Time flies and seasons change but some things stay the same.
Eight years ago at this time we found out that Kenzi would be missing her lower left arm due to Amniotic Band Syndrome . This was a scary diagnosis but something we were prepared to learn about and give Kenzi the same life that her big sister Bailey was living. We knew that Kenzi would have challenges ahead but we were going to do whatever necessary to make her life as normal as possible. However as we were planning on creating a wonderful life for our two daughters, life had a different plan.
We were told by a doctor at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia that Kenzi could die after an entire day of having tests done to make sure the only thing that Kenzi suffered from was a limb difference. Kenzi was perfect in our eyes. Nothing quite prepares you for the news that the child you wanted, that you created, that you have been carrying for months might not make it. The doctor shared with us that Kenzi would not make it to full term because Bailey was a preemie and that my amniotic sac was compromised making me susceptible to infection. I was fine with having a preemie again, I had done it before and I could do it again. What I wasn’t fine with was the thought that Kenzi could die.
When we returned from Philadelphia and saw our doctors here, they believed that Kenzi would make it and would make it close to full-term. I held on to these hopes and started to make plans again for our future as a family of 4. Everything seemed to be going well. My last doctors visit the week of January 15, 2007 had me convinced Kenzi was not only going to make it but she was going to be okay. Everything looked great…..
What I didn’t know was that things would change quickly and my life would never be the same. I started feeling bad on Friday, January 18th and believed it was the stress of the pregnancy and the worry that I had been doing for weeks was catching up to me. What was really happening was Kenzi and I were infected and I would be diagnosed with Chorioamnionitis. I continued to not feel well over the weekend and even called my church to have someone come and pray with me at my home and to pray for Kenzi.
On Monday morning I knew something was wrong. My Mom was still here visiting and I asked her to take me to my high risk doctor. I can still remember the drive to Littleton Hospital’s campus and the moment when I knew Kenzi was gone. I knew during that drive that I would never see Kenzi open her eyes, I would never see her smile, I would never hear her first words and I would never have the gift of her being with me on Earth. The doctor confirmed what I already knew with an ultrasounds and I was taken, at my request, immediately over to the hospital to be admitted so they could induce my labor and I could deliver my daughter. This would be my first hello and my last goodbye.
As our family approaches Kenzi’s 8th birthday, my pain is as real today as it was the day I lost Kenzi and the day I gave birth. No one could have prepared me for the pain, grief, loss and devastation we endured by the loss of our daughter. No one could have ever prepared me for the emptiness my heart still feels today without her in my life. On January 23, 2007 I met my daughter and I held her and I told her I loved her and I told her I was sorry that she wasn’t coming home with me. I would give anything to have 5 more minutes with her in my arms, to kiss her head one more time and look her over.
Nothing will ever replace what we lost and nothing will ever repair the hole in my heart but I started Dolls for Daughters 8 years ago because Kenzi gave me the strength to turn my loss into something beautiful and that is her legacy and the organization that bears her name ~ Dolls for Daughters and Kenzi’s Kidz.
What I have learned in the last 8 years has been a lesson on grace, fear and love. Little did I know 8 years ago that Kenzi would bring so many amazing people into our lives and into our family. I had no idea how many people she would impact and how many people would be inspired to support Dolls for Daughters and Kenzi’s Kidz.
Kenzi helped me embrace my fear as I created this nonprofit and she continues to help me each time we take a new step and grow. In 2015 Dolls for Daughters and Kenzi’s Kidz plans to impact more children than we ever have before. We will fulfill my dream of having monthly events for our Kenzi’s Kidz families now that we will have an office. However none of this would be possible if Kenzi wasn’t part of my life.
So my darling daughter as your 8th birthday approaches may you know how much I love you, how much I am honored to be your Mother, how much you have changed me for the better and how I will continue day after to day to make the world a better place and put smiles on the faces of children in Colorado because of YOU! ~ Love Your Mom