Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sweaty Little Meatloaf

It was easy to put off with everything going on (hello, New Knepper!) but eventually we had to go pick up Ainsley's belongings. That day, when she was gone, we stood in the middle of the room looking at each other like, What Just Happened? And thankfully, there was an offer to pack up and hold Ainsley's things until we were ready to pick them up.

I don't know that you're ever ready for something like that but at some point you have to suck it up and deal with the shitty stuff that happens when your kid dies. So we did it. We picked her things up and then we went to the zoo. Because it felt like we needed something fun to balance out the holy awful. Me, Mark, Olivia, and Adelle picked up Ainsley's stuff and then we went to the zoo like any other ordinary day. Just like every day we've pretended to be very ordinary because what else do you do?

And then after that we left the stuff in the car for a few days. All piled up. 17 months of Ainsley's life all packed up into boxes in the back of our crossover. It was easy to ignore because we were very busy and it gave us the perfect excuse to put off the shitty stuff for a little longer.

Yesterday, I unloaded boxes. One at a time, starting with her clothes, I began to sort through the belongings of my little girl who I'll never see again. Clothes she always wore, new clothes that she didn't get a chance to wear. Outfits that I bought to coordinate with Olivia when things still seemed positive and hopeful.

It was crazy because I kept sniffing the clothes that she wore often thinking that I could smell her on them. She was kind of a smelly little ball of beefy meatloaf. She was sweaty from working to breathe and it's not like she was stinky but she smelled. She was adorably smelly. I bet that the people who cared for her at the hospital know exactly what I mean. I loved to pick her up and sniff her smelly little head and kiss the fat part of her chin. But all the clothes smelled like detergent.

Every day is different. Sometimes it all feels very real. Ainsley died - I was there. It was horrible. I will never see her again. And sometimes it feels like we are just very busy and don't have time to go to the hospital. I look at my photos from May and June and her life in photos ends as abruptly as her real life ended. She was here and then she was gone. There are no more updates or things to try to help her come home.

Anyway. In the most obvious news flash ever: this all still sucks.

52 comments:

areyoukiddingme said...

It does suck. I wish there were something I could say to make it better.

Just the Tip said...

The lump in my throat after reading this is only more proof that nothing I can say will have any type of monumental impact on how you feel.

It truly sucks and it's not fair and lots of other Fbombs. But one thing is for sure YOU did everything you could for Ainsley. I'm sure if possible, you would of grabbed the scalpel yourself if you could have given her your own lungs (or one, or some, or something crazy like that).

You are truly an inspiration. You managed to juggle EVERYTHING and that is no little feat.

Inara Jones said...

Big hugs to you. I am crying here with you, and wish there was more I could say. Until I figure that out, though, big hugs.

Amanda said...

I am so sorry, Jen. I keep you and your family in my prayers, asking for some peace and comfort for you all.

alison said...

Sending so much love your way. I miss her enormous smile.

Heather said...

These deep posts from your gut always get me. Thank you for the courage to tell everyone exactly how you're feeling - when you're missing A & E, when you're enjoying O & Ad, making fun of people or just living. Because real life isn't a fairy tale sometimes, and sometimes it's better than one. Keep writing. You help people. ((HUGS))

Mellow said...

It does suck. The sucky-ness of this will not go away. One day though, it won't hurt so much, like it does now. It won't consume your thoughts...that day will start to fade into just occasional memories, instead of replaying over and over in your mind every night you attempt to sleep. One day. I pray it's soon. Happy for you all to welcome your new Knepper, sad for you though the family is incomplete, missing your smiley meatloaf. :) Hang in there.

allthesunforyou said...

I think we all figured it still sucks for you - I mean - it will for a long time (forever? Maybe), right? But what I want you to know is that I still think of you, Ainsley, Evelyn, Olivia, Adelle, and Mark every single day - and at least once a week, my husband and I talk about how much you must miss Ainsley even though there are good things going on in your lives. We acknowledge how hard it must be to celebrate a new baby when you are still grappling with saying goodbye to your little meatloaf. Please know that none of you have gone forgotten. I think that's obvious in the comments that you get, but I wanted to say it :)

Amanda said...

I haven't been able to leave a comment for you in awhile because, yes, this does suck. This all sucks so much that it sucks all the air out the room and leaves me speechless. And I know it will never get better. My heart breaks for you and your family. I hope that find a way to heal from this.

Amber said...

It does suck. I'm so sorry. I am praying for you. That's all I can do. I know there are no words.

Lisa said...

I'm so sorry. Thinking of you all.

alicia said...

thank you for sharing your very personal thoughts and feelings here. It breaks my heart you are trudging through this, this sucky stuff.

Molly said...

Blargh. I admire your ability to balance out the good and shitty. I'm sorry. It blows, and it is not fair you guys had to lose her...

Julia said...

I'm so sorry. Sorting through Ainsley's things must have been incredibly painful. If there's any consolation (and there isn't much, I'm sure) it's that she spent every day of her life completely loved. My thoughts are with you. I wish I had more than "I'm sorry"...it's so inadequate.

Valeta said...

All I have is *hugs*

Lyndz said...

I saw you at the Zoo! I wanted to say hi but decided not to interrupt your family time! I'm sorry for all that you have been through! It just doesn't seem fair. I wish you and your sweet family the very very best!

Erika Mitchell said...

I'm so sorry, Jen. You're doing a fantastic job accommodating all these changes, I don't know how you do it.

Rebecca said...

Lots of love and prayers for everyone in your family. You guys need something big and wonderful to come your way.

HereWeGoAJen said...

It will always suck.

I'm thinking of you guys.

Laurel said...

Just hearing the words "little meatloaf" makes me think of Ainsley now, an adorable baby that I never even met. I can't imagine having to go through her things and her clothing.

I swear I am not a weird blog stalker but I think of you often, because there's not much that seems like more of a brutal emotional rollercoaster than struggling to have children, then having twins but losing one right away, then never getting to take the other adorable one home before she passed away, then having a new baby. Joy and grief all together in a big huge ball.

How could it not suck to lose your little meatloaf? I'm glad you had her and Evelyn, so so sorry they were lost so soon.

Kelly said...

You are a rock. I'm so happy that you can write about it. I hope that by writing your thoughts down, it somehow helps to dull the pain of losing your child. If it doesn't help, please know that you'll be happy you recorded your memories and milestones. Ainsley was here for a reason- even if was only 17 months. I can't believe what it's like to lose not only one, but two babies. You have an incredible support network that you've built through blogging, coupled with your beautiful family, that will be here to get you through this time, and the future struggles as well. We'll be here for you.

Robin said...

the lump in my throat and tears in my eyes are for you, and the whole family who lost their little Ainsley and Evelyn. I am so sorry for your loss.

katherine said...

Of course it still sucks. Nothing can undo that, and I would be prepared to beat the crap* out of anyone who as much as hints that having Adelle somehow makes up for Ainsley. I'm so so sorry, Jen....

* Quite lirerally. Got a black belt i'm just dying to use for a worthy cause...

katherine said...

Of course it still sucks. Nothing can undo that, and I would be prepared to beat the crap* out of anyone who as much as hints that having Adelle somehow makes up for Ainsley. I'm so so sorry, Jen....

* Quite lirerally. Got a black belt i'm just dying to use for a worthy cause...

Ginny said...

It really does. Thank you for being brave enough to write about.

Leah - Bogue Living said...

So rough :( :(

Amelia said...

It absolutely sucks. But dear god you have a way with words. I'm so glad I found you on the interwebz.

Pussy Parent said...

It really does suck. Hugs.

Vaso said...

It really sucks.. I wish I could say something else right now that it would make it easier for you... {hugs} to all of you...

Emily said...

I think of you and your family often and can only imagine how very difficult and strange it must be having both buried a daughter and birthed another in such a short time span. Such a complicated mixture of joy and sadness. I miss Ainsley's sweaty little meatball smile grinning from my computer screen. Wish she was here and healthy, enjoying the zoo with the rest of the family.

Liz said...

Oh goodness, I can't even imagine. Hugs. Prayers. Peace.

Katherine said...

All I can offer are my thoughts and prayers.

Jayme said...

We only had nine weeks with our NICU preemie who never came home, but I know we certainly got into a routine of visits and for a long time afterwards, it seemed bizarre to have so much 'free time'.

For us, it was less than a day that it took for her to go from doing great to dead. It's been six years and I still wonder why.

Brenda said...

*sigh* I sit here in front of this keyboard just sighing and wiping tears in my eyes wishing that life was not so difficult, that such wonderful highs are peppered with such utter lows. I'm so sorry. This day sucked fantastically. I hope tomorrow sucks a little less.....

Sarah said...

There is nothing I can say, except your family is in my thoughts. I am so sorry for your pain, but I am so glad you had so many beautiful months with Ainsley. They weren't enough, and my heart hurts for you, but I am happy for you that you got them.

Lisa said...

i've been thinking about you a lot and wondering how you're handling all of this. the highs and lows must be, well, very high and very low. i miss your sweaty little meatball, so if i do... i can't imagine the pain you must feel. thinking of you and your family ...

raisingmiles said...

It sucks donkey balls. But we love all of you crazy Kneppers. Especially the sweaty meatball one. ;)

leahjane8 said...

I don't really know what to say, but on the off-chance that comments give you the slightest bit of comfort/support or make you smile, I thought I'd chime in. You, your husband and all your beautiful girls are in my thoughts. You usually make me laugh, but this one made me cry. I'm so sorry for the pain you're feeling. Sending you love.

thelambentlife said...

Before something life altering happens, I like to play through the emotions and feelings and predict how it must feel. But when something terrible, awful and no-good happens, more often than not I find that everything else becomes eerily normal. Opening your eyes are realizing you've been plopped in the middle of a reality that is no longer yours. Like picking up her belongings and then going to zoo. The world around you doesn't entirely know that something terrible, awful and no-good happened. But it did.

I don't know you but have followed your blog since the twins were born. I think you are incredible.

Bekah said...

I'm so sorry, Jen. I've been running around in my own little world, and I've just found out about Ainsley. I just can't wrap my head around it. I'm just so so sorry. I never would have guessed this would happen in a million years. I always thought one day I'd come back to your blog to read all the posts I'd missed and see that she finally got to go home. I always thought she'd get better. I'm sorry. That's not sufficient to describe all that I feel for you, but it's all that I have.

Ani said...

No words - really. It does suck and will always suck.
Hugs to you.

Sarah said...

"One at a time, starting with her clothes, I began to sort through the belongings of my little girl who I'll never see again." I can't think of a line that I have read in recent memory that has pierced my heart in such a way.

sheilah said...

Me, a stranger internet stalker, has visited here many times in the past weeks and looked at Ainsley's pictures. I still can't believe that she is gone. I never imagined that she wouldn't be going home with you.

I can only imagine the pain you and Mark (and your whole family) must be going through. My heart breaks for you.

Devon said...

I cannot imagine how hard it was to go through her things, let alone write about it. There is a special place in this world for people like you, and I fancy it to be called something along the lines of "Strongest Moms Ever To Live, Ever!" or "Moms Most Deserving of Constant Strong Adult Beverages". The whole sweaty meatball thing made me laugh; I could see you sniffing her sweet chubby chin and kissing those delicious cheeks. And of course, when I think of Ainsley, she is always, always smiling.

You are one of my inspirations; I think of you and your family daily. Know that we are all here for you, lifting you up in the moments that suck the most and rejoicing in the moments that bring the most joy.

I am truly inspired by you and your family. <3

Jacky said...

Oh I wish there was some magic statement that would make this all better. I am so so so sorry.

And while Adelle is not a replacement for Ainsley, she will keep you busy and sleepless!

This sucks so much. You will survive, because you have to and you have the girls and Mark. But it will always be there. Someone once told me we have a backpack on our backs and every time something bad (horrible, devasting) happens its like another rock (mountain) is put in the backpack. While you have to carry that pack for the rest of your life while it doesn't get lighter you learn how to carry it.

Does that make sense? I am not trivializing your pain... I cry with you for a sweet baby I never met and a loving family I never met. :-)

Emily said...

I think of you and your family so often, and I appreciate every one of your posts - so honest and real. No one can begin to understand what your entire family is feeling, but I hope find comfort that Ainsley was so loved (and still is) while she was here. She brought so much joy to so many that never got to meet her face to face. Prayers!

Annie Harper said...

I honestly cannot imagine the things that that you have had to go through. Even though I don't know you, I think about you all the time and how STRONG you are (whether you feel it or not) and just what a freaking rad person you are in general. In such devastating circumstances I'm not sure what is appropriate to say and what is not. So I hope that me saying this is not offensive somehow...but I know in my heart that you WILL see Ainsley again. Someday. You will. And it will be awesome :)

B's Mom said...

One day it will suck less. I promise.

Brooke said...

I'm so sorry, Jen. I wish I could tell you that some day it will stop sucking, but that's not true. It will always suck. But one day it WILL stop sucking the life out of you every time you think about it. <3

PJ said...

What a crazy mix of emotions you must be experiencing right now. I think of you and your family often. I know that Ainsley will never be forgotten, but I do wish you all some peace and healing, and above all happiness.

JenM said...

Oh Jen. I just saw this. It's just so unbelievable, all of it. You constantly amaze me with how you are handling everything, but I know you miss Ainsley. I miss her too, and I only knew her through you.

(((Hugs)))

lori said...

i don't have anything profound to offer...just some internet hugs...thinking of all of you...