Motherhood & Words

My dear sisters didn’t follow my directions. They were supposed to read the haiku entries, then confer and choose a winner. But they each chose a winner, so now I have two winners of the first Mother Words haiku contest. (Not such a bad thing–I loved all of them!)

The winners are: Emmie and Soon to Be First Time Mom

Emmie wrote:

OK – had two bad bouts of mastitis and several plugged ducts. The “dangle feed” (nursing while leaning over the baby, best done on a bed or on the floor) saved me from more bouts of actual mastitis, as did aggressive self-massage. I always remember my OB saying, as she noticed the angry red line on my breast, “well, this is the kind of thing that used to sometimes kill you before antibiotics”. Anyway, here goes – true story, never since discussed, thankfully:

Feed with dangling breast
Good for mastitis, they say
Dad-in-law walks in

Soon to Be First Time Mom wrote:

Expectant Haiku….

Thirty-two weeks now,
Reflux: Used to seem quite bad
Posts arouse New Fears

Here are the comments from my sisters:

Rachel said:

Wow, these haikus were truly funny to read, and I’m a big fan of funny haikus. Nothing funny about mastitis while in its evil throes, but it does tend to make for good stories later – both in giving a lighter slant to the dark hours of breastfeeding, and in highlighting the strength of women in their journey through motherhood. You don’t know me, but I’m Kate’s younger sister, Rachel. I had some raging mastitis that set in exactly 1 week after I gave birth to my son. My favorite memory is Kate coming over to visit me after I went to the doctor for antibiotics. I’ve memorialized this visit with a haiku of my own:

Let me see, she says
Almost vomits in her mouth
Does it look that bad????

Anyway, it’s difficult for me to be a judge…first, because I’m no expert on haikus; and second, because I have a hard time making decisions. But, if I had to choose just one, my vote goes to: Emmie. The image of your father-in-law walking in on you gave me a hearty laugh!

Sara said:

Hi everyone. I’m Kate’s older sister Sara. I’m the sister who has never had mastitis. I am also not a mother and not pregnant, but I’m definitely neurotic, so should I become pregnant at any point in the future I am very, very afraid I might get mastitis (among a long list of other fears). I therefore have to throw my vote to the “expectant haiku.” In particular, I would like to applaud the use of capital letters with respect to New Fears. Because my youngest sister Rachel and I have split our votes, I will leave it to Kate to determine an equitable means for awarding the gift certificate. I enjoyed reading all the entries!

Emmie and Soon to Be First Time Mom will each receive a $10 amazon gift card. I have Emmie’s address, but Soon to Be First Time Mom, will you please send me your address (to katehopper [at] msn [dot] com)?

Thanks to all of you who posted your haikus.

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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 Comment

  1. Rhena on June 9, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    Hilarious haikus. Makes me never want to have a baby… but not really. Great idea for a contest!