SAY HELLO TO MOTHER, WIFE AND DIRECTOR OF NAGNATA, HANNAH
Introducing Hannah, mother, wife, illustrator and multiple-hat-juggler in life and in Nagnata. Hannah and husband Nick wrote and illustrated a book called Your Little Head Start as a result of the premature birth of their son Jett. We sat down to hear her inspiring story of the family’s journey through the scariest time of their lives and creating something beautiful from it.
What is your role at Nagnata? Depending on the day, and sometimes all at once, I may be Art Director, Textile Designer, Photographer, Operations or E-commerce Manager… But my most important title in life is ‘MUM’.
What is your life like being a mother plus all the other things that you do? I have two babies. One is a growing fashion brand and the other is a beautiful little human called Jett. As all working mum’s can attest, we are forever trying to seamlessly align all the pieces of our busy life into some form of balance. It’s hard! But while being a mum is my life’s greatest challenge, it’s also my biggest reward. Throw the running of an expanding global fashion brand on top and it’s beautiful chaos. Our relocation up the coast has created a more idyllic life away from big city energy, at least, and given us space to heal and re-calibrate while focusing on the business.
Tell us a little bit about the book and how it came about Our baby, Jett, was born at 27 weeks. That's 13 weeks early. That’s no third trimester. He weighed only 1kg, was plugged into all the life-saving machines and rushed into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where we remained for 90 days. It was not an easy ride – Jett had a hole in his heart, needed prolonged breathing support, was fed milk by a tube for months, had a testicular hernia, digestion issues, his lung collapsed and he almost went blind due to an aggressive eye disease called Retinopathy. It’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened to us.
When babies come early and are sick, they are mostly incubated right away. This creates a divide between the parents and their newborn. Doctors and nurses suggest reading to the babies, even through the incubator walls, to make parents feel connected to their child, and have them hear your voices. Science has proven that reading to babies, especially preemies, helps build essential neurological pathways.
So we found ourselves reading normal kids books – nothing that was sensitive to the situation or relevant to our child, fighting for his life.. We felt that we needed a book relatable to our experience, including positive language for our baby, that helped us to feel optimistic and empowered.
Your Little Head Start is our gift to past, present and future families who go through a similar experience – to share our personal story, to hopefully bring a little comfort and hope.