Saturday, February 26, 2011

Poem #11: To Cervix

Because I know so many women who have experienced miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies, I felt very anxious during the first trimester of my pregnancy. When the second trimester began, I was so relieved because, at that point, the risk of miscarriage is reduced significantly. I felt like I was "out of the woods." Unfortunately, in all my reading and research I somehow missed the short paragraph in the index of my pregnancy book about Incompetent Cervix. This condition is uncommon, but can occur during the fourth or fifth month of pregnancy. In my case, the doctors believe this is what happened.

In dwelling on this diagnosis, I was reminded of The Cradle Will Fall, a mystery novel by Mary Higgins Clark. If I remember correctly from the novel, women unable to conceive are referred to as "broken cradles." This description has stuck with me as evidenced in my last post. Of course, the title for Clark's novel is an allusion to the well-known nursery rhyme "Rock-a-bye Baby" and those lyrics serve as the main inspiration for my poem. However, I felt I should give due credit to Mary Higgins Clark because without her novel, I would never have thought of "Rock-a-bye Baby" in the context of infertility and child-bearing.

After I came home from the hospital, the first line of this poem was a frequent refrain in my mind and, eventually, I sat down to compose this short rhyme that includes my daughter's middle name.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Poem #10: White Tulip

An interesting thing about delivery, at least for me, is that I couldn't see what was going on. During the whole ordeal, I only saw one thing and that image is forever burned in my memory. I have tried to describe it delicately in the poem. The metaphor of the white tulip most likely occurred to me after Memorial Day when I placed white tulips on my daughter's grave. In this poem, I also allude to Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 when I refer to her as "a darling bud."

Friday, February 11, 2011

Poem #9: The Last Door on the Left

Whereas my last post dealt with hope and looking forward to being a mother, this poem is about watching those hopes vanish. I don't want to go into all of the details, but at week 21 of my pregnancy--one week after finding out that we were having a girl--I was told by my doctor to go immediately to the hospital. At that point, we knew something was seriously wrong. I will never forget the walk down the labor hall toward my hospital room--the last door on the left. I'm not sure if the door actually had the fallen leaf and teardrop symbol on it or not, but I know that the folder they gave us when we left the hospital did.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Poem #8: Next Year at Baldwin Farm

Computer problems have prevented me from posting sooner, but finally here is the next poem in the chapbook. Of all the poems, there are only three that mention or allude to actually being pregnant. This is the last of those three before the poems that deal with the loss.

The idea for this poem came when we visited Baldwin Farm toward the end of October 2009. It was an absolutely beautiful day. There had been sufficient rain that summer and early fall so the grass was lush and green. It was a perfect contrast to the bright orange pumpkins that dotted the hills. The sky was clear and blue. (I took a lot of pictures and I wanted to include some of them in this post, but unfortunately, I can't because of the aforementioned computer issues.) While we were there, we saw several couples taking pictures of their babies in the pumpkin patch. At the time it made me kind of sad, but I remember thinking, "maybe next year that will be me." I didn't know it at the time, but I was actually already pregnant. When I found out a couple weeks later, it made me so happy to think that next year I would be one of those parents.

I really wanted this poem to express how much I was looking forward to being a mother. This is really a first draft and I think it falls a little short of this goal. However, I have already started working on a revision that will be much better.