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Still: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Motherhood

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A moving, candid account of one woman’s experience with stillbirth. Emma Hansen is 39 weeks and 6 days pregnant when she feels her baby go quiet inside of her. At the hospital, her worst fears are confirmed: doctors explain that her baby has died, and she will need to deliver him, still. Hansen gives birth to her son, Reid, amidst an avalanche of grief. Nine days later, she A moving, candid account of one woman’s experience with stillbirth. Emma Hansen is 39 weeks and 6 days pregnant when she feels her baby go quiet inside of her. At the hospital, her worst fears are confirmed: doctors explain that her baby has died, and she will need to deliver him, still. Hansen gives birth to her son, Reid, amidst an avalanche of grief. Nine days later, she publishes a candid essay on her website sharing photos from the delivery room. Much to her surprise, her essay goes viral, sparking positive reactions around the world. Still shares what comes next: a struggle with grief and confusion alongside a desire to better understand stillbirth, which is experienced by more than two million women annually, but rarely talked about in public. At once honest, brave, and uplifting, Still is about one woman’s search for her own definition of motherhood, even as she faces one of life’s greatest challenges: learning to live after loss.


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A moving, candid account of one woman’s experience with stillbirth. Emma Hansen is 39 weeks and 6 days pregnant when she feels her baby go quiet inside of her. At the hospital, her worst fears are confirmed: doctors explain that her baby has died, and she will need to deliver him, still. Hansen gives birth to her son, Reid, amidst an avalanche of grief. Nine days later, she A moving, candid account of one woman’s experience with stillbirth. Emma Hansen is 39 weeks and 6 days pregnant when she feels her baby go quiet inside of her. At the hospital, her worst fears are confirmed: doctors explain that her baby has died, and she will need to deliver him, still. Hansen gives birth to her son, Reid, amidst an avalanche of grief. Nine days later, she publishes a candid essay on her website sharing photos from the delivery room. Much to her surprise, her essay goes viral, sparking positive reactions around the world. Still shares what comes next: a struggle with grief and confusion alongside a desire to better understand stillbirth, which is experienced by more than two million women annually, but rarely talked about in public. At once honest, brave, and uplifting, Still is about one woman’s search for her own definition of motherhood, even as she faces one of life’s greatest challenges: learning to live after loss.

30 review for Still: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Motherhood

  1. 4 out of 5

    Olive Fellows (abookolive)

    I wrote about this book on my blog, Olive the Books. I wrote about this book on my blog, Olive the Books.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Katelyn

    Wow. Hansen's writing is beautiful. This is her achingly honest account of finding out at 39 weeks pregnant that her son has died (due to a true knot in the umbilical cord), and giving born to him stillborn. She accounts the two years that follow, including getting pregnant again with her second son. Highly recommended. Wow. Hansen's writing is beautiful. This is her achingly honest account of finding out at 39 weeks pregnant that her son has died (due to a true knot in the umbilical cord), and giving born to him stillborn. She accounts the two years that follow, including getting pregnant again with her second son. Highly recommended.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Stillbirth affects more than 2 million women annually. Something I didn't know. It's a subject our society lacks more advocacy for. But thanks to books like STILL it gives it a much needed voice. • In STILL, Hansen gracefully shines a light on the tragic and difficult process of experiencing her first pregnancy ending in stillbirth, to the journey that comes after. Through the grief, loss, heartbreak and acceptance of the unimaginable loss of a child, the process to understand stillbirth, and bec Stillbirth affects more than 2 million women annually. Something I didn't know. It's a subject our society lacks more advocacy for. But thanks to books like STILL it gives it a much needed voice. • In STILL, Hansen gracefully shines a light on the tragic and difficult process of experiencing her first pregnancy ending in stillbirth, to the journey that comes after. Through the grief, loss, heartbreak and acceptance of the unimaginable loss of a child, the process to understand stillbirth, and becoming pregnant again with her second son. • Hansen's ability to approach grief and motherhood with such empathy and candor made this a very poignant read. I just know this book will be a comfort for families that have faced the same sorrow and grief of Stillbirth. But for others its the rare opportunity to look into a journey we know nothing about, and try to grasp some appreciation and understanding. • Thank You to the tagged publisher for sending me this book opinions are my own. • For more of my book content check out instagram.com/bookalong

  4. 4 out of 5

    Natascha

    Still was one of the most beautiful books I’ve read this year. I thought long and hard about if I should read this - I waited until my daughter was six months old. I knew Emma’s story from instagram, so none of it was surprising, but reading about her baby dying while that fear was still very real would have been too much when Zoe was tiny. Emma writes beautifully and honestly and has an amazing ability to put words to ideas and thoughts that often have no words. Highly recommend reading this bo Still was one of the most beautiful books I’ve read this year. I thought long and hard about if I should read this - I waited until my daughter was six months old. I knew Emma’s story from instagram, so none of it was surprising, but reading about her baby dying while that fear was still very real would have been too much when Zoe was tiny. Emma writes beautifully and honestly and has an amazing ability to put words to ideas and thoughts that often have no words. Highly recommend reading this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Stinson

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I was amazed to learn that so many babies are stillborn. Born still, as Emma Hansen says. A personal and insightful account of her experience and the long term impact it has had on her and her family. And what she went through to have a second baby and how close she came to losing him too? Wow. I think I’d have preferred reading the print book as I found the audio narration slow-going at times. There were parts I’d have skimmed. But I think if a person was reading/listening to the book because t I was amazed to learn that so many babies are stillborn. Born still, as Emma Hansen says. A personal and insightful account of her experience and the long term impact it has had on her and her family. And what she went through to have a second baby and how close she came to losing him too? Wow. I think I’d have preferred reading the print book as I found the audio narration slow-going at times. There were parts I’d have skimmed. But I think if a person was reading/listening to the book because they’d had a similar experience they might find the pace and tone comforting.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Faye Zheng

    I’m not sure why I was drawn to this, why I have this morbid curiosity about the experience of losing a child. I suppose I am more capable now than I’ve ever been of empathizing with this kind of grief. The book was devastating and beautifully written. “I have always known that grief and love are cut from the same cloth.”

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Evocative + Emotionally-Laden. A must-read for men. On December 12, 1987, my mother died. She had been ill for two years. One week before she died, I was tasked with driving her to the hospital. On the steps of our house this bone-chilling night in Saskatoon, with tear-stained eyes, she said to me, “I’m never going to be home again, am I?” I lied to her. In 2003, I discovered by accident (long story), she was not my birth mother. Needless to say, the news sent me reeling. In October 2016, I travel Evocative + Emotionally-Laden. A must-read for men. On December 12, 1987, my mother died. She had been ill for two years. One week before she died, I was tasked with driving her to the hospital. On the steps of our house this bone-chilling night in Saskatoon, with tear-stained eyes, she said to me, “I’m never going to be home again, am I?” I lied to her. In 2003, I discovered by accident (long story), she was not my birth mother. Needless to say, the news sent me reeling. In October 2016, I travelled to Calgary to meet my birth mother for the first time, alongside her deathbed. As I left the room + saying goodbye, my mother uttered her last words to me, “I’m never going to see you again, am I?” I didn’t have the strength to lie. Afterward, grief’s assault was unrelenting. No man could ever understand what it is like to carry a child? In STILL, Emma Hansen lays bare in breathtaking, painful, heart-wrenching fashion, shining a bright light on the bond that forms with an unborn child (Reid + Everett). Emma courageously shares her pain + inner-most thoughts in an evocative, emotionally laden way. Cracking the door wide open. Allowing us to share in her grief with us, hoping it arrives at a place where it is no longer all-consuming + turns from turmoil to a place of warmth because of the importance of never forgetting the things most vibrant to living a full life. STILL is an important book. It lets us all, and especially men, into a world foreign to us—giving us an understanding we are all connected. As for me, STILL helped me alleviate some of the pain haunting me throughout life. When my mother came back to life, I believed I was an unwanted child, disposable. By reading STILL and seeing Emma + Aaron’s enduring love for their lost child, I’ve come to realize, unwanted is not a thing. Still, finding comfort in understanding just a little bit of the unknowns of childbirth has helped ease my grief, and I cannot thank Emma enough for that. Thank you, Emma, for having the strength to share your heart wrenching, essentially vital story. We grow when we allow the beauty of vulnerability to seep into our hearts. That is how STILL made me feel.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Paul Sutter

    Most Canadians and others around the world are familiar with Rick Hansen. He has toured the world, showing the abilities of those confined to a wheelchair. He has been an ambassador for bringing a voice to those who are disabled. Now his daughter Emma is bringing an important issue to the forefront in a much different manner, thanks to her book, STILL. It is a most moving tale of loss. She tells the story of the death of her son Reid who was born still. She was ready to give birth back in 2015. Most Canadians and others around the world are familiar with Rick Hansen. He has toured the world, showing the abilities of those confined to a wheelchair. He has been an ambassador for bringing a voice to those who are disabled. Now his daughter Emma is bringing an important issue to the forefront in a much different manner, thanks to her book, STILL. It is a most moving tale of loss. She tells the story of the death of her son Reid who was born still. She was ready to give birth back in 2015. The day be-fore the due date, she felt as though her son was no longer moving inside her. She went to the hospital. A machine detected no fetal heartbeat. She was faced with the task of giving birth to her dead child. Holding it in her hands, along with husband Aaron was an emotional experience. Emma talks about the days, months, and even years after the loss. She went to a retreat with other mothers, who had also lost a child, either born still or after giving birth. Emma notes that two and a half million women have stillbirths each year, and that no two people grieve the same. It took a while to consider having another child, and when she was pregnant again, she was filled with trepidation about the eventual birth. She did give birth to another son, Everett, who did stop breathing just after birth. He did eventually recover. The book is filled with such love that you will feel an emotional tug at your heart throughout. You will never forget Emma’s story, and will remember Reid forever.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jule

    I cried so many tears while reading this book. As Emma Hansen makes clear, grief after loss is a difficult topic for many of us in the Western societies. Every year, scores of women live through the experience of miscarriage, the loss of an unborn child or a small infant, and they have to tread difficult journeys of motherhood on the sidelines. When loss and grief are not openly talked about, the suffering does not go away, it is merely experienced in silence. Emma Hansen did all of us a great s I cried so many tears while reading this book. As Emma Hansen makes clear, grief after loss is a difficult topic for many of us in the Western societies. Every year, scores of women live through the experience of miscarriage, the loss of an unborn child or a small infant, and they have to tread difficult journeys of motherhood on the sidelines. When loss and grief are not openly talked about, the suffering does not go away, it is merely experienced in silence. Emma Hansen did all of us a great service by breaking open her wounded heart and sharing her painful story with the world. Her memoir is a testament to the endless motherly love, the courage to be open when vulnerable, and the powerful desire to build a legacy for a stillborn son, so that we can always remember Reid. I hold my six month old son closer and longer now, and i feel better equipped to accompany the women in my life who are experiencing loss in their motherhood. May all of us grow so we can be there for each other in our darkest times.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Mcphail-Lambert

    First the title drew me in. “still” Then the beautiful drawing on the cover. I grew still. A Mother grasping her pregnant belly in a loving embrace, her long hair flowing behind her. No need to wonder what still meant. Despite reading, breathing, crying, aching through the words Emma Hansen shared I cannot begin to imagine her experiences, and I am so thankful I never will. Many have before her and since, and many more will do so in the future. But I will not. Hansen honours the beloved son she a First the title drew me in. “still” Then the beautiful drawing on the cover. I grew still. A Mother grasping her pregnant belly in a loving embrace, her long hair flowing behind her. No need to wonder what still meant. Despite reading, breathing, crying, aching through the words Emma Hansen shared I cannot begin to imagine her experiences, and I am so thankful I never will. Many have before her and since, and many more will do so in the future. But I will not. Hansen honours the beloved son she and her husband lost and gives voice to those who never can put into words what she was able to.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    I never lost a child but my husband & I went through infertility and I felt like for 4 years I lost a child every month we tried. This book reminded me of a lot of the times that I struggled with grief, depression, and my faith. The author was painstakingly honest and her story was heartbreaking but also redemptive. I appreciated her honesty about her struggles in her faith and how it grew. Also, she shared how her husband & her related & struggled on many levels. I highly recommend this book! B I never lost a child but my husband & I went through infertility and I felt like for 4 years I lost a child every month we tried. This book reminded me of a lot of the times that I struggled with grief, depression, and my faith. The author was painstakingly honest and her story was heartbreaking but also redemptive. I appreciated her honesty about her struggles in her faith and how it grew. Also, she shared how her husband & her related & struggled on many levels. I highly recommend this book! But bring a box of Kleenex. Seriously!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cindy van Wyk

    Both refreshing and absolutely heartbreaking in its honesty, Still tells the story of Emma Hansen and her husband Aaron who lost their son, Reid, to stillbirth at 40 weeks. From stumbling upon her Instagram a year or two ago to reading the whole story in her memoir, the loss feels personal. Whether that's due to my empathic nature or Emma's writing talent or both, Still is so beautiful it hurts. Both refreshing and absolutely heartbreaking in its honesty, Still tells the story of Emma Hansen and her husband Aaron who lost their son, Reid, to stillbirth at 40 weeks. From stumbling upon her Instagram a year or two ago to reading the whole story in her memoir, the loss feels personal. Whether that's due to my empathic nature or Emma's writing talent or both, Still is so beautiful it hurts.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    Well written memoir about grief and mourning. Thought-provoking, as well. We never really "get over" a profound loss, we simply learn how to carry and recognize it within us as we continue on during our life's journey. Well written memoir about grief and mourning. Thought-provoking, as well. We never really "get over" a profound loss, we simply learn how to carry and recognize it within us as we continue on during our life's journey.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Kilpatrick

    Any woman who has experienced a miscarriage or the loss of a child or those who want to know how to support these women should read this book! I sobbed from beginning to end. Such an open, honest, brave book about love and loss

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shantel Burrer

    Emma and Reid's story is such an important story for all to read. Emma and Reid's story is such an important story for all to read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Rainbow baby was born maybe 2 weeks before my third.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Morton

    This book trigger some big emotions in me. From losing her baby to then having a baby and almost losing him....Oy. Your singing my life! It was a struggle to read at times.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shayla

    Broke my heart open — this is a tough read if you have gone through loss, but a beautiful one that resonated deeply with me.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jodie Siu

    A beautiful and heartbreaking memoir. What a gift.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Josh Hedgepeth

    Video review on my YouTube channel. This was a beautiful and heart wrenching story. 3.5/5 stars Rating Break Down Writing Style: 8/10 Content: 7/10 Structure: 8/10 Summary: 7/10 Engagement: 8/10 Enjoyment: 8/10 Comprehension: 8/10 Pacing: 8/10 Desire to Reread: 0/10 Calculated Rating: 3.645/5 Final Rating: 3.5/5 Note, each rating is weighted based on personal importance to calculate a final score that is rounded to the nearest half. Video review on my YouTube channel. This was a beautiful and heart wrenching story. 3.5/5 stars Rating Break Down Writing Style: 8/10 Content: 7/10 Structure: 8/10 Summary: 7/10 Engagement: 8/10 Enjoyment: 8/10 Comprehension: 8/10 Pacing: 8/10 Desire to Reread: 0/10 Calculated Rating: 3.645/5 Final Rating: 3.5/5 Note, each rating is weighted based on personal importance to calculate a final score that is rounded to the nearest half.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mel

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Kathleen

  24. 4 out of 5

    Allyssa

  25. 5 out of 5

    Colleen Murphy

  26. 5 out of 5

    Stephny

  27. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

  28. 4 out of 5

    Paula

  29. 4 out of 5

    Annie Liang

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lyndsey Menard

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