"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.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


You know that fresh, clean bit of the new year, when it really feels like ages until you have to go back to work?  When you really do think this is the year you will get organised and do all those little things that need to be done?  Yep, well that bit is definitely gone.  And I'm afraid that all the blog posts that were on my list of things to be done have evaporated into thin air - chewed up by the busy weeks organising and then staffing at a summer camp for the girls. 

The camp was an amazing, intense week, which reminded me that actually, I can organise things, I can run a team, and I can build yoga and quiet time into even the busiest of days, and that I have a beautiful support network.  The camp is also near where Z's ashes are, so I was able to visit her everyday, which I loved.  But I'm exhausted from the 7am-11pm days and from coming home to big fights with El Prima and a chaotic house with 7 members of El Prima's family staying over - including in our bedroom.  I mean, I'm taking the fact that they now come to stay as a lovely acceptance of our relationship (at last) but seven people as well as the four of us who already live there in a three bedroom house with only one couch and very little living space is very difficult!  

El Prima's eldest daughter has also come to stay - very welcome after a long absence, and she's actually been the most helpful and thoughtful of all the guests.  The rest of the family have now headed home, and we've got our house back, but there's nothing like in-laws to put a strain on things.  (There were also some unintentionally hilarious moments - El Prima's older sister seeing that I was pregnant and asking in a semi-scandalised voice, "Does your father know?"  I thought she was quite restrained, given that she's suggested on previous occasions that she could find a husband in Lebanon for me.) 

In Adzuki news, everything went well on our 20 week scan. For the benefit of my dad, and anyone else who doesn't want to know Adzuki's sex, here is a little spoiler alert image so that you have to scroll down to find out.  Just imagine some "oooooh-wah-ooooooooh" thinking music like they had on the 1980s Australian TV gameshow Perfect Match...

Image (and context, should you wish to brush up on your 1980s antipodean game show trivia) from here.

Okay, ......................................  drumroll........................................


He's a boy!

We had quite a hilarious ultrasound operator.  First, she asked, "Is there anything you'd like to know about this baby?"  And while I was temped to reel off a long list starting with, "where does this baby stand on the middle east crisis / circumcision debates / global warming?" and constantly punctuated with "will we get to bring this baby home living and breathing?", what we actually said was, "yes, can we find out the sex?"

To which she replied, "Well, there's the scrotum!" 

I'll leave the visuals up to your imagination, but let's just say there wasn't really any room for confusion on that issue.  I responded in quite bad mother fashion by immediately bursting into tears.  Distraught, sad tears, I'm ashamed to say. 

Let me try to explain this.  We are so delighted.  We are so bloody lucky to be in this position, with a healthy looking Adzuki kicking around my insides.  But one of the reasons I wanted to find out the sex despite being a big believer in surprises and non-gender specific baby clothing was that I knew that I was somehow imagining a little sister for Z, and that I had invested a huge amount of energy into the idea of having a living daughter.  I knew I needed time to work through all the emotions tied to having either a boy or a girl.  I had been so convinced I was having a boy when I was pregnant with Haloumi / Z, and was so fond of that idea, that I really associated finding out she was a girl with first seeing her face - and that amazing surprise of seeing your own baby for the first time.  Having a daughter was this amazing surprise gift from Z, that I didn't even know how much I wanted, even if she couldn't live.  I know none of this really makes sense, but I guess when you know so little about your own child, you hang onto the small bits of info that you have got, and her sex was one of those things.  And despite me knowing intellectually that Adzuki has always been a different baby to Z, that Z is irreplaceable - gone forever as the baby that we knew her - knowing that he's a boy is a clear confirmation that no, she's not coming back. 

And poor little boys - they have so much crap to deal with in this world (I know, little girls too).  But all those stereotypes about sport, and being tough and preferring trains / cars / mechanical un-empathetic shit....  I know that's not the whole picture for little boys, and I'm glad that we have such a beautiful diversity of gorgeous men in our lives - from my dad and brother, to El Prima's nephews, darling poet / engineer / loving dad friends and husbands / partners of friends and all our beloved gay boyfriends, including Z and Adzuki's donor.  But just knowing opens up a whole new field of worry for Adzuki, and how he might navigate this messed up world.   

The day after the scan was new years eve, and the kind of hot, dry day where just walking from the house to the car made you feel like every bit of moisture was being baked out of you.  El Prima and I braved the late afternoon heat to visit the local pool for its last half an hour of evening opening.   I did backstroke under the dry blue sky and wept into the chlorine.  When I looked up again, the clouds had re-formed, and directly in my line of vision was the cloud shape of a new baby's face.  Here he is, this tiny boy, completely dependent on me, and all I can do is weep because he's not a girl.  I know this sounds very flaky, but I think that was Z and Adzuki, conspiring to rearrange the water atoms in the sky to remind me of who it is here in my belly - my beautiful little son. 

(Z's day on 27 December deserves its own post and is next in line, but suffice to say that I now think it is pretty significant that one of the songs I chose for her play list (we hadn't had the scan yet at that stage) was "Here comes the Sun".)


  1. She's not coming back, but she'll always be there. And Adzuki will carry her legacy with him. ♥

    1. Thanks N. It's exactly that paradox - she is here in so many little ways and I'm so grateful for that. And I know she'd be so delighted to have a little brother. xxxh

  2. Congrats on your little boy. I teared up reading about your own tears, so happy to read that they ganged up on you to cheer you up!

  3. So understand these feelings. Much love.

  4. Thanks Merry. I put off posting about this for so long because I felt like such a monster for reacting in that way. But it is just all part of the tricky babyloss / subsequent pregnancy tightrope. xxxx h

  5. So much of this is familiar. It was hard for me to let go of the idea of a little boy, of *my* little boy, when I found out that Teddy was having a little sister.

    Congratulations on your little boy Adzuki, and much love to you and El Prima. I hope you both get to bask in some post-familial visit space and rest.

    1. Thanks Erica - glad to know I'm not the only one. Nothing like having in-laws to stay for making you appreciate having your own space!

  6. And this is what I tell myself on the days I am sad for never getting to find out whether the baby we lost was a boy or a girl. It's shitty, the not knowing, but at least I don't have this to work through.

    And maybe it kinda emphasises that that baby was a baby all its own.

    I have a lot of those concerns, having a boy. I believe that having strong mamas and strong role models of both sexes will help, alot.

    I'm glad you're getting to work through this now. xxx

    1. Oh B, I'm sorry you never got to find that out. But yes, it does complicate things.

      I think I'm getting my head around some of these boy-issues - we are lucky that Adzuki will have some pretty amazing men in his life to model all different ways of being a boy / man. Finding out has made this more real for me - I'm so excited to meet him now.

  7. I have so much to say! Welcome back from camp. Glad to see you again. I am really excited for your baby sex news. I really get the sad tears etc.... you see I didn't know Camille was a girl until I gave birth to her. The doctor said, "Oh Renel, She is so beautiful" and I turned to my husband and said "we had a girl"...I didn't know how badly I wanted that girl. I said throughout the pregnancy that I didn't care, but than she was born and of course I wanted HER. The next baby after yours dies you just want to be alive and healthy, but how can you not want another of the same sex of the one who died? Now we both have all these dreams of raising our daughters.

    And then your amazing vision in the clouds...had me just tearing up and knowing it is just so incredibly hard, wanting our babies and the new ones and just wanting love. I know KNOW KNOW when you meet your son, he will be the one you wanted...it just works that way.

    I always worry about girls in our society with body image and self esteem, and growing them to be strong, loving, intelligent human beings.

    I have a son and you know what? He loves trains and baseball, stomping in mud and other such boyness...but he is also having a tea party birthday and loves to read and wear dresses and day care and dance. People always asked if I had a girl how would I raise her. I always said I would raise her like a human.

    One of my biggest goals as a mother is to make sure my children are kind, loving, intelligent humans....I think that all comes with their ability to emulate actions of their parents. We all do our best, lead by example and direct them on a path of love. That is just me... SO that being said....I know I want my next baby to be a girl because I want to be able to live some of the dreams I have built around the idea, but, because I have a boy and think he is amazing, I KNOW you will be BEYOND overjoyed to have your beautiful son. I am really really happy for you.

    1. Hi Renel! Thanks so much - for your excitement for us and empathy. And I love your approach, to raise your kids "like humans" - exactly right. Lots of love to you too.

  8. Oh, Hanen-- How I wish I could explain how very, very well I understand all of your feelings. As another babylost mama put it into perfect words for me, I felt like having another girl would give me some insight into what it would have been like to raise Hudson. And absolutely, there was part of me that felt like she could somehow come back. There is still part of me that believes this is possible if we have a girl at some point down the road. It's all just so very fraught. But having Jackson here has taught me so many things-- that my capacity for love is truly infinite, that Hudson will always be with us and will live on in him in so many ways, and that there can be joy again. I am so very happy for you even as I know that the joy will always live alongside the pain.

    "Here Comes the Sun" is one of my songs for my two babies, too. And the ice is indeed melting.

    Sending so much love.

  9. Mandy - that sums it up really well - that idea of getting a sneak peek into that hypothetical future had Z / Hudson not died. And I'm getting better at enjoying the joy, even if it is interwoven with sadness, because in a way, that means that Z is here experiencing this new joy with us.

    xxxxx h

  10. Ermmm I have NO idea how I missed this post. A boy! And the possibility of a husband in the Lebanon?!? And a boy!

    Please don't feel you like responded in bad mother fashion. I did exactly the same. I was so certain that I would have another little girl. Because I'd only had girls, my only experiences of motherhood were with girls and I felt strongly in my heart that I would have another daughter. I also wanted to give Jessica a sister, I could never replace her twin sister but I desperately wanted to give a sister. You know I'm still all angst-y over that one.

    Oddly enough I also spent the first 12 weeks of my pregnancy with the twins fondly imagining one little boy, I even dreamt about him. And I wanted to find out R's sex before he was born for similar reasons I think? Because I had, somehow, invested a lot in him being another daughter and was utterly convinced he would be. And I was also deeply worried about some aspects of raising a boy.

    But I deeply love having a son and I now cannot imagine things any other way. I'm with Renel, when you meet your son, he will be the one that you wanted and there won't be a doubt in your mind or in your heart. I think that also, having a daughter like Jess, has taught me a lot. In many ways, she is a stereotypical boy! She loves cars and mechanical un-empathetic stuff and bugs and stomping around in the mud. We are all in the wider category of 'human', an unpredictable category that one!

    I love your vision in the clouds, that beautiful conspiracy between your two children.

    Glad that the camp went well and that El Prima's family have come to visit with all that symbolises. I'm sure you must have been a little bit squashed though! On to the next post now, can't believe that I missed this news!