep!  Loss mom = is she alive?! 

β€’ Landon had tball again tonight and it was such a nice day! Shane and my Father in law are now assistant coaches on the team and it makes my heart overflow with joy. Shane loves Landon so much, so to see this happen was pretty cool. 

β€’ Landon has a zoo field trip tomorrow. I was going to chaperone, buteach chaperone would be in charge of X kindergarteners and I have a newborn sooooo…

β€’ I cannot believe my boy is almost in first grade. What in the actual hell. Time is flying and I feel so old. 

β€’ Speaking of old, I have way too many wrinkles. Looking at photos of myself is terrifying sometimes. 

β€’ I wish I had hand and foot molds of Kenley’s hands and feet. What I would give to see them again. 

β€’ Shane bought me a keurig for our anniversary! We usually don’t drink kcups because well…Shane’s a coffee snob for lack of better word! I’m super surprised he bought it for me because it goes against all he believes in as far as good coffee goes!

β€’ I am so tired and don’t think Shane and I have had 5 seconds to even hug in the past month and a half. I’m really looking forward to our date night on Saturday- even if it means all we do is sleep haha! 

β€’ I got my hair done the other day. It’s a blonde bayalage and I really like it a lot but it’s going to take some getting used to. I’m used to my whole head being bright blonde, this is more subtle and white. It’s exactly where I want to go so I hope to be able to lighten it even more this summer!

β€’ We’ve been talking to a home builder and finally got a rough estimate on what it would cost to build the home we want. It’s one of those things where we can totally do it, but It would all depend on us selling our house for a decent price and making money. If we made enough to buy land, building wouldn’t be an issue and we would be fine. Who knows, still trying to get Shane on board 110%. 


β€’ I’ve been finding it hard to separate my grief from daily life again. Not saying it has ever gotten easier or gone away, but it sometimes is easier than others.  I’m not sure why it’s getting rough again…but it’s starting to feel really heavy again. I think I could use a little break; a vacation to relax. 

β€’ I need to pull weeds, get mulch for out front and refill my bird feeders. 

Apparently this has become a to do list so that’s all I’ve got tonight. 

5.8.10.

Tomorrow is our 7 year wedding anniversary.

I am usually really good at these things, but this year I forgot to get Shane a card. I’m pretty mad at myself for that. I did manage to get him two gifts, but still…ugh.

Married 7 years.

Together 13 years.

Who would have ever imagined that the month after we got married, we would have conceived Landon naturally!

Who would have ever imagined the pain and suffering that would come after that.

5.8.14 We were in TN with our second pregnancy celebrating.

5.18.14 (this is the day that Shane and I first met back in 2004) we suffered our first miscarriage.

5.8.15 We’re pregnant with Kenley, and in Florida at Harry Potter world…the best vacation of my life. My sweet little nugget tucked inside me, growing away safely.

5.8.16 We are utterly heartbroken and do not celebrate our anniversary at all. But, Shane buys me flowers anyway.

5.8.17 Our sweet rainbow is here and our anniversary is less awful…although I did cry while giving Shane his gifts tonight (he works in the AM).

Why is everything overshadowed?

Anniversary, yep.

Christmas, hell fucking yep.

Just blah. That’s all I can muster sometimes anymore.

 

Tonight I took a bath with Alden. While I was sitting there, washing her and watching her kick her little legs in the water, I couldn’t help but be overcome with emotions. I remember so vividly taking baths with Kenley inside of me, kicking like crazy. I remember being so excited to take a bath with her when she was on the outside. Sitting there with Alden just hammered home the fact I will never get those moments with Kenley. I love Alden, and seeing her loving the bath made my heart happy, but it is so bittersweet.

Sometimes there is no other way to explain how I feel except Sad.

Some days I just feel sad.