noise.

I was reading a post by Megan Devine today that I saw on Instagram, and something really stuck with me.

“We stop saying it hurts because no one listens.”

 

It’s so true. I read it and I was like…wow. That’s is just one of those things that you read and you’re immediately reassured that your feelings are valid.

Eventually people stop listening.

Our pain and grief become their background noise; They hear us, but they can choose to tune us out.

I know that everyones lives go on, and I don’t expect anyone to sit in my grief with me for over 3 years, but man. There are only about handful of people who even say Kenley’s name to me anymore. It’s so frustrating. She is a major part of my life–actually she is the sole reason my life is currently the way that it is. If she would have survived I wouldn’t have Alden or Rowan, and wouldn’t be building a house. I’m not saying that is a good thing or a bad thing one way or the other, but it is fact.

Another thing that really resonated with me was something that Jess posted on her IG. This was a quote from her wife about losing their son, Leo.

It said “In an instant I lose them both. Our sweet, wild boy is gone, And so is the life in her eyes.”

 

I can relate to this more than I want to, but it’s so true. We lost our baby girl, and we both lost ourselves. I don’t remember who I used to be, and I’ve tried many times. I can see her, in all of her naivety and happiness…floating along in life thinking nothing bad could ever happen to her…Only to have the worst thing happen. I often wonder if that woman would survive my life. I don’t think she would.

The woman I used to be was broken. She was shattered into a million pieces and this new woman was left to pick up her parts…I think I did a good job, but let me tell you there are days where I walk around and I’m a shell of who I used to be. Hell, somedays I’m a shell of who I became as well.

Life after loss is a daily struggle. A battle between my two lives, and who I have become. I feel grief and sadness every day. It’s different. It has shaped my entire life. It has changed me. It has changed my Husband. It has changed our entire universe, and every single person in our family–immediate or otherwise.

Grief is the thief of joy even when everything in your life looks to be going so well…you still have a child who is dead.

And some people just don’t seem to remember that.

 

 

Days.

1,176 days.

I cannot believe it has been that long since I held your beautiful body. You are the greatest thing to happen to me. I’m so sorry that you didn’t get to stay with us. We would have given you the very best life. I can’t even imagine how my life would be if you had lived outside of me.

You are the greatest thing I have ever done.

Thank you for choosing me to be your Mommy.

I’ll love you forever.

Rowan is ONE!

How did THAT happen?! I cannot believe that at 10:32 a.m., my sweetest surprise came into this world. Screaming, dark haired and perfect. She chose to share a birth time (only a.m. v. p.m.) with Kenley. This is so special to me and makes me feel that maybe, in some way, they planned it that way for me together at one point…

Rowie, you are a bundle of laughs all the time. You are feisty, and sweet; You’re smart and out going yet a little shy. You started walking at 9.5 months, and we can’t keep you down. You have the sweetest personality and we don’t know how we ever lived with out you.

You are my greatest surprise and I am so thankful for the chance to be your Mommy. Some day I will explain to you allllllllll the things that came together to make you being in our lives possible, but for today?…

I just want you to know that I will love you with every ounce of my soul until the day that I die.

And I will love you after that, too.

Moving Mountains

I wish this blog post title was more significant than a song name, but it’s not. There are no mountains being moved here; same old me, same old grief. Actually, the grief seems to be getting…weird and different.

Today, while driving to pick Landon up from school I passed a funeral procession. Pretty terrible thing to pass, honestly. I hate that I immediately felt sad and thought about who died, but mostly I felt sad. I was overwhelmed.

I was listening to a song I had forgotten about that randomly popped into my head so I found it on youtube on my drive. It really really moves me. I used to listen to it stupidly loud in my car on my way to work when I lived in Troy.

Troy.

Landon was conceived and born in Troy. I had friends in Troy. I was normal in Troy. I didn’t have a dead child. Things were less complicated, yet at the same time they weren’t.  I don’t know. It’s so frustrating.

As the song boomed over my speakers, and I sat at the top of the hill able to see all of the cars in the funeral procession, I couldn’t help but cry.  I couldn’t stop myself. I don’t know these people…yet I’ve been those people. Who knows? Maybe they lost their child, but I doubt it. It seems like I’m the only person who has lost a healthy full term baby, I swear to god.

I couldn’t watch the cars go by. I looked out the passenger side window. I wonder if anyone noticed me intentionally looking the other way. All I could think was ” I didn’t give her a funeral and she fucking deserved it.”

She deserved at least that, and I didn’t give it to her.

I hate that I even thought that. I don’t want to think that. I don’t want to have to worry about it.

Should I have given her a funeral? How are you supposed to know what to do in that situation?

Lately I’ve noticed myself being triggered about a lot of things. I guess even at nearly 26 months out, it still stings like the day it happened.

I hate Valentine’s Day.

The first holiday that I “came out of the fog” after Kenley died.

She got a Valentine’s Day outfit for Christmas.

I remember sitting on my bed, feeling like I wanted to die. REALLY wanted to die. I felt that I wanted to hurt myself and stop living. It was the only time I really felt that.

I cried and cried and cried. Then I called psychiatrists.

No one had an opening to see me ASAP.

I remember feeling the most hopeless feeling.

I sometimes think back to those days and wonder how I survived. What pulled me through? I’d like to think that it was my strength or my family or whatever, but honestly? I think that back then I was afraid to die.

Things change.

Life is weird. 4 Valentines Days later and I still have PTSD over this day.

Most people hate it because they are alone…and I guess that’s kind of why I hate it, too.

Just alone in a totally different way.

Happy Valentines Day in the stars, my sweet Kenley. I love you and miss you every second.

Kenley’s Care Packages

I did it.

I put together the boxes.

Finally.

They are all done. I need to tie them up with ribbon, but they’re done. Landon helped me with about 6 boxes. He knows that one of the books in the boxes make me sad, and he asked why. I explained to him what the books mean and why we are donating the boxes. He said he understood and that the book might not be sad to everyone. I said that the book is sad to people who lose babies because of the way you feel when you read it; the words mean something completely different when your baby dies. I’m not sure if he truly understands or not.

It’s hard to think about how I was able to throw a birthday party for him after Kenley died. Thinking about how it’s so hard for me to complete the task of throwing him a party now, even this far out, it just makes my mind explode thinking about how I was able to have a get together shortly after my life changed forever. I know I wanted to make his life feel as normal as possible, and I hope that I have done that, but I really don’t know if I’ve done a good job. I don’t know. Some days I feel like I have done well, and that he is very understanding of what happened to her, and how she impacted our lives…while other days I feel like he is a 7 year old kid who just doesn’t understand it.

He’s only 7. He was only 4 when she died. I cannot believe I have lived three years with a grieving Son, and without my first born Daughter. It seriously makes my brain explode some days.

It is incredible to me that depression has kept me from putting these boxes together until now. I have so many things going on in my life that you would think it would make me feel less stress over one particular thing but it’s the opposite. It makes me so so anxious to know that I couldn’t get the boxes done before her birthday. AND here it is one whole month later, and I just finished them. All the pieces sat there, staring at me, for a month. I just couldn’t bring myself to assemble them. It’s SAD. It’s so sad thinking about where they are going and why they are going.

I came to write about them, and about all the things related to them, but I just can’t.

Depression wins again. I can’t do it tonight.

land.

Today we signed our contract for the land and construction loan! We are officially the owners of a really boring piece of land that will become our forever home soon! I can’t believe it. I am so ready to get the house going, and to see what it looks like when it’s all done.

I’ll tell you what…building a house is ridiculous. The stuff that has to be done before you even START is outrageous! Not to mention all the permits you need, and the cost of said permits. It’s nuts. That’s my little update for today. I am having a hard time finding my feelings to write here, but I want to keep updating for people who follow my journey.

I feel like I have a lot to say about nothing. I feel like everything I write about Kenley will just be repetitive and never change. She is a gaping hole in my soul and I cannot change that. It’s so weird. Idk…3 years and some change later and I just miss her as much as the day she died. Somedays its awful, somedays it’s less awful and I can look at her beautiful face and feel proud to be her mom. Today, I scrolled through my blog and saw her photo and my heart sank.

It’s a crap shoot with how I will feel and I think that it’s pretty shitty that this is my forever.

It’s unfair.

A bunch of random.

Kenley’s Birthday has come and gone…again. It just seems so unreal. God I hate even saying that because it just sounds so clichè. Of course it seems unreal– my child died. That’s just the the most unreal event anyone can experience.

We celebrated her with a small get together with my family and Shane’s family. My mom bought her cake (like every year, because I literally can’t even think about it without wanting to die) and we had some food, and released balloons for her on the land where we are building our house. It felt perfect to include her even before the house has started. All in all it was a very nice celebration of her life.

We received tons of love and support from all over on her birthday. I love seeing her name or hearing that she is on someone’s mind. People did some really awesome things for us on her birthday and it is so special. So if you thought of her or messaged me or whatever–thank you.

Celebrating a birthday without the birthday girl just feels weird and unnatural. Such is life, right?

We chose to release the balloons on the land that were building because it just seems fitting. We can’t include her any other way so this was perfect. We are closing on our construction loan on 1/15, and start digging shortly there after! We are so ready. This needs to happen so soon. We’ve been living with Shane’s parents since September 30th. We, as a large family, just need our own space. And I’m sure my in laws need theirs as well.

The house is going to be everything we wanted and I’m so excited!

We were able to get everything we wanted from this builder and for a LOT cheaper. I’ll tell you what…the first shower in my new tile shower is going to be amazingggggg. I can’t wait to start this chapter of our lives and see where it takes us.

Landon has his first basketball game tomorrow morning. He’s the older kid on the team this year so it will be interesting to see how it goes. I think he’s going to do great. I worry about how to corral two babies for an hour during the games…that will be fun.

Shane has been working 6 day work weeks since May, and it’s not slowing down. And now he’s not actually receiving a paycheck so that’s really fun too…I’m going to need the government to reopen and stop being dicks asap.

I’m going to NYC on the 18th! My friend Alaina and I are going to see the cursed child on broadway. When we booked this trip I remember thinking about how far off in the future it was…and now it’s here. Crazy. Time just keeps flying by. It will be nice to get away and unwind even though traveling stresses me out. I’ll also get to see my very good friend Christine so that will be SO awesome, too!

I chopped all of my hair off because I’m insane I think. I didn’t really intend to get it this short but I said I wanted it to not look stringy and dead and well lol this happened. Also, my hair wouldn’t dye the normal blonde color that I have so I’m kinda pissed about that. Thanks body for being so weird. I’m pretty sure I’m gonna go bald so it doesn’t really matter what my hair looks like I suppose!

I’ve lost nearly 60 lbs as well. So that feels really REALLY good. I’m at this weird place where mentally I don’t see it and some days I feel great and others I see me at my highest weight when I look in the mirror. But, today for the first time, I saw myself…60 lbs lighter. I can’t say I’ll see it tomorrow but today it felt good.

I need to start looking into planning three birthday parties. Landon’s Birthday was supposed to be at a trampoline park and after we got his basketball schedule I realized that literally NONE of his friends will be able to come because the time slot is when all the games are. So scratch that. I’m checking into a different place and hoping they can accommodate us for later in the afternoon!

As for the girls. Ugh. I never ever wanted to have “joint” birthday parties…but here I am. So, the girls will have a birthday party on the same weekend which feels like Rowan is getting screwed a little lol. Poor Rowie. 4th child problems I guess? Not sure what I’m going to do, but it’s looking like Peppa Pig or Minnie Mouse. Rowan isn’t into anything specific yet, and Alden loves team umizoomi and the above cartoons. I’m just not sure what to do. I know it’s more so for me right now but I still want them to enjoy themselves!

Birthday overload.

Christmas was ok. Wanted to die the entire season as per usual. October-February makes me so unsettled.

So there’s my random update.

3.

My sweetest Kenley,

Today you are three. Except you aren’t…but you are? You are three, wherever you are. You have been missed earth-side for 3 years.

Three years have passed since you were physically here. Three whole years since I held you in my arms.

I can’t believe it.

I was planning to write this huge wonderful birthday letter but honestly? Your momma’s heart is broken into a million pieces and I have no words.

I have said it a million times and I don’t think saying it again would make it any different. It changes nothing.

I miss you. I love you. I hope you know how much your life changed mine. I hope you see how important you are in our daily life. I hope you see all the good I try to do in your name.

You are so loved.

You are so missed.

Your life meant something and it always will.

I see your absence in your sisters presence. It is heart breaking to say the least.

I love you. I love you. I fucking love you more than life itself and I hope that you know that.

I wish I knew that you knew what you mean to me.

Happy Birthday, my beautiful daughter.

Mommy loves you.

its coming.

December is in full swing. It is cold, rainy, and snowy; It is full of familiar scents, sights, and sadness. Every year so far it has sort of fallen into my life like a ton of bricks. I know that it is coming because around Halloween I start to feel it in my bones. I feel physically ill with certain thoughts. It causes me to remember all of my pregnancy with Kenley in vivid depth and it is, quiet honestly, crippling.

I can’t fall apart, however, because my entire family relies on me. I am their everything; Mom, nurse, cook, chauffeur, coach, teacher. I handle it all, especially as Shane has been working 6 day work weeks since May. I am going through a lot with minimal help, and now the sadness of December is upon me. Somedays I don’t know how I manage to wake up and function.

Yesterday I sat down and was scrolling though my google photos for some reason. I always make damn sure to be super careful that I don’t go back too far. I never want to look back past Kenley’s birthday. There are contraction screen shots that make me want to cry when I see them because I should have gone to L&D and I didn’t because I didn’t want to inconvenience any of the medical staff the day after Christmas. My god. How stupid am I? Anyway, I sat down and was looking and I allowed myself to look at Kenley’s photos.

There were 2 live photos and they show me holding her, and rubbing her sweet face with my hand. I never knew they were live, so I cried incredibly hard. It was her. She was there in that moment with me, in a weird way. I know she was never alive, but she was here and that small 2 second snippet reminded me of that fact. I have her ashes, and her body is no longer here, BUT that photo showed me her physical being. I don’t know. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve been in my shoes, but it was nice to see them. I wish we would have taken video SO badly, but no one tells you that you should. No one tells you that in 3 years you will be sobbing because you only have X amount of photos of your dead baby and you’ll never be able to see her again.

No one lets you know that some day…some day far down the road you will WANT to see every angle of her face, and body and that you might actually want to see a video of you holding her, and kissing her face and telling her that you are so sorry, that you love her more than anything in the whole entire world and you wish you could have saved her.

No one told me those things. I wish they would have.

When she died, I remember feeling so many things but mostly I felt absolutely dead inside. I knew that my life was forever changed at that moment. But now, nearly 3 years later, I really see it. I see it with clarity; The person I was from my birth until 12.29.2015 did in fact truly die with Kenley that day.

I am a new person.

I am changed in ways I wish I didn’t understand. I see things with eyes that I wish weren’t mine. I am burdened with guilt that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I have sadness and anger that are so deep I will never find their bottom. I am not a better person because my daughter died; I am a new person. A bereaved Mother who lost her second child, her first daughter. This person gives zero shits about the little things in life that used to bother her, and instead cares about the insensitivity of people who choose to  not accept her grief.

This is my life now.

When I feel strong, I let my walls down and allow myself to feel the raw grief. It is like a dam. When the floodgates open, the emotions come pouring into me with unbounded strength. The grief and sadness know no constraint. I can’t always allow myself to feel these things because I do have to be present and take care of my living children. This in itself creates a problem. I need to allow myself to feel what I feel but I see how it affects my children. There is a thin line between daily happiness and daily despair. Somedays it’s so thin…like a single strand of hair. Anything could snap it and thrust me one way or the other.

As the days wind down I’m noticing the sadness in everything I do. Nothing is bringing me joy. I’ve been listening to a lot of music to keep my brain occupied. I’ve watched the office again, and I’m trying to watch anything and everything that doesn’t require me to feel emotion.

15 days until the anniversary of the worst day of my life. Yet, somehow it’s the anniversary of the best day of my life as well?

It’s the day I held your perfect body. Yet it’s the day I had to give you away.

See? It’s all just too much for one human to handle. Somedays I wish I went with her.