starting ivf.

Well…It’s that time. Tomorrow I will take my last birth control pill, and Friday I go in for my first monitoring appointment of this IVF cycle.

Shit is getting real.

To say that I’m terrified is an understatement. I’m in the “so much terrible shit has happened to me, why would it change now?” camp. I mean, realistically, I know that the “odds” are in our favor; the chances of a future child being stillborn are not increased. We will be seeing an MFM (maternal fetal medicine high risk OBGYN) doctor at OSU, and will be very closely monitored through the entire pregnancy. I will deliver at 37 weeks. I feel that things will go better this time, but what if they don’t.

Shane and I are both feeling the intensity of IVF. Maybe not IVF itself, but the whole uncertainty of it all. There is so much that goes into an IVF cycle. My infertility plays a huge role in the way that I’ll respond to medicine, and the eggs we will retrieve. I could have nothing. We could have paid all of this money, gone through all of this stress just to end up with no good quality eggs. I know that this is something we are risking, but I do feel “hopeful” for this cycle because of my age, and the fact that I carried two children to term.

On Friday my RE (reproductive endocrinologist) will check the lining of my uterus. He will check the way my AFC (antral follicle count is a transvaginal ultrasound study that measures a woman’s ovarian reserve, or her remaining egg supply) looks.  In April my AFC was 13. When I got pregnant with Kenley it was 12. So, I’m happy to see that it’s not drastically declining. I’m hoping that this means I will have a decent response to the meds.

I am considered DOR (diminished ovarian reserve), meaning I have low egg counts. My blood work is all normal, with the exception of my AMH being low for my age (AMH blood levels are thought to reflect the size of the remaining egg supply).

IVF isn’t just about “getting pregnant” for me, it’s about completing our family. It’s going to be incredibly difficult to be pregnant again; I just know the anxiety and worry I will feel. I think about things like what will happen when it comes time to put that child into the crib that we purchased for their older sibling who died. How will I feel using that room for a childs nursery?

I think about the brand new hand-me-downs. 

Just hearing that is like a stab in the heart.

This whole process is going to be so long and intense for us. I know that we can survive it, because we’ve survived this far.

Here we go again, Life.

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book. 

Today I noticed that Angela Miller’s book “You are the Mother of all Mothers” was offering it’s 6th edition memorial page printing. In this, you are purchasing a spot for your child’s name in the back of the book on the memorial page (along with 2 copies of the book). All these books will be printed with your child’s name. 

We bought Kenley a spot.

It means so much to me to know that people all around the world will buy this book and see her name. Say her name out loud. I can’t wait until the book is in print. Once it is, I plan to use the gift card from TCF to buy 20 of them to include in my donations for stillborn mothers who give birth at Mt.Carmel. 

Angela’s writing has helped me in ways that I don’t think can be put into words. She speaks from this place of all knowing that I wish no one had to know of. Every word she types could have come from my hands; could be from the sadness in my heart. In the early days after Kenley’s death, I didn’t know what to do; life felt like a cruel joke. 

Finding Angela’s work on Still Standing brought me comfort. It made me feel less alone. In the early days after a child’s death you feel lost. You are in this black space and there is no light; you don’t know if there ever will be light again.  Reading articles from still standing, and seeing that there were mothers who went through what I currently was, and survived –however broken and bruised- gave me a sliver of hope. Hope that maybe I can pull through this after all. 

I will never be the same as before, but I will survive. 

Today, as I get ready to go to my in laws for a small get together, I can’t help but feel empty because we are missing her. I know we will never forget Kenley, obviously, it’s just hard to see life moving on without her. She is my first daughter. My second born child. She will always have a gigantic piece of my soul with her. 

On the day when we are reunited, whenever and wherever that may be, I will be whole again. 

aware. 


Oh my sweet K…This is so true. As it’s becoming summer I’m starting to see all the things I dreamed of us doing together. Playing in a baby pool with your older brother. Swinging on grandma’s patio swing and just holding you-smelling your hair. I’d get that feeling in my throat; the feeling I got when I inhaled your brothers baby smell after he was born. It burned my throat and made my chest pound with the fiercest love I have ever felt.  

So many things I wanted to do with you and I never will. 

This summer will be hard. Last 4th of July I was carrying you, and was given a dress for you to wear this July 4th. How sad is it that you will never wear it? You won’t ever see the fireworks; it’s my favorite thing, sweet girl. They light up the sky and make your chest shake. I was planning to watch them with you, although you would probably be asleep in my arms. Maybe your daddy and brother would have gone and we would have stayed home, together

Together

I’m so sad that we can’t be together. I wanted to be your mommy so badly. I would have been the best mommy to you, K. I would have let you be you; I know how important that is for a child. 

There is nothing I wouldn’t give to be with you one more time. To hold you one more time. To see your sweet face again. 

I wish so badly I could have felt your heart beating against my chest. 

It’s so crazy to me to think that that is the one thing I want more than anything, and I can’t have it. Ever

One day, my daughter. One day. 

Mommy loves you, sweet baby girl. 

visit. 

This weekend I came up to my Mom’s. I didn’t want to spend another weekend alone while Shane works. He’s home in the mornings Friday and Saturday, but leaves in the early morning on Sunday. It makes for a really long weekend with just Landon and I sometimes. 

I don’t mean to sound as if I’m complaining, because trust me, I’m not. I love Landon, and I enjoy his company so incredibly much. He’s hilarious, and smart. We played board games, and card games . 

But sometimes it’s kind of like how a fellow baby loss friend of mine mentioned on her blog

Let’s say everyone has $10 in emotional currency (emotional energy) to spend each day. This $10 is spent on your work stress, relationships, every day life, and all the big and little things in life that cause you happiness, sadness, anger, and every other emotion.

But mourning takes $8 right off the bat. $8 of your available emotional currency goes to grief, leaving you just $2 to spend on every day life. You have $2 to spend on that which most people have $10 to spend on.

Because so much of your emotional energy is going toward the grief (even though you may not be actively grieving), you often forget things you normally wouldn’t. People’s name, important dates, what day of the week it is, even more important things you thought you would never forget. It’s also why you may sleep more than usual–stress and grief is exhausting not just emotionally, but physically.

It is hard every day to grieve Kenley, and properly parent my living child. I grieve her differently each day; somedays are harder than others. I love Landon so much, and I am trying. I really am. But, somedays it feels like my days are actually 72 hrs long. Landon is out of school now and will go into Kindergarten around August 18th. 

I wonder if he notices a change in my parenting? Does he feel neglected or, bored because I can’t give him all of me all of the time? I don’t know. All I know is that it is so hard to be 100% present when I feel like a broken hearted zombie 90% of the time. And I’m doing the best that I can on any given day. 

I have no energy and everything feels twice as difficult a task to complete as it should. 

I hope some day Landon sees how much we love him, and understands the lengths we are going to give him a living sibling. Just typing that out makes me so angry- “living sibling”. 

He shouldn’t have a fucking dead sibling in the first place. 

dreaming.

There is a song by The Black Keys called “Your Touch” that is one of my favorites. There is a place in the video where they stop the song and show the band sitting at a diner table talking. One asks the other “so, how do you feel about being dead?“, at which time the other member replies “I don’t know, my neck hurts”.

It made me laugh today; Yeah, I straight up LOL’ed. In my mind I was thinking, “that is so fucking funny”. I’m not sure why; in the “after” I usually get weird feelings when I hear things about death/dying. This was different, like…I don’t know.

It was like he was saying “whatever no biggie that I’m dead, I’ve just got this terrible neck ache”.

I guess that’s just my humor, and I’m pretty happy that I laughed at it to be honest. I felt like myself for that 2.5 seconds during the song.

Last night I had a dream that my Grandma died. (Grandma, if you’re reading this, this is why I’ve called you 2 times today! Answer your phone!) Since I’ve lost Kenley, I can’t sleep at night without medicine. I don’t want to lay in bed and think about the tragedy that came about in my life; I want to lay there, and fucking fall asleep. Zero thoughts in my brain. The medicine works about 75% of the time…the other 25% of the time I cannot shut my brain off. I am overcome with the most terrible thoughts; It’s like the worst day of my life is on a loop. All I can hear is the Doctor telling me “this is where her heart is, and there is no activity. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have a heartbeat”over and over and over. It cuts through me like a knife.

Anyway, the dream.

Grandma died, and was somehow able to attend her funeral. It wasn’t the actual funeral, but the gathering that happens afterwards. It was in a giant room with rectangle tables, and all of my family there. Grandma sat across from me at the table, me sobbing uncontrollably (I remember the crying in my dream being the exact cry that I had when I lost Kenley- uncontrolable sadness…), her holding my hand gently and talking to me about anything and everything. I asked her when she had to leave me for good, if she would make sure to tell me that Kenley was okay. I swear to god, at that exact second in my dream, someone sat on my side of the bed and woke me up; startled me awake out of the deep sleep I was in.

In the dream, I remember hearing myself ask her that question and seeing a beautiful wooded trail in my mind. She looked at me and said ” Randi, don’t be sad. How could I be sad; I get to be with Ron (my grandpa), Puffy Joe (their dog), and I get to hold Kenley. As she said those things in my dream I remember seeing in my mind that she was sitting on a bed, with Ron and Puffy Joe; she then stood up and walked to a crib and picked up my baby girl. I saw her.

I haven’t dreamt of Kenley since I lost her.

This gets even more weird…

When I woke up, I had a text from my sister asking me ” Do you ever dream of Kenley?”. She said that she sent me that text earlier in the morning when she was looking at her back deck and saw a Cardinal.

Coincidence? I’m not sure.

I’d like to think that was my baby girl just letting me know she was okay.

who do I have?

Last night we went for a little walk around our property. We walked back to our garden, and checked out what it looked like from last summers terrible season. It is grown up, and dead; tomato steaks still in their rows. I don’t know why, but our christmas tree was in there. Maybe it blew over there off of our burn pile some windy day, or maybe it decided to walk itself over there (weirder things have happened in my life, hello). Ugh…upcoming Christmas; That’s a post for a whole different day.

We talked about if we wanted to plant a garden this year. Usually we plant tomatoes, cabbage, peppers, cucumbers, corn and a variety of pumpkins. We also plant giant russian mammoth sunflowers; these are my favorites because they grow super tall and the bloom is bigger than my hands! After we looked at the garden, Landon started chasing a bird through the yard. Wilbert ran after him, and Shane as well. As I stood there watching all 3 of them playing, I couldn’t help but feel sadness.

Sadness that I should have her in my arms, and she should be sucking on her little fingers; she should be cooing and squirming all around just begging for me to put her down in the grass. But, she’s not. She’s not here, and she will never experience those things. She won’t get up from wrestling with her daddy in the grass and have it all in her hair. I won’t be able to wipe it off of her clothes like I had to for Landon. When I see Shane and Landon interact and play together, it breaks my heart into a million pieces.

Shane has Landon…who do I have?

No one.

She was stolen from me; ripped from our lives without any fucking warning. She was going to be my forever best friend. I didn’t just lose my daughter, I lost so much more.

I lost so. much. more.

The love that I have for Shane and Landon is immeasurable; they are the reason I am still alive and trying to rebuild myself through the aftermath of this storm. I love seeing them together, and watching Landon enjoy Shane’s company.

I just thought that I was going to have that with Kenley…and I never will.

It hurts to think about it; like the kind of hurt that burns your chest and gives you the lump in your throat. Except the pain doesn’t pass; I have to feel this type of grief forever. Yeah sure, life goes on. We will hopefully have more children someday, but what about this everlasting grief? I know it will lessen. I know that a new child will bring joy to our lives like we never expected. But, I have this round hole in my heart that life will try to fill with square pegs forever.

It will get better, but it won’t quite fit right.