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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, September 7, 2012

1 Week

It has been 1 week since Harlow was born. It doesn't feel like that long. I have wanted to post, but not having a computer except when my husband gets home from work makes it difficult.
 There is so much that goes on in my mind and in my heart over the last week. clipettes and snippets of thoughts tangential and repetitive. lack of sleep for both good and bad reasons and hormonal crashing lends itself to places of baby highs and grief lows. I am over the moon in love with Harlow, that she is here and in my arms is almost baffling. All those months of anguish and anxiety, and then bam it is like I can be walking up the stairs and all of a sudden I will think, Oh my gosh my baby is in my arms...how did I get here, when did this happen. It feels very surreal at times. I look at my second daughter and can see my first, she looks so much like both of my other children, this makes me smile and also makes my heart ache. How does this girl get to live when my other did not?

This week has had its moments of anxiety, the other type of sleep deprivation that is not the happy kind, the up at night because I am nursing is the blissful happy kind. The other, the one where I am worried because tomorrow Harlow would be 38 weeks of gestation if she was still inside me, that after tomorrow she will be forever older than her sister. I know there is nothing cursed about the 38th week and yet I find myself worrying. Harlow was 3oz heavier than Camille at birth and a little more than a week earlier to be born. Now Harlow weighs 5#2oz and weighs less than Camille. that worries me. I know it won't be a forever kind of comparison. When I look at Harlow my heart is filled with joy and love and gratefulness. But this week is tricky with its numbers and continues to play on my mind. The lack of sleep doesn't help. People kindly point out the necessity of sleep. I recognize the importance but guess what? If you don't know what it is to lose a child than those words are lost on me. That I would sleep willingly in the hospital while hooked up to a fetal monitor is ridiculous.  I would stare at the strip until my eyes were blurry with fatigue and my body put my mind out of its misery as I dozed here and there. After Harlow was born, people would say that I should get rest, the baby can go to the nursery...I am sorry but that baby was not to be out of my sight. My friend slept over in the hospital room and watched the baby sleep so I could feel safe trying to rest, but every squeak the baby made my eyes would open. This is the life of a mama on full guard. I got home and sleep was difficult because I had to watch her, make sure she was real, that she didn't try and slip away as I slipped into sleep. Camille died while I was sleeping, I know what it is to wake and have the world be upside down. Sleep is a place where things can be taken away from you against your will. I know they are different babies, different pregnancies. But...

Today was a hard day. I cried a lot today. I know I am crashing off my hormone baby high. I miss Camille. I wish Harlow fixed that hole in my heart. But the weird part or the natural part of love is that your heart grows to accommodate, and the love I have for all my children fit neatly into this compact beating structure. The gaping hole left where my guts were torn out when Camille died does not get neatly mended with a little pink ribbon upon the arrival of my second daughter. Certainly more happy, more relieved and over joyed with Harlow here. A sigh of relief that I made it through the treacherous war zone of pregnancy after loss....but holy shit the pain is just still there. The missing is just still there. Not more or less. I wasn't focused on my grief at the end of my pregnancy. All my effort went into trying to focus on positivity for this baby girls safe arrival. Now she is here and I pass the shelf where Camille's picture is along with her ashes and some other items and I stop. I hold Harlow close to me, I look at Camille's picture and think of the crazy resemblance of my two daughters. Would they have been friends, would they have been similar people? The tears come and I just sit with that sadness, the sadness that will be in me forever....And than Harlow will take a giant squirty poop with a squished up face and I will laugh and focus on the alive, beautiful little girl in front of me.

So much joy and love, tangled up in the crazy and the sad.

Here are some magnificent photos of my precious beautiful little daughter Harlow Karrington Katoch (Kay-Tosh) in case you were wondering how to pronounce it :) I just love her name.
The Blue Moon on Harlow's Birthday

Birth Plan..I kept staring at this all day

Harlow is here

I grew this foot


All Squished Up-Hey who took me out of the hot tub?

My big baby~I love him so much!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Once In A Blue Moon Baby

I know many of you have been waiting for my update. Our daughter Harlow Karrington Katoch was born on August 31st at 1:04pm. She is 5# 8oz abd 18 inches. Born at 36 weeks 6 days of gestation. I can't figure out how to post pictures on blogger from my phone so that will have to wait until I am home with a computer. I feel so relieved and happy that she is here and alive. She is breathing well, nursing and trying to figure out how to be outside her hot tub. She looks just like Kai and Camille. I have had amazing nurses who laugh and cry with me and some of my nurses from my birth with Camille. A nurse I had the night before Harlow was born is a baby loss mama herself. She lost twin sons at 24 weeks 8 years ago. We got to talk about our children and have a good cry. I feel like Camille's memory is respected and loved while Harlow is welcomed into the world and that feels right. I also am pretty stoked she was born on a blue moon. That feels magical. I have so much to say and I can hardly see straight from no sleep so I hope what I wrote is coherent. Thank you for all the love and support. It means more than I could ever express. My rainbow baby is here and I am so happy about that. What a long hard fought journey to get here. I will write soon and post pictures. One more night here and than home tomorrow. I love my family of five that is missing one. Tears of love and loss intermingled.