About Me

My photo
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, 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


  1. Oh, it's so unfair. Thinking of you. Yes, thankful for the good and the love but so exhausted by the heartache that's there right at the same time. I'm not sure whether to say Happy (belated) Birthday to you or not - I intend the caring sentiment but not the insultingly glib words themselves.

  2. Renel, I wish i could be at that support group with you. I feel so connected to you because our babies left this earth around the same time. I went to my first support group and it had a wide variety of baby loss. One her baby died of SIDS at 3mnths and one had gone through 3 miscarriages.... Not my same grief, yet still heartbreaking! I am glad I have you on the blog. Its hard to celebrate hollidays when we don't have our girls here with us. I'm ddddrrreeaaddiinngg halloween, thanksgiving and christmas ugh!!!
    Hope on!!! ps i still haven't started my period :( its pissing me off!

  3. I refused to acknowledge my birthday this year. It was kind of bratty of me because people wanted to be nice, but I left cards unopened, let calls go to voicemail, and even though we went and saw the Harry Potter movie, I insisted that my husband say it was JUST a night at the movies, NOT for my birthday. It freaking sucked to have a day so different form the one I imagined.

    I know what you mean about the support group being kind of weird. The first one I went to I felt like that, like even though we'd all lost babies, there wasn't anyone there I could really connect with. A fellow BLM in my area convinced me to go back several months later, and there were a lot of new faces, but I also met some bereaved parents who were the kind of people I'd like to get a glass of wine with even if we weren't all grieving our children. So just keep in mind that you can always go back if you feel like it later on and every meeting is quite different.

    As for advanced maternal age, I feel like I aged a million years after Eliza died and all my eggs must have just shriveled up too. But even though they lump everybody together at a certain point, every individual is different, and what "advanced maternal age" means for you is not necessarily what it means for other people. I read recently that 37 is a better indicator than 35 for that category anyway, if that helps. All I know is that I was devastated to be another year older and not have my baby here.

    I've now written a novella as a comment. Thinking of Camille and wishing you a pregnancy soon.

  4. Ugh, birthdays suck after such significant loss. They just feel so unimportant in the scheme of things all of the sudden. I laughed at ur snark...i got free highlights bc my son died! Oh and i am with you on the support group... no personal connections but i have that with my blog friends. It is nice to just be surrounded by others whose life isnt perfect sometimes tho so i keep going. Hang in there. Hugs!!!

  5. It is so hard to celebrate or find hope when you feel so much grief. I meant to stop by and tell you Happy Bday but I have been sick as a dog the past few days. Bad timing since all I can think about right now is this whole getting pregnant thing, I keep thinking what if my body is to weak from the illness to work right. Blaahhh.

    I am glad you got out and did something for yourself. I am really thinking about doing yoga as well. It seems like it would help to clear the mind and all.

    I hope you found some peace on your special day. No matter our grief we have to let ourselves feel some happiness. I do feel like that is what your little ones would want for us.

    Let us know how work goes.

  6. I feel you on this one. I didn't expect it to be hard either and then I woke up on my birthday and immediately cancelled the small party we were supposed to have and then spent most of the day in the mountains where we scattered Margot. It was awful. I think it's the celebrating thing that gets me every time. We SHOULD be happy right now and instead these birthdays and holidays just highlight how unhappy and sad we are. Like a little sign from the universe - LOOK, IN CASE YOU FORGOT, YOU'RE MISERABLE!

    And Kari, my poor girl, had to celebrate her 30th the day after we spread Margot in the river.

    Anyway, those folks ahead of us keep saying it gets lighter and less intense after the first year of holidays and special occasions. I believe them too, most of the time. In the mean time, know that you're not alone.

  7. I'm happy for you that you celebrated, even if it was just for your son.

    I ignored my birthday this year, just because that was the easiest thing for me.

    I ignored all of the holidays last year and am planning on doing the same thing this year.

    I like to think that it will be easier for me now that it will be my second set of holidays and birthdays without Drew, but I'm not so sure about that.

    To, kudos to you for at least celebrating for your son. That's a bigger step than I was able to take.

  8. Crap. I'm sorry about the whole Factor V situation. All of us BLMs that have stillbirths went through the same gamut of testing. While important, it sucks to come back with someone more to worry about that is incurable.

    Birthdays. Mine is Monday. I have about negative desires to do anything whatsoever. I don't want presents. I hate that I'm no longer the same age I was when Andrew was born. Life just keeps on keepin' on and our babies are 10 feet under. Well, mine is on the bookshelf, but same idea.

    The same reason you didn't like the support group is the reason I've never been. I'm fearful that I'll show up and feel so out of place or different than everyone else. It's hard not to compare stories. And just because you all have dead babies, it doesn't mean you have anything else in common, you know? There are some real crazies out there in the BLM world-- and not just crazy for being sad, but crazy for being crazy prior to their loss.

  9. I'm sorry you had a sad birthday, I remember being explicitly sadder because it was a year and two days after I found out we were expecting and I remember anticipating my birthday this year (last year... does that make sense?) and it was just not quite as it should have been.

    Sorry about the findings of your blood work. I do hope you're pregnant soon and have a little something to look forward to, soon.


  10. Oh sweetie, I'm sorry. These days which are supposed to be celebratory are anything but.

    Hugs to you.

  11. Oh Renel, birthdays are hard. I'm so impressed that you did eyebrow waxing, talking to work colleagues, grief support group AND an OB visit, all whilst dealing with the shitness of a birthday without your daughter. And then managed to write a post about it. You are a bloody legend, hon! Sending you so much birthday love. Welcome to the advanced maternal age club - that was my most recent birthday too. xxxxx h

  12. I hope the day was peaceful. My birthday is just a few weeks after Hope's and the first one after she died was particularly ugly. I will sadly never forget that day.
    Love to you, Renel.

  13. I've been behind on your blog. I'm sorry to hear of your day - as any of those milestones are hard after loss as they are never what they should be.

    Sending lots of love your way

  14. Those big days on the calendar are so much harder now. Calla's due date was my birthday, and I remember being just sick as the day approached. It sucked super hard, and still it does. I am sending lots of hope and love and good fertility vibes to you.

  15. Dear Renel... I'm so sorry for you slow birthday wishes. This must have been such a hard birthday for you. I wish is could be different... losing our little ones eats away at all possible joy. Thinking of you with all my heart and hope that your next birthday is more peaceful. Love always xoxo


  16. I am Selvia 30 years old from uk looking for a Man to be in Love and to marry, okay get back to me selviasex7@gmail.com
    Thank you


I would love to hear what is on your mind