- Empty Arms: Coping with miscarriage, stillbirth and infant death by Sherokee Isle. I was given this book in the hospital while my labor was being induced by a nurse. I read it while completely frantic with grief I have almost no recollection about anything in it.
- An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken: I found it hard to relate to the author, like when she named her stillborn son Pudding, but it made me feel not so alone, and hope that you can get pregnant again even if you are older
- They Were Still Born: Personal Stories about Stillbirth edited by Janet C. Atlas. These stories were fantastic, so many takes on loss and so many echoed what I was feeling. The section at the back on causes of loss I found hard to read since it talked about how you could avoid a cord accident and I felt so responsible for Grace's death. Ultimately I would recommend the stories and just skip the medical section.
- Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo. Given to me by the Chaplain of the hospital who blessed Grace. His conviction that this book would help me was sweet and his faith in God enviable. I don't think that I believe in Heaven and the one described in this book is very odd to me. I did not find it all that helpful, but it was given with love and grace so I read it and treasure that it. I think it would be more helpful for those who are more devout Christians than I.
- Finding Hope When A Child Dies: What Other Cultures Can Teach Us by Sukie Miller. Some of the concepts put forth in this book were helpful, but ultimately I felt let down at the end. I did really like the idea that some spirits can move on to the next life once their needs are fulfilled. Perhaps all Grace needed was to be completely loved, and then she could move on to something better than this life.
- Unspeakable Losses: Understanding the Experience of Pregnancy Loss, Miscarriage and Abortion by Kim Kluger-Bell. It covered so many types of child loss that it could not delve into any one too much, but it was a good resource.
- Help, Comfort and Hope After Losing Your Baby in Pregnancy or the First Year by Hannah Lothrop. It did not really tell me anything I did not already know, but it validated what I was experiencing as normal and I loved that. The second half is written for people who work with baby loss parents (nurses, doctors, clergy, funeral directors etc) and I think this would be a fantastic resource for them to begin to understand what we are going through and the kinds of support that are helpful and the things people say that are not helpful.
Fertility: I have also become obsessed with reading about Fertility. As if educating myself will fix whatever it is inside of me that makes it hard for me to become pregnant.
- Taking Charge Of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. I read this book the first month that I was pregnant with Grace. I had decided to start trying again and was worn out with all the medical interventions. I kept waiting for my period to start so that I could begin charting my BBT. Finally I took a pregnancy test and found out that I would not need this book. I consider it my good luck charm.
- Making Babies: A Proven 3 Month Program for Maximum Fertility by Sami David. I loved this book. My experience with Fertility doctors was completely affirmed by the first few chapters. I felt empowered that I could get pregnant again after reading this and I found a TCM practitioner to help me on my journey to a sibling for Grace.
- Fully Fertile: A 12-week Plan for Optimal Fertility by Tamara Quinn. I wanted to love this book, but in the end I only found it slightly helpful. I thought that Making Babies was a much better take on naturally increasing your fertility. I did love some of the visualizations though and use them often. The DVD that goes along with this book is excellent, I liked it far better than the book!
General Reading: These are books that I have read since Grace died, they have no particular theme.
- We Shall Not Sleep by Anne Perry. I was reading this book when Grace died. I finished it when I got out of the hospital. It was an okay book, but I will keep it forever since it was the last book that Grace and I shared.
- Cultivating Delight: A Natural History of My Garden by Diane Ackerman. It transported me to her garden and I needed the escape from my own world. I cried often while reading it since the way she talks about her garden reminds me of how a mother talks about her children. It was a special read.
- Off the Beaten Path: Stories of Place by The Nature Conservancy. I needed some more escape and travel books are generally good for that. This one, which is a collection of stories, was really only so-so.
- The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan. I did not know that this book was essentially about a baby loss mom in China. I preferred The Joy Luck Club, but it was likely because my loss made the book a very painful read.