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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Returning


For this week's Write on Edge prompt, I thought I would share Janie's musings about her mother. Janie is my NaNoWriMo protagonist. 


Each morning, while the rest of the world orders their lattes and updates their status reports, my mother returns to the womb.

She tucks her hair into a ponytail, and scrubs her hands until they tingle. Next, she rubs in the sanitizer, feeling the burn in each parched cuticle.  The latex gloves seal the remaining world off with a single, practiced snap.

The doors whish; she enters. Pressing her face against each artificial womb, she greets the babies by name.

Keston. 29 weeks, 2 pounds. Intubated. Miranda. Group B Septis. Gregory. The surviving twin.

She holds their translucent, paper-thin fingers, and speaks of moon bounces, sunsets, and peppermint ice cream.  

As she exits the hospital, she whispers each name, so the stars will hear them, and know that they were real. 

25 comments:

angela said...

I love the line about what she talks to the babies about. I like that her mother is a caretaker, a protector.

Karen said...

I liked the ending line. And I like that so much about Janie's mom tells us a bit more about her. :>

Formerly known as Frau said...

She is an angel.....so beautiful!

Kir said...

"Moon beams" one of my favorite expressions.

I was right back in the NICU with all those amazing nurses around me, smiling, guiding, encouraging LIFE.

I like knowing her mother more...she cares for those babies. Does Janie feel good about that or her love of them and her distraction from her own daughter? I wonder........
it's going to be quite a story.

MISH said...

What a special role... and what a blessing... to be connected to the beginning of life and watch it grow and blossom...

idiosyncraticeye said...

Lovely piece, reminds me of the story of how they found out how to make the premies thrive. :)

From Tracie said...

Absolutely crying right now reading that. You just shared so much beauty in very few words.

Rachel @ Totally Ovar It said...

Heartbreaking and beautiful. Your moment gave me chills. You've made it impossible to forget those three names, Keston, Miranda, Gregory.

Cameron said...

Dammit, Nancy. Making me cry in my peanut butter sandwich is NOT cool.

Alex said...

she whispers each name, so the stars will hear them, and know that they were real.

that line was beautiful!

Venus said...

Oh wow, I really love this. At first I thought the character's mom had OCD, but then it became clear that she's a nurse/doctor/assistant. I LOVE the description of what she talks about with the babies. Great job!

jesterqueen.com said...

I absolutely love the conclusion - the image of your character's mother returning to the womb to care for babies in a futuristic NICU is awesome. I particularly love the way the professional aspects of her job, like scrubbing up to avoid spreading infection and the details of each child's illness, contrast with her whispering their names to the stars. And that last sentence gave me shivers.

jesterqueen.com said...
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Cat said...

This pregnant lady started crying after "Gregory." Lovely but oh so sad.

Renee said...

This says so much about Janie's mother. Her emotion with the babies can be felt. Well done.

Kindred Adventures said...

My heart... it is warmed and breaks all at once. Your words brought me in, made me almost cry and then relief and morning loss. Beautiful!

Victoria KP said...

My strong, brilliant, gorgeous 16-year-old niece was once one of those babies. Born 2 lbs, 2oz at 27 weeks. I'm in tears. This was so lovely.

Not Just Another Mother Blogger! said...

This hit just a little bit too close to my heart, so I am crying now, but I loved the last line.

StarTraci said...

Wo1! The last line really got me -- "So the stars will hear them and know that they were real". My heart stopped on that one.

Traci

Galit Breen said...

Oh that last line. It's perfect. Heart breaking, but perfect.

This is a perfect example of character reveal to push the story forward. Hat tip, girl!

Julie said...

As a writer, I salute the (intentional or unintentional) sibilance in this piece...the repetition of the S sound is soothing, magical, onomatopoeic to the subject matter -

As a reader, I simply surrender to the beauty of the words and the hopefulness. No reasons necessary.

It just feels right.

universalgrit said...

This is gorgeous. "and know that they were real" is a line that I think will stick with me for some time.

Ash said...

I'm so stinking proud of you I could burst.

Love it. Can't wait to read the whole thing.

Elaine A. said...

I've had two nephews who have been those babies so this really hits home for me. They are success stories, but I know not all are and so my heart breaks a little.

That last line. Wow.

tulpen said...

Love this! Is this what I've been missing in my online absence! Shame on me!

I can picture Owen's doctors and nurses, whispering the names of their patients.... and I know that the stars were listening.