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Communicating Pregnancy Loss

Narrative as a Method for Change

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Edited By Rachel Silverman and Jay Baglia

This book is the Winner of the OSCLG Outstanding Book Award

The loss of a desired pregnancy or the inability to experience pregnancy are intensely personal phenomena; these losses are also, in our culture at least, extremely private. Communicating Pregnancy Loss is a collection of first-person narratives about the experience of pregnancy loss. Although there is no shortage of books that help prospective parents cope with an unintended pregnancy loss or ‘survive’ infertility, most of these books are authored by physicians or therapists and address pregnancy loss through the language of guidance. This book is different. It is the first of its kind because the contributors (primarily communication scholars but also healthcare personnel and other scholars from the social sciences) tell their story of loss in their own words, offering a diverse collection of narratives that span experience and identity. The authors employ various feminist theories, narrative theories, and performance theories as well as other well-known communication theories and concepts. The book’s narrative approach to writing about and thereby understanding pregnancy loss offers readers a method for changing the way pregnancy loss is understood personally, culturally, and politically.

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Section 3: Space, Time, and Pregnancy Loss

Extract

10. On the Identity Politics of Pregnancy: An Autoethnographic Journey Through/In Reproductive Time Michaela d. e. Meyer No light, no light in your bright blue eyes I never knew daylight could be so violent. A revelation in the light of day, You can’t choose what stays and what fades away. “No Light, No Light” by Florence + the Machine (2011) January 14, 2009. My second niece’s birthday. I’d missed my period all through the holidays and I was constantly exhausted. It finally occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, I was pregnant. I woke up early, before Doug was out of bed, to take the test. Just pee on the stick, figure out what to do from there. Waiting, waiting. This box says wait five minutes. What am I actually going to do if this test is positive? My marriage wasn’t in a good place. Six months earlier, we’d had a seri- ous talk—where is this going? We’re two years in and it just doesn’t seem to be working. Are we working on this? Or are we calling it quits? We agreed to work on it. We agreed to try. So, I was trying—trying to be more clear about what I wanted out of life. While we were “working” on our marriage, I hadn’t thought about having children until I became an aunt. It changed the way I looked at parenthood, made me realize I wanted to be a parent some- day. Someday. Once everything was settled. Prior...

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