need help!

 

I’m going to put this out there, and maybe someone will stumble across it and have advice.

I’m planning on making (at minimum currently) 20 care packages of the hospital where we had Kenley. I am planning to include a bunch of things, but the one thing I’m struggling with is a candle. I would like to include a glass votive candle, or something bigger (depending on price) with a healing quote, or something about the candle being a memorial candle etc. I cannot find any that I like on the internet anywhere. I’m thinking of aromatherapy type scents. Nothing too over powering, and definitely nothing that would smell like anything child related.

Sooooo….I’m wondering if anyone makes candles, or knows of someone who makes them? Heck, or just someone who would like to be part of the donation and is willing to learn to make them? I would love to have something made by another loss mother, or someone who has been affected by the loss of a child in some way shape or form. Like I stated, I would be looking for 20 currently. If I cannot find a candle maker, I will probably buy them from somewhere, but would be interested in someone who could make a graphic sticker for the front of the candles, also.

Please let me know if you have any ideas, or know anyone who could help!

The goal is to have the 20 care packages done by Kenley’s first birthday…December 29th.

I’m open to suggestions as well for ideas to include with the care packages. What did you need after you lost your child? What did someone give you that really stuck with you? Is there something you didn’t think about needing but ended up REALLY needing?

• I needed tissues. The hospital tissues sucked ASS and my nose was bloody and raw from crying into them. My step-dad purchased a really nice box of soft tissues for us, and brought them the second day in the hospital. This is where the idea came from to buy puffs soft pack tissues (I bought about 40 full size packs) and I will be donating them to the maternity ward for baby loss mommas only.

• I needed chapstick. I didn’t bring any in my bag, when usually I do. I plan to include a nice chapstick in the carepack as many moms don’t plan to have this awful thing happen to them, and chapstick is the last thing on their mind…until their lips are so dry from constant crying and face wiping.

• I’m adding in a personal bottle of aromatherapy hand lotion. I know that the hospital gives you these things, but having a good quality lotion might make you feel more relaxed? I know that sounds like a joke, and honestly even saying it sounds awful because nothing can make you feel more relaxed after you just find out your baby died.

• I’m planning to include this book that I was given at the funeral home. It’s a very light read, and that is what I needed in the days after Kenley- not the gigantic book that I was given. This is such a good small book to start with.

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I’m also planning to include this book which has been the greatest book I have read since Kenley died. It is written by a loss mother, as well, and it just tells you what you need to hear. The version I will be donating will have Kenley’s name in the back on the memorial page.

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• A pack of forget me not seeds that are specifically packaged in memory of a lost loved one.

I had also tossed around the idea of including a molding kit for hand prints. I didn’t get any hand prints from Kenley and I would have loved to have them. These are things that you just don’t think of during the absolute worst moments of your life.

I had also thought of including some sort of lara bar, or something like that, but when I thought about it, it made me want to puke a little. I remember them wheeling in this huge cart of coffee, tea, drinks and snacks after she died. It sat in front of my bed about 10 feet away from me, staring at me the entire time we were there. The nurses would come in and ask if we needed our coffee refreshed and all I could think was “my daughter just died”.

Eating was not the best memory from the hospital.

Anyway, those are my ideas. I know there are a lot of you reading who have lost your children too, so please don’t keep quiet. I’m looking for input on ANYTHING you can offer me.

 

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ten.

My Sweet Kenley,

Today you should be 10 months old. You should be here, wearing an adorable Halloween costume. I should have been carrying you in my arms when we went trick or treating Thursday. I’m so sorry you didn’t get to celebrate with us; I’m so sorry you will never be able to celebrate with us. I dressed up as a Fox this year. I needed you with me; I couldn’t do it without you. I couldn’t go walking around, seeing all kinds of babies dressed up as cute little lady bugs, or skunks without you there with me.

As the holidays get closer, my heart aches harder for you. I know that last year on the day after Halloween I turned on Christmas music. I listened to Christmas music every day. You loved it, and would dance around. I’m not sure if I will be able to listen to it anymore. I don’t want to be sad when I think about sharing the holiday season with you safely inside of me. I want to be happy, and excited to have spent any time with you at all.

But my heart hurts. 

And I’m tired…so tired.

Every single fiber of my soul misses you.

I wish so badly that I could have saved you, baby girl. I wish you were here. I know that I say it over and over, but there is no other way to express it.

I would give anything to have you in our lives, for you to be here with me, to watch you grow and walk and coo and drool. I would give my life for these moments with you, my love.

Mommy misses you sweet girl. I miss you more than there are stars in the sky.

I love you.

Forever and Always-

Mommy

 

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.

random. 

Yesterday we ventured to babies r us…it was hard. Super super super hard. We walked in and I immediately started crying; the kind of crying where it just over takes you and you cannot control it. So yeah, that was…awkward and uncomfortable for all the moms with their newborns shopping near me. 

If you recall, we wanted to buy baby A something of her own in hopes to connect to her more, and identify her as her own person. So, we bought some clothes. Once the initial shock of being there wore off, I found myself able to separate baby A and Kenley fairly well and I felt proud of myself. 

We were looking at some items that were only suitable for 9-12 months and I couldn’t help but think “why would I buy that when she could die, too?” I couldn’t help but think those things. It’s so frustrating. 

••••••••••

Today I am 17 weeks. It feels like it’s going so slowly but so fast at the same time. Our anatomy scan is coming up on November 3rd. 

••••••••••

Today I opened my mailbox to find a coupon from Target. I used to love Target…until Kenley died. Now, I hate it. I want to set it on fire. Anyway, the coupon was face down. The back had a $5 off coupon. I flipped it over to find a baby wearing a birthday hat. Inside, it says “blah blah blah baby’s first birthday”. 

Oh. My. God. 

I know that Target didn’t know Kenley died. I know that. But wow. I was going to just throw it away, and I did, but I emailed customer service. I don’t usually do stuff like that, but this bugged me. I cannot be the only woman this has happened to and it just really frustrated me. I was nice in my email, and just told them that I wish there was something they could do to ensure this doesn’t happen to other mothers. I didn’t expect a reply. 

A few hours later this shows up in my inbox: 


I’m thankful that someone replied to me. I know that this will continue to happen to women all over and really there is nothing they can do to make sure it doesn’t happen, but I’m glad someone recognized it. Who knows. Maybe somehow my email helped. I highly doubt it. 

••••••••••

Landon’s parent teacher conference was tonight. He’s doing great across the board, but I had to laugh at one thing. His teacher showed us his “report card” and there was a spot that said how high they were expected to count (25) and how high he counted (160). His teacher said he started counting and just kept going and going; she said she had to stop him at 160 and we all just laughed. He’s such a smarty pants. I am so proud to be his mom. 

••••••••••

At 9:45 this morning Shane and I were at the movies watching Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince. We were the only ones in the theater. It was really nice to go on a little date even if it was 9am. 

PGAL and feelings of guilt.

I’ve been having a hard time with the guilt I feel from being pregnant with our second Daughter. I have found a bunch of very interesting articles, and blogs that discuss the feelings of guilt related to loss and to pregnancy after loss. I just can’t find something that speaks to me like other things have- until today.

I was searching, and came across this post on Huffington Post by a woman named Heather Spohr.  I started reading it and immediately burst into tears.

(Please read this letter. It is AMAZING)

The story is written as a letter to Mothers who are announcing their rainbow baby, and I fell in love with it.

 I know how hard it was to announce this baby, the complicated mix of jubilation and guilt. You want to be excited about this new life, but you want to be respectful toward the life who is no longer here. This is the tightrope you’ll walk down for the rest of your life, but it will get easier.

It’s OK to be afraid. It’s OK to take it day-to-day. It’s even OK if you’re not excited. You’ve learned, in the worst possible way, that nothing in life is guaranteed.

As I’ve written in previous posts, I’m struggling with guilt surrounding this pregnancy. I cannot think of this new baby without thinking of the death of Kenley. I know that’s not a good thing, and I’m trying really hard to allow myself to think of Baby A as her own individual person. I often find myself thinking about her in the Nursery which will be her room until we move; I think about her wearing the clothes we specifically picked for Kenley. When I think about these things, I get sad; I start feeling guilty for missing Kenley, and for not celebrating A.

 

But then I read this:

 Even the practical things are complicated. Will you be able to handle giving your new baby items from your deceased child? Even if that child never had the chance to use them? You’ll resent that you don’t get to look at these things as normal hand-me-downs instead of the few cherished possessions your child left behind — yet another reminder of how unfair life is.

YES. This woman, who has had TWO rainbow babies (after the death of her toddler, and after a miscarriage) gets it. I guess it’s just reassuring to know that what I’m feeling is totally normal. I know in my heart that I love being pregnant with this little girl, just as much as I loved being pregnant with Kenley (and Landon) –  it’s just different now. I can’t help but feel the unfairness of the situation whenever I think of this beautiful little girl I’m carrying. This is not to say that I don’t feel moments (lots of them, too) of joy.

She then goes on to say this:

The day Annabel was born was one of the best days of my life. The day we brought her home was one of the hardest. My emotions, fueled by postpartum hormones, were all over the place, and I was completely unprepared. I sobbed onto the top of her tiny head a lot. My heart was swelling and breaking simultaneously, and it overwhelmed me.

I’m absolutely sure that I will be feeling more joy than I can even fathom right now when this little girl comes. I know she will be a member of our family for the rest of our lives, and I can’t wait to give her a great life…but… The overwhelming anxiety I feel about her coming into this world safely is sometimes crushing. I am a crier, so I know that I will cry a lot when she comes. Maybe not. Who knows. I have no idea how I’m going to feel when she arrives and I get to hear her screaming when they take her from my body. When Kenley was born her silence was so heavy; it was the loudest sound I have ever heard.

I guess this post is mostly for me; A mini pep talk of sorts. I have been feeling the heaviness of being PGAL with our Rainbow a lot lately.

Thinking of naming this baby (we have a name picked and we are 80ish% sure we’re using it) makes me sad and excited.Thinking about redecorating the nursery for baby A doesn’t make me excited like I want it to. I hate that, because instead it makes me feel incredibly guilty.

Shane and I decided that we need to buy something for baby A that is specifically her own. This is very hard to think about seeing as we haven’t been in a baby store/down a baby aisle/ avoid baby items like the plague for like 10 months. I’m not sure when this will happen, but it’s our new goal.

I needed to read this letter by Heather today so very very badly.

Baby A will be here in 141 days.

I don’t know what to say today. I have so much on my mind and just no real way to explain it all so I will just say that I fucking miss you baby girl. So incredibly much. 

Sometimes I miss you so much it makes it hard to breathe. 

Sometimes the sadness is so heavy that tears just come and don’t stop. 

Today was one of those days.