Saturday, July 26, 2008

About What was Lost

I just finished reading this book: About What was Lost: 20 Writers on Miscarriage, Healing, and Hope.

The back of the book reads:
Featuring such notable writers as Pam Houston, Joyce Maynard, Caroline Leavitt, Susanna Sonnenberg, and Julianna Baggott, among many others. About What Was Lost is the only book that uses honest, eloquent, and deeply moving narrative to provide much-needed solace and support on the subject of pregnancy loss.
Today, as many as one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage. And yet, many women are surprised to find that instead of simply grieving the end of a pregnancy, they feel as if they are mourning the loss of a child. Taken aback by their sorrow, they seek solace among others with similar experiences -- only to find that a silence and lingering stigma surround the topic.
Revealing a wide spectrum of perspectives, this powerful collection offers comfort and community for the millions of women (and their loved ones ) who experience this all-too-common kind of loss every year.

The book was an easy read, with each chapter a different woman's story. I'll admit there were a couple of stories I skipped simply because a few lines into them I wasn't "feeling" it.

There is one excerpt from a chapter by Jessica Jernigan that particularly touched me:
"For a long time after my miscarriage, I couldn't experience her as anything but an absence.
I hadn't just lost a baby, I also lost everything I had discovered when I still had her: the
joy, the wonder, the knowledge of the absolute and astonishing goodness of being alive. I
lost motherhood, too, and the awesome sense of certainty it gave me. I lost a future that
I had wnated more than I've ever wanted anything."

Even now, 3 years after losing Lilly, I still feel that I am being cheated. But that is a topic for a different post.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has suffered the loss of a pregnancy. I am planning to give it to my niece to read. It has many different view points, from women in many different situations finding themselves pregnant... and then not.

Let me know if you read it, and what you think :)


Ter said...

it sounds like a book that I would like to read someday. Thanks for letting me know about it!

Joann said...

I miscarried in 1972. There was no support back then for grieving that loss. I never knew if it was a boy or girl but I think of that little one and where s/he might be now if the pregnancy had come full term. I am glad today there are more resources to help those facing the sadness of miscarriage. Blessings.