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Communicating Pregnancy Loss

Narrative as a Method for Change


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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Glossary of Terms


Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART). Procedures in which pregnancy is attempted through gamete manipulation outside the body, such as in vitro fertilization or assisted hatching. Dilation and Curettage (D&C). A procedure in which the cervix is gradually widened and the lining of the uterus is gently removed by scraping or suction. Donor Egg. An egg donated by a woman, either known or anonymous. Generally, the donor relinquishes any rights to any resultant offspring. Donor Embryo. An embryo donated by a couple, either known or anonymous. Generally, the donor relinquishes any rights to any resultant offspring. Donor Sperm. Sperm donated by man, either known or anonymous. Generally, the donor relinquishes any rights to any resultant offspring. Ectopic Pregnancy (Tubal Pregnancy). A pregnancy in which the fertilized ovum has implanted in a location other than the uterus, usually the fallopian tube. Egg Retrieval. Procedure using ultrasound to guide a needle through the vagina into the ovary to eggs. Usually performed under sedation. Embryo. The fertilized ovum after it has begun the process of cell division. Embryo Transfer. A placement of embryos into a women’s uterus through the cervix after IVF. Endometriosis. A condition in which tissue resembling the lining of the uterus is found elsewhere in the body, usually the pelvis. Estrogen (Estradiol). A hormone that is produced in the ovaries and that plays a role in regulating ovulation and endometrial development. Fertilization. The penetration of the egg by the sperm and the resulting fusion of genetic material that develops into an...

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