In memory of my little Dixie Dale

Dixie Dale .45cm long at 6 weeks.

Four years ago this week, I miscarried a little zygote of a girl, who I had affectionately named Meryl Dixie Dale Junior Girl.  (An anonymous nurse informed me of her sex many weeks later.  I knew anyway, and it was oddly OK to learn that I was right.)  It wasn’t her time to be on this planet, and it wasn’t my time apparently to mama this little girl. There is much that I am still thankful for about her little life; like finding out about her on Mother’s Day, and the miracle of discovering my body could carry a baby, even if just temporarily.

The surge of hormones, combined with the ongoing conversation with my uterine tenant was like a dip in a big ole vat of pink girlie dust for me. I wore little dresses, and seemed to flounce about in a way I never had before. I was in love with this new layer of Mama Me and the little inside me-inside me.

At eleven weeks, my little pink fairy was nothing but a series of specks dancing across an ultrasound screen.

At twelve weeks I set her spirit free on a little cove not far from here, and saw it leap into the ocean as I shook with grief, within the lines of a labyrinth my friend Tom had drawn on the damp sand for me.

I stood tall and proud, and summoned a brave smile so she’d always have that as her lasting image of me.

The next day, I went for the DNC, knowing she was far, far from me.

Today Sammy and I will go there for a picnic, a swim and an ice cream. I’ll bring some little flowers from my garden to throw into the water in honor of her lasting beauty without and within me. I’ll wear the new little pink dress I bought for myself yesterday not fully aware of the connection to the date, even though my body remembered.

I conceived Marcel, on the day she was due to be born, January 6th,  2007.   So, I like to think, a little part of her is still here dancing inside his soft yellow curls, or looking out at me from a speck of blue in his hazel eyes.

To loss, and love, and all the gifts therein. To you little Dixie Dale, who I’ll always cherish, and thank for the gift of readiness you gave my body, and the color you put into the pink of summer.


  1. A beautifully written piece for your beatuy of a baby girl. Enjoy your time with Sammy today and thinking of Miss Dixi Dale.

  2. Thank you for such a heart warming work of words…They comfort me more then you know…thinking of you on this day, Ann

  3. Beautiful. I appreciate this post so very much as a mom who has lost two precious babies to miscarriage. The physical pain subsides but the emotional pain remains, although lessens with time.

  4. It brings great comfort to me to read how you cope with your grief. I’ve had three miscarriages, too, and understand the heartache.

    Peace to you.

  5. I too lost a little little tiny tiny cherub.
    thank you for the deep sigh and reminder of that process that has deepened my own mother wisdom and credibility. thank you for writing sister

  6. Having this kind of choral response to our shared loss and experience is why I write. It is beyond healing to create this real space for grief and openness and to have so many of you join me here. It’s funny how posting her little “picture” here feels so sweet somehow too. Thank you all for choosing to join in. Amazing.

  7. I’ll be thinking of Dixie Dale today. I, too, am the momma of two angels. My heart aches for them. One was only lost a few months ago. She would have been due July 18, a few short days from now. Although the pain is deep, I would never wish it away, as it is my reminder that they existed, and I am their mom. Thank you for also remembering your pink fairy:) in this way.

  8. dear sister-friend what a sweet beautiful bit of writing and sharing. your capacity for creating meaningful ritual in our culture always inspires me. that’s healing in itself not to mention that you write about it and spread the ideas how we may do things like that for ourselves too.

  9. Oh, Catherine. Another connection that we share. It’s surreal to me, all these common links we have. I am somehow not surprised to learn that in the spring of 2006, we both learned we were carrying a baby. I carried our Christopher Michael from spring 2006 until that following Labor Day weekend, when I was hospitalized at 18.5 weeks b/c of premature rupture of the membranes. I gave birth to him (amazingly perfect child that he was; fully formed fingers; I remember being in awe of those tiny little fingers and fragile little face whose lungs weren’t developed enough to function outside the womb just yet). We met him, baptized him, and said good-bye in the space of a breath, in a moment that lives with me even now, and always will. Thanks for honoring your Dixie Dale here. I, too, honor Christopher Michael, and his brief stay in our lives. I, too, would have been due in January 2007. Is it horrible for me to think that things been different, you and I may never have become friends? I am thankful for my baby boy in so many blessed ways. You made me remember also to be thankful that my body showed me I was able to carry a baby, however briefly I did. Love to you and your amazing boys. And to the amazing friendship we have developed purely through cyberspace. I still hope to get together with you some day.

Leave a Reply