Thursday, June 1, 2017

5 Stages of Grief

We were driving home one night and the song let it go came on and I know how silly it will sound that it resonated with me... my silly husband often sings this song when I am mad and it normally makes me even more frustrated when he sings it, but tonight as it played in the car I had a different feeling! As I listen to the words I thought of our journey and everything we have been through and I realized that it is ok to embrace who you are and let go of the mask we all put on for others... Over the last two months I have been hurt by things out of my control... I have learned people are curl and they love to take stabs at others to make themselves feel better... I often find myself hiding behind a mask after I have been hurt and I am not true to myself, I shutdown and I protect myself by putting on a mask that I am ok... listening to the silly lyrics of a Disney song though I realized I need to let it go and throw away the mask I hide behind when I am hurt... It is ok to show my pain and hurt and it is ok to go through the stages of grief when things happen that are out of our hands... I started coping with things through sewing almost a year ago and it is amazing the therapy it has been for me to wrap others little ones in something I have made with such love and a lot of time tears knowing what I long for and have yet to have! I am so grateful for those who have supported our journey we have been so blessed... I hope each family that has received a Little Helm truly knows the love and emotion behind each stitch... I genuinely plan every stitch out every item from our Bird line has little bird feet stitched around the edges reminding me my little B is walking right beside me loving me as I go through this journey that feels never ending! Every piece from our Ember line is stitched with little mountains around the edges which represents our love for the outdoors and the many fires we have in the summer that reminded me that Em is the last bit of fire burning giving us hope and the strength to keep pushing forward... This journey has been exhausting but so rewarding at the same time... I have stumbled, but each time I come back stronger remembering the greater plan here... I have learned to be at peace during this process that there are things bigger than me and I have the ability to change only what is on me and leave the rest up to my loving Heavenly Father... I have learned it is ok to be in denial, at times I am in denial and I convince myself we are ok not having a family and other times I am denying that anything is wrong and both feelings are ok to express... I have learned it is ok be angry to yell and scream and ask why! It is ok to be mad when I don't agree with the doctor, it is ok to be angry when my body doesn't work the way it is supposed to... I have learned that sometimes I need to feel like I can bargain with my Father in Heaven even if it gets me nowhere it helps me to communicate with him. I feel like I am being heard if I at least get my say in what I want... I have embraced my ugly cry, yes that's a thing! I defiantly used to try to just hold it in and put that mask on to hid the pain now I just let it go.... I honestly needed to let the floodgates open and get all my pent up emotions out! That being said I have learned that it is ok to feel blue and be depressed and have time to hide away and process your emotions. It is even ok to veg out and watch movies all day... But most importantly I have learned acceptance I have learned all these stages are important and are needed, but eventually you have to come to the conclusion to let it go and accept what is to come... Please don't think this is my way of saying we are done because we aren't... We will keep trying and fighting for what we want... I am simply saying it is ok to cycle through the emotions I matter your trial and it is ok to not relax when people tell you oh just relax it will happen because every cycle we need to process what is happening and these stages are the normal way to get through hard things!   I have accepted that we are going to have to pay big bucks for us to have a family, I have accepted that we will have to wait longer than most couples, i have accepted that I may not always agree with my doctors, I have accepted that my body may not always work the way it should, I have accepted that others are going to have a family before me, I have accepted that this is hard, I have accepted people will say things they shouldn't, I have accepted that I can't save every child in a bad situation, and I have accepted I may have to grieve the loss of another child when we get pregnant again... Acceptance doesn't mean it gets easier or better I just means you know that it is how it is and it isn't in your hands to change it! I have also accepted that I am loved more than I can imagine by an amazing husband, an awesome family, and a very loving and forgiving Father in Heaven... I am letting it go and not hiding behind my mask because it is ok to not be perfect! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

There is no foot too small that is cannot leave an imprint on the world.....

I have started this blog a few times and I haven't been able to get anywhere with it.... My heart has been heavy as we have approached our two year mark..... Two years ago earlier this week we found out our little Bird wasn't going to be joining our family on this earth... It took my body a few days after we found out the baby had passed for my body to let go. I stayed home while Cole had some work out of town. My sweet sister came over and stayed with me waiting for the inevitable to happen.... Two years ago today I held my first baby in my hands, Bird's tiny little body had just started to form you could see a little head and two tiny little arms, little buds where the legs where forming and a tiny little tail where the spine would have eventually finish forming... I remember thinking how amazing it was that we start so small and develop to where we are. I remember being heart broken that Bird would never grow past this tiny little body on this earth.... I am so grateful that I was able to see Bird with my own eyes and know the reality of this baby was here and that I held my little one at least one time in my arms... I am grateful that I was able to naturally miscarry so that I could have that moment. I am grateful that my sister was there to hold me when my sweet husband couldn't be....  this journey has been a long hard one and we are still fighting for a family here on this earth....I overheard a mother at church the other day say that if she didn't have kids she would be skinny, have money and a clean house I smiled and cried  at the same time because no she wouldn't her money would be invested in exhausting all options to have a child of her own and her house would go by the way side as she had days where she stayed in bed crying in so much pain waiting for the day her arms would be full. She wouldn't necessarily be skinny because I fight like heck to loose the weight I gained with each miscarriage and fertility hormones... I know we all go through our own set of trials but we need to remember not to make light of things that may be breaking someone else. When I am hurting I often think of the song written by Charles Chapplin 

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

Things in life aren't easy no matter where you are at... Trials will most likely keep coming and heartache is bound to happen, but I know each of us has the strength to get up and keep going.... I loved the lesson in church on Sunday it was about finding gratitude in all things I am grateful for the small reminders that things will be ok the hard parts will end and there will be joy we just have to look for it! When I look back on how painful loosing Bird was I am grateful that I got to hold my little one in my arms at least once.... A lot of moms who loose their babies as early as I did never get the opportunity to see their tiny little bodies, I wouldn't trade that for anything! The longer it has been the more I see the small things that make me feel more gratitude for everything we have been through... I am grateful that I have such amazing friends and family supporting me through all the good and the bad! I am so blessed to have the husband I do standing beside me and working hard with me to reach our end goal of having a family here on earth! Thanks for all your love and kind words! 

XoXo Kenz  

Friday, December 2, 2016

Nothing DOWN about it

The last few weeks I have been struggling, we had our IVF consultation a few weeks ago and I left the appointment frustrated. We looked over all the options we had and we left with a lot on our minds about expenses, fertility meds, egg retrievals, frozen embryos, and survival rates. As we discussed our different options I couldn't shake some of the thoughts that had been racing through my head before our appointment. I had read about genetic testing on embryos and how the chances lessen of having a miscarriage of you do these tests. I had asked our doctor about this during our appointment because last year is still such a blur from the pain of loosing two I just couldn't imagine going through that again until our doctor told me why they do that.... He explained to me that they do the genetic testing on embryos to test for things like Down syndrome, Trisomy 18, Spina Bifida, and other chromosome defects, is how he put it. My heart broke as he continued to explain that they don't use the embryos that test positive since their survival rate is lower.... I was crumbling I started crying as I explained to him my feelings on this... As a niece and sister of an aunt and brother born with two of these diagnoses (Trisomy 18 & Downs Syndrome) I can't imagine not allowing them a chance. My aunt died as an infant but the time my grandparents, parents, and uncles had with her wouldn't have been changed for the world. I love listen to my grandma share stories of her sweet little girl that has a spirit that would light up their whole house, and how she knew when my great-grandma Stoker was holding her cause she would squeeze her lips together tight so she could put a bottle in her mouth cause she was trying to feed her constantly to help her make the weight she needed for her surgery. The love they have for her was worth every day on this earth and as hard as it would be to say goodbye we will be together again. On the other side I have had the blessing for the last 17 years to be the big sister to a boy that always makes me feel loved even when I can't love myself. He has made me a better person and he has helped me grow in so many ways. His joy about life makes me want to fight and live when I want to give up! He knows and sees things I don't and his love for everyone is something I wish I was better at. I was asked once whYeah en he was little of they found a cure would I want them to change Parker and I said absolutely not he is a better person than I will ever be. After a huge break down in my doctors office and a discussion on how if we did the testing and found out on of our embryos had one of these diagnosis would he still implant them for us. We would be ok having a special little spirit our home, but he told me he would have to do some consideration because nobody has ever wanted to transfer an embryo that failed the genetic testing and most people who find out their baby has something extra will abort. At this point I realized the pain of loosing a baby was easier than being reminded how cruel our world is. We opted to skip any genetic testing because I would rather loose over and over than not give a child a chance extra chromosomes or not. We would be blessed to have extra chromosomes in our home, those extra chromosomes make them extra special anyway! The families blessed with these special children are the lucky few and we would be honored to be among them. I know most miscarriages are babies that fall under these categories, If I would have know Bird or Ember weren't going to make it I wouldn't have changed my time with them, the pain nearly broke me and I still feel like part of my heart will never be the same, but I gave them every chance I could at a life here on this earth! I am glad I asked for a better understanding of the genetic testing before doing it, all I saw was a flashing neon sign saying you will be less likely to loose another baby if you do this. I will be eternally grateful that I listened to the prompting to ask further questions even though it seemed so great. I have learned in life the times things seem amazing are usually the times Satan is in on something because the path we have chosen to follow our Father in Heaven hasn't been the one that sounded appealing most of the time, but I know I will have the reward after the struggle. There are moments of ups and joy but if I was presented with a plan of infertility. miscarriages, constant doctors appointments, and a medical bill every time we checked the mail or a plan of none of that I would have chosen the none of this, but I wouldn't have had a family things look better than they are most of the time. Without all this we wouldn't have two perfect babies waiting for us in Heaven and we wouldn't have an opportunity to keep trying for one to join us here on earth! I have been following a cute mom for some time now and it started cause her sweet little boy had this contagious laugh that made my day when I heard it. He has the same adorable laugh my sweet brother had when he was little as well as many other sweet downs babes it is a little raspy and full of love, joy, and perfection! Recently they had shirts made that said Nothing Down About It. When I bought the shirt a few weeks ago it was for the purpose that there is nothing down about Down Syndrome. I now realize it applies to me more than just loving my sweet brother and others with downs. It applies to me because even tho these struggles of infertility are a struggle there is nothing down about it! These struggles will lead to my happiness even if it is not until we are reunited with our B&E... There is joy in all things it is the perspective we have about it! 

Xoxo, Kenz 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

BIG things are HAPPENING

I have been working on a project and things are finally starting to fall into place! Over the last few years I have had some major ups and downs, some of my closest friends have gotten the most exciting news for them, but some of the hardest news for me. Having struggled with infertility for 3 years and two miscarriages, I can't count the number of pregnancy announcements that have left me in tears by myself. I have always tried to share excitement with them because it is the happiest time in our friends lives, but no matter how much I love them and am excited for them I still find myself feeling broken defeated and worthless. Last year was probably my hardest for this because we had said goodbye to our sweet babes and had friends getting pregnant left and right. I really distanced myself from my friends during this time talking about their pregnancy was worse to me than nails on a chalkboard, I just couldn't handle it! I felt especially pained when there was anything said about being sick, uncomfortable, or any other normal complaint about pregnancy. Over the  last year I had pondered these feelings a lot and I have come to a conclusion, IT'S OK! I often get told the words you will be a great mom because of your struggle to get a child! I sadly used to think well duh, I want this more than anyone else. I have since realized that it is ok if I am not as long as I do my best, and even though I want this with ever fiber in my body doesn't mean I will be a super hero mom! I am still going to have days during my pregnancy where I am going to struggle and i am going to be so sick I can't help, but cry. Even after my little one is here I am still going to cry from lack of sleep and showers! Even if i don't get to experience another pregnancy and we have to adopt guess what there will still be moments where I let the natural man take over and I break because I will not have the control of how my babies first 9 months starts out! I was listening to Christmas music a few days ago and Away in a Manger came on and the sentence, "The cattle are lowing the poor baby wakes, but little Lord Jesus no crying he makes" brought me to tears. I started to ponder Christ as an infant and Mary's pregnancy. I know the journey to Bethlehem 9 months pregnant on the back of a donkey couldn't have been done without a little discomfort and pain. Once Christ was born I am sure there were nights with little sleep because even if he didn't fuss and cry at night he still had needs he still woke to be fed and Mary lost sleep to do so. I am sure that even as a child she worried about things to the max because she knew she was raising the Son of God. As a mother of our earthly children we have the doubts of are we good enough, can you imagine adding in that he is the Son of God to the mix. I am sure when Christ was a 12 year old boy teaching in the temple and his parents didn't know where he was, she worried about the safety of her child until she knew he was safe. She was a mother. Every one has their breaking points. As I have pondered these thoughts, my heart has softened and I have realized the love I have for those who get the blessings of motherhood on this earth. You are strong women and have the power to do great things!  My old expectations that everyone should be 100 percent ok during pregnancy and motherhood are so unrealistic! I have to laugh because I can't even live up to that expectation, because I am terrified when I think I might be pregnant. I have a huge array of mixed emotions between excited and terrified. It isn't even the typical I am scared I won't be a good parent or they may get bullied when they are older, it is the fear I may have to say goodbye before even saying hello. So how can I expect anyone else to be happy 100 percent of the time when I can't even do that no matter how hard I try. During this healing process I have started working on a little project called Little Helms in honor of our little B&E. I have had a few friends I didn't know what to do for their little ones. I didn't just want to buy and outfit and call it good, I wanted my gift to be personal. After awhile I came up with the idea to make receiving blankets. These gifts are personal in more ways than one, handmade is always more personal than store bought, but these were also made from material I had bought for Bird and Ember. Once I started these I decided that I wanted to share the love of our children with more people and the idea grew from there. I started sewing receiving blankets and burp cloths with a line for each of our little ones that passed away. Bird's line of course is different patterns with birds and Embers line is all focused on outdoors. The healing that has come for me through giving a piece of our hearts to others has been so amazing and I am so grateful for the healing power my Father in Heaven gives! I am slowly starting to get things in line so that we can share what products we have available, so stay tuned to see what BIG things are coming! Thanks for all your love and support as we go through the ups and downs of infertility and loss, We would be lost without such amazing friends and family to help lift us and carry on! During the Star Valley Wyoming Temple cultural celebration there was a dance with angles that helped the pioneers lift their carts and press on! I have felt this so much in my life lately I know that the Lord not only sends angles from the other side to help lift me,  but he has sent so many great friends and loved ones here on earth to do the same! I am so grateful we have all of you, we have so much love for each of you!

Easton with his Little Helm original  

*Isn't he so cute :)
 Donation for Bingo for Brycen
*It is Monday Nov. 14Th 2016 @6:30pm in Afton, WY

 Donation for Bingo for Brycen 

Clara's Little Helm Original 

LOVE, Kenz

Friday, October 7, 2016

I thought we lost it all... but then I learned we have it all...

Hey friends, today has been a day I have dreaded for a few reasons. We would have had a one year old had out little Bird lived and we also lost Ember on this day a year ago. So we remember both our little babes on this day! Honestly it is a day not many would acknowledge but as hard as this day is for us it reminds me of the blessings our little family has, I am so grateful for our little family. I am grateful that I have the knowledge that there is more to life than this earth and that our little Bird and Ember are in heaven waiting for the day we are reunited as a family. Cole and I have been doing fertility treatments and as we have gone through them I had the thought the other day our kids are all together the ones who haven't come and the two that have come and returned to our Father in Heaven! It reminded me as hard as it was to loose Ember that I am so grateful Bird is not alone. I know we have grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and siblings of mine in heaven with our little ones but I am so glad they have each other. There is a connection between siblings that you can't replace and my kids know that connection since they are there together! I think about my sisters and brother that are here on this earth with me and I can't imagine my life without them, they are my best friends! I am also grateful my siblings who didn't get to stay with us are there as an eternal family being the uncles my kids didn't get to know on this earth. I love my nieces and nephews and I am grateful my siblings get to know that love and connection because our two babes are up there with them.... I have been blessed so much in my life and the comfort I receive from having the knowledge and testimony I do helps me get through the hard days.... This past little bit has had a lot of trials we have had to over come, lots of tears, anger, and laughs and not the good laughs the kind where you feel like everything is hopeless so you start the awkward laugh cry type thing. But even with all those moments we are still trucking along and we know in the end we have the best family reunion with some of the best family members I have yet to meet! Until then I am blessed with my family here and my amazing friends.... I was so blessed this morning when I woke up to a text from my mom telling me she loved me knowing this is a hard day... A few hours later a friend texted and I honestly was surprised and cried tears of gratitude because this day isn't a day I expect anyone to remember, but it showed me how blessed I am that I have the true friends I do. I have to laugh cause this sweet girl and I became friends over a random pin on Pinterest and I never would have guessed such a good friendship would form.... I am extremely grateful for her and her kind words! I am blessed with so many things that I have the strength to help me through the struggles of loosing our babies and going through infertility. For that I am eternally grateful! We are still trying to grow our family and hope one day our little family with grow on this earth, but until then we are enjoying the life we have been given. I hope some day soon we will be able to have the excitement of sharing with you all that we are bringing a baby home with us, until then thank you for all the love and support you all give us! Love you all! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Find JOY in the Journey

Hello friends today is a day I wasn't sure how emotions were going to fall into place, but they have fallen perfectly. This morning before I woke up my sweet hubby had already gone to work. When I woke up I found myself alone, this is often the case as my hubs leaves for work before I do, but today was different. As I sat up in bed without looking at a calendar or phone I knew what today was, today's June 7th 2016 the day our sweet Ember was due. As I sat in bed this morning and thought about how we should have been celebrating our little one not mourning I had a brief moment of sadness wash over me. I got my tears out by myself in the quiet peace and then I took a deep breath and decided I could celebrate today. It may not be the excitement of bringing home a new baby, but I can celebrate things that I am grateful for. So today I am celebrating the fact that I have sweet babies who are sealed to Cole and I for eternity. I am celebrating that I have a knowledge that there is life after death and this isn't the end we will see all of our loved ones again. I am celebrating that I have an amazing sister who has not only shared her children with me and let me love them but has shown me through her testimony that families can be together forever that she loves my sweet babies and can't wait for the day she will have the opportunity to love and hold them too. I am celebrating that my best friend was born on this day 26 years ago and that she has been a huge rock in my life and has been there through all the tears happy and sad! I am celebrating life, we have been given such an amazing gift that we a lot of times take for granted. I know there have been times I have cried myself into a dark place and I really didn't want to wake up the next day. There were times I thought if I passed on I would be with my sweet babies and not hurt anymore. Over time I have realized I am not seeing the huge gift I have, the gift of being able to live and to breathe. There are so many out there who would give anything to have one more day even one more hour with those they love. Yes me wanting to be with my babies is wanting to be with those I love, but because of the amazing gift of eternal families I will be with them again. I have people here on earth that I often take for granted because I often focus on who I have lost that I forget about who here still needs me. A friend and I were reminiscing about the past the other day and I had the thought of I wish I would have enjoyed high school and college more instead of always desiring to go on to the next step. When I was in high school I could t wait to get to college and in college I could wait to get married and with marriage I found myself thinking I can't wait to have kids. Looking back I should have enjoyed every little thing about high school as it went by to fast. College was a few short years and then I became an adult where life got a lot harder. Then we have marriage even tho it has been a heart breaking two and half years wanting a baby I am so grateful I have had this special time with Cole that I am grateful I will never look back and say I should have enjoyed it just being the two of us instead of always wanting to skip this step. No this time alone wasn't the way I had planned at all a baby was all I wanted and still do but I can honestly say this alone time has been so enjoyed maybe not the whole time but this last nine months I have been grateful to have this time I know I will never get back. I'm so glad I have been able to find joy in these small and simple things it has made the last few failed fertility treatments easier. Finding a sliver lining no matter how hard the trial makes everything manageable. I taught sharing time one Sunday to our sweet little primary and the lesson was on faith. I found myself saying a few times that with faith all things will work out and the peace that came over me that it truly will even if it is not in my time or the way I planned it was exactly what I needed. I love you all and am so blessed to have amazing people in my life!  

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Don't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game!

We have had a lot of friends ask how things have been going lately so here is a little update. We are hanging in there with all the trials that have come our way what more can anyone ask. With April 1st coming tomorrow my thoughts have been circling on why anyone would think it is funny to announce they are pregnant when they aren't and after a lot of thought it hit me, they really just don't get it! For them it is a funny joke but for others it is so painful. I have cried through many pregnancy announcements not because I don't love my friends and family but because my heart is shattered that it isn't me.. For the last 2.5 years I have cried through announcement after announcement and felt the pain as my heart longs for what I want so badly... I know that those who falsely announce they are expecting haven't felt the pain of infertility or the pain of loosing a child... But I know they have felt pain in a way that maybe I haven't.... So those who might think it is a simple funny joke please think of the pain that you have felt in your life and think twice before you post something that may make someone break (and not just with pregnancy false relationships can hurt those longing for a partner as well as other things out there)... We are still working with our fertility specialist and it is a long and slow process we don't have many answers so we just keep trying and in the mean time keep our heads up. I have been terrified as we continue, I am scared of the unknown because I don't think my heart can take loosing another baby it can barely take the disappointment each month we aren't pregnant... But I know if I don't try because I am too scared then I will never have what I desire most. We face things in life that are scary sometimes they scare us enough we put our heads in the sand and pray it will all go away. The biggest reason for this is we are afraid of failing. I know in my life I have settled and not done things I would have loved to because I was worried I would not succeed... I love the quote from a Cinderella story "you can't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game" I haven't always lived by that but I defiantly am trying because I know deep down faith and fear cannot dwell in the same place. I know that if I have faith this will all work out the way it supposed to, but if I have fear I will not feel any comfort during the process.... I am still working on focusing on myself and hoping that I can find the faith I need to keep enduring to the end!