The other day I was laying on the love seat with Alden standing up on my stomach. We were giving each other kisses (her more drooling into my mouth but still kisses nonetheless) when she turned to look at the wall beside her. She was staring at Kenley’s birth stat plaque that Shane bought me for Christmas last year. She had the biggest smile on her face, and I swear she stared at it for a good 10 seconds. I said  “that is your sister’s sign! We love her so much and miss her every day”. She smiled more and then turned her gaze to the photo we have of Kenley’s name written in the sand by Carly Marie. It was like she knew the two pieces on my wall belong together. Sometimes I catch her looking at my tattoo while I’m changing her diaper, or getting her dressed.

How will I tell her about her sister? I wonder if there will be a “right time”, or will she ask me about Kenley before I’m ready to tell her? Will I be sad when I explain it to her and will that make her upset, or angry at me? Will she resent me for naming her Alden; like I stole her chance of becoming her own person? I worry about all of these things, and I hate that I have to. People tell me that Alden will be proud to share her name with her big sister, but I really wonder if that’s true or if they’re just trying to make me feel better. What do I say if someday she asks me if I ever called her (or almost called her) by her sisters name?

The first year of Alden’s life is well under way, and I find things are starting to get heavy again. I’m not sure if it’s just because she is meeting so many milestones and it’s just hammering home the fact that we will never share these with Kenley, or what. The 4th of July was a little bit awful because Alden wore Kenley’s clothes, and then she pooped up the back of the dress. I had all these huge plans in my head to take a cute picture of her in it and share it on my blog, but she had other plans. She looked cute in the outfit and I loved her wearing it (well you know what I mean…), but, as always, it came with the added guilt of wondering what it would have looked like on it’s rightful owner.

I’m finding that it’s getting easier to allow Alden to wear Kenley’s things now that she’s moving on to different sizes. The newborn, and 0-3 month clothing was just way too difficult. I think she wore 2 or 3 pieces of Kenley’s clothing in those sizes. I’m not sure why it’s different? Maybe because I look at those sizes and think about how excited I was to bring Kenley home and put her in those clothes? I was excited for the bigger sizes as well, but the newborn clothes. I couldn’t wait to see her wear those! I remember shopping in the last few days before I had her; I felt I didn’t have enough for her to wear which obviously was a big giant mistake because she had so many clothes that Alden’s closet looks like Target.

Maybe looking at the newborn clothes really hit home for me, and I didn’t want to share that special part of Kenley’s life in utero with Alden. That makes me sound like a terrible Mother, but I’m not, and I hope it makes sense. There are certain things that I don’t want to share with Alden, they are especially for Kenley. We have toys that were given to us for Kenley (a rattle that my Mother in Law put in Kenley’s first stocking) that Alden plays with. I can distinctly remember her handing me the stocking, and looking inside it.  A rattle, and a 2 pack of Binkys. When I see her holding this rattle in her hand, it makes my heart drop to my feet. I don’t even know how to describe the feeling? It’s a feeling like something terribly bad is going to happen. Fear, panic, anxiety, except for all those feelings in reverse. I feel them all like I’m back on that day, Christmas Day 2015. I want to shake myself, and tell me to go to the Hospital. GO. Maybe you can save your daughter.

I will never forget when my sister told me she was pregnant. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. I remember the tone of her voice, and the fact that I left the room because my Dad was visiting and I didn’t want to spoil her surprise by getting excited over the phone and him wondering what was happening. I remember the look in her eyes when she held Kenley. I remember her crying. I remember feeling like I let her down. I remember everything she did for me after Kenley died. The constant company, and text messages. Helping me to take care of Landon. Sending me funny cards in the mail.

It breaks my heart to know that Alden will never have a sister. Even if we wanted to have more children (which… that’s a whole other can of worms…) we have 2 embryos left and they are both Male. The bond that I have with my Mom and Sister is something that I wish all females had with their Mom and Sister. They are my best friends. I can only hope that Alden allows me to be there for her like my Mom and Sister have been for me.

I hope that we can love, miss and celebrate Kenley together someday. I hope that she asks about her big sister so that I can tell her how loved she is, and how Alden herself is a very special part of her sisters life in my eyes.

I can’t wait to tell her about the joy that she has brought to my life.

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