This book was written by a woman who experienced a miscarriage, a stillbirth, an ectopic pregnancy, and has two living children. Over the years, she has talked to and compiled stories and experiences from thousands of parents. This positions her as an expert in the field of pregnancy and infant loss, and as a result her book is able to cover a wide variety of experiences, options, and recommendations to readers.
There are so many painful decisions that must be made quickly. With a nonjudgmental tone, the author is careful to outline many options and ideas depending on each family’s situation, but also empowers readers to make their own decisions. There is no one right way to handle these traumatic experiences.
One of my favorite sections of this book is “Decisions You Might Face Right Away.” In this chapter, the author covers topics such as deciding whether or not to see or hold your baby, taking pictures, naming the baby, and notifying family and friends. This book would be so helpful for families to have by their sides to help guide them through these first few hours and days after their baby passes away. The author’s main perspective is, “Do what you wish to do in your heard and don’t worry what others will think” (p. 21). She even recommends trying to accommodate both parents’ wishes. For example, if one parents strongly wants to hold the baby and take pictures, he or she should do so before the opportunity passes even if the other parent doesn’t want to participate. In many situations it is possible to honor both parents’ inclinations. The author even shares that her husband did not feel the need to name their babies who were miscarried or stillborn, but the author does have names for them that are meaningful to her.
The next section of the book is entitled “The First Days and Weeks” and covers the multitude of physical and emotional reactions parents may experience after the loss of a baby. The author also has separate sections for mothers, fathers, single moms, addressing specific needs of each.
I appreciated this book’s attention to the feeling of guilt. “Guilt probably is one of the most common and intense feelings parents have after the death of a child. It is a normal part of grief” (p. 45). Parents may wonder if there was anything they could have done to prevent the loss. Additionally, some people feel angry with or blame their partner.
This book, which is a short, direct, and empathetic guide to enduring a child’s death, ends with these words:
Hope… Time… Love… Healing
Tomorrow will come. The pain will ease. But you will never forget your precious child. It takes hope and time and love for the healing to take place. Remember along the way to accept, but never forget.