Loss and Gratitude

December 27, 2013

Today a blogger friend named Amy, who happened to do IVF (and had success) at the same clinic I go to, sent me one of the sweetest "gifts" I have received over the last few weeks.  Although we have never met, she has truly shown that she feels our ache.  She wrote me two poems.  One is called Loss and one is called Gratitude.  I wanted to share them as they touched me deeply.  Thank you so much Amy.

My heart stops for you today.
You who have lost your child,
your fourth beating heart.
I grieve him with you.
That perfect face,
that nose like yours
little lips and eyelashes,
tiny ears and chin.
You aren’t angry at God,
you say.
I am angry for you.
I am sure that four small lives
finished before they were begun
is not part of some grand plan.
It is bad luck
plain and simple,
dealt to you from that
green-visored casino dealer called

I am more sorry than I can say.
These are just words,
but truth.

For the first time today
I feel real guilt
at being one of those
women who "beat"
who can hold her
child in her arms every night.

Where is the justice for you,
my friend?
I know you are out there
crying your eyes out
until the heavy sedative
kicks in
and you can slip into the
bliss of nothingness,
no feeling,
the void.

I stand beside you in silence.
I hold you in my heart.

* * * * *


It’s hard being the mom
of a small child.
There are days when you want
to tear out your hair and throw
in the towel on the whole
parenting gig.

It’s hard when you are on your
hands and knees
searching for
tiny shards of
a broken plate that
your baby pushed off the table
during breakfast.

It’s hard when you’re changing that fourth poopy diaper in two hours
and he gets poop on his hand and then on you.

It’s hard when he as a cold
and wipes his boogery nose all over the shoulder
of your last clean shirt,
or when you’ve been shopping
and he refuses to get in his carseat
and kicks and cries
and hits you in the face.

On those days when you’ve read that same book about a little blue truck
all morning and he keeps signing "more, more"
and then you get smacked over the bridge of your nose
with a half full sippy cup,
when you can’t open the fridge
or the oven
or the door to your pantry
without your one-year-old hot on your heels
reaching for anything he can grab
and you hear yourself saying, "This kid is driving me crazy!"
remember this:

Somewhere a mother sits
without a baby in her arms
though she has had
four pregnancies.
Two babies didn’t make it past the first trimester.
Her daughter was born at 18 weeks
and her son came this morning at 21 weeks.
She didn’t hold her daughter at all.
She held her son one time
(one time)
and kissed his perfect face and held the tiny hands
that will never leave fingerprints on anything in her house.

She has a small white memory box
for her son and her daughter
containing a blanket,
a hat
and cards stamped
with the impressions
of their teeny hands and feet.
She would trade places with you
in a moment.
Even on your hardest day.

The next time it’s been
"one of those days"
and your child
empties his snack cup
of granola into your purse
then runs away screaming with
the joy of his new game,
think of that mom
and all the ones like her.
Take a breath,
move your purse
and get your kid some
more granola.

That night
tiptoe into his room
while he sleeps.
Touch his fine baby hair,
damp with the sweat
of deep sleep.
Listen to his slow, even breathing
and try
to comprehend
how lucky you are.


  1. Oh Holly. I can see why this meant so much to you. It's beautifully written. Thank you for sharing.

  2. That last poem is the very same message that I wish all mothers would have the chance to read-- those who get angry in the grocery store because their kid ran over the back of their heels with the buggy, only to turn around.. yell at them until they cry, snatch them up by the arm, and beat their butt with their hand until the child almost loses it's breath.. all because of an accident. WHAT I WOULDN'T DO FOR MY 8 YEAR OLD TO RUN OVER MY HEELS!

  3. Amazing... Normally words never really express how one actually feels but they reflect a glimpse of it. These poems really paints a picture so clear. Thank you Amy and Thank you Holly for sharing.

  4. i know you didn't wish to be this for me but on my worst days as a mom, I often think of you and what you've been thru and then I take a deep breath and kiss my son and remember that there are so many people who would give everything to be in my position. you inspire me EVERY day. I HATE that its because of your hurt but nevertheless, you have made an impression on people who don't even know you. that in itself is pretty amazing.

  5. Greetings from Finland, from a new reader. Your story left me absolutely heartbroken for you two and your families. I've spent few last days to read the whole blog. There are no words left, nothing that would take even a little bit of your sorrow away. Somehow I'm still sure, that this is not the end of the story and when "the end" comes, it is happy and actually not an end but a beginning. I would like to say, that be strong girl! keep going and keep your head and hopes up, but you really don't have to be strong. Life will carry you on. I'm not actually a believer myself, but maybe I can send a prayer for you still :)

    My own babies are big girls now and there has been good and bad times in these over seven years of motherhood. I'll hope that when the time comes (and I truly mean WHEN!) you will be merciful to your negative feeling towards our child/children. They will be there no matter what the road to motherhood has been, easy or the hardest. That does not make anyone ungrateful or a bad mother. You don't have to think those feelings beforehand and you're not supposed to. Just remember that they are 100% natural and ok feelings, when you face them. (You might know this very well, but I have some friends who had a more or less long road to motherhood and for them those kind of feelings turned out to be very hard to handle at first. It just caused so unnecessary pain for them. I don't wanna make you feel angry or frustrated, this is just something that I didn't found from these posts.)

    May the year 2014 be full of love and bliss and offer a happy surprise or two for you!

  6. The poems are beautiful. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  7. Beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing.

  8. So beautifully written. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Holly,
    I worked so long and hard for my babies that I finally received. There are those days, but today you have inspired me to give them more love, hugs, kisses and words of encouragement. Thank you!


My Bucket List:

My Bucket List: