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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.

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.


  1. Right there with you feeling pretty pist off. My youngest has decided that he wants to ride the bus in the mornings with his friends. After many weeks of begging I have finally relented. So every morning for the past 2 weeks now I have had to walk past the porch of one of my neighbors. She is the mother to 2 boys and has one on the way. I have never seen the dad, she lives with her Mom. And every morning I walk past her breathing in a cloud of cigarette smoke. I want to slap her f***ing face. I can't comprehend why she thinks it is okay to smoke. Whatever I am trying to learn to not pass judgement on others, because I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy and I don't know her story but it is hard when you did everything by the book and your baby still died. I am sorry you are dealing with all of this crap and not finding the comfort you need. Like I said right there with you my friend.

  2. I know what you mean about the vortex. I feel like people just want to tell me about any and every tragedy that happens to so-and-so because I'm the one with a dead baby so of course I want to hear about EVERYTHING bad that happens to people.

    I hope the memorial is nice and a good experience for you. . . .as good as something like that can be

  3. It's such a bummer about the support group. I get an idea of what that must have been like. And being faced with people you don't connect with has been one of the reasons I've stayed away from them. I'm still curious to go though but don't want to invest the emotional preparation and get there and feel let down. A counsellors mantra to me years ago was 'expectations reduce joy'. She said it sister.
    We tried for a long time to have our first, including IVF and I worked in the city. I used to see so many junkies, high and smoking/drinking with toddlers in prams drinking coke/chocolate milk out of a bottle and I wondered why? why? why?, why them, because look at the life that child is going to have, and why not us? We're good people, we will provide etc etc etc. Then he came and we were continually blessed, until Joseph came and went. Oh Renel, I hear ya. It's all so fucked up.
    I wrote to Leslie (Cullens Mum) the other week and said it's my dream for all of us connected here to meet up at some middle point on the world map (probably South Africa, or Seirra Leone!!!). And lately, thinking about it even more. WHEN (not if) I win the lottery, first I'm going to pay for IVF/Surrogacy then buy us all tickets to meet up for a week. Wouldn't that be grand?
    I think it will continue to be weird and horrible, but I hope over time it's not all as intense.
    Peace to you Renel xo
    PS - and for what it's worth, I don't think you sound manic at all. All sounds completely normal to me.

  4. Hope you find some peace at your memorial. Thinking about you and your sweet Camille.

  5. I know what you mean about the support groups. I think blogland really saved me, because I just couldn't do the support group thing. When I was pregnant with O, I did go to a very small group for women who were subsequently pregnant, and that was helpful. But I don't know. I guess I'm just not that good in person ;)

    Hoping for no dove crap and a lovely memorial this weekend. I wish you didn't have to go, too.

  6. I never even attempted the support group thing. Reading about your experience makes me feel quite glad that I didn't try it! That must have been so maddening, that woman telling you about smoking.

    I loved your description of that dichotomy, of wanting company and wanting to be alone. I also hate that feeling that my daughter was just one more tally mark, I wanted her to be considered special by everybody, not just me.

    Like Mary Beth, blogland really saved me during a very lonely and sad time. I hope it is a comfort to you too Renel, it's nice in that it is here when you need it but you can also choose to give yourself a break and time to yourself.

    Over three years later, in my experience it is still weird and horrible at times but it is also lots of other things, the weirdness and horribleness are not as overwhelming. Hope that the memorial is a positive experience for you xo

  7. So I've only been to one support group meeting, mainly because the first one I went to I was 35 weeks pregnant with Clio. I've since wanted to go back but haven't been able to even though I have mixed feeling about it.

    It was good to sit in a room with other people who were a lot fresher in their loss than we were because it made me realize just how far we had come from those really dark first few months. Sometimes it is hard to see improvement when it is so gradual but talk to someone who just lost a child and it is possible to see just how different the grief has become. Still there, but different. At first you think it will never get any easier and then one day you realize that it has.

    I hesitated for a long time before going to a group meeting. My therapist kept telling me that I should go and meet other parents like us but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Then I was pregnant again and felt scared to go. I actually emailed the group leader to ask if she thought I should go or not then I showed up wearing a huge red coat to hide my belly because I was so self-conscious.

    Most of the people there we didn't really connect with but one couple we did. They have become really dear friends to us and we feel eternally grateful for knowing them. So even if we got nothing else out of it we did get them and they have really been wonderful.

    When we first lost George I felt so utterly alone. None of my friends had ever had anything quite so terrible happen to them. I was an anomaly amongst my social circle. Even in blogland I've often times felt out of place due to my very nonreligious outlook on the experience of baby loss. I'm definitely in the minority and for a long time I found it difficult to relate to people who had faith that they would see their child again or that God had a plan.

    But I've come to look at things a bit differently. I don't feel so alone anymore. I do amongst the people I grew up with but not amongst the world at large.

  8. Holy fuck (hope you don't mind I swear a lot) you did meet a wacko at the support group. My jaw would have been n the damn floor.
    I never ended up going to a support group.. the one gathering I did pop into ended up being completely religion based and just did not fit with my grief at the moment (or any moment since then).

  9. You echoed so much back to me that I have been feeling. I saw a lady walking down the street the other day with her newborn in one hand and a cigarette in the other, blowing smoke into her babies face.
    We did do everything right.
    We deserve to have our babies with us.


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