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Communicating Pregnancy Loss

Narrative as a Method for Change


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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7. When the Professional Is Personal: Case Studiesof Pregnancy Loss, My Story of Pregnancy Loss


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My body is not working the way it is supposed to. My husband and I have been trying to have a child since January 2012. Our first infertility appointment was the following August. As of this writing, we have had four failed attempts at IVF and one more frozen embryo awaits our next step. After that, we have no more money to spend. Our infertility is female infertility; my husband is “just fine.” Infertility feels like my body is betraying me, and no matter the amount of self-hatred and loathing, prayers, begging, hope, and bartering, there is nothing I can do about wanting a child. There is nothing I can do about the people who surround me who have children. I work as a pediatric nurse practitioner in primary care pediatrics. Just today, a mother of two whose son had strep throat complained to me about the impending arrival of her third boy. As we reviewed the diagnosis, she rattled on about wanting a girl, unaware of the blessings of having children. I can’t escape it; it’s every day and when I least expect it. Compassion and hope are what I stress most to my patients. Patience and determination are what I tell myself.

There is a variety of emotions that come with any sort of pregnancy loss. Each loss is unique to the person and the couple. The loss of a pregnancy may be...

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