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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.

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?


  1. This reminded me of my New Year's Eve post from 2008. Both happy and sad to see the back of that motherfucker of a year. We went for a walk at sunset and I also did a lot of cooking that day. I was pregnant again early in 2009, so I hope the same happens for you in this new year.
    Love to you, Renel.

  2. Wow, twins would be - almost fitting... But I don't know how you feel about that? I hope you get pregnant again really quickly and that 2012 brings you a live healthy baby.

    p.s. Love the card burning ceremony!

  3. Hoping you get a more peaceful 2012...full of more smiles and less tears and most importantly Camille's little brother or sister!!!

  4. Absolutely! And I bet that burn pile was quite cathartic.. sending hugs..

  5. Ha ha ha! I did not see the burning of the Christmas cards coming at all! What a good idea, I hope it brought you a little peace. Or at least a feeling of righteous vengeance!

    I love what you wrote about 2011, I feel the same way about (so long ago now!) 2008. I had a really happy pregnancy too and she was alive (and obviously her sister was born too!) Just a real muddle, still not sure how I feel about that fateful year.

    I hope that 2012 brings you a little sibling (or siblings, who knows those double yolked eggs could be an omen!) for Kai and Camille. I don't know if I've ever mentioned before how much I love your children's names. They really go together nicely too. Sigh. x

  6. I have to say that the burning Christmas cards cracked me up, and I am totally cheering you on. I truly hope 2012 brings good things your way. 6 months (ish) out is SUCH a hard place to be. I was full of so much hope for getting pregnant at that time, and my anxiety about getting pregnant again complicated and amplified my grief that much more. I hope that you manage to not follow my example, and I hope that for all of us, the best is yet to come.

  7. 2011 was bittersweet for me as well. Half bliss, half devastation. I hope that 2012 brings us both some peace and maybe even something that catches us by surprise. Something good has to happen this year yes!

  8. Thanks for the pictures with this post, and sharing the Christmas card burning! I love watching the progression of the fire. And I love the burning up of the insensitivity of other people and their obliviousness. I may try some kind of ritual like that myself.

    The picture of Kai on the hiking path with his little backpack is incredibly sweet. Your New Year's eve day looks so beautiful.

    I hope the two double yolks signal something magical for you in the upcoming year!

  9. I love the card burning ceremony! I have this vision of you summoning the flames and remarking "So long 2011, don't let the door hit you on the ass." Okay, maybe that is me.

    Twin yolks--zowie! That is exciting to ponder, and two twin yolks...eep. Sending love, and loving the pictures of Kai hiking. He looks like a natural. xo

  10. Yep, 2011 something will always be special about that year because we did get to have our babies alive for part of it. Of course something will always be sad when we think of 2011. I am glad it is over and I am ready for something special this new year as well.

    Good for you burning the cards, I love the whole idea of it.

    Twin yolk x2 that must mean something. Love the pics. Glad you posted, I have been wondering how you were holding up. Hugs to you.

  11. The eggs don't lie, Renel :) It is a good sign. I know it.

    Wish I could have thrown a few of my own stupid cards from 2010 on your pyre. I think that's a brilliant idea.

    Wishing you peace for 2012, friend. Lots of love to you.

  12. I'm sure it's a sign Renel, I'm just sure of it.
    How theraputic to burn those cards, like a purge. Like a full moon ceremony where right down the negative on a piece of paper, the negative in your life, then you throw it on a fire and send it to the moon, then the mood sends it back as a positive.
    We didn't get many cards at all this year. We haven't sent any for 2 Christmases now. But, of the few, only 2 mentioned Joseph. It shits me. It's not that hard is it? To make reference of our dead children? Surely!
    Kai is gorgeous. He looks like he's shot past toddlerhood and has entered pre-schooler. Very grown up!
    I miss her with you Renel. And I wish we could have burned our Christmas cards together. Know that I'm having a cyber cuppa with you and listening, always. x

  13. I feel the same way about 2011. I hate it, but how can I hate it because it was the only year in which my son was alive, or even existed. So the year is the best and the worst, in that sense.

    I definitely hope your twin yolks are a good omen. xoxo

  14. I know what you mean about feeling 50/50 about the year. It's hard for me to know how to feel about 2010. On one hand, my son was born. On the other hand, he was born dead. Sigh . . .

    I hope that it's easy for you to label 2012 and that it's labeled a GOOD year.

  15. I didn't burn our Christmas cards but there was something satisfying in watching yours burn. Thank you from Eva's mama.

  16. Thank you so much for sharing the card burning - it's awesome and gutsy and honest, and makes me feel just a little bit less alone in my anger at the shittiness of people.

    Here's to 2012, and to bringing home healthy, living babies.

  17. I love your ceremonial burning of the Christmas cards!


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