it’s Mother’s Day.

Today is Mother’s Day. Mostly it’s a happy holiday for people, but the day is shadowed with grief and confusion for myself and many other women who have lost children.

I have the most beautiful family; they are my greatest creations. I am so thankful for them, and even though some days I want to rip my hair out while crying, I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Our family will be missing a crucial member forever, however.

Thinking about my first Mother’s Day after Kenley died is rough; my heart just hurt so bad. The grief and shock was so raw. She had been gone less than 6 months and it felt unreal. It still feels unreal, honestly. I wake up on the daily and can’t believe this is my life. That I will have a missing family member forever. A perfect daughter who should be here but never got the chance.

I love parenting my children, but I wish I could parent all of them here on earth. I don’t allow myself to day dream about my life with all of them here. I don’t know that it would help me mentally to think that way; it’s a defense mechanism I’m pretty sure.

So on Mother’s Day, I want to write a little note to my children-

Landon, I am so thankful you made me a mother. You are so much fun, and so frustrating all at the same time! I’m so proud of the little man you are becoming. I love you so much buddy!

My sweet Kenley, I am so sorry I couldn’t save you. You are perfect. You were so wanted. I wish so badly that I could watch you grow and hear your beautiful voice. I love you with everything I am. I hope you know that, and I hope you are proud of me. I cannot wait until the day we are together again. I love you. I love you. I love you.

Alden, my little unicorn rainbow baby, you have healed my heart in ways I never thought possible. Your smile is infectious and your laugh warms my heart. Every day with you is amazing, and I love being your Mommy. I am so thankful for you my sweet baby.

Rowan, my sweet surprise, I was scared to death when I learned you were coming! You and Alden are so close in age that I thought I would never feel normal again. I am so thankful that you are part of our family! You’re only 10 weeks old but I cannot wait to watch your personality develop! Your smiles are adorable and I love to her you coo!

No Mother should have to be without any of her children on Mother’s Day.

Thought Dump.

I feel like I have zero time to write anymore, and that really makes me sad. I love coming here to express myself, and to talk about Kenley, or whatever else is on my mind. So, tonight I have a few minutes to myself and I wanted to come here and dump some thoughts.

I’ve started all the things for Kenley’s care packages. I’ve gotten some hats in the mail, and have been in touch with people who are creating more hats and blankets. I’m looking forward to spending the coming months preparing the donations. It makes me feel close to Kenley, and like she isn’t forgotten. I haven’t gotten any donations yet, and that bums me out, but whatever! It’s still early, and my god last year was amazing we were able to get everything, so I know it will happen I just need to give it time.

I’ve been feeling heavy hearted about Kenley more often every day lately…I don’t know what triggered it but I think it was when I was cuddling with Alden and I inadvertently placed my hand on her chest and felt her heart beating. I immediately took my hand off her chest, like it was on fire or something, and when I realized I did that I had to ask myself why. I remember there being a time immediately after Kenley died that I hugged Landon and felt sick to my stomach. I remember thinking that it hurt me so badly to feel his heart beating against my chest, and know that I would never feel Kenley’s. I think that was sort of what happened with Alden; a knee-jerk reaction. I then took a deep breath and placed my hand over her little chest again and breathed in the smell of her head while I sat there, feeling her heart beating against my palm.

Some days I still can’t believe this is my life. I can’t believe the awfulness that we went through– the awfulness that we are enduring every single day of the rest of our lives. I don’t know. It’s so weird because death at any point in life is awful and each person grieves so individually but my god. To lose a baby before they’re even born, but to have carried them for an entire pregnancy…Fuck. It’s just so unfair. How many times can I say that without sounding like a broken record? Probably already worn that out, but you know what? IT’S UNFAIR. I shouldn’t feel guilty for not looking at my daughters urn because it makes my heart break into a million pieces, but I do. I feel so guilty.

Alden has started walking, well let me rephrase that…she’s taking steps. She will not let go of things and walk. She has started to stand up in the middle of the floor by herself now, so I’m hoping that she will just start walking around. It makes me sad to think that she will be walking soon because she’s my little baby! It’s crazy. She can’t be walking! Ugh. And then to think that Rowan will be walking in like a year! EEK.

Alden is so much fun! I just love being with her. I hope that when Rowan is old enough to play with her, she will be loving toward her and not beat her with a toy or whatever.

Rowan is 2 months old now! She had her appointment yesterday and had 3 shots. Ugh so sad! She cried so hard…harder than she has ever cried before. Poor sweet girl! She’s weighing in at 13lbs 7oz, and 23 1/4 inches long! She’s a little pork chop. I’m starting to feel better after feeling some really dark feelings after she was born. I still feel weird at certain moments, and when certain things happen. I feel sad when I think about Rowan and Alden playing without Kenley. Seeing Landon love on his sisters hurts my momma heart too. Sigh. It is what it is.

Landon is playing baseball again this year. I absolutely love watching him play! He is really good at it too, so that really makes me so pumped to watch him. He’s been playing catcher and I swear to god he just looks like a natural up there! That boy can hit a ball, too! I’m a proud Momma. I do need to figure out something to do with Alden while we’re there though. She wants to constantly get down in the rocks, or grass and eat everything. I want to but a portable play pen but they’re like $60-100 and I just don’t feel like spending that.

Our 8 year wedding anniversary was on Tuesday. I can’t believe we’ve been married that long. It doesn’t seem that long honestly. It feels like yesterday! We’ve been together since we were 18 (14 years ago) and I just can’t even with that. I really need to find some pictures from when we were first dating and spam this space with them! We weren’t able to do anything on our actual anniversary because Shane had to work overtime, but hey…whatever. The overtime pay is ridiculous so I guess that’s fine. We did book a cabin in Hocking Hills for next weekend. I can’t wait. We’re going to see Dead pool, get some pizza and wine, and sit in the hot tub all weekend! I’m so thankful for my Mom who is coming down to stay with the girls so we can get away.

I need some clothes for the summer. I literally have zero things. I have like 2 shirts, both black, and 5 pairs of maternity leggings…soooooo…

We’re still working on our home plans. We got another quote back to renovate our home and it’s within our budget to do most of the things that we need to make this house work, but there is the option of building a brand new home on some family land…I just don’t know what to do. We could sell our home for a lot more than we paid for it currently and I just feel like we need to sell while we can. There are a lot of things about our home that we cannot change. I don’t know. Ahh what to do?!

So life is just an insane shit show like 75% of the time, and my house is a wreck 100% of the time.

International Bereaved Mother’s Day.

I came here to write this post and talk about what this day is, and how important it is…but, I don’t want to.

I just want to grieve my Daughter. I want to dream of her being here in my arms. I want to allow my brain to go to that dark place and remember her…There aren’t words to explain how deeply my heart is broken. A mother isn’t supposed to bury her child, or plan their funeral, or leave the hospital without their baby.

Kenley, my sweet daughter, you should be here with us. I will miss you forever, until the day I hold you in my arms again. I am so sorry that I couldn’t save you. You deserved so much more. I live with that guilt every single day. Some people may think that the pain lessens as the years go on…but it doesn’t. There is a hole in my heart that will never be filled.

I love you.

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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.