Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I like what Gal said about my recent experiences. "That is some powerful energy around you."

Not positive, not negative. Just powerful. My spiritual work consists of desperately trying to remain non-judging. And yet, the first dead bird dragged into my house by my puppy becomes rife with symbolism and portents doom. Truth of it is, there are no bad omens in Electric Angie-land. But in Grief-stricken, Sad, Lucy-less Angie-land, my primitive lizard brain cannot help but beware the ides of March.


Not at all pleasant to be around.

That's a fairly apt description of me for the last few days. The three As: Anxious. Angry. Angst-y.

I've described my anxiety in the last few posts. Here is angry and angsty: today, I checked our local town yahoo parents group email. I gave it its own email address, mainly because I thought I had to, so every few days I read it and catch up. "Birth Announcement." Let me preface this by saying, never have I seen a new baby announcement on this board. It is primarily set up for babysitting suggestions, yard sales, local restaurant/pediatrician reviews, and general announcements for kid-friendly things to do in my area. OCCASIONALLY, someone will get into a parenting-related topic like, "What organic repellent do you use on the children for mosquitos?" But generally, it is a pretty good resource for our area,and pretty benign on the dogma/personal information front. So, I was surprised when I read this announcement: "Just thought I'd share with you that our little one came into the world. I gave birth to baby ENTIRELY UNASSISTED. No meds. No one at all to help. On the floor of our minivan. And we're all fine! Email me if you want the whole story." This isn't the direct quote. I cut out the personal information part, but the highlights are there.

I deleted myself from the board.

It's not that I feel jealous of this person and her new baby, or even know her at all. It's a cute quirky story. But it's the "And we're all fine!" thing that got me. Of course you are all fine. I just don't think everyone in my town would want to see my baby announcement ending with "And we're all fucked up now!"

It was a rash decision, but I'm in no place right now. But it made me feel deeply ashamed of that part of me. The part that calls the township to find out the noise ordinances. The part of me ready to email the yahoo group leader about the proper use of the board. Ashamed that I want to impose my grumpiness on others. So, I took my misplaced anger, and decided I best go if I can't handle the content. Not them. They are in happy world where babies live. And I AM happy people are having healthy babies, even in awful, not-so-perfect situations. I just don't feel like reading about it right now. I just wanted to know where I can get a cheap burrito with my kid, dude.


I have been disturbed and anxious about being so disturbed and anxious. This isn't me. I'm not the negative, disturbed, anxious type. Clearly, all of our relationships change after our child dies, even our relationship with ourselves. I take steps now at the first sign of this crap. I step in and take charge of my new self. I treat me exactly like I would treat my best friend. "Let's get up, and get a shower, now. A shower will make you feel good, and a cup of tea." So I forced myself to check my anxiety in with a therapist. I actually saw a new therapist today, who also is a dead baby mama. Whew. A member of my tribe. It was a first session that felt like a third? (That's a good thing.) (BTW, I plan on seeing the Buddhist therapist again too at some point, but we did more meditating than therapy.)

"Come on, now, Angie, a little sweaty yoga will soothe your soul." And so, I did yoga this evening, and as I began Goddess position, I felt it deep within me. This power. It reminded me of the Haka, which is a traditional Maori dance. It is actually a war dance, and the New Zealand rugby team does the Haka in front of their opposing team to intimidate them. It fires up the crowd, and the players. And that is what I wanted suddenly--to be fired up in my dance. But I think my haka is a love war dance, because I felt this immense love. It warmed my belly first, and seeped into my arms, which looked strong somehow. Not flabby, as the mirror suggests, but with the strength of my youth. It filled me with love of my body and love of my strength, which strangely emanated today from exactly the place I used to think it didn't live--my vulnerability and my three As. As the practice moved into different poses, I let those feelings of war dance and power drift away, and the love take up residence in my extremities.

I thought today about how since reading blogs I have found out not just the one way a baby can die, but the thousands of ways babies can die before birth. But babyloss blogs are not handbooks on how babies can die, but handbooks on how we women survive, on how we grieve, on how we comfort, on how we become more compassionate, on how we love each other. These blogs are our haka for the world. Where we shake, and scream and dance, and threaten our enemies, and embrace ourselves. The place where we fire each other up with love, gentleness, compassion and kindness.

Powerful energy, as Gal would say.


  1. Powerful energy, indeed, Angie. Thank you for a very good post.

  2. Ah, you are so right Angie.. these posts that we make are not only about how babies can die but how we can continue to go on after! I'm so grateful for this community of beautiful women!

  3. I would have deleated my details from that group too.

    And yes, we have changed. I have changed. A little more insucure, a little more fragile, a little less confident. I guess that's who I am these days.

    And it I love that you know about the Haka. Oh the world is a small place.

    Sending my love, xxx

  4. PS - and a little less able to spell... xxx

  5. Our Haka for the world indeed. Like Rach, I'm impressed you know of the Haka. Not that I'm a Kiwi myself, but they are just a hop skip and a jump across from us.
    And I too would have deleted myself from that group. I had to tell about three people today my first child was stillborn at 40+ weeks and I'm so tired of the silence and looks of horror. Then having to explain that no, in fact there was nothing wrong with her. Only that I was pregnant too long.
    I'm so very changed, but I am learning to love the new me again and learning not to care when people point out they don't like parts of the new Sally. This is it. This the me I'm left with to somehow move forward.

  6. 'babyloss blogs are not handbooks on how babies can die, but handbooks on how we women survive'

    This is perfect. This is exactly what I try to explain to people outside of our babyloss world when I tell them about the blogs and the community that surrounds them.

    Here's to your strength, Angie. You inspire me.

  7. i so need these chronicles of life after and beyond, the unabashed weeping and the war dances alike.

    you make me want to limber up my tongue and legs and see what i can manage.

  8. YOU are powerful, Angie. What a power you are. And don't apologize for how you feel and what you do.

    I actually rolled my eyes at a couple of "He is here!" and "I am pregnanct!" announcements on a parenting list I belong to, and it's a list I really like. I guess I am just jealous these people can remain innocent and not know of the horror.

    Love to you, sweet powerful one.

  9. Great post Angie. With you especially on the three A's. I always feel better knowing that I am not alone on these feelings.

  10. Beautiful post and I'm sorry about the dead bird of yesterday.

    It is hard to stop that primitive lizard brain kicking in sometimes, I can't help but beware the ides of March either!

    I would have deleted myself from that group too. It is so hard that what would have once been a cute and quirky story, one to re-tell, now just makes me feel sad. Not jealous (well maybe a little), not angry, just sad. I think that "and we're all fucked up now" sums up completely how I feel about this experience somedays.

    I'm glad that you are writing your survival book. It has helped me more than I can say. The Haka is an apt description. xx

  11. Beautiful, Angie... Powerful and true. You are a very special mama.

  12. "But babyloss blogs are not handbooks on how babies can die, but handbooks on how we women survive, on how we grieve, on how we comfort, on how we become more compassionate, on how we love each other."

    So profound, really. I am not sure I would be as "ok" as I feel somedays without this community where there are no looks of horror and sadness.

    And now, I want to do Yoga again. Thanks for that :)


  13. Powerful energy is right.

    I have to admit I busted a chuckle with this line, "And we're all fucked up now!" as a way to end a birth announcement. I think I responded to someone with a similar line when they asked how I was doing.

    Go to Yelp! for a cheap burrito, much safer. ;-)

  14. I follow the blogs for inspiration, the survival stories. I believe we deadbabymamas have unmeasurable strength.

    and sometimes I don't even recognize myself anymore.

  15. Oh my gosh Angie - This post was simply brilliant! Thank you for writing it!

    Thank You Thank You Thank You!

  16. Some days, these blogs are my lifeline.


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