Monday, November 5, 2012

Fertility Rites by Becki Blanton McGee



Hey guys, Lisa here. I'm so happy to introduce you to my really good friend and former college roommate, Becki. She is an amazing poet and her first chapbook is available for pre-order now! I've read this collection and it is heartbreaking and beautiful at once. And now, without further ado, here's Becki--

Fertility Rites is the story of my journey from the frustration of trying to conceive, to the joy of finally succeeding, and then, the devastation of losing my baby at 21 weeks.  Most of the poems were written within a few months of the loss, but they were more than just a way to process my grief.  When I shared some of them with friends who had experienced similar losses, their responses reinforced my conviction that I had to share my poems on a larger scale.  So I organized them into a chapbook and began seeking a means of publication.  I had pretty much decided to self-publish electronically when Fertility Rites was accepted for publication by Finishing Line Press. It is currently available for preorder at www.finishinglinepress.com and will ship in February.  Since the number of preorders affects how large the print run will be, please help me spread the word.

Although the content is quite emotional (I recommend keeping a tissue box handy while reading), Fertility Rites ends on a note of hope.  The final poem, entitled “From Whence Cometh My Help,” alludes to Psalm 121:1-2.  I was inspired to write this poem while staying at Snug Hollow Farm, a B&B in the country outside of Irvine, Kentucky.  It was there I came to understand these two verses in a way I never had before.

Snug Hollow Farm is remote and definitely in the hills.  The sign that welcomed us to Irvine read, “where the mountains kiss the bluegrass.”  Two curvy roads later, we turned down a narrow gravel lane that had so many twists and steep hills we weren’t sure our car was going to make it.  Finally, we arrived and discovered the B&B had no television, no Internet, and our cell phones wouldn’t work.  It was exactly the escape my husband and I needed.  “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.” Psalm 121:1

Away from the hustle and bustle of the world and surrounded by God’s creation, I could finally relax and let God speak to me.  It was early May and flowers were blooming in profusion.  The scent of honeysuckle was in the air.  I felt such peace there.  I sat soaking up the sunshine and marveling at the trees.  They had just survived a flood and, years before, a forest fire.  That night, after a tasty, home-cooked meal and hearing the owner’s amazing story, I lay in bed listening to a whippoorwill through the open window, a song I had not heard for many years.  All of this was balm to my grieving soul.

“My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:2.
Just in case I somehow missed what God was trying to tell me, He decided to personalize the message.  I had been lying in a hammock by the lake and when I clumsily got up, I noticed a single flower growing beneath the hammock.  It was a bluet, a tiny wildflower that just so happens to be my favorite.  Several years ago, I wrote a poem about it which you can read now at www.versionsofchai.com.  This bluet had two petals that were torn, but it was still growing, still turning its face toward the sun, and still “curling its toes up in the hills.”  At that moment, I knew beyond any doubt God was speaking directly to me.  As I stood by the lake staring down at that tiny flower, my journey toward healing began.  I knew it would not be easy and dark days would still be ahead, but I knew I would survive.


Have you ever struggled with infertility or miscarriage? How did your road to healing begin?

15 comments:

  1. Hey everyone, I'm going to check in as I can. Have to drive about 5 hours. But I know Becki's planning on stopping by as well. I have to tell you guys that I provided an endorsement for the collection because I thought it was so good. It really will speak to the hearts of those who are struggling with the pain of infertility and miscarriage.

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  2. Hi Becki and Lisa!

    Becki, thank you for sharing your story. I love how God uses the most personal things about us to tell us that HE knows us and our pain. Your disappointment is shared by so many but you have the ability to put those feelings into words that will help others. I expect you'll find it touches a lot of people over the years.

    Thanks for visiting!

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  3. Becki
    thanks for sharing your story. i haven't had to deal with what you have, but my half-sister did. i will be sending her the info about your chapbook.

    she became a mother this past April(her little guy came one month early but he is thriving now). i do believe your chapbook will help continue her healing process as well.

    thanks again for sharing.

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  4. Thanks everyone! I'm still hoping for my miracle to come along, but in the meantime, I am now a foster mother to a two-year-old boy and five-month-old baby girl. It looks like we may be able to adopt them which would be wonderful. This is just one of the ways God has wrought something beautiful out of my loss. He really is amazing!--Becki

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  5. Thanks so much for sharing with us, Becki. When I miscarried, I was surprised to learn one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage--not that I was comforted by the fact. I grieved, but God used the loss to teach me a lot about His love for me.

    Congratulations on the opportunity to adopt! What a joy.

    Thanks for bringing Becki to us, Lisa.

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  6. Hi Becki. Thank for sharing this with us. Though I dealt with this issue, I am blessed to have a wonderful son. God sent me amazing family and friends to help me through the dark days. It did take lots of prayer, tears, and time.

    It hurts me to say my precious niece is also dealing with this. She's writing like you did, and she's staying strong in her faith and ministering to others.

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  7. I haven't struggled in that area, although I've had different struggles. But I do love poetry. That's awesome that you found a publisher for your book.

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  8. Deb, It's amazing to me sometimes just how intimate God is. He knows us so well and is willing to speak to our hurts in such a sweet, gentle way.

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  9. DebH, I believe your sister will really identify with the poems in this chapbook.

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  10. Thanks for stopping by Becki! I think your work is going to speak to hearts, just like Deb said.

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  11. Suzie, I know your niece is struggling with this too. It effects more people than we realize sometimes I think. I think she would also be able to identify with the heart of these poems.

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  12. Susie, I didn't realize you had dealt with a miscarriage of you're own. I can't imagine how intensely painful it must be.

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  13. Dina, I know what a lover of poetry you are! I think you'd enjoy Becki's chapbook.

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  14. Hi Becki, thanks for sharing with us today. I struggled with infertility and miscarriage as I had less than a 20% chance of getting pregnant because of a bicornuate uterus and only one functional fallopian tube.

    I'm one of the blessed ones because healing began with the birth of my healthy preemie, but many scars remain.

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  15. Ladies, it has been been a pleasure to be with you all today. I appreciate those of you who have opened up and shared your experiences with this issue. So many women carry scars like Anita mentioned. It can be difficult to share these scars with others, but doing so can remind us that we are not alone and maybe help someone else on the road to healing.

    Lisa, my dear friend, thank you for giving me this opportunity and having me as a guest. My next blog post on www.versionsofchai.com will be dedicated to you. But don't worry, I wont share everything I know :).

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