A Perfect Post – February 2007

Three. It’s a powerful number. There’s hardly any entity in our world that does not acknowledge the significance of the number three.
If you’re a Jew, there are the Three Tribes of Israel. The Christians have the Holy Trinity, Catholics have the Martyrs, the Wiccans have the Rule of Three. Prehistory is divided into three eras, and politics and philosophy are ripe with examples of why we need three.

I have a different view of three. I have absorbed the number three in a different wave of experiences. It is a woman’s three; a mother’s three. A three that has wrapped itself around my heart, around my womb, and likes to squeeze… hard, so that I’m not sure if it is there to defend me from harm or to hurt me itself. The three in this trinity have each brought me joy, sorrow, ambivalence, comfort – have helped me become who I am – as a mother, a wife, a friend, a woman. And now these things are mine.

The First
This was one third of a Bad Things Trilogy. I had just quit my job in a major bout of frustration; the apartment that we had lined up fell through, and I found out I was pregnant. I was 24 and at a major crossroads in my life. I did not know what I was going to do with that life, and I did not want to be pregnant. I did not want to be a mother to a child whose father I had only been with for 8 months; did not want to be a mother to a child who would have to live in a rented basement apartment. Did not want to be a mother while I sifted through temp jobs before eventually finding the one that would launch my career. I did not want to be a mother that would rather go dancing than stay home with her kid; would rather spend money on weed than diapers; would rather eat nothing to stay skinny than watch my body grow a baby. I did not want to have a baby. I did not want to be a mother. I made a decision quickly, pragmatically, soundly.

I had an abortion. I am thankful that I had safe, free access to it, and a supporting, loving partner to literally hold my hand through it. I am thankful that my relationship with my partner was able to survive it and that we are still together today. I am thankful that I did not have that child.

The Second
Five years later, we conceived again. This pregnancy was welcomed, nurtured, protected and cherished. When I gave birth to a healthy, beautiful baby girl on the bed that she had been conceived in, I was made very aware of two things – how sacred a child is, and how sacred being a woman is. Like the pregnancy that had ended five years earlier, I did not quiet this experience with drugs. I wanted to know it, to know the visceral, powerful force of my body. I wanted to feel the physical equivalent of the emotions that had been churning inside me. That night, a child was born and so was a mother.

When I think about being a mother, I strip away the distractions of everyday life, the little frustrations, the noise. I think about how there is nothing more miraculous than the rise and fall of my daughter’s chest as she sleeps; nothing more beautiful than the pout of her lower lip as she waits for me to lift her up; nothing more delicious than her smile, her laugh. I look at my daughter and see what it means to exist.

The Third
I don’t know if the biological or emotional or physical call was the loudest. I don’t know if it had more to do with the growth of my hips and breasts, or that of my heart over the past 18 months. But all three had expanded since the birth of my daughter, and they longed to expand even more. It was time for our family to grow. For three months, we tried, hoped, wondered, fantasized… and were disappointed. And then, in the fourth month I thought that something felt different. I peed on yet another stick, placed the stick on the counter, closed my eyes and counted to 100, willing myself not to look.

98… 99…I looked.

One line. Again. I was deflated. Mentally, I ticked off another month that my children would be apart in age – a gap already larger than I had expected or wanted. I didn’t want to tell Chris that it was a ‘no,’ because I did not want to admit it out loud; did not want to give this disappointing truth a voice, because then it was reality. I didn’t want to go to work the next day, where two of my friends and coworkers were enjoying the bliss of their first pregnancy, and where another, who had been on the same timeline for #2 as I was, had just announced that she was 11 weeks pregnant. But of course, I did all of that. What choice did I have? I was dealing with disappointment, not tragedy, and I have always been one to downplay both. Chris made it easier, assuring me, with words that no poet could have better chosen, that what we so coveted was not a yes or no proposition. It was an eventuality. It would happen.

Two weeks later, I couldn’t shed the feeling that something was still indeed different. I convinced myself that this was a lingering; that I just did not want to admit that it had been a no. I was scheduled to take part in a very physical team-building activity with work the following week, and although I knew it would be fruitless, thought that I should take another test, just in case. So I peed on another stick, but did not begin my closed-eye counting ritual. I placed the stick on the counter and waited, simply intent on disposing of it in a moment’s time.


There were two lines.

Bee was the recipient of my initial shock, disbelief and happiness, until Chris got home and we could share it. I was enraptured. My feelings were of pure joy. Where my pregnancy with my daughter meshed joy with fear, this was the most welcomed gift I had ever received.

I said the words out loud, over and over again, at any possible opportunity. At this early stage those opportunities were limited to my home and my first doctor’s appointment, but I said them with pride, joy and thanks.

We had a plan for seeing our beloved midwife, for telling our parents, for logistically dealing with a pregnancy and toddler. I started looking at double strollers and pregnant women with reverence.

And just as the fatigue and nausea began, something else did too. I began to bleed.

And I willed the bleeding to stop, to be normal first trimester bleeding, to be implantation bleeding, to be pregnancy cysts, to be anything but what it could be. And the bleeding got heavier. And I gave it one more night, and it will stop before morning, and everything will be ok because I want this, I want this, I need this, I want this so badly, please please please please please. Please don’t do this. Please.

And the next morning, blood. And then the pain. Eclipsing even the pain of my heart breaking was the pain of my womb expelling my baby. It was the first time ever that I did not welcome the pain in my body; did not want to know what something felt like. But it was a pain that was not easily quieted, not by narcotics or tears or two days of writhing in bed with the drapes, and the door, and my heart, closed.

Six weeks have passed, and the pain has shrunk. It no longer envelopes my entire being, preferring to nestle in a lump in my throat. Sometimes I can swallow it down, and sometimes it threatens to spew forth from my body. But the experience is receding, from a technicolour, blinding neon pain of the present to a slightly dulled, sepia-toned archived pain belonging to my history. Herstory.

It is the third of three. A three of resolution, of joy, of pain. A woman’s three. It is a mother’s three. It is my trinity.


  1. Oh honey.

    I was getting really excited when I saw that Bee was number two. I am so so sorry.

    But welcome back! I've missed you! And I totally want you on my list of thinking bloggers. Consider yourself tagged.

  2. I meant to say beautiful post. A powerful one to inaugurate your new blog.

    Take care... you're in my thoughts.

  3. I cannot do justice to this post right now as I am being called off by the rulers of my universe..my trinity if you will.

    But i will let you know that I shreiked with joy realizing it was you!

  4. 'I look at my daughter and see what it means to exist.'

    This one line reminds me why I am so happy you are back. I hope you do not mind if I write that down and put it somewhere that I look everyday.

    I am so sorry for your loss K. It is so lousy, so unfair. This must have happened in and around the time I saw you....I thought you were a bit more subdued, and thats OK. I hope that time can heal this for you.

    Thank you for sharing all of these things with us. Your unflinching honesty is powerful.

    For sure this kid (meaning you) is going to be alright.

  5. Ok. So I had to come back and reread it. I didn't do it justice before. Beautiful beautiful post.

  6. K, you were missed in this space.

    As for this post, I have so few words. It is beautifully written and so very meaningful. Your grief must be great. If I can send any kind of womanly comfort through the ether, then I will it into my finger-tips now as I type.

  7. I am so sorry for your loss. I wish I had words to express how I felt when I read your post, but I'm at a loss. My heart is with you.

    (And yes, you have been missed...!)

  8. A powerful post. I never am able to find the words I want to use to respond and comments but I needed to let you know I read this and felt so much from it. Three has always been "that" number for me for so many reasons. Thank you for having the strength to share yours.

    I'm so glad you are back (((hugs))).

  9. Glad you're back Karen. This is beautiful.

  10. Beautiful. I'm glad you're back, though I'm sorry it is under these circumstances. My heart goes out to you and your pain.

  11. oH, there you are! I'm glad to see you ready to talk again. But I'm so, so sorry that you had to suffer that. I can only imagine it to be heart-rending, and it shocks me to begin to understand how many, many women go through it and carry on. We are stronger than I knew before, and it makes me sad and proud at once to read the words of women letting others know. Hugs to you, honey.

  12. gals - you are all very awesome, and that's why i was ready to come back. kittenpie is right, there are so many women who have gone through this, and yet, we don't really talk about it much. personally, i need to, with understanding and caring women. like all of you, so thank you, for the warm words and the warm welcome back.

  13. this is so incredibly lovely. and what an incredible way to find you.

    i am so very glad to meet you.

  14. OH MY FREAKING GOD!!!!!!!!!!! IT'S YOU!!!

    i am such a dumbass. all i could think was, who is this woman who left a comment on my post and I've never read her spot....and then i went back and read the profile..

    and it's YOU! goddamn (sorry)
    am happy about this.

  15. ohmygod, jen, you rock.

  16. Kgirl.
    You exist Big Time! I am glad you are back. I am so extremely sorry for your loss. I only know the pain infertility has caused in my heart...I can only imagine what it is like to go through what you have.

    You and your wondorous hips will conceive again. I can sense it!

    On a lighter note, when I saw the title of your post I thought you were going to announce that you were pregnant with twins! (with Bee that would make three) That would be the cutest freakin' trinity I can think of!

  17. lisa - twins? i thought you were my friend.

  18. I'm so sorry.

    I'm so so sorry.

  19. I am so sorry I can't muster up the intelligence to comment on this stunningly poignant post because I am so distracted by the fact that YOU ARE BACK. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. oh my god, I'm so so sorry.

    But what a beautiful and very heart breaking post.
    I am glad you're back and can I just say how cute the Bee is, and how much I love your new blog space.

    welcome back!!

  21. Wow. I came to this site because of your comment on Bub&Pie. I thought, who is this woman who will admit to 'post-spliff nachos?' I have to go see...

    And I wasn't really prepared.

    What a lovely post. You write of joy and loss in an amazingly eloquent way. And I'm incredibly sorry about your pregnancy loss.

  22. I've had such a cascade of emotions in response to this post: glee (that you're back), sorrow (oh, such sorrow), and now embarrassment (that it took me this many days to figure out that "talk to me, bubileh" meant "comments").

  23. Who is this kgirl with the most yummy toddler? Hooray! So happy to find you again.

    Your words completely moved me. They are beautiful and real. I'm so sorry to read of your loss. My thoughts are with you. (hugs)

  24. I am torn; on the one hand, I am delighted and excited to see you back, to read your words, to read you. On the other hand, I am moved to tears by this post, and am so, so sorry for what you've gone through.

    Beautiful post, Kgirl. Absolutely beautiful.

    I'm glad you are here.

  25. Oh, K. As everyone else has said - I'm torn between delight at your return, and heartbreak for your loss.

    Thank you for both of these things - for coming back, and for sharing of yourself so beautifully.


  26. Kgirl, I'm new to this world and I've heard talk of you and read your comments here and there, and I was so excited to read Cin's post announcing your return (you are well-loved in this corner of the blogosphere, woman).

    I am at a loss to say anything about this post because I don't know you as the others do, but I am sorry, and I think you are incredibly brave for sharing your story here. I hope that it helps with the healing.

  27. I am so sorry for your loss. And you are right - not many talk about it. At least not outside of this box. There are so many of us here though, who read, understand, and care. I am so sorry about your baby.

  28. I'm so sorry for your loss. Your eloquence in integrating this experience into the narrative of your life, your love, and your parenthood shows your strength. My best wishes are with you.

  29. I was so excited to see it was you ... you're back ...!

    And such a beautiful 'you're back' post...your trinity...

    Oh, Karen, I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you.

  30. This is my first visit (I saw your "perfect post" on Petroville today).

    I had to read your post 3 times....you have an amazing talent of expressing your emotions through words. Thank you for sharing & I extend my thoughts & prayers with you as you continue to work through all of this.

    Take care!

  31. I came here through the perfect post awards....

    If I could write half as well as you, I could have written this, except the order would be different, with my two being your three.

    This was beautiful. And my heart is breaking right along with yours. You will always mourn your baby, but the pain will lessen. I promise.

    You are in my thoughts.

  32. I found you again Kgirl!!! Yay!!!

    Beautiful, beautiful post.

    I am sorry for your loss. So sorry.

    Big hugs from your redneck friend...

    Welcome back darling.

  33. It's taken me a few days to be able to put my thoughts regarding your post into some semblance of inteligence. It amazes me and soothes me to read your words and feel your heartache along with mine. You know I know intimately of what you've gone through, but yet we still all feel it and deal with it differently. When I read your posts it's just like talking to you - and that feels good. I'm so glad you're back. Here's to babies before the end of '07!!

  34. I read this a few days ago, but I needed to re-read it a few times before I commented. The way you convey your emotions is so touching. I'm sure you've made more than a few hearts cry.

    "I look at my daughter and see what it means to exist." ~ WOW!!!

    Granted I'm new to this blog-world, so I didn't read you before...but I am VERY glad to have found you this time around (or you found me actually!). I look forward to more...my thoughts are with you as you work through this experience.

  35. I'm terribly sorry, I really am.

    I understand alot of what you have expressed in this post...it sucks.

    I know I'm late in commenting but I just discoverred your new blog. Welcome back.

  36. this is a beautiful post. I was just pointed in this direction by cinnamon gurl as I am going through a similar thing. and as I read many of these comments I realize we know many of the same bloggers and I wonder how I haven't found you before. I'm glad I have....


Talk to me.