Day 6: Books

Read this in the last few days of pregnancy with Mabel.  Who reads a book about stillbirth when they are 35 weeks pregnant?  The midwife who is told her unborn baby would likely die, that’s who.

I had my sister read from it at Mabel’s burial and I went back to the many quotes I copied down the following days.  Still so many of the quotes speak to me.

“There was nothing in my life that was not bittersweet. Every piece of hope was tinged with sadness; every moment of relief was lit on the edges with worry.”

“After most deaths, I imagine, the awfulness lies in how everything’s changed….there’s a hole. It’s person-shaped and it follows you everywhere…. For us what was killing was how nothing had changed. We’d been waiting to be transformed, and now here we were, back in our old life.”

“I’ve never gotten over my discomfort at other people’s discomfort. … The sadder the news the less likely people are to mention it.”

“Closure is bullshit.”

THe book even mentioned the name Mabel, the name we had chosen for our girl, but did not share with anyone.  Reading it before she arrived felt like a sign.

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other books that have helped me in my grief

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6 thoughts on “Day 6: Books

  1. Like you, I have been reading books, all the infant loss/pregnancy loss books, more than 20 of them. It heals me to walk through the path others like me were on and it felt less lonely and less obscured. One of my favorite book is “Three Minus One.”

    • yes! three minus one is one of my favorites (weird to say that- it resonated with me). I’ve leant it out to a friend. its very good for losses of all stages and types.

  2. I still haven’t read this one, but it’s on my list! My boss (!) actually bought me Empty Cradle, Broken Heart. At first it just made me angry; I was like, who is this author to tell me how to feel and what to think now that my baby died? But ultimately, I read snatches of it here and there, and did find it helpful. Which did you find the most beneficial for you?

    • Ive read snippets of it too. I personally just like the stories, hearing peoples words. Most helpful- was three minus one and a gift of time (which was for expecting a child with a fatal diagnosis- though I wish I had found it before birth, it was still helpful for after)

  3. Your post made me want to read “An Exact Replica”. (Along with a couple tigers I hadn’t heard of). I promptly bought it, and it was delivered yesterday. I brought it along with me to read while waiting for an appointment and had to put it away one chapter in. I mean who what’s to see a lady sitting in a chair crying all alone?!? It moved me immediately and I can’t wait to read more!

    • I’m so glad you felt moved by it too. It just grasped me by the throat. I feel like she does such a good job putting into words so much of what I was feeling- both with the grief, and also with the uncertainty she face with her second pregnancy. I felt that way with Mabel’s pregnancy, because we were so uncertain of her outcome. and later on in the book the name “Mabel” comes up! we had already picked her name out, but didnt know she was a girl yet- so it was a crazy thing for me to read a few days before I gave birth.

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