Bennett David Kahl

Bennett David Kahl
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers Ephesians 1:16

Monday, July 12, 2010

It’s been one of “those” days…

I DID have a great post ready for today.  I had some fun things to share about changes that are happening in our home.

Then, today happened.  And I have to share about this day b/c all of the moms out there can sympathize with me…and because I want it documented when I turn these blogs into a book!


I woke up at 7:30 because Ellie has gymnastics on Monday’s and it literally takes me 2 hours to get ready and out the front door. 

I was super excited when I was running 20 minutes early b/c it meant I could run into Starbucks to get a coffee since our coffee machine bit the dust.  Getting two kiddos out of the car isn’t ideal, but I really needed coffee!!!!

Gym was fun as usual and from there we were headed to pay our water bill.  I haven’t seen a bill since Cullen was born and that concerned me b/c it’s been 5 weeks.  All is fine with the bill, but I sure didn’t have a checkbook to pay it!!!  Good thing it’s not late yet!  So, a trip all the way out of my way for nothing!


As I left, Ellie dumped her chocolate milkshake from Starbucks all over my backseat.  Detour to Mr. Carwash for a shampoo and an expensive car wash I didn’t really need.


A quick stop at Carters because Cullen has outgrown all of his NB onesies that he sleeps in.  I was JUST going to stop for jammies for him and ended up spending  a lot of money I didn’t really intent to spend.  OOPS!


Then it was off to Target.  Ellie has blisters on her big toes from swimming this weekend and I needed to get her water shoes.  As I was pulling into a spot I had to stop abruptly b/c there was a woman getting out of her car door as I did that there was an idiot…I mean woman…backing out of a spot across the main isle from me.  She didn’t stop and I did, so she ran smack into the back of my drivers side.  I could have died.  I knew what happened as soon as I heard the crunch.  Thankfully, my babies weren’t hurt b/c we weren’t moving, but I was still shaken up. 

The woman exited her car and immediately said it wasn’t her fault…I don’t think she understands the right of way rules.  I told her to just wait a minute while I called my husband.  I have never been in an accident, so I had no clue what to do.  My husband the amateur race car driver has been in his fair share, so I knew he would know what I needed to do.  I had her give me her insurance print out and I copied all of her info down.  I only gave her my name and phone number and then I sat in the parking lot and cried for about 5 minutes!  Needless to say, I didn’t make it into Target to buy the water shoes…maybe tomorrow.


By the time this fiasco was over with and I made it home I had 15 minutes to get Ellie and Cullen changed and fed before we had to leave for swim lessons.  Naturally, the guest room toilet would pick this moment to back up…par for the course!  By the grace of God we made it to the lessons on time and safe!


Finally, we got home for the day.  However, as Ellie was exiting my car she hit her head on the corner of my car door…hard!  So, a frozen ouchie pad to the rescue and here we are. 


B’s advice: Take your left palm and rest it on your right shoulder blade…take your right palm and rest it on your left shoulder blade…now squeeze really tight and imagine it’s me giving you a big hug.

My response:  I’ll see you in a minute…I’ll be the one drinking the glass of red wine!


So, I’m off to do just that!




Saturday, July 10, 2010

What might have been…

In the last week I have decided to acknowledge the fact that I have been struggling recently. 

Sometimes, I will glance at Cullen and I’ll see Bennett’s eyes.  I wonder if this is what Bennett MIGHT have looked like if he wasn’t constantly hooked up to machines and if he had been able to spend more time awake.

I find myself wondering if Bennett MIGHT have made the same grunting noises had he not had a vent tube in his mouth for over 4 months of his life.

I wonder if my arms MIGHT be the only ones that Bennett would have wanted to be consoled in…like Cullen.

I wonder if this is what Bennett would have looked like in this outfit…if he had ever had the chance to wear it.

I wonder if Bennett would have loved to nurse like this…

I wonder if he would have slept next to me in bed…

Lately, I find myself wondering what MIGHT have been…

Some people will take this the wrong way.  I am not trying to compare…or wishing anything to be different.  I just never prepared myself to go through these emotions.  It never occurred to me that having another son would stir up these thoughts. 

I think maybe this is just part of MY grieving process. 

I feel like I finally have a second to process what we have been through these last three years and I am feeling like I now know what I have missed.  And to be honest it is tough…very tough. 

Cullen is the answer to so many prayers.  All three of my babies are answers to a million prayers.  I have missed Bennett terribly since the day he had the “episode”.  While the reality of knowing he isn’t here anymore is with me daily, the raw pain slowly gets a little less. 

Then all of a sudden I have this new life.

A different life. 

A little boy life. 

And it evokes a million memories that have deliberately been repressed over the last few years. 

The pain is as fresh as it was the day he died.

Suddenly, three years feels like it happened yesterday.

None of this is BECAUSE of Cullen.  It is simply because to function the last three years I had to push a lot of the pain and memories aside.  Now, with this beautiful little boy I am forced to face my demons. 

Step 1: Going through all of Bennett’s clothes to pick out what we would keep and use for Cullen.

Step 2: Delivering Cullen safely and bringing him home.

I am blessed.  I love Cullen for just being Cullen.  I love that he has a head of dark hair, dark blue eyes and that he has a squeaky cry.  I love that he is here and he is healthy and he is OURS! 

But, the truth is this battle has left me scarred.  I have a lot to work through and I am just figuring that all out. 

I think this is the beginning.

I think my babies are the start of my healing rain.

And I have all the confidence that God will guide me through this valley just as He has before.

He is already doing His work…acknowledging these feelings is the first step towards working through them.

So, in the meantime I am just going to sit her and rock my miracle boy…

cullen and mommy

And take my baby girl to have a spa day…

ellie and chelsey

And watch Cullen wonder what that whirlwind, that is his sister, really is!!!

ellie and cullen

But, that doesn’t mean I won’t always have this angel on my mind…




Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I am SO blessed

I have so much to say and so little time to say it these days! 


I am in shock that Cullen is already 4 weeks old!  The last month has been so full.  Full of change and adjustments, love, a few tears, and sleepless nights, but above all it has been full of blessings.


Every single day spent with our family is a blessing to me. 

Each time I am able to nurse my newborn son is a blessing to me.

Every diaper I change in the middle of the night is a blessing to me.

Every time I see Ellie hold Cullen or “soft” him is a blessing to me.

Our first outing to have newborn pics taken was a blessing.

The first trip to the doctor as a family was a blessing.


Every single day, even the ones that I can barely keep my eyes open through, are huge blessings to me.  I am more in love with my life than I have ever been before. 


All of the things I dreamed of doing with Ellie and Bennett I am now doing…with Ellie and Cullen.  I LOVE being a mom and I really love being a mom to Ellie and Cullen together. 


I have missed so many cute things that have happened in the last month, so I am now back on board with the blogging!  Here is a quick (or not so quick) run down on what the last four weeks have been like.

Week 1 at home:  We came home on Monday, June 7th at 4:30 in the afternoon.  It was super emotional to be wheeled out of that hospital with our baby boy in my arms.  I literally cried the entire way out, but I was so relieved to get in the car and get home!  Funny thing though…we had given our house keys to our family and neighbors, so when we finally got home with our newborn baby…we didn’t have a key to get in the house!!!  Thank goodness our neighbor was home and came running out with it for us!  We got in our house and I immediately sat in the rocker with Cullen and just soaked up the moment.  This was day 3 of life and my milk finally came in!  With my milk came my hormones!!!  I found myself crying hysterically because I missed being pregnant, but truthfully I think it just hit me all at once that our journey to having children is over and all of my first with Cullen will also be the last “firsts” I will ever have.  I have wanted to be a mother for my entire life and if it were up to me I would have as many children as we could handle.  However, this life is not mine to run, so I will just sit back and be grateful for the three miracle babies I have been blessed with.  Night one at home was an early night to bed, but I quickly realized that I couldn’t climb into our tall bed, so I put Cullen in his cosleeper next to me as I set up bed on the couch.  I did wake B up every time Cullen had to be changed because I was so afraid of the circumcision!!!  (B was thrilled when it healed b/c I no longer woke him up in the middle of the night!  Lucky man!)  I realized the next morning that our neighbors has set up a whole surprise on our kitchen table with snacks, gifts and in our fridge we had HOMEMADE meals!!!  Chris and Amy are wonderfully, thoughtful friends and we are blessed to have them as neighbors!  The next few days were spent trying to recover (as well as I could with a toddler here).  B did take off that week, but truthfully he worked every single day in our office here and I only bothered him a few times the whole week.  My philosophy was “sink or swim” b/c I knew I would have both kiddos on my own the next week anyway!  On Friday, June 11th we went on our first outing to Seabrook to have newborn pics taken.  It was an exhausting day!!! 

Home at last!

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Week 2: B went back to work and I was on my own.  Cullen started this week at 11 days old and lost his belly button!  Still recovering, I spent the days keeping up with the house and laundry…you know between feeding my growing little man every 2 hours and giving my baby girl some attention!!!  I moved back into our bedroom to sleep and if I left Cullen in the cosleeper he would sleep for an hour maybe an hour and a half.  If I put him in bed with me he would sleep up to 4 hours!!!  So, friends…he is sleeping in bed with me!!!  I still try to make him start out in the cosleeper (it’s like a small pack n play), but he is still ending up sleeping with me.  We did a picnic lunch at the park with friends that week and Ellie LOVED playing at the splash pad with them.  Summer ballet also started that Thursday, so I got two kiddos ready and out the door to make it to ballet on time!  As a treat B and I ate out with the family and our good friends that evening.  That Friday was my two week postpartum check.  Officially, I gained 19 pounds while I was pregnant and I had lost 21 pounds at my appointment that day!  It was a great feeling!!!  I still have 14 IVF pounds to lose though and then another 15 on top of that!  My nurse Rory was thrilled to see Cullen and took off down the hall to show him off to the other girls in the office.  I have to say that I absolutely LOVE the girls in my OB’s office.  She told me that she waited ALL day on delivery day to get the news and that when there was the 5 hour wait (b/c my OB was running behind) she was anxiously waiting to hear about our little boy.  I feel like I have friends in that office…not just a doctor and some nurses.  I will miss them TERRIBLY when I don’t get to see them anymore.  I got my steri strips taken off that day and went home to continue my recovery.  That Friday also brought another Kahl baby into the world.  Uncle Chris and Aunt Steppy welcomed baby Charlotte at 12:30 weighing in at 7lbs and 19 3/4 inches!  What a beauty she is!  The most difficult event this week was the 3rd year anniversary of Bennett’s death.  I anticipated the day being difficult…I had no idea how hard it would truly be until we were there standing next to his grave…the 4 of us.  B had a beautiful casket spray made for our Chunky Monkey along with a bouquet of white roses and 5 white balloons. There were a million emotions surging through my body.  Sadness, gratefulness, love, fear…all at once.  To stand there with Cullen made me feel like we had come full circle.  I held onto B and our son and sobbed like a baby.  Ellie came up to me and asked what was wrong.  I tried to come up with an answer that she would understand, but I just couldn’t.  Ellie looked up at me with her innocent eyes and said, “Mommy, do you want a flower?  They make everything better.”   Sure, baby…I would love a flower.

First trip to the park.

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Bennett Day June 15, 2010

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Cullen’s first Bennett Day

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New cousins!          The new family of three!!!

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Week 3: Monday started with Cullen’s two week check up.  We LOVE LOVE LOVE our new pedi.  She was recommended to us through my CF doc b/c she is well versed in the world of CF.  We were visited every single day in the hospital by the pedi which made this paranoid mother very happy too!  Our first trip to her office made us even happier that we chose her!  Cullen weighed in at 7.10 and was 20 inches long.  His head, weight and length are all in the 25%.  Strange for a baby that was SO BIG every week in utero.  We were in and out in 15 minutes!  I went on my first outing with the kiddos alone this week!  I decided to go to the mall during the day (less crowded) to do some exchanging of outfits that Mimi had purchased for the Ellie and Cullen.  I can’t even believe how much work it was to do that alone!!!  I must have been crazy!  My double stroller isn’t being delivered until next Tuesday, so I had Cullen in the sling and Ellie in the BOB along with three bags!  I was sweating like crazy when I finally got into the mall!!  It was a nightmare to have to take Ellie potty with Cullen in the sling and then have to change Cullen in the dressing room at Gap in Ellie’s stroller while she stood in the doorway!  Oh, and then Cullen decided that he had to eat at that exact moment!  Fun times!  We made it though and both babies ended up with some adorable new clothes!  Mark my words though…I will not be going anywhere alone until I have my double stroller!  Ballet, gymnastics and swim lessons with two little ones are just about all I can handle on my own right now!  We had Biddy watch Cullen for the first time this weekend and B and I went on a DATE!!!  A real date!!!  We went to a sports bar to watch the USA soccer game and we had a blast together!  Biddy had a blast with her grandbabies and Ellie had a blast with her Biddy!  This was the first time I really filled a bottle for Cullen to drink.  I had fixed a few before this, but never because I was leaving him.  I put 3 oz in each bottle b/c I didn’t want him to go hungry and he drank every drop of both bottles!!!

Ready to visit the doctor!

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Fauxhawk!                      After bath time!

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Week 4: Well, hurricane Alex decided to get close enough to dump a TON of rain on the city of H-town.  We were home bound all week except for gymnastics and ballet.  It was a blessing though b/c I am already back to work filling orders!  UGH!  No rest for the weary! We did get out for the 4th of July (which was Cullen’s one month birthday!!!) and Biddy kept Cullen at home for us.  We took Ellie down the street to our friends house and we all had a blast!  It was the longest amount of time I have left Cullen and I have to say I missed him terribly.  I am trying to balance making time for B and Ellie and giving them their  own attention without Cullen.  It is tough for me because I would spend every second holding him if I could, but I know that isn’t healthy for any of us!  I did feel so much anxiety about leaving him for that long and I don’t think it will happen again for a while!   

     Playing and grinning!

cullen first grin 

Celebrating the Fourth!

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And here we are in Week 5!  I can’t believe it.  Ellie started swim lessons this week and she is having a swing set delivered on Thursday.  We are getting another storm system, so I am afraid we may be housebound the rest of the week.  Cullen is still playing games with me in the middle of the night if I dare put him in the cosleeper.  So, basically that is just a resting spot for him during the day.  At night, I’ll put him in there until his first feeding and then he is in bed with me.  I would rather get 2 and a half hours of sleep between feedings that 1 1/2 hours!  Call me selfish!!!

One month old!!!


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So, my friends, that is what we have been up to.  There are lots of things I am forgetting I am sure, but these are the highlights!  I am in the process of typing Cullen’s birth story even though I feel like my husband did a beautiful job of recapping that wonderful day already! 

I haven’t thanked any of you for your kind words after Cullen’s delivery.  B and I are blessed people to have all of you in our lives.  Near or far you all pulled us through our journey with your prayers and words of encouragement.  We are so grateful for all of you!