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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.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Meltdown

I had a meltdown at work the otherday. It was unexpected and was a spiral downwards which was not pretty.

The morning was going well. I was treating one of my favorite patients when duna-duna (shark sound) a girl walked in from this last summer who was due two weeks before Camille. She says to the entire clinic: "do I look different, not huge and pregnant?" then proceeds to gush about her baby girl. She is so proud, her daughter so perfect, she produces photos...fortunately for me, I am at the other side of the clinic with my back turned to her. I had worked on this woman, us both hugely pregnant, now I couldn't even look at her! I didn't mean to lose my shit, I excused myself from working on my patient, went into my office and started balling. The front desk girl (my friend) and another aide came to my office to ask what was wrong, I told them between sobs and hyperventilating that "it should be me... I can't handle this". They are rubbing my back and trying to get me to calm down, my anxiety in full swing. Then they start making jokes about how her baby is probably totally ugly and will turn out to be a total crack head...I started laughing and snorting snot and sobbing and calmed down...wiped my eyes and went back to my patient who had no clue that I just FREAKED the "F" out.

BUT then since I was already maxed out with emotion, later that day, I had a really young patient who had a sacroiliac joint misalignment come in. The other days I was able to put it back in, but today I couldn't. 8 year olds are not good at relaxing, telling them to relax does not work, so I tried to distract her...Still I couldn't do it. So I asked my fellow PT and clinic owner to do it. It took him like 6 tries but he got it. Great right...we always work like this, sharing patients doing whatever it is that will get them better, no ego involved. He came by my office later...I don't even know why, THAT was a BAD idea. He had NO idea what was coming his way. I told him how embarrassed I was that I couldn't get this girl's SI joint in and I felt like such a failure and how inept I am and frustrated I am. He of course being fabulous tells me how blessed his is to have me in his practice and how many people I help all the time. (I love Mormons :)
He joked that if I was LDS that I would understand how he felt about certain things and I joked that I may convert but only in the work place. I am the token liberal and non religious physical therapist in the practice, since my other friend and PT there is a Mormon bishop. haha Anyway...I should have just TOLD him about the patient who had come in earlier, that I was spiraling and that my anxiety was spilling over into everything around me, but I didn't and I cried and I was a disaster.

I cried all the way home, Kai saw me and asked about my tears and I told him I had just been a little sad. My husband was LAME and never asked about my day at all, I think he wanted to avoid whatever was going on. That really pissed me off. I told him I was hurt that he never asked about my day, that it had been one of the worst days in a long time and all he said was "sorry"...UGH! He came home with a new pair of pajamas for me the next evening...I needed those "thank you very much" but you still didn't ask me about my feelings...boys...I tell ya!

Then the next work day I am finishing my documentation for the day and one of the aides  (also a Mormon :) comes up and says "I know it might not be my business but I just have noticed that you don't look like yourself." I was really honest with him, I said, "all my patients are gone, I don't have to be "on" anymore. I am not being fake but the truth is I am always this close to tears....Yep I started crying AGAIN! then HE STARTS CRYING...Fucking hell...I am telling this 25 year old about the pain of loosing a child. He is sweet and says, "I don't see you as being "poor Renel" I really admire your strength, because I don't think I would be able to come to work and function like you do." Eyeieie....I guess it was just one of those weeks...but I still wish my husband could ask how I was doing, instead of the 25 year old aide haha.

I'm hoping for a better week


  1. So sorry to hear what you've been going through... so hard to see someone who is where you should be and in those circumstances at work. My heart goes out to you with your every word. Sounds like your work colleagues are lovely... must make a difference that they're are sensitive to your loss. Love to you always xoxo

  2. I so just had one of these days today. Tears all day long, prickling at the corner of my eyes every moment just threatening to roll down my check, and on multiple occasions they did! I think they were started by weekend visits to heavily pregnant friends... as you say - that should be ME.

    My heart's with you Renel - I know how much it just sucks all the time, and sometimes its just too hard to keep that facade in place. Yay for good work colleagues - glad you have some good allies to help you battle those really hard days.

  3. Oh Renel. If it helps I've been a 'disaster' at work too, too many times to count! I'm glad you have some good colleagues to help you through and who understand. Your conversation with the aide made me cry for some reason, I think it is just because is symbolises the kindness that you sometimes receive from unexpected quarters (when 'expected' quarters like husbands for instance(!) don't want to hear about it)
    I've also had those duna-duna moments, the first day I went back to work a lady came in who had just had her baby (this was one year after the twins were born) and he'd had some feeding difficulties. She then proceeded to tell me about how traumatic it was for her as he'd had an NG tube for TWO DAYS! Oh my. Some situations almost seem to be designed to freak us the "F" out. Hope this week is better xo

  4. Oh, I feel your pain. I absolutely hate crying in front of other people. It's the worst! When we first had our loss I cried all the time in public. I don't work at the moment so it was much easier to run and hide somewhere. I can only imagine how hard it must be to have to hold it together for the sake of your patients and colleagues.

  5. Must be something in the air. I've been a basket case all week myself. I'm so glad that you have supportive and understanding co-workers. I wish so much that the people around me in my day to day life would be a little more understanding. Hoping that tomorrow is an easier week for you. sending big hugs and love. xo

  6. Oh, honey. I am so sorry. Some days all of that grief comes rushing in, and we are just lucky to make it through the day. I know what you mean about the husband. At some point, my husband would just nod and say, "Oh." And not really know how, or frankly want, to deal with the grief of my daily life. Like when I cried about story time shenanigans. Sending you love. xo

  7. So sorry Renel. I feel you, girl. I've had many days where I spent at least half an hour crouched in the handicapped stall at work, bawling. Somedays all the crying in the world won't get it out, and you're just verging on tears all day. XO

  8. I'm so sorry :( I had to start driving to school (instead of taking the bus) last week because I wasn't keeping it together enough to count on being fit for public at the end of the day.

  9. Oh this made me laugh and cry. Mormons are SO FREAKING NICE. It's true. They really are. I seriously had to drag my husband therapy and say things like, "When I cry, I need you to hug me." because he could not handle me having all these emotions that he couldn't fix. They made him feel so overwhelmed and helpless (he finally admitted in therapy) that he just shut down and left me feeling completely alone.

    One time someone told me that every time I cry is one less time I'll have to cry again. I just stared at her because that made no sense to me when I felt like my tear ducts were bottomless. I still resist the language of "healing" when it comes to grief, but I do think it's true. Pain demands a release, even at inconvenient times. But when you let it go, that's a little less pain that you're holding inside. It doesn't make your loss easier, but it makes your daily life maybe a little easier.

  10. I'm sorry it was such a hard week. I've been there too, on the verge of tears all day and then losing it at work. I'm glad your coworkers were supportive--it is surprising sometimes when unexpected people say or do things that are more supportive than those close to us.
    I know the big picture still feels dark, but I hope the little things this week feel a little better!

  11. The freaking meltdowns. Gah. ah. ah.

    I appreciated you loving Mormons. ;)

    Also, I totally relate to those friends trying to console you by telling you how ugly that chick's daughter is. It doesn't really help much, but it is appreciated. I have people tell me this all the time about a chick I know who had a kid with her boyfriend and lives at home with mom & dad. And MY kid died?

    Feeling your pain. Sometimes the tears just have to come at the expense of us looking pretty weak and lame. This BLM business is freaking hard.

  12. Teeheehee. The nice Mormons. I sometimes feel like I need a travel Mormon to keep me propped up throughout the day.

    I'm so glad your coworkers are generous of spirit--it makes such a difference.

    On the husband front--yeah. Somedays, I wish I had a wife ;)

    Lots of love to you, friend!

  13. My husband likes to tell me to stop worrying. My sweet man, there's a difference between worrying and sadness.
    I'm sorry your week sucked so hardcore, it does seem to be going around. Here's hoping for a better week for us all.

  14. Oh that sweet 25 year old boy.. I'd like to give him AND his mamma a hug. And you of course.. I am so sorry that we know days like this- so much a part of our new reality. I am thinking of you... xo

  15. I hope you have a better week, too! I often find myself in tears after people ask what happened or when they tell me they're sorry or when I think about how much I would have loved to show Molly the world....Okay, so I'm just simply often in tears, period.

    Love to you. xo

  16. Wow, I'm so glad you have such great co workers to support you. I know it has probably been good for you, but I cannot imagine going back to work after this... I work from home and often said that I wasn't "fit for public" and sometimes I still am not, so I commend you.

  17. It is so hard to keep your game face on for so long... Unfortunately, there are going to be wobbles. I've certainly had a fair few - and it makes me feel so embarrassed and weak and vulnerable and I absolutely hate it. But I'm so glad / relieved you have such understanding co-workers. I hope that things improve (and that the woman proudly showing off her baby NEVER comes back to your clinic!)

  18. Sorry you had a rough day. Sometimes they come out of nowhere. It's still really hard for me to see or interact with women who were pregnant at the same time I was. Now their babies are all big and starting to walk and just growing, and mine is still dead :(

  19. I'm hoping for a better week for you too. It's been a hard one for me too. God, I'm sorry, Renel, that you have to go through this.

  20. I got a good laugh out of your mormon comment - because really, they are so damn nice!

    I hope that the rest of your week has been going better. Sometimes I feel like the spiral downward is unavoidable. Because one bad thing happens, so why not the next and the next, etc.

    And you're right - it should have been you. I hate that it wasn't

    1. Oh love, some days just blindside you. So glad you had some good people around you. And your husband buying you pajamas - very cute. Thanks for your lovely message over at mine - I'm all okay, just finding it hard to have time to blog. xxxxh

  21. I'm going back to work next week and I feel like everyone is expecting me to be alright all of the time. I'm so sorry you had a really hard day but it helps to know it is perfectly normal if I break down at work and hopefully my colleagues will understand. Think it will blow their minds though - I used to be a tear trickles down my cheek kinda girl but since losing my little boy I am now a howling snot all over face on my knees sobbing mess if I get upset. It usually only last a few minutes now but I look a total STATE after....note to self: buy waterproof mascara and extra makeup to take to work for next week. Sending you a hug
    Claire xx


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