Last fall, a group of women whose ages spanned six decades gathered every Monday evening for four weeks to write, explore, and share in a safe and supportive community. Out of these gatherings came a booklet of deeply personal and moving poems and essays. Below is one of the short essays featured in this collection. To read more, email firstname.lastname@example.org to order your copy of the Turning Points booklet for $5.00.
If this type of experience sounds appealing to you, consider signing up for Seasons of Our Lives, another intergenerational writing workshop RCWMS is offering this October. Contact email@example.com for more information. Let us know what you think in the comments!
by S. age 40
I have had three pregnancies. Each was so distinct, from the symptoms and complications to my emotional response.
The first time, it all seemed to come fairly easily. We were ready, we’d planned and hoped, and taken the right classes. Our baby was small but mighty and made her way into the world through a C-section, because, despite my best efforts, from the traditional to acupuncture needles in my toes, she wouldn’t turn around. So, three weeks early, angry, skinny, and precious, she came into our lives.
Three and a half years later, after much anticipation, my second pregnancy was utterly uneventful. The boy was head down, developing nicely. He was fine, but I was exhausted. This time, being pregnant while keeping up with work and a three year old left me ready for him to come on out and join us. My labor was stunning and fast, and although he was “on time,” we couldn’t keep up. I was relieved that I didn’t deliver on the highway. Twenty minutes after arriving at the hospital, he joined us, tumbling toward the center of the universe amidst blood and screams and complete disbelief on our part. He was a little small, (but) perfect, and very real, despite our incredulity.
My third pregnancy came as a deep blow to my gut, panic and tears and a complete fraying of all my edges. I spent a week talking and weeping with my husband, trusted midwives, and closest girlfriends. I imagined and researched the size of an embryo at five weeks. I drew a little dot in my journal. I felt connected to a relatively silent sisterhood across time and space that faced this same reality. I called to make the appointment for a medical abortion.
Between the time of the phone call and my scheduled appointment, still wracked with raw nerves and bewilderment, I miscarried. I relied on the same allies and loved ones as before. I felt the loss, but I also felt powerful relief that my body had ended this early pregnancy… gratitude that my body was aligning with my spirit.