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I Had a Miscarriage (Feminist Press)
This evocative memoir confronts the cultural silence around miscarriage and illuminates how to transform trauma into human connection.
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.
Praise for I Had a Miscarriage:
"Miscarriages are often considered an uncomfortable and taboo topic. Jessica Zucker’s memoir is a response to that, a bold first step in kicking down the stigma that surrounds this common event. . . . A melding of the theoretical and the personal that makes for a powerful feminist framework around this topic." —Literary Hub, "Most Anticipated Books of 2021 List"
“This book should serve as both balm and guidebook for those suffering from such loss. A contemplative, sensitive, and necessary work in the field of pregnancy and parenting.” —Kirkus Reviews
"Psychologist Zucker delivers an illuminating discussion of miscarriage in her strikingly intimate debut memoir. . . . Zucker’s story is a profound personal reflection, and her remarkable storytelling sheds new light on a difficult topic. Miscarriage survivors will find affirmation and hope in this stirring account.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“Millions of women experience miscarriages every year. Why, then, is a miscarriage still a loss that our culture views as less extreme and less irretrievable than any other kind of gutting loss? I Had a Miscarriage by Jessica Zucker knocks down this ridiculous ladder of loss. Zucker reminds us of the vulnerability and strength of bodies that grow life, and honors the loss of a life that did not have a chance to be a body in the world. Avoiding sentimentality and platitudes, and rooted in her knowledge as a specialist in reproductive and maternal mental health, this book creates a space for women to speak, to grieve, and to live alongside their loss instead of being expected to ‘just get over it.’ This book is a gift.” —Emily Rapp Black, author of The Still Point of the Turning World
“Dr. Zucker’s book compassionately shows that there is no one way to grieve a miscarriage, and in doing so normalizes a spectrum of mourning we don’t talk about nearly enough. There are lessons on grief for all of us—whether we have experienced miscarriage or not—in her brilliant, beautiful pages. A must read.” —Lori Gottlieb, author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
Jessica Zucker is a Los Angeles-based psychologist specializing in reproductive and maternal mental health. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian, NBC, New York Magazine, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, Glamour, Instyle, BuzzFeed, ELLE, SELF, TIME, VICE, among others, and she has been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, and NPR. Jessica is the creator of the #IHadaMiscarriage campaign, a multi-platform effort. Dr. Zucker earned advanced degrees from New York University and Harvard University.
Erica McAfee is the Founder and CEO of Sisters in Loss, a maternal child health company that helps Black women replace silence with storytelling around pregnancy and infant loss and infertility. Sisters in Loss provides pregnancy, birth, postpartum, bereavement, and grief services. Sisters in Loss has been featured in Black Enterprise, Women's Health, The Today Show, NBC Universal, and US House of Representatives via VA State House 4. Erica is a member of the MOMMAs Voices and Racial Disparity Committees of the Preeclampsia Foundation. She is a Certified Birth and Bereavement Doula.