adult.

Today we traded in my Highlander and bought a Honda Odyssey. I’m an adult now! It’s super nice, and I know that we made the right choice by doing this, but I can’t help think about how life “should have been”. Let me explain what I mean here…

I should have an almost 2 year old daughter.

I should be getting ready to purchase my dream car because we were financially in a position to buy it…

I should be set in my home; I shouldn’t be looking for a bigger one to accommodate more people.

I know that all sounds kind of shitty and maybe a little shallow because HELLO! I am so so fortunate to be able to purchase these things, and not be strapped for cash or feel overwhelmed by financial burdens etc…BUT all that being said, it always boils down to her being missing from our family.

I wouldn’t need a van if Kenley had lived.

I wouldn’t need a bigger house if Kenley had lived.

It’s always about that. Always. I think it always will be? I’m not sure…It’s just always going to suck.

I’m so happy with our new purchase though! It’s super nice, and I cannot wait to haul this wonderful bunch of kids around in it πŸ™‚

In other news, I’m almost completely finished with everything I need for Kenely’s Care Packs! I need to go to IKEA and pick up the boxes because IKEA wants $44 to ship the boxes to me…so weird. Whatever, looks like were taking a trip soon πŸ™‚

I’ve started taking names of babies who were born still and I plan to write them on “donated in memory of” stickers in the books I’m donating to the hospital. I have around 60 names already. It’s so sad, but I’m so thankful I get to write their names for these other parents to see.Β It’s all about keeping their memory alive. We are the only way that will happen and I’m so glad I can get these babies names out there.

I’m 20+4 today, and I’m totally feeling it! I feel so bloated and giant. I can feel her kicking around a lot, and it’s pretty comforting. I’m really looking forward to our second anatomy scan on the 16th. I don’t have my doppler here, so I can’t check on her heart beat, and sometimes I really freak out and think that I NEED IT but other times I think that I can get through this pregnancy without it… I mean…Maybe my feelings on the pregnancy will stop riding the fence the closer we get to the edge. I’m pretty sure things will be just as intense until she is here in our arms. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what she looks like. We have a name, too! I can’t wait to introduce her to the world.Β I really hope that things go smooth with this pregnancy, and she comes into the world alive. That’s all that I want.

Alden is crawling, and pulling herself up on things all over the place! I think she’s cutting another tooth as well. She’s so much fun and I love being home with her. She’s kind of at that age where if I leave her sight she loses her mind. Now that she’s crawling she can follow me around but that’s super inconvenient haha. Tonight she was in the living room playing with toys, and managed to crawl all the way into the kitchen right between my legs and tried to stand up on me. I felt so bad but I had a knife in my hands and was cutting cabbage so I couldn’t pick her up. I love watching her grow and learn. She’s eating all kinds of foods now. She loves avocados, cheese and blueberries! She’s a poop factory, and she also likes to drool up a storm. I’m so in love with her.

The other night my dad needed her SSN so I had to dig inside her baby book to find it, and for some reason I felt compelled to fill out some pages. I never bought her a baby book because I had filled out Kenley’s anxiously awaiting her arrival and well, it was just awful to know how much time and love I spent on that book and she never even got to read it when she was 20 with her boyfriend and laugh at what she used to do. It hurt. But, my sweet friend bought us one for Alden and it’s just been in a tote in her room since her birth. I would add papers to the inside (doctors appointments, and weight checks etc…) so those are the things that I wrote in there the other night. I felt pretty emotionally terrible afterward, but I’m glad I did it.

I see her growing up and I just wonder how my girls would get along.

I miss Kenley so much.

 

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Can this mom get a sick day?

Being sick is awful.

Being sick with a 7 month old (who is also sick) is worse.

Being sick with a sick 7 month old, and 20 weeks pregnant is pretty much the freakin pits.

It started off with the typical itchy eyes and throat etc…then a cough…then the head pressure. Alden has had a runny nose for 3-4 days and has been SUPER fussy. Don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining obviously, because she could fuss every day all day and I would still be so thankful for her, but my god. The constant fussiness plus a headache is just wearing me down!

She’s woken up at 5ish the past few days too so that’s been super fun…

In other news, the LulaRoe fundraiser brought in $260! I am so thankful for that; the money is going to help out SO much with the remaining items we need for donations. I can’t wait to start purchasing the remaining items and get them here! I am going to purchase the boxes here shortly, too. I’m so thankful for all the help that we have been given.

In an effort to round out the donations and hopefully get some more books coming our way, I’m going to start my final leg of “fundraising” here shortly. Keep your eyes peeled!

This post was supposed to be something way bigger and way more in depth than this…but I’m sick and I really want to just curl up on the couch and watch the office…again, so that’s what I’m going to do.

 

Anatomy Scan + stuff

I seriously do not know where time is going, but it seems that after Kenley died the end of the year zooms by. Once Landon starts school again, everything just goes super fast. So yesterday was my anatomy scan. I was 18+5, and everything looked great. She was being stubborn though so we have to go back on November 16th for another ultrasound (obviously not complaining). We got to see her little face for a few seconds; the look like skeletons right now, but it was still cute. She also proved to us that she was indeed a female. She showed us her hands and feet, and also her cute little belly.

I cannot believe that there is another baby growing inside my body. While I absolutely will never understand what happened to Kenley, or why we struggled with infertility for so long, I am very impressed that it is growing another human. I am however also terrified that it’s going to be like, eh, screw you, and kill another one of my children.

We are keeping a very close eye on all things again during this pregnancy, so that makes me feel very confident, but I don’t want to feel TOO confident…it’s a catch 22. I feel like if I start to feel confident in this pregnancy, to feel like hey maybe I will bring home this baby TOO, something is going to happen. But, while I keep feeling “meh” about being pregnant again, I am not connecting with her. I don’t know. I don’t really think there is a way that I can “win” right now…and I’m ok with that.

It is what it is…and I just have to accept that.

In other news, my friend has raised a nice little chunk of money from the Lularoe fundraiser, so thank you to anyone who has purchased anything from that! It’s going to help me clear up the last few things we need to purchase so I’m really happy about that. She also has personally bought some sleepers that she will be sending to me when the fundraiser is over, so yay! I just cannot believe that Kenley’s birthday is so close…again. I cannot believe that I should have a 2 year old. It’s insane and my brain literally cannot handle that fact somedays.

Some (most) days I stop and think “how is this my life?” but oddly, it just is…

Last night was trick or treat in our town. Landon was Master Chief from Halo (a game he has never played before in his life….but he liked the way the costume looked lol) and Alden was a pumpkin. I wanted her to be a cute little unicorn, but I procrastinated and put off buying it then of causer it sold out and everyone wanted me to pay like $70 for it on eBay and I was not going to do that. So, yesterday after our appt we went to Target and bought her the pumpkin outfit. She looked SO cute. The little hat smushed her face LOL, but it was still adorable. I felt bad because it was freezing cold, and she would of course rip off mittens, but she wore a blanket pretty well and had a good time I think.

Shane’s been working on his tattoo for Kenley. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it or not on here…but, it’s amazing. The thought and detail he put into it just blows my mind. I love him so much, and I love that he loves our girl just as much as I do and wants to memorialize her in this way. So perfect. He’s had two sessions so far, both of which have been outlines, and shading. His next is in December for the coloring! It’s going to look amazing when it’s all colored (it already does).

We’ve sort of put the house hunt on hold until the spring I think. We found land, then someone bought it the next day, so we had the wind taken from our sails…If we find something, then who knows, but I don’t know that were in a big rush. We have Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kenley’s birthday, Landon’s birthday….the new Baby, then Alden’s first birthday. Needless to say we will have our hands full for a while. I really don’t like the idea of potentially building or buying a house with a newborn, and a brand spankin new 1 year old, but hey that’s the adventure of it all right?…ha.

Landon’s been working on second grade math, and a second grade spelling list at school and he’s doing so great! I am so proud of him; he’s growing up so quickly. He brought home a chapter book from the library and he is so excited to read it. He took it with him on the bus today, and I hope that he enjoys reading it. His teacher does something where she rewards the children for every 500 pages read. Landon is working toward 4,000 pages so he can have 15 minutes of free time at school. I love watching him learn, and it blows my mind that he can read books! Can’t believe he’s growing into this little man…

A fundraiser for Kenley

A sweet friend,Β Amy JoΒ has started a fundraiser for Kenley! Amy sells LulaRoe, and she is currently running a special on ALL of her products and all proceeds go to help us finish up the last of the donations.

We currently need 17 more hand print mold kits which I would LOVE to have. Those are so important and I cannot explain to you how badly I wish I had a print of Kenley. It’s like I would have a piece of her, sort of? I don’t know but I REALLY want parents to be able to have this.

We need a few more sleepers, and we also need about 30 ” The Invisible String” books.

I am so thankful that Amy is doing this for us. Even if we raise $5, it’s more than we had.

Please follow the link below to check out her inventory! It’s a win win because everything is discounted and we will receive 100% of the proceeds!

fundraiserfundraiser1

Click HERE to shop the fundraiser!

 

Click here to shop the remaining items on our Amazon wish list!

 

7 months.

So, Alden is somehow 7 months old! Where has time gone? It’s a crazy thing, time. I feel like Kenley just died, that I just had my transfer, that Alden was just born, and that we just came home from the hospital. I can’t believe that she’s literally a few days away from crawling, has two teeth, and says momma!

This is new, too! She was on her knees trying to stand while leaning on her toy basket today. She’s so much fun!

She loves food! She enjoyed these scrambled eggs the other day, and loves pretty much anything.

She’s doing really well sleeping after some rough cry it out nights. I love her so much. I knew the love I would have for her, because I already had Landon and knew that mother/child love. But, when I hold her and she looks at me, it’s different. She has brought so much light back into my life. Yes, I am still sad. I lost my first born daughter and she will always be missing from my life. So I will always be sad for her, but Alden helps to heal my soul in ways I could have only dreamed of.

There was once a time when I feared I wouldn’t be able to love her properly…how wrong I was.

I love you sweet girl. You are so special.

time.

As this year rolls on, some of the first loss moms I met after Kenley died are “celebrating” (what an awful word) their dead children’s 2nd birthday’s. It’s the same general consensus, though: It doesn’t feel any better. It’s less raw, sure, but it is still the most painful, and absolutely heartbreaking thing to ever happen to us. It always will be.

There also seems to be another popular theme surrounding the time passing after a child’s death. Β Everyone is expecting us to “feel better” by now.

Feel better!? We’re not sick orΒ sad!Β Our children died. What the fuck?

I was talking to a few friends the other day, and we were discussing PTSD and the effect it has on our everyday life. We all agree that most people don’t believe PTSD after child loss is a real thing, but it totally is. There are so many triggers in every day life, and people just expect you to be ok after a little time passes. It’s a different scenario, obviously, but would you tell a War Veteran to “forget” killing people? Or to “forget” seeing his “brothers” get blown up by an IED, or suicide bomber? NO. You would never. NO ONE would ever tell those people to forget those things. That is awful for those war vets; it’s terrible, it’s tragic, people died, they witnessed it, they have to live with those things FOREVER. Those are things you cannot erase from your mind; those are things that haunt you forever no matter how hard you may try to suppress them.

So, what is so different about our situations?…

We witnessed death.

We held OUR lifeless children in our arms.

Some even had to make the choice to end life support.

We have to live every day with those images in our head. (Images that are supposed to be joyful, and wonderful, and they are–except they’re not. They flood your brain every single time you close your eyes and see your child who was blue, or had dark red rosy lips…)

I don’t understand how people think that child loss PTSD isn’t real.Β 

One friend said someone told her she should be able to “fake” small talk with people, and that she needs to be happy for other people’s happy news (i.e. pregnancy announcements). She said something to us in reply like “imagine having your baby die, and tell me if you ever want to attend another fucking baby shower…”

Trust me, you won’t.

It’s not like we are all sitting over here wishing other peoples babies would die; we’re not. We’re over here wishing WE weren’t the statistic, wishing OUR babies had lived, wishing OUR lives never took a turn for the worst, wishing OUR families were complete, and that WE could be excited about our subsequent children without the fear, and sadness of having lost other children.

As the seasons change, and Kenely’s 2nd birthday creeps ever closer (81 days) I wanted to make it known that the sadness doesn’t “go away“. I want people to know they’re wrong if they think I should be “better”. And finally, if you ever tell me that I should be better, I shouldn’t be sad over the death of my daughter, or ANYTHING similar…I’m pretty sure that will be the end of our relationship.

Please join me in honoring Kenley and all of the children gone too soon on Sunday at 7 p.m. by lighting a candle in their memory. If you have extra thoughts this week, please dedicate them to the life of my daughter; she deserves to be remembered.

She was here.

She is real.

She is my Daughter.

She is a Sister.

She is a Granddaughter, and a Great-Granddaughter.

She lived and only knew love.

She is my greatest what if.