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Our big girl!

Our big girl!
Growing so fast!

Kylie 1 day old

Kylie 1 day old
Curling up

Bryleigh Addison

Bryleigh Addison
Our youngest miracle

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Long-overdue update

It has been almost 2 months since my last post, and I really, again, have no excuse other than life has caught up with me. We'll start with Kylie, then Butterfly, then sweet Jaycee.

Kylie would be 21 months old right now... it's so hard to believe that we are so, so close to two years now...  Every day, I think of her still. I think of how beautiful she is, how sweet she is, and what she would be doing now. I try to imagine my life with her as a 21 month old, but it is so hard to do-- would she look more like me now, or still like the spitting image of her daddy? Would she be walking, talking, etc, or would her prematurity and bowel surgery prevent her from doing normal toddler things? Would we be at the doctor a lot? All of those things just consume my mind. She is a very, very loved little miracle baby, and I could not have asked God to bless me with a more perfect first-born child. She is my heart, for sure, and I miss her deeply.

Today, I am 20 weeks, 3 days pregnant with Butterfly, who decided to be stubborn last week and not reveal himself/herself to us through ultrasound. Stubborn little kid already... wonder where that comes from? (*cough* CHRIS *cough*). Hah. This pregnancy has been much, much different than Kylie's pregnancy, which in a way is a really good thing for me. It prevents me from freaking out so much from comparing, and it also puts my mind at ease some more. Everything has been nearly textbook with this pregnancy; heart rate is always in a good range (140-165), and I've been feeling movement since week 14. Even in ultrasound, this child is so, so active compared to Kylie, and the US tech told me at 12 weeks I was going to have a fun end of pregnancy cuz this kid was going to be everywhere. I'm sitting really low, and this baby is pushing down on everything, especially my bladder. We go to the specialist in Birmingham on July 20 for my big measuring ultrasound, and we should find out then if baby is a boy or girl, though we are all thinking boy at this point. My OB said if he had to guess, he'd guess boy, but if all we have is a guess, I can't be certain. Hopefully we'll know then. Also, at that appointment they measure all body parts, organs, etc, and it will be a good indication of what is going on. I'll be 22 (almost 23 weeks) by then, so I'll have some time to get the room ready if it's a boy before I go back to school. Doctor still confirmed 37 weeks is as far as we need to go, unless something is just overly good, and we can try to stretch it to 38, but he is still saying end of October, very beginning of November, which is fine with me. I just want a healthy outcome.

Jaycee is growing so fast. June 1, we celebrated her 4th birthday. It has been such a sweet blessing to watch her grow up and change from baby to preschooler... she is learning so fast, and she is so smart and quick to pick up on things. She doesn't miss a beat. She is the most loving, sweet 4 year old I know, and she is just such a blessing to us. We are thankful every day for her presence in our home and in our life. She has such good friends here, and overall, we couldn't be more thankful to have her to help us get through the days. She loves Kylie and Butterfly as her own blood sister and future brother or sister... she is going to be an amazing big sister to them! I know that I wouldn't have made it this far without her, and I can't imagine my life without her in it. Hopefully, she starts pre-k in the fall if we can get all the paperwork handled right. I really don't want her to miss out on the opportunities school has to offer her.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Nineteen months without her...

Yesterday marked nineteen long months without my beautiful first-born baby girl.

Today marks nineteen long months of heavy, numb grieving. On the fifteenth last year, I was to numb to even grieve or believe. The 16th was when it first set in. The 16th was the first day I didn't go to the NICU first thing in the morning. The 16th was the first time I didn't call the nurse to see how Kylie's night was. The 16th was the first time I didn't pump when I woke up. The 16th was the first time I woke up with an empty, hollow heart. The 16th was the first time I woke up as the parent of an angel. So many firsts...

I don't think I'll ever forget the things that happened during Kylie's too-short lifetime. I don't think I'll ever forget the days right after, leading up to her funeral... Those 2 and 1/2 weeks will be etched in my heart and burned in my mind forever. While so many people bring healthy babies home, I never took my baby anywhere. While so many people pick out carseats, clothes, and other necessities, I was picking out a casket, funeral songs, memoribilia, a cemetery plot, and a headstone. While other parents were paying for doctor's visits, formula, diapers, and wipes, I was paying for a NICU stay, funeral plots for me and Chris, and a headstone.

None of this seems fair at all, especially when you type it out, or you really think about it. NO parent should have to do this. NO parent should have to say goodbye when others get to say "hello" and only say goodbye when the parents are old in age and ready to go on to Heaven.

I said "goodbye" against my will. I was forced to end my earthly relationship with Kylie. I had no choice. She had no choice. We were told "this is it, this is how it will be," and it was. That is how it was.

Yesterday in church, Brother Randy must have been preaching directly too me. I realized when I walked in the door what the date was, and I knew that it was not going to be easy. Then, we had a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace... and I completely fell to pieces. I can NEVER hear that song without falling apart- it was one of the songs we played for sweet Kylie, because honestly, who doesn't feel compelled to play that song at a funeral? It was a beautiful version as well... but I just sobbed, while thinking of my beautiful baby with the life that was ripped away so soon...

And then, the message "Where is God?" If you read Psalms 42 and 43 (I think that was it), basically it gives a message that in times of darkness, it is natural to ask "Where are you? Where is God?" and that your spirit and faith must overcome and realize that He has not completely left you... and I felt that he was speaking to me. Brother Randy told me when Kylie died that it was okay to be mad at God... "he's God. He can handle it." Those words were my comfort, and my permission to be mad. I know it's sad to look at it that way, but I felt that I needed permission to be pissed off, and to an extent, I am still mad.

However, I do realize that Kylie's life, however short it was, was a true gift and blessing from God. God knew that I (and Chris) was needed to help other parents, and He knew that we would use Kylie's life to help others and raise awareness for infant and pregnancy loss. That is why he took her from us on October 15. I knew from that moment that it was not just a coincidence that Kylie passed on National Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness Day. There's just no way; that day was meant for me to bring Kylie's life into the limelight, to bring hope to other parents. That is why, just one year to the day after losing my baby girl, I stood in front of about 120+ people at our first annual October 15th ceremony and shared Kylie's story and her impact on my life.

God and I are still in a shaky relationship, but I am still so grateful and thankful that he chose us to be Kylie Brielle's parents. I am in awe that He gave me such a beautiful, perfect baby girl, and that he felt that we deserved an honor of parenting a true, real angel. I am appreciative of the faith that He has in me and the belief that I am strong enough to survive it.

I am thankful that He let Kylie hand-pick Butterfly for us, that he let her choose her brother or sister. I am thankful that He rocks Kylie in his arms and has her in a world of nothing but love, acceptance, and understanding.

I am still, however, in pain. I miss my daughter, and I still have the question "why?"... I still ache for her, still wish desperately that I didn't have to continue living my life without my miracle baby. I am still sad, still depressed... I miss my angel every day, and even though I may seem "okay," I still have a lot going on. I haven't seen my daughter's face in almost 19 months. I haven't held her in 19 months and one day. I haven't kissed her sweet skin or smelled her sweet baby smell... I haven't heard her cry... and I haven't been able to teach her things or watch her grow. I miss her. So. Badly.

I love my daughter more than any words or emotions could ever express. There aren't enough words in the dictionary, there aren't enough stars in the sky, and there aren't enough feelings in the world to express how deeply I love Kylie. I loved her before I knew I was pregnant, I loved her even more when I found out I was pregnant, and I loved her even more than that when she was born... and today, I love her more than I did the day before. I know my love will grow every day, as a mommy's love should, and no one can ever take that away from me.

Don't get me wrong; I love Butterfly more than words can say, as well (and Jaycee, of course- I love her more than anyone would ever know), but just because I am pregnant doesn't mean I can't miss Kylie and love her too. Kylie will always be a part of our family, and our children will always know who Kylie is and will have pictures of her. They will always know they have a big sister (or little sister in Jaycee's case) in Heaven, and that they all have  special angel with them every step of every day. I don't know about you, but if I would have known that when I was growing up, I would have felt pretty darn special...

Kylie, I love you and miss you so, so much. You are my heart, my soul, my world. Thank you for being my first-born, my miracle baby, who made me a mommy and showed me what a mother's love is about.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Just some thoughts

Today is the 19th. Today, I've had a lot on my mind. I've been thinking of my beautiful princess in Heaven a lot lately, and how much this pregnancy makes me miss her. I remember how I felt and how excited I was: I was finally going to be a mommy to a beautiful baby that is my own flesh and blood! I was finally going to have a nursery and a baby to hold... I had a future all planned out.

I find myself having a hard time planning out any kind of future for Butterfly, because I'm so afraid that future will be ripped away from me too. I am excited, don't get me wrong, but the reality of things prevents me from being overly thrilled. I want so badly for this to go right, and I know my doctors are doing everything they can, but let's face it. The doctors can't save and prevent everything. What happens if I lose this baby too? How will I survive? How will I live? What would God be trying to tell me? That I'm not a fit mother? That I don't deserve a baby on earth?

I know that it's ridiculous to think about the what if's that might not even happen, but any bit of naivity about pregnancy and giving birth has been ripped away from me. Everything that other women gush over for pregnancy--- that is not a "given" or a "promise" to me.

I love this new baby more than life itself, but I'm so scared of losing him/her. I just hate having these feelings...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dr. Visits Galore! and ... 18 months in Heaven

So I've had THREE appointments this week! Tueday I met with Dr. Gonzalez. He put me on some additional folic acid tablets, and asked me to send him my blood sugars every week for the entire week. He also had me meet with a nutritionist (which I did Tuesday), and they have me on a gestational diabetes diet to prevent me from getting gestational diabetes wiht my PCOS and insulin resistance. He is going to do the first trimester screen on me, starting with bloodwork next Wednesday, as well as a 12 week ultrasound with Dr. G on May 10- this will measure all kinds of stuff and will tell risk factors for heart defects, down's, spinobifida, and most important, it will tell the strength of my placentaand the risks of abrupting again.


I saw Dr. Harris on Thursday, and got a second ultrasound in a week. =) Butterfly looks like a little lima bean! Dr. Harris said I'd be getting plenty of ultrasounds, and that i will go back in 4 weeks (May 12) for an appointment with Dr. H for another ultrasound and such. He said that with my classical uterine incision, the earlier the better for delivery, so no later than 37 weeks, because I am high risk for a uterine rupture the longer i go. He also prepared me for pre-term birth, and said he'd do everything in his pwoer to prevent it, but it would be a good idea to limit my activities now and slow it down some. I got my "mommy" bag- that huge bag of stuff with a ton of prental vitamin samples, and i had to go today and get all that beginning bloodwork done. Whew! A lot going on!

Today is 18 months since my little princess went to Heaven. One and a half years... one and a half years. I am so sad today, though I'm trying not to focus on the sadness due to my pregnancy- it's a guilty thing too. I feel guilty for being happy and guilty for being sad. I know there's nothing that I can do about what hashappened and what our lives are like, but I still have that empty hole in my heart that will never be filled. I miss her terribly... just wonder what life would be like with an 18 month old around...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Grrr.... Frustrations

Well, of course being so hormonal has not helped me control my temper or my patience. However, this mistake has cost me TIME getting in to see a specialist, so I am pretty pissed.

On WEdnesday, after my phone conversation with the nurse (not my usual nurse), Dr. Harper's office sent a referral to my maternal/fetal specialist, Dr. Gonzalez, out of Brookwood in Birmingham. Well, I waited, and waited, and waited for a call. I knew that he was pretty booked, but I was expecting to get a phone call. Today, 6 days later, I get a phone call from his office, and this is how it goes:

"Hello, is this Amber Keith?"

a "yes" from me..

"This is so-and-so from Brookwood Maternal Fetal Medicine. I am calling to schedule your pre-conception appointment. (pause) You are not pregnant, right?"
"Uh, actually, yes ma'am, I am pregnant. I am about 7 weeks today."

"Oh, you are pregnant. Well, I guess we will need to see you before July. (pause) I guess he will want to go ahead and schedule an appointment with the nutritionist since you are diabetic."

"No, ma'am, I'm not diabetic. I am insulin resistant, but my A1C level was in the normal range. I am on metformin."

"Oh, well then, I guess I'll talk to the nurse and she'll call you back later."

This was like 11:30.

At 2:00, I called back, and was told the nurse had called Dr. Harper's office. I then called Dr. Harper's office, because apparently the referral from that office had said those things, and left a message. Both places were supposed to call me back this afternoon, and yet, it is almost 7 and no one did. It's not an "emergency," but the longer it goes, the longer I have to wait to get seen. I want to be seen soon and I want to be taken care of. I am nervous enough, and I'm frustrated about all of this.

I'm sorry to be complaining, but I just feel that I am the one (and this baby) suffering from a miscommunication that shouldn't have happened int he first place. How do you confuse "pregnant" with "preconception"? It's a bit obvious. Sheesh.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

18 months

My dearest Kylie Brielle,

If words could express how much I miss you right now, I don't think they would ever be enough. It is so, so very hard to grasp that you were born 18 months ago... 1 1/2 years ago. It seems like so long ago, yet sometimes, like it was only yesterday.

I often lay in bed and close my eyes to remember your face... to remember those beautiful blue eyes, to remind myself of the smiles you put on my face every time I laid eyes on you. I could never forget anything about you; I spent two full weeks memorizing your features so that they would forever be etched in my memory. No matter what, I will always see a beautiful angel when I think of you.

I am a pretty lucky Mommy. I mean, I have Jaycee, I have you, and I have our little Butterfly on the way. I have so much, and I owe a lot of it to you. I would give the world and then some to have you back, but I know that is impossible. I know you are in a much safer, better place, but it doesn't change how badly my heart still aches for you. I know it always will; it is the mother in me, I suppose. However, I do not wish you to suffer the earthly pains that would have consummed your life, and so I am thankful that you are in a place where you know no pain, no suffering, and no sadness. It gives me a sense of peace and happiness that I won't ever have to think of you hurting over boys, friends, or life in general. I know that you have a pure heart of gold, and that you have a kindness and understanding of others that I will never, ever know.

Today, I want to thank you for this blessing you have sent to us. I am so, so grateful for this pregnancy and the new rainbow baby you have helped send our way. You are helping heal an empty hole in my soul; I have such a desire to be a Mommy, and this is helping me fulfill that on earth. Sweet girl, do not think that I want to replace you, because that will NEVER happen, but I do want to add to our family. And I will teach Butterfly all about you; you will ALWAYS be just as important in our family as if you were here with us on Earth. Every one of your siblings will know you, love you, and honor your memory as we have started.

Every day, I am touched by the miracle of your life. I share you with others to help babies have a better chance at living; I share you with others to help raise awareness, and I share you most of all because I am PROUD to be your Mommy. I am honored that you were chosen to be my daughter, my first born, my angel. As much as I miss you and love you, I am still the proudest Mommy in the world. Your name is doing so much good for everyone else. I couldn't be more proud.

We are doing okay right now. I'd like to tell you I was worry free, but of course, that isn't the case. I'm terrified of losing again, of going home empty handed, of living  my worst nightmare over again. I'm afraid of what might happen, though I know that I'm doing all I can. I am just nervous, I guess, which is understandable, but having a hard time getting through the worry. We are excited, of course, but the reality of things I guess makes it impossible to be naive about things. We are hopeful that things will come out okay, but you just never know. We go for our first ultrasound on Thursday, so we are anticipating that!

Sweet girl, the walk is coming up in just less than two weeks. We are at $5,000+, and I couldn't be more thrilled with how well we've done. I hope you know we're doing this all for you. I love you so much.

With deepest love,

Your Mommy

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Our Good News

For my blogging family, I am going to open up here about my good news. However, I want to ask that none of you mention it on Facebook right now, as I'm not ready to tell everyone. I haven't even told my boss yet. Many of you know, but others of you do not.

On Wednesday, by total surprise, we found out that Kylie and Jaycee are going to be big sisters! I found out by a beta hcg test that revealed I was in fact pregnant, though I had a negative PG test the week before.

Of course, we were THRILLED about the news. Actually, I was able to come home and take two pregnancy tests to show Chris. Jaycee actually handed him a card that said on the inside "Coming to a Keith household near you, November 2011." =) He couldn't believe it.

Jaycee was thrilled beyond words. She keeps saying she's having a baby sister and she named it butterfly. We called Kylie "Peanut" before we knew she was a girl, so we didn't want to give the same name to this baby. We wanted this baby to have its own identity.

I had blood work done on Wednesday of course, and then repeat bloodwork on Friday. The big fear was that my numbers would not be doing what they were supposed to, since that happened with Kylie. However, we were happily surprised!

Wednesday: Hcg- 1861, Progesterone- 13
Friday: Hcg- 4154, Progesterone- 22

That means, everything is doing what it should be doing. We are so thrilled and relieved. =)

I bought my pregnancy journal today, and I am about to go write in it now.

Remember, keep it on the DL. I'll be updating here as we travel down this path and as we journey to parenthood for a second time. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers, and pray for a full-term pregnancy!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New beginnings

So as not to go into too much detail, I'm not putting all my information here. I will let those know who need to know or that I want to know the details, but I'm just not going to risk judgement and "anonymous" again.

My appointment yesterday at the fertility doctor went really well. Ultrasound was surprising, but in a good way, and I was so relieved to know that I am not all "jacked up" from my c-section. I was terrified of what it might look like!

Blood work was surprising, as well, and I am confident that I surprised Dr. H with my results! My A1C is below 6, so I am NOT diabetic. Whoo hoo! =) Thyroid is also normal (the nurse said she wished her thyroid level was that good!).

I've been doing really well with all the things he has asked me to do. I am very determined, because I am so ready to continue with our plans for a family. I won't release details right now, but just know that I'm doing healthy things, and nothing I am doing is harmful! lol

I love my nurse. She is absolutely WONDERFUL, and she is a true sweet heart. I am just so glad to have such a kind person to be my "go-to" the entire time.

I would also like to ask that everyone keep Chris in your prayers tomorrow. He is having a colonoscopy done because of some problems. He had a hemmorhoid surgery a few years ago, and the problem is back and worse. They are afraid it's more than hemmorhoids. (Also pray for my pocket book; these procedures with fertility are super expensive!)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Been awhile...

So many things have gone on lately that it has been difficult to find time to write.

Last weekend, on Friday, Feb 18 to be exact, on my nephew's second birthday, my daddy suffered a mild heart attack and had a stint put in the LAD artery of his heart to correct a 99% blockage. It was a very scary situation that was definitely unexpected. My daddy is so important to me, and it was a very difficult thing. However, I didn't really cry or have a moment, because there was no time, and with my mom handling everything with Dad, I had to run things around here. You can't take control and run things if you're a blubbering mess. Now that isn't to say I wasn't extremely upset or scared out of my mind... but as the oldest, I felt it necessary to take control. When I got the call, I was at a fundraiser event at Spoiled Rockin Kidz Salon for Beiber Fever night.

Saturday, when dad had his procedure, we had our Thirty-One party, and then Sunday afternoon was Nicholas's birthday party. My grandmother came up from out of town, and so my mom wanted us to keep everything as normal as possible. Daddy was transferred Saturday at lunch from Crestwood to Huntsville, so it was a frazzled weekend. Daddy came home on Monday, and we were able to come have dinner with him. It was such a relief to have him home!

Thursday, my dad's older brother had a heart cath done. He's been very sick since he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in July of last year. The doctors have sent him to every specialist known to man, and they finally realized he was sooooo terribly sick, that they did a heart cath. Lo and behold, they find three blockages in two arteries: 2 in the LAD where my dad's were, 1 in the opposite artery. These blockages weren't 99%, but were in the 70s and 80s. They are treating it with medicine. He was so anemic they had to give him three units of blood. He felt much better after, so we are hoping this is the start of getting some good fixes for him as well.

We're still in our fundraising pushes for the March for Babies, but I doubt I will raise as much as last year due to the sheer fact of the things that have been going on.

I saw my new fertility specialist, Dr. Harper, on Thursday, and I go in Tuesday for my first Ultrasound and bloodwork. I'm excited about the opportunity to work with such a knowledgeable doctor. We've got a good plan in place, so hopefully, good things will happen.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

16 months in Heaven

My dearest Kylie Brielle,

Today it has been sixteen long, agonizingly painful months since I last held you in my arms. It has been so hard for me to comprehend that so much time has passed. In two short months, we will be at a year and a half... and then after that... it will soon be two years since you blessed my life in more ways than I could ever count. This terrifies me. It fills me with fear and dread, and it makes it seem so much more real than I ever realized.

Your daddy and I want desperately to have another baby sister or brother for you and Jaycee. Jaycee is so ready to have a baby to help love and care for, and we are both wanting to include another baby in our home. You will NEVER be replaced, but we do want a big family so that you have even more support and love, and because we want to be parents. We love our roles as Mommy and Daddy; there is not a job in the world more rewarding and wonderful. We would give anything to have you here with us, but we realize that that can't happen. I guess it sounds a little selfish to want more children, but we really do wish to have more children.

We're very nervous about our appointment next week. Please help us be calm, strong, and able to listen without emotions, reservation, or anger. Please allow the doctor to listen to us and understand our positions as well. I am truly grateful for all you have done for us and all you continue to do for us. Please just be with us so we can be strong. It's a lot of emotions and feelings ...

We want so desperately to bring honor and respect and good deeds to your name. Your name is your legacy, and your legacy is your mark on the world. I want your footprint to be larger than anyone ever imagined, larger than even I imagined it to be in your lifetime that I had wanted to last for 80-100 years, not 2 weeks. I want others to know you by name, know what you mean to the world, and know how you have helped others. I want everyone to know that you have a purpose and that your life, however short it was, is just as important as anyone else's.

Yesterday, I took you your Valentine's Day balloon, and I just crumbled. I sat for ten minutes with my head on your headstone, sobbing... the release felt good, but it just hit me that I shouldn't even have to be there, that this should not be my life. It isn't fair that you didn't get a chance to live, to see your home, to have a bath, to have your nails clipped. It isn't fair that you didn't get a chance to ride in my car, or to sit in a carseat, or to swing or bounce. It isn't fair that you didn't get to meet your sister, that you didn't get to try real food, that you didn't get a chance to go to school. It isn't fair that you didn't get to attend Kindergarten... middle school... high school... or college. It isn't fair that you didn't get to attend an Auburn football game, that you didn't get to buy a prom dress, that you didn't get to put on a pair of ballet shoes. It isn't fair that you didn't get to walk across a stage, or walk down an aisle, or become a mother yourself. None if it makes sense, and none of it seems fair. I felt so badly for you at that moment, that all of those things I got to do and took for granted, you will not. You won't get a new car, you won't get a boyfriend, your first kiss. Those things seem so silly to be upset over, but that is LIFE, and life is something you don't have anymore. Yes, you have eternity, but you didn't get the earthly experiences that we all have come to expect. You didn't get to live life with us, and I didn't get to teach you anything.

I know I sound like a broken record, but all the time, I think of you and the life you didn't get and how we were all robbed of the chance to know you. How in the world do I go on knowing that each day I move forward is one day further away from you, your life, and your face? How do I continue knowing that your life is forgotten by some, and that it is one day closer to the day when people are going to tell me to stop talking about you? How do I keep going when I know there are those out there who truly do not understand this pain, and instead of feeling for me, they attack me and belittle me?

Kylie, I am trying so desperately to be strong for you, so desperately to make your life meaningful in all the ways I know how. That is why we walk for the March of Dimes. That is why we are making your fund at the hospital. That is why we want to help other parents. We do it for you and because we know how much help and guidance and advice we need, and we know others will need it as well.

I hope that I am making you proud. I want to do all things for you. I love you so much, my little angel. You are my whole heart and soul, and I love you and miss you deeply. You are everything to me.

Happy angelversary, sweet girl. Be sweet.

Love always and forever,

Your Mommy

Monday, February 14, 2011

Desperately wanting a new beginning

I have had a lot of decisions to make lately regarding my health, my care, my doctors, and my fertility. Unfortunately, my fertility issues are more than my OB/GYN can treat. I kind of saw this coming, but I had a promising rise in my progesterone from October to November, so that gave me hope. After all, I did get pregnant with Kylie with absolutely no fertility treatments!

Today, I got a phone call from Dr. Harper's office telling me my appointment on April 21 could be moved up to NEXT WEEK. Of course, I jumped on the opportunity! I started my period on Saturday, so it really made me feel good that I would be in there before my next cycle and I would know what was going on immediately. I am very anxious to have an ultrasound done, as I haven't had one since June. It will be interesting to see what my ovaries look like right now.

I  have had mixed opinions given to me considering Dr. Harper, but after all that I have been through, I think I can handle this. I have really taken control of my destiny, so to speak. I don't take no for an answer, and I will be heard by ALL of my doctors and medical professionals. I will be asking lots of questions and I will not be satisfied easily. I know this is ridiculous sounding to some, but when you have been through what I have, you really do have to be this way. I am not going to let any more doctors ruin my life because they have decided not to listen to me and to listen to what I have to say.

I know my body so well, and I know what's going on in there better than most doctors. I know when I am going to start, I know when I am ovulating... I know when my ovaries are fighting with cysts. I know it all. I feel it all, and it is NOT fun.

I am also wanting to make sure that Dr. Harper knows that what happened with Kylie was due to lack of care on the part of the doctor, not by negligence on my behalf or my problems, so to speak. If Dr. Conrad had put me in the hospital immediately when he found my very low amniotic fluid, we might not be in this situation. If Dr. Conrad had done an ultrasound earlier, or if he would have changed my medicine much sooner, we might not have been here. It is just ridiculous to me that a doctor would let his patient have uncontrolled high blood pressure, despite coming into the office numerous times a week, and NOT do anything about it. I do blame him for that.

So, I am having some mixed emotions, but I am looking forward to a new beginning. I think I need a new start, a new place to be. I need to be somewhere that is easy to get to from here, and somewhere that will be flexible with my work schedule. I don't have the days nor the money to go back and forth from Birmingham all the time. I am just now about to start earning back sick leave days. I used all of mine plus 15 from the sick leave bank when I was out with Kylie. However, that couldn't be helped, and I needed that time to heal.

I am doing much better these days, but I am so, so sad that I don't have Kylie with me. I shouldn't even be going through this right now. If KYlie was here, I wouldn't be worried about fertility treatments and getting pregnant. I have lost so much already... I'm afraid of it happening again. And if I was 100 lbs, I'd STILL Be worried about it happening again. That's just the nature of the beast.

I want to thank all of you for your well-wishes and positive feelings. I am so thankful that so many of you have encouraged my visit to Dr. Harper, and I am so glad that you guys are supporting me in my endeavors to have another child. It is hard enough with everything that has happened in the past 16 months, and I just feel strongly that this path is what I need. I have so much fertility medication waiting on me (just GIVEN to me- wow!), and I hope to use it before it expires.

Thanks to my friends and family for being so supportive. I am so lucky to have you guys.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Heavy on my mind

I've always tried to be a person that was always there for others. I've tried giving my whole heart and soul to my friendships, my family, and just others in general. In giving of myself to others, I often neglect my own needs, emotions, feelings, etc. I've always let myself be treated as a doormat- a place for people to keep coming back to over and over. No matter what, I would forgive them, make amends, and go right back to where we left off. In many cases, it has just made me more hurt, damaged, and broken.

On January 27, someone VERY close to me chose a very weak, broken moment on my part to stick a knife in my heart and dig very, very deep. Since that day, that post and those words are stuck in my head, rotating around, migrating around, and festering inside. The defamation, the lack of concern, the lack of tact... the lack of any remote idea of friendship... it all has really caught up to me, and I have to tell you, I guess the anonymous poster succeeded in what they were trying to do.

They have put a seed of doubt in my mind, a seed of doubt in my heart. Now, I look around me and say: "Who can I trust?" I'm not sure anymore. This isn't meant to hurt anyone's feelings, but I think you can understand when you've had someone so horribly and humiliatingly degrade you in such a public way... well, it's just too difficult to put into words how I feel.

This person, whoever they are, is close enough to me to know my friends and family. They are close enough to know my deepest fears, regrets, and faults. They are close enough to know how guilty I already felt over the loss of Kylie. They are close enough to know things that others have said/done to me. They are close enough to know ME and my heart, and they knew exactly where to stick the knives so it would hurt the most.

And it has worked. I'm so afraid to trust. So afraid to open up like I once did. In a place that was my way of healing and dealing, someone has turned my entire world, entire heart, and entire mind... upside down. This person has broken me in more ways than I thought imagineable.

To know that someone actually thinks it is my fault that Kylie died... I think that is the worst part of it. A mother who has lost her baby already has so much blame. Every day, I think: "What more could I have done?" "What did I miss?" "What could have been done differently?". This person obviously read my comment about writing a letter to my doctor, as they mentioned I didn't need to blame my doctor. This person feels that it is honestly my fault for not having Kylie with me. How could someone be so heartless? How could someone be so cold? AND to be anonymous on top of that... how could someone be so full of hate that they would kill what was left of my soul?

Another thing that truly bothers me is the fact that she had the nerve to say I wasn't a mother to Jaycee, yet Chris was a good father-figure for her, so she didn't know why I even had her here. I love Jaycee with all of my heart, and I couldn't love her more if I had given birth to her myself. Every day, I take Jaycee to school, and we talk and sing together. Every night, I put Jaycee to bed, and she clings to my arms... Mommy, stay with me and watch TB (tv)... Every day, I am welcomed by her sweet hugs and priceless kisses, and I thank God and everyone else for this reason to live. If it weren't for Jaycee, I would not be here. Losing Kylie would have killed me, because I would have had nothing else to live for. Jaycee gives me reasons to keep putting one foot in front of the other. She is truly a very, very special girl.

Right now, I am at a loss for words to describe how broken I am from what anonymous has done to me. I want anonymous to be the "true friend" they say they are trying to be by stepping up and being honest with me. I saw something someone posted: "Would you rather your friends tell you what you want to hear, or be brutally honest whether or not it hurts your feelings?" I would definitely rather my friends be honest with me, but I want them to be honest with me to my FACE. Not anonymously on a blog that attacks, breaks, and demeans. IF you are anonymous or know who anonymous is, why don't you step up and be the friend you said you were trying to be? Come to ME, tell ME how you feel about me and why. We can talk about it. We can hash it out. I want to know who you are so that I can know why you feel that way and what made you feel that way. I want to know so that I don't have to lose sleep every single night, so I don't get sick to my stomach every time I post something, so I don't lose my mind with worry, heart break, and agony. Tell me who you are, please, so this can end now. You get to feel "better" by getting all that off your chest, and apparently, you don't really care about me at all.

I wish this would all go away... i wish it never would have happened. I just wish that things were not so complicated...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

March of Dimes and March for Babies 2011: Fundraising is ON!

I am in full March for Babies mode for our March of Dimes fundraisers. Wow- you would not BELIEVE all the heck I'm going through to get this stuff planned! I thought that it would be easier this year, but of course, I had to add something HUGE to our fundraising, so now I'm just in over my head =). However, it is for an amazing, wonderful cause, and I would not want to be doing anything else at this time of the year. I love my sweet Kylie and Gavin so much, so I know that this is important to do for THEM.

This year, we are doing all kinds of things. We are, this weekend, getting out collection bins to our local places from last year: El Paso, Hank's store, Cuts By Us... etc. =) We are THRILLED that more businesses will be allowing us to place collection bins. And this year, there are two gorgeous babies on our collection bins. =) All for you, Kylie and Gavin. All for you!

We are also still holding our business sponsorships to be included on the back of our shirts. Business sponsors were great last year!

We are soliciting through Facebook, email, word of mouth, etc, which is great, but we really have to get out and visit more in person this year. It's hard to do with a 3-year-old and limited time, but we'll get it done somehow. =) We always do.

February 19 is our Thirty-One Fundraiser at 5:00 PM at the daycare. I am so excited; our goal is a $3,000 party this year. We did a little over $2,000 last year, with JUST me as the hostess! Now that Jessica and I are working together, I KNOW we can do over that. =) If you want to order something, you can order online and have it shipped straight to you! For every $31 you spend, you get 31% off!!!! You can also order through me or Jessica; we each have catalogs! We will be feeding you if you attend!

March 19 is our Family Fun Day community event. This is free to the public and will be a donation-only event. Food will cost, and there will be a tip jar for the face painting (that paint gets expensive!). Also, there will be a silent auction with some AMAZING items to bid on: Premiere jewelry gift certificate, photography sessions, Mary Kay baskets, Scentsy baskets, $70 (2 seats) gift certificate to My Spirited ARt, a free face painting party session, etc. There will be hopefully demonstrations by some kids taking Taekwondo, and by Jessica's Dance Company. Carnival games will be held by different businesses, and there will be a cake walk as well!

If you know of a business who would like to donate $50 to set up a booth that advertises their business, while running a carnival game for kids with small prizes (like candy), please get them in contact with me (angelkyliesmommy@gmail.com or (256) 690-7604). Also, if you know of someone who can donate an item for the silent auction, we would like that too! We are looking for a "big ticket" item for a raffle to sell tickets for $1.00.

All proceeds go to our team. =)

March 8, 2011, we will have a fundraising event at Pizza Inn in Ardmore. We will be working for tips that night, and all of that money goes to our team, as well! This will be from 5 to 8 PM, so plan to come out and have dinner to support a good cause! They have a GREAT buffet!

And as always, we take just plain old personal donations, too. I am really anxious to surpass our $8,049 total from last year.

If you want, you can visit our team page: http://www.marchforbabies.org/team/t1467769 .

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sixteen months

My dearest Kylie Brielle,

Today marks sixteen months since your birth. At this very moment, I was getting very anxious to see you; I had already seen you once, and I was so desperate for rest time to be over so I could get to you again. You, my princess, were all that mattered to me. I wanted to see you and be in awe of your tiny little body and the miracle that you represented...

Sixteen months ago today, you became the sweetest gift I have ever been given. Though you were early, tiny, and unstable... your life was priceless to me and I knew I would do and give anything for you. You looked so much like your daddy, and I was just amazed by how lucky we were to have such a beautiful, precious baby girl like you. Your name fit you perfectly. You became Kylie Brielle Keith. All those years of wondering if I would be able to have a baby, wondering if I would ever be a mother to a child of my own blood... all those years of uncertainty were temporarily erased from my memory. There was you, your daddy, and me... and Jaycee, of course... but you guys were all I needed.

I could never tell you enough how much I admire your strength and your will. I'd like to say you got some of your powerful desire to fight from me... but a big pang in my heart tells me it's your daddy's hard-headed nature that you had. =) I'd like to say that you were laid back like me, and I think that is true. Very little upset you in the NICU- a shot made me cry, and you didn't even flinch. So laid back... And of course, you had some of the sweetest facial expressions. When you raised your eyebrows, your daddy's face was undeniable!

With all that said, it is hard for me to sit here at 16 months and not wonder what you would be doing now, who you would look like, who you would act like. It is hard to imagine that you would possibly be walking... that you could be mobile and starting to chatter and talk. It's hard to imagine how different life would be with you here, and how much our lives would be improved by just a smile from you every day. I often wonder if you would have my love for learning, if you would have been creative... I have always wondered if you would have been a singer, a teacher, an actress... I know that whatever you chose, you would have been the best at it, because of course, you are amazing.

I know that sometimes I am down on myself, and sometimes I am angry with God, with my doctor, with myself... but none of that changes how much I love you and how much I miss you. I am NEVER angry with you. You did absolutely nothing wrong. You, little one, are perfect. Sometimes, the emotions and feelings of sadness I have are overwhelming, and I just ache for you so badly. The what if's get to be too much sometimes... and nothing will ever take away this deep, stabbing pain of having to live my life without my first-born child. I will never be upset with you or at you; I will always have a tad bit of guilt myself. I know that it's not my fault, but I wouldn't be very motherly if I didn't have that feeling.

On Friday, you gained your very first pet in Heaven. Murphy is the best dog in the world; she will protect you, love you, and adore you. She gives the best doggie kisses, and she loves to have her butt scratched. Make sure you keep her fresh on sitting, shaking, and high-fiving. Also, don't let her get into the trash (she makes a big mess). Please tell her that Mommy loves her oh-so-much, and that I miss her deeply. Take good care of her, and give her lots of treats. I know you two will take good care of each other.

Baby girl, there are so many things I want to say to you, teach you, and do with you. I am so sorry that things did not work out the way I wanted them to; I tried so hard to save you.

I hope that your birthday in Heaven was beautiful, sunny, and care-free. I hope you know how much I love you and miss you, and that I adore everything about you. You are my heart, princess.

Happy, happy birthday, Kylie Brielle.

Love forever,

Mommy

Monday, January 31, 2011

A Conglomeration...

So much is going through my mind right now that I'm not sure where to begin, where this will go, or where or when it will end. All I know is I am so, so super emotional. I think that is partly to do with the clomid, since it makes you a nutcase and hormonal. Well, the rest is self-explanatory.

I have not yet addressed the issue of the anonymous poster that has gotten me to this point in my FB and blogging situations. Due to the fact that the anonymous poster made it clear that she has a lot of ill feelings toward me, and due to the fact that she made it clear that she is very close to my family and friends, I feel the need to respond now. I have had several days to stew over this information, and I have some things to get off my chest.

First of all, you, anonymous poster, are a coward, a bully, and an overall heartless person. You want to blast me publicly, while spelling incorrectly and getting your facts all wrong and mixed up, and sharing personal information that not everyone knew. Thanks to you, I know that I am a much better person than that. I don't go "anonymously" on a "friend's" blog and blast them and say hateful, rude, distasteful things.

I don't care about attention for me. You know who I want attention for? KYLIE. I want KYLIE to be remembered by everyone. I want Kylie to have a positive impact on every single person I can possibly contact. Seems like you're a little jealous of the attention that Kylie gets. What a sick person that makes you.

Second of all, if my doctors felt that my weight was the issue, they would not be prescribing me medicine and helping me to achieve pregnancy. Thank you, I conceived Kylie all on my own without the help of fertility drugs. I have a condition called PCOS that causes my body to over-produce insulin, which creates excess body fat. It is a difficult condition to control, and a difficult condition to treat. Doctors are still trying to find the best diets, medicines, and treatments for this condition. Losing Kylie had nothing to do with my weight, and it had nothing to do with me. My placenta did not form completely, due to the insulin resistance that was created by my condition. Kylie also died because my OB/GYN did NOT give me the care I deserved and did not listen to the warning signs a specialist would have found. I know what I can and can't do, so I don't need you to pretend you have a medical degree to "diagnose" me.

And of course, no one appointed you speaker of all, because my friends and family (my REAL friends) can speak for themselves. And I will be DAMNED if I will let you think I am not a mother to Jaycee. Jaycee has two mommies and one daddy, and it works for us. I don't always call myself her mommy, and I don't have to. Jaycee knows how much I love her and how much my every day life revolves around her. No one who sees me with Jaycee can say that I don't love her or treat her like she's my own. She is such a big part of our lives, and Chris and I parent equally. If it weren't for Jaycee, I would not have made it through the past 16 months.

As for my teaching... well, let's just say that it is none of your damn business. I do my job, and I have a good repor with my students. I do not ever post blogs while teaching. I do it before school or after I am done with kids. I am done with kids at 1:45 each day, so it's not really up to you to tell me when or where I post. You don't know me and my teaching abilities.

I know what you tried to do. You tried to plant seeds of doubt in my mind. You wanted me to doubt myself, my family, my friends, my children. You wanted me to doubt my ability to teach, my ability to do positive things, and my ability to be a friend and a mommy. You tried to tear me down just to make yourself feel better. Well, I hope that you are happy. I think you achieved the opposite of what you wanted. My true friends and family rallied around me, and it has made me a stronger person.

I just wish you would come out of hiding and tell me who you are so I can officially write you out of my life forever. I won't argue with you, I won't fight you, I won't do anything. I will just be done, because you are not a true friend. The truth WILL come out. It will.

I know where I stand, and I am a mommy, a teacher, a friend, a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a writer, an advocate. I am important as a person.

So what if I am still grieving? The experts say real, heavy grief can last anywhere from 18-24 months. I am not even to 16 months yet, so it's okay for me to be sad when I want, negative when I want, and depressed when I want. It is normal.

Seems like I am having some success with my body cooperating this month, and I go for progesterone check on Monday of next week. I am anxious to see what my numbers look like, as it has been since December since I had my numbers checked last. I hope the medicine is doing the trick, because it surely had me in some pain this weekend.

So, to my true friends and family, thank you for standing by me no matter what. Thank you for defending me, and thank you for standing up for me. Thank you for loving me and for not being a heartless person. Thank you for being you.

To my Kylie: I love you more than any words can say. You are so beautiful that you make people jealous of you, and I think that's pretty special! I miss you sweet angel!

To my Jaycee: You have brought me so much joy and happiness since we first brought you home. You make me smile every single day, and I am forever grateful for that. I love you with all my heart.

To my husband: You have been such a rock for me through this huge ordeal, and your comforting words and hugs have been so important in helping me heal and deal with this I love you. I love you. I love you.

To my Murphy: You were truly the best dog in the world. You always knew how to give the best kisses, and you always knew the right way to make me feel loved. I love you and miss you so much.

To my REAL friends: You guys are truly amazing. You are my rocks, and I don't know how I would have gotten through the past 16 months without you. For friends old and new, I am thankful for your friendship and your love.

To my family: I think it goes without saying that I love you and care for you so much. Your unconditional love and support is what I desperately needed to make it this far. I have a long way to go, but your love for Kylie, me, Chris, and Jaycee will definitely get us through it. I love you.

Friday, January 28, 2011

My sweet Murph

Today, Heaven gained another angel. My sweet Murphy, the best dog in the entire world, left us today to go be with her baby sister, Kylie Brielle.

Murphy is not just any ordinary dog. Murphy is family. Murphy is like another child to me.

Murphy was 6 months old when we found her in the newspaper in Auburn. We met in the Winn-Dixie parking lot, where they brought Murphy and her sister Peanut. Murphy's hair was shorter, softer, and slicker, and she just looked at me with those deep brown eyes, and I was hooked.. we gladly wrapped her in a towel and headed to Wal-Mart to get our new puppy settled.

Not long after, Murphy tore up every single present under the Christmas tree, and we decided that maybe we weren't ready for a dog. We called the people, and they took her back. Every day, I thought of my sweet little puppy, and within a month, Murphy was back home with us where she belonged.

When we traveled home, sometimes Murphy would go to her former home and play with her sister Peanut and all the other dogs they had. Sometimes, she would come with us... it was always an adventure. Murphy used to get very car sick, and so we would have to buy a huge tarp from Wal-Mart, and cover the backs of the front seats, as well as the entire back seat, with the tarp. We had to give her dramamine, and she still drooled the entire trip from Auburn to home and back, and she would throw up numerous times. Thank goodness, she eventually grew out of that...

Murphy was a fast learner. She knew how to sit already, and it took literally no time to house train her. Murphy would come inside with us, and then would go out at night, when we first had her. By the time we left Auburn, Murphy was a fully inside dog.

Murphy loved my daddy more than any one else (outside of me and Chris). She would tear the door down when Daddy came to visit, and even to this day, she would have a fit of whining and tail wagging and lots of kissing to give my daddy. He was her favorite person.

We taught her early on: "Who's here, Murph? Who's here?" And she would go to the door or window and look out, and bark if someone was here, and fall to pieces if it was someone she knew. How smart is that? We taught her to shake in a day. In another day, we taught her how to high-five--- one of her favorite tricks. She even did 'taters", which is when you show your fist.

If we said, Murphy, go to bed, she would go to the bedroom door, push the door open, and crawl under our bed. If we said Murphy, you wanna go outside? She would walk to the door or dance in front of it, wagging her tail with such enthusiasm that I thought sometimes she would knock me out.

Murphy was truly one of a kind. Everywhere we took her, everyone gushed over how beautiful she was. "What kind of dog is she?" "She is just so gorgeous!" Murphy looked like a half-sized doberman, with perfect brown markings...

All the time, I could look into those watery brown eyes and just melt. I babied her so, so much. Chris would get so mad at me sometimes, because I would just baby her. She would curl up in the recliner with me, curl up on the couch with me.. or just sit at my feet and nudge me until I pet her.

And of course, there was the singing... I loved singing to her one particular song... "You're my... brown eyed girl... you're my... brown eyed girl." she loved the part "sha-la-la..." she would wag her tail and lean against me. I know she knew this song was special for her... I never sang it to anyone else.

Murphy-Murph, Murphy, Murph-Murph, sweet girl, momma's girl.. they were all names for her. Murph was so good with kids, so good with everyone.

Bless her heart, with all her good, she had some faults. My beautiful dog loved getting into trash, blinds, and kitty litter. I know my friends won't forget the day I brought them to see our new house, and we had left Murphy at home for less than 2 hours, and when we showed up, every blind in the house was destroyed! =) Boy, she knew she was in trouble then.

Murphy always had a way of avoiding punishment, because she would sit and look up at you with those eyes, and my heart would just freakin' melt. I would get so mad at Chris for getting on to her, because she's a dog, and she's a baby, I would argue ...

Yes. Murphy will always be my baby. Murphy is the best dog ever. Murphy is missed so terribly right now...

The house is so quiet, so empty. There's no dog to look over at, no one to say "Murphy, go lay down.. Murphy, you're under my feet... Whatchu doin Murph?"

The hardest part was telling Jaycee that Murphy was in Heaven with baby sister... her question was "Why?" ... "Well baby, Murphy was sick.." "But why Mommy?" Well, I guess I didn't have an answer, because I want to know the same thing...

In the past 36 hours, my life has gone through so much heck. I get personally bashed and attacked here on my own blog, so badly that I must now take precautions to protect myself and save myself from that kind of nastiness. I then come home and my beloved family pet is gone... and I feel so guilty about it.. and then some crazy man who thinks we're someone else wants to come and cause problems. The cops have been at our house twice today because he has shown up and wouldn't leave... and yet they can't arrest him or anything...

For my Murphy:
You will always be my sweet girl. I miss you so much already... you should be at my feet, snoring away. You should be following me as I walk to the kitchen, and you should be busting in the bedroom door when I go to the bathroom. You should be here... and it is killing me inside that you are not. Sweet Murph, you are so special, and you will always be my baby girl. I love you so, so much... I hope you know that. Please take care of Kylie in Heaven-- I am so glad you finally get to meet your baby sister. Just don't lick her to pieces, like you always do to everyone. I would rather her not get bombarded with Murphy slobber. Please come visit me often... I miss you terribly and am going to have a hard time going through this with everything else. I love you, Murph-Murph. Be good.

Love,
Momma.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I can be negative if I want to...

So the anonymous poster on my last blog just really set me off. I understand people are trying to help, but my God, could you be any LESS supportive? The last thing anyone in my position wants or needs to hear is "You need to be positive. Maybe the world doesn't want to bring another child into your life if it is so negative."

Do you know what that makes me feel like? That makes me feel like I am unfit to be a good mother. That makes me feel like you think that I am not capable of being a good mother because I am so upset. Did you lose your first born child? Did you watch your child suffer through an agonizing, painful disease and surgery? Did you watch your child die in your arms? Did you try everything you possibly could to keep it from happening? Don't you dare judge me. This is MY BLOG, and I can write whatever I want. I shouldn't have to worry about people who try to bring me down even more. I am entitled to feel any way I want, and it is really hard to be positive when your life has been completely ripped out from underneath you.

If you don't want to read my negative posts, then don't. If you don't think I'm in the right state of mind, condition, or position to have another child, then keep it to yourself. I have enough on my plate to worry about. I can't be upset even more by people putting me down more. I look to my comments for solace, comfort, and support, not for putting me down and degrading me and making me feel worthless, which is what you have done.

I guess I'm just not mother-material. I guess it is not meant to be. I guess I'll just accept the fact that I am not going to be a mother again, and just live my life in silence, since I can't even be free to post what I want here. Everything is so crappy. If you lived my life, you might understand. I wouldn't wish this constant pain and agony on anyone, not even you or my worst enemy. Do me a favor and don't be helpful if all you have are comments like that. I'm going through enough.


This will probably be my last publicly noted post for awhile. If anyone wants to keep up with me, you'll have to do it by following and checking every so often. I don't want anymore comments like that one.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A motherly desire

My entire life, I have always wanted to be a mom. I have always wanted children, and at least 3. I have also, since I was a teenager, had a huge fear of not being able to have children. Why, I don't know. It was odd- I would always think about having children, and then the thoughts would pop up: "what if I can't have children?".

It makes me wonder what my body has been trying to tell me myentire life... what my mind knew that my heart cannot grasp. I am beginning to think that I've been trying to prepare myself for the fact that I will not have children of my own here on earth with me.

I am so depressed, so broken, so lost... in so much pain. I want to have a baby so badly. I want to have my OWN baby, and I would give anything to have Kylie back. I cannot have her back, so I do want another child to fill this void in my heart- my yearning to be a mother. This child would never replace my Kylie, but it would help fill my desire to become a mother.

In April of 2010, when I could finally start trying again, my body decided to wage war on me again. April to June, things went haywire. June is when I started seeing my new doc, Dr. H. He was so kind and so great-- he worked with me for June, July, and August to get my cycles on track and coming on their own. In August, I started back on clomid (50 mg) and again in September. In October, I started on 100 mg a day, and have been on it ever since. This month is the last month I can take clomid for awhile. It would be the fifth month.

I am so scared, so frustrated... it's 3 years ago all over again. The "no's" each month are killing my soul. The empty nursery is a constant reminder, but I cannot bear to take it down. The inability for my body to regulate itself is so frustrating and draining. I feel worthless, useless, hopeless. Others get pregnant right away. Others say it's easier to conceive the second child once you have had your first. Why do people say that?

It isn't easier. It sucks. It royally sucks. I shouldn't even have to be trying to have a baby. I should be caring for an almost 16 month old preemie who needs her Mommy more than others. I should be looking at a house full of baby toys, clothes, and tiny socks. I should not be buying ovulation kits, clomid, and prenatal vitams in hopes that I will conceive this month.

Why me? Why has my whole journey to motherhood been full of pain and suffering? Why is my whole life consummed with NO to every thing I ever wanted with all my heart? Why am I being forced to live this life of uncertainty and heartbreak? Haven't I suffered enough? I just want to be a mommy again. I want another child. I want to have an opportunity at a full 40 week pregnancy. I want a baby to love, to raise, to teach, and to guide. I want to complete my family. At this rate, I'll be happy with just one more sweet angel to add to my home. BUt, I can't even get that.

This is emotionally, mentally, physically draining. It brings out every emotion I ever had before I got pregnant with Kylie, and it brings back every memory of my pregnancy with Kylie, every memory of my life with her, and every memory of my living hell since losing her.

I am not okay today. I am not okay right now. It is so hard for anyone to understand my desires and my pain, and to top it off, I am still grieving, which makes this process all the more difficult. I just want things to work out in my favor for once.

Everyone keeps saying "Well, you know you can get pregnant." Well, tell my body that. Yes, I got pregnant with Kylie. Yes, it happened on its own. But apparently, it isn't happening now. How in the world is that supposed to comfort me?

Fertility issues suck. Being unable to conceive sucks. Being a mother who has lost her baby... well, it stinks to be in this position.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

To my princess

My dearest Kylie Brielle,

Sweet angel, words could never begin to express how much you are loved and missed. Your life was and is a blessing to me and your daddy, and not a day goes by that we don't think of you OFTEN.

Today, I stood by bed 11 in the NICU... well to me, it will always be YOUR bed. It was your home. It is where you lived... and where you died. I thought it would be easier to stand there... but it wasn't. At that exact moment, I think for a few moments, I missed you more than I have EVER missed you in my life. I think for a moment, I hurt more than I have ever hurt. It was a realization that you are truly gone, that you are truly in Heaven... A realization that your life was so terribly short...

October 15, 2009 will never leave my mind. The sounds, the events... the emotions. It will always be a difficult day. It will always be something I remember.

But in all of that pain, all of that grief... all of that overwhelming sense of hopelessness and despair... I have you. You, my beautiful princess, are priceless. There is nothing and no one in this world more special or more beautiful than you.

For my entire life, no one will ever take your place. No one will ever be you.

I just wanted to remind you of a special phrase that always makes me think of you:
"On the night you were born,
the moon shone with such wonder
that the stars peeked in
to see you
and the night wind whispered,
'Life will never be the same.'

Because there had never been
anyone like you...
ever in the world."

Sweet girl, that is so true. I was in awe of you, and you still put me in awe of your grace, beauty and wonder.

Yesterday, I saw a billboard on a church. This church has a way with sayings that get to you- I often write them down. This one said: "Blessed is the influence of one loving soul on another." I feel that you have influenced me in so many special ways, and you are influencing so many others in many beautiful ways. Your life is a gift, and your memory is going to live on for everyone to benefit from. You live even in death, as your spirit will never fade. You, my sweet baby girl, are truly an angel.

I am so blessed to be your Mommy, and so blessed to have you as my child. I love you with every single fiber of my being, and I miss you so badly it hurts. You are perfect, and mine, and I am so proud to be your Mommy.

As always, be sweet, my princess.

With sincere love,

Your Mommy

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Priceless Friendships and Growing Up

Today, after a very deep conversation, a very real, very personal conversation with my close friends, I made a realization.

We have all grown up so much; for the first time in my life, today, I felt like an adult. I felt like all of us had become adults. We were discussing personal, difficult, deep topics without being offensive, being offended, or getting upset. We were respectful, able to see different sides. We were grown women having a grown-up conversation.

I realized today that we have all turned out to be pretty amazing women. It is an honor and a pleasure to be friends with such beautiful, independent, kind-hearted women. I just feel so strongly about today.

I am thankful today for a special group of friends who let me know in so many precious, priceless ways that they have not forgotten my Kylie, and that they have not forgotten me and my pain.

Today, I was told some things that I have a hard time feeling about myself, but I thought I would share them in writing. Maybe it will help me believe in myself more.

I was told:
1.) You are stronger than I could ever be; you are the strongest woman I know, and I admire you for that.
2.) You are stronger than you give yourself credit for. You’re doing better than you give yourself credit for.
3.) You are allowed to grieve in your own way.
4.) It’s okay to talk about your child; we ALL talk about our children.
5.) You aren’t bringing attention to yourself when you talk about Kylie; you are bringing attention to KYLIE.

I just have to tell everyone that I am so grateful for the blessings these people have brought in my life, both old friends and new. Today, as I cried with my friends for the first time in a long time, as I opened up to them about my feelings, my fears, my emotions… I felt so raw again in my grief, but I also felt comfort… comfortable sharing my story, my feelings, and like everyone in the room hurt for me just as badly as I hurt for my Kylie. They may not understand the depth of the pain, but they understand the fact that I hurt, and they understand that my need to talk about Kylie, and they understand how badly I need them.


For my special friends, I am truly thankful. I am so lucky to have people in my life who love me, my children, and my husband. I am thankful to have friends that I consider FAMILY . I could not have made it through the past 16 months without them by my side… and I just don’t know what I’d do without them.

Thank you, sweet friends, for being there for me, for loving me, and for being a part of my life. Thank you for showing me that Kylie is near and dear to all of your hearts, and that she is just as important as any of your living children. Thank you for showing me love and kindness, and for accepting me as I am. Thank you for reminding me that I am real, I am human, and I am entitled to be imperfect. Thank you for being my rocks and shoulders to lean on. Thank you for being you. THANK you for everything.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Surprises and Happenings

So there are a few ramblings to put in this post...

The idea of the parent dinner meet-up has gone over tremendously well! There are over 14 people signed up to go to our first parent dinner meeting next Thursday, and I could not be more thrilled. The idea of gathering in an informal setting to talk about anything on our minds... it just suits the whole idea of grieving. We don't always have to have structure, and so it seems fitting to do this kind of meeting at a restaurant. I am so thrilled about it. If you live in the Huntsville, AL area and have suffered a pregnancy or baby loss, you can let me know if you'd like to attend on Thursday, January 27 at 7:00 PM at Lone Star steakhouse in front of Madison Square Mall. =)

We are kicking off the March of Dimes 2011 March for Babies with a family team kick-off celebration on February 8 at 6:00 PM at the Marriott by the Space and Rocket Center. I, along with Anna Claire Vollers, are the volunteers heading up the family teams, so I'm really excited about this new role within the MOD organization. I am really excited to get to know the other family team captains and form a dialogue with them, and to get them pumped up about the walk. They have a lot to compete with, though; I plan on passing our $8,000 fundraising we did last year!

Also, I have a meeting that is being scheduled with the Huntsville Hospital Foundation to start the fund for parent bereavement resources. I want all parents who leave HH without their child to be given a copy of the book: Empty Cradle, Broken Heart: Surviving the Death of Your Baby, and for moms to be given a mother/baby necklace set like the one my sweet cousin Donna brought me from her social worker at her hospital in Georgia. These resources will be provided to all parents who leave Huntsville Hospital without their baby due to miscarriage, NICU loss, stillbirth, or other early infancy loss. I am excited about the possibilities.

Yesterday, my story was posted on the site Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope. It has already connected me to several remarkable women who sadly understand the pain and suffering I experience every single day. It feels good to see my story in yet another publication, and especially one where I can connect with others who have experienced similar losses. Tiffany, a beautiful, kind soul I have met through our losses, is creating a Face2Face group here in Huntsville, through this website, so I am excited to see what this will bring to our area. That means three meet-ups for parents who have suffered a loss. In a year's time, we've gone from 1 to 3. What a huge step for bereaved parents in North Alabama!

Okay- now to my big rant. The other day, Chris stopped by to see Kylie. Last night, he told me what he found. A headstone was installed for the lady buried one row below our row. The people who installed the headstone left trash and coke bottles ON MY BABY'S HEADSTONE!!!!!!!!!! Who the heck does disrespectful crap like that? You shouldn't do that to any headstone, but ESPECIALLY not to MY KYLIE, to a BABY, especially a RECENT loss such as hers. How dare you leave trash on her headstone and treat it like it is insignificant and not worth your time to even clean up after yourself. HOW DARE YOU disrespect my baby girl. HOW FREAKING DARE YOU! I am so livid... Chris called the guy in charge of the cemetery, who went off, because the headstone wasn't even approved!!!!! So he will be finding out who put it in, and then WE will be calling, writing, and perhaps even paying a visit to the people responsible. Now, they have to deal with one irate, over-protective Mommy, and I don't think there's ANYTHING Chris can do that would come close to being as bad as what I will do when I get to them.

So, there's the rant... someone seriously will pay for this, and they will apologize, and by God, they will meet me at the cemetery and apologize to my daughter for their blatant act of ignorance and disrespect.

Sorry to end on a bad note... but I am just furious!!!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Something to look forward to...

So I guess scrapbooking has given me something to look forward to. =) I enjoy putting pages together, admiring my masterpieces, and sharing my beautiful angel in creative ways. It makes me feel close to her, and it has given me some strength I didn't quite know I had. I am so excited about this scrapbook... now if only my pocketbook could keep up with it!

I made another page last night that I am super proud of, and it will be included at the bottom of this post..

Today, I admitted something to my mom that I never thought I'd be comfortable to say or do. I admitted that by Spring Break, I think I will be able to handle boxing up Kylie's clothes, blankets, towels, and things that she never used (not the furniture or her memory items, just the clothes and baby items) and put them in the attic until we are ready for them again. I never thought that day would come! It feels a little scary, to admit something so huge, a step that I haven't been ready for. However, I haven't gotten the courage to throw away the much-too-old-to-use breastmilk in the freezer... all 30 or so containers... that is my last physical bond to Kylie. That milk was made for HER. HER. By me. I made that. That very milk that come from my body nourished her body.. okay, so not the same milk in the containers, but it all came from me. All of it. And she was nourished for several days with my milk. What a connection to have to your child... and how special it really was!

I miss my baby girl so much these days, but I find so much strength in helping and doing for other people. I am so excited about the steps we are taking this year...

I met with Ellen (my bereavement group leader) on Friday, and we are going to be doing so many things... and those things will have a post when the time is ready, but I am so excited to have her on my side to help me get my goals accomplished... goals that I have had since losing Kylie.

So... now I have something to look forward to. Chris just left on yet another structure fire call, and so the house is quiet and waiting for me to take on another page or two. I might have more pictures to post early in the morning!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

15 months....

Today, it has been fifteen long, agonizing months since I said goodbye to my first-born daughter as she grew her wings. Today, it has been fifteen months since my future crumbled in front of my eyes, and a new one began to slowly form. Today, it has been fifteen months since I watched my daughter take her last breath. Today, it has been fifteen months since I held my precious girl for the first, and last, times.

My heart is heavy with grief, though I cover it much better than I used to. I sometimes lie awake at night and wonder if it will ever get any easier to breathe without her, if it will ever get any easier to put one foot in front of the other and just make it through the day. I try to imagine a day when things are easier, better, more bearable, and that day just blurs in front of me. There is no way that this can get easier... is there?

Why this fate was chosen for me, I don't know. Why my child was taken, I'll never know. Why the world seems to be so unfair, so cruel... well isn't that what our parents tried to teach us when we were younger?

Today, we made more boxes for the NICU. At the hockey game last weekend held as a benefit for the Melissa George Neonatal Fund, and it was mentioned that they were running low on memory boxes again. So today, ironically, we met to make more boxes to donate to the NICU in your sweet honor and memory. It was so much fun to work with my close friends to make boxes we felt were sweet and innocent, and boxes that we felt parents would cherish forever. I know I cherish Kylie's box.. and it always gives me a very good feeling to know that I'm doing something for others.

I also did a few pages of Kylie's scrapbook. I've never really had the patience, time, or ability to work on scrapbooking pages very creatively. I often end up frustrated, and seem to think that my pages look AWFUL (and they normally do look pretty rough). However, I am MORE than thrilled with my pages. I put three photos and her name on the cover of her scrapbook (there was a spot for them), and then I made three full pages for her. I am so, so proud of them. I have a feeling I can actually make the prettiest, sweetest scrapbook for her... and it just really gives me something to look forward to.

Jaycee has been sick for a week now. She started off Sunday sick, and then she ended up getting better, then she got sick again. We had a quick trip to Huntsville Hospital Women's and Children's Pediatric ER yesterday, and we were stunned with how efficient, kind, and fast they were. No one in the waiting room when we arrived, no wait anywhere, and we were in and out with diagnosis, prescriptions, and a smile. Absolutely amazing. Kudos to the Pediatric ER and the staff there- wonderful experience.

So, I say all this to say, things are just difficult right now, though I am trying to put my best face on and get through the day. Grin and bear it, right? I do have happy moments, but the stresses of fertility treatments, grief, work, home life... it all is getting to me desperately. I started my period yesterday, and started clomid again today.. and if I don't get pregnant this month, I can't take clomid anymore. I will have to go on to the next steps, which is a little scary... why does everyone else get their rainbow babies, or just to be pregnant and have a baby, when I have wanted nothing more than that for my entire life?????????

This is a picture of 12 boxes we made today


Kylie's Scrapbook


First page


Second page, the one I am most proud of!


Third page

Thursday, January 13, 2011

March for Babies 2011 and other ramblings...

Today is January 13, 2011. 8 days ago, I started up our March for Babies team for 2011. This year, instead of being just Angel Kylie's Hope, we are Angel Kylie's Hope and Gavin's Miracle. This year, we walk for two beautiful babies: one earthly angel (Gavin) and one heavenly angel (Kylie). It is an honor to be working on this project with my best friend, who unfortunately had to walk the path of NICU and uncertainty, but it is still a special thing to be able to share with her. It gives us such an understanding of one another.

This year, we have so many fundraisers planned. We will be putting out collection bins at local businesses again, which will be great for a few hundred dollars! We also will have our Thirty-One party again. We will be adding new fundraisers: possibly a Pizza Inn night, a carnival, car washes, etc. I am really hopeful that things will work out to exceed our goal of $8,000 this year. =)

Along with another lady, I am co-head of Family teams for our city's walk, so that is a huge undertaking on its own. We are working on the Family team captain kick-off, and the Marriott will be working with us on that one. =) I am thrilled beyond words about this opportunity to reach out to family teams and to help them with their goals.

Today, 93 days left until the walk, we have 26 walkers and $580!!! I know we can pass our goal...

RTS was cancelled tonight, so I am desperate for my RTS buddies to talk to! I hate that we can't meet-- we haven't met since early December, and so much has happened since then.

Today, I did something I have been putting off for a year; I finally wrote the letter to my OB from when I was pregnant with Kylie. So many things that have gone unspoken to him came pouring out in my letter, which I feel is very mild and calm compared to how I would have written it a year ago. IT was very freeing to type the words on the screen and get those feelings out of my head and off my chest; it was something that I concentrated on so much that I did not cry or get upset. Amazingly, I made it just fine through the letter. Now, I need to print it and send it. I think it is important that I do this because I have been harboring blame and anger towards him for this entire 15 months, and it is not healthy for me to do that. It is not fair to me or to him, and if sending that letter ends up helping someone else receive better care in the future, then that is the whole point.

I am jumping back into coupons, and I am planning so much for the next few months to keep busy. It's so important to stay busy and to stay focused, and I wouldn't have my life any other way right now. Saturday, friends are coming over to work on memory boxes for the NICU, and next Saturday, I'm teaching a coupon class!

And in two days, I'll be celebrating Kylie's 15 month angelversary... it's so hard to believe that we are fastly approaching 1 1/2 years... and then before we know it, it will be 2 years since we held her for the first and last time. I'm not sure I'm ready for that...

Here is the link to our team page: http://www.marchforbabies.org/team/t1467769 .

Friday, January 7, 2011

And people just keep on bothering me

Why do I continue, day after day, to let people upset me, hurt my feelings, and "win" because they get to me? Why?

At this point, I have had it. I am so tired of what I hear this person say about me behind my back and how this person treats me to my face. You can't be two different people and get away with it.

Behind my back, you say I use Kylie's story and her life to get attention. You say that I talk about her too much to bring attention to myself, and that you're tired of talking about her. You say that I really don't have a place talking about babies and raising them because Kylie wasn't here to raise. You say I should be done talking about it.

However, if it gets YOU attention, you're all for saying how you know Kylie, how you have helped, what you have done, and she is just so special to you. If it gets YOU recognition, you are willing to say what it takes.

I am so sick of you using my child for your own personal gain. Do you know why I talk about Kylie? It's the same reason anyone talks about their children. She is MY child, and she was born to ME as her mother. In Heaven or on Earth, she is MY baby, and if she was here, I'd talk about her, so why should it be any different?

If you are JEALOUS of my situation, then you are a SICK SICK person and you need some serious help. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy, and you will NEVER, EVER understand what I feel or what I am going through. If you can't sympathize with me or get over your jealousy, then get out of my life and LEAVE ME ALONE. I don't need you or anyone else trying to bring Kylie into drama, and I REFUSE to let her life be involved in that crap.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Letters to My Daughter

Something that I saved for a post all on its own... and something that just happened to be mentioned by a friend of mine... so I had to post today.

I will begin my book this year, a book I want to call Letters to My Daughter: A Journey of Non-Traditional Motherhood... well, I do want to call it Letters to My Daughter for sure.

Some of my story is already written. It is in the letters that I have written to Kylie over the past 15 months, letters that speak my heart and tell the story of my grief and healing. The book will consist of a series of letters that I have already written as well as letters and chapters that have yet to be written. I'm not sure how it will go, but it has been pulling on my heart for a long time to write this book and to share my story with as many people as possible. I want to share Kylie so that her life will help others. Kylie can be other people's hope and inspiration.

So, I thought I would find my first letter to my daughter and include it here, to start the new chapter of the new year, of my "new normal", and to reminisce, because where better to start than at the beginning?

This is the first letter I wrote. The following letter was written October 16, one day after Kylie's passing.

Kylie,
Mommy is so sad that I had to let you go yesterday. Words cannot express the hurt I feel and the size of the hole in my heart. Your daddy and I had so many plans for you and your future. We waited five years to find out we were having you. If you could have only seen our joy when the doctor told us we were going to be parents- I loved you even before I knew, but at that moment, you owned my heart. Each doctor's visit and each time I heard your heart beat or saw you on an ultrasound, I was overcome with joy and happiness. Your life, however short it was, taught me a love and joy I never knew was possible in any lifetime.

I want you to know that right now is very hard for me. Last night, I cried out for you, cried to have you back, begged your daddy to give you back to me. Today, tomorrow, and the days to come, I know I will again cry out for you. I'm not trying to be selfish, I just feel like my job was left unfininished, like it was so unfair for you to be taken from me and your daddy. You see, we never thought we'd be blessed with a child, more or less the vision of perfection you were. For two precious weeks, you fought with more strength than I could imagine your tiny body having. For two glorious weeks, you were here in this world and you were here for mommy and daddy.

I will always remember your tiny little face- I studied it daily. You had your daddy's cheeks and facial structure, and his lips. You had my nose and chin- and they fit perfectly with that sweet set of baby blue eyes. You were, to me, the definition of perfection. Thank you for blessing me with the miracle of your life- you were so strong for us, and I am trying so desperately to be strong for you. You beat the odds so many times- they thought I would miscarry... they thought you wouldn't make it past a few days when you arrived... they thought you wouldn't make it through Wednesday night.

I knew Wednesday night, whether I wanted to admit it or not, that you were going to be leaving me. The surgery was just too hard on you. When you lifted your eyes to me yesterday morning, I knew you were telling me that it was going to be okay, and that you were going to be okay. And most of all, when I came back to your bedside with Grammy, I knew you were telling me it was time, that you had enough, that you just couldn't do it anymore. You made our decision for us, and I thank you for making it easier. I knew it was your time, and your daddy knew, and we had to let you go. I am so thankful I held you in my arms as your tiny little heart stopped. I had to hold you before you were gone. I had to know that you felt my arms around you.

I just wanted to let you know how much I love you and will always love you. You mean more to me than anything in this world. Your daddy and I are so proud of you and the strength you showed. You taught me more in 2 weeks than I have learned in my entire life. Even in your short time, you were taking care of your mommy. Your big sister would have been so good to you; I wish you could have met her before you passed. She would have loved you from the moment she saw you.

I want you to also know that you will always be my princess and my angel, and that I will never forget you. It is so hard right now, and today at the funeral home will be hard... and your funeral will be hardest. I'm so afraid that your daddy will have to hold me back from throwing myself in with you... I just so desperately want you back in my arms. We worked hard on your beautiful bedroom... I wish you could have come home to it. We bought you all kinds of beautiful clothes and toys and things.... I'm so sorry I couldn't have done more to help you.

I love you and miss you more than words can express.

Love always,

Mommy

Monday, January 3, 2011

Another New Chapter

A new year means a new chapter. A new chapter means a new mindset. A new chapter means new feelings, emotions, and ideas.

2011 has started a new chapter in my life, though my life, since April 30, 2009, has had many chapters... This chapter is bittersweet in several ways.

The negatives of this new chapter, are obvious of course. The negatives include getting further away from Kylie's short life, from having to live this "new normal" in the first place, and from dealing with the negativity from other people in how I choose to grieve, remember my daughter, and raise awareness. Infertility still reigns, and my broken heart is still broken.

The positives include the ability to put one foot in front of the other to make it through the day in one piece. My heart is broken, but my spirit is still somewhat intact, and with my spirit, I carry Kylie's legacy.

I know I say this a lot, but one thing I have always wanted for my children is to make an impact on the world. My goal growing up was to impact as many young people as possible through the teaching profession, and I wanted my kids to have positive impacts on others... and through Kylie's short life, she has already touched more lives than I ever imagined possible. I swell with pride when I think of the fact that her name will not soon be forgotten, that her name is LITERALLY set in stone forever and ever, and that one day, people will hopefully see her picture and say "That's the little girl who lived long after her heart stopped beating. THat's the little girl that made it possible for parents to deal with their own grief. That little girl changed MY life."

Kylie changed my life in numerous ways.. so many ways that I could not list them here in the given space. She has made me a better person, and she gave me the gift of motherhood. She is so special to me, and she is so important in my life.

Just because Kylie isn't here physically doesn't mean her spirit and memory can't continue on to my other chapters, because in all actuality, there will never be another chapter in my life without her. She is a part of me, forever, and where I go, she goes. Where I am, she is. What I do, she does. Kylie is my heart, and so my heart beats for two of us.

My new chapter isn't completely defined yet. I don't really even have an outline for it, but I do know that my life is taking on some very specific paths in honor of Kylie and all other babies lost too soon. She will mold a future for other babies and parents, and I cannot wait to see what happens this year in her name, honor, and memory.

However, I have decided that some characters are no longer a significant part of my novel. These characters have chosen to be cut out of the chapters, chosen to be left out of the ultimate story. For that, I am deeply saddened, but I am not going to lose sleep over choices that others make. These people are the ones who unfairly feel that I am selfish enough to use Kylie's life for attention. These people do not belong in my story, as they encourage me to feed off the negative. Kylie only knows innocence, love, and purity, and I will not have yet another memory tainted with the negativity of others who cannot put someone before themselves.

So today, I take charge, as much as I can, of this new chapter in my life. I take charge of the paths that I will walk down, and I start mending the fences that have fallen along the way. My novel may not be the happy story that most people like to read, but my novel has depth, love, and the struggle for all things good and pure. My novel has character, class, and heart ache. My novel has truth, pain, and raw emotion. My novel is real, true, and unforgiving. My novel is life, death, and afterlife. My novel is MY story, and My story is good enough for me.

So watch out world, because I'm jumping in with both feet. If you don't like it, move over, because I'm not swerving or stopping for you to move. You can take care of yourself.

To my Kylie: this is for you. Everything I do, think, say and feel... it's for you and your sweet big sister. Everything I decide in life is with yours and Jaycee's best interest at heart. I hope you will stay close as I try to sort out which way is which in my life, and I hope that you will help me share your life and memory with others. I love you, deeply and truly, and I miss you more than anyone could ever imagine.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Well, hello, 2011...

Today is January 1, 2011 (as if you didn't already know). So much on my mind and heart right now...

Today is the one year anniversary of my due date with Kylie. In all actuality, I should be celebrating the first birthday of my first child on the first day of the new year... but, I am not. I can only look at her pictures, her empty nursery, and close my eyes and focus on the memories of a life that was all too short... and it breaks my heart in a million pieces that I am now into another year without her. 2009 seems so far away today... her two weeks on earth with me seem even further. I still remember almost everything like it was yesterday, but that doesn't help ease any pain I feel from not having her. I just miss her so badly, and I would give anything to have her with me. My new normal is NOT the normal I had planned for my life.

There are so many things that I want to happen in 2011, and so many things that NEED to happen in 2011.

First step is to create a non-profit in Kylie's honor so that parents will be provided with a vital resource when they leave the hospital with empty arms. This is my number one goal, even if it is just getting started with the Foundation first at Huntsville Hospital. This WILL happen.

Second step is to begin working closely with the Foundation on getting some features added into the hospital for a memorial place for parents to visit. Some parents do not have a grave to visit, or do not have a place that is dedicated to angel babies in general, and so I want to work on that with the hospital. The more support we get for this, the better chances of it happening. I would like to ask all of my friends to write a letter to Huntsville Hospital encouraging them to do a memorial garden for lost babies and pregnancies. If you write this, I'd like for you to send it to my home address so I can compile them. Please message me on Facebook, or email angelkyliesmommy@gmail.com for my address. I want them to know that even friends and family members need a quiet, beautiful place to go to remember and honor their angel baby. I would love to have a park bench or something special donated in Kylie's name so her life will continue to live on. I am hoping to get going with this in a few months, so please let me know if you plan to write a letter for me. =)

Third step (and these are in no particular order, just things I want to get done) is the March of Dimes and the March for Babies 2011. The walk is April 16, 2011 at Bridgestreet. Angel Kylie's Hope for Gavin's Miracle will be teaming up this year, and Jessica and I (along with our husbands) will be the co-heads of the team, as we are walking in memory of Kylie, and in honor of Gavin, who received his healing heart surgery within a few weeks of life. It is an honor to be able to be a part of this with my best friend. I hate that she had to walk down a path of uncertainty on the way, but I am so glad to have such a deeper connection with her. We both understand the NICU experience, and we both understand how many sacrifices NICU parents must make. We also understand the importance of funding for the MOD, because without donations, the life-saving surgery Gavin had would not have been possible, because research would not have been performed, and Kylie would not have even had a chance to live. So we are both eternally grateful for the MOD and what they have given us and our families. Look for more info on our website soon, and how to donate/join. Our initial goal will be $5,000 this year, and then we will try to exceed our last year's total of $8,049. I know we can do it!

Fourth is the obvious- to conceive our 2nd child to expand our family. A second child would be such a blessing to us, and would mean more than anyone could ever imagine. I cannot wait for the day that I can hold my own beautiful precious newborn against my chest and have the experience of motherhood that I have not yet have the honor to have.

Other things:
- We have a lot of work to do with our grief and our marriage. After my last blog, we had a very long 2 1/2 hour conversation late that night and I think that we listened to one another to get out what we needed to get out. I think it was a positive step in the right direction, but I am having some real issues trusting and believing. I guess when you've been promised something for so long, and it never happens, you become one of those "I'll believe it when I see it" kind of people. So much negative has happened in the past 2 years that that is what I've become regardless of what is going on in my marriage or personal life.

- I want to get things to a better point in my life, and I want to continue doing things to remember and memorialize my sweet baby girl. I want to focus on the beauty her life has brought and the huge impact she has made on others. I want to continue her legacy in beautiful ways. I will continue to donate to the NICU, and I want to learn how to sew so I can make blankets to donate to the NICU as well. The NICU is in desperate need of all supplies, because they have so many babies rotating through the doors... and it would be wonderful to keep them supplied with beautiful things to give to parents to offer a bit of comfort and hope.

- I want to focus on sweet Jaycee and give her the love, attention, and home she deserves. I want to help her grow and learn, and I want to get her enrolled in Pre-K. I want her to have wonderful experiences, and I want to provide her with more opportunities than imagineable.. I want her to have the best time of her life in 2011.

I don't really want to look at this as a list of New Year's Resolutions. I want to look at it as a list of hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Regardless of the New Year, i want to do these things, so for now, I'll focus on these things and get as far as I can in 2011.

I miss you and love you so much, sweet baby girl. You are my whole heart.

Happy 15 month birthday today, Kylie Brielle!