Archive for the 'pregnancy' Category

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From What I Understand About Quilting

by Nicelle Davis

I had an Ectopic pregnancy,             Ectopic means misplaced, I know this from
is what she calls to tell me.           the time I drove a girl from the homeless youth
It has been two years since          shelter to the university hospital. I’d recognized
we graduated from college           her from a random conversation we had together
and I remember liking her,          about Mayo Angelo. I didn’t wait with her in
but can not recall specifics            the emergency room. Instead I asked for a pair
other than we both love Virginia    of gloves to help remove the purple mess of blood
Wolfe. But I recognize her            from my 1979 beater. I remember how shocked
voice, cadence at odds                 I was by the variety of density that came out of her
with the diction, a painful              half afraid that a clot was really some small half
effort to act her age adding girl     formed arm. I prayed before throwing the thing
to the end of sentences                in the bin, not because I was especially close to God
a reminder that she                     but because I was young, scared, and sexually
is twenty-not-forty-something.       active. When I called the next day, a nurse told
I’ve heard you been busy, girl           me the girl had a tubal miscarriage, nothing
referring to my getting knock-       like a person could have been accidentally dumped
up and shotgun hitched.               in the trash. I never found out what happened
                                                   to the girl. At the time, I didn’t think to ask.
People with children speak a secret language-say the same words as people with out kids, but it all means something different. That’s why, when a parent tells their child iloveyou and the child says I know with an annoyance that only repetition can acquire, parents must insist, no you don’t understand iloveyouiloveyouiloveyou until the whole thing feels like spit on a cowlick. Maybe there is a better way to phrase this, though I think it would have to be inappropriately graphic like, for you I would let razor teeth clowns eat my face and suck my brain from a straw jammed up my nose. Maybe it was this feeling that prompted me to offer to bring her soup when I heard she lost the baby.
She’s been working on a      quilt     for the rape recovery
center, where she works with the  mentally  dysfunctional.
She’s collected words from survivors on          poly   ester
rectangles,  measured meticulously. The whole slowly be-
coming the   same shape   as the pieces that comprise it.
Spread      across the floor,         blanket               reads
live/faith/esperanza.                 Utterances of subjectivity,
abstract,   debatably meaningless.      She recently cut her
hair in a maternal fashion.   Is uneasy about how it makes
her look like her mother, when she never               wanted
to be her mother, but always    thought she’d be a mother.
It’s not that she doesn’t like        her mother. It’s just that,
well, she wanted to be her own.                   Have her own.
She’s taking a logical approach to the situation. Technically           After I had J.J. my ultra
the child wasn’t lost. Just the opposite. Her body held                   concretive aunt was
tight too soon, fetus catching in the narrow hallway                       kind to tell me sexual
of the fallopian. There was never a heartbeat. Only a clump          relations become again
of cells. She feels fine, so long as she keeps talking.                   possible. I believed her
She admits to having conversations with her pussy, it’s lips           because it was the first 
swollen first to the size of baby cheeks. The incisions made         time I ever heard her
at panty-line, will be covered when her pubic hair fills in.              say the word sex.
After we sit for an hour at her kitchen table, not eating soup, she asks if she could get a lift to the salon down the street. Her mom will be by to pick her up after. She says I rather not walk if I can avoid it, to avoid saying it hurts and I hurt and it doesn’t stop hurting and I want take it out of me this hurt, stitch by stitch until the incision reopens and I can stick my hand up into myself, taking it out and out and out. I say not a problem, meaning itwillbeok knowing that itisnotok, meaning I would like to give you comfort, instead I repeat like a novena after I dropping her off, soup soup soup soup soup soup.

Nicelle Davis lives in Lancaster, California with her husband James and their son J.J. She received her MFA from the University of California, Riverside. She teaches at Antelope Valley College. Her poems are forthcoming in A cappella Zoo, Caesura, Moulin, Pedestal Magazine, Redcations, Transcurrents and Verdad.






Growing Pains

by Nick Sweet

Later, in bed at his place, we were just starting to get it on, when Winston pulled away and said, “I’d like to talk a bit first, if it’s all right with you.” I was really in love with Winston, and still at that stage where I would look at him from time to time and think, God, he’s mine, and marvel at my good fortune. His cheekbones were high and broad, and beautifully sculptured, and there was a calm intelligence, and pride, in those brown eyes of his that I just adored. Right now, though, he seemed distracted, preoccupied.

We’d been seeing each other for about six months, ever since we first met by chance, really, through a mutual friend, Gill Watts, who worked with Winston at BT, and we were dating for several weeks before we started sleeping together. I’d really fallen for him; so far as I was concerned, Winston was the one for me, he was Mr Perfect. Things were going really well between us, or so I thought, although I could tell he was upset right now, and wanted to get what was bothering him off his chest, and so I asked him what was troubling him, even though I knew very well what it was. You see, I’d taken Winston home to see my parents for the first time that afternoon, and things hadn’t worked out well. In fact, they hadn’t worked out well at all. Mum coloured up the moment she set eyes on Winston, the way she does when she’s uneasy about something, and hurried out into the kitchen to busy herself with something or other, while Dad said a frosty hello, his grey eyes cold and unwelcoming, before he hid himself behind the outstretched pages of his Telegraph, which he used, it seemed to me, as a sort of barricade, leaving Winston and me to sit there and watch the news on TV in silence. I don’t know exactly what I’d been expecting, taking the man I loved, who just happened to be black, home with me for the first time; but I sure as hell know it wasn’t that. Continue reading ‘Growing Pains’

A Poem for my Son on his Due Date

by Robin Silbergleid 


A boy empties a white pail

into flames on my television

and my hand holds that place

it never left.  I watch and wonder

what happened to my son

when the doctor wrenched him

from my body too small

to be seen on the sonogram

but big enough to swell

my whole world.  My breasts

my belly even my heart

sore from pumping blood

to his stumped cells.  After

when I was back in the bed

with Raggedy Ann legs

she asked if I was stubborn

the way a mother might ask

another woman’s child.  My uterus

clenched around what wasn’t there

and wouldn’t let go.  Then

she put her hand on my forehead

and we were two women

who had created a child together

and there are no words to say

what passed between us.


 Those snow-covered weeks

before surgery, I saw

my son in the backseat of the car

looking out an airplane window

asking for French toast in the morning.

I am not a person who has visions

I am not a person who believes in ghosts

or even God.  But this dark-haired boy

who held my hand when we crossed the street

only he could have been my son.  Benjamin.


 I refuse to pretend

my son is an angel

on a fat cloud watching over me.


 Once I imagined dressing him

in tiny t-shirts swimming in ducks,

floppy hats that tie under the chin.

I would have taken him to the park

I would have spent the summer

I would have



 Women talk about their pregnancies

not their miscarriages.  Words whispered

under the hum of fluorescent bulbs

while what was left poured out of me

onto white sheets.  It is six months later

and my body opens like a sieve:

a jumble of bloody syllables.


Robin Silbergleid is the author of the chapbook Pas de Deux: Prose  and Other Poems (Basilisk, 2006). Her poems and essays have appeared in journals including Dislocate, Crab Orchard Review, The Truth About the Fact and The Cream City Review, for which she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  A survivor of pregnancy loss and single mother to a spirited five-year-old, Robin is a regular contributor to the online journal Exhale. She is current assistant professor of English at Michigan State University.

Every Silver Lining

by Cherri Randall

There is a new girl sitting in the circle, and Marcy takes some kind of perverse delight in seeing if she can scare them off or get them to cry on the first day.  The counselor never arrives earlier than fifteen minutes late, which means Marcy has ten minutes.  She could almost run off the veterans, so a rookie hardly stands a chance.  Marcy takes one glance at the new chick, which means she sees everything it would take a normal person several moments to absorb.  The new chick is some kind of walking advertisement for Gucci and Armani and smells like real Giorgio, not that imitation stuff in the yellow bottles from Wal-Mart.  The thing that will set Marcy off will be the new chick’s nails.  They are perfectly manicured and they’re real.  They aren’t thick enough to be acrylic.  Marcy is a nail biter.  Sometimes when everyone else is bawling or screaming the counselor will get this look on her face like she wants to tear her hair out.  Marcy is never part of the fray.  But once in a while she will be biting her nails, and sometimes it will be so bad she can’t get them to stop bleeding.

”Did you guys hear about the kid in South Carolina?”

One thing the group knows about Marcy is that resistance is futile.  They will be assimilated.  Nora looks at Marcy.  “What happened?”


Sterile Fields by Karen Carr

Please check out our amazing new story on heartbreak and loss, miscarriage, c-section, birth, post-partum depression, “Sterile Fields” by Karen Carr. Feel free to comment here!

….They had wheeled her in here hours ago-hours ago, when she had told them it was time. They had wheeled her into this green tiled room, pushed her into the cold metal stirrups, pushed her legs apart, pushed their fingers up into her, and decided that it was not time to stop that pushing. Now, in the same room, they stood above her, all wearing green tile-matching masks, muttering in voices that seemed to her like voices on a long distance phone line. They stood around her in a semicircle, her body underneath their eyes, laid out flat-sacrificial. She saw the man who she recognized by his glasses and the red, broken-blood-vesselled nose. He smiled through his mask and put his hand on her shoulder…..MORE HERE…

What Happens in Grade 2 by Jennifer Schalliol

Check out our latest poem by Jennifer Schialliol on what a 7 year old boy thinks about miscarriage. Please comment here.

“Kissing Scars” by AJ Pearson-VanderBroek

Check out our latest fiction, “Kissing Scars,” and comment here…

Novelties, After the Birth, Cause, and Gratitude

Please check out our latest selection of poems on birth by Jenn Blair.

Fractured by Susan Oloier

Check out our latest offering, an excerpt from a novel, called “Fractured,” by Susan Oloier.

“As I mill around the maternity section of Target, pushing the camel-colored pregnancy pants with the stretch bellies across the rack, I am oblivious to Life’s samurai surprises.  At three months—twelve weeks in pregnancy lingo—my size 28 Levi’s are just beginning to tighten.  But as an overzealous, first-time mom-to-be, I need to explore my clothing options. …” Read more…

First Trimester: Down Syndrome Test

Check out our latest offering, “First Trimester: Down Syndrome Test” by Christine Redman Waldeyer, and comment here.

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