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

NSTptsd.

Yep. It’s a real thing, at least it should be a real word anyway.

Yesterday at our first NST of the week, Alden decided she would be a super jerk and not let the nurse find her heart beat right away. And, by right away, I mean it took THREE WHOLE MINUTES to find her heartbeat. Sure, 3 minutes doesn’t seem like a long time, but remember the standard NST testing hook up is how we found out Kenley died. That was the longest probably 10 minutes of my entire life…

So, I’m sitting there… the nurse says “ok lets have you roll toward me” (I do) still no heartbeat.

Lets have you roll on to your other side (I do) still, I hear nothing.

I’m feeling her move inside me, or so I think; I thought Kenley was moving, too, but I was horribly mistaken.

I say, “ok let me lay flat on my back for a second because sometimes when I do that she moves and brings herself pretty close to the surface and we get her heartbeat”.

I lay flat. NOTHING. 

I lost it; I cried and was shaking so much we had to turn the machine down because it was so loud. I’m sorry, but there is only so much you can handle! I had reached my limit about 20 seconds after we couldn’t find her heartbeat in the beginning so the nurse is lucky I held out as long as I did.

Finally, we got it. It was faint and sounded super distant. I don’t know what she was doing in there (besides stressing me the hell out) but she just kept her distance. We were finally able to get a good trace on her, and she passed with flying colors, as per usual.

After the nurse left to let my MFM read the strip, I lost it again. Shane could tell I wasn’t holding it together very well, and I could tell he was a little stressed out too. He swears he heard her faintly in the beginning, and that the Nurse was never worried…well, I sure as hell was (and I know he’s lying and was scared half to death too…) 

So the rest of the appointment I was scared. I wanted to just cry to my MFM and beg her to take Alden now. Please god just take her while we know she’s still alive. I know that she will be fine on the outside. What if my body kills her again between now and the time she’s supposed to come? Kenley died 7 days before her scheduled c-section date, so what am I supposed to do around that time with Alden? I’m pretty sure I’ll either be at an NST, in Labor and Delivery getting monitored, or I’ll be sitting here with my doppler on my stomach listening to her heartbeat all night.

I talked with my MFM, and told her I had been having some Braxton Hicks contractions, and that they pretty much happen every time I stand up. I sit down, and they eventually go away after a few seconds. I drink tons of water, so I know I’m not dehydrated. She told me that if they increased, or the pain intensified that I should head to L&D. She didn’t seem too worried about them, but I go for another NST on Thursday and so far today they have been happening again so I will mention it to her.

She told me that she had put her cell phone number in my chart so that if I end up at labor and delivery in the middle of the night they know to call her for delivery- That kind of freaked me out I won’t lie! We also discussed that I need to stop Lovenox 12 hours before I deliver because if I don’t, they won’t give me a spinal due to bleeding risks, and I’ll have to be put under. I would just lose my mind if I had to be asleep for her birth! Not cool!

I have been trying my hardest to not let my mind get the best of me, but the NST just pushed me over the edge. I don’t know how I’m going to get through the next 20-something days. I really don’t know.

On a happy, less neurotic, note- Alden now has a light fixture for her bedroom!

lydia-flushmount-chandelier-c

 

 

more randoms. 

• The painters come Tuesday and every time I think about them painting over Kenley’s wall color I want to throw up. 

• All these women protesting photos on IG make me wish I could have gone and showed up for equality. I just still cannot believe the outcome of this election. It, like the above, makes me want to throw up. 

• I love my husband so fucking much. He went to work at 5:30am, came home and went outside with Landon to let him ride his 4 wheeler, then took Landon to the grocery store and did ALL the shopping, and finally he ran me a bath this evening. He is so loving and thoughtful. He always tells me he would do anything for me, and I have never doubted him in my life, and I never will. 

• I’m becoming increasingly uncomfortable in my body; my organs are being shoved all over and it’s hard to get a deep breath and I’m starving (but have no room for food). 


• I really need to organize my house. Landon’s birthday party is coming up, and it’s like a disaster. This is because of my grief. For example: I started sweeping my floors yesterday. I did HALF of my living room floor and quit. The sweeper is still plugged in, in the living room sitting there. Can’t. Handle. It.  Grief is the absolute worst because it makes me feel unable to participate in life or be productive. 

• Shane finally agreed to go test drive new cars! We went to the Acura dealer first because, dream car! We drove a 2017 Acura MDX and I’m in love. Even though we can afford it, I feel like the smart thing is to wait until baby comes. Because well…last time fucked up everyone  pretty bad and I just don’t want to deal with the fear of buying a new car jinxing this pregnancy. Once again, grief is irrational. 

• I’ve been feeling sort of alone lately. Not physically alone, because I never am, but like…in my grief? It’s so isolating. I think you could put me in a room with other people who lost their children and I would still feel so alone. Every one grieves differently and I think that is why it’s so hard. I don’t know if that even makes sense. 

• I need to stay off CAR (carrying a rainbow) . MENTAL NOTE: DO. NOT. OPEN. THAT. FORUM. It’s just too much. I go there when I feel like I’m having a good day and every god damn time there is another intro by someone who had a baby when Kenley was born. Can’t handle that. 

• I received a beautiful gift basket from someone on TCF yesterday. It came out of the blue and really made me feel loved. The card spoke of Kenley and how much she is loved. I am so lucky to have friends I’ve never met loving her so hard. She’s super lucky. 

• My new fetal doppler came today. I spent about 20 minutes listening to her this afternoon. It no longer comforts me…I’m just waiting to stop hearing it at any minute. 

• I seriously keep worrying that my lovenox isn’t working. That somehow, something terrible is going to happen again. There is no way to tell if it’s truly working (rationally I know it is). 

• I keep looking at rainbow baby outfits for the hospital. I’ve found a few that I love, but, I don’t feel like I can buy them. I’m too scared. 


• I’m binge watching the office…again. Jim and Pam’s wedding episode was tonight. Cue all the tears- favorite episode ever. 

• I need a new planner to keep track of all the doctors appointments I’ve got coming up. The planner I want is at a store in the “sorta” ghetto and I don’t feel like going alone. 

And yeah. That’s about all I got.