Friday, February 05, 2010

Who killed binks?

When I was about 14 or 15 I got a hand reared cockatiel. Once it was born I visited him every other day and fed him so that in a few weeks he'd know me when I took him home. Finally the day came for me to take him home. I adored this bird (Binky) and he'd be on my shoulder from the moment I got home from school. His cage was in my room and even while I read in bed at night he would be wondering about exploring, only put back in his cage when I went to sleep.

The lady who reared him was a bit loopy. Passionate about her birds. She gave me all the instructions before I finally took him: get a heater in your room - young birds are sensitive to the weather. We thought she was a bit over the top - we lived in East London - very very moderate weather.

Anyway a few weeks went by and one night I was sitting talking on the phone (for ages - as girls of 14 or 15 are wont to do!). Binks was on my lap and I was eating a bowl of ice cream. I remember noting that Binks looked tired. He seemed to want to roost so I went and placed him in his cage and carried on with the call. When I checked on him afterwards he was slumped at the bottom of the cage not looking too healthy. I alerted my mom and we tried to perk him up. We tried to warm him but he seemed to just be getting worse.

We called the vet and the were told to bring him in (even though by now it was about 8 or 9pm). But by then he died.

I was devastated. I realised in that moment that even though I had loved that bird, I had killed him simply because I was too "me". My hands, cold from the ice cream bowl had cooled him too much and too quickly. I had taken too long to realise that something was seriously wrong. I killed him.

That sickening feeling. That feeling of guilt, confusion, incomprehension, despair came back to me that morning at the hospital. Somehow my body had resulted in Sophia's death. My one job was to be a safe place for her and I wasn't. At that stage, in the seconds after you've just been dealt the most life shattering blow, the doctor was trying to figure out what had happened (placental abruption could only really be confirmed after birth). She asked if I'd been sick recently (yes), when had I last felt movement (big eyes.. I'm not entirely sure.. the movement had changed. It was different. But that's what the books predicted. They told me not to worry. I'm sorry).

For days afterwards I sat believing it was my fault. It was because I'd had the flu and it was because I had taken so long to admit that something was not right. In the follow up appointment a few days later I asked all my questions. No - it had nothing to do with the flu. No - earlier detection would not have helped a complete abruption. But absolution has not come.


Anonymous said...

Awww that's so sad about blinky Blinks :( wow they're so susceptible to the cold, shame :/

B said...

It's sometimes easier to blame yourself than to accept that it was a random event that noone could control or foresee.

It's still not fair though.

Thinking of you x

Anonymous said...


I don't know about Binks but I know you DID NOT kill Sophia. You must not blame yourself! Whilst I cannot magic away the guilt, I can only say judge yourself with the same measure you judge others. What would you say to me if I was blaiming myself for Abigail? I know that is a typical man "problem solving" approach but I think you have to tackle these issues head on.

Love and hugs

angel said...

Oh Caz... its time like this I wish I had some words to make you feel better.

Danny, Julie, Jack and Mari said...


Ugh. I so wish there wasn't an ocean between the two of us so we could sit ourselves in a little nook of a bookshop and cry and listen and share of our ill-fated placentas.

While I know our bodies did not kill our children, they did somehow betray them, didn't they? That lumpy, clotted organ that was to provide sustenance and oxygen gave out. Even with my twice daily injections of blood thinners from the get go of babyloss #2 didn't get me anywhere. It's not our fault. It just is. And life isn't fair.

The Col is in my thoughts and I know that you're going to start feeling her flips and flops.

Love to you!

Caz said...