About Me

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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.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Go Out Of Town And Take A Deep Breath

Friday we headed to San Francisco. D is a big Yankees fan and they were playing the Oakland A's so we decided to make a weekend of it. It was the best time I have had in San Fran in a long time.

I grew up in Santa Cruz and I have spent A LOT of time in San Francisco and still don't know my way around. We haven't spent the weekend in SF in a while and it was fun in a totally new and different way with a three year old. There were a lot of firsts this weekend. D got to see the Yankees for his first time, he had awesome seats and he got to see them do batting practice while Kai and I stayed back at the hotel.

We stayed at the Westin St Francis. We have stayed there before but this time we got a SWEET upgrade to a suite. It overlooked union square and the central light fixture was a chandelier, which made me want to upgrade all of the lighting in my house except that we need all the ceiling fans that we have. It was a very large room, big enough to play some baseball in :)

View of Union Square


That first day we rode on a trolley/cable car and Kai was so excited. We rode down through North Beach and than back to union square. I really enjoyed listening to the trumpet player who set up right down on the corner on union square while I relaxed on the bed and Kai went to sleep.

Yeah...pretty excited!

The next day Kai had some more firsts...We rode the BUS! whoohoo! who knew it was so much fun. I guess no car seat and all the people getting on and off is a total blast when you are three. We rode it down to the Presidio and walked along the Palace of Fine Arts which is really amazing. We spent the next couple of hours at the Exploratorium. I have a lot of really great memories coming here with family, friends and field trips. I think it might be a little better if you are older than 3, but Kai LOVED it. Kids can touch EVERYTHING. After a fun morning we went back for a much needed nap (well I needed one anyway)...once again we traveled via BUS (whoohoo!) Kai is very social and was asking fellow bus riders what kind of gum they were chewing and offering his opinion on different subjects- very entertaining.

First Bus Ride

Walking along the Presidio towards the Exploratorium


Perfectly good drinking fountain water...Kai would NOT drink it even after I demonstrated. The whole concept is that people have strong aversions to ideas in their mind...

Palace of Fine Arts

Later in the evening, after multiple requests, we rode the bus down to the Cow Hollow/Pacific heights area, to walk around and have dinner. We decided on The Brixton which is actually a fairly loud bar, but don't you know when people are drinking and the music is loud, 3 year olds who sing and clang silverware together go completely unnoticed :) For an appetizer we had bagel knots which were completely delicious! I totally thought of Brandy and wondered if I could recreate the deliciousness like she did.

out to eat (notice clanging utensils ready to use)

There was so much walking and exploring to be had this weekend. It was such a nice distraction with all of the anxiety and stress I had last week. We came home yesterday evening and it felt like we had been gone a lot longer. We spent a lot of money this weekend (mostly on food) and have no items to show for it except some great memories....which as you know, are never regrettable. Today we emptied our bank account on a new mattress and bedroom furniture...we are upgrading to a much needed king size bed. Yep we did that instead of a trip to Hawaii UGH! besides I can't fly after the middle of June anyway. (I'll post more about that when we actually get the bed sometime in JULY- geeze backorder!)

And since I married a guy who is constantly DOING things...he and Kai are currently pick axing the back yard to put in a gas line for a BBQ. Sigh...

All this is to say that it was a good weekend and today is a good day. I know this next month leading up to Camille's birthday is going to be really rough... and sometimes we just have to be thankful for the good days because we all know how bad the bad ones are.  Thank you for all of the love sent my way this last week.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Worry And Sadness and Fear Oh My

I had my perinatology appointment yesterday. I am just about 23 weeks pregnant. I met the other MD who I had not yet met. He was much more business like (a New Yorker...said with the accent fo sho) A die hard Yankees fan (my husband is also a Yankees fan - oh joy lets talk about it - UM NO!) He starts right in with "Any bleeding, any cramping, any ....? No... Good, those are all the right answers?" I was taken a back, wondering where my kind African accented doctor was but tried to just take this as fresh eyes. Everything on baby girl looks good (yup...still a girl) all her anatomy looks good. She is measuring in at 1 pound which is right on the mark BUT....she is measuring 4 days behind the expected due date. Okay you know I am totally perseverating on those 4 days. Last time she was 2 days behind. The doctor says there is no statistical difference between 2 and 4 days...totally unconcerned. He says growth and weight can not be really measured until around 25 weeks. I know I just have to wait, that I should just relax but I was up at 4 am, crying. What if my baby....choke sob suck air choke sob.

This new peri asked quick questions about Camille and my last pregnancy...no...no bleeding, no cramping, no excessive exposure to pesticides (does the unwashed apricot from the farmers market count?), gestational diabetes-no, hypertension-no, I took Naproxen 1x (did that kill her?-No), slowed movements reported at 37 weeks, ultrasound done, baby measuring 2.5 weeks small but within normal limits, no NST done, baby dies at 38 weeks. He says well it sounds to me like it may have been a placental attachment problem, it sounds like maybe your placenta stopped provided adequate nutrition...(My thought- Fucking hell my body starved my baby to death, like I don't have enough guilt over her death, like my other thought is please oh please don't tell me she died in pain, that she drown in her own amniotic fluid screaming for help I couldn't offer) ...see I'm crying again because it's just toooooo much to have your baby die inside you. If anything is really going to send you down the crazy road this is it. The truth is we will never know why Camille died. It is so unbelievably tragic.

We left the appointment and I started crying walking out to the parking lot. I am so sad Camille is dead and every appointment brings me face to face with the questions I and no one else has the answers to. I see my sweet baby girl kicking and moving and I feel it simultaneously (the ultrasound tech felt her kick too) which is such a miracle and I love her so much....but I worry. I worry about those 4 days that no one else worries about. there is NOTHING that could be done right now anyway...23 weeks is still the sit and wait time. I love Camille, I love this baby girl and both feel so out of reach, I have no control and it is tortuous. I wake at 4 am....I can not stop my mind. My heart aches for Camille, my worry for this new baby is exponential, I can not tell which one I am crying over...both I suppose, and so I roll over and kiss my boy and put my hand on him to feel his chest rise and fall with life and breath.

I am tired today, I cry and apologize for the hundred millionth time to Kai for being short on patience and try to explain to him that I am worried about this baby. He says "but the baby is okay in your tummy", and so I need to remind myself of this, because I do not trust my body. It betrayed me before. I ache already, my pelvis, my ligaments...third baby after giving birth 6 months before and boy can I feel it. I wonder if my bones are sad too.

I know that the pregnancy will only become more difficult with time. Today I needed someone to talk to and had no one, today I needed to cry on someones shoulder and had no one. Some days I manage it better than others, today is not one of those days.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Your Words Mean Nothing To Me

There is a woman who gave birth to her second daughter a few months after I gave birth to Camille. We were pregnant together, attended MOM's Club activities together and a few weeks after Camille was born she wrote me an email that was short and sympathetic in some way in which I can not remember. I do remember thinking that the email seemed a long time on coming and short on caring....

I see her at moms club events and kid birthday parties but we certainly are no longer friends. She has the audacity to complain of the difficulties of raising two children, sleep deprivation, decreased personal time etc...All while being VERY aware that my daughter died. I often have wanted to scream at her...CHECK YOUR FUCKING COMPANY LADY! because I guarantee you I under sleep that woman any night of the week and raising two children, even with its trials, will always be much, much, much easier than raising one when you SHOULD be raising two.

I saw her at the water park the other day. I am always cordial, and she was not with anyone else except her two daughters. I introduced her to my neighbors who where there with their children as well and invited her to different areas in the park if she wanted to join us. At one point when we were by ourselves she says "I wanted to say congratulations" in reference to my current pregnancy. I looked at her and said "well I certainly am not counting my chickens"...She said," Well I just had to say SOMETHING".

Funny...but her words mean absolutely NOTHING to me. If someone can not ask me even once to my face how I am doing, or ask about Camille. If she is not compelled in the last almost year to look at me and express sorrow for my loss, than she gets NO part in anything happy in my life. I wrote her off a long time ago. It wasn't difficult for me except I find her in my company so often. I do have to say that us being pregnant simultaneously lead me to believe that she would be of some comfort during my grieving...I have been wrong before.

There will be a lot of people surprised when they either receive a birth announcement or meet my daughter without ever knowing I was pregnant. You must be present in my grief to be a part of my life. Those are the rules....I made them up after my daughter died.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Well That Sucked!

I guess I just don't know how I am going to feel around holidays and birthdays, special events or otherwise trigger inducing activities.

This was my first mother's day without Camille. Last year I was VERY pregnant with her. Yes I have a living son and Yes I am pregnant...but my daughter is dead and that makes today very very sad. I felt it coming on, anxiety, short on patience, itchy in my soul.

Last night we went to a Grizzlies game, they are the farm team for the S.F. Giants baseball team so we get to see some up and coming players and sometimes they send down some pro players. Last year on mother's day we went to a game and the mamas and the kids got to run the bases after the game. Being gigantically pregnant I waddle-jogged after my almost 2.5 year old and was completely out of breath by home plate.
Just going to the game last night was hard for me. I cried on the way there. D asked what was wrong and I said "it's just supposed to be different".

Today my fabulous 3 year old woke up and gave me a kiss and said happy mother's day. He told me while I was getting dressed that he was glad that I was his mama. He said today is your day. I am so grateful for him. Really...it makes me sound so ungrateful... all these tears. I have a child, I am pregnant with another, but it does not negate my love and my loss.

It was 95 degrees here today and so we drove up to Shaver Lake to have a picnic. It was very nice of D and Kai to pack a picnic and all, but I just wasn't that into it. I wanted to be into it....the truth is I don't think much would have made the day okay for me. I cried at least 5 times today behind my sunglasses. I ended the day with a bang and went to Costco, got some gas, and ate some soup and mac n' cheese cuz that's how I roll. :)

I am so grateful, for my life, my son, my husband, the baby I am growing...but I miss Camille, and some days the missing seems to overshadow the gratefulness. They truly do reside together. Honestly it can be very confusing.

The view of My Boys in Shaver Lake 

I wish Camille was here to dip her toes into the water. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hope In The Form Of Jewelry

After reading Brooke's post entitled "Sparkle" I thought I would post about my jewelry. After Camille died I visited a website called Lisa Leondard Designs and saw a necklace, that I knew if I ever were to be lucky enough to get pregnant again, I would want to purchase. When I went back to purchase the necklace it was no longer available. So I contacted them and they said they could make the necklace for me as a special order (how super awesome yeah?). I was so pleased. It has a small piece of one of my favorite poems by Emily Dickinson on it which states: "Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul". It also has a pearl on it which is Camille's birth stone (stone? jewel? animal biproduct?). I wanted a tangible item that was close to my heart that would remind me to have hope, not just me telling myself to breathe over and over again. I really just love it.

Here is a photo of the necklace:

Here is the poem in entirety:

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

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Wishing Well

We went to the farmers market the other night. The weather was absolutely perfect. We were eating cherries and strawberries and walking around. Kai asked for a coin to make a wish in the fountain. I gave him a dime because they are lucky (I used to tape one to my shin guard during soccer games in college).
He went to the fountain and tossed it in. He came back and I said "I hope it was a good wish" and we started to walk. Kai says "I wished this baby would keep growing, and come home to live with us"...
It kind of took my breath away. It made me want to cry. That a three year old would wish for the same exact thing I would wish for, that he would wish for something so big and something so simple simultaneously. He didn't wish for the newest toy or a trip to an amusement park, but for a living breathing baby sibling. These are the moments when I realize, even more so than usual, just how desperately he wanted Camille, and misses her. He is no ordinary child, he has been shaped significantly by our family's loss. I just squeezed his little hand in mine and said "that is a really lovely wish, I sure do hope it comes true, I wish for the same thing all the time." And then we went to go look at the policemen on horses and we got some honey sticks and some corn on the cob. It was a good opening day of the farmers market.

These are the kinds of pictures we get sent home from day care. I know Kai thinks about Camille. Sometimes they are photos of our family with her in it, sometimes just her by herself, and this is the more recent one....the title they wrote when they asked him what he drew. They didn't give it to me for a while, but Kai asked me where it was and I told them that he is free to talk and draw and communicate in any form he wants to about his sister. I am just glad that he thinks of her. Like I said, It is his reality too. I sure do love my boy...and my girl. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


I was thinking about this word the other day...."Expecting"

The word implies a lot. When I was pregnant with Kai, I was expecting.
When I was pregnant with Camille, I was expecting.
Expecting implies entitlement.
Expecting implies that the outcome is inevitable.

ex·pect  (k-spkt)
v. ex·pect·ed, ex·pect·ing, ex·pects
a. To look forward to the probable occurrence or appearance of: expecting a telephone call; expects rain on Sunday.
b. To consider likely or certain: expect to see them soon. See Usage Note at anticipate.
2. To consider reasonable or due: We expect an apology.
3. To consider obligatory; require: The school expects its pupils to be on time.
4. Informal To presume; suppose.
1. To look forward to the birth of one's child. Used in progressive tenses: His sister is expecting in May.
2. To be pregnant. Used in progressive tenses: My wife is expecting again.

Now pregnant with this little girl, I am NOT expecting...I am not so bold as to assume.

I am hoping...HOPING.