Sometimes I just need to see her name, and people just seem to know exactly when.
December 2015 was hot. Like balmy even. 72-75 degrees when I went to the hospital the night we found out we lost Kenley. I was wearing flip flops. We got the best parking spot and walked in all smug because I told myself I wasn’t leaving u till the let me have my baby; She was ready to join us in the world.
December 2016 was cold. December 2017 was even colder– like super cold. Negative temps even! I’m so thankful that each December has been colder and colder. I always fear that it’s going to resemble the worst December of my life and that the temperature might make it harder to handle her birthday. This year we had snow…a lot of snow.
I’m thankful for the stark contrast from the December I lost part of my heart, to the December I’ve known the last two years. I mean December is always going to be December, and nothing will change that but the way it physically feels on my skin helps with the PTSD.
Speaking of PTSD…I went to L&D on 12/30 at like 10:30 p.m. because I had noticed decreased movement. She was of course fine, and I of course had the oldest grumpiest nurse on the floor. When the OB on call came in to talk to me I felt better. She was so kind and easy to talk to. She reassured me that any time I feel like I need to be there, for any reason, that I should just come up. There is no reason NOT to. She said it is never an inconvenience and with our history that she absolutely understands if I want to be there every 30 minutes.
Then, when she could tell I was upset still, she offered to grab the ultrasound machine and we took a look at Rowan. Her tiny little heart beating away in her tiny little chest. Safe and sound. Yet, it offered little reassurance that anything will turn out ok. Kenley was fine at our 36+5 growth scan. She had a strong heartbeat the day before she died. I have it recorded on my phone …
I don’t know. I want to believe everything will be fine, and I have hope that it will be, but it’s always there…that gigantic black cloud. Death. Demise of a perfectly healthy child inside of my body. It’s enough to seriously send you over the edge, no joke.
Some days I don’t know how I’ve made it this far since losing her…
We have an official csection date: Saturday 3.3.18 @ 9:30 a.m. My MFM is amazing and offered to come in on a Saturday morning to make it happen. She knows how stressed I am, and how 37 weeks is my max. My math had been wrong and the whole time I’m thinking 3/2 was 37 weeks but it’s actually 3/3. I can handle that I think. One extra day.
We talked about it at my appointment on Thursday, and she said she sees no reason it wouldn’t be safe to go to Monday 3/5, and I just about cried. I said I couldn’t do that. The idiotic obgyn office who cared for me during Kenley’s pregnancy refused to take her at 38 weeks, which is pretty normal honestly, and she died at 38+4. She could have been born before things went wrong, but they refused. I will always hold a grudge for that reason, plus about 100 more.
Anyway, she agreed and knows what I need for my sanity. We will be at the hospital at 7 a.m. And go from there. I am so thankful to have a set in stone date to look forward to. Hopefully it helps keep my anxiety under control. We also scheduled the rest of my appointments, including NSTs.
Starting January 25th I will have NSTs 2x a week (Monday and Thursday). Along with 2 more growth ultrasounds and 4 more doctor visits before she is born.
Currently, they’re weighing Rowan at 4lbs 5oz (I was 29+5) and with Alden at 31+4 they had her weighing at 4lbs 9oz. Apparently I’m gonna have another chubby baby!
As long as she gets here alive, she can weigh whatever the hell she wants.
A little bit before Christmas I had a mother reach out to me asking how she goes about requesting a care package. I have never done an “as needed” type of care pack but you better believe my heart was all kinds of happy to make this sweet lady one. She had lost her baby girl to SIDS at 4 months in July.
I’ve been putting it together slowly because I had to order certain things I didn’t have a surplus of after my donation. Also, I changed it up a little because my normal donations are geared toward parents fresh off a loss in the hospital; tissues, books to read to baby etc…but, I think I did well with it. The final piece came in today so I will be sending it tomorrow hopefully! I hope this sweet woman finds comfort in this care package. It was made with love, that’s for dang sure.
Which leads me to wonder if this is something I should try to do…should I try to offer them on an as needed basis IN ADDITION to my yearly donations on her birthday? It would require a gofundme open all year round probably, and also would be a lot of work (potentially). I know I would enjoy it very very much. I love giving back, and helping others.
I feel like if I could just get a stock of like 10 of each thing to keep here at all times I would be doing well to start. I don’t know. Just things I’m thinking about.
I also think I’m going to write up a post some day in the future about accepting donations for hand made items- blankets, hats, small preemie wraps etc all year round. I would love to only have hand made items donated next year (I think it feels more personal, just me?).
Apparently I need a bigger house with a room all to myself in order to carry out these lofty goals.
Anyone have any opinions? I’d love to hear them! What do you think?
I pulled the trigger and paid for my blog! Yes, *gasp* and it was money well spent I do believe! I love being able to customize things, and honestly when I started this blog I just threw it together quickly because I needed somewhere to vent. I hope it’s easy to navigate; I haven’t really changed much just the cosmetics of it all.
I’m planning to update the content sometime soon. There are some things that I have in the works with Kenely’s hospital and I hope to hear some news on that front soon. I’ve also decided that I’m going to keep Kenley’s care packs open for donations all year round. If I’m going to be able to make my quota on all handmade blankets/hats I think that it would be best to gather them throughout the year. I also think that there are people would donate multiple times throughout the year if it were a possibility.
I really hope that this year goes as well as last year regarding donations. I was blown away by everyone’s generosity! I’m hoping the care packages are well received, I mean I know they will be a great source of comfort, but I dunno….I guess I don’t know what I mean.
I can’t wait to see what this year brings in memory of her. It’s all for you, sweet girl. I love and miss you so much.
I feel like these past 5 days have been so busy. I literally haven’t done anything to make me feel that way, so I’m not sure why I do. I think it has something to do with all the things racing through my head about what I want to do/need to do.
Next Tuesday we scheduled a 3d/4d ultrasound. We’ve done them with all our children and I cannot wait to see how similar they all look.
Next Thursday we have a MFM appointment with a growth ultrasound. Seeing her two times in one week is going to be pretty cool. We are also going to schedule our c-section date! I’m pretty nervous about this, but I need a date to look forward to, and March 2nd needs to be that date.
Then, the following Tuesday I am getting my hair colored THANK GOD because I look like a homeless person I swear.
I’m supposed to have physical therapy on Monday evening for my back because my body hates me and I can seriously not bend over without being in pain, which causes me even more pain and frustration. I am so ready to bend over and pick up my child with out a burning pain up my back and down my legs.
We’re still waiting for a contractor to get back to us on an estimate to add-on to our home and I am starting to get a little peeved about it because he said 4 days and that was on December 18th…so…
I’ve got my eye on a dress for our baby girl, Rowan, and I just need to pull the trigger on purchasing it. We currently don’t have a bedroom for her so the dresser will be in our bedroom, along with our dresser, and our bed, and her halo bassinest. I’m not sure how much stuff we can cram into our bedroom but we’re gonna find out!
We need to take our christmas tree down but it’s been like the freakin arctic lately so we are going to wait until it’s a little less chilly. Shane has to drag it clear out the back door to the burn pile so maybe when it’s not -16 degrees and 4 inches of snow….My house is a disaster, and I really need my body to work and function so that I can get some sort of organization going before the baby comes.
Landon has basketball games every Saturday until March! I think that is going to make the time pass quickly too. He will have practice every Wednesday after school until 5:30, as well. I just cannot believe how quickly life is going, and the things that are coming up, AGAIN.
Landon’s birthday Feb 7th
Rowan’s safe arrival (hopefully) March 2nd
Alden’s first birthday March 15th
Me officially going insane?
Send help, frozen meals, a maid….and wine.
Kenley’s 2nd birthday was Friday. I wasn’t quite sure how I would feel, but honestly I felt proud to be her Momma that day more so than a normal day. It’s weird, and I really don’t know how to explain it but I think it had something to do with all of the donations we gave, and all the random acts of kindness that were done in her name. The text messages, and instagram messages really helped too; knowing she isn’t forgotten means the world.
We started the day with Shane going to the doctor because he had been feeling crappy for a while. Then, when he got home we packed up all the donations (see this post for more information on what all we donated!) and took them for drop off. Seeing all of those things and knowing that they are going to help other parents who lose their children really warmed my heart. Then, after we donated everything we went to get lunch. When we left, I told Shane I wanted to leave a nice tip in memory of Kenley as our random act of kindness for the day. We ended up leaving a $50 for her tip. I wrote a note explaining it was in memory of our girl on what should be her second birthday.
We then went home because I really just wanted to see my babies. When we got home, my neighbor brought over a gift that she bought for Kenley’s birthday, and we had the cake that my mom brought. It all felt good. It didn’t feel sad (any more than it normally does I mean) it felt good. I felt proud to be her mother. I felt like I did right by her that day. I don’t think there was anything else I could have done that would have made her more proud.
The day ended with Shane and I talking about her and wondering who she would be. It’s so hard to do that, and it breaks my heart all over again. I hope that she knows how much she is loved and missed. When we had Alden, I was scared that we were going to move far away from Kenley in a sense and she would be forgotten, but that didn’t happen. The love I feel for Kenley is different than the love I have for my other children. I have to love them differently, because 2 are here on earth, and one isn’t… It’s very odd.
Alden has given me joy back that I never ever expected to have in my life again. Reading this sentence I know there are some people who will think “wow, that is over dramatic”, but you’re wrong. I cannot explain to you the sadness that accompanies child loss; the pain that comes from not bringing a child home to the place you’ve prepared so lovingly for it. Alden has restored my heart by piecing it together again. I’m sure my heart looks like half finished patchwork quilt now. Maybe not even that, because that has potential to be finished some day…maybe my heart looks like a broken vase that someone tried to put back together. Inevitably you will always be missing a piece, or it won’t fit back together just right ever again.
With the impending arrival of our third daughter, Rowan, I am worried about moving even farther away from Kenley and wondering how to keep her legacy going strong. I miss her every day. I miss the thought of her and what I wanted for her little life. It’s weird. I have different “dreams” for Alden, and Rowan. It’s crazy what child loss can do to you.
Tonight, on new years eve, I’m sitting here waiting for the ball to drop with Landon. He asked all day if he could watch it. I really, really didn’t want to stay up, but I decided I would power through for him. Hope he knows he owes me a kiss when the ball drops! Jokes on him 🙂
Two years ago on new years eve we walked in the door to our home without our daughter. I walked straight to her nursery (after Shane had my mom remove all baby items from the home and put them in the nursery in preparation for our return home in order to not make me sad…) and I sat down in her glider. I rocked and sobbed so hard. I clutched the bear that the hospital staff had given me so I wouldn’t leave the hospital with empty arms. I remember sitting there and hearing fireworks and gunshots at midnight. Shane kissed me, and I remember thinking how fucking awful my life was and that I would never feel happiness again.
I was wrong…kind of. My life at that moment was awful, and every day since has been awful in the sense that my perfectly healthy daughter died without warning inside my body. But, I do feel happiness. I feel it when I look at my children. I feel it when Shane kisses me, or holds my hand. I feel it when I do good things for other people. The happiness is there, and I know that it is ok for me to feel happy now. I used to think that if I felt happy it meant I was leaving her in my past and being happy would make people think that I was “over” her death…but that’s not true.
Being happy makes me a fighter.
Makes me a good mother for not quitting on my children.
Makes me a good wife for not giving up on my marriage when things get tough because I’m having a bad day.
It’s my hope that 2018 brings even more happiness with the arrival of our 3rd daughter, and allows me to grow as a mother, wife, and friend. I hope to accomplish great things in Kenley’s name this year. It’s my hope that my sweet girls legacy lives on and I get to tell more people about her.
Bring on 2018, even though 2017 wasn’t too bad of a year…
Today you would be a crazy 2 year old. You would be running around, pretending you can fly, or pestering your brother. I’m not quite sure how I see your personality being because I don’t allow myself to go there; it’s too hard to think of who you should be when I will never know the answer to the question. I look at photos of your brother around your age and it breaks my heart.
When I heard those terrible words, I knew immediately what I had lost. Everything I had witnessed throughout your brothers life and had dreamed for you was ripped away from me. I was lost.
I couldn’t believe after all the heartache we endured to have you, and the entire pregnancy full of sickness and terrible pain, you were gone. Stolen from us. Without warning, and there was nothing we were able to do to get you back.
I think that’s the hardest part…when the acceptance sets it. When you finally realize that you are really gone, and there is no way to bring you home to where you belong. No amount of love could bring you home, or could save you from leaving to begin with. I couldn’t wish you to come back. I couldn’t even pay someone every cent I could ever own to bring you back. I was without you, forever. I will be without you, forever.
The first year without you was hard; everything was so fresh and shock was very much at the front of my grief. This second year though…it has been weird. We brought your sister into our lives and she has given us so much joy. I know that you two would have been thick as thieves and would have caused me so much stress. I would give anything to witness that now. When I look at Alden, I can’t help but see you in her. She is here because of you, which in itself is messed up. I don’t want one of my children to be alive because the other one died- I want you both alive.
During this second year I think that acceptance has set in. I realized that this is my life now, and I need to learn to live with my grief and your death. These things need to mesh with my every day life for the sake of your siblings. I cannot shut down. I have to function in order to provide them with the loving home that they deserve…that YOU deserved too. I would have given my life for any of you to live, and so I need to try to function for their sake. If you were here, and the same happened to one of your siblings I would try my hardest to make your life wonderful, just as I am for them.
And also during this second year of grief…you sent us a miracle. You sent us an earthly sister for Alden. I will never understand this. We are beyond thankful for her, and the fact that she is growing so healthy and strong, but I don’t understand the timing. Why did we have to go through all the pain of losing you, and fertility treatments for you and Alden, and then bam? It confuses me, and I just have learned to roll with the punches now.
You have given me the strength to help others in your memory, too. This is my favorite thing to do, sweet girl. I love to let people know about you, and to help their momma hearts in your name. You are so special and I know that your name has been on the lips of many people around the world, and to me that is huge. It makes my heart soar when people say your name, or talk to me about you. I have big plans for the future in your memory, baby girl. I can’t wait to see them all fall into place.
On your second birthday, I am missing you terribly. I can barely breathe when I think about the way life should have been. I miss you in my bones now, and it’s a pain I will always feel. I hope you know how much I love you. I know there is never a way for me to say it to you on earth again, but I love you more than you could ever know. I wanted you so incredibly bad, and I will never be the same because when you left, you took a piece of my heart with you.
You are my best friend, my little love.
Happy Birthday, my sweet girl. Mommy loves you with every inch of her heart and soul.
“There is more than one sort of prison, captain. I sense you carry yours wherever you go.”
We were watching Star Wars Rouge One tonight, and this quote hit home for me really really hard- especially so close to Kenley’s second birthday….
Christmas was weird. This whole year has been weird. I don’t even know how to explain it.
Acceptance, maybe, in a sense?
Defeat? Yes. Absolutely.
You know that feeling when you’re like “omg! This is too good to be true! Pinch me I must be dreaming!”…well, pinch me because this is so fucking awful that I have to be dreaming. I have to be. This cannot be my family’s life…life with a missing piece.
A few more days…
As the year comes to a close and Kenley’s second birthday speeds toward me like a fucking bullet train, I am so thankful for the donations we will be making to the hospital in her memory.