I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy
In 2008, Angie Smith and her husband Todd (lead singer of the group Selah) learned through ultrasound that their fourth daughter had conditions making her “incompatible with life.” Advised to terminate the pregnancy, the Smiths chose instead to carry this child and allow room for a miracle. That miracle came the day they met Audrey Caroline and got the chance to love her for the precious two-and-a-half hours she lived on earth. more/less
Upon receiving the original diagnosis, Angie started a blog (Bring the Rain) to keep family and friends informed of their journey. Soon, the site exploded in popularity, connecting with thousands who were either experiencing their own heartbreaking situations or simply curious about how God could carry someone through something so tragic. I Will Carry You tells the powerful story of a parent losing her child, interwoven with the biblical story of Lazarus to help those who mourn to still have hope—to find grace and peace in the sacred dance of grief and joy.
They Were Still Born: Personal Stories about Stillbirth
Stillbirth, defined as the death of an infant between 20 weeks' gestation and birth, is a tragedy repeated thirty thousand times every year in the United States. That means more than eighty mothers a day feel their babies slip silently from their bodies, the only sound in the delivery room their own sobs. Eighty stillborn babies a day means heartbroken families mourn the death of children who will never breathe, gurgle, learn to walk, or go to school. more/less
In 2006, Janel Atlas became one of those mothers who left the hospital with empty arms; her second daughter, Beatrice Dianne, was stillborn at 36 weeks. Reaching out for comfort, she realized a dire need shared by so many others like her, and so was born a collection of new essays by writers each sharing their firsthand experiences with stillbirth. Atlas includes selections not only from mothers but also fathers and grandparents, all of whom have intimate stories to share with readers. In addition, there are selections that answer many of the medical questions families have in the wake of a stillbirth and that offer the latest research on this devastating loss and how it might be prevented. Grieving parents will find in these pages the comfort of knowing they are not alone on this painful path, validation of their babies' lives, and guidance from those who have suffered this tragedy. In addition, They Were Still Born both inspires and shows readers how to honor and remember their own babies and stories of loss. No parent- or grandparent-to-be sets out planning to purchase They Were Still Born. Unfortunately, there will always be readers-devastated, grieving, and searching for voices to help them through-who need it.
An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination: A Memior
“This is the happiest story in the world with the saddest ending,” writes Elizabeth McCracken in her powerful, inspiring memoir. A prize-winning, successful novelist in her 30s, McCracken was happy to be an itinerant writer and self-proclaimed spinster. But suddenly she fell in love, got married, and two years ago was living in a remote part of France, working on her novel, and waiting for the birth of her first child. more/less
This book is about what happened next. In her ninth month of pregnancy, she learned that her baby boy had died. How do you deal with and recover from this kind of loss? Of course you don't--but you go on. And if you have ever experienced loss or love someone who has, the company of this remarkable book will help you go on.
With humor and warmth and unfailing generosity, McCracken considers the nature of love and grief. She opens her heart and leaves all of ours the richer for it.
Life Touches Life: A Mother's Story of Stillbirth and Healing
In spite of the fact that 1 in every 115 deliveries is a stillborn baby, stillbirth continues to be a taboo subject. In Life Touches Life, Lorraine Ash describes how she met that silence head-on. After a trouble-free pregnancy, her baby was declared dead on what was to be her date of birth. Following a C-section, Ash fought a fever that raged at 104 degrees and almost succumbed to the silent B-strep infection that had killed her daughter. more/less
Devastated by the experience, Ash sought solace and perspective in all the old places and found little relief. In this moving account she discusses the inner changes she faced after the stillbirth of her daughter, delves into spiritual questions that shook her soul, and examines the connection between mother and child that transcends separation and death.
Losing Malcolm: A Mother's Journey Through Grief
One autumn morning Carol Henderson was a new mother recovering in the hospital and cradling a baby the doctor declared perfect. Within days of delivery, the new mother's peaceful world disintegrated into a nightmare of hospitals, tubes, EKG's, and operations. Her baby had a serious heart murmur. more/less
Losing Malcolm is a frank and compelling narrative about a naive mother whose carefully constructed life unravels when her infant son dies. Before her son's devastating illness, the author had little experience with the realities of disease and death. After dealing with doctors and living around the clock in the hospital, Henderson, a hypochondriac who feared all things medical, becomes an informed and tenacious advocate for her child. After a free-fall plunge to the depths of her grief, she resurfaces with a newfound sense of self, a deep empathy for others, and a poignant awareness that enduring grief eventually takes its place in the broader tapestry of life.
Interweaving dreams and journal entries, this highly original memoir offers an evocative chronicle of emotional devastation and recovery. Henderson's account also reveals the differing ways in which she and her husband responded to their child's death and the ways in which loss transformed them. With wit and caring, she also deals with the taboos that exist in the way society-grandparents, friends, and neighbors-deal with death.
This spare, honest narrative resonates with universal themes. It will appeal to those who have suffered the loss of a loved one, those who know someone who is suffering, and those who are interested in reading about the tragedies and triumphs of others.
Empty Cradle, Broken Heart, Revised Edition: Surviving the Death of Your Baby
The heartache of miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death affects thousands of U.S. families every year. Empty Cradle, Broken Heart offers reassurance to parents who struggle with anger, guilt, and despair after such tragedy. Deborah Davis encourages grieving and makes suggestions for coping. The book includes information on issues such as the death of one or more babies from a multiple birth, pregnancy interruption, and the questioning of aggressive medical intervention. more/less
There is also a special chapter for fathers as well as a chapter on "protective parenting" to help anxious parents enjoy their precious living children. Doctors, nurses, relatives, friends, and other support persons can gain special insight. Most importantly, parents facing the death of a baby will find necessary support in this gentle guide. If reading this book moves you to cry, try to accept this reaction. Your tears merge with those of other grieving parents. You are not alone!
A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss
An expanded edition of this classic book on grief and loss—with a new preface and epilogue Loss came suddenly for Jerry Sittser. In an instant, a tragic car accident claimed three generations of his family: his mother, his wife, and his young daughter. While most of us will not experience such a catastrophic loss in our lifetime, all of us will taste it. And we can, if we choose, know as well the grace that transforms it. more/less
A Grace Disguised plumbs the depths of sorrow, whether due to illness, divorce, or the loss of someone we love. The circumstances are not important; what we do with those circumstances is. In coming to the end of ourselves, we can come to the beginning of a new life—one marked by spiritual depth, joy, compassion, and a deeper appreciation of simple blessings.
A Piece of My Heart: Living Through the Grief of Miscarriage, Stillbirth or Infant Death
The death of a child is one of life's most devastating experiences. Since it is contrary to the expected order of nature, most people remain confused about how to deal with their complex feelings. In A Piece of My Heart, Molly Fumia chronicles the death of her infant son and her eventual recovery from it. more/less
Readers will empathize with the emotional journey that begins in denial and guilt, moves through remembrance and reconciliation, and ends in resolution and healing.
Touching the World of Angels: How My Daughter's Short Life Changed Mine
Babies are supposed to be born, not die. Except sometimes, they do. When his two-month-old daughter died from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), Seth Clyman's belief in God was shaken to his very core. As he tried to make sense of the inexplicable during the seven days of shivah (the week-long period of mourning in the Jewish religion), he began a journey that changed him forever. more/less
In Touching the World of Angels
, the grief-stricken father articulates the pain and darkness of unbearable loss as he questions the meaning of our existence on Earth and his own Judaic faith. More a spiritual guidebook than a religious tome, the book provides a powerful combination of raw insight into universal human emotions and a life-affirming pathway to healing after loss, no matter what the readers' faith or religion.
Using birth and death as metaphors to illustrate his own 'birth' of awareness that there is more to life than appears on the surface, Seth takes the reader on a spiritual voyage that is a lifeline for anyone who has ever lost a loved one. He weaves vignettes throughout of parables, anecdotes from his own past, Judaic teachings, and his own stream-of-consciousness, all to illustrate the trek from birth in this world to birth in the afterlife. When Seth emerges at the end of the seven days of mourning, a new world has been created out of the nothingness of his grief, and he has the profound realization that death is actually the way one looks at life—death is not just an end, but also a beginning.
Losing a pregnancy or newborn is a grievous experience. Today the perinatal death rate in the U.S.—which refers to fetuses 20 weeks old through babies 4 weeks old—is about 14 per 1,000 births. Many more children die earlier in pregnancy and later in childhood. In Parenthood Lost
, Dr. Michael Berman shares his insights from his experiences helping parents deal with their grief and unravels the confusing genetic and medical causes of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death. more/less
Through original poetry, firsthand stories told by parents, and articles describing genetic and medical disorders, Parenthood Lost
offers clarification and hope for parents who have suffered this tragedy.
Dr. Berman includes a section on the most common reasons for perinatal losses, with detailed medical information written by practicing obstetricians, and a helpful glossary of terms.
Naming the Child: Hope-Filled Reflections on Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Death
Hope and healing for those who suddenly find themselves in the most terrible sort of grief
For those who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, or the death of a child within the first year, this gentle resource offers: more/less
- stories of hope and wisdom
- practical advice and guidance, based on the experience of many
- comfort and ways to honor and remember
Naming the Child creates a community of love and support for bereaving parents and siblings, written with a light touch and sensitive spirit.
"When I was nineteen weeks pregnant with my second child, Emma, I had a miscarriage. Its impossible to know ahead of time how such an experience will impact you or your marriage. I recognized many of the challenges I faced in Naming the Child. I can say with confidence that this is an amazing resource."
Amy Wilson lawyer and mother of three
Waiting with Gabriel: A Story of Cherishing a Baby's Brief Life
When Amy Kuebelbeck was told that the child she was carrying had a fatal heart condition, she and her husband were faced with an impossible decision: to give their baby a chance at life—and with it, enormous pain and suffering—or to let their baby die naturally, most likely just a few weeks after birth. The unforgettable journey that ensued would change not only their lives, but also the lives of everyone who came in contact with them, from family and friends to healthcare workers and complete strangers. more/less
Written with beauty, grace, and undeniable honesty, Waiting with Gabriel
is ultimately a story about what it means to cherish life in the midst of letting go.
Amy Kuebelbeck, M.A., is a freelance writer and award-winning former reporter and editor for the Associated Press and other news organizations. She frequently speaks at medical conferences and to other groups about the issues raised in her book. Amy, who lives in Minnesota with her husband and two daughters, is the editor of the Web site www.perinatalhospice.org.
Coming to Term: A Father's Story of Birth, Loss, and Survival
After the doctors left, I sat on the edge of Kim's bed and we cried. It had all come to this. All the back-and-forth about whether to have children; all the thinking and talking about what we'd need; all the books and the articles and the prenatal classes; all the morning sickness Kim had endured; and all the excitement about the twins. And now here we were, 100 miles from home in a hospital room in Charlottesville, Virginia, sixteen weeks before term and waiting for Kim to get sick--very sick--so the doctors could cut her open and bring our babies into the world too early. Our twins." more/less
In the course of a routine prenatal check-up Kim Woodwell learned that she had a severe condition that would require doctors to deliver her twin girls in a matter of days. She was barely halfway through the pregnancy. The twins still had four months to go before they were officially due.
The birth of the twins later that week--each weighing less than a pound and a half--marked the start of a months-long roller coaster ride that reminded the parents and everyone around them how fragile and how precious life can be.
This is a gripping account of the day-to-day struggles facing the thousands of families every year whose pregnancies end far too soon and whose babies have to fight to survive. It offers a firsthand view of the anger, the grief, the hope, and the joy that can follow in the wake of a too-early birth.
"And it proves," the author says, "that the smallest human beings can teach us the biggest lessons we will ever learn."
William H. Woodwell, Jr., is an independent writer and editor. He is the author of Choosing the President: The Citizen's Guide to the 2000 Election. His work has appeared in the Washington Post.
A Silent Love: Personal Stories of Coming to Terms with Miscarriage
Many people who have suffered miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death have been made to feel they shouldn't talk about it. As a result, their grief has often been compounded by guilt, shame, and sometimes anger. Now, with great sensitivity, Adrienne Ryan, who has herself suffered multiple miscarriages, explains why this grief is different than any other. This collection of more than fifty real-life stories—written by mothers as well as fathers and grandparents—give voice to that grief in all its emotional and psychic complexity. A Silent Love will offer support and hope to those who have lost a child, and will be an invaluable guide for friends and family.
A Guide For Fathers: When A Baby Dies
This pocket sized book is for men who experience the death of their infant child -- whether it be miscarriage, stillbirth or early infant death. Meant to be a guide during the early hours and days after finding out the news of their baby's death, the book offers suggestions for communicating with medical caregivers, offering support to their partner, telling the news to other children, making funeral arrangements and taking care of themselves in a time of crisis. It goes on to talk about effective communications during the weeks and months following the loss, going to a support group, returning to the workplace, and the issues surrounding a subsequent pregnancy.