Many times since my miscarriage website began, women have asked me, “Why don’t you write a book?”
My answer has pretty much always been the same, “Good books are already out there.” Medical books. Psychology books. Collections of women’s stories. Tons of them.
I didn’t see any need to compete with these other books. I merely read them and list the best on my site. Then, as I listened to people on the forums and read emails from grieving women, I began to see what was missing–the whole story. Not just facts and figures, self-help and psychology, but everything else.
What these other books don’t tell us is how do you get through each day? How do you go to work and face clueless coworkers who ask tactless questions and ply you with empty platitudes? What happens when your sister announces her own pregnancy over Thanksgiving Dinner? How do you maneuver through love with a partner, a relationship that is deteriorating over your differing styles of grieving, or your lack of interest in sex?
There is so much more to the miscarriage story than just the loss, but the re-engaging with the rest of the world, living the rest of your life when a jagged piece is missing.
So I decided to leave nonfiction behind. Forget statistics, pages of causes and preventions, chapters of advice and handholding. That was too limiting–it didn’t get to the heart of these women and their situations.
So I’ve decided to write a novel instead. I want to dig into the lives of several women and throw them together in a pregnancy loss support group where they are introduced, then follow them home, back to work, in their kitchens and bedrooms and closets and showers. We can watch them like voyeurs, using everything I’ve learned in eight years of talking to women, listening to their stories, and going through it myself to show others not necessarily the best or worst way to get through it–but how people just do.
Let’s feel it. And learn. And teach everyone else what it feels like to be us.
It will be a long hard journey. Not just for me, writing it, but you, recognizing your situation in these fictional ones, their darkest moments dredging up yours. But come along with me, advise me, make suggestions. I have a few secrets that even I’ve kept. There are things I will reveal along the way. Lessons I’ve learned without a net, nothing to cushion the fall. Moments when I thought I had heard everything after running the site–seen every situation–could handle anything–then some story would set me back to the day when my own blood filled my hands in a bathroom, my own terror and fear and despair overwhelming every aspect of my life.
I’ll start by planning the characters, determining what situations merit inclusion, then we’ll form the story, breathe life into the scenes, and watch these other lives unfold, as realistically as possible, with every scrap of knowledge I have about miscarriage and how to survive it coming into play.
Bookmark the blog, leave comments if you like. Help me think of what needs to be in there. Tell me what happened to you. Or just check in from time to time. But let’s get started on a book that will make a difference.