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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, April 22, 2012

The List of Scary

My mind is full of all kinds of things...this last week has been really hard for me. In all honesty I know I am on edge awaiting my next perinatology appointment and ultrasound. This anxiety rolls over into all aspects of my mind. Trying to talk myself down off "the cliffs of insanity" with: "breathe in love, breathe out stress" only works so well. I figured maybe if I write them down they will have less power over me.

1.  I went off my antidepressant...lets just get that one out there to start with. I was taking 1/2 of the lowest dose for the last couple months. Then I forgot to take it one night so I just decided to stop taking it....
I have been a hot mess but there are ALL kinds of reasons that I could be exceptionally emotional.

2.  I read Brooke's blog post and it sent me into a total tailspin (not her fault) it was just a huge trigger. A trigger because I am easily triggered and remember...I'm on edge. I remember like anyone whose baby has died inside of them, that terrible horrific feeling, the one where you push and nudge and plead for movement but nothing comes...NOTHING...
The night I read that post I sat on my bed and sobbed, sobbed and felt like I did in the early days after Camille died. I felt dizzy and lost and beyond sad.
I JUST MISS HER SO MUCH....ALL THE TIME. It doesn't go away. I went downstairs and told D how I was feeling. He rubbed my back and told me I should try and stay positive...That just pissed me off. No comfort there. I can't be positive when I am sad. I feel like I do such a good job most of the time. Enjoying my life, loving, living, hoping, laughing...but I AM SAD too. Here is the other thing: I AM SCARED.

3. I took my second AFP test last week and that stressed me out.

4. I worked 8:30 to 5:30 on Thursday with no lunch and no break and when I do mobilizations I wonder if it is too jerky on the baby.

5. I got a cold and that concerns me....because I AM SCARED.

6. I have only gained 5 pounds so far. I rationalize this with the fact that I started my pregnancy 20 pounds overweight, but I rationalized a lot of things like lack of movement with Camille...so it worries me. My stomach is getting bigger. The doppler reads 135 - 155 bpm, BUT I don't have an appointment until Tuesday.

7. Here is a BIG HUGE ONE: D got a new job last week...or lets say he is in the process of getting a new job. D has his graduate degree in administration and he's had it for several years. He got a job right after Camille died signed a contract etc...and then we got into that horrific car accident. He went through the whole process of un-interviewing and going back to his old job in the classroom and coaching. He decided to pursue it again and he got a vice principle job this last week or rather he is their "recommended candidate" and has three more interviews next week. I am happy for him. He stepped down from the last position for our family and now I think this will be good for him....BUT it just so happens that his last interview is with the Superintendent at the same exact time as our BIG ultrasound at children's hospital. He cannot change the meeting time. I tried to change my appointment but they didn't have anything until after the window of gestational age bracket for this ultrasound. I tried to explain the situation but it made no difference. I CAN NOT GO ALONE! So I called my BFF and doula who has been there through both of my births and held and kissed both of my children and she will drive from Santa Cruz for the ultrasound with me...THANK GOODNESS...because I AM SCARED and I am going to be a wreck.

I keep thinking that if I could just get through this next week. If everything looks good, maybe I can BELIEVE a little more, breathe a little easier. I am short tempered and quick to tears. I recognize that this is a sign of my stress, my lack of control and my investment in our family, our future, and this baby. I recognize that I am still entrenched in my grief and I will spiral into depths of despair (dear Anne of Green Gables) at any given moment. I am just hoping that somehow all of this turns out positively. Everything about my pregnancy with Camille was perfect, normal, uneventful...until she was dead. I still don't know how a perfectly healthy baby just dies. So now when they run tests on me and say...everything looks totally normal... it gives me little consolation except that I am so glad that it is normal....Sigh.

SOOOOO there it is...many of my worries written down and sent off into the universe or at least blogland. Hoping that it can turn into bright white lights and the stress that is removed will leave my soul open for more love and peace....at least that is what I would say to my son if we were in our meditation space.
"Good loving thoughts, good loving words, good loving feelings"


  1. Some timing on that appointment! You will have wonderful people it seems.

    You have tons of support in our community... I hope you know that. It's not much consolation as triggers will be there now and forever. It's totally not fair.

    I have to think and tell myself (as I did during B's pregnancy) that despite my incredible fear, the majority of babies in the world are born healthy AND alive. We can't be on the bad end of a very slim statistic every time, ya know? Not much consolation, but thinking incredibly positive thoughts for you and this babe.

  2. I have no advice. Only loving thoughts and hopes for comfort, a respite from the intense stress and a healthy baby!

  3. Right there with you, and waiting for my first ultrasound then comes the one at the childrens hospital. Worry, worry, breathe yes, breathe .sigh. Sending love

    1. Michelle. I hope your first ultrasound goes well. This will be my third but it is the anatomy scan and so I am always nervous about this one. Thanks for the love.

  4. I blogged out my scary thoughts and feelings too. While it didn't make them go away, it did help, plus i got lots of support. I am just as anxious for your scan as you--but excited and hopeful that everything will be perfect, even of we've heard that before. I am living proof you can get through this pregnancy, and as soon as you hold that new baby, you will be able to breathe bc at least that part of the stress will be behind you. Big hugs, and please keep us posted! And thank you for all of the comments--makes
    Me smile to know you care so much!!

  5. Everything you said rings so true...I believe i have written that same list before lol. I have found that the roller coaster never stops and with pregnancy hormones running through your body it seems to get extra hilly. Cry it out...i tried to control everything and it really took its toll on me. I finally said screw it and just let the emotion come at will (my poor family). So unlucky about the timing of your scan, but I will be excited to hear the good news of Camille's brother or sister. Keep it up Renel, you are doing such a wonderful job and like everyone else has said, it is soooo worth every once of anxiety, stress, and emotional trauma we experience the second time around the second they are out and in your arms.

  6. Oh Renel, I wish I had some advise. I hope to conceive again and carry longer than I was able to with Liam. I'm here, listening. I'm hoping for you and your little one. Sending good loving thoughts always. xx

  7. Like Brandy said, you have lots of support in this community, with those of us who "get it" and when you are freaking out and scared and worried, just know that it's TOTALLY OK. Because there are so many people who are hopeful and thinking positive for you when you just can't muster the strength to do it on your own.

    So much love to you and that little baby who we all can't wait to "meet"

  8. Your feelings are completely valid, Renel.
    You have earned every right to be scared sh!tless.
    sending you a big hug. xo

  9. Oh you poor love. What a rough week. Have you got some counselling support as you step down from the ADs? If not, maybe it is worth staying on that low dose for a little while just so you can deal with one challenge at a time?

    I'm with you on that trigger - I was in a similar state last tuesday after getting worried about Adzuki's movements the night before. Once you've been in that situation of not feeling a baby move and then having your worst fears confirmed, it is really hard to shake those little doubts.

    So glad your doula can go to the ultrasound with you - hope everything goes well with D's job.

    Sending lots of love and white light and squeezing your hand.

  10. Thinking of you with all my heart... you've been through so much and deserve a break from stress but I can imagine how hard that must be to do while pregnant after loss. Love your last paragraph... you've inspired me to do little meditations with our daughter - she loves them. Love to you all xoxo

  11. Scared is about right. Absolutely terrified I'm guessing.
    Here for you.

  12. I understand so well what you are feeling. It is so hard grieving and hoping all at the same time. We just want to see the light at the end of the tunnel but we know the end result isn't always what we expected. Hold on little one, your Momma needs you.

    Love to you my friend. I am keeping you in my thoughts. Can't wait for an update after your scan.

  13. If I had any idea how to get over the fear during a pregnancy after loss I'd share it with you. If you figure it out you can share it with me. Until then, we both just have to hang in there and take things one small step at a time. Sending hugs.

  14. Oh, sorry that my post was the trigger this time. Although, from my experience, if it hadn't been that, it probably would have been something else. I hope it helps to know that so many people share with you not just the grief and the hope but the sheer terror and make-you-want-to-puke fears that coincide with pregnancy after a loss. I know how hard it was/is to feel confident for myself, so I'm feeling confident for you instead.

    And I would definitely want to punch my husband if he told me to be positive.

  15. Oh my goodness - my husband had to make an emergency trip back east for family reasons and missed our big anatomy scan at 19 weeks and we couldn't reschedule either, and our doula came with me instead of him. I'm sorry you have the same. No fair to have added stress.

    It is simply too much to deal with all at once, and yet we deal with it. One day at a time. Thinking of you and sending strength.

  16. Like you said if you can just get through one week at a time then you can believe that this is real! One day one moment you can still believe! I am hoping and sending you good vibes for your husbands job and for your scan! Try to have postive thoughts, even though its so easy not too. Your amazing and doing a great job!

  17. I always think that too--I'm so grateful that everything is normal with this pregnancy, but then again, everything was normal with Kayla too, until her heart stopped. So there is no way I am "breathing a sigh of relief" until I hear a baby crying and breathing. But I am trying to embrace this pregnancy as much as I can without making myself hysterical. I keep telling myself time will pass one way or another and "most babies live." I hope your ultrasound gives you some (temporary) relief and assurance.

  18. It's really understandable that you're frightened--I can imagine (although I don't know, yet) how nerve-wracking any pregnancy after babyloss would be.

    I went off of my antidepressant as well, and it's been going okay. It's actually hard to tell--am I feeling slightly better, slightly worse? I think *maybe* I'm feeling a little bit better, but I also had a messy meltdown yesterday afternoon. Some molehill issue turned into the mountain of grief over losing Molly.

    I also relate about being told to "just stay positive" when you're feeling sad. It's not like we can shut off our feelings like a water tap or a computer. Not a droid here.

    I'm thinking about you and looking forward to an update after your appointment. I hope, hope, hope everything goes well, and you can have some fresh relief. I completely understand that the relief becomes stale after a while and needs to be renewed, though. In the meantime, we are all here, "holding" your hand. xo

  19. Terrifying. All of it. I am feeling you here, friend. But you can do it. Looking forward to hearing about your appointment. Sending lots of love, and wishing there was more I could do.

  20. Thinking of you Renel.
    I'm all sorts of worried with my new pregnancy and sure that my OB is already regretting taking me on as a client. I can't help but worry and over think and be scared. But sometimes I catch small, fleeting moments of hope and joy at my new pregnancy and I try to grip onto those amongst the mostly scary ones.
    I hope your scan goes well and so glad you have such a great support network ready to jump in when you need them... that is so important.
    xx Di

  21. Oh Renel, how can a person function daily with such stresses and emotions? Try to survive this week. Take it day by day, week by week, nothing more.

  22. PS. I’ve nominated you for a ‘One Lovely Blog’ Award via http://newyearmum.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/one-lovely-blog-award.html xoxo

  23. I come to your blog to read what I can't express. There was nothing wrong with our Avery until she was dead at 37 weeks and 4 days. At first I was desperate to be pregnant right away, and now I am scared. I am scared of morning sickness, I am afraid I will live through the hell of hyperemesis gravidarum again and have no baby at the end of it. I am afraid I won't be attached or love my next baby. I am afraid, I am scared. I know how you feel.

  24. I'm here breathing in and out and wishing I could hold your hand. I can only imagine the stress, and wondering if my own wanting and hoping is worth it. Your little rainbow has already opened my heart to the miracle (!) of conception, and I'm already attached to him or her, too. Crossing fingers and toesxoxoxo


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