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

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36+1

We had our second to last NST this morning at 10:30. Before we left the house, I used my doppler to check her heart beat; I cannot be surprised in the worst way ever again in my life. She sounded great, and I was able to get it right away.

The nurse was able to find her heart beat immediately, too, so that made me feel really good. Her NST was going really well, when all of a sudden she got this really weird deceleration for 5-7 seconds. Shane and I both heard it and looked at each other. Her heart rate went from 140s down to 100 and stayed low. We were both like ummm what the hell is happening? After those few seconds, it went back to normal, and everything sounded perfect for the rest of the NST. I asked the nurse about it and she wasn’t concerned.

We then met with our MFM and I asked her about it. She said that they don’t get concerned unless it’s a deceleration over 15 seconds. She reassured me that everything looked amazing, and that she is consistently doing fantastic on the NSTs. We talked a little and I asked some questions. She also gave me her cell phone number which I thought was pretty sweet and amazing of her. She did tell me that if I went to L&D this weekend and ended up delivering, that she wouldn’t be the one to deliver me. I told her I would try to keep the crazy at bay this weekend to avoid L&D, because I really really want her to deliver Alden. It’s been a long freakin road, and we’re all ready. She said “I know you’re nervous, but I’m really excited for Wednesday- we finally get to meet her”. I am so thankful for her; she will never know how much her care has meant to me during this pregnancy.

Today is Shane’s Monday…so needless to say the next 5 days when he is at work will be incredibly difficult and taxing on me while I’m here alone. If you’ve been wanting to text me, or email me to catch up, this weekend is the time to do so! LOL Help keep me occupied! I’ve got a few things on a list that I would like to accomplish, so I’m hoping to work through those things.

Preparing for this c-section is bringing back so many memories about Kenley’s c-section. I need to pack my bag, and the baby’s bag…I remember doing this for K. We need to get the camera all charged up, and I remember doing this for Kenley…the only video I have on my camera of me carrying Kenley is right before we left for the hospital and she had already died. I can’t even stand thinking about that. I will never be able to watch that video, ever.

Just so many emotions and feelings are flooding into my brain these past few days. I’m trying to separate them, but it’s proving pretty difficult. I did manage to sit down and figure out that Kenley actually died 8 days before her scheduled c-section (here I was thinking it was 6 days before, which would be today). It wasn’t a “good” realization per se but I felt kind of glad that that day came and went and I was worried about today, when actually today is just another day.

Currently, Alden has the hiccups.

Six days left.

looking inside.

Sometimes when it’s dark out, and were driving down the road I will look inside peoples houses if their curtains aren’t pulled shut. I know that I’m not the only person who does this, and so I know that there are people who have driven by my house and looked into the Nursery when it’s evening and the curtains have been open.

Those people are not aware of the pain and suffering that has been the last year of my life. They drive by, peer in and see a little girls nursery. They could have even driven by multiple times and seen a guest room, Kenley’s nursery, and then now Aldens’s. Maybe they didn’t notice, or maybe they did. It’s such a harmless thing, just looking out the window of a moving car. It’s just amazing what you will never know from just looking inside someone’s window while driving by.  It’s such a weird thing to think about, but it’s been on my mind a lot lately. Maybe it’s because I fully expect many people to discuss my pregnancies when we’re in the hospital, or maybe it’s because losing a child makes you wonder who else has gone through it?

Maybe it’s because I feel like everyone should just know about Kenley. I wrote about this in the very first blog post I ever wrote. I feel like once you’re a loss parent, you are marked and everyone should just see your pain, no matter how long it’s been, and no matter how your child died.

Shane and I were talking at breakfast the other morning and we were discussing how naive we were when we had Landon. Shane said he remembers how proud he was to take Landon out to meals and have people tell us how adorable he was. We talked about how we never in a million years would have ever thought that we were hurting anyone buy taking our child to breakfast with us in public; now however I’m constantly wondering who is suffering.  I know that there will always be someone in pain, and that we will never be able to know for sure who it is, but I will always be more aware now.

Today is March 1st.

I can’t even with all the weird feelings I’m having, but let me try…

I feel excited because yeah, theoretically, I should be having a baby soon (I’m not counting my chickens before they hatch though…).

I feel sad because I should have Kenley in my arms, as a beautiful funny 14 month old baby- instead, I’m super pregnant, again.

I feel nervous because I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten everything I know about taking care of a baby. I had postpartum depression with Landon pretty badly, and I’m scared that it will be that again on top of grieving for Kenley.

I feel extreme love when I think about watching Landon hold Alden. I cannot wait for that moment; I have been waiting for far too long to witness it.

And, on top of all of that, I feel guilt. Guilt that I’m being monitored so well by my doctor and that Kenley didn’t even get a chance to be monitored like this. Guilt for being so excited for Alden to come. So much guilt over pretty much everything. It’s just so difficult to explain to anyone who hasn’t lost a child what the guilt is like and how I feel it vs pure excitement.

Tomorrow we have a NST, and my doctor is going to check the blood flow in her cord for us.  At Monday’s appointment I think that I scared my doctor. I have been cool and calm so far but not on Monday. I think she finally really understood how intense this has been for me. I let my guard down and cried and cried and cried. I begged her to take Alden at 36 weeks, or that day. Just take her while I know that she is alive and well. Kenley died 6 days before her scheduled c-section date, and I cannot go through losing a child this close to the end again.

She offered me daily NST’s, and to see me personally at everyone. I don’t think that I can bring myself to go up there every single day and not feel absolutely insane. The NST’s themselves give me super PTSD. They are how we found out that Kenley had died, so they just don’t do much to calm me down. I emailed my doctor last night, and she wrote back within 4 minutes- I appreciate that more than she will ever know.

I’m trying. 14 days left. 2 weeks. I can do this.

rational brain=non existent

I’m pretty sure that the last two weeks of this pregnancy are going to just drive me absolutely up the wall crazy. Since last Wednesday when I posted last, I have gone off the deep end it feels.

Thursday we had our NST, and it was CAKE…like nothing has ever gone so smooth in my life kind of cake. We walked in, I peed in a cup- all was good, I lost two lbs, blood pressure was like ridiculously perfect, and Alden was kicking the NST’s ass. We were in and out within what felt like 30 minutes. After, we went to Panera bread and enjoyed a nice relaxing lunch. I love Thursdays with Shane because we always get lunch together and it’s just so relaxing to be with him.

So, fast forward to Friday. Landon is in school, and my mom came to visit for the weekend. Everything is going well, but just somewhere in the back of my mind I feel super uneasy. I think the closer it is getting to d-day, the worse I’m feeling. Saturday I convinced myself that she wasn’t moving “right”, or that her pattern was different. Of course this caused me to spiral and push on her a bunch to see if she would move (which she did). I would get so close to saying I had to go into L&D, then she would move enough for me to feel confident in her being alive.

Saturday night however was a different story. She didn’t move while I laid in bed with Shane watching tv. She didn’t move when I rolled on my back, or my other side. In the tiny little rational part of my brain I have left I’m thinking, ok…she is sleeping so much right now, everything is fine. It’s constantly overshadowed by the giant irrational (read: totally legit) part of my brain that says  OMG. IT’S BEEN FOREVER SINCE YOU FELT HER MOVE. GET UP. GO TO LABOR AND DELIVERY. GO NOW. WHO CARES IF YOU CAN HEAR HER HEART BEAT ON YOUR DOPPLER. THAT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

Saturday night I slept like SHIT. I was up 4 times to pee, and one of those times I was woken up by a contraction that hurt like hell.

Oh and at 4:45 am that “legit” part of my brain made me use my doppler to hear her heart beat.

FOUR. FOURTY. FIVE. AM.

Tomorrow it will be 16 days until she’s here. Kenley died a week before her scheduled c-section date. I cannot stop thinking about how were coming up on that date. Sure, this is a different pregnancy, and things are different this time yada yada yada, but honestly? Things are so much worse this time. Before, I was excited. I wanted to let her cook in there as long as she could! I asked for a c-section at 38 weeks and was told no. If my doctors would have agreed, she would be here. They had no reason to not agree.

This time, my MFM is willing to take her at 37 weeks, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to beg her to take her at 36, or 36.3 I don’t know, just something. She needs to come out while I know she’s alive. I didn’t know that Kenley wasn’t alive. It was so unfair, and cruel. I want to be able to say that this isn’t driving me insane, or that I’m handling it super well, but the truth is I’m not.

My anxiety is overwhelming. My fear of losing this child has become to much. I am excited for Alden to come…but what if she doesn’t get to come home with us? What would I do? People are taking time off of work for her arrival- just like with Kenley- and what happens if she doesn’t survive. It’s all too much.

Tomorrow we have an NST followed by a Growth Ultrasound and an appointment with my MFM. She is so reassuring, so I know she will calm me down, but I really really hope that she considers my mental health when I ask her if we can go any earlier.

I’m sure she’ll say no and try to talk me down…but I feel like my concerns are valid and my opinion matters.

Having a baby should not be this god damn hard.

l&d

Last night before bed my back started to hurt, and I felt like I couldn’t take a deep breath. It’s not unusual for me to not be able to take a deep breath cus, well, all of my space is taken up. Breathing is not a fun activity these days. I went to bed with some back pain but didn’t think anything about it. I also felt really tired, but again, that’s normal these days. When I woke up this morning, my back still hurt; I couldn’t bend over without being in pain. Shane helped me by getting Landon ready for school this morning. When he was off to school, I went back to bed. I ended up sleeping until 11:30.

When I woke up, I was waiting to feel Alden move and I didn’t feel it. I kept waiting, and waiting…But I didn’t feel anything. I turned from side to side while laying in bed, expecting her to kick me hard like she usually does but nada.
I drank a sprite. Nothing.

I ate some food. Nothing.

I took a shower. Nope.

I ate some candy. Nothing.

I had her HB on my doppler which didn’t really calm me down, and she had the hiccups twice which also didn’t do much for my anxiety.

So, we decided that it was best for us to go to Labor and Delivery. I really really really didn’t want to go, but, I know that it’s better to be safe than sorry or whatever. I knew the PTSD was going to be full blown today, and I just really didn’t want to feel all that. We got there, and went back to a triage room.

They told me to give a urine sample and leave it in the bathroom …PTSD SOOOOOO much PTSD. I remember walking into L&D with Kenley, and giving a sample, and just feeling so naive to anything being wrong. Like, I think I made a joke about how bad I had to pee. But, it was like the clearest memory of the entire night when we found out she died. I left my sample in the bathroom that was in my personal room, and climbed into the bed. The nurse came in, talked to us about why we were there, and hooked us up to the monitor. We found her HB right away, thank god, but she wasn’t moving. Her heart rate was up in the 160’s and the OB resident wanted to see it a little lower so we kept monitoring her for about an hour.

The OB resident was so freaking sweet. She came in and discussed my history with us. She brought up Landon’s birth, and asked how we lost our second child. She offered her condolences about Kenley and she let me talk about her for a few minutes. It always feel good when someone cares about our story. She told us that Alden was showing good signs of accelerations, but she wasn’t moving as much as she liked so we were going to keep watching her for a while longer. After about 30 more minutes she came back in and told us that she was going to get the ultrasound machine (cue super PTSD- This is where I saw my sweet Kenley, lifeless, on screen. A mobile ultrasound machine is what confirmed my worst fears) and was going to make sure that they could see physical movement on the screen. I started to cry. She told me that she wanted to do everything possible to make me feel comfortable because of our history. I felt like she actually cared, and I jokingly told her to let me stay there for the next 5 weeks.

Once she brought the machine in, we were able to see Alden moving and squirming around. I don’t know if she had just changed positions again, and I’m just not able to feel them as much or what, but ugh. She showed us Alden’s stomach and told us that it was “black and fluttering” which meant that she was practicing breathing (a good thing), and that if she was in any kind of distress that this would be the first thing that would stop. Because she was breathing, having lots of movements, and her heart rate had dropped back down into the 130/140s, they said they felt comfortable sending us home. The resident said that there was no reason why she felt that our baby was in distress, and that we should feel confident in her health.

I cried a few more times, and thanked her for taking so much time with us to show us all these things even though we just had an NST yesterday.

Pregnancy after loss is a mind fuck.

Pregnancy after a full term stillborn child is a whole different kind of evil.

 

 

rough day.

Our Molly Bear came today. I had to call the post office and ask them to hold it there for me so I could pick it up early because Shane had to be at work before our mail usually gets here.

We went to the post office about 9 am and there it sat. A huge white box, just staring back at me; I almost cried just looking at it. When we got home, Shane cut the tape on the box and we opened it. Immediately I cried. When I opened the box, my beautiful Kenley bear was looking back at me. She is perfect. I don’t think I could have made a better bear for us had I done it myself.

image1image2

When I held the bear, I cried. I knew that I would probably lose it, and I was right. She was heavy- 7lbs 5oz- but, that’s what Kenley weighed at birth. It just feels weird to feel her weight in my arms again. Shane held her for a little while, and we talked about it. We said how perfect she was over and over. We said that Landon is going to love her, and want to play with her.

Then, Shane asked if I wanted to go in her room.

We took the bear, and we went in.

I haven’t been in her room since…April 29th. It was so hard. I mean, hard in the way that your chest gets tight, and you can’t breathe. You cry the same kind of tears you cried at the hospital when your baby was born silent; when your whole world came crashing down around you within seconds and you didn’t know how you would ever survive.

We sat there for a while, and just talked about her room. About how beautiful it is, about her clothing, and the “why her” conversation happened again. I cried more. Going in was extremely hard, but I feel so calm in her room. We decided to look through her drawers, and closet. We looked at all of her clothing. We looked in her memory box from the hospital. We opened the envelope that has a lock of her hair. Her beautiful dark brown auburn colored hair. She had so much hair, my sweet girl.

Then, I asked Shane to open her diaper bag. This bag hasn’t been opened in nearly 9 months. I haven’t looked in there with a semi-clear mind, so I wanted to look. We pulled everything out, smelled it, looked through her baby book and sorted out what we wanted to keep specifically for Kenley, and what we could reuse for this baby. There were two outfits that Kenley didn’t wear in the hospital so we kept those out, but the rest is in the diaper bag still. image3

Today was a really hard day. I feel like I ran a marathon on the beach in cement boots.

I just really miss my baby girl.

We put her 2 quilts, and 1 crocheted blanket into the hope chest, along with the diaper bag and all the items we kept in there. It’s a step. It’s a huge step. I know that this room is going to be our new little girl’s room, and I need to work through a lot of stuff before I’m comfortable with that. It breaks my heart to think about taking her nursery apart, but it also breaks my heart to think about leaving it the same. It’s just not fair. No mother should ever have to think about these things.

Someday’s I feel absolutely insane. I don’t know how I’m going to make it through the next 25ish weeks.

NT.

Tomorrow we have our NT scan and first official MFM/OB appt. I’m nervous, but not much.

I’m a little scared because I stopped my PIO, and my estrogen, and haven’t been back for a scan since…It freaks me out to think that something could have gone wrong after I stopped those medications. I’m trying to have control over my mind and control over the fear, but well…lets me honest now.

The appointment is at 12:20, then my OB appointment is in the same place just at 1:45. I have my Mother in Law coming to get Landon off the bus if needed.

If all looks well in my scan tomorrow, and we get a good picture of our girl, I’m going to post it here. I wanted to let all of the loss moms know, just incase you were having a bad day, or will be having a bad day tomorrow. I feel as if I owe it to this baby to be excited for her (obviously I am, but it’s complicated…) so I’m going to try and do one thing every few days that makes me a little uncomfortable. Posting her ultrasound photo will be that thing. I posted photos of EVERYTHING when I was pregnant with Kenley, and this baby deserves to be loved just the same.

(I have to repeat this in my head daily. Losing Kenley has greatly altered my emotional state)

I hate this. I hate every second of the way I have to live my life now.

I am trying.

Little Miss, I can’t wait to see you on your ultrasound tomorrow. Please dance up a storm and make it hard for the tech to see you, so we can see you longer (but make sure to let her get all the measurements and pictures she needs!) .