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stack of colourful books with text: best books after miscarriage or pregnancy loss

When I first lost a baby in 2010, I was desperate to read books about other people’s stories and have them guide me through the grief process.  I was living in Peru in the days before owning a Kindle, so I had to wait a long time for the books I wanted to read to arrive.  When they did, I devoured them eagerly, putting words to the outrageous feelings and deep cries of my heart.  Those books led me to a place of hope and strengthened me to believe that I too could get through this. I could come out the other side stronger.  Four miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies later, here is a selection from the list of books that have helped guide me through those seasons of grief. Only the best ones made it to this list!

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Books about pregnancy loss:

1) I will carry you: the sacred dance of grief and joy – Angie Smith


Angie Smith, the wife of Todd Smith, (the lead singer of the group Selah) shares her story of delivering her daughter at full term knowing that she would not live outside the womb.  A story of hope and very well written, this is my favorite pregnancy loss memoir.  It is real without being hopeless and that is what I needed after my fourth loss!

 

 

2) Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way – Shauna Niequist

There is just a chapter or so on Shauna’s miscarriage journey in this book, but the whole book is about death and life and change in her life and I enjoyed ‘reading around the edges’ of the year of Shauna’s loss.  This is an upbeat, often humorous and beautifully written book (with short chapters – yeah!)

 

 

3) Empty Arms: Hope and Support for Those Who Have Suffered a Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Tubal Pregnancy by Pam Vredevelt

This book walks women through the physical and emotional processes of miscarriage, stillbirth or ectopic pregnancy grief. Pam also shares her own story.  I personally appreciated the chapter on ectopic pregnancy.  Having had two ectopic pregnancies myself before reading the book, I appreciated hearing about different approaches and what is ‘normal’ in the medical management of those pregnancies as so few things are written about them.

 

4) Saying Goodbye: A personal story of baby loss and 90 days of support to walk you through grief – Zoe Clark- Coates 

I wish I had discovered this book earlier in my grief journey.  The first few chapters share Zoe’s personal miscarriage stories and then the later chapter provide day to day reflections and activities to help women acknowledge their grief and commemorate their baby’s life.

 

 

5) Grief Unseen: Healing Pregnancy Loss through the Arts – Laura Seftel

Tucked away on Amazon I found this book when looking for examples of art after miscarriage.  This book was a feast of community through different women’s artwork and stories through the history of pregnancy loss.  Through the different pieces and very thoughtful reflections, I was able to see the strength of emotion other women felt post-loss and how normal I was to have strong feelings.  It connected me with other women throughout history and the world today and brought value to my losses. Although the artwork is in black and white, many of the pieces can be found in the accompanying Facebook group.

 

6) Brokenhearted Hope: Encouraging stories of faithfulness, healing, and hope in the midst of miscarriage and loss – Heather Shipley

After losing my first baby I wanted to hear everybody else’s stories of miscarriage and pregnancy loss.  Here is a section of stories from women who have been there and found hope afterward.

 

Books about grief and recovery:

Although not specifically about pregnancy loss grief, I found these books incredibly helpful walking me through the grief process:

7) A grace disguised: How the soul grows through loss – Jerry Sittser

After Jerry loses his son he is thrown into a season of grief.  I read this book after losing my son in utero at 16 weeks and it gave me hope that my loss didn’t have to be all negative – that I could find meaning and life beyond it.  Only a short book, I was desperate to read more stories (but found very little at that time!). Highly recommended.

 

 

8) Struck: One Christian’s Reflections on Encountering Death – Russ Ramsey

Struck tells the story of a man with a bacterial infection who suddenly faces death and open-heart surgery.  Raw and real, Russ shares his strong emotions and ultimate compassion towards himself in the post-surgery process.  Having had surgery for a second ectopic pregnancy I appreciated the wisdom in this book connected with being kind to yourself and not having too high expectations to quickly for physical and emotional healing.  This book helped me take my recovery and grief journey step by step.

 

9) Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy  – Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg’s Facebook husband Dave dies suddenly and she is left with the aftermath.  In this heartbreaking but emotionally strengthening book, Sheryl shares many words of wisdom for a grieving soul as she comes to terms with the loss of her husband and the father to her young children.  Having lost the ability to conceive children naturally after a second ectopic pregnancy, I appreciated the help to look at my life through the lens of ‘option B’ and this book definitely helped build resilience and compassion in me after my fourth loss.

 

10) The Other Side of Sadness: What the New Science of Bereavement Tells Us About Life After Loss – George A. Bonanno

I wish I had read this book earlier. This fascinating but down-to-earth science book shares all the latest evidence on what grief actually looks like. Through different stories of loss, it shares how some people deal with grief seemingly too quickly, whilst others experience chronic feelings of grief. This book shows us what we can learn about the best ways to face loss and build resilience.

Other helpful resources:

11) Lost Connections – Johann Hari

This book walks the everyday reader through the latest research on depression and what we now know really helps beyond the pills.

 

 

 

 

Recommended articles: 10 ways to commemorate your child after miscarriage or pregnancy loss

 

Finally…just for you:

Did you know what I have put together a free pdf self-care guide for tailored especially for women after miscarriage and pregnancy loss? You can pick up your free copy now here.

Self-care guide after miscarriage or stillbirth

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