blank. 

It seems that every time I come to post something, nothing feels right. 

I just don’t know how many ways there are to say that I miss my daughter. I think I’m beginning to see that people are assuming we should “be over it”, and should be moving on. Certain people say things or imply things which make me feel so angry inside. They talk to me like I never lost Kenley; like she didn’t exist and I should be ok with other babies her age. 

Lemme just go ahead and put this out there for the record (and this will stand FOREVER): I will NEVER be ok with children her age. Not now, not when she should be 5, or 10, or 40. NEVER. I will look at these children and see my own dead child. That’s just the way it is. Not a pity party for us as a family, or me as a Mother, it’s just a fact. 

There are some people in my life who understand, but honestly I can tell their patience is wearing thin. It amazes me that people think I should be up for more. Or that I should be able to “be around babies/showers/baby things/pregnant people”. 

I know that from the outside looking in, we look “whole” again. We have our kids, and our life and each other, which I am SO grateful for every day, but ultimately, guess what? We are down one child. 

Always. 

It doesn’t matter if we have a new baby, that doesn’t take away the pain of seeing other babies. 

You know what I see when I see your baby? Me, holding my lifeless Daughter. My Husband holding her hand while the photographer takes a picture so we can remember what it looked like after we leave the Hospital and never see it again. EVER. 

Your joy is my pain. While you are watching your child meet milestone after milestone, I am starting over. I have a newborn, instead of an 18 month old. 

I just don’t think people get it. IT is a very rough thing to think about, so I like to give people the benefit of the doubt in weird situations. Maybe they don’t know how to act, or maybe they think it’s ok to tell me about their child who is Kenley’s age or whatever. But MY GOD–Have some awareness. 

Life is changing. My time is consumed by Alden, and my growing love for her fills my heart with joy. My heart is never fully happy though, and that just stings so much. I can’t be 100% again, because part of me died on December 29th with Kenley. I wouldn’t ever want to be 100% again, because that means I never had her and…just no. 

I’ve been feeling pretty angry lately. Angry in the sense of “why me”. Angry because the greatest moment of our life turned into the worst and saddest moment that we will ever live through. Angry because I’m a damn good Mother, and I deserve my baby. I don’t smoke or drink or do drugs. We can provide anything and everything a child could ever want. And yet, my perfect child dies. The universe is cruel and unfair. 

So that’s why I don’t post every day like before. Because I’m a broken record. Because every day is the same. Because I wake up every day feeling the same way, and some days are better than others, but most days I’m just sad. Most days my heart breaks for a million different reasons and I long to hold my daughter again. 

I miss everything about the before. 

I don’t know who I am anymore, and it’s heartbreaking to know that I will never figure that out again. 

Because, how do you figure out who you are when one of your children has died…?

You just don’t. 

Hate.

I related to this post by a fellow loss mom in so many ways.  I think that people don’t truly understand the feelings that just happen when someone loses a child. I know a lot of the general public probably thinks it’s jealousy; it’s not- it’s the purest form of sadness. Deep, soul crushing sadness for what you will never have. Please take a second and read this post. 

 

I wonder if everyone has that one person, pregnant at the same time as them, the one who’s baby didn’t die, who becomes a vessel for all the anger, envy and hatered that was created from nowhere when their baby died? For me it’s a woman who works in the same service as me but […]

via The Vessel of my Hate — An Elefunk Never Forgets

summer, siblings and sadness. 

Alden is 3 months old today! (See her 3 month picture on my IG!)  I can’t believe how fast time is going. She’s smiling, talking to us when we talk to her, and she loves her brother so much. Hearing her little coos is the greatest feeling. I’m so thankful she is here. She’s able to sit up fairly well propped against something, and I know she is wanting to sit up by herself because she constantly lifts her head and upper body up when she’s in the reclined position. I can’t wait until she can use her exersaucer! Her hair is coming in thicker in spots, but the back middle is going bald. She sleeps on her back and is constantly turning her head to look at ALL the things, so she’s rubbing it down 🙂

We’ve solved the hysterical car seat problem. She hated the infant seat because she was reclined, so I brought Landon’s old convertible car seat up from the basement, installed it, and bam– She loves riding in the car now! Thank god.

Shane and I took our niece Maddie and Landon to the public pool on Tuesday. It was such a good time, and the kids had so much fun. Of course we would choose to go on the day where two field trips were there. TONS OF CHILDREN. There were at least 40 kids with only 3 chaperones; apparently I look friendly because I made fast friends with 6 kids who all begged me to “watch this!” and to “count how long it takes me to swim to the wall!”.

Whenever we are out and I see a bunch of children playing together, I get sad. I get sad because I didn’t give Landon a sibling close to his age. So, here we are, 6 years apart and he has no one to play with when we go to the pool. I’m thankful Madison is here for him to play with, but I wish it was his own sibling. I wish I had 3 kids, all perfectly spaced out.

I often feel like I’m a bad Mom because I didn’t think about the possibility that I wouldn’t have been able to get pregnant again. He was conceived on the first shot, so I naively thought it would happen that way again. I didn’t plan things out, and I feel guilty for that. I feel guilty that I thought Landon was such a difficult child that I would joke about things like “not having another child because he’s so rough!”, or “maybe once he sleeps through the night we will talk about another one”.

Wow. If only I could talk to my 2011 self. I would tell her to get her shit together, and have as many babies as she could. I would tell her to cherish the sleepless nights, and the loud crying because someday she would have a child who would be born sleeping, making no noise at all. I would tell her to love on Landon, and not feel stressed out by him; instead, enjoy his unique behavior and nurture his love of all things dinosaurs, and math.

We had to buy some things to take to the pool on Monday night, so we went to Target. Target and I (and tons of other loss moms) have a love hate relationship. I found the cutest bathing suit for Alden in her size, and was so excited for a second…until the dreaded…well I don’t know what to call it, honestly, so I’ll say it how it is, until the dreaded reality of my life and dead child hit me like a ton of bricks, again.

Buying a 3-6 month bathing suit when I should be buying 18-24 months. Kenley would have loved to wade around in a little pool this summer. I remember Landon when he was that age in his little pool out in our back yard. He had the hose and would play with it and drink out of it. I wish I could find those pictures of him, but honestly even looking at photos of him around the age Kenley should be is extremely hard anymore.

**( Scroll to the bottom of this post to see the pictures I dug up of Landon at about a year and a half old. Ugh. My heart.)**

When we got home from Target, I text one of my loss mom friends about how buying the suit made me so happy-sad; how I have a dead child who should be here, swimming, but instead I have a newborn. I know that she knows I’m thankful for Alden, but that I just wish Kenley was alive. She replied to me with this:

L: “What if kenley wasn’t able to live a long and happy life in the body she was in until December 29? What if she’s inside Alden and ready to make that body a killer woman?”
It’s a wonderful thought– absolutely.  It makes my heart so so happy. It also makes me feel confused and sad and guilty because I want them to be their own people, But they will never exist without being intertwined.  I would never change that, either, but it’s just a really heavy thing to carry for the rest of ones life.

It also made my heart swell with love to know that she remembered my daughter’s birthday without a hitch. The actual date. She said it out loud (via text but still). It feels so comforting to hear people mention her, or her special day. It makes her feel real again.


Last night, after Landon’s T-ball game, Shane went to a drive-through to get a water and a Gatorade. When we got home this conversation happened:

Shane: “Why didn’t you drink your special treat” (with a giant grin) referring to the water that he bought which I thought was for himself.

Me:  “oh, Thank you babe, I thought that was for you!”

*he leaned in toward me*

Shane: “aw, why are you smiling?” then kissed me 🙂

Landon was there in the backseat but stuck his head up between us and said “awww”. Shane asked “What are you ‘aww-ing’ about? That your parents are kissing?” and Landon said yes. Then Shane went on to say  “one thing you’ll never have to worry about buddy is if your mom and dad love each other, because we love each other very much”.  I was out of the car by then, and Shane went to the backseat to get Alden out. He then said ” Your mom is my best friend!”.  Landon was looking at me saying  “ohhhhh I can see that you’re crying!” (because he always makes it a point to let everyone know when I’m crying haha). Finally,  Shane says “You’ll never have to worry about us not loving each other, because your Mom is the love of my life.”

I just started to cry.

I’m so happy that I have him.


Oh Buddy, I wish you were this little again. I love you so much. I wish so bad I never knew the heartache of losing your sister. I don’t even recognize the woman in these photos with you, and I’m so sorry for that.

IMG_1508IMG_1505IMG_1468IMG_1290IMG_1383IMG_1438 (1)

No one.

As I reached into the back of my spice cabinet and felt them, I knew what they were. The numbers 3 & 0. They were my birthday candles; hot pink, and glittery on tiny little toothpicks. They were my favorite candles, and they were from my favorite birthday- My 30th. I was finally pregnant after all of our infertility treatments, and I was so happy. Shane and Landon went together to buy me a birthday present. They bought me a past present future ring that I’ve worn on my right ring finger ever since.

This is the only gift I have “from” Kenley. When I opened the gift, I imagined giving it to her when she was older, maybe on her high school graduation day. Maybe on her wedding day; it could be her something old. People don’t prepare you for these things.

No one ever tells you what happens after.

After the initial shock wears off.

After you wake up for consecutive days without the baby you carried for 9 months.

After you can so sadly say “I’m a survivor of child loss”.

No one ever tells you that every day is a fight; to get out of bed, to not fall apart every second of every day, to feel normal- whatever that new normal may be. No one ever tells you that you will feel like your body failed you; that you will hate yourself for what your body did to your child. You never hear about the judgement you will face, like you’re damaged goods, and now you’re less of a Mother because your child is dead. No one tells you that you will constantly replay the moments over and over in your head, no matter how hard you try to block them out; your memories become your nightmares.

No one tells you that somehow you make it through. Somehow you are still alive. Somehow you are still breathing, but you are not the same person as before. You will never be that person; that person died with the child you lost.

That person no longer exists.

I don’t know that I would have believed anyone, during the early days of grief, had they told me that eventually you just learn how to survive. Surviving doesn’t mean that things get easier; honestly, things get more complicated and weird as time goes on. Surviving doesn’t mean that you forgot, or ever will forget the child you lost, or that this child is any less loved than they were the moment you found out of their existence.

Surviving means that the love you have for that child transcends time and space.

Surviving means you are keeping the memory of your child alive.

Every day that I survive on this earth, is one day closer to my Daughter. 

face. 

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. 

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. 

Forever

aftermath. 

Following the loss of a child, so many changes take place in us. Even our physical appearance changes. Our skin shows signs of aging. Many people say their hair turned white overnight. Others say they couldn’t see clearly–their eyesight changed. 

Mentally, we live in a fog. We can’t remember where we put things. We often get lost when driving to places such as the supermarket. We get confused. We cannot complete easy tasks. Our minds cannot focus. Physically, we might feel aches and pains we never had before. We might suffer from panic attacks. 

This is only a small peek inside the new life of grief that now belongs to parents of child loss. Losing a child is not a singular loss, but rather a series of losses that continues all of the days of our life. If only others understood the courage it takes for child loss parents to get out of bed and face each new day. 

• Silent Grief—Child Loss Support