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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, January 20, 2013

The Profound Things We See

Have you seen the movie "The Words" with Bradley Coo.per? I'd been wanting to see it ever since it came out, but I never go to the movies. No one told me that someone's baby dies in the movie. It isn't the main theme but it is an essential component. How is a baby's death anything ever but an essential component? You see, the main character pretends to write a novel that he found. The novel was written by a man after his daughter dies. At one point Bradley Coo.per asks the man who is now old....what happened ie. to writing, to his marriage, to him etc... the old man replies "life happened".

I am watching a movie about a family inextricably broken by the death of their child. They are so shattered that their marriage falls apart. The old man says he had always imagined his wife being desperate and broken after their split but than he recalls accidentally seeing her several years after they separated, he was on a train and she on the platform. She was with another man and they had a child. He said she actually looked happy.

She had her rainbow baby and the man had never been able to move on, or rather, forward. I don't think either one of them was unscathed...she just found a way to try and find happiness in a way he never really could. He spoke of finding a sort of peace. This is something I haven't come to. I think it is much too early in my process. I'm too close to Camille's death. I am still broken, wondering, floundering, flailing, angry, sad, missing.

This was a really good movie. I actually really enjoyed it. It is strange to watch something like your life play out before you on the screen. But here's the thing....It's only a good story when you're watching it on film or reading it as fiction, not when it is your own tragedy, unfolding before you with no ability to change the words or know the outcome beyond what has already played out. The long nights staring out into the night time sky, the stars that no longer hold the luster they once did. The days spent wondering of the other path, the one more often traveled it seems by almost everyone but you. The path that leads to complete families and no dead children. The pleasentville neighbors and their hidden demons that couldn't hold a candle to your pain. The sidelong glances at the families who have the right number and matching genders of the children you gave birth to but are not represented by the number of bagels ordered at the cafe.

Camille is not my tragedy, her death was.
"Life happened"
Death happened
and my life kept going.
(and so besides the movie details that don't match up to mine exactly)
I find myself on that train station platform
with my husband, son and my rainbow baby girl.
My past can not be changed or rewritten.
I can only watch it, like the train, moving father away from me.
I hope for happiness
maybe someday... a measure of peace
but  I know the missing will never go away.

Friday, January 4, 2013

My Peaceful Place

Last year on New Years Eve day and New Years day we were outside, We also conceived Harlow.
What a difference 1 year makes....A whole baby....living and everything.

This year we were in Santa Cruz and once again we were outside. I think it is a good way to end and start a year, being in a space and place that makes your soul feel more at peace. We went to the beach and although it was slightly chilly, it was beautiful, radiant, clear, fresh and it felt really good. 

A beautiful winter day at the beach

The Boy

All my babies together...if only in a photo

Camille would have turned 1.5 on the 30th of December. I can imagine her walking around on the beach all blond and tiny and I just miss her so much. 18 months of missing...

Harlow turned 4 months on the December 31st. here she is at midnight!
The next day we went to Fall Creek state park. I grew up on Fall Creek road, yeah really.... with a creek and redwoods in my back yard, a horse pasture across the street and the street dead ended at the state park! WOW! I spent my entire childhood running around those woods. Ferns, moss and water, mushrooms, redwoods, thick dark soil, leaves and that woody smell of all things natural.

I strapped Harlow onto me and our family trekked into the very chilly woods. The overgrowth of forest makes for very cold winter conditions, wet and slippery. I can not tell you the joy that fills my heart when I get to see Kai exploring the woods I grew up in. Jumping and climbing, finding sticks and toadstools. This is my peaceful place. I am not religious but in the woods and nature is where I feel my most spiritual.

Isn't this just beautiful


leaf skeleton

Me and two of my babies
When I hold my breath under water, I walk across this log in my mind.
Holding my breath is the ONLY thing I can beat Daryl at...
2 min and 52 seconds is my record.
The boys, hands in pockets...It was really cold.

There is a poem that my friend has on her wall. Now it resonates with me on a whole new level. I read it everyday, multiple times a day. This poem fits my state of mind and brings me to a place of calm.

The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

-Wendell Berry

The forethought of grief....oh man. I have such a hard time with this. The worry of what if... I worried about death of those I loved before Camille died, now it is a haunting that I have to consciously stop thoughts about. To be in a peaceful place where I feel calm and relaxed is just what my soul needs. I have to go to these places in my mind since I can't be there physically all the time.
another day on a hike overlooking the ocean
2012 was filled with hope for a rainbow baby. I worked for Harlow like nothing I have ever worked for.
 I hope in 2013 to regain some fragments of who I once was....I hope for rays of sunshine to pour into my soul and help warm the cold parts of my heart.