I’m a librarian, so maybe it’s natural that when I became pregnant again after a loss, the first thing I did was look for a book. I had my copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting that my husband had given me when I was first pregnant. But as I looked through it for my next pregnancy, it just didn’t seem to fit. It was written for the first time mom, who was excited and didn’t know about all the things that could go wrong. It just wasn’t written with me in mind.
A couple friends gave me some other books, but some were really old. The information was dated. They described things that just weren’t relevant. There were also some beautifully written memoirs. They were great for having the sense that a friend had gone along this path before me, but they weren’t detailed on the medical information. I needed something else.
Which is how I came to write Joy at the End of the Rainbow: A Guide to Pregnancy After a Loss. It was meant to be that bridge between someone’s personal experience and explanations about medical procedures, fetal development and the physiology of pregnancy!
I also knew my story wasn’t necessarily your story. I lost twins at term, then suffered multiple miscarriages, before finally having my daughter. So as a qualitative researcher, I decided to tell not just my story, but the stories of others too. We follow six courageous mamas as they journey through pregnancy after loss: one from the UK, two from Canada, two from Australia and one from the United States. Some of them are native-born, others are immigrants. I lost my babies at term, some lost babies earlier. A few of us had trouble conceiving, and for others it wasn’t an issue for them at all. We chatted throughout their pregnancies and talked about what they were experiencing, how they were feeling about all this and go through the highs and lows together!
I was able to get access to the latest medical research through my job as a librarian, working at a School of Nursing and as someone who does systematic reviews. Searching for and evaluating research is what I do all day! I also had some help. My doctor, the obstetrician who saw me through all my pregnancies, Dr. Graeme Smith, read through early drafts and helped ensure that what I was writing was medically accurate. My colleagues in the School of Nursing provided great feedback. I had several other courageous mamas, many of them the other writers here at Pregnancy After Loss Support read drafts and give great suggestions. Things started to take shape.
I looked for a publisher to publish my book. I had several express an initial interest, only to eventually walk away. They all said the same thing: Great idea! Well written! Not profitable. I wish that were true. I wish there weren’t millions of women worldwide who have lost babies. In Canada, roughly 1 in 200 pregnancies ends in a loss. Almost the same number have their baby die in the first 30 days of life. It is almost impossible to measure how many women have miscarriages, because they aren’t always reported. But if you’re one of those women, this book is for you. If you find yourself both excited and scared, hopeful and wary, this book is meant to be your guide!
Writing my book has been a lot like having my children. It took much longer than I expected. There was heartache along the way. But I also am very proud of what I managed to accomplish! Much love to all of you on this journey!
You can buy the book through my website, joyattheendoftherainbow.com, or through your favourite book retailer.