Motherhood & Words

Today I am celebrating the birthday of my twin nieces. One year ago today, they were born full term, to our great relief. Even from the outside, the pregnancy was a stressful one. My sister experienced bleeding so intense that she thought she was miscarrying on more than one occasion. And I knew too much about the risks of prematurity with multiples and the effects of being born too soon. But she didn’t deliver early. The babies didn’t need to spend months in the NICU. And now we have these two delightful baby girls in our lives, and I’m so grateful for them.

But as so often happens in life, my day of joy for my nieces and my sister and brother-in-law was tempered by other news. This morning I received an email from one of my students. There was nothing in the subject line, and I assumed that she was checking up on some feedback I owed her for an editing project. (I’ve been a little slow.) But instead, it was a message saying that her baby girl, who was just born, months too soon, had died. I haven’t met this woman in person, but I feel so close to her, and I know she’s heartbroken. I’m heartbroken for her. And I’m sending my love out, hoping that she can feel it.

Tomorrow, I’m going to post an interview with the talented and lovely Katrina Kenison. Her new memoir, Magical Journey, is the perfect book for the way life and death exist side by side, the way we must celebrate each joy-filled moment even in the face of devastation and heartbreak. Please check back for the interview. And in the meantime, holds those dear to you close if you can.

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I have been teaching creative writing for almost twenty years. Reading about other women’s lives and experiences has expanded my world. To be able to walk in someone else’s shoes, whether it’s for a moment or an hour or a few days, is an incredible gift, providing me with insight into the human experience. It takes courage to write your truths, especially if it doesn’t seem as though anyone cares, as though anyone is listening. Let me tell you: your stories matter, I’m listening, and I’m here to help you find the heart of those truths, to get them down on the page, to craft them, and to send them out into the world. Together, we will change the world, one story at a time.


  1. Andrea on March 14, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Oh, Kate, I’m so sorry for your friend. I can’t imagine anything more awful.

    • Kate on March 15, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      Thank you, Andrea. I know–it’s just devastating.

  2. Carin on March 14, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Kate, I am so sorry for your student. I send her all my love. I really couldn’t imagine anything worse.

    • Kate on March 15, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      Thank you, Carin. I know she would appreciate your thoughts.

  3. Autumn on March 14, 2013 at 1:02 pm


    My heart is so heavy for your friend as she mourns for her baby girl. My prayers are for her today. May she find the strength she needs to carry on. May her daughter live in her heart forever.

    I have a friend that founded a ministry for infant loss. Her name is Kambra and the website is They offer all sorts of support from emotional to helping with burial. Just wanted to pass along the information just in case it might be something she needs now or later.

    • Kate on March 15, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      Thank you, Autumn, and I’ll make sure to send this link on to her. Thanks for keeping her in your prayers.