How to Use the Directory

Welcome to the Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss Directory. This blog is maintained by volunteers to act like a "telephone book" for blogs dealing with the loss of a baby. It is open to anyone who has ever lost a baby in any way - we do not discriminate by age of your baby or circumstance of your loss. If you think you belong here, then we think you belong here.

When you submit your blog, it is manually added to the list, so it may take some time for it to appear on the list. When you submit your information as requested below, it is easier to spot those emails that have been redirected into the spam mail.

Blogs are listed by category of loss. This is to help you find blogs that deal with circumstances that may be similar to yours. That being said, it can be a moving and healing experience to read the blogs of people who's loss is not similar to yours. You are welcome to read any of the blogs listed here.

Though there could be literally thousands of categories of loss, we have created 4 broad categories: before 20 weeks, after 20 weeks, after birth, and medical termination. Please note that most blogs dealing with extreme prematurity are listed in the "after birth" category even though the gestational age might suggest a different category.

As a warning to those feeling particularly fragile, many of the blogs listed here discuss living children or subsequent pregnancies. In the sidebar links, those blogs are usually marked with an asterisk(*). However, the circumstances of individual bloggers will change, and sometimes the listings do not get updated. It is possible to encounter pictures of living children or pregnant bellies on the blogs listed here.

We also have a list of resources (books), online links, and online publications that you may find useful. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to see the full listing of links.

We are so sorry the loss of a beloved child has brought you here. We hope that you will find some solace within the community that has gathered.
Please help us set up this resource for grieving families by:


A. Submitting your blog information
(Email Subject: Please Add My Blog)
  • The link to your blog
  • The title of your blog
  • The topic of your blog (see sidebar - Personal Blogs)
  • If your blog discusses living children or subsequent pregnancy after loss

B. Submitting links to helpful web resources
(Email Subject: Please Add This Link)

C. Submitting titles of helpful reading materials or videos/films
(Email Subject: Please Add This Resource)

D. Adding a link to this site from your blog


Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Mother's Meditation on Loss

A Memoir
By Elizabeth McCracken
Little, Brown. 184 pp. $19.99

Some friends and I used to call ourselves "The Dead Babies Club." We would meet for brunch and talk about our losses -- miscarriages, stillbirths, terminations after amnios revealed acute abnormalities. We may have been a grief-stricken lot, but we weren't going to be a silent one: We wanted to be seen, to be acknowledged, to mark these events that didn't exactly make us mothers, but made us . . . something. And so, we were willfully conspicuous, overly loud. Because we knew: No one wants to hear about your dead baby.

Elizabeth McCracken knows that, too. That's why, in her lovely, crystalline meditation on the nature of grief, motherhood, marriage and France -- a memoir occasioned by the stillbirth of her first son -- she opens with a quip: "Once upon a time, before I knew anything about the subject, a woman told me that I should write a book about the lighter side of losing a child." See, she seems to be saying, this won't be so bad. What's more, she reassures us, a healthy infant lies on her lap as she writes.

I hope those signposts are enough to ameliorate readers' aversion to the subject matter, the excuse that the book isn't for them unless they, too, have borne a dead child. After all, you don't have to be an alcoholic to love Caroline Knapp's "Drinking: A Love Story." Nor do you have to have lost your jaw to cancer to appreciate Lucy Grealy's "Autobiography of a Face." The best memoirs transcend their particulars, offer a fresh look at the bumpy terrain of sorrow, love, youthful folly, aged folly, resilience and selfhood. McCracken's is one of those, and it would be a shame to pass it by because it strikes at one's deepest fears.

The dead baby has a name, by the way: He is Pudding, one of those goofy place-holders you give a fetus after seeing its inscrutable shadow on an ultrasound screen. McCracken, author of the wonderfully weird novel "The Giant's House," tells his story, and hers, with heart and wit, but amazingly little self-pity. Like any woman who loses a child -- say, to a random comet that drops from the sky -- she strafes herself with self-blame. Our bodies, ourselves, our fault, right? Eventually, she displaces that recrimination onto the entire country of France, where she and her husband, Edward, led a classic boho writer's life before Pudding's death. Understandably, she swears she'll never go back. I imagine she will even shun French dressing, french fries, French braids. It seems a reasonable and healthy choice. More

1 comment:

Cara said...

This is a wonderful book, especially affirming for people who are trying to navigate their emotions the first year after their loss when the most bitter and raw attacks are happening.

I really appreciated her experience even as I recalled my own.