tree.

Landon is getting so good at riding his bike. Tonight he was riding his bike down the driveway while Alden and I sat in the yard. He was doing so well, and yelled “Mommy! I’m going to try to ride to Kenley’s tree!”, so I encouraged him and off he went.

Snap.

He ran straight into the tree, and broke it off at the base.

The tree is dead, I’m almost 100% positive, but I can’t bring myself to take it down. It’s dumb, and it looks awful there, but…I just couldn’t do it.

When Landon hopped off of his bike I knew that he was going to feel bad. He started to cry. He ran over to me and he kept saying how sorry he was. I started to cry, and I felt extremely bad because I knew I shouldn’t cry so he wouldn’t feel even worse. I kept telling him I knew it was an accident and that it was ok it was already dead.

I feel so sad for him still. His poor big brother heart was breaking because he thought he hurt her tree. He is such a great big brother to Kenley and I know he misses her so much. I often wonder if we should have let him meet her. At the time it didn’t feel right; I was worried about traumatizing him. No child should lose a sibling that they never had the chance to meet. I often wonder if not letting them meet will scar him in the long run. I guess there is no step by step guide of how to handle these situations. We did the best we could with what we knew.

When Alden was born and he met her for the first time, I was unable to be there. She was in the NICU and he met her through glass. I saw video of this and I have only ever been able to watch it one time.  It’s so bittersweet. I want my son to know BOTH of his sisters, and that will never happen. He is so good with Alden. He wakes up every morning and comes to see her; kisses her goodnight every evening. He loved on her while she was in my belly, and he loves on her even more now. He feeds her, and loves to see her smile at him. I cannot wait until she starts laughing at him.

It’ so hard to know that he has all this love in his heart, and he never got to share that love with Kenley outside of my womb.

 

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child. 

There are times where I look at my children and I can’t believe I made them. They’re all mine, and there is nothing they can do to escape me (haha!). I feel so happy and such joy when I see them, but sometimes I wonder if they sense my sadness. Sometimes I wonder if when they’re older they will be embarrassed of our life and their dead sister. 

I think for the most part I am able to keep my shit together for them, but there are things that make me cry or make me have a rough day. Landon I know senses it. He asks me often if things are “going to make me cry”, or if I’m “sad about Kenley”. When she first died I remember telling him that this will be with me forever; that I will always be sad because his sister didn’t get to come home with us. And I know he understands that sadness because he misses her too. 

Another thing I feel lately is a weirdness when I say I miss Kenley. I knew her for 38 weeks, but, I didn’t know her outside of my womb. It’s just been hitting me a little weird lately. I don’t even really know how to explain it. I guess it’s like…what is there to miss (but at the same time what I’SNT there to miss…)? I never made memories with her, I never got to see her roll over or witness her trying peas for the first time. 

Life is weird in the “after” and it just seems that every day comes with a new mountain to climb for lack of better words. Every day brings a new milestone that Alden is completing that her sister never had a chance to. 

So weird. 

#Streamofconsciousness

Update: Kenley’s Care Packages

I was just going over the items that have been sent so far for our project and I just need to share with everyone because I am amazed by the generosity of the people involved!

So far we have-

We also have 12 packs of tissues, all the pens requested, and all of the journals requested. The candles are being donated by Aggies on Main again! I cannot wait to get them because they smell so amazing. I know that they were able to bring some comfort to the parents who lost their babies last year and early this year.

Our gofundme has raised $580 as well! This money is going toward the book “You are the Mother of all Mothers”. 40 of these books are nearly $500. This book was so beneficial for me when Kenley died; it showed me that I was not alone in all of my deep dark feelings. I also will have some money left over to put toward some relaxing hand lotion for the care packages.

I am so excited to keep moving forward with this project! It makes my heart smile when the mail lady brings packages every day! She probably hates me — Job Security, though, amiright!? 

Thank you for all your help! 

tonight. 

I’m really missing Kenley tonight. Days will go by that I feel “ok” but then it seems to creep up on me. Although, it could be that I’m missing her more today because it is Tuesday. The day she died. I think my brain kind of knows when it’s a Tuesday even if I’m not paying attention to it. 

Stupid Tuesday. 

Tons of things have been being delivered to our house from Amazon! Everyone is being SO SO generous for Kenley’s 2nd birthday project. I am so happy that it is coming together. Currently we have enough funding to purchase the book “you are the mother of all mothers” by Angela Miller for all 40 bags. It’s one of my absolute favorites. And, I think it’s hands down the most important thing included in the care packages. 

I can’t wait to sit down and purchase a few items this week. I love seeing the items come in; it comforts me to help out other grieving parents. My neighbor wants to go to babies r us with me next week and buy a bunch of things for the bags.  

I should be hearing back from my contact at the hospital tomorrow about a few questions I sent over. I hope that she is able to answer them all and put me in touch with a head nurse or someone in charge of the Loss stuff. 

Life has been really really weird lately. 

Having something to focus on really helps me to not feel overwhelmed, so thank you to everyone who has donated or purchased items! Also don’t forget to add your name on the gift reciept so I can properly thank you!! 

Someone sent the book “the invisable string” and signed it “John” on the gift reciept. Who are you, John? I want to thank you but, I don’t know you. So if you’re reading this please let me know 🙂 

Keep the donations and purchase coming guys!! You’re all THE BEST. 

Thank you isn’t enough. 

There are so many random things going on in our life currently. I can’t wait to write about it all soon. 

4 months of rainbows. 

Alden is 4 months old today! It seems like just yesterday I was pregnant, yet, at the same time it feels like it was forever ago. I’m sure that is part of pregnancy after loss; time goes slow and fast and in every direction all of the time. 

Alden has started to smile at specific things (i.e. Landon being crazy), and she started blowing raspberries the other day. She LOVES to be held up in the standing position. Her little legs are going to be strong 🙂

She rolled over from front to back a while ago, but just this past Tuesday she rolled back to front! We were eating breakfast while she laid on her playmat and when I got up to put my plate in the dishwasher I noticed she was on her belly looking around (and looking proud of herself lol)! I tried to get it on video but she won’t do it again, of course. 

She loves being outside, being held, giving kisses, and she loves to be on a porch swing or walking around with someone. 

She is so special. I fall more in love with her every time I peek over the bassinet wall and she shows me a gummy smile. Watching her grow is so bittersweet, but lately I can see Kenley in her SO much. I’m not exactly sure why or what it is, but it has been comforting. I love both of my girls so much. 

Alden, we love you! 

Care Packages.

After Kenley died I knew that I wanted to do something in her honor for the Hospital where she was born. I didn’t know what; nothing felt right to be honest. We ended up donating 2 large photos and they are placed in the room where she was born- 3E11-, and the room next door. I didn’t think that was enough, and still didn’t feel right. What could I do to make her name mean something to other people?

Care packages. 

I was given a book and a rubber bracelet when Kenley was born still. I wear the bracelet every single day, as does Shane. I haven’t taken it off once since I put it on; I had it on the day Alden was born. I thought for a while about what would be good to put in the bags. I came up with a list of items that I knew would have really helped me had I received them at the time of her death.

  • good quality tissues (my nose was bloody & raw from the hospitals)
  • relaxing lotion
  • a candle to light in honor of your baby
  • two books that helped me in my early grief
  • a note pad and pen to jot down information
  • chapstick
  • forget me not seeds to plant in honor of your baby

Last year, we donated 20 bags in Kenley’s name. We also donated some crocheted hats, and sleepers for the babies who are born still.

I was contacted by the Hospital and told all bags had all been used within 6 months. Twenty babies born sleeping  within 6 months in my town. How? How is this still happening? I know that it’s never NOT going to happen, at least not in my life time, but it’s just mind boggling that in 2017 babies still die. The fact that these babies don’t even get a chance is what hurts the most.

This year, in honor of Kenley, we have chosen to donate 40 bags to the Hospital system. We are also going to donate 40 girl sleepers, 40 boy sleepers, and 40 books for the parents to give to the siblings (if needed). This is going to be a huge undertaking, and I’m looking forward to organizing it again this year! I’m starting things early that way there is plenty of time to organize the creation of all bags, and make sure things fall into place.

Last year, tons of people reached out to me and asked what they could do for Kenley’s birthday. I chose to have people take photos of her name and send them to me. I then printed them out and have them in a collage in my home. It was so healing to see her name written in all kinds of places, in all kinds of ways.

This year, I’m asking for people to donate to her care packages. 

I’ve made an Amazon wish list as well if people would rather purchase items instead of donating money to the *gofundme account we made for donations.

I’m planning to post this information in a separate page at the top of my blog so it’s accessible all the time and you won’t have to go fishing through old posts to find the information. It’s extremely hard for us to “shop” for things that will go to grieving parents, but I don’t know anyone better to help other grieving parents than another grieving parent. It broke my heart to add all of these sleepers to the wish list knowing that they will be given to babies who didn’t get to spend time with their parents how they should. I wish that they could be worn while the child is laying in their parents arms, staring into their eyes full of joy and a future, instead of the parents staring at all they lost in their child.

I hope that you will consider taking a peek at the Amazon wish list to see what we plan to donate!  (Please view the entire list as Amazon makes it impossible to set default priority settings, or simply sort by priority)

You can find our gofundme page here.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you would like to donate something than what is on the list, or have any questions what so ever! Any help or donation is appreciated SO very much!

**ALL DONATIONS WILL GO TOWARD CARE PACKAGES.**

sister.

The other day I was laying on the love seat with Alden standing up on my stomach. We were giving each other kisses (her more drooling into my mouth but still kisses nonetheless) when she turned to look at the wall beside her. She was staring at Kenley’s birth stat plaque that Shane bought me for Christmas last year. She had the biggest smile on her face, and I swear she stared at it for a good 10 seconds. I said  “that is your sister’s sign! We love her so much and miss her every day”. She smiled more and then turned her gaze to the photo we have of Kenley’s name written in the sand by Carly Marie. It was like she knew the two pieces on my wall belong together. Sometimes I catch her looking at my tattoo while I’m changing her diaper, or getting her dressed.

How will I tell her about her sister? I wonder if there will be a “right time”, or will she ask me about Kenley before I’m ready to tell her? Will I be sad when I explain it to her and will that make her upset, or angry at me? Will she resent me for naming her Alden; like I stole her chance of becoming her own person? I worry about all of these things, and I hate that I have to. People tell me that Alden will be proud to share her name with her big sister, but I really wonder if that’s true or if they’re just trying to make me feel better. What do I say if someday she asks me if I ever called her (or almost called her) by her sisters name?

The first year of Alden’s life is well under way, and I find things are starting to get heavy again. I’m not sure if it’s just because she is meeting so many milestones and it’s just hammering home the fact that we will never share these with Kenley, or what. The 4th of July was a little bit awful because Alden wore Kenley’s clothes, and then she pooped up the back of the dress. I had all these huge plans in my head to take a cute picture of her in it and share it on my blog, but she had other plans. She looked cute in the outfit and I loved her wearing it (well you know what I mean…), but, as always, it came with the added guilt of wondering what it would have looked like on it’s rightful owner.

I’m finding that it’s getting easier to allow Alden to wear Kenley’s things now that she’s moving on to different sizes. The newborn, and 0-3 month clothing was just way too difficult. I think she wore 2 or 3 pieces of Kenley’s clothing in those sizes. I’m not sure why it’s different? Maybe because I look at those sizes and think about how excited I was to bring Kenley home and put her in those clothes? I was excited for the bigger sizes as well, but the newborn clothes. I couldn’t wait to see her wear those! I remember shopping in the last few days before I had her; I felt I didn’t have enough for her to wear which obviously was a big giant mistake because she had so many clothes that Alden’s closet looks like Target.

Maybe looking at the newborn clothes really hit home for me, and I didn’t want to share that special part of Kenley’s life in utero with Alden. That makes me sound like a terrible Mother, but I’m not, and I hope it makes sense. There are certain things that I don’t want to share with Alden, they are especially for Kenley. We have toys that were given to us for Kenley (a rattle that my Mother in Law put in Kenley’s first stocking) that Alden plays with. I can distinctly remember her handing me the stocking, and looking inside it.  A rattle, and a 2 pack of Binkys. When I see her holding this rattle in her hand, it makes my heart drop to my feet. I don’t even know how to describe the feeling? It’s a feeling like something terribly bad is going to happen. Fear, panic, anxiety, except for all those feelings in reverse. I feel them all like I’m back on that day, Christmas Day 2015. I want to shake myself, and tell me to go to the Hospital. GO. Maybe you can save your daughter.

I will never forget when my sister told me she was pregnant. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. I remember the tone of her voice, and the fact that I left the room because my Dad was visiting and I didn’t want to spoil her surprise by getting excited over the phone and him wondering what was happening. I remember the look in her eyes when she held Kenley. I remember her crying. I remember feeling like I let her down. I remember everything she did for me after Kenley died. The constant company, and text messages. Helping me to take care of Landon. Sending me funny cards in the mail.

It breaks my heart to know that Alden will never have a sister. Even if we wanted to have more children (which… that’s a whole other can of worms…) we have 2 embryos left and they are both Male. The bond that I have with my Mom and Sister is something that I wish all females had with their Mom and Sister. They are my best friends. I can only hope that Alden allows me to be there for her like my Mom and Sister have been for me.

I hope that we can love, miss and celebrate Kenley together someday. I hope that she asks about her big sister so that I can tell her how loved she is, and how Alden herself is a very special part of her sisters life in my eyes.

I can’t wait to tell her about the joy that she has brought to my life.