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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.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Show Me Your Penis

It was one of those fantastic days. We woke up and went for a walk as a family down on the beach. We walked to the lighthouse, let the waves chase us, watched Kai chase seaguls and then did family meditation on the sand and talked about all we were grateful for: eachother, the sun, the sand and ocean. Kai even added that he was NOT grateful for the pokey sticks that hurt his feet while walking on the sand which I thought was pretty darn cute.

We went home and made kale chips and smoothies and we did some water color painting and blew bubbles, then I put little down for his nap. Daryl left to go hang out with a friend for a couple hours. He never does this and so I am always very supportive of him spending time with friends. After he returned we headed off to FallCreek (where I grew up) to go hiking in the redwoods. On our way to the forest Daryl told me that while he was driving home from hanging out with his friend he wanted to switch lanes; there was a black car approaching and so he was waiting for them to pass, only they didn't pass him, they just drove next to him. He looked over and it was a car full of highschool aged girls holding up a sign that read: "Show Me Your Penis". Daryl said, "Can you imagine if that was your daughter, driving around holding up a sign saying "show me your penis"? I started to cry, my heart caught in my throat...my daughter will never be able to do anything that stupid and adolescent because SHE'S DEAD. Then I started laughing because I was crying that my daughter would never be able to hold up a sign that read "Show me your penis"..that sounds silly...I know, that is why I was laughing. BUT, I think you get what I mean here. I was not crying about the sign, it is all the things she will never be able to do, see, learn, experience...and my husband said "can you imagine if that was your daughter" Oh those words just pierced my heart. I imagine my daughter being alive ALL THE TIME. Not one of those imaginings included that sign- haha -but I am sure she would end up doing some dumb shit thing or another and we would have to talk it through and hope she made better choices in the future. Damn...I wish we got the opportunity to go through all of it. Stupid girls!

We had a really lovely time in the forest. It was my backyard stomping grounds and the air smells so good. Ferns and redwoods growing along a creek. Autumn leaves falling onto the forest floor, Kai talking about wanting to build a forest house out of ferns. We did some walking meditation and discussed how peaceful and full of love we felt in the forest. We said thank you to the forest for growing beautiful things for us to look at and making the air clean for us to breathe. Walking across logs and finding mushrooms. This is the childhood I had. I love watching my son thrive in the surroundings that helped mold who I have become.


I wish our amazing day at the beach and walking in the forest was not tainted with the missing of Camille. I wish she was in my ergo kicking her little feet along the walk with us. I feel like the sweetest of days have just this side note of bitterness. I try and be present, fully present for my son, my husband, myself, BUT how can I COMPLETELY enjoy when a piece of my heart is constantly longing. A piece of my mind is always wondering and wishing. My whole heart WISHING. Do we ever stop wishing? Will I ever be able to be fully present, completely enjoy something? And now in 30 minutes it will be 4 months of wishing it was different. Wishing my daughter hadn't died. How could this have happened? It just breaks my heart over and over again.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Boy and My Girl

Last night Kai was laying in the bathtub, his ears were submerged and his soft blond hair was swaying gently in the water. His freckles seemed to stand out just a little more against the pale white of the tub. I remember as a child liking to hear my voice while my ears were underwater. Distorted and warm. All the words with softened curved edges. My son with his body thinning out at 2.5 years. Small but long, soft and perfect. Innocent and sweet. I wash his parts and I talk to him as he keeps his ears underwater. I smile at him. He looks at me and says:
Kai: "my brother died, Camille died."
Me: "who was Camille?"
Kai: "She is my sister."
Me: "Yes, she is your sister"
Kai: "I miss her, I miss Camille."
Me: "I miss her too."
Kai: "Talk about my swimming class."
 ...just a passing thought, spoken out by my little boy. These are my thoughts all day long. It is so nice to have them spoken out loud.

Today I received a photo of Camille's name written on Christian's Beach. I took Kai into the library and we sat in front of the computer and opened the picture and turned up the music. I started to cry. It really is very beautiful.
Kai: Look mama, look at the beautiful sunset."
Me: It is beautiful isn't it? It says "Camille" on the sand."
Kai pulls my chin to face him I know he is looking at my tears and searching my face for my emotion and expression...he says: "I love you" and gives me a kiss.
Me: "I love you too Kai"
Kai: "I want Camille back"
Me: "Me too buddy, me too" with more tears.

How is this little person so intuitive and sweet and loving? Can I help continue this kind of empathy and kindness as he grows into a man. I look at him and see my daughter, I look at him, my first born, my love and wish his sibling was here for him to shower with kisses and hugs. He is just that kind of child. I am so lucky to have him and so unlucky not to have Camille. How can this be? I have been missing her a lot lately. That sounds lame. I miss her a lot all the time. But I see the little girls in shopping carts all round and pudgy. I crane my neck to see their heads and faces when they are in the infant carriers. I know I tell myself it is normal, all people want to look at babies, it is true....it just makes my heart ache. I want to see her everywhere. I see her nowhere except when I look at my son. I imagine the snow blond hair and the smooth, white, soft skin. I imagine the smell of her head and the touch of her tiny hands. I am just missing. 4 months this weekend. It feel like a lifetime and yesterday all at once. I came across a doctor visit reminder note in my car for the 16th of June...14 days before Camille died. It wrenched at my heart, to know at that point she was alive, all was well. My baby was almost here. I am so grateful for my son. I wonder when I will feel anything but desperately sad when I think of Camille. She gifted me with a wonderful pregnancy, with anticipation and love, she gifted her brother and father with dreams of the eventual family we would be...the sadness of those dreams not coming to fruition trumps the 9 months of love I had with her. I find that strange but it is the missing that overpowers my heart.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Where Did My Friends Go?

I told my friends off yesterday. I sat them down and I asked them why the fuck they didn't show up for me. I said "my daughter died and no one came over to my house, I got a couple of phone calls and some text messages...but I have known you for 20 years and I really expected more from all of you. Why didn't you show up at my house? MY DAUGHTER DIED! I am broken and hurting and desperate. WHERE WERE YOU?"

Well I told all of that to the mirror. I fantasized about being able to communicate the pain I feel and how hurt I was by their inaction. I was crying to myself in the mirror.

I have always been the super honest type. No one has to guess what I am thinking or how I am feeling. One of the things I have been learning over the past 20 years is tact. I am way better about choosing my words and being more delicate while still speaking my mind. BUT....my daughter died and I had to give birth to her . There is nothing more terrifying or life changing that I can think of. Now I am in this space that feels like I just can't open myself to more hurt. I hate having to ask for something I want with tears and then getting pity and an actual response that was prompted by complaining. I shouldn't have to and yet I feel bitter that my needs are not being met by the individuals I thought would be forever by my side. Some of these same friends have done lovely things like let us stay in their homes while they are away so we could get out of our space and spend time somewhere else. I totally appreciate it...BUT does that mean that I have to acquiesce there inability to participate in my grief. Does that mean that they gain acquittal from showing up emotionally for me.

Or am I just a crazy, angry dead baby mama who is so raging about so many things that I am trying to fire off in every direction possible hoping I will be able to destroy something because I hurt so much from my own destruction. My friends are all living smugly in their charmed lives where their own personal tragedy has not yet reached in to twist their heart and rip their soul to shreds. I wish my dear friends had even an inkling of the pain my heart and mind are in on a daily basis. I am tired of making excuses for people. I know people don't know what to say. I used to be one of them. This doesn't really make me feel more forgiving...although it should.

In all of my anger I have this to say:

And then when I breathe and try and become calm and remind myself....breathe in positivity, breathe out sadness. Breathe in peace, breathe out badness. Breathe in love, breathe out madness.
I come to this place:

But this makes me so sad. I am filled with so much sad from so many places. It's almost easier to be angry. Because I love these people....maybe that is why it hurts so much. I guess I believed I would be surrounded by certain people and the actuality is that there is love...I know there is, but it is from different people. I am so grateful for this love but it doesn't make me want it from the people I expected to get it from less. Did you know my father hasn't called me once since Camille died...and he has had a son die...he should know. Maybe it is too painful for him, maybe he is like my husband and doesn't feel the pain as acutely. My brothers, don't call, my friends, don't call...I don't know...I just know I feel let down. The truth is the loss and pain is only because of the expectation. My expectations are what make me sad about the inaction. The expectation is an imposed ideal. I am a very loyal friend, I go out of my way to bring joy and love to those I love. In all honesty it is not a new experience to feel let down. I know it is my expectations that lead me to this place. If I can let those expectations go...will I feel less bitter. Will that tiny evil part of me go away that wishes others could have a piece of this pain so they would understand better? This is such an uncomfortable place to be... all these unresolved anxious, unwanted feelings.

I know I am not alone, but sometimes I feel very lonely.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Yesterday I took Kai to school. I was going to be productive, finish painting the staircase hallway or fold  laundry or make dinner. I didn't do any of those things. I sat in front of the computer for hours...HOURS. I realized while thinking about it last night that this is a place I can come to grieve. I can read poems and quotes, read others thoughts and experiences. Well yesterday I sat down in front of this magic box and listened to music for hours. Honestly I have avoided music a lot since Camille died. It makes everything feel so sharp and deep. I hear my pain in all the lyrics. After a while I settled on listening to Brandi Carlile. She is probably my favorite artist. I listened to her a lot when I was pregnant with Kai. Several years ago I saw her in concert...Yes I cried.This Woman Sings My Soul! She is AMAZING. I am including two videos.

I love you Camille...until my dying day!
Dying Day :
I left home a long long time ago
and a tin can for the road and a suitcase and some songs
chasing miles through the night time making tracks with no time for looking back to the place where I belong

How these days grow long but I`m on my way back home, It's been hard to be away

How I miss you and I just wanna kiss you
and now I`m gonna love you til my dying day, how these days grow long

When you`re sad you know I wish I could be there to make your sorrows disappear

and set your troubles free
It`s not fear for me to be this far from you but I promise you`d stay true wherever I`d might be

Time keeps burning the wheels keep on turning sometimes I feel I`m wasting my day

How I miss you and I just wanna kiss you

and now I`m gonna love you til my dying day, how these days grow long

Time keeps burning on, how these days grow long

Now I`m lost in a see of sunken dreams while the sound of drunken screams echos in the night but I know all of this will come to past and I`ll be with you in last forever by your side

How these days grow long but I`m on my way back home, It's been hard to be away

How I miss you and I just wanna kiss you
and now I`m gonna love you til my dying day and time keeps burning the wheels keep on turning sometimes I feel I`m wasting my day
How I miss you and I just wanna kiss you
and now I`m gonna love you til my dying day
How these days grow long
Time keeps burning on
How these days grow long

This song just says it all doesn't it?

This next song is also amazing:
"What Can I Say"
Look to the clock on the wall,
Hands hardly moving at all.
Can't stand the state that I'm in
Sometimes it feels like the walls closing in

O lord what can I say
I am so sad since you went away
time time ticking on me
Alone is the last place I wanted to be
Lord what can I say

Try to bury my toubles away
drowns my sorrows the same way
seem that no matter how hard I try
It feel like somethings just missing inside

Oh lord what can i say

How many rules can I break
how many lies can I make
how many roads can I turn
to find me a place where the bridge doesn't burn

So when my husband asks "what did you do today" it is hard for me because I wasn't "just on the computer" I was grieving. I was singing and crying and trying to work this whole thing out in my head and heart. Thank you to all the mamas and papas who let me into their life and their pain. I can see reflections of myself and it really truly helps. I also realize that I am not the only one who comes here to grieve. I am grieving beside some really amazing people. I hope you like the music. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day of Remembrance

We went to the memorial in the park. A dove did NOT crap on my head but you know what? some people DID get crapped on. My husband and I were laughing about this...he said "can you imagine, you come to something like this and then get crapped on by a dove?" I know...not funny but, well, I totally saw that one coming. The memorial was well done, I didn't cry. Kai was acting 2.5 and I didn't have patience because I was on edge (see last photo of a little "chat" we were having by a tree...my husband caught this on film). We were at our first memorial for our daughter who is DEAD. So I kind of just showed up and went through the motions but did not feel exceptionally emotional. It is what it is. Kai and I meditated tonight and lit a candle for Camille. It certainly isn't enough, but nothing is. I'd just like to have my daughter back. That being said...I posted on face.book. and found a lot of loving support I was not expecting. People lit candles and sent and posted pictures. How lovely. Really. It means a lot to me for people to do that, even if it is prompted by a wall post. Another friend brought me a yellow calla lilly plant. How sweet. I feel okay. I am always on the verge of tears but something happened the other day. The tears dried up. The ones that flowed everyday regardless of what happened. I am in this weird numb place again. Constantly caring but distant. Weird how things shift and move in this icky grief. I know I am in a more peaceful place saving up for another eventual down cycle. I am so glad I got to remember my daughter along with my BLM blog friends. I was thinking of all of you today and the children that we miss with every ounce of who we are. Much love to you all.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I am just not so sure about this support group thingy

Yeah well my second support group was the other night and man I know I am a little wack but there are some crazies out there. People went around telling their stories, I felt bad for them, their babies are dead for one reason or another...but there was a lady who said she was due to give birth and went and sat on the couch and was smoking a cigarette when she started bleeding. Her baby died. REALLY? you just told me that you were smoking a cigarette at 40 weeks pregnant!!!! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU!!! So then even though I am sad her baby died, I feel worse for her baby than I do for her, the baby is dead and she was SMOKING! and super obese and UGH I just got so frustrated inside of myself. I DID EVERYTHING RIGHT! WHY?????? So yeah I just don't know. I am not connecting with any of these people. Another thing is a strange dichotomy of feelings... One minute I feel so alone in dead baby land and I really want to connect with other people who have experienced this too, the next minute I am in a room surrounded by people who have dead babies and I just want to get away from them. On one hand it makes me feel like there are a TON of ways babies can die. It is really disturbing. Ignorance is sometimes bliss. It makes my experience also feel less special. Like Camille is just one more tally mark. That just kills me the insignificance of her death when it has ripped a hole in my soul and shattered my world into a thousand shards. I know my feelings may sound manic but it is just how I feel.

This weekend (Saturday the 15th) there is a memorial type thing happening at a park. They will have readings, and candles and they are dedicating a mosaic in which we can put our child's name, and a dove release. I wish this was an event I didn't have to attend but I am hoping that it is a really positive experience. I think there may be around 200 people there. I am hoping I can find connections with others that I feel drawn to as people. A friend of mine told me the other day that a woman she knows just lost her baby too. I don't know the details but 3.5 months after my daughters death and I am already hearing about tragedies befalling others...its like a vortex of dead baby experiences will now swirl around me....because I'm that lady, the one whose baby girl died. I hope that I can comfort someone but don't feel very helpful right now being so fresh to this land of loss. This is all just going to continue to be weird and horrible isn't it? Maybe one of the doves released at the memorial will crap on my head...that's the kind of luck I feel I have.

On another note...Kim Kar-dash-ian got married the day we got into our horrible car crash. Ha...so much charmed life going on all around us while we wallow in the pit of shit! Yay.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

UnHappy Birthday to Me

It is my birthday today. My daughter Camille is dead, I am 20 pounds overweight, and now considered of advanced maternal age. GREAT! It isn't really how I anticipated my birthday this year would be. I imagined it being very different, full of love and new babiness, two children and a charmed life. My life is still full of love, minus one child and also full of tears. I didn't expect today to really be a trigger. I wasn't looking forward to it, but I wasn't dreading it either. Today hit me hard. WAY harder than I anticipated. Everything has changed but is still the same...or...everything is the same and everything has changed. These both make sense to me. Weird how they can coexist simultaneously.

I went to my OB visit this morning. I am now down to a 16 on the depression scale (whooohooo). I am not depressed, I'm grieving but they treat it the same way at the doctors office. He told me about my labs that came back from the perinatologist office and I am positive for Heterozygous Factor V Leiden (R506Q) mutation. Essentially it puts me at risk for DVTs (Deep Vein Thrombosis). Some studies show an increase risk in in fetal death other studies show no increase in fetal death. so lovenox or heparin prophylaxis is not recommended unless there is a personal or 1st degree relative with a history of DVT (um yeah my dad had DVTs) My doctor said to try and get pregnant with no intervention for the next 3 months before we look at other ideas. So yeah.

I went to my work today and saw my coworkers. That was VERY emotional, but I had to do it cuz I am going to go to work on Thursday and see a few patients on another therapist's schedule just to get my feet wet.

I did go get my eyebrows waxed (I was WAY overdue on that one) but I hadn't seen the girl who does them since a week before Camille died. So OF COURSE she asked about her and I had to tell her that she died. Yes I cried at the spa. She didn't charge me which is a bonus...I don't know if it is because my daughter died or because it was my birthday but is saved me 20 dollars. (snark)

I had my first grief support group tonight. I am sad to see other people who have lost babies...but it was a small group and I wish I could have seen myself in these other women, but I didn't. they didn't represent me, just loss.

On a good note...last night I went to Yoga at the Unitarian universalist church near my house (I go to Earth Day festivities here every year) and the classes are by donation, so I just found a cheaper way to do yoga! My son was stoked on candles and sprinkles, so, regardless of if I felt celebratory or not, we celebrated for him. I am glad I am alive, I love my son and my husband. It is hard the simultaneous joy and happiness coexisting with heartache and despair. They live right next to each other in my heart. I am EXHAUSTED! This day was long, harder than I thought and filled with tears, but I am still living and loving and trying to find my way in this life without my daughter. On to the next year in my life. Maybe this year can bring some hope and healing to my heart.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
   ~Emily Dickinson