the first year without you.

It finally came…Kenley’s first birthday.

The days that followed Halloween were brutal. It was like the Holidays were taunting me. I knew where we were at each moment in time last year (How far I was at Thanksgiving/how many days until she was born etc etc…) and so going through each day up until her birthday was really rough. When we went to get our Christmas tree this year, the place we normally go closed before we could get there (Landon started Kindergarten so we didn’t have enough time to get there after he got off school). We had to go to a new place; It was nice, but far less exciting than our normal place.

It felt good to do something different than we had the year before, though– the year when Kenley was safely tucked inside of me, growing and thriving like she should have been. When we put up the tree, I was overcome with intense grief. I cried, and I cried hard. No, let me rephrase that, I sobbed. That deep sob, you know? The one that you have no real idea where it comes from except you know deep down that it comes from a place of pain that no human being should ever have to feel.

Having to put an ornament on my tree in memory of my daughter, instead of having her there to clumsily hang hers (read: tear down the lights/tree/decor) was extremely hard. I was transported back to the Hospital when they told me she wasn’t alive anymore. I felt THAT level of sadness. It wasn’t just that she wasn’t here anymore, it was also the fact that she would NEVER be here. Maybe a realization occurred? I’m not sure.

She will never be able to hang an ornament, instead, for the rest of my life, I will be hanging her memorial ornaments. Do I buy a new one each year? Do I only hang the one that I bought specifically for her? How does a mother handle Christmas decorations when one of her children is no longer with her? There isn’t a guide for how to handle these types of things.

I avoided Christmas music VERY well this year; I think I listened to it maybe 2 times? I’m pretty happy about that, to be honest. I started listening to Christmas music the day after Halloween in 2015 and soon found out that Kenley loved it. She would dance around while it played. Avoidance was my only coping mechanism re: xmas music this year.

Every Christmas Eve, we go to Shane’s family’s get together. We went last year, and I was about to burst- 38 weeks exactly. It was SUCH a great day. I remember people giving us gifts for Kenley, telling me they were so excited for her to get here, asking how I was feeling/how things were going/next doctors appt/squeeing that her C-section date was literally a week away.  A week. Like…ouch. It still stings so deep when I think of that. It stings extra bad when I remember that I asked to have a c-section at 38 weeks 1 day- the day after Christmas- and my doctors told me no. It stings really badly when I remember that the day after Christmas last year I called my obgyn and told them I was having contractions that were able to be timed pretty close together, but the OB thought I “sounded ok”, and advised me that she didn’t think I needed to be seen, but if it made me feel better that I could go.

What kind of bullshit doctor says that? “You sound ok”. Oh good, I’m glad you can register what is happening inside my uterus by the tone of my voice. And for someone to pretty much patronize me by saying “if it makes you feel better, you can go in”, is just something that I will never EVER be able to live down. I hope that this Doctor feels extreme regret for not telling me to go to L&D that night, because who knows what could have been done…

Anyway, this year I didn’t want to go to the annual Christmas Eve get together…but I went for my Landon. I know he needed things to feel as normal as possible. When we got there, I lost it. People hugged us, and I just couldn’t handle it. It was like everything from last year just washed over me. All in all it ended up being a decent night, and I am thankful we went. Landon had an incredible time, and that is what really counts.

Christmas morning wasn’t too bad for me either. I’m not sure why…Maybe it’s because Landon’s joy just overshadowed my sorrow. Seeing him smile is the greatest gift to me, and hearing how excited he was about all of the gifts that Santa got him really really made me genuinely happy. And also, maybe I was actively blocking my feelings out; not thinking that I should have two children on Christmas morning. I should have a little girl crawling all over and being amazing. I’m pretty sure it was 50/50 (ok …70/30).

As the days ticked down to her birthday, I could feel my anxiety ramping up. The plan was to have immediate family over, have lunch, a cake, and a balloon release. I had been talking with Shane for a few weeks about what he wanted to do to “celebrate” (side note- I hate this term. I hate it so much. I’m not celebrating her birthday, for fucks sake, she’s not here. I’m mourning her, and all the things I lost when she died) her day. He’s pretty easy going so he ultimately said “whatever you wanna do”, which I sometimes hate. So, the day before he admits to me that he was surprised I wanted to have people over, and thought it would be nice to just have him, myself and Landon together on the day.

Ugh.

I told him that he needs to tell me these things when I’m asking him for a few weeks at a time. It was too late to cancel everything, and we ended up going forward with my plans. At the end of the night when everyone left, he hugged me tight, told me he was so happy we went through with it and that he had a really nice day. I’m so thankful that I can trust my gut sometimes, and strong arm him into things that I know are ultimately better for us.

We had a christmas gift exchange with my Dad and Sister before everyone showed up at 2 for the “party”. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to do this, as it felt like it was taking away from her, but ultimately I’m glad we did. Then, around 2, Shane’s family showed up. We all just kind of hung out for a little bit, then had lunch. We ate, and decided that we would do the balloon release. Everyone wrote or drew on their balloons (only popped 2!) and then we made our way outside. It was extremely windy, but so clear. Landon counted to 3, and we all let them go. It felt good to watch them float away. I kept my message short and simple. She knows how much I love her, so my balloon was just a small reminder of that.



After, we came inside, and had cake and ice cream. My sister brought a flower arrangement that is so beautiful and reminds me of Kenley in so many ways. My mom bought her a gift which I love. It’s a stuffed fox with a tutu on it, and I plan to keep it in her memory box. A wonderful friend sent over birthday balloons.


After all the commotion was done, we just hung out and talked for a bit. Slowly people started to leave one by one.

All throughout the day I was getting texts from people all over letting me know that she was on their minds, and that she was missed. I woke up to a specific Instagram tag from a woman who lost her son last year about a week or two before we lost Kenley. I don’t know what specifically about her words struck a chord with me, but it sort of set my tone for the day. I think it was what I was meant to see on the morning of her first birthday.


The love and support from everyone really made the day better- not easier by any means- just better.

I missed her more than I could ever explain to anyone, yet, I was so thankful there were so many people thinking of her and our family. Knowing she was and is so loved on her birthday, even after all this time, made my heart heal a little, I think.

I want to thank every single person who got in contact with me somehow yesterday. Your love and support means the world to us, and I believe it is what helped us through yesterday with a little less pain than I expected.

Our lives will never be the same, and I wouldn’t ever want them to be. If they were, I wouldn’t know my sweet girl’s face. I wouldn’t have ever known her hair color, or how her lips looked just like her brothers. I wouldn’t trade her for the world.

I am her Mother; she chose me to be that for her. It’s all that I can do to love her like she deserves, and honor her memory like she deserves.

I love you my sweet girl. Happy First Birthday.

I will hold space in my heart for you until I can hold you in my arms again.

 

 

 

 

realization.

I took Landon with me today to pick up the last 5 sleepers I needed to buy to have equal amounts of boy and girl sleepers. I told him I wanted him to help me pick them out, so he got right down to business. He has such a huge heart, and wanted to buy everything of course, but he also did something I was so unprepared for.

He picked up a sleeper that came with a bib and said “Mommy, this one is so cute, AND it comes with a bib so it’s perfect for a baby!”…

I felt like someone punched me in the gut.

“IT COMES WITH A BIB”.  

Realistically, I know why I’m buying these sleepers, I know that the children who wear them will not be alive, they won’t need a bib, but I think hearing those words from Landon’s sweet naive mouth really just hit harder than I ever expected. I am so thankful to be fortunate enough to purchase these sleepers for other families, but oh how I wish things were so so different.

7 days until Christmas.

11 days until Kenley’s first birthday.

My heart cannot handle all of this sadness while trying to be happy for my son to enjoy his Christmas.

Kenley, I miss you. My heart is aching without you here, sweet girl. I hope you know how much I love you, and I hope you see all of the good I’m trying to do in your memory.

December.

Well, it’s here- December. I have been waiting all year for this month. Maybe waiting is a bad way to describe it, more so it’s been looming heavily over my head. As each month passed by and Kenley should have been another month older, I knew it was getting closer.

And here it is. In full force.

And I’m terrified.

We went Tuesday night to get our tree. We were going to go to the place that we use every year, but Landon doesn’t get off the bus until 4 and we found out (the hard way) that they close at 5. Half way there, I thought “damn, it’s getting really dark, I should see when they close” (why this didn’t cross my mind the entire day before we left is beyond me…). So we googled quickly and found there was another tree farm near us. We headed that way, and ended up loving the place. Their trees were pre-cut, but whatever. Maybe it’s a good thing that we didn’t get to go to the old place; maybe it was life’s way of cutting me a fucking break or something, who knows.

Anyway, the tree is super nice. I’m really happy with it, and at $52 vs the $80 tree from last year, I’m a happy camper. When we got home, I knew it was going to be super hard to put it up and decorate. We usually turn on christmas music and have a good time. Shane turned on the music and the lump in my throat came. He asked if I was ok, or if I needed to turn it off, but Landon was enjoying it so I said no, that I was ok. Seeing Landon put up the ornaments really really helped me; he was so excited that it kind of kept me happy. Then it came time to hang Kenley’s ornaments. This was pretty awful, I won’t lie. I cried and felt like I could have just crumbled into a million pieces on the floor. I ugly cried to which Landon told me I looked like I was laughing, which actually made me laugh. Thank god for Landon. He just speaks his 5 year old mind, and makes things all better.

We hung her ornaments, and just enjoyed each other. After we were done, Landon was SO tired. Rudolph was on at 8, and Landon crawled up on the couch with us to watch it. Poor dude, he was struggling to keep his eyes open but we finished it and then he went to bed.

We’ve been decorating a little each day since Tuesday. Today Shane and I spent the day at an antique mall shopping. Oh, you didn’t know that we are secretly 80 years old? Surprise.

We found a bunch of really cool old christmas things, and plan to decorate the front porch with them. Shane wants to make a big letter K to wrap in lights and include on the porch (actually this all started with his letter K idea to be honest…) so I’m excited to see what happens. I don’t want to talk about how much we spent at the antique mall today…I feel ashamed. Just kidding- one of my best days this year by far. We left the antique mall and went to dinner. I was craving a steak so bad, so we hit up outback and it was DELISH. I love spending the day with Shane. He is my best friend, and I am so thankful for him. I swear I could just sit with him all day doing nothing and be happy.

Tonight we pulled the trigger and bought Landon a 4 wheeler for Christmas! I’m so excited! It should be here in like 5 days, but were having it shipped to my mother in laws. I grew up riding them, so I’m excited for him to have one.

My dad is coming to visit this weekend, so hopefully Landon and him will get some good play time in. I know that he misses his grandpa a lot.

I’ve been getting a lot of emails with Kenely’s name in them, and I just want to say thank you to everyone who has sent them to me! I love getting them, and I can’t wait to work on the collage. I also have gotten ALMOST all the rest of the items for my care bags finally! I can’t wait to start working on them. I really really need to work on them. It helps to keep my mind occupied.

Well, December, I guess there is no turing back now…

 

tomorrow.

Tomorrow you should be 11 months old.

You could be walking, and jabbering. I can’t even think about what you would look like because it breaks my heart into a million pieces.

I can’t believe it’s been so long. I can’t believe I haven’t held your sweet body in such a long time. It makes me so sad. I miss you every second of every day.

Today was rough. I think the anticipation of these milestones is what gets me. Obviously the day is bad, too, but the lead up is worse.

I pulled the trigger on two piece of decor for baby A’s nursery today. After I bought the first one, I felt like I was hit by a bus. I pressed “purchase” and I literally didn’t move off the couch for 3 hours afterward. Grief, it’s a really fucked up thing.

I was happy to finally buy something, and then immediately sad and guilty for doing so. I know that those feelings are normal, but damn.

So in the spirit of making myself feel better, and maybe more excited (IDK?) here is what I bought today for her nursery. Ugh. My heart.

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pizza and pneumonia.

Thanksgiving was yesterday and I’m pretty happy it is over. I won’t lie, it wasn’t as bad as I imagined it to be only because we have pneumonia and spent the day here, on the couch, eating pizza and watching tv.

I literally don’t think I could have spent the entire day at Shane’s grandmas with his entire family. I know, undoubtedly, one of them would have said something wrong to hurt us. Not on purpose, of course, but some people just don’t know what to say so they spew platitudes and well wishes. While the well wishes are great, I just don’t want to hear them. I honestly know that people would have been all “omg squee aren’t you thankful for your baby you’re carrying now!?” Um. Yes. OF COURSE. But, that does not bring back the daughter who I lost, or take away the pain and guilt of her death.

Landon went with my Mother in Law over to the family’s get together, and we just spent the day with each other coughing our lungs out. All in all, we are feeling a little bit better, if I’m being honest. I think our coughing is subsiding and Shane hasn’t had a fever in about two days. This is great because he kept waking up shivering in the middle of the night and I know he wasn’t getting any sleep trying to keep track of his medication times and what not.

He went back to work today for the first time in a week, so I hope that he isn’t too exhausted when he gets home (even though I know he will be).

So we’re in the thick of it now- the Holiday Season. I’m feeling very indifferent toward it all. On one hand I want to have the normal Christmas that we usually do especially for Landon, and because it’s my favorite holiday. I love decorating, listening to music, shopping and spending way too much money on stuff that no one needs, and being with my family…except this year, one member of MY family is gone. She got to experience my joy of Christmas inside my womb last year, and I know she loved the music. She knew how much I loved the holiday, and I know that she knew how much she was loved.

And then, 4 days after the best Christmas of my life, I had the worst day of my life.

I’m sure you can see why I’m feeling torn on how to feel about the holiday.

I’ve been trying to toss around what I want to do about a stocking for Kenley. I really wanted one for the longest time, and now that it’s here, I’m not so sure. I don’t know if I can stand to see an empty stocking, every year, with her name on it. Empty. Nothing. All the other stockings will have things in them, and her’s will be empty because she has no use for anything. She is not here; she will never be here.

I’m not sure what I’ll end up doing. I have an ornament for her, but nothing feels right. I’m sure others can relate to the “nothing feels right” thing. I don’t know if I would feel differently about the Christmas season if Kenley had died in like March or something. I don’t know. I think the fact that she was alive during the holiday, and died so shortly after just tears me apart. It just crushes me.

I guess maybe it’s (christmas) just hard because it’s always going to be 4 days before another anniversary of her death? I don’t know. I know that some day down the road I might see it differently, but not this year and probably not the foreseeable future.

I think for this Holiday season to mean something to me, I need to accomplish a few things.

First, I need to get these care package bags together, along with the hats that I crocheted (and my sweet friend Caroline’s that she sent me to donate too!), and I need to tell the Hospital to hang Kenley’s photos…I don’t know why that is so hard to me. I just think that it means we need to go up and see them. We bought them. We spent the time deciding what we wanted to have engraved in them…I need to see them I think.

Second, I need to donate some gifts to a needy family or something. I know that you can get those names off of trees at churches or the salvation army, but I want to know that whatever it is we choose to donate, is being used. I would donate to toys for tots but I don’t know… I want something more personal. If anyone has any ideas, let me know. I would love to sponsor a family’s Christmas who just couldn’t afford it.

Third, I need to make a plan for her birthday. I don’t know what feels right. Nothing feels right, again, but I want to celebrate her. I know that she knows how much we love her, how could she not? But, I want to do something for our family to remember her too. I know there isn’t a day that goes by that they don’t think of her, either, but I want us all to do something together. I’m leaning toward balloon release, and cupcakes. It’s just going to fucking suck so much to be celebrating a girl who will never actually get a birthday, or to take a breath of air outside of her mother. To be remembering a sweet, beautiful child who I could not save. To be remembering her…instead of watching her shove cake in her face.

Sometimes it’s just too much.

grief

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.

 

family, weddings, and refi- Oh my!

I’m here! I swear!

I’ve been so busy this past week that I really haven’t had time to post much of anything.

On Wednesday of last week all 3 (well 4) of us made the trip up to my hometown for my little sisters wedding. We spent the next 2 days setting up, typing up loose ends, and making sure everything was perfect for her big day. Friday, we had the rehearsal, then we all hung out and ate BBQ (which was freakin delish).

Saturday morning we woke up and met everyone at the hair salon. I was one of the first ones to get my hair done that way my mom and I could go do the things that we needed to do for the wedding. When we were done with those things, we gathered up my sisters dress, our dresses, and headed to her house to wait for the other girls to get there. Once everyone was there we started getting ready. I’m pretty sure my sister has about $500 in foundation in her makeup arsenal. We had pizza, and everyone was drinking (except me and another girl) and having a good time. The videographer arrived, followed by the photographer. Soon it was time to get into our dresses, and get Cassie into hers.

Once everyone was ready, we walked outside and got some photos done in their back yard.

Then…off we went to the ceremony! Everything kind of happened really fast. Landon was the ring bearer, and did a really freakin great job. I couldn’t even believe how good he did. I kind of figured he would be nervous or something, but nope. My little boy is a social butterfly (more to come on this later lol). They were finally married and people were hanging out taking pictures and drinking beer. Around 4:30 the party bus came to pick up the bridal  party for photos and ridiculous amounts of booze for those able to drink.

We drove around and got some really fun pictures in special places. Then, we arrived back at the reception venue. We were greeted by the DJ and he explained where we were to walk, what we were to do etc. We walked in, and all met on the dance floor waiting for the newly married couple. After a few photos, and them cutting the cake (side note- they cut the cake, and ate their own pieces instead of feeding each other. I lol’ed so hard) we were seated. Then, it was time for my speech. I wrote it with the help of Shane in hopes that I could make it light hearted and I wouldn’t cry. I was pretty sure I could handle it without breaking down- wrong. Pretty much everything makes me cry these days, but just being there with her, and seeing how beautiful and happy she looked filled my heart with so much joy.

It made me miss the days where we were so little, and I hated being near her. It made me wish that I could go back and relive those times with her. Now, she’s 125 miles away at all times and I can’t see her whenever I want. It really makes me sad pretty much 24/7 because besides Shane, she is my best friend.

So anyway, I cried. Barely able to get it together to finish my story, but I managed. Then we were released to eat and I ate some of the best freakin mashed potatoes I’ve ever eaten in my lifeeeeee. I want them right now, actually. The rest of the night is kind of a blur. Lots of people dancing, lots of talking to family that I haven’t seen since Kenley died. Tons of people came up to me and told me that they read this blog and that really touched my heart so thank you guys for saying the things that you did to me. I love that Kenley is so loved by all of you.

Landon was a dancing machine. I’m going to try and upload a video so you can see it because oh my god. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more love for this kid than at the moment he was called to the dance floor by himself to dance to AC/DC TNT….and he tore that shit up. He has some real moves, I was impressed!!

 


All in all the weekend was a great success. I had such a good time, Shane had a nice time relaxing and being away from home, too. Landon found a new love in Amanda, and I’m pretty sure Cassie had an awesome time. Now for some pictures!


 

We are getting our house appraised in hopes that we can eliminate our PMI payment, combine our IVF loan (home equity loan) and our mortgage into one payment, and save close to $700 a month. We have our appraisal set for Thursday @ 2:30, and were trying to get the few things done (paint touch ups, patching a hole in the wall that shane made while chasing Landon around the house one day) before the appraiser comes. I’m kind of stressing out a little about it strictly because she is going to go into Kenley’s nursery. She is going to see that we are without a baby, and that the Nursery looks untouched. She is going to see the sign on our wall that says our baby was too beautiful for earth and her birthdate. She’s going to wonder, and probably ask.

I am not afraid to tell her about Kenley. I am not afraid to talk about her. I will talk about her, very openly. I just hope that she doesn’t panic and leave our house feeling weirded out because yeah…dead babies are not a fun topic. Whatever. I guess we will see how it goes. Send the good vibes my way…hopefully our house appraises for what we need so we can catch a fucking break.


 

While we were home we had lunch at a little Chinese place that we used to frequent when we lived there. While we were eating, my IG dinged letting me know that I had a DM. I was contacted by a woman named Lauren from Breastfeeding World asking if I would be willing to write a piece in honor of Pregnancy and Infant loss month about Kenley. I was so touched that she reached out to me, and I cannot wait for my piece to be featured on this Friday!  I will link to it on Friday when it’s posted in case anyone wants to read it. I shared some photos that I haven’t shared before, and it was really emotional for me to write. I hope someday that I can write a piece for them about the joys I will (hopefully) feel when I am able to breastfeed my Rainbow baby.


 

I have an MFM appointment on Thursday at 10:30. This will just be a check up to make sure everything is looking good. I have been feeling little miss kicking off and on more lately. I guess my MFM typically finds the heartbeat via ultrasound instead of doppler, which I am ok with, but I just hope that maybe I can talk her into letting me see her for a few seconds. I haven’t in like 5 weeks and it’s killing me.


 

And finally, Saturday was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day. My Sister had a special place for Kenley at a memorial table with a K, fox, and candle. It was very sweet, and moved me to tears. I also was sent many many texts, DMs, etc to let me know that a candle was being lit for Kenley and that she was being thought of. I wanted to show you all the candles that were lit for her, so here they are.


So there is a run down of what’s been up in my neck of the woods. I’m hoping that things are going to calm down after this week so I can get back to regular posting. I feel so much comfort when I speak about Kenley and how she impacts my life. I love that little girl so incredibly much…I missed her so bad this weekend.

I miss her every second of every day.

I will miss her for the rest of my life.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

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.