"Edited to Add"....

This started as a pregnancy blog when I fell pregnant in May 2009 after four years of finding a donor, doing all the counselling / paperwork / tests and trying.

And now, thanks to a 4WD which skidded onto our side of the road, killing our baby daughter at 34w and injuring me, my partner and two of my stepdaughters on 27 December 2009, it has turned into something else. We didn't want this something else, but apparently it is all we've got to go on with.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bower bird

Your poems and thoughts are handwritten on bits of paper and stuck with stickytape to the shelves around my desk, radiating warmth and giving me a fierceness to face the dementors.  I feel like a bower bird, collecting shiny things and brightly coloured objects, building a little nest for hope to come home to.  Thank you so much for all these small gifts - already I feel stronger and braver and more able to look up from the asphalt and see all the good stuff around me.  

El Prima and I broke with routine last night and went to the Circus!  All human performers - such talented people.  It is so good to look up, and remember all the amazing things that are possible, even on a grey Melbourne Wednesday. 


  1. Oh, that is a lovely image. When I was last at Healesville sanctuary, a keeper let me give the bower bird my blue pen lid - he flew in and took it back to his bower! Such an honour.

  2. Dear Hanen,

    I found your blog a few days ago and have been reading a lot of it. I'm so sorry you lost your beautiful daughter and that you now have to go through these hard and trying times.
    The poem you posted on May 25th had me in tears the first time I read it and it had me in tears when I read it again today. I would really like to print it out, show it to my family and even send it to some friends who have also lost a baby. However, I don't want to do any of the above unless it's okay with you. As you point out here, you have copyright and perhaps more importantly, it is such a personal poem about something so dear to you heart. So I hope you could let me know what's okay with you. If you don't want to go into the whole copyright-thing here, but would like to react, you can reach me at merelhutten(at)hotmail.com.
    I became a mother myself this winter. After a happy and healthy 40-week pregnancy, our beautiful son was born, stayed with us for one magical week and then died in our arms. This spring I was pregnant again, but it turned out to be ectopic. Although this was in no way comparable to losing our son, it was hard to find ourselves on the wrong side of luck again. Your post about your pregnancy not being molar sounded familiar (although I don't claim to understand any of the extra stress and anxiety brought about by IVF procedures). When my ectopic pregnancy was gone, we were like "hurrah, it's gone and I didn't need surgery, just very light chemo". Well hurrah.. it should have been "hurrah, it's a healthy pregnancy". Or even more so: "hurrah, our son didn't die". Still, I'm happy that this second pregnancy didn't turn out in the worst possible way it could.
    These last six months I've been thinking a lot about what happens when you die and where my baby went or could have gone. I don't believe in the whole angel thing and though reincarnation feels more plausible to me, I get kind of pissed off thinking some other couple wil have a healthy baby with my baby's soul and they would get to be with him for the rest of their lives (this is probably a much too mundane way to think about it, but that's how it feels to me). That's why I love your poem so much. The ideas and images you describe in it are beautiful, heartbreakingly sad and comforting at the same time. It just makes sense to me both in a spiritual and physical way.
    I apologise for this ridiculously long comment. Let's just say you struck a chord.

    Merel (from Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

  3. I love your metaphor of the bower bird, and I'm glad you were able to collect some shiny beetle wings here. The circus sounds wonderful. I forget how much fun they can be.

  4. Hanen, would you consider emailing me an address that I can send you something? I know the feeling of needing to surround yourself with beautiful things and reminders that there is a way out of the pit.