Jessica Bates

writer | reader | mother | lover

September 16, 2018

Excerpts from Birth & What Came After: poems on motherhood

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After I gave birth to my first child in 2014, the birth poetry flowed like a river.

I wrote poems on scraps of paper, I wrote birth poetry in the wee hours of the morning while my son was nursing on my breast. I was full of words, and I had to get them out. Thanks in part to my relationship with my local writing group, I decided to compile all of the motherhood and birth poems into a collection — my first. I was lucky to have the title in mind early on: Birth & What Came After. Normally titles are hard for me, but this one was obvious.

Since then, I have been overwhelmed with the love and support I’ve received. Releasing a part of yourself is frightening, as is sharing any art. The first night after I hit “Publish” I couldn’t sleep, even when my son and husband and dogs slept well. I was terrified. Had I made an awful mistake?

But that was May 9, 2017. I had made some typos, which I found & fixed, but other than that, I’m completely thrilled with the results of my creative ventures. I have been touched over and over again when people across the globe have sent me messages saying how much they related to my motherhood and birth poetry.

You can hear me read my poem Weaning on episode 2 of the First Latch podcast.

It was so validating to be interviewed about my art and my motherhood journey by the fabulous woman behind First Latch. And that opened up some doors for me, connected me with readers, and helped me gain confidence to share more about my writing journey from the prospective of a mother. It’s difficult to mom and write, but it’s doable.

Birth & What Came After was also included in September’s Leaked Box, a gift box of amazing goodies for breastfeeding moms.

If you need a gift for a new mother in your life, my poetry collection is an excellent choice. I have received so many comments about how much solace and kinship mothers (and fathers!) have found in my words. Birth and motherhood are transformative, and this birth poetry collection gives honor and truth to the journey.

You can find Birth & What Came After: poems on motherhood on Amazon. If you’re a Nashville local, you can find signed copies at From Nashville With Love.

Thank you for reading. xoxox



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