Dear Uterus: You Are a Murderous Bastard


In my head, murderous bastard just isn’t right. I mean, certainly there are more eloquent ways to express my hatred of your serial killing, your incompetence when nurturing a fertilized ovum, and your obvious disdain for human life. But nothing comes, so murderous bastard it is.

In days past, I looked down at women who were in the place I now find myself. I thought how very sad it must be to be them. How very unfortunate not to make lemonade out of the lemons so viciously hurled at us in the forms of infertility, miscarriage and neonatal death. But today I think lemonade is overrated. And anger? It’s pretty liberating.

I’ve always been the one who sought out the right thing and hiked the high road. And I’ve prided myself on the fact that even in the most soul searing of circumstances, I haven’t lost my shit. I guess I thought that keeping myself together meant success, but what it really meant was an excuse not to feel as deeply as one needs in order to heal. Because something happens when a thing or person is broken, there are shards that go missing which forever change the shape of the traumatized vessel. And you realize, then and there, that wholeness takes on an entirely different meaning.

You, dear uterus, have one job to do in your miserable, pear-shaped life and that is to oversee the development of an embryo and fetus. Sadly, you have failed three heartbreaking times. In any other circumstance, you would have received a sincere come to Jesus, been put on leave, or been relieved of your duties. Because obviously, if you can’t perform, what are you really worth? But I held on, hoping you’d redeem yourself. Hoping that I wouldn’t have to hate you the way I have and do now.

After baby loss number 3, I sat as judge and jury. It would have been easy for me to give you death. I mean, you meet the basic requirements of a serial killer, don’t you: “someone who murders more than three victims one at a time in a relatively short interval”? I thought of what it’d be like to push the button that sent the needle into your arm. But drifting off to sleep never to wake was too good for you. You needed hard time. You needed to realize what your neglect caused. And who isn’t here because of it.

I was all too happy to lead you to the cell where you’d be left to think on your offenses. And when I locked you inside and swallowed the key I thought everything had been made right: you were where you should be and I had a second chance. What I didn’t realize was that since that day, I’ve been locked inside that cell with you. I’ve been my own prisoner. And I’ve been yours, as well.

Life gets in the way of life sometimes. It certainly has in my case. I did what I was supposed to: I fell in love, got married and tried to start a family. I played by the rules, but I didn’t win any jackpot in the form of sweet-smelling lumps of flesh whose giggles are like jumper cables to the heart. I didn’t win anything short of loss and heartache. And I’ve felt angry about that. I have.

I feel the anger rise when I read another story of an unwanted child who was beaten, neglected or murdered. I feel it when I meet women who don’t question that their pregnancies will be successful, who don’t know what I know. I feel it when I’m accused of being selfish when refusing to watch a video of a friend’s newborn or when I can’t drag myself to another baby shower. I feel it when I’m the only non-mother in a circle of women complaining about what a bitch motherhood is. I feel it nearly every day.

Today is laced with thoughts of Jasmine French and the film Blue Jasmine. In it she declares, “…there’s only so many traumas a person can withstand until they take to the streets and start screaming.” This is me taking to the streets. This is me screaming. This is me:

Broken. Barren. Beyond.

I don’t know what the future holds, dear uterus, but if you ever find yourself in a position to hold life again, would you please hold it?

Because it’d be nice not to hate you anymore.

It really would.

Why I Don’t Get Flowers on Mother’s Day

“Undo it, take it back, make every day the previous one until I am returned to the day before the one that made you gone. Or set me on an airplane traveling west, crossing the date line again and again, losing this day, then that, until the day of loss still lies ahead, and you are here instead of sorrow.”

― Nessa Rapoport

Moon blossoms

Last Sunday was one of those days. One of those days when your soul flattens and your heart folds into the smallness of itself. One of those days when vanilla wafers are chased by Jolly Ranchers and Dubble Bubble. One of those days when no matter how much you try, you just can’t find your joy.

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day.


My children, unlike those of my friends and family, reside in Heaven. I never held them, diapered them or saw their faces. I simply imagined them.

Babies born in the womb

I still do.


But I’m not bitter. Just sad.
And longing.
For full arms and an even fuller heart.
For my chance.
To hear a child’s heartbeat and footfall in more than just my dreams.

And so this is what wraps my heart in hurt every Mother’s Day. When I see and hear mothers being celebrated and realize I am not among them.

I thought of this last Sunday as I sat among a small group of women. In celebration. Of them.

The conversation turned insensitive. To stillbirth and future pregnancies. For others.

And my heart screamed out:
Consider your audience!

As I squeezed back tears.


Whether by accident or design, being left out hurts.

It hurts when your place is on the sidelines.
It hurts when it’s easier to cry than to smile.
And it hurts when what’s been gained trumps what’s been lost.

It hurts.  In the most sacred of places. It hurts.

But then there are angels who remind you of your worth.

Friends in the shadows

They remember your scars.
And call you Beloved.
They bless you and your tiny citizens of Heaven with their love.
And their promise not to forget…

Never to forget…

That. You.


A. Mother.

a mother



**Post-write and pre-publish, I watched Lifetime’s global release of RETURN TO ZERO**

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

This is part of their mission statement found at

“While this film is intended for a wide-release to audiences regardless of their life experience, RETURN TO ZERO fills a particular niche for a market that has gone unserved — those who have or know someone who has experienced the devastating loss of stillbirth, miscarriage, or neonatal death.”

If you or someone you love has experienced such a loss, I highly recommend watching this film.

RETURN TO ZERO is raw, real and beautifully done.  An absolute gem of a film and a ray of hope.

For us all.


To the three little souls who would’ve heard my heartbeat from the inside

flowering hearts

I’m sorry I haven’t written.

The holidays are hard.

Hard because you’re not here.

And hard because a part of me isn’t either.

The first notable snowfall came this week and I thought of you.  I imagined playing with you in the sugary mantle, watching your cheeks turn that shade of pink that the winter wind and cold bring.  I imagined your mittened hands reaching for mine, inviting me to make snow angels as the sun warmed our faces and your giggles warmed the places of my heart long cold.

I imagined twinkling lights, a perfect pine and a house that smelled of cinnamon and hot chocolate. I imagined Bing Crosby crooning and sitting together on the floor, your tiny fingers trying to keep the ribbon taut as I tied bow after bow on elegantly wrapped packages.

I imagined teaching you how to make the famous two-tone fudge.  How you would pour the chocolate chips into the big metal bowl.  How I’d mix and mix and mix until my arms hurt.  And how you’d stand on tippy-toe anxiously awaiting your chance to lick the beaters (just as I did with Grandma).

I imagined you had my pretty hair and your Daddy’s pretty heart.

And I imagined you holding my hand to your cheek (as your cousin does) and sighing deeply knowing you were safe.

And loved.

And cherished.

I imagined you knew how much you were wanted.

How much we cried when we found out you were coming.

And how much we cried when we found out you weren’t.

I imagined that you forgave me for anything I might have unknowingly done that made you go away.

And that you forgave me for wanting to go away too.

And I think…

I imagined that I didn’t imagine you.

That you had never gone away.

That I hadn’t needed to be so brave.

That I hadn’t needed to send all my love upward instead of giving it to you. Here.

That I hadn’t needed to hope that Leslie’s mom had walked the halls of Heaven, found you and held you (like she told me she knew she would).  And that you had made friends with Jaclyn, Alan and the twins, who were also taken too soon, and whose parents Mommy knows and loves.

That I hadn’t needed to imagine what you’d smell like and feel like cradled in my arms.

That I hadn’t needed to imagine our home sprinkled with baby dust, peppered with dirty diapers and fussing, and blanketed with the sweetness of exhaustion.

That I hadn’t needed to imagine everything because your departure left me with nothing.

That. I. hadn’t. needed…

to. imagine. at. all.

I’ll write more soon, precious ones.

Until then and with all my heart,


P.S.  Don’t worry…we’ll save the fudge making for Heaven.

three clouds

Hollow places


Last week I submitted a piece of writing that is more dear to me than anything I’ve ever written.

The beats of my heart were on those pages and with one tap of the “Enter” key, I sent them off to be judged.  To see if they’re good enough.  If I’m good enough.  If my retelling of heartbreak and heartache is good enough.

Two days later I was in the ER.

Let me start by saying that these two events were not related.  But in some way, both Divine and lovely, their themes were.

My husband and I were heading to the wedding of a lovely friend when I started having horrible pain in my lower abdomen.  My immediate thought was that I was in the early stages of pregnancy and was miscarrying.


I don’t pretend to know the thoughts and feelings of those other women who have suffered this heart-shredding emotional pain (we are sort of a secret society, aren’t we?), but, for me, the tidal wave of emotion was nearly too much to bear.

My husband insisted that we head to the ER where we were admitted by an all-too-perky-for-the-occasion staff member.  She led us to a room where they took my vitals and into another room where I was asked to undress and don a lovely green polyester number, while waiting to be seen.

The walls, painted with an Under the Sea theme, seemed to be closing in as they hooked me up to lines and told me that it would be a while.  I noticed how the “fish” looked like bowling pins with fins and how the curtain separating me from those caring for me was covered in starfish and seahorses that seemed to be laughing.


I believe they were.

Since it is my extreme privilege to be a woman, the nurse told me that it could be a myriad of things (we have many more parts and delicate places, of course) and that they’d be doing lots of tests.

I turned the TV volume up to drown out the elderly woman screaming for help and the man talking about how his ladder “had never done such a thing”.

They did a pelvic, then sent me for an ultrasound.

I didn’t feel totally helpless being wheeled around, not until we arrived in the room.

I was left there to wait.  The lights were down low.  The monitor was black.

My memories were too.

I have had a few ultrasounds.  Each was supposed to be an introduction to our son or daughter, but we were never so lucky.

We haven’t thus been so lucky.

As I laid there, a woman was pushed past me.  She had kind eyes, fragile wrists and no hair.  It was her third ultrasound of the day.  Cancer does that.  I guess.

When the technician finally arrived, she started prepping me; she shimmied up my hospital gown, shimmied down my toasty blankets and spread a thick layer of warm jelly on my abdomen.

I forced myself to look at the screen


I waited.

And listened.

To. The. Silence.

I don’t know if it is the misfortune of every woman who has lost a child to wait for the woosh, woosh, woosh.  I wonder if I’ll still wait for it well past child-bearing age.  If I’ll always wait for that sweet sound of life and love and a million expectations all knit together.

That day, that moment really,  reminded me once again of my hollow places.  The ones I’ve cried about, screamed about, prayed about and, more recently, written about.  And how they’ve taught me more than I ever thought they could.

They continue to teach me.


I pray.

They. Always. Will.