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.


joy and sadness.

Alden was staring out the window the other day and I just started crying. It was snowing,  the heater was running, her little curls were cascading down the back of her jammies and I just lost it.

I am the Mother who looks at her children and cries both out of sadness and joy. 

I didn’t ask to be this Mother. I would NEVER ask to be this Mother; I don’t think anyone would ask to go through what we have. I feel guilt every day when I look at my beautiful girls. I don’t feel it as strong when I look at Landon because he came before Kenley died… yet I remember how I felt toward him after she died. This is an incredibly difficult thing to admit but there was a time after Kenley died that I couldn’t hug him. I remember scream crying to Shane outside one day about 6 months after she died that I couldn’t hug Landon because I feel his heart beating against my chest and I never got to feel Kenley’s. I know he tried to understand the words coming out of my mouth, but we were both still in our early grief over her death and I think he thought I was insane.

I remember after Alden came that there was a time where I felt NOTHING toward her. I didn’t know if I would ever be able to open my heart again to her. Obviously now I realize that just because she arrived didn’t mean that I would love Kenley any less. And, the same thing goes for Rowan. These girls have brought so much love to my heart and they never for once took away from my love for Kenley. But, unfortunately the grief will always coexist with the joy. The sadness with the happiness.  The good days with the bad days.

It’s nearly December. Today is 11/29; in one month Kenley should be turning 3.

When I say it in my head it seems impossible. This is not my life. I do not have a dead Daughter. This is all just some huge dream that I need to wake up from, but it’s not. It is real. It is my life, and I do in fact have a Daughter who is dead. It doesn’t make her any less my Daughter, but it is crazy how it changes my every day life. She needs and deserves to be parented, yet it is incredibly difficult to do that with 3 living children who literally consume EVERY.WAKING.SECOND. of my life.

December is your month, K. You are so loved and so missed. I cannot even fathom that you should be almost 3. Stopping to consider the little person you would be cuts my heart like a knife and I cannot do it. I know the things that I’m missing out on, and it hurts me so much. I wish you were here with every fiber of my being, and I hope you know that.

I don’t know how many different ways I can express how much I miss and love you…

You are mine and I am yours. I love you.


Capture your grief.

October was Pregnancy and Infant loss awareness month, and as such the loss community on IG participates in something called “capture your grief”. You follow prompts and take photos of things each day explaining what the photo is and how it pertains to the prompt. The first year after Kenley died I participated in it, and it felt good; it was healing to just pour my grief out there and know that it wasn’t falling on deaf ears. This community understood EXACTLY what I was feeling, unfortunately. The second year, I honestly can’t remember if I participated in it. I might have? Maybe I did a few days here and there, but I don’t think that I really hit it hard.

It’s not that I didn’t want to participate, it’s just that my grief changed. I didn’t need to spill it out. It had settled into my bones, and started to become a part of my day to day life. I could tell that it was changing, and then on her 2nd birthday I was able to make it through the day without the extreme sadness that I experienced on her first birthday. The second birthday was different; we donated more, we didn’t have a party. Shane and I took the items up to the hospital for donation, and we stopped and had a nice dinner just us. We tipped the waitress $50 and wrote a note explaining why we did it.

This year, is all kinds of different again. My emotions seem to be creeping up again just like in every “Fall”. The timeline of my pregnancy becomes prominent in my mind during these days. The holidays become too familiar, the smells, the weather changing, everyone else being happy and me wanting to die…it hits hard. The waves of grief seem to come still, they aren’t as intense during the “regular” months, but currently the grief is hitting in different ways. I feel sad. I feel alone. I feel lost, and hopeless and overwhelmed at every turn. I don’t want to wake up in the mornings because I know that my day is going to be exactly the same as it was the day before, not that that is a bad thing necessarily but she STILL won’t be here.

It’s very hard to live each day, watching my children younger than she should be. It’s very weird because it makes me sound ungrateful but I’m not; I’m confused and in a fog and always will be. How can she be almost 3? Alden isn’t even 2, and I often feel that she is growing too fast. I miss a child that I will never have the chance to know. I miss the things that she will never get to do. Every time Alden meets a milestone, I am happy and sad. When Rowan meets milestones, the same emotions happen to me again.

Life is so unfair. I think that if you were to search my blog for that phrase you may find it  approximately 25,000 times. Life is unfair. 25,001.

I have accepted what my life is. My life is a whole bunch of things thrown into a bucket and mixed up. There are MANY good things in my life, and then there is just the one big constant sad. But, it’s not just one sad thing…that one sad thing has created many awful things in my life. It has made me lose friendships, shaped my relationships with people. It has made me feel things that I never expected to feel toward things that I have always loved.

I have accepted the fact that I will never hold Kenley again in this lifetime, but I will always be pissed that this is how my life has turned out. But, I mean that with the most thankful heart.

Life is all kinds of fucked up.

I wish I had time.

I feel as if I have no time to breathe let alone have some moments of grief with Kenley. I’m not saying that I want to sit down and cry all the time, or that I’m only sad when I think about her; honestly it’s the opposite a lot of the time lately. I just don’t have the time to feel much of anything, which equates to me feeling nothing and having zero emotion about her situation, which I don’t like. Let me explain because I think that sounds like I’m a shriveled up shell of a person which in theory is kind of true, but I do actually feel things, but lately I just CAN’T.  This is a tiny run down of how my day goes (every day).

6 am Rowan wakes up gets a diaper change. We lay in bed and cuddle until 6:45-7:00

7am Head upstairs, feed her a bottle, get Landon ready for school, feed him breakfast

7:30 am Alden wakes up, gets a diaper change. Feed her breakfast. Feed Rowan baby food

8:15 am Start the van then gather everything to take Landon to school

8:20 am Take the girls (one at a time) to the van, get them strapped up and ready to go

8:25 am Yell at Landon to get in the car so we can go

8:40 am Drop Landon off at school and head home

8:55 am Arrive back at In-laws and unload the girls which is proving more difficult as rowan is in an upright seat now

9:00 am Everyones inside and we watch cartoons and have snacks. 90% of the time, someone (usually both the girls) poops during this time.

10:00 am Rowan naps (hopefully until 11-11:30)

11- 11:30 am Rowan wakes up, diaper changes

12:00 Lunch time for both girls

12:30 girls both fed and watch cartoons/play

1:00 pm Alden Naps, and most likely Rowan naps again too

2:30-3:30 someone wakes up. poops again

3:30 pm Alden wakes up from her nap usually. Diaper change

Here’s where it gets fun…sometimes I have to wake the girls up to take them to get Landon from school which includes loading them back into the car, and then unloading them into the double stroller, going inside his school, then back out into the car, then back home, then back inside… Tired yet?

4-5:30 Rowan gets a bottle at 3:30-4. play time/cartoons whatever will keep them from crying

5:30 pm dinner time

6:00 pm do anything to keep them from screaming their faces off because they’re getting tired.

6:30 pm Bath time (like every other day because it’s impossible to bathe them both by myself…)

7:00 Rowan goes to bed with a bottle, and then Alden goes to bed with two books


Ok, I’m tired just reading that, but it also doesn’t include anything that I do like if I can squeeze in a load of laundry, or wash my Mother in laws dishes. I’m just tired. I have no time to pee alone let alone anything else. I just need a day. I need a day to appreciate Kenley, and think about her, and love her more than I get to on a regular basis. Her birthday is coming up in like a month and a half and I can’t believe that she should be three years old. It makes my heart hurt. I look at Alden who will be two and I think about Kenley being here and being older than her and I just don’t even know what life would look like. I know that the girls, Alden and Rowan wouldn’t be here more than likely. Well, at least Alden because we wouldn’t have done IVF.

I’m looking forward to completing Kenley’s care packages this year because it gives me the time I am so desperately craving with my girl. I’m still collecting donations for her packages if you feel so inclined. There are a lot of items left that need donating and I’m scared I won’t make the goal this year. I have a lot going on, and honestly I shouldn’t have taken on the project again this year but I need it.


I need to do it to make me feel close to her. I feel so far away, and this is her season…Halloween until Easter makes me want to die. I hate the way I feel. I HATE it. I can remember every single detail of my life, yet it’s all a blur…

How is this my life. How?



where we are now.

I’ve been really needing to write, but I just don’t have the time. We sold our house, and we moved our entire life into my in-laws house. It’s an adjustment to say the least but we have only been here for a week so far, and things are going very well. My in-laws are amazing people, and they have been so wonderful (at least I think they are…lol). My children are chaos, and Shane works all the time so it’s just me, and the 3 crazies here a lot. It makes me wonder if they’re stressing out having us here more than they’re letting on.

I know it’s weird for a family of 5 to move in to your home when you’ve been empty nesters for about 15 years…I couldn’t ask for nicer people though. Shane and I have the basement bedroom and Rowan sleeps with us in there. Landon sleeps in the finished living room space, and Alden sleeps in Shane’s old bedroom upstairs across the hall from the in-laws.

I feel awful because their house is sort of a disaster right now, but I’m trying to organize when I can. The girls don’t like to be alone in the living room (it’s not an open concept house) so I pretty much can’t leave their sight without them screaming bloody murder. So that leaves about zero time to do anything else. Including laundry…which is in the basement…

Balancing my life here, Shane working, Landon going to and from school (we have to drive him…) The girls having doctors appointments, any appointments that I have, AND all the meetings for building our house has been A LOT to handle. I’m tired. SO tired. Rowan likes to wake up A LOT during the middle of the night and I don’t know how to stop her from crying and waking up the in laws except to hop right up immediately with her so she stops.

I also have developed this weird rash that Alden’s pediatrician (yup- I asked my daughters pedi about MY rash lol. I’m that person) told me today looks to be a virus presenting as a rash. SO THAT’S FUN. I’ve had a sore throat for a while, and then bam this rash comes out of nowhere. I just want to be healthy, and not have to worry about this stuff on top of everything else. But, of course it would happen, right? I mean cus why not.

We finalized our home plans, and we are moving forward with building. It’s been kind of a nightmare and a breeze all at the same time. Of course interest rates are skyrocketing right now when we want to build because once again why not! Nothing is ever easy for us, so we’ve run into a few issues with that but we’re working it out. No one wants to be house poor you know? I still want to be able to have a life.

So the run down is:

I’m tired.

I need a vacation.

We need to win the lotto.

My body hates me.

And Rowan is crawling.

So much more I want to write but Rowans growling in her crib and I think that means she’s hungry…….


Wow. Where to start…

Lots has been going on, and I have been pretty MIA here except for a few random posts about how much my grief is taking ahold of me. So to jump right in to the updates…

We sold our house. We close on the 28th of September, and need to be out by October 3rd. We are moving in with my in-laws and living there while we build a home! We will be there for nearly 9 months, which is super intimidating, but you know what?… it’s fine and everything will work out. We are building with Schumacher homes and I cannot wait to get our forever home built and get us moved in. Today is our lot walk with the builder, and of course it’s pouring rain…I’m not sure if were still having it or not. Guess we will see!

Although the thought of moving out of this house really fills my heart with some sadness, I know that we will have many more memories in the new home. I can’t help but think of all the memories here…Landon was just 4 months old when we moved in. He first rolled over here, he took his first steps here. Yes those memories come with me, blah blah blah, but this house has seen it all. Literally. SO many things, good and bad, have happened here and it’s just hard to think about leaving for the last time and never getting to come back to the space where all these things happened.

Kenley’s nursery was constructed with such love and care. Walking in there every night and rocking her while she was safe in my belly filled me with so much hope and love, and then she was taken from us and her room became off limits. I remember the smell when I first went in there after having it closed off for so long…it smelled cold and sterile. Then, it became Kenley and Alden’s room slowly but surely. Now somehow it has become a room full of love again. I never EVER thought that would happen, but it did. Thinking about leaving that room automatically brings tears to my eyes and I cannot think about it with out feeling sick to my stomach.

It’s just going to be really really hard.

In other news, Landon has mono. He was feeling sick three weeks ago, and we took him for a strep test. They said it came back negative. They sent it out to be tested farther, and on Sunday they called to tell me that it was IN FACT positive. So, he had gone to school, football practice etc and had mono. Ugh. I feel so bad for him. He’s been working so hard at football during the summer, and has only played one game! Now, he’s pretty much out for the entire season. I hope that he will be able to play maybe one more game, but I really doubt it. We have to have blood work drawn again in a week to make sure that the mono is gone.

Also, I went to Chicago last weekend (alone!)! I met up with 4 women who I have been talking with since spring of 2016. They, unfortunately, know the sadness of baby loss. It felt SO normal, and I cannot believe how well we all got along. It was such an enjoyable time! We spent time talking about our lives, just like our daily texts and we also spent some quality time talking about our babies. It felt SO good to do that face to face instead of over text.

Shane’s birthday is tomorrow! I haven’t gotten him a gift and I’m pretty sure I won’t. We haven’t really done gifts in a while, so I don’t think this is a good time to start 🙂

I’m trying to create Kenley’s care packages this December too, but it’s not going too well… The donations are slow this year, and thats probably because I’m not pressing the donations like I was last year. I feel like I’m letting her down, but I am stretched so thin currently…If I can ramp up some donations I think it might be possible to get a couple boxes donated.

Life has been hectic. Crazy busy. Sad. Happy. All the emotions.


oh theres a river that winds on forever

There is a video somewhere in my house that shows me getting clothes from my dryer on the night that Kenley died. Shane got the camera charged and was talking to her, showing her around the house. He came to me and said “We’re going to meet you tonight! There you are in Mommy’s belly!”…. I have never watched this video, and honestly I don’t know where it is.

I have a feeling that Shane knows where it is; I’m almost positive that he has watched it.

I think about that video and I want to puke. I want to scream at myself; jump through the tv screen and shake myself. STOP PACKING! GO TO LABOR AND DELIVERY ASAP!!! GO NOW! YOUR BABY IS DYING AND YOU’RE PACKING A HOSPITAL BAG???


It makes me sick…like physically ill thinking about it.Why didn’t I go to Labor and Delivery earlier? I took Landon to my mother in laws at 9 am…yet I didn’t go to L&D until damn near 6pm.

I know the moment she died. What a fucking terrible feeling to live with. Think you’re having a bad day? Just be thankful you don’t carry that burden with you.

I was so happy to be packing my hospital bag. I wanted nothing more than to have my daughter born, and be able to have some nice photos of us afterward. With Landon I went into the hospital completely unprepared and with nothing, so I knew that with Kenley it would be different.

If I only fucking knew, right? If I only knew then what I know now. I would have asked for that extra NST test, even though the NP told me I was fine. I would have insisted even though she said everyone had “checked out mentally” that day because it was 2 days before Christmas. I just blindly trusted her? Why? Why did I believe that she knew what was going on inside of me. I should have told her about the weird pain (Kenley’s foot underneath my rib cage for sure).  I would have asked for extra scans. I would have insisted on a c-section at 38 weeks like I asked for in the first place…only to be told that they don’t do “elective” sections before 38 weeks.

I hope that the doctors in that office are haunted by their choices regarding my care. Like forever. I hope that it wakes them up at night and they feel sick.

but you know what? I know it doesn’t. I know they probably don’t even think of her anymore. She was just another “patient” to them. To me, I lost the love of my life…to them, it was just someone else’s problem.

It has been 2 years and 8 months today, yet it feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago at the same time. Time is a weird thing after you lose a child; it makes you dizzy and catches you off guard. I feel like I am constantly in a fog, and never really truly know what day it is. I don’t think I have since the day she died.

She should almost be 3 years old. Entering preschool possibly? I don’t let my mind go there. If I don’t allow my mind to think these things, I feel that I’m protecting my heart, but then deep down my conscious is like no you’re not protecting your heart you’re doing her a disservice by suppressing her. But am I really suppressing her? I’m pretty sure that I’m not? I’m pretty sure that I’m literally doing what I need to do in order to fucking survive.

Surviving without a child is THE WORST fucking thing in the world, I’m pretty damn sure of it.

I miss her and I didn’t even get to see her grow up. What a crazy mind fuck that is. I never heard her voice. I never heard her breathe, or saw her beautiful eyes. I never watched her chew on her tiny little fingers. I never got to feel her warmth on my chest; both of us feeling safe. I felt panicked and alone and scared and vulnerable and lost….And, she felt nothing. Ever.

Kenley’s care packages

Well, it’s August. And like half way into August at that. I had good intentions this year to start donations early and get things done……then a million things started happening. We almost bought a house. We listed our house for sale (and did all the things that come along with doing that…) I had some health stuff come up, Shane’s been working 6 days a week since May. Both girls are teething. Landon started football, and Landon just started school.

It’s just insane.

I don’t know that I’m going to be able to pull it off this year. I just don’t know. Our house is sold. It closes September 28th and we’re out 5 days later….

We’re going to be living with my In Laws.

I’m struggling with the fact that I really might not be able to do this for Kenley’s Birthday this year.

I feel guilty.

I have time for my living children (barely, it feels) so why can’t I have time for her.

It causes me so much anxiety and I’m not sure what to do. I miss having time to reflect here about how much I miss her and love her.

Because I do. I miss her so much. My life is never and will never be whole.

I don’t know what to do.

screw you, PBS.

We are in the process of showing our house because it’s listed for sale. I originally wanted to have 24 hr notice for showings, but somehow it didn’t end up happening…so, it is what it is. Today, I had received a request @ 9:30 for a showing from 1-2PM. Ugh. Shane and I cleaned up the house. We’re currently living in what feels like a staged home; Minimal toys. Minimal anything, really… and it’s incredibly hard to keep it clean with a toddler running around.

I think she must be able to tell when we need the house clean because thats when she likes to destroy things the most. She is IN LOVE with my pan cabinet, which in all honesty isn’t too bad with the exception that she will more than likely drop them on her toes at one point and either break one, or crack a toe nail or something. But, anyway, she carries them through the house and I will be cleaning up getting ready for a showing and come across a sauce pan in her bedroom closet, or the bathroom, or some other random place.

Current situation? Two lids in my living room floor.

ANYWAY. Not the point of this post. All this to say that we leave our home during the showings, and then we usually end up at my mother in laws for the duration. Today I was looking on demand to find something fun for Alden to watch while she ate her lunch, and I came across PBS. When I saw it, something in my stomach just felt off. I didn’t think too hard about it but clicked on their little section for shows anyway. When I came across Peg+Cat I felt it again.

The other day it happened to me too. I was scrolling through the guide and came cross PBS so I changed it to the channel. Thought it would offer some variety for Alden because I swear to god all she watches is Little Einsteins. Well, when I turned it on, it was a commercial for Nature Cat. Cue weird feeling in my stomach.

So today I clicked on peg+cat and was waiting for it to start when all of a sudden I sort of remembered why I was feeling that way. I canceled the on demand episode and hoped to god it would cancel before it actually started playing.


The series peg+cat came out in 2015.

I baby sat my friends kid and we watched a lot of PBS in the mornings.

I watched him while I was pregnant with Kenley.

It makes me physically ill to watch it, or hear it because of the reminders. I just cannot believe that I had forgotten that. It’s so weird how it still just makes you feel like shit no matter how long it has been. The triggers are still there; they will always be here, I’m sure of it. Things are different these days…the grief is less sharp? I feel like after Kenley died I was this freshly sharpened pencil; I was sharp and new to this situation. But, as my grief changed and life went on I was worn down, and the sharp edge was taken off… but at the same time I would be “resharpened” from time to time. In certain moments, the grief is just as sharp as before, and I know that it will always feel that way. There are things that will “resharpen” my grief for the rest of my life.

There are things that will trigger me forever. There are things that will cause so much sadness in my heart for the rest of my life. There are things that I can’t think about, to this day, without breaking down into a sobbing mess. This is my life. This is what (almost) 31 months out from the death of my child looks and feels like.

31 months…how…

942 days.

2 years, 6 months and 29 days…

The depth of my grief will not change, it’s just that my life doesn’t stop to allow me to be present in that grief most days.