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

Dresser. 

Today was the day. 

We painted over the color I spent months trying to find for Kenley’s dresser. When I found out I was pregnant with a girl, I looked at probably 8 different shades of coral.  I knew this one was it when I saw the paint chip. It was pink without being salmon, and orange without being too much like an apricot. 

It was perfection. 

And now, it’s gone. I know you’re thinking it’s “just” paint, and it’s “just” a dresser, right? Wrong. It was for my baby girl. I knew in my heart that some day I would tell her how long it took me to find that perfect color for her; I knew one day she would grow up and tell me how much she loved it. 

Shane told me a while ago that he would paint it for me after I had a major melt down while talking to him about it. But, somehow, it has been pushed to the back of the to do list. I know it’s extremely hard for him, and we talked about it today. Before we started painting I was crying just thinking about actually doing it. Guilt. So much guilt and sadness. 

He looked at me, grabbed my hand, and said “we will do it together”. 

I am the luckiest woman alive, I believe. 

So, together, through many tears on my part, we painted her dresser. We painted our daughter’s dresser; our second loved and oh so wanted daughter. 


Shane also painted her name letters yesterday, as well. They are gold, but l know they don’t look like it here. 

Painting her dresser, their dresser, was extremely emotional. The dresser is the last piece of “Kenley’s nursery” that we had left. The last remaining specific decor piece and it just felt like someone put that final nail in my coffin for lack of better words. They just reminded me that my daughter is gone, and she will NEVER be alive to enjoy the things I created for her. 

That…is a really really hard pill to swallow all over again. 

It seems like once a day I have to deal with something reminding me that she’s gone. Not just when I open my eyes and see her picture on my nightstand instead of her sweet face. Not when I feel her abscence in the silence of every day life. Not even when I walk by my dresser and see her urn, memory box and the bear I have that weighs as much as her. 

I’m talking a gut wrenching reminder that she is not here. 

Like when your insurance lists her as “deceased” on their website…with one date next to her name. Never to have a single claim billed for her medical care. 

Or when they deny coverage of the blood tests that ultimately proved you have a blood clotting disorder that killed her. 

Or when your son says he’s scared for the new baby because he “doesn’t want her to die, too”. 

I’m scared for the new baby too, buddy. 

I’m so incredibly scared. 

32 weeks today. 5 weeks to go.