Hug

I was playing

in your

nursery

with our 

new

puppy


When suddenly

I felt

a warm embrace

around me. 


My eyes filled 

with tears,

my heart

wanted 

to 

burst, 


And, 

in that quiet

moment, 


I knew

it was

you. 

Puppy

My therapist

recommended

getting a

puppy


to help

give my life

a new sense

of purpose 

and

to help me

not feel

alone. 


As I've been looking

at dogs, 

I can't help, 

but feel

guilty. 


Why that is

I don't 

quite

know. 



Atonement

I read a

post

by another 

mother

who terminated

her 

pregnancy

just like 

I had

 to 

terminate

mine.


She said that

she chose

to take on

her baby's 

pain

and

suffering

for the rest

of her 

life, 


by

ending

his

pain

and

suffering

before 

it 

began.


That's why

I made my 

decision

too, 


because

isn't that

what 

motherhood

is 

all

about?





Title

There are names

for

widowers, 

widows, 

and, 

orphans, 


but what

do you call

mother

who lost

her 

only 

child? 

Time

It's been

7 months, 

2 bottles of prenatal vitamins, 

5 negative pregnancy tests, 

and

countless tears, 

since

we lost

you. 

Ironic

I find it 

ironic

that I spend

six hours 

a day, 

five days

a week, 

mothering the children

of strangers,


But I never 

got 

to mother

my own. 

Conversations

I heard you

were 

pregnant! 


How is your 

baby? 



Oh,



my baby

died.

Certainty

I don't know 

much, 

but 


I do 

know


my decision

to terminate


was made

with


tears, 

prayer, 


and most of all, 

love. 



Crib

I remember

when I was

setting up

your crib


I randomly

started

to 

sob.


I used to think

it was because

I was so 

happy, 


But now 

I think, 

deep down, 

I knew, 

I wouldn't get to 

have you

at 

all. 

Lightning

The doctors

told me

your 

condition

was like

genetic

lightning. 


A fluke, 

A rarity, 

a once 

in a lifetime

strike. 


You were 

also 

like

lightning. 


Here for a 

flash

and then

you 

were

gone. 

Home

I was so 

used 

to being

a home

for two

people, 


That now

I feel 

lonely

whenever

I'm 

alone. 

Curls

I had 

a dream

a few weeks

back,


Where I saw 

a little 

boy

with 

sandy

curls. 


I locked

eyes with 

him,

and 

at once,


My heart

cried,

Owen. 


I wanted 

to stop

and pick

you up, 


but

the dream 

was over

before 

I could. 

Mother's Day

Mother's Day

is around

the 

corner. 


And I feel

as if

I don't 

belong. 


I have the body

of a mother. 

The stretchmarks

of a mother. 

The heart

of a mother. 


But my baby

is long

gone. 


I'm a mother

to a headstone, 

to a jar filled

with

ash. 


No messy breakfasts

in bed, 

songs sung

at church, 

or crafts

made at 

school. 


My Mother's Day

will consist

of 

cemetery visits, 

what-ifs, 

and

brief

tear-filled

memories of

you.


Memory

It’s funny

how bodies

hold on

to 

memories.


Sometimes I’ll

catch

my hands

rubbing my

belly.


My 

heartbeat will

quicken

when I feel

stomach

bubbles.


I'll sing

and talk

to you

as if 

you're 

still

here. 


Then 

there are other times

where tears

will suddenly

fall. 


Most of the time

I don't know

what

triggered

them

at 

all. 

Names

Little man,

Little dude,

Little bean,


We had so many

Names for you 

Before you 

Were

Born.


I wonder

What 

You would have

Called

Me?

Choice

I’ll never know

If I made the right

Choice

When we had to

Pick how 

You’d 

Die,


But I do 

Know

I would choose

To be your 

Mommy


Over

And over

Again. 

Spring Break

When I found out

I would have you

In the middle 

Of the school 

year,


I dreaded those weeks

I knew we’d be 

Apart.


I’d be grading papers

And teaching 

Other people’s

Children,


While you’d be at home

With grandma Lisa

Or Tiersa.


I told myself

It would all

Be okay

Because spring break

Would come,


And 

We’d have 

A week

Alone

Together.


Now spring break

Is here,

But you

Are

Not. 

Grant

Why was it

So hard

To come up

With your

Middle name?


Were you too 

Little?


Was I

Not 

Ready?


Or was it

Because

I knew


Once you 

Had a full 

Name


That part

Would be 

Over

Too?

Happy

Sometimes 

I wonder

If I was

Ever meant 

To be happy.


Since the one thing

I’ve always wanted

Was taken 

From

Me

So 

Suddenly. 

Brother

How many

Babies

Of mine 

Are in heaven


Waiting with

Big brother 

For their turn

To be guided

Down?


Are they sharing

stories 

Of 

Mommy

And daddy?


Do their laughs

And giggles

Echo through

The halls of 

Heaven?


With the sound

Of tiny

footsteps

pattering

 on

White marble

Floors?


Are they watching,

And waiting,

For us to 

Be ready?


Counting our

Tears,

And planning 

Our blessings?

Death

I used to be

afraid

of dying


Until

my little one

died. 


My fear has

been replaced

with excitement


To hold him

and see

his smile. 

Club

When you lose

a baby,

you're put

in an exclusive 

club. 


A club of

sisterhood, 

lost motherhood,

and shared 

trauma. 


We comfort, 

listen, 

and mourn,

while sharing 

our

babies' names. 


Weaving friendship bracelets

from tears

and 

long-gone 

umbilical cords. 


We dream of a place

where our babies

can play

until it's time

for us to also

go 

home. 


We never

wanted to be in

this club, 

but we're here

together

anyway. 

Nursery

We have

a nursery

full of things. 


Except for

the most

important

thing.

Mazatlán

I've had a 

tricky

relationship

with God 

since losing

my baby. 


My prayers weren't

answered,

they never seemed

to reach

heaven. 


Then,

in a touristy,

old,

Catholic

cathedral, 


I decided to

kneel,

on an old

brown leather 

pew,

and 

pray.


In this moment of prayer

I felt

the heavens

finally

open. 


A warmth in my heart, 

and

a comfort 

 unspoken.


I begged for 

a child 

either

now,

or 

later.


And instead

of the usual 

silence, 

I heard 

the choirs of 

heaven. 


"You will 

have a child"

the voices 

replied. 


No due date assigned, 

instead 

a promise was given. 


That baby isn't here yet, 

but

I hope 

one day 

they'll be. 

Loss

When you lose

your first 

baby, 


You lose 

so much

more


Than little

fingers

and toes. 


You lose 

your sense of

purpose, 

self, 

and hope

for the future. 


You don't have

another child

to comfort you 


Or to prove 

that 

you can do it 

again. 


All you know

is grief,

depression,

and failure. 


You couldn't 

even

have 

your first. 


Who's to say

you'll have

a second

or 

a third. 


All you know

is 

loss. 


But never

motherhood. 





Grief

I hold on 

to my grief, 

because I could not

hold on 

to 

you. 

It Must Be Nice

It must be nice 
To birth your first child
And hold them in your arms. 

To kiss their hands and feet 
And see them wiggle 
All ten of their little toes. 

It must be nice to have your motherhood 
Not defined by grief and loss. 
Or to be a mother
To an invisible child. 

To only feel excitement and anticipation 
With each baby you carry. 
 Instead of fear,
 anxiety,
And traumatic memories. 

It must be nice to have only positive experiences, 
No nurses crying, 
Or apologizing, 
while they complete your last ultrasound. 

To never experience 
A doctor leaving you alone in a room. 
Hearing hushed voices in the hall 
And your heart slowly dropping 
As they stall. 

It must be nice to only be faced 
With the decision of choosing a name. 
No difficult decisions 
Where you are forced to decide 
How your child lives, 
or dies. 

Experiencing hours of labor 
Instead of days or weeks 
Of tests,
Decisions,
And unanswerable questions. 

It must be nice to receive gifts 
and congratulations, 
Instead of condolences 
And flowers. 

To have no one question 
Whether what you did for your baby 
Was right or wrong. 

It must be nice to deliver 
In a warm, 
Comfortable, 
Delivery room. 
Surrounded by family 
And friends. 

Instead of a bright, 
Sterile,
Operating room, 
Cold, 
And alone. 

It must be nice to know 
That once the procedure is done 
You’ll have your baby in your arms. 
All of it was worth it 
You’ll get to take him home. 

Instead of wrapping your arms around your belly 
For as long as you can 
Before the anesthesia 
Knocks you out. 

Because once you’re gone, 
So is your baby. 
You’ll never get to hold him, 
Or see him,
Again.

You wake up with 
Nothing, 
Except a broken heart,
An empty belly,
And empty arms.