Narrative as a Method for Change
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.
6. Searching for Grace
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KRISTANN HEINZ and ELISSA FOSTER
How does it start? Or, more to the point, when does it start?
An awkward silence filled with a sense of duty far beyond the expected makes me think that some experiences are only holograms of the past. Was the veil of responsibility projected forward in this case so that it now clouded my professional judgment? Could it be that evening twenty-four years ago? Did it start then, as I emerged from the coffee shop into that snowy afternoon?
I don’t remember much about the conversation. I only know for sure I was left alone with a heavy heart and an accusation as a storm came in over Boston. I cannot even be certain that she said what I think she said, but there was a feeling of being blamed. I felt she believed it was my fault: I felt some power of mine had caused her miscarriage, or maybe could have prevented it from happening. Had I had personally taken away her dream? Maybe my young mind could have rationalized the event. Maybe it could have been dismissed if it hadn’t been for one fact: The accusation came from my aunt.
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