Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
After Page One: Strength

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A guest post to motivate, encourage and inspire...

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Writing for Him

When I was first pregnant, I questioned what would become of my writing. Would my website turn into another mommy blog, my thoughts swallowed whole by the wonders of parenthood? What could I write of it that no one had before?

When I lost that pregnancy, my first child, my only son, I didn’t write a word for 27 days. I should have been seven months pregnant by then, but when I sat back down at my desk at the end of that cold June, I was both empty and full. Void of his being and his future, I teemed with tangled words about my experience of loving and losing him. The only way to untangle them was to set them down, one by one. My first blog post was all about him. So was the next, and the next. I also published pieces in newspapers and magazines and parenting websites. I realized I was writing a book, and that writing about my son’s death was saving my life.

Photo by Amanda Morris

Photo by Amanda Morris

When my daughter was born, I didn’t really write for months. I filed short assignments here or there while she napped next to me. Otherwise, I was too consumed with the scent of her neck against my shoulder, the rise and fall of her chest, the pure world of her face as it fattened with the milk that could finally rush forth for her.

As a routine returned, so did the hours at my desk. Not every day, but most. I had those untangled words to revise and revise. But even 76,259 words are not the sum of his story.

I hadn’t anticipated that my greatest contribution to published parenthood would be for those of us who identify as loss moms, whose babies do not start solids or need sleep training or grow out of a single thing, but exist in that moment that separates who we are from who we used to be. That moment turned me into a mother, it showed me my truest writing. I’ve had to sit here for over three years to process and articulate that divide.

I sometimes wonder if I will ever be able to stop writing for him. I worry that my daughter might look back one day in search of a fuller chronicle of her life, as she collects rocks, sings songs, and circles back for hugs and then again for kisses whenever she walks away. What I want her to know is that when I am done writing, she is the one who is there—awake and eager to explore, saving me in that way, too.

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Join our After Page One series. We’re looking for 300 to 500-word guest posts that motivate, inspire, and encourage other mama-writers, and we’d love to feature YOUR thoughts about getting started, getting back to a writing project, integrating writing with motherhood, reading, or having a positive attitude. The list is endless, but here are some questions that might help you get started. We’ll publish a short bio so readers can learn more about you and your projects. 


In addition to Literary Mama, Jennifer Massoni Pardini’s work has appeared in The New York Times’ Motherlode, The Washington Post Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, and Three Minus One: Stories of Parents’ Love and Loss, among others. She is a monthly contributor to Pregnancy After Loss Support.

 


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