Monday, December 12, 2011

Leading up to the end.

Last year was the same for me... The days leading up to the 13th were worse than the actual day. I have a feeling this year might be the same. Its remembering these days. These days where I would wake up every morning and look at my beautiful little girl and pray for a miracle. Pray that I didn't have to make this decision.  I wish that choice would have been easier. I wish I would have had a perfect knowledge of what was best for my baby.  Ryan and I took ourselves out of the picture. If it was up to us we would have kept her forever. Sickness and in health. We would have dedicated our lives to our incredibly sick little girl.  It wasn't a question for me. That is what I wanted. But like I have said many other times. 
That was not her plan.
When we found out Makenzie was at her best and she would only get worse from here we knew her quality of life needed to out rule the hard hard times she had to endure everyday. We talked to several other incredible families that were in similar situations. That were once in our shoes and that had to make the choices we made.  We were not ever able to talk to a family that felt it was time for their child to go and took them off life support. At the time I could only imagine the pain they must feel and that talking to another family facing the same thing must be so hard (which is one reason I try to be very open and have this blog- just in case another family needs some support on this side).
We wanted to make sure whatever choice we made, we made the decision that was right for Makenzie. Not anyone else. Not us. Only her.
We had only known what was going to happen days before the 13th.
Once the decision was made we knew only keeping her here was for us. We knew what she wanted. That God was ready for her. That her little life was complete. We talked about when and I honestly wished I didn't have to plan the day my daughter would die. I wanted it to just happen on its own. I knew it was going to but I didn't want to pick the day. What if I was wrong. It was the most sickening feeling. It was overwhelming to know "when". When I was in the hospital with her that month felt like years. Never leaving does that to you.  I see now how fast it all went. Then, it was like I lived in minutes not days. Everyday before the 13th was a "GOOD" day because it wasn't the day I would have to say goodbye. Life was so simple. What was important was minimal. 
We picked the 13th for the simple fact that I wanted certain nurses and RT's to help us. I trusted them and I wanted to make sure Makenzie was taken care of. I prayed every second that God would not make me tell them to take her off. I couldn't look my daughter in the eyes and say "okay-she is done."
I just asked that if this really was his plan, he would take her on his own time. 
We planned on 7:00 pm.
At 5:00 pm... Just minutes after our parents got to the hospital to say their goodbyes. 
Her tube came out.
I was holding her.
The room was suddenly filled with the entire PICU team.
Everything went fuzzy.
I knew this was it.
There was no turning back.
Instead of trying to make sense of anything I took a breath and held her.
All I could think of was making sure she knew I was there.
That I would never let go and she wasn't doing this alone.
What was happening around me is a mystery.
My focus was in my arms.
I will never forget what I saw.
My daughter returning to heaven.
Being here. In my arms. Looking at me with those big eyes.
Then she went.
Just like that.
As much as I knew it was coming. I wasn't ready. I didn't want to say goodbye.
She was mine.
She was my world.
Every breath I took was for her.
The most incredible life was lived and then died in my arms.
I know she wasn't alone.
I know there was a mass of angels that came to get my baby.
God needed her home.
He needed to take away her pain.

I wish I could explain why. 
I wish I knew all the reasoning for everything in life.
But I do understand her purpose.
As much as I still wish and pray life was different. That her purpose was different. I have accepted that this is all much grater than me. That God needed it this way. and I am grateful for that. 
Because 148 days with her. Is better than a lifetime without her. 
To have known her. To have been apart of her legacy.
To have been the beginning to her story.
Is the greatest honor I could have ever asked for.
I will forever be Makenzie's Mom.
She will forever be mine.
Its about waiting until the day my journey ends.
and going home.
To her.


drudgemom5 said...

That was beautifully said. She was so lucky to have you as her mom and I am praying that another baby will get to be just as lucky. Hoping that you will have a baby very soon to take care of as well as you took care of Makenzie.

Laura said...

Beautifully written. Even as a mother, I can not imagine how you felt during the time you had to make those incredibly hard decisions for your daughter. This truly breaks my heart. You did the right thing for her. You have to know that.

Sending you love.


Jamie said...

You inspire me everyday to be a better mom to my McKenzie. I will be praying extra hard for you these next few days. I know your Makenzie is looking down on you and so thankful to have a mother like you. Stay strong.


tanyab88 said...

Dec. 12th 2009 was the day I lost my baby boy Jaden. He was fifteen days old. Today is a hard day for me. Reading that blog just brought back the memories of my son taking his last breath. Oh, how I can just feel your pain. You are in my thoughts and prayers always.

Molly said...

Hi Kendra -

I have been following your blog for a while. I just wanted to say I admire your honesty and courage in talking about Makenzie, and the terrible decision you had to make to do what was best for her. We went through the same thing with our 7 month old son this past March. It is a choice no parent should have to make. I pray for you and your family that the coming days are filled with more good memories than bad, and that you find some peace this holiday season.

Jessica Skelton said...

Hi, I am jessica, I e mailed you about SMARD info just wanted to share with you that i made a 100 on that report. I believe that I was able to write such a good paper because of the impact that your story has had on me. I wanted to learn more and spread the word I want to help. I sit at work and cry for you, pray for you and just ask god to help you through this. No one should ever have to go through such pain but your princess is in heaven watching over you and smiling. I pray that god will give you pease as the 13 approaches.
P.S are the cook books still up for sale

Auntie EM said...

Today,your words speak volumes. My heart is full today with love for you guys, for her, for all those that have left this world for a much better place. Knowing Makenzie is perfect, I will try to live my life so I too can see her again someday. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Ryan. I love you both very much. I love your beautiful girl. Aunt Mary

Shane and McKenzee said...

Thank you so much for this post. You have made and are continually making an impact on my life and attitude.

Jones' Adventures said...

What a beautiful and perfect example of a mom you are. Thank you for sharing your story and your amazing strength to put your sweet daughter before yourself.

Tisha and Mark said...

Beautiful post, Kendra! I needed that today :)

Rosalie said...

Beautifully said hon...she will be with you tomorrow as you handle the events that the 13th of every month will bring...she will wrap her arms around you and you WILL feel her love. You ARE a GREAT mother and she is so thankful for you, I have no doubt! She will be waiting but until then she watches over you and her Daddy and Harley. You have done so much good since that day and she is proud of you for it! Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Much love!

Melissa said...

You are simply amazing. Praying for you and Ryan today, tomorrow and always.

Alesha said...

This was bad news for me to read today...a puddle of tears. Today is 5 months since we said good bye to our little man. You are the only other person I know of that made the same decision. It is such a hard one. I know that was the right thing for Pierce but it sure is hard on the Momma. I hope tomorrow is good to you. :)

brigette said...

Praying for you guys. These days are so hard!! I love the pictures of sweet Kenzie the bath ones are precious to! My heart and stomach sinks for you guys. You are amazing im praying for you daily!

Kimba said...

She is so precious. Those eyes just melt my heart. My uncle (whom I'm very close to) passed away a little over a week ago due to an unexpected heart attack. He lived for a week after but never woke up from his coma. My sweet aunt and had to make the decision as well, and as hard as it was we too knew that it was just his time. God needed him more. There is a huge hole in our hearts and we miss him greatly. Thank you for your strength and for sharing your sweet daughter with us. Giving us hope that we are not alone and we can do hard things.

CTownsley said...

Such a beautiful, beautiful little life. Such a wonderful mama she has. My heart breaks for you. Praying for you and your family.

Jenni said...

thinking of you and your family today and throughout this entire week. HUGS!!!

Unknown said...

My eyes filled with tears reading this. I pray that God gives you comfort on the anniversary of your sweet girl returning to heaven. I have faith that God has a plan for us... even when we question and fight about it, everything that happens is his Will. Take heart in the fact that you will see your little girl again :)

Emma said...

I can't even begin to know how you feel, or imagine what reliving those days is life, but I hope through it all you can see her looking at you with those big, beautiful eyes so full of love. She knew your love was like noother and she felt the same for you and Ryan. You were gifts to one another. She had parents who put her ahead of anything else, even living with the pain, and did what they knew was best for her every step of the way. Kenzie is so lucky to have you, to have you continue to love her for always and to share her story so it can help and reach others.
Hugs today and always, but especially these days when the memories are so vivid and the feelings so raw. Love and hugs, Em

Robin said...

Kendra, I am hurting so bad for you. I wish I could help take the pain from you. That I could tell you Makenzie is in Heaven and you will meet again...I know you already know that, and I also know it still hurts...even knowing this. She is so beautiful. She knew, and still does know, how much she is loved. You (and Ryan of course) were her beloved family. She was little, but she knew. I read about your decision that broke your heart and stole your very soul, but you did it for the everlasting love of your daughter. She deserved to be free. She deserved to go back home to Jesus. She has helped so many people here on Earth, and you should be so proud of that little girl of yours! I am praying so hard for you and Ryan in this very difficult season. Tomorrow marks 2 years of sorrow for those here on Earth missing that precious girl, but marks 2 years of complete paradise for sweet Kenzie. She is dancing with the Angels!

Unknown said...

What a beautiful post Kendra.. Your strength and openness gives me peace that everything in our lives has a purpose, even if we are not sure of what is going on at that exact moment. When we look back on it we learn how beautiful those moments really were. May God be with you and Ryan on the 13th. Little MaKenzie can hold her head high Knowing that her Mommy and Daddy LOVED her enough to let her return to the angels in heaven! Thank you for sharing your story. You are AMAZING!!!

michelle said...

What a courageous decision! I can't even imagine how hard it was. Your last post about bathing McKenzie for the last time made me strive to appreciate bathtime with my own children just a little but more. Reading your thoughts you can tell how wonderful a mom you were (and will be again). Never let anyone tell you that your decision was wrong...Real moms make hard choices...the choices that are best for their kids!

Ginger said...

Kendra, you & Ryan are such an inspiration to myself & so many others. I can't imagine having to make this decision. You were so unselfish &I truly put your wants & needs aside to make the decision that was best for your precious baby girl. I feel like I could look at pictures of her for hours, I love her big beautiful loving eyes & sweet painted toenails!

I pray for you two every night, that God will send Makenzie a baby brother or sister. Thank you for sharing your story & reminding usto of what is really important in life!


Kim Sheely said...

Sweet Kendra, I wish this was not your trial. I wish the words of loved ones and strangers could heal your heart. I wish this grief and pain could be eased and I wish your days would get easier. You are an amazing mother to a beautiful daughter. Praying for you every day!
With love,

Marion said...

Your life is heartbreakingly beautiful. Through the greatest tragedy a mother can be asked to endure, you have shared with so many of us what it really means to be a mother. Thank you, Kendra, for reminding us how much we should value each moment with our babies. Mackenzie is an angel.

Jessica said...

Oh Kendra, I am crying at your beautiful post. I am currently in the hospital with my three-year-old who has SMA and he was intubated a week ago because he was having trouble breathing because of a respiratory virus. He was successfully extubated last Thursday, but my husband were terrified that he would not have been able to. We cried and prayed and would have had to make the same choice you did: to love our child until the end of his life and then love him enough to let him go. My heart goes out to you and my prayers are with you as I wish no parent ever had to make these decisions for their child. Sending love to you on Kenzie's two year angel day.

Tiffany said...

I want to say once again that I am so sorry for your loss. Your story has touched me more than you will ever know. I find myself checking your blog daily hoping to see that you have gotten your wish to be pregnant again. You are an amazing woman and I can only hope to become as strong of a person as you are!

Kelsi said...

Thinking of you and your husband today! ((HUGS))

The Stimpson Family said...

Beautiful, Kendra. Sweet Mackenzie is just so beautiful! I am sorry for this time and pray you and Ryan will get through it with your angel close by to hold you up.
Tracy (Karleigh's mom)

KW said...

I, too, had to make this decision and a lot of your thoughts are my thoughts as well. Thank you for sharing. We will see our angel daughters again.

Erin said...

Thinking of you....

Kristin and Jay said...

Oh Kendra. My heart aches for you!!! I had no idea that you had to make that decision. That has got to be the hardest thing one person would have to do in this lifetime. I can't imagine. I am so sorry your family had to go through that. Really, truly, sorry! I still pray for you family everyday. I hope and pray that its time for Makenzies little brother or sister to come join your amazing family! I know that everything happens for a reason, even if we won't fully understand until we reach the other side. But it is still so hard wishing things were different! Hugs to you!

Sophie's Mom said...

Kendra, this has touched my heart and broguth tears to my eyes. I cannot imagine how that moment felt. I do not know you but you and little Makenzie have made a huge impact on my life.

Today you and your beautiful daughter are in my thoughts and prayers.

Robin said...

Thinking of you and Ryan yesterday and today. Hope you're doing ok.

Tiffany Ann said...

My name is Tiffany-I have followed your blog for awhile now-I found you through the Sullengers. I just want you to know I think you are braver than you believe and stronger than you know. I truly look up to you-I hurt when you hurt-I am happy when you are happy! My Christmas wish is for you to be pregnant and have a new baby in your home- I can think of no one more deserving! I love you and your complete honesty! You make me a better mom! Thank you so so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Dear Kendra -
How are you ?
You have us so worried. Hope that you and Ryan can find solace in each other. You made the best decision, however cruel for you. So generous. A true parents' decision. We admire you for your strength then. May our thoughts support you now, fill the void.
Sweet Makenzie is having a ball with them angels, preparing Christmas. She is telling them about your love for her.
You are in our thoughts.


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