A Hole in Our Hearts

This post is really difficult to write and read... just be warned.

I mentioned in my last post about things falling apart for my family. But before I tell you what happened, I need to give you some background.

My little brother, Collin, is one pretty unique kid. I don't mean that in a bad way. He has always remained true to who he is regardless of what anyone has said to him. I've always admired his strength and security and his ability to love others no matter what. When he met Natalie, his wife, we quickly discovered they were identical in so many ways. Never in the history of the world have I seen a couple more perfect for each other. And she made him insanely happy, which is usually a top priority.

They've been married almost 4 years now and we have adored having Natalie be a part of our family. Natalie is one of those special spirits who is blessed with patience, selflessness, and just an insane amount of love. She is one of those women who was born to be a mother; and she has wanted nothing more since they married. After waiting for so long, we were all beyond thrilled for them when they told us in November that they were expecting their first child. I was so excited to be an aunt again! And it was such a special experience to watch Collin become so excited to be a dad. They found out last month that they were having a boy. Another nephew!!

So it shattered everyone's world, especially theirs, when she went into labor at 22 weeks this past weekend. She started having contractions Thursday night, and it progressively got worse throughout Friday. By Friday night she was in a lot of pain and didn't know what was happening. How could she? No one knows what labor feels like with their first child, especially that early.

To summarize what happened, and out of respect for their privacy the gist of the story is her placenta had detached, and by the time they checked in, it had ruptured. They checked for a heartbeat but there wasn't one. They induced labor and my sweet, loving sister-in-law, who is the last person who deserves pain and anguish, had to deliver her stillborn baby early on Saturday morning.

The first question many have asked, which is normal, is if it could have been prevented. No. Placenta detachment/rupturing is rare, and once it happens there's little they can do to help. 22 weeks was way too early for him to survive. We were actually talking about how it was a blessing he died in the womb because having to watch a baby that tiny suffer and die would have broken Natalie and Collin beyond repair. I don't know how they're surviving with what they have endured, but that would have killed them.

My parents were at the hospital all night and my mom had kept all of us siblings up to date through text messages. Unfortunately, I silence my phone at night so I had slept through the whole thing. I awoke to the messages and I immediately fell apart. I could feel my heart ripping a hole for my brother and his wife. I remember saying, "NO! No! No!" over and over again and shaking horribly as I called my mom to find out what exactly had happened. I then called Collin and just sobbed with him on the phone. I couldn't believe it.

They spent the whole day Saturday in the hospital holding him and spending time with him before they had to turn his body over to the mortuary. We paid them a short visit and it was heart-wrenching. They named him Owen Scott and while I held him I just wanted to scream and cry. He was barely bigger than a soda can and had the cutest little face and nose.

Obviously no one is taking this harder than the parents, and I don't want to make it seem like I'm all broken and battered from this, but I took it really hard at first. I've spent a lot of time in intense anger with God for allowing something so awful to happen to them. They are the least deserving. It was completely unfair and I was just so mad. That has subsided somewhat now. But I also think it was so bad for me because I'm a mother and to make it worse, a mother of a small baby. I got Brynlie up and she cuddled up to me for a good 15 minutes (something that never happens) while I just sobbed and sobbed. How was it fair that I was holding a sweet baby and Natalie wasn't? She wanted to be a mother more than I did. She deserved it! I felt horribly guilty for having children and I just couldn't keep it together. Brynlie made me cry. Her crib made me cry. Her car seat made me cry. Every baby thing set me off. I finally called Cory (who was at work) and he came home early because I was scaring Kennedy. She kept telling me she wanted me to be happy again.

I feel kind of silly now that I reacted so intensely but I HATED that my happy, crazy, baby brother was in so much pain, and at the same time, I had just lost a nephew. The whole situation was awful, and I knew it would change their lives forever. We all felt the hole in our hearts. I've been told that with death, however you grieve or whatever you feel, it is ok. Thankfully the initial hit is over.

Moving on...

My once super-excitedly-anticipating-parenthood brother and sister-in-law were now holding their deceased baby and talking about burial plots and funeral services. It was terrible.

However, regardless of the intense pain they must have felt and must still be feeling, Collin and Natalie have handled this whole thing with inexplicable strength and poise. I have literally been speechless and amazed at how well they seem to be doing. They have shown maturity beyond their years as they've had to face something no parent should ever face.

They held a small viewing for him Tuesday afternoon and then had a graveside service. Watching Collin carry his sons tiny casket to the burial sight was more than I could handle. Natalie's sister played "I Am A Child of God" on her violin which obviously opened the flood gate of tears. My dad dedicated the grave and I saw him cry for maybe the 3rd time ever in my life. Maybe 4th. Then they had a bagpiper play "Amazing Grace" which seriously sent everyone into convulsions. I was holding Brynlie and her hair was soaked by the end and I had to bury my face into her back to muffle ugly sob sounds. It was awful and beautiful all at the same time.

Despite the heartbreaking moments, it was an amazing service and it helped bring comfort to many of us, I felt. I am so grateful for eternal families and the ability that Collin and Natalie have to keep him forever. I am grateful for the plan of salvation and that Owen received his body, and has already been saved in the Celestial Kingdom. While it's sad for us, it's amazing for him. Collin and Natalie are still parents, and always will be. The loss of Owen will always leave a hole in our hearts, especially for his parents, but I can't wait until we are all reunited and happy again one day.

While they were in the hospital, a charity came and took photos of Owen and molded prints of his hands and feet in plaster. These are just a few of the ones they took.


A Pretty Insane Week

We have had quite the week. 

It's been filled with lots of fun and also a lot of tragedy. But let's just focus on the fun stuff for now... I'm sure the rest will come out in time. 


I got K dressed and she kept telling me she looked pretty today. She sure did! 

Camping season is upon us so I bought the girls matching hats to keep their fair little faces from frying off in the sun. Brynlie wasn't diggin it until she turned it thug style. 

Utah Lake 

My parents planned a Saturday drive to Utah Lake and we politely crashed their party and invited ourselves along. I had actually never been to the lake and I've lived in Utah my whole life. The water was pretty disgusting. But K had a great time throwing sticks and rocks in the water:
and trying to fly...
While B and I hung out and improvised keeping her feet warm because I forgot socks for her 
It was a nice way to spend a Saturday. 


My girls are playing together more and more and I love every minute of it! Here's some of my favorite moments. 

Sharing Goldfish 
And showing loves 

And then I obviously said something B thought was hilarious. 


Grandma Hunter took all us girls out for pedicures! I had never had one, and since she's only 3, neither had kennedy. We LOVED it! K especially. 

She immediately picked out a bright blue color to have painted on her toenails. Then the lady painted little flowers for her. She was so proud!! 
That's not a great pictures but she wouldn't hold still. 
I initially told Cory I was addicted and I would be going a lot. But then my eczema broke out INSANELY bad on my legs from the lotion they used when they massaged them... Now I'm undecided. 

Museum of Natural Curiosity 

Went went to Thanksgiving Point with good friends of ours to see the museum. We've never gone because it's so expensive! But now I understand why. We were there 4 solid hours and still didn't do everything. It was amazing. 

It didn't start out too well though...

While I was unloading the kiddies from the car, Kennedy injured herself. I had gotten the double stroller out and watched K start getting into it as I leaned into the car to get Brynlie out of the car. Within seconds I heard Kennedy screaming. I poked my head out to look and saw the stroller flipped completely upside down and Kennedy was on her face underneath it. Somehow she had dumped herself and her face caught the brunt of the fall. She was bleeding everywhere and really upset. 
This photo was taken later when she was crying about something else but she scraped her chin, cut her lip open pretty bad, and somehow managed to cut her gums up as well. It was so sad. But she's healing nicely. 

And after that we had tons of fun. I didn't take many pictures because I was busy holding Brynlie the whole time, but we got a few. 

We braved the rope bridges. Well, K cruised through them and I braved them holding an infant. 
Played in the water 
And spent ample time in the sand
I want to go back again and take Cory. He and Kennedy would have so much fun together! 


I now know our zoo pass is expired which sucks, but even with having to pay we had a great time at the zoo on Friday. We went with one of my dearest friends (we were roommates in college and just kind of fell in love with each other haha) and her adorable little boys. We had a ginger army of kids which I loved. I only got one picture, and Brynlie isn't in it, but it's cute anyway. 

Saturday things fell apart for our family. I'm not trying to be vague on purpose, it just isn't the time to talk about it right now. But because of this, there may be another blogging hiatus from me for a bit until the worst is over. I'll try to keep updated on the good things, but you know me... I suck at this. 


Random Acts of Camera Roll: Part 2

I really just want to keep my blog updated with pictures of the girls from over the last month. There has been some cute ones! And there's a little of me thrown in there, too. 

I met my best friend at the mall the other day so we could both blow off some steam and just feel human for a while. The whole stay-at-home-mom thing can kind of mess with you. It's amazing how much you can long for a conversation with an adult. We ended up having a great time and the girls got to ride the train! By themselves! Kennedy was just beside herself. This girl and her trains... It was pretty cute to watch them pull up waving and grinning from ear to ear. 

Brynlie is a little weird about her pacifiers. She prefers one in her mouth while she sleeps, obviously, but then she sleeps on top of the other ones; like she's worried someone is going to steal them in the night. When we get her up in the morning she's always sitting like this, with them surrounding her within arms reach, or she has them all in her hands. 

We had taco soup the night of the snow storm. I strained some for B and let her feast on some beans, corn, and tomatoes. She loved them! This girl is an eater! We aren't quite used to it because kennedy has always eaten like a bird, but we are adjusting. 

And then she got a little camera shy... 

Kennedy decided she was in charge of breakfast the other day and set up this table for her and Brynlie. I've told her over and over NOT to give her sister any gold fish, so I was mad, but also had my heart strings pulled that she was sharing so willingly and that she had broken some up into smaller pieces for B so she wouldn't choke. She's a good big sister. 

Here's a fun one: K is really into apples lately. She loves them! But she doesn't usually finish a whole one. Yesterday she actually ate her entire apple and she was proud so I took a picture as proof to show Daddy. After this, I went and got dressed and came back out. She quietly handed me the stem; nothing more. I looked around for the core and never found it... I'm pretty sure she ate it. So she literally ate her WHOLE apple. 

Just more Brynlie standing around. She prefers to be standing pretty much all the time. 

See? I told you there was some of me! Hahaha 

I was recently told about a new brand of fitness clothes that are adorable and much cheaper than grossly over-priced Lululemon or Athleta. $98 for one pair of pants? Are you insane?! **

I bought these pants to test out the brand and I am obsessed. So cute, great quality, super comfy, fits like a dream, and only $20. Boom. 


Holy Hiatus!

It's not really rare for me to take long breaks from blogging but at least this time I have a good excuse. 

Brynlie spent the ENTIRE month of February sick. The whole. FREAKING. Month. 

And guess what? 

She's still sick. 

We visited a different doctor yesterday when she started not sleeping again at night and was screaming bloody murder for hours on end. We opted for a family physician; someone who doesn't spend the whole day seeing babies with anxious parents when nothing is wrong, which makes them assume everyone is being overly-anxious. 

She has another ear infection. But this doctor gave us a different antibiotic that she only takes once a day for 5 days. Why wasn't that possible when she was almost hospitalized from vomiting and diarrhea from the first round? Could someone please explain that to me? 

She's also had a constant runny nose and sometimes watery eyes. This doctor also suggested it might be allergies, which is something we've never considered before. She was doing much better this weekend until we went over to my parents house and her nose started dripping like a faucet and her eyes were super watery. So we are investigating her being allergic to pet dander. Which isn't ideal because my mom is my best friend and we are at her house all the time. So we will watch that and see if that really is the culprit. We gave her some Benedryl last night and she was much better today so we can add a point to the allergy side. 

We haven't been up to much. I am readily awaiting summer so we can get outside and do fun things and have a life again. 

And speaking of warmer weather...

It finally snowed today!! I was pretty excited. In November we bought kennedy some snow boots and pants and she has been dying to use them. Today she finally got that chance. 

It was actually a pretty stellar day for her. She got to take a bus ride with her preschool class (in a blizzard) to the Treehouse Museum, they had lunch at McDonalds (which she hasn't been to in ages), got to ride the bus home, ate cookie dough with Daddy while watching Duck Tales, played in the snow, and had a bath by herself while eating ice cream. Lots and lots of junk food. 

Anyway I'm getting off topic. She had tons of fun playing in the snow! 
We sent her out and then I couldn't stand sitting in the warm house watching her outside playing alone. So I threw on a coat and boots and went outside. As soon as I walked onto the deck she yelled, "Come on, mommy! Come here! Come down the stairs!"

So I did. And she immediately threw a snowball at me. 
So I kicked some snow at her. And the battle began. 

It all ended well though. 
Brynlie and Daddy watched from the house and had fun being spectators of the fight. 
More snowballs...
And then she worked on her flying form. 
The takeoff was better than the landing. 
It's supposed to be super warm this weekend so the snow won't stay long. But I'm hoping we get at least one more storm so we can use the gear again.