An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination (McCracken) Touching and often unexpectedly funny memoir about the author's life before and after losing her first child in the ninth month of pregnancy. “I’m not ready for my first child to fade into history,” explains McCracken as she talks about her next pregnancy.
Empty Cradle, Broken Heart (Davis) 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. 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!
Ended Beginnings (Panuthos & Romeo) Infertility, miscarriage, sudden infant death, abortion, adoption, premature or traumatic birth, and help for grieving children.
Good Grief (Westburg) Handbook to help understand the stages of all types of grief and losses.
The Good Grief Club (Novak) The Good Grief Club is the true story of seven women who discover that their new friendships have the power to heal the pain of losing their babies in miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death. One by one, fate weaves their lives together in the wake of tragedy misunderstood by those around them. Set around support group meetings and restaurant rendezvous, these seven soul sisters find a new normal. Through tears and anger, compassion and laughter, late nights and French toast, the sun slowly emerges from the darkness bringing with it love, hope, and healing as, together, they rebuild their lives.
Hope is Like the Sun (Church) Follow the author and four of her friends as they navigate the difficult journey through pregnancy loss.
Mourning Sickness (edited by Martin & Loren) 49 contributors (many of them award-winning writers) share their personal journeys through miscarriage, stillbirth and infant death.
Specific Reading Topics
Difficult Decisions During Pregnancy
Some of these books may be helpful during the decision-making process related to termination of pregnancy due to poor prenatal diagnosis (fetal abnormalities or life-limiting diagnoses).
A Time to Decide, A Time to Heal (Minnick) For parents making difficult decisions about babies they love. Written by mothers and fathers who have faced the news of fetal anomaly with grief and courage. Looks at the steps involved in the decision to continue or to end the pregnancy, with the book's real strength (and largest portion) being in the comprehensive approach it takes to healing grief after a decision to terminate is made.
Beyond Prenatal Choice (MacMillin) Written for individuals who find out, through prenatal diagnosis, that their baby has an abnormality, and who have made the difficult and self-less decision to terminate the pregnancy.
Ended Beginnings (Panuthos & Romeo) Infertility, miscarriage, sudden infant death, abortion, adoption, premature or traumatic birth, and help for grieving children
After Miscarriage: A Journey to Healing (Leo): Women who have lost a child due to miscarriage are all too often expected to go quietly on with their lives and never speak of “it” again. Lori Leo was one of those women who struggled in silence with her grief. But after suffering 4 miscarriages in two years, Lori began to speak openly about her loss and reach out to women. She shares her journey into adoption and her advice on living life in a world full of children including responding to hurtful comments, using support groups and remembering your baby.
Embracing a Loss from Sorrow to Acceptance (Elisa Carrillo Baldry) is a journal “companionway” that provides tools for working through grief. It includes the author’s own poems and personal thoughts, but it also gives the reader journaling prompts. This may be particularly helpful to those who wish to journal but are not sure how to begin.
Miscarriage: What Every Woman Needs to Know (Regan) Professor Lesley Regan is the first woman to hold a chair on obstetrics and gynaecology in the country and for the past decade she has worked to establish the biggest miscarriage clinic in the world. This book gives up-to-date information on the many causes of miscarriage and the latest treatments available.
Miscarriage - Women Sharing from the Heart (Allen & Marks) The personal stories of 100 women talking about their miscarriage experiences, interviews with fathers on how they have been affected, and advice for partners, family members, and health care professionals.
Our Stories of Miscarriage (edited by Faldet & Fitton) Fifty contributors, including four men, share vivid accounts of how miscarriage has affected their lives.
This section includes books about coping with the death of a child at any age, about grief in general (not necessarily perinatal grief), and that offer hope and inspiration.
The Bereaved Parent (Schiff) Offers guidance to parents facing the imminent death of a child, shocked by an accidental death, or suffering post-funerary turmoil, grief, and depression, and shows a way through the day-to-day hardships and decisions.
Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul: Stories About Life, Death and Overcoming the Loss of a Loved One (Canfield & Hansen) Readers will be comforted and inspired by the stories of regaining strength and hope, such as holding meaningful services, performing thoughtful deeds and cherishing special memories. Most important, just as the writers have come to appreciate life through the grieving process, readers will discover how to do the same. This soothing bowl of stories is the perfect gift to bring comfort, strength and courage.
Don't Take My Grief Away: What to Do When You Lose a Loved One (Manning) Doug Manning addresses the pain and disorientation of the death of a loved one, helping the bereaved cope with the emotions and confront the decisions that are an inevitable part of this time of radical life adjustment. Beginning with the premise that "grief is not an enemy; it is a friend. It is the natural process of walking through the hurt and growing through the walk," Manning helps readers face up to grief, move through it, and learn to live again.
How to go on Living When Someone You Love Dies (Rando) Discusses different types of losses a person could face and then goes on to explain why you will feel as you do. The last part is dedicated to helping you understand how to resolve grief and heal from such loss.
I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye (Noel & Blair) Focuses on the unique challenges of sudden loss, written by two women who have walked the path. They cover such difficult topics as the first few weeks, suicide, death of a child, when a body isn't found, children and grief, funerals and rituals, physical effects, homicide, depression, and many others.
Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal (Remen) Enthusiastically praised by everyone from Deepak Chopra to Bernie Siegel, Rachel Remen's unique perspective on healing is rooted in her background as a physician, a teacher of medicine, and a long-term survivor of chronic illness. In this collection of deeply moving, true stories, she reminds readers that the things that ultimately enrich life are the things that cannot be measured.
Living with Loss, Healing with Hope (Grollman) Illuminates Judaism's powerful recognition of the trauma of grief and of the mourner's responsibility eventually to return to the rhythm of life. In a brief final section, the author guides readers through Jewish funeral observances, Shiva, and beyond, and reminds all that these symbolic customs are "about change-remembrance, letting go, and moving on."
Remembering with Love (Levang & Ilse)Reassurance and compassion for those struggling with a loved one's loss.
Tear Soup, a recipe for healing after loss (Schwiebert & DeKlyen) is a family story book that centers on an old and somewhat wise woman, Grandy. Grandy has just suffered a big loss in her life and so she is headed to the kitchen to make a special batch of Tear Soup. This book recognizes and reinforces the fact that every person grieves in his or her own way.
Trusting God Through Tears (Burton) Following the sudden death of his twelve-year-old son, Jehu Burton finds himself immersed in the emotions that come with great loss and faced with faith-shaking questions that have never before arisen in his spiritual life. Burton walks readers through the days, months, and years following Kellys death. He reveals how he survived the most terrible event of his life and learned to trust in God's sovereignty.