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Most every day I will receive two to five emails from women who have lost a baby. I try to always respond.

Many just want to share their story–to tell anyone and let it pour out. I always imagine it is like poison, or snake venom, and you simply have to purge it from your body in order to survive. I’ve heard most every situation that can be told after eight years, and I can handle anything laid in my inbox.

The beta readers who are going over Baby Dust right now also email me, mentioning moments in various characters that they feel reflect me. Stella, certainly, in her unabashed devotion to the group for a decade, often will say things I write in my emails to women–encouragement or concern or a reminder that the future will look very different that the landscape currently in view. I too once thought I would never have children, only loss after loss. I probably hit my lowest low when I was pregnant for the second time and my doctor called me to say my screenings with this new baby were abnormal.

“It will happen again,” I thought, my belly already fat enough that I had to lean forward to rest my head on the work desk. “It will happen over and over again until I can’t take it anymore.”

And that was when I formed a resolution I still repeat to women who feel their losses will recur and they can’t face it. “Can you make it through one more?” I ask them. “Not two more or five more or an endless stream of them. But just one more?”

When you say yes, you know you can make it through one more loss, you are ready to try again. Because your last loss may indeed have been your last loss.