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

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.

 

 

unreal.

This whole year has felt unreal; I feel like I am just going through the motions of life in a fog. I know a lot of that is grief and I’m sure someday it will feel different, but for now it still feels this way. Around the 6 month mark I started to feel like the fog was lifting, but now at 8 months out, it feels as if it’s starting to get foggy again.

My brain is pretty much mush anymore, I can’t remember anything, and I know that I’m blocking a lot of stuff out. At the end of each day I feel as if I’ve just finished running a mental marathon. I can’t wait until the moment I get to go to sleep for the night because it’s the only time I feel at peace. It feels like a lot of people’s lives have gone back to their “before”, and that’s ok- I don’t expect people to dwell on my sadness. There are people who randomly let me know that they are thinking of Kenley. They will send us something, text me, email me, or just make a gesture in honor of our family.

Those people are amazing.

I do feel, however, that there are people in my life who think I should be better. Maybe they think that I have too many “bad” days. Maybe they think that I have a grim view of certain things still. But, to those people I ask “Can you really blame me?”…

A friend (you know who you are! xo) who lost her beautiful daughter, but can’t really talk about it openly, sent me this last night. I woke up to use the rest room in the middle of the night and I saw it in my email. I smiled, peed and went back to bed. This morning I was able to read it. It is written to a non-bereaved parent in general, but I think that it can apply to family members, or friends who have no children, also. It pretty much applies to everyone. Please take the time to read it. It is the truth of my life now.

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Dear Non-bereaved Parent,

I know you care for me and am so glad you’re reading this. I know that you can’t fully comprehend, nor would you want to, what it means to be a bereaved parent. Honestly, I’m still finding out for myself. To live without my child is not something I ever wanted to learn and yet it’s what I have to.

I see that you want me to feel better. Let me assure you, you’re doing the best you can to soothe my pain, yet it is here and will be here… until it lessens. It won’t ever go away completely and this is ok. Can you be ok about it with me?

I hope you will have the courage to remember my child with me until we part. Please remember this: You may speak her name, you may remember her birthday or anniversary with me, whether that is by sending me a text message, card or flowers – it doesn’t matter, it’s the thought that counts.

Please do not fear my tears or my sadness, it means that I’m thinking of her or missing her. It’s not that I am permanently broken or sick, just broken-hearted and grieving. Please have the courage to sit with me and my pain, without needing to fix it.

At times I might say ‘I need some time to myself’ but more often, I do appreciate you being here, even without any words, keeping me company or doing something with me. Other times I might need distraction and I might even laugh and experience some joy and then feel guilty again and cry in the next moment. It’s ok, this is life and death: complex and paradoxical and not always to be understood.

You probably feel that I have changed. You might even hope and wait for me to return to the ‘old me’ again. I’m sorry but that won’t happen. I’m forever changed. Losing a child is like losing a limb. Even though the scars of the amputation will heal, it’s a permanent change and as much as it sucks, it is what is. I have to get used to it. Will you bear the chance to get to know me as your ‘new normal friend’?

I’ve chosen you as my friend because you have a big compassionate heart, yet I know it’s (almost) impossible to understand the unimaginable. Don’t say things like: “Wouldn’t it be time to move on?” or “At least you have…” I know you might say those kind of things in an attempt to support me. I know you’re well-meaning yet I’ve become sensitive and certain sentences are like shards of glass on an already wounded heart. Even if you don’t understand, would you allow your heart to reach out and trust the sensitivity of my broken heart? (For examples on what to say instead, click here.)

I might not be up to celebrating pregnancy news, I might even feel jealous of those lucky mothers who are joyously carrying their children. It’s not that I’m mean, it’s because my heart longs for my child and seeing those mothers with their children is a reminder of what I don’t have.

With time and healing, I will be sad less often or cry less often as at the beginning. This does not mean I’m ‘over it’. My child lives on in my heart and I will never get over the fact that I’m never to hold her hand in life. Please do not confuse my healing with ‘been there, done that’. My child might have gone with the wind, yet I’m still searching the world for signs of its fleeting presence.

Thank you for being here for me and with me.

Thank you for being my friend and having remained my friend through this.

Thank you for creating a new friendship with my ‘new normal’ self even though we wanted everything to remain as it was…

Thank you for remembering my child and therefore honoring me as her mother.

Every day that I wake up, I am sad. I know I have so much to be thankful for, and trust me, I am VERY thankful. I’m thankful for Landon, because I don’t know if I would have been able to pull through this without having to care for him. I’m thankful for Shane because he  is my rock, and even though he is incredibly sad as well, he keeps a strong face for me. He is the only one who feels my grief 24/7, and also deals with his own, too. I’m thankful for this new baby girl growing inside of my body. I’m so thankful that we were able to even afford IVF with no insurance coverage. I’m thankful for my doctor who is amazing, and always lets me be neurotic, ask a zillion questions, and roots for us.

I’m thankful to be alive, but that doesn’t mean that somedays I wouldn’t rather not be if it meant I could see Kenley for even 5 seconds again. And I don’t think there are many people in the world who really understand that statement.

I’m trying. Every single day. I wake up, I repeat the cycle of the day, except it’s not how it used to be. I’m a broken Mom, and Wife now. I’m a broken Daughter, Sister, and Friend. My heart is broken, and it effects every part of my life.

And it always will.

 

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?

 

screening.

Landon’s screening went well today.  I was pretty nervous because the first words out of his mouth this morning at 6:44 were “I don’t want to go to my school thing today”.  When we left the house to go, he was super excited. We got there and the secretary gave us a name tag with his name on it, and a round colored sticker on the name tag. She told Landon that he needed to collect five stickers and then he would be done with his screening.

She gave me a folder, and some more information and sent us to the Hearing center. When we walked in, Landon said immediately that he wanted to take the headphones home with him — What a dork. She also did the color blindness test. He passed that with flying colors, and the lady gave Landon another sticker, and sent us to the next center. We walked into the vision center and Landon sat down in a chair. The man there showed him some shapes, and placed glasses on Landon that would block his vision in one eye or the other depending on which one he was testing.

Landon did really well with his left eye, but failed his right eye. I am pretty sure that he has no issues with his vision as he’s never once showed any signs to us. They told me that I need to get his eyes tested, so I will be setting up with an ophthalmologist for him (and Shane) soon. He received his sticker, and we were sent on our way. We went to the bus scheduling center, and were given the paper that showed us when he would be picked up and dropped of. He gave us a sticker and sent us to the next center. Then we went and spoke with the Lunch Lady. Landon had to enter his student ID into a machine to practice for his Lunch (doubt he will be buying because he only wants to pack as of right now haha). She gave us our last sticker and then we paid the secretary for his school fees, and we were out the door!

I thought they might ask him some academic information, but they didn’t.

When Shane got home, we went to his parent’s house to celebrate his dads 60th birthday. His mom will turn 58 tomorrow, too! Then, his grandmas birthday is the 11th. Too many birthdays- I can’t keep them straight! After 12 years, you would think I could figure it out…

Therapy tomorrow morning; Landon’s going to my Mother in Laws while we go. I was going to cancel, but I know that’s not a good idea. I’ve really been having a hard time connecting to this pregnancy. I know it’s early, and tomorrow is only 6 weeks, but man…this is rough. I don’t know what to do to make myself feel better. I’ve started to feel a little nauseous, so I’m trying to tell myself that “this is good”, but I’m not stupid, and I know that’s not “true”. I hate that I know so fucking much- I wish I was able to be naive and enjoy pregnancy again…

All I want to do is cuddle Landon, but he won’t let me because he’s too cool for that now.

I’m going to cry so hard when he gets on the bus next Wednesday…gonna be a sobbing mess. Ugh. Where has the time gone? I wish I could have him as a little baby one more time. I miss it, and I want to go back and enjoy him more.

Life. sigh.

 

tomorrow.

Landon will be starting Kindergarten August 18th, but first he has to attend the standard Kindergarten screening tomorrow afternoon. We have to be at his school at 11 am, and check in at the office. I’m not exactly sure what will happen, but I’m more nervous than he is I’m sure. We still need to get him a few things for school; a beach towel for quiet time, and a snack for his entire class (need to find out how many kinds are in his class first…).

I hope that tomorrow we find out the class list, and maybe his bus schedule. We live about 5-7 minutes from his school, so if he will be on the bus for 40 minutes I’m just going to take him. On the other hand, I’m scared to start taking him because I know that once I do, he will never want to ride the bus (can you blame him?). It’s not like I have anything to do in the mornings, so I guess it’s not a really big deal.

I just can’t help but think that I should be stressing out about getting Kenley ready in the mornings in time to get Landon to school on time. It’s so frustrating to think about. It makes me angry and sad. I hate what happened to her, and I hate the way our family has become. I don’t like that I will never be the same. I was doing so well. I was happy. I was focused on my life, my family, our future, and in one second it was all ripped away from me- from us.

Our next ultrasound is 8/16 with the RE. He said we should be able to hear a heartbeat (with K I heard it at 6+2, I will be almost 7 weeks at this appt). It is starting to scare me to think about not hearing a heartbeat. No matter if I’m struggling with feeling attached to this current pregnancy right now, I still want it to go right. I want this pregnancy, I want this child born into my arms, and to be in my life until the day I die. I might not be able to fully digest the feelings right yet, but I know that I’m doing everything I can to make sure this pregnancy is healthy, and that I am healthy.

The past few weeks have been a crazy emotional time; I’m so thankful that I have my husband by my side. He truly understands me and allows me to feel whatever I need. He allows me to be on my grief timeline, and that’s what I need.

Tomorrow is also Tuesday- ugh. I was driving in the car the other day by myself and I thought “I’m doing better”. I’m able to control my random crying. I’m able to function on Tuesdays. I feel very empty still, but I think that is simply a depression symptom that I am aware of and work every single day to control.

I like to think I’m doing better. Maybe I’m lying to myself, but maybe I have to until I’m really doing better.

Whatever, I am doing what I have to do to survive.

weird.

This weekend has been weird. Friday, I had my repeat betas and they were great; doubling within 44 hours. I have my third beta on Monday morning and when we get those results back we will scheduled our first ultrasound.

Ugh. First ultrasound; It brings tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat. The last time I had an ultrasound with a baby in my ute, she was dead. No heartbeat, no movement, no life. To go to another ultrasound and possibly hear a heartbeat is so, so, so intimidating. It’s absolutely frightening. I want to be excited, please don’t get me wrong. It’s just causing me anxiety, and I feel zero joy right now.

I want to feel excited for this baby; for Landon and Kenley’s little sister growing inside of me. I am just having a really hard time right now. I figured I would take a test, see 2 lines, and cry. Nope, didn’t do that. I figured when I got my first beta back I would feel so great that the number was “this high” or “perfect“, but I didn’t. When the repeat beta came back more than doubled, I figured that I would feel some reassurance…But, you guessed it, I didn’t feel any. I literally just feel empty, which is so ironic because for the first time in 7 months, I’m not alone anymore…even when I am.

I’m guarded.

I don’t want to be.

I honestly don’t know if I will ever be ok during this pregnancy. If this baby is my “Rainbow baby” (side note: this word cuts through my heart like a knife. Kenley was my rainbow. She is supposed to be here, and be my fucking rainbow) I will love her with the same love that I have for Landon and Kenley, I know that. It’s just so unfortunate that the joy of any future pregnancy is shadowed by the fear of loss.

It is unfair.

I don’t care how childish that sounds, it’s the fucking truth.

This is all so unfair.

I miss you, my sweet girl. I am trying to be strong, I swear it to you. I try every. single. day. Sometimes it’s just too much.

The days where it’s too much end with me crying in bed, asking your daddy to promise me, to swear to me that he will bury your urn with me when I die.

No one should ever have to utter those words to their husband in the dark through tears.

Life is so incredibly fucked up.

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I don’t think I have ever read a more accurate quote regarding trying to conceive after a loss. I can feel every word of this quote in my bones.

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anxiety? stress? frustration? guilt.

Yesterday was a rough day for me; I felt my frustration getting the best of me. Landon kept pushing my buttons, and I had enough for the day, so I left. I got dressed, and I told Shane I was leaving…and I did. I grabbed my book and purse and off I went. I didn’t know where I was going to go, but a few things flooded my mind.

• Go shopping (I did this)

• Go rent a hotel room BY MYSELF and read my book all night. Relax, maybe get room service, and just be

• Go to the airport and buy a plane ticket to somewhere (I won’t lie, this would have been a super high possibility had I brought my medication with me)

So ultimately I’m a rational person and decided to go shopping. What did I buy? I used a gift card to Ulta and bought myself two nail polishes, a new BB cream, dry shampoo, and moisturizing foot treatment sock things. Then, I bought 4 shirts for myself. And finally I went and spent $30 on dog treats because he was the only thing not annoying me.

I know that it’s not 100% Landon’s fault that I have a short threshold lately, I really really know that. But, he has been not listening a lot lately. On the 4th of July he broke a window at a cookout because his cousin told him to. He cried because he felt so bad, and I’m glad he felt bad. He knows better than that, and I don’t know what happened. He got caught up in the “fun” they were having and just lost his head. He had to apologize to his Great-Grandpa and tell him what happened. Of course great grandpa wasn’t mad and felt so bad because Landon was crying.

I’ve been trying to tell him to listen to me the first time I ask/tell him to do something because he’s been slacking on that as of late. I know he’s changing and growing up, but I have to keep on him so much sometimes that I feel as if the only thing I say all day is “No”.

Today, he was playing Garden Warfare for a minute, and was a sunflower. He shot a letter “K”on the ground and said “Mommy, look. I made a K for Kenley”. Then he immediately asked me if I was going to cry. He’s noticed that if he talks about her lately, I don’t cry like I used to. I suppose this is a good thing, but sometimes he takes me by surprise and I will cry. He keeps asking me if I’m pregnant again; I think he hears us talk about IVF and he’s catching on. I told him not yet, but that’s the plan soon. We ask him if that’s something he would want to happen, and he always says no. Always. Without hesitation. I get it, Landon. I am terrified too, buddy. I’ve had to explain to him so many times that what happened to his sister was a fluke (…ha) and that it will not happen again. That I will be going to the dr many more times than I did before etc etc, but how do you explain this to a 5 year old. He doesn’t know how to grasp these things. He was expecting a sister, and instead got his mother back as an incomplete human who can barely function some days.

So I fuckin get it, dude. I’m scared as well.

He keeps asking me for a brother. I know he doesn’t understand that right now, but it cuts me like a knife. It makes me feel so incredibly guilty, and sad for him. I couldn’t give him a brother or a sister to play with when it really counted, and when I was SO CLOSE to giving him one, I couldn’t even keep her alive. I know that someday he will understand, and he will really understand when/if he has children of his own some day. Losing Kenley was a huge smack in our family’s face, and sometimes I feel like Landon has the heaviest part of this all. He’s 5, and he has to watch his parents fall apart and “knows” why, but will spend his entire childhood wondering truly “what happened”. And the saddest part? He will probably forget about her. 

I hate life after loss. It’s incredibly difficult to navigate, and I feel like I’m not doing a good job.

I feel that somedays I’m just failing everyone.

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guilt.

Oh, Guilt, You’re the worst of them all. Not the kind of guilt you feel when you have a “cheat day” on you diet, or the kind you feel when you forget to pay for the paper towels on the bottom rack of your cart on complete accident. I’m talking about the guilt that cuts you like a knife; makes you feel that you let down every. single. person. who knew you were expecting.

I have so much guilt surrounding Kenley’s death. I know that there is nothing that could be done to save her, I know this. I know that I did everything I could to ensure my daughter arrived healthy and happy- yet she didn’t. I often find myself feeling guilty for feeling guilty and sad. It’s so fucked up the way you feel after a loss of this magnitude. You can’t even describe how you truly are feeling, because well, there are no words that make sense.

I feel guilty that I let Shane down. Me, his wife, the mother of his children, couldn’t keep his daughter alive. First off, I have the fertility issues, not him. He is perfect in fertility related aspect. I’m the reason we have to go through all of this struggle to begin with. I lost two of his children. I then went on to get pregnant with his Daughter, his beautiful daughter that he played guitar for, and talked to every single day. The daughter that he gave the most beautiful name to. The daughter that was going to be Daddy’s Girl for sure. And then…that daughter died inside of me. Inside of ME, his wife. The mother of that daughter. It breaks my heart into a million pieces to think about that.

I feel guilty for letting Landon down. I lost his sister. The baby sister whom he so anxiously waited for, and never even got to hold. He promised to take care of her, and help me change her diapers. He helped me wash all of her clothes and fold them. He was so excited for her, But for some reason, I didn’t know she was dying inside of me. How did I miss that? I feel guilty for missing this. I worry that I was too wrapped up in Christmas to recognize any signs from her. I let her down too. I feel guilty for that more than anything else.

I let down Kenley’s grandparents who were so excited for her, her great grandparents, my friends and other family who were so excited for her. I feel incredibly guilty for not knowing she was dead/dying inside of me. I am her mother, and how did that go unnoticed? Was I SO preoccupied with doing the dishes on that Tuesday that I didn’t notice she wasn’t moving properly? I want the chance to go back and look at myself during those last few days. I want to really study her movement and try to figure it out. I want to go to the hospital on that morning, instead of that night. I want to demand that they take her. I want my OBgyn to not say “well if it makes you feel better, you can go to Labor and Delivery”, but instead say “YES. GO IN NOW. THAT IS WHY THERE ARE NURSES THERE. JUST TO BE SAFE. IT’S YOUR BABY’S LIFE. GO GO GO! FUCKING GO NOW!!!”.

I want to go back and have my doctor to give me an NST at my appt 2 days before Christmas. I walked into that appointment thinking I was going to get an NST, and left with a false sense of reassurance. I will never be ok with that. I will never be ok with my doctor telling me that my contractions were probably normal and making me feel like I was overreacting. I should have fucking gone. Don’t get me started on the guilt to come with moving forward with our FET.

I feel so much guilt over her death, and one day I think  I know it’s going to eat me alive.

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