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.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

What A Difference A Month Can Make

I was on a walk this morning with just the small baby. I was thinking to myself... Who am I anymore? I really don't know. I have lost all concept of who I am currently. I can tell you very clearly who I used to be or who I have been in the past...but now I am only a mother.

I lost so much with Camille's death, Many of the things I loved left too.
I could list them: Athlete, reader, chef, driven career woman....I am non of those things....I am interested in them but non of them define me anymore. My main focus is keeping my children alive which is no small task when viewed from the eyes of those who have failed at that job.

I did cry while I walked because I don't even know if it is a choice...or if these things are gone like my daughter is...not by choice.

It is hard bumbling through life, so unlike "me" whoever that is. I liked having an "identity" or being so "_______"
a statement like "that is so Renel"

I can't even do that and I live in my skin. I accidentally made a peanut butter and jam sandwich the other day and found it the next day inside the bag of bread....fucking hell, I know I am functioning on less sleep, working, not blogging and not going to therapy....those combine into a morning walk with tears for sure. Sometimes I try and test myself to see where I stand... How am I without a month of therapy, a month of not blogging. Well not great. I need them both but I have little time with work and babies and realistically the lack of sleep is very dysfunctional.

I am trying to lose weight so I can regain some semblance of self...will I find who I was or a whole new me? I kind of wonder...will it be an epiphany or will I wake up someday living a completely different life and wonder how I got there. Nothing seems particularly conscious and that feeling is not a good one. Sometimes autopilot is necessary but I wish I had more direction.

Sleep...I need a lot of it and am getting very little. I think to myself: I put a sandwich back into the bag with bread and I am working on people's broken hurt bodies at work....EEEEGADS! the lack of sleep is affecting my relationship with D. Short fused and short on patience. No one else can need me right now. I have nothing to give anyone. I am all used up. I try and remind myself that this is short lived. I will get more sleep soon. I never take it out on the baby. I know better, so everyone else gets the shrapnel of fatigue and exhaustion.

I remind myself:
We loved each other.
We loved each other so much that we had Kai.
We loved Kai so much we had Camille.
We loved Camille so much we had Harlow.
Where will our love lead us next?

Because sometimes I forget about my love for anyone but the babies. I feel like a Foo Dog standing guard over them, mouth open, teeth barred. But the fierceness does not need to be focused on all people. I have to remind myself: They are not the enemy.
I have to remind myself.
I am not sure who to blame anymore...I am too tired to figure it out...and so I lash out at anyone who gets within striking distance. I have no patience for you I say. My heart is still bleeding behind my love armor.

The truth is: I cried almost everyday in the month of January. I don't really know why. Maybe my return to work and taking Harlow to daycare has me all emotionally taught. Trying to find the balance between working a job I love and being away from my baby....it makes me want to vomit. I hate working even though I like being there....I hate being away from her. I trust no-one. No matter if Harlow is in good hands, they are not mine. I have the best of both worlds. I have a great job with a fabulous schedule, I make good money, Harlow is up the street. UGH I just want to be home to have her nap on my chest.

Kai turned 4 years old last week. He is giving me a run for my money. Smart kids do this. He doesn't throw fits, he will rationally discuss with me the reasons for his disobedience or bad choices. It is exhausting. He is brilliant and funny, loving and sweet and stubborn, obstinate and loquacious with words. I know his vocabulary stems from me. He can talk you into the ground. I tune out. I feel guilt for wanting just a little quiet. I love him. He is so grown comparatively to the not quite 2.5 year old that carried my heart on his shoulders when Camille died. He is mine and not mine at all. I remind him that I grew him. He loves to hear stories of things I did with him while he was in my belly...like a far away adventure novel. He knows 50 site words and loves to read what he can. He isn't even in preschool. He has a kind heart that oozes out onto our meditation floor. He says he has 2 sisters and that he loves them both and it makes me love him even more... and when I see him giving his sister kisses and parroting in a high pitched voice what he hears me say to her, or to watch Harlow shriek with laughter because her brother is just SO funny... my heart swells with love for him.

So this past month we got the plague and recovered, I went back to work and put Harlow in daycare, Kai turned 4 and I have loved bigger and missed more. It seems a lot for a month.


  1. That is a lot. Be gentle on yourself. I have lost a lot of my definition since losing Georgie, and even since having Davey. I know exactly what you mean about other things falling away because you are focused so damn hard on keeping that baby alive. It exhausts me too.

    It gets me to the point where I'm like a Foo Dog against my own husband.

    On those days, I remind myself to find someone I trust (there are three) to watch Davey during the day so Dave and I can get away and breathe together and just spend time together. That helps a lot.

    You and I are both mama bears. And have every right to be. But we have to be careful about protecting those we love from the fallout of that sometimes.

    Hoping you get a little rest. Try to nap on Saturday or Sunday and let hubs is with Harlow. That's what I do, because nighttime is sleeping gets knocked out by the constant fear most of the time.

  2. What a month you have had...hang in there. I know it is so hard to juggle "life" in general let alone the "new" life we were chosen to live when we lost our little ones.

    My hubby and I are having our issues as well for the first time ever, and the reality is when you are exhausted and tired it is hard to do everything. I think they sometimes forget that because we are supposed to be superwoman...damn problem is grief still lingers and sucks what little energy we have at the worst possible times. Keep your head up...sounds like you guys need a little family vacation.

    BTW- the amount of germs being passed around my house is iNSANE...we have had the plague go through twice...living nightmare for Mommy!!!

  3. Thank Goodness I'm not the only one who feels like no one else can keep Grace safe the way I am.. The way my husband expects me to, yet I feel he isn't doing it "quite right". It's hard to do it all and something has to give- just hate that it's us, you know? :/

    Kai is such a special boy. I love him.

  4. I love wondering where your love will bring you next. I wonder the same for my family.

    Oh that Kai. He is an amazing boy becuase his parents enabled him to be so. The more you share about him, the more even I love him! :)

    Let those tears come. Along with them there is always some healing, even if it doesn't feel like it at the time.

  5. "My main focus is keeping my children alive which is no small task when viewed from the eyes of those who have failed at that job."

    I totally get the statement above. I feel I have failed at that job too...and, in a way, I am waiting to fail again...I want to write those words in tiny print (like a whisper) but not possible in comments.

    Regarding losing weight please buy Trim Healthy Mama by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett. It's been really good for me. I only gained 5 lbs this pregnancy and I am almost 34 weeks. I am not bloated (except in the belly department) and everyone says I'm looking really good. Which could mean that my eyes aren't puffy and red or any number of things but I know I'm feeling better (physically) this pregnancy than any other, and this is my fifth. Emotionally, not so good. But physically, great. And that is at least something...I guess the proof will be in the pudding when baby is born (hopefully alive) and the weeks following the birth.

    It was so nice to get a post from you. I've missed you.

  6. Sending you big love my dear friend. There is a lot in here to wade through, but all of it familiar.

  7. "I feel like a Foo Dog standing guard over them, mouth open, teeth barred."

    So true. I feel like I live in fight or flight, and too often, my teeth are barred and I am ready to shed blood.

    I woke up this morning in such a similar puzzle - who am I anymore? I don't even recognize my internal landscape, and here I am, throwing around knives and swords and weapons like I even know what I'm doing, where I'm going, or how to use any of it. And from an objective standpoint, life is pretty good, isn't it? You have your beautiful family and your great career! But I totally get it. Most of the time I feel like my.life.just.sucks. But how can I feel that way? I have so many things that I've dreamed about and more.

    Try to find some time to just take care of yourself. Massage? Acupuncture to relieve stress? A nap? Be gentle with yourself, my friend <3 It's good to hear from you <3

  8. yes, renel, yes - all of this.

    I thought of you the other night, because we had roast potatoes for dinner. The next night, I found the leftover potatoes. Not in the refrigerator. They were in their glass leftover container that I packed them into when we were done with dinner - and apparently put back into the cupboard that holds the glass leftover containers. wth.

    I keep wishing Fresno was just a little little little bit closer to Oakland so we could take walks together.


  9. The thought of leaving my 3 year old to work makes me want to hyperventilate. It's like I have to be there for every minute of her life to help with the pain of all the moments I'll never have with my Tinies.

    The nurse warned me, just as we were leaving the hospital with our first loss, how different men and women handle this kind of thing. She said numerous times to be gentle and understanding with each other. I didn't really get it then, but she was so very right.

  10. I don't much like to give into the thought process that our lives have been planned and all that... because to think that when I was born, I was predestined to have a dead baby? I can barely breathe thinking about it.

    But Kai. That boy most definitely was your perfect fate. While losing Camille is undoubtedly impossible for your heart, Kai sure did carry your heart on his shoulders. He just has no idea how perfectly made he is.

    I loved reading that chain of events: We love each other. So we had Kai. Loved Kai, so we had Camille...

    It's beautiful. And those babies we crave to hold? They are just another representation of our love and it's hard to believe we cannot hold them and that dream.

  11. Xo I am thinking of you, I too dont want to leave Severus for a second, I feel so worried all the time that something may happen. I also over anaylize everything now like I have to do it all perfect, I hope you get rest soon ps my computer is fritzing and I cant type alot or correct on this iphone, hence also why i havent commented or posted much lately

  12. I've been thinking about this and you and your family for two days and I wanted to write something in response, but I am tired and I can't seem to come up with the words. Sending love.

  13. Renel that is all so much to deal with at once. This much is true, though: you will get more sleep at some point and feel so much better. Never 100% better because we never get that again, but so much better with more sleep. Hugs to you.

  14. I find myself with a split personality that will never meet up again. The Before and After, no longer whole, but completely here.


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