On the Hurry and the Bloom: a love story

Want the backstory first? Click My Love Songs tab at the top.


On the Hurry and the Bloom

We move from the small house, where we brought home our first baby, the one of our young love,  the one behind the rock house where Grandma feeds us crystalized ice cream and the juice red slices of large tomatoes from her small garden. It’s the first neighborhood of my entire life, with a park, and dogs, and kids who ding-dong ditch. It’s a grand house in my scheme of things – three bedrooms total, a living room with a tall, well-lit ceiling.

I decorate. My mama makes my curtains, and they’re beautiful. I put everything in a place as it should be. Another baby is coming. His name is Jude. I know he is artist, how he pushes me from within and then slides his leg or arm the diameter round, feeling his space, filling his space. 

Seth plants seeds in a flower bed, babies of his own, his first working at dirt. He thinks of them in the night, sets the sprinkler to their attention. And I, too, think in the night how lovely it would be for something to mind my clock. I need this baby out. Doctors have put me on bed rest, and Seth works and works the dirt, hot pepper plants turning trees in the back yard. 

When no one watches, I buy castor oil, and I drink it. I drink ounces and follow with coke, and then I wait for the low burn and the consistent back strain. I breathe steady and rock on my feet. I labor, and Seth works gently along. And then the drums start. It’s late dark out. And drums start.

And the drums keep drumming, inconsistent, bad drumming, in a garage, with teenagers, who grow loud and show tiny cracks up from their jeans. In an oiled stupor, I rise. I lean through the warm front door into summer night, bare-footed and pregnant, and  I stomp, having just had a contraction, with just enough time to make it to their yard. I pause to breathe, and then I walk in their grass, introduce myself as a neighbor in labor at night, and I tell them to hush, and their eyes are wide moons, and they say, “yes, ma’am.” 

And the drumming stops, and so do my contractions. I am so mad.

Sometimes the body misleads, all this work we have to do when the garden isn’t made for us anymore. It’s a curse, to feel the need to step in, bound by time and pain. God is Invisible, so we induce. He is invisible, but we are in Him, even when we try to lead. I cover the bed in so much blood. Six centimeters and then baby to breast within 10 minutes, Seth smothers in the idea of losing. 

I hold crinkle nosed baby in my arms. I’m pale white, Seth cornered all blank, and it hits me, again, how he loves me; how I love what he’s planted; how I love my Jude; how he moves in bulk, studying faces; how gently he undoes our swaddling – full bloom from the beginning.

About me


What do you taste?
November 08, 2016
What I Knew In My Dying Day: a Wild in the Hollow Guest Post by Tara Owens
August 19, 2015
Standing Among the Flowers at Midnight
July 13, 2015
Condemnation on the Molehill
June 08, 2015
Tools for the Highly Sensitive Mother: An Introduction
April 27, 2015
The Uncouth: The Hormonal
May 12, 2014
You Have Not Come to Darkness
April 30, 2014
What Mothers Me
April 01, 2014
A Haines Home Companion: On Limbo
February 27, 2014


Reply January 5, 2010

You have given me chills... I love reading your love stories. I hold my breath and I lose my breath and you give me tears that are so good...

Reply January 5, 2010



Poetic...painful...fully felt. I love the way you Tell Things. Like no other, my friend.


Hillary @ The Other Mama
Reply January 5, 2010

Breathtaking! I love it!!

Reply January 5, 2010

Robin is right.

No one can tell a story like you.


Reply January 5, 2010

I've missed your love story posts.

Reply January 5, 2010

This was beautiful. Just like you.

Reply January 5, 2010

Amber, this is beautiful. I love your "Love Stories", the glimpses into life, your life, the way that you make everything beautiful and poignant and real.

Kelly @ Love Well
Reply January 5, 2010

Breath-taking. You're telling your story, but in such gentle strokes, we all read our own story on your canvas.

Lora Lynn
Reply January 5, 2010

Mmmmmm.... good.

Reply January 5, 2010

It's so true. So very true.

mandy Eoff
Reply January 5, 2010

tears, beautiful...let's trade "birth" stories i want to hear all of yours

Reply January 5, 2010

I'm thinking we should compile your blog posts into a book. They're incredible. This one is beautiful, and vivid, and blurry all at the same time. Love it.

Reply January 5, 2010

Never have I read anything quite like this. It was beautiful and fluid and gentle, and now I want to read more from your pen. I will most definitely be back. Thank you.

L.L. Barkat
Reply January 5, 2010

I loved this...

"and their eyes are wide moons, and they say, “yes, ma’am.” "

How wonderfully amusing.

Reply January 5, 2010

I'm with Robin.

Your words are poetry, a gift... like. no. other.

Kelli @ 3 Boys and a Dog
Reply January 5, 2010

WOW! I am so glad you followed me on Twitter on a day when I decided to click through my new followers! You write beautifully!

Reply January 5, 2010

I'll add to the chorus of praise for you (while you duck and run): Amber. This is so . . . beautiful doesn't even begin to say it. I realized at the end I had held my breath from nearly the beginning. Oh, Storyteller. May you keep working out the words of His Gift.

Reply January 5, 2010

By the end of this my eyes were inches from the computer screen. Sucked me in, and every word held my attention.
Wow. Just, wow.

Muthering Heights
Reply January 5, 2010

All I can say is...incredible!

Reply January 5, 2010

Megan. Y'all, I do duck and run. I'm sorry. I don't know what to do with all this. Thank you for the encouragement.

This Love Story has really been hard to write, and I wouldn't keep going out in public if I hadn't dragged you in this far.

I'm so sorry for my lack of response. Sometimes comments paralyze me. They keep me encouraged, but they also render me speechless.

Kari Kounkel
Reply January 6, 2010

It's not prose, Amber. It's poetry.

Aunt Pam
Reply January 6, 2010

Ahhh...your poetry, you words, His love has poured on you. You are so blessed. Thanks for sharing and bringing my eyes to tears, again. Jude, the spirited one and his sweetness. Love y'all!

Reply January 6, 2010

I knew your struggle and tears in writing this would produce a lovely life poem. I rushed over to see...and indeed, I was right.

Ann Voskamp @ Holy Experience
Reply January 6, 2010

This, I will read, again and again, God the Invisible breathing in such words. Uninduced.
Don't duck and run... we only long to embrace the God-gift in you.

I love you.

Reply January 6, 2010

staring at the blank space .
here, silent. moved beyond.

Reply January 6, 2010

This is just beautiful Amber! I have been reading your blog for some time! Your eloquent writing continues to draw me back again and again to your site. When I need to be inspired, this is one of the places I come to. Thank you for sharing your gift of writing with us all!
Your sister in Christ,

Reply January 7, 2010

"how gently he undoes our swaddling.." All I can say is, if you don't write a book, it will be a sin of most grievous proportion. You are so gifted, it's causing me to covet. Blessings on you and your love story.

Reply January 7, 2010

Lovely! As always!

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