In Utero

Dear blog friends,

This past week I have lost a dear friend to old age and death, watched a magnificent century old Monkey Puzzle tree being cut down in our yard due to its demise from disease and have also been ill myself; more ill than usual. I realized late last night I did not have a new blog ready for today and decided to go through some of my old documents.


I searched through my personal library of over a thousand blogs, articles and poems and for some, perhaps, bizarre reason, I have chosen to share a previously published poem I wrote several years ago about birth. I hope you enjoy it. I know it’s not my usual subject matter but we each have families, are a family or at the least came through birth and have lives to lead. I have always been fascinated with the miracle of birth and part of my nursing career I worked as an obstetrics nurse. My dear friend who passed away this week was a nursery nurse. As she has passed into her “new life,” my thoughts have gone in this direction. I hope you enjoy it, gain something from it, if it’s only a deeper appreciation for the birth process and the wonder of our creation and our Creator.

                               IN  UTERO


Infinitely small,

First flutter,

First life,


Genetic keys being played

Coded long ago.


Perfect incubation,

Fed and nourished

While maternal cadence is near.


Growth upon growth,

Multiplying, dividing as

Future foundations are formed.


Buds of extremities burst forth

Rudiments of facial expressions revealed

As the plot of individuality is laid.


Brain life,

Thought cells

As one becomes two,





Maternal rhythmic cadence continues

A sound so far away;

Yet so near.


Fingers and toes

Digital differences,

Molded as of clay

As the staff of life,

Placenta, is complete.


A second cadence

Now begins,

This time from within.


Secrets shared,

As butterfly wings rehearse;



Grounded flight.


First sight

With little to see;

Except a moist cave,

Dark walls.


Vigorous, yet

Futile attempts to escape

Repeated again and again.


New becomes old,

Sheath once smooth,

Now wrinkled

As final touches applied

for guest appearance.


Walls converge,

Rhythmically contracting,

Increasing in strength

As cadence from within increases.


First hug of life begins

Laboring to expel.


Rhythm of expulsion,





Squeezing and resting,

Squeezing and resting.


Tunnel once far becomes near

Once dark becomes bright


River of life

Gushing out,

Blinding light,

Now no longer alone.


First breath is drawn,

Tether of life is severed

As cadence within is out.


Exposed and helpless.

First breath, painful though cherished,

Maternal cadence has a face

The face of love and welcome.


37 thoughts on “In Utero

  1. That’s beautiful Sue. Wonderful description of what is happening. And a beautiful tribute to your friend. I know she would have loved it. We have two very pregnant ladies at the gym where I swim. Sweet girls that teach there. I made them both some booties. The winter was bad here and you see pregnant women everywhere. Some of these girls are so huge I wonder how they can carry that load on their small frames. I saw a girl in the restaurant the other day. She was skinny as a rail, but had the most enormous belly ! She said she was due the next day. Nature is amazing. God made us so perfect in our bodies. It’s the inside we have to work on. We are born so perfect and so innocent. And then we progress absorbing what is around us and how it molds our minds and hearts. Finding our way back to Him and His perfection is our life’s goal.
    I am still looking at a hugely pregnant mare. I gave them both a bath yesterday. Hard work, but worth it. They were so clean and shiny. Sweetie wasn’t too sure about the water hose, but Red is an old hand and was a good boy.
    Two more days, and my butterflies are taking off ! I can’t concentrate on anything. Just want to stay busy.
    Hope you are feeling better. Take care of you
    Love ya

    • Tonie, I can only imagine all the butterflies you have with B coming home in two days. Glad Sweetie is still crossing her legs, poor thing, waiting for B, her Daddy. Can’t imagine a 12 month pregnancy. I , of course, agree pregnancy is far more fascinating than most folks give it credit for. It is the greatest of all miracles. I believe I was a sight to see many years ago when I had my 10 lb. 13 oz son and I was two weeks late, which is typical of first pregnancies. So many stories in my mind about my experiences as an RN in labor and delivery. Fascinating.

      Bet washing both horses was a sight to see and also tells me your weather is warmer. Hope you’re slowing down a bit on the canning, etc. just so you won’t be pooped when B gets there. However, I know those vegies must be taken care of when they are ripe. If we ever run out of food I know where to go.

      Today is the first day I have felt a tiny bit better. Nausea, sinus headache pounding and frequent peeing…hate these bladder infections. They are so much more fierce in us old folks. I had them earlier in my life, quite often but now it’s much different.
      Love you and am having butterflies for you and pray all goes smoothly with his flight and entrance back into the states. Love, Sue

    • Janet, I’m pleased you liked it. I do a lot of other poetry writing but don’t share them, perhaps I should. I hope you are doing well and the temps cooled down in TX. I know daily life is a challenge and sure do wish I had a magic pill to share. It seems I have so few answers but many questions. Like you, I’m just plodding along day to day and always looking for the bright spots. Kind of hoping you got a new pet to love,
      Love you, Sue

  2. Beautiful, Sue. Lovely to share with those expecting. I would have to say one of my very favorite experiences in life was feeling my children move about in the womb. I loved it. Glad you are feeling a bit better.

    Tonie, I am so happy and excited for you and B. Finally!

    • Lyn, Happy anniversary. Hope you guys go out for a special dinner at an outstanding place. I agree…pregnancy is very special and for those who have not experienced it, they’re missing out on one of life’s greatest miracles. Love, Sue

  3. Hi sue
    What a beautiful writing
    I was overdue 16 days and dd was 10 lbs
    Yes it is a remarkable time
    I hope you are a bit better again.with this infection ,I too had bladder problems recently and for a seems like you have to
    train the bladder again
    Not long now
    I am so excited
    I wonder how sweetie will behave when she sees him….will you have far to drive to pick him up
    Did you go for a drive this weekend at all
    I have a prediabetic clinic today
    They do bloods and stuff….see how I go as I’ve been eating mainly the wrong stuff with the diver. but cut out sugar with drinks and lost 20 pounds
    Can’t do any walking with joints .its a 10 week course.not sure I’ll be able to partake really

    • Chris, not sure I understand that over due statement but amazing loss of weight for you and DD.I Guess you are wearing a whole new/old batch of clothing. 20 lbs. really shows. I continue to be worried about your gut issues and just want you healthy. Indeed these bladder infections are awful as well as we grow old. I don’t think this one ever cleared up from last May. Urgency continues but today I feel like my old normal. Going to be hot here, just for today. Looking at 87 but will be ten degrees hotter in our old house. Air filled with smoke from fires in North, even Canada smoke coming down. Poor folks in B.C. Canada and even Seattle much worse than here. Unfortunately I have a doctor’s appt. today, wouldn’t you know it.
      I think we’re all so excited for Tonie and B right now and hoping Sweetie waits until he gets here tomorrow. I know she’s aflutter with butterflies in her tummy.
      Hope all your lab work is okay. Love ya, Sue

      • Sue
        I meant my dd birth was overdue by16 days and she was 10 pounds in weight when born
        I found with the bladder and still wanting to go lasted for about a month after. It’s happened a few times now and I found trying to hold on works to getting it better .it seems the muscles get used to going all the time and need retraining
        We had the smoke from all those fires in our air too for a few days ,more in the north of the country. It gave good sun rises and sunsets not as strong as with you but still affected the air .the fires are terrible
        I hope it gets cooler for you I know upstairs must be the hottest
        I had to cancel my prediabetic clinic appt
        Would you believe they had a appt for dh today for the cardio and rang thru .well we took it and I remade mine .
        It was a lady cardio she was lovely said he has to have a ct angiogram at Papworth hospital,which is a specialist heart hosp near Cambridge.
        He had a proper angiogram in 2005 so this is a ct one
        She thought a lot of it was reflux and the coughing from one of the tablets with the muscles but couldn’t say 100 pc
        I’m going to a chemist to have my glucose done a fasting one this morning
        I couldn’t get an appt at the place I wanted for two weeks .so ld likevto see what it is
        Ok gotta get going
        Tonie ….which day is it now

    • Chris
      TODAY !! I have to go to Roanoke, which is about 70 miles from here. I have lots to do today to keep me busy. I think Sweetie will be happy. She really likes him. Ceasar will go nuts ! Hopefully you will get to do the clinic. It will be good for you. Maybe they can show you some exercises you can do. Every little bit helps. There are lots of workouts that are done in a chair. You can find them online or on YouTube.
      Amazing how much weight is caused by sugar, and sodas. My sister, who is diabetic, drinks a lot of “pop” . She knows better, but does it anyway.
      Take care you

  4. Morning all
    Yes, I am so excited. Have lots to do today, but ….. I leave at 5:30 this evening to get there . I have a truck load of sawdust to unload in the stalls. I got it yesterday after my swim, but couldn’t unload it. It started storming as soon as I got home and continued through the evening and night. Then I have to spiff up the house, do laundry, clean the floors…yada yada. But I intended it to be that way so the day wouldn’t drag.
    Sweetie is more calm today. She was very much agitated the last evening and morning. This morning I could see that baby moving all around. Hopefully getting set to arrive. B will be so happy if it happens when he gets here.
    So, ladies, I will leave you to it and start my days work. Yes, Sue, y butterflies are flopping around this morning. I need to get busy and let them settle.

      • Janet
        Thank you so much. He got here, a little worse for wear, but safe and sound. We have talked a mile a minute, making up time.

  5. Hi – it’s Gail from Florida but my true home is in Salem VA. I miss it. I love the poem Sue. I was not able to have babies though I wanted 12 children when I married. Such a hard thing to try to understand. But there was a baby for us and he has brought us nothing but pure joy for the last 38 years. He is everything I could have hoped for in a child so God knows best again- hahaha🙏 I love this poem and have kept in in my heart for all of these years.
    Not flesh of my flesh,
    Nor bone of my bone,
    But nevertheless still my own.
    Never forget for a single minute
    You weren’t born under my heart
    But in it.

    • Hi Gail, I love hearing from you…and all my FB friends. I have read the poem you included and think it is perfection for adoption parents. Isn’t it amazing how many folks in this world give birth but show little love or even abuse to these precious blessings. How wonderful and fortunate your son is to have found you and you him.
      Thank you for enjoying my poem about human development. The whole process has always fascinated me, well, at least since many years ago when I became a mom.
      My DH and DD and her family went back to VA for my grandson’s wedding in April. My lousy health kept me from going but they got to see that beautiful part of our country and oh my, the history that is there. My GS and his bride live in DC because he works in Congress and they love that area.
      By the way…I’ve always loved your haircuts from your pics on FB. Stay happy sweet friend. Sue

  6. Hi folks
    How’s you sue
    I expect you are busy busy and etc….
    Yes those are lovely words you mentioned
    Yes They are such lovely times and to remember
    Been raining here all yesterday and previous night but looks like it’s going to cheer up a bit
    Hope all’s a public holiday over,we are keeping off the roads too busy
    Oh how’s sweetie …any news ??

  7. Hey Chris
    And everyone. It’s been really hectic the last few days. B. Got here safely, few bumps in the road, but all is well. Except he had to leave one suitcase there because the plane was overcrowded. So later he will get it sent. As for Sweetie, we are getting a vet to come check her out. Waiting on a call back.
    We went out to dinner Saturday night, great restaurant, wonderful food. Then walked over to the old courthouse and listened to Beach Music. Live group. B. Grabs me up and starts dancing, I was laughing so hard. He has got some moves now. No one else was dancing, then after us they started.
    So now it is happy at my house. Really hot again here.
    Love ya.

  8. Hello all
    Hot and hotter here. Basic August weather. But still a lot to do. Just nice I don’t have to do it all. B. Is somewhat allergic to sun, like Aue. Not nearly so bad though. He a couple hours out yesterday with no hat, and today his face is red and puffy. He can’t use my sunscreen, it burns him. So have to find him some good stuff, as neither of us like to stay out of the sun.
    Just read a story in the Guidepost this month. A gal with chronic pain, and how she found relief in her horses. Touched me so much. When I think of not being able to ride it makes me cry. But, I need a nice quiet very gentle broke horse. And that is not my girl Sweetie. But I can still work with her in the fields. I need to get an appointment with my ortho guy. My hip, my knee, and now my arm. All on my right side. I think my arm is just from my rotator surgery. My bicep was torn and they tacked it back up. And that is where it hurts. Oh and my right wrist, haha.
    I think I will work with Mrs Blair tomorrow. See how I feel in the morning.
    Hope you are all good and happy.

    • Tonie, so happy to read of your wonderful reunion with B. Finally! I hope poor Sweetie will now feel free to give birth. The vet check is an excellent move. You and B bustin’ the moves, huh. Nice. 🙂

  9. Hello, all. Hot as all get out here, like Tonie, but relief is around the corner, so they say. It’s been a bit wild with the start of the school year. Now to get settled into the new routine. An update on my bestie with stage 4B endometrial cancer… she had to have her port became so infected they couldn’t save it, so she had to have it removed yesterday. It will need to heal, so she is awaiting word from the oncologist as to how they will proceed for now. Meanwhile, her Mom was having a hysterectomy up here in my state. She was having bleeding. Everyone is now waiting and hoping it is not cancer for her as well. Rough day. I was in touch with my bestie and each of her siblings for support and encouragement. Lots and lots of prayers.

    • Tonie, Oh dear, I am sorry to hear B has burns from the sun. Looks like, according to weather, you’re in for relief, all of you back there. We’re to have a spot of rain, when I woke up it was misty fog. Now lifting. I hope you can find a sunscreen for him he can tolerate. Yes, I do use Neutrogena dry touch because I hate to feel greasy all day. I’m afraid they all say “Dermogologist tested” so it doesn’t have much validity. You should see Jim putting on sunscreen which is does about once a year for the air show in Portland. A dab here, a dab there and I don’t go to it but bet he never reapplies it. For a man with malignant melanoma in his history, too!!! I know for you back in the East and the South the humidity is evil.
      So sorry your problems are so constantly there and on the side you use the most, of course. I certainly understand and try to encourage you to do less lifting and straining. I know you have things you have to do but maybe now with your kind man there it will help if he doesn’t walk your legs off shopping and window shopping. I love that he loves that but…
      What joy you two are experiencing and I know we all share your happiness after waiting for so long. I know how much you have to do in your abundant garden and hope that is going well for you. Much love, Sue

    • Lyn dear, I’m afraid I know that heartache of a friend suffering with cancer all too well. I have two of my besties from way back who are fighting it right now. One is nearing the end of her battle and the other holding on with all her might and will. Loving can be so painful, but how valuable to life are those dear ones all through life. Prayers for her Mom as well…do let us know. Love, Sue

  10. Lyn
    Prayers for your friends. So many people with cancer and related diseases these days. I pray for all affected.
    Please continue prayers for my little cousin Jaquilene. She is the one with leukemia. They cannot get it to go into remission. Still on chemo and having a problem this week. Her white count was down to 01. Very bad. f she hasn’t improved by the end of the week they will put her back in the hospital.
    As for me, bad day today. Still in bed at 10 am. Ate breakfast with B and came back to lay down a while. Much to be done, but body is not happy today. Too much excitement in the last week. Now I am feeling the effects. This weekend is a huge flea market in Hillsville. Old one. B has never been and wants to go. Me, not so much. Big crowds and too much walking. But, he is always sensitive to me if I need to rest or just leave. Next week is horse shows. We have found a few things for September and October. Hopefully we will get to attend.
    So, for now I need to call my ortho guy and get an appointment to see what is going on with my body.
    Chris, is all well with you ? Not long now until the big wedding ! Have you got your dress yet ? You must send pictures.
    Have a good day all

    • Tonie dear, and so the beat goes on. Oh these bodies of ours. Got a call this AM from my internist about cervical Xrays yesterday and told I have cervical spine destruction…duh??? I knew that. Shoulder and neck pain for years but so much worse now. Can’t even lift a half gallon of milk without pain. Hate this.SO now he wants a CT scan. I’m not going through that just for the cervical spine. It’s about time for another one at oncology so will try to get both done on one torture session. He asked me yesterday if it hurts to put my head back and I said, “I don’t do that.” He laughed out loud I know they heard him in the waiting room. He said no one had ever said that to him before. I explained I have known for years it hurts when I do it and haven’t been to a beauty shop in 25 years because I can’t bend my neck back into the shampoo basin.
      Your poor little cousin. How difficult for her parents and of course, her. That WBC is unreal. They have to do something about that right away before she gets an infection of some sort. Piling up on that dear little girl. Prayers always for her.
      I hope you get in to the ortho very soon. So much always going on while we’re just trying to enjoy life. I know you and I both try to shove them aside but sometimes…we just can’t.
      I loved the delicious dinner you described and the dancing..oh my, it’s like you say, he is the Frenchman all American women think they are like. So thrilled for you both. As always, Sue

  11. Do hope things are better for you today Tonie
    No not got dress yet,waiting for the winter things to come in the shops.they are coming in now so will soon
    November is the date
    Prayers for your cousin it’s awful to hear such news also for your close friend Lyn and now her mother .its all so dreadful to hear
    Dh had a spot frozen off his ear yesterday at the dermatologist.he had an op on it in 2012 and it had started bleeding . he has to see him every three mths has done for years
    Stained a bench yesterday and have to second coat it today
    Hope you ok sue

    • Chris, What kind of bench? Is it for the outside or in? My DH also sees a dermy every few months. We have to keep an eye on those guys of ours. I know DD must be getting excited even with a couple of months to go. What a wonderful event to look forward to, your daughter’s wedding.
      We have a birthday dinner tonight. Our youngest grandson is fifteen today. Where does the time go? Don’t think anyone has ever found the answer to that question. Strange thing that…sometimes time eases along and other times, time zooms. Over to the DD’s and SIL’s for dinner tonight and cake, of course.
      Lovely here with fog in AM and rain threatening but not much of it. How am I doing? Well, had right knee injected yesterday, hope it helps but hasn’t so far. Cervical spine X-rays yesterday after injection and call to follow up with CT scan. I have spinal deterioration…no surprise there. Left knee bad but just had it injected three weeks ago…no help. I’m a bit discouraged but know the party will be fun tonight, my porch is full of flowers, I have a loving family and life is basically sound. Our son is coming for a weekend the end of the month so looking forward to it. It’s been far too long, almost a year.
      It sounds like you are getting some enjoyment yourself and DH is on his feet. My Facebook activity is busy with folks who have problems which tells me I have no legitimate reason to whine or feel sorry for myself so it shapes me up. Love to you and yours, Sue

      • It was a two seater bench we have in the shade part of the garden,had it for about 20 years
        With the wedding dd has said she wants everyone in relaxed clothing or fun ones
        She suggested that she would like us all comfortable and relaxed . As she would like the whole wedding to be
        Your gs 15…yes time goes so’s no respector of how we feel of that clock
        But I expect it all went well and all had a good time
        We all know you have good reason to feel as you are ,

  12. Morning all
    Taking it slow today. MTX injection last night and feeling it today. My big “goal” for the day is plant8ng two blueberry bushes I bought yesterday, and two trumpet vines. That is enough for today. I may make some baguettes for someone. They are easy. And I have my new mixer which will do it all for me.
    Sue, glad you had your appointment. Sad to hear more problems. I will have no more injections in my back. No help. But hopefully he can do something for my knees. I think I may have fluid in them. But…..I know I shouldn’t lift so much. It’s hard to stop that behavior. And yes, more being done for me now. Some relaxation. But I always feel guilty when he does so much more than me, lol. Hard to change behavior.
    Well, off and moving slow this morning.
    Love to all

  13. Quick on and off. My friend’s mother has cancer, too. Rough weekend here adjusting. I’ve also undertaken painting an area of the house actually larger than I should take on. Going to try to do it a wall at a time. SB said he would help, but has been on night shift lately, so needs to sleep when I need to paint, so… So, Tonie, I hear you. It is hard to not just keep attempting and doing what you are used to doing in the past. I am sure B doesn’t expect you keep up with him. 🙂

    • No, Lyn he doesn’t, but I do, lol. However, he is very considerate of how I feel and can look at me and see. Today we are going to a large flea market in the area. Too much walking up and down many hills, but he will stop and rest whenever I need it.
      I have two benches I have to start work on restoring. Nice wooden with many layers of black paint. But it is mostly peeling. I will use paint remover especially on the spindles. Take care and try to work slowly, lol. I know how that works.

      • Tonie, I do hope you both enjoyed the flea market and maybe found some goodies and you rested occasionally. Fine weather? I hope so.Love, Sue

  14. Chris, it can feel so good to accomplish something and see it and use it. I am so attached to my worldly possessions…I think when I die I’ll look into renting a UHaul trailer…I think it’s very healthy and pleasant to be surrounded by things, sights and people we love. I know just sitting on my porch surrounded by my flowers helps me so much. Georgie and I were out this morning, me deadheading geraniums and him barking, especially at any and every motorcycle that went by.
    Sounds like your DD’s wedding is going to be extra relaxed and therefore fun. I understand at my GS’s recent wedding the reception was in an old barn and they asked the women to take off their high heeled shoes so as not to mark the floor and they had thong sandals for the gals to wear or they just danced in their bare feet. I love the friendliness of a casual wedding. What a fine and interesting girl she is.
    Hope DH is well and you are still getting those wonderful outings together before we are accosted by winter. Love ya, Sue

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