The Sisterhood I Never Wanted to Join

By Kimberly Sears

sayIn the files next to my writing desk there’s a folder labeled “Baby Sears 2014!” in neat, excited handwriting. Inside are ultrasound papers and the remnants of a treasure hunt I made my husband to tell him our good news. But of course there was no Baby Sears born in 2014. Because that was the …

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Sundays Away

By Teresa Bruce

When I Was a Child Growing up, I went to church weekly except during bouts of strep throat or flu. Even during rare family vacation travels, we packed Sunday clothes and shoes no matter our destination. High School Diplomacy The day before my first high school model U. N. conference, vague uneasiness coalesced into realization: …

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My Body Has Many Names

By Ashmae Hoiland

What piece of me was already squirming through the indescribable infinities of her body on July 17, 1920 in Red Lodge, Montana the day my maternal grandmother, Elizabeth, was born. She died long before I came round-headed and bald into this world, but I cannot shake her presence and the stories I barely know of …

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1988, Knee Deep in Show

By Melissa Dalton-Bradford

It’s here, under a lamplight’s beaming grin that sets a simple hillside cloaked in snow afire where we’re encircled, taken in, enraptured, and infused, by the plush comfort of snow up to our knees. The heaviness makes for slower going, yet sturdier strides, for steps that land as one, and leave deep signs behind. Our …

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SAM_1392Rachel Jeffcoat studied English at Oxford University a few light-years ago. These days she works as a freelance writer and editor, in between finger painting and feeding the ducks with her boisterous eighteen-month-old, and spending time with her lovely husband. She loves to read, cook, and write intense love letters to the semicolon. She blogs at http://makealongstoryshort.net.

This winter I learned about love-in-waiting.

It’s been about a month since we started telling people about our second pregnancy. All of them said the same thing.

How wonderful! Congratulations! Are you excited?

I didn’t tell a single one of them the truth.

No, I’m not. I’m not excited. Oh gosh, I wish I were.

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I am Not a Mother

Photobucket Today’s guest post is by Reachel Bagley. After searching for their children for over 5 years, Reachel and her husband finally found their daughter Coco through adoption.  They will be adding a son to their clan this December.  She encourages women everywhere to continue searching for those in need of mothers everywhere.  When not writing or teaching about fashion (see Cardigan Empire), Reachel enjoys any combination of travel, vegetarian cooking, modern art, French cinema, Italian opera, poetry, gardening, and especially her husband.

I am not a mother. After 63 months, hundreds of pregnancy tests, a five-digit sum for a ten-syllable label, and two counts of attempted adoption, I’ m reasonably positive.  Andrew’ s seed is essentially flawless, and I’ ve seen live footage of the inside of my uterine soil. Personally, I think it looks lovely. Soft, squishy pink walls with minimal endometrial fluff, floating around like perfect little baby pillows. And the overly chipper doctor performing the exam agreed. (By the way, it is my personal opinion that gynecological doctors specializing in infertility should be shrouded and discreet when performing their service. I do not appreciate small talk during examinations or any emotional discharge whatsoever during our time together. I prefer services be rendered quietly, efficiently, and a treat be dispensed upon completion. I really do think I should get a treat.)

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Today’s UP CLOSE piece is by Emily Falke.  Emily lives near Austin, Texas with her fantastic little family consisting of her husband, her daughter, and their really big dog.  She relishes the sweet busyness of home life, and she quilts and tutors in her spare time.  She blogs at www.memoirsofmotherhood.wordpress.com.

Two little blue lines on a little white stick. Just two little lines, and one little stick, but with far-reaching consequences.

And questions.

There was the beginning. Is it the right time for us to try? Could we handle it if I got pregnant right away? The answer came: “Can you ever handle it?”

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One Wild and Precious Life

By Kathyrn Lynard

Today’s Up Close post comes from Catherine Keddington Arveseth, a full-time mom, part-time writer. She has a degree in exercise science and a minor in English from the University of Utah. She and her family recently moved from Washington DC to Salt Lake City. Catherine reviews books for Meridian Magazine–we especially love her review of The Mother in Me!

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” I scrawled this quote by poet Mary Oliver onto my kitchen blackboard three months ago. For weeks it has eyed me from the blackness, glowing underneath my three-year-old daughter’s cursive hieroglyphs.

“I thought you’d like this” a dear friend said, as she placed the brochure with Oliver’s words on my kitchen counter. I did. What chilling words for mortality. Wild and Precious. So carpe diem.

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My Place in the Garden

By Heather Sullivan

, you IT’S TOO BAD we lost that branch,” my mom says. “Now there’s just a big hole in the middle.” We are sitting on the patio looking at her Japanese maple tree that lost one of its main branches to last winter’s storm. Her comment catches me off guard. Is she talking about the …

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Ripe Pumpkins, Green Heart

By Melinda Morley

I CLUTCHED THE METAL sidebar of the hospital bed and dug my nails into the cold steel. My body posed rigidly as each contraction swelled and crashed over me like the surf at high tide. Sweat poured down my back. It left a salty pool above my lip, which I bit to stifle a groan. Bile …

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