First Birthday Request.

 

Kenley’s first birthday -December 29th- is just a few weeks away. I can’t believe I should have a child in my arms who would be possibly walking, jabbering, or causing chaos in our lives every day. I can’t believe that she isn’t here. It breaks my heart every day that I wake up and I’m alive, and she is not.

For Kenley’s first birthday, I’m asking for help from anyone who reads this, follows me on IG, or knows me any other way.

I’m asking you to write my daughters name. Write her name, anyway you would like to, and send me a picture. I want to take all of the photos that we receive and make a collage to put in my bedroom so I can make a wall dedicated to her. 

I’ve had a few people send me photos already, and I love them! Be as creative as you want, I welcome the diversity of the photos! If you send them, please include who you are and how you know us. I’m assuming I will know most people, but I guess you never know.

If you want to participate in this, I have set up a specific e-mail account for photos to be sent to, you can DM it to me on IG, or you can text them to me if you know my number- I’m fine with whatever.

My goal is to have all of the photos by the middle of December so I can have her collage done by her first birthday party.

Here is the e-mail address for photos:

KenleyPhotos@Gmail.com

I look forward to all the pictures! I can’t wait to see how this turns out for our sweet girl! Thank you in advance for helping with this project, and for loving our Kenley so fiercely throughout this past year. Let me know if you have any questions about this, and I will gladly answer! ❤

need help!

 

I’m going to put this out there, and maybe someone will stumble across it and have advice.

I’m planning on making (at minimum currently) 20 care packages of the hospital where we had Kenley. I am planning to include a bunch of things, but the one thing I’m struggling with is a candle. I would like to include a glass votive candle, or something bigger (depending on price) with a healing quote, or something about the candle being a memorial candle etc. I cannot find any that I like on the internet anywhere. I’m thinking of aromatherapy type scents. Nothing too over powering, and definitely nothing that would smell like anything child related.

Sooooo….I’m wondering if anyone makes candles, or knows of someone who makes them? Heck, or just someone who would like to be part of the donation and is willing to learn to make them? I would love to have something made by another loss mother, or someone who has been affected by the loss of a child in some way shape or form. Like I stated, I would be looking for 20 currently. If I cannot find a candle maker, I will probably buy them from somewhere, but would be interested in someone who could make a graphic sticker for the front of the candles, also.

Please let me know if you have any ideas, or know anyone who could help!

The goal is to have the 20 care packages done by Kenley’s first birthday…December 29th.

I’m open to suggestions as well for ideas to include with the care packages. What did you need after you lost your child? What did someone give you that really stuck with you? Is there something you didn’t think about needing but ended up REALLY needing?

• I needed tissues. The hospital tissues sucked ASS and my nose was bloody and raw from crying into them. My step-dad purchased a really nice box of soft tissues for us, and brought them the second day in the hospital. This is where the idea came from to buy puffs soft pack tissues (I bought about 40 full size packs) and I will be donating them to the maternity ward for baby loss mommas only.

• I needed chapstick. I didn’t bring any in my bag, when usually I do. I plan to include a nice chapstick in the carepack as many moms don’t plan to have this awful thing happen to them, and chapstick is the last thing on their mind…until their lips are so dry from constant crying and face wiping.

• I’m adding in a personal bottle of aromatherapy hand lotion. I know that the hospital gives you these things, but having a good quality lotion might make you feel more relaxed? I know that sounds like a joke, and honestly even saying it sounds awful because nothing can make you feel more relaxed after you just find out your baby died.

• I’m planning to include this book that I was given at the funeral home. It’s a very light read, and that is what I needed in the days after Kenley- not the gigantic book that I was given. This is such a good small book to start with.

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I’m also planning to include this book which has been the greatest book I have read since Kenley died. It is written by a loss mother, as well, and it just tells you what you need to hear. The version I will be donating will have Kenley’s name in the back on the memorial page.

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• A pack of forget me not seeds that are specifically packaged in memory of a lost loved one.

I had also tossed around the idea of including a molding kit for hand prints. I didn’t get any hand prints from Kenley and I would have loved to have them. These are things that you just don’t think of during the absolute worst moments of your life.

I had also thought of including some sort of lara bar, or something like that, but when I thought about it, it made me want to puke a little. I remember them wheeling in this huge cart of coffee, tea, drinks and snacks after she died. It sat in front of my bed about 10 feet away from me, staring at me the entire time we were there. The nurses would come in and ask if we needed our coffee refreshed and all I could think was “my daughter just died”.

Eating was not the best memory from the hospital.

Anyway, those are my ideas. I know there are a lot of you reading who have lost your children too, so please don’t keep quiet. I’m looking for input on ANYTHING you can offer me.

 

weekend.

This weekend was my little Sister’s Bachelorette “day” out. We went on a luncheon cruise (where everyone drank amazingly delicious smelling sangria) and listened to a DJ play some serious wedding tunes. It was really relaxing and enjoyable, even if I did feel like I wanted to yack once or twice. Thanks motion sickness! Afterward we went and got pedicures, and walked around an outdoor mall for a while.

All in all it was a pretty awesome day, and I’m really happy I was able to come home for the weekend and spend it with my sister (and the other bridesmaids).

When I got back to my Mom’s, I was beat. I guess being almost 31 (ugh. ugh ugh ugh.) will do that to you! Ha- just kidding. I know 31 isn’t “old” in the grand scheme of things life, but holy shit…I feel old now. After Kenley died, I immediately aged 10 years physically, and probably 50 years emotionally/mentally. I feel like I look old, I feel like I have no desire to do much of anything (hello depression, you nasty bitch) but I try to make myself look presentable (usually fail pretty well at this and end up in mascara and leggings). I have to force myself to enjoy things (also fail). I have tension headaches a lot these days, and I can feel the anxiety heavy in my chest. Sometimes, I will have an extra anxiety ridden day and I can literally feel it in my sternum. I have the need to crack my chest; until I make it happen, I have an excruciating pain where I can’t stand up straight and taking a deep breath is like knives in my chest.

Anyway, back to this weekend.

Landon has been sick for 50 years (read: 1.5 weeks-ish) and I just figured it was seasonal allergies, or a mild cold. He started to get pretty lethargic and stuff last week so I kept an eye on it and told myself if he wasn’t better soon that I would make an appointment. Saturday he complained of a headache all day, and over night he came into my bedroom screaming and hyperventilating saying that his head hurt so bad on the right side. I tried to calm him down, ended up giving him some Motrin and he laid with him until he fell back to sleep. In the morning he came into my room at 6am complaining again. I got up, and fed him breakfast and we watched Spongebob in the dark until about 7:30. He then started crying and freaking out about his head again.

I didn’t know what to do and honestly he was starting to scare me. I told my mom that I needed to take him to the ER so off we went. Long story short no strep, no ear infection, no anything. They gave me a script for Sudafed- a decongestant. I’m not sure how this will help his intense head pain?…but I’m no doctor. I’m going to keep a really close eye on it, and the second he complains again about his head we’re going to get a CT scan. I don’t really talk about it too much, but when Landon was 3 we had something similar happen to him. He ended up needing an Electroencephleogram (An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test used to detect abnormalities related to electrical activity of the brain. This procedure tracks and records brain wave patterns. Small metal discs with thin wires (electrodes) are placed on the scalp, and then send signals to a computer to record the results.) because he was having super weird twitches and making random noises all the time. I was pretty sure that he had Tourettes or something.

Turns out he was ok, but has “extra electrodes (or neurons? I can’t remember) firing in his brain” and for people with this, 50% of them have a 50% chance of having a seizure at some point in their life time. So…technically not ok? But again…not a doctor here.  Also they mentioned that children with these extra whatever’s firing are often “gifted”. That’s about the only part that makes sense. If you know Landon at all, you will probably more than likely agree the kid is super fuckin smart.

Ask him anything about Dinosaurs, I dare you.

We got back to my Mom’s, packed our stuff up and went to visit my Dad for a little while. As we were leaving my Dad’s, Shane text me and said he just got breaking news on his phone that there was a shooting on I-71 near the Polaris area.  The Highway Patrol had shut down both north and southbound lanes of the highway, so I figured I would be stuck in traffic. Well,  when I got to the I-71 on ramp in Mansfield, it was a shit show. The traffic lights were all out, there were no cops there to direct traffic because they were all at the crash scene of the shooter literally 2 miles up the road. Landon and I got some lunch, and hung out in the car for a little while to watch the traffic nightmare.

I googled and found out that the shooter had shot a man 6 times from a park bench (wtf is wrong with people?) as he was walking back to this car from the restroom at the rest stop. He then hopped in his car, and drove north. The cops found his vehicle on 71 and chased him north of the Mansfield exit where he ran over spike strips and hit the guardrail. He then shot and killed himself in his car.

I was watching the highway as we ate lunch, and I saw the cars that are pictured in the news article I linked to speeding down the highway toward the crash sight. It’s insane to me how close I was to actually witnessing this high speed chase. Thank god I didn’t. Once I got on 71 South, there was no issue and we made it home pretty quickly (1.5 hrs).

So now I’m home and curled up in bed with Shane. What a long weekend!

Here’s hoping that Landon feels better, I feel better and Shane doesn’t catch what we have.

Also, I’m participating in the “capture your grief” photo challenge for the month of October which is Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness month. If you don’t know what it is,  head on over to my Instagram page (see the side of my blog for the link) and check it out. It’s amazing, and I know that it is such an important thing for myself to do. It helps me to honor my sweet girl, and keep her memory alive.

You can also see a new photo of my beautiful Kenley. I am so in love with her face.

 

 

38+4

Today is another rough day.

Today, the amount of time that has passed since you died, is the amount of time you were alive.

Tomorrow you will be gone longer than you were with us.

I don’t think there are words to describe the way that I’m feeling.

The only thing that I feel like doing or saying is screaming from the top of my lungs that I love you.  That I am your Mother. That you are my Daughter. That you were taken away from our family. That I will always ache for your presence in my life. And that I will never be whole again.

 

rough day.

Our Molly Bear came today. I had to call the post office and ask them to hold it there for me so I could pick it up early because Shane had to be at work before our mail usually gets here.

We went to the post office about 9 am and there it sat. A huge white box, just staring back at me; I almost cried just looking at it. When we got home, Shane cut the tape on the box and we opened it. Immediately I cried. When I opened the box, my beautiful Kenley bear was looking back at me. She is perfect. I don’t think I could have made a better bear for us had I done it myself.

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When I held the bear, I cried. I knew that I would probably lose it, and I was right. She was heavy- 7lbs 5oz- but, that’s what Kenley weighed at birth. It just feels weird to feel her weight in my arms again. Shane held her for a little while, and we talked about it. We said how perfect she was over and over. We said that Landon is going to love her, and want to play with her.

Then, Shane asked if I wanted to go in her room.

We took the bear, and we went in.

I haven’t been in her room since…April 29th. It was so hard. I mean, hard in the way that your chest gets tight, and you can’t breathe. You cry the same kind of tears you cried at the hospital when your baby was born silent; when your whole world came crashing down around you within seconds and you didn’t know how you would ever survive.

We sat there for a while, and just talked about her room. About how beautiful it is, about her clothing, and the “why her” conversation happened again. I cried more. Going in was extremely hard, but I feel so calm in her room. We decided to look through her drawers, and closet. We looked at all of her clothing. We looked in her memory box from the hospital. We opened the envelope that has a lock of her hair. Her beautiful dark brown auburn colored hair. She had so much hair, my sweet girl.

Then, I asked Shane to open her diaper bag. This bag hasn’t been opened in nearly 9 months. I haven’t looked in there with a semi-clear mind, so I wanted to look. We pulled everything out, smelled it, looked through her baby book and sorted out what we wanted to keep specifically for Kenley, and what we could reuse for this baby. There were two outfits that Kenley didn’t wear in the hospital so we kept those out, but the rest is in the diaper bag still. image3

Today was a really hard day. I feel like I ran a marathon on the beach in cement boots.

I just really miss my baby girl.

We put her 2 quilts, and 1 crocheted blanket into the hope chest, along with the diaper bag and all the items we kept in there. It’s a step. It’s a huge step. I know that this room is going to be our new little girl’s room, and I need to work through a lot of stuff before I’m comfortable with that. It breaks my heart to think about taking her nursery apart, but it also breaks my heart to think about leaving it the same. It’s just not fair. No mother should ever have to think about these things.

Someday’s I feel absolutely insane. I don’t know how I’m going to make it through the next 25ish weeks.

NT.

Tomorrow we have our NT scan and first official MFM/OB appt. I’m nervous, but not much.

I’m a little scared because I stopped my PIO, and my estrogen, and haven’t been back for a scan since…It freaks me out to think that something could have gone wrong after I stopped those medications. I’m trying to have control over my mind and control over the fear, but well…lets me honest now.

The appointment is at 12:20, then my OB appointment is in the same place just at 1:45. I have my Mother in Law coming to get Landon off the bus if needed.

If all looks well in my scan tomorrow, and we get a good picture of our girl, I’m going to post it here. I wanted to let all of the loss moms know, just incase you were having a bad day, or will be having a bad day tomorrow. I feel as if I owe it to this baby to be excited for her (obviously I am, but it’s complicated…) so I’m going to try and do one thing every few days that makes me a little uncomfortable. Posting her ultrasound photo will be that thing. I posted photos of EVERYTHING when I was pregnant with Kenley, and this baby deserves to be loved just the same.

(I have to repeat this in my head daily. Losing Kenley has greatly altered my emotional state)

I hate this. I hate every second of the way I have to live my life now.

I am trying.

Little Miss, I can’t wait to see you on your ultrasound tomorrow. Please dance up a storm and make it hard for the tech to see you, so we can see you longer (but make sure to let her get all the measurements and pictures she needs!) .

 

 

shipped.

Today has been a rough day. Shane asked me how I was feeling about “little miss”, and it sort of just opened flood gates. We ended up talking about her for a long time. We talked about Kenley, her nursery, the new baby, and a bunch of stuff. I told him I was thinking about going into her room today, but ultimately I decided that I didn’t want to/wasn’t ready. He asked me if I wanted to start putting things into her hope chest, and I just lost it.  Cue all the tears, for the rest of the day.

No, I don’t want to put her stuff in the box. I WANT her to be here so she can use it. I want to never have known this level of pain, and heartache. I want to be naive about pregnancy, and never suffer 2 miscarriages, and a stillbirth. I want to not feel sad/guilty/depressed every second of every day even on my good days.

I know that nothing will ever bring Kenley back, and I know that I am doing a lot better with processing her death but quite frankly it just fucking sucks.

The whole thing sucks. 

I want to be excited for this new baby; we worked our asses off to get her. I am happy and excited to be pregnant, but it is overshadowed. I am trying— I say this so much that I sound like a broken record. I’m having a hard time thinking about this new baby using the swing that was purchased for Kenley. I know that it probably seems like a trivial thing for some people, but those people probably don’t truly understand. The items that we purchased for Kenley were burned into our minds as “her things”.

We dreamed of bringing her home from the hospital, and laying her in the rock n’ play my friend bought for her.

We dreamed of bringing her home and dressing her in one of the adorable outfits we specially bought for her.

We envisioned laying her in her crib, the one that we spent so long researching.

I dreamed of her doing tummy time on her bright yellow chevron rug (that I spent way too much money on- but didn’t care because, anything for her, right?)

I never in a million years expected to not have her here with me. I never thought for one second that I would have a nursery full of brand new items, never to be used by the intended child. But, instead, I have to process my grief and allow a new baby to use these items. I know that sounds weird, even as I type it my rational brain is screaming out–but my loss mom brain…well…that part of my brain gets it. That part of my brain understands the true depths of my pain. That part of my brain will always be fucked up now.

So the way it stands is that one half of my brain is always going to be living in fear or something terrible happening, and a huge chunk of my heart is pretty much broken and dead.

I’ve spent the evening googling “what to do with a nursery after stillbirth”… I bet your evening was better…

As I was sobbing and reading through multiple websites, I received an email.

Our Molly Bear has shipped…with 2 day shipping.

The bear will be here before 38+4…

I know that Kenley was looking out for me, and wanted to make sure the bear got here before the day when she has been gone for longer than she was alive.

I love you baby girl. You give me the strength to wake up everyday. I wish I could be holding you, smelling your sweet baby smell right now.

honor.

Somedays I wake up and I don’t get regular clothes on (I must not tell lies). I smack on the yoga pants, a t-shirt and call it a day. Those days I don’t usually put on my Kenley necklace. Somedays it doesn’t even phase me, but some days it really bugs me. Some days I feel like if I don’t wear that necklace, I am not honoring my girl. It’s like I feel as if I’m “forgetting” her if I don’t wear it. I know that’s stupid, and I know that wearing my necklace here in my house isn’t making me any closer to Kenley. I can’t get any closer to her- I’m her mother. I am the one who loves her more than anything in this world.

Sometimes I feel like, as a loss mom,  I look for ways to honor my daughter that are above and beyond. Like, somehow if I take my love for her above and beyond, she will be able to feel that extra love. I know it’s not true, I know that she knows I love her, and that I would do anything in my power to have her here if it was possible. It’s just another way that losing a child fucks your brain up. It sucks. It’s sad. It hurts. It’s depressing knowing that no matter what I do to honor my girl, it’s just not going to matter when it comes to saving her.

I couldn’t save her.

Maybe honoring her by wearing her necklace, taking care of her tree, making things for other loss moms, makes me feel closer to her. Maybe it makes me feel like I’m caring for her, even though she is not here. I’m not sure what it is exactly. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.

There are other things that I do now that I need to do every day because I feel like if I stop, it’s one more step away from my girl. Now that we have our hope chest I know that I should take small steps to start putting things in there. I have a shoe box of random things from our bedroom that are related to her, and it’s sitting on my dresser. I think the first step in this whole “hope chest” thing will be putting that shoe box in there.

I don’t know if you’re like me, but when I clean something up I always end up getting sucked into it and looking at it again. Usually tying to clean one thing quickly takes a full day and will get me so off track. I know the second I step into her room and start to unpack that diaper bag, I’m going to fall apart into a million pieces. I haven’t looked at her blanket from the hospital, or the hat. I haven’t re-read her 25% finished baby book that will never be 100% finished. There are so many things that I want to look at, but know that I am not strong enough for yet.

Next Tuesday is 38 weeks. Next Saturday is 38+4, the length of time I carried her. Sunday she will be gone longer than she was alive, and that’s a real gigantic mind fuck.

Maybe next week I will find the strength to go in her room. I don’t know. Maybe not.

Probably not.

dentist.

Today I had a cleaning at the Dentist. I knew that I would have to update my paperwork, and inevitably this means updating medication, and pregnancy information. They only had me fill out 5 update questions, and the last one was “pregnancy- yes or no”? So I checked yes, and handed it back to the front desk lady. She proceeded to read over my 5 questions, and when she hit the bottom one she looked up at me with pure excitement and exclaimed ” OH! CONGRATULATIONS! When are you due?!”.

It took everything (EVERY. THING.) I had inside of me to smile and tell her 4/5/17.

When I got back to the exam room, the hygienist went over my paper work…again…and she did the same thing. “SQUEEE!!! WHEN ARE YOU DUE! CONGRATS!”… Again, I answered and smiled.

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She proceeded to talk to me and asked about my children, which I knew was coming obviously. I answered her, and told her about Kenley. I talked about Kenley like she deserves to be talked about. I spoke of her, and Landon, and the new baby.

My gums were super sore during the cleaning (thanks pregnancy hormones…), but it was finally over. She told me to sit tight and the Dentist would be in to talk to me. Well, during the 5 second wait, a new hygienist (who I hadn’t seen at all) came in and read my chart AGAIN.

I bet you can’t guess what happened. 

Then she starts talking to me about a procedure that will cost like $500-1,000 and isn’t covered by insurance (assuming she was just making convo) and said I should totally have it done. And…that’s when I couldn’t take it anymore.  She had squee’d FAR too much for me. So, I straight up told her ” I would love to have that done, but I just simply cannot afford it. We did IVF this summer and now I’m nearly $23,000 in debt. I just don’t have the money, but thanks for the offer”.

She gasped at the cost (YEP. ME TOO, LADY, EVERY TIME I PAY THE BILL) and told me how sorry she was that Kenley died and we had to do IVF etc etc.

Then it came time to schedule my next cleaning, in 6 months…

Right when this baby will be due. 

I had to tell them I would call them to set it up, and I pretty much ran out of the office holding back tears.

I’m sorry hygienist lady, I cannot guarantee that I will be able to “bring that cute baby in for all of you to see!” because I can’t guarantee that she will fucking live.

IT HAPPENS. BABIES DIE.

So please for the love of god, just stop talking to me about it, and let me leave your office with my new toothbrush and sample toothpaste. PLEASE.

 

busy.

I am so freakin tired. I’m tired physically, mentally, and emotionally. I am so tired of pretty much everything.

This past weekend was my little Sister’s Bridal Shower. I had to go up to my hometown for it, and I just spent the entire weekend running around trying to get everything finished up. The shower went well, and I think she really enjoyed it so yay.

I never sleep well at my Mom’s house; I don’t know if it’s the bed, or the fact that it’s just not my house, or what. Needless to say I slept like a rock last night, and definitely didn’t want to get up this morning. I had to actually wake Landon up, which never happens.

 

This week is going to be a struggle for me. I just know it. I’m really hoping that Friday comes ASAP.

I don’t have any appointments this week to see little miss moving and grooving, but I do have my NT scan next Thursday. I’m sure it will be a decently long scan, so I’m excited to have it done.

I cannot believe we are already almost 11 weeks. On Wednesday, I will have 26-ish weeks left. On one hand it feels like such a short period of time, but on the other hand to a loss mom…

It’s 26 more weeks of waiting for the other shoe to drop. 26 more weeks of expecting to see blood every time you pee. 26 more weeks of dreading each doctors appointment because you just know something is going to be wrong. 26 more weeks of straight fear.

I could get my doppler out, but that means going in Kenley’s room (the Nursery? the new baby’s room? The girls’ room? I shouldn’t have to worry about this…). It means bringing myself back to the days of using it with her. Brings me back to the day before she died, with her beautiful strong heart beating away for me to record on my phone one last time. I will never forget that I sent it to Shane, and he replied something along the lines of “So strong! Can’t wait to meet our girl!”…

And the next day she died.

I will never understand. a24e4ee918c1ac347a4e8291df26f7c6