Many of my peers are trying to start or expand their families, and I often hear whispers of miscarriage. They are whispers because many of these women received the same messages I did, even if they were subtle: Don’t tell anyone when you first get pregnant and silence your grief if anything goes wrong.
L.A.-based psychologist and writer Jessica Zucker, Ph.D., did not follow these misguided rules, and we are so glad she didn’t. In her new memoir “I Had a Miscarriage: a Memoir: A Memoir, A Movement” (The Feminist Press), Zucker does not whisper about her miscarriage at all. Rather, she declares her story of grief, trauma and finding community around the experience of miscarriage.
Her heartbreaking and powerful memoir takes us through the traumatic loss of her second pregnancy and the ways in which she worked through the grief of that loss. “Grief commands attention. Grief commands time. And grief isn’t to be tamed or tampered with. It is to be traveled, investigated, lavished, even. Studied,” Zucker writes. As a reader, we travel and investigate Zucker’s grief right alongside her, expanding our hearts whether we have experienced such loss or not.
The title of her new book is also the name of her social media campaign #IHadAMiscarriage, which Zucker founded in 2014 as a way to start a national conversation around this often-taboo topic. By sharing her story, she encourages others to do the same and normalize what, in reality, is a very normal outcome. In fact, about 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage and yet we, as a society, don’t make space for these stories.
The hashtag and book title come from the simple text Zucker sent to a few of her friends and family when she found herself “reaching for some semblance of community, of comfort.” With her book and #IHadAMiscarriage campaign, she has created space for women all over the world to find community and comfort during what can be a very traumatic and trying time in their lives. By doing so, she has shifted the cultural narrative around miscarriage.
Zucker’s book “I Had a Miscarriage” is out now. Follow #IHadAMisccarriage for inspiring stories and resources around pregnancy, pregnancy loss and maternal mental health.