Two months into my first pregnancy, I woke up in a puddle of blood. I went to the hospital, where I was told I was miscarrying. "Maybe it's better this way," my partner at the time said, the pregnancy having been unplanned. That what I was experiencing could be the "better" end of anything was horrifying to me. I did not miscarry, though; I was very lucky. I'd spend the pregnancy having near-weekly ultrasounds, under the constant care of the doctors and midwives who would see me through.
But the experience opened my eyes to a reality that is all too frequent for women yet rarely spoken of. No one had prepared me for the possibility that my child might not live, and yet I knew that babies sometimes didn't make it. It just seemed like something which happened in another time, or on TV, or in books. My grandmother had lost babies both in utero and out; I had attributed that to it having been another time, when maternal and fetal science had yet to reveal the myriad of ways we could protect ourselves and the children we bore. That these things could touch me here in the present stunned me. Miscarriage, stillbirths, SIDS - the idea of them haunted me, and when my daughter finally came into the world, I was so terrified something would happened to her that I couldn't sleep for days, in fear that my eyes closing would give her an opportunity to slip away forever as she hadn't managed to before.
It was from this place of fear and revelation that The Baby Losers Club and the stories it would bear was born. I wanted to give a voice to the women (and men) who had struggled to conceive and who had lived through the hardest of human experiences, losing a child.
And I wanted to give them hope, too: a reminder that even if life does not give us the things we desire, it does not make our lives less valuable or worthy of joy.
Tenderness and Troubling Times, a collection of stories including The Baby Losers Club series, is available on Amazon, Books-A-Million, and other retailers.