Thursday, September 8, 2011

Gracie

Dear Little Nut.
Or Gracie as I like to call you.
I was certain you were a girl. Then a boy. Then after we lost you I have only been able to call you Gracie. I don't know why. Maybe I needed to call you something to make you real. I haven't told many people about you. Some of our closest family and friends knew you existed. I was to excited to keep it all to myself.  I knew the day I saw those 2 pink lines you were meant to be in our life. You were going to be just like your big sister and change us. You had a reason to come to us. You took us by surprise and from day 1 your Daddy was over the moon. It took me a few more hours-- days to warm up to knowing you were on your way.  I was scared. Beyond scared. I have to compare it to the fear I felt for your sister. Fear for what would be your life. Fear for what I could lose. Again. Fear for what road you would walk- if you ever walked it.  From the start we were seeing doctor after doctor what seemed like every week. We had 4 ultra sounds. We saw you move around 4 times. You were a wiggly little thing. We have 4 sets of pictures. They hang on our fridge. I see you everyday.

I knew from the start there was the risk. Your Daddy and I weren't certain yet because we hadn't been tested but most likely we both carried an ugly disease. A messed up gene that took your sisters life. I would tell myself every single day that I couldn't get my hopes up. I couldn't think life would be one way because we just didn't know.  We planned to have you tested. To know what life we would get with you. Would we be able to raise you? Would we be able to plan anything past your first birthday? I remember going to baby stores--- because lets face it-- I like to torture myself.  Going there was actual torture. To see all those things. Those things I wanted to buy for you. Things that made me smile. Things that I pictured you having. I remember so clearly looking at this little boy shirt (This is when I switched and thought you were a boy) It was 18 months. I lost it. Right there in the store. People stared. I almost started screaming but held my face and ran out of the store. I couldn't even breathe. I sat in my car and just wailed. The thought that you might not ever get to wear that, that you might not ever make it to that age. That I would have to bury you next to your sister. That I might have to live through that again. That I might have to say goodbye. I couldn't comprehend it.
I was never able to connect with Makenzie when I was pregnant with her.  I knew I loved her but my God I was worried I would love Harley more than I would love her right before I gave birth.
Oh how I have learned.
With you. I already was head over heels in love. This was the time I could keep you safe. I could hold you. Take you everywhere and never have to worry about you hurting. I connected with you.

We got the testing done July 19th.  The day after Makenzie birthday.
It hurt.
All I could do was lay there and pray.
I begged.
Pleaded with God to keep you safe and healthy.
I watched the ultra sound screen the whole time. Stared at you- jumping. You looked big but I know you were like and inch. I was only 12 weeks.
It didn't last long but there were several other tests to be done.
We were there for a few hours.
Your Daddy and I got tested at the same time. Since we have never done that (too expensive) we figured we better do it now to ensure Makenzie's disease wasn't some fluke thing and we did in fact both carry this mutation.
I got poked 3 different times that day so I was not sympathetic of your Dad getting poked once. I tried to feel sorry for him.

Over the next few weeks all I could do was pray.  Pray that God would keep you safe.
We were told the test would take 4 weeks to get any results.
I guess they got a really good sample because on July 29th I got the call.
It was mid morning. I was having a rough day anyway for other reasons. I didn't recognize the number but answered it still.  It was the Genetic Specialist. She didn't say much before she said they got the results back and it was positive.
I had about a million things running through my mind all at once. I remember feeling speechless, confused, in disbelief and about a million other emotions all within 10 seconds. The last time I felt like that was when we I was sitting in that blue recliner. Ryan was at work. I sat there and heard them tell me Makenzie's diaphragm was paralyzed. That she most likely had a disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy with Respiratory Distress.  I felt like a horrible mother because I couldn't even cry. It was surreal. This couldn't be my life.
That is exactly how I felt again on July 29th. Hearing about you. I couldn't even spit out a freaking word. I fell back into the couch cupped my hand over my mouth and felt limp.
I kept asking- are you sure... are you sure..
All i kept hearing was we are sure.... You and Ryan also tested positive as carriers.
It was like everything stopped again.
How could this happen again?
This wasn't happening.
God wouldn't do this to us again.
There is no way we could have another child who is sick.
I don't even remember hanging up the phone.
I sat there.
I didn't know if I should call Ryan who was at work.
Should I tell him this over the phone?
Who should I talk to?
Should I tell anyone?
I laid down and just cried. I clung to my belly. I just begged God once again to not let this be real. That this was not happening. That this was a mistake and I could keep this baby.
I imagined your life leaving me.

Oh Gracie... I love you so much. I wanted you so much. I ached knowing you might have to live the life your sister lead. What scared me the most is that knowing I would not have you for long- Would that make me a better or a worse Mom to you. I just didn't know.

I finally called Ryan. I couldn't breathe. He had no idea what had just happened and was assuming the worst. I finally spit it out. We both sat there. We couldn't say anything. There was nothing to say.  As much as we knew this could happen- we were convinced it wouldn't. We felt this was our chance to have another start. To have another child. To give Makenzie a little brother or sister.
Even after losing it all- we still wouldn't believe it could happen again.

Ryan was suppose to go to the cabin that weekend but canceled his plans.
We stayed home.
We cried.
We tried to understand.
We wanted so much to give you a good life. For you to know we love you. For you to know we needed you. We would hold you close. No matter how long you gave us. You alone would give us the world. All we would ever need.

Your sister needed you more

We lost you Gracie on August 4th.
14 weeks and 3 days.

I have tried to understand. I have tried to make sense of everything. The thing we want most in this world is just impossible. How could this happen again. How could God make our second child sick as well. How could we now have lost 2 children?

I never thought I would feel to hurt by something I never physically had. I hurt. Because I never got to hold you, kiss you, love on you, feel you or look into your eyes.

Please know my girls-- please know how much I love you. How much I wanted each of you. How much I dream and wished for you. Please know you are my life. You are part of me. I pray you are both loving life in heaven. Together. I cant wait to hold you both. Someday.

It was almost immediate Ryan and I felt we couldn't give up on expanding our family.
It was very clear to us we were not meant to have a child through our own pregnancy. To have both our children have this "rare" disease meant it was no longer "rare" in our household.
Not only that but we have both felt very strongly that we are suppose to expand our family in a totally different way.  I am not even sure if we are on the right track with adoption. But it feels right. So that's where we will go.  I have a feeling there is something more. That we have a purpose. That those 2 girls came into our lives for a reason. The bodies they had, the spirits they carried were meant to be. They changed us. They are making us better people and better parents.

31 comments :

Heather said...

I am sending some many hugs and so much love you way. I hope it helps warm you soul at least a little.

Krissy said...

Wow!! I am in shock and amazed... You are truly a strength to me. I know our situations are very different but I know the pain is real... I ache for you right now and send my love... Only as a mother of one angel can to another. I pray for you and your husband to... Be happy! (there are no words are there.) Other than I know your girls have eachother until you can be with them again!

Jessica and Reece said...

Kendra, I hope you know how much I love you and how much I think about you and Ryan and your babies. I am sick that you had to go through this again, but I know you will get toraise both girls and be with them forever, even if it's not in this life. You are an incredible mother and woman and friend. Praying for you and sending love your way every day.

Tiffany said...

Oh Kendra...I am so sorry. Words can not even describe how my heart is hurting for you.

I just want you to know that I think you are AMAZING! Truly! I think that Kenzie and little Gracie are looking down and saying..."Yep...that's OUR mom!...Aren't WE lucky?!!" You'll hold them again. BOTH of them! I wish I knew when, but I will say it WILL happen.

You are by definition STRONGER than you know Kendra! You are an inspiration to so many. Keep writing. Keep sharing. Keep hope alive in that big beautiful heart of yours.

I am sending lots and lots of prayers your way.

Loves to you,
Tif (Jack's mom)

The Hickman Family said...

Oh Kendra, I wish I could give you a big hug right now! I can't even begin to imagine all you have been through in this life. One thing I know is for sure is that you are very strong and such a wonderful mommy! Keep your head up! I am praying for you daily & I just know you will be blessed with another baby & will someday get to be with you girls again!

sarah.richman said...

Kendra, sitting here with Tear filled eyes. I only wish I could find a way to help you with the pain you are going through. Just know I care!!! I look up to you in so many ways your incredible.. XOXO

Erin said...

I am sitting here at work bawling. I am soooo very sorry you got that news and that Gracie wasnt able to be here on earth with you and Ryan. God certainly has a plan for you both, although its hard to see what that plans is right now. I wish nothing but wonderful things for you and Ryan. Im sooo sorry for both of your loses.

Lovemylinz said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I don't understand either, but God does. God knows and has a plan for you and Ryan. He has great things in store for you. You are an amazing person, and I thank you for sharing your life stories with us. You are admired by so many. I am always praying for you and Ryan for continued healing.

Mikaela said...

Kendra, I am so so sorry for your loss and for all of the pain that you must be feeling. It seems far too much for one family to bear, but there must be a different story in the works for your family, and I pray that it is beautiful and happy. Your strength, even when you write of your most difficult days, inspires me. My heart aches for you, but it is also jumps with excitement for you as you continue your adoption journey. Thanks for sharing, I know that it must have been difficult to write. Sending hugs!

The Saville Family said...

I'm sad for you. To lose one child is hard enough without dealing with the loss of another and the realization that you can't bring anymore into the world the natural way. But I'm sure that there is a baby on it's way that is meant to be with you and Ryan even though it'll come through a different way than you had ever planned it'll still be yours and you will get to raise it to adulthood. I'm going to add more recipes to the cookbook today. I want this to work for you guys. Thank you for posting your most tender feelings it's such a help to those of us who read and are struggling with our own losses and are strengthened by your strength.

Emma said...

Oh Kendra, I am so sorry. Another situation there just aren't words for. To be so excited, to have your dreams in front of you again and have them taken away...I am so sorry. I know there is a plan, but knowing that doesn't make it any easier to deal when it doesn't go the way we want or hope. I have no doubt Kenzie and Gracie are playing with one another and having so much fun in Heaven and looking down on parents they are so proud of!! I know you are incredible parents and I know you will have a baby of your own to hold again one day, hopefully soon, and you will be able to share the incredible love you have for Kenzie and Gracie with them as well-what lucky little ones!! Hugs through these difficult, painful and also hopeful days ahead. Love Em

Shawna said...

Oh Kendra, I am so sorry. I couldn't help but wonder from some of your earlier posts if something like this had happened and I keep you in my prayers. I pray that you will someday know your purpose and all those questions you have will be answered. I pray for strength for you and Ryan and I pray for your girls -- that they are having fun together and loving their time with Jesus. I pray for your plans for expanding your family too, that you will be shown the right way and that the baby being prepared for you will be perfect for your family and a great addition as your third child. My heart breaks for you Kendra and your strength amazes me -- I know that it is given you by God just as any child you add to your family will be as well.

Satterlees said...

Big Big Hug my friend. Someday you will be holding your baby and will look back on all that you've been through, and how it's made you who you are today. My heart breaks for you right now but keep your chin up:)

Chantel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kellie Staats said...

I am so sorry you had to hear those words twice. Your 2 little girls are looking down on you now. I know me saying that doesn't make is any easier and I hate that I know that from experience.

I pray your adoption process goes just got you have planned. You deserve to be nothing but happy.

Jujubee said...

So incredibly sorry for your loss of little Gracie. I have this beautiful vision of two girls laughing and playing together as sisters!!!!! Excited to support you with the cookbook so your earthly arms will be full soon!!!! Hugs from Sacramento... Praying for your healing and in awe of your strength and perseverance.

mrslill said...

:'( my heart aches for you and Ryan!! Thank you for sharing this all with us I am sure this experience was extremely hard! I had a bad day today but reading your post was the wake up call I needed! Thank you! I hope you have a very quick adoption process. I know some woman is going to see the WONDERFUL parents you two will be!

Anonymous said...

Oh I knew this was going on. This sounds so creepy. I've said "i knew it" before to you in an anonymous comment, I hope you don't mind. I just feel creepy sharing that I "know" stuff about a stranger and then revealing myself. But I just had these gut feelings, it's in the way that you write.

When did you lose or terminate this pregnancy? I was praying really hard for you this past several months. been a long time reader. just knew these were things you were going through.

I pray an adoption is what is next for your family,a and perhaps in the future, an accidental pregnancy...that yields a healthy little baby with your eyes and her daddy's smile.

Amanda said...

Kendra,
I don't know you, and you don't know me. Although I feel like I have known you forever. I have been "stalking" your blog for quite sometime now, and have wanted to express how much you inspire me. It just hasn't felt like the right time to tell you how AMAZING you are!! You are seriously the most down to earth, truthful, raw person I have ever met. (I guess I haven't met you, but you know what I mean..lol!!) I love it! I love the way that you express your thoughts and feelings whether they are good or bad. I love the way you write. I feel like God has taken your beautiful baby girls to live with him in Heaven because they are WAY to special and PERFECT to live here on this crappy earth. They are so BEAUTIFUL, just like their momma! You are 24 years old and have lived the lifetime of a 90 year old with all the trials you have been given, but here you are facing them with your chin up. You are going to be the BEST mom EVER! You seriously know what unconditional love is and you know how to express it. Your angel babies and your "soon to be" children are so lucky. Makenzie and Gracie are so lucky to have a Mom like you. I am sure they are looking down and thinking "Wow my Mom is so amazing. She really knows what she is doing. She knows how to make a difference in this world. I can't wait to be with her again and have her all to myself and just soak up her AWESOMENESS". God knows what he is doing Kendra. He knows how influential you are and what a difference you are making in peoples lives. Besides he has got to do something to keep you from going straight to heaven :) You are too big of a inspirational tool. I just want you to know that I appreciate your blog so much. You inspire so many many people, most of which are probably crazy stalker moms like me! Keep it up Kendra! You are so strong, so inspiring, so loveable, so beautiful, and so incredibly amazing! I have laughed and cried with you so many times. Your blog is so addicting! I just wanted to thank you for making me want to be a better person, wife, mother, etc!!

Annie said...

Kendra- You do not know me but I sure know you. Your story has touched my life in so many ways. I find strength in you. I have had some tough times (at least tough to me) and every time I read your blog I find a new strength that I did not know I had. You inspire me to be a better person. Thank you for sharing your story with the world so that people can see that through tough times we can shine. I am sure that through your journey you are helping others. Keep your head up. You will have the family you have always wanted. Thanks again for lifing my spirits on many occasions.

Rafahi Family said...

My heart aches for you and Ryan with this loss. I pray for you. I pray that you both will have strength, peace and so much happiness. Because you both deserve so much happiness. We have never met, but I really hope to someday. :-)

Reese said...

I am so sorry for your losses. I know how hard it is to begin to feel hopeful again only to have it jerked away from you. I can tell from the beautiful words you write about your children that you are meant to have children that you get to keep for much longer than you got to keep your beautiful babies. Praying for you and your present and future family.

{owens} said...

.hugs.

i'm going to get some recipes together tomorrow..

Sunshine Promises said...

Oh my. No words. No words. Just tears, prayers and hugs. In that order.

Love to you, Mother Heart. May you be encompassed with a Peace that only Heaven can give.

Brian and Rebecca Nate said...

Kendra, I read your blog and tears are streaming down my face. I feel so sorry for you and your loss. Please know that I'm praying for you and hope that you will find happiness. Take care.

Jensen said...

Found your blog through Ashley Sullenger. My daughter died of an enlarged heart four days after birth last January. My heart hurts for you. Just wanted to let you know I care. Love, Michelle Jensen...danielandmichellejensen.blogspot.com

Rose said...

Words can not express the ache I feel for you. And I know that there is nothing I can say that will ease your pain. You are a fantastic example of strength and enduring. You are and will be an amazing Mother! I have no doubt that those 2 little girls are saddened because they had to leave this earth way too early and they long to have you hold them, just as you long to hold them. I am certain they are waiting on the other side for you and when your mission on this earth is over, they will be there, waiting to hold you in their arms. That is the only thing that gives me hope...

You are in our prayers and our thoughts. We will pray for you to have comfort and peace in this difficult time!

Glenda said...

Peace and strength!
I hope the adoption is everything you want it to be and you get the baby that deserves to be in your life.

Mindee & Austin said...

Kendra i am so sorry about both of your losses, my hear it aching for you and your family. I have a strong testimony that both of your sweet babies are with are loving father in heaven and they are watching over you. I am a friend of Ashely Sullengers, I found your blog through hers. Im glad I did, and are prayers are with you and you family.

Kristin and Jay said...

I am so so so sorry for your loss. Both of them! I have read your blog and cried along with your posts and heartache. I myself am a mother because of adoption. I haven't had the stuggles of losing a child, I can't even imagine the pain. I want you to know that adoption is the MOST amazing experience I have gone through. The miracle that there is a selfless person willing to put a child's life before their own selfish desires is amazing. I pray that you find that child who is waiting to come into your family. That child will be one of the luckiest children around. If I hear of any birthmothers looking for a family I will definately send them your way! My child didn't grow in my belly, but she grew in my heart. She is a savior in my life and I couldn't imagine life without her. Your family is in my prayers!

Marium said...

Kendra, I can't even imagine what you must be feeling and going through. I'm so sorry, I have not experienced loss like you have. It took my husband and I 4 years to get pregnant but I miscarried with twins a few weeks later. After that we decided to adopt. We looked into all options out there and finally decided to become foster parents so we could get more then one child at a time. A week after being open we got a sibling group of 4. A year later we adopted all 4 and a year after that we adopted their baby sister too. Foster care is not for everyone but it worked out for us. I would be willing to talk to you or you can read more about our story on my blog. I wish the best for you and am sending my prayers and love your way.

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