About Me

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My second child and our first daughter, Camille, died and was born on June, 30 2011 when I was full term at 38 weeks pregnant. I gave birth to my rainbow baby, a second daughter, on August 31, 2012. This is me trying to figure out how to be a mother to my living son and daughter and function in society after our tragic loss.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dumb and Dumber

I talked to my little brother for the second time since Camille died the other day. He doesn't get it...just like everyone else. He doesn't have kids.  I know he loves me but he said something stupid... during a slow part of our conversation when he was obviously at a loss for where to go next in a conversation with his sister who's baby recently died. He said "so have you been having a good summer?" SERIOUSLY are you FUCKING KIDDING ME? I said "um NO MY BABY JUST DIED" and he said ..."well yeah but besides that" I actually started laughing...Idiot...I love him...but GEEZE!!

I went to my primary care physicians office the other day to get drops for my eyes, I had an eye infection...probably from rubbing my eyes from crying so much. I haven't been to the doctor in about 2 years. He didn't know I was ever pregnant. He said well your other eye is red too and I said well that's because I have been crying. He asked why...I said my baby died...I told him about Camille...briefly, I just wanted my eye drops. He then proceeded to tell me that it happened to his niece and I should look at the bright side, that it could be worse and then said "if they had delivered her earlier before she died she might have had brain damage and you would have had to deal with a brain damaged child for 50-70 years, would you want that"?? SERIOUSLY- he asked me if I would want a brain damaged baby. Then he proceeded to tell me about a colleague who's daughter just drowned, and his brother who has cancer. I couldn't even believe my ears...he told me it could be worse! MY BABY JUST DIED-- STUPID ASSHOLE! I kept thinking...I am so glad I'm not married to this guy. I didn't even freak out at him. I just wanted him to stop talking and give me my prescription.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Doing Good or Just Doing?

             The other day I saw one of my friends when we went out to get a bagel. She was the woman who watched my son while I was in the hospital giving birth to Camille. She told me about another mom who sent their condolences when they found out about my daughters death. She said people were asking how I was doing and she told them that I was "doing about as good as you can imagine". She said I think you are doing good. I said really? I don't think so ...I feel like total shit. Another couple of my friends said they thought I was doing good or rather not good but better than they expected. I don't know what people's idea of good is. I mean if I go out to get a bagel and I loose my shit while sitting there with my family which actually happened after my friend left that day or if I get through an outing shopping without crying, is one considered better than the other? I am not laying in bed all day. Is that doing good? I am surviving. I cry at home, mostly at night into the early a.m hours between 11pm and 3 a.m. I am not even close to good, I am HORRIBLE. I am surviving. I am taking breaths each day and putting one foot in front of the other...but I am not doing good. I drove for the first time after 6 weeks...I guess that is something...neither good or bad, just trying to get back into the world of the living. I am on anti depressants for the first time in my life...How can I be doing good? Is it defined by not drinking myself into an oblivion or managing to have conversations without crying...never mind that I am not paying attention to anything that is coming out of the other persons mouth and that I am one gulp and swallow away from sobbing all the time. Ya- I'm great!
Did I happen to mention that I cry EVERY time I go to the bagel shop~ Certain places are just a huge triggers. I wear my sunglasses into stores because I am always crying, even if it is for a brief period of time. I guess I feel like I am not doing particularly good, but other people do. This concerns me because I want people to understand that I am not better. I am still desperate about it. Going to the park and seeing tiny blond baby girls is painful. I will continue to be sad and I don't want people to forget.

Please DON'T FORGET. My baby is dead. My daughter is dead. Forever... Forever...I am not good...my baby daughter is dead. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

WHAT THE %$#@?

We got into a car accident last night! Ya SERIOUSLY can you believe this shit? We went to the driving range to hit balls with our son in the evening. We were driving home going about 35-40 miles per hour (the speed limit) A 16 year old girl who had been driving for 6 month doesn't yield for her left turn and plows right into us. The girl was sited by the police because it was completely her fault. My son is doing fine...thank goodness for Britax car seats. My mother who was with us went to the hospital with a possible foot fracture (her foot was HUGE!) but it isn't broken. My husband is sore. My back is sore and I have a huge hematoma/contusion on my right arm. I am so thankful that we were not seriously/mortally injured.Our truck (a Chevy Z71 four door BEAST of a truck) is totaled and it would have been paid off in 4 months GO FIGURE! UGH! I have never been in a car accident like this. It was really scary. My ligaments are so lax and mobile from just giving birth too which I think makes me even more sore. It could have been worse. I am so glad it wasn't. Right now I just can't believe all this bad luck. I am not sure who....but I must have really pissed SOMEONE off...This has been a crazy couple weeks!!! Exclamation mark!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Haps

I went to my OB the other day for my 6 week postpartum follow up...I think it was mostly to make sure I was doing okay on my antidepressants,  I could take all the pills in the world and it won't make this kind of sad go away.  YAY lets take another depression scale questionnaire...UM YEAH I'M STILL DEPRESSED...go figure. I could tell you that without the scale. My doctor said "I have good news" I said "you saved a bundle on GEICO insurance?" Yeah...I cracked a joke... I mean really? GOOD NEWS? that's almost laughable but what was it you wonder? My depression scale went from a 19 to an 18 hahaha. I have improved by one point! I do laugh and joke, I am generally a chronically happy person. I am just really sad because my daughter just died. I cry everyday. I have bad days, I am sad. I joke also because it is my defense mechanism. Am I a little better than I was a month ago...honestly yes. I cry everyday but not all day. I cried all day the other day but at least that doesn't happen EVERYDAY. He knows I will be sad for the rest of my life. He said I pass the eye test which means I am pulling off the ~my baby didn't just die 6 weeks ago ~ look pretty well.
    I really love my OB. He is incredibly supportive and kind. I wrote him a letter and gave it to him after our appointment. I wanted to tell him how thankful I was that he was so respectful and kind. I want him to never be jaded by being a doctor and seeing death over and over. It should always be sad. He had tears in his eyes when he came to visit me in the hospital before I delivered Camille and he came back at night when he wasn't on call to deliver her. It meant a lot to me that this was sad for him too. Because it's SO FUCKING SAD. I want everyone to be sad about it even my doctor. He told me that this was the worst thing about his job and he was so sorry this happened especially to me. When he said that to me, at the time I didn't understand why he said ~especially to you~ I think it is because of how well I care for myself and my pregnancy. He knew that I had done everything right, he also believes it is SO unfair. I guess having your doctor feel this way is validating.

Here is the letter I wrote him:

Dear Wade, 
Over the last month and a half I have had time to reflect, really perseverate on the actions and transactions leading up to, during and following the birth of our daughter Camille. I re-live everything like a really bad groundhog day over and over and over.
Having your baby die inside you at 38 weeks pregnant is just not on a woman’s radar. It is something that happens to someone else, anyone else, certainly not me. I never would have described myself as entitled, but when you live your life the way I do and take care of yourself the way I do, I felt I was entitled to a healthy living baby. The pregnancy had gone so smoothly, so perfectly. I never anticipated something so tragic happening. I will miss my daughter for the rest of my life. There is a hole in my heart in the shape of her beautiful face.
There are some things that I really wanted you to know. As a medical professional I know there is a difference between providing care and actually caring. They are not always synonymous. I feel as though you genuinely care and this is an invaluable quality in someone who is helping a woman through the most horrific tragedy imaginable.
I am so grateful, so grateful, that you returned to deliver Camille. I lost a little piece of my mind that day and I was terrified of giving birth to a dead baby. You were right about the desire not to want to go through the process. I just wanted to be on the other side of it, but you advised that it was best for my body and recovery if I delivered her vaginally. The thing is, in this situation I needed the best advice, someone looking out for me, caring for me in a way I was unable to do for myself. It makes all the difference in the world that I trusted you. I believed you had my best interest in mind. I trusted you. That fact is not lost on me. The importance of the relationship we had established and built over my pregnancy can not be overstated. I am so glad that I chose you to be my doctor.
Your candidness, compassion and your willingness to listen are all characteristics I was hoping for and am so thankful you possess. I hope you will be able to help Daryl and me continue on our journey to complete our family. I wanted you to know…I appreciate you. 

    He told me that per medical guidelines it is best to wait 1-1.5 years after giving birth before conceiving again but I should wait at least 6 more weeks... um I guess that probably includes sex, which hasn't happened yet. My doctor said he didn't even follow those guidelines with his wife and he knows I would like to be pregnant again yesterday. He wrote me a referral to a perinatologist to get things started like consultations and blood draws so we can be prepared for conception when we are ready to try again.We will see where we go from here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wish I Could Be Happy for You, But...

Today is probably the worst day I have had in the last 6 weeks. One of my close friends gave birth to her healthy and very much alive baby boy.

My best friend and doula is also this friends, friend and doula...we are all very close. Both of these women were at Kai's birth. We were so excited that her 3rd baby and my second baby would be 5 weeks apart.

then Camille died and it sucked for us both... Me because my daughter died and her because her friends baby died and she could not really be helpful to me during my loss when she was so close to giving birth. Who wants to be presented with the worst case scenario just weeks before they give birth? I understood. She understood. we promised to just be honest and make sure we communicated. I told her that I didn't want to be a bitter shitty friend, but her child would always remind me of Camile, of what I had lost. I will love my friend and I will love this boy...he is not my girl. Camille was also born on her first daughter's birthday. We are just so intertwined on an ugly level for such close friends.

Every time my BFF/doula called I would answer, expecting the "our friend had her baby" statement. Today was my friends due date and she gave birth this morning. I got "The Call" I have been anticipating since Camille died. I knew it would be hard for me. I didn't realize how hard it would be. I think this was a very positive experience for my BFF/doula because the last birth she attended and baby she held was mine and my baby was dead. This baby was alive, the way they are supposed to be...in the charmed world. When she told me, I asked all the right questions, but the conversation was brief. I said I was relieved...I think I probably was, but don't remember actually feeling that way. I think I felt nothing. I am very glad both mama and baby are safe and alive....But I am not okay. At first I was kind of numb, then sad. Just so sad. I feel hollow. I haven't really functioned all day. Just kind of cried, sat and stared all day with tears and snot all over the place. I wish I could feel happy. I'm just so incredibly sad. I wish it was me. I'm angry it's not. It's a bad day...but only for me.

Monday, August 15, 2011


I never would have described myself as entitled. I have always worked extremely hard for everything I have achieved. I guess I never realized just how entitled I felt. I thought because I lived my life a certain way I was ENTITLED to a healthy living baby. I thought that being an organic eating vegetarian, living in a house where no shoes are allowed and using non toxic cleaning products entitled me to a healthy living baby... I thought that being a kind compassionate chronically happy person entitled me to a healthy living baby....Now I am rethinking all of the above...maybe I should change my approach...start eating large quantities of red meat, processed food with partially hydrogenated oil, drinking alcohol profusely, smoking like a chimney and using illicit drugs. Maybe then I could have a healthy LIVING baby....
So far this experience has made me feel so much more animal. Not all animals offspring make it in the wild. It makes me realize how much we really don't have control over. Prenatal vitamins, avoiding soft cheeses, eating 70-100 grams of protein daily...do these things REALLY make a difference or just give us a sense  (a false sense) of control over something we know, on a primal level, we have little to no control over. In the animal world if one of your litter doesn't survive...well at least you have like 5 more kids in the litter...but when you grow just one and you're pregnant for almost a year and you are full term and you're due in 14 days and then your baby just DIES!!! it is BEYOND devastating...you're are left with a stretched out abdomen and a empty heart...it is truly cruel.

Most of the time I am sad...but once in a while I get angry. I get angry when I see people who are obese, smoking...and they have kids, I get angry when I see people eating fast food and gulping down soda....and they have kids. I get angry when I see women who are not paying attention to their children or yelling at them and treating them like crap. I guess I just feel like why have kids if you don't care about their health, and by health I mean both physical and emotional. Since the death of my daughter I am so much more in love with my son on a primal level. I don't really love him more than I did before. I just feel more desperate about it. The - I love you so much I ache from it- kind of love. I also feel more love for all babies and children. I recognize their preciousness and how fragile they are. How quickly they can be taken from us.

I did everything "right" during my pregnancy. I was a healthy weight, I ate well, I don't smoke, I wasn't around harsh chemicals, I didn't eat fast food...I felt entitled to a healthy living baby. I guess the joke is on me. Who was I kidding? Do babies die from being smug? I guess the question after your baby dies is "If I get pregnant again, what do I do differently in order to change the outcome? With no known reason for my daughter to die full term.. I wish I could put a finger on the ONE thing that could make the next baby live. My doctor told me "If I were you, I would do nothing different, this was just really bad luck"...Well That certainly is the truth. But now I think, since my baby has died, I certainly am ENTITLED to the next one being alive....

Friday, August 12, 2011

Family of four...oh wait Family of three

We went for a walk as a family last night. Beautiful summer evening with our son holding on to each of our hands swinging back and forth then letting go, running ahead and then runnig back. 12 geese flew over us and my son was so excited about the "honkers". I couldn't help myself. I just started crying. It wasn't the geese, or my son being cute....it was that all I could think was that we should be walking as a family of four. Our daughter should have been in a stroller and we should have been glowing with love and fulfillment and instead I am postpartum and frumpy with tears streaming down my face as we pass our neighbors walking their dogs and they have never acknowledged that our daughter died. They pretend nothing happened which is excruciating. I just walk on missing my daughter and the life I was supposed to be living.

Tonight we met up with some friends for dinner. I haven't seen the man since Camille died. He gave me a kiss and hug but Camille was never mentioned, no "I'm so sorry your baby died" nothing...silence. Like I was never pregnant, like I didn't just give birth to a dead baby, like none of it ever happened. It is excruciating how silent people are. It hurts me SO much. We went downtown to the farmers market and the national championship poll vaulting competition. We were having a good time. My son at 2.5 has decided he wants to be a poll vaulter. Everything was going well. Until we decided to actually walk through the farmers market. Every other woman was either pregnant or had a tiny baby is a sling or stroller. FUCK seriously?...I didn't expect to start crying and I just couldn't stop. My husband says as we are leaving "what set you off" and I told him about all the babies and he said..."you have a baby" I said "he is not a baby and it's different"...He should know better. Seems like people either say nothing or the wrong thing....Everyone gets a giant FAIL! Fuck you EVERYONE I hate you all!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Numbing Out

It is 1a.m. in the morning. I am sitting outside looking at the Japanese maple that we have strung with lights. The fountain beneath the tree is not running and the lights make the tiny white flowers in the garden glow. It seems peaceful out here...but in HERE it is sadness and grief and anguish and heartache and desperation and utter pain.

So I can't sleep...nothing new here...totally exhausted but my mind won't turn off. I don't want to take Ambien and so I will wake up later this morning feeling hungover and tired...drag myself out of bed to play with my son. My husband is going back to work next week. Somethings gotta give because this pattern of no sleep + grief + having to function with my son is not going to work.

I don't drink alcohol or rather I haven't in the last year....and before that it was maybe 4 drinks a year. I don't smoke or have any particularly bad vices that I can throw myself into except self hate, blame and general mind fucking of myself over the death of our daughter. At first ALL I wanted to do was sleep; I didn't want to wake up because the nightmare of Camille dying didn't go away except when I slept. Now I can't sleep and during the day I just don't have time to grieve. My son needs me to play baseball, read books, cook food, tickle him, play hide and seek and generally mother him. Instead of finding a space for the thoughts in my head and the ripped open wounds of my soul during the day I pack it away for nighttime. Then the night comes and

Holy Crap the most GIANT Opossum just jumped up and started drinking from the fountain! CRAZY! I kind of want to catch it...it looks kind of like a miniature rodent of unusual size....Distracted...

So the night comes and instead of actually facing the swelling of grief...I have started watching TV and movies...now this might not seem so strange to many but I am not the type to turn the TV on. I am a huge book lover but I can't read books right now, I can't concentrate. I did just read The Exact Replica of the Figment of My Imagination which was phenomenal and I felt like she was writing about my experience minus France...Anyway NUMBING OUT...watching TV...I guess I am trying to escape. It's not that I don't want to face Camille's death, I face it every day in my heart and soul BUT sometimes it is just SO EXHAUSTING being this SAD ....ALL THE TIME!

So I watch TV or a movie and I get through the evening after Kai is asleep...and then I can't sleep. Why? because now I am sad and I have to face all the sadness I haven't been focusing on all day...What a SHIT cycle. The other bad thing about this is I am a person who needs a lot of sleep. I don't function well under normal circumstances with too little sleep. So now I am grieving and broken and sleep deprived.

I have read on different blogs about doing creative things to remember my daughter. My mother is a professional artist and I grew up in a artistic house. I do art projects with my son all the time...but I feel paralyzed by my grief. I don't know how to be creative in the face of this devastation. I have so many thoughts swirling in my head with no direction...I just kind of sit and stare and think and think and think. Yeah paralyzed by sadness. I can't make phone calls, I can't do art, I can't read...everything seems like so much effort.

You know how when you stand in the soft wet sand at the beach and let the water crash around your ankles, if you just stand in one spot your feet sink deeper and deeper into the sand? I feel like my soul is being washed over by the waves while standing still. I don't want to numb out but I am not sure exactly how to proceed. Maybe if I got more sleep...I would know how to proceed.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Superstitious Much?

I am the type who talks to the moon, wishes on stars and dandelion puffs. I pick up dimes because they are lucky. I talk to the universe and believe in putting positivity out to swirl around. Good vibes to me = prayers to someone else.

Since Camille died I have been angry... Mostly at myself and also at the moon. Did I use too many wishes for my body post birth instead of the healthiness of my baby? Why did the universe allow this to happen? Did she not see how much pain and anguish this would cause? does she not know I can not continue to take the sadness that seems to be thrown at me over and over? What lesson am I not learning? Who in the heck did I piss off?

So the superstition...It gets tangled in the guilt. I don't believe in destiny but I wonder...if I just had done one thing different would the outcome be different? The whole concept of: if I drove down the street 2 minutes earlier or later, I wouldn't have gotten in the car accident.
Weird things that took place that have me slightly creeped out:

1. I went to Costco the Monday before Camille died. There was a lady who I refer to as the creepy voodoo lady. I walked past her in one of the isles twice and she just glared and glared at me both times. I remember thinking: I wonder if she knows something that I don't about this baby. ~Weird

2. When I was scheduling my ultrasound the week before, I had requested the same ultrasound tech for each visit. When I called to make this appointment the tech was not going to be in town. I remember thinking that it was bad luck to use someone else but knew that wasn't logical and I should just go in and not wait until the following day when that tech would be available. I went in anyway and didn't use my regular ultrasound tech.

3. When I went to the hospital on the morning that I found out Camille was dead I walked into the ER at around 5:30 in the morning. I live in a city with over 600,000 people in it. The ER was COMPLETELY empty. Not one person in the waiting room...Almost like the ER was quietly, patiently waiting just for me and my daughter. ~Weird

I know all of these things do not kill babies...but....but...it is all just so weird. Obviously I have had way to much time to think about the day I delivered Camille and the days that led up to and followed it. Maybe I am trying to find a reason even if it isn't rational. I know I blame myself for my daughters death and I think a piece of me wants to believe it was out of my control, that it was because I went to Costco on Monday or used a different ultrasound tech. The coulda/shoulda/wouldas will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

It Is What It Is

I say this a lot: "it is what it is" I guess I don't know how to describe how WEIRD my life got the day our daughter died. I kept repeating that word over and over that day, and the days that followed. "This is just so WEIRD" it was almost like I could not believe what was happening. I ended a lot of conversations with "it is what it is" Maybe because I could not find the right words to fully express how tragic and desperate the situation is, or maybe it is because there was so much out of my control with no known reason.

So Kai seems to talk about Camille more at night around bed time. I am not always sure how the topic comes up but I try and bring her up or ask him how he is feeling in order for him to feel comfortable talking about his feelings. Last night I asked him if he was happy and he said "yes", I said "is papa happy?" and he said "yes, and mama is happy but sometimes sad about baby Camille. Because baby Camille died" and I said yes, baby Camille died. He then shouts to his father downstairs "Papa, Baby Camille died" there was no response so he shouts again "Papa, baby Camille died". Daryl yells up..."Yes Kai"
This almost makes me laugh and cry...that my 2.5 year old is shouting about his baby sister being dead...at least he is talking about her and feels comfortable to communicate about it...even if it is shouting to someone downstairs about it.
Kai then proceeds to say "I want another baby, one we can bring home"
Me: Sigh..."Yes buddy, I want a baby we can bring home too"
Kai: "but we will still miss Camille"
Me: "yes, we will always miss Camille"
How is my little person so aware and attentive and perceptive? He wants all the same things I want. He can say it in such a simple way. My brain gets all tangled up in the I miss my daughter but I want a baby... is that wrong to want one so soon even if it isn't the one I lost? I have gotten a couple weird looks when I tell people how I wish I was pregnant. I spent almost my entire 34th year growing this little girl and I was so ready to have her as part of our life that now it feels like we are supposed to have a baby. I really wish we had Camille and all those hormones and thoughts don't just magically disappear because she died. Right now all I can do is try and give all my love and attention to my son...just like I have been doing for the past 2.5 years and hope it is enough to carry me. It is not enough but it will have to be...I have no choice.
I miss my baby...with every piece of my existence.