“Forever Our Angels” by Hannah Stone.
A compilation of stories told in the voice of mothers and fathers who are coping after the loss of their child during pregnancy. These stories offer a glimpse into the realities of miscarriage and stillbirth, and teach valuable lessons that can only be gleaned by hearing the heartfelt words of the parents who experienced such losses. There are many truths that come to light when you face the loss of a loved one. Of those many truths, there are two things that stand out as being universally experienced, yet completely opposite each other.
First there is the fact that everyone experiences grief after loss as an individual; no two people will grieve the same way. Yet, as separate and unique as each of us will be in our grief, there is the rarest of comfort in learning from someone who has been there before that everything you are feeling is normal. In her new book “Forever Our Angels”, Hannah Stone has shared the individual experiences of seventeen mothers and fathers who have told the stories of their children who were lost during pregnancy. Ranging from very early first trimester losses to late term stillbirths, these are real stories being told in the voices of the parents who have in common the very raw and heart-wrenching loss of a child during pregnancy.
These amazing stories touch upon the intimate feelings and emotions that encompass the range of experiences of pregnancy loss. From the manner of the doctor or midwife in delivering the bad news, to the crushing blow of not seeing, with their own eyes, the heartbeat during a routine prenatal ultrasound, one realizes how the events surrounding pregnancy loss become imprinted on the minds of the parents. Reading these stories, you see first hand how each parent will forever recall the kindness and warmth or the impersonal coldness that they were met with during their loss experience.
This book would be a valuable resource for Obstetrical doctors, nurses, and midwives who might need to be reminded of the value in choosing their words carefully when treating parents whose baby has died in utero. This book might also be a great comfort to anyone who has experienced pregnancy loss at any stage, as it validates the fullness of feelings and emotions that so many bereaved parents face in seeming isolation.
The very nature of pregnancy miscarriage is that often it is an unseen, and therefore an unvalidated loss. Our modern culture does not have a protocol to publicly acknowledge the enormity of it. Parents who experience miscarriage are frequently left isolated and ignored, because generally this type of loss is deemed “typical”, “common”, and therefore should be easy to “get over”.
After closing the covers of this book, I hear the litany of names of each of these precious children echoing in my ears. I can feel the love and longing that each of these parents has for their much wanted child who will never be born, and admire the courage it took for them to share their stories of loss. These stories show that it simply does not matter how far along you are in your pregnancy; when you experience a loss, you have lost your child. For more information about this book and its author, visit the author’s website.