half. 

Today is your half birthday. 

It’s so hard to believe you should be a year and a half old. 

In 6 months you will be 2. 

I can’t wrap my mind around it, Kenley. 

Why aren’t you here with us? 

I hate the things we won’t get to do together; I wanted nothing more than to watch you grow. 

This year, for your 2nd birthday, we will be donating again to the Hospital where you were born. 

Last year we donated a random amount of crocheted hats, books and sleepers along with 20 bags for grieving parents. This year my goal is 40 of everything. 

  • 40 bags for grieving parents.
  • 40 boy sleepers. 
  • 40 girl sleepers. 
  • 40 books for grieving siblings. 
  • 20 crocheted hats/blanket sets for preemies. 
  • 20 crocheted hats/blanket sets for full term babies. 

This is just the start of my list. I am planning to set up a site to take donations so people can help if they want. Also, I have made an Amazon wish list full of items I’m planning to donate. This way, if you would like to help but don’t want to donate money, you can purchase an item that will come directly to our home to be included in bags or donated separately. 

These are just a few ideas, and I have a few more that I need to email the Hospital about. 

This is going to be a big undertaking, but I know that it’s possible. I know how much we love her, and how much everyone else loves her and wants to help, but doesn’t really “know” how. 

It’s all in your memory my sweet sweet Kenley girl. 

There will be a more detailed blog post later but I just wanted to put it out there on her half birthday. 

Happy Half Birthday up in the Stars my beautiful, perfect girl. You will never know how much I love and miss you. 

I wish I could stare at your perfect face every day. I wish I could watch your chest rise and fall as you sleep next to me. I wish I could hold you in my arms and wipe your tears away. Mommy loves you, baby girl. 

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magnitude.

I think the magnitude of Kenley’s death is sometimes lost on me (and those around me e.g., close family members, and friends). I feel like I’m in denial; like I’m choosing to truly ignore what ACTUALLY happened. I think I choose to be in denial because quite honestly, when you stop and break it all down, it’s awful. It’s the worst thing that could happen to a Mother. Losing her baby is the worst possible outcome to a healthy pregnancy. Hearing those words – “there is no heartbeat” – that’s the moment you change. That’s the moment you go from the person you’ve always been, to the person you never want to be; that’s the moment your soul dies. 

The sun rises and sets just like before she was even a thought in our minds. As the months tick by, and she is getting older, up in the stars and not on earth, I realize all of the things I’m missing out on. I remember watching Landon do things, and reach milestones. The first few months of his life were so much fun with all the rolling, trying new foods, the cooing, and watching him get teeth. When Kenley died, I distinctly remember feeling the heavy sadness of not being able to see her reach these special milestones. I think having experienced them already with Landon, I really knew deep down how much I was going to miss out on.

As Alden is doing more, it’s extremely bittersweet. I am so thankful that she is in my life, and that we were able to bring her home. I love her SO much, but it doesn’t change the fact that Kenley is dead. It’s weird, this whole grief thing; people really think that as time goes on, and new babies arrive that you should be “better”. 

Better. Ha.

What does that word even mean in relation to grief? Nothing. It means nothing. There is no “getting better” after the loss of a child. It’s kind of a smack in the face when people think this. I will not get better – this is who I am now. Sure, maybe I can sleep without sleeping pills, but that’s because I’m caring for a newborn and I’m straight up tired. The thoughts running through my mind surrounding her death are still present, trust me. I close my eyes and I see the ultrasound machine in L&D being wheeled in when I already knew she was gone. I see them all trying so hard to find her. I hear the words over and over. I see Shane’s face staring back at mine. I hear my Mother in Law screaming on the other end of the phone. I hear myself telling my Mom over the phone that Kenley is dead. There is no “getting better”.

I’m not here because this is where I’m supposed to be. I’m not here because this is Gods plan. If you believe that, I’m seriously sorry for you. I’m so sorry that you think my child dying is part of someones “plan” for my life.  I am here because of science, and because life is unfair. Because it has to be someone, unfortunately, and it was us. We are the statistic.

I read a quote the other day on someones IG. It said: “We worry, and are full of anxiety. We think the world will demand an explanation. But in fact the world as has already moved on, and has forgotten us”.

I really felt a strong connection to this quote. I am constantly wondering if I’m offending people with my sadness and grief. I worry that people will be mad if I don’t show up to functions, or get togethers. It’s like people forget that we’ve lost a child until I take a stand and decide not to go somewhere that will make me uncomfortable, or sad, then all of a sudden it’s “Oh well you should be feeling better by now!” or a variation of  Why aren’t you better? Why can’t you do X, Y, or Z anymore? Why can’t you come to X, Y or Z?

Maybe because I don’t want to?

Maybe because I’m sad.

Maybe because it’s legit too fucking hard for me?

I hate the person I’ve become. Before Kenley’s death I loved being around people, now? In the after? I fight back constant tears, and am constantly looking for an escape route.

It makes me so sad to see how much of myself died along side of her.

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.

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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.