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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.

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.


  1. I can relate so much. My best friend found out she was pregnant only 6 weeks after my son died. It was her first baby and although I was happy for her, I couldn't help but feel incredibly hurt and envious. But just like you, we kept our communication open and were very honest with each other about how we were feeling. Her daughter was born this past May and I am so deeply in love with her. It took me a little while to open up and feel 100% comfortable around my niece, but now I can't help but love on her.

    For me, it was easier to open up because my friend and I are so close. I've had a few other friends and relatives give birth since Aiden died who I still haven't been around. I love their babies because I love their parent's, but haven't felt comfortable being around them yet.

    I know today is hard and I'm thinking of you and hoping with each day it gets a little easier. xo

  2. I'm sorry. I have similar connections... but nothing too terribly close. New(ish) friends I'm willing to just forget about or friends I live so far away from that I can avoid them for infinity if I want to. And right now, I want to.

    I remember feeling so anxious knowing that any day would be "the day" when someone I knew would give birth. And once they did, I was somewhat relieved but obviously more jealous. They got further than I did with their babies in a split second. And forever will be farther. But now I'm not anticipating a birth, ya know? Sometimes good, sometimes bad.

    Do you read Molly's blog? Her sister gave birth just a couple weeks after she birthed her son, who was stillborn. http://everythingebach.blogspot.com/

    I saw this awhile back and posted it on my blog: "This is one of the things that I hate most about baby loss. It robs you of the ability to fully participate in someone else’s joy."

  3. The first few times I heard of successful live births after Hope died, I threw my phone against a wall. Classy.
    My best friend was due five months after me and though she knew at the time she was having a girl, she never told me. She just said she didn't know, and I believed her. Though I just KNEW it would be a girl. I too was waiting on "that call" and when her mum finally did make that call, I lost my shit. We were out for dinner and I walked out, did not finish my meal and walked home. My sister and husband paid the bill and chased after me, but I continued to walk home. It was one of the toughest times.
    A day later I went to visit that baby and I even held her, but our friendship soon fell apart after that, and we now have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Sad yes, after 25 years of friendship and being bridesmaids in each other's weddings, etc. But I figure I've lost worse in life and I certainly miss my daughter a hell of a lot more than I miss my friend.
    All to say I know how hard this is and I hope you find a way to work through it with your friend.

  4. Renel I just found your blog and I have to say I am so very sorry about your sweet baby girl Camille. My son Aiden was stillborn at 36 weeks and 5 days on November 2, 2010. I can't believe some days that in just a few short months it will have been a year.

    Both of my older sisters were pregnant at the same time as me. One had her baby girl in October and the other had her baby boy in February. It was and is still very hard to see and talk about my niece and nephew but I do try my best.

    One of my closest friends had a baby 2 months before we lost Aiden. She and I no longer talk because the loss of my son is too stressful for her. Such a great friend right? I have absolutely no interest in anything to do with her son (or her).

    So I agree with Angie that it really depends on the person and how you feel about them as to how well you will be able to deal with them after your loss. If you love the person and are close to them I think eventually you will find a way to interact (like my sisters) although it may take quite a bit of time (which is totally ok). If you find out the person sucks (which unfortunately happens a lot after you lose a child- for example my "friend") then it's very hard to be interested in their child.

    It is almost impossible to not ask why. Not that you want anyone else to experience this horrible pain and grief but just because you honestly want to know why your baby couldn't be here too. It's hard to be completely happy for people when you are so desperately trying to understand the crap you've been given to deal with.

    I am so sorry Camille is not here. It just is so unfair and wrong.

    Blogging has helped me a lot in so many ways. One- to get my feelings out when there aren't a lot of people in real life you can talk to about your crazy roller coaster of emotions. Two-blogging helped me find so many other amazing moms who were also grieving their precious babies and who GOT me. They get my crazy rantings, my anger days, my sad days. They understand me and they never forget my baby boy.

    I hope you are able to have a little peace as you continue on this journey....xoxo

  5. I can relate to this so much. When I was pregnant with Calla so many of my friends were too. And then my baby died and theirs all lived--I mean, thank goodness, but it was a real shit storm for me. And there's no other way to say it, but it was really really hard. I hated feeling jealous that everyone else's baby was alive and mine so was not. I hated feeling like I was a bad luck charm. I hated everyone and everything.

    You are not alone, but I hate that you're going through this. Sending love.

  6. Renel, I've come over from your response left on my blog. I'm so sorry about Camille and that she's not here with you. This life sucks without our babies. Full stop.
    My independent midwife and I have become quite close, through my pregnancy journey and now in the aftermath of the loss of my Joseph. Her ex-husband (her children’s Dada) died shockingly and suddenly only 5 months after Joseph died, so we share (in a sense), profound loss. But, it's so hard hearing her talk about births she's been to. Sometimes, I feel compelled to ask her to keep these stories to herself. I don't want to hear about it anymore from her, from babies getting to live. But, I don’t want to hear that anymore babies are dying either.
    My cousin also gave birth to her first baby 3 weeks before Joseph was born. She was actually due after me, but her bubba came early, and Joseph came late. It's so incredibly hard for me to be around that baby, she's just a constant reminder of where Joseph would be at. And to see my family coo over her breaks my heart (and I know it secretly breaks theirs too). These are hard times and I don't know how they will get any easier.

  7. I'm so so sorry Renel. That must be an incredibly difficult situation to find yourself in and I just feel so sad for you. The final sentence of this post just broke my heart.

  8. A very dear friend of mine had her first baby, a son, just a month after my Otis died. It was so incredibly hard, and has continued to be as I've watched her son grow up this year but I've basically been unable to participate in such an important year of her life...it has strained our friendship, but I try to have faith that we will be able to heal it somehow, over time. I just can't do it now, it is still to hard for me to see her son and wonder if that's what my son would be doing, if that's how he'd be growing, standing, laughing...it's all just too much.

    In fact, to be fair the only babies born in the last year that I've truly been able to feel joy for are babies born to mamas who know the pain of a loss like ours. Of course I don't wish a loss on anyone, but I find that my jealousy and "it's not fair!!!!" voices get so loud anytime I hear about a baby born alive and healthy. Not only that, but I tend to still feel a lot of incredulousness when I hear about babies being born alive - I just am amazed that babies can be born safely. I am embarrassed and ashamed that this is where I find myself, but I also have to be honest about it, and hopefully hearing "you're not alone" brings you at least a little comfort.

    In fact, the only two babies I've held this year, have been born to babyloss moms. They're really the only babies I can even *look* at. It's all just still too intense for me. I have faith that it will get easier, but it's been in pretty small spurts so far.

    Sending you love and light,

  9. I am so sorry for the pain you feel! I too lost my baby girl the same day you did, june 30th of this year! Go easy on your heart, its ok to feel jealous, mad, angry, because we did not get all of those happy moments that they are getting, and we want that! It's so not fair! Good luck in your healing process!

  10. Such familiar pain. Feels like I've seen all facets lately. A close friend of mine got pregnant the weekend my son died, another a few weeks later...and then another, and then a few short weeks in she lost the baby, then my SIL got pregnant and then I got pregnant, and then that one died too and then just today I sat at the foot of the bed with another friend as she waited for her dead baby to be born. I grieve in every instance. I grieve for my two babies, and now I am grieving for two more... I am so sorry that you get to experience the same horrors. The guilt and shame that comes with the joy of others.

  11. Gosh, we have had such similar experiences, Renel. I know what it's like to get 'that' call. I have dealt with an almost identical situation with a friend whose baby was due the same week mine was, and it did not end well. The pain was too great for me to process the news of her baby's happy birth, and she could not understand why my grief had to have anything to do with her baby. I could understand her perspective, but I didn't have the energy to repair the situation or deal with anyone's feelings except my own. The friendship ended horribly. Since my baby died seven months ago, eight people I know have announced their pregnancies to me. Eight fucking happy, lucky people! Every one of them seems convinced, as I once was, that their baby will be born alive. I want to grab them, and shake them, and scream 'HOW CAN YOU BE SO SURE?'


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