Happy Birthday Kenna

In the midst of all of our August birthday celebrations, there is always a twinge of bittersweet.

I first feel it around Kylee's birthday when I realize how without Kenna's death I wouldn't have this absolute joy of a daughter.  This year Kylee's birthday was on a Sunday morning and I had to choke back the tears a little bit during Mass.  I've written before about how there is just something about Kylee.  To this day, without even knowing her story people comment on how simply joyful Kylee is.  Her soul is simply peaceful.   Her faith in God so deeply rooted that she faces even the most sorrowful of times with joy and confidence in His plans.

And to think, if Kenna had lived, Kylee wouldn't be a part of our family.

The only way I can have them both is because Kenna died.

As we move through the month we start to hit more milestones of Kenna's final week in our lives.  On August 23rd, my friend Leigh had her daughter Eva who is Kylee's absolute best friend in the world.  On August 24th, what is now Lucie's birthday, we visited Leigh and Eva in the hospital knowing that the baby in my womb was also a girl and anticipating what good friends they would be growing up, just like their moms are.

On August 25th Kenna died.

Aidan's fourth birthday party was supposed to be on August 26th that year.  A big pool party at his grandma's house which ended up being cancelled for a much more subdued affair in our apartment.

I refused to be induced on Aidan's actual birthday, the 27th, but that doesn't keep me from thinking about Kenna each year on Aidan's birthday just like I do on Kylee's.   I went to be induced on the 28th and after what seemed like the longest week ever, Kenna LeeAnn was finally born on the morning of August 29th.

It was a Wednesday.

I don't remember what day of the week most of my other kids were born, but I remember that one.  Incidentally, Siena was also born on a Wednesday.  I doubt I will forget that either.

August just feels weird to me.

She would have been eight this year.

In many ways this year is weirder than ever.  For the first time this year (oh why did we wait so long?!?!), we have a gravesite to visit.  For the first time this year, this isn't a one time a year thing.  I do this in August knowing that I will do it again in January.  While very different experiences, the lives and impacts of these two little saints of mine have this never ending influence on me as a woman/wife/mother.   Truthfully, they set me apart in a way that makes me always feel just a little uncomfortable in big groups of other moms and other families.

It's hard for me to get real worked up about what a lot of (not all!) moms get real worked up about.

The moral of the story is that I feel unsettled around this time of year.  I think that's part of why I am always ready to jump back into school a little earlier than most people around here.  I just need the routine and something consistent to structure my days so I don't have to decide for myself.

I'm not sure this post actually had a point, other than more of my stream of conscious wonderings, but if you are interested in reading more about Kenna, be sure to check out her story on our Stillbirth Page.  There are pictures and videos and links to her entire story.

Also, please consider donating to our fundraising team for the Let's Not Be Still Memorial Run/Walk at the end of September.  We want to bring lots of awareness to the realities of pregnancy and infant loss in memory of these sweet girls of ours.

You still have two more days to register for our team at the reduced early-bird price, or you can make a donation.  In order to be ensured a t-shirt you have to register before the end of August.

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