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.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


I made dinner for a woman in mom's club the other day. She just gave birth to a healthy baby girl at the age of 41. I wish I could be happy for her....but you know how that goes. She made my family dinner twice after Camille died, which I thought was incredibly kind. I figured I should return the favor. I told my husband that he had to drive with me over to their house, I didn't want to stay long and I wanted an excuse to leave quickly. She has a 3 year old son too, sigh. Talked to her briefly, asked her how she was feeling....tired of course. She asked me how I was and I don't even know what I said. I managed to ask what her daughters name was, she was holding her the whole time. I couldn't ask about the baby. I wished them a good night and left. My husband drove me to yoga class which I was getting to just in the nick of time. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get to class that night. It was such a long day. I took Kai to a mom's club event strewn with babies and people who give less than a small shit about my loss. But I took Kai because he needed to get out. The president of the moms club is a very kind woman and just recently sent me a card telling me that she thinks of me all the time. I thought that was incredibly sweet. So between moms club and making dinner for my family and the other family, yoga was not a given.

 We always start class with 5 minutes of meditation. We did something different that night, we did 12 minutes of guided meditation led by Jon Cabat-Zinn. I cried for the first 12 minutes of class. I think between all the events of the day, making dinner for a family with a new baby girl and then pondering "the breath" and letting it all go. Not focusing on any thing other than the moment. Thinking of breath as rolling waves and our mind as a little boat riding those waves. It was impossible for me to focus on my breath but I was glad to have the guide bring me back to it. Yoga that night was so helpful. My teacher mostly teaches Ananda yoga but incorporates some flow and then on the first Monday of each month we do Yin yoga.  This night we did some Ananda practice and the teacher says that in Ananada there is an affirmation with each pose. She only used a couple affirmations but they were incredibly helpful:

Downward-Facing Dog Pose
"Calmness radiates from every fiber of my being."
Chandrasana - Moon Pose
"Strength and courage fill my body cells."
Garudasana - Eagle Pose
"At the center of life's storms I stand serene."
Balasana - Child Pose
"I relax from outer involvement into my inner haven of peace"
Savasana - Corpse Pose
"Bones, muscles, movement I surrender now; anxiety, elation and depression, churning thoughts-all these I give into the hands of peace."

These affirmations are so amazingly positive for me. They buoy me and strengthen my focus. The hard thing is that while I do yoga, I am thinking of Camille almost the entire time.

Every time I do yoga I always think it was made just for me and for my grief. It is such a good place for mental peace. Every time I do yoga I try and focus a warm white light surrounding my heart and around my uterus. I invite a new child to come to us and our family. I try to send my thoughts into the universe. The love our family has to give. How much we have given...please come to us. I invite love into my heart to soothe my sorrow. Durring my sun salutation there is a transitional pose that is odd but requires your bottom to be in the air while your chest is on the ground. I envision the warm wet earth reaching up and with a cooling hand covering my heart inside my chest with mud. The earths gift of love to me; My heart supported and then covered by baby's tear ferns. This is my vision.

Here are two songs that speak to my heart, funny they are both country songs, the last song I posted was country too. My husband listens to a lot of country and so I do by default. I've always been a beastie boys, Bob Marley and mazzy star kinda girl which I will post more of later...but for now two country songs.

The band Perry ~ If I Die Young: this is the only song I know of theirs: the lines that get me.... "Lord make me a raindbow, I'll shine down on my mother"...Oh and life ain't always what you think it ought to be, no ain't even grey but she burries her baby....The sharp knife of a short life"

Zac Brown Band ~Jolene: (The Ray LaMontagne version -it's his song- is equally lovely)
This second song is really about someone who has hit Rock Bottom...We who have lost their babies know that space...The line that really breaks my heart: "Lately my hands they don't feel like mine, My eyes been stung with dust and blind, held you in my arms one time and lost you just the same."


I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells

I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light and of peace

When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are one.

Light and love to you all.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Email

I was really devastated the entire next day after my conversation regarding the "theoretical child" I stayed in bed until at least 10am and let my son watch videos, because I was depressed. I haven't been like that in a while. The entire day my heart felt heavy. AND SO, I wrote and email to my friend. I told her how much I appreciated the phone call she made and the conversation that we had and I told her I needed to address something she said. I felt like my words were heartfelt, direct and informative. I wanted her to know that I don't FEEL like Camille is real, she WAS real. I told her that the death of a child does not negate their existence. I told her I hoped my email would give her something to draw on in the future about my grief and what it feels like right now for me after my daughter has died. I followed up the email with a few photos of Camille.

She responded the next day and apologized. She said she was speculating about how others may feel but she should leave the psychoanalysis to someone more qualified. I was glad we had the exchange, I felt heard and I hope that she "gets it" a little bit more. Regardless of anything she wrote in the email, I felt better. Not because of what she wrote but because I spoke my mind. I think it was more important for me to be able to express how her words hurt me than any explanation of why they were said. I felt empowered to be able to say: this is not okay. I deserve more love. Please try to understand even though you can't. Ugh. I wish these conversations weren't necessary. I do have to say that although her phone call was prompted by my BFF who sent it out to a bunch of our close friends. Only 2 people have called me. Sigh. It is what it is.

What I learned from this...I have to stand up for myself and my daughter.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Theoretical Child

It was my aide's first day back at work from maternity leave. I didn't talk to her much. I could hear all the patients asking about her daughter and how fun it must be to have one after having her two boys. She was all smiles and happiness. Because I never knew she was pregnant (she hid it from me) and I only found out that not only was she pregnant but had given birth to a daughter when I returned to work, it feels as though she never was pregnant. Although this is irrational, I feel like she stole my life. I shared my pregnancy with the clinic and all my coworkers. They watched Camille and my belly grow. This aide didn't tell anyone she was pregnant until 4 weeks before she was due. She told people she "didn't know she was pregnant"...???... I am sorry but I just don't believe that. How is it that someone who "wasn't even pregnant" could have a daughter, and mine is dead? FUCK!

This is really what hurts though:

My best friend came to visit me this weekend. It was the first time she has visited since Camille died. She got to hold her, she was there through all the crazy of that day, the next day and that weekend. She really has been very supportive. We stayed up talking all night on Saturday, I told her how I have lost so many friends. I told her that people never call, everyone has moved on.

I received a phone call tonight from a friend I will call her "B", a mutual friend of my BFF. We have all been friends FOREVER. "B" has a daughter who is 2 months older than Kai. I haven't heard from her in months. We talked about our children and the changes coming up in her life. She then tells me she received a email from my BFF addressed to all of our mutual close friends telling them they should contact me because I am feeling neglected, or forgotten or something....I don't know what her exact words were. So I was very honest with "B" and said that I know everyone else has moved on but it really feels like yesterday to me that Camille died. That I cry all the time and feel very lonely. I told her that although I know it is difficult to be my friend right now, when it is difficult is usually when people need friends the most. She apologized for not being in better contact. I told her that except for her husband, none of our friends husbands has ever said anything to either of us about Camille...NOTHING. They just pretended like nothing ever happened. "B" proceeds to say "I think everyone knows you didn't have a miscarriage, but they have a hard time about whether she was a theoretical child or an actual child. Speaking to you, I can tell that you feel she was an actual child"

Just typing those words makes me want to throw up. What the fuck is a theoretical child? Camille was real! she was perfect and looked just like my son. I kissed her lips and face and I grew her. I never, ever thought I would have to defend her existence. How does one give birth, hold, kiss, say goodbye to a theoretical child. My heart feels like it broke into a million more pieces I never thought was possible.

I think I realized in that conversation just how much people DON'T UNDERSTAND. But...the hard part for me is that women, WOMEN who have given birth to healthy alive babies would not understand. She said that this is just something outside the realm of experience for people which is beyond the truth. It certainly was outside my experience. I just feel sick right now.

Our conversation was actually a good one, I know she meant to be kind and she called because she felt bad. I wish she had called without the prompt but I am grateful non the less...I guess I feel like if I can talk about Camille and make people understand just how broken I am, maybe there will be a shift, some more compassion. I also realize that this is unlikely. Baby death is taboo, it is unthinkable, it is uncomfortable and so because of this the ACTUAL CHILD becomes Theoretical. How much easier it is for people to dismiss a concept, not a concrete fact. I think what I want to do is send them a picture of her. She does exist. I love her and she is real!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Who You'd Be Today...

Yesterday I bagged up all my pregnancy clothes. I was hoping that I could just leave them in piles and then get pregnant and need them again. It has been 6 months and I'm not pregnant and it's just a mess on my closet floor. It was hard for me to pack up all those clothes. I remember when I was pregnant with Camille my husband said I could get rid of them when our baby was born. Now they are in a bag....I am hoping that I can use them again.

I was up all night crying. I think I finally fell asleep around 3am. We had plans to go hiking in Yosemite today but we didn't go; I was just too tired. The combination of my missing Camille, my not being pregnant again which I want so badly, my baby Camille, she really is what I want. The the inevitable hormonal roller coaster + grief is just a crazy combo filled with sobbing and leaky eyes.

I got up and went downstairs and ate some yogurt, I tried to go on-line. I look fabulous in all the outfits I find while window Internet shopping (I don't buy anything), I also played words with friends. I tried going back to sleep but instead of restfulness I start to cry again. My husband would wake intermittently throughout the night and touch my foot with his foot or say softly "babe"....All I could  say was "I miss my baby."

We went hiking down to the river today, instead of Yosemite. Finding sticks for boat races, climbing out onto little islands over rocky/watery paths, throwing rocks into the water and drawing in the sand. I love my family. This mental space I am in makes everything feel very nostalgic. Like I am missing the moment I am making, knowing how swiftly things change.

We got done with our hike and headed back to the truck. We gave Kai a snack and we sat on the tailgate and enjoyed the sunshine. My husband turned on the stereo and Kenny Chesney came on... My husband said "this song used to remind me of my mom, now it reminds me of Camille" He doesn't talk about Camille very often. I was glad he said something. I went and sat in the truck to listen to the words and of course it's just perfect. Perfect for loss, perfect for sadness, perfect for how sad I have been lately. I wonder all the time about who she would be. I miss Camille. My heart is aching today.

I picked this video because it has no video, just the music and words. Love to you all out there in Internet land.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Burn Baby Burn

2012 is a welcomed year. I certainly have a love/hate relationship with 2011, in fact I think it is a 50/50 split considering Camille died and was born on June 30th...smack dab in the middle of the year. I get mixed up in my feelings: on one hand I hate it because my daughter died! Right now that fact outweighs all of my other feelings. On the other hand my daughter existed in 2011, I had this really happy, lovely pregnancy and had so much excitement and expectation. ALSO...there is my son, a full year of watching Kai turn 2 and becoming even more fabulous. How can I disregard an entire year that my son was living and making me smile and giving me joy. It was a year of a lot of love and smiles, joy and laughter.
Our family, the 3 of us going on 4....and then she died. Sigh....and then she died.

The holidays came and they were what they were, filled with joy and heartache...
... the story of this new life.

This brings me back to my post about Christmas cards. We set them out like we always have but I would glare at them...all that happy, merry bullshit, with their new babies and birth announcements. My husband was taking them down after the holiday and I said "wait, I want those". I took them and put them on the shelf.

New Years Eve has always been my favorite holiday. Nothing attached to it except the expectation for a better year. Growing as a human being and hope for the future...Beautiful really and whats not to love about sparkles and fancy clothes, ringing in the new year? D and I got engaged on New Years Eve in New York, overlooking central park as fireworks went off. We have had a lot of wonderful New Years Eves...This one was not fantastic but I am still looking forward to what 2012 brings...I hope more love and laughter, I hope another baby. An alive one; One that would not exist if Camille did not die.

Here are some photos of New Years eve day:

A hike around the lake

 A Picnic

Then, while little was napping, I took down THOSE Christmas cards. I started with the people who had been particularly offensive or people who had been ridiculously ignorant to my feelings. Then I just piled one upon another and watched it BURN. It actually felt really good. Out of all of the Christmas cards we received this year only 2 said anything about Camille or our loss. Every single one got burned except those 2 really special cards

 One of the EXCITING parts of this evening was when we were making brownies as a family. We use organic brown eggs...I cracked an egg and HOLY SCHNIKIES!!!
Twin Yolks! I thought that was a really good sign. Maybe a good fertility sign...maybe just a unique occurrence...non the less, VERY cool.  2 days later my husband cracked another egg and got TWIN YOLKS! Something good has to happen this year right?