FF – Story Seeking Title

Today’s post is another heavy one, and once again about motherhood. Maybe it says something about the mood I’m in at the moment (although this story is not specifically autobiographical), maybe it’s just the bleakness I got from Peter Abbey‘s fantastic photograph below. Either way, I couldn’t think of a title, so feel free to wade in on that, or the story itself.


Lisa rocked backward and forward, like a silent pendulum of motherhood. Ethan whimpered occasionally, his tiny fingers rhythmically scraping the tender skin of her other breast. Pain, loneliness and darkness seemed each to magnify the others into an eternity of agony, emptiness and night.

She could faintly hear another world, where her husband and parents breathed and showered and laughed.

Tears moistened Ethan’s hair. She daren’t move, so they fell freely.

When he finally dropped sleeping from her breast, she stood and touched her wet face to his. “I love you,” she mouthed as she laid him into his crib.


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

13 responses to “FF – Story Seeking Title

  1. Great last line that gives a bit of hope that she can pull through for Ethan. Could sense her loneliness, but also her love for her child. Nice work. I’m stuck for a title too….

  2. Dear Jennifer,

    It sounds like it might be a picture of postpartum depression. I went through it with all three of mine. Perhaps Postpartum would work as a title if that’s indeed what this is about. Well done.



    • That would be a good title. And yes, she described it well.

      • Thank you both. This story isn’t actually necessarily about Postpartum Depression, although I’m sure it could be. I was lucky never to have that, but still there were nights when any of these bits – possibly even all of them together – happened to me. I suspect many many new Mums feel this way, even when we are lucky to avoid the very worst of the baby blues.
        Because i think this is broader than PPD, I am uncomfortable applying that title. But thank you again for the suggestion.

  3. Dale

    I didn’t suffer from postpartum but this sure sounds like it. There were moments of wanting to elsewhere…

  4. I didn’t start suffering postpartum until they turned 13. Then it hit me like a brick wall.

    One thing Connie and I never suffered from was Empty Nest Syndrome. They barely got out of the driveway before we started remodeling their rooms.

  5. I really like the way the loneliness absolutely drips from this but also the mother’s strong love for Ethan

  6. I can’t imagine there’s any mum out there who hasn’t had this moment, at some point. It’s such an exquisitely wonderful and hard job, raising kids. You’ve captured that moment so beautifully.

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