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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 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.


  1. I love that your doctor is so supportive... And to tell you the "official" guidelines, then tell you he too broke them, that's awesome.

    I'm hoping for some happiness for you, when you're ready. xox

  2. I know all about the humor and all about how incredibly sad this really is. And unfair.

    It's wonderful that he is supportive and that honestly fills my heart to know he cared enough to come in when he was not scheduled to deliver Camile. The doctor who delivered my son will be no where near my future children. I thought she was insensitive and ugly about the whole process. And when I found out I was miscarrying in their office 6 months later, she walked in and said, "Why am I always the one that has to deliver (yes, DELIVER) you with bad news?" Yeah, no joke. I didn't realize I was inconveniencing the b*tch. Sorry to bother you. Regardless, I am exclusive, now, to another woman in the practice who came in twice during my hospitalization post-stillbirth to see me and consult about my next pregnancy and offer he condolences. She sat on my hospital bed with me, massaged my leg and cried. With me. Now that's a freaking doctor. So from now on I have vowed never to see another OB in that practice except her.

    And the whole sadness thing, yep. We'll always be sad. No anti-depressant is going to make that kind of sad go away. :(

  3. It makes such a difference to have a doctor who actually gives a crap, yes? I was in the hospital so long that several doctors were with me on two rotations. They all cried with me and, when I was subsequently pregnant not two months later (erm, oops), they were so good to me then, too.

    I'm sure your doctor loved getting that letter--he sounds absolutely wonderful. Thinking of you lots these days.

  4. It's so wonderful that you have a doctor who cares. It really does make all the difference in the world. Our OB was amazing- cried with us, came first thing the morning after I delivered so I could leave the hospital and get home, checked on me AND my hubby, and she was even at Aiden's memorial service. Not sure what we would have done without her.

    So nice that you were able to tell your doctor how much you appreciated him.

    I hope you are able to have a few little moments of peace......xoxo

  5. Your OB sounds lovely and it does make a vast difference to be looked after by a doctor who is compassionate and genuine. I do like the fact that he told you that he did not follow his own advice!

    I'm sure that he really appreciated the letter you wrote to him x

  6. Your doctor sounds like a godsend. I totally agree, having a doctor that sees the humanity and the craptacular sadness in losing a baby is really important. My perinatologist cried with us at our first postpartum appointment (it was the first time I had met him, since I hadn't been high-risk in my pregnancy but it was my hospital's policy to do a postpartum appt with a peri after a full term loss) and it immediately won me over....I have been equally impressed with him throughout my care subsequently.

    I was also given that "1 year" waiting guideline, shortened to 6 months because I'm on the older side of things, and then was told "start trying at 4 months if you really feel like you need to..." My PP physical recovery was long and hard enough that four months felt like an appropriate amount of time at least to physically resume the process...

    I always ripped up the depression scale questionnaires at my appts after Otis's death - it just didn't seem right to call what I was feeling "depression" (I've been diagnosed with depression before, and the grief was significantly different, even though they symptoms were the same.) My therapist lowered her expectations to "Are you getting out of bed? Eating at least one meal a day? Are you dressed? Showered? Even 5 out of 7 days of the week? OK, that's enough."

    The period of time 6 weeks to maybe 18 or 20 weeks following Otis's death was probably the most difficult for me, and it helped me to hear from other mamas that I wasn't alone on that timeline. I felt like something was wrong with me that I wasn't getting "better" and I felt like I was getting WORSE. Thankfully I had other mamas further down the path that let me know that that was pretty normal, at least based on their experience...

    Sending lots of love.

  7. It does make a huge difference to have care givers who actually CARE. You know, because that is kinda in their job description. But so many just don't, or at least have a crap way of showing it.
    We too were told to wait 3-6 months but that was more for "mental" reasons. Physically, they could give me no good reason why I should wait, so we started trying again immediately. Mother Nature had other ideas and it took us six months (six longest fucking months of my life) but it ended up being a good thing, I can say now with the benefit of hindsight.
    Your letter is beautiful and I'll be working on one similar for the obs who cared for me in Juliet's pregnancy. Honestly, I'd have been lost without them.
    Love to you, and remembering Camille. Thanks also for wishing me well this week when I know the news must have stung just a little bit. I wish I could take that pain away for you.

  8. Your letter is absolutely perfect. That line, there is a difference between providing care and caring, will stay with me for a long time. My husband is a Nurse Anesthetist. You articulate that very well. The care we get during our losses colors the way we see our experience. For me, my midwives and the nursing staff at the hospital were so kind, compassionate and caring, that I actually think of Lucia's birth as beautiful. Sending love. xo

  9. What a beautiful letter. I am sure that he was touched by the fact that in the midst of your grief that you took time to let him know how much his care for you impacted your experience. I wish no one had to go through what you did but for everyone who does I wish that they had a doctor as compassionate as you. We also had a wonderful OB to care for us during our son's delivery and subsequent death and more recently with the birth of our daughter. It makes a world of difference to be surrounded by people who actually care.

    Remembering Camille with you.


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