“The Empowered Miscarriage” Book: Call for Contributions

I am currently compiling contributions for a book about miscarriage. I am especially interested in stories about natural miscarriages (i.e. miscarriages that begin and complete on their own timeline rather than a medical timeline) and on miscarriage at home, but I am happy to receive any miscarriage story contribution. I am seeking full stories about miscarriage—the nitty gritty physical reality as well as the emotional components. I have a big vision for this book—I want it to be a “what to expect when you’re having a miscarriage” guidebook that doesn’t only address the feelings involved with miscarriage, but answers practical questions like, “what should I eat?” and “how do I take care of myself?” and “how much blood is too much blood?” and “how to decide whether to have a D & C or whether to wait it out at home?” I feel like the best way to answer many of these questions is through the heartfelt stories of other women who have “been there.”

I welcome contributions from women who chose to go to the hospital at some point during the process even if they originally started out to have a natural miscarriage (I am particularly interested in the decision-making process about going). My primary interest is in the nitty gritty, physical coping stories rather than specific location of miscarriage-birth, though I do still have the special interest in home experiences—-at the root, I want real, complete stories from any setting.

I have a full survey of questions that I am developing to post online, but for now I am pleased to accept any contribution related to my primary theme of natural miscarriage (and/or the physical miscarriage experience regardless of setting). Stories can be emailed to me and I will respectfully and gratefully accept each one with my heart wide open.

I was previously seeking suggestions for the title of this book, originally thinking of calling it simply, “Miscarriage at Home,” when a reader emailed me to suggest the title “The Empowered Miscarriage” (see comments on my other blog for her full explanation). I really like the connotations of the title—-particularly, that it suggests something about miscarriage that is very different than the normal coverage of miscarriage in books. So, I edited my original post to reflect this new title and focus.

Also, I still find myself signficantly displeased with the woefully inadequate word, “miscarriage.” I don’t like it. I don’t like, “miscarrying.” It isn’t enough. I also don’t like the euphemism “loss.” “Pregnancy loss” as a phrase is all right—side note: I feel like there is a range of experiences contained within the miscarriage experience and I think the three are almost separate experiences (emotionally, mentally, and physically)—the babyloss experience, the actual birth-miscarriage experience, and the experience of the loss of being pregnant. I have coped with my own strong, strong feelings about miscarriage as a birth event by referring to my own first miscarriage experience in writing as a miscarriage-birth or a birth-miscarriage. For me, this modifier makes an important point. However, it is cumbersome, not in popular use, and I want something else! Any ideas?

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41 responses to ““The Empowered Miscarriage” Book: Call for Contributions

  1. I started writing my contribution tonight, and feel a little like I just threw up. I started out thinking I would simply tell my story in a clear-cut methodical way, and instead I have written much more than could reasonably be included in anything – going in all directions and shedding tears in between. I went ahead and allowed myself to ramble on about my intense feelings of confusion and guilt about what such an early “loss” actually IS. I reached a point that I think is all I can handle for tonight and have an odd sense of release, relief, and shakiness. I think I’ve been needing to get some of this out!

  2. Thank you for “going there,” Emilia. I really appreciate your time and love and I will gladly accept whatever you have to contribute. I’m envisioning this book having the stories broken up into related segments, not continuous narratives, so I’m sure what you wrote is more than usable even just like it is.

  3. I wanted to say I am very excited about this book. It will be an amazing read even if heartbreaking. This is so needed.
    (((hugs to Emilia))

  4. What a great project, Molly. Thanks for doing this work.

  5. LOVE this idea!!! I agree about wrestling with the title…what about incorporating the idea of a lost baby, what was it (sorry for not remembering tonight) the water baby…in Japanese??? or something like the truth or thoughts about moms who have been there?? I dunno….I will think upon this and will take the time to write out my story in the near future too.

    Glad you are taking on this project and hoping you continue to have a wonderful and peaceful pregnancy (and I’ll admit I am jealous as hell and so happy for you at the same time)

    much love
    Shannon

  6. Hey, Molly – I love the idea for the book – there is definitely a gap in the market there. I also understand your concern about the title, and I’ve been thinking about it, from the POV of “what would I have liked to read?” and “what would I have been drawn to?” I was looking at the fact that you want to make this book about answering the questions that arise during the process of miscarrying and afterwards…and in that sense, then I think it sounds to me like this book is about EMPOWERMENT…regardless of where the woman is (ie home or hospital). To me, the issues you are addressing all work towards making a woman feel less helpless, less isolated, more able to be active rather than passive in her self-care, and the care she seeks, and the steps she takes to recovery…and all of those things could make the situation more EMPOWERING. So I was wondering about something like “The Empowered Miscarriage”, as even if a woman does go to hospital, if she has relevant information and knows what Qs to ask, and has an idea about what to expect, then that can be empowering too. So maybe, “The Empowered Miscarriage…at home or hospital”. I just think that ‘Miscarriage at Home’ might mean that a great many women who could benefit from your info could miss out – and it might be their first exposure to being informed consumers that could support them greatly in future pregnancies and births.

    I know you are concerned about the use of the word ‘miscarriage’, but my POV is that this is the term that most pple recognise, so you’d possibly be more likely to sell the book to the pple who need it the most. And you can explain your issues with the limitations of the word inside the book, which could raise some interesting questions in itself and might get readers to begin to explore things differently. And you can go into the scope of the book on the back cover…but your initial title needs to grab those who you want to buy the book. And I most certainly would have taken a 2nd look at a book called “The Empowered Miscarriage”. Maybe the tagline could say something about those 3 phases that you identify in your post…

    SO …there’s my 10c worth…do with it what you will lol!!!

    xx

  7. Wow! I love your thoughts, Melissa! I was already deciding that I want to change the title to focus on “natural” miscarriage, rather than “home” miscarriage (though with “natural” I would be concerned people might think it is a do-it-yourself abortion book 😦 )

    So, I think your suggestion might just be PERFECT! Thank you. And yes, I will keep thinking about the word miscarriage itself–that was my concern too, that no one would know what it meant if I didn’t use the word miscarriage, so perhaps explaining in the introduction would also be a perfect solution to that.

  8. Pingback: “The Empowered Miscarriage” Book: Call for Contributions « Talk Birth

  9. I wrote my story here http://brightonwoman.blogspot.com/2008/04/remembering-thomas.html I would be happy to re-write or edit it to reflect specific details you are looking for (like you mentioned talking about the details of how we decided to go to the hospital). You are also welcome to copy it verbatim from my blog post there. Just let me know what you’d like.

  10. Check out my blog on D&C vs Natural miscarriage – http://cadnawes.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/a-tale-of-a-natural-miscarriage-vs-dc/

    I have had two miscarriages in the last year, one was a D&C without time to know what was going on, the other was done at home – Empowered is exactly how I would describe that. Knock youself out, I’m happy to liaise more if you wish!

  11. I had a natural miscarriage at home 3 weeks ago when I was 13 weeks pregnant. I found the actual miscarriage experience to be very empowering and found that it helped me resolve many of my fears from the previous traumatic birth of my daughter. I would love to contribute to your book. I think it would help me heal as well.

    • I would love to receive your story, Carrie. Please contribute it when you feel able to do so. I’m so sorry about your baby. I, too, found my actual birth-miscarriage experience a powerful/empowering one and was very happy I was able to give my baby and myself the gift of letting go in our own home.

  12. I have had four miscarriages, three at home, one in the hospital at 14 weeks pregnant. I can write up the stores from all of them. The last one was a month ago (the one at 14 weeks) so it will be more raw than the rest. But I did pass everything on my own, have never used surgery or anything. And the only reason I went for the last one is because I was trying so hard to keep the baby I hoped they could do something for me. I will write them and send them this weekend.

    This is such an amazing idea. This is needed.

    • Kayce–I would gladly welcome all your stories. I’m so, so sorry about your babies and about your recent 14 week loss. My similar loss was almost 10 months ago now, but I remember that rawness very well. (((hugs)))

  13. I have something for you that I just need to polish up. Writing was a major form of catharsis in my miscarriage. I had a natural miscarriage at home, went to the ER when I thought it was taking too long, then ended up back home when I decided that I didn’t really want or need a D&C.

    How do I get my story to you?

  14. I love the idea of this book, btw.

    And I just saw the link to your email in your post. I guess I missed that my first time through. 🙂

  15. I’m a friend of Jenni’s, and found this through her. I’ve had two very different miscarriages, both very difficult and life changing. The first was hugely traumatic, and because of that, I chose to proceed with a planned and scheduled d&c in the hospital. That was the most empowering thing I could have done in the circumstances. I will try and see if I can write up the stories in the next while, if for nothing else, a different perspective.

    • Yes, I would love any “empowered” miscarriage story, regardless of setting. Thank you for contributing! I think there is a wide range of what is empowering for women when coping with miscarriage and I hope to reflect that range in this book.

  16. I would like like to contribute my story as well. On the 25th of September my angel baby will be 2 years old but I still miss her very much and would be happy to help in any way possible. I do need your email though..so That I can email the story to you. Thanks. Have a blessed day!

  17. Molly,
    Today is the six month anniversary of my miscarriage and tomorrow is/was my due date, so maybe I can find it in myself now to write the story. I would love to help other women!!
    Amy

    • What a significant date-weekend for you, Amy. I would love to receive your story about Rosie. I hope you feel up to contributing it (and if not now, maybe in a couple of months–that would be fine too). (((hugs)))

  18. That is a fantastic idea for a book, I would love to contribute!!

  19. What a need there is for this site, and for your book. As a midwifery student, I’ve had trouble finding my niche, as my heart seemse to be more for those whose babies have died, no matter how small, than those who are giving birth. There is such a lack of care for them, such a lack of knowledge of their process and their hurts. Having lost six myself, I do hope to write a contribution for your book, as I think I share your heart.

  20. I’ll be sending my stories in… I really like the title. I did feel empowered after my last one. Let me know if you need help with editing later.

  21. This is a wonderful project. My story involves four natural, medically undetected early miscarriages and a great deal of learning about my strength of character and my body. It also has a happy ending so far–I’m successfully pregnant at seventeen weeks. What is your time-frame for submission?

  22. hi Molly, is it too late to contribute to your book? I had 2 miscarriages (the 2nd very recently) and although very painful for every woman who’s had a miscarriage and even more painful for those of us who’ve had more than one, I admire your courage in writing this book and totally agree that the need is so great for one that will empower women to not be afraid as they experience this loss. Both of my miscarriages were natural and I’m thankful for that.

  23. Pingback: Miscarriage and Birth | Talk Birth

  24. Are you still taking submissions?

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