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I’ve lost babies several ways. I was 20 weeks along with Casey. He’d implanted on a wall running down the middle of my uterus. We didn’t know I was broken, formed incorrectly from birth. We had no idea when we went in to that sonogram to learn his sex that instead we’d see a silent screen, still and lifeless, a baby floating motionlessly inside my womb.

I got pregnant a second time without knowing the whys or what ifs. My triple screen came back abnormal; I felt sure it would happen all over again. But Emily made it, and through the high risk struggle with her we saw a specialist who diagnosed my problem. A year after I had her I had surgery to try and fix my insides a bit and at least reduce my risk of losing babies in the second trimester.

A year after the surgery, I got pregnant again, and Elizabeth and Emma grew quietly together for nine weeks. I didn’t even know I had twins–I was scheduled for my first sonogram as soon as I got back from a trip overseas. I felt fine, happy and good and not even too sick. But on the flight home I stood to stretch, felt a little pop, and blood-tinged amniotic fluid gushed out. I spent ten hours crying on a plane, bleeding and scared and in despair. In the end Emma was lost, but Elizabeth remained and was born six months later.

I know a lot about these scenarios–late term loss, loss of twin–as it’s happened to me, and a few others, and I have been thinking about what needs to be covered in the book–the types of miscarriages the characters will have.

I think we definitely need the following pregnancy situations:

  • A blighted ovum, the most common genetic loss
  • A molar pregnancy, rare but I want to educate people to the signs
  • Repeat early miscarriages, with five or six losses
  • Premature birth due to incompetent cervix
  • Someone facing infertility after a loss (thanks to those of you who suggested this)

I think the miscarriage group will have six to ten members, but only maybe three will become primary characters. Those main three will come from the list above. But what other types of miscarriage should I consider for the others? I probably need five or so more situations. Tell me what you think.


Many times since my miscarriage website began, women have asked me, “Why don’t you write a book?”


My answer has pretty much always been the same, “Good books are already out there.” Medical books. Psychology books. Collections of women’s stories. Tons of them.


I didn’t see any need to compete with these other books. I merely read them and list the best on my site. Then, as I listened to people on the forums and read emails from grieving women, I began to see what was missing–the whole story. Not just facts and figures, self-help and psychology, but everything else.


What these other books don’t tell us is how do you get through each day? How do you go to work and face clueless coworkers who ask tactless questions and ply you with empty platitudes? What happens when your sister announces her own pregnancy over Thanksgiving Dinner? How do you maneuver through love with a partner, a relationship that is deteriorating over your differing styles of grieving, or your lack of interest in sex?


There is so much more to the miscarriage story than just the loss, but the re-engaging with the rest of the world, living the rest of your life when a jagged piece is missing.


So I decided to leave nonfiction behind. Forget statistics, pages of causes and preventions, chapters of advice and handholding. That was too limiting–it didn’t get to the heart of these women and their situations.


So I’ve decided to write a novel instead. I want to dig into the lives of several women and throw them together in a pregnancy loss support group where they are introduced, then follow them home, back to work, in their kitchens and bedrooms and closets and showers. We can watch them like voyeurs, using everything I’ve learned in eight years of talking to women, listening to their stories, and going through it myself to show others not necessarily the best or worst way to get through it–but how people just do.


Let’s feel it. And learn. And teach everyone else what it feels like to be us.


It will be a long hard journey. Not just for me, writing it, but you, recognizing your situation in these fictional ones, their darkest moments dredging up yours. But come along with me, advise me, make suggestions. I have a few secrets that even I’ve kept. There are things I will reveal along the way. Lessons I’ve learned without a net, nothing to cushion the fall. Moments when I thought I had heard everything after running the site–seen every situation–could handle anything–then some story would set me back to the day when my own blood filled my hands in a bathroom, my own terror and fear and despair overwhelming every aspect of my life.


I’ll start by planning the characters, determining what situations merit inclusion, then we’ll form the story, breathe life into the scenes, and watch these other lives unfold, as realistically as possible, with every scrap of knowledge I have about miscarriage and how to survive it coming into play.


Bookmark the blog, leave comments if you like. Help me think of what needs to be in there. Tell me what happened to you. Or just check in from time to time. But let’s get started on a book that will make a difference.

September 2006