Able, Breath

(Trigger warning: miscarriage)

On December 2nd, I took a pregnancy test.

Positive.

Only about 6 weeks along, I was hesitant but excited. The whole year had been rife with difficulty and some personal, painful experiences. This was a bright spot, no matter how complicated it seemed. It was like waking up and looking out the window to see fresh snow; beautiful, surprising, exciting.

I told Spencer. I told two dear friends. I touched my belly tenderly, a flurry of thoughts already running through my mind.

I bought prenatal vitamins. I kept exercising. I bought a couple pieces of maternity clothes, feeling foolish to be so excited, knowing what could come.

Six days later I started bleeding. Over the weekend I sobbed after every trip to the bathroom. I curled up on the couch, watching melancholy television and staring off into space.

I sat in my therapists office and quietly wept. Feeling stupid for being excited. Heartbroken for the connection I already felt, now lost. “It’s like one of those snow days that starts out exciting, but by the end of the day it’s all melted away”, I explained, grasping at metaphors.

“So you had six days together”, she said softly. “How can you honor that life that was there, each of those six days?”

I sat there, silently nodding, unable to hold back tears and caught off guard by how she validated my grief. No matter how short that life was, it still existed. It still changed me forever. It was still worth honoring.

(Side note to those who have suffered a similar loss: it counts. Oh, love, it counts. It’s ok that it hurts, and terribly so.

You were marked forever, and any life, no matter the brevity, deserves to be celebrated, honored, and grieved when lost. Forgive any ignorant comments you may receive–your story is your own, and you are not alone.)

The next weekend, I had six small dots tattooed on my arm, one for each sweet day.

Spencer wept with me. The dear friends shared our grief in beautiful ways, honoring with us that momentary spark of life.

And with fresh scars on my arm and on my heart, I wrote these words, for the little life that I never got to know:

Able, Breath

I wrote this poem in a bathroom

For you.

Funny, I found out you lived,

In a room just like this.

I discovered you were fading from me,

In a room just like this.

The test still says “pregnant”

buried in the cluttered drawer.

I marked the days I knew you

with spots on my arm

Though if I talk

of the days I’ll miss you…

spots…

down my ribs,

my back,

my limbs,

fingertips,

my whole being

would be filled

with spots.

You marked my life,

my pleading soul.

My heart yearns for you

Still.

Still.

We had six days little love,

little snowfall,

little breath.

All of them sweet.

Without a thought—

with no hesitation—

I was ready to give you everything:

body,

mind,

money,

nights,

pain,

food from my plate,

clothes from my back,

years from my life.

Oh and

my

fervent,

fiery,

joyful love.

Six days, Breath.

Though it would’ve only taken one.

5 thoughts on “Able, Breath

  1. So heart-wrenching and so lovely, dear Kate. I’m so very sorry for your loss, for your family’s loss, so so sorry. Much much love.

  2. I’m so sorry Kate. I also had a miscarriage many years ago, and was at a loss on how to grieve. I had three other kids, I was “only” 3 months along, ect. I wasn’t sure if I was “allowed” to grieve for very long. Now I know that every moment of life is worthy of celebration which means every loss is worthy of Grieving- however that looks for each of us. Your writing is a beautiful.❤️

  3. Oh, sweet Kate! I’m so sorry… You are an incredibly powerful woman and writer. Your writing and courage change lives. Your honesty and transparency are light in the darkness. May God hold you close and surround you with love and comfort in the midst of your suffering and grief. I love you!

  4. Though I never had a miscarriage, we just were never able to conceive-which comes with it’s own grief. Grief is grief. I truly believe we need to tell our stories; one that keeps the lies away, and two it helps others who are suffering as well. Strong words from a strong spirit! Thank you for sharing your pain, your grief. You’re an inspiration, and I thank you!

  5. Miscarriages aren’t talked about much. Alec Baldwins wife had one and really went public to let others know they’re not alone. I had one at 4-1/2 months. It happened while making lunches for Gabriel and Jordan. They were 3 & 4 years old. Gabriel has vivid memories as I lost the baby right there in the kitchen. I hemorrhaged horribly and was hospitalized with major blood loss.

    I lost my first baby, a beautiful little girl at 1 years old from a hospital error. God was still God. And a year after my miscarriage, Hannah was born. That pregnancy came with challenges as well. I passed a very large kidney stone at 5 months. I was in agonizing pain and there was great concern Id miscarry her from the pain triggering labor. I was double IV’d for 5 days in the hospital. Passed the stone 3 weeks later at home. Just under a half inch. Blew everyone away when they saw it.
    You’ll meet again. The Lord has everything you need to trust Him for your future. No matter the obstacles, He’s there along side of you. Satan wants any possible snag to discourage you, especially since you are amazing parents, raising an awesome child to love Jesus.

    I speak peace over you and I declare and decree a fabulous pregnancy… totally healthy and whole and you’re both filled with joy, hope and promise of a very fruitful life! You are dearly loved❤️♥️❤️ Nancy

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