Short Story

Shattered-A Personal Story Of Loss

Grief & Grieving




In 1988, May 4'th to be exact, at not even yet the age of 23, I was going into my 5'th month of my third pregnancy.

I went to the doctor for my regular checkup.

I had heard the baby's heart beat for the first time (and only time) only 2 weeks before.

All was fine...then.

On this day, however, my doctor could not find a heartbeat anymore.

She did an ultrasound...that machine was too old, she said, and sent me to her larger office to have one done there. It was done, the tech took us into the office, where my doctor was on the phone from the hospital, she said...

'The technician thinks she see's a cyst on the baby's neck and I need you to come to the hospital for an ultrasound here. I will meet you when you get here.'

So off we went thinking,

'O.K. there may be something wrong with my baby and we need to be ready for it.'

Once there...I was taken in for yet another ultrasound

(the doctor hadn't met me yet as she was in an emergency c-section)

The tech there did the ultrasound...saying husband was outside the room at the time. Then my doc came in, stood on the other side of me and the tech spoke to her...'I don't see anything.'

Now, he could have been talking about the cyst for all I knew,

but my 'Mother's heart' knew that was not what he meant. 

My doctor put her hand on my cheek and said these words I shall never forget...

'Cathy...Your baby is not alive.'

My world, at that instant...shattered.  

From there, they wanted to do an amnio, to try and find out why this happened.

After 3 painful attempts with the large needles, they gave up, as there was not even enough fluid to be had anymore.

At that point, someone from the hospital admin came in...all official and told me that they could not do a D&E (dilation and evacuation) there due to state abortion laws!!!


It wasn't even a Catholic hospital and my baby had died already, but you figure THEY know what they are talking about.

Now for the record...I am against abortion for any reason and always have been.

So, my doc said I would have to decide whether to have the D&E done elsewhere, or have labor induced,

go through all the pain with a not happy outcome.

'Go home and think about it, and I will call you tomm.' she said.

It didn't take me long to know that I wanted to go through the pain of labor...if only to see and hold my tiny child one time.

Just once...

Later, at home, she called and told me she had forgotten that my previous child was a c-section and that inducing labor could damage my uterus and cause infertility. Therefor, and also due to the fact that I had started having severe headaches, due to, she said, the placenta re-absobing into my body...I would have to have the D&E done at a place she recommended and had sent other women to also for the same reason.

She gave me the number to call.

It was a Woman's Pregnancy Clinic...they set it up for 2 days later.

For the next 2 Sweet Baby and I were together, me, in a mind-numbing grief.

I cried, alone, in my bed, holding and rubbing my little baby-belly.

I had no one else to hold on to. No support or shared tears from my husband, which was the norm anyway.

The day of the appointment came, and with it...nightmares that are still with me to this day.

I figured all these people knew best...I was in shock and grieving.

On the day it was schedualed, my husband I went.

When we got in there, signed in, I sat there and saw 13 yr old and up girls/women sitting all around, none showing signs of advancing pregnancy...and it was then, that in utter disbelief, I realized this was an abortion clinic!!

I wanted to run, screaming!!!

But I had been told by my doc that the re-absorbing was posioning my body and this HAD to be done.

I figured..'ok...they will treat me ok, since my baby had died' my mind, what could I do...where could I go?

Boy, how very wrong I was.


And so the nightmare continued...they took me in for a urine sample. The nurse called me back, out there, right in the hallways, holding my file that had, written in red, right across it...'Fetal Demise' and said to me loudly...'Are you SURE that you're pregnant?! Your urine came back negative!'

(The pregnancy HCG levels drop to nothing in a situation as this)

I stiffly said...'I am 5 months pregnant! My baby died inside of me!!'

She said...'Oh...I didn't realize(hello...the file? In red?) Just go sit back in the waiting room and we'll call you in'.

So, back I went. They then called me in for blood work. The nurse handed me my file with ultrasound pictures right on the front with a paperclip, told me to carry it with me for the rest of my time there that day.

And there, right there in front of me, was my precious, sweet little dead baby...looking at me.

I hadn't even seen any pictures till that point!

I just stared at my sweet child as still more tears ran down my face in silent screams.

The nurse drawing the blood left me sitting there, looking at my baby while she discussed her daughter's pizza party on the phone with someone for about 10 minutes.

After that...I was sent into a room with 3 other girls, gave a lady my file, sat down and 2 woman were there to 'talk' to us.

One said...'O.K. we have to do this by law...but do you all understand that you have other options besides abortion?'

I said....not nicely now and still crying...'I HAVE NO OTHER OPTIONS!! MY BABY IS DEAD!!!'
Only then did one of them look at my file and told the other lady to take the other girls out that 'this was diferent situation'(of course...don't upset the young girls or they might loose their 'business')

Then the woman attempted to become 'counselor' and told me to talk, if I wished to the cashier, I would see next, saying...'She just lost a baby to stillbirth in her 9'th month' (AND SHE WORKED THERE!!!) I think not...thank you.


So next, came the cashier...all business...'That's $500.00...will that be cash or charge?'

I simply paid and went to await the next horror they would put me through...


Which was the worst.

I went in to see a 'doctor' who had to insert laminaria(a seaweed-to dilate my cervix naturally and avoid damage) When he came into the room...I was sitting up on the table looking at my baby in the picture and sobbing severly. He looked at me funny and said in a non-human tone...

'Stop crying! There's a dead thing inside you and we have to get it out!'

I was numb...I was so hurt, angry and devastated...I wanted so bad to run from there, yet there was still that voice saying...and go where? No hospital would do this procedure!! WHY!???

I never did find that out.

All through this day I was spoken to by young girls who saw me crying, who would say, patting my hand as though they had been through 'it' before...

'It'll be ok' they would say.

To which I'd answer...

'That's NOT what I am here for. I WANT my baby, but that's baby has died inside me.'
They would look shocked and some would say things like...

'I don't really want to do mother/boyfriend/etc is making me.'

I told was THEIR one else's.


Needless to say, they all had their 'killing procedures' done that day.

I at least, in the midst of the most terrible grief I have ever felt, tried to save other babies even if I couldn't save my own.  

So after a few more hours of waiting, while my husband, never the emotional OR supportive type, sat there watching sports on an overhead tv and of no help to me...finally, my name was called for the procedure...I was taken into the room and told them, as I had told everyone that day while there...

'I want to know the sex of my baby!'

I had been calling the baby Andy/Andi for Andrew or Andrea, which was the name we had choosen weeks before. I was always met with confused looks and...

'Why do you want to know that for?'

and the one's that did know my baby had died, would add...

'Just forget this...move on and try again.'

Still I begged them...

'Please, I NEED to know'

As they were putting me under, my last remembrance was putting my hand on my belly and saying...

'Good bye, my sweet little baby Andy/Andi...I love you with all my heart!! Goodbye...'  

Then I awoke later, in a small curtained area, on a vinyl, low 'bed' that was stained from those before me, to hear nurses laughing and mocking other patients as they slept, orderly's transporting women back from their 'procedures', lauging and mocking the overweight ones they had to carry as they uncerimoniously 'dropped' them onto their 'beds' and the moans of other women.

I knew I had to get out of there asap!!!

I was dizzy, nauseated and weak...but I dressed myself and and told them I was leaving...NOW!

I asked the sex of my baby...they blew me off. My doc had spoke to them before I arrived and ordered testing done to find out why my baby died...

They never did do any of it and that too would have shown the sex of my child.

They simply tore my little precious baby into pieces and God only knows what they did with him or her after that!! And if I ever try and think about that too brings more terrible, utter grief, pain and sobbing tears.

So I stumbled out of there, in a grief I never knew could exist.

For 8 years I suffered in agonizing grief...even though I had another baby-a 3rd son, in Oct. 1989 and my first and only daughter in Dec. 1993...I blamed doctors, myself, my husband, God and anyone I could!!

I was bitter, hurt and had lost my faith.

After my son was born in 1989...I also suffered the 2 very early misscarriages.

I went through life at that time, NEVER knowing why any of these losses had happened.

Until years later and my diagnosis of Lupus, that is, which included a blood clotting disorder that is now tested routinly in pregnant women due to its commoness.

A simple baby aspirin a day, which is what they use now when a woman has this disorder,

(Anti-cardiolipin or Anti-phospholipid Syndrome) would have saved all my babies!!

I have four on earth...and 3 precious little babies in Heaven. I have healed now and my faith is restored, through the help of a very dear freind, an Amish woman named, Esther.

I have gone on...but a part of me will forever remain, shattered by the loss of my precious little Andi/Andy and my other two tiny, tiny babies, who I miscarried very early in the couple of years after.


But someday...someday, we will all be together again, in Heaven and my aching arms will be full again, at last.





Author's Notes/Comments: 


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Interlude (short story)

     The air is cool, and a slight breeze gently moves my hair. It is not yet spring, obvious by the chill still lingering, not quite yet ready to surrender to the coming season's warmth and growth. The bare trees are black silhouettes against the sky, illuminated by the full moon. It is the only source of light in the starless sky, and we watch the slideshow of clouds passing in front of it. We move closer together, savoring our embrace. The cloudy sky and dormant forest seem as though they should create a sinister mood, but I view the scene as picturesque and serene. Conversation has ceased by this point, comfortable silence left in its place. Nothing exists but the moon, the clouds, the trees, our intertwined hands. I sigh contentedly and lean my head onto his shoulder. In a sense, it is representative of my trust, of the vulnerability not many people see. I look up at him. Our eyes meet, and our lips soon do the same. I pull away shortly after, not wanting to risk ruining the essence of the moment. As his fingers playfully caress mine, I feel his arm tighten around me.

     Expectations forgotten, I want nothing more than this.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

(March '06) I wrote this awhile ago, and just recently found it...

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Coming To A Theater Near You

What's the latest flick you've seen? Read below:

you would never believe what just happened to me

I was CAUGHT UP by this WOMAN IN RED....let's see...

this was a BLIND DATE...FROM HELL as quiet as kept

I should've listened to my SIXTH SENSE and left

I was the MAN IN BLACK and tonight was SHOWTIME

gettin close to the CITY BY THE SEA in no time

2 FAST 2 FURIOUS and CHANGING LANES, not slackin

increasing the SPEED to meet this MAID FROM MANHATTAN

She's SABRINA, a PRETTY WOMAN, her mind sharp as a BLADE

a BROWN SUGAR who's PAID IN FULL and also got it MADE

So I met this young lady, gave her a handshake

and a KISS OF THE DRAGON to make her leg shake

we jet off to BOOGIE NIGHTS to get a bite to eat

filled my BELLY w/SOUL FOOD, JUICE and AMERICAN PIE to eat

after that, we decided to take an 8 MILE...JOY RIDE

singing OLD SCHOOL songs and laughing all night

all of a sudden, this chick gets a call from THE CELL

She told me,"DON'T SAY A WORD." It's my X-MAN. What the hell??

she showed SIGNS of DECEPTION, that ATTRACTION could be FATAL

that's 10 times worse than THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE

That fool called from a PHONE BOOTH right across the street

crying that he's A MAN APART, yo that shit sweet

he then stepped to me, proving his IDENTITY

flashing a LETHAL WEAPON, it made no sense to me

Now I'm down to FACE/OFF, Yeah sucka, BRING IT ON

I got no ROOM to PANIC, we can do this FROM DUSK TILL DAWN

It was a SEVEN second bout, all it took was one BLOW

he fell face flat, now ANALYZE THAT, oh oh

Sabrina starts to SCREAM

cuz BABY BOY just got creamed

she runs to his aid, acting like BLAIR WITCH

Why you running to that JACKASS? That ain't fair, bitch

she curses me out, while treating hs EXIT WOUNDS

now realizing that I'm a REBOUND, a REPLACEMENT, I assume

It's now the 25TH HOUR and my night is about done

Author's Notes/Comments: 

From reading the movie titles, you can tell this was aged, about 4 years to be But this was a simple storytelling session.

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Steal Limelight

Extras are film characters, paid paltry for side roles. Rent a crowd on sets! In all fields readymade are -- popular worldwide.

Is sure a hip substance to Indian society too, glorified by innumerable globe strutting very important NRI with instant demands on variable ready-mades?

Necessity is the mother of invention. From consumer perishable, imperishable, as well as abstract nuances with offices on hire, active wedding planners, service providers for a to z life and style existence.

Observation narrate, sometimes a complete family on hire, member participation relating too, to perquisites provided as per the occasions require.

Remit expected his niece Rosie, daughter of his elder brother He-man and his Anglo Saxon ex wife; be present at his son Dinky’s marriage performance.

Dinky and his bride to be Rimy of Canada wanted to marry in India, ethnic style. Therefore, for Remit an advanced preparation was a must to ensure it a grand affair.

Living abroad in the US throughout his career, struggling ties with his relatives, Remit needed crowd for the ethnic authentic family manifestation, and made a list of invitees.

Agreeing, and adding predicament to the invitation of Remit, his elder brother He-man laid condition - Remit pay for his daughter Rosie’s attendance in way of airfare, lodge, and board, along with pocket money for her participation.

The cash needed for internal freedom and sustenance while attending the ceremony in India. He-man the practical father of Rosie detailed his younger brother Remit so.

Not bad for an unemployed unmarried woman to earn a dime thus, because at forty Rosie was not particularly with nothing to do jobless but moneyless, like many others in this profession. She was a freelance journalist in Dandy-land.

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Sister Dash

Graceful Feet

Early hour hand over duties was a time of intensity for fraught night sisters relieved, and morning staffs to begin obligations.

Slightest error fatal to the entire services, for patients as well as persons employed. Thus, here responsibilities ruled the world of therapeutic.

Other than regular sisters spectacularly smart, every day efficient groups of private nurses wearing white belts and matching caps dispersed from the Matron’s office to different floors.

The nursing home was one very best with its manpower brigade and proficient administration.

An ambience of purity and youthful verve, it exuded power to heal, corridor of confidence.

Architecture matched happy smiles with sunshine pouring in abundance. One such morning it was an emergency for family Shah.

Industrialist Mr V Shah brought into the hospital slipped into coma. Struck by a heart attack struggling hard to survive; he had a squad of doctors and nurses teamed up determination to bring him back to normalcy.

Unconscious in the Intensive Care Unit of the Nursing Home in Alipore, his relatives summoned by the hospital authority to stay vigil round the clock grew nervous.

Though she tried, wife Mrs Pretty Shah could not hold back her tears. Her eyes were red with non-stop rubbing.

Occasionally her sister in law equally melancholic consoled her in a hushed tone.

Mr Vipul Shah’s eldest daughter Vinita never ever visited an intensive care unit in her 32 years of age.

By the grace of God till then all blessed with good health and happiness. At this sudden mishap numb with fears, she clasped her hands and let out unvoiced prayers.

Worried teenager Sweetie kept calling her ma Vinita, to know her grandfather’s condition while minding her little brother Sunny.

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Short Stories

     A long time ago people used to be able to breathe under water. Many think that the beautiful city of Atlantis sunk, but it didn’t. The whole world was under water at one point. Then Atlantis rose up. The whole world was Atlantis.

     Before rising out of the water, Atlantis was amazing. Awesome colors were to be seen as far as the eye could look. There were brightly colored fish everywhere and plants growing abundantly. Coral reef and red algae grew everywhere. But all that came to an untimely end.

     The sun was causing the world to heat and expand. That made Atlantis lighter and it rose up to the surface so that it floated on the water instead of sitting under it. All the inhabitants of the land of Atlantis supposedly died. But they really didn’t. The people of Atlantis had risen with the land.

     The Atlanteans had gills. They were pretty much mermaids. On dry land they had difficulty breathing, and had to resort to lounging around in surrounding water frequently. But soon they began to notice that their bodies were changing, adapting to this new air-filled environment. These things called “lungs” started to grow. The lungs that they had had all their lives were starting to disappear. At first this scared them. They didn’t know what was happening. More and more they were able to breathe without being submersed in water. The Atlanteans weren’t quite used to the movement of their chest with the practice that became widely known as breathing. But they had to adapt to the dry air and learn to get oxygen from other things other than water. The plants that had grown under water couldn’t survive the dryness and so they died out. Leaving room for the new species of plant-life that had begun to form. The tallest plants they called trees. They noticed that the more trees they had, the easier it was for them to breathe.

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Surprise Visit

Short Stories

     I arrive at your front door, wearing my old tight jeans and a black cleavage revealing tank top. You can see the straps of my red thong rising above my jeans a little. Nobody’s there except for you. Surprised to see me, you give me a big smile and a kiss.

     Not wanting to waste any time, you lead me to your bedroom, closing the door behind you. I hear the lock click into place. You tell me how sexy I look and how much it turns you on, me being there locked in your bedroom with you, wearing that thong, and those tight jeans. I walk over to you and sit on your lap, kissing you gently, playfully nipping at your lips.

     Sliding my tongue over your lips and into your mouth. Tasting you, wanting you. I feel something poking up against my butt through your pants and I know what it is. You’re hard as a rock for me. Breaking outta the kiss, I take my shirt off and drop it to the floor.

     I’m wearing my red bra that matches my thong. My breasts are barely covered by the red lace. Your hand slides up my stomach and your fingers tease my nipple through the fabric, making it hard, feeling the lace rub over it, excites me more. As you touch me, caress me, I’m kissing your neck, along your jaw line and back to your mouth. Hot, heated little kisses.

     I feel your hand dip down into the waistband of my jeans, and I take the hint. You wanna feel more of my bare skin. Standing up, I shed my jeans, and you see me in my undies, staring at you provocatively, you motion for me to take the bra off too.

     Reaching behind me to unhook the clasps, I undo them and slide it off one shoulder and then the other, never breaking eye contact with you the whole time. With the bra off and hanging onto one finger I drop it to the floor with the rest of my clothes.

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Secret Lover

Short Stories

     Waking up one morning, you decide to check the mail since no one else is up yet. Opening the mailbox you find an envelope inside addressed to you, but it has no return address. Ripping the paper open, inside you find a letter with a list of things to do on it and there’s no name mentioned to give you a clue as to who it came from. There’s money also provided in the envelope for you to get the things on the list.

     Curious to where this may lead, you go to the first place on the list. At Piggly Wiggly grocery store you pick up some fresh strawberries and some chocolate syrup. Crossing it off the list, you head for the next place.

     At the adult bookstore in Clarksville, you pick up some red fuzzy handcuffs and a silk black tie. Thinking that this better not be a prank, you again pay for the items stated on the list and mark them off.

     Down at Bell’s, you pick up the flowers that were already under your name, and pay the lady for them. Crossed it off and that was all that was on the list. Now you’re wondering whether to go home of not, cuz if your wife sees the red handcuffs she’ll be wondering what the hell is going on and who with, and you still have no idea how to answer those questions yourself.

     Leaving the florist, going back to your car a man stops you and asks, “Sir, are you Nick Stamos?” You tell him yes and begin to ask him why, he responds, “I can’t answer your questions, I was told that you’d probably ask some and I was to tell you nothing except that you are to go to Deerfield Inn and check in under the name John Doe and you’ll be escorted to your room. You are instructed to wait outside, holding the flowers and the bags with everything else in them, and be wearing the tie over your eyes.”

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My Hero

Short Stories

     One day you get an email telling you that I’ve been kidnapped, no name signed anywhere, no address, no clue whatsoever to where I am. Worried you frantically call the house number here and some guy answers, you ask him where I am and what’s going on.

     He tells you there's an ongoing investigation and that I was indeed kidnapped. I was seen by the old woman across the road, being drug outta the house by my hair, wearing only my bra and panties. I was shoved into a light brown, ugly car that had completely disappeared by the time the cops got there. Four older ugly men had come and got me.

     The police filled you in on the rest and you decided to look for me, you look everywhere here in town looking for a car with the same description but find nothing. At last you decided to go down by the lake and hunt for me.

     Spying a brown car and 3 men talking beside it, you hide and wait for them to leave, just knowing that you had finally found a clue. But the 4th man is nowhere in sight. Hearing a woman's scream, you impatiently search around trying to locate where it came from. Seeing another man leaving a shed back behind the house, you think you've found me. Sneaking around the side of the house waiting for the man to go back inside, you hear a moaning sound like, someone in pain.

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