motherhood

It Was You The Whole Time

It was you the whole time.

Before I knew I was pregnant. When two lines showed up even though that second one was faint. When I texted our midwife with the happy news even though it was early.

But see,

I’ve learned there’s no such thing as “early.”

Just you!

You the whole time.

And when you were smaller than you “should” have been, it was you fully there. You the whole time. Your strong heartbeat the best sound in your mother’s world.

You.

You.

You.

The whole time.

There was a night I thought I might be losing you. I was scared out of my mind. Desperate, “I WANT THIS BABY!”

And that baby was you.

You the whole time.

And praise God, you were well! Strong. And all of you there, here with me, the whole time.

Conception. Week 7. Week 13. Week 20. Week 35. Last of summer, all of fall and winter, early spring, 39 Weeks, 5 Days. . .

it was you the whole time.

And now I get to hold you in my arms, see your face, treasure every bigger-than-life smile, calm your cries, run my thumb gentle across your forehead. There is wonder in finally holding the reality of you after carrying you for so long. You who has been you the whole time. Since before I knew! Since before I saw. Before I heard. Before I felt. Before I held.

It’s just always been you.

You!

Growing.

Living.

Being.

Heidi.

The whole time.

You.

No such thing as early. Just wonderful, radiant, miraculous you.

You the whole time.

Hi there, I’m your mom.

And don’t you worry,

I’ve been here the whole time, too.

motherhood

Mommy Is Human But Here (and other postpartum reflections)

Hey kids,

I’m crying in the kitchen, but I love you. And I still want you in my life!

Hey kids,

I want to enjoy mothering, but I feel like a machine.

Yes, I want to enjoy mothering, but I feel like a machine.

both kids near, postpartum April 2022

And I want to go outside with you, but I don’t know how to get us all there.

Hey kids,

You are gold, but the treasure of you feels like weight. . .breathtaking, chest-constricting. Mommy’s still learning how to hold you.

And I love that you’re in my life, but sometimes I can’t see the life inside my days. Don’t worry, mommy has Hope, is asking God for help. He always gives it.

Hey kids,

I want to play with you in the water, but mommy is still trying to get out of the deep end. And Mommy hasn’t forgotten how to play. It just takes time for water to be playful again.

And I’ll keep the music going. Mommy can’t wait to dance with you, but she’s healing. And that’s no waltz. But soon. She still remembers the steps.

Hey kids,

I love you.

And Mommy is human, but I’m here no matter what.

Yes!

I am here!

No matter how long it takes for me to laugh in the kitchen instead of cry. Or for the machinery to stop humming while we break free in the great outdoors beneath the sun. No matter how hard it is to hold the weight of gold, or notice the life of life, or come back to shore and splash in the water, and dance to the steps you’ve made up for me.

No matter what.

No matter how long.

I’m here.

I’m here.

I’m human. But I’m here.

And God is here with me.

So, we’re going to be okay.

And pretty soon,

we’re going to be great.

Hey kids,

I can’t wait.

Speaking of which. Did you feel that lovely garden breeze? Me too.

It won’t be long now.

All my love and forever here,

Mommy

infertility · Poetry

How Thoroughly God Gives Life!

In 2020, while a child grew in me, I returned to the thing I had loved to do as a child. Writing poetry. And I wrote the years down. Infertility. My silent screaming. God’s history of love to me. My grief. The garden. The starkness of the bathroom floor. The healing. The escape from the grave. Hope Gives a Eulogy. How thoroughly God gives life! His miracles are many. His presence is everything.

artwork by the talented Emaline Westbrook!

It’s been one year since I published Hope Gives a Eulogy. What a gift to learn I could love God with all of me, fully trust Him and live in hope from Him without ever trying to make infertility the good thing. I could hate the pain without bitterness, grieve the loss extensively, and still completely love and be loved by God. I could experience His kindness without contorting His kindness into the brokeness of infertility. Anything good I experienced during infertility is because God changed it. He made the childless story different. He gave the barren woman LIFE. He didn’t let infertility stay the story.

And that was all before my my children.

And as I wrote my son in Hope Gives a Eulogy,

You were never missing,

But so many things were–

Joy and peace and healing,

Dreaming, breathing, being.

A real hopeful kind of living.

So I learned how to play

Hide and seek.

Sometimes, buried treasure

Is a box of lost and found.

And the garden is half-priced

Daisies in a grocery cart.

Maybe the eulogy is a prelude

For new life.

See what I mean?

I’ve got much more to tell you,

And I’m so glad you’ve come along!

I can’t wait to show you all the best

Hiding spots.

(There’s a lot.)

This is a story I’ll be telling forever. To my children, and should God give them, my children’s children. “Come and hear, all you who fear God,and I will tell what he has done for my soul.” Psalm 66:16

Truly God has kept my soul among the living! (Psalm 66:8)

It has been a profound journey of hope and healing. God turned my life into spring and then He gave me two children and expanded that springtime in huge ways. I know this story of God’s love and glory is far from over. I’m glad to have part of it written down. To have shared it with you. And here we are one year later.

To celebrate one year of Hope Gives a Eulogy out in the world, you can purchase this personal collection of 96 poems for half off the original price! This is the best deal to date and the offer goes through Mother’s Day should you find yourself or know a friend who is in a spring-less season this Mother’s Day. May these poems meet you wherever you are. Let me wait with you for however long it takes spring to burst in your soul again. And then some.💕

Perhaps the eulogy is, indeed, a prelude for new life.

-S.V.F.

Poetry

She Would Know It Soon

cold hands held the seeds.
I among them.
it did not feel like celebration. . .
maybe once,
but these were clammy dreams,
lines in her hands going nowhere,
just holding me, holding seeds,
hoping.

but isn’t it a wonder
that fragile beginnings
empty of vision
never determine
the vibrant awakening
of a garden.

and she would know it
soon.

-S.V.F.


photo of our garden entrance days before we brought our firstborn home to sunflowers and zinnias. what began in a grocery cart during the pain of infertility turned to this.❤

our firtborn a couple weeks old amidst the sunflowers
our firstborn a year old playing in the garden that he loves

I wonder what kind of garden we will bring our spring baby girl home to in a few days or so?❤ I’ll be sure to let you know.