Kristen

Mom to seven children, five lost

Jessie, May 25, 2009
Kasey Klair, December 14, 2009
Nathanael James, June 17, 2010
Kayla Lucille, April 5, 2011

and

Isaac Damon, December 8, 2011

Austin, Texas

There is a blank page in our wedding album. When my husband asked me, years ago, why it was still blank I said, “I want to put our family portrait there, with all our children. That way when we look at the pictures we get to see our happily ever after.”

That page is still blank.

It is blank because I am the mother of seven children, only two of whom walk this earth with me. It is blank because I spent three solid years pregnant, desperate to add to our family, only to endure heartache piled upon heartache. It is blank because pieces of our happily ever after are missing. Their names are Jessie, Kasey, Nathanael, Kayla, and Isaac.

There are moments that are burned in my memory from each pregnancy and loss. With Jessie, who was our one early miscarriage (at 12 weeks), it was enduring the pain that the doctor assured me would be “similar to menstrual cramps.” It was excruciating, and I didn’t know what to do when I finally passed our baby. All I could think was, “where do I put him/her?”

Why didn’t they tell me I would be able to see our baby?

We were further along when we lost Kasey, approaching the third trimester. I found out during a routine visit, and I remember having to keep it (mostly) together because the children were with us. My youngest daughter, only a year and a half old, climbed up beside me on the bed and asked me to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. So I did, with tears rolling down my face and the doctor probing my stomach. He tried so desperately to find a reason…but there just wasn’t one.

We kept trying because doctors assured us there wasn’t anything wrong with either of us. We were just “in the bad luck category,” according to one.

I delivered all but one of our babies vaginally. I would go in, be induced, and labor for hours. Those contractions feel like they are splitting you in two – but there’s no reward at the end. Our babies were so tiny, but they were perfect. I held their hands, and stroked their faces. Our daughter Kasey had a head full of dark hair that tufted up like duck down. Our daughter Kayla was blonder, with only slight fuzz – her hands and feet larger. And Isaac was long and thin. I think he would have looked like his Daddy. 

Some days I feel like an observer of my life. Fortunately those days are fewer than they were, but they still happen. I would feel like there was part of me hiding, holding in all the pain and tears that I just don’t have time to shed…and that part was the more real piece of me. This person who was performing those daily tasks – packing lunches and folding laundry so calmly – that wasn’t me. And the hidden corner of me would watch the entire goings on and would cry so quietly that no one could hear.

Like I said, those days are few and far between now.

But, I still can’t watch a movie where the whole story or the culmination is some woman having a healthy squalling baby. News stories where parents beat, starve, or kill their children make me cry and my arms ache with emptiness. “I would love them,” my heart cries.

This pain feels invisible…I feel invisible. People look at my family and see my two children. They ask how many we want, when we are going to have another, or (when they find out our history) why we don’t just adopt. I want to scream at them that nothing about this has been easy or simple. Nothing compares to this sense of incompleteness I have.

They cannot come back to me, and that loss is profound. But, I will go to them. Eventually, I will see them again.

You can contact Kristen at kchjknki@yahoo.com.

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Comments

  1. cathy says:

    Dear Kristen,
    My soul cries for you and your unimaginable losses. I wish I could think of something comforting to write, but all I can say is that I am screaming with you. You are not alone.
    Cathy

  2. Kristen says:

    Thank you for your compassion, Cathy. One of the best things about finding Faces of Loss was feeling like there were people here who would SEE me.

  3. Sarah says:

    Dear Kristen, I am so sorry for your loss and I am actually trying to deal with the loss of my little boy. Just last Sunday I had to go through a labor at 21 weeks after discovering that my child had stopped growing for five weeks. I have 2 beautiful children a boy 5 yrs old and a 2 year old girl. I love them with all my heart but the pain I am feeling in my heart truly is unbearable. I had to message you because I feel the exact same way as you when you said that about the lunches and the laundry. Everyone thinks you are okay since you are continuing your day to day activities. No one knows the sadness and heartache I feel about my little one. Here I’m sure we all understand each others emotions and thoughts. People say oh you’re lucky you didn’t go to full term and things like that but they don’t understand that once that little heart is beating inside me, I instantly have hopes, dreams, plans and love for him beyond imagination. The love you have for your child cannot be measured simply according to the duration of your pregnancy or how long the child had lived. All the best to you and your family.

  4. Lauren says:

    Dear Kristen,

    I am amazed at your strength in the face of such tragedy. I cannot say anything that will bring comfort to you, but know that you and yours are in my prayers.

    Lauren

  5. erin says:

    I am praying for you, Kristen. I am so sorry for your tremendous loss. What an incredibly strong and brave woman you are. I am the mother to 5 but only one walks this earth. You are not alone and we do SEE YOU!!!

  6. Kristen says:

    Sarah,

    I tried to find you. I wanted to send you a message directly, so I could be certain you would see it.

    It will be ok. Not every day or even all day…but there will be moments that will shine through when you will see that You Will Make It.

    You are not alone, and I am glad if some words of mine gave voice to yours.

    I am here.

    Kristen

  7. Leann says:

    I, like you, have two children who walk this earth with me. My other three children are in heaven. Two, lost to early miscarriage. My baby girl was full term and stillborn on April 5 of this year, just ten weeks ago. Your story touches my heart in many ways. I also know that in time, I will be reunited with my babies in heaven. Until then, I will continue to live life for my two boys who walk this journey with me here on Earth. Thank you for sharing your story.

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