My friend Dr. Jessica Zucker’s book, I Had a Miscarriage, is out now!
If you’ve lived through miscarriage, stillbirth, or pregnancy losses – get this book. If you have friends who have lived through these things (and I guarantee you, you have friends who have lived these things) – get this book.
Miscarriage and pregnancy loss have been in the news a lot more over the last few years, in part because of Dr. Zucker’s work. Jessica talks about things you don’t really hear anywhere else, and she’s got the same no bulls*t, no platitudes approach to grief as I do (obvs, there’s a reason we’re friends).
“Early in my training en route to becoming a psychologist, I learned that a common reaction to traumatic events is a kind of “perseverance approach.” Referred to in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (the go-to guide for mental health) as the “acute stress response,” this is a prime example of the “fight” part of the fight-flight-or-freeze response, which can accompany perceived danger or harmful situations. This physiological reaction to stress is an adaptive mechanism employed with the hopes of shirking danger. I. Must. Survive.
In day-to-day life, this response can take many forms. Sometimes people try on an “I can handle this, I’m okay” attitude in order to push ahead. This is a sincere (and often unconscious) attempt at “moving forward” so as not to sink into the wretched, lonely pit of mourning that so often accompanies trauma. With the loss of a would-be pregnancy, this acute stress response can manifest as anxiety, difficulty concentrating, a sense of impending doom, and/or denial, among other things. We so desperately want to hold on to the life we knew before, untouched by this particular heartache. And so we claw at the walls of our past—comforting walls we knew so well once upon a time. But for so many of us, unavoidably, the profundity of this remarkable experience eventually sets in. And how could it not? We can only stave off pain so long before it comes careening in and shoves its way smack-dab front and center. Trauma has that way about it.
Ready or not, here it comes.”
Writing a book is a long, long, long process. Jessica and I have supported each other through years of book writing – if you don’t know her already, you’re going to *love* her work.
Follow her on IG @ihadamiscarriage and search for her in your browser – she’s a fantastic writer, so you’ll see articles about miscarriage (and about Jessica) all over the place right now. Check her insta for live Q&A sessions, podcasts, and other cool things.
Once you’ve read her book, I Had a Miscarriage: a memoir, a movement, please do two things for me:
1. Go leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads (no matter where you bought your copy). Reviews let other folks know this book is worth their time AND it helps the book become findable to those who need it. More reviews = the easier a book is to find in search results. (added bonus: writing books is hard, lonely, frustrating work. reviews help authors know there are real people out there who feel seen and heard by that work. We love reviews!)
2. Spread the word! If you’re in grief groups, let them know about the book. If you’re in parenting communities, let those folks know. If you’re a clinician or a medical provider, let your teams and clients know. As I said: everyone knows someone who’s lived through pregnancy loss. And everyone needs to learn better ways of responding to that loss – in themselves and in others.
Click this link for one of many articles out now about miscarriage, grief, and the importance of telling the truth about your own experience. Find the book wherever you buy your books (and support your independent booksellers!).