Wednesday, July 21, 2010

This is me

Dear Stevie,
My friend Julie had the excellent idea of devoting an entire post to all about who we are...other than just mothers to lost babies. I often feel like I am becoming defined by my "status." Yes, I will always be a babyloss mom, and yes, I will always, always have a hole in my heart that belongs to you, but I fear I am going to be forever known simply as "that girl whose baby died." And there's so much more to me than that.

So who am I?

I am the daughter of two amazing parents, who fell in love when they were 16 and got married at 18 years old:

After over 10 years of marriage, and one lost baby girl, I, their "rainbow baby" was born.

The three of us lived in Billings, Montana, where my dad was a youth pastor and my mom taught preschool and stayed at home with me. I was totally spoiled (in a good way!) and always the center of attention. Until, that is, we moved to Richmond, Virginia and my little brother, Brandon was born.

Brandon was born with special needs. He was also born with the greatest, sweetest personality ever. Growing up as the big sister to a brother was disabilities was at times challenging, but I wouldn't change him for anything.

When I was four, we moved to Seattle, one of my favorite places in the entire world. I had a wonderful childhood, full of all the fun things any childhood should have. I was a goofy, out going kid, with lots of spunk and very, very stubborn.

We moved to the Twin Cities when I was 11.

I went through my awkward, middle school phase (I'm fairly certain the shirt pictured below was actually one of those leotard-y things that snapped at the crotch):

Met this really tall, super uncoordinated and awkward guy named Andy at summer camp in 7th grade:

Survived high school, with the help of my best friend, Jersa (who is going to totally love that I put up the following pictures):

And went off to college, where I met and lived with these girls, who I am still incredibly close with (one of them is even now my sister-in-law, your auntie!):

While at college, I re-met that boy named Andy, who was just as tall, but slightly less awkward and much more attractive. Our first date was a "haunted hayride" the week before Halloween. We became completely inseparable after that.

I always said I would never be one of "those girls" that got married really young, right out of college. But that's just what I became. Dad proposed December of our senior year and I, of course, said yes.

We graduated, me with a degree in English Literature and Writing, Dad with his degree in Physical Education (they say opposites attract, right?):

On August 24th, 2007, we got married:

I started my first "real job" working in Development for a large nonprofit ( that same summer. I still have it, planning events, like our big Adopt a Family event every winter:

The next summer, we got our first puppy!

When Foxy was five months old, we got Jackie (our little Craigslist bargain!):

We spent the next year and a half doing normal "young married couple things." Lots of movie nights, 4am runs to Taco Bell, happy hours, and going out with friends. Life was good.

Then, you came into our lives, and changed everything. And that was good too.

You made us happy and excited:

Then you broke our hearts:

But somehow...we survived. And emerged stronger than ever before.

Together, your dad and I are taking it step by step, day by day. I never thought my story would include a dead daughter, but I am excited to see what the rest of my story, my life, has is store for me. For us.

That's me, I guess. Daughter, wife, friend. Mother.

Oh how I wish I could watch you grow up and create your own story here, Baby. I miss you so much.

All my love,


Ashlee G. said...

What a wonderful post! I love your wedding picture, you're beautiful!

Happy ICLW!

Michelle said...

What a beautiful story, even the part where you said "you made us happy and excited, then you broke our hearts." (cried at that part) Wow, you are a rainbow baby, oh the pain your parents must feel hurting for thier daughter who lost her daughter too. I'm glad you wrote about the rest of you, I think we could all (babyloss moms) benefit from doing the same in remembering that we are more than mothers to our dead babies.
BTW I have a similar story of how I met and re-met my husband too.

Lucid Anne said...

I cried at that part too ^. So so so beautiful, thank you for sharing. <3

Rebecca said...

That was such a beautiful, touching story. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I can't imagine what you've been through. You are amazing.

Thank you for stopping by my blog.

rebecca said...'re so good at hitting the emotion of each post & I totally cried on this one! It was wonderful to see other parts of your life & it is a really good reminder that we are all more than the loss we have experienced.
You're so inspiring!

Dana said...

Thank you for sharing. I also cried at the part of Stevie making you so happy and then breaking your hearts.

I love the pictures you posted.

Noey said...

Kristin, you are gorgeous. I am glad that you two are sharing you story and helping other people. I have never met you (obviously) but I can tell that you are one of those people who are truly beautiful inside and out.

Kerri said...

Like Noey said, you are beautiful.

Hope's Mama said...

Great post. Great idea.

Angel's Mummy said...

great post, loved reading it and learning more about you xxx
Stevie, mummy and daddy are amazing! xxx

Jane said...

I love that post!
I might steal your idea :)
If thats ok!

caitsmom said...

Thanks for sharing your story. Peace.

Miss Ruby said...

What an absolutely beautiful post!


Lilly's Mom (Desiree) said...

This is absolutely beautiful!! thanks for sharing!!

cainml said...

Great post! Beautifully written, and great pictures. It makes me feel like I know you!

Catherine W said...

What a lovely post. Beautiful words and images.

"you made us happy and excited, then you broke our hearts" and the photograph of you and Andy with your beautiful little girl made me cry too.

How heartbreaking that you are a rainbow baby yourself. Your parents must have been devastated to see their daughter going through a pain that they knew only too well. x

Jenny said...

Kristin I LOVED this post! It was fun learning more about you and who you are, aside from Stevie's mom. :)

Btw, who in the world ever thought up those leotard things that snapped at the crotch. I had plenty of them but seriously..why didn't we ever have a problem wearing baby clothes at 10 & 11? :P

You're beautiful and I love your story!



Maggie said...

Wonderful post!!!! You made a beautiful bride and ARE a beautiful Mommy! :)

Antoinette said...

Ughhh I hate that I may be known as "a blm" forever...and yet, if someone doesnt acknowledge her im on the defense..i think its a lose lose, i just wish we DIDNT have to even think about this...on a side not..I heart ur costume lol..and your anniversary is the day before my BDAY!!! good times!!!

Andrea said...

What a gorgeous girl you are! And a beautiful bride :)

Thank you so much for sharing your LIFE with us. Most of all, thank you for sharing Stevie with us...thank you for "sharing" this beautiful baby who is leaving such a legacy.

Much Love and have a nice weekend

Hannah Rose said...

this is really cute...thanks for sharing. :) and btw, that's cool you lived in Richmond. I love Richmond! I grew up in Charlottesville, about an hour out of Richmond.

Danae said...

Beautiful post! Love all the pictures! Thank you for sharing!

Jersa said...

Ya, hmmm thanks for the pics of us in those day care dress-up clothes.... :) This post made me mostly happy and peaceful. No tears.
I hope you are feeling that way tonight as well. Ready to get my tan on with you soon...

kate said...

Thank you for your comment. I am so sorry for your loss as well. I don't know what else to say because I think I may start crying and I just did my makeup, lol.

Andrea said...

Loved reading more about your life. It motivated me to do the same and it was nice to write out a little about myself. I totally agree with the 'But somehow...we survived. And emerged stronger than ever before.'

Kelly said...

What a great post. I just found your blog through ICLW and I'm looking forward to being a new follower. :)

Ausmerican Housewife said...

I clicked on the big version of your family photo with Stevie in her pink blanket. She's beautiful. Something about sleeping babes, even though they're gone, gets to me. My little boy has been gone for almost 6 weeks. It was last month that I birthed him, loved him, had him die in my arms and buried him. I am SO glad that we had photos taken of our entire 4 days with Evan. I am SO glad you have photo(s) of you two with Stevie as a family. Never let them go. They're the tangible proof that we grieving mothers cling to as proof we had our babies in our arms, no matter how brief we held them.

Lori said...

I absolutely adore this post!! You are just too, too cute and Stevie...she's just beautiful and precious and miraculous.

Just love it!!!

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