As the year comes to a close and Kenley’s second birthday speeds toward me like a fucking bullet train, I am so thankful for the donations we will be making to the hospital in her memory.
Some days there are no words that come to my head when I think about describing how sad I am without my middle child.
There have been conversations lately that revolve around my newest child and make no mention of Kenley. I want my life with Alden to move forward; I don’t want to live one second without her sweet face in my life. I just want people to remember Kenley, too.
I often wonder if people think about her as much as I do? Do certain things that they do, or things that happen to them remind them of her? Are certain situations reminders of the sweet baby girl we lost?
Do they wonder what she would look like now, or what she would be doing?
Do they wake up each morning with her near the front of their minds like they did for so long?
I doubt it.
And I cannot blame them- life continues to move forward and my life in the “after” includes Alden. It IS Alden. It’s incredibly hard to explain, and this is a very random post so don’t try to make heads or tails of it- I just needed to put this down somewhere.
The 4th was rough. Alden enjoyed the parade and I found myself getting choked up quite frequently. I mentioned to Shane that I was getting upset and he comforted me. He is amazing and I am so thankful for him. I ended up leaving him there with Alden so I could step away and break down.
It was too much.
I was brought to tears by a fucking parade.
All because my daughter is dead.
It is not fair that everything is so hard for a parent who has lost a child.
It’s so unfair.
This Holiday sucks for a lot of my loss mom friends.
For me, I have a very strong dislike as well. It makes me so mad that loss has stolen this holiday from me as well. I LOVED the 4th before. It was my favorite holiday for reasons unknown; It just was.
I remember being 4 months pregnant with Kenley in July 2015 and going to the lake to watch fireworks with Shane’s family. My sister in law gave me Kenley’s first gift- a 6 month outfit for next July 4th. It was adorable. SO CUTE. and I just had all these visions of her wearing this outfit, and sitting up, eating little puffs while sitting on a blanket under a tree with me.
But, that never happened. She never even got to see this outfit, or fireworks.
After she died, this outfit hung in her closet, mocking me. Just staring at me, trying to convince me that I’m a bad mom and Kenley’s death was my fault. I know that sounds crazy, but these are the things people don’t talk about. Shit like that ACTUALLY happens.
This year, it’s still there. Alden can fit into 6 month clothes- they’re a little big but they fit.
The Fourth of July outfit is 6 month.
I looked at it.
I took it off the hanger and washed it.
I just hung it back up in the closet- on Alden’s side.
Alden will be wearing it this holiday- in honor of Kenley.
Most days (now) I wake up and feel like I’ve lived a really bad dream for the past (almost) 18 months. It just doesn’t seem like this can be MY life. This type of stuff happens to other people, not to me. Not to my family; we had already faced so much when we found out Kenley died. How could we be dealt this hand, too? Why me? Why Shane? Why Landon? But most of all, why Kenley? My sweet girl. My innocent little baby…what did she do to deserve this?
I often think of her, and what she would be doing these days. I find myself looking at her photo while feeding Alden. Staring at her, staring at both of them, hoping to see a similarity that I can cling to in my living child’s face. I usually come up empty handed. Alden is her own person, and I know that, but I wish I could see Kenley in her.
People have asked me if I’ve called Alden by Kenley’s name. I haven’t yet, but it is only because I consciously tell myself that it is not her name. Every time I speak Alden’s name, Kenley’s name comes to my lips first. Always. I’m pretty sure this is normal, and I’m also sure it will be a life long battle in some capacity.
I know that as Alden becomes her own person I will be able to separate them more. I only knew Kenley inside of me, and outside, even though she had passed away, for a few hours. I won’t ever really know her, because I already know all there is to know about her. I know the foods she liked, and the music she liked.
She loved Mexican food, and Ceasar Salad from Panera Bread.
She loved Christmas music.
But, I will never know her favorite color, or if she would have been tall like me. What color eyes would she have had at Landon’s age? These are things I will always have to wonder about. I will get to see Alden become her own person, and every single day I am so thankful for that, but you know what? It still stings. I am not ok. I am not “better” because she is here; I am different, sure, but not better. My life will never be “better”- I’ve lost a child and that is something you cannot replace.
Alden does not take Kenley’s place in my life or in our family.
I read a quote the other day that said “I think hell is something you carry around with you, not somewhere you go”.
This rings so true with me. No matter the happiness I feel, no matter the joy and light that Alden brings to me, or the length of time that passes since Kenley’s birth, the scars of going through the deepest darkest hell are still going to be there. I will be carrying the aftermath, my new life, the “hell”, with me forever.
This is my life, forever. Nothing can ever change that. Nothing can bring Kenley back, so this is it.
I am the parent of a dead child.
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.
I know that every holiday is going to suck, probably forever. Sure, the suckage might lessen as the years drone on and on, but they will always be missing our family member. My sweet girl will always be a “what if” for me. What would I have dressed her in this year for Halloween?
You know, I can’t even answer that because my heart won’t let me think about it. It hurts way too fucking much. It stings. It’s like someone stabbing me over and over in this open wound that I call my heart now.
No matter what it’s always going to be painful.
Tonight, we went to get pumpkins. Landon chose two pumpkins for both of his sisters. He has a heart old gold, that boy. He also chose a super small decorative pumpkin and said that it was “just incase I have a brother some day”. He had such a good time and loved looking at all the fall things this place had to offer.
I, however, could not help but be sad I wasn’t pushing her in a stroller, or giving her a small sip of apple cider to see her little face pucker up.
These things, these normal everyday things, that “regular” people take for granted are so painful. I know I took them for granted with Landon, for sure. Hell yes I took them for granted- I never in a million years thought there would EVER be a reason I should feel otherwise.
But, now that it’s fall, my heart is still broken and my arms are still empty, I can’t help but realize how much I’ve taken for granted with Kenley.
I would love to be inconvenienced by anything Kenley related, besides her death. I would give up my life to hear her cry just once; to hear her take a breath of the air she will never breathe.
I just wanted to buy you a pumpkin…and be able to see you hold it.
But, instead, it will sit on the front porch with all the others- untouched by your beautiful little hands.
And seeing that? That will break my heart all over again.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!) .
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.