Sunday, August 1, 2010

A gift from Landon

Shannon and I went to visit Landon on Thursday. Its really funny how she knows me so well. We were coming back from getting ice cream and she turned and looked and me and said "So did you wanna stop?" I didn't even say to anything to her...she just knows! While we were there we walked around babyland a little bit..mainly because they had mowed the grass and they just leave all the clippings all over the headstones. Oh and they threw away some of Landon's things....if I could move him I would. I do not like that cemetery at all! But can't change that now....anyways so we were walking around and I kept seeing butterflies everywhere. And from that day on I see butterflies ALL THE TIME! I would say at least 5 times a day I see yellow butterflies. I think it is a sign from Landon! He was actually buried in a yellow outfit maybe that is why it is yellow butterflies I see all the time! It brings a smile to my face when I see them....I am glad my boy thinks of me!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The visit

I had a very vivid dream about Landon and when I woke up I was crying and it left me with a sadness that I could not shake the whole day. In my dream I got a call from the undertaker (you know the person who buries people~creepy I know) and he said "You need to get down here because he just died!". So I rush to the cemetery and I walk up to Landon's plot and there is my little boy in his casket. He had the outfit that he wore in the hospital on complete with the hat. And he had a few blankets covering him and surrounding him. He looked so cozy. So I kneel down and I started sobbing. And I say "Why didn't you call me? I wanted to be here when he passed! I did not want him to have to go with out me....I did not want him to be scared!". Then as I say that I looked at Landon's face and he had a little smirk on his face and I distinctly remember the feeling that came over me. It was love...pure and amazing love. So I grabbed his little hand and I say "Landon, Mommy loves you so much!" and as soon as I spoke those words Landon's feet started to move, then his legs, and then his little hand grabbed my finger. And then he turned his little head and opened his eyes....and looked at me. He smiled and made little cooing noises. And that is when I woke up.....and I looked around and realized that it was a dream.

So all day I was really haunted by that dream. It made me start thinking of all the things that Landon would never get to do. And that I did not even know what color eyes he has, or what it feels like to have him grab onto my finger. And then someone pointed out that maybe it was a way for God to give me and little taste of what I had wished I could have experienced. It was not meant to make me sad but it was meant as a gift. I also think that it was to remind me that NOTHING can weaken a mother's love....not even death. We are forever connected and it does not matter that I never saw him open his eyes I got to see and hold him. And I am learning to be satisfied with the things I got to experience. I have talked to many grieving mothers who never got to see their child. Or some that were treated poorly at the hospitals....and some that cannot seem to climb out of the darkness of grieving. I am quite lucky to have had the chance to hold him and stroke his face, and to see him get baptized. Something in me changed the day I first held my Landon.

Survived the first year!

I had been dreading July 7th....because on that day last year I had to deliver my son...too early for any chance of survival. I tried to come up with all kinds of different ideas on what to do that day. Some of them were elaborate and completely over the top. I had this idea in my head that the bigger the "show" the more it would show that I love Landon. I think that the hardest part for any mother who has had to say goodbye to their child is that we feel like if we are happy again or "move on" we are forgetting them. And when people stop asking how you are doing or do not mention the child's name anymore that hurts us just as much as the day we buried them. We do not want people to forget that they were a matter how small or how long they were with us they still matter. So I really struggled with what I should do. In the end I asked my Pastor to say a few words at his grave site and I had friends and family there. It was was really hot! And actually that is how it was last year too. Twenty or more people stood beside me, behind me, and my mom held me while we listened to the beautiful words that Christopher had to say about Landon. He spoke of how Landon has taught him things and about how he got to hold an angel. I shed a few tears because it really felt so familiar....and then I remember looking at Christopher's face and he smiled at me and then I glanced around at every face that was there and I got an overwhelming sense of peace. I felt loved....and the tears stopped and a smile was put in their place. Then it was time to let the balloons go that I had bought for him. And I even commented on how they would probably get stuck in the electrical wires or in the trees....because that is just my luck. But when I let those balloons go they were swept right up and we watched them until they were almost out of sight.
Since that day I have had a few rough moments but I feel healed. I gave myself a year to really go through the grieving process and now it is time to really start living again. I know they say that you should not put a time frame on your grieving but for me it was important. I made it through the whole year of firsts and now I need to "move on". I will never forget him...he will always be my son and my firstborn but now when I talk about him I do not feel sad because he is not with me I feel happy that I was chosen to bring that sweet face into the world. I do not cry when I talk about him....he is not as constant in my thoughts...don't get me wrong I still think about him but it does not consume me. And instead of thinking negative things about him (as in he is not here, why did this happen to me etc) I think of the positives. And if my mind starts to wander to the negative thoughts I replace it with two positive things (got that hint from Shannon!). It sounds so simple but it really has worked for me.
I had been feeling like I was in a funk this last week so after work one day I took Shannon's three girls...Riley is 7, Lucy is 5 almost 6, and Emry is 2 1/2 (she always adds the half) so that I would be forced to have fun and play outside. We had a great day! We went swimming, then I made them a dinner picnic, then we went to the park, and finally we went and got ice cream. And as we got into the car after ice cream Lucy says "So Aunt Karen who do you think that you are going to marry?". And I reply with the standard I don't know. And Riley says "Weren't you ready to have a baby?" So I retold them about Landon and what had happened and they had some questions about why he was born so early if he was not ready...and they were in awe when I said that Landon gave his life for mine. That I would not be here if he had not done that. And they came up with the best theory I have EVER heard. They said that God took Landon to "fix" (they did not really get the concept that it was me that was sick) him and that when I get married then He will send him back down to me. I had never thought about it like that. Only from the lips of children. I could not have loved those girls more in that moment. I am so fortunate to have them in my life!
I am proud of how well I did on his angelversary and how well I am doing now. I never thought that I would ever climb out of that darkness. It is so hard to believe that a year has gone by since I held him in my arms. He may not have ever taken a breath but he lives in my heart.....forever.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

And then......I remember

I was sitting by the pool today with my family. I was listening to their conversations and chatter. Watching their horseplay and smiling at their laughter but to me someone was missing. Just a year ago on this night I lay in a hospital bed....awaiting my fate and the fate of my child. And now I sit out in the sun among my family....without Landon. I remember last summer when I was pregnant and I would go to my parent's pool I was so excited to think about Landon joining us the next summer. I see my dad with the neighbor's baby and think I could not wait for the day to watch my dad hold my son in his arms, and to see Landon smile at his Grandpa. Or to watch my mom rock him to sleep or get him to quiet down (she has a gift with babies). Then on that morning when they said they had to induce me all of those dreams came crashing down. I would never see my son take a breath let a lone take him to the pool. These are the times that I physically ache to hold hear him cry, to watch him grow, to feel his weight in my arms. I love spending time with my family because they are such an amazing group of people but then I remember.......Landon is missing.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A little boys purpose

My little Landon was with me for a very short time here on Earth but he left such an impact on me. He changed my life in so many ways. From the moment I saw his sweet tiny face I knew that my life would never be the same. And it hasn't! There are is the obvious thing that Landon gave life. He "gave up" his life so that I may have mine. I am still here because of the "sacrifice" that my only child gave me. And I have to remember that life is so precious and that at any point it can be taken away from us. When I get down and depressed I sometimes envision Landon saying "Mommy its time to dry your eyes and search for what God is calling you for!" I know that probably sounds crazy but hey it helps!
Landon also gave me a glimpse of God's grace. I know that I have mentioned before that when I saw Landon its the first time I saw God's grace in a tangible form. As I think back on that day I do remember being filled with not only with a mother's love but I was angry! How could God give me such a beautiful child and then take him away? It is only now, a year later, that I realize it was not a punishment. God gave me Landon so that I could be a better person. I found God's love through the "death" of my son. My faith is what has helped me through losing my child. My friend Shannon (who has been amazing through this past year) told me that everytime I have a bad or sad thought try and think of something happy and uplifting. And.....I pretty much looked at her like "Yeah right! Like that is soooooooo easy to do!" But I started doing it and it really does help. So lately I have been picturing Landon up in Heaven. I imagine he is a little talker! I think that if he were to have a "job" in Heaven I would like to think he is a helper of some kind. Like he is the baby who helps other babies adjust to life in Heaven. Maybe he gives tours of all the cool hangouts in Heaven. Just simple thoughts like these can bring a smile to my face.
I hope that Landon has brought things to other people as well. I hope that parents realize how fragile life is and to hug their kids a little bit closer. And hopefully other people can look at his face and see God's grace as well!
I miss my little man and sometimes the pain of losing him can try and overwhelm me....but I have to remember that this is God's plan. And that I will see him again!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

11 months

Yesterday marked the eleventh month since Landon's birth. I cannot believe it has been almost a year. Lately it has been tough for me....because I keep thinking about what I was doing last year at this time. On June 1st last year is when we found out that we were having a boy. I was having cramping and had to call into work and go get checked out. That was the best ultrasound. He was out of control!!! Moving all over the place. She could not get any of the measurements that she needed...then he settled down and she got a few that she needed and then he would not move! That little stinker fell asleep and would not move for anything. I had to get up and walk around, then she tried pushing on my belly, then I tried laying on each side...nothing! That kid was out! It was the best moment though, when the tech said "you have a very active baby" (I heard that every single time I had an ultrasound) and his dad said "is it a boy or a girl baby moving around in there?" And within a few seconds Landon shifted and she pointed and said "definitely a boy baby!" And his dad's face lit up! I must admit I was a little disappointed because I thought the baby was a girl. And I felt like as the baby's mother I should have the intuition to know if it was a boy or girl!

Last year at this time I was adding and deleting items from my gift registry. And I had no idea that in a month I would be on the brink of death and have to sacrifice my son to save myself. Sometimes I think back to my hospital stay and wonder how in the world I got through that? It blows my mind that I could have died! I do not think I realized how sick I was until I heard from my family and friends and my doctors about how I looked or about how bad my labs were. There are days that it feels like it was a lifetime ago but then other days it feels like a couple of months ago.

It has been extremely hard for me to work in the baby department lately. Especially since every other customer over there is pregnant. I get emotional sometimes just being over there and seeing all of the clothes that I wanted to get for Landon. I set up a display crib complete with bedding the other day and I cried because I did not know how to put the bumper part on, because I never go to do that. I am planning to have a graveside ceremony for his one year angelversary and I hoping after that day I can really start to heal.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Moving in the right direction!

I have been struggling with letting go of some of the things that I had for Landon already. But slowly a little bit a time I have let them go. It took me a while for me to be ready to let go of that stuff....but I had to realize that is exactly what is was...just stuff! Landon is in no way shape or form connected to these things. I gave my friend Morgan Landon's first bottle for her new baby. Then not too long ago I gave away Landon's travel system that my mom had gotten for him....that was really hard for me to part with. But I gave it to someone that I knew would appreciate it and that really needed it. All I wanted in return was for them to pay it give it to someone that really is need when they are done with it. And just yesterday I gave away my maternity clothes. Which was also really hard for me to do. But I realized that giving them to someone who really needs maternity clothes was the right thing to do. I am not planning on having another baby until I meet the RIGHT guy this time and that could take quite a while! So instead of sitting in a space saver bag they could be in use. I feel like these have been really good steps for me and I am proud of myself for letting go of the material reminders of Landon. He is not connected to those items and I still have the items that he did use and those are much more special to me. So I am giving myself a pat on the back!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I took a friend to visit Landon today.....and I was struck by the beauty of the cemetery. Which totally sounds weird and a bit morbid. But Landon's spot is right by the walking path and there is a creek nearby that you can hear flowing....and the grass is so green....everything looks new and fresh. As I breathed in the the fresh air I knew that this is my year to start have new things come my way. I just need to be open and not afraid to try and experience news things. I mean what is the worst that can happen? I have already suffered one of the greatest tradgedies, burying a child, and you know what? I fought my way out of despair and found my way back to the land of the living. Sure I will never be the same...but maybe that is a good thing. I have grown and matured from losing my son. I appreciate and value my loved ones more. I am so lucky and so blessed to have so many people that love me and love Landon. His angelversary is coming up in a couple of months and I want to make it my goal to celebrate his life...and to celebrate and thank him for the gift he has been to me. That little boy has taught me more about life than some of the living have! He truly is...and was my beautiful gift!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Landon's little peice of Earth

I finally got Landon's headstone laid....and let me tell you it was quite the process! I always have my friend Shannon call the cemetery and pretend to be me....I just cannot bring myself to call there. I can visit but it really is just too emotionally upsetting for me to call. So that is where Shannon comes in....she makes the calls that I cannot bring myself to do. She is amazing! She called the funeral home when I started having nightmares that Landon was crying for me and that he was buried naked. I also had been wondering if they had asked my fiance if we wanted to see Landon before they closed the casket. When she called they told that they had asked him and that he had declined....he just said no and never asked me. They also informed her that he was wearing a beautiful yellow outfit (which I had picked out but was not sure that it was put on him) and they even put an extra blanket it with him to make him more comfy. I wish the cemetery people cared that much!

So anyways Shannon calls and says that she wanted to put up the headstone for Landon Christopher Kehr and the lady calls her back and says "We do not have a baby buried here by that name. Are you sure you have the right cemetery?" Now remember Shannon is me....Landon's mother....ummmmm HELLO! Of course I know where my baby is buried! So Shannon/me explains that I had changed his last name from his dad's to mine. The lady said that she could not put up the headstone because that was not Landon's name. Yeah thats right....that is a quote! She was completely unmoved by Landon's story or my story of how I decided to change his name. Good thing my friend Shannon was on it she pretty much told the woman how this was going to go down! Also they kept changing the prices! When I got the headstone in December we tried to get the foundation poured was like $45 to have that done but they said they had to wait until Spring. So my mom calls back in the Spring and they said they do not lay foundation until after March 1st. Then Shannon calls after March 1st and the price has jumped to $72! Then they called her back and said that they changed the demensions on the headstones and now Landon's was considered a medium and it would be over a $100 for the foundation!

Losing a child is one of the most devestating things that someone can go through! I mean having to pick out a plot instead of adding things to a gift registry is heart wrenching. Laying his headstone I thought would bring me a little bit of joy but no the cemetery people had to be jerks about it! I mean really? You are going to tell me that is not his name! I am his mother...I will put whatever I want on the headstone (that is pretty much what Shannon said!). I am going to write a letter to someone about this. Have a little compassion cemetery workers!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Forgiveness.......its not easy!

I have not written of this yet but....maybe it will help me move past it. I felt very alone during my time in the hospital when I was so sick. My fiance was there...but he wasn't THERE. He would leave for periods of time but that wasn't it. I felt like emotionally he had checked out. And it made me feel even more guilty than I was already feeling. I felt guilty for a number of reasons. I felt guilty that I was not strong enough for Landon to grow inside me, guilty because my fiance's son was up for the summer and instead of being with him he was with me....and the guilt list goes on and on. Obviously I am aware that I had no control over any of it but.....I still felt that emotion. After we got the news that I might have to be induced I remember saying to him that this could either make or break let's choose to have it make us. And he agreed. But something did not feel right. And if I had listened to my instincts I would have realized that something was not right a long time ago.

So then I gave birth to Landon and I remember looking to my left and seeing Landon's dad holding him....but he did not have the expression that I thought he would. And I just kind of put it out of my mind....because I was really sick and on a lot of meds...maybe I was imagining that look. But the day I was going to be released I called my mom and dad to see if they could watch my fiance's son so he could come up and we could say goodbye to Landon together and of course they agreed. So I called to tell him that he could drop his son off and my parents would watch him. And he said that he had already said his goodbyes to Landon and that he did not wish to see him again. I was dumbfounded. I could not imagine not wanting to say goodbye to your own son. So I asked the nurse to bring Landon in and leave him with me for forty five minutes and I did not want to be disturbed. Then I said after forty five minutes or so come back and take him from me because if you do not take him from me I will not let him go. I sat in my room with my son and said my goodbyes. I stared at his face and felt the weight of his body. I stroked his face and held his hand and told him how much I missed him.

When I went home I could barely function. My body was still healing and I was an emotional wreck. I would sit in front of the TV and not turn it on. I would stare into space for hours. Getting out of bed was exhausting and I was overwhelmed with grief. I felt alone....desperately and utterly alone. I would go into my bedroom and cry by myself...and when my fiance would walk in I would just tell him that I needed a minute. I never let him be a part of my grieving...and that was definitely a sign that something was wrong.

One night I could not sleep so I went out to our computer and was going to mess around on facebook or something ( I was not taking a lot of calls so facebook was a great tool for people to express their condolences and that way I did not have to talk to them) and I saw his phone sitting right by the computer. It was as though Jesus himself told me to go through his phone. I knew that I was about to find something that was going to hurt me. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to work the phone (I do not ever go through my significant others private property) and when I looked at the text messages I started dry heaving. There were dirty text messages to and from someone. And not only that but in a couple of texts he was criticizing the way I was grieving for my son. I flipped out and yelled at him and I left for a while. I came back and we talked about it....and he said he felt all messed up from grieving. Now I know what you are thinking....why did she stay with him? They tell you not to make any life altering decisions for at least 6 months after the death of a loved one. So I decided to was when I found the second set of sext messages that I decided to leave. I found them and I called him at work and said get home I am leaving and I did.

I still to this day cannot believe I found the strength to leave. I could have easily stayed and pretended that everything was fine but I knew that was not the right path for me. I had to leave. And quite frankly God made that choice possible. I know whole heartedly that if I had still been pregnant and found that stuff I would have NEVER left. It was one of the hardest decisions ever...I even called him a few times screaming and harassing him.....because I was falling apart. I just buried my son and now I lost my fiance?

God does have a plan! And it all makes sense to me now. It does not make me miss Landon any less but I am SO glad that he is protected from all of that hurt and anger. I do not hate my ex however I do not understand how he thought that his "grieving" could justify cheating. I found things on my computer and my gut feeling tells me that sexting is not the only thing he was doing that was unfaithful. But the texts were enough for me to walk away. I pray for him every night. He is lost...and I wish he would be found. I still however am dealing with anger towards him and it has been hard to let go. I need to forgive him (and her) just as God forgives us every time we ask for it. Every time! No questions asked. Just ask and your slate will be wiped clean! Why is it so hard for us then?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I get it!

I have been posting a lot and it seems to be helping me deal so I just had to post about this. I have a lot of friends on facebook that are pregnant which is great. Of course there is the jealousy once they get past the point that I did...but now that a few of them are getting to the end of it all I read about is how uncomfortable they are, or how they cannot wait "to get her out". I feel enraged every time I read that! I want to just comment on it and say not every body makes it that far and not everybody gets to bring a baby home. But then I have to remind myself that they have the right to say whatever they want. Didn't I complain about being pregnant at times....wasn't I uncomfortable even at 22 1/2 weeks? I need to remember that it is not their fault that I did not make it to term.....Landon's story is just that....Landon's story. Its no one's was his plan. I think as Mother's Day approaches all the old feelings have started to resurface and I am feeling the ache a little bit more. Just have to remember to take it a day at a time and if that becomes too overwhelming then take it a moment at a time!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Answered Prayers

I have been feeling down about not being able to afford the cost of laying the foundation at Landon's grave so that I can have his beautiful headstone put out there. I happend to tell a friend at work that I was upset by it. I had my friend Shannon call the cemetary and inquire about when I could get that done when they informed her that the price for pouring foundation had gone up. When I found that out I knew it was going to be a while before I could afford it. Then at work today my friend tells me to hold out my hand and she proceeds to put money in it. When I start to tell her no that I cannot accept that she said God told me to help you and I cannot say no to Him! I was speechless and stunned! This co-worker/friend gave me more than enough money so that I can get his headstone put out there next week! This is someone who came to Landon's memorial and cried with me, who always wanted to look at the beautiful things I have to remember him by, whose husband would like to look at the scrapbook that was made for him because he is so touched by Landon's story and now she gives me money to help me get his headstone put in the proper place?? No words can fully describe how full my heart is right now! Thank God for answered prayers!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I have been doing good with my grieving lately. But now that Mother's Day is around the corner I feel myself shrinking back into myself again. Not wanting to hang out with people, feeling tired, gazing at the things I have to remember Landon by. Some days it feels like I am going backwards in my grieving process. Mother's Day was such an amazing day for me last year. I was pregnant with Landon and I even got engaged on that day! Now this year I have no baby to "mother". I feel anxious about the day and I am not really sure what I want to do that day. The hardest part of the grieving process has been the guilt and the absence of feeling motherly. Although people tell me they consider me a mother it is not an adjective I would apply to myself. I am sure that these feeling will pass but it is affecting me more than I care to admit! I guess its time to start praying!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

First Easter

As I woke up today, just like any other day, the first thing that hits me is that he is not here. Some days it can take a few minutes to sink in as I look around the room but today I instantly remembered. Sometimes the silence of the room is enough to make me feel panicky. Sometimes I even go into freak mode wondering where Landon is and why I don't hear him crying....then I look to my bulletin board where his hands and feet molds are hanging up and then it all comes back to me. People always tell me that it will get better with time....and its true it has but I am not sure that the wound will ever fully heal.

What gets me through my days here on Earth without him is knowing that this life is just temporary. And today it seems fitting to realize that Jesus died on the cross so that we would never fear death. And that we would have an amazing place to go after our bodies and souls are done here on Earth. A place that would be beautiful and peaceful, where there would be no more pain or suffering. I know that my Landon is up in Heaven with the Father and he is safe. Safe from all of the evils of the world and he will never experience the disappointments of life. And I know that if he were to have stayed here on Earth with me he would have suffered some of the greatest disappointments that a little boy can have.....a uninvolved father. A father who would have continued to chose himself over his little boy every time. A father that would have made a lifetime of promises but break about everyone of those. And I am not saying that I am perfect but I love my boy unconditionally like a mother should.

Sometimes its enough to know that Landon is protected by the Father...but it cannot always cure all of the ache. I long to know what its like to have your own flesh and blood look up at you for the first time. And to know what its like to have a happy labor and delivery and to hear my baby cry for the first time or at all. What is it like to know what color your baby's eyes are? It hurts me to think that Landon will never have a favorite color or a favorite blankey. I think about all the things he will miss out on but I have to hold on to the fact that its only Earthly things he will miss out on. And he doesn't know what those things are...only I think and dwell on them. He is so happy up there! If he is anything like me he is driving everybody nuts by wanting to always be talking! Love and miss you Landon!

Friday, April 2, 2010

"I can only imagine"

I Can Only Imagine lyrics

I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By your side

I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When your face
Is before me
I can only imagine

I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus or in honour of you be still
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine

I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
When I find myself
Standing in the Son

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine

I can only imagine


I can only imagine [x2]

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever, forever worship you

I can only imagine

I play this "game" in the car with God and I will randomly pull out a CD and play matter what one it is. Because I know that on that CD that I have randomly selected there is a song that God wants me to hear at that moment....sounds strange I know....but He has never been wrong. And today it was this song..."I Can Only Imagine" which is one of my favorite Christian songs. It got me thinking..I wonder what my little Landon did when he saw God. Did he walk through the gates? Did he crawl through them? Is there an angel waiting for him because he was so small? Was he able to open his eyes? Then I stopped myself and thought it doesn't matter the answer to any of these questions....because he is in the safest place possible. And I don't need to know exactly how he got to God's throne I just need to remember that he did. And he felt no fear or confusion...and he feels no pain or sadness. It just really struck me and I felt like it was something that I needed to share with everyone!! Once again I cannot thank all of you enough for your continued support through this difficult time!!


The Cord

The Cord

We are connected,
My child and I, by
An invisible cord
Not seen by the eye.

It's not like the cord
That connects us 'til birth
This cord can't been seen
By any on Earth.

This cord does it's work
Right from the start.
It binds us together
Attached to my heart.

I know that it's there
Though no one can see
The invisible cord
From my child to me.

The strength of this cord
Is hard to describe.
It can't be destroyed
It can't be denied.

It's stronger than any cord
Man could create
It withstands the test
Can hold any weight.

And though you are gone,
Though you're not here with me,
The cord is still there
But no one can see.

It pulls at my heart
I am bruised...I am sore,
But this cord is my lifeline
As never before.

I am thankful that God
Connects us this way
A mother and child
Death can't take it away!

Author Unknown

Questions I answered about Landon and my grieving process

1. What do you want people to know about the child (or children) you have lost?
I want people to know that he is a person no matter how small he was. I want them to know that he is a special little boy who had a big personality. I would like people to know that he never was still in the womb. He was a mover and it was almost like he was exploring at first and then he started playing games. He would always move when he heard his dad's voice and when he heard Britney Spears Circus chorus (yeah I am aware that is quality parenting) and he would always move the same time each evening. Always at 6pm and 8pm.....did not matter what I was doing he would always move for like forty minutes. He was not really into ultrasounds which was unfortunate for him because I had quite a few of them in the five and a half months he was with me. He would move uncontrollably when the tech did not want him to and then he would settle down and go sleep and not move when they wanted him to. I will never forget when we found out he was a boy.....I had been thinking he was gonna be a girl because I had a dream he was a girl....but his dad said boy. So the tech said something about how the baby was moving a lot....and he even flipped over on his Landon's dad said so is a boy baby or a girl baby moving around in there. And then we held our breath....and she said it is definitely a boy baby!!!! I will never forget that matter what happend between us that was a special moment.

These next few things are some of the most important things I want people to know about Landon. He saved my life....I know that he did not give up his life "willingly" but he I am sure is not sorry that he did it. And I told that boy of mine that what he did was the closest thing anyone can ever to do to being Christ like. Landon pretty much gave his life for mine so now its my turn to find out why I am still here. I would probably have not been here or my story would have become more tragic if they had sent me home that night in the hospital......but that is not part of my story. I am here for a reason and my little guy has been helping me find that reason. Also I want people to know that he is perfect......and that also is Christ like. And how many people can say that they have a perfect child? And how many people can say that instead of having to wish to see any angel they got to hold one?

2. What names did you give (or plan to give) your children and why?
I picked out the name Landon Christopher......this is a hard question to answer. But I have started this note so I will keep going. I suggested this name and his dad liked it (he was also pushing for Logan but when we saw his sweet face he was Landon to us) and his middle name is Christopher because that is his dads name. However I have opted to change Landon's last name....from his dads to mine. Since me and his dad are no longer together I have decided that while I cannot change who Landon's dad is I can change the family name he has. I think of Landon as mine...which might seem selfish but I miss him everyday....I decorate his grave.....I went there almost four times a week this summer.......I sob for tears fall on his grave......I honor him with special things while I do not know how his dad is handling the loss I can only do what I think is right. And Landon having the last name Kehr is just right.

3. What rituals or ways of memorializing your children seem to best help you cope with their loss?
I put up his picture at his grave and a picture of my family. I also decorated his grave with Christmas decorations. My friend Stacey gave me a beautiful necklace with his name on it (thanks Stacey!!) that I wear everyday...and then I bought another necklace with his birthstone and a charm that says faith that I also wear everyday. I have put up two ornaments for him and I hung a little stocking right on top of mine for him. I have special things in my room that the hospital gave me or that friends have given me. Anything that I have done or will do helps me cope. And lately I have been trying to reach out to those who have lost a makes me feel like I am honoring Landon when I listen to other mother's stories or when I get to tell them about my angel.

4. What are the kindest and/or most helpful things people have said to you? What are the worst?
Its hard because there is really no right thing that people can say and even if they are trying to be helpful sometimes I have heard that same phrase ninety times and it just isn't helpful. I have had people tell me that I am a good mother.....and that is the absolute best thing someone can tell me. Also when they tell me that Landon is beautiful......two important things in that sentence....they use his name which tells me they think of him as a human being....and that they use present tense. I try to refer to him in present tense not because I do not understand that he is gone but just because he died does not mean he is any less beautiful!!! I would rather not share the most hurtful things

5. Who is your hero? Who helps you make it through the dark days better than anyone else on the planet?
My family...who welcomed me back home in my darkest hours. My mom and dad who spent time with me while I was in the hospital. My mom for crying with me after I moved home when I asked her why someone would do that to me after I just buried my son....and she looked at me with tears running down her face and said trust in God.....He has your answers. And for my mom that also told me that they consider having three grandkids and that Landon was just as much their grandkids as Gavin and Sophie. My sister Elizabeth who played a major part in the planning and executing Landon's memorial.....I just could not do it so being the wonderful planner she is she took the reigns. And she always checks up on me and tells me she is proud of me....and that means a lot. I remember her looking over at her as she held my son so tenderly and it was a moment I will not forget anytime soon. My sister Julie who helped me move out of the house I had been staying at and she never gave me crap for just standing in the middle of the room sobbing because I could not get it together. And for loving me and Landon in her own special way. My "sister" Shannon for being there for me via phone because she could not be with me in person during my labor and delivery but came the next day and held Landon like he was alive. I will never forget that moment when you fixed his blanket because you thought it was squishing his ear. My sister Tracy for giving me such beautiful gifts to remember him by. My bother Dave and his wife Jan for always encouraging me to call and Dave always has my best interest at heart. And he lets me grieve and that means a lot. My friend Sarah for always listening and willing watch me freak out and being such a constant part in my life....I could not gotten through a lot of my days without you. You let me be selfish and talk about Landon and grieve openly in front of you. Pastor Christopher....I am not sure I can even express everything he has done for me.....he lets me grieve and cry and share my feelings and he gives me positive feedback and always asks the right questions. He has shown me God's grace during my darkest times. And to the mommies that have also lost know who you are and I love having your support and love. I love swapping stories and feelings with you.

6. Is there anything you need to say or want to say but haven't been able to? Can you say it now?
I am absolutely lucky to have the people in my life that I do....I can say anything or feel anything that I want to. They never say anything negative about my grieving process. I am the hardest on myself when it comes to that....hopefully breaking that cycle :) There are things that I want to say to his dad but none of them would help the situation so those will stay with me. That is a gift that I can give to him.

7. How are you doing? How are you really doing?
I am honestly doing pretty good. I have bad days and good days. A lot of tears still and I ache for Landon. I wish that I was shopping for Christmas presents instead of decorating his grave. But I can't help but feel lucky. Lucky you may ask??? Out of all the mothers in the world God chose be Landon's mother....even if it was just for a short time. Landon has changed my life and he has changed the lives of others. This sweet baby boy came into my life and gave me the chance to be a mother. I never thought I could have kids and even was taking precautions on not getting pregnant but my Landon was too special to keep in Heaven and so God chose me to carry him and love him.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Landon's Story

I have been blessed to have seen the face of an angel. A face that I miss every single son Landon's. Landon was a miracle baby. I have so many health issues and I was actually taking birth control and yet one day I sent home from work early and for some reason felt the need to take a pregnancy test. I was shocked to say the least. I freaked out! Landon's dad was way more calm about the situation and was excited.

I had a high risk pregnancy right from the get go. I started bleeding at 7 weeks, at ten weeks I spent a night in the hospital due to my appendix being enlarged, lots of cramping, and eventually was diagnosed with HELLP Syndrome and was induced at 22 1/2 weeks.

I had been having back pain all day at work on July 3,2009 and I figured that it was normal to have back pain. I had been diagnosed with a UTI earlier in the week so I decided to call the doctor because I thought maybe I had a kidney infection. He told me to head down to the ER. So when my fiance picked me up from work that is where we headed. They did a whole bunch of tests and scans and drew some blood....and they were actually going to send me home but my doctor came into the hospital to examine me himself. He said that the back pain was back spasms but he did not like the results of my labs and my blood pressure was really high. So he wanted to keep me for at least 48 hours. He did talk to us about the possibility of me having pre-eclampsia and discussed what that would mean if I did have it.

So I stayed in the hospital for almost a week....I went in on a Friday and on Monday we were told that I needed to be induced. It was either both of us or we sacrifice him. Nothing could have prepared me for that. In a matter of minutes it went from being all about my baby to all about saving my life. After they told us they had a Neonatalogist come in and talk to us and we decided to not have any rescue measures performed. We did not want our child to suffer and the Neonatalogist cried with us while we made the decision.

My dad was the first one to get to my room, he works in the hospital that I delivered at. I will NEVER forget those moments I spent with my dad. I was crying and all of a sudden I saw my dad start to cry and mourn with me. It was touching because my dad has a hard time showing emotion.

Then the rest of my family got there and then the craziness started. There were nurses, doctors, and med students in my room trying to get an IV started. People were asking me questions telling me that I had to deliver vaginally. I begged anyone who would listen that I wanted a C-section, that I was not strong enough to deliver him vaginally. I remember closing my eyes in a desperate attempt to shut everyone out. When I opened them.....everything was still there. I was then moved down to labor and delivery. My first nurse there was someone I will never forget. There were so many people in my room and she could tell that I needed quiet for a few minutes. So she told everyone that I needed to go to the bathroom and they needed to leave. The door shut and I lost it......she cried with me and told me about her angels. As I heaved with emotion I could feel my son moving around inside me.

I gave birth to him on July 7,2009 at 12:05 pm. He weighed 12 0z and measured 10 inches long. I was so nervous to see him because I just did not know what to expect. When he came out the doctors first words were "I am so sorry he doesn't have a heartbeat". Immediately I started sobbing and I reached for him. I took him in my arms and looked down at the most beautiful face I had ever seen. I could not believe that I helped create him and he was mine. He was perfect in every way....just tiny. The family came in then and Landon was passed around the room to the hands of the people that love him. I especially remember my sister Elizabeth. She was holding him like a live baby. And through her tears I saw her look at him with love. Then my mom held him and she too held him with the love she had for him. I was physically and emotionally exhausted and yet I was able to look around the room and see those who loved me. I could feel not only the love in the room but looking back I could see what God's grace looked like. In the moment I could not see it but I see it now. And God's grace came in the form of a little boy who forever changed my life.