Kenley’s Care Packages

It’s that time again! I have decided to start taking donations for Kenley’s Care Packages earlier than normal this year. Last year, I was left scrambling at the end to buy blankets and I really didn’t want that to happen this year!

If you’re interested in donating this year please read this link for more information!

Also, you can find the Amazon Wish List HERE, and the gofundme page HERE.

All monetary donations will be used to purchase :

Kenley has touched so many lives and that is all I could ever ask for. She was perfect, and what happened to her was so unfair. I miss her every second of every day; I see her in the world around me, in my living children’s faces, and I feel her in the love between Shane and I. She should be here, and I cannot believe we don’t get to snuggle her every day.

I just want to thank you all in advance for your help.  I could not do this without the love and support of every single one of you who has donated, made hats, or blankets, or WHATEVER. I appreciate you SO MUCH! I’m so thankful we are able to provide these comfort packages to parents in need.

Thank you!

missing you.

There are just some days where I need to come here and say I miss her. Nothing has changed. Everything is still the same and I still miss her so incredibly much. I want to know who you could have been. I want to hold your hand and kiss your face. I want to rock you to sleep. I want you here. I love you.

almost time.

I feel so weird writing. I feel like it’s been so long since I’ve blogged about Kenley. My friend Christine and I were just talking about this last night; about how we feel so far away from our babies. We feel like there is just no time to grieve them properly. It’s not that we want to sit in the grief and spend a full day sobbing crying over losing our children, it’s not that at all, it’s simply that life rushes ahead and you just don’t have time to dedicate to the child you lost in the same way as the children you have that are living.

It’s not fair at all. Sure, the living children require more attention, and time and brain space…but, Kenley deserves that too. I picked up her picture on my bedside yesterday and it was dusty. I brushed off the dust and just sat there holding it, looking at her…looking at the woman holding her in her arms. I don’t know that woman anymore. I don’t know who she is. Who was I then? Who am I now? I am two different people- actually, three. The before me, the after me, and the after me “mom”.

And honestly? I don’t feel like I know ANY of those people anymore.

I don’t know who I am as a person. I don’t know who I am as a wife, or a mother, or a sister, or a daughter. I feel like I’m in a dark room, fumbling around trying to find my way to the other side…but it just keeps going, and going…sometimes the light creeps in from a crack in the wall, or a window…but it’s never enough to help me right my path.

My anxiety has been pretty intense lately. We have a lot of stress hovering over our family currently. We are looking for a bigger house or to build but there is nothing available. There are things that need to get done in our home to make listing our home possible even, so those things will cost money. We thought a problem was fixed with our roof, and well…lets just say it isn’t…and might force us to replace our roof. We just bought a new furnace for $6k, and now a new roof will be close to $8k. Everything somehow comes full circle to Kenley.

The roof was fixed when she was a live inside of me. When she died, I didn’t go in the room for a long time…had she lived, would I have noticed the issue earlier because I would have been in there with her? Then when we had it fixed, we had it painted for Alden’s arrival…and turns out it’s still not fixed…so it just feels like we’re dragging it all through the mud and somehow Kenley’s death feels so fresh because of it. I don’t know. Every time I write about her death, and the feelings I have, I feel as if it makes no sense to the outside world–and I know that some of the things don’t make sense and people don’t understand why I feel the way I do, or why I can’t do things (attend parties, showers, see new babies etc…) but that’s just how it is. My reality is just that…every single day of my life and I get to choose how I handle things that make me hurt and uncomfortable.

It’s almost June. Last year I started collecting donations for Kenley’s Care Packages in June! I can’t believe it, yet I’m kind of excited because doing things in her memory makes me feel so close to her. I miss her so incredibly much but I’m so thankful that we can help other families in her name. I’m still very surprised that no one has ever reached out to me after they received a care pack from the hospital. I guess it took me 2 years to reach out to someone about something we used at the hospital when Kenley died so I get it.

I can’t wait to get another amazon wish list going, and see what we can do in honor of our sweet girl this year!

**If you (or someone you know) are interested in knitting, or crocheting a hat, blanket, or burial gown of some sort for our donations this year please contact me or leave a comment! I’m trying to get a rough estimate of who would like to help create handmade items this year!!**

some randoms.

It’s safe to say that having to take care of 3 living children is kicking my ass. One wakes up from a nap, and the other goes down for a nap. One wants to eat, the other wants to take a crap and needs a diaper change. Then…there’s Landon. The extremely smart 7 year old who is CONSTANTLY bored and needs stimulation which turns into him getting into trouble or playing his iPad for way too long. But honestly, we’re all still adjusting to having 2 babies in our home, and some days it feels like it’s going to swallow me up, but others feel manageable.

I’m pretty much living by this motto currently…

Do whatever the fuck you need to survive.

Landon has started baseball and I swear it’s like he has practice so often, but they keep getting canceled. We bought him a new bat the other day and I can’t wait to watch him play, even though I’m super stressed about taking 2 babies to the ball park in the middle of summer…

Alden took her first steps yesterday. She walked 2 steps to me, then again to me she took 4 steps. After Landon came home she walked to him a bunch of times. She stood up randomly by herself in the middle of the room today. I give her to the end of the week and she will be fully walking around…probably.

I had my dad down this weekend and it’s such a big help to have that extra set of hands to just do whatever else I need to be doing. I was able to wash 3 loads of laundry, put two of those loads away, and put another 2 loads of laundry away that I had done previously. I also was able to clean out Landon’s dresser drawers and packed the items up that don’t fit him. I felt like all I did this weekend was feed one kid, change the other, put the other down for a nap….. repeat. Ugh.

I’ve been so extremely tired the past two days and I can tell that I’m getting worn down. I love being a mom, but some days I really wish I was able to take a 30 minute lunch break, or was “off work” at 5 p.m. I’ve taken a shower the past 2 days, so I’m gonna say that’s a win…Thanks for keeping the kids while I showered, Dad!

On Friday I got a call from Landon’s school and they said that Landon was involved in an incident at school. He was choked on the play ground. I knew exactly who it was that did it before Landon even told me. There is a kid who is in his class (he’s 7 remember…) who is allowed to play Call of Duty, watch scary movies (like IT, Friday the 13th, etc etc) and plays guns at school all the time…we’ve had to listen to Landon tell us about him all year, and I’m pretty much over the shit he has been filling my sons head with.

ANYWAY, apparently this kid came up behind Landon and choked him then started dragging him across the concrete. The story I got was that Landon told him he was lying about something and the kid lost his shit apparently. I was SO mad. Honestly, my momma heart is hurt, and I want to go kick someones teeth in. Don’t you dare touch my kid. I will refrain from calling a 7 year old any names on the internet, but I’m sure you can imagine what’s racing through my head.

I’ve been missing Kenley a lot the past few days…I miss her a lot every day, but some days it’s like 10 fold. When I saw Alden take those steps my heart was torn in two directions; happiness for her, and sadness for Kenley. I wonder if I will feel those things for Rowan as well, or if it will just be for Alden because she came directly after Kenley…I don’t know. It’s all uncharted waters for us here. Sigh.

We are actively looking for a new house, and also tossing around the idea of building instead of buying. The only problem is that we literally cannot find anything for sale around here that has 4 bedrooms for less than 450k that’s worth a crap. Building would be very similar to that cost so we just keep spinning our wheels trying to decide what we want to do. Or there is the option to renovate our home and we’ve just not had any lucky with someone who can do what we want done for the price we would like to pay. Adulating is the worst.

Last night I was feeding Rowan at 1:45 am and I looked over at Shane (like I often do…I find myself staring at him a lot during the night time feedings) only to see him looking so incredibly handsome. I just kept looking at him and was taking him in, then I decided I wanted to take a picture of him the way he was at that moment, but he moved. I was bummed. I dunno what it was but just the way he was laying there, asleep, with his arm up and his gorgeous face, his tattoo showing because he was shirtless. Sheeeeeewie. My heart just exploded and I felt so lucky to be married to him. I get to sleep next to THAT my entire life. Hell yes!

I’ve been feeling extremely down on myself lately, and I really hope that it passes soon cus it’s ANNOYING. I have never had much self confidence but couple that with all I’ve been through the past 5 years of my life…I’m just ready for something to give. I need to go get my hair done, but I have zero time/ no baby sitter. I need a pedicure (self care, yo) and once again…no time or sitter. I don’t even think I would trust my kids with anyone other than my parents or my in-laws.

I had my groceries delivered to my house the other day. I bought a TON of food and misc. things and Kroger had a free trial of the delivery so I said why the hell not! It was pretty cool, and the app I used to buy everything was super easy. I really enjoyed not having to lug the kids out, but I didn’t like having to tip the guy who delivered them so I think we will just continue to order them online, and go pick them up at the store. It’s the easiest way for us currently. But…it was sweet having them delivered lol.

Alden and Rowan both had check ups this week! Rowan is 1 month old. She weighs 10lbs 5 oz, and is 22 inches long. Her head is super tiny– in the 25th percentile and I was all freaked out. The doctor told me not to worry and we will see what happens at her 2 month appt.

Alden is 1! She had to get 4 shots (2 in the left leg, and one in the back of each arm) then she had to get a finger poke. Jesus! I mean, she’s one for god sake! Poor sweet girl. I just felt so bad for her and I couldn’t do anything to make her feel better when she was getting poked. UGH. But, she weighs 23lbs 11oz, and she is 31.5 inches tall!

Shane has been working 6 day work weeks since he went back to work (and before Rowan was born too). This week he finally has a 2 day weekend!!! I don’t know what to do with myself! I can’t wait to spend time with him, and hey maybe we will even get our Christmas decorations down off the house…

Yeah. It’s embarrassing, but remember my motto? Yup.

 

closet.

Yesterday I was putting away some clothes that I bought for Alden, when she came crawling into the closet. She crawled over to the window and wanted to look outside. For me to be able to open the shade, I had to stand next to where Kenley’s clothes still hang, untouched.

She kept trying to grab the cord for the shade so I had to put it up. When I looked over at Kenley’s clothes, I noticed that her clothes have dust on the shoulders.

Dust.

A symbol of time standing still and going on all at the same time…

Her beautiful clothing that she never got to wear is still hanging there and I’m pretty sure I will never be able to pack them away. Sure, I could use that space in the closet for the girls clothing, especially since we don’t have a bedroom or closet for Rowan, but I will not take them down– I can’t.

Sometimes I will stand in the closet doorway and just look at them. There are two newborn outfits at the front that I had purchased just a few days before she died because I panicked and realized I had no newborn outfits. There’s one that says “Grandmas’s cutie”, there is also a Valentine’s Day outfit which I’ve written about on here before. That one was given to her for Christmas, just days before she died, and makes me want to die when I see it.

There are a few outfits that I was able to let Alden wear, and now Rowan will wear them, too. There are a bunch of things that I just still can’t see any other baby wearing, except Kenley.

Each Holiday ends up hitting me hard even when I think it’s not going to. Even if I try to ignore the fact that it’s a Holiday and she’s not here it always creeps up on me in some way, shape or form. Seeing three Easter baskets sitting out yesterday morning was sad. I’ve been thinking a lot about how life would be if I had all of my kids here.

Four kids.

I wish I had them all.

I would give anything to have them all here.

No one should have to see dust settling on their child’s unused clothing. Ouch.

2 a.m.

Middle of night feedings often leave me catching up on blogs, or IG. Tonight I read my friend Lindsay’s blog. She spoke about having moments, dreamcatcher moments as she calls them, where you are so content that you are able to step back and really enjoy that moment; you don’t need anything else and you see it for what it truly is.

I find myself having these moments with Shane quite often. He takes such good care of me. I know I’m a hot mess like 95% of the time, but he handles me with such love and compassion. He asks how he can make things easier on me or what I need him to do to help out.

Sometimes, in a completely mundane moment I will feel a shot of excitement— I get to be with this man forever! Every day, no matter what, I wake up next to him. We face everything together. He will always be here to make me laugh. I often tell him that I’m so thankful for him, or I tell him thank you for loving me.

I’m not sure I will ever be able to explain the depths of my love for him, or the appreciation I have for everything he does for our family. He deserves so so much and I hope that I am enough for him.

Shane is all of my dreamcatcher moments.

hello.

Last night was my first night alone with the kids…bedtime was kind of rough, but thankfully they all go to bed at different times and Landon can pretty much get himself ready for bed.

When I had put Alden to bed and things settled down, I wanted to spend some time alone with Landon. I knew he had to be feeling a little neglected because, lets face it, I’m one person and they are 3 children- 2 of which are super needy…So I gave him a bowl of fruit loops and we talked. He told me a bunch of things about school and then he asked me if he could try and replicate a fox that I had doodled (after googling how to haha!) on a paper he saw on the counter top. I said sure and gave him a pen and a piece of paper. He did so well! It was kinda cool to see his interpretation of the fox. Then when he was done he wrote ” Love Landon, To Kenley” on the paper.

I started to cry.

He said “I knew it”.

Then, I looked at him and he had tears in his eyes. He started talking about Kenley and how he missed her. He told me kids at school ask how she died when he tells them about her and he doesn’t want to talk to them about it because it’s sad and unfair. I asked if he knew how she died, and he said yes. He then went on to tell me that he misses her and he wishes he could leave the fox drawing out so she could leave him a note and see it.

I had to tell him that it doesn’t really work that way, and that she cant really leave him notes; she could send him signs (like the balloon she sent to him) though, and that maybe she would see how much he was missing her and send a sign. He ended up talking to me about her a lot during the rest of the night.  We colored and drew some pictures. He drew an airplane and sand castles because he is super excited to go with my mom to Florida in April (this is a whole separate post about me having guilt for not taking him to the beach/airplane ride for the first time…ugh…) while I drew our house and some shitty trees. He said I was the best “drawer” in the world and asked if he could draw Kenley on my page. I said yes of course. When he was done, I looked at the picture he drew and it was Kenley with blonde hair.

I  said “Buddy, Kenley had dark hair like Rowan”, and he looked so surprised. Then, it dawned on me that he has only ever seen black and white pictures of Kenley; I’ve never shown him the few colored photos I have of her because her coloring would probably make him scared. It breaks my heart that those are the only photos he will ever see of her…I often wonder if we made a mistake by not letting him meet her…I’m just not sure a 4 year old would know how to process that type of situation. Hell, I didn’t know how to and I was a 30 year old woman.

I put him to bed, and sat on the couch with Rowan for a little while until Shane came home. When he came home we watched a little netflix, and then decided it was time to go to bed. He got off the couch (the complete opposite end as I was on) and turned the TV off. He set the remote control down on the arm of the couch, and then walked into our bedroom. I stood up with Rowan, and turned off the lamp. When I turned around to walk into the bedroom, the TV turned on.

Cartoons were on.

Our Dish box automatically tunes to the channels we watch at certain times, so the box should have been on CNN, or HGTV, possibly even the food network…not cartoons past 7 pm.

I looked around to see if I had hit a different remote control or something…nothing was near me.

I then thought, ok…wtf…I checked my phone because I just felt weird.

10:32 p.m.

It was her birth time. And, yesterday was Tuesday– the day of the week she was born.

I know some people will read this and think it’s a load of shit, but I assure you it is not. I know I wouldn’t believe it unless it happened to me…

I’m pretty sure that Kenley needed Landon to know that she heard him loud and clear.

laundry.

I’m folding laundry with my helper, Alden, when I pick up a sleeper.

Was it Kenley’s?

I feel like it was Kenley’s? I KNOW it was.

Who bought it for her, expecting her to wear it?

It has been 2 years, 2 months, 23 days + change since you’ve been gone and I hate that I’m forgetting these tiny things about your short life.

It’s dumb; I shouldn’t be sad that I can’t remember who got you this sleeper, yet it bugs me.

It frustrates me to my core.

I’m tired, and stressed. Your little sisters are here and you didn’t get a chance. They both wore this sleeper and you didn’t.

It still stings.

It stings really fucking bad.

Postpartum emotions.

So…life has been…hectic? I don’t even know if that’s the right word honestly–terrifying, awful, exciting, busy, slow, fast…the list goes on. Shane returns to work on Thursday and I’m frankly terrified. Not sure how it will all go down being here alone with the 3 kids…but, it is what it is.

I never imagined being the Mother of 3 living children; I saw two children, both of whom survived birth and lived a wonderful life full of happiness, marriages and babies. But, instead the hand we were dealt includes getting pregnant on the first try, followed by infertility, miscarriages, a dead daughter, a $23,000 IVF journey and rounding us out, a “less than 2% chance” natural miracle baby. Life gives zero fucks about what you actually want. Pretty sure a bunch of random life events were thrown into a hat and someone randomly chose like 10 for me and now, that’s how my story goes…

Let me say that I realize saying I “never imagined having 3 kids” makes me sound like a terrible person to some people, but this is the truth. This is my life and this is my space to write how I truly feel and I feel that this is an important subject. Just because I say I never imagined being a mother to 3 living children doesn’t mean that I am not extremely in love with all of my kids. I know myself and my limits and I am pretty sure 2 kids was my max at one point hence only wanting 2… But now? Now I know that I will mother the shit out of my 3 kids and they will have a wonderful life. My children will always know they are loved, and VERY much wanted.

I am so thankful for Rowan. Like, when I think about the miracle that she is my heart just bursts. I love her so much. Sure, it’s been difficult and my postpartum emotions have been very weird this time. She looks just like Kenley with her dark hair and dark complexion. My heart was very confused at first, and admittedly it still is. It all feels so weird.

Last night I decided I wanted to sit with her and let her nurse while Shane and I watched a movie. I have been trying to stop nursing because I will not have time when Shane goes back to work. I enjoyed the bonding we had during the movie last night so I decided to nurse her over night and most of today as well. I need to decide how I want to proceed from here, but what’s important is that I wanted to nurse her. It didn’t feel forced and unpleasant as it had in the few days before.

This is real life. Postpartum emotions are no joke. How do you think it makes me feel inside when I can’t understand why I’m struggling to feel a connection to a tiny helpless human who I carried for 37 weeks? This tiny little girl is so very wanted, and so loved, so why am I feeling these things? Hormones, man. I’ll tell ya.

Shane has been reminding me that I felt this way when we brought Alden home from the hospital as well. I don’t remember feeling that way, and honestly thinking back and even half way believing I felt them makes me so sad because I love Alden so much and could never imagine feeling those things. I know that these feelings aren’t truly my own, and I know that Rowan is the perfect finishing piece to our family. I just don’t think people talk about it as much as they should.

Sure I feel upset when she cries, or I’m so tired that I cry, or I can’t find time to shower or remember if I ate anything that day, but postpartum feelings are so much different than that. They are so much more; so uncontrollable and indescribable. I think women feel ashamed of the way they feel which is why most women don’t talk about it or seek out help if they need it. I know it’s not my fault for feeling extra sad or whatever…and having those emotions on top of everything else that I’ve been through since 2012 seems extra cruel…life has been a shit sundae and postpartum feelings/emotions are just the cherry on top.

Happy Birthday, Alden!

Dear Alden,

Happy Birthday (tomorrow) sweet girl! I cannot believe you are one! I know that’s what all parents say, but it seems impossible you’ve been here for a year, yet it seems like you’ve been here for an entire lifetime.

When I was pregnant with you, I remember feeling anxious about you arriving and also missing your sister. One day, your Daddy told me that some day we wouldn’t know how to live without you in our lives. I couldn’t see it clearly at that time, but he was very right.

I cannot put into words what it feels like to wake up every day knowing I get to spend the day with you. You came into our lives when we needed you most, and you are perfect. You are so happy and funny. You have a HUGE personality, and you love your brother so much.

When your sister died, I never thought my heart could feel happiness again. I felt scared and alone. I felt sad and confused. When we transferred you into my body, I remember feeling scared. What if I didn’t get to keep you, either? When you started to grow, so did my anxiety.

My pregnancy with you was so scary. Every day I woke up thinking I had lost you, then you would kick and reassure me you weren’t going anywhere.

On March 15th, 2017 at 8:59 a.m. you came into my life and made me a Mommy for the 3rd time. You are amazing and you have helped to heal my heart in ways I never thought possible.

I love you Alden Emilene– thank you for being mine. I cannot believe I get to keep you. I hope someday you understand the depth of my love for you.

Love,

Mommy