a love story on going to outer space

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We move into a big new house, with neighbors who mow their yards and jog in the morning. It’s awkwardly beautiful to me, a house I try so hard to love. I squeak it clean. We have found out that it’s a boy, my third boy, the one I’ll call “baby” longer than the other two think needed.

Seth drives me from there to the hospital, and they hook me up again, get the dull roar going in my back, and we get the jitters, wonder how long it will take this time.

My best friends come in, and we giggle. Brooke puts fuzzy socks on my puffy feet, and I love all their hovering, the caring and jabbering. It’s my favorite thing, too, how much we love all love Seth and how ridiculous he is in the rare moment he gets nervous. 

He sits on the doctor’s stool, and he rolls his belly up next to mine, leans in close – not too close, just right. He loves me, left hand soothing through my hair and right hand wrapped around my hand, fingers pressed to my palm, gauging intensity. Seth makes eyes to my friends. Some looks make them knee-slap, but then as his eyes start to tell them to quieten, I announce: “I am now going to outer space, and I’ll see you later.”

My eyes close, and a heavy curtain pulls over my mind, they on one side, I on the other. A wave hits so strong it should throw me out of bed, and I ride it long in the dark, breathe steady, then finally I arrive: a throne room. Wait, and I settle there, gold reflecting endless angles of light, and I am down on the floor, warm, and as long as I gaze, I can stand the wave. I am not thrown, so I wonder why I’m there.

“What am I to do with this sort of alter?” I ask,  “What can I give here?” and intense pain pulls the moans out, and I am honing, and out of me, Holy Spirit present, I remember names and gratitudes and home smells and words to country church hymns, and I pile it all up there where the blood goes.

And then the wave takes me, and I don’t know where I am, except the hand that never leaves me. My eyes peal open, I sit straight up, and back labor contorts. Seth signals, and eight hands lay, some with all the might of an army. They hold me up and they beat me and they calm me. My best friends are there.

My best friends. They get in the waves with me.

And an urge to push rushes in, and my heart rate jumps to 230 per minute, my body rocking in jolts. The strangers with lamps and metal push all hands back, make them jump the wave, and this is outer space. Seth asks, “Is she okay IsSheOkay IsSheOk” until all sounds mute, and I don’t know if I’ll hold my baby before my heart explodes.

Now one set of eyes, usually so meek, looks into me square, looks right inside until she finds me, and she yells, “Amber,    you    can   do    this!” She yells it, and I believe her.

So I push him out, and we hear STAT and needles come in to calm the heart. I float a little because the pressure drops. 

Tears and high-pitched awes pour rightly over my Ian, how perfect he is, and long. The camera snaps.

But Seth stays with me like a hitching post. Still holding my hand, he counts the ways of my heart.

About me


September 20, 2011
Born Again and Again
August 17, 2011
On the Melding and the Great Whisper: a love story
January 13, 2010
On the Hurry and the Bloom: a love story
January 05, 2010
A Rock Home Companion
October 19, 2009
things I find in the dirt, things that want in the air
March 12, 2009
bird on a wire: on Lionel Loueke and art
March 08, 2009
1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – I declare a thumb war!
March 02, 2009


Reply January 21, 2010


Boy Crazy (@claritychaos)
Reply January 21, 2010

I love a good birth story. And a love story. And you tell yours so beautifully.


Kelly @ Love Well
Reply January 21, 2010

It always makes me sigh, reading one of your love story chapters. Deep calls to deep.

Ashleigh (Heart and Home)
Reply January 21, 2010

Breathtakingly beautiful...

Reply January 21, 2010

Beautiful. I love the way you write.

Reply January 22, 2010

My husband loves me like this.

Reply January 22, 2010

Amazing. I hold my breath through each chapter. Literally. Your gift for impeccable imagery never ceases to amaze.

Reply January 22, 2010

You make the piece of me that doesn't know how to appreciate good writing (artistry) appreciate it.

Reply January 22, 2010

Amber, what a wonderful word weaver you are! I am greatly blessed in getting to know you. And I am ever so thankful that you installed the button to Healing Hearts, Renewing Minds. May God shine all kinds of love and mercy on those seeking Him this day!


Reply January 22, 2010

My ears are ringing again.

I get taken into your writing, and I like it.

Reply January 22, 2010

You make me cry. In the best possible way, of course.

Reply January 22, 2010

Happened across your blog and I am so happy that I did! It is such a great blog - amazing really! I'm going to follow you on Google reader and will most likely put you in my blog roll (which I only mess with about once a month). Anyhow, thanks!

Reply January 23, 2010

I concur. Thanks for sharing! That was beautiful.

Sarah H
Reply January 23, 2010

I'll never ever forget that day or Jude's Birth Day as long as I live!

Reply January 23, 2010

It's probably a fool's errand to try and put to the page any sort of coherent response to this chapter of your love story, but I'm going to stumble one out anyway.

Twice, I have been the hitching post. Once 23 years ago. Then again, seven years later. One son dallied. The other hurried. In both cases, complications stripped me too early of the hitching, sending me instead to the helpless waiting.

The helpless waiting is a thunderous thing, but I am certain is little more than a harsh whisper next to the pounding birth waves.

I loved my father-role then. I still do. But after reading your words – not only these, but others you’ve painted about the births of your sons – I feel strangely cheated. [This is where my words will invariably trip over my heart’s intent on the way to the page. This may also be where I have to relinquish my Man Card.]

It’s not “let me endure the pain for you” gallantry that stirs this feeling. And it’s not a selfish desire to usurp the rare-and-made-just-for-women mother-role. It’s something else – a longing, I think, to experience the Creator-God's love in that one place where only mothers get to touch Him.

In the long, warm hiding. In the beautiful agony. In the letting go.

And perhaps in outer space.

Thank God for poets and their paradox-gift. You not only reveal to us the places we can never go - you take us there.

V. Higgins
Reply January 23, 2010

I get lost in your words... and when I come out, eyes blinking, I find tears

Reply January 23, 2010

I was honored to be there, as I am honored to call you friend. I would jump waves for you anytime.

Reply January 23, 2010

i've got goosebumbs...on my scalp and under my feet. never had goosebumps this long before! wow! baby #3. love him, love YOU!

Reply January 23, 2010

"But Seth stays with me like a hitching post." - Never did I hear love so well described. Your words mold the picture out of flesh and blood and commitment.

Thank you. Just, thank you.

Reply January 24, 2010

I've never been to outer space, my husband said no to being a hitching post. My heart aches from the empty and yet overflows with love. God will use this longing, I must let him. Thank you for sharing. To read of the love of friends sharing the waves and your husband counting the ways of your heart - beautiful - I can continue on. God is so good.

Anna Kathryn
Reply January 25, 2010

Love you.This is my only way to say stuff to you that I know you will see,so I will from time to time.Hope you dont mind.Im gonna blog stalk you now,cuz it is fun and you have pretty words...and an even prettier story :D

Ann Kroeker
Reply February 6, 2010

As I'm catching up with love stories, you're making me fall in love with words, Amber, and stories, poetry and...honesty.

Leisa Hammett
Reply February 7, 2010

OMG. I just finished reading this series. I found it during your Blissdom panel and went back to the beginning and then saved it and finished it this morning. I see what the acclaim is about. Engrossing. Poetic.

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