Echoes of Love

24 Aug

Here follows another 100 word story for Madison Woods’ FridayFictioneers inspired by a fine photo from  Maggie Duncan. They say, “Write what you know” and usually I do, but not this time. I offer this out of respect and in thrall of the miraculous.

They roll in like endless ocean swells.

I wait in a Demerol fog for each echo of our love to crash over me. Pressure crests.

I clench sweaty sheets and smile briefly at this fainter echo. My body has always heard love’s deeper rhythms and answered. And answers still.

Another wave breaks, passes.

I sink gratefully into the mist.

“Breathe, Maggie, breathe,” utters my nervous husband. Eleven long hours and he hasn’t left my side. I’m too tired to tell him I love him. Must marshal my strength to show him.

Next wave. I can bear this pain.

“She’s crowning.”

(I’ve noticed a steady drop off in stats and attribute this to my failure to get to every story and read and comment. I don’t know what to do about this. Time is precious and I answer to rhythms of my own. I have the bug and would write these stories each week with or without readers. The line on the graph tells me that may eventually happen. Still won’t stop, the cure in this case being worse than the disease.  Just want to say thank you to those of you who do visit and let you know I’ll keep trying the light [thanks to W.S. Merwin and For a Coming Extinction for that line] Aloha, D.)

61 Responses to “Echoes of Love”

  1. Nifti August 24, 2012 at 12:28 am #

    Beautiful Story.

    … Yeah happens now and again. But not to fret, cos the stats always come back up. And when you do have time, well, stop by mine:

    • Douglas MacIlroy August 24, 2012 at 12:33 am #

      Dear Nifti,

      Now, while I am strong, let me say thanks for you kind comments. I stopped by yours and it was a perfect fit.



      • Nifti August 24, 2012 at 1:46 am #

        Thank you Doug. 🙂

  2. Janet August 24, 2012 at 12:32 am #

    Like your story, your words were like riding a wave, and they were a very good fit for the picture. Nice!

    • Douglas MacIlroy August 24, 2012 at 12:34 am #

      Dear Janet,

      Thanks for visiting. Finding your icon and story right now! Hugs.



  3. Joyce August 24, 2012 at 12:53 am #

    A great story of a couple experiencing the birth of their child. As a mother and grandmother I can relate to the wonderful experience of childbirth. Don’t worry over the stats too much. We all experience the up and down drop or climb in the stats around Friday Fictioneers’ story time. I always like reading your stories and understand when you can not get to many. Same with me. We all have another life to live beside the one at our computers creating stories. I literally have to discipline my time and involvement at my computer, as I get a bit addicted to my writing and projects.

    • Douglas MacIlroy August 24, 2012 at 1:21 am #

      Dear Joyce,

      Thank you for your comments and advice. I just wish I could get to everyone each week. Funny you should use the word, ‘addicted’. I know someone who is addicted to purple.

      Off to the bank before it closes, armed with renewed determination to make good use of the night.



  4. Craig Towsley August 24, 2012 at 1:03 am #

    Endless ocean swells, rolls off the tongue like waves. Brave topic, but you pulled it off, Doug.

    As for stats – I say ignore it (very difficult, I know) I had the same kind of crisis a while back and had to ask myself who am I writing for? It came down to I was writing for myself, and as long as I’m happy with it, the number of visits and comments be damned.

    • Douglas MacIlroy August 24, 2012 at 1:16 am #

      Dear Craig,

      Thanks for the kind comment re my story—and for the sage words regarding stats and writing in general. My lament at the conclusion of my story is really about not having enough time to be everywhere at once. I’m working with my astronomer friends on getting another 12 hours added to each day, but it’s slow going, what with the pesky physics involved.



  5. sustainabilitea August 24, 2012 at 1:20 am #

    Been there, done that (twice), albeit without drugs. 🙂 Well worth it. As my husband says, “It’s a good thing women have children because it would kill a man.”

    As far as stats, I only started blogging in January. At first, no one except my family read my blog and I had fun writing it but wondered how anyone would find me. Then I started getting a few followers and then more and more. Stats became more important. Then “likes” and comments. Now I have a number of followers, which I love, because it says they liked enough of what I write to take a change on the every day posts. I know they don’t all read every day and of course I wish they would. But as Craig says, I’m writing for me and hoping that it hits a chord with others. If so, great. If not, well, it’s what I wanted to say.

    For Friday Fictioneers, I try to read everyone’s submissions each week if I have time, because there are so many good stories and I love to read the different takes and styles. It’s a learning experience. I don’t include my link (unless it’s asked for in order to publish my comment because I want people to read my submission because they think they might like it, not because I commented on theirs.

    Wow, that got a bit long. Blame it on the long day and the Guinness and the fact that I’m off tomorrow to drive our younger daughter to Philly to start art school. Don’t know how many posts I’ll get to tomorrow, but I’ll keep at it.

    Keep up the great work and don’t worry about the stats.

    • sustainabilitea August 24, 2012 at 2:17 am #

      I don’t mean to say that it offends me when someone leaves a link. I just go through the links on Madison’s page.

    • Douglas MacIlroy August 24, 2012 at 8:58 am #

      Dear Ms. Tea,

      I absolutely don’t think that you ran ‘long’ and I thank you for every word. I’ve been judging response to my story by the reaction of the women and I appreciate your experienced eyes assessing it. Thanks.

      I don’t worry about stats (much:) except where they might be an indication of my failure to connect. I swear I don’t know how people do it without sounding inane or trite. My rambling on the subject was kind of an apology/explanation as to why I never seem to catch up.

      I love the Guinness line and may plagiarize it. Yeah, that’s the ticket…



  6. TheOthers1 August 24, 2012 at 1:21 am #

    You surprised me with this story. I liked the direction you led me in. As an OB nurse, I especially enjoyed the mention of the demerol fog. Nice interpretation of the prompt.

    As for the flagging stats, I think it’s something that just fluctuates. I like you a great deal, but have been trying to decrease my time on here. Maybe others are going through a similar thing. 🙂

    • Douglas MacIlroy August 24, 2012 at 1:26 am #

      Dear CC,

      Thanks for your input re the Demerol fog. I’m glad that resonated with you and the story as well.

      I don’t worry about the stats. i worry about the people on the other end of them. I just want to get to everyone and cannot and I’m trying to let people know it’s not about them, just time and tide.

      I know what you mean about trying to reduce your time on WP. Sometimes I think about shutting it all down…but then I smile and go, “nah”. I’d miss you too much.



      • TheOthers1 August 24, 2012 at 1:37 am #

        Ah. Well, it’s okay if you can’t make it around. Your time is important.

        You’re a night shifter, right? If so, it’s another reason why I like you so much.

  7. rochellewisoff August 24, 2012 at 1:23 am #

    Ding! Ding! Ding! You nailed it! Never doubted you for a second, Doug. Beautifully told. On the other thing, it does seem that despite the linkz list, I do get more comments when I comment on others and leave my link. Again…so loved your story. You did manage to get in touch with your feminine side.
    Shalom aloha,

    • Douglas MacIlroy August 24, 2012 at 9:04 am #

      Dear Rochelle,

      I’m hoping to escape this week without being pilloried by the ladies. I have such respect for what they are capable of; multiples, baby making, social networking, putting up with men in specific and in general… the list is endless.

      Thanks for your vote of confidence. I’m especially proud of CC’s just above as she’s an OB nurse. Twofer. Cool.

      Again, my prattle about stats had at its root a concern that I’m failing to connect with the growing number of FF participants. Just trying to apologize/figure it out.

      Thanks for your input, as always.



      • rochellewisoff August 24, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

        Doug, I understand the battle with the stats. I was kind of down about it yesterday then it dawned on my it was only Thursday. Some actually think they’re supposed to wait until Friday to post. Some of us are overachievers, right?
        CC’s comment is validating. Relish it. You earned it
        I could relate to the Demerol fog. Certainly got me through my third childbirth.
        Quit apologizing.

  8. unspywriter August 24, 2012 at 2:16 am #

    I’ve noticed a drop-off in stats as well. I try to read as many of the others as I can, but I, too, have things to do.

    And I noticed the name of the birthing woman was oddly familiar. 😉

    Here’s mine:

    • Douglas MacIlroy August 24, 2012 at 9:27 am #

      Dear Maggie,

      As I mentioned in my overlong comments re your story, Misty, I chose your name in honor of your status as the picture provider this week.

      Thanks for you kind words.



  9. susielindau August 24, 2012 at 2:27 am #

    Nice! I thought they may be orgasmic waves at first! Hahaha! Loved this use of the prompt and very original!
    I will join in the fun tomorrow am…..

    • Douglas MacIlroy August 24, 2012 at 9:29 am #

      Dear Susie,

      That’s what the childbirth contractions are; echoes of orgasmic waves and the basis of my title. By the way, do you have a one track mind? (Good. Me too:)

      Thanks for the nod of approval re my use of the prompt. i’ll be looking for you tomorrow.



  10. Madison Woods August 24, 2012 at 2:28 am #

    I enjoyed this ‘outside the box’ response to the prompt, Doug 🙂 I’ve had two unmedicated and one with what might have been a nice Demerol fog if the adrenaline of fear and pain hadn’t flushed it from my system so quickly, lol.

    • Douglas MacIlroy August 24, 2012 at 9:32 am #

      Dear Mads,

      Which came first, the Demerol episode or the other two?

      Thanks for telling me you enjoyed my take on the prompt. Means a lot to me.

      I’m plowing my way through the monster you’ve created. Sheesh, I love it, but I get writer’s cramp.



      • Madison Woods August 24, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

        LOL, I love my monster 🙂 I’m afraid I don’t give it enough attention anymore either, but there are only so many minutes in a week.

        The first two children came first, and the last was turned wrong and needed to be re-positioned late in the game. Demerol did nothing to help but it was too late for anything else. We both fared just fine in the end, but I learned a thing or three I didn’t previously know, and amended a misconception I had regarding pain thresholds and fainting… mine is fairly high and a person doesn’t just faint when pain becomes unbearable. The movies got that part wrong. The other few things… that the last sensory function to leave is hearing and dying isn’t scary. And hearing is the first sense to return when death is cheated.

  11. valeriedavies August 24, 2012 at 3:40 am #

    Good to find your blog again.
    I’ve also discovered the challenging side of blogging, and wondered how other people handle it…

    And half the time I don;t “get” the technology, and feel I’m just getting by… And even when I decide to let the list of blogs waiting to be read, just go… curiosity drags me in…

    I think there must be a middle way, and I’m looking for it! Hope you find it too, dear Doug

    • Douglas MacIlroy August 24, 2012 at 9:34 am #

      Dear Valerie,

      When you figure it out, write a book about it and I’ll buy it, because it’s a mystery to me. (Lots of ‘it’s in that sentence. I’ll have to work on that:)

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.



  12. Susan Wenzel (@SusanWenzel) August 24, 2012 at 3:59 am #

    Dear Doug,

    For someone who’s not had a baby (I’m assuming 😉 ), you sure illustrated the feelings well. The pain, visceral…the whole experience of childbirth, primal. For a moment, regardless of status, location, race, or religion, this one act makes all women – throughout time – equal. Very well played.

    I read many blogs even if I don’t post (which I won’t again this week because we are headed out of town tomorrow) but have learned that many don’t read if you don’t post first. Don’t take is personally. I don’t.

    I love your stuff and will keep coming back as long as you are writing…


    • Douglas MacIlroy August 24, 2012 at 9:39 am #

      Dear Susan,

      Your kind words mean a lot to me, especially the part about my story getting it right. (Would you believe I did a lot of research for it?)(And no, that’s not a joke and no, I haven’t had a baby.)

      I absolutely don’t take lack of input personally. My whole ramble on the subject was just trying to convey my frustration at not having the time to connect to everyone.

      Travel safe tomorrow and know that I return the feeling. As long as you are writing, I’ll find your work and read it.



      • Susan Wenzel (@SusanWenzel) August 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

        I did end up writing a quickie on Friday morning before we headed out…I read your blog and get the bug. I can’t resist the call of the word…


  13. erinleary August 24, 2012 at 4:41 am #

    It always impresses me when someone takes on the character that is out of character. My husband wrote a short story from a female perspective recently, and it wasn’t until the paragraph where he says his name that I figured it out. I just didn’t expect him to be a woman. I enjoyed your story and it fit the scene well – very compelling! Mine is here:

    p.s. I have also noticed a drop in visits and tie it to the advent of the Linky system. I think some visits were people stumbling through looking for more links to get to – or maybe the new system is just more efficient. I have to say I really appreciate it as a reader. The corelation may just be in my head – but I think there’s something to it.

    • Douglas MacIlroy August 24, 2012 at 9:47 am #

      Dear Erin,

      You may be on to something re the Linky thing. i hadn’t thought of that and will examine future numbers with that in mind. Your story, Play Misty for Me was great. (I just returned from the long watch in the mist.)

      Thanks for your input and comments.



  14. Linda August 24, 2012 at 7:26 am #

    What a wonderful way to describe the birthing process, almost sounds like you’ve done it yourself (or at least been present at a few Doug). I was also thrown by the two parter – seemed like sex/illness and then birth – fantastic writing and my favourite so far.

    Here’s mine too:

    • Douglas MacIlroy August 24, 2012 at 9:51 am #

      Dear Linda,

      Thank you for your comments. Yes, I thought about labor contractions as returning ripples of the splash of orgasm. Wanted to connect the two in the reader’s minds. Echoes of Love. Gotta love Nature, She really has us hardwired for reproduction.

      I especially appreciate you telling me it was your favorite so far. (Hope you’ve read more than a few:) I wanted to do justice to women and the eternal miracle and mystery (to men) of childbirth.



      • Linda August 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

        You certainly did do it justice Doug and it is still my favourite 🙂

  15. readinpleasure August 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    A very beautiful and original take on the prompt, Doug, with such powerful and vivid imagery. You make childbirth seem almost orgasmic. Hmm, please do visit me as I do love your comments so much. (time permitting of course) Mine is here and linked:

  16. JKBradley August 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    Beautiful story.

    My two cents…be selfish and write for you.

    • Douglas MacIlroy August 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

      Thanks JK,

      I do, and all things flow from there. Been up late. Have to sleep. Approaching 4:00AM. I’ll see you tomorrow.



      And thanks for the kind words re the story. See you on the flipside.

  17. oldentimes August 24, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    Captues childbirth well! I remember that and the wonderful words “She’s crowning’, knowing I could make it from there.

  18. claireful August 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    ‘…echo of our love…’ is the most evocative phrase – beautiful (orgasmic!). I’ve gone through this twice, once with drugs, once without. I can’t say that I relate to any lovely thoughts during labour – I don’t think I thought (or said) any nice things. They were more along the lines of “you’re never coming near me again” ;-). But post delivery, when all those hormones kick in, I was definitely in this zone.

    As for stats / reading other posters – I don’t have time to read all contributors, so I try to read all people who have commented on mine and then a couple of favourite contributors. So I prefer it if people post their link – saves me having to go back to Madison’s blog and find them.

  19. Russell August 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Dear Doug,
    It’s nice to see you’re in touch with your feminine side. I wrote a birthing scene from a female POV in my story “Raising Cain,” but it’s a little different (imagine that!).
    The stats didn’t drop off because of the quality of your work, and most of us don’t have time to visit every single blog. It’s summer, people are traveling and it’s too nice outside to stay in front of a computer screen all the time. It’ll take a freight train to carry all the comments on this site once the snow starts blowing.

    By the way, thanks for reading & commenting on mine.

  20. elmowrites August 24, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    Hi Doug,
    As someone who spends a lot of time contemplating childbirth right now, I’m not sure whether reading your story was good for me or not! However, I liked the reference to “echoes of love” and I’ll try to remember that in a couple of months’ time. Maybe you could write a piece to talk my husband through the process from the other side too? ;P

    Regarding stats, I suspect you are still absolutely trashing me into the ground on that score, but I too have seen a drop off since I’ve started being unable to get to everyone’s story each week. Ultimately, I’d like to think my blog is of interest to lots of people, but I’m coming to terms with the fact that it is of interest to those it’s of interest to, and that I write it for myself.
    Keep writing, buddy – I can assure you you’ll always have at least one follower!
    Jen (elmowrites)

  21. thecontradictoryoptimist August 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    That’s a beautiful story! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It’s been the most unexpected interpretation of the image but they go together so well!

  22. flyoverhere August 24, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

    I love this story Doug! It is a beautiful take on the prompt! Glad you have the bug because I always look forward to reading!!!

  23. Anne Orchard August 24, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

    Ouch, I’ve been trying to forget about all that! The nice part about children getting older and new challenges. But you summed it up really well, I so remember ‘riding’ those waves and feeling all at sea.
    I also prefer when people leave the links as it makes their stories easier for me to find. It also means that we all get links in to our blogs which is a nice side benefit on top of enjoying the wonderful stories. So on that note, mine is here 😉

  24. mysocalledDutchlife August 24, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    When the drugs kicked in the first time, I was foggily telling all the midwives in the room that my husband was completely wonderful and was overcome with these waves of love. The second was without drugs, but the same feelings and, as he had just finished his advanced medical officer course (where he had to act as the uterus in midwifery class 🙂 ), he delivered our daughter, while the midwife looked on. He was at sea when our third was born and I felt lost at sea without him, every wave being a bit more confusing and difficult. I’m glad he was home for number 4.

    Nice memories, thanks to your well written story, Doug. It’s a while since I thought about my birth tales.

    I’ve been busy with summer holidays, but you can expect more visits from The Netherlands during the school term :-).

  25. Rachel Paterson August 24, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

    What a fantastic take on the prompt. I really like the echo imagery – very nicely done. Don’t worry about the stats. Keep writing. Stats will work themselves out. Just keep writing.

    • Rachel Paterson August 24, 2012 at 10:20 pm #

      ps. also a small thing – when you post, perhaps post with the same photo every time – the same as the one you use here, with the backpack on your back, on the beach. Then its always easy to find you 🙂

  26. vbholmes August 24, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    It’s the sign of a real storyteller when a man can craft a tale of childbirth from a woman’s point of view. Good job.

  27. Carrie August 24, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

    your story of birth was much more poetic than I remember my own being…perhaps because I went without the drugs 🙂 Beautiful, Doug

  28. billgncs August 24, 2012 at 11:50 pm #

    good story, takes me back to when my first was born and I held her and instead of crying, she warbled like a small bird.

  29. Lora Mitchell August 25, 2012 at 6:47 am #

    You got me at….”demerol fog”…My dear Doug. I’m amazed you know so much about childbirth. Perfect fit with the prompt. You know where to find me. Aloha***

  30. Adam Ickes August 26, 2012 at 12:55 am #

    Don’t know what can be said that hasn’t already been said. This was an excellent little take that took me back to when my daughter was born. I enjoyed it very much. If you don’t get to mine, there’s no need to feel bad. I’m like you. I’d write my stories with or without readers. I’m also like you in that I don’t always manage to get to everyone else’s stories. I try, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

  31. Kathy McClure August 26, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    As always, I was thrilled with your words, and apologize for a long absence from reading. Summer was far more busy than I’d anticipated! But it’s great to see you’re still going strong.

    Also, I think the drop in stats has more to do with a normal leveling out. This challenge is a great deal like a game that, once ‘mastered’, loses the adrenaline rush (fiero). It may be we need to add additional challenges within the ‘game’ to maintain the mass spark we enjoyed in the first weeks. For instance, you could dare another writer to use a certain word in their piece, or a writer could dare you to place your story in a specific era, upping the challenge, and the intrinsic reward received for overcoming it.

    This note brought by ‘gaming research Kathy’. 🙂

  32. Running from Hell with El August 26, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    It’s lovely, Doug.

    As far as responses, it’s summer. Things are slower for everyone. You just keep doing what you’re doing, my friend.

  33. lenwilliamscarver September 11, 2012 at 4:48 am #

    I love your writings I am a beginning fan but a fan none the less. I want to thank you for stopping by and reading my 9-11 post, I tend to write something each year and usually trash them before publishing but this time for some reason this story poured so easily I had to post it. So thank you for coming by. as for stats they go up they go down, yes in all probability because you don’t go to each site,comment and comment back to the comment. It is VERY time consuming and I find myself running dry when I read so many others oh and start feeling inferior. I am going to have to change something I don’t know maybe leave them all alone and not care if anyone reads? Not sure just know I am tired of the back and forth and my spirit for writing is dry for all the time spent on others. God Bless!

    • dmmacilroy September 11, 2012 at 5:09 am #

      Dear Len,

      I know the feeling well. I’d say focus on writing and the audience will come. No one will fault you for this and your writing will benefit.
      I loved your 9/11 piece. Very evocative and heartfelt. Keep it up (your writing and your spirits.



      • lenwilliamscarver September 11, 2012 at 6:06 am #

        thank you I am so honored that you revisited and gave me advice I admire you so much thank you.


  1. What Do You See? | Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple - July 1, 2013

    […] Or this one, also from Doug. […]

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