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.

safavieh-lilac-shag-outdoor-area-rug-sg151-7272ptru1-23919455dt

I love our mail man.

Since Kenley died, I have gotten packages in the mail literally every week it seems- some times I get a few at a time. Our mail man has never once said anything about it, he just delivers the mail to us with a smile on his face.

Last week when all of my books came, I walked out to meet him when I saw him pull up the driveway. He said (with a smile on his face) “I’ve been fighting those damn things all day! They’ve been moving all around back there!”, I laughed and almost told him why I ordered 20 books, but decided not to. Today, my candles came. I saw him pull up the drive way, so I walked out to greet him and get the box; it was heavy again so I expected something to be said jokingly. He just sort of looked at me, and I looked at him. I knew he was sort of looking for me to say something (you know how you can just tell someone wants to know what the hell is going on?).

I looked at him and it just flooded out of me. I said, “Thank you for always delivering these packages with a smile on your face! I appreciate it! Our daughter was stillborn at 38 weeks last December and that’s why we are constantly getting packages, so thank you!”…

He looked at me, and said “Oh my god, I am so sorry. I am so so sorry”.

He handed me the box of candles, the rest of my mail, and gave me a smile. Off he went. I don’t know. I just felt like it was the right time to tell him? I’m not sure if the fact that he delivered me a shit ton of stuff last year while I was uber pregnant, and he’s never seen a baby at our house was bothering me and I felt like I needed to tell him, or what…Maybe it’s the fact that I’m showing…again…with no baby here for him to see when I was obviously pregnant all of last year. I don’t know. Whatever the reason, I told him today and I hope that I didn’t freak him the hell out.

On that note, like I said, my candles came! I am constantly in awe of people who still do nice things for other people. The company that sent me these candles is a small locally owned company from the PNW. It’s called Aggies on main, and they sell soy candles. I reached out to them by recommendation of another loss mom (Hi Sarah!). The company immediately replied that they would love to work with me. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen but ultimately they donated 20 candles to my project. Amazing…just amazing.

Lisa is the woman who I was working with, and she is just one of the most caring people I’ve come to know on this journey. I am so thankful that she chose to help me. The impact her candles will have on a future mother who loses her children will be immeasurable. She wrote me a wonderful note in the card she sent. It brought me to tears.



I also pulled the trigger today on the other items I wanted in the bags.

-Journals +Pens: I did nothing but cry during my stay at the hospital, and I wish I was able to have done something else. I mean, I didn’t even get to really spend time with Kenley. She was with us, and I did spend time with her, but I wish I would have been a little more clear minded and taken more photos, and held her every second I possibly could. Maybe these journals will help someone to clear their mind so that they can hold their baby longer.

journals

-Chapstick: Ugh. My lips were so chapped in the hospital they felt like they were going to fall of my face or bleed. Im thankful to have been given some chapstick by my mom, but I’m sure some people won’t be prepared for the need.

chapstick

-Memories too few: This book is literally like 10 pages, and it’s an easy read. Like I’ve said before, we were given a book and it was just too long, and too “standard”. I feel like when I read this book, that I could have written it myself. Maybe that’s why I like it more than pretty much any other one I’ve read to date. Amazon only had 1 in stock (wtf?) so I ordered it, so they will have to stock more! I hope they stock them soon.

book

I ordered bags to put them all in as well. I’m going to have about 30 extra brown bags, but maybe that will be inspiration to keep filling them…

 

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

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! ❤

Protein S Deficiency OR How my body is still trying to ruin things…

On Thursday, I had my anatomy scan with Dr.F, and all looked well. She was able to better explain to us the cause of Kenley’s death. It was officially decided that she died from blood clots in her umbilical cord. We sort of knew this, but as I’ve said before, when we were first told about the cause of her death we were VERY fresh in our grief. I was better able to understand it now, at almost 11 months out.

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grandparent’s day.

Jesus I can’t even write the title of the post without getting tears in my eyes! I don’t know why, but it breaks my heart.

Landon came home yesterday with a form for Grandparent’s Day happening November 22nd at his school. I knew about it through another little note sent home, but I guess just getting the form hit me hard. Kenley will never have the opportunity to go to Grandparent’s day. Ever. No matter what, it will not happen…because she died. I immediately  started crying when I was reading the form yesterday– I couldn’t help it.

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back pain

When I was pregnant with Landon I had extremely painful issues with my pubic bone, the same with Kenley but a little worse.  It’s a condition called Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) is a condition that causes excessive movement of the pubic symphysis, either anterior or lateral, as well as associated pain, possibly because of a misalignment of the pelvis. ) and it’s AWFUL.

This pregnancy I have had some random nausea, a little fatigue but for the most part have felt pretty good… Until Sunday. I woke up and could barely stand up straight. I knew the pain was identical to the pain I felt when I had my herniated disc (thank god it wasn’t SPD). I tried to do the stretches  that they taught me at physical therapy in 2013. I wasn’t pregnant when I went at that time, so I was concerned that the stretches wouldn’t be good for the pregnancy. I emailed my MFM and told her what was going on. She suggested going back to the physical therapist, and I agreed. Today, I had my first appointment. I almost didn’t go because from  Sunday to this morning it has slowly been feeling better.

I have been doing the stretches, and doing yoga for pregnancy so I can feel the improvements, but figured I should go anyway just to see what they have to say. I got there  feeling pretty good, and left barely able to walk without wanting to cry. I don’t know what happened between the time I got there and the time I left but damn it. The physical therapist told me that yes, my herniated disc is acting up, but I also have an issue with my sacrum. It’s tilted to one side when I walk, and my ligaments are loose causing me to have an “Unbalanced Sacrum”. Ouch. There is nothing I can do to fix this, but I can do stretches to strengthen my lower abdominal muscles ( thanks c-sections…). So here I am, unable to bend over (per the advice of the PT), not allowed to lift over 5 lbs, not allowed to vacuum, need to sit with ice on my back, then need to apply heat.

Needless to say, Landon is staying with my mother in law tonight because I’m pretty much not going to move. Sigh. I thought I was going to breeze through this pregnancy…should have known better.

••••••••••

We got the appraisal back on our house. It came in where we need it to, so we are in the process of refinancing! I’m so excited to save money on our mortgage. We need something to just work out for us without bending over backward to make it happen. I feel pretty pumped that we don’t have to pay a mortgage in December.

••••••••••

Tomorrow will be 10 months since Kenley died. Ten Months. How? How is that even possible? I cannot believe it. Life has started to feel…different? Like my grief is heavy, and still very much present in my every day life, but I feel that I’ve gotten used to her being gone? I don’t know if there is any other way to describe it. Ugh. I just never wanted to be without her, and now I’m slowly learning to live without her…how fucked up.

••••••••••

I’ve been thinking about the packages I’d like to donate to the Hospital (eventually) and what I want to put in them. I have 2 books that I want to include for sure. When we were at the hospital with Kenley, the nurses gave me a book that at the time seemed to be as big as a freaking encyclopedia. I still have not read the book to this day and I don’t know that I ever will. There are a few other things that I know I want to include, and I just need to look for some good deals for those items. Shane and I both also decided that all the sleepers that were given to us for Kenley, we are going to donate to the hospital as well. The clothes that were hand me downs for Kenley, we are going to donate to a domestic violence shelter or women’s shelter.

••••••••••

Kenely’s first birthday is coming up…I just can’t believe it. It’s going to be here before we know it because the holidays are right around the corner now. I will write a full blog about this, but, I plan to ask all of you reading, all my IG friends, family, and anyone else to help me create something for her first birthday.

The plan so far is to ask you to take a photo of Kenley’s name written (in any way, on paper, in chalk, in paint, with stones etc whatever) and take a picture to send me. I would love to have them all by her birthday and be able to create a collage for my wall. But, like I said, it’s in the beginning stages so stay tuned for a full post about it.

yeah…still hatin’ on Xmas. 

Today is Tuesday. I’ve lost count of how many weeks you’ve been gone. The only thing I know is you’ve been gone longer than I kept you alive, and that stings. It stings bad. I don’t know why or how I failed you, or why my body decided to fail you. I don’t know why you can’t be here with me…almost 10 months old. I will never know why these things happened. I will never know why I don’t get the chance to know you as my daughter. 

Tuesday’s are our family night. We go to dinner, and hit toys r us, sometimes we get ice cream too. Tonight we went to Granville. I love Granville for its charm, and I used to be obsessed with it during Christmas time. This year? This year I’m pretty sure we won’t go there during the Holidays. I’m planning to boycott Granville trips this winter. 

After dinner at a tiny (like 13 tables tiny) Mexican restaurant, we got Whits Frozen Custard and then went to Toys r Us. 

Terrible idea. 

BAM! Christmas ornaments right when you walk in.

 UM. HELLO. IT’S NOT EVEN HALLOWEEN, OR THANKSGIVING…LET ALONE CHRISTMAS. So, please kindly fuck off with all that crap. At the end of each aisle? Bins of Christmas wrapping paper. Like…I get it. Christmas WILL happen this year, I can’t just stop it from happening (no matter how hard I try, I’m sure). I just really don’t want it to happen. 

Thinking about the Holidays makes me want to cry, scream, hibernate, or break things (like glass, or really expensive dishes- something that will make a huge mess and be loud). Thinking that I have to act happy for the Holidays this year…I just can’t. I can’t do that. I SHOULD be planning a 1st birthday, but instead I’ll be crying into my Turkey at Thanksgiving and wanting to curl up into a ball and die on Christmas. 

REALLY EXCITING STUFF HERE GUYS

Halloween->Thanksgiving->Christmas->The worst day of my life->(NYE) coming home to an empty nursery with empty arms. 

The Holidays can suck it this year. 

blah.

I feel very blah today. I don’t really know how to describe it other than that. I’m tired, I’ve been randomly nauseous all day, and I have a wicked headache.

I know these things are normal, but I can’t help but think about my previous pregnancy. I took a medicine for nausea with K that I didn’t take with Landon–could that have contributed to her death?  I definitely don’t want to take that medicine this time around, but if my nausea gets as bad as it was, how will I function?

I think of how tired I was with Kenley. I remember how amazing Shane was about letting me nap whenever I needed to. Now, I can’t help but think, “Well, you’re going to have all the time in the fucking world to nap while Landon is in Kindergarten, and you are all alone without your daughter”. I know it’s irrational to think like that, I do, but I can’t help but have those thoughts.

The same irrational thoughts go along with this current pregnancy, and getting congratulations about it. I don’t want congrats. In my mind I’m getting these congrats on being pregnant because a series of really fucking shitty events happened in my life that led me here. My daughter who I tried so hard for, died, without warning and stole the light from my soul. I went through (and am currently/will always be going through) the worst time of my life. I went through IVF, and paid completely out of pocket (how much is IVF, you ask? We’re looking at a cool $23,000 after this cycle is said and done). And countless invasive procedures to get where I am. Yes, I am pregnant. I am so thankful for this pregnancy, and I will love this child (if I get to keep her) with all of my heart.

It’s just hard. I think that people heard we’re pregnant again and immediately think “ok they’re done grieving”. Nope. Not anywhere near what the truth is. I am not ok with being around your baby. I do not want to see your baby bump or talk about your pregnancy. I am not okay with being around large groups of people yet. The pain of these things, is not gone just because I am pregnant. I don’t know how to explain this to people yet, or how I can make them understand this. I know that some people will never understand it; they will always think that I should “be ok” by now.

I know that people are going to expect one thing from me during this pregnancy and I’ll probably be over here doing the complete opposite, but I hope that they try to understand. If I don’t want to come to the christmas get together this year, I hope you understand. If I don’t want to buy a million gifts, and celebrate this year, I truly hope that you get it. If, on thanksgiving, I would rather be with my family at my house, alone, I hope you understand why I need that. This year of first’s is going to be the hardest, and I need people to just fucking understand it.

I think we need to take a vacation for Christmas this year. Santa can find Landon anywhere, so why not, right?