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I Had a Miscarriage: A Memoir, a Movement

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Sixteen weeks into her second pregnancy, psychologist Jessica Zucker miscarried at home, alone. Suddenly, her career, spent specializing in reproductive and maternal mental health, was rendered corporeal, no longer just theoretical. She now had a changed perspective on her life's work, her patients' pain, and the crucial need for a zeitgeist shift. Navigating this nascent Sixteen weeks into her second pregnancy, psychologist Jessica Zucker miscarried at home, alone. Suddenly, her career, spent specializing in reproductive and maternal mental health, was rendered corporeal, no longer just theoretical. She now had a changed perspective on her life's work, her patients' pain, and the crucial need for a zeitgeist shift. Navigating this nascent transition amid her own grief became a catalyst for Jessica to bring voice to this ubiquitous experience. She embarked on a mission to upend the strident trifecta of silence, shame, and stigma that surrounds reproductive loss--and the result is her striking memoir meets manifesto. Drawing from her psychological expertise and her work as the creator of the #IHadaMiscarriage campaign, I Had a Miscarriage is a heart-wrenching, thought-provoking, and validating book about navigating these liminal spaces and the vitality of truth telling--an urgent reminder of the power of speaking openly and unapologetically about the complexities of our lives. Jessica Zucker weaves her own experience and other women's stories into a compassionate and compelling exploration of grief as a necessary, nuanced personal and communal process. She inspires her readers to speak their truth and, in turn, to ignite transformative change within themselves and in our culture.


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Sixteen weeks into her second pregnancy, psychologist Jessica Zucker miscarried at home, alone. Suddenly, her career, spent specializing in reproductive and maternal mental health, was rendered corporeal, no longer just theoretical. She now had a changed perspective on her life's work, her patients' pain, and the crucial need for a zeitgeist shift. Navigating this nascent Sixteen weeks into her second pregnancy, psychologist Jessica Zucker miscarried at home, alone. Suddenly, her career, spent specializing in reproductive and maternal mental health, was rendered corporeal, no longer just theoretical. She now had a changed perspective on her life's work, her patients' pain, and the crucial need for a zeitgeist shift. Navigating this nascent transition amid her own grief became a catalyst for Jessica to bring voice to this ubiquitous experience. She embarked on a mission to upend the strident trifecta of silence, shame, and stigma that surrounds reproductive loss--and the result is her striking memoir meets manifesto. Drawing from her psychological expertise and her work as the creator of the #IHadaMiscarriage campaign, I Had a Miscarriage is a heart-wrenching, thought-provoking, and validating book about navigating these liminal spaces and the vitality of truth telling--an urgent reminder of the power of speaking openly and unapologetically about the complexities of our lives. Jessica Zucker weaves her own experience and other women's stories into a compassionate and compelling exploration of grief as a necessary, nuanced personal and communal process. She inspires her readers to speak their truth and, in turn, to ignite transformative change within themselves and in our culture.

30 review for I Had a Miscarriage: A Memoir, a Movement

  1. 4 out of 5

    Katelyn

    Zucker, a psychologist specializing in maternal women's mental health, started a movement on social media to encourage women to talk about their miscarriages. In this book she shares her personal story miscarrying her daughter at 16 weeks (she gives birth to her daughter at home without realizing she is in labor; it's traumatic and you may not want to read this book while pregnant). She also shares stories of some of her patients (with names changed and identifying details removed) and their exp Zucker, a psychologist specializing in maternal women's mental health, started a movement on social media to encourage women to talk about their miscarriages. In this book she shares her personal story miscarrying her daughter at 16 weeks (she gives birth to her daughter at home without realizing she is in labor; it's traumatic and you may not want to read this book while pregnant). She also shares stories of some of her patients (with names changed and identifying details removed) and their experiences with miscarriages and stillbirths. She emphasizes the importance of having space for everyone's stories. A powerful, quick read. Recommended.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    In October 2012, alone at home and 16 weeks into her second pregnancy, Jessica Zucker experienced a traumatic miscarriage. The baby was a girl she later named Olive -- a favourite name of her older son, Liev. A psychologist specializing in reproductive and maternal mental health issues, Zucker suddenly found herself relating to her patients in an entirely different way. Almost exactly two years later, an article she wrote detailing what she'd lived through that was published in the New York time In October 2012, alone at home and 16 weeks into her second pregnancy, Jessica Zucker experienced a traumatic miscarriage. The baby was a girl she later named Olive -- a favourite name of her older son, Liev. A psychologist specializing in reproductive and maternal mental health issues, Zucker suddenly found herself relating to her patients in an entirely different way. Almost exactly two years later, an article she wrote detailing what she'd lived through that was published in the New York times on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day 2014. Her use of the hashtag #IHadaMiscarriage went viral, and led to the creation of her popular Instagram account of the same name. In "I Had a Miscarriage: A Memoir, a Movement," Zucker tells her personal story as well as the stories of some of her patients, backed up with research and statistics. This will all be painfully familiar territory to anyone who has experienced pregnancy loss: the shock and trauma of the loss itself, the pressure -- from others and ourselves -- to move forward quickly, the "strident trifecta" of silence, stigma and shame that women experience after a miscarriage, the exhaustion from dealing with others' shocked reactions and dismissive platitudes ("at least..."), the anxiety of enduring a subsequent pregnancy, and the healing to be found in honouring our losses and in connecting with others who have been through similar situations. Full marks to Zucker for acknowledging (particularly in Chapter 12) that "Sometimes rainbows follow storms. Sometimes they don't." Blindingly relying on the comforting notion that every traumatic storm is followed by beautiful, awe-inspiring happiness is common within the pregnancy- and infant-loss community. But we all know this isn't always the case. Some people don't go on to get pregnant again. Some get pregnant and have yet another loss. Some stop trying to conceive altogether. So while this hopeful message is encouraging for some, it might feel alienating to others, and in ways that are not always obvious... Alternative outcomes -- outcomes that do not consist of full-term pregnancies and babies wrapped in rainbow-colored blankets -- deserve to be acknowledged too... Sometimes a rainbow follows, and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes a rainbow is a child, and sometimes it's the renewal of vows, a career milestone, a new sense of self, the ability to self-love. This is a great addition to the existing (and, happily, growing) literature about pregnancy loss. Four (4 & 1/2) stars on Goodreads.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Danisa Clarke

    In I had a miscarriage, Jessica addresses every mother in every place who has ever had a miscarriage, her passion is to change the silence regarding miscarriage into story telling, that each mother and each baby born too soon, would be seen, have a voice , and tell a story. Jessica reminds us that miscarriage is proof it doesn’t matter how short the life , the impact of each individual life is grande. .. Dear Miscarriage, Oh, how you have changed it all. You give me no choice other than to dedicate In I had a miscarriage, Jessica addresses every mother in every place who has ever had a miscarriage, her passion is to change the silence regarding miscarriage into story telling, that each mother and each baby born too soon, would be seen, have a voice , and tell a story. Jessica reminds us that miscarriage is proof it doesn’t matter how short the life , the impact of each individual life is grande. .. Dear Miscarriage, Oh, how you have changed it all. You give me no choice other than to dedicate much of my heart, energy and love to you — to change how culture silences you, shrouds you in shame. You deserve serious and pointed attention. I love you for helping me better understand suffering and resilience. I’ve opened my heart fully to you. I loathe you for the droplets of hopelessness interspersed. And the terrorizing anxiety that clung to my subsequent pregnancy. But here’s the thing, miscarriage: I’ve spent so much time getting to know you and my deepest self, my fundamental strength. I think — or more accurately, I know— it’s time (long overdue, perhaps) that society spotlight you. Highlight you. In neon. No more shadowed, isolated grievers. No more mourners wondering if they did something to deserve this. Nope. No more. Just love Tenderness Honesty Hope And the ever present proof that being human renders us vulnerable. It’s tough to say I love you, but I will say this: I love who you’ve helped me become. With fortitude and dedication to changing the dialogue around you, Jessica ( a.k.a @IHadAMiscarriage )

  4. 5 out of 5

    Laura Donovan

    I am so glad we finally have this book on the market. Miscarriage is so common, which I didn't realize until I familiarized myself with Dr. Zucker's work several years ago when I was working in online news. When I miscarried my second pregnancy, I knew I was far from alone thanks to her social media campaigns on such a widespread phenomenon for women. Like me, she miscarried after her first son, but I was unaware of the shocking details of her second trimester loss until reading this book. It's I am so glad we finally have this book on the market. Miscarriage is so common, which I didn't realize until I familiarized myself with Dr. Zucker's work several years ago when I was working in online news. When I miscarried my second pregnancy, I knew I was far from alone thanks to her social media campaigns on such a widespread phenomenon for women. Like me, she miscarried after her first son, but I was unaware of the shocking details of her second trimester loss until reading this book. It's so heartbreaking but I appreciate that she was willing and courageous enough to share her daughter Olive's story with the world. She also acknowledges that even though she had another daughter later on, that doesn't mean everyone has healthy pregnancies after loss, or that her loss was forgotten once she gave birth again. I totally related to her feelings of anxiety of having a rainbow baby that weren't there with the first child. It shows the long-lasting impact of miscarriage doesn't vanish just because you've had a live birth later on down the road. This book shows a lot of compassion and understanding for those who suffer from pregnancy loss. Dr. Zucker acknowledges there is no one size fits all experience to this, but she wants to help everyone who endures it. This book is a love letter to all of us who have been there and I think everyone needs to read it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline

    I pre-ordered this book 6 months ago and was eagerly awaiting its arrival. I follow Dr. Zucker on IG and this book is dear to my heart because of the horrible year I had in 2020. Dr. Zucker vividly describes her extremely traumatic 16-week miscarriage at home (WARNING: not for the faint of heart, especially if you're currently pregnant or still processing trauma from a loss.. I felt pretty queasy and uncomfortable) while integrating her memoir of healing with other stories from her clients and g I pre-ordered this book 6 months ago and was eagerly awaiting its arrival. I follow Dr. Zucker on IG and this book is dear to my heart because of the horrible year I had in 2020. Dr. Zucker vividly describes her extremely traumatic 16-week miscarriage at home (WARNING: not for the faint of heart, especially if you're currently pregnant or still processing trauma from a loss.. I felt pretty queasy and uncomfortable) while integrating her memoir of healing with other stories from her clients and general thoughts on dealing with grief. I found this an extremely valuable resource for people going through a loss and trying to process it. She echos a lot of common feelings after a miscarriage: guilt/shame, sadness at the world moving on while you're struggling, a lost sense of purpose, isolation. Even if you haven't had a miscarriage before, I would recommend this book for anyone who's interested in stories of grief and how to comfort a grieving person. In general, it's so important to be comfortable with sitting with someone's pain as they mourn, instead of trying to give advice or find a silver lining.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Non

    I read this in a sprint to finish before my interview with Jessica on You, Me, Empathy. I'm so grateful for this book, even if I wished I could pause in moments to take in the solemnity and profundity of the experience. I Had a Miscarriage is a vulnerable, deeply personal, and deeply empathetic exploration of stigma in motherhood and pregnancy, in loss and in grief, in the wild and frantic unpacking of trauma. We need each other. We need connection. We need to learn how to talk about loss and gr I read this in a sprint to finish before my interview with Jessica on You, Me, Empathy. I'm so grateful for this book, even if I wished I could pause in moments to take in the solemnity and profundity of the experience. I Had a Miscarriage is a vulnerable, deeply personal, and deeply empathetic exploration of stigma in motherhood and pregnancy, in loss and in grief, in the wild and frantic unpacking of trauma. We need each other. We need connection. We need to learn how to talk about loss and grief and the trauma we all face. Silence only continues to breed shame and stigma and fear and hurt. This book is a beautiful reminder of the capacity for resilience and vulnerability and empathy and connection we all hold in our hearts.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Marinna

    A very important book in what needs to be a greater conversation in our society. Loss is universally experienced, yet we rarely talk about it in western culture. The honesty and vulnerable writing in this book is very powerful, albeit difficult to read at times. The account of the author’s miscarriage has been something I’ve found difficult to get out of my head, and I would caution anyone struggling with a recent loss or any type of PTSD to be aware of. It’s not easy to read, but I think this b A very important book in what needs to be a greater conversation in our society. Loss is universally experienced, yet we rarely talk about it in western culture. The honesty and vulnerable writing in this book is very powerful, albeit difficult to read at times. The account of the author’s miscarriage has been something I’ve found difficult to get out of my head, and I would caution anyone struggling with a recent loss or any type of PTSD to be aware of. It’s not easy to read, but I think this book can be very validating. As a clinician, I appreciate the honesty put forth in recognizing that clinicians are people with feelings too! I enjoyed reading the intersection of the author’s experiences with her client sessions and what that brought up for her.

  8. 4 out of 5

    courtney

    📖 My mom expressed shock that I’m reading this book while pregnant with our rainbow baby, but to me this was more than just a quick read. Zucker, who had a miscarriage at 16 weeks, not only comes from a place of familiarity as maternal and women therapy is her life’s work, but a place of similarity as she can actually share the emotions and grief which surrounds miscarriages. A lot of this book felt like validation to me as we lost our first pregnancy due to blighted ovum in 2020. Zucker welcome 📖 My mom expressed shock that I’m reading this book while pregnant with our rainbow baby, but to me this was more than just a quick read. Zucker, who had a miscarriage at 16 weeks, not only comes from a place of familiarity as maternal and women therapy is her life’s work, but a place of similarity as she can actually share the emotions and grief which surrounds miscarriages. A lot of this book felt like validation to me as we lost our first pregnancy due to blighted ovum in 2020. Zucker welcomes all women, those who themselves have experienced loss in pregnancy and those who need to support others who have, in this enticing, fact filled read about miscarriages. I recommend this book for all as I feel it opens a much-needed public conversation about miscarriage.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    This is such a beautiful, poignant, honest, breathtaking, and painful read. Dr Zucker's loss experience and work as a psychologist specializing in reproductive and maternal mental health illustrates how the conversations about pregnancy and infant loss are as varied as the people who have them yet extremely nuanced and surprisingly common. The grief from pregnancy loss, no matter how early, is as real and visceral as any other loss. We need to open up societal conversations surrounding these eve This is such a beautiful, poignant, honest, breathtaking, and painful read. Dr Zucker's loss experience and work as a psychologist specializing in reproductive and maternal mental health illustrates how the conversations about pregnancy and infant loss are as varied as the people who have them yet extremely nuanced and surprisingly common. The grief from pregnancy loss, no matter how early, is as real and visceral as any other loss. We need to open up societal conversations surrounding these events and support the people who have them. A fantastic read and one I hope many people will have the empathy and courage to undertake.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    Without a memoir like this, I never would’ve felt so seen, so understood, and so validated in the pain and grief I experienced with my own miscarriage. Jessica’s account of her personal experience, her professional insight, and her incredible desire to break the stigma and the shame of grief and loss intertwine to create a book so moving I simply could not put it down. I recommend this to anyone who’s been through this pain, who knows someone who has, or who understands that they may someday dow Without a memoir like this, I never would’ve felt so seen, so understood, and so validated in the pain and grief I experienced with my own miscarriage. Jessica’s account of her personal experience, her professional insight, and her incredible desire to break the stigma and the shame of grief and loss intertwine to create a book so moving I simply could not put it down. I recommend this to anyone who’s been through this pain, who knows someone who has, or who understands that they may someday down the line.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Melo Garcia

    I can't express in words how this book moved me! I felt as if the author was in the room with me, and we are old friends- she validates all that I've carried and taken away the stigma of my own experiences with miscarriage! I will recommend this book to every woman and parent that faces miscarriage to help navigate their journey of grieving and the emotional, physical, and social stigma of miscarriage! Jessica Zucker has written a handbook to walk us through the most challenging moment of any wo I can't express in words how this book moved me! I felt as if the author was in the room with me, and we are old friends- she validates all that I've carried and taken away the stigma of my own experiences with miscarriage! I will recommend this book to every woman and parent that faces miscarriage to help navigate their journey of grieving and the emotional, physical, and social stigma of miscarriage! Jessica Zucker has written a handbook to walk us through the most challenging moment of any woman’s life!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jen Schwartz

    Every woman that is going through or has been through pregnancy/infant loss needs this book. It is raw, real, and relatable. Dr. Zucker shares her own personal experience with loss and with her words, creates a safe space for women to process their grief and feel less alone. I can't recommend it enough as both a healing tool for women and an important text whose mission is to normalize the conversation around pregnancy, infant loss, and grief and smash the silence, stigma, and shame associated w Every woman that is going through or has been through pregnancy/infant loss needs this book. It is raw, real, and relatable. Dr. Zucker shares her own personal experience with loss and with her words, creates a safe space for women to process their grief and feel less alone. I can't recommend it enough as both a healing tool for women and an important text whose mission is to normalize the conversation around pregnancy, infant loss, and grief and smash the silence, stigma, and shame associated with them once and for all.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Annick MacAskill

    By far the best book I've read on the subject. Informed both by the author's personal experience and her expertise as a psychologist specialized in reproductive and maternal mental health, I Had a Miscarriage is at once informative and moving. It's so important to have feminist contributions to this field, especially from authors who have actually heard of queer and trans people (and know that they can get pregnant and suffer losses, too). If you're looking for a book about infertility, miscarria By far the best book I've read on the subject. Informed both by the author's personal experience and her expertise as a psychologist specialized in reproductive and maternal mental health, I Had a Miscarriage is at once informative and moving. It's so important to have feminist contributions to this field, especially from authors who have actually heard of queer and trans people (and know that they can get pregnant and suffer losses, too). If you're looking for a book about infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth, or other forms of pregnancy and infant loss, this is the one I'd recommend.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Leah Booker

    I've been following the @ihadamiscarriage account for a few years now, ever since I found myself in the throes of pregnancy loss. Jessica's instagram helped me through that time, and I was very much looking forward to this book. It did not disappoint. We have so much work to do. Highly recommend this to everyone - not just those who have personally experienced miscarriage, pregnancy loss, or stillbirth. I've been following the @ihadamiscarriage account for a few years now, ever since I found myself in the throes of pregnancy loss. Jessica's instagram helped me through that time, and I was very much looking forward to this book. It did not disappoint. We have so much work to do. Highly recommend this to everyone - not just those who have personally experienced miscarriage, pregnancy loss, or stillbirth.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alicia Cook

    I couldn't wait for this book to come out. I was so excited when my pre-order arrived. This book will save hearts and ease souls. This book will make waves and calm chaos. This book will start conversations and normalize this particular grief. This book is necessary and long overdue. Read it. Gift it. I couldn't wait for this book to come out. I was so excited when my pre-order arrived. This book will save hearts and ease souls. This book will make waves and calm chaos. This book will start conversations and normalize this particular grief. This book is necessary and long overdue. Read it. Gift it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Kail

    This book spoke to my personal experience on so many levels. At times hard to read, I appreciate how the author pushes through graphic stories and difficult emotions to make space for the wide variety of reactions to miscarriage. Whether or not miscarriage is part of your personal story, this book has so much to offer.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Holli

    Reading this book helped me feel like I was more than a statistic. Dr. Zucker was able to put into words exactly what I was feeling. In a society where miscarriage happens so frequently, yet is barely spoken about, this book was able to bring me some semblance of peace that I am not alone. I finally felt understood.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Shari Cohen boardman

    Such a powerful story Having experienced 2 miscarriages myself, and navigating parenthood of a rainbow baby after, this book resonated so well. Jessica, thanks for the honesty and vividly explaining all the emotions surrounding miscarriage and infant loss. You inspire me to help other women and families in their journey.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Becky Hartsell

    This book was incredible! It is beautifully written. I decided to read it after my third miscarriage & I felt seen right away. It was almost as if she was reading my mind. Thank you Jessica for sharing your story, I am allowing myself grace and room to grieve and not rushing or putting a time table on how I get through this.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This topic isn’t part of my personal experience but I felt like reading this book helped me think about how to walk alongside friends who have experienced pregnancy loss. Pregnancy loss is an important and heavy topic and the author discussed it delicately through her own experiences. Chapter 1 may need a trigger warning for those who have experienced a miscarriage though.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Janilyn Kocher

    A compelling read about a psychologist who suffered a miscarriage. She includes many of her clients' stories as she counsels in this very subject. The book tackles many topics associated with loss. It was an interesting read. Thanks to Feminist Press and Edelweiss for the early copy. A compelling read about a psychologist who suffered a miscarriage. She includes many of her clients' stories as she counsels in this very subject. The book tackles many topics associated with loss. It was an interesting read. Thanks to Feminist Press and Edelweiss for the early copy.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chauncey

    I’m so grateful that I found support through Jessica and all she does on the internet. This book has helped me feel less alone during the darkest times in my life. If you have gone through loss this book is a must read!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Binxie

    Zucker brings the issue of miscarriage and related topics in this memoir. Her frankness about her experience along with other's stories sheds light on an experience that we need to acknowledge and get a better at understanding of. Zucker brings the issue of miscarriage and related topics in this memoir. Her frankness about her experience along with other's stories sheds light on an experience that we need to acknowledge and get a better at understanding of.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Katharina Boyce

    Validated is the best word I can think of to describe this book. If you have experienced pregnancy loss, I highly recommend this book. Or if you don’t know what to say to someone who has experienced pregnancy loss, I highly recommend this book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Taylor

    “What was born from the mess of it all was the realization that immense gratitude and love can often and easily live alongside complicated feelings of grief and anxiety. Mothering can be complicated beyond our expectations, no matter how deeply we yearned for the role.”

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    I've not had a miscarriage, but many women in my life have, and I'm trying to understand how to love and care for them well. Zucker offers an interesting perspective as both a mental health provider focusing on maternal health and as a woman who has lost a pregnancy herself. I've not had a miscarriage, but many women in my life have, and I'm trying to understand how to love and care for them well. Zucker offers an interesting perspective as both a mental health provider focusing on maternal health and as a woman who has lost a pregnancy herself.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jen Lincoln

    This is the book I will give to friends who experience a miscarriage - such a well-written explanation of how isolating a miscarriage can be and why it needs to change. Fantastic memoir and guidebook.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Miele

    I stumbled across this book a few weeks after my first pregnancy ended in an early miscarriage. I am so glad to have read it because it put a lot of things into perspective. It’s so comforting to see your own thoughts and feelings captured in such a thoughtful and eloquent way.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Molly Garcia

    A book full of validation for mothers who have lost a pregnancy and a great teaching tool for those who haven’t or support women who have. Can’t recommend this, as well as Jessica Zucker’s Instagram account, enough as a source of support and encouragement for all women.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Miller

    Everyone needs to read this book. It was so informative, emotional and important. This book is breaking barriers and opening up conversations that need to be had!

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